Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 11:51am

This summer, I spent five weeks studying at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. I was studying Shakespeare. When I signed up for the program in March, I thought to myself: Shakespeare in Oxford. How classic! If you’re going to study Shakespeare anywhere, Oxford must be the place.

When I had this thought, I was no doubt thinking of Oxford’s prestige and historical significance. Dating back to the 11th century, Oxford continues to be firmly understood as one of the world’s leading universities.

Sunday, April 9, 2017 - 12:21pm

Last week, my best friends from home visited Ann Arbor because they have each dropped out of school to pursue music careers and, through a web of connections and mutual friends, they were given studio time in Detroit. So they would spend their days mostly in the city, and then come back here and hang out with me.

Sunday, March 12, 2017 - 11:57am

We live in a dark, confusing and turbulent time.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - 1:38pm

On Friday, Feb. 10, I saw a beautiful performance by the Budapest Festival Orchestra at Hill Auditorium. Before the show began, as I looked around at the sea of gray, elderly audience members surrounding me, I saw Mark Schlissel, president of the University of Michigan, sitting in the level below me.

Sunday, February 5, 2017 - 5:23pm

On Jan. 16, Claudia Rankine spoke at Rackham Auditorium about her book-length poem, “Citizen: An American Lyric.” There was an exchange during the question-and-answer portion that I will expound upon here:

Crowd Member: I want to preface my question by saying I come from an all-white suburb which does nothing for Martin Luther King Day. Where people have Confederate flags hanging out of the back of their pickup trucks.

Claudia Rankine: Oh, so you come from America.

Sunday, January 22, 2017 - 12:37pm

On Monday, Jan. 16, I attended the keynote Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium event at Hill Auditorium. And while I was there to see Amy Goodman and Issa Rae, I was really struck by a version of the U.S. national anthem that was performed by two graduate students.

Monday, January 9, 2017 - 10:11am

I’m going to tell you a personal anecdote and then relate it to an advertisement I saw on campus; these two things, together, will help me make my point. I promise they relate to one another. This does not mean, despite my best wishes to live in the world of “maybe it’s Maybelline,” that my life is an advertisement. If my life were an advertisement, if any of our lives were advertisements, we would be fucked. OK?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - 6:19pm

I am sitting here writing this column, and in another tab of my nifty web browser, the New York Knicks are playing. I am alone, hunkered down in my basement as wet muck falls from the sky outside. Nobody wants to watch sports with me. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - 5:33pm

Walking into The Loving Touch in Ferndale on a cold, dreary Thursday night, I was surprised to see, standing right in front of me, the artist whom I had come to watch. Greta Kline, the lead singer of Frankie Cosmos — one of my favorite bands — was selling her group’s merchandise, standing behind a propped-up table. No security in sight, no intra-crowd shoving or cursing to get Kline’s attention. She stood there, engaging with her fans, and we responded with equal calmness.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - 6:22pm

I am an avid concert-goer. I love to watch the artist and how they respond to the pressures of a live show, where there is potential for any snafu to manifest in a moment of humiliation, where the veil of celebrity and perfection which we, the audience, have created, might be seen through. 

Our collective construction of this veil pertains not only to figures in the entertainment industry, but in the political arena as well. Which beckons the question: How different are the two realms — entertainment and politics — at all?