Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

Sor Juana, Founding Mother of Mexican Literature

How a 17th-century nun wrote poetry, dramas, and comedies that took on the inequities and double standards women faced in society.
Algonquin Round Table

The Lonely Hearts of the Algonquin Round Table

The "Vicious Circle" of the Algonquin Round Table included sharp-tongued wits like Dorothy Parker and Alexander Woollcott. But it wasn't always vicious.

The Filipino Novel That Reimagined Neocolonial Gender

Revisiting an essential Asian American work, beloved for its synthesis of neocolonialism, postmodernism, and central queer and female characters.
A dad laughing at his own joke.

The Dubious Art of the Dad Joke

Is it really only dads who can tell dad jokes? And is this corny humor universal? Our linguist takes a deep dive.
Portrait of William Blake, 1807

William Blake, Radical Abolitionist

Blake’s works offer an alternative to the failures of the Enlightenment, which couldn’t muster a consistent argument for abolition.
Phrenology head from The Household Physician, 1905

Walt Whitman, America’s Phrenologist

The pseudoscience of phrenology included a notion of body as text that Whitman loved. But the craze of "bumpology" also had a darker side.
Letitia Elizabeth Landon

The Life of Forgotten Poet Letitia Elizabeth Landon

She was known as the "female Byron." So why doesn't anyone read L.E.L. anymore?
George Orwell

Think Again

Rereading W.H. Auden, George Orwell, and James Baldwin in times of crisis.
Chatterton by Henry Wallis, 1856

The Posthumous Mystique of Thomas Chatterton

He died young of suicide and became the quintessence of the tormented poet. But his death may have been an accident, and his greatest work, forgeries.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby, 2013

What The Great Gatsby Reveals About The Jazz Age

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel embraced jazz, while also falling prey to the racist caricatures associated with it.