Conflict, Chaos and the Florentine Inferno

Written by: Joshua Al-Najar. On a preliminary reading, Dante Alighieri’s Inferno seems entirely unconcerned with political realities. Its setting is a fantastical reimagining of hell, imbued with mythological creatures and terrifying landscapes: an illusory space for Dante to contend with sin’s dramatic consequences. However, behind this veneer is a deeply incisive reflection on reality, as Dante seamlessly blends his own political convictions with the Inferno’s plot. Continue reading Conflict, Chaos and the Florentine Inferno

Dionysos the Weird: Reading Bacchae through the lens of Lovecraftian horror

Written by: Justin Biggi. Euripides’ Bacchae features some of the stranger imagery the playwright employed throughout his works. Focusing on Dionysos’ return to his homeland of Thebes, the play sees Dionysos’ cousin, Pentheus, meet a grisly end at the hands of, amongst others, his own mother, driven mad with other women by Dionysos himself. Pentheus’ grisly death becomes a reminder for the audience of what happens when one attempts to go against a god’s will – especially given the fact that this is blatant punishment for Pentheus’ actions of outlawing the cult of Dionysos. Continue reading Dionysos the Weird: Reading Bacchae through the lens of Lovecraftian horror

Railways, Race, and Lions – The Tale of the Tsavo Man-Eaters

Written by: Lewis Twiby. The Uganda Railway appeared to be one of the best examples of imperial negligence by the British Empire. One of the big disasters to strike the railway was at the Tsavo River where two lions killed around thirty workers. The story of the man-eaters offers an insight into labour and colonialism in East Africa. Continue reading Railways, Race, and Lions – The Tale of the Tsavo Man-Eaters

‘Out of the Barbershop and into the Future’: Modern Medicine of New York City in 1900

Written by: Jack Bennett. Providing a window through which the harsh reality of illness and incurability on the wards of The Knick is revealed, mirroring the trichotomous nature of corruption, consumption and capitalism in the tension ridden socio-political environment of New York City and the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. Continue reading ‘Out of the Barbershop and into the Future’: Modern Medicine of New York City in 1900

The Writing on the Wall: The Perilous Future of Historical Sites and Monuments

Written by: Tristan Craig. Preserving and restoring structures subject to elemental deterioration presents a plethora of issues to conservationists, something which is only exacerbated by sites which benefit greatly from the tourist trade. Drawing new swathes of visitors to areas on occasion serves as the driving force in restoring ancient monuments but becomes problematic when done so to an inadequate standard. Continue reading The Writing on the Wall: The Perilous Future of Historical Sites and Monuments

Kinloch Castle, Isle of Rum.

Written by: Mhairi Ferrier. The Isle of Rum has a deeply rich history, spanning from the Ice Age to interactions with Vikings before falling victim to the Highland Clearances. A piece of this length could not begin to do justice to the comprehensive history of the island, although there are some points in this history which hold the key to the island’s economic future. Continue reading Kinloch Castle, Isle of Rum.

Flora MacDonald – Heroine or Traitor?

Written by: Isballe Sher. On the 16th of April 1746, the Jacobite rebels were defeated at Culloden by Government troops under the command of William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. Following the catastrophic defeat of Charles Stuart (better known as ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’), those who remained loyal to the Prince’s cause sought to help him negotiate a means of passage to France, all the time braving the possibility of discovery of his escape by the ‘Redcoats’. In June 1746, Charles and his few remaining loyal supporters arrived at Benbecula, where they enlisted the help of Flora MacDonald. Continue reading Flora MacDonald – Heroine or Traitor?

The Ideological Barriers faced by Renaissance Women Humanists

Written by: Joshua Al-Najar. On a preliminary reading, humanism appears to be wrought with misogynistic tendencies, providing little space for women’s engagement. Joan Kelly-Gadol points to male humanists such as Juan Luis Vives, whose misogynistic writings were informed by Aristotelian biology and the hyper-masculine nature of classical humanism. Women’s apparent biological, religious and historical inferiority inferred that ‘few see her, and none at all hear her.’ Thus, Kelly-Gadol ponders whether the presence of such exclusionary thought renders the term ‘renaissance’ incompatible with the female experience. Continue reading The Ideological Barriers faced by Renaissance Women Humanists

Review: A Tale of Two Cities by Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof

Written by: Lewis Twiby. One of the many communities to call New York home is the Dominican community which Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof looks at in his 2008 book A Tale of Two Cities: Santo Domingo and New York after 1950. Hoffnung-Garskof offers an interesting insight into how diasporas and culture are formed. He is also keen to stress that diasporas do not exist in a vacuum – they interact with both the ‘homeland’ and other diasporas. Continue reading Review: A Tale of Two Cities by Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof