What Some of Our Most Read Essays of 2016 Say About You

December 25, 2016

IN RETROSPECT, 2016 WAS A PRETTY UNFORGETTABLE YEAR. While there are plenty of ways to parse the key subjects that claimed our collective mental space, we've compiled by theme the LARB interviews, essays, and reviews you most gravitated toward. This does not nearly cover all that we have published over the year, but we think it encompasses LARB's spirit — boundless, fearless, a little strange, uniquely literary, and very much “LA.”

What will 2017 bring? We're looking forward to forging brave new conversations with you in the year ahead.



Neoliberal Tools (and Archives): A Political History of Digital Humanities by Daniel Allington, Sarah Brouillette, and David Golumbia

Dear Parents: Everything You Need to Know About Your Son and Daughter’s University But Don’t By Ron Srigley

Are PhD Students Irrational? By Aaron R. Hanlon

Death by Prefix? The Paradoxical Life of Modernist Studies By Gayle Rogers

The Future of Academic Style: Why Citations Still Matter in the Age of Google By Kathleen Fitzpatrick



The Supermanagerial Reich By Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Raphaële Chappe

Why Conservatives Hate Fiscal Policy By Tom Streithorst

Two Bubbles of Unrealism: Learning From the Tragedy of Trump By Bruno Latour

Trump and the End Times By Dan Sinykin

Democracy — Too Much of a Good Thing? By Andrew Sullivan, Roslyn Fuller



Emojis, Comics, and the Novel of the Future By Tim Peters

What Happened to “Purity”?: Jonathan Franzen and the Aspirations and Disappointments of a Contract Writer By GD Dess

Michael Lewis and the Narrative Nonfiction Formula By Cody Delistraty

The Emerging Genre of Slut Lit By Joy Horowitz



The Limits of Absurdity By Robert Zaretsky

Kafka: An End or a Beginning? By Morten Høi Jensen

Was “Lolita” About Race?: Vladimir Nabokov on Race in the United States By Jennifer Wilson

A Brilliant Mind’s Pauses: The Fiction of Russia’s Greatest Poet By Bob Blaisdell

Third-Rail Erotica By Laura Frost

The Stranger Guest: The Literature of Pregnancy and New Motherhood By Lily Gurton-Wachter

An Incomplete Eloquence By Dustin Illingworth



Rethinking Knowledge in the Internet Age By David Weinberger

Life as a Verb: Applying Buckminster Fuller to the 21st Century By W. Patrick McCray

Creepy Futures: Nicholas Carr’s History of the Future By Geoff Nunberg



Critical Intimacy: An Interview with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak with Steve Paulson

Embarrassing Ourselves By Geoffrey Bennington

Žižek’s Trans/gender Trouble By Che Gossett



What We’ve Got Here: “Arrival” By Jordan Brower

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life By Aaron Bady

Stranger Things, Season One By Aaron Bady

The Philosopher and Her Kisses By Stephanie DeGooyer

“He’ll try to keep his sanity / With the help of his robot friends” By Ian Williams

Tired of Waiting Around for the Trickle Down: The Politics of the Drive-By Truckers By Josh Schneiderman, Paul Fess

Is There God After Prince? By Peter Coviello



Act Naturally: Pretentiousness, Coolness, and Culture By Barrett Swanson

Space Invaders By Oliver Wang

On Shit: Profanity as Weltanschauung By Mark Edmundson



The Case Against Cats By Colin Dickey



Evangelicals Are Losing the Battle for the Bible. And They’re Just Fine with That. By Jim Hinch

The Art of Administration: On Greg Barnhisel’s “Cold War Modernists” By Donal Harris

Nostalgia for World Culture: A New History of Esperanto By Ross Perlin

Thinking, Public and Private: Intellectuals in the Time of the Public By Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft

A Very British Hatchet Job By Clement Knox