A manz

How Linguists Are Using Urban Dictionary

Urban Dictionary continues a long history of recording low-brow language. It’s also a repository of a specific kind of internet immaturity.
A collection of Native American utensils and weapons

What We Lose When We Lose Indigenous Knowledge

By mistaking a culture's history for fantasy, or by disrespecting the wealth of indigenous knowledge, we're keeping up a Columbian, colonial tradition.
A tall bookcase of old books

Who Decides Which Books Are “Great?”

The concept of “Great Books," the historian Tim Lacy explains, developed in the late nineteenth century as an attempt to foster a “democratic culture.”
Sylvia Beach outside of Shakespeare & Co., circa 1935

The Patron Saint of Bookstores

100 years ago, Sylvia Beach, the first publisher of James Joyce’s Ulysses, opened the doors to her legendary bookstore, Shakespeare & Co.
The cover of A Book to Burn by Li Zhi

Burn This Book!

Li Zhi’s exasperation with the corruption, greed, and superficiality of the powerbrokers in his society fueled his rebellious writing.
TS Eliot

T.S. Eliot

Remembering the famous modernist poet T.S. Eliot with his poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."
An illustration from the cover of Grendel by John Gardner

The Question of Race in Beowulf

J.R.R. Tolkien’s seminal scholarship on Beowulf centers a white male gaze. Toni Morrison focused on Grendel and his mother as raced and marginal figures.
The covers for "The Bluest Eye" and "Beloved" by Toni Morrison and "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou

Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark

Books and other art are often censored for covertly racist reasons.
HG Wells, 1904

H.G. Wells’s Letters to Cora Crane

The correspondence between famous novelist H.G. Wells and Cora Crane, the partner of "The Red Badge of Courage" author Stephen Crane.