"All over the country research libraries are canceling subscriptions to academic journals," notes Robert Darnton, "because they are caught between decreasing budgets and increasing costs. The logic of the bottom line is inescapable, but there is a higher logic that deserves consideration—namely, that the public should have access to knowledge produced with public funds."
A new study indicates that when it comes to National Endowment for the Arts grants, “there is not a disproportionate benefit to wealthy individuals.” In fact, the grants often benefit both the rich and poor alike.
“It’s strange to keep confronting, in these stylistic ways, how you were constructed. What you were constructed to be in the world.” Margo Jefferson sits down with BOMB Magazine to discuss feminism, class, and her memoir, Negroland. Our own Michael Bourne writes on the art of memoir.
We thoroughly enjoyed the latest episode of David Naimon's Between the Covers podcast featuring Whiting-Award winner Tyehimba Jess. The conversation centers on Jess's latest book, Olio, a tour de force hybrid-genre exploration of African-American performers from the period just before the American Civil War through World War I. (Previously: We recommended Jess's Leadbelly as perfect reading for train travel.)
Somewhere along the way, the word "cool" became "the most popular slang term of approval in English." Humanities has a pretty cool (hip, rad, dope, groovy, punk, hot, sweet) theory, tracing it as far back as Zora Neale Hurston's collection Mules and Men, and the time when "cool was black... cool was jazz." (Related reading: the most excellent Hepster's Dictionary (pdf) of 1939 jive talk, and our own history of the slang word "like.")
Paul Thomas Anderson’s movie adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice is going to have one heck of a star-studded cast. Among the names attached to the production thus far are Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short and Sean Penn. The film is tentatively scheduled for a 2014 release. (Bonus: Take a sneak peek at Pynchon’s forthcoming novel, Bleeding Edge.)