Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God: Annotated
Jonathan Edwards’s sermon reflects the complicated religious culture of eighteenth-century America, influenced not just by Calvinism, but Newtonian physics as well.
“The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe: Annotated
Poe's 1841 story, arguably the first detective fiction, contains many tropes now considered standard to the genre, including a brilliant, amateur detective.
So You Plan to Teach Moby Dick
The study of Melville’s novel is enhanced by contextualizing it with primary and secondary sources related to the American sperm whaling industry.
Is it a Crime?
An appreciation of Gertrude Stein’s pulp explorations.
Understanding a Misunderstood Bible Verse
“Judge not, lest ye be judged” comes from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5–7 of the King James Bible. How has it become a harmless aphorism?
When an Argument Over Macbeth Incited a Bloody Riot
On May 10th, 1849, protestors rioted at Astor Place Opera House, leading to the deadliest civic insurrection in American history up to that time.
Go West, You Nervous Men
The "Rest Cure" for women is notorious. But the "West Cure" for men, though little known today, is a fundamental part of American mythology.
Should Walt Whitman Be #Cancelled?
Black America talks back to "The Good Gray Poet" at 200.
Did North America’s Longest Painting Inspire Moby-Dick?
Herman Melville likely saw the panorama “Whaling Voyage,” which records the sinking of the whaler Essex, while staying in Boston in 1849.
Black Panther and Double-Consciousness
Double identity, present in both Marvel's Black Panther and in the critical race theory of double-consciousness, enables black American viewers to see their two identities played out on screen.