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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…
 
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 …
 
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…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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 …
 
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…
 
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 …
 
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 …
 
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…
 
Against a groundswell of critiques of global English, Vernacular English: Reading the Anglophone in Postcolonial India (Princeton UP, 2022) argues that literary studies are yet to confront the true political import of the English language in the world today. A comparative study of three centuries of English literature and media in India, this origi…
 
“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…
 
Recent years have seen out-of-control wildfires rage across remote Brazilian rainforests, densely populated California coastlines, and major cities in Australia. What connects these separate events is more than immediate devastation and human loss of life. In Global Burning: Rising Antidemocracy and the Climate Crisis (Stanford UP, 2022), Eve Daria…
 
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…
 
Today I talk with Peter Salmon, author of An Event, Perhaps; an intellectual biography of Jacques Derrida. Our conversation was rich: We tackle Derrida and Buddhism, Derrida and the culture wars, Derrida and practice. Foucault gets a mention, as does Heidegger, as does spiritual enlightenment, mindfulness and spirituality. Our conversation was inco…
 
Listen to this interview of Roslyn Petelin, Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Queensland, Australia. We talk about her book How Writing Works: A Field Guide to Effective Writing (Routledge, 2021) writing well and knowing why. Roslyn Petelin : "My book caters for all kinds of writers: student writers, creative writers, technical writ…
 
Alice Dailey’s How to Do Things with Dead People: History, Technology, and Temporality from Shakespeare to Warhol (Cornell University Press, 2022) is an exploration of Shakespeare’s chronicle plays through the theoretical rubric of modern technology. Dailey is Professor of English at Villanova University and is the author of the monograph The Engli…
 
Sixteenth Street NW in Washington, DC, has been called the Avenue of the Presidents, Executive Avenue, and the Avenue of Churches. From the front door of the White House, this north-south artery runs through the middle of the District and extends just past its border with Maryland. The street is as central to the cityscape as it is to DC's history …
 
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