from Suite Vénitienne by Sophie Calle

Love, Obsession, and Sophie Calle

The conceptual artist Sophie Calle creates art that urges us to ask, is attention the same as love?
James Joyce in front of a flowery background

James Joyce’s NSFW Love Letters

The often explicit letters James Joyce wrote to Nora Barnacle contain the same mass of contradictions as his famous literary works, like Ulysses.
A teenage girl kissing a teenage boy on the cheek

Media Representation and Interracial Couples

Recent years have seen increases in both interracial adolescent romances and portrayals of young interracial relationships. What's the connection?
An illustration from an 1897 edition of Persuasion

The Physical Pleasures of Jane Austen’s Persuasion

Smoldering glances? Romantic letters? Forbidden love? Why Persuasion may be the most seductive of Jane Austen's novels.
A couple expressing affection

The Language of Your Love Life

Pet names and baby talk between lovers can be cringe-worthy and even incriminating. So why do couples use such lovey-dovey language?
Felicitación de cumpleaños by Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta

The Disappointing Reality of 19th-Century Courtship

For white, middle-class women in the 19th century U.S., courtship and marriage offered less emotional intimacy than their friendships with other women.
A collection of romance novels

The Business of the Romance Novel

How romance novels—despite their decided lack of cultural clout—became big business for the publishing industry.
Two teenagers dancing the jitterbug, 1942

Germany’s Real-Life “Swing Kids” 

Rebellious teenagers thumbed their noses at Hitler with jazz music, wild dancing, and the greeting “Swing Heil.” But how serious was their resistance?
Jacob Lawrence and one of his paintings

How American Artists Have Portrayed Haiti

In the early 20th century, African American artists created work that expressed solidarity with Haiti--whether they had been there or not.
King & Carter Jazzing Orchestra, Houston Texas, 1921

When Jazz Was a Public Health Crisis

In the 1920s, jazz music was thought to cause physical illness or even disability.