Arts + Culture – Articles, Analysis, Opinion

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A 1765 painting of Helios, the personification of the sun in Greek mythology. Wikimedia Commons

How ancient cultures explained eclipses

The sun was worshiped as a deity in many cultures – and witnessing it get extinguished could be a particularly terrifying event.
Customers shop during at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Out of the Closet thrift store in Columbus, Ohio. Jay LaPrete/AP

How subversive artists made thrift shopping cool

Over the past 100 years, discarded and secondhand goods have been used by artists to reject mainstream aesthetics.
Laurene Powell Jobs, founder and chair of the Emerson Collective. Gus Ruelas/Reuters

The slippery slope of the oligarchy media model

There are some benefits to the uptick in billionaire newspaper and magazine owners, who can weather short-term losses for the sake of long-term gains. But whose interests are really being served?
The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard died of complications from ALS on July 27, 2017, at his home in Kentucky. Jakub Mosur/AP

Rural America: Where Sam Shepard’s roots ran deepest

To the recently deceased playwright, the nation's greatest tragedy was its move from an agricultural society to an urban, industrial one.
A National Guardsman stands at a Detroit intersection during the summer riots of 1967. AP Photo/David Stephenson

Why Detroit exploded in the summer of 1967

Fifty years ago, Jeffrey Horner watched news broadcasts of the riots that erupted just miles from his home. But he was worlds apart from the racial tensions that had been festering for decades.
Back in the 1930s, people like this pear peddler in New York City’s Lower East Side often got their news from labor-led media. AP Photo

The backstory behind the unions that bought a Chicago Sun-Times stake

The newspaper's new owners harken back to a tradition of labor-led media in the early part of the 20th century, which represented a bulwark against corporate power.
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.
The Al Jazeera Media Network headquarters in Doha, Qatar. Naseem Zeitoon/Reuters

Why some Arab countries want to shutter Al Jazeera

When the network launched in 1996, it radically changed the media landscape of the Arab world. Two decades later, some regimes are still seething.
Andrew Wyeth stands by a creek on his Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania property in 1964. AP Photo/Bill Ingraham

Andrew Wyeth and the artist’s fragile reputation

His rise was just as swift as his fall. To mark the painter's 100th birthday, an art historian explores the forces – cultural, political and personal – that created a polarizing legacy.
In Sir Thomas Malory’s ‘Le Morte d'Arthur,’ a character complains that young people are too sexually promiscuous. The British Library

Millennial bashing in medieval times

The anxiety that young people are messing things up goes back centuries.
Is public relations simply a more insidious form of fake news? Nick Lehr/The Conversation via www.shutterstock.com

Putin’s flacks: Russia’s stealth public relations war

Russia has seized upon loopholes in lobbying laws, hiring PR firms to influence American public opinion and policy in ways that advance Russia's strategic interests.
Margaret Morton’s photographs of the homeless highlighted their makeshift dwellings as symbols of creativity and resourcefulness. © Margaret Morton

How the homeless create homes

Even though they don't consistently have a roof over their heads, the homeless do their best to create a routine, form communities and make a home – just like the rest of society.