Perpetual screaming: An interview with Simon Jenkins

Sir Simon Jenkins is aptly described as a journalistic veteran. The depth of his experience merits the term: among other roles, Jenkins has served as editor of the Evening Standard and political editor of The Economist, and is now a columnist for the Guardian. The word also conveys, though, the combative and campaigning character of much of Jenkins’ work. Without apparent partisan prejudice, Jenkins has fought on countless political battlefields, becoming known to some as a reformist crusader, and to others as a “professional miserabilist”. James Waddell paid a visit to Jenkins’ West London home to make up his own mind.

Aesthetics and Politics of Distraction: A Conversation with Geeta Patel

Geeta Patel is a Professor of Gender Studies at the University of Virginia. Her work is informed by translation theory, gender and sexuality studies, diaspora and subaltern historiography, and the history of science. On June 14th, 2018, Professor Patel gave a talk, titled, ‘In Theory/In Deed: Radical Philosophy in Action’, which was co-hosted by Critical Theory and Practice, and Cambridge University and College Union. KR editor Ayşe Polat met with her the following day, to discuss the possibilities of radical action in distraction, moving from her own experience organising in Sri Lanka.

Bored Senseless: Logan Paul and Meme Politics

Taking its cue from the furore surrounding Logan Paul’s now infamous ‘suicide forest’ video, this article examines an online culture of memes and vlogs and subreddits and asks just why it is so jarring when this and the ‘real’ world collide. It asks why we seem so ready and willing to avoid the latter, and what the politics of doing so might be. However, it also questions the legitimacy of those who dismiss this culture out of hand as ‘low-brow’, and proposes that this may in fact be another strategy of avoidance, a means of forestalling engagement with material does not (or does not want to) understand.

Parental elegy: language in extremis

Elegy, a term that means in its strictest sense a verse lament for the dead, is in practice applied to the wide variety of writing that enacts the work of mourning. If grief is a problem of narrative and nothing more, then elegy is rendered a purely productive tool; a mediating force to curb emotional excess.

La Revo

La Revo is Seville’s first non-mixed occupation. It was established in 2015, not intended for permanent habitation, but as a social centre that would be home to community workshops, debates, fiestas, a crèche, a kitchen and a library. PhD student Roseanna Webster reflects on her year with the collective in Spain.

Dear Fiona

Christopher Prendergast’s open letter to Fiona Millar about her Guardian piece on why she is close to leaving the Labour Party in which he highlights two themes in particular: the divisions around Brexit and the row over Antisemitism.

Ariana Grande is the world’s most confusing pop star

  There are lot of questions one could ask Ariana Grande. The five-foot-two pop diva has a firm and unassailable commitment to only ever showcasing the left side of her face. She is rarely – if ever – seen without her trademark tousled ponytail, a voluminous bouffant of waist-length hair. Over the course of her rise to fame as a child Broadway star, to Nickelodeon teen bopper, and finally to full-blown […]

‘Crossing’: A new film portrays the harsh journey for a safe abortion

  Today, Irish voters go to the polls to vote in a referendum that could end the country’s constitutional ban on abortion. Every day, at least 10 women and girls are forced to travel from Ireland to England to access a safe and legal procedure. The cost, stigma, and stress of the journey across the Irish sea can make it a gruelling experience, adding to the complexities of terminating a […]

Jorge Pérez Jaramillo and the dystopian, utopian parable of Medellín

  King’s Review’s editor Giulia Torino and King’s College’s fellow Felipe Hernández met Jorge Pérez Jaramillo, Colombian architect and urbanist, during his visiting fellowship at King’s College to write his latest book. The work will deal with a critical overview of the widely celebrated post-1991 urban transformation of Medellín that became a planning reference for cities all around the world, under the soi-disant appellation of “the miracle of Medellín”. Drawing […]

I want to Belieb

  Child stars, the objects of our culture’s raging youth fetish, are not supposed to grow up. When they do, we regard them with fascination, concern, and embarrassment, like younger cousins who show up drunk to a family barbecue. The best option for the ageing child star may be to reinvent themselves so completely that they sever their current image entirely from the former one lingering in the public imagination. […]

A Tribute to Moishe Postone, 1942 – 2018

  Moishe Postone was an intellectual historian, critical theorist and political economist who was the Thomas E. Donnelly Professor at the University of Chicago. He was renowned for his reinterpretation of Marx’s theory of value, outlined in his landmark tome, Time, Labour and Social Domination (1996). He passed away on March 19, 2018. Former student and KR editor Rebecca Liu reflects on his teachings and influence here. My fourth year […]

The Dazzling, Dangerous Charm of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

  Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the eighth most popular individual on Instagram. He posts mainly photos of himself working out at the gym, or promotional material relating to his latest movies. His photos invariably appear alongside comments that could be distilled to aphoristic life advice, albeit advice that tends to centre around first-person pronouns (“I make my cheat meals EPIC because, hell we all work hard and only live […]

Of Murder and Memory: An Unfinished Story from Post-War Ukraine

“I didn’t find who attacked my great-grandfather with an axe. But I think I learned who didn’t.” History bleeds into the present in Tanya Zaharchenko’s investigation of her family history in Ukraine’s eastern town of Kharkiv, replete with axe-wielding criminals, chandelier-adorned mansions, and a long-unsolved assassination.

Feminist Visions in “The Handmaiden” and “The Beguiled”

This piece explores the critical consequences of popular feminist imaginaries in the current #MeToo climate. Through a comparative film review of The Beguiled and The Handmaiden, it asks what we achieve by entertaining multiple feminisms, and questions whether a politics of representation makes space for ideological contestation in contemporary popular media.

This Way Madness Lies: Mike Jay on Madness

Mike Jay’s work is concerned with the history of drug consumption, alternative mental states and madness. In the past years, he has written about the medical origins of laughing gas; the life of a revolutionary schizophrenic, James Tilly Matthews, and how political regimes influenced the asylum system. He has curated two shows at the Wellcome Collection: the 2010-2011 High Society and the 2017 Bedlam: asylum and beyond. We sat down […]