Recent Features

23 Apr 2013 // 5:30 AM

20 Questions: Ben Greenman

Have you ever seen a juggler on a moving sidewalk? Ben Greenman, whose latest, The Slippage (released today), ponders this and other wonders of life in his response to PopMatters 20 Questions.

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22 Apr 2013 // 11:15 PM

On Killing Two Crucial Birds With One Pen

Norman Ball’s How Can We Make Your Power More Comfortable? and The Frantic Force are stalked, ever so subtly, by the fraught subtext of a father and daughter’s haltingly convergent kinship. Surely this is a writer Dad and I could break conciliatory bread over.

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The People’s Car: A Global History of the Volkswagen Beetle

Bernhard Rieger examines culture and technology, politics and economics, and industrial design and advertising genius to reveal how a car commissioned by Hitler and designed by Ferdinand Porsche became an exceptional global commodity on a par with Coca-Cola.

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Author Hugh Howey on What’s Good About E-Books, Open Source Movements, and Fan Fiction

The success of Hugh Howey’s self-published Wool series points to a complete upending of publishing paradigms. Much like Amanda Palmer in music, Howey has created a whole new model of how authors relate to readers.

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11 Apr 2013 // 11:15 PM

eGods: Faith Versus Fantasy in Computer Gaming

"If humans are by nature lovers of fantasy, then little may be lost if they consider all their gods to be fantasies."

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‘Black Against Empire’ Assumes a Central and Critical Spot Within the Black Panther Canon

This meticulous work of research and analysis attempts something beyond the scope of power-to-the-people flashbacks of Afros, dashikis and raised fists: it takes the Black Panther Party seriously as a political entity taking dead aim on American laws and values.

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Sharing the Prize: The Economics of the Civil Rights Revolution in the American South

Gavin Wright's work makes clear that the material benefits of the civil rights acts of the '60s are as significant as the moral ones—an especially timely achievement as these monumental pieces of legislation, and the efficacy of governmental intervention more broadly, face new challenges.

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1 Apr 2013 // 11:30 PM

The Stone Roses: War and Peace

Going beyond the myths to depict a band that defined Britpop, Simon Spence illustrates the Stone Roses’ incandescent talent and jaw-dropping success while contextualizing them in the ‘90s music scene.

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Kafka on Kickstarter: Crowdsourcing, Capitalism and Art

From the Kickstarter-fuelled resurrection of Veronica Mars to Amanda Palmer's 'art of asking', the influence of crowdsourcing is impossible to ignore. Can it provide a new perspective on the relationship between art and money?

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Carole E. and John Barrowman on the Art of Word Painting and Visual Storytelling

Sibling authors Carole E. and John Barrowman likely have been “collaborators” since childhood. Today their grown-up collaboration brings science fiction and adventure stories to life on the page and, perhaps soon, to the screen.

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28 Mar 2013 // 11:05 PM

‘Mad Men’, Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style, and the 1960s

Scholars across the humanities consider Mad Men from a fascinating array of perspectives, including fashion, history, civil rights, feminism, consumerism, and art, as well as through theoretical frames such as critical race theory, gender, queer theory, and psychoanalysis.

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On Ladies Men and the Ladies Who Love Them: An Interview with Betsy Prioleau

Betsy Prioleau's Swoon: Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them provides an enjoyable and eminently readable portrait of consistent and effective themes in seduction throughout human history.

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21 Mar 2013 // 11:05 PM

New Queer Cinema: The Director’s Cut

As a critic, curator, journalist, and scholar, B. Ruby Rich has been inextricably linked to the New Queer Cinema from its inception. Her book follows this cinematic movement from its origins in the mid-‘80s to the present.

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“Just Walk Into That Cloud”: Finding Bhutan in Books and Film

"Happy peasants in bountiful fields. A King who's too good to be true.... I'm making photos, shooting video and collecting stories. Everybody in Bhutan's got a story -- some of them might even be true."

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14 Mar 2013 // 11:15 PM

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think

Which paint color is most likely to tell you that a used car is in good shape? How can officials identify the most dangerous New York City manholes before they explode? How did Google searches predict the spread of the H1N1 flu outbreak?

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You Can’t Escape Your Future or Your Past

In storytelling, the past dictates the future. Plots are laid out like traps that our heroes inevitably fall into. And we, watching Bruce Willis in Looper, or reading of Dream in The Sandman, are thus fated, as well.

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Austerity and the Arts—and George W. Bush

I never would have thought it possible, but George W. Bush’s recently revealed attempts at creating art have had the incredible effect of forcing me to see him as a human being.

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River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom

This bold reaccounting dramatically alters our understanding of American slavery and its role in U.S. expansionism, global capitalism, and the upcoming Civil War.

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What Happens When ‘Downton’s Head Valet, John Bates, Loosens His Vest?

Forget Bates the valet and his perfect Windsor knots. Agent Gates wields a gun, kicks ass, and otherwise protects Devonton Abbey from unsavory spies.

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3 Mar 2013 // 11:30 PM

I Write, Therefore I Am

Black people had plenty to say about slavery -- especially slaves themselves -- and as soon as they learned to write, they did.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

How It Slips Away: 'The Breaking Point' Crosses Hemingway With Noir

// Short Ends and Leader

"Whether we've seen or read the story before, we ache for these sympathetic, floundering people presented to us gravely and without cynicism, even when cynical themselves.

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