Reading Group


We run a reading and discussion group on “Rebellions and Alliances” from December 2013 to June 2014. We were a small group of historians and anthropologists working on these themes in different periods and regions, and  we believe that interdisciplinary and comparative discussion can be enlightening. Regulars were both postgraduate students and academics from St Andrews and those visiting the town.


All meetings take place in the CAS Library, School 6, St Salvator’s Quad, North Street, St Andrews

Friday 24 January, 2pm: McFarlane and Earle

We will be discussing Tony McFarlane’s “Rebellions in Late Colonial Spanish America: A Comparative Perspective”, Bulletin of Latin American Research 14:3 (Sep. 1995), pp. 313-338; and Rebecca Earle’s  “Indian Rebellion and Bourbon Reform in New Granada: Riots in Pasto, 1780-1800”, The Hispanic American Historical Review 73:1 (Feb. 1993): pp. 99-124.

Friday 28 February, 2pm: Cohn, Arnold and Watts

We will be reading some texts on Medieval Europe: the Introduction of Samuel K. Cohn’s Lust for Liberty: The Politics of Social Revolt in Medieval Europe, 1200-1425 (Cambridge, MA, 2006); pages 149-169 of John Arnold’s ‘‘Religion and Popular Rebellion, from the Capuciati to Niklashausen’, Cultural and Social History 6 (2009); and pages 270-286 of John Watts’ The Making of Polities: Europe, 1300–1500 (Cambridge, 2009).

Friday 11 April, 2pm: Whitehead, Ferguson and Mattingly

We will be discussing two chapters from Neil L. Whitehead and R. Brian Ferguson’s War in the Tribal Zone. Expanding States and Indigenous Warfare (Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press; Oxford: James Curry, 1992). We will read chapter 1 “The  Violent Edge of Empire” written by the editors, and chapter 2 “War and Peace in Roman North Africa: Observations and Models of State-Tribe Interaction” by J D Mattingly.

Tuesday 29 April, 2pm: Seth Richardson

We will be reading the Introduction and chapter 1 of Seth Richardson’s Rebellions and Peripheries in the Cuneiform World (New Haven: American Oriental Society, 2010).

Tuesday 21 May, 1.30pm: Scott

We will discuss some sections of James C. Scott’s The Art of Not Being Governed. An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009): chapter 8 “Prophets of Renewal” and the Preface.

Thursday 5 June, 10 am: Guha

We will discuss Guha’s “The Prose of Counter-Insurgency”, published in Ranajit Guha (ed.), Subaltern Studies II: Writings on South Asian History and Society (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1983).

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