BY NICHOLAS DE VILLIERS I have just returned from a lovely experience filming an interview segment for Juliana Piccillo’s documentary Whores on Film (forthcoming 2018), which she has conceived as The Celluloid Closet (Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, 1995) for sex workers: primarily sex workers discussing tropes in representations of sex workers in Hollywood movies, … More Sexlexia: Reading Sex Work and Genre
BY JEFF SOLOMONAssistant professor of English and women, gender, and sexuality studies at Wake Forest University Truman Capote and Gertrude Stein should not have been famous. Both secured their reputations between the Wilde trials and Stonewall, when the most widely available understandings of homosexuality were inversion and perversion, and when censorship prevented the public discussion … More Exclusively gay, remarkably famous: The "fabulous potency" of Truman Capote and Gertrude Stein.
BY NORA MURPHY “We’re just Potato Famine Irish,” declared my grandfather when, as a child, I asked him about our family’s roots in Ireland. A Minnesota Supreme Court Justice, his word sank heavily into my heart and lodged there for decades. They didn’t resurface until decades later, when I began working at the Minneapolis American … More "We’re just Potato Famine Irish."
BY STEVEN SALAITA A few months ago, The Intercept published an eye-opening investigation into alleged war crimes perpetrated by the famed Navy SEAL Team 6, the elite military unit credited with killing Osama bin Laden. While the report highlights troublesome, often deranged, behavior of individual SEALs acting in accordance with a culture of contempt for … More "Playing Indian" and the US colonial imagination.
BY DAMIEN SOJOYNERAssistant professor of anthropology, University of California, Irvine At the July 2014 Compton Unified School District (CUSD) board meeting, an ordinance was passed that paved the way for CUSD police officers to carry AR-15 semi-automatic rifles on school campuses. For those unfamiliar with the AR-15, it is a military-grade assault weapon that produces … More Enclosure-based rhetoric and fundamentals behind the school-to-prison pipeline
Prior to the late nineteenth century, the practice of tipping in the United States was consideredhumiliating to waiters.Image source: An 1899 edition of Their Wedding Journey by William Dean Howells. BY KELLY ERBYAssistant professor of history at Washburn University Today, when Americans go out to eat at a restaurant that provides table service, it is … More The U.S. custom of tipping at restaurants, from the 1800s to now
BY LYNN MIE ITAGAKIAssociate professor, The Ohio State University Violence in the Middle East. Upheavals in Europe. Anxieties about American decline. Economic fears. A recent recession. Police brutality caught on video. Interracial conflict. Attacks on the police. A Clinton presidential campaign. The year was 1992, although it could just as easily be 2016. On the … More On the vengeance of a divided country, 1992 and 2016
BY CURTIS MAREZProfessor of ethnic studies at the University of California, San Diego Even before Donald Trump promised to build one, U.S. popular culture was preoccupied with walls—most famously the Wall in Game of Thrones that protects the Seven Kingdoms from the wildlings. Contemporary depictions of zombies are set amid fences and fortifications that recall … More Of walls and robots: The future of immigration
Albert Murray (1916–2013), renowned jazz historian, critic, writer, social and cultural theorist, and cofounder (with Wynton Marsalis) of Jazz at Lincoln Center, would have turned 100 years old today. We remember him with an edited excerpt from Murray Talks Music: Albert Murray on Jazz and Blues (May 2016).——-“In order to know what the statement is, … More Remembering the fierce thinker and jazz historian Albert Murray, who would have turned 100 today.
BY ANTHONY RYAN HATCHAssistant professor in the Science in Society Program at Wesleyan University Our metabolic health crisis—as defined by the conjoined endemics of heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity—continues to surprise biomedical researchers, frustrate health experts, and disable and harm millions of people. This week, three news stories illuminate yet again how the … More The politics behind the metabolic health crisis in the United States