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.
terra cotta warriors in Xi'an China

What Does Archaeology Have to do with Nationalism?

Many nations have adopted origin stories in order to link themselves more closely to heroic, historical figures.
Jack O Lantern

Halloween Stories

Why are Victorians the default haunted house, what do ghosts have to do with the imagination, and why do we like to be scared?
mummy brown painting

When Artists Painted with Real Mummies

The popular paint pigment called “mummy brown” used to be made from—yep—ground-up Egyptian mummies.
krazy kat comic

Krazy Kat’s Complex Relationship with Race

Behind the slapstick antics in this beloved comic strip simmered ambivalence about color and race.
hawaii stars lava mana

The Mysterious Mana of Speaking

The Austronesian concept of "mana" helps us understand that behind the monolithic "magic" of modern power and authority, there is a fragile human dimension.
francis willughby crows

The First True Ornithologist

Though he was once dismissed as a dilettante, naturalist Francis Willughby was in fact part of the vanguard of observation-based modern science.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Percy Bysshe Shelley

Mary Shelley’s Obsession with the Cemetery

The author of Frankenstein always saw love and death as connected. She visited the cemetery to commune with her dead mother. And with her lover.
Judy Garland A Star is Born

Did A Star is Born Make Judy Garland a Gay Icon?

One scholar argues that Judy Garland's role in A Star is Born was so pivotal because it involved both gender impersonation and “racial drag."
pioneer plaque

Art in Space

Artists may soon be heading to the moon for the first time, but art and space travel have been linked together since the beginning.