Culture / Posts Filter
  1. You Don’t Have to Live in Public

    Austin Kleon on the need to gain a sense of ownership over our online lives: “Back [in 2013], the worst I felt social media did was waste your time. Now, the worst social media does is cripple democracy and ruin your soul.”

    Commentary
  2. In Search of Beirut’s Collective Memory

    Journalist Iain Akerman follows Mona El Hallak, a Lebanese architect and activist, as she tries to reconstruct facets of the city’s past through the archive of a long-defunct photographer’s studio.

    Culture
  3. On Boy Books and Girl Books

    “Can we all agree that there is no such thing as a girl or a boy book?” Teacher and parent Pernille Ripp writes on the toxic effects of defining books by the gender of their supposed audience.

    Books
  4. A Beast for the Ages

    Why do we love (and fear, and kill) polar bears with so much intensity? At Longreads, Michael Engelhard, a wilderness guide and anthropologist, looks into the Arctic predator’s grip on our imagination.

    Animals
  5. Really, libraries don’t need reinventing, thanks.

    Librarian Deb Baker rejects a recent op-ed calling for Amazon to replace public libraries: “Libraries are often the only egalitarian spaces in American communities, radically welcoming of everyone who comes through their doors.”

    Books
  6. Why Did American Music Festivals Almost Disappear in the 1970s and ’80s?

    In the 1970s, music festivals went “from cultural phenomena to endangered species.” We’re in a new golden age of live music now, but what happened in the interim?

    Culture
  7. In Sudan, Rediscovering Ancient Nubia Before It’s Too Late

    At Undark, Amy Maxmen follows the archaeologists and scientists who are racing to document what’s left of the ancient African civilization of Nubia.

    Culture
    Photo by Neil Brandvold (Undark)
  8. Philately. Lately.

    Lovers of all things postal, rejoice! At Philately. Lately., Poland-based blogger Octavian shares treasures from his vast stamp collection, one post (no pun intended. Maybe.) at a time.

    Art
  9. What Is the Most Nostalgic Song of All Time?

    “A simple question, posed at eight o’clock on a Saturday night. I got 5,000 comments back.” At the Village Voice, Mikel Jollett writes on music’s power to evoke memory and a sense of loss.

    Commentary
  10. The Country Where Fútbol Comes First

    If you love soccer, you probably enjoy a good underdog story. Here’s Uruguay’s: a small country with a rich World Cup legacy, which Candace Rose Rardon lovingly retells in her illustrated essay on Longreads.

    Culture
  11. Seven Centuries of Bstila

    Anny Gaul, a scholar of North African and Middle Eastern culinary traditions, takes us on a deep dive through the centuries-long history of Bstila (or Pastilla), one of Morocco’s signature dishes (bonus: recipe included).

    Cooking
  12. This Is Why You Are Afraid of Photographing People while Traveling

    Sweden-based travel photographer Lola Akinmade Åkerström reflects on the invisible barriers that stand between her (and every traveler’s) camera and the strangers that become the subjects of many of her most powerful photos.

    Culture
    Photo by Lola Akinmade Åkerström
  13. Would the Real Queen Elizabeth Please Stand Up

    Cultural historian Benjamin Wild writes on a newly discovered portrait of Tudor monarch Elizabeth I — one that, unlike previously known depictions, doesn’t show her as a perfectly poised queen.

    Art
  14. What Does One Word Matter? Doctoral Women on Twitter.

    Medievalist Lucy Allen writes on the recent move among women in academia to add the title “Dr” to their Twitter name, which she views as “an act of faith, a promise to myself to keep my work from being erased.”

    Academia
    Image by Caitriana Nicholson (CC BY 2.0)
  15. The desert island.

    “…I think about all the photos of fat ladies with bodies like mine that have been used as objects of ridicule on funny cards and websites, because they dared do something as transgressive as wear a bathing suit at the beach, as though they were human or something.”

    Culture
    Illustration by Hana Jang (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).