Over years of supervising student dissertations I have been petitioned by many with a wish to undertake a study of gender (or more particularly women) and the Scottish Enlightenment. I usually caution against this. Gender relative to the Enlightenment is so very difficult to pin down. The Enlightenment, after all, wasn’t something that anyone knew they were doing or experiencing.
Historians of the British Indian army, with little exception, have argued that Indian soldiers, or Sipahis, were incapable of acting on their own: they were led into anti-British political activities by ‘outsiders’ (1), they were loyal because ‘others’ told them to be loyal (2), and they could not be disloyal to the British as the sol
Research into the global and transnational dimensions of the American Civil War is indisputably in vogue.
The past two decades have seen a flourishing of scholarship devoted to female Catholic piety in early modern Europe, which has helped to balance the substantial historiography on women and the Protestant Reformation.
The last century and a half of Ottoman history was marked by forced displacement into the empire on a huge scale. Between the Russian conquest of the Crimea in 1783 and the second Balkan war in 1913, five to seven million Muslims entered the Ottoman domains. Some were already subjects of the Sultan, leaving – or expelled from – areas that had broken away from the empire under Christian rule.
Contemporary interest in the period of the Crusades has intensified in the last decade or so, partly because of the inflammatory invocations of holy war and jihad made immediately after the traumatic events of 9/11.
W. B. Yeats’s famous poem, ‘Easter 1916’, is an ambivalent celebration of the new pantheon of heroes created when, through the means of a failed nationalist rebellion in Dublin, ‘a terrible beauty is born’.
Is the United States an empire? Scholars of United States foreign relations will be well familiar with the debates that provide the background to James G. Morgan’s stimulating new monograph on foreign policy revisionism.
Demons or cunning priests?
‘The Pythia at Delphi, sitting with her petticoats bunched up and her arse on the Tripod, received her inspiration from below’. Denis Diderot
When attending a book-signing reception at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley nearly ten years ago, I lifted the hefty coffee table tome titled The Jesuits and the Arts and turned to a Jesuit friend of mine and said, ‘This is certainly a beautiful and lavishly illustrated book!’ After a pause I then, with unabashed Dominican chauvinism, added, ‘… but of course if this were a history of t