Category: art

English Monsters and amazing students.

This January, students and I were supposed to be in London and Haworth and Whitby, tracking Frankenstein’s Creature and Dracula and Heathcliff and Mr. Hyde. Instead we were in a classroom on campus, a beloved old building with a sloping floor, a harmless ghost named Gertrude (according to student legend), and a whanging, banging monster […]

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Blake and Kae Tempest: Seeing “People’s Faces” with students (Nov. 28)

On Nov. 28, I’ll take part via Zoom in The Blake Society’s special event to celebrate the launch of its journal VALA’s new issue – which includes my short piece on teaching Blake’s “London” alongside current Blake Society president Kae Tempest’s spoken-word poem “People’s Faces” – over Zoom on Dec. 21, 2020.  It was, and […]

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Barking at the angel.

On the top floor of the Accademia in Florence, in an overlooked panel of a medieval altarpiece, is an image that’s easy to ignore: a shepherd’s dog, barking at the angel who’s suddenly appeared to rouse the obviously startled shepherds from their sleep. There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks […]

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Tinfoil Mary, “strong women,” and stays against confusion.

Left: The great writer. Right: Her tinfoil avatar. “I was hoping for a great memorial to Mary Wollstonecraft…this isn’t it.” – Historian Simon Schama I’m sure everyone involved meant well. I can’t wait to see how my next crop of “In Frankenstein’s Footsteps” study-abroad students will react to it [in a post-COVID J-term 2022 — […]

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Protection. Rebellion. Incarnation.

Easter Sunday, 2019. Westminster Abbey and Parliament Square. Extinction Rebellion and Brexit and Eucharist. Two hundred years on from Shelley’s “Mask of Anarchy” and Keats’ Odes. What if this is the site of Incarnation, here and now? parliament square easter sunday Carn, the root: meat, flesh. Incarnation: the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. […]

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Fighting the fight, right here.

“[We] never turn sentimental about something of real value — wilderness, wild animals, small towns, baseball, mountain music, our privacy — until the way we live and do business has pressed it to the edge of extinction.  Then we administer affectionate last rites to everything we failed to love enough.” – Hal Crowther My boxing […]

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