Bitter Weed: Tea, Empire and Everyday Luxury

Written by Jack Bennett. Unprecedented unrest erupted in Boston on December 16, 1773 when the Sons of Liberty protested the increasing British taxes by disposing of 342 tea chests with a value of $1 million into the harbour. The Boston Tea Party of 1773 became a pivotal event in the history of a nation and an empire, reverberating across the globe. At the centre of these transformative changes was a humble commodity: tea. Continue reading Bitter Weed: Tea, Empire and Everyday Luxury

Red Dawn Rising: Global Communism, Anti-Colonialism and Freedom in India

Written by Jack Bennett. By focusing on the emergence of communism in India, in relation to anti-colonial independence movements during the first half of the twentieth century, both indigenous and global currents are revealed which produced international conservations and deep engagement across state structure, operating in transnational networks. Continue reading Red Dawn Rising: Global Communism, Anti-Colonialism and Freedom in India

Teach-Out Review: Indigenous Politics and Revolutionary Movements in Latin America

Written by Anna Nicol. On Tuesday 3 March, Dr Emile Chabal, the Director of the Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History, organised a Teach-out led by Dr Julie Gibbings (University of Edinburgh) and Dr Nathaniel Morris (University College London). Focusing on Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua, Dr Gibbings and Dr Morris aimed to provide a short overview of indigenous participation in these revolutions over the twentieth century, highlighting various similarities and differences across borders and dissecting indigenous identity and affiliation within each. Continue reading Teach-Out Review: Indigenous Politics and Revolutionary Movements in Latin America

War & Peace: Art in Ducal Milan

Written by Joshua Al-Najar. Art was a key tool for renaissance cities to disseminate ideas and fashion an identity in a pluralistic, competitive society. Scholarship has tended to focus on the programmes undertaken in republics, such as Florence and Venice – perhaps less considered is how dynastic systems were able to deploy the Renaissance’s lessons in the form of state art. One prominent example is Milan, a duchy, where humanism, classical learning and heritage guided the patronage of art to strengthen the authority of the ruling duke. Continue reading War & Peace: Art in Ducal Milan

New York and the LGBTQ+ Community over a Century

Written by Lewis Twiby. The anonymity of big cities allows persecuted sub-cultures and identities to find room to exist. London, Berlin, and Paris are just three examples of cities with flourishing LGBTQ+ communities. In the United States, New York was one of the major sites for gay liberation. Throughout the twentieth century a flourishing and diverse LGBTQ+ community emerged where class, race, gender, and sexuality intersected, paving the way for the gay rights movement to emerge. This article aims to show a snapshot into this diverse movement over a period of a century, from around 1890 to 1990, and how LGBTQ+ culture emerged in New York. Continue reading New York and the LGBTQ+ Community over a Century

Maroon State: Slave community and resistance in Palmares, Brazil

Written by Jack Bennett. The emergence of Palmares, a quilombo – or community of self-liberated slaves – as a political and social reality in the Brazilian heartland between 1605 and 1695, posed a threat to the colonial order in the region through overt, subversive resistance. This alternative African state faced numerous military campaigns against it and remained unrecognised by Portuguese and Dutch colonial authorities throughout the seventeenth century. Continue reading Maroon State: Slave community and resistance in Palmares, Brazil

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