From Reviews

Lecture Review: Dr. Lorena De Vita on ‘Democracy, Relativism and Pragmatism: The 1952 Agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and Israel’.

Written by Eleanor Hemming This semester, the Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History are putting on a series of fascinating and relevant seminars, where leading scholars from all over the UK and Europe come to Edinburgh to talk about their research. This week, the visiting speaker was Dr. Lorena De Vita, a…

Research Seminar Review: Dr Harshan Kumarasingham’s ‘An Indian Augsleich?: The Austro-Hungarian Analogy and the Decolonisation of India’

Written by Carissa Chew On 19 October 2017, the Global and Transnational History Research Group – one of the many groups within the University of Edinburgh’s History, Classics and Archaeology department which organises regular research seminars and workshops that are welcome to all – met to hear Dr. Harshan Kumarasingham present on his latest paper:…

Film Review: Viking

By RETROSPECT JOURNAL Written by Deana Davis On November 4, 2016 President Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill presented a new monument next to the Kremlin, a statue of Prince Vladimir holding a cross. Prince Vladimir is certainly a figure to be commemorated – he led the conversion of Old Rus’ to the Orthodox Christianity it still follows today, over 1,000 years later. President Putin stated that Vladimir ‘laid the foundation for the moral values, which define our life even until now.’ Coincidentally, a movie about Prince Vladimir, seven years in the making, premiered in December, directed by Andrei Kravchuk and…

Film Review: Anthropoid – The Czech Assassination Plot

Written by Ciara McKay. Anthropoid seems a strange name for a film, but makes sense once you realise that this was a code-name for a secret Czech plan to assassinate one of the highest ranking Nazi officers, Reinhard Heydrich, in 1942. The acting ‘Reichsprotektor’ of Bohemia and Moravia, Heydrich was notorious for his vicious methods.…

Book Review: A Bell and the Power of Karma

Written by Rocco Astore. Folklore, or a set of customary stories belonging to a specific culture, has contributed to the way that people understand and interpret the world. Within this piece, I will first give a brief summary of the Japanese myth A Bell and the Power of Karma. I will then give a short…

Review: Scotland and Europe – The Past Shaping the Future

Written by Felix Carpenter. A review of Professor Sir Tom Devine’s lecture ‘Scotland and Europe: The past shaping the future’, September 2016. Sir Tom Devine enters the stage, introduced as the foremost historian of modern Scottish history. Professor Devine is that unusual thing: an establishment figure who in 2014 supported Scottish independence, at the cost…

Review: American Historian Professor Frank Cogliano’s September lectures

A Review of Professor Frank Cogliano’s lectures, ‘The 2016 American Presidential Election: Precedents and Reflections’ and ‘You think the 2016 US Election is bad? You should try 1800!’, September 2016. With the U.S. presidential election looming ever closer, there has been no shortage of exhibits, film screenings and lectures to entertain American history enthusiasts in…

Film Review: Suffragette

It has been a long time coming, but finally director Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane) and screenwriter Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady) have produced a gripping and forthright film that tackles the militant women’s suffrage movement of pre-war Britain. Set in 1912 in the heart of London and primarily concerned with working-class women, the film centres…

Macbeth film review

Film Review: Macbeth

Justin Kurzel’s new adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a visual, visceral force. This is a dynamic, mighty Macbeth, a film that deftly juxtaposes terror with tranquillity. Violence, war and murder play out on screen, yet Scotland’s rolling, majestic crags, valleys, and mountains remain unmoved. Through this striking backdrop, Kurzel accentuates the contrast between the transience of…

Woman in Gold review

Film Review: Woman in Gold

A dodgy Austrian accent, an unlikely partnership and an important message are the underlying elements of director Simon Curtis’ latest film Woman in Gold. The film tells the story of Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), an elderly Jewish refugee from Vienna living in Los Angeles. Alexi Kaye Campbell’s screenplay chronicles Maria’s struggle to successfully reclaim Gustav Klimt’s…

Theatre Review: Waiting for Godot

The Edinburgh Royal Lyceum Theatre’s production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot is a triumph, and a fitting celebration of two anniversaries: 60 years since the play’s original production, and 50 years since the Lyceum’s own debut. Beckett’s existentialist tragicomedy, set against the evening backdrop of only a country road and a tree, follows Estragon…