The Northwest Passage as a Voyage to Myth and Adventure

The myth of the Northwest Passage is part of the northern romance of the conflict between men and nature. Myth Not many people have long stories—only short stories. Little stories, here and there. We don’t know much at all. – Quoted in Dorothy Harley Eber, Encounters on the Passage: Inuit Meet the Explorers. Toronto: University of[…]

The Geometric Landscapes of Lorenz Stoer (1567)

This was intended to be “read” by intarsia workers (artists who inlay sections of wood to decorate floors, walls, and furniture). This article, The Geometric Landscapes of Lorenz Stoer (1567), was originally published in The Public Domain Review under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0. If you wish to reuse it please see: https://publicdomainreview.org/legal/ Though these images may[…]

The Deathly ‘Bird’ Costumes of Early Modern Plague Doctors

The costumes were meant to combat the contagious miasma. This article, Plague Doctor Costumes, was originally published in The Public Domain Review under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0. If you wish to reuse it please see: https://publicdomainreview.org/legal/ Today, with the coronavirus now officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, images of hazmat suits and medical[…]

‘London’s Dreadful Visitation: Death during the Great Plague’ (1665)

This article, London’s Dreadful Visitation: A Year of Weekly Death Statistics during the Great Plague (1665), was originally published in The Public Domain Review under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0. If you wish to reuse it please see: https://publicdomainreview.org/legal/ Epidemics are on all our minds right now. Probably many of us could use a break from the[…]

Exploring the History of ‘Coming Out’

In the 1950s, ‘coming out’ meant acknowledging sexual orientation. Today, the term is used by a broad array of social movements. Introduction You probably know what it means to “come out” as gay. You may even have heard the expression used in relation to other kinds of identity, such as being undocumented. But do you[…]

Transgender Lives in the Middle Ages through Art, Literature, and Medicine

In primary texts, figures are addressed by medieval authors using both male and female pronouns interchangeably and by how they present. Introduction The exhibition Outcasts: Prejudice and Persecution in the Medieval World drew our attention to the story of Alexander the Great’s lover, the eunuch Bagoas (Bagoe). Bagoas’s gender was changed from male to female[…]