An anatomical machine of Prince Raimondo di Sangro

The Anatomical Machines of Naples’ Alchemist Prince

Rumor had it that these machines were once the Prince’s servants, whom he murdered and transformed into anatomical displays. Scholars showed otherwise.
Engraved portrait of George Washington Williams

George Washington Williams and the Origins of Anti-Imperialism

Initially supportive of Belgian King Leopold II’s claim to have created a “free state” of Congo, Williams changed his mind when he saw the horrors of empire.
Intricate Paper cutting of a hunting scene by Dutch artist Joanna Koerten

Joanna Koerten’s Scissor-Cut Works Were Compared to Michelangelo

And then, snip by snip, she was cut out of the frame of Renaissance art history.
Terracotta memorial portrait (nsodie) of an Akan ruler from present-day southern Ghana

The “Deviant” African Genders That Colonialism Condemned

European travellers and anthropologists found that their gendered worldview didn’t easily map onto the societies they encountered.
Two policemen interrogating somebody

How Being Polite with Police Can Backfire

When it comes to interactions with the police, the law favors direct speech. But that's not always the way we're trained to speak to people in power.
An illustration of claqueurs from an 1853 issue of Harper's Magazine

When Paid Applauders Ruled the Paris Opera House

Professional applauders, collectively known as the “claque,” helped mold the tastes of an uncertain audience.
President Joe Biden holds a semiconductor during his remarks before signing an Executive Order on the economy

Semiconductor Shortages End an Era of Globalization

Our security studies columnist on leanness, supply chains, and resilience in a post-pandemic world.
Handstone with model mine

The Princes of Saxony Collected These Kitschy Miniature Mountains

Struck with “Berggeschrey,” or “mountain clamour,” early modern nobles of Saxony dolled up the dirty and dangerous work of the mines with gold and glitter.
A punk with a mohawk in a cottagecore painting

The Punk Rock Linguistics of Cottagecore

So you want to borrow a concept from another culture but don’t know what to call it? Try a morpheme!