JSTOR Daily published a whopping 752 stories in 2018—that’s a lot for our small staff. Here are the greatest hits: our personal favorites and yours. As always, each of these stories includes free, open links to relevant scholarship in JSTOR. Happy New Year!
Long Live Mister Rogers’ Quiet Revolution
March 14, 2018
Fred Rogers argued by example and in his quiet, firm way that television’s power could be harnessed to shape future generations for good.
Mary Shelley’s Obsession with the Cemetery
October 3, 2018
The author of Frankenstein always saw love and death as connected. She visited the cemetery to commune with her dead mother. And with her lover.
The People’s Grocery Lynching, Memphis, Tennessee
January 24, 2018
On March 2, 1892, in Memphis, Tennessee, a racially charged mob grew out of a fight between a black and a white youth near People’s Grocery.
What a Paragraph Is
May 23, 2018
On the controversial directive that a paragraph must contain a topic sentence, an idea that theorists, writers, and students have questioned for decades.
How Victorian Mansions Became the Default Haunted House
October 16, 2018
Quick: Picture a haunted house. It's probably a Victorian mansion, right? Here's how these structures became signifiers of horror, haunting, and death.
My Summer of Watching Little Women
May 11, 2018
What the author learned from her mother, a feminist academic doing a research project on film adaptations of Little Women.
The Art of Walking
April 5, 2018
Walking as an art has a deep history. By guiding participants, or their own bodies, on walks, artists encourage us to see the extraordinary in the mundane.
The Platypus Is Even Weirder Than You Thought
April 5, 2018
Platypuses. They’re weird. In fact, platypuses are so unusual that it took taxonomists more than eighty years just to decide what they are.
Being a Victorian Librarian Was Oh-So-Dangerous
August 7, 2018
In the late 19th century, more women were becoming librarians. Experts like Melvil Dewey predicted they would suffer ill health, strain, and breakdowns.
Charles Knowlton, the Father of American Birth Control
March 21, 2018
Decades after Charles Knowlton died, his book would be credited with the reversal of population growth in England and the popularization of contraception in the United States.
Sex and the Supermarket
January 3, 2018
Supermarkets represented a major innovation in food distribution—a gendered innovation that encouraged women to find sexual pleasure in subordination.
The Horse Skulls Hidden in the Dance Floors of Ireland
July 30, 2018
Old houses in Ireland often have horse skulls buried beneath the floors, but folklorists and archaeologists disagree on exactly why.
The Fairytale Language of the Brothers Grimm
May 2, 2018
How the Brothers Grimm went hunting for fairytales, accidentally changed the course of historical linguistics, and kickstarted a new field of scholarship in folklore.
The Sharing Economy Was Dead on Arrival
December 12, 2018
Sharing economy firms like Lyft and Airbnb promised community, but the ideas they promoted as overturning the status quo are the status quo.
Lesbianism (!) at the Convent
May 16, 2018
Mother Superior Benedetta Carlini, a visionary nun of Renaissance Italy, was accused of heresy and “female sodomy.”
Queer Time: The Alternative to “Adulting”
January 10, 2018
What constitutes adulthood has never been self-evident or value-neutral. Queer lives follow their own temporal logic.
Trial by Combat? Trial by Cake!
August 16, 2018
The medieval tradition of deciding legal cases by appointing champions to fight to the death endured through 1817, unlike its tastier cousin.
Why Yemen Suffers in Silence
August 23, 2018
Yemen is suffering a major humanitarian crisis. How did the country get to such a precarious state, and why aren't Americans paying more attention?
How Facebook Revived the Epistolary Friendship
February 20, 2018
Would today's online, social media-based friendships look familiar to the letter-writing friends of earlier centuries, when epistolary friendships were also common?
To Cope with Digital Distraction, Embrace Digital Neurodiversity
November 20, 2018
The internet is changing our brains. Our columnist suggests that maybe this isn't such a bad thing.
The Murky Linguistics of Consent
March 7, 2018
In many #MeToo stories, crucial signals, verbal and non-verbal cues, are sent but not received. Why is that?
Jane Austen’s Subtly Subversive Linguistics
December 12, 2018
Why are Jane Austen books still so beloved? A linguist argues it has more to do with Austen's masterful use of language than with plot.
Global Food Security: A Primer
May 10, 2018
World hunger is not caused by our inability to produce enough food. The problem arises because of the economic inequality that distorts food distribution.
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