Category: Current Affairs

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Depicting Finland’s 100 years, or the coin controversy

In early April, the Finnish Ministry of Finance announced its anniversary coinage, celebrating 100 years of Finland’s independence. The coinage was to depict scenes from the country’s history. Controversy struck quickly: the first coin, representing the Finnish civil war, features a soldier about to be shot at close range. However,...

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Revisiting the History of Oral Contraceptives

Women’s health is a crucial part of women’s history, and the birth control pill represents a technology that has changed the lives of women internationally since its creation. After initially coming on the market in the 1960s, oral contraceptives quickly became a bestseller throughout the United States. In America, the...

Adina De Zavala leading a tour at the historic Spanish Governor's Palace in San Antonio, Texas, prior to its restoration. Source: San Antonio Light Photographs Collection, UTSA, via the National Trust 0

Women and the Historic Preservation Movement in the United States

In certain circles in the United States, historic preservationists have a curious reputation as ‘little old ladies in blue hair and tennis shoes’.  This reputation has derogatory undertones that speak to a specific stereotype of preservationists that developed mainly in the second half of the twentieth century: people often believe...

(Portrait of Queen Anne, Studio of John Cloisterman, circa 1702, National Portrait Gallery, NPG 215) 0

Rethinking Queen Anne: A Conundrum of Queenship

In a BBC poll from 2015, just 1% of voters decided that Queen Anne (1665-1714) was the best queen in English history; Queen Elizabeth I scooped 45% of the vote, while Victoria and Elizabeth II received 10% each. Although up against stiff competition, the vote is typical of Queen Anne’s...

Iman Khalifeh 0

Who was Imane Khalifeh, the Unsung Peacemaker of the Lebanese Civil War?

Since March is Women’s History Month, what better time of year to write a piece highlighting the contributions of pioneering women without risking being branded an undercover feminist agent? There is a huge debate on the definition of feminism and its concepts, but most importantly, Women’s History Month reminds us...

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Rhoda Dawson: The Story of an UNRRA Welfare Worker

When the war ended in 1945, Rhoda Dawson was 47 years old. She already had considerable experience of welfare work throughout the war but had concluded that it was ‘not my thing at all’. However, after being shamed into applying for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), having...

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Privileged from the Needle: Obstacles to Early Modern Scholarly Women

When asked what the topic of my PhD is, I usually answer (not very snappily) “British early modern women philosophers”. Obviously, it’s a bit more complicated than that. However, the women I’m studying are little enough known that that usually suffices: women philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries tend...

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Postwar Germany and the role of women

When a country returns back to normal after a war ends, there are many changes to the everyday lives of soldiers—and their families. Postwar Germany, virtually razed to the ground during the Second World War, had to not only go through a process of denazification, but also deal with rebuilding...