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A newspaper vendor reads an edition of the sports colum of a newspaper printed in Russian July 31, 2001 in downtown Baku, Azerbaijan. In accordance with a decree issued by President Heydar Aliyev last June, Azerbaijan had to change all its Azeric writing, including books, newspapers, and street signs from the old Soviet-era Cyrillic to Latin script on August 1.

Alpha. Bravo. Cyrillic.

Free from Russian dictates over language usage and education, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan prepare to embrace Latin lettering. It’s the latest chapter in the region’s fraught history of alphabet reform.

Cabinet of Curiosities

A Zabbal on a Cairo street

Cairo’s Zabbaleen and Secret Life of Trash

In Egypt's capital, members of an impoverished Coptic population strengthen community ties while making a living as ragpickers.

Plant of the Month

Panicum maximum, Guinea Grass

Plant of the Month: Guinea Grass

The West African grass was imported to sustain Caribbean sugar plantations, but it has turned against them, becoming a symbol of resilience and independence.

Media, Democracy

A voter checks in at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3103 polling location on November 8, 2022 in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

What Makes Us Vote the Way We Do?

According to some political scientists, it's more about group identity than personal interests.

Suggested Readings

An Antarctic Fur Seal pup

Seals, Spy Moms, and Chinese Protest

Well-researched stories from Hakai Magazine, Nursing Clio, and other great publications that bridge the gap between news and scholarship.

Most Recent

A Northern freeman enslaved by Northern hands

Kidnappers of Color Versus the Cause of Antislavery

Thousands of free-born Black people in the North were kidnapped into slavery through networks that operated as a form of “Reverse Underground Railroad.”
A young Native American boy learns the Eagle Dance in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, 1952

Understanding the Indian Child Welfare Act

The ICWA wasn’t implemented perfectly, but it reversed a centuries-old pattern of removing Native children from their families and their tribes.
Women strike for peace, picket march in front of state building in Los Angeles, 1961

HUAC versus Women Strike for Peace

American leftists were hamstrung by the Cold War’s domestic clampdown on communism, but in the 1960s, Women Strike for Peace re-wrote the book of dissent.
Nakagin Capsule Tower in 2021

Tearing Down Nakagin Capsule Tower

Japanese Metabolists argued that architecture should be adaptable, changing as a city changed. Why, then, is this icon of Metabolism being dismantled?

More Stories

Cabinet of Curiosities

A Zabbal on a Cairo street

Cairo’s Zabbaleen and Secret Life of Trash

In Egypt's capital, members of an impoverished Coptic population strengthen community ties while making a living as ragpickers.

Plant of the Month

Panicum maximum, Guinea Grass

Plant of the Month: Guinea Grass

The West African grass was imported to sustain Caribbean sugar plantations, but it has turned against them, becoming a symbol of resilience and independence.

Media, Democracy

A voter checks in at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3103 polling location on November 8, 2022 in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

What Makes Us Vote the Way We Do?

According to some political scientists, it's more about group identity than personal interests.

Suggested Readings

An Antarctic Fur Seal pup

Seals, Spy Moms, and Chinese Protest

Well-researched stories from Hakai Magazine, Nursing Clio, and other great publications that bridge the gap between news and scholarship.

Long Reads

A rendering of Van Gogh's Sunflowers vandalized with an orange liquid

Masterpiece Theater

Climate activist attacks on works by van Gogh, Vermeer, and other art world titans are the latest in a tradition of destruction that hearkens to the early Christian zealots.
Johnny Cash at San Quentin State Prison, 1969

Far From Folsom Prison: More to Music Inside

Johnny Cash wasn't the only superstar to play in prisons. Music, initially allowed as worship, came to be seen as a rockin' tool of rehabilitation.

This Revolution Will Be Amplified

From Lil Nas X to Valerie June to Darius Rucker, Black musicians are staking their claim in country music. Francesca T. Royster explains.
two people knee before a white cross and flowers at a makeshift memorial for the five people killed by a gunman during a mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado

Red Flag Laws and the Colorado LGBTQ Club Shooting

What are red flag laws? Could they have prevented the killing at Club Q?

Johnny Cash wasn't the only superstar to play in prisons. Music, initially allowed as worship, came to be seen as a rockin' tool of rehabilitation.

Far From Folsom Prison: More to Music Inside

Homemade Air Fryer potato chips in a paper lined wire basket on dark background

The Fakelore of Food Origins

Where did potato chips come from? How about clams casino? Are the origin stories for these foods true, or do they fall into the category of “fakelore”?
Woman Drinking Coffee by Léon Étienne Tournes, part of the collection of the Gothenburg Museum of Art

The Swedish-American Coffee Tradition

For many Swedish immigrants to the United States, coffee was a key to hospitality and a way to signal prosperity.
Psychic researcher Harry Price X-raying a sealed box which once belonged to religious prophetess Joanna Southcott with his assistant, August 1938

Ghosts of Landed Gentry, But Never the Ghosts of Serfs

Psychical researcher Harry Price combined the power of academic language with a cultural identity crisis to build a reputation as a “scientific” ghost-hunter.