Niagara Falls postcard

When Souvenirs Peddle Stereotypes

The things travelers bring home reflect their worldviews. In 19th c. Niagara Falls, souvenirs revealed problematic stereotypes about Native Americans.
Mount Vernon Fourth of July naturalization ceremony

Celebrating Immigration on the Fourth of July

For many immigrants to the U.S. in the late 19th century, July 4th was deeply significant: Their own home countries were fighting for independence.
Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter and the Meaning of Malaise

In July of 1979, Jimmy Carter delivered a presidential address that was more like a sermon, urging America to reflect upon its meaning and purpose.
ominous smartphone

How Pleasure Lulls Us into Accepting Surveillance

The domestication of surveillance technology has caused big legal and ethical implications for security on both a personal and a social scale.
Burning woman witchcraft

Where Witch Hunts Began

Although witch hunts are associated with 17th-century Salem, many hundreds of thousands of "witches" were killed in Europe from the 13th century on.
Alice Paul ERA

Why the Equal Rights Amendment Hasn’t Been Ratified Yet

Suffragist Alice Paul proposed the ERA in 1923. Congress approved it in the 1970s. So why isn't the amendment part of the Constitution?
Catherine Beecher

The Women Who Tried to Prevent the Trail of Tears

In the 1830s, American women, including Catherine Beecher, worked to fight Andrew Jackson’s genocidal Indian Removal campaign.
soccer football in the stadium crowd

Soccer and European Identity

Throughout Europe, soccer matches like the FIFA World Cup have become deeply significant, in part because that continent's identity is so complex.
Anne Frank

Saint Anne Frank

Pop culture has made Anne Frank into an icon, but one scholar notes that she was a terrified child trapped and killed by war, and should be seen as such.
a Book of the Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices by al-Jazari

The Marvelous Automata of Antiquity

Centuries before the computer, whimsical automata pushed the uncanny boundary between human and machine.