History undergrad with a passion for libraries, classic rock, Shakespeare, and comics.

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    Latest Topics


    Craft-Mageddon: The Explosion of DIY Culture

    Analyze the growth of DIY culture and crafting, from origins in the 1990’s punk movement (with an emphasis on rejecting consumer culture, expanded in the music and skateboarding subgenres and showcased with zines) to YouTube fame today, as well as possible reasons for its growth and rebirth in the online world.

    • This is a really cool topic. Just a thought: though it is mainstream now, could it ever be counter-cultural again? Or is it somehow still inherently an act of rebellion to make rather than consume? – JustinMoir 5 years ago
    • Devon. Someone has already taken up this topic. It's in the Posts Pending editorial stage right now. A couple of points I raised with regard to that article are also relevant here. DIY began a long, long time before the punk movement (which officially started in the 1970s, though its origins, in turn, can be found in the 1960s). Also let's not forget that during WW2 women would often re-purpose parachute silk to make wedding dresses and even lingerie. So, in the broader perspective of DIY culture and crafting, punks have nothing on Grandma! :) – Amyus 5 years ago
    • This is a great topic! Might be interesting to dig into what else might have led to this rise of interest in DIY. Perhaps from an economic standpoint. – stephaniehamilton 5 years ago

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    Latest Comments

    A very interesting parallel between Citizen Kane and Westerns that had never occurred to me — excellent work!
    It took me years of badgering from my father to finally watch the film, and I’m so glad that I waited: I was actually able to appreciate the symbolism within the cinematography and the film’s overall themes and messages.

    Citizen Kane: Isolation and the American Identity

    Wow! This is a wonderfully-written article, complete with all of the characters that I grew up adoring and wished to be like. I love the parallels drawn between the different characters and the struggles they face, whether racial, academic, or magical.

    Evolution of the Smart Heroine

    Very well-written and well-researched article!

    I would like to add, as some other commentators have pointed out, that the depictions of many male superheroes bear a similar role, with hyper-masculine personalities and grotesquely muscular forms — Rob Liefeld’s horrendous Captain America art comes instantly to mind. I believe that the gender stereotypes for male characters in comics also negatively affect readers who take these characters as role models.

    These sometimes-toxic representations of role models in comics, for both men and women, skew their beliefs of how people should behave, dress, etc., and therefore set up impossible expectations of femininity, masculinity, and sex appeal.

    Overall, I think comics need to start realistically portraying their heroes — no more washboard abs or skimpy armor. I think (hope) most comics readers are focused on the storylines, character arcs, etc., rather than how little clothing (x character) is wearing this week, and I hope that comics artists can start to reflect that mindset in their work.

    Sexism, Impracticality, and the Hopeful Future of Costuming