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Football and Epidemics: A Matter of Life and Death

The Coronavirus has brought chaos to global sport with major football matches played behind closed doors and postponements widespread across elite football, despite Government insistence that the show would go on.
Here Dr Tosh Warwick reveals how the threat of COVID-19 has echoes of a Victorian epidemic that brought controversial postponements, matches played in secret and conflict between clubs and sport’s governing bodies…

The Slippery History of the Dental Dam

As an object, the dental dam awkwardly straddles the history of AIDS activism and queer sexuality, acting as an assertion that sex doesn’t require the presence of a penis to be real sex, while acknowledging simultaneously that such sex still carries risks. The dental dam was deployed as an object for sexual use in an attempt to abate the risk of HIV transmission, but its questionable efficacy as a barrier against the virus has reduced it, for some at least, to a latex relic of historical fears.

Birmingham Revolutions: Protest in the Museum

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery holds hand-painted banners from the first political union in Britain founded in the 1820s, a plaque made from plaster scraped from the walls of Wormwood Scrubs by a First World War conscientious objector and over 100 badges collected by a local supporter of the miners’ strikes to name a few items, and this exhibition is presenting this hidden collection to the public in many cases for the first time.