I'm looking for readable, if not informative, non-fiction books about witches. [more inside]
Librarians, curators, history and literature nerds - can you help? My JSTOR and googlefu is failing me. I'm trying to find out whether anyone has researched the phenomenon of writing inscriptions on glass with a diamond which was trendy in the late 18th/early 19th century. [more inside]
Are there any good books telling the story of imperialism/colonialism through food? [more inside]
I'm interested in finding accounts of attitudes toward public eating in different social and historical contexts. [more inside]
I'd like to read about the intersection of bodies, disability, race, gender, and class. All writing (and other?) genres welcome. [more inside]
Let's say you have a kid - 10-15 years old, so maybe grades 5-10 - and you decide to pull them out of school for a year. During that time, you are going to drive around the United States with the goal of learning, in an authentic way, as much as possible about American history, culture, and geography. Where do you go, and what do you read? [more inside]
So two books I really love are Heaven to Betsy and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I love how they go into the details of the period they take place, particularly the fashion and food. It was also only recently I realised that they take place roughly around the same era. It really surprised me because they are so completely different to one another. Francie has an alcoholic father and the family can barely get food on the table; Betsy's biggest ordeal is falling in love with a boy that doesn't like her back and not studying for an essay contest. So my question is two-fold and is aimed at requesting book suggestions. [more inside]
Does anyone know what the last segregated event was in the US ? I'm curious about "major events", say around 10,000 people. [more inside]
Seeking recommendations on media--books (novels and nonfiction), movies, music, maybe even documentaries--on life in Berlin during the 1980s and 1990s. I'm especially interested in the punk scene and any other counter cultural groups through this time period. [more inside]
I know Walter Benjamin treasured a drawing by Paul Klee, Angelus Novus (angel of history).. So much so that he wrote about it in his essay "Theses on the Philosophy of History". [more inside]
How did audiences in Japan 9 years out of WW2 react to the extensive use of war-imagery in the original 1954 Godzilla? [more inside]
What culture throughout history has most closely approximated the Ayn Randian ideal of the libertarian state? [more inside]
In a few weeks, I'll be going to Haiti, specifically the Northern region, for a couple months to work for a NGO. While I've worked and lived in other lesser developed countries and have briefly spoken to co-workers living there, I haven't been to Haiti before and I'd like to have a greater, more nuanced understanding of Haitian cultures and recent history before I arrive. I'm looking for short novels, recommended blogs, or articles - pieces on Haiti would be great posts on Metafilter (I've already read past ones on here) that give me a deeper understanding of Haitian cultures and recent political history.
I'm learning that many of the customs and traditions that I think of as Roman actually originated from the Etruscans instead. Can anyone recommend some good books, videos, or websites about ancient Etruscan culture and history?
What was Italian food like before the tomato? When coffee houses started popping up in Europe what establishments lost business as a result? Did Marco Polo really bring noodles to Europe from China? Where can I find the answer to all these questions and more? [more inside]
Why does Mircea Eliade get short shrift in Robert N. Bellah's Religion in Human Evolution? [more inside]
Where can I find summaries of historical developments, technological breakthroughs, political and social changes etc. in a similar style as the Afterword in Charles Stross's anthology Toast (free download here)? I am interested in stuff that has happened in the last 30 or 40 years.
I've recently been watching Twin Peaks again, and I've been wondering... to people who actually watched it air in its original run, what was it like seeing something like this on TV? Did you have watching parties that I've heard so much about? Was the reveal of the killer and the twists and turns along the way surprising? Did you watch until the end of the second season, and were you disappointed when it got the plug pulled on it? [more inside]
I always hear that the traditionally heavy US diet ( or any " traditional" cuisine, really ) was developed for people working long hard hours of manual labor, farm work, etc., so what did the people who had sedentary, less active jobs eat? What were the historical diets of people who didn't haul lumber through the woods or dig ditches, but recorded numbers or did accounting or translated documents?
I'm looking for 'Folk' Web Cultures. I am thinking of the recent take-down of Geocities, which seemed to refresh people's love of the naff, kitsch aesthetic it was famous for, as a prime example. What are some other folk cultures still lingering in the dark corners of the web? [more inside]
What are the best blogs, online periodicals, or discussion groups that address the history and consumption of food in an intelligent and critical way? (In other words, not just a place to swap recipes.) I would love to know where people find the most engaging ideas about food.
How and when did manicure rituals begin? I understand anyone might want to trim their nails, but I mean the rest of it.
To what extent do cultural values affect foreign policy making between U.S. and China? [more inside]
Movies about Ancient Chinese or Indian history or culture? [more inside]
How can I make the most of my time in Northwest London to understand Indian culture, cuisine, customs? [more inside]
Turkey/Istanbul/Constantinople/19th Century History question. I need some help discovering some basic cultural info - naming conventions, religious practices and beliefs, headwear details. All specific to Istanbul/Constantinople between 1790s and 1820s. Specific questions inside. [more inside]
In order to prepare a competitive examination, I've got to delve deep into North American counterculture history. What should I read ? [more inside]
Why do many Americans seem reluctant to define themselves as "American"? [more inside]
I just read Sex at Dawn. It's a book that, as I understand it, questions an assumption that has held sway for most of recorded history. What other books or ideas question assumptions that span millennia? I'm looking for more well-argued cases that rock my reality and cause me to question and recontextualize, well, everything.
What is the role of culture in post-colonial development? [more inside]
What are some things I can do/see on my upcoming trip to Maui to best learn about the island's native cultural history? [more inside]
I am looking for songs that have brought people together, inspired them to persevere, made them desire to act or hope for a brighter future during any point in history. I am particularly interested in popular songs, songs from the African American community (including rap), work songs or religious songs that had these effects on people. However, I am interested in anything that you can come up with.
Sacrifice, speech, writing and art: I am interested in the different ways in which a sacrifice, a sacrament, a spoken word and a written word act as signifiers. The notion for instance that the sacrament, at the point of its acceptance, is understood as becoming the signified. What can you tell me / what has been written about the notions of sacrifice and their relationship to speech, art and the technologies of writing? [more inside]
Recommend some cookbooks that are also history books. [more inside]
Looking for writing on how cultures/nations/tribes handled, fared, cope/d with alien influences. In the past or now, ongoing. [more inside]
Americans: if you had to represent the USA with only three things, what would they be? [more inside]
Suggestions for books on Maine history and culture, non fiction preferred but not a necessity. This would be for a person traveling to Maine in the near future, will be spending time on the coast and in the great north woods.
I'm looking for books about Italy, specifically Rome and Venice, and also books set in Rome and/or Venice. What would you recommend? [more inside]
I'm looking for a recommendation for dealing with the relationship between food and culture/society/history [more inside]
I am looking for writings on mimesis in regards new, digital, hypertext and hypermedial technologies and cultures. [more inside]
Can you recommend good books about Los Angeles? Non-fiction preferred but fiction as well. [more inside]
What are the reasons for and against constitutionally requiring a specific national language? [more inside]
A friend of mine has just returned from Mongolia and was describing roving mad-max style gangs of men using Nazi symbols, with apparently limited understanding of their meaning in the west. Where can I read more about Mongolian Nazis? Is this really prevalent? How did they come to hear about Nazis in the first place? Do they get along with western neo-nazis (despite being ethnically Mongolian)? [more inside]
Why the long noodle? [more inside]
I'd like to broaden my horizons by getting a better understanding of life in different cultures and time periods. Please recommend great books or films (fiction or non-fiction) which paint a broad, immersive, reasonably accurate picture of a place and time. [more inside]
I am looking for writings on the infinity of definition. [more inside]
Can anyone reccomend good books, or documentaries, about Australia (history, culture, politics) written by people from outside Australia? [more inside]
What online reads can you recommend on the subject of circadian rhythms and rituals, preferably from an anthropological and/or historical point of view? [more inside]
Bizarre curiosity: This family appears to be Asian. Their surname is Irish. What's the deal? [more inside]
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