The Literary Club

Can We Still Enjoy Harry Potter?

“The Death of the Author” has been a hot topic across the internet over the last few years and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has been at its epicenter. YouTuber, author and video-essayist Lindsay Ellis has made a few insightful videos on the topic. The concept originates with French literary critic Roland Barthes who argued that once a piece of art or literature was unleashed unto the world it was no longer solely the property of the author or creator. ...

‘Do No Harm’: Journalism and Trust

Do no harm. This was the first tenet of journalism drilled into us during one of our MA lectures. It’s as simple as it sounds: when reporting the news, or a story, minimize the collateral damage and fallout caused by it, and make sure this story is in the public’s interest. Looking at the news cycle today, it’s no wonder that trust in journalism has declined over the last decade. Few, if any, stories are written purely with the public’s ...

What Are Political ‘Dog Whistles’?

Dog whistles, in the traditional sense, are used in the training or conditioning of dogs with a tone humans are normally unable to hear. The same principle applies to political ‘dog whistles’. Often defined as ‘coded language’, or phrases and terms that go unnoticed by the vast majority of people, but are targeted at specific groups who will understand them. So what do physical dog whistles and political dog whistles have in common? Bigotry. Xenophobia. And a whole lot of ...

Genre: What Can Horror Reveal To Us?

It’s a well worn analysis that the horror genre reflects society’s fears and anxieties at any one point in time. Monster movies of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s showcased invaders from another world bringing destruction, slashers in the 70s and 80s preyed on fears of violence tearing apart the traditional family unit, and zombie movies of the 2000s were seen as a response to terrorism. What then are our current horror movies trying to tell us?

The Meaninglessness of the DUP’s ‘Sorry’

The old axiom says that ‘sorry’ seems to be the hardest word. This can be true, in some cases, and is usually accompanied by a promise to change one’s ways and do better. So, in light of Paula Bradley’s apology to the LGBTQ+ community of Northern Ireland for how they’ve been treated in the past – forgive me if I don’t feel placated, and if I don’t think a simple apology goes far enough.