… Among several other things, the UK lockdown has drastically changed the way in which we consume media, including literature. Historically, periods of major political and social upheaval have shaped literature, with literary movements reflecting and reacting to times of societal and economic stress and change. … Though it may take several years before we are able to clearly see how this global crisis will spark and influence literary movements, three prominent threads have already emerged from our pandemic reading that may hint at trends we can anticipate over the next few decades…
Madison Pollack| 11 November 2019
Seven books, a wind chime, assorted ticket stubs left over from trains and shows, movies and museums. … Lydia Davis’ initially cold calculation of how much a love affair costs (in dollars but, then, in more than dollars) in her story “Break It Down” ends with the following sentence: “So I’m just thinking about it, how you can go in with $600, more like $1000, and how you can come out with an old shirt.”
By Conor Kavanagh|The Immigration Advice Service| 28 October 2019
… Britain’s publishing industries are some of the world’s most prominent – from Penguin Random House to Bloomsbury – and help contribute a significant part of the £87 billion a year that the creative industry brings to the UK. However due to a rise in xenophobia, the stricter migration laws and the economic changes Brexit will bring, foreign authors and the British publishing industry are at risk. … Edward Said, a Palestinian-American writer, in his 1979 book ‘Orientalism’, helped expose how our ‘knowledge’ of different peoples and countries was often shaped and written by those who were not a part of them. …
By Anne Liebig| 02 October 2019
SPOILERS AHEAD. On 4th July 2019, the third season of Stranger Things hit Netflix and quickly pulled off its favourite stunt – defying the sequel trap. Once again, the show satisfied viewer demands and climbed to critics’ top scores for the third time running. The long-awaited return to monster-ridden Hawkins not only features delightful performances by its stellar cast, but also widens the playing field for the series’ baddies: other than the familiar killer goo that is the Demogorgon, who are Hawkins’ child heroes up against in 1980s America, and on the most patriotic of holidays no less? You’ve guessed it: the Russians.
By Alexandra Huang| 18 September 2019
The American avant-garde jazz band Sun Ra Arkestra is whimsically dubbed after the ancient Egyptian mystagogues in worship of the Sun. Led by the eponymous pianist of the band since the 1930s, the musicians have created some outlandish soundscapes described as “dark, kinetic sounds bursting with spiky electric piano or fuzzy keyboard lines and collective horn freak-outs that would likely send most punk rockers screaming from the room.” Eerie and bizarre as their music sounds, these improvisers blatantly claim themselves to be “tone-scientist” and “architects of the plane of discipline,” namely, scientists of sound who can achieve mathematic precision.
By Orlaith Darling| 03 September 2019
I have dropped my phone down the toilet several times. Why? The pockets in women’s clothing. I own jeans with pockets into which I can barely fit my hand. I own jeans which have the cruel illusion of pockets stitched into the fabric. It is a fairly well-known fact that, as one writer puts it, ‘mid-range fashion is a male dominated business, driven not by form and function, but by design and how fabric best drapes the body.’
By Luka Vukos | July 16, 2019
A presentation by Luka Vukos – ‘Making a micro-budget film about artificial intelligence’. Presented as part of Blethers, an evening of academic storytelling from the University of Edinburgh, February 2019. Luka describes the making of the short film, ‘Lose Like a Human’. Lose Like a Human won Best Original Score and Audience Choice Award at Hyperdrive Sci-Fi & Fantasy Film Festival 2018.
By Ruochen Zhao | 19 June 2019
In this audio-visual essay, Ruochen analyses the music and sound used in Baby Driver (2017) – in particular, what theorist Amanda McQueen has identified as the concept of ‘Sonic Intensified Continuity’ used by (director) Edgar Wright in films such as Saun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs the world.
Dexter Yim | 03 June 2019
Human beings are nostalgic animals. We cannot really help looking at photos we took from time to time in order to revisit our past or see how much we have changed over the years. I bet everyone understands this as the ten-year challenge craze sweeps the world. Without photography, we have no choice but to rely on our hazy memories, which are not reliable and verifiable. The art and usefulness of photography unarguably and gradually became indispensable in our daily lives as photography can help us imprison reality and revisit the past at any time. This short article attempts to look into the usefulness and limitations of photography.
Emanuela Militello | 28 May 2019
I am going to focus on the portrayal of women as supernatural characters in two ballads by notable German poets: Heinrich Heine’s ‘Die Lorelei’ and J.W von Goethe’s ‘Der Fischer’, in order to give an insight into how their characterisation of women is influenced by Greek mythology.
In both ballads, women use their voice to entice the man – in a manner reminiscent of the power of sirens in the Odyssey, where sirens are infamous for luring sailors with their voices and for their uncanny appearance. The unfortunate ones who listen to their seductive singing, shipwreck against the rocks of the sirens’ island and meet a horrible death.