Antique illustration of seance session

When Women Channeled the Dead to be Heard

Spiritualism was one of the nineteenth-century's most successful religious innovations, a movement of individuals who yearned for a religion which united mysticism and science.
supermarket illustration

Sex and the Supermarket

Supermarkets represented a major innovation in food distribution—a gendered innovation that encouraged women to find sexual pleasure in subordination.
human trafficking cover

“White Slavery” and the Policing of Domestic Life

In the early 20th century, journalistic exposés, novels, and vice commission reports trumpeted fears about "white slavery" sweeping the country.
Suffragette posters

How Women’s Suffrage Has Been Represented in American Film

Women's suffrage was usually portrayed negatively in early films, but suffragists well recognized the importance of movies in getting their message out.
empty plate fasting

The Joy of Fasting

Fasting was once a religious endeavor. The idea that skipping meals could lead to improved health emerged around the turn of the twentieth century.
Dance hall illustration

Jane Addams’s Crusade Against Victorian “Dancing Girls”

Jane Addams, a leading Victorian-era reformer, believed dance halls were “one of the great pitfalls of the city.”
The Nightmare

The Racialized History of “Hysteria”

Even three decades after “hysteria” was deleted from the DSM-III, some of the word’s diagnostic power obviously still remains.
Los Angeles skyline with palm trees in the foreground

How Marketing Made L.A.

In the early 20th century, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce started marketing L.A as an earthquake-free alternative to San Francisco.
Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart Taught America to Fly

Amelia Earhart taught America to fly. How Earhart and other women pilots of her day helped overcome Americans’ skepticism about flight.
Jack Barry, Charles Van Doren and Vivienne Nearing

How Academics Fell In and Out of Love with TV Quiz Shows

In the 1950s, the world went quiz-show crazy. But something was rotten inside Hollywood—the shows were packed with ringers.