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Books Alun Munslow (1947 - 2019)

I was greatly saddened to hear that Alun Munslow had passed away. He was Professor Emeritus of History and Historical Theory at Staffordshire University, and also Visiting Professor at the University of Chichester. He was the UK Founding Co-Editor of the journal Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice. But he was so much more than his professional credentials would imply. He had a rare gift in my experience for intellectual ability without the negative character traits that one so often finds in some thinkers. His kindness and patience towards me - completely undeserved – was quite remarkable, and I shall always remember it. I shall also not forget his humility and ability to laugh at himself either (the story about his first discovery of “pizzer” [pizza] during the 1970s springs to mind). He was instrumental in encouraging me during the first Parallax exhibitions held in 2010 in London. I first came across his work when searching through Senate House library during the initial research phase in 2009. The books were Deconstructing History and Narrative and History. They resonated so much with my own thinking about the influence of history and the problem of artists that I bravely decided to contact him. I did not expect the wonderful reply that came forth some days later and virtually changed my self-perception and the project at hand. Of all the contributors to the project he was the one that agreed to speak at the event itself without pay or anything in-kind. I can still picture him on the gallery platform speaking just before the opening at the private view, something that he would repeat later on at Parallax ‘Art’ Fair in 2013. In fact, it would be fair to say that without the involvement and encouragement of Alun, Parallax would not have developed in the way that it has, and I feel an enormous debt of gratitude and privilege that our paths intertwined at the time when they did.   


C G Barlow, London 2019.