History

CMRS Movie: “Ran”

Akira Kurosawa’s brilliantly conceived re-telling of Shakespeare’s King Lear magically mixes Japanese history, Shakespeare’s plot and Kurosawa’s own feelings about loyalty in the masterpiece, “Ran”. Set in 16th-century Japan, Lord Hidetora, announces his intention to divide his land equally among his three sons. This decision to step down unleashes a power struggle between the three heirs. (Running time: 2 hours, 42 minutes)

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Spatial Mobility in the Chinese Bureaucracy: A Model and Empirical Evidence

Spatial mobility among officials has been an important mechanism of political control in China’s governance. We propose a model of stratified mobility across administrative jurisdictions to explain patterns of spatial mobility in the Chinese bureaucracy, and develop related concepts, typologies, and measures for our empirical analyses. We illustrate our theoretical arguments using empirical findings of spatial mobility in a large bureaucracy—local governments in one province of China, from 1990 to 2008.

Between Equal Citizenship and the Promise of Redemption: Iranian Jewish Identity at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Early in the twentieth century, Iranian-Jewish communities experienced two different pressures from two different developments, each pulling them in another direction. First came the Constitutional Revolution in Iran (1906-911), which promised equal citizenship, and then the Balfour Declaration (1917) and the emergence of Zionism, which stirred thoughts of redemption in the holy land.

Global Cotton and the Centripetal Pull of the Western African Sahel, 1740-1780

This chapter explores archival business records, correspondence, visual images and material evidence to establish the importance of a regional trans-Saharan economy of indigo cottons to fast expanding Atlantic commerce. It argues that this local industry depended on the labor of women dyers who are rarely considered as important economic actors in the historiography for this period, which tends to focus almost exclusively on merchant signares and coastal trade.

BREXIT AND THE CRISIS OF BRITISH DEMOCRACY

This presentation will analyze the reasons why the British electorate chose to leave the European Union in the 23 June 2016 referendum. It will argue that this was the response by Prime Minister David Cameron to domestic political constraints but revealed hitherto partly concealed divides within the British population that the political class had failed to address. Finally it will assess the present situation in London and Brussels as far as the Brexit negotiations and explain the complexities of the leaving process.

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