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El Jaleo by John Singer Sargent, 1882

What Did Franco’s Spain Do to Spanish Music?

Contemporary Spanish genres like flamenco and zarzuela still carry the weight of cultural associations with Franco’s fascist regime.

Take Two

A still from The Lodger, 1927

Hitchcock’s Transition from London to Hollywood

In England, Alfred Hitchcock cultivated a comedic sensibility that shines through in his Hollywood thrillers.

Suggested Readings

African Grey Parrot

Bad Pain, Good Parrots, and Better Sex Ed

Well-researched stories from CNN, The New Yorker, and other great publications that bridge the gap between news and scholarship.

Security State of Mind

Funeral of Qasem Soleimani, Tehran, Iran on 6 January 2020.

Iran in the Trump Era

President Trump's decision to order the assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani has backfired in spectacular fashion. Why?

Plant of the Month

agave

Plant of the Month: Agave

The international popularity of tequila threatens the quantity, health, and biodiversity of all species of agave.

Most Recent

An advertisement for Schlitz Beer, 1967

Selling Hedonism in Postwar America

The hedonism of American consumer culture is the result of deliberate efforts by mid-twentieth century marketing experts.
Young girls chant as activists rally for climate action at Sydney Town Hall on January 10, 2020 in Sydney, Australia.

The Linguistic Anatomy of a Political Firestorm

The prime minister of Australia has a background in marketing, but with the bush fire crisis, his manipulation of language is only getting him so far.
Hernan Cortes, Spanish Conquistador meeting Moctezuma II Aztec Emperor

The Mexica Didn’t Believe the Conquistadors Were Gods

The indigenous Mexica (Aztec) people were overwhelmed by a superior technological force ruthlessly used against them.
Design for Necklace with Brazilian Beetles, ca. 1900

Insect Jewelry of the Victorian Era

The wing-cases of gold-enameled weevils hung from necklaces; muslin gowns were embroidered with the iridescent green elytra of jewel beetles.

More Stories

Long Reads

Cixin Liu

“To Reach the Pure Realm of the Imaginary:” A Conversation with Cixin Liu

The science fiction author Cixin Liu is best known for his mind-bending trilogy The Three Body Problem.
Robert Brandom

Robert Brandom, a Philosopher’s Philosopher

Robert Brandom’s A Spirit of Trust, a groundbreaking new book on Hegel, seeks to unite analytic philosophy with continental.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Leonardo_da_Vinci_-_Saint_John_the_Baptist_C2RMF_retouched.jpg

Where Do Finger Names Come From?

Our names for our fingers show a surprising depth of cultural variation—and similarity.

Religion scholars argued that the FBI’s impatience at Waco grew out of theological ignorance and unquestioned assumptions.

How Religious Literacy Might Have Changed the Waco Tragedy

Five Green Living Resolutions for 2020

We won't solve all of the pressing environmental problems, but we can help mitigate some.
A tree in a native forest planted by Afforestt

Editors’ Picks: Sustainability and the Environment 2019

The environmental cost of cruise ships, the history of climate science, human fertilizer as waste, and other top stories about sustainability and the environment.
John Tyndall's setup for measuring radiant heat absorption by gases

How 19th Century Scientists Predicted Global Warming

Today’s headlines make climate change seem like a recent discovery. But Eunice Newton Foote and others have been piecing it together for centuries.