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Letter from the Editors

The Editorial Board

Dear reader,

We are pleased to present our newest issue: ‘Environments’. We have long been keen on spatial histories, but this time we were particularly eager to publish histories of natural landscapes, plants and animals. Of course, to some degree, this has to do with our commitment to publish history on all themes, to showcase the interdisciplinary work of our fellow researchers, and to give the creatures with which we share our world the dignity that history affords; but I suspect that this issue theme also has much of the editorial board being of an age to have grown up watching Steve Backshall’s Deadly 60 on CBBC.

In this issue, Seán Thomas Kane from Binghampton University has written about how European encounters with South American animals – including the majestic three-toed sloth –challenged longstanding assumptions about life science, and Polina Ignatova from Linköping University has demonstrated how, in Medieval Europe, fish were vegetables. This will have been news to many of the historical subjects caught up in the maritime incidents featured in this issue, including Hirohito Tsuji’s exploration of postwar Anglo-Japanese reconciliation through the rescue of British sailors and Cian Lynch’s assessment of the German U-Boat Campaign in the First World War. Turning to the built environment, we also have a piece from Sara Keller on water intelligence in Indian cities and from Dasha Guliak on churches in Banff National Park. We are also very pleased with our interview with Craig Macadam, Conservation Director at Buglife on the history of the Medicinal leech and their conservation.

Leeches pierce that barrier between within and without, and so helpfully prefigure our next issue; Frontiers, Borders and Boundaries. This theme is designed to speak to the theme of LHPC 2024, which is this year run by our Deputy Coordinating Editor Anna Drury, and our new International History Editor Jude Rowley. Frontiers, Borders and Boundaries captures many of the broad themes that we as historians are interested in, so there should be something for everyone. If you are in the North-West of England on 13 or 14 June this year, please come along and see some excellent papers from postgraduate researchers across Britain and Europe. Entry is free! There is also a long and distinguished tradition of adapting LHPC papers as EPOCH articles, so if you are speaking at LHPC this year, submit a magazine pitch here. Writing a magazine article is very different to writing a conference paper (or a postgraduate essay), and the process will require a complete rewrite – but our editors will help you every step of the way!

In other news from the editorial team, our former Coordinating Editor and International History Editor Sam Hollins has stepped down, to spend more time with his thesis. We wish Sam the very best! Sam’s editorial shoes will be filled by the eminently capable Jude Rowley, a PhD student in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University. Meredith Guthrie, who is not only our Medieval Editor and Events Officer but the founding Coordinating Editor of EPOCH, passed her viva in April, and is also stepping down from the board. EPOCH would not exist without Meredith’s drive and vision. But, she can be proud of how far EPOCH has come in the last four years: today, we publish our 250th article from our 80th institution! Former Digital Humanities Editor Ben Wills-Eve also passed his viva in April. Well done Ben!

Have an excellent summer (or winter, if you are lucky enough to be in the southern hemisphere) – we will hopefully see some of you in Lancaster soon!


Will Garbett


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