Remaking the University: Metrics Noir

The wider effect of all this is particularly damaging in education: ranking renders a large share of any sector — community colleges, chemistry doctoral programs, business schools — inferior to the top programs, and therefore implicitly defective. Policymakers have no stomach for revising indicators beyond the routine tweaking of weightings one sees in U.S. Anxiety

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‘Rebellion of Silence’: New Work by Poet-on-trial Dareen Tatour

بَعْدَ وَأْدِ الْأَحْلامِ.. كُنْتُ ساذِجَةً..! أَتَـمَنَّى حَرْقَ الْعالَـمْ..!   I shook off the dust, And as I waited for my time to come, I searched for something lost. وَأَموتَ.. كَأَنَّهُ أَبـي.. اِجْتاحَني اللَّهَبْ..! كَغَضَبِ الْـمَوْجْ.. سَذَاجَةٌ ماضِيَهْ.. تَـمَرُّدُ السُّكون قَبْلَ نَهْشِ جَسَدي.. وَلَـمْ أَعُدْ ساذِجَةً.. جِبالٌ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ مَرَّتْ وَأَنا أَغْلي.. وَكانَتِ الْكَراهِيَهْ..   They

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Travelling Light: Walid Taher Talks to Yasmine Motawy About His Latest Book, Out in Arabic and French

WT: The journey is one through physical space, through the senses, through the world of ideas (loneliness, sadness, fear, wonder), and from reality to surrealism. YM: Does your book allow the veil of strangeness to be lifted for a moment? The drawings were not preplanned, they were more like a stream of consciousness recorded fast

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What If Your Neighbor Were a Retired Government Torturer? Irony and the Sublime in Geoff Nicholson’s “The Miranda”

Although Pirsig’s book wasn’t about espionage and torture, it explored values, masculinity, and culture, which are topics of Nicholson’s novel. There is a certain nonsense about such a calling to torture that only those blessed with this unnatural occurrence can find sensibility in, and most likely through much rationalization. He is a walker, much like

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Matters Large and Small: Reading Todd May’s “A Fragile Life” in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey

In a certain sense, A Fragile Life is a continuation, if not a sequel, to May’s earlier work, A Significant Life. But stoicism has a history that precedes, by a few millennia, the Battle of Britain. While Seneca or Marcus Aurelius were never locked inside a monster wave’s curl, they tried to do so with

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Between Tragedy and Opportunity: Lynne B. Sagalyn’s “Power at Ground Zero”

OCTOBER 10, 2017 SHORTLY AFTER the 9/11 attacks, as the nation mourned, debates began about the redevelopment of Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. The New York media constantly hammered the latter point. On the one hand, it tends to limit abuses, but, on the other, it prolongs the process. The articles, columns, and editorials shaped

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‘A Blade of Grass’: Support Ashraf Fayadh, Dareen Tatour, and New Palestinian Poetry

Smokestack Books is currently crowdfunding — through October 15 — for their forthcoming anthology   A Blade of Grass: New Palestinian Poetry. The title of the collection comes from a Mahmoud Darwish quote: “Against barbarity, poetry can resist only by cultivating an attachment to human frailty, like a blade of grass growing on a wall

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Money for Nothing

Bregman raises a number of individually provocative ideas — on how to end poverty, creating a 15-hour workweek, quantifying the value of liberal immigration policies and the myriad flaws of using Gross Domestic Product as a measure of economic health — but deploys them to argue on behalf of UBI. So while Bregman justifies his

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The Once and Future Mark Lilla

However, liberals have “abdicated” by losing themselves in the “thickets of identity politics.” While Lilla is sympathetic to early liberal identitarianism, emerging as it did to carve out a haven for the marginalized and facilitate their mobilization, he distinguishes the ideology’s just motivations from its fruits and reserves nothing but acid for the long-term consequences

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Three Questions for Erika L. Sánchez Regarding Her YA Novel, “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter”

ERIKA L. Julia is a wonderfully complex and interesting character who is a big reader and who wants to become a writer. But I ultimately decided to begin with Olga’s wake because I wanted the reader to be immediately placed in the thick of the family’s grief. Why were men applauded for their virility and

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Najwa Bin Shatwan Wins 2018 Banipal Visiting Writer Fellowship

Her status was raised even further with her third novel,   Slave Pens,   shortlisted for the 2017 International Prize for Arabic Fiction. Sawad Hussain,   can be read on ArabLit. Aidan’s College, was announced in October 2016, and its inaugural winner was Iraqi novelist Ali Bader. Last week, organizers announced that the 2018 Banipal

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How Skiffle Changed the World: A Conversation with Billy Bragg

Beforehand, if folk music was being sung in a social context, it was often a cappella. How widespread and influential was the skiffle moment? It says, “No, that music is manufactured. Even somebody like Richard Thompson, who seems very far from this, is rooted in skiffle. It was. British punk is so much more political,

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Sunday Submissions: ‘Exchanges Literary Journal’

According to the website, they accept translations of “poetry, short or excerpted fiction, plays, and literary nonfiction. Exchanges Literary Journal is currently accepting submissions for their Fall 2017 issue: Submissions will be open until November 5, 2017. We also welcome visual art submissions of any medium to be featured alongside our translations.” Presumably comix would

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Responsibility in Troubling Times: On “Heather Booth: Changing the World”

How?’ And they said, ‘I’ve got two words for you: Heather Booth.’” Although I didn’t know of Booth, I did know the filmmaker, Lilly Rivlin. “The most important elements of making this film were the time it took — three and a half years — and the archival research,” which consumed half the budget. In

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The Polyphonic Stories: “Fresh Complaint” by Jeffrey Eugenides

The narrator, Charlie Daniels (not the Charlie Daniels), a bit of a simpleton, marries Johanna so she could get a green card. We could endlessly find threads between these stories — how the urge to write in “Air Mail,” for example, dovetails with the urge to play clavichord in “Early Music,” though the best exploration

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