A very hairy story

07 Nov 2016

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.

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Bringing Berber empires into focus as contributors to Islamic culture

06 Jul 2016

The Almoravid and Almohad empires flourished in the western Mediterranean of the 11th and 12th centuries. Despite controlling vast tracts of land, these Berber dynasties are little known in the English-speaking world. In her latest book, Dr Amira Bennison looks at the rise and fall of Berber empires that made a lasting contribution to the history of Islamic culture.

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Just your cup of tea: the history (and health claims) of the nation’s favourite brew

09 Jun 2016

How do you take your tea – with a drop of poisonous chemicals or a spoonful of sheep dung? Throughout history, the health benefits – and harms – of this popular beverage have been widely debated. In an article originally published in the student science magazine BlueSci, Sophie Protheroe, an undergraduate student at Murray Edwards College, examines the global history of tea and its effect on our health.

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