The Butler Scholarly Journal


  1. The use of portraits as political tools in the courts of early modern Europe

    The infamous painting of Henry VIII by Hans Holbein is one of the best-known images in English history. Instantly recognisable in the modern era, the portrait successfully exemplifies the authority and power of the Tudor king. It still springs to mind at the mention of his name, five hundred years on from the painting’s completion. […]

  2. Butler Talk: Broadcasting the News, Reflecting our Communities

    As part of the college’s Butler Talks, ITV correspondent Helen Ford visited the college in early November. ITV regularly holds their diversity panel, run by Helen, which is made up of members of the public and Josephine Butler students. Thus, the topic of representing diversity in television formed the majority of the talk. After a […]

  3. An Examination of the Anti-Vaccination Movement

    Between June 2007 and February 2015, it is estimated that there were 8,973 deaths in the United States that could have been prevented through vaccination. (1) Since the advent of vaccines by Jenner and Pasteur, there has been opposition towards them, with a multitude of social and political reasons contributing to this. (2) However, the […]

  4. Exploring the Risks of an Inactive Lifestyle for Children

    Physical Activity – ‘Any bodily movement produced by the skeletal muscles that results in an increase in metabolic rate over resting energy expenditure’. (1) Clearly a controversial term to define, yet a consensus appears to have been reached between many academics and clinicians as to what the term ‘physical activity’ should represent. That said, we […]

  5. The Value of Verticality: Why assessing the environmental impact of skyscrapers needs to look beyond building design

    With increasing urban density, skyscraper construction is on the rise. In 2014 alone, 97 skyscrapers were built worldwide, a record for a one-year period (1). In this context, some urban planners and preservationists portray tall buildings as environmentally harmful (2), concentrating on how unsustainable design features create an ‘urban evil’ which is detrimental to the […]

  6. Bioterrorism: Are Biological Weapons a Serious Threat?

    Although science has been hailed with many great discoveries and has saved many lives, it has also been exploited and used to create weapons. Bioterrorism describes the deliberate use of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses or toxins to spread diseases that threaten the lives of many. They are often genetically modified to be incredibly infectious […]

  7. Polari: How Bona to Vada Your Eek!

    After the global media caused uproar at the Sochi Olympics regarding Russia’s new legislation condemning non-traditional relationships, almost an echo of the English 1885 Labouchere Amendment, Ireland has become the newest country to vote for the freedom to marry among homosexual couples by a popular vote. Occurring less than a year apart, both events have […]

  8. The Emergence of Time Within the Spacial System of Comics

    To define the concept of emergence as ‘a process whereby larger entities, patterns, and regularities arise through interactions among smaller or simpler entities that themselves do not exhibit such properties’ (1) helps us to better understand print as Marshall McLuhan saw it: a fundamentally emergent technology. The new oil base for printing came ‘from the […]

  9. Identity and Emergence: A Radical Relationship

    The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue – Antisthenes Throughout the twentieth century the social sciences underwent a shift toward symbolic and cultural studies, which placed the issue of identity at the core of these disciplines. The dismissal of identity as an essential property rooted […]

  10. Simulated Life and Mathematical Abstraction: Emergent Behaviour, Emerging Concepts

    ‘Consider an infinite two-dimensional square grid.’ It does not have the same impact as the old physics joke of ‘assuming a spherical cow in a vacuum’ (1) in terms of humour (or at least, science humour), but the statement may well seem equally absurd. For a start the mind cannot truly visualise anything infinite; we […]