University of Exeter Press


A Reader in the History of Everyday Life

    • 416 Pages

    This book is the first of its kind to present readers with the rich and innovative source base deployed by scholars studying everyday life in the modern era. Twenty-eight researchers from diverse intellectual and disciplinary standpoints each present a favourite primary source for studying the history of everyday life, accompanied by a reflective commentary on the benefits, challenges, and potential pitfalls of using their chosen material.

    The sources included range from ego documents (diaries, memoirs, letters), oral testimonies, ethnographic fieldnotes, newspapers, magazines, and official documents to photographs, film, maps, floor plans, drawings, material objects, and instant messages. They cover topics and themes as varied as individual mentalities, emotions, identities, sense of place, sexuality, and agency; experiences of space, violence, war, childhood, humour, the body, and the senses; and the history of nationalism, diplomacy, political activism, youth culture, tourism, memory, dictatorship, colonialism, and race and racism.

    This book demonstrates not only the texture and fascination of people’s everyday lives, but also what a critical reading of this microscale can reveal about the broader sweep of history. It will be an invaluable resource for researchers and students alike interested in everyday life, in micro- and local-scales of analysis, and in the study of history and society ‘from below’.

    Kate Ferris is Professor in Modern European History at the University of St Andrews. She researches modern Italy and Spain with an emphasis on everyday life history and questions of agency, practice, subjectivity, and space. She leads the ERC-funded project, ‘Dictatorship as experience: a comparative history of everyday life and the “lived experience” of dictatorship in Mediterranean Europe, 1922–1975’.

    Huw Halstead is Lecturer in Public History in the School of History, Classics, and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. His research focuses on memory, public history, and everyday life, with a particular interest in the contemporary Mediterranean world.

      • 416 Pages