Can Germanics Make Bricks?

The blog post below was going to be one of those pieces of writing that, drafted in a flash but then neglected for too long, was going to remain in draft form. […]

Oct, 07 · New Ecologies

If Not Now, When?: The Bizarre Time Warp Facing U.S. Political Democracy

No less stunning than the fear and hesitations evoked among moderate Democrats by the presidential aspirations of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren has been the certainty, particularly among younger progressives, regarding the […]

Illusions perdues, 2019: “Dolce Fine Giornata” by Jacek Borcuch

No sooner does “Dolce Fine Giornata” plant you in an utterly rich, tawny Tuscan landscape than you realize that you’ve been here before—many times. Throughout its duration, the film’s landscape remains the […]

Feb, 04 · Film & TV,Media

The New Feudal Lords: Jane Mayer Meets D/G

The current bizarre time-lock—of zany and destructive events, fake news and impotent, because always-belated incredulity, and punitive measures taken against the guardians of democracy, where making sense becomes an everyday struggle—is all […]

Unlost in Lost in Jüdischer Friedhof Weißensee

Following a recent reading given at the University of Washington in Seattle by the writer Katja Petrowskaja from her book Maybe Esther, an audience member posed a particularly difficult question. Perhaps provoked […]

Home and Homelessness in Queer Poetry, Politics, Places: Reading Loma’s Sad Girl Poems

When the poet Christopher Soto, aka Loma, debuted their chapbook Sad Girl Poems (Sibling Rivalry Press, January 2016), they took it on what they called a “Tour to End Queer Youth Homelessness.” […]

Incomparable: Richard A. Macksey, 1931-2019

It is with deepest sorrow but also with recharged inspiration and resolve, that the critical community has learned of Dick Macksey’s dying, on July 22, 2019, on the eve of his 88th […]

Voicing Oolboon: The Work of Feminist Rage in a Climate of Sexual Misconduct

CW: Sexual Assault   Do you remember the story of Philomel who is raped and then has her tongue ripped out by the rapist so that she can never tell? I believe […]

Imaginary Resilience: Christian Petzold’s “Transit”

Christian Petzold’s current “Transit” is a stunning recreation of what the World War II refugee scene must have been like, particularly as, one by one, the “lines of flight” out of precarious […]

Mar, 27 · Film & TV,Media

Muhammad Zafzaf’s The Elusive Fox

Muhammad Zafzaf’s The Elusive Fox Moroccan literature written in Arabic has never made a name for itself outside of the Arab world. A rare exception would be Mohamed Choukri who owes his […]

Jan, 27 · Books,Literature

Lee Chang Dong’s “Barn Burning” (2018): Adaptation in Full Torque

Lee Chang Dong’s masterpiece, “Burning” (2018), currently winding its way along the screens of art cinema, is a guided tour through the contemporary Korean economy and its cultural surround. All the more […]

How Trump’s Followers Construct Alt-Truth from Lies, Part 2: Daemonic Invention

Commentators describe Trump as a leader who thinks he is telling the truth but who in fact lies constantly to followers, followers who know he lies but believe he does so intentionally […]

How Trump’s Followers Construct Alt-Truth from Lies, Part 1: A Deep Story for Shallow Deception

I first began to think about this topic early in the 2016 presidential campaign. At that time, no one took Donald Trump’s run for office seriously. Most commentators didn’t think even Trump […]

Grand Strategy and Curricular Politics: Book Review–John Lewis Gaddis, On Grand Strategy

John Lewis Gaddis, On Grand Strategy, New York, Penguin Press, 2018, xi-xiv, 368 pp. Both Mussolini and Hitler came to power in no small part because the fascist-conservative alliances on the right […]

How We Look: #MeToo at the Movies, 2

The premise of Claire Denis’s recent “Let the Sunshine In” (Un beau soleil intérieur) may be a bit unconventional; but then in 2018, it is not the least bit difficult to entertain […]

#Me Too at the Movies: Précis

And no more turn aside and brood Upon love’s bitter mystery William Butler Yeats One of the surprising, but in the end most consequential casualties of the #MeToo movement may well be […]

Notes on Turbidity (The Bay as It Is)

I. The Turbidity of Classification Turbid. Latin turbidus confused, turbid, from turba, confusion, crowd, probably from Greek tyrbē, confusion. Measuring turbidity, defined as the cloudiness or haziness of a liquid, is relatively straightforward. Submerge a Secchi […]

Welcome to the Great Dismissal! Part 2

The question, in a nutshell, faced by New York Times opinion writers of remarkable diversity at the midterm reboot runs as follows: how do the Democrats retrofit their arguments such that they […]

Welcome to the Great Dismissal!

We live in an age when feedback loops—among which number critique—have reached so rapid a rate of acceleration that they coincide with and to some degree even anticipate the events ostensibly precipitating […]


We are 4: two adults, two children, 4 and 8, walking back from the Museum für Naturkunde, along Invalidenstraße, 10557 Berlin. We stop at 50-51, location of the Hamburger Bahnhof, the city’s […]

I you he she: Pronoun-ced Wisdom

  I encountered Chantal Akerman’s films the year of her death, 2015. My breath got caught throughout as I sat in a dark room among others and watched some of the most […]

Dec, 21 · Sexualities

Back to the Critical Future: Romania

Exceptionality rules every attempt to narrativize the history or culture of the states (or quasi-national entities) making up the Balkans. And in this respect, Romania is no exception. Romania is the “Balkan” […]

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