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cultural history



  • Manhood, Madness, and Moonshine

    by Dillon Carroll

    Today's concern for "deaths of despair" among white Americans isn't unprecedented; a wave of alcoholism and temperance advocacy after the Civil War highlighted the relationship between social unsettlement, substance abuse and social reformism.



  • Extinct

    by Barbara Penner and Adrian Forty

    "The history of objects becomes far richer when we also consider the underside of progress: the conflicts, obsolescence, accidents, destruction, and failures that have been such an integral part of modernization and its modes of operation."



  • The Real Foucault

    by Michael C. Behrent

    "Why does Foucault now feel like our contemporary, almost forty years after his death? Why are leftists turning against him? And why are some conservatives adopting him?"



  • Fin de Siecle Vienna: Art and Culture in Schorske's Century

    by Thomas Bender

    Carl Schorske's work on 19th Century Vienna was a masterwork of intellectual history that incorporated interdisciplinary approaches to politics and culture to model new approaches to scholarship in the humanities. A colleague traces his intellectual development.



  • 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.