Culture Wars blogs allow contributors to take a critical and considered look at particular current events and phenomena as and when they happen. Our weekly editorial notes are also archived here.

Our first blog was Geoff Kidder’s seven-part series on the Beijing Olympics.

New: Dolan Cummings on the US elections and Sarah Boyes on the Cultural Olympiad.

Saturday 21 December 2013

Play ball

How sport brings people together and transcends competition itself

All fans of a sport are able to appreciate incredible athletic feats or truly classy displays of sportsmanship. Simply put, sports have a way of bringing people together. In a day in age when settling cultural differences is of utmost importance, turning more towards sports is a reasonably viable way to bring the world closer together.

Wednesday 13 February 2013

CW editorial note - 13 February 2013

Shedding light on art history

London exhibitions: Manet at the RA and Light Show at the Hayward

Monday 28 January 2013

CW editorial note - 28 January 2013

Debating the modern world

Pankaj Mishra, Jonathan Meades, Simon Gough and the importance of debating

Debatable assumptions about state schools… and the purpose of debating

A critical response to a recent debate about whether debating should be encouraged in state schools

To assume that state school students are unable to raise the confidence to compete with their public school counterparts in debating is both pessimistic and false, as the evidence shows.

Wednesday 17 October 2012

CW editorial note - 17 October 2012

The Battle of Ideas

The Battle of Ideas and London theatre

Wednesday 3 October 2012

The academy in an era of crisis and intellectual uncertainty

Reflections on the state of academia in advance of a Battle of Ideas Satellite event in Athens on Friday 5 October 2012

This predicament of the academy, and its alienation from its primary noble mission, has its roots in the political, ideological and economic condition of our times: the shift in capitalism’s paradigm and its recent serious crisis, the influence of a set of ideas that has become known postmodernism, and also the marketisation of education, leading to a managerial ethos alien to the academy’s quest for truth and excellence.

Saturday 22 September 2012

CW editorial note - 22 September 2012

From Julius to Julietta

London theatre, JK Rowling and seaside noir

The literary Sorting Hat

Does JK Rowling have what it takes to transfigure herself into a writer for grown-ups?

For the most part Richmal Crompton’s books for adults have been forgotten, eclipsed by her all-encompassing reputation as a children’s writer. Crompton herself once regretfully acknowledged that William Brown, her supreme literary creation, had become her ‘Frankenstein’s monster’. Does the infantile furore surrounding her book’s publication point to JK Rowling sharing Crompton’s fate?

Monday 13 August 2012

CW editorial note - 13 August 2012

Performance enhancement

London Olympics and Edinburgh Fringe

Waving goodbye to Mr Coubertin’s procession

A final word on the London Olympics

While Britain’s 60 plus medal haul at these games has given an undoubted feel good factor that is in line with trends of success that come with hosting the games, I find it worrying that the government feel it a matter of national importance that this success is sustained. As if it would be some kind of disaster should we win a mere ten gold medals in four years time, or even heaven forbid, the solitary gold that came in Atlanta 1996

Friday 10 August 2012

The London Olympics… as seen from the other side of the world

A Chinese student reflects on what the Olympics mean to the Chinese at a special period in their history

In this Olympics, we saw much more ever than before of individual Chinese athletes. Their tears, sweat, heartbreak. It is not overstating it to say that Chinese athletes do the hardest things to please the whole country, but many in the country are never satisfied. People debated and argued with each other bitterly on the internet. Everyone is questioning and trying to find answers… including me.

Monday 6 August 2012

Oh, what fun!

A weekend of success for Team GB turns the tide of cynicism

I’m not naive enough to think everyone cares about Ennis and co winning six golds in one day, but in both a quantitative and qualitative sense the public feeling of joy has to be proof that, barring a disaster, the whole bid was worth it.

Tuesday 31 July 2012

The marmite of ceremonies bows to the 26-course banquet

From the opening ceremony to the Brits in the gym

The symbolic importance of the lighting of the cauldron means that this is more than just the cherry on a cake of youth indulging – it is the icing, dusting, jam and chocolate too. Why is it so important to glorify a generation that is yet to do anything of significance?

Monday 30 July 2012

Get lost, sentiment!

With the 2012 Olympics now underway, Britain is witnessing what sport is really all about

Olympians have careers unlike any other. Not many people have a job in which everything that happens for four years can live and die with a single performance. To these people the Olympics are almost pathologically important, which ensures a personal commitment towards a single moment in time unlike any other.

Saturday 7 July 2012

CW editorial note - 7 July 2012

Human life and death

Tomb treasures of Han China, the Dixon Clark Court Symphony, LIFT 2012 and Hamlet as literature

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