Elevate Difference

Reviews by Lizzy Shramko

Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories

Historiography and corporeality have challenged queer theorists, or perhaps more accurately, have been fiercely challenged by queer theorists. From deconstructive viewpoints that question physicality as such, to radical disavowals of any belonging to historical legacies, the transcendental tendencies of queer thought have not come without their casualties. In her most recent addition to the burgeoning queer theory bookshelves, Elizabeth Freeman tackles both historiography and corporeality head on.

Women's History Has Many Points of View

With the question "who gets to write history?" at its center, RE/VISIONIST is an online publication started by a handful of graduate students at Sarah Lawrence College who study women's history. Many historians push to catalog the discipline of history as a pure science, but this group is instead interested in critiquing the supposed objectivity of their discipline, and giving credence to subjective perspectives. Even more, the editors aim to analyze history through the lens of multiple feminisms.

Arm the Spirit: A Woman’s Journey Underground and Back

Upon finishing the initial chapters of the memoir Arm the Spirit, I was caught off guard by how different the experiences of Diana Block were from my own. Written from her memories of participating in revolutionary movements and subsequently shifting to life underground, Block’s stories did not reflect the political landscape that I am familiar with today.

Statistical Panic: Cultural Politics and the Poetics of Emotions

When I finished Statistical Panic I was left mulling over the ideas presented in the book for the next few days. A deeply theoretical exploration of the emotional landscape, Kathleen Woodward frames her book in American culture over the past fifty years, revealing the political, social, and cultural power that emotions have in our lives.

What Kind of Liberation?: Women and the Occupation of Iraq

March 20, 2009 marked the six-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Although the half a dozen years of occupation must seem like an extended nightmare from which Iraqis are anxious to awake, for many young Americans an occupied Iraq is the only Iraq they have ever known. This is precisely why Nadje Al-Ali and Nicola Pratt’s research could not have come at a better time.


Upon reading Ruins, I was struck by the urgency of the content. Set in post-revolutionary Cuba the characters exist in a state of stagnant ideologies and hopes. Throughout the narrative Achy Obejas exposes a world that is startlingly familiar, one in which political values change according to the realities in which they exist.


Epic in its proportions, 2666 is a modern day mystery novel more akin to James Joyce than anything on the shelves by John Grisham. The five sections that comprise the book are set around the world, yet the heart of the narratives remains bound to the fictional Mexican border town of Santa Teresa.

Left Forum 2009 (4/17-4/19/2009)

Left Forum is an annual meeting of liberal intellectuals, academics, activists and students hosted by a New York City college or university. The conference is divided up into panels that take place in classrooms scattered across the campus. As I sat listening and astutely taking notes at the first panel I attended, a sudden feeling of nostalgia washed over me. I couldn’t help but feel transported back to my years as an undergraduate. Choosing panels was like choosing between courses.

God Has a Voice, She Speaks Through Me

You’ve probably noticed that Sierra and Bianca, the sisters who make up CocoRosie, are not the type to play coy when it comes to performing. Not only do their provocatively bright outfits and adventuresome vocals call attention to this fact, but the duo unapologetically evokes the name of the big "man" upstairs in the title of their latest single.