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The start of 2018 means the beginning of #NewYearNewMe routines and looking forward to new beginnings, but there’s also no better time than now to reminisce on the year that just ended. Even if 2017 wasn’t a particularly amazing year, it definitely saw the release of some amazing music and the rise of great new artists. Here are my top songs from 2017 for you to nod (or shake) your head to.
In “The Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power,” Black feminist writer Audre Lorde critiques the ways in which Western patriarchal societies have suppressed and falsely encouraged women’s sexual expression. In the piece, she asserts that “the erotic offers a well of replenishing and provocative force to the woman who doesn’t fear its revelation, nor succumb to the belief that sensation is enough.” With these words, Lorde calls for a full-bodied praxis regarding the body, one which acknowledges sexuality as a basis for reclamation and degradation.
If I had to bet on a song that every Dartmouth student knows, I would pick “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers. What they may not know, however, is that “Mr. Brightside” came out over a decade ago in 2004. Along with “Human” and perhaps “Somebody Told Me,” it seems like people are more than happy to sing along to the Killers’ old songs, which means that either the music is really good or that the band has not followed up with anything better. With The Killers, it may be a little bit of both, but their new album “Wonderful Wonderful” stands to change that and hopefully give their fans some new songs to enjoy.
I know that Taylor Swift is a bad person. She lied about Kanye West, she tried to fight Nicki Minaj via Twitter and she probably voted for Donald Trump. Furthermore, I know that her music is bad. You don’t have to tell me that “I can’t say anything to your face / Because look at your face” is not a good lyric. I am an English major. I have picked up on this already.
A few weeks ago, my editors acquiesced to my request to drop the numerical ratings system in my reviews. I felt the ratings were becoming increasingly arbitrary. Not just arbitrary in the sense that one number is a rather weightless way of expressing an opinion, but also in the sense that the distinction between “good” and “bad” cinema was becoming more and more blurry to me. Thanks to some of my film studies courses, I began to appreciate how limiting these categories were. Of course, I wouldn’t write film criticism week after week if I didn’t feel that discussing the quality of films had some value. I’ve come to realize that the way I define “quality” is somewhat complicated.
Recently, Dartmouth announced a clear commitment to address food sustainability throughout campus dining by initiating the formation of a “food working group” comprised of a collective of students, faculty and staff. As one of the students serving in this group, I am as nervous as I am hopeful, and while not jaded, certainly uncertain. I wonder — what would a comprehensive sustainable food action plan look like, and how could we direct our efforts into getting it right?
An ode to former first lady Michelle Obama, “Courage is Contagious: And Other Reasons to be Thankful for Michelle Obama” takes on the task of memorializing and honoring the legacy of Obama as a cultural icon through a collection of written reflections. The book’s editor, Nick Haramis, compiled essays by actors, writers, fashion designers, activists, high schoolers and others in order to participate in the process of unpacking the Obama family’s legacy in America and the significance of Obama’s navigation of the first lady position.
There are many people who paint, but there are not many who use emoji as a source of inspiration — Kevin Soraci ’18 is both. A studio art and engineering double major, Soraci has been painting for about seven years. Although he can’t recall how he got started, he remembers instantly falling in love with the sense of calm that painting gives him. For Soraci, painting is a way to engage with our culture conceptually, he said.
On Mischief Night, a group of students performed a collection of Shakespearean death scenes in gender-inclusive fraternity Alpha Theta. In the “Spooky Show,” excerpts from “Hamlet,” “Henry IV” and “Henry VI Part 3” made up the body from which spewed blood and splattered gore to make an atypical theatrical experience.
On Saturday night, I trekked down to the labyrinthine nether-realm that is the Nugget Theater to see “Marshall.” Ten minutes before, I had left the Hopkins Center for the Arts’ screening of Taylor Sheridan’s problematic, complicated yet engaging “Wind River,” which played to a mostly packed theater. In contrast, I watched “Marshall” with a grand total of two other people. To everyone who could have filled those extra seats but didn’t: Y’all missed out.
The musical stylings of the Dartmouth Glee Club will once again grace Rollins Chapel this Sunday as they reimagine the works of Felix Mendelssohn and Johannes Brahms. The performance will feature three recent graduates — Alyssa Gonzalez ’17, Nathaniel Graves ’13 and James Ragan ’16 — as guest soloist, and will be the first performance with this year’s members of the glee club.
With the end of fall term approaching, the theater department’s fall musical is right around the corner. Anyone passing through the Hopkins Center for the Arts can see the activity bustling in and around the theater. “Cabaret,” this year’s musical, promises to be a timely response to the current political climate.
On Sunday, Oct. 29, Upper Valley television channel CATV’s sixth annual Halloween-o-thon took place on Dartmouth’s campus from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Loew Auditorium located in the Black Family Visual Arts Center, partnering with the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Halloween-o-thon showcased films made by students spanning in age from middle school to college from all across the Upper Valley who registered to commit three weeks of their time to writing, directing and casting their very own short horror films. On Sunday, their work was displayed on the big screen to celebrate the creative endeavors of local youth and embrace the Halloween spirit.
While other courses at the College build students up, English 53.04 breaks them down — and in that way it acts as a catalyst for real change. The course “Telling Stories for Social Change,” taught by English professor Ivy Schweitzer and women’s, gender and sexuality studies professor Pati Hernández, pushes students out of a traditional method of learning by memorizing theory into understanding through experience.
In last week’s review of “The Snowman,” I encouraged readers to skip that dreadfully dull film and instead watch “Battle of the Sexes.” As it happens, I saw the two films over a week ago, and the contrast could not have been greater. When I walked out of “The Snowman,” my head was reeling with confusion. When I walked out of “Battle of the Sexes,” I felt buoyed, eager to return home and research the real-life story that had inspired the film. This is one of the year’s best films and the more I think about it, the fonder I grow — which is significant considering I was already fond of it when I walked out of the Nugget Theater.
The Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by acclaimed flutist Luciano Tristaino, will perform its annual fall concert at the Spaulding Auditorium in the Hopkins Center for the Arts on Saturday. With this performance, the ensemble intends to celebrate its upcoming collaboration with the Conservatory of Siena.
Since she was a toddler, Rachel Beck ’19 loved to dance.
In one of my favorite memoirs, “Negroland,” acclaimed critic and professor Margo Jefferson offers an account of her life as a Southern upper middle-class Black woman in the 50s and 60s, reflecting on the confounding nature of racial categorization as a process which has saturated the lives of Black Americans. Jefferson asks a weighty question to the masses: “What manner of man and woman are we?” It is a query that has remained in my head since I finished reading her memoir. With this question, Jefferson addressed the ways in which the otherness imposed on Black Americans necessitated conflict by defining our existence as inherently divergent from the norm of humanity. In Toni Morrison’s newest novel, “The Origin of Others,” this question is asked and expanded to challenge the habit of “othering” altogether — taking history, psychology and literature to task in a way that uncovers the vast offerings of Morrison’s mind.
This week, Che “Rhymefest” Smith will be conducting a student workshop on campus. Smith is a Grammy-winning hip-hop artist from Chicago. He has collaborated with and written for several artists, most notably Kanye West on his song “Jesus Walks.” He is also a philanthropist, activist and politician dedicated to opening up conversations about race and youth in America.