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cultural history


  • 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.


  • How Somalis Use Theatre to Rebuild Culturally

    by Farah M. Omer

    Modern Somali theatre rose to prominence in the 1960s, the period following the independence and the subsequent unification of Somaliland and Somalia. By the 1970s, there were multiple shows a night in any given city and the average Somali adult was considered a regular theatre goer regardless of socioeconomic status.


  • The Cold War New and Old: Architectural Exchanges Beyond the West

    by Łukasz Stanek

    Until today, many urban landscapes in West Africa bear witness to how local authorities and professionals drew on Soviet prefabrication technology, Hungarian and Polish planning methods, Yugoslav and Bulgarian construction materials, Romanian and East German standard designs, and manual laborers from across Eastern Europe.


  • Modeling Grief: the Death of Children in Historical Perspective

    by Maria E. Doerfler

    As students of the history of emotions have argued, even the deepest and most primal feelings require models for experiencing one's own suffering and for responding appropriately to others’. The relative lack of such models in contemporary American society contrasts sharply with other eras' approach to voicing bereavement.


  • Can America Recapture Its Signature Exuberance?

    by Tracy Dahlby

    Walt Whitman understood transcendence of national mood is an uphill climb. Periods of division and strife sort new realities into a renovated sense of purpose. Yet periods of upheaval must necessarily lead to a refitting, not obliteration, of our common story or democracy is toast.

  • Sacred Objects: Medieval History and Star Wars

    by Stephenie McGucken

    For European believers, relics allowed worshipers to encounter some aspect of an object of devotion—a holy person or place—when the object itself was physically unavailable or geographically inaccessible.