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Brian Wemp

The Grands Magasins Dufayel, a huge department store built on the northern fringe of late nineteenth-century Paris, had an important cultural influence on the city's working class. In a neighborhood with few public spaces, it provided a consumer version of the public square. It encouraged workers to approach shopping as a social activity, just as the bourgeoisie did at the famous department stores in central Paris. Like the bourgeois stores, it helped transform consumption from a personal transaction between customer and merchant into an unmediated relationship between consumer and goods. Through advertising the store portrayed itself as a space where the working-class visitor could participate in new and exciting forms of entertainment and technology. Its unique instore cinema and exhibits of inventions like X-ray machines and the gramophone created a new kind of urban space that celebrated the close relationship between technology and consumer culture.

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Of Traiteurs and Tsars

Potel et Chabot and the Franco-Russian Alliance

Willa Z. Silverman

Between 1893 and 1901, the Parisian traiteur Potel et Chabot catered a series of gala meals celebrating the recent Franco-Russian alliance, which was heralded in France as ending its diplomatic isolation following the Franco-Prussian War. The firm was well adapted to the particularities of the unlikely alliance between Tsarist Russia and republican France. On the one hand, it represented a tradition of French luxury production, including haute cuisine, that the Third Republic was eager to promote. On the other, echoing the Republic’s championing of scientific and technological progress, it relied on innovative transportation and food conservation technologies, which it deployed spectacularly during a 1900 banquet for over twenty-two thousand French mayors, a modern “mega-event.” Culinary discourse therefore signaled, and palliated concerns about, the improbable nature of the alliance at the same time as it revealed important changes taking place in the catering profession.

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Brett Bowles

The politics of French and German cinema between the onset of the Great Depression and the end of World War II is far from a new topic of study. However, scholars have typically focused on one country or the other, rather than comparing the two, and prioritized high-profile directors (for example, Jean Renoir, Jean-Paul Le Chanois, Leni Riefenstahl, and Veit Harlan) whose work benefited from direct party sponsorship and served a clearly propagandistic function. Reflecting the evolution of cultural history and film studies over the past decade, this collection of essays seeks to enrich the traditional approach in three ways. The first is by expanding the definition of politics beyond official party or state discourse to include power-related issues such as representation of gender and gender roles; access to material resources including funding and technology; relationships between film creators and industry or government officials; and competition between commercial and ideological priorities in film production, censorship, and distribution.

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Elizabeth C. Macknight

This article presents two case studies, from Scotland and the Scottish Islands, of communities' engagement with archives and their attitudes toward heritage. The case studies arise out of knowledge transfer between an historian employed in an academic role at a Scottish university and two “third sector“ organizations. By comparing the perspectives of historians, archivists, and community organizations the article shows the different ways in which these separate interest groups perceive the value of archives. It then points to some of the possibilities and challenges of working collaboratively to deepen understanding about the past and to create wider opportunities, now and in the future, for historical interpretation, teaching, learning, and research. In the era of digital technologies, it is recommended that undergraduate students be taught the key concepts of archival theory and practice, while also being encouraged to experience working with original archival documents.

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Matthew Trundle

classical Athens? He argues that a “civilizing process,” alongside the rise of the modern nation-state that holds a monopoly on force, has led to a decline of violence. 1 He adds that the growing significance of commerce and technologies have facilitated

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Joanna Bourke

Violent practices, technologies, and symbols increasingly permeate our everyday lives. This is the fact that Pinker seeks to debunk. He attempts to do so in five ways: by selectively choosing his data; minimizing certain harms; adopting an

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Introduction

History, Violence, and Steven Pinker

Mark S. Micale and Philip Dwyer

geochronological perspectives are thematic articles that take up sexual violence, violence and the history of science and technology, and violence and neurohistory. We are keenly aware that many additional histories (above all, of China) could profitably be

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Mark S. Micale

oversight. The fate of animals living in nature simply cannot be reconciled with Pinker’s thesis. It is crystal clear that capitalist consumerism and the explosive growth of human population, when combined with ever more powerful technologies, have been

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Nicole Hudgins

propagandists during the war, as well as modern- day critics and photo editors, presented (and present) modern ruins as unprecedented horrors. Daryl Lee has argued that the appearance of ruins produced suddenly by man-made technology in the nineteenth century

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Getting Medieval on Steven Pinker

Violence and Medieval England

Sara M. Butler

transfusions; surgery with anesthetics; x-ray and ultrasound technologies; antibiotics; pain relief. Most people who are shot or stabbed today survive; the same was not true in the Middle Ages. Without anesthetics, surgery intended to heal sent some patients