Darwin’s Polar Bear

“Polar Bear”, artist unknown, ca. 1870s — Library of Congress Musings upon the whys and wherefores of polar bears, particularly in relation to their forest-dwelling cousins, played an important but often overlooked role in the development of evolutionary theory. By Michael Engelhard / 02.21.2018 Anthropologist As any good high school student should know, the beaks of[…]

Josephine Baker: Iconic Entertainer, Resistance Spy, and American Hero

Josephine Baker | AP By Chauncey K. Robinson / 03.01.2018 It seems only fitting with Black History Month closing out, and Women’s History Month beginning, to highlight a Black woman who exemplified strength and resilience in the face of discrimination and oppression. Famed entertainer Josephine Baker was not only a pioneer in breaking color barriers[…]

John Brown’s Raid

Daguerreotype of John Brown, by John Bowles, c.1856 / Boston Athenaeum via Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Christopher H. Hamner Professor of History George Mason University Brown and the Raid John Brown was active in the abolition movement for decades before the Civil War, and had earned a notorious reputation for his antislavery activities in Kansas during[…]

Painting the New World

‘The Flyer’, a Secotan Indian man painted by John White in 1585. British Museum, London In 1585 the Englishman John White, governor of one of the very first North American colonies, made a series of exquisite watercolour sketches of the native Algonkin people alongside whom the settlers would try to live. Benjamin Breen explores the[…]

A Medieval Tree of Knowledge

By Patrick Outhwaite / 04.20.2016 Like modern-day students, medieval people used diagrams and images to reinforce learning and memorisation. In long and complex philosophical manuscripts, occasionally an image was used to break the monotony of reading. The tree diagram considered here was part of a tradition of visualising information and concepts relating to philosophy, medicine and[…]