Russian art in the limelight: paintings and portraits that tell remarkable stories

28 Apr 2016

An exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery features paintings of some of Russia’s legendary creative figures. Russia and the Arts, which draws attention to a generation of overlooked artists, is curated by Dr Rosalind P Blakesley. This month also sees the launch of Blakesley’s new book, The Russian Canvas, a work set to expand our understanding of a century of painting through periods of remarkable social and political change.

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Arms and the man: how a culture of warfare shapes masculinity

31 Mar 2016

The trappings of violence were embedded into the culture of 16th century Europe. Victoria Bartels, a PhD candidate in the Faculty of History, has conducted research in a Florentine archive to show how, even at a time when the bearing of arms was prohibited, men negotiated ways to sport their daggers and swords in public.

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The Channel: a historian’s view of an iconic stretch of water

30 Mar 2016

Water joins as well as divides – and maritime communities often defy the borders imposed by the state. In the first book of its kind, Dr Renaud Morieux offers a fascinating insight into the history of the ‘English’ Channel during the 18th century. He also tackles some of the big questions about identity and sovereignty that continue to be pertinent today.

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Shakespeare goes to East Africa

25 Mar 2016

On the eve of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Dr Edward Wilson-Lee explores the remarkable ways in which the works of England’s greatest poet-playwright are woven into the merging cultures of East Africa. In his debut book, Shakespeare in Swahililand, Wilson-Lee gives a compelling account of an era in which Shakespeare took centre stage.

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From Pulp to Fiction: our love affair with paper

17 Mar 2016

It may seem strange to describe paper as technology, but its arrival in England in about 1300 was a pivotal moment in cultural history. That story is being pieced together for the first time in a new project that also promises to reveal much about why some innovations succeed where others fail

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