Worldwide, Universities Are Dying

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“From Cape Town to Reykjavik, Sydney to São Paulo, an event as momentous in its own way as the Cuban revolution or the invasion of Iraq is steadily under way: the slow death of the university as a center of humane critique. Universities, which in Britain have an 800-year history, have traditionally been derided as ivory towers, and there was always some truth in the accusation. Yet the distance they established between themselves and society at large could prove enabling as well as disabling.

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Toni Morrison Has Had It: ‘I Want To See A White Man Convicted For Raping A Black Woman’

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“We need to have a conversation about race. This is the conversation. I want to see a cop shoot a white unarmed teenager in the back. And I want to see a white man convicted for raping a black woman. Then when you ask me, ‘Is it over?’, I will say yes.”

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The New Whitney Museum ‘Might Just Solve The Impossible Problem Of Contemporary Art,’ Says Jerry Saltz

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“Believe it or not, I am in love with what this building represents – and with its perfectly titled inaugural show, ‘America Is Hard to See.’ The show includes 600 works by around 400 artists, drawn entirely from the museum’s collection of over 21,000 works by 3,000 artists, and it makes me think this museum might just point to one way through the current morass.”

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Two-Thirds Of A Billion Dollars In 50th-Birthday Gifts for LACMA

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At a gala last Saturday, Los Angeles’s flagship museum unveiled the artwork donated to it for its golden anniversary, including a Monet, a Memling, an Ingres, and a Giambologna sculpture.

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Whatever Happened To LACMA’s Missing Goya? Imelda Marcos, That’s What

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Turns out that the museum, concerned about its authenticity, sold deaccessioned Portrait of the Marquesa of Santa Cruz in 1978. The then-First Lady of the Philippines acquired the canvas for her personal aggrandizement the benefit of her nation. (The Philippine government finally took possession of it last year.)

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Barre To Barracks: Dancer Trains For Role By Training With Real Soldiers

5 Soldiers dance production by the Rosie Kay Dance Company

Shelley Eva Haden: “When choreographer Rosie Kay cast me as the only woman in a revival of her work 5 Soldiers, I didn’t fully appreciate what it meant until I spent five days with 4th Battalion the Rifles. The infantry were undergoing a full-battle exercise and I was the only female among more than 80 soldiers.”

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Pulitzer For Music Goes To Julia Wolfe’s “Anthracite Fields”

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Describer by the jury as “a powerful oratorio for chorus and sextet evoking Pennsylvania coal-mining life around the turn of the 20th century,” Anthracite Fields was commissioned by the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, which premiered the piece last April with the Bang on a Can All-Stars.

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What’s Jon Stewart Going To Do With Himself Now?

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“What I’m doing. Whether it’s standup, the show, books or films, I consider all this just different vehicles to continue a conversation about what it means to be a democratic nation, and to have it written into the constitution [sic] that all men are created equal – but to live with that for 100 years with slaves. How do those contradictions play themselves out? And how do we honestly assess our failings and move forward with integrity?”

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Raw Nerve: Françoise Mouly

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The art editor of The New Yorker – the woman who has chosen hundreds of striking, witty, and sometimes powerful covers – talks with Grace Bello about using visual imagery to master English, what comics can tell us about the state of a culture, and collaborating with husband Art Spiegelman on the seminal graphic magazine Raw.

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“Between Riverside And Crazy” By Stephen Adly Guirgis Wins Pulitzer For Drama

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“[A] play about the police, race, a suspect shooting, and real estate,” with a retired African-American cop (shot and wounded by a white colleague) at its center, Between Riverside And Crazy debuted last summer at New York’s Atlantic Theater Company.

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Cirque Du Soleil Hasn’t Been *Completely* Sold, Just *Mostly* Sold – For $1.5 Billion

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The majority stake went to a U.S. private equity firm, with minority stakes going to a Chinese investment firm, Quebec’s pension fund, and founder Guy Laliberté. Plans are for a major expansion in China, though the owners insist that Cirque’s headquarters will remain in Montreal.

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First-Ever Chicago Architecture Biennial Takes Shape

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The 63 participants in the upstart exhibition … come from more than 30 countries on six continents. … They include architects whose designs range from a luxury Mexican house made up of pentagon-shaped pavilions to the painting of abandoned houses in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood in such colors as ‘Currency Exchange Yellow’. Some, like Chicago’s Jeanne Gang and the Danish firm BIG, already are well-known. Others have built little but have big ideas.”

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Alison Bechdel Never Expected The Bechdel Test To Become A Real Thing

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“I feel sort of funny about that whole thing because it wasn’t like I said, ‘This is the Bechdel test, and now you must follow it.’ It somehow just got attached to me. I mean, I did write down the principles in a cartoon, but this younger generation of feminists and film-watchers has adopted it in this way that I think is pretty cool.”

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Why People Like Food Porn When They Can’t Eat The Photos And May Never Cook With The Recipes

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On a basic level, the appeal of any sort of porn is what scientists call supranormal stimulus, “[an] exaggerated imitation [that] can cause a stronger pull than the real thing.” But food porn “is a visual experience of something that other people can smell and taste … something that, at its best, should manufacture a desire that it can’t satisfy.” So what happens in the brain that keeps people hooked on it?

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‘All The Light We Cannot See’ Wins Pulitzer For Fiction (And The Complete List … )

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Anthony Doerr wins for “an imaginative and intricate novel inspired by the horrors of World War II and written in short, elegant chapters that explore human nature and the contradictory power of technology.”

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Norway Will Be The First Of Many Countries To Turn Off FM Radio

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“Frequency modulation, or FM, radio was patented in 1933 and has been recording and sharing the human story for nearly a century. But its days are clearly waning.”

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The American-Born Ballerina Dancing For $8 A Day At The Kremlin

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“When she left the Bolshoi in 2013, [Joy] Womack joined the Kremlin Ballet Theatre where she still works, aged 20, as a principal ballerina; dancing close to the Russian president’s office, next to the cathedrals inside the red walls of the Kremlin.”

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Talking About ‘Resilience’ In Theatre Can Lead To Bad Ends

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“We are so reliant on the resilience narrative that it has become our intuitive response to every event, from audience development to fundraising to how we generate our creative work. This is a terrifying trend for the practice and production of contemporary theatre.”

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A Fabled British Bookstore That Was About To Fall Down Gets A Happy Crowd-Sourced Response

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“Four steel columns were required at Scarthin Books, in Cromford, Derbyshire, to support the weight of about 100,000 books. Thousands of pounds were raised within days of the appeal starting and it is now close to hitting a £10,000 target.”

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How Do Nice Downtowns Get That Way?

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“In every place we’ve been, every one we’ve talked with about downtown recovery stresses the crucial importance of getting people to live there.”

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A New Tate Museum Is Open – In Minecraft

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“Tate’s initiative, known as ‘Tate Worlds,’ is the result of a collaboration with a group of Minecraft artists and builders known as ‘The Common People’ in order to refashion artworks from their collection into Minecraft’s virtual universe.”

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Did The Internet Make Book Culture Explode?

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“For centuries, if what you had written was going to be shown to others, it would have to be placed in a library, usually a church library. And since the only way anyone would know that a new piece of literature had been written was if the writer personally put the word around, there would usually be some kind of social connection between writer and readers.”

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Tina Fey Is The Anti-David Mamet

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“Despite masculinity’s lingering and damaging presence, the women are the victors here.”

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Univision Ends 53-Year Run Of Popular Program ‘Sabado Gigante’

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“The Miami-based weekly variety show has long been an institution for Latino immigrants and their children. Over its run, the show has established itself as an important part of the network’s history and identity, as well as Spanish-language television in the U.S.”

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