Category Archives: European History

History on TV: Political Drama in the 2010s

Alban Bargain-Villéger In recent years, serial political dramas such as House of Cards and the Danish series Borgen have enjoyed quite a bit of success in North America. Although one might argue that the genre is more of a child of the 1990s, since the original House of Cards trilogy (set in a fictional post-Thatcher Britain) came out in 1991,… Read more »

21st Century Terrorism: Nothing New?

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Alban Bargain-Villéger About a month after the November 13 shootings, I was lining up, along with hundreds of carefree visitors, in front of the Osiris exhibit at Paris’s Arab World Institute. The sun was out, children were playing on the steps of the building and, aside from the occasional military squad patrolling the area, it was hard to believe that… Read more »

Film Friday: Suffrage Stories Without Class

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Joan Sangster A friend who teaches the history of feminism in Canada recently relayed her students’ responses to the British movie Suffragette. Many found the women heroic, the film “moving” and uplifting. They then described their image of Canadian suffragists: narrow-minded, “classist” and racist, not very radical, hardly inspiring role models. Their negative image of early Canadian feminists does not… Read more »

Pork Cuts: The Sharp Edges of Nativism in Southern Europe

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By Aitana Guia Too many political leaders are banking on politicizing migration today. Culture has become a fertile battlefield. Food represents familiarity and safety. Eating is a daily activity that connects parents to their children, to their schools, and to their extended families. Social life in Southern Europe revolves around food and food rituals. Donna Gabbacia, a historian of the… Read more »

The European Extreme Right Yesterday and Today

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Alban Bargain-Villéger Studies on the European ultra-nationalist right are not exactly rare. Over the last couple of decades, many a tree has been felled and much ink has been spilled on the extreme right in our day and age and its connections (or lack thereof) with the fascist movements and parties of old. But despite the abundance of works on… Read more »

History for Children? Watching “Once Upon a Time… Man” as an Adult in the 21st Century

By Alban Bargain-Villéger On a hot July night, while in the throes of insomnia, I found myself waxing nostalgic and decided to revisit my favourite childhood animated series. After watching a few episodes of Cobra and The Mysterious Cities of Gold (also fascinating animation series in their own right) I realized that Once Upon a Time… Man (Il était une… Read more »

Remote Silvertown Transforms Again

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By Jim Clifford Industrial Silvertown is not a standard tourist attraction in London, though in recent years thousands of people have peered down on the remaining factories from the Emirates Air Line cable cars as they descend toward Victoria Dock and the ExCel convention centre. It was nonetheless a really important region of heavy industrial development during the late nineteenth century and… Read more »

Literature and History: Michel Houellebecq’s Soumission and the Politics of Cultural Despair

By Alban Bargain–Villéger Even today, literary fiction can still provide an ideal entry point into historical studies. Although this might seem like stating the obvious, one has to recognise that the increasing overspecialization of history as a discipline has hindered the ability and/or willingness of many historians to explore universes outside of their respective fields. Nonetheless, it is clear that… Read more »

1847 and 2010: Ugly Manifestations of the Macroeconomic Trilemma

By David Zylberberg On January 25, 2015 Greece’s New Democracy government led by Antonis Samaras lost its bid for re-election. Meanwhile, its coalition partner, PASOK, received less than 5% of the vote, despite having been the largest party in recent decades and in government for over half of the last 40 years. They were voted out after presiding over the worst… Read more »

The king in a car park: Digging up Richard III

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By Daniel Ross “Bloody thou art; bloody will be thy end.” Duchess of York, Act IV, Scene IV, Richard III Shakespeare’s Richard III is one of fiction’s classic villains, a schemer who knocks off one family member after another on his way to the crown. Even his mother the Duchess would rather he was dead, and she gets her wish… Read more »