Cultures and languages


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Cultures and languages
Talking gibberish

The study of languages has long been prone to nonsense. Why is linguistics such a magnet for dilettantes and crackpots?

Gaston Dorren

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Beauty and aesthetics
The sea was never blue

The Greek colour experience was made of movement and shimmer. Can we ever glimpse what they saw when gazing out to sea?

Maria Michela Sassi

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Cultures and languages
Is linguistics a science?

Much of linguistic theory is so abstract and dependent on theoretical apparatus that it might be impossible to explain

Arika Okrent

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Political philosophy
Theory from the ruins

The Frankfurt School argued that reason is dangerous, mass culture deadening, and the Enlightenment a disaster. Were they right?

Stuart Walton

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History
Why the Tudors still rule

The Tudors are always good box office, but their melodramatic lives distract from a much deeper legacy of civic nationhood

Anna Whitelock

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Art
Has art ended again?

Ever since Hegel, artists and critics alike have been claiming that art is finished. But what could that actually mean?

Owen Hulatt

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Biology
The songs of the wolves

Wolves’ howls are eerie, beautiful and wild. But what are they actually saying to each other?

Holly Root-Gutteridge

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Cultures and languages
More than words

Human communication is a glorious chaos. And images, from art to emojis, sometimes say it so much better than language can

Thom Scott-Phillips

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Stories and literature
Enid Blyton, moral guide

The unfashionable world of Blyton’s school stories still has much to say about what it means to live an ethical life

Nakul Krishna

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Cultures and languages
Naughty words

What makes swear words so offensive? It’s not their meaning or even their sound. Is language itself a red herring here?

Rebecca Roache