Recent Features

30 Jun 2015 // 2:30 AM

Is Gender Out of Fashion?

Sex and Unisex, a history of fashion trends offers insight into changing notions of gender – and raises the possibility that the concept has outlived its usefulness.

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The Grateful Dead Are Dead, Long Live the Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead didn’t seem to give a damn about the American dream and yet seems to have lived it—well, parts of it, anyway.

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Nadifa Mohamed: Writing the Lives of Somalia’s Women

The complex psychology of pre-war Somalia, and the endurance of its women, is vividly portrayed in The Orchard of Lost Souls.

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R.D. Reynolds, the Monday Night Wars, and the Death of World Championship Wrestling

It was going to be a powerhouse alternative to the World Wrestling Federation, but through mismanagement and unforeseen rivalries, Reynolds' book follows the league from its inception to its final tap-out.

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Jean-Luc Godard: A Montage of Attractions

The montage approach that Jean-Luc Godard celebrates in his films would become the driving force behind Historie(s) du cinéma.

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17 Jun 2015 // 2:02 AM

Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot, and Reverse Modernism

Agatha Christie's legendary detective Hercule Poirot is an example of a character responding defiantly and positively to the pressures of literary modernism.

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Barney Frank Is the Neville Longbottom of US Politics

Barney Frank is a self-deprecator, a self-doubter, a teller of bad jokes, and a wearer of ill-fitting suits, but his talent for economics is rather like Longbottom’s talent for herbology.

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Champagne and Knuckle-Dusters, or, Modern Life in Singapore

Novelist and poet Catherine Lim, the most persistent critic of Singapore's government, talks candidly about her new memoir, the half-century anniversary of the city-state, and the death of founder Lee Kuan Yew.

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Neoliberalism Is Changing Our World Without Our Even Noticing

Wendy Brown charts the ‘stealth revolution’ that’s transforming every aspect of society -- and now has democracy in its sights.

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29 May 2015 // 3:30 AM

The Dark Net: Inside the Digital Underworld

All it takes is the installation of one free web browser to access a realm of the internet where, for a certain amount of cash, you can join in an assassination betting pool.

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Is There Anybody Out There? Looking for UFOs in the California Desert

With his appearance at the Contact in the Desert conference this year, Jim Marrs continues to spread his unconventional views on what is really going on in the world.

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Reading the Comments: Likers, Haters, and Manipulators at the Bottom of the Web

All it takes is one mis-sent Tweet to reveal just how muddy the context for engaging in social media discourse really is.

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Portrait of a Family in the Throes of Freudian Panic

An electrifying story of deadly obsessions and poisonous pedagogy, Pin captures perfectly the dread and unease of '80s American suburbia.

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‘Freedom of Choice’ Is What You Got: A New Look at Devo’s 1980 Hit Album

Evie Nagy's latest book explores Devo's most successful record, Freedom of Choice, which contains the legendary “Whip It”.

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19 May 2015 // 3:30 AM

Is Online Trolling a Reflection of Our Social Values?

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things confronts the interrelation between subversive trolls and mainstream ideas, and opens up conversations about post-internet politics, activism, and human relationships.

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Ubiquitous Grooves: A Vinyl Obituary

Perhaps these days our real choice is not between buying vinyl or digital, but between listening and not listening.

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15 May 2015 // 3:15 AM

Curiosity

As far as literary companions go, Dante and Montaigne are some of the finest ones to have when in pursuit of one's own curiosity.

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The Story of Billie Holiday’s Life Shouldn’t Overshadow the Power of Her Music

To say that Billie Holiday's songs remain memorable because we know she lived a hard life does her artistry a most insulting disservice.

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The Increasingly Political, Ever Lulzy, Richly Cultural World of Hackers

Gabriella Coleman, ethnographer of Anonymous, is on a mission to dispel stereotypes and acknowledge the cultural contributions of hackers.

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Ecologizing the Political: Scapegoating, the Naturalistic Metaphor, and Propaganda

Metaphors reliant on "phobias" and "plagues" pass the buck to future generations, as if we have no control over our situations, when we in fact do.

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