cultural criticism

Christopher Hitchens and Fights Worth Having

Christopher Hitchens and Fights Worth Having

You can smell the cigarette ash and Johnnie Walker Black Label on the pages of A Hitch in Time, a gleefully pugilistic posthumous Christopher Hitchens anthology.

Personal Canons: Peter Coviello on Prince, Pavement, and Parenthood

Personal Canons: Peter Coviello on Prince, Pavement, and Parenthood

Blending personal experience with popular culture, Peter Coviello seeks to democratize how criticism is understood and practiced in Is There God after Prince?

‘Wolfish’ Warily Looks Metaphorical and Literal Fear in the Eye

‘Wolfish’ Warily Looks Metaphorical and Literal Fear in the Eye

Wolfish: Self, and the Stories We Tell About Fear engagingly weaves ecology, sociology, and history into a rich tapestry to warily gaze into the unblinking eye of fear.

‘The Shame Machine’ Illuminates a Key Component of Today’s Incivility

‘The Shame Machine’ Illuminates a Key Component of Today’s Incivility

The Shame Machine: Who Profits in the New Age of Humiliation offers a means to fight back against shaming but little advice for addressing shameless behavior.

Take a Whiff of ‘Perfume’ and Enter the World of Queer Culture

Take a Whiff of ‘Perfume’ and Enter the World of Queer Culture

How did Calvin Klein’s gender-neutral CK One, with its scent like “a vodka tonic with lemon twist”, help inspire gender revolution?Perfume follows the fragrant path into queer culture.

On Ireland’s Painful Emergence into the Modern World

On Ireland’s Painful Emergence into the Modern World

Fintan O’Toole’s lucid history of Ireland, We Don’t Know Ourselves, is a vivid telling of how his country’s culture of silence and repression was broken open.

John McWhorter’s Polemic ‘Woke Racism’ Covers Controversial Issues with Snark Gnarled by Outrage

John McWhorter’s Polemic ‘Woke Racism’ Covers Controversial Issues with Snark Gnarled by Outrage

John McWhorter’s pushback against the antiracist orthodoxy of Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi lands palpable hits but is too scattered to win the match.

Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen Martin Subverts Verse to Infect the Senses

Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen Martin Subverts Verse to Infect the Senses

Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen Martin’s words snake their way into one’s consciousness and viciously bite at the tragic absurdity of American racism.

The Imagination of Disaster 2.0: Revisiting Susan Sontag in the Age of the Pandemic Horror Narrative

The Imagination of Disaster 2.0: Revisiting Susan Sontag in the Age of the Pandemic Horror Narrative

Considering Susan Sontag’s “The Imagination of Disaster” and modern apocalyptic narratives, are sci-fi and horror still “inadequate responses” to our world?

Is Louis Menand Right About the Death of Art and Thought in America?

Is Louis Menand Right About the Death of Art and Thought in America?

For intellectual historian Louis Menand, the Cold War gave rise to prospects and paradoxes in America, and Art was given status through essential criticism.

Memoir and Criticism in Matthew Specktor’s ‘Always Crashing the Same Car’

Memoir and Criticism in Matthew Specktor’s ‘Always Crashing the Same Car’

As a critic of both films and literature, Matthew Specktor has a balanced touch that keeps the scales even in his memoir, Always Crashing in the Same Car.

Pauline Harmange’s Controversial ‘I Hate Men’ Takes on Blind Privilege