Zombies and Colonial Coffee: Max Havelaar, Life after Death

This article was originally published in Dutch on Hebban.nl, 16 May 2017. I have translated and reproduced it here with the kind permission of the website and the original author, Adinda Volkers. Some of the hyperlinks have also been adapted to redirect readers to equivalent English-language sources.

Warning: this is a political piece. I would not know how to write something apolitical or noncommittal about a book like Max Havelaar. If you don’t care about politics, thinking, the environment, or human rights, please feel free to read something else. But then you’ll miss the zombies!

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Historical Feminists (and Feminism) in Modern Television

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the mythologisation of great women writers, artists, and other historical figures. As feminist scholar Christine Battersby points out, writing against the postmodern impulse to declare the author or great genius ‘dead’: The concept of genius is too deeply embedded in our conceptual scheme for us to solve our … Read more

Female Gothic Histories

‘But history, real solemn history, I cannot be interested in. […] I read it a little as a duty, but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars or pestilences, in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any … Read more

‘I’m just a guy on the internet’: An Interview with Kevin J. Weir

On this blog I’ve previously written about Travis Louie and Dan Hillier, two fine artists whose work I’ve been researching. I also wrote a post for the Victorianist on Colin Batty, who paints monsters onto old Victorian cabinet cards. A fourth artist whose work I’m writing about is Kevin J. Weir, though he wouldn’t necessarily … Read more

The Paper Time Machine

In a previous blog post, I mentioned the Ellis Island immigrant portraiture of Augustus F. Sherman. I wrote: Sherman was an amateur photographer working as Chief Registry Clerk at New York’s Ellis Island station from 1892 until 1925, and he photographed some of the twelve million immigrants to pass into the USA before the station closed in 1954. … Read more

ITV’s Victoria is Neo-Victorian Fiction at its Purest

‘I’m afraid the truth is vastly overrated’ – Lord Melbourne, ‘Doll 123’ (Victoria, episode 1) After a busy summer, I’ve spent the last few weeks catching up on all the reading and viewing I had on hold. Last week, a scathing review by James Delingpole sent ITV’s Victoria to the top of my must-watch list. The show, he wrote, is ‘silly, facile … Read more

Star Wars, Remix, and the Death of Originality (Part Two)

What follows is part two of a spoiler-free discussion of The Force Awakens (the new Star Wars movie), and its cultural context in science fiction, fandom, and nostalgia culture. You can find part one right here. Last week I started my breakdown of The Force Awakens with the disclaimer that I am a long-time Star Wars fan. I looked at arguments … Read more