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.

Usnea antarctica

The Unsung Heroine of Lichenology

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.
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.

What Is Chronobiology?

Does it explain why we’re having so much trouble sleeping?
Robert Hayden

Robert Hayden’s Relatable Fatigue

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.
Bernadette Mayer

Everyday Life, Revisited—with Bernadette Mayer’s Memory

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.
Attendees sing during the 48th Annual Juneteenth Day Festival on June 19, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Juneteenth in the Alternative Press

Reports in the underground press demonstrate how Juneteenth has been celebrated as both a social and political gathering in the twentieth century.
A graduate nurse and student nurses in isolation uniforms, early 1900s

Nurses Have Always Been Heroes

Nothing drives that home more than this amazing photo collection from the Philadelphia General Hospital School of Nursing.
The Beatles as they prepare for 'Our World', a world-wide live television show

All You Need Is Live

The very first international TV simulcast was 1967's Our World, which featured performers from around the globe—including the Beatles.
fire lights the hills from a controlled burn off of maize stubble on a farm property at Makikihi in South Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand.

The Global Suppression of Indigenous Fire Management

Indigenous peoples' techniques to manage and benefit from fire are threatened, even as wildfires burn more frequently and intensely.
A young protester marches during the All Black Lives Matter Solidarity March on June 14, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

A Century of Black Youth Activism

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.
An African American worker carrying a tool in a factory

This Wrench Smashes Patriarchy: Women and Tools

After World War II, many women in industrial jobs put down their wrenches. But the spirit of Rosie the Riveter couldn't be denied.
Sake Deen Mahomed by T. M. Baynes

Dean Mahomet: Travel Writer, Border Crosser

The author of what is considered the first English-language book by an Indian writer was neither a rebel nor an accommodationist.
Navy Anti-Malaria Unit, Guadalcanal, circa 1942

The Origins of the CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began during World War II to prevent the spread of malaria to troops stationed in the South.
Boy sitting at desk with book

The Surprising History of Homework Reform

Really, kids, there was a time when lots of grownups thought homework was bad for you.
Alien in a car at Baker, San Bernardino County, California, USA

Our Space Brothers Might Not Actually Look Like Little Green Men after All

If we find aliens, chances are they'll be nothing like we ever imagined.
Many cassiopea xamachana, upside down jellyfish

Upside-Down Jellyfish and the Mucus of Death

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.
A personification of Acedia from between 1550 and 1625

Ancient Monks Got That Quarantine Feeling, Too

Listlessness, boredom, torpor, that "noonday demon" that tempts you away from spiritual connections—that's what was called acedia.
Children push a fishing boat to shore in Zanzibar

An Islamic Approach to Environmentalism

A number of contemporary Muslim environmentalist groups have been inspired by Koranic verses that stress the conservation of nature.

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