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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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Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Perpetration, Complicity and Collaboration: Conference Report

On 21 October 2016, the Centre for Collective Violence, Holocaust and Genocide Studies at UCL, with the support of the IAS Octagon Small Grants Fund, organised the one-day workshop on ‘Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Perpetration, Complicity, and Collaboration in Nazi-dominated Europe’. In the past two decades, research into perpetrators, collaborators, and...

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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...

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Collaboration and Creation: The Research Process

The stories historians tell are never pre-determined, but emerge organically from the research process. While we aim to read and interpret as many primary sources and as much of the secondary literature as possible, there is always the potential that sources are missing, or that our interpretation runs counter to...

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Death and Memorial Landscapes: A Photographic Journey

For centuries, portraying and later photographing the living and the dead has been both common practice and the object of constant superstition and fear. For a long time, people widely believed that a pictorial act – painting and later photography – could imprison the soul. The industrial revolution profoundly changed...

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Let’s Get Physical: Objects and History

Popular works of history have often employed material objects as a lens through which to analyse the past. By attaching significance to objects, artefacts and buildings, historians are able to elicit greater public engagement with the past. The history of people is inextricably bound up with the history of the...

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Remembering the Cuban Missile Crisis: A UCL Workshop

Earlier this month I attended a history workshop at UCL on memories of the Cuban Missile Crisis. For thirteen precarious days in October 1962 the world was a hair’s breadth away from nuclear war, and subsequent memories of the event have shaped the way in which nuclear issues are discussed...