Category: Words

More Nurture, Less Nature?

What if genes weren’t the perfect blueprint we’ve been led to believe they are? What if your body was constantly being shaped by its environment? What if your children’s ...

The Earnest Elfin Dream Gay

The guy behind the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” phenomenon has regrets. In a 2007 review of Elizabethtown, film critic Nathan Rabin coined this term to contextualize ...

American Perceptions of Class

When, in 1906, the German sociologist Werner Sombart quipped that in America, “all socialist utopias came to nothing on roast beef and apple pie,” he offered a ...

“A Gun to Our Heads”

On October 13, 2016, Almir Suruí, then chief of the Paiter Suruí indigenous people of northwest Brazil, issued a panicked appeal. “This is my cry of alarm, please listen to me!” he wrote to national ...

Knausgaard’s Ruthless Freedom

So here it is at last: the end of Knausgaard’s struggle. It is 1,160 pages long, divided into three parts. Part 2 consists of a long essay on Hitler. Both ...

Shoptalk: Overheard at AOIR

This October, scholars from 30 countries headed to Montreal for the 19th annual meeting of the Association of Internet Researchers. Experts discussed the state ...

From Slate to Silicon?

Everyone loves to hate school. Jean-Jacques Rousseau certainly did. In Émile (1762), his treatise on the nature of education, he declared vociferously that he “hate[d] books” and that reading was the “curse of childhood.” The irony ...