Meet the Staff at Highbrow Magazine: Q&A With Writer Maggie Hennefeld

Maggie Hennefeld


Maggie Hennefeld, a contributing writer at Highbrow Magazine, hails from Brooklyn, N.Y., and currently lives in Providence, R.I., studying in a Modern Culture and Media Ph.D. Program at Brown University. She worked for four years during college as a writer and section editor of 34th Street, the weekly Arts and Entertainment magazine of The Daily Pennsylvanian


Q & A with Maggie:

 Why did you decide to become a writer?

 It is really important to me to be able to think critically about media. We are so overbombarded by media images in our culture—they are everywhere, from iPhones to laptops to Jumbotrons. Sometimes I feel like I have greater insights in two seconds of television viewing than in 10 pages of critical essay writing. For me, writing is the only possible way to hold onto and make sense of everything we’re fed through our culture: to carve out a coherent idea from the glut of our everyday media experiences.


Who are a few of your favorite authors/photographers/artists/journalists, etc?

 Authors: Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens, Frances Marion, Roland Barthes, J.M. Coetzee, Tina Fey

 Artists (all filmmakers): Charlie Chaplin, Dorothy Arzner, Jacques Tati, Mabel Normand, Woody Allen, Sam Fuller, Victor Sjostrom, Luis Bunuel, Alice Guy-Blaché, Yasujiro Ozu, Tod Browning— I could keep going…



What’s the worst job/assignment you’ve ever had?

 Worst job: Scooping ice cream at a Haagen-Dazs in Park Slope. Someone was stealing from the register, so the boss took the losses out of everyone’s paychecks. We were literally earning under $3 per hour in wages. Some of the employees had kids they were supporting. It was a scandal.


Which is your favorite city in the U.S.?

 New Orleans. Mmmmm, gumbo.


What’s your all-time favorite film?

 Singin’ in the Rain. It is just delightful.


Which newspapers/magazines/websites do you read regularly?

 I subscribe to The New Yorker and The Nation in print. Online, I read the New York Times, Talking Points Memo, BBC News, and Rachel Maddow’s blog regularly.

Would you rather become the next editor-in-chief of The New Yorker or replace Jon Stewart as host of the “Daily Show”?

 Daily Show! Jon Stewart’s replacement! Hands down.


What are some of your favorite “highbrow” pastimes?

 Um, intellectualizing about the blurring between high culture and mass culture.


Read some of Maggie’s articles below:

 Super PACS and the Specter of Democracy


The Party Politics of Sally Quinn


The 30th Annual Pordenone Silent Film Festival


The Return of Candidate Obama


Photo of Cafe du Monde in New Orleans: Wikipedia/

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