bored woman

On Embracing Boredom

What does "boredom" even mean? As both a word and a concept, boredom is not a universal phenomenon but a historical construction specific to our times.
Kipling in study

Rudyard Kipling’s Little-Known Poem on New Year’s Resolutions

With New Year’s Day on the horizon, many people will write their resolutions. Rudyard Kipling's poem explores the trials and tribulations of resolutions.
Winter Shack Landscape

A Feminist Reading of The Long Winter

In The Long Winter, often praised as Laura Ingalls Wilder’s greatest novel, the villain may be not the snow, but oppressive gender roles.
Christmas banquet

How Victorians’ Fear of Starvation Created Our Christmas Lore

One scholar sees more in the Christmas food of authors like Charles Dickens—English national identity and class.
Old open book

The Great American Game of Picking the Great American Novel

Arguing about the great American novel was perfect fodder for periodicals in the late 1800s, and it is catnip for a listicle-obsessed internet.
a sunrise over a frozen landscape winter poems

10 Winter Poems To Cozy Up To

Settle in to the winter season with verse from Dylan Thomas, H.D., Pushkin, and more.
Mario hat Odysseus

Super Mario, Homer’s Odyssey, and the Meaning of Marriage

Nintendo's Mario and Homer's Odysseus have more in common than you might think.
Oxford English Dictionaries

In Celebration of Lost Words

At some point in their lexical histories, lost words' original meanings died and have been revived into a mere semblance of their former selves.
1949 Little Women

The Grumpiness of Little Women

By focusing in on the characters’ emotions, a scholar discovers something more than good little women. She finds surprisingly angry ones.
Scrabble game

Codifying What Counts as a Word in Scrabble

When Alfred M. Butts first created a game called Lexico (or Lexiko) for his family in 1931, he ...