The Birmingham Brief

Intelligent thought on policy issues.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Birmingham.

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Thursday 28th July 2016

What did Europe mean to William Shakespeare?

Description
Shortly after the news of the referendum result, I heard some English politicians being interviewed on BBC radio. One of them remarked with apparent satisfaction that membership of the European Union had now been rejected by a majority of 'our countrymen.' Another, a woman, observed that the entire referendum campaign had been a very masculine affair, and pointed to her adversary's telling use of the word 'countrymen.' 'I'm sorry,' he replied, 'I have been reading the works of our national poet, and it must have affected my vocabulary.'
Date:
Thursday 28th July 2016
Thursday 9th June 2016

Funding and finding films: British cinema and Brexit

Description
So many books with 'European cinema' in their titles have excellent chapters on Spanish, German, Italian, French and even British cinema, but say nothing about the subject that their covers promise. European cinema denies any hierarchy of its many languages, mixes and matches its stars and treats genres like play-doh.
Date:
Thursday 9th June 2016
Thursday 2nd June 2016

Brexit Poll of Polls: Undecided voters hold the balance

Description
Welcome to the University of Birmingham's Poll of Polls for Britain's European Union referendum. From now until the vote on 23 June, we will be assessing all the major surveys of public opinion to assess what can and cannot be said with confidence about the state of the campaign.
Date:
Thursday 2nd June 2016
Thursday 26th May 2016

Understanding how chimpanzee behaviour in zoos differs from their natural environment

Description
Going to see great apes in the zoo has been part of UK culture since 1835, when the first chimpanzee arrived at London Zoo. But our understanding of great apes' natural behaviour, and thus their welfare needs while in captivity, has changed radically following decades of field studies on wild apes. This includes our own five-year study on orangutans in Indonesia. This improved knowledge has led some to question if we should continue to keep great apes in captivity.
Date:
Thursday 26th May 2016
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