The State of Reviewing (An Essay)

(An essay I wrote for a directed study undertaken in the 2017 spring term.) Reviewing is all around us: it is on our favorite websites, we hear classmates talk about it after a particularly harsh class, and we see it in the newspapers. Some reviews are product reviews, other professor reviews, while others yet the…

On Gaming: A Revolutionary Perspective on Modern Gaming

This was the second major piece I had written for the now-defunct Kasama Project. I enjoyed writing this piece since it enabled me to come further into textual criticism at a time when it was still new to me. The piece deconstructs the reactionary, and sometimes progressive, elements of modern video games while positing a…

Something was Lost: The Sign System in Late Capitalist Media

I “Things are going to slide… slide in all directions; the blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold and has overturned the order of the soul… when they said repent, I wonder what they meant” –Leonard Cohen.                 One could have imagined Cohen reading Jean Beaudrillard while writing the lyrics to “The Future” (quoted…

The “Object Petite a” in Ender’s Game: A Psychoanalytic Deconstruction

“[Ender’s Game] is a story of libidinal children loving and hating each other in a competitive and potentially violent environment. It offers the scapegoating of the outcast as the easiest way to community, but it ultimately rejects such tactics in favor of a more conception that stresses the dependence of the community on what it…

Defamiliarization and James Take’s ‘A More Prosperous Nation’

Victor Shklovsky’s seminal essay “Art as Technique” plays a crucial role in the foundation of literary theory. As a creative exponent of Russian Formalism, he took ideas concerning textual analysis to a new level. Shklovsky’s theories on literary technique and art allowed for the experience between reader and author to manifest towards a new precipice—that…

Cultural Imperialism and Native Identity: Contact Zone Dynamics

“Is one of the fairest portions of the globe to remain in a state of nature, the haunt of a few wretched savages, when it seems destined by the Creator to give support to a large population and to be the seat of civilization?” – Governor William Henry Harrison, of the Indiana Territory (1800-1812).            …

Ender and Ernesto: Comparative Cinematic Culture

Culture affects art, this much is certain. So it is unsurprising that when a nation’s culture is an ultra-violent concoction of nationalism, most of the art promulgated from major enterprises is centered on jingoistic crusades. Applying this theme to the United States is therefore not difficult. However, not all countries prize violence. Latin American nations,…

The Deep Seeded Trauma of ‘After Lucia’

(Another paper for my First Year seminar– Latin American Film– this essay explores some of the traumatic issues of youth and sexual abuse within upper-middle class families. ) ~ Teenage bullying often results in horrid tragedies. This much is seen in the Mexican film After Lucia where teenager Alejandra is subject to the most degrading…

Different Realities of South America: A Filmic Approach

I originally wrote this paper for my First-year seminar (Latin American Film). It discusses the different perspectives of political life and intervention in films such as Pan’s Labyrinth, Nine Queens, and The Official Story. Intellectually, I have since disregarded most of what I wrote, but perhaps you will take a less harsh approach. ~ History…

Triangulating Comparative Class Conflict in Modernist Drama

(Here is another essay, slightly modified, from ENG181. The paper close a close reading of Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Look Back in Anger in an effort to examine how class conflict transpires within the texts. All though I no longer stand by my reading since I’ve now come to realize my interpretation of…