When Stories Add Up: The Six Narrative Arcs in Fiction

Classic narratives. From Cinderella, 1950. Photo by Rex Features By Veronique Greenwood / 11.18.2016 In recent years, literature has been getting attention from an unusual quarter: mathematics. Alongside statistical physicists analysing the connections between characters in the Icelandic sagas, and computer scientists exploring the life and death of words in English fiction, a team of mathematicians at the University of[…]

Should You Feel Sad about the Demise of the Handwritten Letter?

‘You spoke of Hope surpassing Home, I thought that Hope was Home – a misapprehension of architecture.’ Emily Dickinson letter to Otis Phillips Lord. / Amhurst College Library By Dr. Siobhan Phillips / 04.12.2017 Professor of English Dickinson College A lot of people love personal letters now that very few people write them. We have publishing initiatives such[…]

What is Your Phone Doing to Your Relationships?

New research is exploring how phubbing—ignoring someone in favor of our mobile phone—hurts our relationships, and what we can do about it. By Dr. Emma Seppälä / 10.10.2017 Lecturer and Director of Yale College Emotional Intelligence Project Yale University Phubbing is the practice of snubbing others in favor of our mobile phones. We’ve all been there, as[…]

How Teens Today – the iGens – Are Different from Past Generations

A psychologist mines big data on teens and finds many ways this generation—the “iGens”—is different from Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials. By Dr. Diana Divecha / 10.20.2017 Developmental Psychologist Every generation of teens is shaped by the social, political, and economic events of the day. Today’s teenagers are no different—and they’re the first generation whose[…]

Why Your Brain Needs to Dream

Research shows that dreaming is not just a byproduct of sleep, but serves its own important functions in our well-being. By Dr. Matthew P. Walker / 10.24.2017 Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience University of California, Berkeley We often hear stories of people who’ve learned from their dreams or been inspired by them. Think of Paul[…]

For a Primer on How to Make Fun of Nazis, Look to Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin’s character Adenoid Hynkel was a not-so-subtle nod to Adolf Hitler. / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Kevin Hagopian / 08.24.2017 Senior Lecturer of Media Studies (Cinema Studies) Pennsylvania State University White nationalists and neo-Nazis are having their moment. Former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke is back, yet again, in the media spotlight, while[…]