For JSTOR Daily, Ellen C. Caldwell examines historical “memory-making” and our changing interpretations of historical events over time. Caldwell focuses on the 1746 Battle of Culloden, a battle that ended the Jacobite Uprising and decisively transformed the British monarchy and Scottish Highland culture....more
Posts Tagged: history
For Full Stop, Emma Schneider reviews a recently republished book: Amber Reeves’s 1914 novel A Lady and Her Husband, which Schneider aligns with “American pre-war feminist classics such as The Awakening and The Yellow Wallpaper.” Reeves’s novel offers a comparatively more practical look at the emergence of pre-feminist concerns at the turn of the 20th century....more
Pale skin, thin waists, sparkling eyes, rosy cheeks, red lips—all trademarks of 19th century English beauty trends, and all symptoms of the tuberculosis epidemic that ran rampant until the advent of germ theory in the early 20th century. Emily Mullin writes for Smithsonian on the new connections discovered between 19th century fashion and the aesthetic impact of tuberculosis....more
Jim Downs writes for Aeon on the radical socialist roots of the gay liberation movement in America, as well as the role of economics in allowing individuals to shape an openly gay identity....more
Tara Isabella Burton revisits historical interpretations of the Bible’s Book of Genesis and the emergence of fundamentalist/literal readings of a text that, for centuries, had been interpreted as allegory....more
The word “jawn” is unlike any other English word. In fact, according to the experts that I spoke to, it’s unlike any other word in any other language. It is an all-purpose noun, a stand-in for inanimate objects, abstract concepts, events, places, individual people, and groups of people….
Allison Meier writes at Hyperallergic on a speech, recently digitized by the British Library, that proves to be the only example of Shakespeare’s handwriting other than a few signatures. The excerpt comes from Sir Thomas More, a play written in collaboration, wherein the title character asks for sympathy for migrants, driven from their homes and countries....more
At Aeon, Robert Neer discusses the particular absence of military history from American universities. While general history courses cover the overall societal impact of some military campaigns and political science covers the effect of military action on government, Neer notes a lack of scholarship (and scrutiny) from academics on military action since the Vietnam War....more
Jillian Cantor explains what drew her to the women in history, Margot Frank and Ethel Rosenberg, that she wrote her two novels on. Cantor is intrigued by women in history whose stories are lost or forgotten, and uses her writing to tell their stories:
…I began to think about what it might’ve been like to a be a wife and mother in the late 1940s and early 1950s, as well as what it might have been like for Ethel to be arrested, jailed, and executed for a crime I came to believe she was innocent of.
Laura June writes for Pictorial at Jezebel on the epistolary life of Charlotte Bronte. June covers Bronte’s later years, showing that the significant portion of what we know about Charlotte Bronte comes from her correspondence with her best friend, Ellen Nussey, and her former employer/love of her life, Constantin Héger....more
Matthew Wills revisits the life and career of Mary Somerville, a 19th century scientist, translator, and a popular science journalist. Somerville also has a notable place in linguistic history: the word scientist was first used in a review of her book, On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences, in 1834....more
The memorial in Chelsea Old Church tactfully describes him as “a resident of this parish who renounced a cherished citizenship to give his allegiance to England in the first year of the Great War”—the “cherished” insisting from the grave that James had been a good American.
Preserving information and data archives in the digital age presents a new kind of challenge. Physical books may degrade over time, but even a book in poor condition can be taken down off a shelf and read. Digital storage devices, however, require functional systems to access any of the data....more
A tour through Rumphius’ work is a masterclass in the poetry of the concrete noun. His shells bear names like Little Dream Horn, the Prince’s Funeral, Peasant Music and the Double Venus Harp.
Atlas Obscura tells the story of Georg Everhard Rumphius (no relation), the blind botanist who applied poetry to science....more
Fears of mistaken identity and unconscious slips were crystallized in the literature of detection but emerged from a broad range of hermeneutic practices across the era, at a time in which those in power considered the borders of empire and boundaries of racial identity to be insecure.
E.R. Truitt writes for Aeon on the long history of the “Fantasy North,” the lands, people, and culture at the top of the world that have fascinated pop culture for centuries. Truitt also marks the points in history when the rugged, independent peoples of the Fantasy North became the chosen image of white supremacy movements in North America and Europe....more
Participation in our own surveillance was the price of entry into heaven.
In the Winter 2016 issue of Lapham’s Quarterly, Amanda Power writes on the history (real and mythological) of the Western surveillance state, whose roots can be found in the early influence of religion in European governments....more
Having goaded the formerly pre-eminent Michelangelo by winning papal favour and sneaking into his as-yet unfinished Sistine Chapel, Raphael further insulted his Florentine rival in the Laocoön competition.
The Public Domain Review tells the story of how the restoration of Laocoön and His Sons only further deepened the rivalry between Renaissance artists Michelangelo and Raphael....more
For Lenny Letter, Doreen St. Félix writes on the legacy of Phillis Wheatley, the first black poet to have her work published in America:
In her second life, Wheatley’s poetry—and the imagined determination it took to create it, to appropriate the language of white imperialism for her personal truth—has become a founding myth, of a newer black-female canon.
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.