Watch out! Caution is the watchword this month, lest you trigger a fandom war, cause an accident, or find yourself on the wrong side of a parole hearing. Best if you play it safe and just hang out at Nerd Nite and sip drinks, eat tamales, listen to the DJ, and converse with librarians. All while we hear talks from a clinical psychologist, a NASA scientist, and a defense attorney. Be there and be square! (And be careful!)
“I Will Go Down with This Ship! What Fandom ‘Shipping Wars’ Can Tell us About Sexuality and Gender in Popular Culture” by Kaela Joseph
Why do you want your favorite television and movie characters to be in relationships together? Why does there have to be so much sexual tension between characters who are identified as straight? Why do fandoms get so angry about “ships” on Tumblr? Wonder no more! Dr. Kaela Joseph is here to help you understand sex in the subtext of popular media, and how “shipping wars” (conflicts about which characters should be paired together) can help us better understand sexuality and gender from a cultural perspective.
“Careful!” by Steve Casner
As doctors work busily to extend our lives, more people each year are figuring out ways to cut them short. Yes, after 100 years of steady improvement, accidental deaths are on the rise. Are we turning into incompetent schlubs who can’t be trusted with scissors? No! We’re filling our world with new hazards that are thwarting our old methods of avoiding them. ‘Keeping an eye on that’ doesn’t work when our attention is being pulled in many directions, and it sure won’t work with nanotechnology. Upgrade to the new version of careful and live a while longer!
“Rhetoric of Rehabilitation: A History of California’s Parole Hearings” by Jared Rudolph
Parole represents the state’s belief in rehabilitation, and that their officials can assess whether someone has been rehabilitated. Throughout California’s history, the use of parole has waxed and waned with the theories guiding our criminal justice system. Today, parole is on the rise: In the last four years, there have been more releases through the parole hearings system than in the forty years prior.
How did we get here? What does our history of parole mean for the current moment in criminal justice? What is the process like? Is rehabilitation possible, and does it matter whether it is?
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