An illustration of Rafflesia arnoldii, 1821

Plant of the Month: Corpse Lily

The largest flower on the planet—a gigantic, pungent parasite—reveals deep genetic mysteries and unique conservation challenges.
From Remarks on the new comet. In a letter from William Herschel to Charles Blagden

Caroline Herschel Claims Her Comet

Couching her petition in a mix of modesty and expertise, Herschel became the first woman to have a scientific paper read to the Royal Society of London.
Chinese incense clock that measures time by burning powdered incense along a pre-measured path, with each stencil representing a different amount of time.

Keeping Time with Incense Clocks

As chronicled by Chinese poet Yu Jianwu, the use of fire and smoke for time measurement dates back to at least the sixth century CE.
Miss Charmion, 1904

The “Trapeze Disrobing Act”

Strongwoman Charmion used Thomas Edison’s experiments with moving pictures to encourage women to embrace strength and physical activity.
Legal Corner

Search Warrants and Case Law, a Prison Primer

The laws around search and seizure as they apply to average people, explained by Rafael Torres, an incarcerated Inmate Counsel Substitute in Louisiana.
A statue of a refugee family marks the crossroads of Netaji Nagar

Kolkata and Partition: Between Remembering and Forgetting

In West Bengal’s capital city, suppressing the painful history of the 1947 Partition allows for the celebration of moments of endurance and success.

From Imperialism to Postcolonialism: Key Concepts

An introduction to the histories of imperialism and the writings of those who grappled with its oppressions and legacies in the twentieth century.

The Changing Face of Southern California

An expansive collection of postcards captures the evolving cultural landscape of Southern California—particularly greater Los Angeles—in the twentieth century.
An illustration of the cat Behemoth from The Master and Margarita

The Symbolic Survival of The Master and Margarita

Neither supernatural forces nor Soviet censors were able to suppress individual creativity and determination.
A selection of Akan Gold Weights

Gold Weights and Wind Scales in the Asante Empire

The ornamented tools used to ensure fair market transactions also conveyed the stories and values of the Akan peoples.