Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

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Monday, Jul 21, 2014
by Shyam K. Sriram
A splendid collection of tales of Southerners traveling abroad and children of immigrants living in the South and reflecting on their heritage.

When I was a senior at Purdue, I took a class on “American Regionalism” with Sean “Kip” Robisch, and it completely changed how I looked at literature. From delving into Ken Kesey’s underrated classic, Sometimes a Great Notion to discovering Willa Cather for the first time, Robisch opened a door for me into a world where the physical setting of a novel or poem mattered just as much as its contents and that writing about a place was the highest form of realism.


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Monday, Jun 9, 2014
Daniel Levine finds the unique in what we thought was very familiar.

When Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was first published in 1886 it became an instant sensation, eventually selling over a quarter of a million copies in less than two decades and inspiring countless adaptations (stage versions began happening almost immediately after its publication). More than that, the concept of a man split, and eventually destroyed, by the darker side of his personality has become a staple of fiction, to the point where “Mr. Hyde” is synonymous with anything that reduces us to our most basic, animalistic needs.


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Monday, May 19, 2014
Walter Mondale is remarkably engaged and up-to-date for a man who held the Vice Presidency more than 33 years ago.
Above: Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro during the 1984 Presidential Campaign


Walter Mondale’s memoirs, The Good Fight: A Life in Liberal Politics, provide a hint of how things might have been different had he won the 1984 Presidential race against Ronald Reagan. 


Among the many ways in which our world might have been better, there is at least one way in which it might have been worse: It is unlikely that a Mondale presidency would have witnessed, or encouraged, the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Communist enslavement and Cold War it symbolized.


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Monday, Mar 31, 2014
For a medium that prides itself on pushing the visual edges, here we find exposition rather than fancy, and monochrome in place of color, words, yes, but no images.

I usually avoid talking about the book review process as part of my reviews. I also try to avoid using “I”. But in this case, I find it necessary.


I had great hopes for Videogames and Art, edited by Andy Clarke and Grethe Mitchell and the editorial teams at Intellect and University of Chicago Press. The cover offered a promising abstract of wireframes and printed circuits with some sort of connected activity generating a mass of three-dimensional connective tissue spewing from the circuitry.


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Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013
This is intended to appeal to Beatle fanatics, though it offers little in the way of new insights, facts, and stories.

To my mind, there are two main categories of Beatle fans. There are the certified fanatics; those fans who can tell you exactly when and where John and Paul first met, Ringo’s mother’s maiden name, and can recite every lyric on every album verbatim. Then there are the more casual fans; people who regularly listen to Abbey Road, and who may have even seen Paul in concert, but have neither the time nor the inclination to join the ranks of the obsessed fanatics with an appetite for the most obscure of Beatles trivia.


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