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Carbon Copy

In equal balance justly weighed

Slouching toward Democracy

Where have all the wise men gone?

By Populist Demand

When urban and rural voters went separate ways

Spencer Morrison

Spencer Morrison is a professor of American literature at the University of Tel Aviv.

Articles by
Spencer Morrison

Leaps of Faith

Stories by Harold Macy June 2023
At the bar of the Princeton Hotel, in northern British Columbia, sits a middle-aged woman who has just abandoned her oafish, self-centred husband and skipped town. Now she drinks solo. Dave, “a short fireplug of a man,” approaches and strikes up a conversation, prompting her to ask him his line of work. Dave, unaware of the woman’s recent…

Horns of Our Dilemma

These are the ways the world ends November 2021
Many times in the months since March 2020, the politicians, pundits, and boosters have assured us that the pandemic presents us, if we squint hard enough, with a golden opportunity. The mounting misery offers the chance to build back better — whatever that means. Usually, the “building back better” crowd flesh out their slogan by itemizing rousingly ambitious projects that have long filled the dreams of policy wonks: investments in…

Home Sweet Unhomely

The latest from André Alexis March 2021
At first, Geoffrey Morehouse, a federal clerk in the 1980s, resists the occult contagion that has overtaken his cubicle-hived floor at Transport Canada. His fellow bureaucrats have been voraciously reading a mysterious red book, with troubling results. They have begun speaking in fragments, omitting the words “I,” “eye,” and “aye,” and sticking out their tongues. The pressure to conform…

The Ancient Port

And there was a mighty tempest May 2020
It being Wednesday morning, I’m set to lecture on Don DeLillo. And I’m in a child’s playroom. This room, you see, is the quietest in the small apartment that my partner, Anna, and I recently rented from another professor, who’s on sabbatical. My plan is to explore with my students some ethical quandaries in recent American…

Double or Nothing

Two novels go all in on gambling September 2019
Of all the phrases to gain traction in our language in recent times, is any uglier than “human capital”? Even as the term suggests an imperative to nurture and educate (capital, after all, must be developed), it financializes the human. Education appears through its frame as an investment opportunity, personal life choices as a series of risk…

The City That Could Have Been

Vancouver didn’t just happen May 2019
When I run past Coal Harbour or drive along its Dunsmuir Viaduct, I experience the results of what’s arguably the most consequential policy choice in Vancouver’s history. In February 1973, the city’s eleven-member council voted overwhelmingly against constructing a freeway through the downtown core. The decision arose from powerful forces beyond municipal institutions: namely, local opposition that impelled the Pierre Trudeau government to withdraw federal support for the…