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popular culture



  • How True is the History in "The Woman King"?

    "'The Woman King' chooses to make resistance to slavery its moral compass, then misrepresents a kingdom that trafficked tens of thousands as a vanguard in the struggle against it."


  • Songs for Sale: Tin Pan Alley (Excerpt)

    by Bob Stanley

    American popular music didn't start with Elvis. It emerged when musical fads onstage converged with a new mass market for in-home record players to make song publishing big business. 



  • "Rings of Power" Speaks to a War-Hungry Audience

    by Daniel Bessner

    Inspired by Tolkien's experiences in the Great War, his fantasy books have been taken as allegories for the fight against Nazism, the Cold War, and the War on Terror. The new series reflects the anxieties of an American empire with neither a clear enemy nor the imagination to abandon militarism. 



  • Eve Babitz's Archive Reveals the Person Behind the Persona

    by Kevin Dettmar

    "What could the personal documents of a writer who was so public about her private world teach us about her work? How much of that persona was a performance and how much a reflection of her real anxieties and ambitions?"



  • "Bridgerton" and Its Blind Spot for Colonialist History

    by Trishula Patel

    In nodding to contemporary British diversity by casting actors of color in roles originally written as "white," the program misses the bigger opportunity to examine the histories of colonialism that brought people of Indian and African descent to Britain during the Regency period. 



  • Texas State Prof. Launches Harry Styles History Course

    Louis Dean Valencia realized during the pandemic that icebreaking conversations with students about pop music opened up many avenues for discussing historical subjects including the politics of celebrity. 



  • The History Behind "The Northman"

    by David M. Perry and Matthew Gabriele

    The new epic has been billed as the most historically accurate Viking epic to play on screen, but it's accuracy comes from its effort to capture the subjective nature of Norse spirituality and supernatural belief and the narrative forms recognized by medieval audiences.