The Spanish Civil War, Living History and Pan’s Labyrinth

This was originally published on 7 February 2017 for the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities Blog | I sometimes envy those who study safely dead topics: however important swamp drainage in the sixteenth century might have been to those who valued dry feet, it is unlikely to ever lead to a shouting match … Continue reading The Spanish Civil War, Living History and Pan’s Labyrinth

Language and the Logic of Stalinism in the International Brigades

This was originally published on 11 May 2016 for the Language of Authoritarian Regimes | There is an old and not necessarily edifying debate that has surrounded the International Brigades almost since their inception. Were the 35,000 men and women who travelled to Spain to defend the Spanish Republic during the bitter civil war of 1936-9 dupes of Stalin? … Continue reading Language and the Logic of Stalinism in the International Brigades

Cooking the Books? Universities, Indigenous History and Australia’s Invasion Scare

This was originally published on 1 April 2016 for the Edinburgh University Global and Transnational History Research Group Blog | The Antipodean media establishment erupted recently with the ‘discovery’ of a University of New South Wales document on how students can avoid being offensive when discussing historical issues.  In a glorious display of irony, many … Continue reading Cooking the Books? Universities, Indigenous History and Australia’s Invasion Scare

Remembrance Day and (Not) Wearing the Poppy as an Historian

This was originally published on 11 November 2015 for Pubs and Publications. It was written in conjunction with Laura Harrison| November 11 is one of the few days of the year where history is placed at the centre of public discourse, as Britain stops to commemorate the victims of war. Two of our resident historians, Laura … Continue reading Remembrance Day and (Not) Wearing the Poppy as an Historian

Four-and-Twenty Nations? Writing about British participation in the Spanish Civil War

This was originally published on 21 September 2015 for Four Nations History | Unlike the vast majority of contributors to this blog, before writing this piece I needed to surreptitiously check what the working definition of ‘Four Nations History’ actually was. By training and inclination my roots lie in European history, and I have been inflicted … Continue reading Four-and-Twenty Nations? Writing about British participation in the Spanish Civil War

A dirty word? The SNP and nationalism’s historical baggage

This was originally published on 18 May 2015 for Pubs and Publications| Like most of our readers, my newsfeed (and the news, for that matter) has been full of reactions to the UK election – notably, the unprecedented success of the Scottish National Party in reducing the three major parties to isolated islands (quite literally … Continue reading A dirty word? The SNP and nationalism’s historical baggage

Vanished? ‘Banished’ and the whitewashing of Australian history

This was originally published on 5 April 2015 for Pubs and Publications| Before being seduced by the Spanish Civil War and its unending litany of acronyms, one of my main historical interests was the interaction between Aborigines and settlers in colonial Australia. It’s an aspect of history that has been in limelight recently thanks to … Continue reading Vanished? ‘Banished’ and the whitewashing of Australian history