Team

SENIOR EDITORIAL TEAM

Alice Goodwin – Editor in Chief

Alice (she/her) is a fourth year History Student at the University of Edinburgh. She has previously acted as a Copy Editor as well as Treasurer for Retrospect. Her research interests mainly lie in Early Medieval Religious practices, especially related to the roles of women at this time, and is currently writing her dissertation on spells and charms in Early Medieval Europe. She mostly spends her free time reading in cafés around campus and drinking tea with friends. If looking for a chat you will most likely find her in Salut.  

Melissa Kane – Secretary

Melissa (she/her) is a third year History student at the University of Edinburgh. She previously worked as a columnist and an ad hoc illustrator for Retrospect. She is primarily interested in the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe, looking at a range of subjects from the Reformation to monarchy, as well as popular culture with a particular focus on the witch trials of the period. During her free time, she is mainly scouring Edinburgh’s numerous bookshops and watching questionably bad films. (Twitter: @melissaaalyson).

Inge Erdal – Treasurer

Inge was a columnist at Retrospect last year. He has now entered his fourth and final year studying history, with what has become a focus on modern political and intellectual history, especially on liberalism, Marxism and the Enlightenment, alongside a soft spot for the Middle Ages and the Middle East. Otherwise, he is quite busy collecting books he has no room for.  

Tristan Craig – Digital Editor

Tristan (he/him) is a third year Ancient and Medieval History student, with a particular interest in the material culture of early medieval Scotland, cartography and manuscript production in the Middle Ages. He previously served as a Columnist for Retrospect in his first year and Secretary in his second. Tristan is also currently working within the Centre for Research Collections exploring the histories of student-led organisations. When he’s not busy in the archives, he enjoys playing video games (moderately well), guitar (much less well), and drinking copious amounts of coffee. 

Sofia Parkinson Klimaschewski – Podcast Editor

COLUMNISTS

Fiona Macrae – Columnist

Fiona Macrae is a second year Classics student. Her current academic interests lie in epic poetry and the ancient novel, but she also enjoys looking at the reception of classical myths, especially in opera and literature. When she is not translating or writing essays, she is probably producing her podcast Kick Up the Arias at FreshAir Radio. 

Alex Smith – Columnist

Alex is a second year ancient history student whose main interests lie in ancient and military history. He is particularly fascinated by the late Roman Republic and the Roman army, as well as the Plantagenet dynasty in England. He is also interested in the history of Christianity. Alex has written an EPQ answering the question “Did the fortress system based around the Second Cataract and the Semna Cataract fulfil its purpose of protecting Egypt and the gold trade route?” When not studying Alex can be found with the Christian Union.

Amy Hendrie – Columnist 

Amy is a second year History student currently fascinated with the history of the United States and the many hypocrisies which define it from its inception. She also concentrates on highlighting issues and events which the British curriculum left out; the messy and brutal decolonisation of the British Empire is an example of this. In her spare time, Amy loves reading in Edinburgh’s cute cafes and visits as many Scottish castles as she possibly can, all the better if they are abandoned ruins.  

Kat Jivkova – Columnist 

Kat is a second year History student interested in the history of science, specifically how science has shaped culture and economics through the centuries. She is also very interested in medieval and pre-modern Chinese history, with a focus on cultural identity, but hopes to expand her knowledge of this further with the help of her East Asian history modules. She spends her free time watching films and reading. 

Etta Coleman – Columnist 

Etta is a MSc Osteoarchaeology student, originally based in Oregon, U.S. Their undergraduate degree was focused on archaeology and classical languages, but their current research explores burial customs in the Near East, particularly the Early Bronze Age. They’re hoping to work more with migration patterns and the transmission of early infectious diseases around the Indus River valley in the near future. In their spare time, Etta enjoys exploring the great outdoors, rock climbing, and backpacking. 

Jess Clark – Columnist 

Jess is a second year History student, who is interested in the cold war, the political goings on of the time, and the impact that this had on culture and wider society in the West. She is also looking at expanding her knowledge of the Victorian era, especially how the working classes lived and functioned during a period of rapid industrialisation. In her spare time, she turns to reading as a way to widen her knowledge of the world.  

Sally Dolphin – Columnist  

Sally is a second year History student, who has a keen interest in modern histories, in particular the history of the Russian Revolution and its consequences, as well as the modern history of the United States. Specifically, Sally is intrigued by the power of perspective within historical narratives and debates, and how individuals are able to warp history through varying analytical approaches and outlooks. In her spare time, Sally greatly enjoys playing guitar and making music, or doing something creative! 

Eva Campbell – Columnist  

Eva is a third year History student, this is her first year with Retrospect. Eva has an interest in modern history, especially the civil rights movement in the USA, and finds it interesting to draw parallels with the issues of today. Eva also likes true crime and all thing spooky, listening to any true crime podcast she can find!  

Sophia Aiello – Columnist 

Sophia is a second year History and Economics student who is in interested in 20th century British Economic History, especially pre World War I and the period leading up to the Second World War. Her other main historical interest is in 16th Century European History, more specifically, the role families, such as the Medici, played in the development of City States. In her spare time Sophia enjoys reading, music and exploring the city. 

Boryana Ivanova – Columnist  

Boryana is a third year History student who’s academic interests lie within the history of sexuality and gender. In particular, she is interested in the eighteenth-century body, masculinity, and spaces of sexual subculture. She is also focused on post-WWII Eastern Europe, specifically the transnational socialist-feminist movement, and cultural subculture movements. In her spare time, she enjoys looking for antique postcards in charity shops, and purchasing books she will never get round to reading. 

Helena Gorecka – Columnist 

Helena is a second-year History and Politics student. Her historical interests are closely related to the first half of 20th century, especially interwar diplomacy, World War Two and genocide studies. Helena wants to specialise in Holocaust and totalitarian regimes; you can expect a lot of 20s and 30s and 40s from her! She loves sports, working with people, sailing and casual Fridays at home with her friends.  

John Whitehead – Columnist 

John is a fourth-year History student. His historical interests lie primarily in early to modern Europe, with a particular emphasis on visual culture and the construction of perceived realities. This is currently being explored in relation to Soviet propaganda and late Georgian satire, with a dissertational focus on criminal culture in Stalin’s gulags. He enjoys sports, music and Wikipedia rabbit-holes. This is his first year with Retrospect. 

Kavisha Kamalananthan – Columnist

Sophie Whitehead – Columnist

Megan Sickmueller – Columnist

Finlay Cormack – Columnist

Alexander MacPhail – Columnist

Jack Bennett – Columnist

Rebecca Jinks – Columnist

JUNIOR COLUMNISTS

Sam Marks – Junior Columnist  

Sam is a first year History & Politics student at the University of Edinburgh. He’s from Washington, D.C. in the United States and has an educational Instagram account about U.S. Presidential history. Aside from the U.S. Presidents, his research interests include World War One, but he is always looking for new areas of the field to expand his horizons. When he’s not going down endless Wikipedia tangents, Sam enjoys meeting new people and exploring the city.  

Mai Takahashi- Junior Columnist 

Mai is a first-year philosophy undergraduate who likes looking for historical references in art and literature. She is also fascinated by the backstage roles of ordinary people in the turning points of history because their lives guide her in making all kinds of decisions. In her time free of analysing the indecisive wandering self, she can be found doodling in a plain refill pad with headphones on. 

Claudia Efemini – Junior Columnist  

Claudia is a first year History and Politics student at the University of Edinburgh. Her interests are African history, particularly Nigerian history, venturing into topics such as tribalism and post-colonialism. She wrote her IB Extended Essay exploring the extent to which the British and Nigerian press were responsible for the Asaba massacre during the Nigerian Civil War. She is also fascinated by the rise of authoritarian states and ideological conflicts. Outside of her studies, Claudia usually spends her time dancing and reading books.  

Megan Crutchley – Junior Columnist  

Megan is a first year English Literature and History student and doesn’t have a particular favourite part of history but is rather more interested in a good story (the more dramatic the better). In her spare time she will either be crocheting, reading, planning potential trips abroad or wishing she was the main character in a Brontë novel.  

Ruth Cullen – Junior Columnist 

Ruth is a first year History and Italian student and her favourite period of history is the Renaissance but is enjoying learning more about the late Medieval period. She enjoys exploring the intersections of history, art, religion and philosophy and is also delving into history of art, particularly of the Byzantine and Roman empires. In her free time, you’ll probably find her in a gallery or hunting for some of Edinburgh’s hidden gems. 

Georgia Smith – Junior Columnist  

Georgia is a first year History Student at the University of Edinburgh. She has a broad thematic interest in the histories of political reaction and regionalism in the United States and Europe, an emerging interest in post-colonial forms of political reaction, as well as associated interests in the histories of masculinity and emotionality. Fundamentally, she is moved by understanding the usage of the past, both collectively and personally, and how political nostalgia can be constructed to understand the present. She can normally be found surrounded by stacks of books and consuming excessive amounts of tea, if not listening to a podcast or writing in a café with a latte.  

COPY EDITORS

Lucy Parfitt – Copy Editor 

Lucy (she/ her) is a MSc History Student, having completed her undergraduate degree in History at the University of Edinburgh in 2021. She is interested in histories of health and colonialism and in her free time likes listening to podcasts, singing in choir and dog-watching. Having submitted some pieces to the print journal last academic year, this will be her first time acting as a copy editor for the journal. 

Ailsa Fraser – Copy Editor 

Ailsa is a second-year History and Politics student from Brighton. She is interested in all forms of history, especially queer history, and is always up for learning more. If you’re not careful, she’ll go on a ramble about the most recent thing she found interesting and nothing will stop her. In her spare time, she writes for an online magazine, writes creative fiction, and reads a lot of sci-fi and fantasy stories.  

Kathryn Beach – Copy Editor 

Kat (they/she) is a third year History student. She possesses a startling scope of knowledge not limited to modern Chinese society and politics, early modern intellectual history, contemporary cinema. Outside of class, you’ll find them walking the mean streets of Edinburgh, or having coffee with friends around campus. This is their first year with Retrospect. 

Rosie Inwald – Copy Editor 

Rosie (she/her) is a second-year History and Politics student. As a keen historian, you will always find her with a book haunting the coffee shops of Edinburgh. With interests in the history of the modern Middle East, and theory of Empire, she does not shy away from a heated debate on political history. In her spare time, she loves to embark on shopping sprees in Edinburgh charity shops… it’s not a healthy addiction. This is Rosie’s first year with Retrospect 

Alisa Husain – Copy Editor  

Alisa is a first year History and Politics student. Imagine a typical shy, quiet kid not worried to be spending time alone reading or watching conspiracy theories on Netflix which snacking on a huge bag of Hula Hoops. Yeah, that’s her, alright. She’ll tell you she’s not that smart but here she is boasting about her knowledge on everything under the sun. That’s not true. She just knows some things. Mainly history things. Specifically modern history things. Particularly European and Middle Eastern modern history things. Er, yeah. Oh, and now she’s a Copy Editor! How fun.  

Abigail Leong – Copy Editor 

Abigail is a second-year Cognitive Science student. Bit of a stretch from the more classical history — but history through mythology, ideology and the like are closely intertwined with her fascinations of meta-narratives and the embodiment of perception. Her history interests are sporadic and often inspired by art and art history, the odd historical romance, and learning about the craftsmanship of the past. This is her first year with Retrospect. 

Lucy Lloyd – Copy Editor 

Lucy is currently studying the MSc Literature and Modernity course, having completed her undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts at Durham University this year. She studied Classics, English, and French as an undergraduate and is interested in the ways in which classical history and contemporary literature intersect. In her free time, she can be found knitting, hiking, scouring the Stockbridge charity shops, or with her nose buried in a book in one of Edinburgh’s many independent coffee shops! 

Evangeline May – Copy Editor 

Evangeline (she/her) is a third year History student originally from New York. She is interested in learning about all things historical but finds European medieval history and archaeology particularly fascinating. She can often be found reading badly written fantasy novels instead of her actual course books or spending hours on Wikipedia researching true crime cases. This is her first year with Retrospect and she is excited to join the team! 

Shelby Thorne – Copy Editor

Jordan Leonard – Copy Editor

Sophie Comninos – Copy Editor

Katie Reinmann – Copy Editor

Aneet Sehmi – Copy Editor

Lucy Lloyd – Copy Editor

ILLUSTRATORS

Emily Geeson – Illustrator 

Emily is a third-year English Lit and History student, which means that she reads a lot. Often the books in question aren’t the one’s she’s technically supposed to be reading at the time, but they’re good nonetheless. A self-described ‘history fan’, she can get very enthusiastic about the Angevin dynasty and French history (which bit, you ask? Most of it.) She’s also been known to draw in her spare time, and a recent doodle of a person on the back of a drinks menu was deemed ‘all right’ by her mates. Speaking of her long-suffering friends, they’ve been dragged to more castles than they’d care to admit, but she reckons they enjoy it despite all the complaining. 

Melanie Wu—Illustrator 

Melanie is first year (MA) illustration student at University of Edinburgh. She has always been interested in traditional culture, including architecture, clothing, and other elements that have been influenced by economic, political and culture in different areas. These cultural elements are all accumulated through a long history, with traces of time, and also reflect the environment of the time. She usually likes to watch movies and do some sketching outside in her spare time. You can find more of her work on her instagram @Littlewhite96. 

Aoife Céitinn – Illustrator

PODCAST TEAM

Lydia Weirnik – Podcast Team

Lydia (they/them) is a second-year undergraduate studying Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh. An archivist by trade, they see mediums digitizing and distributing information – such as podcasts – as critical to modern academia. They also contribute to Retrospect as a freelance illustrator. In their spare time, they are an avid bug collector and Keats enthusiast, and will lecture about both unprompted if you’re not careful. 

Emilia Bacaksizlar – Podcast Team

Emilia is a second-year History and Politics student. She has a long-standing interest in 20th century Polish history, feminist history and US foreign policy in the Middle East. She is always up for a rant on any of these topics and has traumatized many of her friends by lecturing them on the impact of politics on historical documentation. Emilia sees podcasts as a new medium for historical research and preservation of knowledge, and she is excited to be working as a Podcast Assistant. In her spare time, she can be found fuelling her caffeine addiction in cafes around Edinburgh, re-watching sci-fi classics or trying to get more books to fit in her already overcrowded bookcase. 

Amal Abdi – Podcast Team