Many classically trained actors are drawn to motion capture roles, which are increasingly complex and theatrical. Youtube


Why motion capture performances deserve an Oscar

Motion capture actors help bring superheroes and fantastical creatures to life on screen. Andy Serkis, who played Gollum in The Hobbit trilogy, is campaigning for these actors to be eligible for Oscars – and it's time the Academy heeded his call.
A wax model of Ernest Hemingway at Madame Tussauds in New York. Anton_Ivanov/


Friday essay: why literary celebrity is a double-edged sword

Bob Dylan is now a literary celebrity. And next week, the Booker Prize judges will anoint another. The tag is still chiefly attached to men but women authors shouldn't despair: fame and good writing can be uneasy bedfellows.
Clare Wright: one of many women historians carving a role as a public intellectual. Dan Himbrechts/AAP


How women historians smashed the glass ceiling

Compared to the male-dominated STEM disciplines and social sciences like philosophy and political science, Australian history has been remarkably feminised. Indeed there may be more women historians here than in the UK or US.
Sports can push people to come to terms with suffering as well as success. Reuters/China Daily

Personal faith

Why sport is a spiritual experience – and failure can help

'Sport is my religion' isn't just a cute bumper sticker. Athletes create rituals, endure suffering and face their own mortality. Under the right circumstances, sport can be a powerful – and secular – spiritual practice.
Dylan is a musician, who has been well recognised in his field. Simon Murphy/Flickr

Nobel Prize

In honouring Dylan, the Nobel Prize judges have made a category error

Were there really no poets or novelists or essayists - no people who have spent their lives in the field of literature - considered Nobel-worthy? This nostalgic decision is discourteous to writers.
Is Bob Dylan a poet in the great tradition of Sappho? In the days of Sappho, John William Godward

Nobel Prize

Explainer: are Bob Dylan’s songs ‘Literature’?

Ancient poems were accompanied by a musical instrument called the lyre – from which we get the word 'lyric'. 'Literature' and 'poetry' are categories of our own making - so moving beyond them in a major award seems long overdue.
The 1,200 year old Umayyad Mosque – also known as the Great Mosque of Aleppo – lost its minaret (on left) in 2013 after continued heavy gunfire between rebels and Syrian government forces. Reuters

Friday essay

Friday essay: war crimes and the many threats to cultural heritage

It is important to prosecute militants who destroy antiquities. But 'everyday' development - from dams flooding towns to the impact of mining on Indigenous rock art – does vastly more damage to heritage than war.
Many people have turned to Adele in times of trouble. But for people with the symptoms of clinical depression, sad music can do more harm than good. Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

Feeling blue

Sad music and depression: does it help?

Plenty of people listen to sad music to make themselves feel better. But new research shows that for people with depression, it can do the opposite – triggering a cycle of negative thoughts.
Councils around the world have removed, destroyed or defaced Banksy’s artwork – but a controversial new show in Melbourne celebrates his work. Rise of Banksy/Supplied

Street art

Commodifying Banksy

An exhibition in Melbourne of work by the world's most famous street artist is replete with ironies: from the eerily neat faux London streetscape in which the works hang to the hefty price tag and copious merchandise.
Watch out! Trigger warnings sign-post difficult material, giving the audience a chance to prepare. Mobilus In Mobili/Flickr


In praise of trigger warnings

In the fraught debate over trigger warnings in the university classroom, they are routinely associated with censorship and silencing. Yet for teachers, they can open up a discussion of difficult material – not suppress it.

More Analysis and Comment

Arts reviews


Job Board

Where experts find jobs

More Jobs


More Events

How we are different

10 reasons

Most Read past week

  1. Commodifying Banksy
  2. Wrapping up the fantasy - how will Game of Thrones end?
  3. Why motion capture performances deserve an Oscar
  4. Crimes of grammar and other writing misdemeanours
  5. Buggered if I know where I am: the stories behind Australia’s weird and wonderful place names

Pitch an idea

Got a news tip or article idea for The Conversation?

Tell us

Our Audience

The Conversation has a monthly audience of 3.7 million users, and reach of 35 million through Creative Commons republication.

Want to Write?

Write an article and join a growing community of more than 41,800 academics and researchers from 1,812 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.