The NBA and the War on Drugs

Mariam Aiyad In July, the NBA dismissed the Toronto Raptors’ rookie guard Jalen Harris for violating the league’s Anti-Drug Program. While reports never specified which “drug of abuse” Harris tested positive for, it is notable that he was not accused of using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) to gain an unfair advantage over other players. The NBA targeted him for recreational usage. Harris’s dismissal does not reflect … Continue reading The NBA and the War on Drugs

Romance and Nostalgia in the Coffeehouse

Kathleen Walsh On the website for the European Historic Cafés Association, one can find the itinerary for a nostalgic tour of the continent’s historically preserved coffeehouses. The tour spans Western, Central, and Southern Europe, stretching from Greece to Malta, Spain to Denmark. Most of Europe’s historic cafés, however, are within the confines of the former Austro-Hungarian empire—Austria, Czechia, Slovakia, and Hungary—and they project a nostalgia … Continue reading Romance and Nostalgia in the Coffeehouse

Contextualizing “Space” from a Historical Perspective: Tracing the Construction of Cartographic Designs delineating “Us” and “Them”

Krystel von Kumberg Nation-states, as historical sociologist Anthony Smith observed, are “so easily recognizable from a distance, [yet] seem to dissolve before our eyes the closer we come and the more we attempt to pin them down.” As humans, much of how we perceive the world is cartographically suffocated, overly informed by both natural and artificial geographic boundaries. A central feature of the nation-state system … Continue reading Contextualizing “Space” from a Historical Perspective: Tracing the Construction of Cartographic Designs delineating “Us” and “Them”

Making Race, Minting Guineas: Why Four Countries Share a Name

John Ramming Chappell In September 2021, a military coup unseated Alpha Condé, Guinea’s president since 2010. The same month, the United States renewed efforts to capture Antonio Indjai, an ex-general and drug-trafficking suspect living in Guinea Bissau. Meanwhile, the U.S. government announced that $27 million seized from Teodorin Nguema Obiang Mangue, Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, would be used to buy COVID-19 vaccines for the … Continue reading Making Race, Minting Guineas: Why Four Countries Share a Name

The History of Masculinity in China

Zhanhao Zhang In 2020, during the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, committee member Si Zefu  criticized male teenagers for being too “feminine.” The Ministry of Education responded by promoting physical education and research on the influence of popular culture on the “feminization of male adolescents.” Suddenly, the concept of masculinity (阳刚之气) and its traditional meanings became a hot topic on Chinese social media. Many people, … Continue reading The History of Masculinity in China

Finish That Riff: A History of Musical Borrowing in Three Quarter Notes

Casey Donahue Tap your feet to the tempo of a brisk walk—about 110 beats-per-minute, depending on your gait. Now count out measures of four. Next, imagine the warm staccato thud of a bass guitar punctuating the first three quarter notes of each measure. If you loop that beat in your head, you may start to hear something familiar. What you hear is not a test, … Continue reading Finish That Riff: A History of Musical Borrowing in Three Quarter Notes

On Decolonizing Academia

Mariam Aiyad On April 9, 2015, the University of Cape Town removed a statue of Cecil Rhodes from its campus. Since then, the debate about the need to “decolonize academia” has flooded the international scene. Student movements at the University of Cape Town and the University of Oxford, under the hashtag #RhodesMustFall, used their demands for the removal of statues of the British colonialist from … Continue reading On Decolonizing Academia

We Said, They Sed: Accents and When We Spell Them Out

Casey Donahue Accents are identities, and everybody’s got one.  With pinched vowels or dropped consonants, we give hints to each other about our home, heritage, class, gender, and age. But how would you spell your accent? Do your trademark pronunciations sound as the dictionary says they should? If not, do you ever spell your shibboleths differently, changing get to git or smart to smaht when … Continue reading We Said, They Sed: Accents and When We Spell Them Out

“Heed Their Words”: Using the WPA Slave Narratives to Address Challenging Sources

Victoria Lewis Rachel Sullivan walked up the steps of her front porch, kicked off her shoes, and plopped down in her rocker. In her eighties, she just didn’t get around like she used to. As she sat on the porch of that two-room house on Reynolds Street, Rachel could not help but reflect on her life: her early years on the plantation of Governor Pickens … Continue reading “Heed Their Words”: Using the WPA Slave Narratives to Address Challenging Sources