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Bringing together 100 essential critical articles across 4 volumes, Literature and the Environment: Critical and Primary Sources (Bloomsbury, 2021) is a comprehensive collection of the most important academic writings on ecocriticism and literature's engagement with environmental crisis. With texts by key scholars, creative writers and activists, t…
 
How can billionaires justify the endless accumulation of wealth? Effective altruism. An almost religious philosophical belief. Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO and founder of collapsed crypto exchange FTX is a major proponent, as is Elon Musk. Now, SBF and many in Effective Altruism have also embraced longtermism, a strand of extreme utilitarian t…
 
Digital Activism in Russia: The Communication Tactics of Political Outsiders (Palgrave MacMillan, 2022) examines various forms of Russian online anti-establishment resistance, focusing in particular on the period between 2016 and 2019. Grounded in qualitative content analysis of the YouTube videos and social media activities of opposition activist …
 
Through extensive use of primary resources and fieldwork, Karli Shimizu's book Overseas Shinto Shrines: Religion, Secularity and the Japanese Empire (Bloomsbury, 2022) examines overseas Shinto shrines and their complex role in the colonization and modernization of newly Japanese lands and subjects. Shinto shrines became one of the most visible symb…
 
When he was in his late 30s, the Italian poet Dante Alighieri got himself into some serious political trouble and was exiled from his beloved Florence. While in exile, he wrote one of the world’s greatest literary works, the Divine Comedy. In the story, Dante, the main character, must pass through the nine circles of Hell, climb Mount Purgatory, an…
 
A gulf of centuries separates the Byzantine Empire from the academic field of Byzantine studies. The Invention of Byzantium in Early Modern Europe offers a new approach to the history of Byzantine scholarship, focusing on the attraction that Byzantium held for Early Modern Europeans and challenging the stereotype that they dismissed the Byzantine E…
 
Utilizing insights from trauma studies, James Yansen's book Daughter Zion's Trauma: A Trauma Informed Reading of Lamentations (Gorgias Press, 2019) advances the view that awareness of trauma's potential effects sheds light on many of the book of Lamentations' complex literary features, and suggests new interpretive possibilities. Three characterist…
 
On the west side of Manhattan, Riverside Park winds between the banks of the Hudson River and the elegant housing of Riverside Drive. In her new book Heaven on the Hudson: Mansions, Monuments, and Marvels of Riverside Park (Fordham UP, 2022), Stephanie Azzarone seeks to lift the park and its surroundings from the shadows of more famous places, like…
 
What will a Chinese-dominated world look like? And since Xi Jin Ping will probably rule China for life, what does he want to do; what does he believe in and what does he mean for China and the world? Sue Lin Wong has made an excellent podcast series on him called "The Prince: Searching for Xi Jinping" and discussed the Chinese leader with Owen Benn…
 
Whose fault are financial crises, and who is responsible for stopping them, or repairing the damage? Impunity and Capitalism: The Afterlives of European Financial Crises, 1690-1830 (Cambridge University Press, 2022) develops a new approach to the history of capitalism and inequality by using the concept of impunity to show how financial crises stop…
 
In this interview, Mel Rosenberg discusses his love for children's literature, what makes for a memorable picture book, and the company he created, Ourboox. Ourboox is a free site that allows people to create online flipbooks and picture books. Mel's collection is available here. Mel Rosenberg is a professor emeritus of microbiology (Tel Aviv Unive…
 
Digital platforms controlled by Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, Tencent and Uber have transformed not only the ways we do business, but also the very nature of people's everyday lives. It is of vital importance that we understand the economic principles governing how these platforms operate. Paul Belleflamme and Martin Peitz's book Th…
 
Ukraine: Food and History (O. Braichenko, 2020) tells about the past and present of Ukrainian cuisine. It includes recipes of dishes that everyone can cook and local products, which together present Ukraine’s cultural diversity and rich heritage. Learn from the book about the culinary traditions of Ukraine which are still alive nowadays, as well co…
 
In this episode, we chat with Dr. James Smith, a professor of philosophy at Calvin University about his most recent book How to Inhabit Time: Understanding the Past, Facing the Future, Living Faithfully Now (Brazos Press, 2022). This text encourages us to cultivate the spiritual discipline of memento tempori, a temporal awareness of the Spirit's pr…
 
Protest has been a key method of political claim-making in Jordan from the late Ottoman period to the present day. More than moments of rupture within normal-time politics, protests have been central to challenging state power, as well as reproducing it—and the spatial dynamics of protests play a central role in the construction of both state and s…
 
Over the past twenty years, DNA ancestry testing has morphed from a niche market into a booming international industry that encourages members of the public to answer difficult questions about their identity by looking to the genome. At a time of intensified interest in issues of race and racism, the burgeoning influence of corporations like Ancest…
 
Monica Juneja and Sumathi Ramaswamy's Motherland: Pushpamala N.'s 'Woman and Nation' (Roli Books, 2022) examines Motherland, an important series of photo-performances by the acclaimed artist Pushpamala N. on the Indian nation personified as woman, mother, and goddess. The series shows Pushpamala taking on Mother India's myriad personifications: nub…
 
Sanctions have become the go-to foreign policy tool for the United States. Coercive economic measures such as trade tariffs, financial penalties, and export controls affect large numbers of companies and states across the globe. Some of these penalties target nonstate actors, such as Colombian drug cartels and Islamist terror groups; others apply t…
 
In Indexicalism: The Metaphysics of Paradox (Edinburgh UP, 2021), Hilan Bensusan clarifies the logic and structure of an essentially situated and indexical metaphysics that is paradoxical and can also be regarded as a chapter in the critique of metaphysics. Bensusan articulates a metaphysical view of the other – both human and non-human, in what Me…
 
In 1925, on the French occupied island of Martinique, one of the most prominent voices in post colonial theory was born, Frantz Fanon. He was born to parents of both African and French descent, and was brought up in the ways of French culture. For most of Fanon’s life, he identified with French nationality. He even fought for France in WWII. But de…
 
The transatlantic relationship, arguably the bedrock of the world’s post-World War II international security architecture, came under significant threat during Donald Trump’s tenure in office, as Trump complained about European untrustworthiness and talked about pulling the United States out of NATO. Yet in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of …
 
Drawing on a wide range of texts and using an interdisciplinary approach, The Politics of Time in China and Japan: Back to the Future (Routledge, 2022) by Viren Murthy shows how Chinese and Japanese intellectuals mobilized the past to create a better future. It is especially significant today given a world where, amidst tensions within Asia and the…
 
Michael Bess is the Chancellor's Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. His fifth and most recent book is Planet in Peril: Humanity’s Four Greatest Challenges and How We Can Overcome Them, published by Cambridge University Press in 2022. This study focuses on the existential risks posed by climate change, nuclear weapons, pandemics (natural…
 
Contemporary Sweden is a country with a worldwide progressive reputation, despite an undeniable tradition of racism within its borders. In the face of this contradiction of culture and history, Afro-Swedes have emerged as a vibrant demographic presence, from generations of diasporic movement, migration, and homemaking. In Afro-Sweden: Becoming Blac…
 
This innovative study engages critically with existing conceptualisations of diaspora, arguing that if diaspora is to have analytical purchase, it should illuminate a specific angle of migration or migrancy. To reveal the much-needed transformative potential of the concept, the book looks specifically at how diasporas undertake translation and deco…
 
While the loss of sight—whether in early modern Japan or now—may be understood as a disability, blind people in the Tokugawa period (1600–1868) could thrive because of disability. The blind of the era were prominent across a wide range of professions, and through a strong guild structure were able to exert contractual monopolies over certain trades…
 
Known as highly mobile cattle nomads, the Wodaabe in Niger are today increasingly engaged in a transformation process towards a more diversified livelihood based primarily on agro-pastoralism and urban work migration. Space, Place and Identity: The Wodaabe of Niger in the 21st Century (Berghahn Books, 2020) by Florian Köhler examines recent transfo…
 
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