Emily Dickinson

Marketing Emily Dickinson as a Children’s Poet

Some of Emily Dickinson's poems were first published in children's magazines, in what one scholar calls a "marketing ploy gone awry."
An X-Men comic book cover

The Assimilationist Mythology of the X-Men

Stan Lee's X-Men comics explored themes of prejudice and bigotry. So why weren't the original comics that diverse?
Lakeport Plantation, c. 1859 and built south of Lake Village, is the only remaining antebellum plantation house on the Mississippi River in Arkansas.

How the Enslaved People of Arkansas Fought Back

Though there was never a unified uprising that made it into the history books, the enslaved people of Arkansas rebelled and resisted in significant ways.
Robert Reed who played Mike Brady on the Brady Bunch

The “Queer Innocence” of the Brady Bunch

The squeaky-clean Brady Bunch family symbolized the avoidance of the sexual revolution, feminism, and other social forces that were coming to the fore.
Vintage engraving from 1876 of a old victorian haunted house.

How Victorian Mansions Became the Default Haunted House

Quick: Picture a haunted house. It's probably a Victorian mansion, right? Here's how these structures became signifiers of horror, haunting, and death.
Boake Carter

Before Rush Limbaugh, There Was Boake Carter

When Boake Carter opened his mouth, he whipped up tempers and tempests. But who was he?
Oklahoma play

Oklahoma! Changed Musical Theater Forever. Or Did It?

Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical was revolutionary in the way it “integrated” music, dance, and dialogue. Or was that language just a marketing ploy?
Charlotte Perkins Gilman

“The Yellow Wallpaper” and Women’s Pain

Charlotte Gilman wrote her famous short story in response to her own experience having her pain belittled and misunderstood by a male physician.
Jars of peach jam on table

The Nostalgic Pleasure of Preserves

Home canning was once a necessity, but even then the process was often defined by sensory pleasures and a deep sense of satisfaction.
Wheelmen

When Cyclists Made Up an Entire Political Bloc

The League of American Wheelmen was originally intended to spread bicycle appreciation. The 1896 presidential election changed all that.