Archive | January 2014

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Filming the Antebellum: A Comparison of Cinematic depictions of American Slavery

British director Steve McQueen’s new film, 12 Years a Slave, is a dramatization of Solomon Northrop’s actual memoirs of the same title, which was a major piece of literature in the American Abolitionist movement. However, it is by no means the first cinematic depiction of the pre-Emancipation period of American history. Looking backwards however, it […]

World War One and the Middle East Crisis

Several national governments have chosen to observe the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War in 2014, Canada and Britain among them. To make best use of this upsurge in interest regarding the First World War, I have chosen to discuss how certain contemporary political issues are directly impacted by this catastrophic […]

The Embergence of the Beer Export Economy during the Middle Ages

  Northern Europe is a region often perceived as a beer drinking region. Belgium, Britain, the Netherlands, and Germany are known throughout the world as beer drinking cultures, counter to the wine drinking regions of Southern Europe and France. During the Middle Ages, much of the export of beer was controlled and regulated by major […]

The Modern Afghan War in Context – 1839-2001

The current War in Afghanistan has been a central facet of international diplomacy for the previous ten years. However, Western intervention in Afghanistan has developed in similar veins for the previous two hundred years. Between 1838 and 1919 there were three Anglo-Afghan Wars, and Western attention towards Afghanistan has been increasing since the 1970’s for […]

Almost No One in the Modern American Political Right Actually Believes what they Say

Since the end of the 1950’s, the Right (and much of the politics in general) in America has shifted into an ahistorical, hypocritical, and irrational force within America and abroad. No President since the 1960’s has been comparable to modern political divides among developed nations. The result has been the decline of the middle class […]

The Original Beauty and the Beast and the 18th Century French Social Order

In 1991, the Walt Disney Company produced a re-working of the 1740 French folktale, La Belle et la Bête, The Beauty and the Beast. The Disney version depicts a prototypical nice lady who cleans up a rough around the edges, but otherwise good guy  sort of story. However, the Disney adaptation is obviously quite different […]