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Smoke billowing over Tulsa, Oklahoma during 1921 race riots

Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus

How can we help students understand George Floyd's death in the context of institutionalized racism?

Cabinet of Curiosities

Martin Luther’s Monsters

Prodigies, or monsters, were opaque and flexible symbols that signaled that God was sending some message.

Suggested Readings

A small panorama of the wetlands and marshes along the Pocomoke River in Worcester county on Maryland's eastern shore

Racism and Black Men’s Health, Ghost Forests, and Troublesome Tweets

Well-researched stories from Atlas Obscura, ScienceLine, and other great publications that bridge the gap between news and scholarship.

Black Radicals

Walter Rodney and W.P.A members exit the Ministry of Labour & Social Security, Guyana - 1970s

Walter Rodney, Guerrilla Intellectual

Walter Rodney’s radical thought and activism led to his eventual killing by a bomb in Guyana, in 1980.

Plant of the Month

Ayecohtli (pictured left) as the scarlet Runner Bean (Phaseolus coccineus): 1931-33 reproduction of The Badianus Manuscript, 1552; Rare Book Collection, Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, DC

Plant of the Month: The Runner Bean

From Aztec medicinal remedies to Darwin’s study of flower pollination, local knowledge about the runner bean reveals the importance of biodiversity.

Most Recent

A massive American Elm tree sits backlit by the rising sun in Overlook Park in northern Portland, Oregon.

Why Learning the Names of Trees Is Good for You

Getting to know trees can lead to new ways of looking at the world.
Roman Street Scene by Ettore Forti

Everyone in Pompeii Got Takeout, Too

Archaeologists have found that snack bars called tabernae fed much of the city in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius.
A grilled cheese sandwich

A Brief History of Comfort Food

Our newest culinary trend is also our oldest.
Francesca Vidotto

Francesca Vidotto: The Quantum Properties of Space-Time

Theoretical physicist Francesca Vidotto on feminist epistemology, white holes, string theory, and her book (with Carlo Rovelli) on loop quantum gravity.

More Stories

Long Reads

A grilled cheese sandwich

A Brief History of Comfort Food

Our newest culinary trend is also our oldest.
Francesca Vidotto

Francesca Vidotto: The Quantum Properties of Space-Time

Theoretical physicist Francesca Vidotto on feminist epistemology, white holes, string theory, and her book (with Carlo Rovelli) on loop quantum gravity.
The parking lot at Hilltop Mall sits empty on March 17, 2020 in Richmond, California.

The Commercial Real-Estate Market’s Impending Crash

Shopping malls are in trouble, as are the commercial mortgage-backed securities built around them. Can another 2008 be averted?
Deathly Hallows Cover

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Build Mental Resiliency in Young Readers

Science fiction offers readers a way to rethink social dilemmas.

Hysteria emerged in the late nineteenth century as a tool of patriarchal power and white supremacy.

The Racialized History of “Hysteria”

An abbey cellarer testing his wine. Illumination from a copy of Li livres dou santé by Aldobrandino of Siena, late 13th century

When Monks Went Undercover to Steal Relics

Because relics were understood to be capable of working miracles, any relic that was stolen must have wanted to be.
A personification of Acedia from between 1550 and 1625

Ancient Monks Got That Quarantine Feeling, Too

Listlessness, boredom, torpor, that "noonday demon" that tempts you away from spiritual connections—that's what was called acedia.
"Spirit" photograph, supposedly taken during a seance, actually a double exposure or composite of superimposed cut-outs, showing woman with portraits of men and women around her head

How Spirit Photography Made Heaven Literal

Are the departed watching over us, and if so, what are they wearing? Victorian spiritualists believed that ghosts could be captured on film.