Photograph: Marley Shelton, Marla Sokoloff and the rest of the girls at a sleepover in a scene from the film 'Sugar & Spice', 2001

Source: Getty

Slumber Parties and Folklore

Slumber party rituals are indeed alive and well, and being passed down to the next generation in person and online.
Nella Larsen, 1928

The Plagiarism Scandal That Ended Nella Larsen’s Career

Larsen's 1930 story "Sanctuary" had a similar plot to an earlier British story. So what? Perhaps the tale never really belonged to either writer.
An illustration of elderberry

Plant of the Month: Elderberry

The recent entrance of elderberry into mainstream success is marked by an increasing popular desire to engage with traditional, “natural” remedies.
This statue in front of US Steel's Edgar Thomson Works in Braddock, PA depicts Joe Magarac, a mythical steelworker deriving from local legend.

Joe Magarac, a Boss’s Idea of a Folk Hero?

The Paul Bunyan of the steel industry never went on strike. He was too tied up working the twenty-four-hour shifts that unions were fighting.
Photograph: Mary Malone records Henry Higgs for the Woman's Club oral history project from a Miami Herald article of June 19, 1975.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keyslibraries/48986557233/

How to Gather the Oral Histories of COVID-19

The Federal Writers’ Project offers vital lessons for capturing the oral histories of ordinary Americans living through the coronavirus pandemic.
An Ayahuasca visual

The Colonization of the Ayahuasca Experience

“If someone is from the Amazon,” says Evgenia Fotiou, an anthropologist who studies Western ayahuasca usage, “they bring some legitimacy” to an ayahuasca ritual.
Simone Simon in movie art for the film 'The Curse Of The Cat People', 1944

Dial Meow for Murder

Notes on the figure of the feline in horror.
Tom Cruise is sprayed with water during an interview

The Offensive Joke Trap

The audience for a joke has options. They can “support” a joke—for example by laughing at it—or they can respond with “unlaughter."
A dad laughing at his own joke.

The Dubious Art of the Dad Joke

Is it really only dads who can tell dad jokes? And is this corny humor universal? Our linguist takes a deep dive.
Three of the four hostages and bank robber Clark Olofsson, standing right, in a bank in Stockholm, Sweden, Aug. 27, 1973

Stockholm Syndrome

What really happened that summer day in 1973? And what does it reveal about our cultural attitudes toward violence?