A man looks through his medicine cabinet in the bathroom, circa 1955.

The Long Life of the Nacirema

An article that turned an exoticizing anthropological lens on US citizens in 1956 began as an academic in-joke but turned into an indictment of the discipline.
Illustration of the Earth's layers

Earth’s Core, Anti-Obesity Drugs, and Cosmic Mystery

Well-researched stories from Wired, Black Perspectives, and other great publications that bridge the gap between news and scholarship.
Yellow bicycle helmet upside-down isolated on red background

Tiny Worlds, Bike Helmets, and a Unique Sign Language

Well-researched stories from Nursing Clio, Smithsonian Magazine, and and other great publications that bridge the gap between news and scholarship.
old morse key telegraph on wood table

The Colonial History of the Telegraph

Gutta-percha, a natural resin, enabled European countries to communicate with their colonial outposts around the world.
Two youths in Uptown Chicago, 1974

When Uptown Chicago was “Hillbilly Heaven”

In the 1960s, white Appalachian workers attempted to put down roots in Chicago by building an integrated model neighborhood called Hank Williams Village.
An unidentified neo-Nazi gives a speech from a podium under a 'White Power' banner in Lafayette Park surrounded by his followers who are, in turn, surrounded by police watching for trouble, Washington DC, July 3, 1973.

Is Racism a Disease?

Since the 1940s, mental health professionals have repeatedly debated the question of whether (some forms of) racism can be classified as a disease.
Two wealthy Chinese opium smokers

Opium’s History in China

Opium has been used as a medicinal and recreational substance in China for centuries, its shifting meanings tied to class and national identity.
Virgin of Guadalupe, 1779

Abstinence By Juramentos

Long before Dry January became a thing, Mexicans were using a similar program of temporary abstinence based on a pledge to the Virgin of Guadalupe.
illustration of a boat on a river that was part of the dunbar-hunter expedition in 1804-1805.

Thomas Jefferson’s Gourmand Explorers

Jefferson’s government organized several western expeditions. Some carried luxurious supplies of food, some enjoyed local hospitality, and some nearly starved to death.
The Thames Police

Creating the “Criminal Class”

In the late eighteenth century, Glasgow magistrate Patrick Colquhoun argued that immoral living had created a distinct class of people with weak characters.