High school students have studied many of the same books for generations. Is it time for a change?
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An English professor takes a critical look at why today’s students are assigned the same books that were assigned decades ago – and why American school curricula are so difficult to change.
What can Tolkien’s lesser-known stories tell us about the world he created?
A refugee family that fled to Pakistan after the Partition of British India.
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Effects of violence and forced migration on survivors’ mental health have not been acknowledged, despite the trauma being passed down generations.
Dragons have been used for political manoeuvring throughout the history of Britain.
He is certainly important to English but he isn’t responsible for as much of it as you might think.
A still from the film version of Hugo Bettauer’s prophetic 1922 novel ‘The City Without Jews.’
Writers seem to be especially vulnerable in polarized times, when the nuances of works are more likely to be overlooked.
Rushdie’s books have inspired generations of readers and writers – and a recent attempt to kill him.
An anonymous 15th century painting of Isabella and Richard II.
When Stephanie Trigg was a young reader, The Gentle Falcon, set in 1396, introduced her to the beauty and danger of the medieval world.
A city of contrasts, these books represent the heart and the violence of this Italian city.
A 12th-century commentary on the Book of Job shows Satan transmitting a disease to him.
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The field of ‘monster studies’ looks at how texts reflect ideas about what’s evil, weird or scary.
The Funeral of Shelley
He had a scandalous reputation in his lifetime but in death became angelic.
Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet and Emilia Fox as Georgiana Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (1995), BBC.
Music is featured in most of Jane Austen’s novels and recent research is teaching us more about her personal love of music. What can it tell us about the world of Jane Austen?
Equating abortion with infanticide has a long history.
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Sensationalism is ingrained in any conversation about abortion because the issue has long stood in for the country’s deepest fears.
Octavia E. Butler poses in a Seattle bookstore in 2004. The celebrated science fiction author died in 2006.
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In an interview, scholar Alyssa Collins explains how her time spent plumbing the sci fi writer’s papers left her stunned by the breadth of her interests and the depth of her scientific knowledge.
Entertainer and author Janelle Monáe performs during the 2019 Grammys flanked by android-like backup dancers.
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Even though Afrofuturist works are set in fictional worlds, they provide a blueprint for social, political and economic systems free from exploitation and oppression.
Nyamata Memorial Site, Rwanda.
What happens when a writer asks us to consider the perspective of the perpetrator rather than the victim?
See-Saw Films, DMC Film, Anton
The tragedy of Macbeth issues a warning for our times about the harm that is done when the desire for power drowns out the inner voice of conscience.
Musician and poet Patti Smith: ‘always evolving’.
Old women remain the butt of jokes; they are some of society’s most marginalised people. But age also invites us to become our most authentic selves, writes Carol Lefevre.
Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham in a 2012 adaptation of Great Expectations.
It is one of Dickens’ best loved novels and an exposé of the class system, but the book’s depiction of women has proved divisive.
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This brainy feminist romp of a novel, loved by Rachel Cusk and Maria Semple, is often compared to Brideshead Revisited. But Carol Lefevre says it’s more like a sexy, sweary version of Nancy Mitford in 1960s London.