Sad Paradise: Jack Kerouac’s Nostalgic Buddhism

Jack Kerouac’s study of Buddhism started in earnest in 1953 and is traditionally believed to have ended in 1958. Abstract This paper considers the relationship between Kerouac’s Buddhist practice and his multi-layered nostalgia. Based on a close reading of his unpublished diaries from the mid-1950s through mid-1960s, I argue that Buddhism was a means of[…]

As Herman Melville Turns 200, His Works Have Never Been More Relevant

On the author’s bicentennial, American readers could use a dose of his unique ability to fuse realism with idealism. Outside of American literature courses, it doesn’t seem likely that many Americans are reading Herman Melville these days. But with Melville turning 200 on August 1, I propose that you pick up one of his novels,[…]

“The Godly Greedy Appetite”: New Religious Relic Circulation in the Early Modern World

England became one of the greatest producers of new Catholic relics during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Abstract Having lost all monasteries and a good deal of its medieval Christian movable assets, England became one of the greatest producers of new Catholic relics during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This article aims to look, from[…]

The English Reformation: Tradition and Change

Originally published by Newberry Digital Collections for the Classroom, 09.26.2017, Newberry Library, republished with permission for educational, non-commercial purposes. Introduction The English Reformation was part of a European-wide phenomenon to reform the church which began in 1517 when legend has it that the German monk and theologian Martin Luther nailed 95 theses (propositions for discussion)[…]

The Cinaedus: Transgender Soldiers in the Ancient Roman Army

An ancient Roman fable imagines a cinaedus, well-known for his brazen effeminacy, fighting heroically. Introduction On August 25, 2017, Donald Trump signed a directive banning transgender people from joining the U.S. military. This officially reverses the inclusive policies introduced during the Obama regime. Trump’s decision was, he claimed in earlier tweets, based on the burdensome medical costs and disruption that[…]

Acquarossa: Archaeological Study of an Ancient Etruscan Settlement

Abandoned when the larger Etruscan towns struggled to meet the demands of their growing urban population and so annexed the lands of their smaller neighbours. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction Acquarossa, located in the north of Italy’s Lazio region, is the site of an Etruscan settlement of unknown name. Although much smaller than other, more famous[…]