BY MARIA SACHIKO CECIRE The tendency to set up—and then dash—the expectations of fantasy has always been crucial to HBO’s Game of Thrones and its source novels by George R. R. Martin. (I refer to them collectively below as GoT.) From the beheading of Ned Stark to the slaughter at the Red Wedding, much of … More Growing Up in Westeros: Breaking the Wheel of Fantasy Expectations
BY DAVID FARRIER Life itself is a form of poiesis, a perpetual world-making. But if eco-criticism also sees the poem as an exercise in world-making, how are we to read it in an age of extinction? Perhaps more than any other environmental crisis, extinction pitches us into deep time: into awareness of the richness of … More Poetry and Extinction in the Anthropocene
BY DAN GOLDING “Every generation has a legend.” I have seen these words twice in my lifetime. The first time, I was twelve years old and downloading the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace on a 56k dial-up modem in rural Australia. These were the early days of the … More The legacy and nostalgia of the Star Wars franchise
BY NICHOLAS TAMPIO Parents have dreams for their children. Sometimes, the dreams are specific; we want our children to play an instrument, enroll at our alma mater, or become engineers. Mostly, however, we want our children to do what will make them happy. If they want to try out for the school play, enroll in … More Parents versus Planners
BY NICHOLAS GASKILL Color has a secret. In one form or another, this has been the message of the recent boom in color studies. Sometimes the secret is psychological. Seeing blue involves not only light waves and retinas, but also an act of interpretation based on lighting conditions and on what, in the past, we’ve … More The Secret of the Secret of Color
BY ANIKA FAJARDO I once went swimming in natural hot springs in Colombia. It was the mid-1990s and Colombia was, according to the U.S. State Department, the most dangerous country on earth. At twenty-one years old, I had just arrived to see my father for the first time since I was a baby. His wife … More Anika Fajardo: On searching for identity, exploring origins, and reconciling what family means
BY BARBARA SJOHOLM By the Fire is an uncommon collection of Sami folktales recorded by a woman who was herself quite remarkable for her time. Emilie Demant Hatt was born in a rural village in Jutland, Denmark, in 1873 and only attended school up to the age of fourteen. But with help from her mother’s … More How a chance encounter led to an uncommon collection of Sami folktales by Emilie Demant Hatt.
By Miriam J. Abelson What does it mean to be a man in America? This question was at the forefront of the minds of many of the 66 trans men I interviewed while doing research for my book, Men in Place. These men lived in a wide variety of cities and rural areas across the … More American Masculinity in a New Era
BY LINDA LeGARDE GROVER The story began for me when I was a child, too young to question but old enough to see, hear, and remember. Adults conversing over tea occasionally forgot that there were children present and alluded to loss: to Indian boarding schools; to runaways and the foster home system; to inexperienced girls … More Linda LeGarde Grover: On resilience and loss.
Dear Reader, Octogenarian Haze Evans believes that curiosity is the collagen of the mind, staving off mental sags, droops, and wrinkles. She doesn’t care that Society reserves its pompom waving and back flips for those who’ve yet to cross the 40-year line; as a newspaper columnist, she’s got people to listen to, stories to write, … More Letter from a Radical Hag