Category: The Cultural Canon

Open Thread with Seasons Turning


The change of season (or in some cases the change not turning up) features for this week’s Open Thread. Summer doesn’t appear to want to let Australia go into Autumn just yet, how are you Northrons going with getting some Spring?

Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.
* with a few netiquette exceptions

Oh No It’s Award Season Again Thread

A pale skinned woman with blonde hair stands in the foreground of an expansive rural landscape. She is dressed extremely stylishly in 50s-era dress, gloves and hat, and is carrying a Singer sewing machine in its case.

Share your thumbs-ups and thumbs-downs here, for whatever production and whoever’s performance, and feel free to go to town with subtext and meta-commentary. Just please be spoiler-aware for those readers who haven’t managed to catch up with various books/movies/TV yet.

I’ll get you started. Consider going to see The Dressmaker.

Open Thread with My Kittens


Firstly, my apologies for neglecting to post a seasonal greetings Open Thread a few weeks ago. Belated wishes for a Happy New Year! Secondly, I hope you will forgive me via the adorableness of these three kittens we adopted a a couple of months ago. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.
* with a few netiquette exceptions

Open Thread with Royle’s Pika


This month an adorable Ochotona roylei from Tungnath, Rudraprayag district, Uttarkhand state, India features for our Open Thread. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over the next month or so..
* with a few netiquette exceptions

Quick Hit(s): Indigenous Peoples Day

Not that it makes up for centuries of colonization and genocide, but more and U.S. cities are choosing each year to officially make the second Monday of October a celebration of the indigenous people of their region, and not of the deplorable individual credited with “discovering” them.

Interview with Debbie Reese

After I did my last post, about representation in children’s literature and Debbie Reese’s blog, American Indians in Children’s Literature, it occurred to me…why not interview Debbie? She’s incredibly smart and well-read and knows what she’s talking about in ways…

Open Thread with Siberian Husky and Leaves


This Siberian husky “helping” his human rake the autumn leaves features for this month’s Open Thread. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the next four weeks.
* with a few netiquette exceptions

Racism, Representation, and Children’s Literature

I teach children’s literature, specifically Golden Age children’s literature (1865-1926), aka Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Winnie-the-Pooh), and you might notice that those dates in the parentheses coincide with the height of the power of the British Empire. So while…

Dragon Con followup: Female heroes and femininity

On Saturday, I sat on a panel in the American Sci-fi Classics track at Dragon Con, talking about female heroes in classic sci-fi. One question from the audience stuck out to me as being insufficiently addressed in the time we had available, so: Young woman in the front row, stage left, ’bout three seats from the end, if you’ve followed me here (which is totally cool and appreciated), here’s the answer you deserve.

Question: Seeing as how “femininity” is really just a social construct, don’t we need to see more heroines who eschew traditional signifiers of femininity?

Quick hit: Duke freshman refuse to, can’t wait to read Fun Home

On the one hand: Several Duke University students have publicly announced their unwillingness to do the suggested freshman summer reading. They refused to read Fun Home, Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir about her experiences with her father and her relationship with her sexual identity, because it offends their Christian values. On the other hand: Other students, not locked into a fearful, fundamentalist view of the world around them, are excited to read Fun Home and gratified to see it on the reading list.