If you play a videogame and you avoided or never met a particular queer character, did they exist in the game for you?
Editor: Richard Jean So
The View from the Fiction of the “New Yorker”
America’s premier literary magazine promises to offer a cosmopolitan view of the world beyond New York City. Does it deliver?
How the “New York Times” Covers Black Writers
There has long been a fear that media only makes room for one Black writer at a time. But that’s always been difficult to prove—until now.
What Counts as a Bestseller?
A fundamental truth about bestseller lists? They are not a neutral window into what the public is really reading.
Are Spotify’s Vibes the End of Segregated Listening? (That’s Not What the Data Says.)
What kind of world does Spotify—through its algorithmic sorting of millions of users’ desires, through our aggregated listening—produce for us to hear?
Audiobooks: Every Minute Counts
People who use audiobooks are expanding what reading is and can be. But they are also incentivizing publishers to change, in unexpected ways.
Where Is All the Book Data?
Industry is already using data to remake culture. To reverse the tide—to make culture more equitable—we need to decode that data for ourselves.
Losing Discoveries—So Others Can Find Them
We talk of “making discoveries” as if forming them out of clay. Yet, for Samuel Johnson, discovery is an action rather than an object.
Humanities: Let the Hypothesis Testing Begin
The humanities have a replication crisis of monumental proportions: so many theories have never been adequately tested or validated.
How Words Lead to Justice
What words politicians say matters. But which words they use is often the result not of individual choices, but of collective action over years.
Can Algorithmic Bias Teach Us about Race?
Machines learned racism from humans. Perhaps humans can now learn about that racism from the very machines they taught.
Building a Postcolonial Knowledge Commons
In responding to COVID, how should research libraries use the opportunity to tackle the ongoing crisis of postcoloniality?
The Indifference Engine
Nobody knows what will be useful in the future. And this is why we so often find humanistic activities in the seeds and roots of STEM.
Like Sands through the Hourglass
What will our children remember of this time, when their play and freedom are confined—or freed—by the digital?
Don’t Save the University—Transform It
“Why read and write about literature while the world burns?” Because, in working to end the oppression faced by so many, the humanities can help.
Who Gets to Be a Writer?
Despite welcome diversification, literary culture is also becoming more tied to elite educational institutions, and more difficult to enter.
Opening the Anthropocene Archives
The Anthropocene has long been discussed in terms of hard science. What do the humanities have to teach about this human age?
Is American Fiction Too Provincial?
While most American fiction focuses on national concerns, its high-end, prize-winning fiction looks around the globe. Why the divide?
How to Fake a 19th-Century Novel
If Cloud Atlas is any guide, one of the best ways to sound like a bygone novelist is to make your narrator sound like a racist.
Reading Black Futures
Digitizing works of fiction by Black writers catalyzes history, so that it can build new futures.