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Various academic works have been generated from the life and work of American singer Madonna. According to critic Paul Northup, writing in Third Way, "eminent authors and academics have pored over her tirelessly since she burst onto the pop scene in the early Eighties". Many authors have written more than one book about Madonna and these have been published in multiple languages other than English, including German, French, Dutch, Spanish and Italian. According to journalist Annalee Newitz, "the academics in the fields of theology to queer studies have written literally volumes about what Madonna's fame means for gender relations, American culture, and the future". Biographies released about the singer include Madonna: An Intimate Biography (2002) by J. Randy Taraborrelli, Madonna (2001) by Andrew Morton, Madonna: Like an Icon (2007) by Lucy O'Brien, Life with My Sister Madonna (2008) by her brother Christopher Ciccone, and Madonna: Bawdy and Soul (1997) by Karlene Faith. Various academic essays and dissertations, as well as analysis of the singer, have given rise to the term "Madonna studies", denoted by author Robert Miklitsch as a "political-cultural" phenomenon. (Full list...)

Today's featured picture

Lansdowne Heracles

The Lansdowne Heracles is a Roman marble sculpture dating from about 125 CE. It represents the hero Heracles as a beardless youth grasping the skin of the Nemean lion with his club upon his shoulder. The statue was discovered in 1790 on the site of Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli, and is now in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum's Getty Villa in Malibu, California.

Sculpture cr: unknown; photographed by the J. Paul Getty Museum

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