Berfrois

May 2012

David Beer: Music Genres Unhitched

David Beer: Music Genres Unhitched

I’ve just spent a few minutes trying to understand a new music genre called seapunk. I’m baffled. Then again music genre is baffling. It would seem that where we once had relative simplicity, we now have something much more vital and chaotic. So what is happening with music genre?...

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Michael A. Moodian: Breaking Down Concrete

Michael A. Moodian: Breaking Down Concrete

From “The Big Tall Wish”, The Twilight Zone, Season 1, 1960 by Michael A. Moodian They say a dream takes only a second or so, and yet in that second a man can live a lifetime. He can suffer and die, and who’s to say which is the greater...

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It is 1971, and Jane Gallop is becoming a feminist…

It is 1971, and Jane Gallop is becoming a feminist…

Jane Gallop by Natalie S. Loveless 1. Anecdotalizing Theory I always try to get us to that place where learning begins to dance. The anecdote is a slippery knowledge maker, its politics suspect. On the one hand, it claims the authority of the first person, of presence. But...

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Bobbi Lurie: S5 and Finally Some Acid

Bobbi Lurie: S5 and Finally Some Acid

Much has been written about Matthew Weiner’s meticulous rendering of the '60s in his mega-hit, Mad Men. A lot has been said about set design and historical references, replete with memorabilia, but the real strength of Mad Men has always rested in its vivid character depictions, solid storytelling and...

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A Mention of Pegler!

A Mention of Pegler!

Westbrook Pegler From Humanities: A cartoon from the 1940s pictures a formal dance party torn about by tuxedoed men yelling at each other, with a woman sitting in the center of the image saying, “All I did was mention Pegler!” She was referring to Westbrook Pegler, a syndicated newspaper...

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BoB

Child Circulation in Quintana Roo

Child Circulation in Quintana Roo

During my thesis research in the communities of Saban and Huay Max, located in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, I watched how children from three different familial units living on the same housing lot were constantly reorganized and re-circulated as adult family members came and went.

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Zydeco Bookend

Zydeco Bookend

Beth Witherell and Jennifer Ellsworth, graduate students who worked on DARE, listen to one of the more than 1,800 audio recordings made in the field, c. 1972. Photograph from UW-Madison Archives. From Lapham’s Quarterly: The scene is a mysterious one, beguiling, thrilling, and, if you didn’t know better, perhaps...

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How does the enemy become the Other?

How does the enemy become the Other?

Council Estate, Paul Cummings, 2009 by Jeffrey Stevenson Murer In ganging up on housing estates, in racist attacks or inter-state brinkmanship, how does the enemy become the Other? This peculiar purification process requires a narrative and a chance to ‘perform a boundary’. For local and national communities, leaders and...

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Why even bother writing scholarly reviews?

Why even bother writing scholarly reviews?

Advertisement for Olivetti Typewriters, illustrated by Ernesto Pirovano From The Chronicle of Higher Education: Is the time spent reviewing other people’s books more important than writing your own stuff, making your own contributions? One of my graduate-student friends has published a number of book reviews, the assignments often passed...

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Joseph Spece
Joseph Spece: When Gamers Attack

Like many ugly controversies, the beginnings of #gamergate are linked to the end of love — well, the end of a relationship, at least....

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Jeremy Fernando: Not

A response — Bartleby’s response — foregrounding the fact that it is the “I” that “prefers not to”: not that ‘I cannot’ nor ‘I...

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Owen Vince on HARK

As a poet, you are your grandmother; you are browsing the obituaries with a red pen and an address book in your hand. The...

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Jay Aquinas Thompson Interviews Eric Weisbard

Eric Weisbard wrote twenty years ago, introducing the voluminous, era-summarizing, contrarian and contradictory Spin Alternative Record Guide.

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Collective Destruction by Keith Doubt

What, then, is sociocide? Sociocide resonates with the term demodernization formulated by A. V. Tishkov to account for the consequences of the war in...

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Heather Lang on Fiona Sampson and Sarah Morgan

Poet Fiona Sampson is a former career violinist, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, overt references to music appear in her work.

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Setsuko Adachi: Azalea Exuberance Strikes

In May, in the garden of the elevated house at the bottom of the hill, four shrubs of stunning azaleas come into full blossom....

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Joe Linker
Joe Linker on Li Po

Florence showed me what she called the most famous of Chinese poems. She had made her own translation from a Chinese language newspaper clipping....

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Teresa K. Miller and Gregory Giles Discuss Luc Moullet

To begin at the end: After nearly two hours exploring facets of exploitation in the globalized food system, Luc Moullet closes Genèse d’un repas/Origins...

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Adam Staley Groves: Iowa Nasty

Now it seems the state’s radical conservatives are degrading the historic, populist-provincial mentality of Iowa; they are revising the state’s legacy within the broader...

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Animal Spirits at the Nueva Burdalesa Bakery by Jessica Sequeira

A few years ago all I had was a certain ambition and an understanding, more or less, of how things work in this world....

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Sebastian Normandin
Meaning and Pseudoscience by Sebastian Normandin

The persistence and proliferation of pseudoscientific thinking in contemporary culture demands explanation. Clearly there are some pragmatic reasons for its expanded existence, and people...

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Janice Lee For the Ghost

The memories are like stutters. Sometimes I inhale for air, and exhale a shaking chain of memories. A choking hazard. I for the ghost....

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Edi Rama’s Bunker Mentality by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

As many former Eastern Block countries in the EU display a hardly dissimulated form of racism and religious hatred, Albania, always a little behind...

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