History@Portsmouth

University of Portsmouth's History Blog

Author Archive | Fiona McCall

MoorishAmbassador_to_Elizabeth_I cropped

Elizabeth I seeks friends amongst the Eastern Islamic powers

After a talk with his eventual dissertation supervisor Dr Katy Gibbons, third-year UoP student Richard Grainger was inspired to enrich his knowledge of twentieth-century orientalism in a dissertation which applied his theoretical understanding to the study of a period when Islamic nations were the more dominant powers. The university’s history department prides itself on delivering […]

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From folk tale to cheap consumer good to object of wonder – the life history of a toby jug

Our new UoP history module, The Extraordinary and the Everyday: People, Places and Possessions, taught by Dr Katy Gibbons and Dr Maria Cannon, studies material evidence – objects, buildings, landcapes – as a starting point for asking questions about the past.  It employs an innovative form of assessment – the object biography, which recognises that […]

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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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