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.
New analysis reveals a strong correlation between precolonial institutions in Africa and current levels of deforestation. Researchers suggest that many of these structures still operate at a local level, controlling and exploiting natural resources under the radar of the state, and that such legacies of governance pose a major challenge for implementing conservation policies.
In two separate books, anthropologists Dr Franck Billé and Dr Christopher Kaplonski look at the identity of Mongolia, a country that stands at a cultural and political crossroads. While Billé explores Mongolia’s relationship with its powerful neighbours, Kaplonski revisits a dark period in the country’s recent history.
Dr Michael Hrebeniak describes himself as inveterately curious about people and places. His fascination for a messy patch of Cambridge, best known for its traffic jams and retail park, has led him to create with words and film ‘a deep map’ of the layers of human experience on the fringes of the city.
Crocodiles have pearls in their ears; statues move and speak. The first English translation of a collection of Arab fantasy stories opens a window on to the imaginings of the medieval mind. Professor Malcolm Lyons has brought alive for the modern reader the gripping yarns in Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange.
When food is scarce, tool use among non-human primates does not increase. This counterintuitive finding leads researchers to suggest that the driving force behind tool use is ecological opportunity – and that the environment shapes development of culture.
The life and work of Cedric Price, the unconventional and visionary architect best-known for buildings which never saw the light of day, is being explored in a new exhibition.
An epic new history of England offers some eye-catching conclusions on Englishness – suggesting, among other things, that a “remarkable” level of cultural unity and a relative openness to other cultures are both key components of English national identity.