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#essays
gaaandaaaalf · 8 months ago
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Essays
Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of essays I like/find interesting/are food for thought; I’ve tried to sort them as much as possible. The starred (*) ones are those I especially love
also quick note: some of these links, especially the ones that are from books/anthologies redirect you to libgen or scihub, and if that doesn’t work for you, do message me; I’d be happy to send them across!
Literature + Writing
Godot Comes to Sarajevo - Susan Sontag
The Strangeness of Grief - V. S. Naipaul*
Memories of V. S. Naipaul - Paul Theroux*
A Rainy Day with Ruskin Bond - Mayank Austen Soofi
How Albert Camus Faced History - Adam Gopnik
Listen, Bro - Jo Livingstone
Rachel Cusk Gut-Renovates the Novel - Judith Thurman
Lost in Translation: What the First Line of “The Stranger” Should Be - Ryan Bloom
The Duke in His Domain - Truman Capote*
The Cult of Donna Tartt: Themes and Strategies in The Secret History - Ana Rita Catalão Guedes
Never Do That to a Book - Anne Fadiman*
Affecting Anger: Ideologies of Community Mobilisation in Early Hindi Novel - Rohan Chauhan*
Why I Write - George Orwell*
Rimbaud and Patti Smith: Style as Social Deviance - Carrie Jaurès Noland*
Art + Photography (+ Aesthetics)
Looking at War - Susan Sontag*
Love, sex, art, and death - Nan Goldin, David Wojnarowicz
Lyons, Szarkowski, and the Perception of Photography - Anne Wilkes Tucker
The Feminist Critique of Art History - Thalia Gouma-Peterson, Patricia Mathews
In Plato's Cave - Susan Sontag*
On reproduction of art (Chapter 1, Ways of Seeing) - John Berger*
On nudity and women in art (Chapter 3, Ways of Seeing) - John Berger*
Kalighat Paintings  - Sharmishtha Chaudhuri
Daydreams and Fragments: On How We Retrieve Images From the Past -  Maël Renouard
Arthur Rimbaud: the Aesthetics of Intoxication - Enid Rhodes Peschel
Cities
Tragic Fable of Mumbai Mills - Gyan Prakash
Whose Bandra is it? - Dustin Silgardo*
Timur's Registan: noblest public square in the world? - Srinath Perur
The first Starbucks coffee shop, Seattle - Colin Marshall*
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai's iconic railway station - Srinath Perur
From London to Mumbai and Back Again: Gentrification and Public Policy in Comparative Perspective -  Andrew Harris
The Limits of "White Town" in Colonial Calcutta - Swati Chattopadhyay
The Metropolis and Mental Life - Georg Simmel
Colonial Policy and the Culture of Immigration: Citing the Social History of Varanasi - Vinod Kumar, Shiv Narayan
A Caribbean Creole Capital: Kingston, Jamaica - Coln G. Clarke (from Colonial Cities by Robert Ross, Gerard J. Telkamp
The Colonial City and the Post-Colonial World - G. A. de Bruijne
The Nowhere City - Amos Elon*
The Vertical Flâneur: Narratorial Tradecraft in the Colonial Metropolis - Paul K. Saint-Amour
Philosophy
The trolley problem problem - James Wilson
A Brief History of Death - Nir Baram
Justice as Fairness: Political not Metaphysical - John Rawls*
Should Marxists be Interested in Exploitation? - John E. Roemer
The Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief - Scott Berinato*
The Pandemic and the Crisis of Faith - Makarand Paranjape
If God Is Dead, Your Time is Everything - James Wood
Giving Up on God - Ronald Inglehart
The Limits of Consensual Decision - Douglas Rae*
The Science of "Muddling Through" - Charles Lindblom*
History
The Gruesome History of Eating Corpses as Medicine - Maria Dolan
The History of Loneliness - Jill Lepore*
From Tuskegee to Togo: the Problem of Freedom in the Empire of Cotton - Sven Beckert*
Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism - E. P. Thompson*
All By Myself - Martha Bailey*
The Geographical Pivot of History - H. J. Mackinder
The sea/ocean
Rim of Life - Manu Pillai
Exploring the Indian Ocean as a rich archive of history – above and below the water line - Isabel Hofmeyr, Charne Lavery
‘Piracy’, connectivity and seaborne power in the Middle Ages - Nikolas Jaspert (from The Sea in History)*
The Vikings and their age - Nils Blomkvist (from The Sea in History)*
Mercantile Networks, Port Cities, and “Pirate” States - Roxani Eleni Margariti
Phantom Peril in the Arctic - Robert David English, Morgan Grant Gardner*
Assorted ones on India
A departure from history: Kashmiri Pandits, 1990-2001 - Alexander Evans *
Writing Post-Orientalist Histories of the Third World - Gyan Prakash
Empire: How Colonial India Made Modern Britain - Aditya Mukherjee
Feminism and Nationalism in India, 1917-1947 - Aparna Basu
The Epic Riddle of Dating Ramayana, Mahabharata - Sunaina Kumar*
Caste and Politics: Identity Over System - Dipankar Gupta
Our worldview is Delhi based*
Sports (you’ll have to excuse the fact that it’s only cricket but what can i say, i’m indian)
'Massa Day Done:' Cricket as a Catalyst for West Indian Independence: 1950-1962 - John Newman*
Playing for power? rugby, Afrikaner nationalism and masculinity in South Africa, c.1900–70 - Albert Grundlingh
When Cricket Was a Symbol, Not Just a Sport - Baz Dreisinger
Cricket, caste, community, colonialism: the politics of a great game - Ramachandra Guha*
Cricket and Politics in Colonial India - Ramchandra Guha
MS Dhoni: A quiet radical who did it his way*
Music
Brega: Music and Conflict in Urban Brazil - Samuel M. Araújo
Color, Music and Conflict: A Study of Aggression in Trinidad with Reference to the Role of Traditional Music - J. D. Elder
The 1975 - ‘Notes On a Conditional Form’ review - Dan Stubbs*
Life Without Live - Rob Sheffield*
How Britney Spears Changed Pop - Rob Sheffield
Concert for Bangladesh
From “Help!” to “Helping out a Friend”: Imagining South Asia through the Beatles and the Concert for Bangladesh - Samantha Christiansen 
Gender
Clothing Behaviour as Non-verbal Resistance - Diana Crane
The Normalisation of Queer Theory - David M. Halperin
Menstruation and the Holocaust - Jo-Ann Owusu*
Women’s Suffrage the Democratic Peace - Allan Dafoe
Pink and Blue: Coloring Inside the Lines of Gender - Catherine Zuckerman*
Women’s health concerns are dismissed more, studied less - Zoanne Clack
Food
How Food-Obsessed Millennials Shape the Future of Food - Rachel A. Becker (as a non-food obsessed somewhat-millennial, this was interesting)
Colonialism's effect on how and what we eat - Coral Lee
Tracing Europe's influence on India's culinary heritage - Ruth Dsouza Prabhu
Chicken Kiev: the world’s most contested ready-meal*
From Russia with mayo: the story of a Soviet super-salad*
The Politics of Pancakes - Taylor Aucoin*
How Doughnuts Fuelled the American Dream*
Pav from the Nau
A Short History of the Vada Pav - Saira Menezes
Fantasy (mostly just harry potter and lord of the rings)
Purebloods and Mudbloods: Race, Species, and Power (from The Politics of Harry Potter)
Azkaban: Discipline, Punishment, and Human Rights (from The Politics of Harry Potter)*
Good and Evil in J. R. R. Tolkien's Lengendarium - Jyrki Korpua
The Fairy Story: J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis - Colin Duriez (from Tree of Tales)*
Tolkien’s Augustinian Understanding of Good and Evil: Why The Lord of the Rings Is Not Manichean - Ralph Wood (from Tree of Tales)*
Travel
The Hidden Cost of Wildlife Tourism
Chronicles of a Writer’s 1950s Road Trip Across France - Kathleen Phelan
On the Early Women Pioneers of Trail Hiking - Gwenyth Loose
On the Mythologies of the Himalaya Mountains - Ed Douglas*
More random assorted ones
The cosmos from the wheelchair (The Economist obituaries)*
In El Salvador - Joan Didion
Scientists are unravelling the mystery of pain - Yudhijit Banerjee
Notes on Nationalism - George Orwell
Politics and the English Language - George Orwell*
What Do the Humanities Do in a Crisis? - Agnes Callard*
The Politics of Joker - Kyle Smith
Sushant Singh Rajput: The outsider - Uday Bhatia*
Credibility and Mystery - John Berger
happy reading :)
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apricitystudies · 4 months ago
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here's a quick guide on how i proofread and edit my essays as an humanities undergrad! i tend to spend more time on research and editing and much less time on writing and my first drafts are often horrendous, so editing is really important for me :^)
i've also created guides on essay preparation, the 5-paragraph essay, how to research, and how to write essays. you can find all my other masterposts here.
transcript below:
how to proofread essays by apricitystudies
(section one: before beginning) ideally, you should finish writing your essay a few days before the due date so you can step away from it for a while. this helps you to 'forget' what you wrote and allows you to proofread with fresh eyes. after staring at the same piece of writing for so long, your brain tends to fill in the gaps itself as you read, leading you to miss mistakes.
(section two: the key to effective proofreading is to edit in rounds) each round, focus on and attempt to fix a different issue. this requires you to have a little bit more time to edit, which is why you should finish writing early.
(round one: content) argument: does your argument make sense? is it strong? is it logical? evidence: is your research robust? are your points all backed up with sufficient evidence? is every piece of evidence necessary and relevant to your argument? elaboration: is your argument well developed? is every piece of evidence explained, analysed, or critiqued? is the research you provide linked back to and used to support your argument?
(round two: flow) map: have you provided a clear and concise roadmap of your essay? linking: are your paragraphs linked? do the last sentences of each paragraph flow into the next? have you shown how your points are connected? coherence: is your argument logical? is the order of your points easy to follow? is the reader able to see the progression of your argument? TIP: put all the topic sentences of your body paragraphs into one single paragraph. do they make sense together?
(round three: language) vocabulary: have you repeated words/phrases excessively? is your paraphrasing accurate? sentence length: are your sentences overly long? can they be split up? cohesion: does your writing flow? does it sound stilted or clunky? is everything you've written clear? punctuation: are your quotation marks correct? have you used em dashes, colons, and semicolons accurately? small errors: are your spelling and grammar correct?
(round four: format) referencing: are your in-text citations/footnotes correct? is every piece of evidence referenced? style: have you used the correct font size/style? is your line spacing correct? are your paragraphs justified/indented if they're supposed to be? page setup: are your margins set up properly? are your headers/footers/ page numbers correct, if required? bibliography: are your bibliography entries correct? are they in alphabetical order? is the line spacing and indentation correct?
(section three: other tips) 1: change your font to something like comic sans. this makes your brain work harder to read and stops it from skipping words/phrases. 2: print out your essay and go over it with a red pen. mark as if you were a teacher and pick out as many mistakes as you can. 3. read it aloud or use a text-to-speech function. listening to your writing helps you to identify awkward writing and repeated words.
(ending slide: thanks for reading!) this is just my method of proofreading and it might not work for everyone. that being said, i hope it was still helpful! from @apricitystudies
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luthienne · 12 months ago
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Richard Hugo, Essay on Poetic Theory: The Triggering Town
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2manypdfs · 10 months ago
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The Crane Wife by CJ Hauser
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thebluesthour · 8 months ago
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Brown is warm and homely. Simple and unrefined. Brown sugar, brown bread and brown eggs, which tasted so good that children fought for them [...] Hot crusty bread. Tea and toast, and yellow butter. Biscuits. Chocolate biscuits. Brown gravy and tart HP sauce. Chutney, and preserves cooking on the stove. There is nostalgia in brown. The touch of my mother's soft beaver lamb coat in which we buried our tears. Brown simplified life.
Derek Jarman, Chroma
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ds9promenade · 4 months ago
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Deep Space Nine 1x19: “In the Hands of the Prophets”

Commander Sisko has a conversation with his son about respecting the power of faith, even when you don’t hold it yourself.

When so many science fiction stories depict religion with one shallow brush of “primitive” and inherently at odds with science, I appreciate DS9′s willingness to depict religion in all its complexities. 
This episode, for instance, doesn’t shy away from showing the uglier side of religion – Winn’s extremism that causes her and her followers to pull Bajoran children from a multi-species, secular school and proclaim “Bajor for Bajorans.” 

Yet Sisko, who has come to respect his second-in-command Kira’s faith as something vital, understands that this extremist side does not negate all the good that the Bajoran faith has brought. And, a grade-A father as always, he explains this to his son without talking down to Jake, knowing that Jake trusts and respects what Sisko has to say – just as Sisko always respects what Jake has to say.
ID: a gifset of Benjamin Sisko and Jake Sisko sitting side by side with a gray wall and a window showing the stars behind them. They hold the following conversation:

JAKE: The same thing is happening now with all this stuff about the Celestial Temple in the wormhole. It’s dumb. SISKO: No, it’s not. You’ve got to realize something, Jake. For over fifty years, the one thing that allowed the Bajorans to survive the Cardassian occupation was their faith. The Prophets were their only source of hope and courage. JAKE: But there were no Prophets. They were just some aliens that you found in the wormhole. SISKO: To those aliens, the future is no more difficult to see than the past. Why shouldn’t they be considered Prophets? JAKE: Are you serious? SISKO: My point is, it’s a matter of interpretation. It may not be what you believe, but that doesn’t make it wrong. If you start to think that way, you’ll be acting just like Vedek Winn, Only from the other side. We can’t afford to think that way, Jake. We’d lose everything we’ve worked for here.

The bonus gif shows Sisko and Jake still next to each other; Sisko has taken Jake’s hand in his and holds it as he speaks, then places his other hand on top of their clasped hands. / end id
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vympr · 25 days ago
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articles i read this september 2021 and would rec that you read too (bolded articles were rereads)
Society
We all hate our jobs – and it’s Silicon Valley’s fault
Scientists are working on a pill for loneliness
The Lie About the Supreme Court Everyone Pretends to Believe
People
Huge Moments In Fashion History That Were Inspired By Black Culture
Black Working Class Women are Gifts to Fashion
The Transfeminist Manifesto by Emi Koyama
In defense of the meaty tuck by Tre'vell Anderson
Judith Butler: 'We need to rethink the category of woman'
Culture
Ghost in the machine: inside the internet’s paranormal history
Britney Is Not a Fan of All These New Documentaries
'Becoming Thin Made Me Fatphobic' (huge tw for e/d, body image, and fatshaming, but i think it's valuable for people to address their internalized fatphobia)
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indeskidgepoetry · 3 months ago
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I think it's because the minute they [poets] are dead all of their poems about death become poems about being alive.
Mary Ruefle, from her essay “Short Lecture on the Dead” (from “Madness, Rack and Honey”, Wave Books, 2012)
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soracities · a month ago
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It was raining lightly: the trees were absolutely still. And I remember thinking as I drove round the hairpin bends that if I could define or realize the nature of the submission of the trees, I would learn something about the human body too — at least about the human body when loved. The rain ran down the trees. A leaf is so easily moved. A breath of wind is sufficient. And yet not a leaf moved.
John Berger, from “Ernst Fischer: A Philosopher and Death”, Selected Essays
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2manypdfs · 8 months ago
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Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald
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luthienne · a year ago
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Telling stories doesn’t solve anything, doesn’t reassemble broken lives. But perhaps it is a way of understanding the unthinkable. If a story haunts us, we keep telling it to ourselves, replaying it in silence while we shower, while we walk down streets, or in our moments of insomnia.
Valeria Luiselli, Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions
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bellsofatlantis · 9 months ago
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Hélène Cixous, from Coming to Writing and Other Essays
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amouthfulloflove · a year ago
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“To survive, I had to stay unfamiliar to myself, neutralized, at arm’s length. Sometimes, I think, all these years later, I’m still hunting the part of myself I exiled.”
Places I’ve Taken My Body; ‘The Broken Country: On Disability and Desire’ by Molly McCully Brown
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decreation · a year ago
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The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action, Audre Lorde
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woolfdaily · a year ago
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Virginia Woolf // Selected Essays of Virginia Woolf; Dafoe
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