Preserving the Legacy of the Los Angeles Woman’s Building

Outside the Woman’s Building, 1975. The Getty Research Institute, 2018.M.16. Photo: Maria Karras. Gift of Maria Karras. © Maria Karras, BFA, RBP, MA Several feminist art archives to be preserved and accessible thanks to new grant. By Andra Darlington / 11.01.2018 Head of Special Collections Management Getty Research Institute In 1973, artist Judy Chicago, designer[…]

How Architecture Influences Life and Lifestyle

Buildings affect how we sleep, work, socialise and even breathe. They can isolate and endanger us, but they can also heal us. In this extract from ‘Living with Buildings and Walking with Ghosts’ , Iain Sinclair explores the relationships between social planning and health, taking detours along the way. By Iain Sinclair / 10.24.2018 Moving now,[…]

The Working Classes and Poverty in the Victorian Era

Examining the social and economic lives of the Victorian working classes and the poor. By Liza Picard / 10.14.2009 English Historian    Photographs of a Glasgow slum by Thomas Annan, 1868 / British Library, Public Domain The Victorians liked to have their social classes clearly defined. The working class was divided into three layers, the lowest being[…]

Faces of ‘Ordinary Poor’ People from Medieval Cambridge

New facial reconstruction of a man buried in a medieval hospital graveyard discovered underneath a Cambridge college sheds light on how ordinary poor people lived in 13th century England.  03.20.2017 The audience of an event at this year’s Cambridge Science Festival found themselves face-to-face with a fellow Cambridge resident – one who had spent the last 700 years[…]

Graphic Battles of Pharmacy: 19th-Century Medicine Confronts Quackery

Grants and Oddities. This patient is shown to have sprouted vegetable offshoots after taking 132 boxes of vegetable pills. The caption is full of vegetable puns. / Wellcome Collection, Creative Commons James Morison’s campaign against the medical establishment inspired a wave of caricatures mocking his quack medicine. Wellcome Trust Pharmagraphics / 11.01.2017 In the 1830s, the[…]

Divining the Witch of York: Propaganda and Prophecy – ‘Mother Shipton’ in Medieval England

Frontispiece, most likely by Robert Cruikshank, to The Life and Prophecies of Mother Shipton (1823) / Internet Archive Said to be spawn of the devil himself and possessed with great powers of prophetic insight, Mother Shipton was Yorkshire’s answer to Nostradamus. Ed Simon looks into how, regardless of whether this prophetess witch actually existed or not, the[…]

Corruption in Ancient Rome

An equestrian statue of a Julio-Claudian prince, originally identified as Caligula / British Museum, Creative Commons Looking, with late Italian historian Guglielmo Ferrero, at the facts cited by the ancients as examples of corruption in the Roman Empire. By Dr. Guglielmo Ferrero (1909) Early 20th-Century Historian Two years ago in Paris, while giving a course of lectures[…]

A Brief History of Messianic Judaism

Young Jews praying at the Kotel, the Western Wall, in Jerusalem (Image © Bigstock/kirill4mula) There are approximately 175,000 to 250,000 messianic Jews in the U.S, and 350,000 worldwide. By Dr. Ingrid Anderson / 11.13.2018 Associate Director of Jewish Studies Lecturer, Arts and Sciences Writing Program Boston University Introduction Messianic Jews consider themselves Jewish Christians. Specifically they believe, as[…]

Custer’s Defeat at Little Bighorn

The Little Bighorn Battlefield, Lodge Grass, Montana / Photo by Acroterion, Wikimedia Commons The battle is also known as “Custer’s Last Stand” and the “Battle of the Greasy Grass.” Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 11.12.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Background Overview The ‘Battle of the Little Bighorn’ was one of the most famous battles[…]

‘Charge of the Light Brigade’: The Defeat of Lord Rogan at Balaklava

1904 reunion of survivors of the Charge of the Light Brigade / Wikimedia Commons A misinterpreted order, near slaughter, and casting blame. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 11.12.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Prelude to the Charge Introduction The Battle of Balaklava is remembered primarily for the Charge of the Light Brigade. However, there were other[…]

Drawing the Human Animal

Charles Le Brun, The relation between the human physiognomy and that of the brute creation / Wellcome Collection While the ‘science’ of physiognomy defined character by physical characteristics, a series of extraordinary 17th-century drawings goes a step further. Melding animal and human features, what do these images have to say about our hidden inclinations? By Allison[…]

17th-Century Artistic Attempts to Imagine ‘Perfect’ Animal Forms before ‘the Fall’

Crispin van de Passe’s perfect elephant as featured in his ‘t Light der teken en schilderkonst (1643) / Internet Archive Does each species have an optimal form? An ideal beauty that existed prior to the Fall? And if so could this be recreated on both paper and in life? These were questions that concerned both artists and[…]

Native Americans and the Dehumanizing Force of the Photograph

Dance bonnet and scalplock of an Omaha Indian / Wellcome Collection, Creative Commons The legacy and impact of photographs that make for some uncomfortable viewing. By Allison C. Meier / 03.22.2018 Photographs, and how people are presented in them, can impact health and survival. In the 19th century, such photographs and artistic depictions of indigenous people as primitives[…]

Native Americans through the 19th-Century Lens

Portrait of Assuz, a San Carlos Apache Indian, c 1898 / Wellcome Collection, Creative Commons The pictures are striking and iconic, but the story behind them is far from black and white. Here, we profile 19th-century photographer Frank Rinehart’s remarkable portrayal of Native Americans. By Allison C. Meier / 03.22.2018 The 1898 Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition in[…]

The Spanish Inquisition: Forced Belief and Worship Methodology

The inside of a jail of the Spanish Inquisition, with a priest supervising his scribe while men and women are suspended from pulleys, tortured on the rack or burnt with torches. / Wellcome Library, Wikimedia Commons Catholics and Protestants did their fair share of torturing and murdering their opposites in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.[…]

Christian Persecution in Ancient Rome – On Again Off Again

Was persecution a consistent imperial policy, and what types of punishments were inflicted on Christians? The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1883)/Wikimedia Commons The image of cowering Christians being thrown to the lions by Roman emperors is a grisly staple of popular culture. But how accurate is it?    By Dr. Shushma Malik and Dr. Caillan Davenport / 11.21.2016 Malik: Lecturer in[…]

Woodrow Wilson and Consequential Armistice Decisions

The heads of the “Big Four” nations at the Paris Peace Conference, 27 May 1919. From left to right: David Lloyd George, Vittorio Orlando, Georges Clemenceau, and Woodrow Wilson Woodrow Wilson has received generally high grades for presidential leadership in surveys of historians, political scientists, and biographers. Is that valid? By Dr. Robert Brent Toplin / 11.08.2018 Professor Emeritus[…]

Woodrow Wilson and the Entry of the U.S. into World War I

Wilson campaign vehicle, New York City, March 1916: “Who Keeps Us Out of War?” How idealistic was he, really?    By Dr. Roger Peace (left) and Dr. Jeremy Kuzmarov / 11.10.2018 Peace: Adjunct Professor of History, Tallahassee Community College Kuzmarov: Lecturer in History, Tulsa Community College World War One marked a turning point in human[…]

The Great War’s Unfinished Agenda

Much of our world today is what they fought against. By Dr. David Del Testa / 11.09.2018 Associate Professor of History Bucknell University As the world collectively gathers to remember those who fought in World War I a century ago, it’s tempting to consider this milestone as just a vestige of the past revisited only[…]

India as a British Colony in World War I and World War II

From the largest volunteer army to the secret agent Noor Inayat Khan, examining the contributions made by South Asians in World War One and Two.      By (left-to-right) Dr. Susheila Nasta, Dr. Florian Stadtler, and Dr. Rozina Visram Nasta: Chair in Modern Literature, The Open University Stadtler: Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Literatures, University of Exeter Visram: Author and Historian Introduction Asian[…]

Commemorating the ‘Great War,’ America’s Forgotten Conflict

Doughboys fighting in France, 1917. Associated Press It was ‘the Good War,’ the ‘war to end all wars.’ So why has World War I been largely forgotten by Americans? Dr. G. Kurt Piehler / 11.10.2018 Associate Professor of History Florida State University World War I was still a living memory for most Americans when I was growing up in the 1960s and early[…]