How New York’s Union Square Helped Shape Free Speech in the U.S.

New York’s Union Square is an important site in American labor history. One scholar’s research illustrates the shifting meanings and inherent tensions of public space as an epicenter of civic life. Introduction Public space is an essential component of democratic cities. Modelled on the agora of ancient Greece, it is a marketplace for the exchange of goods[…]

Street Literature in Victorian England

From public notes and broadsides to catchpennies and printed songs, examining the variety of street literature which informed and entertained the public before newspapers were readily available. Introduction In the 19th century, there was no radio, no TV and no internet. Newspapers were expensive, and for many years the government taxed them heavily. These taxes[…]

The China of the Jesuits

The history of the Society of Jesus’ first missions is a story of great journeys. Abstract During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries many reports and travel narratives helped to create a more positive image of China around the world. The remarkable efforts of the Society of Jesus were essential to this new view, thanks to[…]

The Early Modern European Palaces of the Qianlong Emperor

These works represent an artistic encounter between East and West. A Controversial Auction In 2009, two eighteenth-century Chinese bronze sculptures — one representing a rat’s head and the other a rabbit’s — sold at a Christie’s auction in Paris for $40.4 million. Soon afterwards, the art world watched, stunned, as the winning bidder, Cai Mingchao,[…]