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For much of America’s rapidly growing secular population, religion is an inescapable source of skepticism and discomfort. It shows up in politics and in holidays, but also in common events like weddings and funerals. In The Secular Paradox: On the Religiosity of the Not Religious (NYU Press, 2022), Joseph Blankholm argues that, despite their desire…
 
Creative Engagement in Psychoanalytic Practice (Routledge, 2021) fills the gaps in current clinical training and theory by highlighting the importance of the analyst's unique voice, creativity, and embodied awareness in authentically being with and relating to patients. In this original and personal account, Henry Markman provides an integrated app…
 
The Epistle to the Hebrews is widely associated with its theology of Christ the High Priest. The opening four chapters of Hebrews, however, arguably contain greater emphasis on the topic of creation. Angela Costley uses discourse analysis to explore the importance of creation in the Epistle to the Hebrews, uncovering a close link between creation a…
 
The World That Latin America Created: The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America in the Development Era (Harvard University Press, 2022) tells the story of how a group of intellectuals and policymakers transformed development economics and gave Latin America a new position in the world. Making an innovative and provocative interventio…
 
How do literature and other cultural forms shape how we imagine the planet, for better or worse? In this rich, original, and long awaited book, Jennifer Wenzel tackles the formal innovations, rhetorical appeals, and sociological imbrications of world literature that might help us confront unevenly distributed environmental crises, including global …
 
Greg Marchildon interviews Charlie Angus, the author of Cobalt: Cradle of the Demon Metals, Birth of a Mining Superpower (House of Anansi P, 2022). The book explores the silver mining boom in Northern Ontario radiating from the town of Cobalt between 1903 and 1921. Charlie Angus is an author, journalist, broadcaster, musician, and a politician who …
 
If an eighteenth-century parson told you that the difference between "civilization and heathenism is sky-high and star-far," the words would hardly come as a shock. But that statement was written by an American missionary in 1971. In a sweeping historical narrative, Kathryn Gin Lum shows how the idea of the heathen has been maintained from the colo…
 
A. M. Homes most recent book is The Unfolding (Viking, 2022). Her previous work includes, This Book Will Save Your Life, which won the 2013 Orange/Women’s Prize for Fiction, Music For Torching, The End of Alice, In a Country of Mothers, and Jack, as well as the short-story collections, Days of Awe, Things You Should Know and The Safety of Objects, …
 
Colonialism persists in many African countries due to the continuation of imperial monetary policy. Africa's Last Colonial Currency: The CFA Franc Story (Pluto Press, 2021) by Fanny Pigeaud and Dr. Ndongo Samba Sylla is the little-known account of the CFA Franc and economic imperialism. The CFA Franc was created in 1945, binding fourteen African st…
 
The etrog is a curious fruit. The Bible commands its readers: “And you shall take for yourselves on the first day beautiful tree-fruit (peri etz hadar), palm fronds, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.” Native to the Far East and adapted to the culture of the eastern Mediterran…
 
Today I spoke with Carles Prado-Fonts on his recently published book Secondhand China: Spain, the East, and the Politics of Translation (Northwestern UP, 2022). This transcultural study of cultural production brings to light the ways Spanish literature imagined China by relying on English- and French-language sources. Carles Prado-Fonts examines ho…
 
In March of 2022 the U.S. government announced its determination that genocide was committed by the Myanmar military against Rohingya communities in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in 2017. What will this mean for the roughly one million Rohingya refugees living in neighboring countries, for Rohingya IDPs in Rakhine State, and for post-coup Myanmar? In thi…
 
In this unforgetable memoir, Emerald Garner recounts her father's cruel and unjust murder, the immense pain that followed, the pressures of an exploitative media, and her difficult yet determined journey as an activist against police violence. She begins with the morning of July 17, 2014--a rare day off from work, one she had hoped to enjoy with re…
 
In August of 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Less than a year later, American journalist John Hersey traveled to Hiroshima and interviewed survivors of the bombing. The subsequent article was published by The New Yorker in 1946. Hiroshima was published as a book two months later. MIT Pr…
 
Empire and Emancipation: Scottish and Irish Catholics at the Atlantic Fringe, 1780–1850 (U Toronto Press, 2021) by Dr. S. Karly Kehoe explores how the agency of Scottish and Irish Catholics redefined understandings of Britishness and British imperial identity in colonial landscapes. In highlighting the relationship of Scottish and Irish Catholics w…
 
Censorship, Urdu literature, Islam, and progressive secular nationalisms in colonial India and Pakistan have a complex, intertwined history. Sarah Waheed, Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina, offers a timely examination of the role of progressive Muslim intellectuals in the Pakistan movement in her new book, Hidden Histories of …
 
Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, 2022. She reigned for 70 years, longer than any other British sovereign. In this interview, Charles Coutinho discusses her life and legacy with historian Jeremy Black. Charles Coutinho, PH. D., Associate Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of speci…
 
Gidget: Origins of a Teen Girl Transmedia Franchise (Routledge, 2022) examines the multiplicity of books, films, TV shows, and merchandise that make up the transmedia Gidget universe from the late 1950s to the 1980s. The book examines the Gidget phenomenon as an early and unique teen girl franchise that expands understanding of both teen girlhood a…
 
A young philosopher and Guinness World Record holder in pull-ups argues that the key to happiness is not goal-driven striving but forging a life that integrates self-possession, friendship, and engagement with nature. What is the meaning of the good life? In Happiness in Action: A Philosopher's Guide to the Good Life (Harvard UP, 2022), Adam Adatto…
 
Most Hong Kong residents nowadays only have to worry about a wandering boar or an aggressive monkey in their day-to-day lives. But for much of its history, those living in the British colony were worried about a very different form of wildlife: the South China tiger. Not that their British overlords always believed them, as John Saeki notes in his …
 
Welcome to The Academic Life! In this episode you’ll hear about: What inspired Professor Sumner to study wasps. That time she ate a slug. Her grad school research trip to study wasps in the Malaysian rainforest. The complex and varied roles wasps play in the natural world. The importance of approaching the natural world with endless curiosity. Toda…
 
Today I talked to David Livermore about his book Digital, Diverse & Divided: How to Talk to Racists, Compete with Robots, and Overcome Polarization (Berrett-Koehler, 2022). While the author argues that cultural intelligence (CQ) begins where EQ leaves off, in truth key attributes of EQ like understanding another person’s motivations and figuring ou…
 
Paul Roquet is an MIT associate professor in media studies and Japan studies; his earlier work includes Ambient Media. It was his recent mind-bending The Immersive Enclosure that prompted John and Elizabeth to invite him to discuss the history of "head-mounted media" and the perceptual implications of virtual reality. Paul Elizabeth and John discus…
 
When Russia occupied the Crimea in 2014, a term appeared called “hybrid warfare” to describe the doctrine and strategies of the Russian military. One consistent issue was that there was never any consensus on what exactly "hybrid warfare" even meant other than a novel use of military and non-military means to undermine and defeat an enemy nation. W…
 
How does the state support writers? In State Sponsored Literature: Britain and Cultural Diversity after 1945 (Oxford UP, 2020), Asha Rogers, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Postcolonial Literature at the University of Birmingham, explores the history of authors, institutions, and governments approach to literature in a changing, imperial and post-i…
 
Yan Ge and Jeremy Tiang are both writers who accumulate languages. Sitting down with host Emily Hyde, they discuss their work in and across Chinese and English, but you’ll also hear them on Sichuanese, the dialect of Mandarin spoken in Yan Ge’s native Sichuan province, and on the Queen’s English as it operates in Singapore, where Jeremy grew up. Ya…
 
In God, Tsar and People: The Political Culture of Early Modern Russia (Northern Illinois UP, 2020), Dr. Daniel Rowland collects close to 50 years of scholarship, between two book covers. The de facto mandate on Russian tsars to take advice, and the importance of biblical and liturgical imagery to Muscovite political culture, are among the important…
 
Tenzan Eaghll and Rebekka King's Representing Religion in Film (Bloomsbury, 2021) is the first full-length exploration of the relationship between religion, film, and ideology. It shows how religion is imagined, constructed, and interpreted in film and film criticism. The films analyzed include The Last Jedi, Terminator, Cloud Atlas, Darjeeling Lim…
 
Warzones are sometimes described as lawless, but this is rarely the case. Armed insurgents often replace the state as the provider of law and justice in areas under their authority. Based on extensive fieldwork, Rebel Courts: The Administration of Justice by Armed Insurgents (Oxford University Press, 2021) by Dr. Réne Provost offers a compelling an…
 
Reading Veganism: The Monstrous Vegan, 1818 to Present (Oxford UP, 2021) focuses on the iteration of the trope of ‘the monstrous vegan’ across 200 years of Anglophone literature. Explicating, through such monsters, veganism’s relation to utopian longing and challenge to the conceptual category of the ‘human’, the book explores ways in which ethical…
 
Edward Chancellor's just published history of interest rates could not be better timed. As the world adjusts to rising rates after decades of falling ones, Chancellor's historical and sometimes polemical account of rates kept too low for too long seems all too prescient. Chancellor's The Price of Time: The Real Story of Interest (Atlantic Monthly P…
 
We don’t even know the real name of the 11th century author Murasaki Shikibu. But we do know that her book, The Tale of Genji, is arguably one of the most influential Japanese texts to date. Genji quickly captured its readers’ imaginations with political intrigue and court drama, but it can also be read as an astute critique of Japanese elite socie…
 
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