From the Slums of London to the Kings Court: The Story of Nell Gwynn
From an impoverished childhood to one of the earliest female stage actors in England, Nell Gwynn became committed to the annals of history for her relationship with King Charles II. Megan Crutchley explores the life of this central figure in Restoration London.
Namban Folding Screens
Produced during the Momoyama and Edo periods, the “namban” screens testify to the trade relationship and cultural exchange between Japan and Portugal. Chloe Bramwell explores the imagery and provenance of these richly decorated objects.
Did Women Have Real Power in the Achaemenid Court?
In an effort to better understand the socio-political role of women in the Achaemenid empire, Eleonora Soteriou examines the various ways in which high-ranking women were able to exercise power–including holding property, hosting important social gatherings, and acting as diplomatic envoys.
In Praise of Tears: A Short Intellectual History
Through use of semiotic discourse and structural rhetoric, Roland Barthes’ “A Lover’s Discourse” explores the symbolic nature of the tear. Georgia Smith presents a philosophical reading of this physical expression of unfettered emotion.
The History of the Bikini: Clothing as Evidence of Female Oppression
With a history dating as far back as 5600 BC, the story of the bikini is one of liberation and resistance, although not without conservative backlash. Isabelle Shaw examines the link between changing fashions and women’s autonomy.
Memorials and Memoirs: Piecing Together the Lives of Formerly Enslaved Women
Malvina Wells, born in Carriacou around 1804, was one of a number of enslaved persons brought to Scotland during the period of colonial expansionism. Verity Limond examines the stories of women freed from slavery in Britain, where sources are sparse, to help shed light on their lives and experiences.
LGBT History in India: A Colonial Legacy
In 2018, India overturned the section of the Indian Penal Code that criminalised homosexuality. Sophie Whitehead investigates the legacy that British colonialism has left on India’s attitudes towards LGBT people.
Is There Anybody Out There? The Golden Record in the Twentieth-Century Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
On 5 September 1977, the Voyager 1 space probe was launched into space by NASA, containing the Golden Record. Kat Jivkova traces the history and context of the Golden Record and the criticisms it has incurred since then.