As our nation’s birthday approaches, The Oxford Comment pays tribute to an institution that has influenced American identity from the very beginning: the bar. Over lunch at The Ginger Man in New York City, Christine Sismodo discusses American vs. Canadian drinking culture (can you guess whose is better?) and why prohibition doesn’t actually increase drinking.
The world recoiled when the gay community started receiving credit for its influence in fashion and culture, but at least, according to Christopher Reed, they were being acknowledged. In his new book Art and Homosexuality: A History of Ideas, Reed argues that for some time, the professional art world plain ignored the gay presence.
We had the chance to speak with Reed a few weeks back at his Williams Club talk, where he laid out the tumultuous relationship between art and activism. Below we present a few of the controversial things we learned.
Are you capable of listening to a podcast? Are you also capable of taking a quiz? Great. That means you have a chance to win a copy of Elizabeth Knowles’ How to Read a Word. Just take the quiz below (answers can be found in the most recent episode of The Oxford Comment – words edition) and submit your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org before Monday, June 13.
Summer heralds many important things: 3D movies, involuntary camping trips, and sidewalk distribution of ice cream samples in tiny disposable cups. But the greatest tradition of all is, of course, book club (or your local library’s summer reading program). If, like me, you’re the weakest link in your coterie, you’re probably looking to contribute more than, “The ending was awesome,” or “Favorite character. Ok…go!”
The Royal Wedding is days away and every detail – from the regal breakfast to the honeymoon – is under scrutiny. But we think there’s only one thing that really matters: the dress. So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to select a few options for Miss Kate. In the off-chance she turns us down, we’ve paired up other celebrity brides-to-be with these charming gowns. Pictures and historical facts courtesy of The Berg Fashion Library.
How do you write a smash first novel? Author (and OUP Law Editor) Matthew Gallaway comes to Oxford book club to discuss his book The Metropolis Case (Crown Publishers). Topics include: Pittsburgh, advice for writers…and what’s up with the incest scene?
As most of you probably know by now, there’s a new stage in life – emerging adulthood, or for the purposes of this post, the unmarried young adult. Marriage is getting pushed off (26 is the average age for women, 28 for men) which means…more premarital sex than ever!
According to sociologists, emerging adults are all part of a sexual market in which the “cost” of sex for men and women in heterosexual relationships is pretty different. Out of this disparity has risen the theory of “sexual economics,” which I recently
Last week we received a message from Miki Matoba, Director of Global Academic Business at OUP Tokyo, confirming that her staff is safe and well. This was a relief to hear, and also a reminder that although many of us are tied to the people of Japan in some way, our perspective of the human impact is relatively small. So I asked Miki if she wouldn’t mind sharing some of her experiences, and she kindly agreed.
In the second part of my conversation with David Sehat, author of The Myth of American Religious Freedom, we discuss the influence of the moral establishment today – on women as well as the gay community. Read on to find out why evangelical Christian families like to keep “sexy” in the family (i.e. the Sarah Palin effect)! For the back-story, go to Part 1.
God vs. Woman. One of the world’s longest rivalries and something I wanted to learn a little bit more about this Women’s History Month. So I spoke with author David Sehat, who discusses the influence of the moral establishment on the women’s rights movement in his new book The Myth of American Religious Freedom. See g-chat conversation below!
Last week we prepared for the Academy Awards by discussing words and phrases coined from film (twitterpated, bogart, party on) as well as linguistic choices in film this year (Winkelvii, ballerina lingo, The Kids are All Right, not Alright) . While watching the awards last night it occurred to me that we failed to address one of the most important cinematic words of all time: dude. Or in the parlance of our time: The Dude.
When my friend sent me a link with the subject line: Carmel in WSJ! I clicked with trepidation. The last time my hometown made national news it involved a sodomy hazing incident and the high school basketball team. Phew. It was only a minor dispute over an expensive new piece of suburban architecture:
I’d argue our Black Swan fever peaked at Jim Carey’s SNL performance, but we might see a resurgence this weekend at the Oscars. In anticipation I contacted Roland John Wiley, author of Tchaikovsky and Professor of Music at the University of Michigan, for his thoughts on his subject’s recent omnipresence. Turns out Wiley’s a bit of an outsider in the academic community, where the composer hasn’t always been taken seriously. Here, Wiley explains the trappings of music snobbery – and why Tchaikovsky’s popularity among the “muggles” is no reason to discount his brilliance. (Oh, and, he dishes on the original Swan Lake ballerina dra-ma!)
When did the commander-in-chief become a sex icon? That was the question I pursued this Presidents’ Day. And of course the more people I spoke with, the more complex the question became. By the end of the investigation I learned some Americans continue to preserve a “pure” image of presidents past, while many find their sex lives highly relevant to our political history. Check out the slideshow below to see exactly what our authors had to say!
The announcement of another zombie tv show, exhibits our intensifying zombie love, but why do we dig this monster so much? He’s everywhere: in our novels, on television, and even the stage, but why? I decided to investigate and narrowed it down to the following:
Cab Calloway was never a classically trained dancer. In fact, he learned movement by studying a rooster he brought with him on tour. Check out this clip from Levin’s documentary, in which cartoon Cab dances alongside Alvin Ailey dancer Matthew Rushing (think Gene Kelly and Jerry Mouse)