Science, Technology, and the Rise of Machines in the 20th Century

How to turn language, the core operating system of the humanities, into numbers. Stephen Mitchell suffered from allergies. “When the trees come out, I can’t see. People stand around saying, ‘Isn’t it lovely,’ but I weep,” he told the New York Times in 1965. A thirty-five-year-old professor at Syracuse University, he found sanctuary in the temperature-controlled environment of[…]

The Face of Science: How Albert Einstein Became a Celebrity

Success did not come easy to Einstein. It took six minutes, fifty-one seconds for Albert Einstein to become world famous. That’s how long the moon stood suspended before the face of the sun on May 29, 1919, eclipsing its light. Mind you, the astronomers below couldn’t sail back home and develop their photographs for weeks;[…]

Victorians and the Hidden Self: Cultural Contexts for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Picture of Dorian Gray

How did writers and audiences in late Victorian England and America explore the idea of a hidden or double self? Originally published by Newberry Digital Collections for the Classroom, 08.29.2017, Newberry Library, republished with permission for educational, non-commercial purposes. Introduction Why was the idea of a hidden or double self so appealing to writers and[…]

Doctors and the Invention of the Georgian English Seaside

Examining Georgian England’s new craze for sea-bathing. The Wellcome Library has a first edition of a book by a Sussex doctor, Richard Russell, published in 1753, entitled A Dissertation Concerning the use of Sea Water in Diseases of the Glands. Who would have guessed – Russell certainly didn’t – that this serious medical book would[…]

Harriet Prudence Patterson: American Revolution Spy in a Petticoat

Corroborating Prudence’s wartime adventures is difficult. Introduction Prudence Patterson was born in 1743 (either in Wales or in County Antrim, Ireland) and emigrated to America with her parents. In 1763, she married another immigrant, John Hall, in York, South Carolina. They had eight or nine children. Their children’s names were James, John, Prudence, Jennet, Margaret,[…]

Dissent and Democracy in Modern American History

What forms has dissent taken in U.S. history? What is the role of dissent in a representative democracy? Originally published by Newberry Digital Collections for the Classroom, 09.05.2017, Newberry Library, republished with permission for educational, non-commercial purposes. Introduction What is dissent? What role has dissent played in the development of American democracy? The Oxford English[…]