Taylor Swift at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards

The Linguistic Evolution of Taylor Swift

If Taylor Swift shifts her accent in her transition from country to pop, does she lose the personal authenticity important to country music?
The cover of a music book for the musical "He's Up Against The Real Thing Now," starring Bert Williams and George Walker, 1898

When Black Celebrities Wore Blackface

A Black Bohemia flourished in New York before the Harlem Renaissance and with it a new type of self-determined, contradictory Black celebrity.
Charles Mingus

The Newport Rebels and Jazz as Protest

In 1960 a group of jazz musicians organized an alternative to the Newport Jazz Festival, which they saw as too pop and too white.
Saturday Evening Post cover, Jan 14, 1956

How DIY Home Repair Became a Hobby for Men

It was only in the 20th century that toolboxes became staples in the homes of middle-class men.
The title page of Life and confession of Ann Walters, the female murderess

How “Female Fiends” Challenged Victorian Ideals

At a time when questions about women's rights in marriage roiled society, women readers took to the pages of cheap books about husband-murdering wives.
Mexican seasonal labor contracted for by planters, picking cotton on Knowlton Plantation, Perthshire, Mississippi Delta, Mississippi

Early Mexican Immigrants Blurred Color Lines in the Southern U.S.

In the 1920s, Mexican immigrants to the United States challenged the country's notions of who was white and who was not.
A camper van parked beside some trees in the fog

The New Nomads of #VanLife Reflect an Enduring Divide

A distinctly American restlessness is inspiring some to abandon the idea of a permanent home, while others are displaced by harsh realities.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cover_of_Strange_Affair_by_Edwin_West_-_Illustration_by_Harry_Schaare_-_Monarch_Book_1962.jpg

Pulp Fiction Helped Define American Lesbianism

Between 1950 and 1965, steamy novels about lesbian relationships, marketed to men, inadvertently offered closeted women much-needed representation.
"On Decoration Day" Political cartoon c. 1900 by John T. McCutcheon

The Evolution of Memorial Day

What started as a solemn commemoration of dead Civil War soldiers has become a celebration of summer. Here's why that makes total sense.
Grave site of American botanist Asa Gray (1810-1888), in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts

When Cemeteries Became Natural Sanctuaries

In the 19th century, bucolic, park-like cemeteries started cropping up on the outskirts of American cities.