On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, former vice president Joe Biden visited Reno and immediately set about addressing Trump’s false claims in the wake of the rapidly mushrooming Ukraine scandal. Read my essay in Medium, the fourth post in my Reno Election 2020 politics series.
On April 25, 2019, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke visited the University of Nevada-Reno as part of a campaign tour of Northern Nevada. While Beto once was a media darling, of late he’s struggled to break through the crowded Democratic field. Will his presence in Nevada change that?
Here’s my creative nonfiction take on the proceedings, available on my blog on Medium.
Thanks for reading!
Two years ago, I and five other Princeton journalism students had the opportunity to report on the refugee crisis in Greece. My main project—an investigation into Greek language education for refugees—was never published. Since then, recent NYTimes and WashPost reporting has revealed the situation has only become worse at the Athenian and island camps we visited.
I share my old project now as a historical document and as a call to action. While America seethes in intra-political turmoil, there are bigger things happening all over the world.
(For more reporting on this issue, check out NYTimes’ latest piece on Moria: https://www.nytimes.com/…/europe/greece-lesbos-moria-refuge…)
On September 15, 2018 I had the extraordinary opportunity of giving a talk at the Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece, where I discussed the 1960 plans of architect Constantinos Doxiadis for Eastwick, Philadelphia, featuring some ‘cameo’ appearances from Robert Kennedy and Kevin Bacon. You can watch the talk here, courtesy the Bodossakis Foundation. Many thanks to Simon Richards and Mantha Zarmakoupi of the Delos Network for inviting me and allowing me to speak on this subject, one that has occupied my globetrotting research for the past three years.
The Delos Network is an initiative sponsored by the UK Arts & Humanities Council, with academic support from University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, and the University of Pennsylvania. This was the second of three conferences to discuss the work of global architect and urban planner Constantinos Doxiadis (1913-1975), the first such conferences in over a decade.
Thanks to the Delos Network and the University of Nevada, Reno, for financially supporting my visit.
Last June, I had the opportunity to visit Vergina, a small village in Northern Greece that is home to the tomb of Philip II, Alexander the Great’s father. It was a tremendous experience, full of the power and splendor of ancient Macedonia. In terms of the difficulty in navigating Greece’s public transit options, however, it amounted to a modern odyssey. The perfect exp
To read my travelogue of my visit to Vergina, full of awe, frustration, and some witty observations, check it out on Medium:
More summer travel memoirs forthcoming on Medium. If you’re looking for a hint—next up will be along the lines of “Coming into the country with ‘Coming into the Country’.”
Photo of fields of Vergina by Harrison Blackman.
In honor of the theatrical release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, I’ve posted two relevant blog posts on Medium.
The first is “Other ‘Star Wars’ stories yet to be told,” a humor article detailing speculative treatments of other potential Star Wars spinoff films.
The second is my review of Solo: A Star Wars Story: “With ‘Solo,’ Star Wars rediscovers its offbeat sense of humor.” In this post, I explain how Solo follows a Star Wars tradition of placing tropes from the cultural zeitgeist through the warped mirror of the Star Wars universe.
As always, thanks for reading!
As an assassin-turned-aspiring actor, Bill Hader ‘killed it’ in Season 1 of HBO’s new comedy series, ‘Barry’.
If you watch or are interested in ‘Barry’, check out my review on Medium.
For more of my reviews and blog posts, visit https://medium.com/@harrisonblackman.
On May 10, 2018, I had the pleasure of presenting a poster entitled “Rocks all the way down: The earthshaking history of Princeton mineralogy” at the 3rd annual Princeton Research Day event.
Charting the history of Princeton mineral and earth science from the early American republic to today, “Rocks all the way down” showcases how mineralogy both formed the foundation and ongoing continuity of earth science at Princeton. And given Princeton’s place in several scientific revolutions over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, it is a fundamentally important story that explains how and why we came to better understand the natural world.
The effort is part of a project funded by the Princeton University Department of Geosciences, to be eventually published in article form.
At “PRD,” it was wonderful to connect with so many members of the Princeton community in discussing the University’s rich history in the earth sciences.
You can view the poster below; featured photo is courtesy of Georgette Chalker.
In 1989, The Taos News asked residents to predict what Taos would be like 20 years into the future. Nearly three decades later, I asked them how it all turned out—and what they now hope for in the years to come. What emerges is a startling portrait of a community’s transformation over the years, and a new vision of what may be on the way.
Read my feature story in The Taos News, an all-too-brief sketch of a unique community in the Southwest.
Image courtesy of the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives.
Within certain storytelling genres (such as fiction & screenwriting), there lurks an essential element that is often difficult to pin down. That element is narrative architecture, the structure of the story that — like the steel frame of a building — works to justify a plotline, and most critically, a character’s decision-making within that context. A self-supporting narrative architecture is a positive feedback loop that is capable of resisting an earthquake of scrutiny; a flimsy narrative architecture will collapse like a house of straw in a tornado.
On March 29, 2018, I gave a 90-minute professional development workshop on “Narrative Architecture” to Writing Center fellows at Princeton University. By using examples as varied as Portlandia, Vertigo, and Macbeth, we analyzed the plot and character dynamics intrinsic to narrative architecture, progressing from a single scene to a sequence of scenes. These examples helped us answer the following critical questions:
What events must happen for a character to make a critical decision? How can you arrange these events to make that character’s decision justified?
With a deeper understanding of narrative architecture, we practiced analyzing a student fiction story and brainstorming how a Writing Center tutor might be able to give productive suggestions to a student attempting to write an engaging, efficient, and airtight story.
The main ideas of this workshop are currently being adapted to an essay format for future publication. Many thanks to the Princeton Writing Program for inviting me to give the workshop, and to the enthusiastic fellows who participated.