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Reading Pandemics

Colonial Pandemics and Indigenous Futurism in Louise Erdrich and Gerald Vizenor

From a non-Native perspective, COVID-19 may be experienced as an unexpected and unprecedented catastrophe. Yet from a Native perspective, this current catastrophe links to a longer history that is synonymous with European colonization.

Film

Spike Lee's 'Da 5 Bloods' and Pedagogical Filmmaking in the Movement for Black Lives

As with Da 5 Bloods, Spike Lee's films are replete with experimental aesthetics that deconstruct the conventions of (white) Hollywood and re-frame and re-contextualize Black lives and Black history.

Reading Pandemics

Reading Pandemics: From Boccaccio to Indigenous Futurism

Join us -- at a safe distance -- on this journey through the canonical and radical as we look to literary representations of pandemics in the past to help us understand the politics and possibilities of the present COVID-19 pandemic.

Reading Pandemics

Why Boccaccio's 'The Decameron' Can Help Guide Us Through COVID-19

Rather than write about death and the world unfolding in the throes of the Black Plague, Giovanni Boccaccio instead wrote about the utopian potential of storytelling.

Film

'Gloria Bell': Silent Suffering and Disco Dancing in Late Capitalism

Gloria Bell painfully conveys that this economic system thrives on our isolation.

Theatre

Make America Bleed Again: The Violent Geography of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ​'Oklahoma!'​

Originally produced as fascism spread throughout Europe and nativism spread in the US, Oklahoma!'s exploration of belonging was a conspicuously political one.

Film

Jordan Peele's 'Us', Postmodernism, and Free-Floating Racism

Before terrifying us, Peele overwhelms with cultural signifiers untethered from their referents in his latest, Us.

Film

Disclosure, Dasein, and the Divine in Terrence Malick's 'The Tree of Life'

For Heidegger, "challenge" is a pejorative verb. But for Terrence Malick, "challenge" is a progressive verb. Malick's cinema is challenging, and we need that challenge.

Film

Social Media and Identity Formation in Bo Burnham’s Film, 'Eighth Grade'

Rather than moralize, critique, or make grandiose statements about "digital natives", writer-director-wunderkind Bo Burnham brilliantly visualizes what it means to live in a world in which social media is omnipresent.

Film

The Limits of Hospitality in Fred Rogers Documentary, 'Won’t You Be My Neighbor?'

Our work on this Earth, Rogers insists, is Tikkun Olam (repairing the world). So why does Morgan Neville shut down the possibility of queerness in his documentary?

Film

The Working Class Awakens: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' and the Birth of the Multitude

In Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi, politics becomes class politics. More explicitly, The Last Jedi is about working-class resistance.

Books

Recognizing Structures of Genocide: Toni Morrison's 'The Origin of Others'

In these times, when hope can seem an empty concept, Morrison reminds us that fiction is a laboratory for emerging philosophies and politics.

Television

Is a Feminist Revolution Unfolding on 'Game of Thrones' and 'Twin Peaks'?

Game of Thrones and Twin Peaks share cultural DNA in their pervasive and structural violence against women, yet both seem to be transforming into unlikely forms of feminism on television.

Reviews

'Zombies, Migrants, and Queers' Make for a Monstrous Economy

One of the intellectual strengths of Fojas’ book is how she consistently surprises in historicizing and theorizing neoliberalism.

Film

American Gun Culture and the Political Aesthetics of Keith Maitland’s 'Tower'

Tower seeks to awake us from our ideological slumber by returning us to the first mass school shooting in modern US history. Are we awake, yet?

Reviews

The Politics of Happiness: 'Kushuthara: Pattern of Love' and Bhutanese Cinema

In Bhutan's Kushuthara, happiness becomes a pronounced theme, one discussed and conceptualized in emotionally and ethically complex ways.

Film

A Linguistics Revolution: 'Arrival' and the Politics of Language

After watching Arrival, the sci-fi technology we think about is not possible developments in the future, but rather, one of our most intimate and fundamental technologies: the technology of language.

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