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Soap Bubbles by Jean Simeon Chardin, ca.1733

The Soap Bubble Trope

Throughout the history of philosophy, literature, art, and science, people have been fascinated with the shimmering surfaces of soap bubbles.

Security State of Mind

A view of part of the Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim on January 28, 2020 in Maale Adumim, West Bank.

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.

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.

Black Radicals

Engraved portrait of George Washington Williams

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.

Reading Lists

Employees of Ottenheimer on strike for poor treatment

The Global History of Labor and Race: Foundations and Key Concepts

How have workers around the world sought to change their conditions, and how have racial divisions affected their efforts?

Most Recent

An anatomical machine of Prince Raimondo di Sangro

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.
James Baldwin

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.
Advertisement for Ayer's Sarsaparilla

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.
The cover of the July, 1964 issue of ONE Magazine

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.

More Stories

Security State of Mind

A view of part of the Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim on January 28, 2020 in Maale Adumim, West Bank.

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.

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.

Black Radicals

Engraved portrait of George Washington Williams

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.

Reading Lists

Employees of Ottenheimer on strike for poor treatment

The Global History of Labor and Race: Foundations and Key Concepts

How have workers around the world sought to change their conditions, and how have racial divisions affected their efforts?

Long Reads

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.

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.

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.

The Truth about Lying

You can’t spot a liar just by looking, but psychologists are zeroing in on methods that might actually work.

"On plantations, masters had to decide when and how to announce news [of the Emancipation Proclamation] … and it was not uncommon for them to delay until after the harvest." —Henry Louis Gates Jr.

The Story of Juneteenth

1 Dollar, Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank of Rahway, New Jersey, 1850

Banks’ Own Private Currencies in 19th-Century America

Before the Civil War local banks issued their own money. It was totally legit, too.
A recumbent bicycle in 1935

Who Killed the Recumbent Bicycle?

How a dominant technology became viewed as the only option, with no need for better-designed competitors.
President Joe Biden holds a semiconductor during his remarks before signing an Executive Order on the economy

Semiconductor Shortages End an Era of Globalization

Our security studies columnist on leanness, supply chains, and resilience in a post-pandemic world.