Most people are familiar with sign language, the system that deaf people use to communicate. What fewer may know is that there are many different sign languages around the world, just as there are many different spoken languages.
So how does the grammar of sign language work?
Unlike in spoken languages, in which grammar is expressed through sound-based signifiers for tense, aspect, mood and syntax (the way we organise individual words), sign languages use hand movements, sign order as well as ...
The images were striking: massive blockades, protesters donning masks and black hoods suddenly racing across streets, throwing stones and destroying cars.
Such were the chaotic scenes during the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany this July. Amid the looting, clashes with police and general frenzy, slogans were also emblazoned on walls offering “Free hugs for Black Blocs.”
What are the Black Blocs? And why are they associated w…
What is the predominant aesthetic of the twenty-first century? According to sociology professors Ruth Holliday and Tracey Potts, “we are on the point of drowning in kitsch. A casual survey of the British metropolitan high street offers ample evidence of the kitschification of everyday life.”
Kitsch can also be called cheesiness or tackiness. Specialists have defined kitsch as a tasteless copy of an existing style or …
Every day for 1,000 days, 26-year-old Palestinian vlogger Nuseir Yassin published a “one-minute video” on his popular Facebook channel, Nas Daily, sharing his ideas with 11m followers as he traversed the globe. Now the project has come to an end, his success seems to show how social media can provide a platform for ordinary people – a tribute to the rise of citizen journalism over the past decade.
Like many other young people today, Yassin began this project in search of a more meaningful life. He described his previous job as a software engineer as “overpaid” and …
This story begins with a serendipitous find at the British Library, during a research trip to examine the archives of writer Angela Carter. Carter’s correspondence attests to the friendships and literary connections that she formed during her life. But on that particular trip it was a single letter sent to Carter by performer, activist and Drag King pioneer Diane Torr that caught my attention.
More than just fan mail, Torr’s six-page letter is a powerful narrative of her life, as well as fascinating evidence of how Carter’s work effecti…
The auditorium buzzes with anticipation. It is opening night for a group of students from the Theatre for Social Change course offered at University of Waterloo.
Students are about to present the culmination of their work from the fall term. As the lights dim, the students’ fear and apprehension is palpable. Acting and performance are foreign to most of them and they are unsure of the public reception of what they about to present.
In a new series, we look at under acknowledged women through the ages.
Anne-Josèphe Théroigne or Terwagne (1762–1817) was born at Marcourt, a village south of Liège in modern Belgium.
From a comfortable farming family, Théroigne had a remarkably unsettled life after her mother died when she was five years old, living with relatives who provided only erratic access to education. While working as a governess she lived and studied singing in London and Paris, but also survived through unhappy rela…
What gives an urban area a particular quality? What is the mood, feeling or atmosphere that makes a “place”?
At a superficial glance city spaces might seem defined by road layouts and buildings, infrastructure and zoning laws. But my interest as a researcher and theatre maker is in investigating the kinds of everyday interactions that give these spaces an identity – that make them places.
That’s why, over a 13-month period from ...
Addiction to being busy is popularly portrayed as a toxic feature of modernity. The acceleration of everyday life is nostalgically compared to the past, when life was supposedly simpler. Yet the question of how best to spend time has always been fiercely contested. The contemporary obsession with over-activity can be given some perspective by considering how humans have balanced periods of activity and repose over the course of history.
The Christmas season, of course, is an appropriate time of year to reflect on busyness. The time between Ch…
Half a century of Christmases ago, the NASA space mission Apollo 8 became the first manned craft to leave low Earth orbit, atop the unprecedentedly powerful Saturn V rocket, and head out to circumnavigate another celestial body, making 11 orbits of the moon before its return. The mission is often cast in a supporting role – a sort of warm up for the first moon landing.
Yet for me, the voyage of Borman, Lovell and Anders six months before Neil Armstrong’s “small step for a man” will always be the great leap for humankind.
BordeauxLa volonté de décloisonnement des disciplines, la recherche d’une plus grande inter- et pluridisciplinarité ainsi que l’injonction contemporaine à la créativité ont conduit ces dernières années au développement de nombreux programmes de collaborations arts et sciences, notamment dans le milieu académique.
Prenant généralement la forme de résidences d’artistes dans les laboratoires de recherche scientifique, ces programmes visent à favoriser la créativité des chercheurs et la diffusion des savoirs.
In around 1340 Richard Rolle, a 14th-century Yorkshire hermit and mystic, wrote the Fire of Love, part autobiography but largely a guide to achieving mystical union with God.
In chapter 12, he acknowledges that in his early life as a hermit he had been rebuked by various women for paying them too much attention: in one case policing her clothing, in others for making sexualised comments about their bodies, and trying to touch them. In one case he “perhaps already had done so”. It all sounds remarkably like admissions of …
Qu’est-ce que l’architecture ? Il existe autant de définitions du mot architecture qu’il y a d’architectes, urbanistes, paysagistes, théoriciens de l’architecture et d’habitants sur terre. Pour certains, dont moi, presque tout ce qui est habité, ce qui abrite, tout espace ou construction est architecture.
D’une ruine archéologique à un bidonville ; d’une caverne habitée à Matera aux gratte-ciel d’une métropole ; d’un pont à une hutte ; en passant par les villes, villages et les paysages agricoles.
Freedom of speech on Australian university campuses has been heavily debated this year. This is an edited version of a speech given at a summit to explore issues of academic freedom and autonomy hosted by the Australian National University. It’s a longer read, at just over 4,000 words. Enjoy!
The student stood, a little nervously, at the office door. Could he discuss his assessment for the semester? He laid out all his recent assignments, sadly none of them very well argued.
“I’ve read your comments very carefully”, he said.
“And while I do not disagree wi…