History

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Is it true that the Atlantic Slave Trade impeded long-term economic development and created political disorder in Africa?

By Lucy Morris

Edited by William Harrop

Abstract

Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the sea-faring nations of Europe engaged in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, transporting millions of human beings on squalid, cramped ships from West Africa to European plantations in the Americas. In this superb article, Lucy Morris analyses the destructive influence of this tragedy on Africa, framing the study in terms of its political and economic impacts to reveal just how deep the scars go.

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Classics and Ancient History

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Public vs Private: Revisiting Sappho’s world

By Oliver Maynard

Edited by Sienna Melki

Abstract

The ancient Greek lyric poet Sappho offers one of few extant pieces of female authorship, and yet, still, she has been heralded as ‘the tenth Muse’. Much of her work describes female homosexuality; but, despite the seemingly personal nature of the work, the possibility remains that Sappho can in fact be classed as a ‘public’ poet. Saphho’s world is a complex one, but this essay paints a picture of her as a credit to women everywhere and demonstrates how Classics can be used to uncover marginalised voices which can be seen to reflect our own times.

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Politics

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Populism has a place in a well-functioning democracy.

By Georgia Jones

Edited by Marina Lademacher

Abstract

Populism is described by the Cambridge Dictionary as ‘political ideas and activities that are intended to get the support of ordinary people by giving them what they want’. Yet, despite the affiliation between populism and ‘the people’, populist movements continue to face criticism, and they are assumed to function in opposition to liberal democracy.  This essay defends populism, arguing that it not only is there a place for it in well-functioning democracy, but that there must be a place for it.

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Philosophy

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On the basis of the Symposium, outline and discuss the main features of platonic love.

Is this ‘love’ as we normally understand it?

By Eleanor Mason

Edited by Irene Ivanaj

Abstract

Eros is most famously remembered as the God of Love. However, he is not always personified, rather, often eros is perceived as a cosmic principle. Most simply, eros can be translated as ‘Love’. However, the extent to which these terms are in fact synonymous is complicated. This work discusses the concept of love in Plato’s Symposium, an ancient work describing a dinner party of prominent Greeks who each convey their conception of eros.

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Classics and Ancient History

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In what respects could Roman Italy be described as a ‘slave society’?

By Louisa Pannifer

Edited by Nia Morris

Abstract

In the ancient, Rome emerged as the superpower of western civilisation continually conquering surrounding lands and expanding their own territories. Whilst the military and politics were at the forefront of the action, there were those in the background of Roman society who were no less quintessential to the identity of Rome. They could be found in all aspects of Roman life, from the domestic to the agricultural spheres. Paradoxical to their impact on society, but coinciding with their status, they remained largely ignored in ancient literature. These figures were slaves, unpaid for their labour and the property of their owners who could do with them what they wished. This work explores the contribution of slaves to Roman society and the extent to which Rome should be constituted as a ‘slave society’.

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English and Film

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Soundscapes of crisis: discuss the use of music and sound in Black and Folman’s cinematographic depictions of their respective postcolonial worlds.

By Aysha Taylor

Edited by Ellen Mitchell

Abstract

This essay analyses the use of music and soundtracks in Stephanie Black’s 2003 documentary Life and Debt and Ari Folman’s 2008 autobiographical animated film Waltz with Bashir. Whilst stylistically these two texts are very different, the author argues that they both competently use music and non-diegetic sound to complement, shape and engage with their respective discussions of crises in a postcolonial environment.

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History

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How and to what extent did war and violence contribute to the definition of chivalry as both a historical and social phenomenon?

By Dom Hyde

Edited by William Harrop

Abstract

What springs to mind when you think about chivalry? Far removed from the popular view of gentlemen holding open doors and sacrificing items of clothing to prevent their companion’s feet getting muddy, chivalry was originally a concept embedded in the brutality of medieval warfare. In this fascinating article, an inquisition is launched into the extent of the influence of medieval warfare itself in sculpting the social phenomenon of chivalry. Specific reference is given to both secular and religious sources in influencing, and even distorting the realities of medieval chivalry, affecting how we understand it today.

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