Detail of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin © Slaunger | Wikimedia Commons
EssaysMedia & PublicsSex & Gender

Memories of Identities, Identities of Memory

How do memorials shape who we think we are? And how do we “do” identities when we interact with memorials? As Salon.com and others noted, gay men have been using the signature concrete slabs of the Berlin Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe as backdrops to their profile pictures on grindr, a geo-social app that lets those have have logged on find each other that is popular with gay men. In Salon’s account, the combination of the memorial and the anticipation of erotic pleasure is “odd” and “peculiar.” The Memorial appears as a “prop” for self-presentation. The trend is portrayed as equivalent to the EasyJet airline’s 2009 fashion shoot for an in-flight magazine at the memorial. …

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MOOC poster explores the meaning of "Massive Open Online Courses" © Mathieu Plourde | Flickr
CapitalismEssaysSex & GenderTheory & Practice

OOPS versus MOOCs

I first thought of writing this post over a year ago as a follow up to my piece “Against the Educational Uncertainty Principle.” I was struck by the way that recent interventions to address the various dimensions of higher educational crisis have made matters worse. MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses, are a particular case in point. As I wrote then:

“I worry about magical solutions: MOOCs, substituting television for face to face inquiry, even though using the web to strengthen educational practices makes sense to me. …

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Hundreds protest against sexist porn law in London, December 12, 2014 © See Li | LondonPictureCapital/Flcikr
EssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionSex & Gender

Legislating the Libido

On the UK’s new anti-pornography laws

It was certainly one of the more unorthodox protests in living memory: red-blooded women straddling the faces of submissive, supine men outside London’s Parliament House. This orgiastic pantomime was prompted by a recent amendment to the UK’s Communications Act of 2003, banning the depiction of an assortment of sexual scenarios, ranging from spanking to penetration-by-objects to verbal abuse to fisting; as well as the aforementioned face-sitting. …

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