Category Archives: European History

Remote Silvertown Transforms Again

      No Comments on Remote Silvertown Transforms Again

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

      1 Comment on The king in a car park: Digging up Richard III

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 »

Charlie Hebdo in Historical Context

      4 Comments on Charlie Hebdo in Historical Context

By Geoff Read One of the courses I teach at Huron University College is called “Current Crises in Historical Context,” wherein we use the tools of historical analysis to try to shed light on the origins of some of the crises confronting the world. This year we are looking at topics such as the Russian annexation of the Crimea, the… Read more »

Who/What Really Is Charlie?

      3 Comments on Who/What Really Is Charlie?

By Alban Bargain-Villéger In the wake of the January 7-9 attacks in France, millions of tweets, millions of demonstrators, thousands of heads of state, intellectuals, and celebrities of all kinds not only condemned the murders of seventeen people (including four as a result of an anti-Semitic hostage taking linked to the other shootings), but also praised Charlie Hebdo’s courage in… Read more »

“We Are the People:” Nativism in Germany?

      3 Comments on “We Are the People:” Nativism in Germany?

By Aitana Guia On Mondays for the past 13 weeks, thousands of Germans have marched on Dresden declaring “Wir sind das Volk,” we are the people. Were it 1989 on the eve of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, these same protestors might have been those who delivered the message to the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic that… Read more »

Putin’s Lessons from History

      6 Comments on Putin’s Lessons from History

By Andriy Zayarnyuk Now that Vladimir Putin has acknowledged his responsibility for invading Ukraine in February 2013, finding out about his worldview is no longer a matter of mere curiosity. Putin’s statements of the last decade demonstrate that his thinking about Ukraine and Russia is deeply mired in history. Already in 2005, reminding the upper chamber of the Russian parliament… Read more »

A Historian on Catalan Independence

      No Comments on A Historian on Catalan Independence

By Aitana Guia On November 9, 2014, hundreds of thousands of Catalans, perhaps millions, will print their own unofficial ballots and head to improvised polling stations to cast a vote for independence that nobody else but them will consider valid. Most Catalans opposed to independence will stay at home and lament growing political polarization. The result will be a resolute… Read more »

Feeling the City: Getting at the Historical Sights and Sounds of Downtown

Like most of us humans—80% in Canada, more than 50% worldwide—my home is in the city. And like so many urbanites, I take a whole range of day-to-day sensations for granted. The screech of garbage trucks, the overheard conversations on public transit; the smells of street food and exhaust; the sight of thousands of other people going about their lives…. Read more »