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Academic Resolutions

Quarantine, for me, was not necessarily the productive period I anticipated when it was first announced. Setting ambitious goals in which I had ‘no excuse’ not to complete for the entirety of summer, I had such high hopes that I’d pull one of those ‘summer glow ups’ and actually get my life together. Yet rolling around to August, the majority of which still remain uncomplete or even started. In moving over some of these goals into the next academic year, I hope to get the most out of my time, especially in a social climate in which our short time as students is thrown into uncertainty. Continue reading Academic Resolutions

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Reviews in Retrospect: All About Love by bell hooks

“Without justice there can be no love.” There’s something incredibly special about a book that is both politically powerful yet therapeutic, both critical and healing. bell hooks’ 1999 book All About Love: New Visions is one of these. Exploring the psychological and social complexities of love in the modern world, bell hooks offers “a hopeful, joyous vision of love’s transformative power.” She shares incredible critical insight about a wide range of topics: the patriarchal values that shape relationships, the harmful connotations of the ideal family, and how male-written self-help books often feed into women’s insecurities, rather than boosting their confidence. All About Love is a genuinely helpful read — one that can revolutionise your thinking about the wider world and give realistic advice about caring for yourself and others in everyday life. Continue reading Reviews in Retrospect: All About Love by bell hooks

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Cruise Ships and Covid-19: An Opportunity to Re-Examine the Travel Industry

Cruise ships represent the immensity of travel in the modern world. The access to oceanic space from the luxury and comfort onboard is part of the mass appeal for consumers, but there is a darker side to the glistening structures that line our waters. Often dubbed as ‘floating cities’, despite their testament to modern engineering, the industry is an environmental disaster. In the adversity of lockdown, there have been enormous economic pressures and questions over the future of travel across the globe. However, the current pandemic and suspension of most of the cruise industry’s activities have also afforded a unique opportunity to re-examine the environmental impact of these ships, and whether a green recovery is possible. Continue reading Cruise Ships and Covid-19: An Opportunity to Re-Examine the Travel Industry

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Reviews in Retrospect: If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

None of James Baldwin’s books express passion, tenderness and grief as well as If Beale Street Could Talk (1974). After I read Baldwin’s Another Country (1962) during lockdown, I made it my mission to read every one of his novels, his writing completely struck me. Of-course his novels remain extremely relevant to the present day, they focus on questions surrounding sexuality, race, and religion which art and literature continues to confront. However, it was the soul and passion in his writing which had me consuming one book after another. Continue reading Reviews in Retrospect: If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

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Review: Inside Missguided: Made in Manchester

Channel 4’s Inside Missguided: Made in Manchester documentary shows behind the scenes of fast fashion brand, Missguided. However, the documentary masks the company’s unethical practices and underpaid factory workers, with the Missguided employees’ bubbly and likeable personalities. Continue reading Review: Inside Missguided: Made in Manchester

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Reviews in Retrospect: Outlaw Culture by bell hooks

I first heard about intersectional feminist writer bell hooks in a Media Studies classroom during sixth form. We were taught that bell hooks challenges the “ideology of domination” that perpetuates misogyny, racism and classism. Our teacher also told us that hooks deliberately refused to punctuate her name with capital letters, to symbolically shed the tools of power that regulate personal identity. Before I ever read bell hooks, the idea of a writer powerful enough to escape the confines of language fascinated me. The first of hooks’ writing I read, her 1994 collection of essays and interviews Outlaw Culture, asserts that popular culture is never “apolitical”, and representation always matters. Unpretentious, piercingly insightful, and funny, Outlaw Culture is as fascinating as hooks herself. Continue reading Reviews in Retrospect: Outlaw Culture by bell hooks

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Reading Corner: Magazines

Having spent the beginning of lockdown blasting my way through novel after novel to occupy my sudden abundance of free time, I’d recently found my attention span gradually waning as the endless hours of isolation wore on. With lockdown boredom making me increasingly fidgety, the focus required to sit down and immerse myself in the depths of a book became harder to grasp. Continue reading Reading Corner: Magazines

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Defiant, Self-Aware, Accessible Feminism: Why you should read Florence Given’s ‘Women Don’t Owe You Pretty’

Florence Given’s book Women Don’t Owe You Pretty (2020) has been The Sunday Times bestseller for ten weeks in a row now, and it’s no surprise why. Continue reading Defiant, Self-Aware, Accessible Feminism: Why you should read Florence Given’s ‘Women Don’t Owe You Pretty’

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Bodyform’s ‘Womb Stories’ Campaign and De-Stigmatising Menstruation

Since I was about sixteen, I’ve been passionate about de-stigmatizing periods. I used the Clue app religiously and showed it to all my friends at school, including the boys. I talked about periods loudly and graphically. I didn’t care if that made boys feel uncomfortable. I had confidence about my periods. They made me feel powerful and were an important part of my identity as a young woman. Because of my contraception, I don’t have periods anymore. My female friends are usually jealous of me when I tell them this, but I actually miss them; they’re a sign that everything’s ticking over and working properly. They’re completely healthy and natural, so why is there such a big stigma surrounding them? Continue reading Bodyform’s ‘Womb Stories’ Campaign and De-Stigmatising Menstruation