Glasnost changed everything

The Soviet Union is one of the most influential nation states to ever exist on Earth, as is typical of superpowers. The superpowers of the Cold War, and the Soviet Union in particular, had the distinction of being influential in a large variety of ways. In addition to changing the Soviet people and nation, the Soviet Union affected the people of the nations around it. Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics are still living under the shadow of the USSR 20 years after it’s dissolution.

Obviously, the Russian revolution greatly affected the people of Russia and the political landscape…


“The Man of Your Dreams” is a loaded tagline

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge is a slasher film that was the second in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. Like most slashers, this film has interesting views on sexuality, mostly played through insinuation and metaphor. Unlike many others though, the second Nightmare on Elm Street film comments on homosexuality rather than heterosexuality. In analyzing this film through a queer lens, we will discuss first, the historical context; second, the film itself; and third, the behind-the-scenes details. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge is famous for its gay subtext, and for good reason.

This movie…


The standard Holography set up

Holograms are the ultimate technology of the future in modern pop culture, but what do we really know about the technology? Holography as it is known today is a relatively recent development. It has its theoretical roots in the late 1940s, with two-dimensional holograms only being physically created in the late 1950s and three-dimensional holograms being created in the early 1960s. With only fifty years to develop the technology, a lot of new discoveries have been made over that period. …


The old regressive view of witches is long past, but is there danger in the new commodity fetishism?

Over recent years, a commodification of witchcraft (folk magical traditions) has occurred which has taken witchcraft from the puritan perception of being dark and mysterious to the modern capitalist reality of being kitsch and mass-producible. While at first this may seem to be a harmless market trend, a deeper look reveals the negative effects it has on practitioners and even casual believers. There are three major groups of victims here. First are the indigenous groups whose traditions and religious beliefs are being co-opted, bastardized, and sold to a mass market in a harmful cultural appropriation by a largely white audience…


Imperial Russia’s Failure to Fully Liberalize and the End of the Tsars

The emblem of the Tsar still hangs high in Russia, despite their failings

Introduction: The Tsars Close Their Fist

Throughout its life, the Russian Empire found itself needing to liberalize to survive. It would find itself behind in technology or otherwise at a disadvantage to Europeans, so the tsars began adopting European ideas. Military reforms, education reforms, and power structure reforms were all used to keep the tsars in power in the face of the threat of dangerous neighbors. At the same time, the tsarist government was unwilling to liberalize the power structure of Russia, again, to keep the throne in power. Unfortunately, with each reform came ideas of freedom into the heads…


A Discussion of Sources and Historical Narrative

Total War: Three Kingdoms represents a major shift in the franchise, by focusing on individuals, just like in this promotional image.

The Total War video game series by developer Creative Assembly has always had an issue of taking cool, but rare or suspect moments of history and making them gameplay features, whether it be the Pictish stealth catapults in Total War: Rome II, the ninja troops in Total War: Shogun 2, or the flaming pig units all the way back in Rome: Total War (of course not mentioning the historical issues of the game series being called Total War when it has never once portrayed an era where total war existed, the concept having been invented during WWI, significantly later than…


A History of the Boté from the Pre-Columbian Era, Through the Conquest of Montana, to Today’s LGBT Advocacy

We’wha (left), Osh-Tisch (Finds Them and Kills Them) (center) and Dahteste (right). (John K. Hillers, Image Courtesy of: Smithsonian Institute/John H. Fouch/F.A. Rinehart, Image Courtsey of Omaha Public Library and NPR KQED)

In Montana’s pre-Columbian history, there was a tradition of young boys and girls realizing that they were two-spirit and entering a new style of life which they felt better represented them. The two-spirit are a third gender with a variety of names, two-spirit being a modern pan-Indian term to replace the problematic previous anthropological term berdache, which derives from the Arabic word for eunuch slaves, which obviously carries an offensive connotation to the two-spirit. Two-spirit individuals would be born one gender, and once they realized their true nature, they would take up some or all of the responsibilities of the…


‘The East Is Red’

A Poster for The East Is Red

In my ongoing quest to bring under appreciated films to light, I’ve decided to highlight a film that is not as interesting for its merits as a film, but for the way that it can be used to view the era and culture in which it was made. …


The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks

In the early days of Soviet film there was a great art film boom, led by a large variety of directors. Vsevolod Pudovkin, Sergei Eisenstein, Lev Kuleshov, Dziga Vertov, and many others released film after film that were each wonderful examples of the medium. Unfortunately, a lot of these fantastic films (as well as other great films from around the world) were and remain underappreciated, something that I aim to change. One such film was Lev Kuleshov’s first comedy, The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks, in which Pudovkin wrote, acted, and provided art direction…


Japanese Imperialism in Hokkaido During the Tokugawa Bakufu

A Japanese tourist posing with two Ainu people and their bear

The Japanese, through the Matsumae family, traded heavily with the indigenous Ainu people of Hokkaido, the island just north of mainland Japan, during the unification period, a very lucrative time for both sides. However, by the end of the Tokugawa period, this trade had turned into colonization. Over time the Japanese turned trade into political power, undermining the authority of the Ainu chiefs. When the Ainu fought back, the Japanese easily put them down via military action and embargo. By the time the Tokugawa took over Hokkaido, the Japanese were already nearly in control of the Ainu, economically, culturally, and…

History Roundtable

Owner of a history degree and writer of things that interest me https://twitter.com/HistoRoundtable https://www.facebook.com/historyroundtable/

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