Saturday, April 10, 2021

The Hidden History of Women and the IRA

Women have been part of the IRA from the start, but their stories remain largely untold. Their roles—their radicalization, training, combat, and varying levels of conviction or remorse—form a hidden history. During the Troubles, dozens of women were imprisoned for IRA activity. Some who survived the conflict have renounced their former army; others remain committed to the armed struggle into their seventies.

“Women terrorists are more fanatical and have a greater capacity for suffering,” says theorist Walter Laqueur. “Their motivation is predominantly emotional and can not be shaken through intellectual argument.”

Perhaps we prefer to believe that the girls and women of the IRA and other radical groups were somehow tricked into joining, that they were naïve, that a man was somewhere in the background pulling the strings. We tend to assume that women are inherently peaceful, especially once they have children. But motherhood can actually be a spur to join a terror movement, not a deterrent. Some IRA women viewed their struggle as a way to provide a different sort of life for their children, a peaceful one.

read more @ CrimeReads

Friday, January 1, 2021

Research into 9,000-year-old Wilamaya Patjxa burial site suggests women were big-game hunters

A new discovery of an ancient burial site shows just how much we still don’t know about ancient societies. A 9,000-year-old burial site in southern Peru potentially shows that what we’ve longed believed about gender roles in hunter-gatherer societies might be a bit off.

Anthropology professor Randall Haas and a team of experts have published a report that “challenge[s] the man-the-hunter hypothesis” concerning the division of work amongst males and females in ancient times. Published in Science Advances, the study titled “Female hunters of the early Americas” builds upon the discovery of remains and more than 20,000 artefacts in the Andean highlands at a 9,000-year-old burial site called Wilamaya Patjxa.


The study points out that in recent hunter-gatherer societies, big-game hunting has been “overwhelmingly male-biased.” But, Haas and his team have shown evidence from Wilamaya Patjxa that this may not have always been the case amongst ancient societies that would have required all-hands-on-deck to procure big-game. In addition to communal hunting, Wilamaya Patjxa findings suggests that child rearing would have been a shared task, freeing up more men, women, and children to partake in hunts.


read more here @ Art Critique

Ancient manuscripts reveal the role of 17th century women

More than analyzing textual and linguistic structures and interpreting ancient writings, Philology as a human science can surprise us and reveal “existing layers of a society” from the past. This was the case in a study that transcribed “Letters of Dates”, a kind of land deed, from Jundiaí, in the middle of the 17th century. At the time, amid requests for possession, widowed, married and single women they were among the “supplicants” of extensive areas, addressed to the public power of the city. The ancient manuscripts (1657), which date from the colonial period, are now filed at the Memory Center of the municipality of Jundiaí, in the interior of the State of São Paulo, and were the object of study by researcher Kathlin Carla de Morais, from the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences (FFLCH) from USP.

According to the study, this intertwining of religious, political and cultural powers can be explained in this period by the fact that the city councils were the regulators of everything that happened in the region. The guidelines they followed were inspired by sources from the Portuguese judicial system, which dealt with the State’s relations with the Church and guided civil and commercial processes, based on Roman and canon law. This land concession scheme lasted until the 19th century with the Land Law (1850), which started to use the purchase and sale model for the acquisition of floors.


read more here @ Indian Education Diary

Science, art combine to reveal face of ancient Peruvian noblewoman

Peruvians’ view of their remote ancestors has taken on a new immediacy thanks to the innovative reconstruction of the face of an upper class women buried some 3,700 years ago.

“She has a great resemblance to a woman of today,” archaeologist Dayanna Carbonel told Efe, referring to the “Lady of El Paraiso,” whose tomb was discovered in 2016.

Carbonel leads the team carrying out excavations at the vast El Paraiso complex, home to the oldest known temples on the central coast of what is now Peru.


The bust, with its long face, prominent nose and cheekbones, small eyes and narrow mouth, is on display at Lima’s Andres Del Castillo Mineral Museum, which financed the reconstruction and gave Efe an exclusive first look at the result of nearly two years’ work.

Anthropometric analysis of the skeletal remains provided a basis for determining the dimensions and shape of the face of the Lady of El Paraiso, who stood just 1.5m (4ft 9in) tall and was between the ages of 20 and 25 at her death.


read more here @ La Prensa Latina Media

Saturday, December 12, 2020

BC names new Calderwood University Professor in Islamic and Asian Art

Emine Fetvaci, a prominent scholar and accomplished teacher whose research areas include the arts of the book in the Islamic world, and Ottoman, Mughal, and Safavid art and architecture, has been appointed to Boston College’s Norma Jean Calderwood University Professorship in Islamic and Asian Art, effective January 1, 2021.

Emine Fetvaci

Emine Fetvaci (Daniel Star)

"Emine Fetvaci is one of the world's leading scholars of Ottoman painting, and she is playing an important role in redefining Islamic art history by exploring Islamic art in conversation with a broader early modern world,” said Boston College Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences Dean Gregory Kalscheur, S.J.

“She brings to Boston College both this scholarly expertise and a deep commitment to formative liberal arts teaching. I am delighted that she will be joining us as the Calderwood Professor of Islamic and Asian Art."

read more here @ Boston College


Four leading female academics enter race to become Trinity provost

Four leading female academics have put their names forward for the position of provost of Trinity College Dublin.

Prof Linda Doyle, former dean of research; Prof Linda Hogan, former vice-provost; Prof Jane Ohlmeyer, professor of history and chairwoman of the Irish Research Council; and Dr Sarah Alyn-Stacey, associate professor in French, have all confirmed to colleagues that they have applied for the position.

Provost Patrick Prendergast is due to finish his 10-year term on July 31st, 2021, and the next head of Trinity will take over the following day.


The identity of any other applicants is unknown as the initial interview process is confidential.

However, the number of senior female academics who have entered the race raises the possibility that Trinity could have its first female provost in its 428-year history.

Applications for the position of provost closed at midday on Friday, and initial interviews will take place during December and January.


read more here @ Irish Times

Abortion and Contraception in the Middle Ages

Today, conversations around abortion in modern Christianity tend to take as a given the longstanding moral, religious and legal prohibition of the practice. Stereotypes of medical knowledge in the ancient and medieval worlds sustain the misguided notion that abortive and contraceptive pharmaceuticals and surgeries could not have existed in the pre-modern past.

This could not be further from the truth.

While official legal and religious opinions condemned the practice, often citing the health of women, a wealth of medical treatises produced by and for wealthy Christian women across the Middle Ages betray a radically different history—one in which women had a host of pharmaceutical contraceptives, various practices for inducing miscarriages, and surgical procedures for the termination of pregnancies. When it came to saving a woman’s life, Christian physicians unhesitatingly recommended these procedures.


read more here @ Scientific American


Thursday, November 26, 2020

Scotland becomes first nation to provide free period products for all

Scotland has become the first country in the world to provide free and universal access to period products after a four-year campaign that has fundamentally shifted the public discourse around menstruation.

The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act, which passed unanimously through its final stage on Tuesday evening, will place a legal duty on local authorities to make period products available for all those who need them, building on the work of councils like North Ayrshire, which has been providing free tampons and sanitary towels in its public buildings since 2018.


Period poverty – the struggle to pay for basic sanitary products on a monthly basis – has surged during the coronavirus pandemic, according to charities.

Earlier research by the grassroots group Women for Independence revealed that nearly one in five women had experienced period poverty, which has a significant impact on their hygiene, health and wellbeing. Women are estimated to spend an average of £13 a month on period products and several thousand pounds over a lifetime.

The legislation will also enshrine in law the requirement for schools, colleges and universities to provide the products for free, which was announced by first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, in 2017. This was then a world first, while the Scottish government has also funded a project in Aberdeen to deliver free period products to low-income households as well as a further £4m for councils to continue the roll-out to other public places.

In the interim, a number of individual businesses – restaurants, pubs and even football clubs – started providing free products independently. It has become increasingly common in Scotland to walk into a women’s toilet and find free products by the sinks, or with an honesty box.

read more here @ The Guardian

Sunday, November 15, 2020

The True Story of Rose Dugdale - The Woman Who Stole Vermeer

From CrimeReads:
When Rose Dugdale became international news in the mid-1970s, she emerged as an emblem of the times. Fiery, bold, and brash, she defied the conventions of her birth and of her gender in everything from action to attire. At the same time, she was generous, articulate, and unquestionably bright. Her criminality, combined with her lineage, her degree from Oxford, and her doctorate in economics, made her a curiosity to journalists not only in Ireland and Britain but in North America as well. She was media gold, having abandoned a life of wealth and leisure to take up arms in operations that would almost certainly, if not intentionally, lead her to prison.


Dugdale was also a radical, not just politically but criminally. No woman before her or since has ever committed anything resembling the art thefts for which she served as mastermind, leader, and perpetrator. For these and other crimes, she carries no regrets or remorse and offers no alibis. The ethical decisions she made during her life were her own, formed after years of intense study in universities and on the ground, from Cuba to Belfast.

Hers was an age of conflict. The antiwar movement, assassinations and riots in the United States, massive student protests in major cities in Europe, civil wars from Guatemala to Ethiopia, a recent revolution in Cuba, a coup in Portugal, and the Troubles in Northern Ireland— these were the fires burning around the world, and she studied all of them.

Her unbridled zeal for her causes was the topic of countless contemporaneous journalistic opinions, and they typically lay somewhere on a continuum, with “Reluctant Debutante Rebelling against Her Parents” at one end and “Poor Little Rich Girl Radicalized by Her Boyfriend” at the other. In fact, neither of these is completely accurate. Yes, there are elements of rebellion against her parents’ wealth, and it is indeed correct that her militancy intensified while she was with boyfriend Walter Heaton, but the truth is that her convictions were the result of her own studies, her own mind, and her own soul. Rose Dugdale was her own person—not her parents’, not Heaton’s, and not the IRA’s.


read more here from Anthony Amore @ CrimeReads