Emily Dickinson, circa 1847

17 Poems by Emily Dickinson

Celebrate Emily Dickinson's birthday with a selection of her poems.
Mark Twain and James Fenimore Cooper

Mark Twain v. James Fenimore Cooper

A trial in the court of public opinion.
A man reading a newspaper with facebook reactions in a cloud around him

The Incredibly True Story of Fake Headlines

Are you still reading? Editors frequently use this space to include important contextual information about a news story.
Walter Benn Michaels

Walter Benn Michaels: What’s His Deal?

The literary critic Walter Benn Michaels challenges the prevailing trends of postmodernist theory.
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.