Features

Beyond the shelves

Sandwiched between the crowded, cubicled floors of the McLennan library complex lies a trove of meticulously-catalogued treasures. McGill’s Rare and Special Collections, on McLennan’s oft-bypassed fourth floor, is positively teeming with peculiar artifacts; for instance, McGill boasts the largest collection of books about Abraham Lincoln in all of Canada, not to mention the 2,714 books and journals from the 19th to 20th century about puppet theatre, belonging to McGill’s much revered Rosalynde Stearn Puppet Collection.

Looking back, moving forward

“The McGill Students’ Council affirms the principle that the student, like any other citizen, has the right to information and counselling about birth control, as well as to any contraceptive device he may require,” a 1967 McGill Students’ Council decision reads. With this decision, the McGill Students’ Council, the precursor […]

Don’t shoot the bike messenger

The streets of Montreal are notoriously difficult to navigate. What might begin as a simple walk down a few blocks can spiral into an Odyssey through a dystopic landscape of potholes, puddles, and decades-old construction sites. One-way streets abruptly end at public parks, only to reappear ten blocks north. The […]

Beyond sobs and scares

Days prior to returning to Montreal this August, I visited my father’s grave for the first time in nearly a decade, 17 years after he died. As a child in visits past, I had trudged along with my mother and sister, longing to return to the car. This time, though, […]

We’ll sleep when we’re dead

Puffy-eyed and greasy-haired, a McGill student emerges into the crisp morning air after a night spent holed up in the library. The half-semester’s worth of lectures they just watched were tedious, but, with the help of 1.5X accelerated audio-visual speed, they were preferable to a biweekly trek to Leacock 132. […]

Why we stay silent

I was nine when I first became a victim of sexual violence. I was assaulted again when I was 12, then again when I was 13, and then I stopped counting—so many different people, and so many different faces to remember. Flashbacks are unpredictable. The first snow of the season […]

Through a glass, darkly

I was only 15 years old. Kicking off my Converse, my heart raced. The long-anticipated package was finally in my hands. The Arctic Monkeys blaring in my headphones tried to restrain the voices in my head. I analyzed the stranger in the mirror one last time. It was for the best. No it wasn’t. Yes it was. No it wasn’t. Tears fell on top of my hands as I pulled the bottle of skin-whitening cream from the box. I wanted to be white.

(Cult)ivating Understanding

Along with serial killers and Cold War conspiracy theories, few topics reliably elicit as much morbid fascination as cults. There’s a near compulsive readability to the Wikipedia entries for Jonestown, the Manson Family, and the Branch Davidians that, as far as midterm procrastination is concerned, can’t be substituted for more wholesome online histories. While their stories each combine a measure of conspiracy and murder, part of the allure of researching cults is the processes of indoctrination their members undergo. The actions of cult members make headlines, but the motivations behind joining such groups remain obscure.