The French film School’s Out is a masterpiece. Avenue B Productions, Canal+, OCS

Film

Five films not to miss from the 2019 Sydney Film Festival

A flawless French film, a Macedonian parable and a documentary following alt-right strategist Steve Bannon are three of the stand out films from this year's festival.
The New York Times decision to end daily political cartoons in its international edition has led to predictions of the death of cartooning. But the decision actually reflects an increasingly globalised, online industry. Wes Mountain/Baiducao/Carlos Latuff/David Pope/First Dog/David Rowe/Jon Kudelka/Glen Le Lievre/Rebel Pepper/António Moreira Antunes/The Conversation

Cartoons

The New York Times ends daily political cartoons, but it’s not the death of the art form

A New York Times decision has led to predictions of the death of cartooning. But rather than perishing, is the global art form just feeling the full force of technological and workplace change?
Writing wasn’t just invented once by a single person. Many different ancient societies invented writing at different times and places. www.shutterstock.com

Language

Curious Kids: who came up with the first letters?

Writing has only been a part of the human story for the last 5,000 years. In comparison, humans began to communicate using speech some 50,000 years ago.
View from a highway rest stop east of Ravensthorpe, Western Australia. In Kim Scott’s Taboo, the landscape becomes a narrator. Chris Fithall/flickr

Inside the story

Inside the story: the all-knowing narrator in Kim Scott’s Taboo

The omniscient narrator is alive and well in fiction. Kim Scott's most recent novel uses a collective narrative voice that encompasses the landscape as well as the human.
Pope Francis with a group of nuns in Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City, in 2018. History and the Bible provide good reasons why women should be in positions of authority in the Catholic Church. Ettore Ferrari/EPA/AAP

Religion

Women priests could help the Catholic Church restore its integrity. It’s time to embrace them

A recent Vatican commission report on women's ordination as deacons was inconclusive. But allowing women priests would help the Catholic Church achieve much-needed reform.
Isabel, on left, when she was working for Mangankali Housing Company, talking to politicians and/or bureaucrats on the Wollai, the Aboriginal reserve at Collarenebri. Family collection, provided to author.

Hidden women

Hidden women of history: Isabel Flick, the tenacious campaigner who fought segregation in Australia

Denied an education in 1930s Australia because she was too black, Isabel Flick went on to fight segregation at her local cinema in the early 1960s. She became a powerful campaigner for Indigenous rights.
The author in his vegetable patch. Wendy Kinsella

Friday essay

Friday essay: on being an ethical vegan for 33 years

For poet John Kinsella, veganism is an ethics of commitment. Living as a vegan, he writes, is not a holier-than-thou situation, but a move towards being more respectful of life.
Rupert O’Flynn with Rudolf Marcuse’s bronze bust of Douglas Grant, December 2016. Photograph courtesy Tom Murray.

A mystery solved

How we tracked down the only known sculpture of a WWI Indigenous soldier

In 1918, in Wünsdorf prisoner-of-war camp, a German sculptor created a bust of Indigenous soldier Douglas Grant. For decades, the whereabouts of this nationally significant sculpture were unknown - until now.
The town of Schalkenmehren and its adjoining maar lake, Germany. Wikimedia Commons

Mythology

Firepits of the Gods: ancient memories of maar volcanoes

A maar is a volcanic crater, often filled with water. New research highlights the similarities between oral stories around the world that shed light on the formation of these craters.
Poet Walt Whitman in his home in New Jersey in 1891. Born 200 years ago this week, Whitman is celebrated in America for his daring poetry collection Leaves of Grass. Samuel Murray/Wikimedia Commons

200 years of Walt Whitman

Guide to the classics: Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and the complex life of the ‘poet of America’

Walt Whitman is perhaps America's most admired poet. His work, now praised for its themes of equality and democracy, was once shunned for its experimental verse and discussion of sexuality.
A retouched photo of Mary (Mollie) Dean from Sydney newspaper Truth (1 February 1931). Dean, who was murdered in Melbourne in 1930, was the subject of two Australian books published in 2018. Public domain/The Conversation

Writing crime

Inside the story: humanising a cold case victim – writing the life and brutal death of Mollie Dean

True crime-related storytelling has shrugged off its former low-brow baggage. Two recent Australian books show how victims' stories can be told sensitively and humanely.
China’s five-storey Tianjin Binhai Library occupies an area of 33,700 square metres with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves which can contain up to 1.2 million books. Roman Pilipey

Friday essay

Friday essay: the library – humanist ideal, social glue and now, tourism hotspot

In our world of pervasive consumerism, libraries continue to be founded on humanism. Their core purpose as accessible places is vital – yet they are also now popular tourist destinations.
A still from the new film Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which opens this week. In a time of environmental destruction, Godzilla is the perfect monster to represent the consequences of humanity’s actions. Warner Bros/IMDB

Monsters and movies

Why Godzilla is the perfect monster for our age of environmental destruction

Popular monsters often reflect humanity's greatest fears. Godzilla, with its destructive rampages, is the foremost monster for our age of environmental threat.
The National Museum of Iraq photographed in February 2018. Many of the pieces discovered at the ruins of Ur, arranged and labelled by Ennigaldi-Nanna, can be found here. Wikimedia Commons

Hidden women

Hidden women of history: Ennigaldi-Nanna, curator of the world’s first museum

Ennigaldi-Nanna is largely unknown in the modern day. But in 530BC, this Mesopotamian priestess worked to arrange and label various artefacts in the world's first museum.
An upcoming film will explore the origins of the Joker, last seen in the Batman franchise. But prequels are often poorly received – perhaps with good reason. DC Comics/IMDB

Pop culture

A long time ago… why prequels are taking us back to the future in popular film

From the Joker to a Game of Thrones prequel, origin stories are increasingly common in film and TV – perhaps at the expense of originality in popular culture.

More Analysis and Comment

Research and Expert Database

Reviews

Job Board

Where experts find jobs

More Jobs

Events

More Events

How we are different

10 reasons

Most Read past week

  1. Netflix is opening its first Australian HQ. What does this mean for the local screen industry?
  2. Frozen was our most important feminist film but the sequel won’t have the same impact
  3. Inside the story: the all-knowing narrator in Kim Scott’s Taboo
  4. Friday essay: diversity in the media is vital - but Australia has a long way to go
  5. Explainer: what does it mean to be ‘cisgender’?

Pitch an idea

Got a news tip or article idea for The Conversation?

Tell us

Our Audience

The Conversation has a monthly audience of 10.7 million users, and reach of 38.2 million through Creative Commons republication.

Want to Write?

Write an article and join a growing community of more than 85,800 academics and researchers from 2,877 institutions.

Register now

Make a Donation

The Conversation relies on sector, government and reader support. If you would like to help us have even better conversations, then you may like to make a one-off or on-going donation.

Donate