George Ciccariello-Maher on Revolutionary Venezuela

Written by: Josh Newmark With mass demonstrations, a dramatic challenge to the Presidency, and the possibility of foreign intervention in the air, recent events in Venezuela have focused attention around the embattled strongman regime of Nicolas Maduro. This reinforces the tendency towards a ‘Great Man’ conception of Venezuela which has framed most common understandings of recent history around Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chávez, and the regime he … Continue reading George Ciccariello-Maher on Revolutionary Venezuela

Review: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

Written by Luke Neill Rohinton Mistry’s 1995 novel A Fine Balance is set in 1970s India and follows four characters who come to interact with each other over a period of around 15 years. There is Dina, the struggling landlady whose husband was run over and killed whilst cycling to buy ice cream for a family gathering; Ishvar and Omprakash, tailors whose families had been … Continue reading Review: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

Research Seminar Review: “Potatoes and the Pursuit of Happiness”

Written by: Carissa Chew On Wednesday 30 January, the Global and Transnational History Research Group welcomed Professor Rebecca Earle from the University of Warwick to present her research on ‘Potatoes and the Pursuit of Happiness’. In this seminar, Earle explored the potato as a foodstuff that came to be imbued with a distinct political significance in eighteenth-century Enlightenment Europe, challenging the typical historiographical assumption that imbuing … Continue reading Research Seminar Review: “Potatoes and the Pursuit of Happiness”

Cognitive Science Talk Review: Dr Jerome Lewis’ ‘Music First: hunter-gatherer ethnography and the evolution of language’

Written by Toby Gay On Friday 30 November, Dr. Jerome Lewis from University College London delivered a talk entitled ‘Music first: hunter-gatherer ethnography and the evolution of language’ in front of a packed lecture theatre in the Psychology building. Before commencing, Dr. Lewis warned that although the lecture would be listed as a ‘Cognitive Science’ talk, he would be drawing heavily from other disciplines, namely … Continue reading Cognitive Science Talk Review: Dr Jerome Lewis’ ‘Music First: hunter-gatherer ethnography and the evolution of language’

Research Seminar Review: Emily Brownell’s ‘Concrete and Bricks: Materialising the Future in 1970s Tanzania’

Written by Carissa Chew Although the 1970s have been somewhat overlooked in the historiography of Tanzania, the second decade of independence in fact constituted an important era of nation-building and identity formation. For post-independence Tanzania, the 1970s was a turbulent decade defined by mass rural-urban migration; the height of ujamaa; forced villagisation; the 1973 oil crisis; the relocation of the capital from Dar es Salaam … Continue reading Research Seminar Review: Emily Brownell’s ‘Concrete and Bricks: Materialising the Future in 1970s Tanzania’

Research Seminar Review of ‘The Cartel: A model for socio-political organization in Archaic Greece’

Written by Lisa Doyle This lecture by Professor Gunnar Seelentag took place on 17 October 2018. In what was quite an information-heavy presentation, Professor Seelentag informed us of his objective to understand the emergence and development of political institutions in seventh and sixth centuries BC, and the role the dynamics of competitive behaviour played in the process. His approach to this topic was to employ … Continue reading Research Seminar Review of ‘The Cartel: A model for socio-political organization in Archaic Greece’

Review of ‘On Five Dollars a Day’ by James W. MacNutt

Written by Toby Gay Rather like the 1957 guidebook with which the work shares its name, James W. MacNutt’s On Five Dollars A Day can be appreciated for being an exceptionally precise and intimate tool with which to explore over 20 European cities, albeit instead of the work of fiction it presents itself to be. Macnutt’s descriptions of towns like Istanbul bring to life the … Continue reading Review of ‘On Five Dollars a Day’ by James W. MacNutt

Review: ‘Elizabeth I’s Secret Agents’ Series 1, Episode 1

Written by Martha Stutchbury  BBC’S Elizabeth I’s Secret Agents aired this month for the first time since its 2017 debut and provides fascinating insight into the meaning behind Isaac Oliver’s famous portrait of the Virgin Queen, which shows her majesty’s garments adorned with eyes and ears, in a veiled reference to what the documentary refers to as a ‘the world’s first secret service’ – headed by … Continue reading Review: ‘Elizabeth I’s Secret Agents’ Series 1, Episode 1

An invisible historical landscape: Barcelona’s Civil War tours

Written by Josh Newmark Image: Albggt, Placa de Catalunya, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/574068283732608796/, 04/11/2018 In a country which is often described as suffering from ‘historical amnesia’ towards its Civil War and subsequent dictatorship, Civil War tours of Barcelona bring history to life where it is otherwise inapparent. For those intrigued by the Spanish Civil War, the lack of much museum space dedicated to the subject is sometimes frustrating. I plan to … Continue reading An invisible historical landscape: Barcelona’s Civil War tours

Ancient Invisible Cities by Dr. Michael Scott: Istanbul

Written by Toby Gay Image: Photograph of Dr. Michael Scott as promo for BBC series, Ancient Invisible Cities Dr. Michael Scott concludes his three-part series Ancient Invisible Cities with its strongest episode: Istanbul. Combining his typically smooth enthusiasm with the latest 3D scanning technology, Scott allows the visuals to do most of the work in revealing the stunning archaeological and architectural treasures of this multifaceted and … Continue reading Ancient Invisible Cities by Dr. Michael Scott: Istanbul

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 helped to shape the world since his death by assassination … Continue reading TV Review: ‘Julius Caesar Revealed’

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 to see the ghostly apparition of a small girl named … Continue reading Historical attraction review: ‘The Real Mary King’s Close’