Long Reads

An International Record of Women’s Suffrage

An International Record of Women’s Suffrage

International Women’s Day, celebrated on 8 March each year, took place yesterday. To mark its passing, I thought I would look at some of the dates and backgrounds pertaining to when women first attained the right to vote. I have touched briefly on this subject in a couple of previous pieces: depicting a cultural history of Crimea; and viewing a history of…

On Kanye, Beyoncé, Beck, and Artistry

When Kanye West momentarily took to the stage as Beck was handed the award for Album of the Year at the 57th Annual Grammys, his quick grin and ready departure suggested that this was but a joke: a lighthearted reference to his infamous interruption of Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, upon Swift being selected for Best Female…

A Cultural History of the Potato as Earth Apple

The etymology of the word ‘apple’ takes us back to the Early Middle Ages, when it appeared in various related forms across the Germanic languages: as ‘apful’/’aphul’ or ‘apfel’/’aphel’ in Old High German, ‘appel’ in Old Frisian, ‘appul’ in Old Saxon, ‘epli’ in Old Icelandic, ‘æplæ’ or ‘æpæl’ in Old Danish, and so on. At the time, the word referred sometimes…

The World Cup in Wider Culture

While on the field, the 2014 World Cup saw the rise of new superstars, the decline of footballing philosophies, the interplay between varying formations, and appeared to demonstrate the narrowing of traditional power gaps in the international game – in the knockout stages, from the round of sixteen through to the final, only three of fifteen matches were won by a…

English Translations of Jorge Luis Borges’ ‘Funes the Memorious’

The impetus for Jorge Luis Borges attaining widespread international recognition came when, in May 1961, at 61 years of age, he was awarded the first Prix International alongside Samuel Beckett. The Prix International was an international award for literary merit, established by six publishing houses – Seix Barral of Barcelona, Gallimard of Paris, Einaudi of Turin, Grove Press of New York,…

A Brief History of Ukraine

A Brief History of Ukraine

With the situation in Crimea apparently determined, at least for the time being, attention is turning to other sites in Ukraine and beyond. The withdrawal of Ukrainian forces at the beginning of this week – after Russian troops seized the Belbek airbase and Feodosia naval base – marked the interim Ukrainian government’s tacit acceptance that Crimea has been lost. Russian military…