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One Man’s Bible Revisited

In my previous article, I reviewed Gao Xingjiang’s semi-autobiographical novel, One Man’s Bible, with a psychoanalytic approach, focusing on the concept of trauma and recovery. To some extent, Western readers are most likely to sympathize with this interpretation as it implicitly presupposes a neo-liberal humanist stance, which has been a...

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Parallels of the 2015 Marriage Equality Referendum and Irish LGBTQ Activism in the 70s and 80s

Gays Against Imperialism, a small group of radical activists, 1984. In the history of LGBT activism in Ireland, RTÉ’s The Late Late Show is perhaps best remembered for the ‘back passages incident.’ In a 1989 televised debate, the show’s host Gay Byrne responded to an evangelical Christian horrified at the idea...

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Not (just) a Parlour Game: in Defence of Counterfactual History

The classic examples roll off the tongue easily, crystallized into cliché by decades of pop culture exposure: What if the Third Reich had won the Second World War? What if the Spanish Armada had not failed in 1588? What if the Confederacy had triumphed in the US Civil War in...

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VE Day May 8 1945: What kind of European Victory?

Today, May 8, marks seventy years since the end of the Second World War on the European front, though the war in the Pacific was to continue until September 2, 1945. It is important to remember the significance of “VE” for the Allied powers as a day of commemoration and...

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The Second Crusade: The Sins of the Sons

After the success of the First Crusade, western Christendom had successfully established a presence in the Levant. By 1109, four major Latin states were under their crusaders’ control: the Principality of Antioch, the County of Edessa, the County of Tripoli, and the Kingdom of Jerusalem. It was from these states...

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Abraham Lincoln: The Lawyer Who Changed America

Spoiler Alert: The following will discuss important parts of the biographical film Lincoln (2012) The Battle of Jenkins’ Ferry on April 30th, 1864 is the opening for Lincoln (2012). Director Steven Spielberg uses the following scene to set the tone for the rest of the film as we see Corporal...

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Cleaning house: the German expulsion from postwar Poland and the consolidation of communist rule

As part of the more general dismemberment of the former German Reich at the end of the Second World War, several eastern German territories (East Prussia and Upper Silesia, along with most of Lower Silesia and parts of Brandenburg and Pomerania) were transferred to Poland by the Potsdam agreements of...