Recent Features
The Waiting Was the Hardest Part: Warren Zanes on Rock Icon Tom Petty

Tom Petty biographer and respected musician Warren Zanes speaks on heroin headlines, playlist gems, and playing the long game in rock music.

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Way Down in Louisiana: Clifton Chenier, Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop Music

In this excerpt Todd Mouton delves into the evolution of “The World’s Greatest Cajun Band”, BeauSoleil, and their role in the Cajun renaissance.

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Adventure and Discovery: An Academic Discussion With Bad Religion’s Greg Graffin

PopMatters talks with Bad Religion's Greg Graffin about his new book The Population Wars, his life as a Doctorate-holding punk singer, enlightenment, society, music, and science.

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20 Nov 2015 // 1:30 AM

Reel World: An Anthropology of Creation

Drawing from years of fieldwork with Tamil filmmakers, artists, musicians, and craftsmen in "Kollywood", Reel World explores what happens to life when everything begins to look and feel like cinema.

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Ian Buruma: A Voice of Tolerance and Erudition Among Liberalism’s Intellectuals

In Theater of Cruelty the politics of love, war, and popular culture define the career of one of today’s foremost public intellectuals.

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Performing Politics: Judith Butler and the Struggle for the Street

We may hate that we are vulnerable and dependent upon one another, argues Judith Butler, but it's that very interdependence that allows us to mobilize together as social movements.

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Feast of Excess: A Cultural History of the New Sensibility

George Cotkin's engaging and accessible portrait of "The New Sensibility", which sought to push culture in extreme directions: either towards stark minimalism or gaudy maximalism.

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Is Literary Adaptation Better on Film or on Television?

Literary adaptations have been a cinematic staple for more than 100 years, but does TV offer the better format?

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Is There a Solution for the PhD Problem?

If I manage to complete my PhD, this credential will be supplemented by a CV full of exciting accomplishments and experiences, but it will have come at a significant price.

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Escapist Reading: Putting the Adult in Young Adult

The life of a 10th grade literature teacher frequently involves slogging through some pretty crappy fiction to appreciate students’ points of view.

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6 Nov 2015 // 2:05 AM

Blues Unlimited: Essential Interviews From the Original Blues Magazine

A who's who of blues masters, these essential interviews shed light on their subjects while gleaning colorful detail from the rough and tumble of blues history. In this excerpt: Freddie King.

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Gabriel Urza Redefines the Political Novel With ‘All That Followed’

The former public defender notes that All That Followed "...requires people to think about political actors as individuals rather than as ideologues. That's been my experience in real life."

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3 Nov 2015 // 1:30 AM

Chapter and Verse: New Order, Joy Division and Me

Bernard Sumner artfully describes where the music of Joy Division came from; distilled to a single cold, bleak, industrial Manchester night.

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30 Oct 2015 // 1:05 AM

We, Robots: Staying Human in the Age of Big Data

Can technology solve all of our problems? Curtis White urges us to remember that we've been deluded by technology -- and seductive stories -- before.

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Never Say Nevermore: Edgar Allan Poe’s 10 Best Stories

Poe endures as an artist who made his life’s work a deeper than healthy dive into the messy engine of human foibles, obsessions and misdeeds.

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16 Oct 2015 // 1:10 AM

The James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late Capitalism

The story of the Bond song is the story of the pop song -- and perhaps even the story of its end.

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Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet Offers Penetrating Psychological and Sociopolitical Insight

A committed feminist, Ferrante writes with often astonishing candor, even "ferocity", about women's lives, their conflicted relationships with their bodies, with each other, and with men.

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On Evil Yogis and the Icy Silence of Yoga’s Post-Disintegration

David Gordon White's life-long research of South Asian religions reveals the dubious roots of the West's feel good contemporary yoga industry.

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The Man That Got Away: The Life and Songs of Harold Arlen

"Over the Rainbow," "Stormy Weather," and "One for My Baby" are just a few of Harold Arlen's well-loved compositions. Yet his name is hardly known--except to the musicians who venerate him.

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The Los Lonely Wolves, Los Lobos, Is Still Brilliantly Defying Classification

It's hard to imagine an American band that's more inventive, death-defying and affable as Los Lobos. A new book and record reveal why.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

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