Grand procession of Wide-Awakes in New York, October 3, 1860

Abolitionist “Wide Awakes” Were Woke Before “Woke”

“Now the old men are folding their arms and going to sleep,” said William H. Seward while campaigning for Lincoln, “and the young men are Wide Awake.”
Bayard Rustin, 1965

Who Was Bayard Rustin?

And why is he left out of the history of the civil rights movement?

Fake Stone and the Georgian Ladies Who Made It

Coade stone was all the rage in late eighteenth-century architecture, and a mother-and-daughter team was behind it all.
Grapes on a vine

The Great Grape Graft That Saved the Wine Industry

Grape varieties from North America seemed harmless to French winemakers. But destructive bugs were imported with the plants.
South African police beating Black women with clubs after they raided and set a beer hall on fire in protest against apartheid, Durban, South Africa, 1959

The South African Experience with Changing the Police from Within

In states transitioning from authoritarianism to democracy, resistance to police abuses can make or break the larger democratic project, explains one social scientist.
A man nursing a sick person, circa 1850

Blaming People for Getting Sick Has a Long History

Four major theories of disease transmission dominated scientific discourse in the nineteenth century. As one scholar writes, all were political.
Members of the United Kingdom branch of the Gay Liberation Front carry placards during a street protest along Essex Street in London on 12th February 1971.

From Gay Liberation to Marriage Equality

One scholar explains how the LGBT movement became focused on advancing the rights of a narrow set of people at the expense of its once-radical vision.
Rear View Of Man Wearing Yellow Raincoat In Forest During Rain

Resilience: The Basics of a Concept

From the ecological to the social, “resilience” is a buzzword for our crisis-ridden age. But what is resilience exactly, and where did the idea emerge from?
An illustration of Charivari by Jean-Jacques Grandville, 1831

Ye Olde Morality-Enforcement Brigades

The charivari (or shivaree) was a ritual in which people on the lower rungs of a community called out neighbors who violated social and sexual norms.
Illustration of a woman walking with a book

The Library That Walked Across Belgium

What two scholar-artists learned from taking ninety books on a very, very long walk.