by Frances Badgett March 10, 2013

In 2009, VIDA started a conversation about the visibility of women in publishing. For the past three years, VIDA has published lovely, useful, but seriously depressing pie charts on the ratio of female to male writers, reviewers, reviewed authors, and bylines from many of the big literary publications: Boston Review, Granta, Harper’s, London Review of […]

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Cash-sash and other culture jams: (No I’m not married, I don’t have a baby)

by Amanda Leigh Lichtenstein April 5, 2011

You heard me. No, I’m not married. No, I don’t have a baby. These are the two of the most potent culture-bombs I drop on unsuspecting Zanzibar citizens on a near-daily basis. The reaction hints at devastation for some, others are just confused. You’re thirty-five and you don’t have children? Never been married? In my […]

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Stitched secrets, public poetics: My obsession with kanga text/iles in East Africa

by Amanda Leigh Lichtenstein March 23, 2011

Some people think it was my love for a certain local fisherman that brought me back to Zanzibar. True, I did fall in love. But it was my obsessive love for kangas — those vibrant textiles inscribed with poetic Swahili text messages at the bottom — that truly seduced me. The ubiquitous kanga, worn by […]

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What does it mean to write like a girl?

by Rebecca Lehmann March 20, 2011

In light of the VIDA count, and the LA Times’ snafu of posting a picture of Jonathan Franzen in an article re: the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, Jennifer Egan, under the heading “Egan Beats Franzen in National Book Critics Circle’s fiction prize,” I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it […]

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Dear Los Angeles Times, this is a photo of Jennifer Egan

by Cynthia Newberry Martin March 11, 2011

Dear Los Angeles Times, Regarding your headlines* today on the National Book Critics Circle Awards, the photo you posted is not Jennifer Egan. In addition,  I would also like to point out that you mention the name of Mr. Franzen’s novel, the one that didn’t win but it’s true was written by a male, while […]

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How does it feel to be a problem? The Vida Study

by Michael Washburn February 24, 2011

A few years ago – 2007, I think – I organized and moderated a panel discussion on habeas corpus and the brazen disregard with which the Bush Administration’s then-recent actions treated the issue. The panel, moderator aside, was quite brilliant: Corey Robin, David Cole, and Aziz Huq each took turns briefly and incisively providing historical […]

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Why is the Jeopardy! computer a dude?

by Rebecca Lehmann February 10, 2011

In the world of game shows, Jeopardy! is the closest Americans come to measuring genius in a tidy 30 minute Q&A format with a cash prize. In an attempt to make Jeopardy! seem as smarty-pants as chess, IBM has made a Jeopardy! playing computer named Watson, who will take on the two top Jeopardy! champions […]

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