Laura Fair is a member of the department of history at the University of Oregon.

Pastimes and Politics

Culture, Community, and Identity in Post-Abolition Urban Zanzibar, 1890–1945

By Laura Fair

The first decades of the twentieth century were years of dramatic change in Zanzibar, a time when the social, economic, and political lives of island residents were in incredible flux, framed by the abolition of slavery, the introduction of colonialism, and a tide of urban migration.


Lincoln, Congress, and Emancipation
“When Lincoln took office, in March 1861, the national government had no power to touch slavery in the states where it existed. Lincoln understood this, and said as much in his first inaugural address, noting: ‘I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists.’”


The Crisis of Meaning and the Life-World
Husserl, Heidegger, Arendt, Patočka
Učník examines the existential conflict that formed the focus of Edmund Husserl’s final work: how to reconcile scientific rationality with the meaning of human existence. To investigate this conundrum, she places Husserl in dialogue with three of his most important successors: Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, and Jan Patočka.


Driven toward Madness
The Fugitive Slave Margaret Garner and Tragedy on the Ohio
The story of Margaret Garner—the runaway slave who, when confronted with capture, slit the throat of her toddler daughter rather than have her face a life in slavery—has inspired Toni Morrison’s Beloved, a film based on the novel starring Oprah Winfrey, and an opera.


Drawing on the Victorians
The Palimpsest of Victorian and Neo-Victorian Graphic Texts
Late nineteenth-century Britain experienced an unprecedented explosion of visual print culture and a simultaneous rise in literacy across social classes. New printing technologies facilitated quick and cheap dissemination of images—illustrated books, periodicals, cartoons, comics, and ephemera—to a mass readership.


Winter of Artifice
Three Novelettes
Swallow Press’s reissue of Winter of Artifice, with a new introduction by Laura Frost, presents an important opportunity to consider anew the work of Anaïs Nin who laid the groundwork for later writers, but whom critics frequently dismiss as solipsistic or overblown.