Archive for the 'News' Category

“Banana Envy”: Notes on a Global Obsession

The banana is one of the most popular and ubiquitous fruits in the world. Walmart sells more of them than any other product. The word “bananas” has entered our language not just to refer to the fruit, but also as a slang word for something crazy or bizarre. In terms of imagery it’s slippery skin has become a […]

Oppression: A Response to Rory O’Neill’s Abbey Theatre Speech

I am moved to write this post after watching Rory O’Neill’s speech in the Abbey Theatre. O’Neill’s speech follows on from comments he made about homophobia on the Saturday Night Show which prompted RTE to pay out €85,000 to the Iona Institute Catholic lobbying group. O’Neill’s description of oppression in Ireland is familiar to many of […]

From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin: A Legacy of Racially Motivated Murder in the U.S.

I join the masses in shock and horror at the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. Zimmerman was on trial for the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin on the 12th February 2012 in Florida. Martin was a 17 year old black teenager and was unarmed when he was shot twice by Zimmerman. The […]

A Marine Story (2010): From Sexuality to Sexism in the U.S. Military

“A decorated Marine officer unexpectedly returns home from the war and is quickly recruited to help a troubled teen prepare for boot camp, but when the true reasons for her return become known it threatens the future for both of them. A MARINE STORY [Directed by Ned Farr] highlights the absurdity of the military ban […]

“We Must Not Always Talk in the Market-Place of What Happens to Us in the Forest”: Victim Blaming is Our Scarlet Letter

“She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom” – Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850 Are we all born with scarlet letters, unseen until someone or something makes them visible? Like unlucky lottery scratch cards, a letter rubbed raw, eczematous, infectious: one for every woman who dares to speak out against rape and sexual assault. […]

Steubenhell on Earth

Welcome to Earth: Where victims are blamed, where rapists are mollycoddled, where football is more important than #humanrights #Steubenville — Donna M. Alexander (@americasstudies) March 19, 2013   Steubenville is now synonymous with hell. It is no longer just a geographical location, but an event, a moment in time when humanity failed to be humane. […]

Contraception, Abortion, and Invisible Fences: A Brief Look at Church and State in the U.S. and Ireland

Introduction Amid the public outrage over the death of Savita Halappanavar in Galway, Ireland are the shocked and seething whispers about the alleged reason given to the woman and her husband regarding the denial of her request for an abortion: “This is a Catholic country.” This phrase quite simply implies that Ireland lives under a […]

“Thank You For the Light”: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Unpublished Work, Popularity and Scholarship

The New Yorker recently featured a previously unpublished short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald called “Thank You For the Light.” The piece is short (c.1000 words) and closely resembles flash fiction. In style, it is simple, unadorned and witty. Mrs. Hanson, the protagonist, is a travelling saleswoman who spends her day desperately trying to find a place […]

What I Learned from Adrienne Rich

The first time I read an Adrienne Rich poem as teenager I learned that it’s not just the “boys club” that writes poetry well. A woman can create poetry that explores personal and political attachments as well as being formally and stylistically masterful. This is the first lesson that Rich taught me. I went through […]

Dr. Seuss: The Political Cartoonist

Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss (aka Theodor Seuss Geisel, 1904-1991) who would have been 108 today! Did you know that as well as being one of the most famous children’s author of all time and connoisseur of the anapestic tetrameter, Dr. Seuss was a life-long political cartoonist. The Dr. Seuss Collection at Mandeville Special Collections […]