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Black and white headshot of author Livia Gershon

Livia Gershon

Livia Gershon is a freelance writer in Nashua, New Hampshire. Her writing has appeared in publications including Salon, Aeon Magazine and the Good Men Project. Contact her on Twitter @liviagershon.

A cafeteria in Reeves County Detention Complex, Pecos, Texas

The Surprising Answer to Who Eats Kosher in Prison

24,000 incarcerated people in the U.S. eat kosher meals. Even some neonazis. Why?
Genealogical Chronological And Geographical Chart. Embracing Biblical And Profane History Of Ancient Times From Adam To Christ, 1887

Where Did Family-Bible Genealogies Come From?

Royal lineage tracing, British laws of inheritance, and patriarchal Protestantism all contributed to the genealogical literacy of some Americans.
Cover of Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Nancy A. Hardesty's All We're Meant To Be

Whatever Happened to Evangelical Feminism?

From Christianity’s beginnings, the religion has been split between two visions of gender relations.
An illustration from The surprising adventures of a female husband! by Henry Fielding

The Female Husband is So Eighteenth Century

Henry Fielding's novel, a fictional account of the life of Charles Hamilton, conflates vagrancy with sexual, gender, and religious deviance.
Source: https://iiif.lib.harvard.edu/manifests/view/ids:4589524

When Harvard Students Couldn’t Get Warm

The early heating systems of New England kept Harvard students cold until the early twentieth century.
Adherents of Santeria celebrate Santa Barbara on December 4 , 2002 in Isla de la Juventud, Cuba.

Music and Spirit in the African Diaspora

The musical traditions found in contemporary Black U.S. and Caribbean Christian worship originated hundreds of years ago, continents away.
anti-apartheid marchers on their way to Twickenham rugby ground in 1970

Fighting Apartheid with Sports

Apartheid policies that segregated sports in South Africa were challenged by its own athletes, as well as internationally.
A photograph of the blue cover of the first edition, 1st printing of the book Ulysses by James Joyce, 1922

Censoring Ulysses

In reviewing the UK Home Office files on James Joyce's Ulysses, a historian found baffled officials afraid to bring more attention to it.
A map of Trinidad showing the location of Fondes Amandes

How a Rastafari Community Protects the Land in Trinidad

A small community grows around ecosystem preservation and shared beliefs, to the benefit of the residents and the land they live on.
Battle of the Boyne between James II and William III, 11 June 1690

Britain’s Blueprint for Colonialism: Made in Ireland

The British Empire began developing its colonialization tactics in Ireland and Canada, before exporting them throughout the world.
A person snowmobiling in Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WA, 1987

A Brief History of Snowmobiling

Snowmobiles were invented around the same time as wheeled transportation was becoming a robust industry.
Physician letting blood from a man's arm

How Physicians Became Scientists

The introduction of formal peer review to journals aided medical doctors in their quest to bring more scientific rigor to their field.
Percey Shelley holding some carrots

Percy Shelley: Trendsetting Vegetarian

The poet adopted a "Pythagorean" diet, which eliminated meat, and wrote that vegetarians would "no longer pine under the lethargy of ennui."
Andean ritual with coca leaves

What Coca Means in Peru

Coca has a long history of use in Peru: for sacred ritual, economic productivity, courtship and celebration of life events.
Spring desert wildflowers in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, CA

Making the (California) Desert Bloom

The question of Zionism in post World War II America did not have a single answer. One group proposed bringing agriculture to the California desert instead.
FNV headquarters occupied by sympathizers of the British mine strikers; the police remove the activists

How LGBTQ Groups Supported Striking Miners vs. Thatcher

During a national miners strike, LGBT activists became unexpected allies, united against the Thatcher government.
Mayan zodiac circle

How the Maya Kept Time

Many scholars contrast linear and cyclical time and note that cycles were an important part of Maya concepts of temporal reality.
Johnny Cash on stage with his band, in concert at San Quentin State Prison, California, February 24th 1969.

The Radicalism of Johnny Cash

The best-selling musical artist in the world in 1969, Johnny Cash sang of (and for) the "forgotten Americans": the imprisoned men of all races.
Great Snow in 1717

The Snowy Winter that Devastated Colonial New England

For eleven days in February and March 1717, New England was hit with four major snowstorms. The devastation struck some as a sign from God.
From the Spring 1972 cover of Ms. Magazine

Ms. Magazine’s Tricky Relationship with Advertising

On the fiftieth anniversary of Ms. Magazine, a look back at how the publication managed advertising demands while maintaining its founding ethos.
A cover design for Annie on My Mind

Queer YA: The Early Decades

While queer YA has exploded over the past decade, it began in the middle of the 20th century, with the first kiss in 1969.
A British airship in flight above the British countryside set against a cloudy sky, 1918

Whatever Happened to Airships?

In moving away from fossil fuels, some in aviation are thinking of bringing back helium-assisted flight.
A group of high school students constructs basic measuring devices for testing air, water, noise, and radiation-pollution levels. c. 1972

The Troubles with Tracking

Educators have been debating academic tracking since the early years of the public high school.
An illustration of a hand holding a set of hand cuffs

Let’s Talk About (Your) Crimes

Asking yourself about what you've "gotten away with" may change how you think about "criminals."
Acland servants in 1897 by Sarah Angelina Acland

Who Does the Drudge Work? Answers from Edwardian Britain

In 1909, Kathlyn Oliver called for the creation of a servants' trade union that was “as important to the community as the worker[s] in any other sphere."