The Iranian Revolution: Cause, Context, and Contemporary Relevance

Protests during the Iranian Revolution, 1978 represent broader struggles across the region between secular and Islamic models of governance playing out. Wikicommons The Iranian Revolution was a hard-fought battle for those in favor of the Islamist model of governance, inspiring similar movements that have had varying degrees of success across the region. By Dr. Mehmet Ozalp / 09.17.2018 Associate Professor in Islamic Studies[…]

The Russian Revolution: Cause, Context, and Contemporary Relevance

To try and understand the Russian revolution outside of the broader social context of the time is to neglect the development of nationhood in the region. Wikicommons The Russian Revolution – an event that affected more than Russia and was more than a revolution. By Dr. Mark Edele / 10.11.2018 Professor of History University of Western Australia For most people, the term[…]

The Rise and Fall of a 19th-Century Medical Mesmerist

The story of a flamboyant doctor whose famous fans included Dickens. But his experiments with hypnosis eventually met with establishment disapproval. By Wendy Moore / 04.23.2018 Journalist and Medical Historian We think of libraries as places of quiet solitude where information is reassuringly organised, ordered and catalogued. Yet for me one of the best things about[…]

Mesmerising Science: The Franklin Commission and the Modern Clinical Trial

Detail from a coloured etching after C-L. Desrais depicting people gathered around the “baquet” at one of Franz Mesmer’s group animal magnetism sessions / Wellcome Collection, Creative Commons Benjamin Franklin, magnetic trees, and erotically-charged séances — Urte Laukaityte on how a craze for sessions of “animal magnetism” in late 18th-century Paris led to the randomised[…]

Russian Envoys and Post-Imperial Narratives in Early-20th Century China and Japan

Downtown Tokyo in the 1920s / Creative Commons During the 1920s, Soviet cultural authorities sought to develop a new, post-imperialist literature that would acknowledge a “new East”. By Dr. Katerina Clark Professor of :Comparative Literature and of Slavic Languages and Literatures Yale University Abstract   Sergei Tretiakov (left) and Boris Pilniak (right) / Public Domain During[…]

Responses of China and Japan to the West in the 19th Century

Nanjing Jinling Arsenal 1865, built by Li Hongzhang / Wikimedia Commons In the 19th century, after a long period of isolationism, China and then Japan came under pressure from the West to open to foreign trade and relations. By Giulia Valentini / 12.2012 Contracts and Administrative Assistant European Climate Foundation In the 19th century, after a long[…]