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Articles on Culture

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Handwritten diaries and digital diaries both help preserve experiences and memories, but in different ways. luza studios/E+ via Getty Images

Handwritten diaries may feel old fashioned, but they offer insights that digital diaries just can’t match

As material objects, diaries give scholars an intimate look into their subjects’ lives, including handwriting and mementos. What if diaries in the future are nothing but insubstantial digital ghosts?
Canada geese and mallards at sunset, laser-etched with a pattern from sections of mosaic design of the Imam Mosque in Isfahan, Iran, seen in ‘Mallards Reeds’ by artist Soheila Esfahani. (Soheila Kolahdouz Esfahani)

Contemporary Muslim artists continue to adapt Islamic patterns to challenge ideas about fixed culture

As Islamic geometric patterns and arabesque designs have migrated globally, they’ve been adapted, and may not even be recognized as bearing the influence of Islamic societies.
A culture of honor is more likely to develop in areas where law enforcement is inconsistent or nonexistent. 20th Century Fox/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Will Smith’s slap shows ‘honor culture’ is alive and well

While you’ll often hear people say that violence is never the answer, in some communities violence is viewed as a perfectly reasonable response to personal slights.
Prince Misuzulu, second from the left, attends the provincial memorial service for his mother, the late Mantfombi Dlamini, at the Khangelakamankegane Royal Palace in Nongoma, in May 2021. AFP via Getty Images

What the Zulu kingship judgment tells us about the future of South African customary law

When judges, legislators, and policymakers neglect the foundational dynamics of indigenous customs, they worsen conflict between indigenous laws and state laws.
Dancing with danger. West Side Story/Amblin

‘West Side Story’ may be timeless – but life in gangs today differs drastically from when the Jets and Sharks ruled the streets

Gangs have changed in the decades since ‘West Side Story’ first came out – they are deadlier, and their demographics are different – as are the means law enforcement use to control them.

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