Hagar in the Wilderness by Camille Corot, 1835

Following Haajar’s Footsteps to a Feminist Reading of Islam

A personal experience with the Hajj brought to life the iconic figure of Haajar, whose tenacity and stoicism highlight the importance of women in Islam.
Tom Cruise is sprayed with water during an interview

The Offensive Joke Trap

The audience for a joke has options. They can “support” a joke—for example by laughing at it—or they can respond with “unlaughter."
full moon

Nobody Really Knows Why We Dream

An extensive literature review reveals a startling lack of consensus around why we dream, though neurologists have made important discoveries.
The apostles

The Pious Undead of Medieval Europe

Bishop Thietmar of Merseburg's eight-volume history contained stories of the living dead—and, he believed, proof of the Christian resurrection.
An advertisement for 'Cook's Nile Service', a cruise on the Express Steamer 'MS Hatasoo' run by Thomas Cook & Son Ltd., circa 1900.

A “Cook’s Tour” of Imperialism

Thomas Cook and Son Ltd. pioneered middle class tourism during the Victorian era, when it followed the course of the British Empire.
Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud’s The Ego and the Id

Freud died 80 years ago this week. In this "Virtual Roundtable," three scholars debate the legacy of his 1923 text.
A red drink in a glass with a metal straw

The Old New Trend of Sober Curiosity

Abstaining from alcohol is a new trend with a long, long history.
A student standing at a crossroads

Why Everyone Doesn’t Value Choice to the Same Degree

Studies show that college-educated white Americans value having choice -- and yet having too much choice can paralyze and lead to dissatisfaction.
A little girl playing superhero

Why Playing Superhero Is Good for Kids

It's hard to know how to respond to imaginative play that looks violent. Some experts say it's best to go ahead and let little kids play superhero anyway.