Photograph: A Mohammadan praying towards Mecca when the Miezzin calls from a nearby mosque, with a Butane Gas reservoir in the background. circa 1950

The Jim Crow Roots of the U.S.-Saudi Arabia Relationship

Americans started pouring into Saudi Arabia in the 1940s to develop the oil fields. They brought their ideas about segregation with them.
A German man in lederhosen holding a beer stein

How Should German Teachers Approach Oktoberfest?

Americans have some pretty specific and limited stereotypes about German culture. The way teachers address topics like Oktoberfest can make a difference.
Scene in The Bahamas, 1884

The Saltwater Railroad

Throughout the 19th century, enslaved people attempted to escape from the U.S. to the Bahamas, across what became known as the "Saltwater Railroad."
The cover of Gharbzadegi by Jalal Al-e-Ahmad

Progress Is Not the Same as Westernization

Jalal Al-e Ahmad, a political and literary writer in pre-revolutionary Iran, had ideas about how his country could modernize in its own, non-Western way.
Three women wearing corsets

How Colonialism Shaped Body Shaming

When did heaviness and curviness in women become connected with the idea of "savagery"? It has a lot to do with 19th-century imperialist world views.
A coffinette for the viscera of Tutankhamun

Was It Really a Mummy’s Curse?

A slew of mysterious deaths following the opening of King Tut's tomb prompted one epidemiologist to investigate.
archaeologists Franck Goddio and his team inspect the colossal red granite statue of a pharaoh of over 5 metres height, weighing 5.5 tons, and shattered into 5 fragments. It was found close to the great temple of sunken Heracleion.

The Lost City of Heracleion

Once a bustling metropolis, this long-lost Egyptian city flooded, sank, and was forgotten -- until archeologists rediscovered it.
Großer Garten in Dresden

Regrowing Germany’s Trees After WWII

The cities of Dresden and Hamburg saw their green spaces decimated by WWII, but each city grew back its trees in a very different way.
Illustration of Ferdinand Magellan

The Pirate-y Life of Ferdinand Magellan

Magellan’s voyage in search of the “Spice Islands” was marked by storms, sharks, and scurvy—plus multiple attempts at mutiny.