99 Problems, Old Sport: The Meeting of Two Jays

June 27, 2016 | Niki Holzapfel

In 2013, when Baz Luhrmann released his adaptation of The Great Gatsby, more than a few people scratched their heads at his choice of soundtrack. Produced by Jay-Z, the album features rap, Fergie, and a U2 cover. Most of it sounds nothing like the 1920s. It led one writer for the music site Noisey to ask, “Who Let The Great Gatsby Soundtrack Happen?”

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Does soundbite culture harm research, or help it?

July 25, 2016 | Louise Adams

It is widely agreed that we live in a ‘soundbite culture’, one which prioritises short, punchy forms of communication. From the TED-Talk to the tweet to the emoji: quick and concise means immediate impact, and immediate impact means value in the present. But what should the relationship be between soundbite culture and the academy?

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Spoons: Close Reading the “Spoon Theory” of Mental and Physical Health

July 10, 2016 | Bridget Moynihan

What does a spoon have to do with mental or physical well-being? How can a metaphor or other form of figurative language help someone communicate an experience that might otherwise be very difficult to explain? How do the existing resonances that surround our everyday objects, like spoons, inform and empower our chosen metaphors?

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Finding My Feminist Anger Over the Stanford Rape Case and Sara Ahmed’s Goldsmiths’ Resignation

June 13, 2016 | Bridget Moynihan

[tw: discussions of rape, sexual assault]

Sara Ahmed’s making-visible of the willful subject’s feminist role in her widely-cited 2010 article “Feminist Killjoys (and Other Willful Subjects)” continues to resonate deeply with intersectional feminist communities, and the significance of reclaiming the feminist killjoy cannot be overestimated. [1] Recently, I have been newly reminded of a very important point that Ahmed makes regarding anger in this same article.

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Latin: A lost language for a privileged class?

June 13, 2016 | Matthew Tibble

I learnt my first piece of Latin without knowing it was Latin. I was reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Hermione cast the spell ‘oculus reparo’, a slightly tenuous bit of Latin that should probably have been speculum reparo (I repair the looking glass). At the time, however, all I heard was fantastic wizardry.

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Hungry for Murder: Interrogating America’s Obsession with True Crime

May 30, 2016 | Vicki Madden

In 1798, Charles Brockden Brown published the first novel written by a professional American author: Wieland: or, The Transformation. Brown’s tale of a patriarch compelled to murder his family under the influence of religious voices was quintessentially gothic. More importantly, however, it was based on a true story. Inspired by the case of James Yates, a New York farmer who murdered his wife and four children after purportedly hearing the voice of God, Brown’s novel attained cult status among nineteenth-century readers, underscoring the American public’s appetite for murder narratives drawn from real life horrors.

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