- "Can ‘Harry Potter’ Change the World?" by Hanna Kozlowska (The New York Times; September 17, 2014)
Kozlowska discusses studies in which fiction readers, once exposed to story passages in which the protagonists are treated badly for belonging to a fictional minority group, are later less likely to express hostility toward real minority groups. The experiments in question all used passages from Rowling's novels, but I would presume that the effect, if real, would be easily duplicated with e.g. well-chosen Uncanny X-Men selections and so on. Stories matter! (You and I knew that, even if they didn't.)
- "The Last Amazon: Wonder Woman Returns" by Jill Lepore (The New Yorker; September 22, 2014)
Lepore recounts the history of the character as a media property (from her 1941 premiere to the upcoming Dawn of Justice* movie) through the biographies of the people who originally created the Wonder Woman character, the history of the United States and the history of feminism. Even though I knew the bones of Wonder Woman's creation by William Moulton Marston and have read excerpts from her early years, I was still unaware just how deeply, profoundly, blatantly, daringly — and yes, even pow!bam! ludicrously — feminist those early stories were. I learned a lot. Take a look!
* per a tweet quoted in the article: aka “BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN WITH ALSO SOME WONDER WOMAN IN THERE SO SIT DOWN LADIES WE’RE TREATING YOU FINE: THE MOVIE.”"
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