Skip to content

Search Results

You searched for: Simon Williams

“Birth of a Nation” and the Birth of American Cinema

On February 8, 1915, at Clune's Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation premiered. The fledgling art form of film would never be the same, especially in America, which even half a century after the end of the Civil War struggled to come to terms with race. Now, a century after Birth of a Nation’s premier, America still struggles not only with race, but also with how race plays out on the silver screen. For good and ill, Birth of a Nation marks the beginning of the first 100 years of the American Cinema—epically beautiful, yet often racially ugly.

“Lord of the Flies,” Still Haunting at 60

On the 60th anniversary of its publication, Lord of the Flies continues to be a valuable literary and cultural reference point and, more surprisingly, an instructive manual about contemporary political life—and its liabilities.

Downton Abbey, the Art Exhibition?

The appeal of the British drama/high-class soap opera Downton Abbey for American audiences has long been a subject of great speculation. Simon Schama called the show “cultural necrophilia” for bringing […]

Mindfulness: Observing Without Questioning

The story of discovery goes something like this: the inventor investigates what he knows (the properties of stapholycocci) and uncovers something else (penicillin), which changes the world. The scientific method […]