Dr. Orion Ussner Kidder

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May 242015

Portrait smallThis is the home page for Dr. Orion Ussner Kidder, professor of English. He teaches in Vancouver, BC, mostly on composition and drama. He publishes on comic books and related areas: science fiction and fantasy, genre theory, visual narrative theory, and feminism/gender.

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Distraction, “Indian” Impersonating, Elizabeth Warren, and a Small Confession

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Jul 082016

I recently got into a Twitter discussion about Donald Trump calling Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas,” and it turned into a complicated problem. I want to say upfront, though, that it’s obviously a cynical ploy to discredit her. That’s the most important part. The rest, however, is intriguing and important.

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Rape, Fantasy: Lev Grossman’s The Magician King

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Apr 282016

Magician KingIf you have not read The Magician King and you don’t want the ending to be spoiled, then go no further!

So, there’s a trend in fantasy, SF, and comics, one that is much much bigger than Grossman or his Magicians books, which I have otherwise enjoyed quite a lot. The trend, though, is disturbing, and we’re all familiar with it: rape as plot device. The reviews I had read about the second book in his series tended to point out two things: the plot structure and the character of Julia, and the relationship of the two contributes to how problematic the rape in this book really is.

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Categorical Rejection: Feminism and Fury Road

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May 262015

Anita Sarkesian is my favourite public intellectual. She is doing the thing that all of us critics of popular culture ought to be doing: she’s articulating sophisticated arguments about the media we consume and making them publicly accessible. And she does it despite the horrifying and unceasing barrage of threats she receives. I hungrily consume every one of her videos. I support her cause both implicitly and explicitly. She is who I want to be when I grow up (and yes, she’s younger than me). I happen to disagree with her about Mad Max: Fury Road, but it’s a fascinating disagreement, and one I’d like to share.

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The Myth of Innovation

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Oct 162014

I’m listening to a podcast with Chris “@nerdist” Hardwick and Ron “Hellboy” Perlman, and they’re having a rambling, jokey conversation, so what I’m about to write is a little unfair because no rambling, jokey conversation could ever stand up to critical rigour (I know mine couldn’t!), but something Hardwick said got me thinking, and credit were credit is due.

Nerdist 584

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