Robert Hayden

Robert Hayden’s Relatable Fatigue

There’s a constant attention to the burdens of history in Robert Hayden’s poems. Even amid the beauties of life, the ghosts of the past linger.
The front and back cover of an edition of Miss MacIntosh, My Darling by Marguerite Young

Sick of Streaming? Try This Really Long Cult Novel

Marguerite Young's Miss MacIntosh, My Darling is a dense fusion of poetry and prose. One critic says it's unjustifiably forgotten.

Everyday Life, Revisited—with Bernadette Mayer’s Memory

In the poet’s work, the small and ordinary rise to the level of heroic adventures. If we value human life, then we should value what makes up a life.
Playwright Terrence McNally in 2010

How Terrence McNally Reimagined the Danse Macabre

The centerpiece of the prize-winning Love! Valor! Compassion! is a rehearsal for an affirming staging of Swan Lake—in drag.
Laurette Luez

Hollywood Cast Laurette Luez as a One-Size-Fits-All “Exotic”

Like many actresses of her day, Laurette Luez was expected to be a beautiful siren in skimpy clothing who could be from almost anywhere—just not here.
A depiction of cholera by Robert Seymour

Disease Theory in Mary Shelley’s The Last Man

Shelley's third novel, about the sole survivor of a global plague, draws on the now-outdated miasma theory of disease.
A locust standing on a sugar cane.

COVID-19, Locusts, and Elephant Minds

Well-researched stories from The Atlantic, The Guardian, and other great publications that bridge the gap between news and scholarship.
Hollywood film star and actress Jacqueline Logan preparing a rug pattern for embroidery, c. 1928

Why Modern Women Got All Colonial in the 1920s

Flappers stole the headlines for their hemlines and wild ways. But were some of them stitching samplers in the meantime?

The Masculinization of Little Lord Fauntleroy

The 1936 movie Little Lord Fauntleroy broke box office records, only to be toned down and masculinized amid cultural fears of the “sissified” male.
The title page of Life and confession of Ann Walters, the female murderess

How “Female Fiends” Challenged Victorian Ideals

At a time when questions about women's rights in marriage roiled society, women readers took to the pages of cheap books about husband-murdering wives.