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In Technofeudalism: What Killed Capitalism (Melville House, 2023), Yanis Varoufakis argues that capitalism is dead and a new economic era has begun. Insane sums of money that were supposed to re-float our economies in the wake of the financial crisis and the pandemic have ended up supercharging big tech's hold over every aspect of the economy. Capi…
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It’s easy for some people to laugh at Conan the Barbarian, John Milius’s 1982 film about Robert E. Howard’s most famous creation: it seems like the cinematic equivalent of middle-schoolers playing Dungeons and Dragons. But this is an honest (as in “unpretentious”) film with ideas: the pagan existentialism of Thulsa Doom, the theology of Subatai, an…
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What if HIV started spreading in the early 1500s rather than the late 1900s? Without modern medicine, anybody who catches HIV is going to die. In Wages of Sin (Caezik SF & Fantasy, 2024), by Dr. Harry Turtledove, a patriarchal society reacts to this devastating disease in the only way it knows how: it sequesters women as much as possible, limiting …
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Sir Stanley Wells is one of the world's greatest authorities on William Shakespeare. Here he brings a lifetime of learning and reflection to bear on some of the most tantalising questions about the poet and dramatist that there are. How did he think, feel, and work? What were his relationships like? What did he believe about death? What made him la…
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Today’s guest is Charles B. Jones, Associate Professor and Director of the Religion and Culture graduate program in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America. He will be speaking with us about his new book Chinese Pure Land Buddhism: Understanding a Tradition of Practice, just published in the Pure Land Budd…
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Peter Harmsen's book Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze (Casemate, 2015) describes one of the great forgotten battles of the 20th century. At its height it involved nearly a million Chinese and Japanese soldiers while sucking in three million civilians as unwilling spectators and victims. It turned what had been a Japanese adventure in China …
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After WAY too long a hiatus, Peoples & Things is back! GET EXCITED!! In this episode, host Lee Vinsel interviews Christy Spackman, Assistant Professor of Art/Science with a joint appointment in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the School of Arts, Media, and Engineering at Arizona State University, about her recent book, The Ta…
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Through a creative focus on skin, in Experiments in Skin: Race and Beauty in the Shadows of Vietnam (Duke UP, 2021), Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu examines the ongoing influence of the Vietnam War on contemporary ideas about race and beauty. Framing skin as the site around which these ideas have been formed, Tu foregrounds the histories of militarism in the …
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In The Human Rights Dictatorship: Socialism, Global Solidarity and Revolution in East Germany (Cambridge UP, 2020), Ned Richardson-Little exposes the forgotten history of human rights in the German Democratic Republic, placing the history of the Cold War, Eastern European dissidents and the revolutions of 1989 in a new light. By demonstrating how e…
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On the podcast today, I am joined by Mai Corlin, who is researcher at the department of cross-cultural and regional studies in the University of Copenhagen. Mai will be talking about her new book, The Bishan Commune and the Practice of Socially Engaged Art in Rural China (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) Mai’s book examines the new rural reconstruction mo…
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Informal workers make up over two billion workers or about 50 percent of the global workforce, and yet scholarly understandings of informal workers’ political and civil society participation remain limited. In Why Informal Workers Organize? Contentious Politics, Enforcement, and the State (Oxford University Press, 2022), Calla Hummel finds that inf…
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Vulnerable narratives of fatherhood are few and far between; rarer still is an ethnography that delves into the practical and emotional realities of intensive caregiving. Grounded in the intimate everyday lives of men caring for children with major physical and intellectual disabilities, Worlds of Care: The Emotional Lives of Fathers Caring for Chi…
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Neema Avashia is the daughter of Indian immigrants and was born and raised in southern West Virginia. She has been an educator and activist in the Boston Public Schools since 2003 and was named a City of Boston Educator of the Year in 2013. Her first book, Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place, was published by West Vir…
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In the middle decades of the twentieth century in New York City, Dubrow’s cafeterias in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn and the garment district of Manhattan were places to get out of your apartment, have coffee with friends, or enjoy a hearty but affordable meal. They were grounded in the world of Jewish immigrants and their children, and they th…
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Ariel Mae Lambe’s new book No Barrier Can Contain It: Cuban Antifascism and the Spanish Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2019) is a history of transnational Cuban activists who mobilized in the mid-1930s to fight fascism both in Cuba and beyond. A wide variety of civic and political groups, including Communists, anarchists, Freemasons…
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The Overland Trail into the American West is one of the most culturally recognizable symbols of the American past: white covered wagons traversing the plains, filled with heroic pioneers embodying the nation's manifest destiny. In American Burial Ground: A New History of the Overland Trail (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2023), University of Nev…
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Lucinda Halpern is a literary agent with over 15 years’ experience in both the publicity and agency sides of publishing. Before founding Lucinda Literary, she worked in the Publicity division of HarperCollins, where she assisted on the media campaign for Freakonomics among other New York Times bestsellers. She currently represents authors writing i…
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Between 1942 and 1945 more than two million servicemen occupied the southern Pacific theater, the majority of whom were Americans in service with the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. During the occupation, American servicemen married approximately 1,800 women from New Zealand and the island Pacific, creating legal bonds through marriage and…
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The Holocaust in Croatia (U Pittsburgh Press, 2016) recounts the history of the Croatian Jewish community during the Second World War, with a focus on the city of Zagreb. Ivo and Slavko Goldstein have grounded their study on extensive research in recently opened archives, additionally aided by the memories of survivors to supplement and enrich the …
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Kate Quinn and Janie Chang are independently acclaimed authors of historical fiction, both of whom have previously appeared on this podcast channel. Here they combine their skills to tell a story about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake from multiple points of view. One line follows the story of Alice Eastwood, a botanist whom we meet in London five…
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“The things that are happening to North Korea are happening to all of us…they are part of the human community. To say that this is just a problem for North Korea is to say that North Koreans are not part of the human community.” In her new book, Dying for Rights: Putting North Korea’s Human Rights Abuses on the Record (Columbia University Press, 20…
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In this episode Modya Silver concludes our four week look into the middah of cleanliness. He reviews the focus on physical cleanliness and how it inspires us to spiritual cleanliness. He also explores how one's own cleanliness helps support others in their own quest for personal growth. All of this and more through looking at the Torah portion of T…
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During presidential campaigns, candidates crisscross the country nonstop—visiting swing states, their home turf, and enemy territory. But do all those campaign visits make a difference when Election Day comes? If so, how and under what conditions? Do they mobilise the partisan faithful or persuade undecided voters? What do campaigns try to achieve …
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Shortly after its introduction, photography transformed the ways Americans made political arguments using visual images. In the mid-19th century, photographs became key tools in debates surrounding slavery. Yet, photographs were used in interesting and sometimes surprising ways by a range of actors. Matthew Fox-Amato, an Assistant Professor at the …
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Listen to Episode No.8 of All We Mean, a Special Focus of this podcast. All We Mean is an ongoing discussion and debate about how we mean and why. The guests on today's episode are Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis, professors at the University of Illinois. Today we welcome, too, Duane Searsmith, E-Learning Technical Specialist, Information Trust Instit…
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Since the Enlightenment, the question has arisen as to how it is possible to think of the “unity of the human race” as a multiplicity. How can the promise of universal equality be combined with the claim to diversity? In Vielheit: Jüdische Geschichte und die Ambivalenzen des Universalismus (Hamburger Editionen, 2022), Till van Rahden takes up this …
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An award-winning defense expert tells the story of today’s great power rivalry―the struggle to control artificial intelligence. A new industrial revolution has begun. Like mechanization or electricity before it, artificial intelligence will touch every aspect of our lives―and cause profound disruptions in the balance of global power, especially amo…
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