By Peter Worger Tucked into the pages of Nikolai Punin’s diary is a sliver of silver paper made into the shape of a fish. Its scales have been drawn with what appears to be black marker or charcoal in an Impressionist style on one side and in a Cubist style on the other. The fish […]
By Nakia Parker Popular culture can be a powerful tool in helping students understand history. Music, film, TV, fiction, and paintings offer effective and creative ways to bring primary source material into the classroom. Last fall, I gave a lecture on Black Power and popular culture in an introductory course on African American History. We […]
by Rebecca Johnston On August 18, 1921, Anatoly Lunacharsky, the People’s Commissar of Enlightenment, wrote a letter to Jozef Unszlicht, a founding member of the Cheka, the Bolsheviks’ revolution-era secret police that eventually morphed into the KGB. As Commissar of Enlightenment, Lunacharsky was accountable for the educational, artistic, and creative development of all of Soviet […]
By Philippa Levine Francois Edmond Fortier (1862-1928) made a very good living working as a photographer in the French West African colony of Senegal. Fortier grew up in eastern France, close to the German border, and by 1899 was living in Senegal where he set up a photographic studio. In the early 1900s he travelled […]
When Franciscan missionary Bernardino de Sahagún [image] arrived in New Spain (Mexico) in 1529, he embarked on an extraordinary project: the compilation of an encyclopedic compendium of the world of the Aztecs in the wake of the Spanish conquest a decade earlier.
By Joseph Parrott Digital History is more than just a new, innovative way of using and presenting historical data. It offers an opportunity to change the way historians and archivists understand the holding, preservation, and curation of artifacts. Archivist and artist Lincoln Cushing has been quietly working at the forefront of this information revolution, spending […]
This week my attempts to carry out archival research in Manila have been interrupted by Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines.
Cats and dogs in art are rarely mere props. More than decoration, their presence serves a meaningful purpose. They may represent human endeavors, moralities, values, and behaviors. Alternately, their image may signify the lives and conditions of individual animals themselves, or entire categories of such animals, existing in domestic relationships with humans, as suppliers of labor, or even as a sources of food. Animals in art offer novel and useful ways to understand historical trends and events.
by Charley Binkow Images of war surround us today. We see high-definition photographs and videos of violence on our televisions, smartphones, and laptops almost constantly. But what was living through war like when people didn’t have instant videos or photographs? George Mason University’s Virginia Civil War Archive gives us a glimpse into the American media’s […]
How do we remember? When asked, “Where were you when President John F. Kennedy was shot?” those who lived through that momentous time recall it vividly and often emotionally, even though they may not have been in Dallas on that fateful day. For those too young to remember first-hand, movies or documentaries may inform their impressions.