Shelf Life

The historian and author of Pulp Empire: The Secret History of Comic Book Imperialism on cool kids, a comic book shop as edgy as its contents, and international culture wars

2 August

The former professor of imperial and global history and author of Unlocking the World: Port Cities and Globalization in the Age of Steam on old favourites, empire and commerce, and horse power

26 October

The professor of communication and media and author of The Politicization of Mumsnet discusses social media’s good and bad, debates over gender and feminism, and Val McDermid’s Scotland

28 September

The Classics scholar and author of Mapping the Afterlife: From Homer to Dante talks about discovering Roman Britain in the Australian heat and how a sports-car-driving teacher fuelled her interest in Latin

31 August

The professor of French studies and author of Today Sardines Are Not for Sale: A Street Protest in Occupied Paris explains how exploring small, overlooked episodes brings human drama to history

5 August

The history lecturer and author of Rummage: A History of the Things We Have Reused, Recycled and Refused to Let Go discusses her fascination with waste and reuse and how to write about ephemeral themes

The historian and author of The Politics of Humiliation discusses fairy tales and myths, the history of emotions, and the relationships between victim, perpetrators and onlookers

The historian and author of Information Hunters on the literary puzzles that inspired her historical sleuthing, the librarians and archivists whose work supported the Allies in wartime Europe, and the thorny issues around preserving documentation

12 April

Adam Kucharski, author of The Rules of Contagion, on books that piqued his interest in mathematics, and those that showed how maths could be applied to serve public health by modelling infectious diseases – and happiness

12 March

The professor of European history and author of Migrant City on first encountering English at school, studying London as an ethnic immigrant capital, and intersections of race and politics

27 February

The cultural historian, whose latest book The Imposteress Rabbit Breeder explores the case of an 18th-century woman said to have given birth to rabbits, discusses libraries, women’s bodies and how they interact with culture to shape female lives

23 January

The author of The Outsiders: Refugees in Europe since 1492 discusses tracing the rises and falls of empires in atlases, understanding the pain of mass displacements and the pleasure of simultaneously reading and listening to music

9 January

The political scientist and author of The Politics of Petulance: America in an Age of Immaturity on fictional fascinations, mature reflections and dancing to the music of Powell

18 October

The author of Comparative Literature: A Very Short Introduction on Graham Greene, the classics as gateway to different literatures and a reading tip for English readers in the age of Brexit

19 March

The author and professor of sociology and philosophy of law discusses Vonnegut, pre-communist histories and the EU’s present and future

1 March

The historian and author of In Search of the Phoenicians on reading the Bible under the blankets, DIY Latin lessons and the keys to unlocking the ancient world

18 January

The lecturer in cultural and historical studies and author of Personal Style Blogs on pony tales, reading fashion and fashioning the self

14 December