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Alix E. Harrow’s The Once and Future Witches (Redhook, 2020) begins with the familiar phrase “Once upon a time” but the novel is anything but a traditional fairytale. Yes, there are witches. But there are also suffragists. Yes, there are spells. But there are also women who fall in love with each other. While Harrow loves fairytales “because they g…
 
The figure of Sigmund Freud has captivated the Western imagination like few others. One hundred and twenty-five years after the publication of Studies on Hysteria, the good doctor from Vienna continues to stir controversy in institutions, academic circles, and nuclear households across the world. Perhaps Freud’s sharpest and most adamant critic, Fr…
 
“India is not yet a nation. It is still in an improvisational mode like a jazz band that needs to perform repeatedly together in order to uplift every voice in the chorus,” Suraj Yengde writes in his explosive text, Caste Matters (India Viking, 2019). Yengde, a first-generation Dalit scholar educated across continents, challenges deep-seated belief…
 
In Peace Love Yoga: The Politics of Global Spirituality (Oxford University Press, 2020), Andrea Jain examines the interconnectedness between global spirituality and neoliberal capitalism through an examination of the global yoga and self-care industries. Building off her work in Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture (Oxford University Pr…
 
Most of our discussions about how “technology will change the world” focus on the global cities that drive the world economy. Even when we talk about China, we focus on its major cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. Xiaowei Wang corrects this metronormativity in their recent book Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China's Coun…
 
Sharifa and her husband Murtuza are spending his sabbatical year in Mumbai with their seven-year-old daughter, Zeenat. While Murtuza teaches, Shari is planning to homeschool Zee, reconnect with her family, and research her great-great grandfather with hopes of creating a family history. But Sharifa’s cousins, with whom she was once close, are at od…
 
In Batman and The Joker: Contested Sexuality in Popular Culture (Routledge, 2020), Chris Richardson presents a cultural analysis of the ways gender, identity, and sexuality are negotiated in the rivalry of Batman and The Joker. Richardson's queer reading of the text provides new understandings of Batman and The Joker and the transformations of the …
 
David Rundell brings to his book, Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads (I. B. Tauris, 2020), a granular analysis and insider’s understanding of the inner workings of the kingdom garnered as a US foreign service officer who served a total of 15 years in the country. Rundell skilfully weaves history into a multi-layered portrait of the tr…
 
Today we are joined by Travis Vogan, Associate Professor of Journalism and American Studies at the University of Iowa, and the author of ABC Sports: The Rise and Fall of Network Sports Television (University of California Press, 2018). In our conversation, we discussed the special role that ABC Sports played in the promotion of sports television, t…
 
It’s hard to avoid conversations about ‘neoliberalism’ these days. The meaning of the term—indeed its very existence—is hotly contested. Adam Kotsko argues in Neoliberalism’s Demons: On the Political Theology of Late Capital (Stanford University Press, 2018) that self-denial is part of the mystifying agenda of neoliberalism itself. Not only is neol…
 
In a bustling city-center of Seoul, women in yellow vests protesting over the “final” resettlement between the Japanese and Korean governments every Wednesday is an iconic sight, testifying to the strength and resilience of the “comfort women” movement. In her award-winning book Embodied Reckonings: “Comfort Women,” Performance, and Transpacific Re…
 
In 1996 Argentina adopted genetically modified (GM) soybeans as a central part of its national development strategy. Today, Argentina is the third largest global grower and exporter of GM crops. Its soybeans—which have been modified to tolerate being sprayed with herbicides—now cover half of the country's arable land and represent a third of its to…
 
“What are chromosomes? And what does it mean to treat them as visual objects?” asks Soraya de Chadarevian in her new book, Heredity Under the Microscope: Chromosomes and the Study of the Human Genome (University of Chicago Press, 2020). Considering this question as she follows the history of microscope-based practices in chromosomal research across…
 
Digitizing Enlightenment: Digital Humanities and the Transformation of 18th-Century Studies (Liverpool UP, 2020) explores how a set of inter-related digital projects are transforming our vision of the Enlightenment. The featured projects are some of the best known, well-funded and longest established research initiatives in the emerging area of ‘di…
 
Writing to U.S. President Grover Cleveland in 1888, Oglala Lakota leaders Little Wound, Young Man Afraid of His Horses, and Red Cloud insisted upon a simple yet significant demand to allow western Indigenous nations to retain intertribal communication networks, stating that "we do not want the gates closed between us." These vast networks - and the…
 
For many Indian philosophers, language is inextricably tied up with conceptualization. In Indian Perspectives on Consciousness, Language and Self (Routledge, 2020), Marco Ferrante shows how a set of tenth century philosophers living in Kashmir argue for the existence of a self on the basis of the interrelationship between linguistic concepts and me…
 
Michael Mascarenhas's book Lessons in Environmental Justice: From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter and Idle No More (Sage, 2020) provides an entry point to the field by bringing together the works of individuals who are creating a new and vibrant wave of environmental justice scholarship. methodology, and activism. The 18 essays in this collectio…
 
Zhuangzi and the Becoming of Nothingness (SUNY Press, 2018) offers a radical rereading of the Daoist classic Zhuangzi by bringing to light the role of nothingness in grounding the cosmological and metaphysical aspects of its thought. Through a careful analysis of the text and its appended commentaries, David Chai reveals not only how nothingness ph…
 
When are borders justified? Who has a right to control them? Where should they be drawn? Today people think of borders as an island's shores. Just as beaches delimit a castaway's realm, so borders define the edges of a territory, occupied by a unified people, to whom the land legitimately belongs. Hence a territory is legitimate only if it belongs …
 
Social media has become a crucial avenue for political discourse in Southeast Asia, given its potential as a “liberation technology” in both democratising and authoritarian states. Yet the growing decline in internet freedom and increasingly repressive and manipulative use of social media tools by governments means that social media is now an essen…
 
In the Failures of Ethics: Confronting the Holocaust, Genocide and Other Mass Atrocities (Oxford University Press, 2018), John K. Roth concentrates on the multiple shortfalls and shortcomings of thought, decision, and action that tempt and incite humans to inflict incalculable harm upon other humans. Absent the overriding of moral sensibilities, if…
 
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