Ep. 83 – A Conversation About American Artist Joseph E. Yoakum

In this episode of the Yale University Press podcast, we talk about the life and drawings of the self-taught artist Joseph E. Yoakum with the Art Institute of Chicago‘s Mark Pascale and MoMA‘s Esther Adler, two of the curators of the current traveling retrospective exhibition of the artist’s work and

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The Difference Between Fact and Fiction in the British Working Classes

Jonathan Rose— Hanoverian Britain had its counterpart of the Bibliothèque bleue—chapbooks offering romances, fairy tales, and other fantastic stories. And a few of their readers, in memoirs, helpfully explained how they read them. As a boy, the poet John Clare (b. 1793) consumed 6d. (sixpence) romances of Cinderella and Jack and

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Baldessari’s Last Series

Patrick Pardo— The sixth and final volume of the John Baldessari Catalogue Raisonné covers the years 2011 through 2019. It was published in late January 2021, roughly a year after Baldessari’s death on January 2, 2020, at the age of 88.  Thirty canvases comprise John Baldessari’s “Space Between” series, which he had

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Geology of Beaches and Barrier Islands

Patrick J. Lynch— The outstanding feature of the Middle Atlantic Coast is a segment of the world’s longest string of barrier islands, with the sounds and bays that separate these islands from the mainland Atlantic coast. The barrier islands of the Mid-Atlantic Coast are part of a series of sand

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“Come to London, to plaguy London”

Margarette Lincoln— So wrote John Donne, poet and priest, who described London in the 1600s as “a place full of danger and vanity and vice,” neatly encapsulating its horror and allure. The contradictions of London life, its mansions and hovels, its opportunities and epidemics, and the annual influx of migrant

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“Where Bad’s the Best, Bad Must Be the Choice”

Emily Cockayne— Marginal foodstuffs were eaten in dearth years when regular supplies dwindled. There were fewer opportunities for hedgerow foraging, mushroom picking and rabbiting in the cities than there were in the countryside. Proverbs hint at the desperation of the hungry: Hunger makes hard bones sweet beans. All’s good in

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The Letters of Sydney Taylor

Alexandra Dunietz— Would Sydney Taylor, author of the All-of-a-Kind books, have had a Facebook page? I usually avoid counterfactual history, but while helping June Cummins with research on Taylor, I occasionally wondered what she would have made of the internet. What makes me think she would have engaged in some

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The Gin Palace

Lee Jackson— The emergence of the ‘gin palace’ in the 1830s, on the cusp of the Victorian era, seems a good place to start. These alluring drinking establishments, adorned with gaslight and gilding, were highly attractive public houses, catering to the common man. Their elaborate decor, however, provoked much earnest

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The Amazing, Hidden Early Life of Coral Reef Creatures

Peter F. Sale— Coral reefs are strewn across the tropical ocean like so many pearls from a broken necklace. Some are barely a few hundred meters from other reefs, but many are many kilometers from any other shallow water habitat. Yet nearly all the species that live on coral reefs

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