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cultural history



  • What Attacks on Science Get Wrong

    by Andrew Jewett

    Reductive diagnoses of a "war on science" ignore the specific political and cultural stakes of controversies around vaccination, climate, or creationism. 



  • America’s Most Hated Garment

    Atlantic writer Amanda Mull turns to fashion historians Marley Healy and Valerie Steele to place the growing social acceptance of sweatpants in a pattern of clothing standards changing in response to cultural influences and social conditions. 



  • How Americans Came to Distrust Science

    by Andrew Jewett

    Scientists and their supporters cannot overcome the current moment of hostility toward their profession and rejection of their expertise unless they confront the cultural history of skepticism toward science, in both conservative and liberal forms. 



  • The Struggle to Document COVID-19 for Future Generations

    by Pamela Ballinger

    Images of suffering have been powerful spurs to humanitarian action in history, but the process has the potential to reinforce messages of fault, blame, and separation. Assembling a visual archive of the age of COVID must avoid those traps to be useful in the future. 


  • Fear of the "Pussification" of America: A Short Cultural History

    by Gregory A. Daddis

    The bizarre idea that COVID-19 can be defeated through manliness is one of the stranger cultural themes of our time, but it connects to a long history of anxiety about masculinity in a changing America that encourages violent and even self-destructive actions in the name of proving virility.



  • How We Lie to Ourselves About History

    At its best, the "You're Wrong About" podcast transcends fact-checking and debunking to ask why so many of the stories we know are wrong, and why they persist nevertheless. 



  • Stanley Crouch, Towering Jazz Critic, Dead at 74

    Crouch's criticism pulled no punches, and tackled big questions about the relationship between race and art in American music. He became an influential and controversial figure in the popular history of jazz as a consultant to Ken Burns's documentary.



  • The Interdisciplinarity and Influence of Alan Trachtenberg

    by Jennifer Giuliano and Lauren Tilton

    "The need to interrogate, understand, and even disrupt how we see images is a part of Trachtenberg’s enduring legacy that becomes more important as researchers are distanced from physical archives." The work of Alan Trachtenberg in developing historical methodologies for understanding images is crucial for historians' ability to speak to current affairs.


  • Conventional Culture in the Third Reich

    by Moritz Föllmer

    Although Nazi aesthetics are generally associated with the monumental architecture of Albert Speer and the propaganda films of Leni Riefenstahl, Germans generally encountered conventionality in art, music and cinema. This helped to normalize the acts of the Third Reich and to allow ordinary Germans to dissociate themselves from Nazism after 1945.