Modern Art Oxford hosting first major art exhibition of Penny Woolcock

Image credit: Modern Art Oxford/Penny Woolcock. Born in Buenos Aires in 1950, Penny Woolcock was forced to flee to Europe for political safety after joining a radical theatre group in 1967, resulting in her brief arrest. She arrived in Oxford in 1970, a single mother relying on factory work and other odd-jobs. The city was her home for 15 years, during which time she engaged with […]

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‘Obscene’ Books from the Bodleian’s Restricted Collection Now On Display for the First Time

Credit: Still Life with Books in Niche , Barthélemy d’Eyck The Bodleian Libraries is lifting the lid on its collection of ‘obscene’ and ‘improper’ books for the first time ever in a display of items from the Libraries’ restricted ‘Phi’ category. The exhibition, Story of Phi: Restricted Books, explores changing ideas about sexuality and censorship and […]

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The Pixelated Revolution: The power of hand-held footage to change political narratives

Image Credit: Jmabels. Description: a Civil Rights Movement-era protest. Recently, as digital photography has become better quality and developed to look more and more like its analogue counterpart, an idea has formed: that the clearer and the higher the resolution of the image we are being shown is, the more reflective of reality it is. […]

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Five underrated classics

1.Cane, Jean Toomer (1923) – Harlem Renaissance author Toomer beautifully interweaves lyric, prose and drama in this series of vignettes written about the cultural history and experiences of African Americans in the United States. These stories are often pervaded by nauseating violence, such as cruel ostracisation in “Becky” or sexual violence in the “Box Seat”, […]

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Northanger Abbey: How to read a Gothic novel

‘Oh! I am quite delighted with the book! I should like to spend my whole life in reading it,’ Catherine Morland, the heroine of Northanger Abbey, confesses to her friend Isabella, speaking of Ann Radcliffe’s Gothic masterpiece The Mysteries of Udolpho. And while Isabella repeatedly tries to move the conversation away from the novel – […]

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The magic of children’s literature

Children’s fiction contains a Wonderland of possibilities: dragons, mermaids and animal croquet (partially replicated on Oxford’s quads in Trinity). From the enchanting halls of Hogwarts to the battered old tent in Horrid Henry’s back garden, we all have memories – hopefully endearing – of reading as a child. Yet it wasn’t until I arrived at […]

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Review: The Last Bookshop

Independent bookshops are a dying race, callously destroyed by online purchases and dooming their owners to disillusioning profit losses. However, on 25 Walton Street, a survivor determinedly battles on. The Last Bookshop, providing quaint mint-green tables outside for those who wish to read with a coffee, and a perpetual deal of two books for five […]

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