Tag cultural history

The Endangered Species of the Polymath

Peter Burke— People are talking more and more about polymaths these days, but at the same time, living examples of this intellectual species are becoming more and more difficult to find. By polymath I mean, like the ancient Greeks who coined the term, someone who has mastered many intellectual disciplines,

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A Tour de Bed

Brian Fagan and Nadia Durrani— What did our ancestors do in bed? It’s an intriguing question. One that we, as archaeologists, realized nobody had sought to answer. Beds, after all, have been around for a very long time—the oldest known is at least 77,000 years old, and the basic design

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Ep. 47 – A Cultural History of Extraordinary Bodies

How have we used size to judge people over time? What is the history of size in popular culture? Lynne Vallone discusses how bodies both big and small influence our perception. Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | Soundcloud

Author Video: Bernd Brunner’s Bears Emerges from the Wild

Follow @yaleSCIbooks Bernd Brunner discusses the motivations behind his recent book Bears: A Brief History. Humans and bears— two species that exhibit both peaceful and violent behaviors—have shared a lengthy history. And the bear has become a central figure in our collective consciousness: many children sleep with teddy bears while

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For the Lover of Traditions

Once a year, thousands of families chop down a living tree, bring it inside their homes, and decorate it with lights, tinsel, and ornaments. This is considered perfectly normal, despite objective reasoning to the contrary. Especially at Christmas time, tradition is king. And perhaps no tradition is more powerful than

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The Circus in America

Follow @yaleARTbooks In the introduction to Circus and the City: New York, 1793-2010, the catalogue accompanying a fabulous exhibition of the same name currently on view at the Bard Graduate Center in Manhattan, curator Matthew Wittmann recalls his own experience watching the hulking elephants of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and

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Sustainable Venice

When read together, Venice from the Water and Venice & Vitruvius present a multi-sided picture of the complex history and fate of the famous floating city of Venice. In many ways, the books complement one another, engaging in the same subject through different perspectives and offering interrelated conclusions. This dynamic

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How Do We Curate a Global Collection?

Contemporary curation must again and again situate art exhibition within a global conversation. The Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art exhibition currently at the Seattle Art Museum affords the museum an opportunity to embrace a fresh strategy for staging global art. The curatorial event provides an exchange among a diverse collection

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Deborah Valenze on the History of Milk

In honor of National Dairy Month in June, we thought you might like a taste of Deborah Valenze’s Milk: A Local and Global History, covering the illuminating cultural history of milk, from ancient myth to modern grocery store, now available in paperback from Yale University Press. Deborah Valenze— Cows that

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To London, with Love: Nights Out in SoHo

Ivan Lett— Judith Walkowitz is my kind of historian. She’s interested in the same kinds of topics as I am: cultural history, social history, women’s history, and applies them to my favorite time and place: early twentieth-century London. Walkowitz’s new book, Nights Out: Life in Cosmopolitan London, published this week,

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