“If you’re going to write in a worthwhile way about something, you have to really understand why you care.”
Shola von Reinhold’s novel is central to any reckoning with the politics of the archive, not to mention contemporary literature itself.
Queer Lives Are Not Side Quests
If you play a videogame and you avoided or never met a particular queer character, did they exist in the game for you?
Passion. Mess. Genius. Mother.
Pamela Adlon reveals the mundane project of motherhood to be vast, fluid, and fascinating in its own right.
“Love and Beauty Their Prison”: Talking with Carolyn Dever on Michael Field
“The diary has challenged every category of literary analysis for me.”
Trans Women and Children on TV
The family as we know it today functions to further isolate trans children from trans women and vice versa. Thank goodness for TV.
Unreal Realism: Chicago’s Avant-Garde Women
Chicago—for women artists of various backgrounds—demanded a new art to advance the struggle for freedom by imagining other possible worlds.
“Cheerfully Monstrous”: Dodie Bellamy on Writing and Grieving
“I didn’t pay much attention to what was being put in the archives… there are letters that, if I had been paying attention, wouldn’t be there.”
Toxic Masculinity, Spectral Homosexuality
The secret of the Western—as Jane Campion’s “Power of the Dog” shows—is that its mythology nurtures a queer fantasy, hiding in plain sight.
Ahmed’s Good Grief
Institutions separate complainers from one another and from their own support networks. But what if we complained as a collective?
“Everything Possible with Everything Given”
There are so many utopias. Could one be a small collective of nuns, performing their chores, far from the disasters of the 12th century?
Brilliant Together: On Feminist Memoirs
Collective feminist narratives can acknowledge, to differing degrees, the stories that are missing from them.
“Nomadland” Swerves from the Manly Road Movie
Repeatedly, the film shows this venturesome woman alone at all hours—yet never do we see her fearing or fending off assault.
To Suffer a Witch in “WandaVision”
Anyone who has been called a bitch-witch might have predicted the show’s big twist: there is absolutely no right way to wield your power.
Desire Can Pierce Politics: Amia Srinivasan on Sex, Consent, and Feminism
“Given the long, tainted history of sex under patriarchy, maybe we need reparative norms around sex.”
Twelve Moral Axioms on Ryan Murphy’s Oeuvre
“I don’t quite know what Murphy means by baroque or what he means by camp, but Murphy has never been able to discern tone.”
The Crisis for Asylum-Seekers Is Gender-Based Violence
Why do women and feminized people flee Central America? What do they find when they reach the United States?
Sex, Race, and Feminist Connection
History, Ann Stoler showed, is not just political action, disconnected from daily domestic acts. Intimate relations are worthy of serious study.
Why Play to Regret?
Videogames that demand female protagonists commit—and receive—violence may be captivating, thoughtful, and moral. But they are not fun to play.
Can Novels Make Amends?
Novelists from George Eliot to Mary Gordon ask readers to confront our lives as ethical dramas that run only once, and with great consequence.