An Anthropologist Explains Why We Love Holiday Rituals and Traditions

Working together on a once-a-year project feels festive and special. Flotsam/Shutterstock.com By Dr. Dimitris Xygalatas / 12.12.2017 Assistant Professor in Anthropology University of Connecticut The mere thought of holiday traditions brings smiles to most people’s faces and elicits feelings of sweet anticipation and nostalgia. We can almost smell those candles, taste those special meals, hear those[…]

What History Really Tells Us about the Birth of Jesus

The nativity scenes celebrated each Christmas bear little resemblance to history. skepticalview/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND By Dr. Robyn J. Whitaker / 12.21.2017 Bromby Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies Trinity College University of Divinity I might be about to ruin your Christmas. Sorry. But the reality is those nativity plays in which your adorable children wear tinsel and angel[…]

What Kwanzaa Means for Black Americans

Kwanzaa celebrations. Black Hour, CC BY-NC By Dr. Frank Dobson / 12.20.2017 Associate Dean of Students Vanderbilt University On Dec. 26, millions throughout the world’s African community will start weeklong celebrations of Kwanzaa. There will be daily ceremonies with food, decorations and other cultural objects, such as the kinara, which holds seven candles. At many Kwanzaa[…]

A Brief Introduction to Contemporary Art

Girl Looking at: Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1962, synthetic polymer on 32 canvases each 20 x 16″ (The Museum of Modern Art) (photo: Steven Zucker) By Dr. Virginia B. Spivey / 08.09.2015 Art Historian “Getting” Contemporary Art It’s ironic that many people say they don’t “get” contemporary art because, unlike Egyptian tomb painting or Greek sculpture, art[…]