The Great Gatsby: a history of adaptations

The Great Gatsby seems to be everywhere at the moment. There are posters at bus stops, adverts on the television and articles in every publication I pick up. In recent weeks it has been impossible to escape the publicity. Baz Luhrmann’s new adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel is one of the most…

Elections Have Consequences

Originally posted on Adam I. P. Smith: Historian:
The 1860 Presidential Election was one of the most consequential elections in world history, since it directly triggered the American Civil War. (Others on the shortlist include the series of three Reichstag elections in 1932-3). It was in response to the election of Abraham Lincoln that the…

A visit to UCL Qatar

I am spending a few days in Doha in order to teach two sessions on Rob Carter’s new MA course in Pre-Islamic Archaeology at UCL Qatar. Rob had suggested this to me when we went on a trip to the Kurdish Autonomous Region of Iraq last May and I am of course always happy to…

Originally posted on The Fall of Albion:
Last week, University College London publicly released a database that allows users to look up the names of people who were reimbursed by the British government for the slaves they owned after Britain banned slavery in 1833. It has touched off a debate over how to think about…

Rethinking 1960s British Cinema-going

Spend a moment imagining a busy street in 1960s Britain. What does it look like? What does it sound like? What are people wearing? For many, the street will be full of women in miniskirts and men in flares. The colours will be vivid and the sound of the Beatles or the Rolling Stones will…