All posts by jwbaker

James Baker is a Lecturer in Digital History at the University of Sussex (and the awesome Sussex Humanities Lab). He is a historian of long eighteenth century Britain and a Software Sustainability Institute Fellow. He holds degrees from the University of Southampton and latterly the University of Kent, where in 2010 he completed his doctoral research on the late-Georgian satirical artist-engraver Isaac Cruikshank. As an eighteenth centuryist, his research interests include satirical art, the making and selling of printed objects, urban protest, and corpus analysis. His contemporary historian interests include the curation of personal digital archives, the critical examination of forensic software and captures, the use of born-digital archives in historical research, and scribing and archiving in the age of the hard disk. Prior to joning Sussex, James has held positions of Digital Curator at the British Library and Postdoctoral Fellow with the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies of British Art. He is a convenor of the Institute of Historical Research Digital History seminar and a member of the History Lab Plus Advisory Board. Git -- Publications -- CV -- Twitter -- Email -- Tumblr Zenodo -- Notes from talks, papers, events -- Slides

#CiC – where is the line?

Less than a week today Cradled in Caricature would have drawn to a close (though a second larger event is already being planned. Watch. This. Space…). The day will include a roundtable event entitled ‘Where is the Line’, where a panel of four (including myself) will discuss the changing nature of taboo with respect to stand-up comedy, stereotypes, and communities. We are in process of choosing video clips to begin the session, though two names are currently at the forefront of our attentions. The first is Johnny Vegas, an alter ego whose believable presentation as a genuine ‘out-of-control’ drunken comedian allows Pennington to push boundaries of taste in comedy. The second is Emo Philips, a comedian who until this evening I was not aware of. I’m sure you’ll see how in the clip below his peculiar mode of delivery allows for the subtle insertion of material which a wider public might find utterly distastful…

The joke I appropriated for the relevant #CiC theme poster is much less problematic. Nonetheless, it teases out the point about taboo and boundaries rather well (I think). It is also, once more [], unlikely to get me in trouble with the campus powers that be…

Cradled in Caricature will take place on Monday 20 June, at Woolf College, University of Kent, Canterbury.

The full programme can be found here.

For inquiries or further information contact me at or