Ria Banerjee is an Associate Professor of English at Guttman Community College, CUNY. Her scholarly interests are in British and European modernism and post-World War II film. She has written on T. S. Eliot’s plays, Virginia Woolf’s early fiction, and D. H. Lawrence’s short stories for Modernism/modernity Print Plus, the South Atlantic Review, and elsewhere. She is currently at work on a monograph on spatiality in interwar British fiction. She teaches undergraduate courses in developmental writing and literature, and graduate film courses at The Graduate Center, CUNY.
“How are we not all talking about this?” a student unmuted to ask in an environmental change-themed writing course, their voice rising to add, “It’s so relevant to what’s going on.” We had just finished reviewing a 2009 profile of climate scientist James Hansen written by Elizabeth Kolbert via then-unfamiliar webinar
During conversations about #MeToo, I find myself thinking often about time, perhaps most directly because the call of #MeToo was answered in 2018 by #TimesUp. This subsequent movement had its own share of problems, from questions about individual actors to pertinent criticism of Hollywood’s celebrity machine. But from where I stand at the very fringes of pop culture, it’s heartening to watch the cyclical, “That’s just how power works” morph into a full stop: “No more.” Not all the evidence offered up to public scrutiny has received full credence, unfortunately; but every conversation about power dynamics and gender violence shows that we are at a rare moment when discussions about how rhetoric constitutes truth-as-bias have spilled over from their usually restricted purview in humanities classrooms. Suddenly, newspaper Op-Eds are debating philosophical abstractions about the malleability of reality—believing her and believing him as if we’re all within a literary house of mirrors.
Queer Bloomsbury is a book in two parts, and as such, evokes two different responses. “Part One: Ground-Breaking Essays” consists of lightly-edited reprints of essays by Carolyn Heilbrun, Christopher Reed, George Piggford, Bill Maurer, and Brenda Helt ordered chronologically from Heilbrun’s 1968 “The Bloomsbury Group” to Helt’s 2010 “Passionate Debates on ‘Odious Subjects.’”