Six book covers

Editors’ Picks: What We’re Reading

The history of Native resistance, the philosophy of love, the medicalization of madness, color in fairy tales, and dinosaur bones.
Source: Getty

The Science of Baby-Name Trends

What makes a name suddenly pop—and then die? Social scientists and historians have been puzzling over this for decades.
via Ernie Wolfe Gallery

How Ghanaian Artists Infused Hollywood with Spirituality

The cinema in 1980s Ghana was DIY. So were the movie posters, now the subject of an exhibition at the Poster House in New York City.
An illustration by James Gillray, 1807

Vulgarity: An Alternative Language of the People

Was Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue the font of all popular culture studies?
A scene from The Christmas Angel

The Theatrical Magic of The Christmas Angel

The silent film director Georges Melies made a unique and wonderful Christmas film by borrowing the theatrical techniques of French “feeries.”
Empress Joséphine holding a Jacquemus Mini Le Chiquito handbag

Our Best Stories of 2019

Tweety bird linguistics, tiny purses, Beowulf's monsters, and the evolution of beauty.
A Christmas Carol

Pirating Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, in the 1840s

When Parley's Illuminated Library published a pirated version of A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens decided he had had enough.
Emily Dickinson, circa 1847

17 Poems by Emily Dickinson

Celebrate Emily Dickinson's birthday with a selection of her poems.
from The Battle of San Pietro

The War Documentary That Never Was

John Huston's 1945 movie The Battle of San Pietro presents itself as a war documentary, but contains staged scenes. What should we make of it?
Two Horsemen, Elgin Marbles at the British Museum

Wait, Why Are the Parthenon Marbles in London?

Lord Elgin went beyond his original mandate, amassing a vast store of treasures, one scholar notes.