The Dharma of Dollars

The stereotype that Hinduism is less materialistically oriented than other religious traditions is clearly false. At the same time, to offer a definitive account of the connection between Hinduism and money would be deceitful and definitively incorrect.

Root, Tree, and Branch

The ostensible arc of The Poison Tree takes us from a child’s domination by a ruthless, unyielding father to a successful adult’s enlightenment and forgiveness. But the actual course of the narrative is less straightforward and, as with the poem from which it takes its inspiration, far more unexpected in its outcomes.

The Absent Women of Jazz

Whether as audience members, scholars, or performers, women have been in short supply throughout jazz history. The representation of jazz in the films La La Land (2016) and Whiplash (2014), by director and writer Damien Chazelle, demonstrates this problem clearly.

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.

“Don’t do day here”

At the end of The Killing of a Chinese Bookie—all night scenes, of course—Cosmo, John Cassavetes’ grand and expansive character of a Hollywood club owner, is hiding his wound and still trying to run the show, but the sense is that he will bleed out before the dawn. They “don’t do day here.”