BY NAOMI MORGENSTERNAssociate professor of English at the University of Toronto From a podium in Central Park West, a student activist from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School declared: “The adults failed us and now seventeen people are dead.” During a day of nationwide actions, a coalition of youth would point to the “failure” of adults … More The Child at the Social Limit
BY JACK ZIPESUniversity of Minnesota Once upon a time, when the famous scientist Albert Einstein was teaching at Princeton University, a tiny old woman approached him as he was walking home after a class he had just taught. She was schlepping a skinny young boy of about six who was dragging his feet. “Mr. Einstein,” … More Discovering Fairy-Tale Postcards: The Adventures of a Scholarly Scavenger
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
Fritz Kahn, “Der Mensch als Industriepalast” (2d ed, ca. 1929).Artist: Fritz Shüler. © Kosmos Verlag, Stuttgart. National Library of Medicine. BY MICHAEL SAPPOLSwedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Uppsala In recent decades, scholars have begun to reckon with the visual turn in the popular science of the 18th and 19th centuries — the plates of the Encyclopédie … More Fun with Your Modern Head
Image: HBO BY CORD J. WHITAKER Like the plot of Game of Thrones, memory resists standing still. And Game of Thrones is all about memory. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries based major cultural, political, and scientific strides on the memory of an imagined, idyllic Middle Ages. One that moderns at times resisted as primitive and … More Remember Soup, Poop, and Climate Change: Veering with Game of Thrones
The first complete English translation of Orikuchi Shinobu’s masterwork, The Book of the Dead is a sweeping historical romance telling a gothic tale of love between a noblewoman and a ghost in eighth-century Japan. Orikuchi is often considered one of the fathers of Japanese folklore studies, and this is the most important novel of his … More The Book of the Dead: Longlist for the 2017 National Translation Award in Prose
BY ALEXIS SHOTWELLAssociate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Department of Philosophy at Carleton University A politics of imperfection, a politics of responsibility. Lately it seems like every day brings a new bad thing for anyone not invested in white supremacy and capitalism. As the tweet went: “First they came for … More There’s strength in a politics of imperfection.
BY MARK NEUZILProfessor of communication and journalism, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN “Everyone believes in something. I believe I will go canoeing” is a comment attributed to Henry David Thoreau, who could make a claim as America’s most famous canoeist. Regardless of whether he wrote it or not, I have understood what the … More "I have spent a life in canoes."
Looking ahead to this weekend’s Nobel prize ceremony, in which Bob Dylan, the 2016 laureate in literature, will likely not attend but will provide a speech.BY COLLEEN SHEEHYPresident and executive director, Public Art St. Paul When I looked at my phone in the early morning of Thursday, October 13, I was stunned to discover that … More A quiet life, a remarkable influence: On Bob Dylan’s English teacher, B.J. Rolfzen
BY STACY ALAIMOUniversity of Texas at Arlington The final weeks of the 2016 U.S. presidential election have become a lewd circus. Complex, urgent issues such as climate change have been upstaged by rude outbursts—“you’re a puppet!,”“such a nasty woman.” It is difficult to imagine these scenes could have anything at all to do with climate … More Climate change, carbon-heavy masculinity, and the politics of exposure