The Rest Is History

A new continent, sounds from a very old seashell, and the possibilities of a twenty-first-century Federal Writers’ Project.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, February 12, 2021

Stepney Underwood, Alabama, c. 1936, in Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936–1938. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

• “What would a new Federal Writers’ Project look like? How could we take the best of what the narratives of the 1930s did and build on them, while avoiding the project’s mistakes?” (The Atlantic)

• Revisiting Bachelor magazine. (Columbia Journalism Review)

• “It took scientists 375 years to discover the eighth continent of the world, which has been hiding in plain sight all along. But mysteries still remain.” (BBC News)

• When “Western commentators themselves created the Westernization paradigm by misinterpreting what they saw in Japan.” (Aeon)

• On the stories that don’t fit a historical narrative, and end up getting left out. (The United States of Anxiety)

• “Hear the Sound of a Seashell Horn Found in an Ancient French Cave.” (New York Times)

• “What is craft, anyway?” (The Baffler)

Frederick Douglass’ papers will soon be made available to the public. (Yale Daily News)

• “In Boston and its environs, the inclusion of Native American names and places in local geography has obscured the violence of political and territorial dispossession.” (Places Journal)

• On historical fashion faux pas: “Trunk hose were the parachute pants of their day; Richard Walweyn, a Renaissance-era MC Hammer.” (Slate)

• “Humans and Neanderthals could have more in common than just DNA—we also might share the microorganisms in our gut.” (Cosmos)

• “Found in Alaska, These Blue Beads Could Be the Oldest Evidence of European Goods in North America.” (Gizmodo)

• “Actual microbial life-forms are much less likely to become safely fossilized in rocks compared with nonbiological structures that happen to mimic their shapes, new research finds.” (Science News)

• This week in obituaries: Christopher Plummer, Larry Flynt, Mary Wilson, George P. Shultz, Dianne Durham, Anne Feeney, Maria Guarnaschelli, Leon Spinks, Leslie Robertson, Flory Jagoda, Jean-Claude Carrière, Hershel Shanks, Albert Hale, Carmen Vázquez, Margaret Snyder, Abraham Twerski, Naim Attallah, Ron Wright, Walter Bernstein, Chick Corea, Sam Herman, S. Clay Wilson, Robert L. Herbert, Marty Schottenheimer, Joe Allen, and Jim Weatherly.