In the Middle Ages, Dance Crazes Were Literal, Actual Crazes

Accounts of unstoppable, contagious dancing fools date as far back as the seventh century, and hail from nearly all parts of Europe.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople: Social Distancing and Storytelling During the Pandemic

Many of us use humor as a defense mechanism when things go dark, but Waititi seems to use humor as joy-finding—a way of mining light out of dark ore.

This Lent, Let’s Fast from Toilet Paper (No, For Real)

Let’s give generously to the ones who need it and the ones who are helping. And maybe, I dunno, put that giant pack of Quilted Northern back on the rack.

#middlegrademarch, Reading Challenges, and Our Superabundance of Choice

A reading challenge can be just the pause we need to stop and consider which books in our collections contain truth and goodness—which are told in a beautiful way.

Pet Rocks Were Actually a Thing, and Were Almost Political in How Apolitical They Were

Dahl wasn’t selling people rocks—not really—he was selling them a joke.

Overcoming the Barrier: Loving Our Neighbors Through Subtitles

Christians are commanded to love our neighbors, but we cannot love people we make no effort to understand.

The One Ring of North Yorkshire and the Internet School of Cultural (il)Literacy

It’s in those moments that the internet feels like a good place to be—a place to reveal how a single story written by an English chap in the 1950s has touched and shaped thousands of lives for the better. 

1917’s “One-Shot” Narrative and the “Wayfaring Stranger”

In locking us into the perspective of one of these characters, 1917 ends up being a story that, through the artistry, reminds us that one life has value in the midst of millions.

Cracks in the Foundation: Lack of Narrative Vision in the Final Trilogy of the Skywalker Saga

Formulas are not the problem with The Rise of Skywalker, but we might say lack of formulaic vision for the whole trilogy.

Singing into the Darkness: How The Sound of Music Teaches Us to Rebuke Fear

How The Sound of Music can prepare us for Christmas.

Out of Apathy: The Transcendence of Morality in The Mandalorian

Stories that follow patterns like this show us that no one is really nonessential—they give us a sense that although the world is big, every person is important, no matter their birth, status, role, or function.

Droids, Docents, and Advent: Cultural Storytelling as Remembrance

Through stories and storytelling, we ask and examine the most basic questions about our humanity—about our loves, history, religion, philosophies, and more.

The Definable and Indefinable Nature of Art

All these struggles to define what art is really boil down to fear—a fear that elitism will strangle joy out of what it is we all enjoy consuming.

From Signs to A Quiet Place: Perspective in Apocalyptic Horror

The claustrophobic feeling of the not-knowing forces us inside ourselves to examine our own reactions to the scenarios presented in the stories and—in the case of movies—on the screen.

Memeing the Classics: How SparkNotes on Twitter Enters into a Great Work

Memeing the classics can be a way to plant seeds of interest, sparks that make seemingly dull, intimidating, or difficult pieces of literature come alive with possibility.

A Perfect Movie: The Enduring Legacy of The Princess Bride

When the grandfather reads the story to his grandson, he invites us all to sit at his knee and listen. He invites us to be children again.