RBR Sunday Salon
Volume 1, Issue 10
Welcome to the 10th volume of Sunday Salon! Today finds us in the middle of autumn, with the clocks having fallen back an hour here in the United States (which means I’m awake an hour earlier than necessary!) I’m not entirely sure why we still honor “daylight savings time,” but I never complain about it in the fall. Ask me again in the spring, when we lose an hour, and I may tell another tale.
Below, please find links to interesting content around the web that I’ve read in the last two weeks. Some of these are very newly published, while others are content that may have been published a while ago but which I only stumbled across this week. Please share what you’ve been reading in the comments below!
Blog Posts I Loved
- Exploring Literature: Reading Darkness to Find the Light. In times of crisis, what should we read? Should we read books that expose the dark side of humanity, or should we seek instead more uplifting books? Readers (and film-goers) today seem to fall into one or the other category.
- Shelf Love: One Person, No Vote. Each chapter details a different way that voting is made difficult or reduced the power of certain people’s votes. Besides strict registration laws and gerrymandering, there are voter ID laws and the purging of voter rolls, as well as uneven enforcement of the laws in place.
- Pages Unbound: Why I’ll Always Support Required Reading in Schools. English, or literary studies, is its own field and has its own content. Students who have achieved basic literacy are not being asked to read books in class just so they can expand their vocabulary or learn grammar. When instructors choose books for their classes to read, they have (or should have, if they are knowledgeable about their field) real goals in mind, goals related to the specific field of literary studies.
- Chicago Review of Books: A Different Kind of Halloween Reading List. Most readers will agree that October is the best time to read that horror novel that’s been sitting on your shelf for ages. But it’s also a great time to explore some recent nonfiction.
- Chicago Review of Books: Therese Anne Fowler Reminds Us How Insane the Gilded Age Really Was. Given the runaway success of Therese Anne Fowler’s novel Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, it’s not surprising that her new novel, A Well-Behaved Woman, has been among the fall’s most highly anticipated historical fiction releases. This time Fowler takes on the lesser-known figure of Alva Vanderbilt, who married into one of America’s richest Gilded Age families and took bold actions to steer herself, her family and society forward into a better future.
History & Politics
- The New York Times: ‘Transgender’ Could be Defined Out of Existence Under the Trump Administration. The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a government-wide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.
- Brit + Co: 5 Races that Could Decide the Future of Women’s Rights. For so many Americans, the stakes in this November’s midterm elections frankly couldn’t be higher. And this is especially true for American women, who comprise the majority of registered voters.
Culture & Society
- Intelligencer: Millenials Know their Facts Better than Older Americans. “The pollsters presented respondents with ten statements about political matters — five based in fact, five in opinion — and asked them to identify which was which. Americans under 50 proved themselves far more capable of distinguishing between empirical realities and tendentious bloviations.”
- KTAR News: Rami Malek is the Champion of Greatest Hits Film, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’Singer’s effort veers between two jobs. Structurally, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is the story of Queen, but more specifically, it’s also the story of Freddie Mercury, Queen’s charismatic lead singer. It may seem like those tasks are one and the same, but they aren’t.
Science, Tech., & Nature
- Scientific American: How to Convince Someone when Facts Fail. “Have you ever noticed that when you present people with facts that are contrary to their deepest held beliefs they always change their minds? Me neither. In fact, people seem to double down on their beliefs in the teeth of overwhelming evidence against them.”
- Vice: The Real Magic of Netflix’s ‘Sabrina’ Reboot is Radical Teen Feminism. It’s no longer enough to say “every woman is a witch.” Now, we must truly consider what it means to be a woman and what it means to be a witch. What is the cost of either identity, and what are its accompanying obligations? The teens of Sabrina—witch and human, girl and gender nonconforming—have a message: If magic isn’t used for justice, then it’s not witchcraft.
- Broadly: 7 Parents on What They Learned from Their Trans Kids. Advice from parents of transgender and gender non-conforming children about how to be good to the young trans person in your life.
Teaching & Writing
- The Chronicle: Do You Make them Call You Professor? O ver dinner following a scholarly lecture, my colleagues and I began debating a familiar question: Do you make your students call you “Professor”? Opinions and practices seemed roughly correlated to the age, gender, and cultural background of the professor.
- The Chronicle: When You Communicate with Students, Tone Matters. If you want students to be motivated to learn in your classroom, they need to value the goals you set for them, believe that accomplishing those goals is possible, and feel supported along the way.
Recent Posts from Roof Beam Reader
- Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman (re-read)
- The House of the Vampire by George Sylvester Viereck
Thank you for stopping by and taking part in another SUNDAY SALON. There was much to choose from this week, and I hope I have presented you with a decent selection. I would love to hear your thoughts on any of these or the other things you’ve read this week! (Tell me what I missed!)
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