Tag Archives: Object Lessons

Masks as agents of change

By | May 30, 2024

An excerpt from Mask by Sharrona Pearl Masks enable. They provide literal and metaphorical cover for that which we wish to ignore, obscure, hide from ourselves. In this way they enable and even create our own hypocrisies in a variety of contexts: for football players, whose masks simultaneously protect and endanger; for women’s faces and… Read More »

Descartes’s Stove

By | March 12, 2024

Guest post by Hsuan L. Hsu, author of Air Conditioning Because they were available long before artificial cooling, heating technologies are at the center of many early Western writings that reflect the cultural underpinnings of thermal comfort and air conditioning. Among the most eloquent examples of ambient temperature as a precondition for thought is the… Read More »

Spirit of the matter: relics and the mysteries of materiality

By | January 16, 2024

Guest post by Ed Simon, author of Relic “And since at such time miracles are sought,I would have that age by this paper taughtWhat miracles we harmless lovers wrought.” – John Donne, “The Relic” Behind a glass window and atop silk brocade lies the corpse of Zita in a gold-trimmed, blue habit. She is no… Read More »

Glitter and the Fishing Lure

By | September 19, 2022

While researching my Object Lessons series book on glitter, I learned the surprising fact that one of the major commercial uses for this substance is in fishing lures. After finishing the book, I decided to investigate this phenomenon a bit deeper—and fell down what can only be described as a rabbit hole into another world.

How #Kiev Became #Kyiv

By | May 4, 2022

Guest post by Elizabeth Losh When Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the citizens of the world to “come to your squares” and “make yourselves visible and heard” to support his besieged country, he invoked powerful memories of the 2013-2014 “Maidan Revolution,” a mass protest against Russian influence, which brought tens of thousands of people out… Read More »

Keep cool during Women’s History Month

By | March 29, 2022

Guest post by Megan Volpert In Atlanta, where I live, there were already a handful of 70-degree days during the first week of March. Whatever project I’m immersed in when Women’s History Month arrives tends to inform this annual time of reflection on the themes of my people, so the recent launch of the Perfume… Read More »

Life in A Bubble

By | April 21, 2021

The odds of being alive are so incredibly slim. Humble beginnings some 3.8 billion years ago on a rocky planet that, ejected by the Big Bang, found its place just right in a Goldilocks distance from the sun, a location perfectly suitable for the miracle we call life.

Searching for the Anthropocene

By | April 22, 2020

Writing about an elusive yet encompassing topic: environmental catastrophe and our role in it Guest Post by Christopher Schaberg I’ve written a strange book about contemporary environmental awareness. It all started about seven years ago, when I thought I might write a book about Michigan. I wanted to write a book that reflected on my… Read More »

Pilgrimage to the Birthplace of the Pound Key

By | September 19, 2019

Guest post by Elizabeth Losh The things I study have a tendency to disappear. Tweets are deleted, YouTube videos are removed, stories on Instagram vanish, and entire social media companies go out of business. Often I spend hours frantically capturing screenshots before content is purged. Hashtags might come to life as an arrangement of pixels… Read More »