identity

“Split at the Root”: Adrienne Rich and (Religious) Identity

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Rich’s approach to her religious identity was of a piece with her approach to every aspect of her identity. For Rich, any identity worth achieving involved struggle and resistance—be it national identity (“a patriot is one who wrestles for the / soul of her country / as she wrestles for her own being”), gender identity (“A thinking woman sleeps with monsters. / The beak that grips her, she becomes.”), or the committed poet’s identity (“She cannot teach the end of bonds; but she can refuse to justify, accord with, ignore their existence”).

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Looking For Answers at the Oscars: A Guide to This Year’s Contenders

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The top films for 2010—especially those up for this Sunday’s awards—leave most of the species-specific questions behind. Instead this year’s crop reflects anxieties (as well as promises) about who we are and who we might be becoming in and as humans, in our own skins—never mind the “prawns” or “Na’vi.” Questions provoked by this year’s films include those concerning the nature of our selves in connection and collision with our families, our larger social institutional entanglements, and our own bodies. The other key theme, effecting each of the others, had to do with the ways new media technology is inserting itself into our intimate lives, and changing our identities, both public and private.

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“You’ve Never Met a Muslim”

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Four New York Muslims take the anniversary of 9/11 to reflect on piety and patriotism, on sharing classrooms and rituals of community life, on the courage and goodness of New Yorkers, and on the horrific event that has shaped a generation of American Muslim life.

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