Reflections on the End of the Semester

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The end of each academic year brings fatigue, a one or two week break, then a return to the classroom for the summer session. This has been my schedule for a large part of my academic career, mainly out of necessity. I’ve written about the struggles and problems with contingent faculty before, and I do not want to dredge up that discussion here. Rather, I want to take a moment and highlight the things that keep me going year after year after year.

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Identity in Childish Gambino’s “This is America”

A few days ago, Childish Gambino’s “This is America” dropped. Since then, people have been talking about the song and the video, either praising or questioning Gambino and Hiro Muria’s message and delivery. Initially, I landed on the side of utter praise for the song and the video. I’ve been a fan of Donald Glover since Community and of his music since Camp. With that said, I struggled with what he was trying to do with Camp, and at moments, I find myself utterly frustrated with the misogynistic language and images he deploys on that album. Even though I know that he is constructing an identity and at the same time deconstructing it with the music videos (see “Bonfire” for example), the way he goes about it can be extremely detrimental to fans not attuned to the image he constructs and his means of tearing that image down at various points.

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Interracial Intimacy in Feldstein and Wood’s “Under Cover” and “The Whipping!”

Today, I am concluding my posts on some of Al Feldstein an Wallace Wood’s stories from EC Comics’ Shock SuspenStories by looking at “Under Cover” and “The Whipping!” Both of these stories deal with the fears surrounding interracial intimacy and the ways that these fears manifested themselves in violence. We need to think about each of these stories within the context of Feldstein and Wood’s “The Guilty!” as well as within the historical context of texts centering around the topic of interracial intimacy. This is a topic I have written about before, so I will not necessarily state everything in this post that could relate to the stories; rather, I will touch on some of the various aspects that warrant us reading them within this broader context.

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