From Dawn of the Dead

The Living Dead Embody Our Worst Fears

Zombie movies are scary fun, but they also help us examine our anxieties about contagious disease and unstoppable chaos.
A still from Dune, 2021

The Ecological Prescience of Dune

Frank Herbert’s novel isn't just about space messiahs, giant sandworms, and trippy space drugs. At its core, the sci-fi epic is about ecology.
An illustration from the cover of Grendel by John Gardner

The Question of Race in Beowulf

J.R.R. Tolkien’s seminal scholarship on Beowulf centers a white male gaze. Toni Morrison focused on Grendel and his mother as raced and marginal figures.
An aerial view of Roden Crater

A Decades-in-the-Making Artwork in a Dormant Volcano

James Turrell is building an observatory that uses the human eye instead of optical instruments. It may soon be open to the public for the first time.
An X-Men comic book cover

The Assimilationist Mythology of the X-Men

Stan Lee's X-Men comics explored themes of prejudice and bigotry. So why weren't the original comics that diverse?
Werewolf gargoyle

Depressed People Aren’t Villains—Nor Are They Werewolves

Our tendency to view people with mental disorders as monsters instead of patients has a history that dates back to the 1400s.
JSTOR Daily Friday Reads

The Revelatory Rabbits of Watership Down

On Christmas Eve we lost Richard Adams, the British writer whose 1972 novel Watership Down became one of the bestselling children’s books of all time.
Road Dahl

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Roald Dahl

What don't you know about the famous children's book author?