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Jeff HarderNovember 22, 20225min
Forget the Christmas ham and the Fourth of July hot dog: there’s no ordinary-meal-turned-American-holiday-icon quite like the Thanksgiving turkey. In addition to adorning parade floats and being rendered via crayons and children’s splayed hands, turkey is expected to be at the center of the table for 85 percent of Thanksgiving celebrations this year. But turkey wasn’t the main course when the Wampanoags and Pilgrims convened for their legendary feast in 1621. In fact, it’s unclear whether it was on the menu at all: many experts believe fowl like duck, goose, or passenger pigeons were likelier complements to a feast that…

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Jeff HarderOctober 25, 20229min
In the United States, firearms elicit clashing perceptions. They can be sources of leisure and recreation, of livelihood and profit, of grief and fear. “Guns mean different things to different people,” said Jennifer Tucker, director of the new Center for the Study of Guns and Society at Wesleyan, “and sometimes different things to the same people.” Held over October 14 and 15, the Center’s inaugural conference brought about 150 historians, museum curators, Wesleyan students, and others to campus to explore the historical contexts around one of the most polarizing subjects in modern America. The conference, “Current Perspectives on the History…

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Jeff HarderOctober 11, 20227min
Yuri Herrera, part of Wesleyan’s inaugural Shapiro-Silverberg Distinguished Writers in Residence program, is regarded as one of the most remarkable writers in contemporary Mexican literature. In spare, weighty prose flecked with language-bending neologisms, Herrera explores borders—the physical, the social, and beyond—in books like The Transmigration of Bodies and Signs Preceding the End of the World, the latter of which The Guardian named one of the 100 best books of the 21st century. A professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, Herrera holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso and a PhD from the…

Jeff HarderSeptember 13, 20227min
A little after 6 p.m. last Tuesday, the din of pre-game practice shots and tinny hip-hop quieted inside Silloway Gymnasium, and Wesleyan’s women’s volleyball team assembled for the season opener against the Coast Guard Bears. Within moments of the first serve, the scoreboard registered the Cardinals’ lead: 5-0, a fitting start to a game that the No. 21 nationally ranked team ultimately won three sets to none. But it was also an accidental symbol: On the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments—the landmark civil rights law perhaps best known for expanding women’s opportunities to…