Articles on History

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The small city of Hazard, Kentucky, rests in the heart of Appalachia. AP Photo/David Stephenson

Combatting stereotypes about Appalachian dialects

The founder of the West Virginia Dialect Project hopes to debunk some of the myths about the way Appalachian people speak and instill pride in a rich, oft-maligned culture.
Prometheus statue at Rockefeller Center, Manhattan. The inscription behind it is a paraphrase of Aeschylus that reads: “Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that hath proved to mortals a means to mighty ends”. Wikimedia

Internet of Things: between panacea and paranoia

How the idea of a hyper-connected society could quickly go from utopia to dystopia and why neither scenario is likely to last.
South Korea’s subtly calibrated risk aversion in the face of outrageous North Korean aggression has kept the two countries from war. EPA/KCNA

Is the world really sleepwalking to war? Systems thinking can provide an answer

An aggressive posture is one thing – but doing something about it is another, as countries factor in the costs and risks of aggression.
Edward Jenner, who pioneered vaccination, and two colleagues (right) seeing off three anti-vaccination opponents, with the dead lying at their feet (1808). I Cruikshank/Wellcome Images/Wikimedia Commons

A short history of vaccine objection, vaccine cults and conspiracy theories

Some people have objected to childhood vaccination since it was introduced in the late 1700s. And their reasons sound remarkably familiar to those of anti-vaxxers today.
Legacies of genocidal phases have scarred the Aboriginal psyches. AAP/Neda Vanovac

Could there be a link between genocide and suicide?

Very little is known about suicide and suicide attempts during modern genocides – but we do know there is an aftermath of suicide among victims.
Gold Rush garbage. S.Hayes. Artefact is part of Heritage Victoria's collection.

Gold Rush Victoria was as wasteful as we are today

What we buy has defined who we are since the Gold Rush. In the 1850s and 1860s, people communicated their social status by buying stuff - dinner sets, junk jewellery - and throwing their old things away.
Gregg Henry portrays President Donald Trump in the role of Caesar in the Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park production of ‘Julius Caesar,’ in New York City. Joan Marcus/The Public Theater via AP

Julius Caesar in our times

Some have denounced the New York Public Theater for encouraging violence against President Trump. But the play does just the opposite, warning of the pitfalls of political assassination.
French President Macron attends a ceremony marking the 77th anniversary of de Gaulle’s resistance call of June 18, 1940. Bertrand Guay/Reuters

What can Europe expect from a Macron government?

Despite a low voter turnout, the new French president has a solid majority in parliament. He will need it to push his reforms at home and in Europe.
A stroll through Sydney’s Marks Park and the nearby tourist attraction Sculptures by the Sea is a different experience if one knows the area’s brutal history. Leah-Anne Thompson from www.shutterstock.com

Psychogeography: a way to delve into the soul of a city

Wandering the city by foot helps us look beneath ordinary conceptions of the face value of a place to the meanings built up and lost over time.

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