Founding Mothers: Postage Stamps Honoring Women’s Contributions to the Early Republic

Abigail Adams / Public Domain As state sponsored government art, stamps offer an incredibly rich visual resource. By Dr. Richard Scott Morel / 01.27.2017 Curator of Philatelic Collections British Library As state sponsored government art, stamps offer an incredibly rich visual resource for gender studies, a fact most apparent when looking at how women have[…]

Myth and Miraculous Performance: The Virgin Hodegetria in Byzantine Iconography

“She Who Points the Way.” Wall Fragment with the Virgin Mary and Coats of Arms, mid-1400s, made in Athens. Pigment on plaster, 44 1/8 x 60 5/8 in. Image courtesy of the Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens, inv. no 1111 This icon of the Virgin Mary has a fascinating story, closely intertwined with the history[…]

The Victorian Supernatural

The Fashionable Science of Parlour Magic / British Library, Public Domain Challenging the idea of the 19th century as one of secularisation, exploring the popularity of mesmerism, spiritualism and ‘true’ ghost stories in the period. By Dr. Roger Luckhurst / 05.15.2014 Professor of Modern Literature Birkbeck College University of London The 19th century is routinely thought[…]

Oracles and Models: Ancient and Modern Ways of Telling the Future

Heinrich Leutemann [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons There’s a surprising amount in common between ancient ways of thinking about the future and the techniques we use now. By Dr. Esther Eidinow / 02.24.2018 Professor of Ancient History University of Bristol When something unexpected happens to us we still tend to ask “why me?” – and it’s difficult to know where to look for an[…]

DNA Analysis Sheds Light on the Mysterious Origins of the Ancient Greeks

A fragmented painting of a woman bearing offerings, from the Mycenaean palace at Tiryns. (Carole Raddato/Wikimedia Commons) Researchers found that Minoans and Mycenaeans were closely related. By Brigit Katz / 08.04.2017 During the Bronze Age, two important civilizations emerged in Greece: the Minoans and, later, the Mycenaeans. These ancient peoples were among the earliest of the so-called “high[…]