The Orient Express began service on this day in 1883—Paris to Istanbul in 83.5 hours. Agatha Christie may be the most famous writer to have capitalized on the train’s romantic allure, but the list of books begins decades before her (Dracula, for example) and goes for decades after.
Jennifer Lawrence is putting down Katniss’s bow and arrow for another literary adaption. She will star as the malevolent Cathy Ames in a new adaptation of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. Gary Ross, who first teamed up with Lawrence for The Hunger Games, will direct. Pair with: Our essay on vile women in fiction, which features the infamous Cathy.
A new academic journal dedicated to critical explorations of “cultural products and services designated as pornographic” will debut next spring. “Porn Studies is a direct outgrowth of the mounting scholarly interest in the topic of pornography as a significant, yet relatively under-examined, realm of popular culture,” writes Lynn Comella.
This week, UC Davis students protesting a tuition increase (among other things) were mercilessly pepper sprayed by their own campus police. In response, Nathan Brown, a non-tenured associate professor of English, has spoken out and called for UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi‘s resignation. In solidarity with Brown’s demand, students silently gathered around Katehi’s office as she exited. For those hoping for further illumination on the entire fiasco, I recommend this list of “Ten Things You Should Know About Friday’s UC Davis Police Violence.” Elsewhere within the UC system, former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass details his harrowing experience at the UC Berkeley protests.