Ella Dorn

Ella Dorn is a writer and researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

The cult of Camille Paglia

There’s a spectre floating inside the head of a certain type of young woman. It’s the fast-talking, sex-realist American academic Camille Paglia. She was big in the 1990s but my parents haven’t heard of her. ‘Did she write Fear of Flying?’ asks my dad. On sections of the internet she has become a folk hero.

China’s greatest poet was a drunk teenage girl

One of China’s most famous poems was penned by a teenager with a killer hangover. ‘Heavy sleep can’t get rid of the dregs of alcohol,’ she grumbles, sequestered in her darkened room after a night of boozing and bad weather. She has to ask a maid to open her curtains. Here comes one of the

Get ready for the cowboy renaissance

Marvel is at death’s door. What’s next? Some say we can track an incoming recession by the length of women’s skirts, others by the popularity of dance music. Film, as the composite of a million images, comes out as a more sophisticated forecaster – and not just of the economy, but of lifestyles and mentalities.

Every woman needs a nemesis

My nemesis is a student at another university. She has not always been my nemesis. We were friends until I realised that she was not who she purported to be. Her interests had been systematically poached from the people around her. Talking to her always felt like an interrogation from a particularly insecure detective. Real

Is Marvel finished?

Martin Scorsese thinks Marvel films aren’t cinema. ‘The pictures are made to satisfy a specific set of demands, and they are designed as variations on a finite number of themes,’ he wrote in a New York Times article in 2019, written after a wave of backlash from superhero fans and directors alike. Earlier that year,

It’s time to shake up the Emmys (and the Grammys, Oscars and Tonys)

In our celebrity-obsessed culture, the EGOT establishes someone as an all-out legend. Achieving an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and a Tony is the Hollywood-Broadway equivalent of a quadrathlon. Only 19 people have ever won all four awards and the feat is usually accomplished over several decades. Articles run every award season advising punters of the stars

The strange rituals of Taiwan’s bin men

The bin system in Taiwan is strange. There is no single bin day. A citizen retains responsibility for their rubbish until the moment the bin lorry arrives on their road, at which point they must take it upon themselves to put it into the appropriate receptacle or shredder. In my bit of Taipei, where my

The vanity of Just Stop Oil

Just Stop Oil have spent the past year vandalising their way through the National Gallery in the over-orchestrated manner of a Cluedo suspect. Once it was Constable’s Hay Wain in Room 34 with a bit of glue. Then van Gogh’s Sunflowers in Room 43 with a Warholian can of tomato soup. The newest casualty is