In 2020, writing and editing articles that mine scholarship in the JSTOR archive to bring our readers a few minutes of informative fun every day got, well, awkward? When every story in your news feed has a picture of that prickly virus, some moments get lost in the shuffle. Here are a few of our favorites.
The Unsung Heroine of Lichenology
September 26, 2020
Elke Mackenzie’s moments of self-citation illuminate the hopes of someone who, against ease and tradition, did not wish to separate her identity from her research.
When Black Celebrities Wore Blackface
August 12, 2020
A Black Bohemia flourished in New York before the Harlem Renaissance and with it a new type of self-determined, contradictory Black celebrity.
What Is Chronobiology?
May 13, 2020
Does it explain why we’re having so much trouble sleeping?
Robert Hayden’s Relatable Fatigue
April 22, 2020
There’s a constant attention to the burdens of history in Robert Hayden’s poems. Even amid the beauties of life, the ghosts of the past linger.
Everyday Life, Revisited—with Bernadette Mayer’s Memory
April 15, 2020
In the poet’s work, the small and ordinary rise to the level of heroic adventures. If we value human life, then we should value what makes up a life.
Juneteenth in the Alternative Press
June 18, 2020
Reports in the underground press demonstrate how Juneteenth has been celebrated as both a social and political gathering in the twentieth century.
Nurses Have Always Been Heroes
May 8, 2020
Nothing drives that home more than this amazing photo collection from the Philadelphia General Hospital School of Nursing.
All You Need Is Live
June 25, 2020
The very first international TV simulcast was 1967's Our World, which featured performers from around the globe—including the Beatles.
The Global Suppression of Indigenous Fire Management
October 12, 2020
Indigenous peoples' techniques to manage and benefit from fire are threatened, even as wildfires burn more frequently and intensely.
A Century of Black Youth Activism
September 12, 2020
The history of the 1950s and 1960s Civil Rights Movement is widely studied, but young Black Americans have been organizing for justice for much longer.
This Wrench Smashes Patriarchy: Women and Tools
February 8, 2020
After World War II, many women in industrial jobs put down their wrenches. But the spirit of Rosie the Riveter couldn't be denied.
Dean Mahomet: Travel Writer, Border Crosser
May 16, 2020
The author of what is considered the first English-language book by an Indian writer was neither a rebel nor an accommodationist.
The Origins of the CDC
May 22, 2020
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began during World War II to prevent the spread of malaria to troops stationed in the South.
The Surprising History of Homework Reform
May 29, 2020
Really, kids, there was a time when lots of grownups thought homework was bad for you.
Our Space Brothers Might Not Actually Look Like Little Green Men after All
September 25, 2020
If we find aliens, chances are they'll be nothing like we ever imagined.
Upside-Down Jellyfish and the Mucus of Death
March 12, 2020
You could get stung by a jellyfish even when there don't seem to be any around. Meet Cassiopea xamachana and its "stinging water" weirdness.
Ancient Monks Got That Quarantine Feeling, Too
March 29, 2020
Listlessness, boredom, torpor, that "noonday demon" that tempts you away from spiritual connections—that's what was called acedia.
An Islamic Approach to Environmentalism
March 20, 2020
A number of contemporary Muslim environmentalist groups have been inspired by Koranic verses that stress the conservation of nature.
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