ARTS & CULTURE
QAnon as Neo-Noir
The popular conspiracy theory has intriguing parallels with classic noir by Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.
Most Recent
ARTS & CULTURE
Can Bach Make You Buy More Stuff?
Classical music carries an air of sophistication. One scholar tries to figure out whether it also translates into more ka-ching.
POLITICS & HISTORY
Slave Collars in Ancient Rome
The objects purported to speak for the wearer: "Hold me! I have run away."
POLITICS & HISTORY
The Charities That Gave Flowers to the Poor
Presenting impoverished city dwellers with a fresh bouquet might seem condescending. On the other hand, flowers are awesome.
PLANTS & ANIMALS
Tree Bark and Fire
A tree's hard outer bark helps it survive. Studying why it's thicker on some trees than others could help scientists understand how to protect them.
More Stories
Cabinet of Curiosities
The Anatomical Machines of Naples’ Alchemist Prince
Rumor had it that these machines were once the Prince’s servants, whom he murdered and transformed into anatomical displays. Scholars showed otherwise.
Plant of the Month
Plant of the Month: Sarsaparilla
From an early modern treatment for syphilis to Saturday-morning cartoons, the meaning and significance of the plant has transformed through time and space.
Security State of Mind
Settlements and the Israel-Palestine Conflict: Background Reading
Scholarship about Israeli settlement in occupied Palestinian territories provides historical context for recent violence in the region.
Reveal Digital Collections
The Summer of Love Wasn’t All Peace and Hippies
Articles in the underground press capture what's missing from our romanticized memory of that fateful season.
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Trending
POLITICS & HISTORY
Slave Collars in Ancient Rome
The objects purported to speak for the wearer: "Hold me! I have run away."
EDUCATION
What Does It Mean to Call Helen Keller a Fraud?
A TikTok trend is only the most recent example of how people often question the abilities of marginalized groups.
ART & ART HISTORY
The Soap Bubble Trope
Throughout the history of philosophy, literature, art, and science, people have been fascinated with the shimmering surfaces of soap bubbles.
Long Reads
ART & ART HISTORY
The Soap Bubble Trope
Throughout the history of philosophy, literature, art, and science, people have been fascinated with the shimmering surfaces of soap bubbles.
ART & ART HISTORY
The Hunt of the Unicorn Tapestries Depict a “Virgin-Capture Legend”
They’re big in elementary school, but unicorn tableaux also have a complex iconographic history that combines religious and secular myths.
ARTS & CULTURE
Venn Diagram of LGBTQ+ and Gaming Communities Goes Here
Video games offer many LGBTQ+ people avenues for meaning, community, and escape, but in-game cultures of harassment still pose serious problems.
POLITICS & HISTORY
How LGBTQ+ Activists Got “Homosexuality” out of the DSM
The first DSM, created in 1952, established a hierarchy of sexual deviancies, vaulting heterosexual behavior to an idealized place in American culture.
Editors' Picks
POLITICS & HISTORY
Enfranchisement Is the Only Route to Security
In our final security studies column, our columnist posits that security as a permanent mode of government is actually making Americans less secure.
POLITICS & HISTORY
New Jersey Let (Some) Women Vote from 1776 to 1807
Historians Judith Apter Klinghoffer and Lois Elkis argue that this wasn't oversight. New Jersey legislators knew exactly what they were doing.
POLITICS & HISTORY
“Filibuster” Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does
The term "filibuster" used to refer to Americans who went to foreign countries to fight in their wars without the government’s permission.
POLITICS & HISTORY
Religious Identity and Supreme Court Justices
If successful, Amy Coney Barrett would become the 7th current Supreme Court justice to be raised a Catholic, and the sixth conservative Christian.
POLITICS & HISTORY
Should Politics be Civil?
Some political philosophers suggest that arguments about civility are a distraction from the real political issues.
U.S. History
James Baldwin and the FBI
The author was monitored for his political activities, but also for being gay. The surveillance took a toll on him.
Patriotism and the LGBTQ+ Rights Movement
Charged with being "un-American" during the Cold War, activists appealed to American ideals in their quest for full citizenship.
Who Invented the “Mexican” Food of the United States?
The debate over what counts as authentic Mexican food may be moot when there are 7,000 Taco Bells around the world.
Columns
George Washington Williams and the Origins of Anti-Imperialism
Initially supportive of Belgian King Leopold II’s claim to have created a “free state” of Congo, Williams changed his mind when he saw the horrors of empire.
Joanna Koerten’s Scissor-Cut Works Were Compared to Michelangelo
And then, snip by snip, she was cut out of the frame of Renaissance art history.
The “Deviant” African Genders That Colonialism Condemned
European travellers and anthropologists found that their gendered worldview didn’t easily map onto the societies they encountered.
Audio Stories
Why Are So Many Romances Set in the Regency Period?
The British Regency era lasted less than a decade, but it spawned a staggering number of unlikely fictional marriages.
The Self-Styled Sci-Fi Supermen of the 1940s
Way before there were stans, there were slans. Too bad about their fascist utopian daydreams!
A Brief History of the Women’s KKK
The Women’s KKK, an affiliated-but-separate racist organization for white Protestant women, courted members through an insincere “empowerment feminism.”
Syllabus
Politics and Power in the United States: A Syllabus
Historical and scholarly context for the January 6, 2021 insurrection.
Voting in American Politics: A Syllabus
From battles to expand the franchise to the mysteries of turnout, voting is one of the most important things to understand about U.S. politics.
Celebrating Indigenous Peoples and Cultures
More and more states are choosing to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day instead of Columbus Day.
The spread of security, surveillance, and secrecy have had the more general effect of excluding democratic politics from the development of state policies.
Enfranchisement Is the Only Route to Security
Hidden Gems of the Archive
Cinema Journal
Cinema Journal is published by the University of Texas Press on behalf of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.
Central European History
Central European History is published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Conference Group for Central European History of the American Historical Association.
The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism
The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism is published by Wiley on behalf of the American Society for Aesthetics, and it was first issued in 1942.
Open Community Collections
The Unicorns of JSTOR
These rare creatures have by turn—and somewhat paradoxically—been associated with purity, fertility, seduction, healing, sacrifice, immortality, and divinity.
Fall in Love with Fabric Samples
Donald Brothers was a storied Scottish firm that produced amazing fabric designs. Feast your eyes on a selection today.
Victorian Knitting Manuals Collection
The first manuals for knitting were printed in the 1830s. Those interested in the history of knitting will find them a rich primary source for research.
Business
Who Killed the Recumbent Bicycle?
How a dominant technology became viewed as the only option, with no need for better-designed competitors.
A Fistful of Data: Information and the Cattle Industry
Beef barons needed cowboys less and bookkeepers more as the nineteenth century wore on.
The Rise and Fall of Montana’s Christmas-Tree Harvest
Douglas firs weren't great for lumber, but they once made the small town of Eureka the Christmas-tree capital of America.
Religion
The Origins of LGBTQ-Affirming Churches
As far back as the 1940s, religious LGBTQ people organized groups and congregations that welcomed them.
Why Does the Bible Forbid Tattoos?
And have we been misinterpreting Leviticus?
Making Sense of the Divine Right of Kings
The United States threw off the yoke of a king more than two centuries ago. Funny how we can't get enough of our erstwhile sovereigns today.
Economics
Banks’ Own Private Currencies in 19th-Century America
Before the Civil War local banks issued their own money. It was totally legit, too.
Semiconductor Shortages End an Era of Globalization
Our security studies columnist on leanness, supply chains, and resilience in a post-pandemic world.
How the Black Labor Movement Envisioned Liberty
To Reconstruction-era Black republicans, the key to preserving the country’s character was stopping the rise of a wage economy.
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