Cultural Studies

RECENT REVIEWS

Where Danger Is

Where Danger Is

CRITICAL AND TERRITORIAL in my nature, not easily impressed by my fellow essayists, I will here cede territory and admit to being impressed, more than impressed, by the vigorously growing oeuvre of Re...

Work It on Out

Work It on Out

IN THE SUMMER of 2003, you couldn’t miss “Crazy in Love.” The Beyoncé single with a horn hook from the Chi-Lites and a rap from the singer’s future husband Jay-Z was everywhere. I heard it o...

OkCupid’s XOXO for Big Surveillance

OkCupid’s XOXO for Big Surveillance

CHRISTIAN RUDDER is a good writer — so good, in fact, it’s easy for readers of Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) to be smitten by his engaging and funny stories. These stori...

It Was a Very Good Year

It Was a Very Good Year

THE IDEA OF FOCUSING on a single year for research, or for study, or in an attempt to make a year illustrative of a whole era is slightly bonkers, but at the same time it can be very useful as well as...

A Tale of Two ’Hoods: A Rap on Silver Lake

A Tale of Two ’Hoods: A Rap on Silver Lake

WHEN RUBÉN MARTÍNEZ submitted his essay “My Father’s House” to Dagoberto Gilb, author and publisher of the literary magazine Huizache, the two writers realized they shared some geography: the...

Is College Still Worth It?

Is College Still Worth It?

WHEN DID American universities switch from being a national glory to a national problem? One likely year is 2010, when total student debt became larger than total credit card debt, and the dam burst o...

On Risk and Personal Belief

On Risk and Personal Belief

Pestilence is in fact very common, but we find it hard to believe in a pestilence when it descends upon us. There have been as many plagues in the world as there have been wars, yet plagues and wars a...

A Truthy Critique of American Higher Ed

A Truthy Critique of American Higher Ed

WILLIAM DERESIEWICZ'S Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life was published on August 19 — just in time for the annual “crisis in American higher ...

Life, Prison, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Life, Prison, and the Pursuit of Happiness

ALICE GOFFMAN’S On the Run couldn’t be more aptly titled. In the Philadelphia suburb that is the focus of Goffman’s powerful sociological study, young Black men are “on the run” for real, an...

California’s Immaculate Conception

California’s Immaculate Conception

CALIFORNIA has been known as the end of America, where Manifest Density doubled back on itself. But long before Joan Didion declared it the place where we run out of continent, California had a histor...

Capitalizing on “The Body”

Capitalizing on “The Body”

BY NOW you’ve probably heard the news: Marx is back on trend. Thanks to the French economist Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, even The New York Times’s Fashion & Sty...