Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%22A_Thrilling_Hallowe%27en.%22_(Three_black_cats_flying_through_the_air_with_Jack-o-lanterns).jpg

Halloween Stories

Why are Victorians the default haunted house, what do ghosts have to do with the imagination, and why do we like to be scared?
Highclere Castle

The “Downton Effect” on the English Country House Tour

The show Downton Abbey spurred a renewed interest in English country estates.
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.
Jamie Lee Curtis holds a knife in a scene from the film 'Halloween', 1978

Selling Slashers to Teen Girls

The heroines of 1970s and 80s teen horror movies were traditionally feminine, tough, and sexually confident.
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.
Upton Sinclair, 1900

Upton Sinclair

Best known as the author of "The Jungle," Upton Sinclair had some thoughts about the American economy, which he shared in this 1906 essay.
Two women speaking beside a water cooler in an office

Streaming Television Might Just Bring Us Together After All

A look at TV watching as a social activity, from the "water cooler" network shows of yore to today's "second screen" live-tweets.