Wednesday, February 6, 2013

BRANCH: Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History, 1775-1925

Editor: Dino Franco Felluga

This site, an extension of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net, provides users with a free, expansive, searchable, reliable, peer-reviewed, copy-edited, easy-to-use overview of the period 1775-1925. Unlike dry chronologies that simply list dates with minimal information about the many noteworthy events of a given year, BRANCH offers a compilation of a myriad of short articles on not only high politics and military history but also “low” or quotidian histories (architecture design, commercial history, marginal figures of note, and so on). Since no one scholar could hope to provide a complete overview of an entire century of British society, I have compiled material from a host of scholars working on all facets of the British nineteenth century. Authors come from History, Art History, and English departments across the world. The site differs from Wikipedia in so far as all articles have undergone peer review, copy-editing, and proofing. Each article also seeks to interpret the events being discussed. Indeed, many events are discussed by more than one scholar. Thanks to its site structure, BRANCH offers users an innovative approach to history itself, suggesting that any given bit of historical information can branch outward in often surprising directions. Rather than provide a linear timeline of history from the perspective of the victors, I wish to provide a history that comes closer to what Walter Benjamin famously termed jetztzeitor “the time of the now,” an impacted history that explores the messy uncertainties and possibilities of any given historical moment.

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