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Oklahoma's Black towns aren't just places of the past - they maintain an enduring allure, and look toward the future, argues Karla Slocum in her new book, Black Towns, Black Futures: The Enduring Allure of a Black Place in the American West (UNC Press, 2019). Dr. Slocum, the Thomas Willis Lambeth Chair of Public Policy and a professor of Anthropolo…
 
Minna Salami's book Sensuous Knowledge: A Black Feminist Approach for Everyone (Amistad/HarperCollins, 2021) is a collection of thought provoking essays that explore questions central to how we see ourselves, our history, and our world. -What does it mean to be oppressed? -What does it mean to be liberated? -Why do women choose to follow authority …
 
Kristian Petersen’s new edited volume Muslims in the Movies: A Global Anthology (Ilex Foundation and Harvard University Press, 2021), introduces the subject of Muslims and film. The volume contains nineteen chapters that engage a range of film industries, including Hollywood and Bollywood, but also movies from the Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, I…
 
How important is Islam to Indonesia’s identity? How different is Salafism from a more mainstream Sunni Islam? Why is it popular with mostly young Indonesian Muslims? And what effect does it have on Indonesian identity and democracy? In this episode, Chris Chaplin joins Petra Desatova to discuss his new book Salafism and the State: Islamic Activism …
 
Often seen as an outlier in science, Gaia has run a long and varied course since its formulation in the 1970s by atmospheric chemist James Lovelock and microbiologist Lynn Margulis. Gaian Systems: Lynn Margulis, Neocybernetics, and the End of the Anthropocene (U Minnesota Press, 2020) is a pioneering exploration of the dynamic and complex evolution…
 
The Derveni Papyrus is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Richard Janko, Gerald F. Else Distinguished University Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Michigan. This wide-ranging conversation covers Prof. Janko’s research on the Derveni Papyrus, Europe’s oldest surviving manuscript from the 4th century …
 
The scientists affiliated with the early Royal Society of London have long been regarded as forerunners of modern empiricism, rejecting the symbolic and moral goals of Renaissance natural history in favor of plainly representing the world as it really was. In Aesthetic Science, Alexander Wragge-Morley challenges this interpretation by arguing that …
 
Tracing Mead’s career as an ethnographer, as the early voice of public anthropology, and as a public figure, this elegantly written biography links the professional and personal sides of her career. Paul Shankman's Margaret Mead (Berghahn Books, 2021) looks at Mead’s early career through the end of World War II, when she produced her most important…
 
Shameless Parenting: Everything You Need to Raise Shame-free Confident Kids & Heal Your Shame Too! (2021) is the 21st-century book parents have been asking for! It highlights the trickiest parts of each age (birth to 18) that tend to trigger shame and guides them on how-to provide emotionally for their children while helping them understand the sha…
 
Few figures stand as prominently in Marxist theory and history as V.I. Lenin. The revolutionary who played a pivotal role in one of the most important events in world history has received reverence, damnation, and everything in between, but much of that response depends on deep misunderstandings of both what he thought and what he did. This misunde…
 
Liang Luo's book The Global White Snake (U Michigan Press, 2021) examines the Chinese White Snake legends and their extensive, multidirectional travels within Asia and across the globe. Such travels across linguistic and cultural boundaries have generated distinctive traditions as the White Snake has been reinvented in the Chinese, Japanese, Korean…
 
In September-October 2021, SSEAC Stories will be hosting a mini-series of podcasts exploring the role that research plays in understanding and advocating for human rights in Southeast Asia. In the second episode, Dr Thushara Dibley talks with Professor Nick Enfield about how the field of linguistics intersects with human rights. They discuss some o…
 
The first all-encompassing book on Israel’s foreign policy and the diplomatic history of the Jewish people, The Star and the Scepter: A Diplomatic History of Israel (Jewish Publication Society, 2020) retraces and explains the interactions of Jews with other nations from the ancient kingdoms of Israel to modernity. Starting with the Hebrew Bible, Em…
 
The horse is an important symbol in India’s culture, as shown by the many stories and works we see of Indian royalty and adventurers on horseback. As noted by Mughal chronicler Abu Fazl, “The horse is a means of attaining personal excellence.” Yet the horse isn’t native to India, with thousands of horses imported from Central Asia and the Middle Ea…
 
Franz Nicolay's Someone Should Pay for Your Pain (Gibson House Press, 2021) is a moving, funny, and sometimes brutal novel about the life of a touring musician. Rudy Pauver is a punk-turned-singer-songwriter now roughly ten years past his peak. He draws a small but steady crowd in bars and venues far from the beaten track, all while enduring the th…
 
"El Chapo. The Untold Story of the World's Most Infamous Drug Lord" (Atria Books, 2021) is a stunning investigation of the life and legend of Mexican kingpin Joaquín Archivaldo “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, building on Noah Hurowitz’s revelatory coverage for Rolling Stone of El Chapo’s federal drug-trafficking trial. This is the true story of how El Cha…
 
Rewriting Buddhism: Pali Literature and Monastic Reform in Sri Lanka, 1157–1270 (UCL Press, 2020) is the first intellectual history of premodern Sri Lanka’s most culturally productive period. This era of reform (1157–1270) shaped the nature of Theravada Buddhism both in Sri Lanka and also Southeast Asia and even today continues to define monastic i…
 
How can ideas from sociology help us understand history and economics? In Trade and Nation: How Companies and Politics Reshaped Economic Thought (Columbia UP, 2021), Emily Erikson, Associate Professor of Sociology at Yale and Academic Director of the Fox International Fellowship, explores the major shift, which occurred during the seventeenth centu…
 
What is grand strategy? What does it aim to achieve? And what differentiates it from normal strategic thought--what, in other words, makes it "grand"? In answering these questions, most scholars have focused on diplomacy and warfare, so much so that "grand strategy" has become almost an equivalent of "military history." The traditional attention pa…
 
After India achieved independence from the British in 1947, there remained five scattered territories governed by the French imperial state. It was not until 1962 that France fully relinquished control. Once decolonization took hold across the subcontinent, Western-led ashrams and utopian communities remained in and around the former French territo…
 
Gene Slater's book Free to Discriminate: How Realtors Conspired to Segregate Housing and Divide America (Heyday Books, 2021) uncovers realtors' definitive role in segregating America and shaping modern conservative thought. Gene Slater follows this story from inside the realtor profession, drawing on many industry documents that have remained unexa…
 
What's it like to cover Donald Trump? In this episode, veteran American journalist Allen Salkin explains. For over three decades, Salkin has written about many things for many high-profile publications, including The New York Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic and others. He is also the author of a number of well-received…
 
In the first of two parts, we meet Ben Nelson, the charismatic founder of the Minerva Project and Minerva University. Ben shares the fascinating story of how he was able to convince one of the leading venture capital firms in Silicon Valley to back him as a young entrepreneur with no background in education to take on the Ivy League and create the …
 
Shlomit Naim Naor’s poetry is a unique voice in Israel. She is inviting the readers to delve deeper and engage in a dialogue with the Jewish religion and texts which are relevant to the most banal, everyday life. In her poetry, Naim Naor searches for places to which the Divine is NOT welcome, like abortions or the Oncology Department. She openly sp…
 
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