The provocative novel, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, begins in the year 2060, 40 years after humans first discovered hauntingly beautiful music being broadcasted from the Alpha Centauri system. The world voyeuristically awaits any snippets of news about Father Emilio Sandoz, a priest and the only surviving member of an exploratory mission commissioned by the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, to seek out the origin of these strange broadcasts.
The mid-nineteenth century in England was a period of considerable social upheaval produced by widespread economic, political, and technological shifts. The decades following the Napoleonic wars brought repeated class conflicts and economic depressions as well as continual expansion of British imperial interests and increasing industrialization. The 1850s, in particular, were a period of intense social redefinition in England. The widespread introduction of steam power into manufacturing brought about what many have identified as the Second Industrial Revolution.
Ours is a world fundamentally determined by the politics of panic. It seems that time itself has fallen prey to the capitalistic logic of scarcity, a scarcity carefully managed by politicians and bureaucratic experts for the cultivation of both wealth and power. Recent market woes have only served to fuel this pathological urgency, rendering the creative cessation of consumptive patterns economically perilous; the willful pause for reflexive contemplation socially subversive; and the life-giving power of “free time” implicitly bound to the therapeutic satisfaction of “needs” shaped by marketers and polling data.
In her essay “Taking TV’s “‘War of Words’” Too Literally,”1 Georgetown University linguist Deborah Tannen examines the rise of what she calls the “argument culture.” That argument is a significant part of American culture today is clear whenever we turn on the television set. Talking heads that populate the airwaves with ardent speakers can be found on various talk shows, especially cable’s quasi-news programs such as MSNBC’s Hardball or CNN’s Crossfire.
Why can’t the heterogeneous West create its own images of splendor and desire without reproducing tired stereotypes of a lush Orient that never existed anywhere but in the desire-drenched recesses of their collective minds? (Susana Loza 166) In 1979 Edward Said published his brilliant and still highly controversial work, Orientalism. In this book he proposes the following […]
The textbook, Literacies: Reading, Writing and Interpretation, edited by Terence Brunk, Suzanne Diamond, Priscilla Perkins, and Ken Smith, goes far beyond teaching the five-paragraph essay. This textbook, which is designed for beginning college-level writers, aims to empower students by helping them to find their voice through a rigorous (but enjoyable) process of interpreting and challenging diverse texts. […]
Note: The following discussion is based on a lecture delivered on July 19, 2001, at the International Central/Eastern European School for the Humanities atWarsaw University, Warsaw, Poland. I want to express thanks to Dr. Chris Werry of DRWS for his advice and help on this project. INTRODUCTION Until relatively recently (mid-1990s) the Internet was seen an anarchic cyber-space, a […]