Re-enactors playing Joan of Arc, Charles VII, and their retinue lead a parade in the town of Rouen in May 1931; photo from a commemorative program booklet.

The Musical World of Joan of Arc

The world that compositions about Joan of Arc evoke is filled with angels and demons, kings and clerics, bells and disembodied voices, and their musical interpretations reveal striking details about how the modern age looks back on the mysterious medieval world Joan inhabited.


Rhyme and No Reason

Rapper T.I. tunes listeners’ ears backward in time, to the end of the Civil Rights Movement and the death of Martin Luther King Jr., but also forward to our current time in which he believes white supremacy “is covertly done.”


Dance and The Divided City

To anyone who asked, Katherine Dunham repeated a consistent message: training in the performing arts prepared people to face life’s problems. Too often, she felt, individuals wandered through life unaware of how the world worked and how they fit into it.


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The Common Reader, a publication of Washington University in St. Louis, offers the best in reviews, articles and creative non-fiction engaging the essential debates and issues of our time.