From Reviews

TV Review: ‘Julius Caesar Revealed’

Written by Daniel Sharp     The BBC’s recent documentary about Julius Caesar was a lively and entertaining re-evaluation of one of the classical world’s most famous figures. With Professor (and now Dame) Mary Beard as our guide, we are invited to consider the many ways in which Caesar, his achievements, and his actions have…

Historical attraction review: ‘The Real Mary King’s Close’

Written by Daniel Sharp     In the 1990s, a Japanese medium visited Mary King’s Close in Edinburgh’s Old Town. She sensed nothing at all until she entered a perfectly preserved seventeenth-century house and felt a despairing presence in the room. Turning to leave, the medium felt a tug on her trouser leg and turned…

Film review: The Death of Stalin

Written by Scarlett Butler     The film The Death of Stalin, adapted from a French comic of the same name, considers the power struggle which follows Stalin’s (Adrian McLoughlin) death and which rages whilst the Soviet high-ups are arranging the dictator’s funeral. The main rivals are the Minister for Internal Affairs, Lavrenti Beria, convincingly…

Russia Strikes Back: A Postscript to ‘Is Stalin Really Dead?’

EDITORIAL NOTE: In our printed ‘Individuals and Communities’ edition of last year (no. 21) Deana Davis wrote a review of the film The Death of Stalin. Deana wrote a postscript to her review not long after for publication on our website concerning then-recent developments to the film’s status in Russia, which slipped through the cracks earlier this…

Seminar review: ‘Franciscan Women as Architects of the ‘Heavenly Courts’ in Bohemia and the Polish Duchies, c.1234–1320’ by Dr. Kirsty Day

Written by Candice Maharaj   On 31 October 2017, Dr. Kirsty Day, a teaching Fellow in Medieval History at the University of Edinburgh, conducted a seminar on her current work – Franciscan Women as Architects of the ‘Heavenly Courts’ in Bohemia and the Polish Duchies, c.1234–1320. Dr. Day’s research on this topic explores the close…

Research Seminar review: Dr. Taylor Sherman’s ‘Does a democracy need elections? Jayaprakash Narayan and democratic doubt in 1950s-60s India’

Written by Carissa Chew   ‘It is not only in the totalitarian countries that the ‘rape of the masses’ happens. The basic difference is that in a democracy there is a competition between the violators while there is no competition in totalitarianism.’ (Jayaprakash Narayan, ‘A Plea for the Reconstruction of the Indian Polity’, 1959). It…

Lecture review: ‘THE WEIGHT OF THE PAST AND THE COLLAPSE OF THE FRANCO-BRITISH ENTENTE, 1919-1924’ by Professor Peter Jackson

Written by Lewis Twiby   On 30 January 2018, Professor Peter Jackson of the University of Glasgow gave a lecture detailing his research on the collapse of the Franco-British Entente following the First World War, including how history became involved with this, and how this influences today’s politics. Professor Jackson began with an overview introducing…

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…

Virinder Kalra’s ‘Pondering on the Revolutionary Subject: From Ghadar to Kirti’

By Carissa Chew Professor Virinder S. Kalra’s latest research paper, entitled ‘Poetic Politics from Ghadar to the Indian Workers Association’, discusses the enduring legacies of the Ghadar Party, a short-lived Indian nationalist movement which was centred in California during the First World War. Following economic hardship, which was heightened in 1906 by the Land Alienation…