The Pandemic and the Patriarchy: a Grudge List

Because you can't think about sourdough starter and so many subscription services all the time: Here is a list of the things you can't get out of your mind when you teach Intro to Women's and Gender Studies during a global pandemic. You think about essential workers -- grocery employees, cleaners, nursing home and hospital …

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“I Am Cool, Fearless, and Strong”: Reasons for Living Single

A few days after refusing a proposal from the man who would eventually become her husband, Charlotte Perkins Gilman -- turn-of-the-20th-century writer and social reformer -- wrote a document in her private diary that she titled “An Anchor to Windward.” It details her reasons for wishing to remain single. A little context: Walter Stetson proposed …

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How Do You Teach Time?

One pleasurable challenge of my job is getting to teach interdisciplinary courses. To expedite students through their general education requirements in History, English, and Philosophy, our college offers hybrid courses combining two or three disciplines. But, lacking hybrid professors to go with them, these courses are taught by folks like me --  stretching, consulting, and …

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If Louisa Met Saoirse: On Bigotry and Casting Little Women

The new trailer for Greta Gerwig's film adaptation of Little Women has gone live, and book lovers have gone into a delighted tizzy (except diehard fans of the Winona Ryder-Christian Bale film, of course). One unusual thing about Gerwig's new version, which surprisingly has gotten little press, is that these March sisters are distinctly less American. …

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Reasons to Own a Lot of Books that Don’t Spark Any Joy

Just like we infer the existence of a black hole by the behavior of matter around it, so I learned of the existence of Marie Kondo’s Netflix series based on a sudden flurry of posts on social media about how many books a person should own. Apparently, Kondo’s Tidying Up includes scenes of tidying up …

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