Posts on March 2018

Death and Judgment by Donna Leon

Cover of Death and Judgment by Donna Leon

In this fourth entry in Donna Leon's mystery series set in Venice, Commissario Guido Brunetti investigates the deaths of three prominent Venetian businessmen, as well as their connection to eight young women who died when a truck crashed in the mountains of northern Italy. Meanwhile, his teenage daughter Chiara shows signs of following in her father's footsteps, as she becomes involved in the case.

Dining with Jane Austen IV: Dancing the Night Away

Woman dancing in a pink and white, ankle-length ball gown with empire waist. Hair is pulled back with a headband and put up in ringlets at the back of her head.

As the fashionable elite came to eat dinner later and later in the day, supper became almost obsolete. As Maria Rundell notes in the 1813 edition of A New System of Domestic Cookery, “hot suppers are not much in use where people dine very late.” One exception to this rule was a ball, when late hours and active exercise called for substantial evening fare. In Emma, several of the main characters visit a local inn to assess its ability to host a ball, and much is made of the question of where to...

Wednesday March 28th at 6:00pm: Screening of Selections from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Screenshot showing Lizzie smiling at Lydia, who is offering a high-five

Have you ever wondered what the Bennet sisters' adventures in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice might look like in the 21st century? On Wednesday, March 28th from 6:00-7:30pm, join Anne Charlotte Mecklenburg, PhD student in the University of Michigan's English Department, for a screening of selected mini-episodes from the web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, followed by discussion. This event will take place in the Shapiro Undergraduate Library, Screening Room 2160.

Psychopolitics: neoliberalism and new technologies of power by Byung-Chul Han; translated by Erik Butler

Han’s book provides insight into current events—Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Russian propaganda, etc.—Big Data is the new Big Brother and it is Big Business. All of our sharing, all of our liking, all of the tracking of our every digitally connected movement (both voluntary and involuntary) has created the digital panopticon. We are transparent, we are quantified, we are stored and retrieved, we are added and reduced. We are packages of data to be bought and sold. But, Big Data is a Smart...

Dining with Jane Austen III: A Company Dinner

Woman standing, wearing an orange dress with white fan-shaped decorations down the front.

As noted in Dining with Jane Austen II: No Such Thing as Lunch?, dinner shifted from noon-time to evening over the course of the 18th century, but this change occurred slowly and unevenly, with the result that certain households - especially those with claims to urbanity and fashion - might eat their main meal of the day much later than others. In Sense and Sensibility, The Dashwoods dine at 4pm at home in Barton Cottage, but in London, Mrs. Jenning’s begins dinner at 5 o’clock. In Pride and...

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