Volume 13: Commemoration and Celebration – Foreword

By Ethan Moss, Editor-in-Chief Recent events have raised a lot of important historical questions surrounding race, empire, and the way we think about and commemorate historical figures. In this month’s edition, many writers have aimed to inform us of some of the historical precedents for these decisions and the moral questions we face today surrounding how we […]

Frederick Douglass and the Emancipation Memorial: Reexamining American History

By Miles Kaye The murder of George Floyd sparked protests not only in America but around the world. Protestors took to the streets demanding justice. Many protestors toppled statues and chose to protest in front of statues. The focus on statues is an important gateway to discussing racism and contemporary issues in a historical context. […]

The British Empire and the Criminalisation of Homosexuality

By Hannah Ahmed The British empire is credited with bringing civilisation and democracy to its colonies, however, it’s important to unpack and understand what this really entailed. One of the consequences of the implementation of British laws was the criminalisation of homosexuality, enforcement of heteronormativity and binary understandings of gender, which were not previously present […]

‘Our Country’s Good’ – That Time Britain Used a Foreign Territory as Its Social Dumping Ground

By Ellie Raftery In October 2015, my three passions in life – history, music and theatre – came together at the National Theatre. Timberlake Wertenbaker’s ‘Our Country’s Good’, based on Thomas Keneally’s 1987 novel ‘The Playmaker’, followed the remarkable true story of the first British penal colony in Botany Bay, Australia in 1788. This itself […]

Cecil Rhodes: A Story of Supremacy and Statues

By Sam Gilder On Wednesday 17th June 2020, the governors of Oriel College at Oxford University voted to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes that sits above the town’s high street. A month later, on 15th July, the colonialist’s statue in Cape Town, South Africa was decapitated. What did Rhodes do in order to cause such […]

The Issue of Stateless People in Our Modern World

By Jessica Townley The rise of the nation-state and the trend of nationality has gripped the modern world, most notably in unifying groups of people native to certain territories. The concept of statelessness is that a person is to “not be considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law”, as […]

Athelstan: The Forgotten First King of England

By Sam Skinner Which Anglo-Saxon kings feature in the popular imagination? Many know of Alfred the Great’s wars against the Vikings; of the infamy of Aethelred ‘the Unready’; of Harold’s defeat at Hastings. The chances are that King Athelstan does not resonate. Yet it was Athelstan’s achievement to ruthlessly bend an island to his will […]

Winston Churchill: Challenging Perceptions of a British Hero

By Megan Bellamy Historical figures are ever-increasingly labelled as inherently ‘good’ or ‘evil’, as their entire characters, experiences and deeds are reduced to a singular narrative. This has never been more apparent than in the way we think about and commemorate Winston Churchill. Popular opinion celebrates him as a brilliant wartime hero, the saviour of […]

A Brief History of Whiteness in America: From Reconstruction to Trump’s Inauguration

By Shaye Mistry America has become a peculiar place in recent times. The once global hegemon was the centre of Western Liberalism and the forebearer of democracy. Yet, ongoing civil strife between legislature, institutions and the citizens themselves demonstrate another story. Much of the tense relationship between America’s multiculturalism and its minority white population is […]