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Jack Graham

Jack Graham writes and podcasts about culture and politics from a Gothic Marxist-Humanist perspective. He co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper. Support Jack on Patreon.


  1. kevin merchant
    March 17, 2016 @ 11:51 am

    I would really like to see a blog on the indications in Shakespeare’s plays that shows that “he” wrote his plays. I instinctually feel that there is some sort of snobbish reason that some people insist he didn’t write the plays


    • Daibhid C
      March 17, 2016 @ 6:43 pm

      My favourite is that when we were touring Shakespeare’s House, the guide showed us his father’s glove-making workshop, and said there were references to glove-making in the plays that Bacon or the Earl of Oxford would have been entirely clueless about. (the “glover’s paring knife” in Merry Wives, for example.)


  2. Iain Coleman
    March 17, 2016 @ 1:01 pm

    The social model of disability that you use here is, to say the least, not universally accepted by disabled people. Yes, it can be useful to think about how being in a wheelchair is a disability because the built environment primarily caters for people who can walk easily, but turning this insight into an ideology is fraught with problems.

    A person suffering from chronic, disabling pain, for example, has problems not just because society is mainly set up for people without this condition, but also because being in pain all the time really fucking sucks.

    This article by Tom Shakespeare of UEA gives a useful overview of the issues:


  3. Tom Marshall
    March 17, 2016 @ 8:05 pm

    Great piece. I find our history and attitude towards “physiognomy” (present in almost all of the best literature in one way or another) deeply troubling.

    Off-topic I know, but are you aware, Jack and others, of potentially the single most marvellous and moving (yet least-known) bit of Shakespeare’s writing? I refer to the 3 pages he contributed to “Sir Thomas More” in around 1600 – allegedly without even having read much of the rest of the play, so dramatic is the gulf in quality and style between the other playwrights’ work and his own.

    The jewel in the crown is when More approaches a rabble of apprentices (perhaps unfortunately, the working-class figures are rather homogeneous) who are protesting at St Martin’s in the Fields at the number of immigrants – Lombards and others – coming over to England (“bloody foreigners!”). Though this takes place in 1517, the dramatic influx of Protestant Huguenots in Shakespeare’s day (especially after the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of 1572) would have been a key part of the Elizabethan context.

    Anyway, to my point: More’s speech is a beautifully wrought plea for compassion in how we treat refugees, migrants, and outsiders. I recommend both reading the speech itself (those who have not) and watching Ian McKellen’s delivery of it (his preamble beforehand is also rather wonderful and moving). Link below.


  4. Ross
    March 17, 2016 @ 8:32 pm

    Gender is performed. Sexuality is performed. Race is performed. (Not that this makes any of these categories any less ‘real’ to those in them – what we socially construct and live is not ‘unreal’ or immaterial even if, like ‘race’, it lacks a biological basis.)

    And that’s why I’m not a gender essentialist, but I am a gender existentialist.


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