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Claire Francis
Hi all! Talk to me about fairy tales and mythology, musicals, mental health, feminism, Harry Potter, old Disney Channel media, Gothic fiction, Italy, television shows (past and/or present), Anne Sexton, the publishing industry, yoga, or how to not overshare to strangers.

Francis: On unlearning

I’m a solitary creature, by both nature and circumstance. I stumbled onto The Daily’s staff my freshman year much in the way young, untested Stanford students do anything — desperate for achievement, belonging, and recognition all at once, joining something, anything, for the sake of joining.

Shelf-Indulgence: What professors are reading (Part 3)

The Stanford Daily sat down with two members of Stanford staff — Taneum Bambrick and Dr. Usha Iyer — to debate the value of literature in the modern world and the human experience at large. Taneum Bambrick is a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry and is the author of both the poetry collection “VANTAGE” and…

Romanticism and its ripples

With two poetry collections and two novels spanning the Romantic era (c. 1800-1850), Reads writers Claire Francis and Shana Hadi respectively recommend these works that contemplate the intensity of emotion and the sublime beauty of nature within aesthetic experience, with references to their modern-day significance. “Poems” by Christina Rossetti An oldie but a goodie: 19th-century…

Justice for Steve Rogers, Part 2

This article is continued from Part 1, published yesterday. Steve Rogers is a person characterized by loss. He is a solitary archetype, almost messianic in his charisma, and, as a result, always alone, as sometimes only he can see what others cannot. Evans — when given the good writing with which to do so —…

Justice for Steve Rogers, Part 1

This article contains spoilers for “Avengers: Endgame.” How dare you call yourself a storyteller if you can’t even deign to care about the story you’re telling.  This bout of ire towards shitty writing stems from my building frustration with a lot of modern media — television and popular film particularly — and its recent tendency to sacrifice character for…

Is this senioritis or just my depression?

Clinical depression sucks, my dudes. That said, it’s also #relatable disturbingly similar to the symptoms of academic burnout and senior-year cynicism, or often confused for general millennial malaise, so. What’s what? Am I exhausted because of my 9 a.m. lecture, or is this just chronic fatigue? Am I in the throes of existential dread just…

Woolf, witches and wives: Coming of age through archetype

“We know what we are but know not what we may be.” Ophelia says this in Act 4 Scene 5 of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” which is arguably the most recognized Shakespeare play in all of literary history (with perhaps “Romeo and Juliet” for competition). She says this in the midst of her bout of madness,…

Reading between the lines for love

In celebration of this season of love, Reads writers share some of their favorite works that delve into the human heart and explore the depths of friendship, romance and more.   Audrey Mitchell, Contributing Writer “The Time Traveller’s Wife”  (Audrey Niffenegger) “Had we but world enough, and time…” The first time Clare and Henry meet…

The twilight years of Stephenie Meyer’s ‘Twilight’

It is my lot in life to be incapable of reading the word “irrevocable” without being reminded of this quote: “About three things I was absolutely positive: First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him — and I didn’t know how potent that part may be — that thirsted for my…

A holiday trio of reads

In time for the holidays, Reads beat writers Katherine Silk, Claire Francis and Shana Hadi discuss several recommendations for winter break. Katherine Silk, Contributing Writer “Airborn” by Kenneth Oppel: If you’re looking for a fun, adventurous story to enrapture you over winter break, I’d joyfully recommend “Airborn.” The novel is set in an alternate past,…

Shelf-indulgence: What professors are reading (Part 2)

The Stanford Daily sat down with three members of Stanford staff — Dr. Emily Rabiner, Dr. Nancy Kollmann and Dr. Michaela Bronstein — to discuss their reading inclinations and how literature has shaped their lives. Rabiner is a lecturer in the French and Italian departments. Kollmann is a William H. Bonsall Professor of History, specializing…

The stardust surrounding Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is one of the most innovative writers of our time, responsible for works such as “Norse Mythology,” “Coraline,” and “Stardust.” With at least five Hugo Awards, two Nebula Awards, a Newbery Medal, and a Carnegie Medal to his name, Gaiman barely needs introduction. Shana: We had the glorious opportunity of attending Neil Gaiman’s…

27 thoughts I’ve had while tabling in White Plaza

Welp, with this weird hour and a half between classes, it’s either tabling, answering emails or napping for just long enough to be groggy and disoriented upon waking up. Would they hate me if I skipped my tabling shift? Yes. Yes, they would. Which one of these godforsaken tables is ours? I really should start…

Culture and the occult: Eerie reads for Halloweek

Witches, wizards and magical beasts — the trappings of both a Harry Potter-themed YouTube musical and, often, the Freudian parade we have dubbed “Halloween.” Since October comes second only to December in crafting the mood of a full month around a single holiday — on the last day, no less! — it’s worth indulging in…

Ten mugs, four years and a lot of reflection

There’s something satisfying about the shape of a mug – how it curves into flesh of your palms, how it’s the same basic design in country after country. Like most college students, I own many, many mugs, and like more college students than would care to admit it, I’m emotionally invested in all of them.…

The actual tragedy of missing movies while abroad

Warning: This article contains mild spoilers for “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Incredibles 2,” “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Eighth Grade.” Some context: I studied abroad in Florence during spring quarter of 2018, and then I stayed in Italy for a summer internship until August. As a result, I attended approximately two…

Popcorn poetry: Five poetry titles to read over spring break

Poetry has, for better or worse, been far outstripped by the popularity of the novel as the fashionable literary form (although this too is in jeopardy in the face of the golden age of television). Even the non-literature students with whom I’ve had this conversation profess that poetry is too esoteric, too dense and too…

On being basic

“Basic,” for the last five to 10 years, has become an increasingly incisive insult against young women–particularly white women–who like things that other young women like, and as such are worthy of widespread societal disdain.

‘… Let the Sorting now begin’

As a member of the Harry Potter Generation – Bloomsbury published “Sorcerer’s Stone” the year I was born – I tend to mesh pieces of my identity with my Hogwarts House. I’m a Ravenclaw, so I’m original, open-minded and intellectual (at least, that’s what I write on my resume). JK Rowling introduces an uncomplicated dichotomy…

Shelf-indulgence: What professors are reading

The Stanford Daily sat down with three members of Stanford staff — Sarah Ogilvie, Raymond Kania and Elaine Treharne — to discuss their current and future reading preferences. Ogilvie is a social science research fellow in the department of linguistics and the director of the digital humanities minor. Kania is a former postdoctoral teaching fellow and…

Disney and the disservice of college acceptances

I don’t think there’s any ’90s kid who would argue that early-2000s media was ever notable for its realism, or even that it was ever intended to be particularly realistic (see: a 14-year-old-turned-pop-star, or magic family hijinks). But at the same time, television was for many preteens a source of social education. As such, when…

The ugly and the glorified: Fitzgerald in retrospect

When I was a senior in high school, I decided to consume as much “classic” literature as I could to catch up on the Western canon. (The pretension inherent in this endeavor was, of course, off the charts, but we’ll be lenient with my past self.) Among those so-called classics was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The…

Someone explain Stanford fashion to me, please

Self-obsessed school that we are, Stanford loves to talk about itself. (I, of course, can’t complain, since talking about Stanford is all I do for the Grind, but at least I’m self-aware.) I’ve assembled compendiums of Stanford slang for a final assignment, I’ve read (and written) articles about the existential struggle of studying at Stanford,…

The pocket handbook for dorm-neighbor behavior

The walls are more like paper than plaster. The hallways reek of peculiar, cloying odors. The bathrooms are suspiciously messy. On the whole, communal living is a mixed bag of kinship and awkwardness, convenience and compromise, particularly among college students. At its peak, dorm living can be a labor of love; courtesy and empathy for…
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