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popular culture



  • The Lies of TV's Abortion Storylines

    by Tanya Melendez

    "Looking back on how abortion came into our living rooms starting in the 1960s and persisted into our audience-fragmented streaming era can teach us how these stories taught, shaped, and contributed to today’s public discourse about abortion."



  • Why Hollywood Can't Change a Diaper

    by Janet Golden

    While Hollywood portrayals of motherhood have adapted to incorporate single and working mothers, popular culture images of fatherhood have remained stubbornly stuck in the past. Would supports for child care and parental leave in the budget reconciliation bill help bring movie dads up to date? 



  • The Beatles vs. the KKK

    John Lennon's notorious "bigger than Jesus" comment prior to the group's 1966 American tour brought out right-wing protestors and helped push the band to stop touring permanently. 



  • Muscle Motion:

    by Natalia Mehlman Petrzela

    A 1983 home workout video featuring the Chippendales dancers reflected the convergence of multiple cultural changes in home video, fitness culture, pornography, and the mainstreaming of female desire. Everything has a history!



  • How the Drive-By Truckers Hacked the Music Industry

    by Stephen Deusner

    Through lineup changes, record label hassles, and fans upset with their political lyrics, the Truckers have used the internet and social media to build support and survive for decades. Their story is a history of the changing business and a map for younger acts. 



  • Climate Anxiety and the Return of Arctic Horror

    by Bathsheba Demuth

    As climate change driven by capitalism threatens the polar ice caps, new miniseries return to the themes of arctic exploration, where cold and ice threaten humans and commerce, rather than the other way around. 



  • The Significance of Yasuke, the Black Samurai

    by Warren A. Stanislaus

    "While media coverage of Afro-Japanese encounters overwhelmingly focuses on incidents of racism or misunderstandings, Yasuke’s interaction with Japan has helped illuminate a rich but overlooked history of Afro-Japanese connectivity." 



  • 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."