Archive for the 'Dolls' Category
Howdy, friends. Since I’ve been living in the long eighteenth century for the past week or so, at least in my own head, I haven’t been consuming either print or electronic news as I usually do. But several of you have written to ask my opinions on the unexpected and untimely cashiering of the President of the University of Virginia, Teresa A. Sullivan, last week. As many of you know much better than I, Sullivan had been prez for only two years, and was the first woman chosen to lead Mr. Jefferson’s university. This morning, I read something that several of you (in person and via e-mail) had already suggested to me, namely that forces on the university’s Board of Visitors against Sullivan were peeved at her resistance to online education. (Earlier this week, other reporting suggested that Sullivan was perceived as reluctant to cut low enrollment programs such as German and Classics.)
I’m really grateful to you readers for the e-mails and the prodding on this, but since I’m actually making some research and writing progress this week on my own irrelevant and self-indulgent intellectual work, I’d like to turn the conversation over to you. Some of you who have written to me have UVA connections, so feel free to discuss the Sullivan firing and its causes and consequences. Continue Reading »
Via Susie at Suburban Guerilla, we learn of “Barbie Trashes Her Dream House” by artist Carrie M. Becker. Be sure to click the previous link and marvel at the level of detail and layers of junk that Becker meticulously crafted, including an extremely disgusting toilet in the Dream House bathroom. (I’m only slightly ashamed that my office looks a bit like this detail, at right, only with many more books and many fewer cardboard file boxes.) If you live in or near Witchita, you can go see the installation yourself in September 2012, when Becker takes hoarder Barbie to the Riney Fine Arts Center Gallery at Friends University.
Speaking of real life in miniature: remember that miniseries about the Kennedys that was protested by Kennedy loyalists and then dropped by the History Channel? I’ve watched 6 episodes so far, and it’s really quite entertaining. Continue Reading »
My favorite was this part:
“Please remove your giant diamond rings,” wrote one contributor to a community forum on Urbanbaby.com last week, billing her post as a public service announcement. “I work at a non-profit,” she continued, “and when I interview someone who is sporting a huge diamond, I immediately deduct points from that person. I talked about this with some of my colleagues today, and they feel the same way. It’s just an unnecessary risk.”
The poster later clarified that she has a specific reason for resenting when applicants bring their bling to an interview: She works for a non-profit that helps African women and children suffering from the effects of the conflict diamond trade. Continue Reading »
Architect friend MBB forwarded this intel on yesterday about the American Institute of Architects’s Barbie Dream House competition:
At the convention, there was a lot of buzz about Mattel’s Barbie® I Can Be™…Architect. Please help us continue the buzz by sharing the following with members so they can vote for their favorite dream house.
Check out the designs–the one with the pool slide from the runway is really tempting, but I think I like the Eero Saarinen-esque one the best. At least, I can see myself living and working in those airy, sunny pods quite easily! You can review them all and vote for your favorite, too. Continue Reading »
The unusually wettish spring has meant that even the high plains desert is insanely green and lush. I trimmed back the overgrown herbs, pulled some weeds, and finally re-installed by creepy doll guardians. (They are apparently not creepy enough to serve as scarecrows regarding some of the domesticated wildlife around these parts.) Continue Reading »
First of all, there’s a Visiting Assistant Professor position in early American history for academic year 2011-12 “with the possibility of renewal.” The job carries a 2-3 course load and a wonderful community of other early Americanist faculty and graduate students. One year in Williamsburg seems just about right. (It reminds me of that old W.C. Fields joke: “First Prize, one week in Philadelphia! Second Prize, two weeks in Philadelphia!”)
Secondly, we see that the deadline is nigh for short-term fellowships from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation for projects that are closely related to the collections of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, “with its distinguished collection of primary and secondary sources relating to eighteenth-century Williamsburg, the colonial Chesapeake, African American studies, decorative arts and material culture through 1830, archaeology, architectural history, digital history, and historic preservation. An important component of the work of the Foundation’s Division of Research and Historical Interpretation, Rockefeller Library fellowships primarily support research on topics related to British America, the American Revolution, and the Early Republic.” Continue Reading »
All of this talk about elementary school makes me remember one of my favorite movies from my school days: Paddle to the Sea (1966). We saw this annually in Great Lakes country where I grew up. And of course, it stars a doll–Kyle Apatagon’s clever creation, “Paddle to the Sea.”
Do you know this movie, or does it stir a distant memory? I find it mesmerizing still–it’s a glimpse of an experience that’s something new for most urban or suburban children. If you have young children in your life please share this movie with them.
This is Arthur Lopez’s “Robert Reina del Cielo,” or “Rodeo Queen of Heaven,” a clever little santo, or devotional sculpture of the Holy Family that I saw today at the Denver Art Museum (more info here, although as you’ll see they misspell cielo.) Ain’t it swell? Dig baby Jesus’s hand raised in the preaching (and/or bronco busting and bull-riding) position, just as in the European tradition.
At least it’s the most important parts of the Holy Family–the Madonna and Child, natch. Joseph: he’s always seemed like the Ken of the Holy Family to me. Barbie and Skipper seem to do just fine without him.
Have you heard the pseudo-scientific news? Human girls are biologically programmed to play with dollies like little mommies! A recent study suggests that female juvenile chimps play with sticks and nurture them like babies, whereas male juveniles turn their sticks into weapons or other manly toys–it’s scientifically proven. Echidne has the goods, as I knew she would. She’s got an interesting follow-up post on a 2007 study of a Senagalese chimp community that found that female adult chimps led the way in tool-making and killing in their communities–but as she notes, that study didn’t go viral now, did it? She writes, “[I]t’s every bit as significant as the new stick study, only it shows female chimps as tool makers and as killers. So are we going to draw conclusions about human society from that one, too?”
One of the aspects of these studies that purport to show the essential or biological basis for gendered behaviors in humans is how selective we are in looking to the non-human animal kingdom for justification of human behaviors. After all, what is “natural” behavior? $hitting outdoors, scratching our crotches, and smearing our scent everywhere is “natural,” I suppose. Human societies have developed multiple different technologies and etiquettes for dealing with all of these “natural” needs and urges. Continue Reading »