Jeffrey J. Williams ~ Empire Of Letters

typeTom Lutz and the ‘Los Angeles Review of Books’ set out to create a new model of literary review.

When does buzz solidify into a sound?

I first heard it from my graduate students. They keep me current, and it seemed that every other day they’d forward me a piece from the Los Angeles Review of Books, or LARB, which popped up on Tumblr in 2011 and on its own site in April 2012. Several of my students work on contemporary fiction, and LARB covers it fairly extensively, reviewing genres like Young Adult (YA) and noir as well as more literary fiction, and sometimes carrying multiple reviews of notable books, for instance of Jonathan Franzen’s novel Freedom.

I started seeing the names of scholars I knew in the journal — Steven Brint on higher education, Wai Chee Dimock on film, Mark McGurl on creative writing. There were intriguing interviews with critics, artists, and writers, including Jonathan Lethem, and forums on timely issues, like “MOOCs and the Future of the Humanities” and the boycott of Israeli universities.

People have been complaining about the lack of reviewing since the late 1990s, when shrinking newspapers started disbanding book-review sections, but the web tends toward glut more than scarcity, so at first I wondered if LARB was just another blog that would fade into the ether.

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Ndanki Kahiurika & Yochanaan Coetzee ~ Namibia: Informal Settlements Sink In Poor Sanitation

NiekerkBrokenIt is common to see small children defecating next to dump sites among shacks early mornings in any of the densely populated settlements in Zambezi region.
This is so because most often the makeshift toilets are overflowing while the bush is not within walking distance.
This is what people in other informal settlements across the country such as Goreangab Dam, Okahandja Park and Havana in Windhoek are experiencing.

Hendrina Immanuel (23) said it is unfortunate for a girl to be forced to use makeshift toilets or be forced to use the bushes.
Another 25-year-old, Lydia Hausiku who lives with a family of eight said: “Because the bush is so far away, we often use chamber pots and buckets. There is no other way. Once the buckets and the pots are full, we walk to the bushes to dump the waste.”
Others like Martin Samuel use ‘flying toilets’ – plastic bags used for open defecation and then flung onto dump sites and riverbeds.

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Karin Kloosterboer ~ Kind op Bonaire – kinderrechten in Caribisch Nederland

bonaireSinds 10 oktober 2010 functioneert Bonaire, net als St. Eustatius en Saba, als een bijzondere gemeente van Nederland. Bonaire ligt op circa 80 kilometer afstand van Venezuela en is ongeveer 38 kilometer lang en tussen de 5 en 11 kilometer breed. Volgens schattingen van het Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS) van de Nederlandse Antillen had Bonaire 13.389 inwoners in 2010, waarvan 27,8% jonger was dan 20 jaar. De meeste mensen wonen in de hoofdplaats Kralendijk.

Dit onderzoek brengt voor het eerst alle aspecten van het leven van kinderen in Caribisch Nederland in beeld. Kind op Bonaire schetst de samenhang tussen de verschillende factoren: de gezinssituatie, het onderwijs, gezondheid en gezondheidszorg, veiligheid, vrijetijdsbesteding, participatie, de leefomgeving en de financiële situatie.

Download hier het rapport (PDF):

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