Disturbing Deaths and National Disunity

Gary Laderman The national body politic is dead, another corpse that, perhaps in this case, doesn’t deserve a public ceremony but instead is rotting publicly before our very eyes.

David Wojnarowicz’s Christ: Symbols of Hope, Corruption, and Violence

Ants scurry across a static crucifix as the figure of Jesus Christ surfaces again and again on screen, sandwiched between bowls of blood, a figure masturbating, couples having sex, and conservative Christian groups—all brought together in one film. Jesus Christ makes many appearances in “David Wojnarowicz: Photography & Film”

The Ghost of Roy Orbison Goes on Tour

Peter Lehman He seemed to be defined by an absence, which then materialized as a dark, quiet persona who always kept his eyes covered in public, inviting people to project their thoughts, fears and melancholy onto him.

How the Ouija board got its sinister reputation

Joseph P. Laycock By now, most have vague notions of the Ouija board horror narrative, in which demonic spirits communicate with – even possess – kids…The Ouija board, however, didn’t always have this sinister reputation.

7 Questions for Matthew Avery Sutton

Matthew Avery Sutton I was not terribly interested in defining religion or the sacred. My focus was on how what my subjects would define as their religious beliefs and convictions functioned. I focused on the work that their religion did.

Literary Antecedents and Contemporary Reflections of Thomas Dixon’s “The Clansman”

Carolyn M. Jones Medine As The Clansman demonstrates, the Ku Klux Klan was a structure within which white men acted out their vision of southern society and through which they used terror to enforce those visions. The KKK may have been the United States’ first cellular terrorist structure: it was and is covert, local and de-centered, mobile, and opportunistic, multiplying by opportunity and interpersonal connections.

A Dreadful and Improbable Creature: Race, Aesthetics, and the Burdens of Greatness

Judith Weisenfeld The plot of The Birth of a Nation features two intertwined narratives: a political story that moves from national unity to division in war and back to unity, and a romance in which a couple unites despite the obstacles the war presents. The Birth of a Nation is also, of course, a story about the subjugation of people of African descent, a process director D. W. Griffith frames as carried out by honorable white men who had no choice in the face of social chaos.

Cutting up “The Birth of a Nation”

S. Brent Plate Cut up D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation and it bleeds a little. Rearrange the pieces, as Griffith so expertly cut up film sequences, and put them together in new ways. Splice it into histories, the stories of photography, race, literature, the KKK, bodies, film technique, and it comes out looking different. But it’s gonna bleed. The following articles, are such cuts, such incisive interventions.