South of Suez

When Great Britain announced in January 1968 its military withdrawal from colonial holdings bracketing the Indian Ocean, it announced an era of reckoning in which colonial legacy and Islamically-oriented political parties vied for power across the Middle East. Today, Sudan and Yemen remain salient examples of that era’s lasting effects.

Mothers’ Day

There was a time when I had dreams, infrequently but strikingly, that my mother had died. These occurred some years ago when I did not talk to her very regularly or see her often.

The Vacuous Consumption of the Urban Hipster

Starbucks uses for its in-stores soundtrack music celebrating individual tenacity and collective rebellion, but that supposed renegade spirit takes on a different context when the soundtrack is bebop jazz, and two African-American customers are arrested for failing to place their order in due time.

Dogmatism and the Judgments of the Music Critic

The reason the Grammys repeatedly lead to such a feeling of disappointment and letdown is, ultimately, because the Grammys in their current form cannot possibly reflect the intersecting and complicated notions of musical value held by its audience. The best the Recording Academy can do—and indeed, what the Academy should do—is make transparent its musical priorities.

The Planet of “Despacito”

What is special about Latino representation in pop music this past year is that not only is an often overlooked ethnicity getting the representation that it deserves, but also that its representation has been diverse.

The Sorrows of Being a Millennial

Just as scholars consider how baby boomers’ Cold War experiences shaped their understandings of global politics, will future historians ask how millennials’ active shooter drills shaped their understandings of national politics?

The Uneasy Past of the Veiled Prophet Organization: Part II

For more than a century, the Veiled Prophet Organization has faced race-based protests; however, during all of that time, the organization has been able to claim innocence against racism based on historical context: they made no explicitly racist comments in public, and their exclusionary practices were the same as other fraternal organizations.