An illustration of four people standing and wearing masks

Choosing Love over Eugenics

Some writers see contagion as a metaphor for community—proof that we exist within an interdependent network and not as autonomous disconnected islands.
Religious candles placed by religious devotees at a Catholic shrine in San Antonio, Texas.

In Defense of Kitsch

The denigration of kitsch betrays a latent anti-Catholicism, one born from centuries of class and ethnic divisions.
The Visit, 1746, Pietro Longhi

Socially Sanctioned Love Triangles of Romantic-Era Italy

Eighteenth-century Italian noblewomen had one indispensable accessory: an extramarital lover.
A slot machine featuring the faces of Donald Trump and Joe Biden

How Accurate Are Prediction Markets?

Will I get COVID-19? Will I have a job in three months’ time? Will the shops have what I need? Research indicates that markets might not know best.
One Magazine Covers

ONE: The First Gay Magazine in the United States

ONE is a vital archive, but its focus on citizenship and “rational acceptance” ultimately blocked it from being the safe home for all that it claimed to be.
American social reformer and politician Frances Perkins, the Secretary of Labour in Roosevelt's cabinet, arriving in Plymouth aboard US liner Washington en route to Geneva.

Frances Perkins: Architect of the New Deal

She designed Social Security and public works programs that helped bring millions out of poverty. Her work has been largely forgotten.
Nurses react as community members applaud them on April 30, 2020 at NYU Langone Hospital in New York City.

Will Society Remember the Pandemic’s Heroes?

If history is any guide, probably not.
Buster Keaton putting his ear to cannon in a scene from the film 'The General', 1926

What Drove Buster Keaton to Try a Civil War Comedy?

“Someone should have told Buster that it is difficult to derive laughter from the sight of men being killed in battle.”
Daguerre's diorama

Diorama, qu’est-ce que c’est?

Before his daguerreotype, the French inventor Louis Daguerre unveiled a new kind of “virtual reality” on a British stage.
A woman reading a newspaper

Media Literacy & Fake News: A Syllabus

Ten lessons from the past and steps we can take now to educate ourselves and our students about how to be a thoughtful consumer of information.