Beards are back in fashion. But today’s hipster styles convey rather different messages to the hair men cultivated in the early modern period. Historian Dr Stefan Hanß investigates the ways in which daily ‘performances of hair’ for men and women reflected the profound religious and social changes sweeping through Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Why does one of the world’s great research libraries have ‘ectoplasm’, a spirit trumpet and beard hair posted to Charles Darwin among its eight million books, manuscripts and digital collections?
What happens when a musical genre becomes an identifier for a region? In his book Flamenco, Regionalism and Musical Heritage in Southern Spain, Matthew Machin-Autenrieth unravels the cultural complexity and contested politics of an iconic art form.
A study of one of the most important medieval texts devoted to women’s medicine has opened a window into the many rituals associated with conception and childbirth. Research into the shifting communication of knowledge contributes to a wider project looking at the history of reproduction from ‘magical’ practices right through to IVF.
A banknote from 1380 that threatens decapitation, a set of 17th-century prints so delicate they had never been opened, and 3000-year-old ‘oracle bones’ are now freely available for the world to view on the Cambridge Digital Library.
The Cambridge Animal Alphabet series celebrates Cambridge's connections with animals through literature, art, science and society. Here, H is for Horse – 170-year-old model teeth, the Parthenon friezes, and the surprising origins of racehorses' speed.
What do we mean when we say that someone has ‘classical’ good looks? Are male nudes in art appropriate viewing for family audiences? In looking at the arguments ignited by the opening, in 1854, of an exhibition of Greek and Roman statuary, Dr Kate Nichols explores the ways in which notions of beauty, morality and gender are intertwined.
Sixteenth-century woodcuts often depict young men wearing striped doublets or striped hose. When historian of science Tillmann Taape embarked on a journey into the meaning of stripes, he discovered that artists used them to mark out people who were neither rich and educated nor poor and illiterate – but something in between.