Category Culture

Named and Shamed: Zadie Smith’s ‘Swing Time’ and an Author’s Power to Define the Past

“Elegance attracted me,” Zadie Smith’s unnamed narrator says in her new novel, Swing Time. “I liked the way it hid pain.” By that measure, she would approve of her own artfully constructed narrative. Flickering between the distant and more recent past, she chronicles her relationships with three women: Her activist-turned-backbench MP mother; her popstar-philanthropist boss, […]

The Living Nightmare of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

When Emily Durant (not her real name) was eight, her relationship with her mother began to deteriorate. “Something just snapped in her one day, I guess,” Emily said. Her once-caring mother suddenly stopped doing dishes, taking out the trash, or even putting trash into the trashcan. Dirty plates piled up in the sink, and then […]

Why Critiques of the Campus Rape Documentary The Hunting Ground Only Prove its Point

Critics of the hit documentary The Hunting Ground – which illuminates in damning detail the prevalence of sexual violence at American universities – are ramping up their attacks just in time for The Hunting Ground‘s prime time debut on CNN this Sunday, November 22. And if they aren’t careful, their aspersions might dovetail with the massive audience CNN […]

Rosemary Kennedy and the Legacy of Mental Illness

As a young girl in the early 1900s, Rosemary Kennedy—the eldest daughter of the auspicious Kennedy family—was beautiful, affectionate, and mild-mannered. But her life story pivots on what became perhaps the centuryc’s most chilling manifestation of the fear, shame, and ignorance that surrounds mental health: the lobotomy. Read Elizabeth’s full story on VICE.

A Dance Takes Shape From Pringle of Scotland’s Archives

“Fully Fashioned: The Pringle of Scotland Story,” which looks back on the brand’s distinctly Scottish roots and opened for the first time at London’s Serpentine Gallery during London Fashion Week, arrives today in the fashion house’s home country at the National Museum of Scotland. Operating out of mills in the Scottish Borders town of Hawick […]

Dismissive of ‘Rape Culture,’ a New York Times Columnist Perpetuates It in a Screed Against ‘Sensitivity’

Judith Shulevitz’s cri de coeur in Sunday’s New York Times against the “self-censorship” she believes is stifling intellectual debate in American universities due to the supposed heightened emotional fragility of today’s students should appall anyone who cares about or believes in mental health. In her article, Shulevitz equates passionate advocates for gay rights and abortion rights with rape survivors, […]

We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: The Joan Didion Documentary’s Pioneering Approach to Collaborative Filmmaking

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” Joan Didion writes to open one of her many seminal essays, “The White Album.” “We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social and moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of multiple choices. We live […]