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social history



  • 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? 



  • The Life in "The Simpsons" Is No Longer Attainable

    In the 1990s, "The Simpsons" drew humor by putting bizarre dysfunction in the context of middle class suburban banality. Today it's the idea of homeownership paid for by a stable single income that seems outlandish.



  • 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. 



  • How Can Local Government Address Systemic Racism?

    Peniel Joseph, one of the nation’s leading civil rights scholars, has studied and written about the history of race and democracy. He has some ideas on how cities and urban areas can begin to dismantle racism.



  • Using MLK to Quell Outrage Distorts His Legacy

    by Jeanne Theoharis

    King has much to say about our contemporary moment, about the persistence of police abuse and the power of disruption, which may account, at least partly, for why this aspect of his politics is considerably less recognized.



  • The Many Faces of the ‘Wine Mom’

    Historian Lisa Jacobson explains that the "Wine Mom" meme is rooted in gender and middle class norms regulating women's obligations to their children (and women's desire for freedom from them).



  • In Memoriam: William Rorabaugh

    William Rorabaugh, known to his colleagues as Bill, was a popular teacher and prolific scholar whose legacy will be felt for many years to come.