Tag: Humanities

How to Predict a Bestseller

Literary theory is not a field that creates many bestsellers. Biographies of Shakespeare will always have a market, and now and then a work like Camille Paglia’s Sexual Personae rides a wave of ...

Against Careerism, For College

Having just seen a new crop of students graduate from my university, and seeing them now off into the world—to jobs, internships, and further study—I find myself thinking about what college is for ...

Public Picks 2016

Finals have been graded, graduates have been feted, and the days are still getting longer. That means one thing: time to start planning your summer reading! Each year around this time, the editorial ...

Show Me Where It Hurts: Part 1

Illness, mental and physical, is arguably comics’ invisible master theme, deeply woven into their genome and shaping the stories they tell, from the earliest newspaper strips (chronic allergies in ...

Stop Hyping Academic Freedom

Universities may be among the oldest of our institutions, but they have changed significantly during the millennium or so since they were established. Roughly speaking, the history of the European ...

Shakespeare Off the Grid

Emily St. John Mandel’s new novel, Station Eleven, a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award in Fiction, depicts a world radically depopulated by a vicious outbreak of superflu. A traveling ...

The Correctionists

One of the most widespread diseases is diagnosis. —Karl Kraus For an American audience, the first reaction to the publication of Jonathan Franzen’s The Kraus Project is presumably: who is Karl Kraus ...

Stop Defending the Humanities

Whatever things the humanities do well, it is beginning to look as if promoting themselves is not among them. I say this after having read widely across the rapidly accumulating literature in defense ...

Changes

The first thing that happens, when a literary historian starts using computers to think about literature, is that the object of study changes. Not just the tool; the object itself. “The objects ...