Commencement vocab visualization

The Delightful Language of Commencement

Commencement speeches have inspired, motivated and captivated many. Just what makes the words found in them so wonderful and life-affirming? 

Geek Love: Our Modern Monster Story

The writer Katherine Dunn died last week at age 70. Anyone who ever felt like an outsider found a friend in her 1989 novel Geek Love.

“What a lark! What a plunge!”: Celebrating Mrs. Dalloway

Mrs. Dalloway was published on May 14, 1925. We look at the book 90+ years on.
College Hall opened in 1875 as the main building of Smith College.

Daniel Aaron: Americanist

Daniel Aaron, a forerunner in the field of American Studies, has passed away at 103.
Sigrid Undset

The Best Book You’ve Never Read

The best book you've never read may just be 'Kristin Lavransdatter,' which won its author Sigrid Undset the Nobel Prize in 1928.
Mr. Bumble, full-length, standing, facing left, pointing with right hand. Illus. in: The Characters of Charles Dickens pourtrayed (sic) in a series of original water colour sketches by "Kyd", color lithograph, Raphael Tuck & Sons, London, ca. 1899.

Charles Dickens and the Linguistic Art of the Minor Character

Charles Dickens' characters are famous for their elaborate, often hilarious names. Even for bit parts, Dickens' naming conventions were linguistically rich.
anti-Mormon illustration

How Victorian Writers Eroticized Mormons

Victorian anti-Mormonism meant 19th-century Americans were both fascinated and frightened by Mormons' marriage and sexual practices.
A mother and daughter sitting in the living room together.

The One Thing Parents Really Need

The prologue of Catherine Newman’s new parenting memoir Catastrophic Happiness: Finding Joy in Childhood’s Messy Years, evocatively called ...
The Ghost Road, The Eye in the Door, Regeneration, by Pat Barker

Women Write War Fiction, Too

Women do write war fiction, and that oft-ignored body of literature deserves another look.
The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee

A Conversation with Alexander Chee

While fact-checking his critically acclaimed novel about an enigmatic soprano of the Paris Opera , Chee happened upon a piece of information on JSTOR he could not ignore.