Topic: Culture

The Gay Lib Controversy: Social Change versus Social Norms at the University of Missouri

Erin Niederberger

In 1971, a homosexual student organization known as Gay Liberation or Gay Lib requested and was denied recognition at the University of Missouri-Columbia. For the next seven years, Gay Lib members would work their way through a system of appeals and court cases until they were finally awarded recognition in April 1978. This was not […]

The Rise of the “Crazy Cat Lady”

Andrea Ares

I grew up wanting a dog. In fact, since I learned to talk up until the age of 7 all I talked about were dogs. It didn’t help that my neighbor had a real-life Air Bud Golden Retriever who would fetch the newspaper every morning, which was a constant motivator to keep persuading my parents […]

The Women’s Symposium

Erin Niederberger

The flute girl wandered into the kitchen with the contented air of someone who has already been paid for the night’s work, however light it might be. “They may not need that,” she told a serving girl who was watering a second jug of wine. “They say they’re not drinking very much tonight.” The cook, […]

King Arthur and His Part in the Breaking of the Round Table

Amy Cantrall

Thomas Malory’s book, Le Morte Darthur, illustrates for its readers the rise and decline in power of the principle character, King Arthur. Beginning as a man chosen to become the King of Camelot and surrounding lands, King Arthur seemed to have befit perfectly as everything the kingdom needed in a ruler. However, once he becomes […]

Crop Circles Explained

McKenzie Pendergrass

Crop circles and their mysterious origins have spawned years of debate and speculation about whether or not they are formed by aliens. Crop circles have been adapted into films and television series, and usually the use of crop circles in these mediums is to give way to a supernatural or otherworldly entity that has come […]

The Cultural Power of Iron in Early Africa

Elias Froeschle

Iron played a central role in many societies of early Africa. It held both spiritual and material power. Physically, Africans used iron to create tools for agriculture, utensils for everyday life, and weapons for protection and conquest (Shillington, 2012, p. 45). Spiritually, Africans considered iron potent. Because of the elemental forces wielded to create iron […]

Birth of a Workforce: The Blacksmiths Rise in Sub-Saharan Africa

Jordan Murray

The “Ritual Staff with Seated Nommo” made by the Dogon people from modern Mali available at the University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archeology represents the rise in specialized occupations in early Africa and demonstrates the complex techniques of smelting and crafting iron, which were carried out across the continent during the so called […]

Oy Vey! The Jewish Golem and The X-Files

Riley Simpson

Golems are everywhere. In modern popular culture, the Jewish Golem — sorry, Gollum from “The Lord of the Rings” books and movies isn’t a golem— has appeared in many TV shows, films and books. Most recently, stone golems called “Watchers” help Noah’s family build their life vessel in this year’s film Noah. 2013 saw Sam and Dean Winchester battle a golem in an episode of Supernatural; a golem protected a child in an episode of the new show Sleepy Hollow. Go back a few years to 2006, and you’ll find Bart Simpson taking advantage of two golems — a male and a female — in a “Treehouse of Horror” episode of The Simpsons.

Polytheism in Early Africa

Tighe McCandless

Much of the subject matter regarding religion in early Africa seems alien to someone living in the modern Western world. Everything has its own explanation and cause in nature. We still fear things like the flu, earthquakes, or illnesses, but we know now that they have natural rather than supernatural causes. People acting strangely are the result of malicious spirits, our ancestors live somewhere beyond our own shores and the gods must frequently be placated to keep them happy. It was a fundamentally different worldview than what the West believes today.

The Cropsey Maniac

Meredith Vitale

The story of the Cropsey Maniac exemplifies a legend used at summer camp to reinforce what is expected of the group. The Cropsey legend is local to New York, and often New York City children are sent to camp during the summer as a way to experience nature away from modern city life. In a strange environment with new peers and unusual authority figures, campers may feel insecure at first.

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