Transnational Ashkenaz: Yiddish Culture after the Holocaust

Monument at the Osipovichi Jewish cemetery / Photo by Alexander Litin, 2009 By Jan Schwarz / 04.11.2016 Associate Professor of Yiddish Studies Lund University 27 (2016) Abstract After the Holocaust’s near complete destruction of European Yiddish cultural centres, the Yiddish language was largely viewed as a remnant of the past, tragically eradicated in its prime.[…]

What Happened to the Vikings of Greenland?

The remnants of a Viking barn still stand at what had been the settlement of Gardar. (Ciril Jazbec) Newly discovered evidence is upending our understanding of how early settlers made a life on the island — and why they suddenly disappeared. By Tim Folger / March 2017 Science and Environment Specialist On the grassy slope[…]

The Eccentric, Democratic Architecture of Hans Scharoun

Philharmonie exterior. Photo by Chris Edwards The German architect created unique designs blending Expressionism and the International Style. By Dr. Kathleen James-Chakraborty / 05.09.2017 Professor of Art History University College Dublin The exhibition Berlin/Los Angeles: Space for Music (April 25–July 30, 2017, at the Getty Research Institute) explores two iconic buildings, Hans Scharoun’s Berlin Philharmonic[…]

History and Architecture of the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome

The Basilica of San Clemente, Rome, church rebuilt 1099-1119 (mosaic 1130s) with eighteenth-century renovations (photo: Michael Foley, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) By Dr. Diane Reilly / 06.14.2017 Associate Professor of Art History, Department Chair Indiana University A shrunken Rome By the twelfth century, the city of Rome was a shadow of its former, imperial Roman self.[…]

American Slavery: Separating Fact from Myth

Five generations of a slave family / Shutterstock By Dr. Daina Ramey Berry / 06.19.2017 Associate Professor of History and African American Diaspora Studies University of Texas at Austin People think they know everything about slavery in the United States, but they don’t. They think the majority of African slaves came to the American colonies,[…]

Science versus Religion in American Law

Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Steven Goldberg Professor Emeritus of Sociology City College of New York Introduction The power of organized religion has waxed and waned dramatically throughout human history. In many preindustrial societies, the church provided not only answers to what we think of today as scientific questions, but strict guidance to political leaders as[…]

Kumeyaay Native American Oral Literature, Cultural Identity, and Language Revitalisation

Kumeyaay coiled basket, woven by Celestine Lachapa, 19th century / Photo by Durova (Wikimedia Commons), San Diego Museum of Man   By Dr. Margaret Field / 12.19.2013 Professor of American Indian Studies San Diego State University The Kumeyaay Community of Baja California Anthony Pico, PhD, tribal chairman of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, speaking at[…]

When – and Why – Did People First Start Using Money?

The advantages of coins as currency were clear. cgb By Dr. Chapurukha Kusimba / 06.19.2017 Professor of Anthropology American University Sometimes you run across a grimy, tattered dollar bill that seems like it’s been around since the beginning of time. Assuredly it hasn’t, but the history of human beings using cash currency does go back[…]

The Christian Renaissance and Reformation in Continental Europe

Eight reformers (Hieronymus Bock, Johann Buchenhagen, Johann Calvin, Johannes Hus, Martin Luther, Philipp M. / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek By Dr. Stephen M. Feldman Jerry H. Housel/Carl F. Arnold Distinguished Professor of Law Adjunct Professor of Political Science University of Wyoming The Renaissance A first century AD bust of Cicero / Capitoline Museums, Rome Toward the end of[…]

Athens in the 19th century: The Neighbourhood of Metaxourgeion

Section of F. Aldenhoven’s map of Athens in 1837; marked are the four abandoned building plots on Millerou street, the road intersection at the Dipylon and the fortification wall of Haseki. By Dr. Christina Agriantoni Professor of Modern History University of Thessaly This is a discussion[1] of the mechanisms that command the evolution of a[…]

Athens in the 19th Century: From Regional Town of the Ottoman Empire to Capital of the Kingdom of Greece

A view of the city of Athens, painted by Richard Temple (1810). By Dr Leonidas Kallivretakis Historian Institute for Neohellenic Research National Hellenic Research Foundation (NHRF) “Athens was a Village” It is common ground in the historiography of the Athens of recent times, the indication of its unimportance, before being chosen to become capital of[…]

Preserving Native American History in Ambrotype Photography

People at the United Tribes Technical College Powwow are photographed as an ambrotype in 2016. The crowd raised their right hands in support of Native Americans everywhere. / Ambrotype by Shane Balkowitsch Using an early photographic process, one photographer hopes to draw a line connecting what happened to the Dakota people in Mankato, Minnesota, 155 years[…]

Decoding the Morse: The History of 16th-Century Narcoleptic Walruses

Woodcut of the morse from Olaus Magnus’ Historiae de Gentibus Septentrionalibus (1558 edition) / archive.org Amongst the assorted curiosities described in Olaus Magnus’ 1555 tome on Nordic life was the morse — a hirsuite, fearsome walrus-like beast, that was said to snooze upon cliffs while hanging by its teeth. Natalie Lawrence explores the career of[…]

Simone de Beauvoir’s Political Philosophy Resonates Today

Simone de Beauvoir in Paris in 1949. / Photo from Elliot Erwitt, Magnum By Dr. Skye C. Cleary / 03.10.2017 Lecturer Columbia University, City College of New York Simone de Beauvoir is rightly best known for declaring: ‘One is not born, but rather becomes, woman.’ A less well-known facet of her philosophy, particularly relevant today, is[…]

Religion and Art in Ancient Greece

Fragment of a Hellenistic relief (1st century BCE – 1st century CE) depicting the Twelve Olympians carrying their attributes in procession; from left to right, Hestia (scepter), Hermes (winged cap and staff), Aphrodite (veiled), Ares (helmet and spear), Demeter (scepter and wheat sheaf), Hephaestus (staff), Hera (scepter), Poseidon (trident), Athena (owl and helmet), Zeus (thunderbolt[…]

How the Village Feast Paved the Way to Empires and Economics

Peasant Wedding, 1567, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. / Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna By Dr. Brian Hayden / 11.16.2016 Emeritus Professor of Archaeology Simon Fraser University Feasts helped to transform egalitarian hunters and gatherers into the kinds of societies that laid the foundations for early states and even industrial empires. They created hierarchies and inequalities, the[…]

Morosini in Athens

Medal struck in Morosini’s honour for his military exploits in the Morean War, by P. H. Müller, Nuremerg, 1688 /  Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Kornilia Chatziaslani Architect-Archaeologist Head of the Information and Educational Sector of the Service of Conservation of Acropolis Monuments (YSMA) After the conquest of Crete in 1669, the Turks turned their eyes[…]

What Japanese Internment Taught Us About Standing Up for Our Neighbors

Artwork by Steve Gardner at the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial in Washington state. The memorial wall is 276 feet long—one foot for every Japanese person who lived in that community in 1942. First, we must demand justice for ourselves. Second, those who have privilege and power must intervene for those without. By Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz[…]

Does Technological Analysis Destroy the Romance of Art History?

Detail from Extracting the Stone of Madness by Hieronymus Bosch / Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid By Dr. Noah Charney / 08.09.2016 Adjunct Professor of Art History, American University of Rome Founder, Association for Research into Crimes Against Art In 2012, a linguist at the University of Southern California decoded a famous medieval manuscript written in a[…]

Saint Catherine of Siena’s Divine Head

The head of Saint Catherine of Siena displayed at the Basilica of San Domenico. / Image credit: Giovanni Cerretani via Wikipedia 03.27.2017 One of the most captivating displays of saintly relics is at the Basilica Cateriniana di San Domenico in Siena, Italy, a town about 45 miles (72km) south of Tuscany.  Worshippers and tourists who visit this[…]

A New Archaeological Framework for Cultural Changes in Ancient Buddhism

Mingora, the modern-day capital city of Swat or ancient Mengjieli / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Anna Filigenzi Professor of Archaeology University of Naples “L’Orientale” Towards a New Reading of Conflicting Sources The more analytical studies highlight the artistic value, theoretical coherence, and innovative character of the rock sculptures, the more glaring appears the contradiction with[…]