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 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 ELIZABETH LOSHWilliam & Mary What does a bulletproof dress prototype have to do with the digital humanities? A lot actually, according to artist micha cárdenas. Such a garment, which was crafted from Kevlar airbags scavenged from a junkyard, could be capable of stopping a 9mm bullet. It’s one of the objects featured in the … More Fashioning Feminism: On Bodies of Information.
BY MARK VARESCHIUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison Having celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2018, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is perhaps one of the most well-known novels of the early nineteenth century. While many are familiar with Shelley’s classic novel and can immediately picture some version of the work’s iconic monster, few are aware that when Frankenstein was first … More Frankenstein and anonymous authorship in eighteenth-century Britain.
BY BENJAMIN J. ROBERTSONUniversity of Colorado Boulder In None of This is Normal: The Fiction of Jeff VanderMeer, I focus on the fantastic materialities VanderMeer creates in his major fiction: the Veniss milieu, in which a good portion of his early fiction takes place; the city of Ambergris, which takes shape in City of Saints … More On Jeff VanderMeer and material monsters: Did we ever know anything about the world at all?
BY LISA DIEDRICHProfessor of women’s and gender studies, State University of New York at Stony Brook Next week, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York will launch a major exhibition of the work of David Wojnarowicz, “History Keeps Me Awake at Night.” It notes that Wojnarowicz was “queer and HIV-positive” and an “impassioned … More On David Wojnarowicz, politics, and gestures.
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 JOE SUTLIFF SANDERSUniversity of Cambridge It’s a cliché that by the time one finishes writing a book, one hates it. Well, I have just finished a book—A Literature of Questions: Nonfiction for the Critical Child—and if it’s not quite true that I hate it, it’s certainly true that this book continues to cause me … More On truthiness and trustworthiness: Why nonfiction is best defined as a literature of questions.
Evan Rachel Wood in Westworld, created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy (HBO, 2016). Westworld reconceptualizes lived experience by asking what “counts” as humanand what counts as death. ERIN E. EDWARDS Bring her back online. Westworld opens with a disembodied voice commanding the robotic “host,” Dolores Abernathy, to emerge from “sleep mode.” Dolores awakens into … More Posthumous posthumanism: Subverting the relationship between living and dead matter.