Posts Tagged: history

The Lives of Unfamous Women

By

Anne Boyd Rioux reviews a new biography on the wife of Lord Byron, Anne Isabella Milbanke. In her review, Rioux evaluates the still-too-high standard set for women’s biographies, particularly when those women lived in the shadow of famous men:

Insisting that the female relatives of famous men be accomplished players on the world stage in their own right in order to warrant biographical treatment is perhaps asking too much.

...more

A New Scientific History

By

Did Du Bois and the Atlanta School have a distinct standpoint? Of course…. But white privileged departments of Sociology also had their distinct standpoint. And theirs was the standpoint of imperial power.

In the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, Julian Go reviews a new history of sociology (Aldon Morris’s The Scholar Denied) and the systematic dismissal of black scholars’ scientific discoveries, starting with W.E.B.

...more

Immortalizing History

By

Literature continually reminds us that we are not alone and (to paraphrase Kundera) that things are not always as simple as they seem. With so many stories, histories, characters and figures populating a reader’s mind, it’s easy for us to take for granted the liberation that literature imparts.

...more

Mira Ptacin author photo

The Rumpus Interview with Mira Ptacin

By

Author Mira Ptacin discusses her memoir Poor Your Soul, what inspires her to write, motherhood, and why she considers her beat “the uterus and the American Dream.” ...more

Museum Stories

By

For Longreads, Jaime Green writes about the narrative styles employed in exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History. Green focuses on the work of one of the AMNH’s directors, Albert E. Parr, and his efforts to connect the science of the museum with the lives of its visitors:

Rather than showing one isolated capsule, the new hall would encompass nature and the human world….

...more

For Men and By Men

By

Slate’s Rebecca Onion and Andrew Kahn analyze the overwhelming maleness of both the subjects and authors of history books, discussing their findings with book publishers:

Our data set revealed some answers about the publishing of popular history that we expected: Authors are largely male, biographical subjects too; “uncle books” make up a third of the total titles published.

...more

Change, but Not Too Much

By

Mensah Demary caps off the year at Catapult with an essay that reflects on the traditional New Year’s resolution and what our easy dismissing of these attempts to change says about us:

I should probably write a few words about 2015, but the year is stale now, rung out like a damp dish rag and left to dry in the cold, dour winds of some rundown burg blasted off the map by poverty and overcast.

...more

History Is Addictive

By

For Public Books, David Kurnick explores how Elena Ferrante’s attention to history contributes to the addictive nature of her novels and is helping to “revive” realism:

The addictive quality of the Neapolitan novels on which everyone agrees may finally derive from their unequaled sensitivity to what it feels like to be in and with history—sometimes in anticipation, often in contempt or fear, always with excitement and attention. 

...more

Writing a Women’s History of Science

By

For Motherboard at VICE, Victoria Turk writes on the gender biases still present in writing histories of female scientists. Turk focuses on the legacies of Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie, and even Florence Nightingale, whose roles as a statistician and social reformer are overlooked in favor of the more traditionally feminine narrative of her contributions to nursing.

...more

The Queer Holiday Blues

By

Lauren Gutterman writes for Notches, a journal on the history of sexuality, about the “holiday blues” documented in postwar queer literature. Gutterman’s examination of holiday-themed issues of queer literary publications finds that they’ve often focused on queer people’s exclusions from nuclear family structures and they use that sense of exile to create a sympathetic, unified queer experience.

...more

The Science of the Supernatural

By

Certain people, Barrett decided, were… exquisitely attuned to vibrations that others could not perceive, to “forces unrecognized by our senses.” He considered these persons able to receive messages from super-normal spirit-beings existing in an intermediate state between the physical and the spiritual—a phenomenon that might account for telepathy.

...more

On Ladies’ Creative Pursuits

By

There are certain stereotypes about women’s creativity prior to the twentieth century, and generally they revolve around appropriately domestic novels, amateur watercolors, needlework, and “folk art.” But there’ve always been women who found ways around those rules.

For Pictorial at Jezebel, Kelly Faircloth writes on an exhibit at the New York Public Library featuring the work of female printmakers from the 16th through the 19th centuries.

...more

Defining America through Marriage

By

At Marginalia, a channel of the Los Angeles Review of Books, Darryl W. Stephens reviews a new history of 19th century marriage by Leslie Harris. Harris’s book documents the ways public rhetoric and legal proceedings reshaped marriage into a new institution to define early American culture:

[Harris] has offered concrete illustrations of how rhetoric about marriage bolsters an American mythology in which civilization triumphs over barbarians and moral virtue wins over unrestrained sin.
...more

A Figurative Recovery from War

By

In his review for Hyperallergic of a new MOMA exhibit, Thomas Micchelli writes about the work of artists during and immediately after their experiences in World War II. In the exhibit, Soldier, Spectre, Shaman: The Figure and the Second World War, Micchelli claims that the 20th century art historical record finally will be reconciled with the inclusion of figurative art from this period.

...more