Author Archives: Donovan Schaefer

The War on Christmas, Affect, and the Closet of Disbelief: Postsecular Atheisms, Part 1

by Donovan Schaefer Atheist interfaith activist and author of the memoir Faitheist Chris Stedman appeared two weeks ago on Fox News for an interview with right-wing commentator Bill O’Reilly.  O’Reilly’s topic was the “War on Christmas,” an annual theme of … Continue reading

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An Institution Is Not a Text: Pope Francis, Affect, and Power

                  by Donovan Schaefer “…it is possible that the very productive critical habits embodied in what Paul Ricoeur memorably called the ‘hermeneutics of suspicion’—widespread critical habits indeed, perhaps by now nearly synonymous … Continue reading

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Our Peculiar Institution: American Protestantism, Shame, and McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave (film review essay)

by Donovan Schaefer Warning: Spoilers but you kind of already know what happens Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave is mandatory viewing for Americans, unblinkingly revisiting a crucial and painful chapter in US history and helping to flesh out the … Continue reading

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I Know Exactly What That Is: White Atheism and Islamophobia, Part 3

by Donovan Schaefer American atheist Sam Harris recently responded to the swirl of celebrity surrounding Pakistani girls’s education advocate and assassination survivor Malala Yousafzai by claiming her as one of his own.  Harris, who holds the most stridently anti-Muslim position … Continue reading

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Dad Wanted a Boy: Feminism, Transcendence, and Cuarón’s Gravity (film review essay)

by Donovan Schaefer Warning: Spoilertown, USA, directly ahead. No American film has been more desperately in need of a feminist retelling than Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 classic 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Now, with Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity (2013), we have exactly that, … Continue reading

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Theses on Guns, Apocalypticism, and American Religion

by Donovan Schaefer “When freedom shivers in the cold shadow of true peril, it’s always the patriots who first hear the call. When loss of liberty is looming–as it is now– The siren sounds first, in the hearts of freedom’s … Continue reading

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Crisis Masculinity: A Feminist Reading of Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines (Film Review Essay)

by Donovan Schaefer Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines is a powerfully composed narrative triplet that follows crisis moments of two men, Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling) and Avery Cross (Brad Cooper) and their sons, A.J. (Emory Cohen) and Jason (Dane … Continue reading

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