Category: Research

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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An exciting egg

Material culture enables historians to consider critically how courts engaged with diverse audiences. The court existed in multiple forms: as a familial home, social space, and political construct. Rulers were often less concerned with propaganda and more with their ‘fama’, namely their long-term glory and reputation, as opposed to outright...

A rebellious tea pot from the collections of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institute 0

Sugar, Tea and Liberty: Material Consumption and the American Revolution

On 22nd February 1770, an eleven-year-old boy was shot dead by a British customs official on the streets of Boston during an altercation about imports. Young Christopher Sneider’s death was glorified as nothing short of martyrdom by the Boston Gazette, and his funeral was one of the biggest processions colonial...

Extract from Ximenez Inventory Source: http://ximenez.unibe.ch/ 0

Early Modern Inventories and Identities

Usually undertaken following the death of a family member, inventories record the immovable goods within a household, as part of the transmission of property. Historians have used early modern inventories to pursue several angles of research in relation to domestic interiors, focusing on the changing nature of decorations, the use...

Visitors at the gate of the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum in Oswiecim, Poland 0

Dark Tourism: Concept and Limitations

Recently, there has been a surge in interest in the phenomenon of dark tourism. A large upcoming conference in Glasgow along with many recent publications on the subject provide ample evidence of this phenomenon. Those studying the subject would argue this is a response to the growth and development in...

A typical shopping street in the GDR, 1969. 0

‘Hamster shopping’ in East Germany: The Open Border and its Problems

The introduction of visa-free travel on the border between the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and Poland on 1 January 1972 was met with scenes of optimism and celebration in communities throughout the border region. As mentioned in a previous post, the border between these two communist states had been established...