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From East to West: The Western in the US and USSR

The Western is a genre of movie that does not get as much love as it once did. The last Western to win best picture was 1992’s Unforgiven. Digg.com has a great visualization of the popularity of genres over the years. Their charts show a steady decline in the prevalence of the Western. There are a few exceptions, Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (2012) and the Coen Brothers, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) stand as modern masterpieces. However the classic Western stands as both a uniquely American genre, and as one relatable across the globe. The Western serves as a coping mechanism with issues of empire, as well as celebrates an American mythic origin story. Yet despite this, the We

Hitler's Foreign Legions: Volunteer Units on the Eastern Front

Within the borders of the Third Reich, the Nazi Propaganda Ministry, led by Joseph Goebbels, painted the country’s war against the Soviet Union as one of annihilation. The overarching goal of Operation Barbarossa was the complete destruction of “Jewish-Bolshevism” and “Asiatic-Barbarism” as well as the conquest of Slavic lands for use as German living space [1]. The racial and ideological basis for the war was best captured in the Barbarossa Jurisdiction Order, signed by Chief of the Wehrmacht High Command Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel on 13 May 1941, just over a month before the invasion was to begin. It specified that the goal of the war was the destruction of the Soviet Union and to rea

How the U.S. Stole Hawaii

Even the date of Hawaii’s first settlement is contested. Somewhere between as early as 124 CE and as late as after 1120 CE, the first people settled permanently on the island after sailing north from Polynesia. The history of Hawaii from before European contact is shrouded in myth, as the Hawaiians had no written language and understood their history through genealogical chants that do not include dates. Through most of their long history, the islands were not unified and the ali’i, or nobles, ruled small kingdoms that often warred with each other. Over the course of 15 years, Kamehameha the Great unified all of the Hawaiian islands but Kaua’i, which he vassalized. It was during this period

Are NGOs and Constitutions protecting the rights of Local Communities in South America?

The constitutions of Ecuador, Bolivia, and Brazil protect indigenous people by recognizing indigenous rights in their new constitutions, but amending constitutions is not enough to help indigenous people and local communities who have been marginalized by governments and private organizations. Indigenous people have the right to be free, practice their religious, cultural, and spiritual beliefs, to own their land and territories, to have their sacred places protected, to have their traditional ecological knowledge be respected, and to “live in a healthy environment with appropriate management and exploitation of the ecosystems”[1]. The language used in these constitutions suggests that Indi

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