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cultural history



  • The 70s are Back, But Not How You Think

    by Lauren Rebecca Sklaroff

    "In the coronavirus era, disco themes resonate. People long for community and wonder if leaders have our backs. Social media offers some of the trappings that defined disco — from the clothes to the allure of being seen in a new way."



  • EBay Deletes the Queer Past

    The online auction company's decision may make it difficult for historians of LGBTQ cultures and of sexuality to build archives of historically signicant erotica. 



  • When Europe Gave its Ears to Black American Composers

    by Kira Thurman

    In the wake of World War II many Black American classical composers found welcoming audiences in Europe, but their experiences should not overshadow the ways European cultural institutions have marginalized domestic Black artists.



  • Simone de Beauvoir's Lost Novel of Early Love

    “I loved Zaza with an intensity which could not be accounted for by any established set of rules and conventions,” Beauvoir recalled in her memoirs, almost thirty years after her friend’s death. 



  • The Freeing of the American Mind

    Louis Menand joins Ezra Klein's podcast to discuss his new book and the intellectual history of the cold war era. 


  • "Juke": Bluesman Bobby Rush on the Roots of Rock and Roll

    by Bobby Rush with Herb Powell

    Blues musician Bobby Rush's new autobiography chronicles his life and career, and the way that the appropriation of Black music into American popular culture often left Black entertainers behind. Read here how he remembers the roots of rock and roll. 



  • The Last Time There Was a Craze About UFOs and Aliens

    by Daniel N. Gullotta

    A recent resurgence of interest in UFOs in respectable public discourse recalls the 1990s, when the X Files reflected a similar moment of distrust in authority and conspiratorial thinking. 



  • Tracing the African Diaspora in Food

    Jessica B. Harris's book "High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America" traces the African diaspora through food cultures. It will debut as a Netflix series next week. 



  • Weary of Work

    by Emily K. Abel

    Historian Emily Abel's book on fatigue deals in part with how Progressive era reformers approached the problem of the tired industrial worker. Ultimately, they favored solutions that emphasized efficiency and management, undercutting the ability of the labor movement to demand shorter work hours. 



  • Are you ready for the Roaring '20s?

    by Nicole Hemmer

    The end of the pandemic may portend a repeat of the "roaring 20s" a century later. But anyone anticipating a wild party should recall the nativism, racism, and rampant inequality of the era. Can the individual desire to live life to the fullest support a politics of inclusion and equality? 



  • Runaway American Dreams

    by Dennis M. Hogan

    What does it say about American liberalism that it's cultural tribune, Bruce Springsteen, is doing a corporate-sponsored podcast with the former President of the United States?