Kristallnacht 80 Years On: Some Reading about the Most Notorious State-Sponsored Pogrom

Eight decades on, the thought of the state encouraging people to attack groups of citizens is hard to believe. Here are some books that might help. Introduction On the evening of November 9 1938 a Nazi pogrom raged across German and Austrian cities. Nazis branded the atrocity with a poetic term: Kristallnacht or “Crystal Night”.[…]

The Mass Destruction of Jewish Homes during ‘Kristallnacht’

Most histories highlight the shattered storefronts and synagogues set aflame. But it was the systematic ransacking of Jewish homes that extracted the greatest toll. By Dr. Wolf GrunerShapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies and Professor of HistoryFounding Director, USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide ResearchDornsife College of Letters, Arts and SciencesUniversity of Southern California Introduction[…]

Stories of Gender and Sexuality from Early Modern Wonder Books

The category of ‘persons who have changed their sex’ in the wonder books cannot be exactly matched onto any modern term. By Lee RayeHistorian of Science In early modern England, the wonder book provided a vernacular genre that collected stories of monsters, marvels and prodigies. Although the books had a veneer of scholarly respectability, their[…]

The Female World of Love and Larceny in the Eighteenth Century

Men were transient figures (and often dupes) of light-fingered sex workers, but women’s relationships with each other were often more enduring. I was recently delighted to learn of the return of the period drama Harlots for a third season. The television series set in rival eighteenth-century London brothels is good viewing, even if its portrait[…]

A New Generation Is Reviving Indigenous Tattooing

People in Arctic and Northwest Coast communities are uncovering the therapeutic history of tattoos. By Joshua Rapp Learn To celebrate her graduation from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Alaska Native Studies program in 2012, Marjorie Kunaq Tahbone got a tattoo. Tahbone is Inupiat, an Alaska Native people, and the design was a traditional Inupiat pattern:[…]

The Body as a Map: A History of Body Modification

People have long made their skin into canvases that convey rich personal, spiritual, or ritual meanings in specific cultural contexts. By Dr. Djuke VeldhuisAnthropologist By Dr. Matthew Gwynfryn ThomasData Scientist and Anthropologist For decades, two mummies lay in the British Museum concealing a secret. The ancient Egyptian pair, nicknamed Gebelein Man A and Gebelein Woman,[…]