Berfrois

June 2021

Early Transnational Astronomy in Chile

Early Transnational Astronomy in Chile

Improvisation was part of the technological expedition: a mule was responsible for the Danjon telescope while the astronomer lit a fire to make some smoke...

Read More

Pitch, Please

Pitch, Please

If the Premier League was to market itself as a slick global brand, it needed a product that looked good on television. Muddy, bobbly, patchy pitches would not do...

Read More

Far Sparklers

Far Sparklers

Tonight I walked under the stars through the snow & stopped & looked at my far sparklers & heard the voice of the wind so slight & pure & deep as if it were the sound of the stars themselves revolving...

Read More

Seeing the Light

Seeing the Light

They say that people at the last moment experience a bright light as they enter into a realm of brilliance. You see it represented in paintings of the Resurrection. Everything I was on the verge of losing flew through my imagination...

Read More

Animal Trials by B. Alexandra Szerlip

Animal Trials by B. Alexandra Szerlip

Before writing off animal trials as irrational acts of an ignorant and superstitious past, consider some recent examples...

Read More

Capital Discourse

Capital Discourse

Now that the Americans have also shown themselves capable of committing to a Maoist-like species of cultural revolution, how much more intensely might we expect their French counterparts to get wrapped up in this new frenzy?

Read More

Frolf

Frolf

Not long ago, niche sports cracked the national consciousness only as punch lines. In a now-iconic Seinfeld episode, George Costanza gets a severance package from the Yankees...

Read More

Elucidating Esbjerg

Elucidating Esbjerg

Esbjerg is a seaport town in Denmark. In the story, it’s presented as an obscure place...

Read More

Transgender Rights in Hong Kong

Transgender Rights in Hong Kong

Chan is among a growing number of young people speaking out about gender identity and fighting for inclusion in Hong Kong, where LGBTQ+ issues remain largely taboo...

Read More

German Africans or Germans Abroad?

German Africans or Germans Abroad?

Those in the African colonies, had created a new national identity for themselves as German Africans (Deutsch Afrikaners), rejecting the label of Germans abroad (Auslandsdeutsche) that the metropole used...

Read More

Peacebuilders

Peacebuilders

Peace is far more egalitarian than war, requiring not expensive arms, but simply the freely available, sometimes suppressed human spirit...

Read More

Stoop Space

Stoop Space

If your apartment is too small and familiar to have people over, and your parks and commons are threadbare and inhospitable by incompetence or intent, you go out to restaurants. Here you find public privacy and urbane intimacy...

Read More

Filming the GDR

Filming the GDR

It was not just in liberal consumer societies that families recorded vacations and rites of passage. Home cameras and projectors were also available in socialist societies like the German Democratic Republic...

Read More

Is God a cosmologist?

Is God a cosmologist?

Does the universe have a beginning in time? If so, is it an argument for theism?

Read More

The Appearance of Goodness

The Appearance of Goodness

There are many social-media-savvy people who are choking on sanctimony and lacking in compassion, who can fluidly pontificate on Twitter about kindness but are unable to actually show kindness...

Read More

The industrial revolution was the turning point in global history…

The industrial revolution was the turning point in global history…

In the bigger picture, the economic history of Britain since the mid 19th century is, inevitably, a history of relative economic decline...

Read More

Bibi to Bennett: Berfrois Interviews John Lyndon

Bibi to Bennett: Berfrois Interviews John Lyndon

How will the ousting of Benjamin Netanyahu affect the future of Israeli politics?

Read More

Oscar Mardell: Brutal Cure

Oscar Mardell: Brutal Cure

New Zealand has an innovative legacy of concrete construction dating back to the 1850s...

Read More

Understudied Dimensions of Japan’s Imperial Project

Understudied Dimensions of Japan’s Imperial Project

Although it continued to live on in the memories of its former victims or enemies, in Japan itself memories of empire were excised from the public imagination through selective commemoration and emphasis on the victimhood of ordinary people...

Read More

Pine

Pine

Well I grew up in the New Zealand of country pubs and sheep and macrocarpas; and beyond it, we were told, was a planet structured around the British Empire turning into the Commonwealth turning into... something else...

Read More