Cultural Studies

RECENT REVIEWS

Black Left, Black List

Black Left, Black List

TOWARD THE END of Gwendolyn Brooks’s novel Maud Martha, the title character Maud fights with a chicken. With the battles of World War II not far in the background, Maud contemplates the parallel vi...

After Translation

After Translation

EZRA POUND occupies a central place in discussions of experimental modernist translation — and rightly so. In “Translation Wounds,” poet and translator Johannes Göransson writes, “Pound used ...

California’s Golden Days

California’s Golden Days

ONCE UPON A TIME, certain capitalists, undeterred by inconveniences of either geography or geology, employed the forces of water to tear California apart. They were searching for a precious natural re...

G-Men as Literary Critics

G-Men as Literary Critics

DISCOVERING LINKS between famous literary figures and shadowy government entities — the CIA, FBI, MI6 — is a proven way to raise eyebrows and perk up ears. What could be more intriguing than imag...

The State of Surveillance

The State of Surveillance

THE INSPECTION HOUSE: An Impertinent Field Guide to Modern Surveillance is the latest in the “Exploded Views” series from the innovative Toronto-based publisher Coach House Books. In a prefatory n...

Where Danger Is

Where Danger Is

CRITICAL AND TERRITORIAL in my nature, not easily impressed by my fellow essayists, I will here cede territory and admit to being impressed, more than impressed, by the vigorously growing oeuvre of Re...

Work It on Out

Work It on Out

IN THE SUMMER of 2003, you couldn’t miss “Crazy in Love.” The Beyoncé single with a horn hook from the Chi-Lites and a rap from the singer’s future husband Jay-Z was everywhere. I heard it o...

Incest’s History

Incest’s History

THERE ARE FEW moral absolutes left to us these days, but one we all seem to accept, nearly without question, is that incest is absolutely wrong. Incest evokes in us a visceral disgust that escapes ea...

On “The New Republic”

On “The New Republic”

FOR A MAGAZINE with a print circulation of just 42,000 (the same as Victorian Homes and BioSupply Trends Quarterly), The New Republic set off a tremendous media storm in December. Owner Chris Hughes...

White Christmas and Black December

White Christmas and Black December

THIS YEAR, thank God, there really is a War on Christmas — but it’s not the attack on Christianity long feared by the religious right. Instead, there’s a battle raging between the #BlackLivesMat...