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The Land of the Post-Modern

The Pole Andrzej Stasiuk and the Ukrainian Juri Andruchowycz, both born in 1960, are two of the most read contemporary writers from Central and Eastern Europe. Their works have been translated into many languages and they have close contacts in the West, particularly Germany. At first glance, their success seems...

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On the importance of local history

This summer holiday I have read 156 copies of my local paper on microfilm. Amidst the tedium of adverts for a brand new Asda, celebrations of newly-weds and asbestos scandals, the local Gazette has given me an invaluable insight into the relationship between local and national politics in the 1980s....

Illustration of scene from 'The Painted Skin' in 'Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio' 0

Translating Chinese Works (2): Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio

On 17th August 2017, The Economist published a commentary on China’s recent revival of its traditional culture, a trend enthusiastically sponsored by the government. Alongside schemes and events such as calligraphy summer schools, this is also leading to the greater promotion of research into the translation of Chinese literature. As...

Composite feature image for the book 'Prime Minister Corbyn' 0

The Best Leaders We’ve Never Had? A Review of ‘Prime Minister Corbyn’

As we have discussed on this site before, counterfactual history is a very useful, yet undervalued tool of historical analysis. When taken seriously, it offers a unique instrument for measuring the impact of particular events, decisions or personalities, by enabling historians to construct realities in which they did not exist or...

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The Forgotten History of Women’s Football

This summer, England’s women’s football team competed in the European Championships. As the Women’s Super League has grown in recent years, recently receiving a cash injection intended to double participation by 2018, the profile of women’s history has risen. European championship games were made available to stream on Channel 4’s...

Francesco Orilia, “Cuccagna arch of bread, cheese, and sucking pigs, made in honor of Duke Antonio Alvarez di Toledo, Viceroy of Naples, on the Feast of Saint John the Baptist, 23 June 1629” (1630) Source: Hyperallergic.com 0

Food Arches and Early Modern Court Festivals

Court festivals allowed courts to distinguish themselves. They functioned as a ‘ritual performance of omnipotence’, extending the court’s power to a wider audience.  Through ceremony and spectacle, festivals enacted power structures  through theatrical performances. Such performances depended on the deferential presence of courtiers, alongside the wider masses, who gave legitimacy...

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Interpreting Perpetrators

A recent interdisciplinary workshop at UCL, organised by the IAS Centre for Collective Violence, Holocaust and Genocide Studies and funded by the Octagon Small Grants Fund, entitled Interpreting Perpetrators aimed to shed light on some of the issues related to understanding, studying and representing perpetrators. The discussions were based on...

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Kamal Jumblatt’s Intellectual Itinerary

Kamal Jumblatt is best known for being an important leftist leader in Lebanon and the head of its Druze community, a minority religious group generally considered a branch of Shia Islam. From 1943 to 1977, he was elected deputy for the Chouf district in Mount Lebanon, and as a minister...

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History and mystery: The Face of Jane Austen

A few weekends ago I visited Bath. Naturally, as an admirer of Jane Austen, I went to the Jane Austen Centre. With the bicentenary of her death approaching, this was an exciting experience for me and my patient friend who came around with me – and, might I add, thoroughly...