The Sociological Imagination is C. Wright Mills’s 1959 statement about what social science should be and the good it can produce. In this way, it is a polemical book. It has a vision for sociology, and it criticizes those with a different vision....

The Wretched of the Earth is Frantz Fanon’s seminal 1961 book, originally published in French, about the effects of colonization on the minds of the colonized, and the efforts by the colonized to overthrow the colonizers. It draws from Fanon’s own...

Walled States, Waning Sovereignty is an influential book published in 2010 by the American political theorist Wendy Brown. It seeks to explain a contemporary trend of nations building border walls throughout the world. Brown says this is a symptom...

Black Skin, White Masks is Frantz Fanon’s classic statement on the psychological experience of Black men and women in societies dominated by white people, especially France. It draws from his personal experience as a man born in the Caribbean...

Michael Warner’s The Trouble with Normal is an influential book-length statement on sexual politics in the United States. Published at the end of the 1990s, it includes discussions of sex scandals like the one that plagued President Bill Clinton,...

Northrop Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism is a canonical statement on the principles and foundations of literary criticism. It is widely noted for its scope and ambition, synthesizing theory from Aristotle to the present, critiquing the state of the...

“Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of Sexual Politics” is Gayle Rubin’s germinal statement about the politics and history of sex in the United States. It was published in 1984, two years after Rubin had given a famous “pro-sex” statement at...

Big Fish is a 2003 movie directed by Tim Burton. It tells the story of a Paris-based journalist called Will Bloom, who comes home to Ashton, Alabama, when he hears that his father, Edward, is terminally ill with cancer and has been taken off...

The biggest grossing movie released in June 1974 was Chinatown. That very dark update of film noir featuring one of the most intricate plots in Hollywood grossed 23 million dollars, which was a good 12 million dollars less than the biggest...

Though published and widely known as The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt's work was originally conceived under the name The Burden of Our Time. This alternate title reveals the purpose of the work: to interrogate the terrible burden...

The Graduate is a 1967 American comedy/drama film directed by Mike Nichols, based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Charles Webb. The story revolves around Benjamin Braddock, played in a star-making turn by a young Dustin Hoffman, who enters...

Gattaca, released in 1997, is a multi-generic film that incorporates elements of Science Fiction, Dystopic Fiction and Crime Fiction. The film was directed and written by Andrew Niccol, a screenwriter and director who made Gattaca, Simone, Lord of...

Audiences had modest expectations for Taxi Driver when it was first released in the winter of 1976. A low-budget film directed by a not-particularly-well-known Martin Scorsese and starring the young Robert De Niro, who had recently won an Oscar...

"The Idea of Order at Key West" is a philosophical poem about the creative powers of the human mind, by American modernist Wallace Stevens. It is the title poem and most famous work from Stevens' second poetry collection, Ideas of Order, published...

"Of Modern Poetry" is a poem by Wallace Stevens published in 1942, in his collection Parts of a World. The poem acts as a highly self-referential manifesto on the purpose of modern poetry, and the role of the poet.

This poem marks a noticeable...

Mac Flecknoe is one of the four major satires of esteemed English poet John Dryden. The poem is personal satire that has for its target Thomas Shadwell, another poet who had offended Dryden with his aesthetic and political leanings. It is also...

"Sweat" is a short story by Zora Neale Hurston, published in 1926. Hurston was "a product of the Harlem Renaissance," an African-American political and artistic movement that took place in Harlem, New York in the 1920s, "as well as one of its most...

When Alfred Hitchcock released Vertigo in 1958, it was met with ambivalence and near rejection by critics and audiences. Vertigo defied easy categorization and explored themes related to sexual perversity, erotic obsession and a shifting...

The Shack is a work of Christian fiction published by William Paul Young in 2007. The novel tells the story of Mack, a man whose daughter has been abducted by a serial killer, meeting God face to face and spending a weekend in a shack in the woods...