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This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History   Leave a comment

Imperial & Global Forum

1-pm2DjnSVGGPodYMQQ9eTcg Beirut air connections, 1950s. French Foreign Ministry Archives, La Courneuve

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From James Baldwin’s Istanbul to the co-dependency of empires, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history.

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Posted August 19, 2017 by TeamBritanniaHu in Uncategorized

No dogs, no Indians: 70 years after partition, the legacy of British colonialism endures   Leave a comment

Imperial & Global Forum

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Gajendra Singh, University of Exeter

The 70th anniversary of the end of Britain’s Empire in India and the birth of the post-colonial states of India and Pakistan have led to a renewed interest in the portrayal of this distant and under-explored past in British arts and the media.

It does not always make for good history. In the stories told on film, radio and television – from the film Viceroy’s House, to BBC One’s My Family, Partition and Me: India 1947 and Radio 4’s Partition Voices – complexity and context are downplayed in favour of “British” stories of colonialism, anti-colonial movements and partition violence.

Signs like this could be found all over colonial India.
Gautam Trivedi, CC BY-SA

History is to be communicated through genealogies of the great and the good – of news correspondents, movie directors and radio presenters introducing the audience to their unknown and…

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Posted August 17, 2017 by TeamBritanniaHu in Uncategorized

A Hundred Years Ago: The Great War – Spring into Summer, 1917.   Leave a comment

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The tale of the Allied Campaign of 1917 in the West was one of difficult beginnings, successes which led nowhere, and desperate battles which all but broke the hearts of their participants. As a diversion from the imminent French Nivelle Offensive, British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealander troops attacked Arras on 9th April. They captured the Vimy Ridge which was strategically important and proved to be an invaluable gain the following year. The first days were successful, but as so often on the Western Front, Haig’s offensive slowed and was only continued for political reasons, to support the ailing French. He was compelled to continue long after the attack was fruitless.

On 16 April, French commander Robert Nivelle struck on the Aisne, with a poor tactical scheme and no chance of surprise, since the enemy had captured his papers and knew his plans in detail. The Germans had been able…

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Posted August 16, 2017 by TeamBritanniaHu in Uncategorized

Constructive ambiguity   Leave a comment

Nick Baines's Blog

Words are marvellous, aren’t they? Even Humpty Dumpty recognised that those who make words mean whatever they want them to mean have power.

We witness the President of the United States using language in a very particular way. His hypocrisy is boundary-free. It is not proving hard to find tweets from his past that condemn him in the present – for example, his criticism of Obama for playing golf and taking holidays have not stopped him from exceeding Obama in both. Yet, it is as if whatever was said in the past can now be magically forgotten or ignored. And the only reason this corruption of language and political discourse is possible is because we allow it to be so.

That is why protest is so important.

Right wing or left wing models of social or economic policy broadly offer people different approaches to a similar end: the common good…

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Posted August 16, 2017 by TeamBritanniaHu in Uncategorized

We won’t get fooled again: Trump, Charlottesville and the American Dream   Leave a comment

Nick Baines's Blog

There is usually a tune going around my head. This week it is The Who’s ‘We won’t get fooled again’. The trouble is, we all too easily get fooled again. Just read history.

I have never quite understood the concept of the ‘American Dream’. This is partly because whatever the dream might be for some, it is clearly a nightmare for others. Look, for example, at the statistics for gun crime, health inequalities and the gulf between the rich and poor. Land of the free and home of the brave? I wish.

But, lest it appear that prejudice should filter a much wider reality, it is indisputable that if you can succeed in the USA, you will understand freedom differently from those who fail.

What is more important this week is not arguments about the fulfilment or otherwise of the great American Promise (rooted in a narrative of Exodus-related exceptionalism)…

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Posted August 15, 2017 by TeamBritanniaHu in Uncategorized

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History   Leave a comment

Imperial & Global Forum

Mihkel Ram Tamm (centre), Estonian philosopher and expert on Sanskrit, yoga and meditation, became a guru for many hippies in Soviet Estonia and elsewhere in the USSR. This photo appears in the documentary film Soviet Hippies, directed by Terje Toomistu. Photo: Courtesy of Vladimir Wiedemann.

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From Soviet hippies to living through the terror of partition, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history.


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Posted August 12, 2017 by TeamBritanniaHu in Uncategorized

Hub Highlights   Leave a comment

Welcome to the Blog of the Media Archive for Central England

Following the awarding of funding from Film Hub Central East, MACE are currently creating seven packages of archive film which will be available for exhibition by Film Hub members. 

Initially we’re putting together a series of five minute shorts that put the spotlight on aspects of the collection.  From a celebration of Asian Britain as seen on television, to some of the traditions and oddities in the Midlands including the ever-popular Shrovetide football in Ashbourne. We’ve also produced a short compilation called LGBT Lives that draws on 1980s material to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act.

Over the coming months we wanted to share some of the highlights and give a flavour of the films we’re looking at. This month we’re celebrating  Asian Britain on film so here’s an extract from a recently digitised film about the now long-gone Natraj Cinema on Belgrave Road in Leicester. Bollywood had truly…

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Posted August 11, 2017 by TeamBritanniaHu in Uncategorized

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