The Ancient Origins of Werewolves

Tanika Koosmen, University of Newcastle The werewolf is a staple of supernatural fiction, whether it be film, television, or literature. You might think this snarling creature is a creation of the Medieval and Early Modern periods, a result of the superstitions surrounding magic and witchcraft. In reality, the werewolf is far older than that. The…

Why Universal Credit is Like The Victorian Workhouse

Alannah Tomkins, Keele University The UK’s Universal Credit programme, which aims to roll six forms of state welfare including unemployment and housing benefits into one, was launched in 2010 with the aim of supporting people to work. So far it has resulted in real hardship for numerous claimants. In early January, the minister in charge…

Guide to the Classics: Juvenal, the True Satirist of Rome

Robert Cowan, University of Sydney An angry man stands at the crossroads and rails against the moral cesspit around him, teeming with sexual deviants and jumped-up immigrants. This is the image which the Roman poet Juvenal paints of the satirist castigating the vices of contemporary Rome. Juvenal’s Satires provide a fascinating window onto the social…

The Myth of the American Frontier Still Shapes U.S. Racial Divides

J.M. Opal, McGill University When Americans study their 19th-century history, they tend to look at its great conflicts, especially the epic clash over slavery. They are less likely to recall its broad areas of agreement. But what if those agreements are still shaping the present? What if Americans are still coping with their effects? The…

Legends of the Squared Circle: A History of Mexican Lucha-Libre (Part One)

In July of this year Mexico City declared that lucha-libre, the Mexican sport of professional wrestling, was Intangible Cultural Heritage, giving the sport a status to stand alongside any other of the many cultural and historic riches that the Mexico can offer. The status was applied using the international standards on intangible heritage set forth…