Locating Agency: Space, Power and Popular Politics

In the latter half of the twentieth century, historians came to consider “politics” to mean more than simply the formal institutions and apparatus of government, run by a small minority of wealthy, educated elite men. The word has been adopted by historians of different genres as synonymous with power, or agency, and the scope for “political” activity has been widened to incorporate a variety of everyday events and ordinary people.

These collected essays explore the quotidian experience of politics in the form of popular politics, religion and popular culture. The contributors consider, for example: the politics of the alehouse, the politics of Methodism, the interrelationship between plebeian agency, custom and memory, the politics of economics, dramatic agency and the politics of the spiritual parish. Collectively they suggest that political activity was embedded in almost every aspect of life. In addition they draw on interdisciplinary theory, in particular the “spatial turn” and how it can be used to better understand popular agency.

Dr Fiona Williamson is Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of East Anglia. She is currently working on a larger project which explores space, gender and agency for the middling sorts and below. Other projects include mapping social topographies and urban popular politics.

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Mark Hailwood

Robert Lee

George Oppitz-Trotman

Simon Sandall

Brodie Waddell

Fiona Williamson

Andy Wood

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ISBN: 1-4438-1448-2

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-1448-5

Release Date: 29th April 2010

Pages: 235

Price: £39.99