Marshall Islands Wave Charts
Charts constructed of carefully bound sticks served as memory aids, allowing sailors of the Marshall Islands to navigate between the islands by feel.
Lichen Latte, Anyone?
Irrigation and antibiotics might be appropriate treatments for an animal bite—but maybe you’d prefer to sip a steaming lichen-and-pepper latte instead.
Ode to Samuel Delany
Composed half-a-century ago, The Ballad of Beta-2 was a science-fiction vision of the future that speaks directly to our present.
Mills Panoram and Soundies
In the 1940s, these short films set to music transgressed Hollywood’s racial mythology to create space for Black artists to experiment—and have fun.
Venice’s Carnival, Brain Tech, and African Energy
Well-researched stories from Atlas Obscura, Yale Environment 360, and other great publications that bridge the gap between news and scholarship.
Even the Best Jim Crow School…Was Still a Jim Crow School
Before Brown v. Board of Education, Black activists split between integrationist and separatist factions, particularly at New Jersey’s Bordentown School.
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God: Annotated
Jonathan Edwards’s sermon reflects the complicated religious culture of eighteenth-century America, influenced not just by Calvinism, but Newtonian physics as well.
How Stovemakers Helped Invent Modern Marketing
Most people in the United States have a stove in their kitchen. But how did this “must-have” come to be?
An Overview d’état: Are Coups Democracy in Action?
Coups in autocracies are frequently followed by elections, which are then followed by new coup attempts. Why do elections increase coup risk?
Putting Gay Men Back Into History
In the late nineteenth century, historian John Addington Symonds fought back against his colleagues’ refusal to acknowledge historical same-sex relationships.