Author Archives: rkcunningham

March 28 marks the date of a historic moment in the history of comedy. On that date in 1948, Jack Benny’s popular radio show aired one of the great exchanges in the long history of that beloved program: Mugger: Your … Continue reading

Emerging in the 1850s, elocutionists recited poetry or drama with music to create a new type of performance. The genre—dominated by women—achieved remarkable popularity. Yet the elocutionists and their art fell into total obscurity during the twentieth century. Today we … Continue reading

You can’t have Women’s History Month without musician-genius Clara Rockmore (left in the photo). The appropriately named Rockmore was a master of the theremin, that haunting/creepy sound-maker that entered our consciousness through 1950s science fiction films, “Good Vibrations,” twentieth-century electronica, and by inspiring the Moog synthesizer. The … Continue reading

Today we turn over the 200 Years of Illinois feature to Steven Lenz and Nicholas Hopkins, authors of an essay (reprinted below) in the new UIP book The University of Illinois: Engine of Innovation. Lenz and Hopkins look into the life and … Continue reading

This weekend marks the anniversary of the Tri-State Tornado, the deadliest tornado disaster in U.S. history. On March 18, 1925, an F5 twister formed near Ellington, Missouri in the early afternoon. The storm packed 300 MPH winds and stayed on … Continue reading

Widely regarded as one of the most innovative and passionate filmmakers working in France today, Claire Denis has continued to make beautiful and challenging films since the 1988 release of her first feature, Chocolat. Judith Mayne‘s comprehensive study of these … Continue reading

Clear LaRue Road. Today marks the day officials close the storied roadway to assist of one of Illinois’s majestic natural wonders: the spring snake migration in Shawnee National Forest. The limestone bluffs come alive as snakes, as well as various turtles, frogs, toads, … Continue reading

Book lovers enjoy writing/talking about the sanctity of books. The tactile pleasure. The superiority of the physical object to the ethereal electronic version. The knowledge. The immersive experience. The old friend thing. But the time comes when every bibliophile must face … Continue reading

Although the most visible banners of feminism were carried by educated, white-collar, professional women, in fact, working-class women were a powerful force in the campaign for gender equality. “Rights, Not Roses” explores how unionized wage-earning women led the struggle to … Continue reading

It is International Women’s Day, comrade! By universal proclamation we honor women and dedicate ourselves to helping them overcome the many obstacles they still face in this man’s world. Indeed, some people intend to observe the day with A Day Without … Continue reading