Archive for November, 2010

This year, I am organizing the Women’s Global Film Series at school.  Tomorrow, as part of the series, I, along with a colleague from the English department, am introducing and moderating Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed.  The documentary tracks the presidential campaign of Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to Congress.  I just re-watched to prepare for tomorrow, and it made me feel better on what seems like a dark day.

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Since the Mad Men season ended, I have been turning my attention to Boardwalk Empire, the HBO series set in Atlantic City during Prohibition.  As I had worked on the Margaret Sanger Papers in graduate school, I have been thrilled to see references to Sanger’s pamphlet Family Limitation on the show; that was even the title of last week’s episode.  In response to its first appearance on the show, the Margaret Sanger Papers Research Annex published a post with more information on the pamphlet, including quotes and scans of some its pages.

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I celebrated Halloween by going to see Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, the rock musical about the 7th US president with the tagline “History just got all sexypants.”  The best description I can think of is it is a cross between a History Channel documentary and the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  It is clever and charming, and I liked the way it sent up our tendency to either lionize or demonize our leaders and tackled his treatment of Native Americans head on.  And I am a sucker for oddball musicals.  (The Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical soundtrack is some of my favorite driving music).  The script did lean a little too heavily on (wink-wink, nudge-nudge) jokes about effeminate elite male politicians, played broadly through  homosexual stereotypes. I got that the production was commenting on the discussion around masculinity in American politics, but there was too much reliance on those jokes without enough payoff.  But it was ultimately very worth seeing, especially at the discount price I got through the Theater Development Fund. Read the NY Times review here.

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