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In this episode we meet long time East-West Psychology faculty member, Kimmy Johnson, who describes her transformative journey starting as a student of Consciousness Studies and Traditional Knowledge at CIIS, to becoming an elder in the East-West Psychology community, teaching ancestral consciousness and healing, dreams as indigenous knowledge, and…
 
The ongoing debate surrounding who gets to determine the subjects of public commemoration, particularly in the form of statues, has become more heated over the past few years. In his timely book, A History of Love and Hate in 21 Statues (Aurum Press, 2021), Peter Hughes examines the long history of statues being used to articulate the values of rul…
 
The Earth Dies Streaming: Film Writing, 2002-2018 (N+1 Books, 2018) collects the best of A. S. Hamrah’s film writing for n+1, The Baffler, Bookforum, Harper’s, and other publications. Acerbic, insightful, hilarious, and damning, Hamrah’s aphoristic capsule reviews and lucid career retrospectives of filmmakers and critics have taken up the mantle of…
 
Manuscripts teem with life. They are not only the stuff of history and literature, but they offer some of the only tangible evidence we have of entire lives, long receded. Hidden Hands: The Lives of Manuscripts and Their Makers (Riverrun, 2021) tells the stories of the artisans, artists, scribes and readers, patrons and collectors who made and kept…
 
Recording History: Jews, Muslims, and Music Across Twentieth-Century North Africa (Stanford UP, 2022) offers a new history of twentieth-century North Africa, one that gives voice to the musicians who defined an era and the vibrant recording industry that carried their popular sounds from the colonial period through decolonization. If twentieth-cent…
 
What is the relationship between the military and the monarchy in Thailand? How has that relationship changed since King Vajiralongkorn (Rama X) assumed the throne in 2016? Why have recent military coups in Thailand been staged partly in order to defend the throne? And how far can earlier interpretations of Thai politics be adapted to explain the g…
 
Between 1848 and 1899, miners extracted more gold from the earth than in the previous 3,000 years of human history combined. Each gold rush in this period, from the Sierra Nevada to the highlands of Australia to the Transvaal, was a global event, drawing argonauts and others seeking new lives from all corners of the world, including from China. In …
 
A powerfully original thinker, Rav Kook combined strict traditionalism and an embrace of modernity, Orthodoxy and tolerance, piety and audacity, scholasticism and ecstasy, and passionate nationalism with profound universalism. Though little known in the English-speaking world, his life and teachings are essential to understanding current Israeli po…
 
In Ugly Freedoms (Duke UP, 2022), Elisabeth R. Anker reckons with the complex legacy of freedom offered by liberal American democracy, outlining how the emphasis of individual liberty has always been entangled with white supremacy, settler colonialism, climate destruction, economic exploitation, and patriarchy. These "ugly freedoms" legitimate the …
 
Commodities of Care: The Business of HIV Testing in China (U Minnesota Press, 2021) examines the unanticipated effects of global health interventions, ideas, and practices as they unfold in communities of men who have sex with men (MSM) in China. Targeted for the scaling-up of HIV testing, Elsa L. Fan examines how the impact of this initiative has …
 
Ella Hawkins talks about the biscuits she makes, inspired by her research on Elizabethan dress, and on everything from William Morris wallpapers to TV shows like Outlander and Game of Thrones. She also talks about her upcoming monograph, titled Shakespeare in Elizabethan Costume: ‘Period Dress’ in Twenty-First-Century Performance (forthcomin from B…
 
We live in cities whose borders have always been subject to expansion. What does such transformation of rural spaces mean for cities and vice-versa? Properties of Rent: Community, Capital and Politics in Globalising Delhi (Cambridge UP, 2022) looks at the spatial transformation of villages brought into Delhi's urban fray in the 1950s. As these vill…
 
Vanessa Walker's Principles in Power: Latin America and the Politics of U. S. Human Rights Diplomacy (Cornell University Press, 2020) explores the relationship between policy makers and nongovernment advocates in Latin America and the United States government in order to explain the rise of anti-interventionist human rights policies uniquely critic…
 
Daniel Silva’s Embodying Modernity: Global Fitness Culture and Building the Brazilian Body (U Pittsburgh Press, 2022) examines the current boom of fitness culture in Brazil in the context of the white patriarchal notions of race, gender, and sexuality through which fitness practice, commodities, and cultural products traffic. The book traces the im…
 
Imagine knowing years in advance whether you are likely to get cancer or having a personalized understanding of your individual genes, organs, and cells. Imagine being able to monitor your body's well-being, or have a diet tailored to your microbiome. The Secret Body reveals how these and other stunning breakthroughs and technologies are transformi…
 
Today I chatted with Charvann Bailey, assistant professor of biology at Grinnell College. We discussed her route to a Ph.D. in biology, the struggles of post-docing and bench science, and her decision to teach at a liberal arts college. And we talked about her work trying to find new therapies to treat lung cancer. Marshall Poe is the founder and e…
 
The COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit and the US-China trade dispute have heightened interest in the geopolitics and security of modern ports. Ports are where contemporary societal dilemmas converge: the (de)regulation of international flows; the (in)visible impact of globalization; the perennial tension between trade and security; and the thin line betwee…
 
Labour has taken an about-turn. From Adam Smith’s proposal for specialisation which saw the factory line reorganised so that each worker needed to understand only a small aspect of the production process, many industries now rely on access to specialised skills and resources that are commanded at-hoc in discrete, time- and output-bound chunks. This…
 
With I Am Jugoslovenka!: Feminist Performance Politics During and After Yugoslav Socialism (Manchester UP, 2022), Jasmina Tumbas examines forms of feminist political and artistic engagement in Yugoslavia and its successor nations. By bringing together a wide range of materials—from performance and conceptual art, video works, film and pop music, le…
 
A critical look at how the US military is weaponizing technology and data for new kinds of warfare—and why we must resist. War Virtually: The Quest to Automate Conflict, Militarize Data, and Predict the Future (University of California Press, 2022) is the story of how scientists, programmers, and engineers are racing to develop data-driven technolo…
 
In 1940, Hans Augusto Rey and Margret Rey built two bikes, packed what they could, and fled wartime Paris. Among the possessions they escaped with was a manuscript that would later become one of the most celebrated books in children’s literature—Curious George. Since his debut in 1941, the mischievous icon has only grown in popularity. After being …
 
The Unfinished History of the Iran-Iraq War: Faith, Firepower, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (Cambridge UP, 2021) represents a fascinating and carefully documented intellectual history of how Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps document, remember, and contest the Iran-Iraq War and of its ramifications for the religious, cultural, and politi…
 
Why should we view the anti-China protests that began in Hong Kong in 2019 through a comparative lens? How do earlier episodes in Hong Kong’s history help us make sense of what has happened? How far can we make useful parallels with other protest movements in places like Thailand and Myanmar? And is a distinct field of ‘Hong Kong studies’ now begin…
 
In Institutional Sexual Abuse in the #metoo Era (Southern Illinois UP, 2021), editors Jason D. Spraitz and Kendra N. Bowen bring together the work of contributors in the fields of criminal justice and criminology, sociology, journalism, and communications. These chapters show #MeToo is not only a support network of victims’ voices and testimonies b…
 
In Bedlam in the New World: A Mexican Madhouse in the Age of Enlightenment (UNC Press, 2022), Cristina Ramos tells us the story of Mexico city’s oldest public institution for the insane, the Hospital de San Hipólito. This institution, founded in 1567, was the first mental hospital in the New World. Remarkable as this fact may be, this book is not s…
 
According to many standard philosophical accounts, beliefs are a kind of stance one takes toward a proposition. To believe that Nashville is in Tennessee is to adopt a certain attitude towards the proposition ‘Nashville is in Tennessee’. One advantage of this view is that it seems to make clear how beliefs can be right or wrong: to believe a propos…
 
The Hygienic Apparatus: Weimar Cinema and Environmental Disorder (Northwestern UP, 2022) traces how the environmental effects of industrialization reverberated through the cinema of Germany’s Weimar Republic. In the early twentieth century, hygiene encompassed the myriad attempts to create healthy spaces for life and work amid the pollution, diseas…
 
In Black to Nature: Pastoral Return and African American Culture (University Press of Mississippi, 2021), author Stefanie K. Dunning considers both popular and literary texts that range from Beyoncé’s Lemonade to Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones. These key works restage Black women in relation to nature. Dunning argues that depictions of protagonist…
 
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