"On Nostalgia" - An Essay

Christmas Eve Christmas Eve

Where do all these images come from?

SYNOPSIS: This essay answers that question and also presents an exploration of the evolution of the concept of nostalgia from its inception in the late 17th century to its modern interpretation in the 21st century. By chronicling the path of nostalgia from chronic ailment to evolutionary benefit, the essay explores nostalgia and its juxtaposition within American history. The commercialization and institutionalization of nostalgia has helped to manifest a unique American identity.

(This article may be freely republished and reprinted as long as the author and source are cited.)



Author MICHAEL JOHN SIMPSON is a contributing writer for Snapshots of the Past. He graduated from New York University with an M.A. in World History, from St. John's College with an M.A. in Eastern Classics, and from the University of Maine with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion. Michael also writes for the Canadian Encyclopedia and Land is Life, a non-profit indigenous rights organization. You can follow him on Twitter (@the_aquidneck).