Category Archives: Society

April 16

Adler’s Bordello: Jewish Female Paths in America

On the 16th of April 1900, Pearl (Polly) Adler was born in Ivanava (Yanow), Belarus, as the oldest of 9 siblings in a traditional Jewish family. When she was 12, her father, a successful travelling tailor, decided to send her ahead as the first link in the Russian “chain emigration” to the United States to […]

April 10

The Titanic in Myth and Popular Culture

On the 10th of April 1912, RMS Titanic’s maiden voyage began from Southampton in England to New York City. Five days later, the passenger liner sank within less than 3 hours in the North Atlantic Ocean, after colliding with an iceberg. It caused the deaths of more than 1,500 people in one of the deadliest […]

April 09

Hiroshima: The Struggle for National Memory

On the 9th of April 1880, the Czech architect Jan Letzel was born in the town of Náchod, Bohemia. After succeeding as a prolific architect in Bohemia, Dalmatia, Montenegro, Herzegovina, and Cairo, in 1907, he moved to live and work in Japan, where together with his friend, Karl Hora, he established his own Tokyo-based architectural […]

March 31

Skandalkonzert: The Battle for Modernism

On the evening of the 31st of March 1913, the infamous Skandalkonzert at the Great Hall of the Vienna Musikverein took place. Despite the bad press that followed, the event has entered public consciousness as a major breakthrough into the era of modernism in classical music. What could be more symbolic than a riot erupting […]

March 19

Tarzan and the Story of White Settlers in Africa

On the 19th of March 1950, the American writer widely known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan, Edgar Rice Burroughs, died in Enciano, California. After doing various low paid jobs, first at a ranch in Idaho, then at his father’s firm, and later as a pencil sharpener wholesaler, he did not take up […]

March 15

Immigration and Racial Prejudice: The Chinese Exclusion Act

On the 15th of March 1879, Thomas Nast’s cartoon, A Matter of Taste, was published. In the cartoon, criticising the support of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Senator James G. Blaine, an active backer of the Act, is shown dining in ‘Kearney’s Senatorial Restaurant’ – a reference to Denis Kearney, the leader of a violent anti-Chinese […]

March 06

White on White: Hidden Race in Rockwell’s ‘Freedom from Want’

On the 6th of March 1943, iconic painter and illustrator of American culture Norman Rockwell, published Freedom from Want or The Thanksgiving Picture in The Saturday Evening Post, one of over 300 covers he produced for the Indianapolis publication during his lifetime. It was the third of four oil paintings known as the Four Freedoms inspired by […]

March 05

Durant Sihlali: Art and Apartheid

On the 5th of March 1935, the South African artist Durant Sihlali was born in Germiston, South Africa. He was “one of the few living South African artists whose career coincided with the entrenchment of formal apartheid (c. 1948), the formation of the “white” Republic of South Africa in 1962, the long years of apartheid repression […]

March 04

Karolina Widerström: at the Frontiers of Sexual Education

On the 4th of March 1949, Swedish gynaecologist, sex educator and activist Karolina Olivia Widerström, died in Stockholm at the age of 93. She was the first official female physician with a university education in her country. Her best-known work was Kvinnohygien (Women’s hygiene), published in 1899, and reprinted until 1932. She was chairman of […]

March 02

Dr. Seuss: Politics in Children’s Literature

On the 2nd of March 1904, the famous writer and illustrator Theodor Seuss Geisel, known as ‘Dr. Seuss’, was born in Footloose, Springfield, MA, USA. An Oxford University graduate, Geisel published 46 children’s books, characterized by imaginative characters and the use of anapestic meter – a breezy melodic rhythm for comic verse. His most celebrated books […]