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Contributors to this collection, edited by Claire Potter and Renee Romano, consider the wide range of challenges the practice of contemporary history poses. These essays address sources like television and video games, the ethics of writing about living subjects, questions of privacy and copyright law, and the possibilities that new technologies offer for writing history. Doing Recent History offers guidance and insight to any researcher considering tackling the not-so-distant past. Buy the Book
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Claire Potter's is the first book to look at the structural, legal, and cultural aspects of J. Edgar Hoover's war on crime in the 1930s, a New Deal campaign which forged new links between citizenship, federal policing, and the ideal of centralized government.
War on Crime reminds us of how and why our worship of violent celebrity hero G-men and gangsters came about and how we now are reaping the results.Buy the Book
Category Archives: sexism
May 6, 2013, 10:26 am
One of the paradoxes of being a female intellectual in my generation is that we grew up dreaming about being part of a literary and academic establishment that did not include people like us. This is, of course, doubly true for lesbians and women of color. My life history is informed by what is, and what used to be: sometimes the two collide. These collisions usually occur when I revisit the literary institutions that have shaped my aspirations and career since the 1960s.
My perspective on publishing is a comparatively long one. I have been a continuous subscriber to publications like The Nation, The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books since I was a teenager. When, as a young person, I imagined myself a writer, I imagined myself writing for those publications despite the fact that they were almost entirely written by men. Since feminism was only beginning to make an…
August 30, 2011, 9:06 am
The first time I saw her was on American Idol, doing a hit song that I had never heard, “Poker Face.” I Tweeted to FaceBook, “Who *is* this Gaga person?” One of my cultural studies colleagues from the South, whose partner wrote the music for the biggest trans off-Broadway hit since Rocky Horror, shot back, “She is a *genius* — that’s who she is.”
Suddenly a song that had just been blending in on my car radio made itself obvious, and I began to follow Gaga’s rise to super-stardom. Like many campy performers, she is particularly popular among gay men. However, unlike some of the more famous disco queens (here I would cite Donna Summer’s long reluctance to connect to gay fans and the ever-ungrateful Gloria Gaynor, who said in 2007 that she viewed her…
May 16, 2011, 10:16 pm
Roseanne Barr, formerly the star of the hit TV sitcom Roseanne (1988-1997), now runs a macadamia nut farm in Hawai’i. However, she hasn’t lost her wit or her bite, particularly when it comes to sexism. She has an amazing article in this month’s New York magazine (May 15 2011) where she rips off the lid about how she was treated by producers Marcey Carsey and Tom Werner.
It didn’t take long for me to get a taste of the staggering sexism and class bigotry that would make the first season of Roseanne god-awful. It was at the premiere party when I learned that my stories and ideas—and the ideas of my sister and my first husband, Bill—had been stolen. The pilot was screened, and I saw the opening credits for the first time, which included this: CREATED BY MATT WILLIAMS. I was devastated and felt so betrayed that I stood up and left the party. Not one person noticed.
As Roseanne fought…
May 8, 2011, 1:08 am
It is interesting to me that the most complete account I have yet read of Don Imus’s attack on the Rutgers women’s basketball team is on the front page of the Business section of the New York Times. This subtle — or not so subtle – placement of the story makes the point that, beyond the ways that shock jocks such as Imus have coarsened our public culture over time, racism and sexism are literally business as usual for the broadcasting industry in the United States.
I want to emphasize the sexism part of this equation because so much emphasis has been put (and correctly so) on the racial quality of the attack, and I don’t think we can think properly about one without giving the other equal weight. This is particularly important when we are looking at traditionally male institutions like athletics or the military, where women are still thought of as unseemly, sexually deviant…
March 7, 2011, 6:02 pm
…Don’t. At least, not unless you have a story to tell that pushes us beyond the horror of it all.
The Daily Mail, which reviewed Margaux Fragoso’s Tiger, Tiger in the United Kingdom, says it is “shocking the literary world.” Why? Because Fragoso references her love for the man who abused her for fifteen years, and because it is so graphic about the sexual fantasies they shared that some critics call the book itself pornographic. The NPR review, which suckered me into buying this ghastly memoir (oh had I only clicked “read more”) comes closer to why I am shocked by it: it is such a poorly written book. As Dan Koies writes delicately,
But it’s perilous to discuss Tiger, Tiger, because when an author asserts her moral right to reclaim her abuse and recast it as story, it’s easy to seem churlish when you wish that she were a better writer — or that she’d had a more careful editor….
August 15, 2010, 3:01 pm
April 16, 2010, 7:58 pm
Is receiving messages from pimps. For example, I just received the following message on Skype:
European and American women are too arrogant for you? Are you looking for a sweet lady that will be caring and understanding? Then you came to the right place- here you can find a Russian lady that will love you with all her heart. Can’t find a queen to rule your heart? How about beautiful Russian ladies that have royal blood and royal look? Here you can find hundreds of portfolios of these fine women of any age for every taste. Please excuse us if you are not interested.
I am not interested, it’s true, but should I excuse you if I find this message a violation of my privacy? Then there are the people who claim to be following me on Twitter, a great many of whom also turn out to be sex professionals. Those of you who are my Facebook friends may recall that this is not the only kind of…
September 14, 2008, 9:08 pm
How do people without students find anything cool?
March 18, 2008, 8:51 pm
The truth is that many of us don’t think tenure is a good system, and would prefer to be in a union. Tenure is, in fact, a more or less abusive system, and one that reproduces power hierarchies as they exist in society and in the university. Many of us who make it through the tenure process with the lifetime sinecure that is promised often do so because we are really good at repressing what actually happened. It is true that women, queers and people of color are not always turned down anymore just because our presence makes others uncomfortable, or just because the kind of knowledge we produce is actually critical of what more senior people in the department do. But it is also true that the people who control tenure nearly always make us hurt for it, even when we get it. I was lucky: I got to put the hurt off until I was being reviewed for full professor.
Then I was not so lucky…
February 29, 2008, 12:56 pm
Gayprof, who is a continual inspiration to my desire to write and think better, recently put up this post on being a “minority” in a humanities department. In “Enough Minorities? Minority Enough? (Part I)” he responds to Oso Raro’s thoughts in his this recent post at Slaves of Academe (which, if you have never visited it, is also one of the most beautifully written blogs I know.) In addition, Gayprof is following on a previous post of his own about so-called diversity hiring, and presumably since “Enough Minorities? Minority Enough?” is labeled “Part I” there will be at least one more follow up. I’m looking forward to it. And for those who want to read a really great piece on similar questions, turn to my colleague Indira Karamcheti’s classic article,”Caliban in the Classroom.” Originally published in Radical Teacher, it is anthologized in Pedagogy: The Question of Impersonation, Ed…