History@Portsmouth

University of Portsmouth's History Blog

Fantine from Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, by Margaret Bernadine Hall (1863-1910)

The morality of state intervention in sexually-transmitted disease

Is it appropriate for governments to restrict personal liberty in an effort to control disease? This issue has come very much to the fore in the wake of the current worldwide Coronavirus epidemic.  In this post, Darcy Mckinlay, a second year history student, writes about nineteenth-century arguments against forcible methods of controlling venereal diseases. During […]

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The Battle of Culloden

The domestic colonisation of eighteenth-century Scotland

Third year student Kathryn Watts chose an original focus for her dissertation in investigating the eighteenth century attack on Scottish culture. As she argues below, colonialism is often looked at in the global context, but the domestic colonialism of Scotland (and Ireland) predated it, and provided a prototype for many of the colonialist ideas of […]

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Photos of Wehrmacht soldiers

Germans coming to terms with the crimes of the past: the role of the Wehrmacht in World War II

In his dissertation third-year history student Tim Marsella studied the changing understandings and representations of the role of the Wehrmacht (German armed forces in World War II) within modern Germany.  He shows how a landmark exhibition in the 1990s challenged perceptions about the breadth of involvement in war crimes, but also how coming to terms […]

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Hans Holbein ship with sailors

Cut-throat communities, angry noblemen, and a noseless pirate! My journey through the joys and horrors of writing a dissertation

Below, the first of a series on this year’s bumper crop of student dissertations, from my own supervisee Tom Underwood.  Tom was one of the most prepared and organised students I’ve ever supervised, but as he mentions below, also still honing his dissertation down to the wire, and we were blown away with the results.  […]

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stalin cropped

Sinister Stalin, the Cold-War Octopus

The cartoonist David Low’s depiction of Stalin as an octopus, published in 1948, sits within a long-standing tradition of monstrous, dehumanised depictions of political enemies.  Octopi in particular have been used in the past to represent the sinister ambitions of Prussia, Britain, France, Nazi Germany, America and the oil industry, amongst others.  But as second-year […]

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1837_Liberator_Cornhill_Boston resized

Young people need to learn more about the history of racism in the US and Britain

In the light of the worldwide anti-racists protests taking place across the world, two current UoP students, Lois Marriott and Becca Francis, argue passionately for the need to educate young people about the history of black people’s experience of racism. We both chose to take units during our history degree that would help us understand […]

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