Of Hoodies and White Women, Trayvon and Othello

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Trayvon Martin could not have been me. Not now. Not 35 years ago, when, like President Obama, I was Trayvon Martin’s’ age. The reason is plain: I am a white woman, raised in a wealthy suburb, an English professor. The infinite ways in which my life—and the life of my own teenage son—are different and […]

Of Jane Austen, the Bennet Sisters … and VAWA?

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“I let him film us having sex, Lizzie. I let him do that. … He never made me do anything, so just tell me that I didn’t get what I had coming Lizzie, just try to tell me that!” A sobbing and self-abusive young woman named Lydia Bennet is speaking to her older sister Lizzie […]

Downton Abbey Meets Roe v. Wade

Downton Abbey

A week ago, in episode 4 of the third season of Downton Abbey, American fans witnessed the tragedy British viewers had already seen—Lady Sybil’s death from eclampsia after childbirth.  This week–SPOILER ALERT–episode 5 exonerates Lord Grantham of any role in the fatality and ends with he and his wife sobbing in each other’s arms. The […]

Pride and Prejudice at 200: Stop Looking for Mr. Darcy!

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 “I want. To. Meet. Darcy. Now!” “When are we going to see darcy gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh?” “ohmygosh i haven’t even met darcy yet, and i’m already madly fangirling over him.” So commented the viewers on the 57th installment of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a YouTube modernization of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, produced by Hank Green and […]