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Pandemic, climate change, or war: our era is ripe with the odor of doomsday. In movies, books, and more, our imaginations run wild with visions of dreadful, abandoned cities and returning to the land in a desperate attempt at survival. In The Next Apocalypse: The Art and Science of Survival (Basic Books, 2021), archaeologist Chris Begley argues tha…
 
For centuries, art censorship has been a top-down phenomenon—kings, popes, and one-party states decided what was considered obscene, blasphemous, or politically deviant in art. Today, censorship can also happen from the bottom-up, thanks to calls to action from organizers and social media campaigns. Artists and artworks are routinely taken to task …
 
The theme of exile in Irish writing often calls to mind Joyce or Beckett, but rarely does it conjure up other writers or literary networks, particularly those of the often-overlooked literary history of the nineteen thirties. Goldstone’s original new study, Irish Writers and the Thirties: Art, Exile and War (Routledge, 2020) takes up the theme of a…
 
An interdisciplinary collection in the new field of environmental humanities, Chinese Environmental Ethics: Religions, Ontologies, and Practices (Rowman and Littlefield, 2021) brings together Chinese environmental ethics, religious ontology, and religious practice to explore how traditional Chinese religio-environmental ethics are actually put into…
 
Founded in 1884 and incorporated by Congress in 1889 for the promotion of historical studies, the American Historical Association provides leadership for the discipline and promotes the critical role of historical thinking in public life. The Association defends academic freedom, develops professional standards, supports innovative scholarship and …
 
It is 2084. Climate change has made life on the Caribbean island of Bajacu a gruelling trial. The sun is so hot that people must sleep in the day and live and work at night. In a world of desperate scarcity, people who reach forty are expendable. Those who still survive in the cities and towns are ruled over by the brutal, fascistic Domins, and the…
 
Bassam Sidiki talks about the right to maim, the titular concept in Jasbir K. Puar’s book, and the related concept of debility. He explains how these concepts have changed how the field of disability studies orients itself. References are made to Anjuli Fatima Raza Kolb’s new book Epidemic Empire, the work of Anita Ghai, Tommy Orange’s novel There …
 
The word neoliberalism is often used more as an insult than a description of a set of beliefs. And people can be rather hazy about the beliefs it refers to – although the mix generally includes free markets, privatisation and globalisation and high levels of inequality. In his book The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order: America and the World in…
 
Elijah is a zealous prophet, attacking idolatry and injustice, championing God. He performs miracles, restoring life and calling down fire. When his earthly life ends, he vanishes in a whirlwind, carried off to heaven in a fiery chariot. Was this a spectacular death, or did Elijah escape death entirely? The latter view prevailed. Though residing in…
 
Stewart Brand has long been famous if you know who he is, but for many people outside the counterculture, early computing, or the environmental movement, he is perhaps best known for his famous mantra "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." Steve Jobs's endorsement of these words as his code to live by is fitting; Brand has played many roles, but one of the m…
 
With the war in Ukraine showing no signs of stopping anytime soon, it was thought a worthwhile idea to have an informed discussion with four expert historians of 19th and 20th century European and Eastern European, diplomatic and military history. As you can readily see from the below biographies, this is a superior and award-winning panel. Please …
 
Today I talked to Sean Guillory. Sean did something pretty remarkable (and hard): He started a successful academic podcast. It's called the SRB Podcast and deals with Russian and Eurasian affairs. In the interview, Sean explains how he did it, how he does it, and his current project, a wonderful narrative podcast called Teddy Goes to the USSR. I hi…
 
Few substances have been researched as extensively, and debated as fiercely, as cannabis. In Marijuana on My Mind: The Science and Mystique of Cannabis (Cambridge University Press, 2022), psychiatrist Timmen Cermak offers a balanced, science-based analysis of how marijuana affects people physiologically, psychologically, and spiritually. Cermak dra…
 
Today I talked to Nomi Claire Lazar about Out of Joint: Power, Crisis, and the Rhetoric of Time (Yale University Press, 2019). Drawing on stories of leaders and thinkers across a range of cultures and political contexts, ancient and modern, Nomi Claire Lazar shows how constructions of time can help stabilize or destabilize political order and spark…
 
The House of Marvellous Books by Fiona Vigo Marshall (Fairlight Books 2022) describes a publishing house called The House of Marvelous Books that houses an old library in the center of London and hovers on the brink of financial disaster. Told in journal entries over the course of a year by Junior editor Mortimer Blakely-Smith, the publishing house…
 
An interview with novelist Elif Batuman. The international bestseller and Pulitzer Prize finalist The Idiot now has a sequel. In Either/Or (Penguin, 2022), Batuman picks up the story as her character, Selin, returns for her sophomore year at Harvard. Either/Or, like its predecessor, is a novel of ideas wrapped in a campus novel, told in a voice so …
 
New York City is a preeminent global city, serving as the headquarters for hundreds of multinational firms and a world-renowned cultural hub for fashion, art, and music. It is among the most multicultural cities in the world and also one of the most segregated cities in the United States. The people that make this global city function—immigrants, p…
 
“Nước Việt Nam: a home, a cradle, a point of departure” (Gandhi, 1). The Vietnamese word nước embraces the duality of land and water with an idea of “home.” Through a nuanced examination of the meaning of homeland and politics of belonging, Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi proposes nước to understand complex positionalities of refugee settlers on lands sutu…
 
In China and the International Human Rights Regime (Cambridge University Press, 2021), Rana Siu Inboden examines the evolution of China’s posture towards the U.N. human rights system since the early 1980s. The book examines in unprecedented details China’s role and impact on the complex negotiations between U.N. members over the International Coven…
 
Most stories of medical progress come with ready-made heroes. John Snow traced the origins of London's 1854 cholera outbreak to a water pump, leading to the birth of epidemiology. Florence Nightingale's contributions to the care of soldiers in the Crimean War revolutionized medical hygiene, transforming hospitals from crucibles of infection to sanc…
 
The Lost Promise: American Universities in the 1960s (University of Chicago Press, 2021) is a magisterial examination of the turmoil that rocked American universities in the 1960s, with a unique focus on the complex roles played by professors as well as students. The 1950s through the early 1970s are widely seen as American academia’s golden age, w…
 
Does Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida´s new administration represent the true beginning of the “Post-Abe” era for Japan? After the one-year transitional administration of Yoshihide Suga, Kishida was able to win a three-year term as head of the LDP, the premiership, and lower house election in fall 2021. Since then Kishida has proven to be reas…
 
Sean Michael Wilson is an award-winning Scottish graphic novel/comic book writer. He has written more than 30 books, published by a variety of US, UK and Japanese publishers and translated into 12 languages. His books are of two broad types: 'western' style graphic novels, including original story ideas and various books on social issues; and a uni…
 
Lives of Weeds: Opportunism, Resistance, Folly (Comstock Publishing, 2021) explores the tangled history of weeds and their relationship to humans. Through eight interwoven stories, John Cardina offers a fresh perspective on how these tenacious plants came about, why they are both inevitable and essential, and how their ecological success is ensured…
 
In Fierce Appetites: Loving, Losing and Living to Excess in my Present and in the Writings of the Past (Sandy Cove, 2022), Dr. Elizabeth Boyle weaves together the past and the present together, creating a beautiful memoir and reflection. To quote the book blurb, “Not only does Elizabeth Boyle write dazzling accounts of ancient stories, familiar and…
 
Today Stephen and I talk with EWP Phd grad and adjunct faculty, Heidi Fraser. She is also the Director of the CIIS Center for Writing and Scholarship, and was a former EWP program manager. We explore aspects of Integral Yoga as taught by Hari Das Chaudhuri and Bahman Shairazi and it’s applications in scholarship and activism. We also discuss approa…
 
Art historian Catherine McCormack challenges how culture teaches us to see and value women, their bodies, and their lives. Venus, maiden, wife, mother, monster—women have been bound so long by these restrictive roles, codified by patriarchal culture, that we scarcely see them. In Women in the Picture: What Culture Does with Female Bodies (Norton, 2…
 
In this episode Kim speaks with Lauren Fournier about autotheory. Lauren has recently published a book on the subject, titled Autotheory as Feminist Practice in Art, Writing, and Criticism (MIT Press, 2021). In the episode she points to Maggie Nelson’s book The Argonauts as the book that made the term famous, but refers us to a longer history of au…
 
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