From Features

In Bruges

Written by Fay Marsden        Stepping off the bus that had taken us from Brussels to Bruges, the difference between the two cities was immediately discernible. Brussels seems to be somewhat sterile – too cosmopolitan for a medievalist. Bruges, in contrast, felt older and more historical. It is much smaller, with rows of…

Crime and Punishment: The Saga of Sports in Russia Today

  Written by Eleanor Hardy   Tarnished by endless doping scandals, riddled with corruption and in the deep midwinter, can Russians find a reason to keep their passion for sports alive and are they still being punished by the West for the Cold War? The current outside air temperature here in St Petersburg is a balmy…

The Role of Colonial Legacies in the 2017 Zimbabwe Crisis

By Carissa Chew This article, which is informed by two public lectures about the Zimbabwean political crisis that were held at the University of Edinburgh in the week beginning 20 November, discusses the role of colonial legacies in recent Zimbabwean political affairs. Firstly, this article provides a summary of the Zimbabwean crisis for the reader…

Argentine Voices

By Anna Nicol It is 3.30pm on Thursday in La Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires, and from the crowd of busy tourists and locals, emerges a sea of white headscarves. These are the Madres (Mothers), women who first came to this square in 1977 with questions, many still unanswered. They have come to represent the…

Cease to Exist: Charles Manson, Dennis Wilson and the Death of Flower Power

Written by Fay Marsden  California. Surfing. Summer. Flower power hippies on the beach. These are images one would perhaps conjure when thinking about The Beach Boys. The band is most known for their 1966 release Pet Sounds, including songs such as ‘God Only Knows’ and ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’. With their matching outfits, harmonies and…

It’s All About Borders

Written by Luis Monroy “Look at the moon. Tell me. What do you think?” I was too incomprehensible to grasp the meaning of those words. My answer was a slight gesture. ‘For me, it is everything. For me, seeing the moon is a sign from God that somewhere in El Salvador my husband is watching…

Here Comes the Sun: Pop Culture in the 1960s

Written by Fay Marsden We have all heard of parents gazing in horror while their children stared in awe at Elvis gyrating his pelvis on television in the Fifties; most of us have probably found this strange, considering how hyper-sexual music videos are normalised today. Likewise, during a time when black people were still fighting…

‘Frankenstein’: A Celebration of 200 Years of Thrilling Horror

Written by Daniel Sharp On 1 January 1818, the first edition of Mary Shelley’s horror novel Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus was published. The two hundredth anniversary of its publication is coming up very soon, and in celebration of this, the Keats-Shelley Association of America has launched the ‘Frankenreads’ project. This project encourages people to…

Trump, Brexit and the return of the ‘Country Party’

Written by Travis Aaroe   What forces drove Britain to vote to leave the European Union, and for American voters to elect the political outsider Donald Trump? The rhetoric used by both campaigns strongly echoes that of an earlier political tradition, known as the ‘Country Party’ or the ‘Country Persuasion’. The Country Party began in…

Napoleonic Prisoners and Edinburgh Castle: A Brief Examination

Written by Daniel Sharp Edinburgh Castle stands on high, overlooking Scotland’s capital. It is an impressive sight – it may be small, yet it is also beautiful, especially when lit up at night, and provides a scene that many photographers love to snap. It is a famous tourist spot, its deep history drawing in visitors…

Second Hand Time

Written by Eleanor Hemming Often when we recount the eras of Russian history, we think first of the Tsarist era, followed by the Soviet Union, and then the arrival of Putin’s Russia. Little thought is given to what happened in between the collapse of the USSR and the year 2000: the all-important tumult of the 1990s, which shook both Russia and many other former Soviet states which found themselves suddenly independent and alone in a fiercely competitive world. The result was violence, dislocation and a loss of identity affecting millions of people across Europe and Central Asia. Second Hand Time…

A Roman Russia

Written by Travis Aaroe The fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453 finally brought an end to Byzantium, the Christian successor state to the Ancient Roman Empire. After the holy city’s capture, Orthodox Christendom was thrown into a state of panic and confusion, and seemed to be teetering on the edge of oblivion. The…