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Maya Phillips ’12 on Scary Masks: NYT

Maya Phillips ’12, the inaugural Times arts critic fellow, wrote a piece that published on the first page of the Sunday New York Times Arts section, as well as teased on the front page of the paper, about scary masks, appropriately, on Halloween. The interactive digital piece also includes beautiful photos of the masks. Phillips describes their roles in several popular Halloween movies, including “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” “Halloween,” “Smiley,” and “Scream.”

We relate faces to our identities, so when we’re masked, the anonymity we’re granted may allow us to untether ourselves from any ethical or social contracts we’d otherwise be beholden to. Masks may recall killers and robbers, or even a night of more modest high jinks, like Halloween. A mask is just material. The person? That’s the real horror.

Phillips also authored the recent article Review: A Poet’s Urgent Questions Fuel ‘November’ and wrote the introduction for the interactive piece Young Black Poets: Ten teenage writers show the future of poetry.

Emerson Today interviewed the Writing, Literature, and Publishing graduate earlier in 2020 about her work and the fellowship: Emerson Alum First New York Times Arts Fellow Critic.

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