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Never mind poor Albus Dumbledore, there may be no character from literature from the past century whose sexuality has been debated and scrutinized more than the Talented Mr. Tom Ripley himself. To some, Patricia Highsmith’s complicated character is the prototypical twink scamster whose story might as well have predicted Andrew Cunanan and the series of murders he committed, as recently explored in Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story. To others Ripley is an anti-hero who has come to represent the twisted psychological effects homophobia and life in the closet can wreck. To others he’s just a bizarre case of “No Homo.” (“Hey, just because a bro sometimes gets so passionately obsessed with another bro to the point of murder doesn’t make him gay.”)
As the urgency for diverse representation continues to rise to the forefront, Wakandacon offers a refuge that oftentimes doesn’t exist. For black folks eager to partake in the bevy of popular Comic-Cons and expos at their disposal, oftentimes it’s a frustrating experience fraught with casual prejudice and alienation.
Cue Wakandacon, which prides itself on being a three-day celebration of Afro-futuristic art, technology, community, cosplay, and self-expression within the African diaspora. And after making its debut last summer, the burgeoning family-friendly convention will be making its triumphant return at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago on July 26-28.
His commitment to demystifying cancer takes multiple expressions. Siddhartha Mukherjee has won acclaim for the sensitive and caring treatment he delivers to his patients, and for his innovative cancer biology research. But what has ultimately made him a household name is his work as a science writer, especially his debut piece chronicling the past, present, and possible future of the disease.
Mukherjee has delighted, informed, and touched a wide audience through his books and essays, for which he will be awarded the 2019 Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science. The prize, honoring scientists as inspirational authors, will be presented Monday, April 22, at a free, public event on The Rockefeller University campus.