The New Perfume by John William Godward, 1914

When Royals Perfumed Themselves with the Excretions of Musk Deer and Civet Cats

In the era of Louis XV, it was fashionable to drench oneself in “animal scents.”
A poster with the famous words 'Big Brother is Watching You' from a BBC TV production of George Orwell's classic novel '1984'.

Is the Authoritarian Personality a Legitimate Concept?

A group of thinkers who fled Europe wanted to explain the rise of Nazism, but their ideas haven't withstood scrutiny.
Demonstrators protest the death of George Floyd in downtown Washington, DC on June 1, 2020.

The Power of the Intersectional Protest Image

In an age of hashtag activism and partisan news, social media offers possibilities for intersectional movements to reimagine images of Black protest.
Jerrie Cobb poses next to a Mercury spaceship capsule.

How the Mercury 13 Fought to Get Women in Space

In 1962, the House of Representatives convened a special subcommittee to determine if women should be admitted into NASA’s space program.
Christine Jorgenson

A History of Transphobia in the Medical Establishment

At a time when trans people who wanted surgery needed to trust doctors, transphobia made it difficult.
Convicts working at Reed Camp, South Carolina, 1934

How Mass Incarceration Has Shaped History

A historian argues that it's time to look at the consequences of locking up millions of people over several decades.
La Liberté ou la Mort by Jean-Baptiste Regnault

The French Revolution as Illuminati Conspiracy

The Illuminati was a real secret society. But in the hands of British conservatives during the French Revolution, it became a massive conspiracy.

How Medieval Arabic Literature Viewed Lesbians

As far back as the ninth century, doctors and poets wrote about women who loved women without calling them deviants.
Alien in a car at Baker, San Bernardino County, California, USA

Our Space Brothers Might Not Actually Look Like Little Green Men after All

If we find aliens, chances are they'll be nothing like we ever imagined.
Mothers' Crusade for Victory over Communism

The Red Scare and Women in Government

In 1952, a government administrator named Mary Dublin Keyserling was accused of being a communist. The attack on her was also an attack on feminism.