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Against Type

Lucy McKeon Boston Review
Popular culture may be getting more diverse in terms of gender and skin color, but it's still mostly flat in presenting diverse human qualities and differences. Few characters play against type, which makes the exceptions all the more remarkable. Part of the power of characters playing against type is simply their insistence, humorous and without qualified explanation, of their existence. In other words, like most of comedy, its power is better experienced, not explained

Claudia Rankine, Poetry, and "Invisible" Racism

Parul Sehgal is an editor at the New York Times Book Review Bookforum Jan/Feb 2015 issue
Last week Citizen, by Claudia Rankine, won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. It had been nominated in both poetry and criticism, the first book to be so doubly nominated. A bold, book of experimental writing that takes on the "invisible" practices of everyday person-to-person, interactive racism, Rankine's book is as illuminating as it is, at times, wrenching. Here Parul Sehgal guides us through this outstanding work of contemporary literature.

Silencing “India’s Daughter”

Andrea Denhoed The New Yorker
"India’s Daughter", Leslee Udwin's stirring documentation of the brutal rape and murder of Jyoti Singh, has been banned by the Indian government claiming the film is an international conspiracy to defame India and incites violence against women. The efforts to suppress the film are backfiring, creating what is being called an 'Arab spring for gender equality in India'.

Nothin' Says Lovin' Like Something From the Printer

Carolyn Heneghan Fooddive
3D food printing is still in its initial stages of research, development, and practical implementation, but major companies and national organizations are already making headway into making the technology a reality in the near future.

Communists for Austerity

John Carl Baker Jacobin
In criticizing capitalism for mass consumption instead of exploitation, The Americans uses Soviet characters to valorize austerity.

Afghanistan: The Raped Girl

Alicia Ostriker Heart Journal Online
Ostriker's poem touches the heart of violence against women in a patriarchal culture.

Book Review: We Came, We Saw, He Died - Reviewing Hillary Clinton

Jackson Lears London Review of Books
The inevitability of the presidential candidacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton often focuses on her gender and her twenty years as a Washington insider. Two books under review, Hard Choices, by Clinton herself, and HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton by Jonathan Allen, Amie Parnes, give insight into both the 2016 elections and what a Clinton presidency would mean.

‘Eleanor Marx,’ a life of an early feminist and Karl Marx’s daughter

Rachel Holmes The Washington Post
Eleanor Marx Aveling, the youngest daughter of Karl Marx, was renowned in her time as a revolutionary activist and champion of modern culture and literature. Julia M. Klein takes a look at a new biography of this once famous, but now little-known, figure.

Review: Oscar-Nominated Russian Film "Leviathan" -- Man vs. System

Masha Gessen The New York Review of Books
The great trial of Job is reborn in Andrey Zvyagintsev’s magnificent Russian film, Leviathan. Compellingly told and stunningly shot, the film is also not subtle. The bad guys—the trinity of the government, the court, and the church—are pure evil. They are Leviathan itself, the Biblical monster that cannot be caught or tamed or killed. The film contended at Cannes, won a Golden Globe, was nominated for an Oscar, but last month was snubbed at the Russian film awards.

Word by Word: A Linguist Reads the Menu

Kent Black Boston Globe
Stanford linguistics professor and MacArthur Fellow Dan Jurafsky links the origins and evolution of foods to history, culture, tradition and trends. Wide-ranging topics include sexual metaphors in restaurant reviews, relationship of price to the number of syllables in menu descriptions, and the language on potato chip bags...among other things.