Category: Popular Culture

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Holocaust Memory and Online Shaming

In November, I shared my thoughts on what social media can do for contemporary research on Holocaust consciousness. These “slippery” historical sources – always in flux – help everyday people to express themselves and their engagement with the history of the Holocaust; yet they often present ethical complications. I am...

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The View from our House: A Comment

Erika is young and fun-loving. She has a boyfriend, a brother and reptiles as pets. She lives in a big, suburban family house in a nice area. She likes to watch the world. She takes photos. Pictures of her show a young girl with a contagious smile and a cheeky...

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Exploring the Cold War via Video Games

Using the Cold War as a theme in video games is nothing new. It has been used as a backdrop for PC games since at least the mid-1980s, and continues to be a popular trope today. The majority of games using the war as source material are strategy games, unsurprisingly,...

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Review of the Japanese drama We Married as a Job!

Cherish Watton recently published an insightful piece on the representation of gender dynamics in the ITV historical drama, Victoria. Although I have not yet watched the drama, Cherish argues that Victoria is a nostalgic work rather than a historical documentary. In other words, the compromised representation of Queen Victoria as...

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Curious Objects, Hidden Histories

The Cambridge University Library (UL) strikes fear into the heart of many a student. Students stumble through the endless shelves desperately trying to figure out the indexing system –  and find the light switch. However, the UL need not be the source of such great anxiety. Holding close to 8...

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Cooking from the Middle Ages to the Present Day

We need to eat to survive and this is cooking’s primary purpose. But cooking is not only a matter of survival; it is also a social practice and key part of our cultural heritage. Recipes and cookbooks, as well as historical literature, testify to this. Medieval feasts in particular were...

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Historical Sightseeing in Today’s Warsaw

Warsaw, like Berlin, is one of those cities where you cannot ignore the recent past. Nearly razed to the ground during World War II, rebuilt in haste under Soviet rule and now buzzing with shops, cafés and restaurants, modern history is all around. But what do today’s tourists actually see...

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Slippery Historical Sources: Social Media, Holocaust Memory and Instagram

Instagram has approximately 13,400 photos under the hashtag “#holocaustmuseum”. This might seem arbitrary, but most of these images are the subject of my historical research. Professionally, I have labelled myself in several ways – as a public historian, a Holocaust scholar, and as a historian of social media. All of...