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In this episode, Carlos Rojas shares with us his experience as a translator. He has translated several renowned authors in the Chinese-speaking world, including Yan Lianke, Yu Hua, Jia Pingwa, and Ng Kim Chew, into English. Among the literary translations, Carlos has translated ten books written by Yan Lianke, including novels, short stories, novel…
 
The first biography of trailblazing legislator Patsy Takemoto Mink, best known as the legislative champion of Title IX. "Every girl in Little League, every woman playing college sports, and every parent-including Michelle and myself-who watches their daughter on a field or in the classroom is forever grateful to the late Patsy Takemoto Mink."-Presi…
 
In the late 1980s, Hollywood reflected the real world thaw in the Cold War by depicting the idea of two Russias: the cold bureaucratic state run by grey men intent on propping up a crumbling regime, and the beautiful, little known country of real, everyday Russians who live rich and full lives despite it all. Our three films this week show the two …
 
Martha Rampton, Trafficking with Demons: Magic, Ritual, and Gender from Late Antiquity to 1000 (Cornell University Press, 2021) explores how magic was perceived, practiced, and prohibited in western Europe during the first millennium CE. Through the overlapping frameworks of religion, ritual, and gender, Martha Rampton connects early Christian reck…
 
Dr. Elizabeth Ellcessor presents a much-needed look at the growth of emergency media and its impact on our lives in In Case of Emergency: How Technologies Mediate Crisis and Normalize Inequality (NYU Press, 2022). In an emergency, we often look to media: to contact authorities, to get help, to monitor evolving situations, or to reach out to our lov…
 
As police racism unsettles Britain's tolerant self-image, Black Resistance to British Policing (Manchester UP, 2021) details the activism that made movements like Black Lives Matter possible. Adam Elliott-Cooper analyses racism beyond prejudice and the interpersonal - arguing that black resistance confronts a global system of racial classification,…
 
The Gift of Rumi: Experiencing the Wisdom of the Sufi Master (St. Martin’s Press, 2022), written by Dr. Emily Jane O’Dell was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2022. In this rich and insightful book, Dr. O’Dell takes us through her own spiritual and physical travels, as well as gives us historical and Islamic mystic context to help us understand a…
 
The author of more than thirty books of fiction and nonfiction and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, V. S. Naipaul (1932–2018) is one of the most acclaimed authors of the twentieth century. He is also one of the most controversial. Before settling in England, Naipaul grew up in Trinidad in an Indian immigrant community, and his depiction of …
 
Italian court culture of the fifteenth century was a golden age, gleaming with dazzling princes, splendid surfaces, and luminous images that separated the lords from the (literally) lackluster masses. In Brilliant Bodies: Fashioning Courtly Men in Early Renaissance Italy (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2022), Timothy McCall describes and inte…
 
As a collective effort, The Middle Classes in Latin America: Subjectivities, Practices, and Genealogies (Routledge, 2022) locates the formation of the middle classes at the core of the histories of Latin America in the last two centuries. Featuring scholars from different places across the Americas, it is an interdisciplinary contribution to the wo…
 
Transitional justice – the act of reckoning with a former authoritarian regime after it has ceased to exist – has direct implications for democratic processes. Mechanisms of transitional justice have the power to influence who decides to go into politics, can shape politicians' behavior while in office, and can affect how politicians delegate polic…
 
A Critical Theory of Police Power: The Fabrication of Social Order (Verso, 2021) offers a critical look at policing and the power of the state, examining the relationship between our ideas of order and wider social and political issues. First published in 2000, this new edition of Mark Neocleous' influential book features a new introduction which h…
 
Selling your soul to the devil in exchange for your deepest desire is a common theme in many western stories. The origins of this theme can be traced back to the German legend of Faust. The most well known version today is an epic poem, Faust, written by German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Part of the reason Faust continues to resonate with aud…
 
A year after John Bradstreet’s raid of 1758—the first and largest British-American riverine raid mounted during the Seven Years’ War (known in North America as the French and Indian War)—Benjamin Franklin hailed it as one of the great “American” victories of the war. Bradstreet heartily agreed, and soon enough, his own official account was adopted …
 
Greg Marchildon interviews Graham Fraser who edited F. R. Scott’s journal that he kept while he was a member of the Royal Commission on Bilinguiism and Biculturalism–the famous Bi and Bi Commission. The book is entitled The Fate of Canada: F. R. Scott’s Journal of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, 1963-1971 (McGill-Queen’s UP,…
 
Sarah F. Porter (she/her/hers) is a Ph.D candidate in the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University with a concentration in New Testament / Early Christianity and a secondary field in archaeology. She holds an M.Div. from Vanderbilt University Divinity School with a certificate in gender, sexuality, and religion, and she earned her B…
 
What makes a nasty woman? Is it her unwillingness to break to the stringent standards of patriarchy, her gameness to get rough, even abject? Or is it the way she reminds polite society that the sweet, gentle screen martyr (the nasty woman’s counterpart) is a fiction too, as much a trick and a dupe as an exploding housemaid on celluloid? And what a …
 
Suicide has been on the rise in recent years, most frighteningly among young people. Suicide is second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 25-34. Gay, lesbian, and transgender youth are at particular risk. Every year in the U.S., more people die by suicide than in car accidents, and more suicide deaths occur than homicide and AIDS deat…
 
Immigration problems, climate issues, dysfunctional families, road barricades, and the division between haves and have nots play a role in this dream-like novel. Set in Wisconsin’s stunning Northwoods, News of the Air (Black Lawrence Press, 2022) by Jill Stukenberg centers on a mother, father, and their teenage daughter, who voice the story from ea…
 
What comes to mind when we think of swans? Likely their beauty in domestic settings, their preserved status, their association with royalty, and possibly even the phrase ‘swan song’. Dr. Natalie Goodison’s Introducing the Medieval Swan (University of Wales Press, 2022) explores the emergence of each of these ideas, starting with an examination of t…
 
In this podcast episode, Greg Marchildon interviews the author of Corporate Cataclysm: Abitibi Power & Paper and the Collapse of the Newsprint Industry, 1912–1946 (U of Toronto P, 2020). This book documents the rise, decline and bankruptcy of one of the largest manufacturing firms in Canada before the Second World War. A detailed review of the busi…
 
Celeste Ng is the author of three novels, Everything I Never Told You, Little Fires Everywhere, and Our Missing Hearts. Her first novel, Everything I Never Told You (2014), was a New York Times bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book of 2014, Amazon’s #1 Best Book of 2014, and named a best book of the year by over a dozen publications. Her second…
 
Great poetry or beautiful prose if often capable of challenging and delighting readers far more than dry, bland language. But why is that? Dalā’il al-Iʿjaz, or Indications of Inimitability, is a hugely influential Arabic text about exactly what it is that makes beautiful language beautiful. Its author, Abd al-Qāhir al-Jurjānī, used a theoretical, a…
 
In The Metabolic Museum (Hatje Cantz, 2020), Clémentine Deliss, a curator, researcher, and former director of the Frankfurt Weltkulturen Museum, explores possible functions for anthropological museums in a postcolonial culture. Anthropological museums in Europe, as products of imperialism, have been compelled to legitimate themselves because the ve…
 
Soham Sen talks about standpoint theory, a method of understanding the ways in which individual and collective experience influence public discourses. He begins from its origins in the civil rights movement and in the innovations of feminist thought, and follows it up with a discussion of its efficacy in understanding contemporary media. Soham Sen …
 
Born to a powerful family and educated at the prominent Mindröling Monastery, the Tibetan Buddhist nun and teacher Mingyur Peldrön (1699–1769) leveraged her privileged status and overcame significant adversity, including exile during a civil war, to play a central role in the reconstruction of her religious community. In The Tibetan Nun Mingyur Pel…
 
Say Thank You for Everything: The Secrets of Being a Great Manager (Harriman House, 2022) is a bullshit-free guide to management that shows you the right way to lead a business, inspired by Jim Edwards’s experience of helping to transform a small unread blog into a business with 200 million readers and hundreds of employees, which finally sold for …
 
Alexander Kirshner’s book Legitimate Opposition (Yale UP, 2022) can be seen as a reaction to the politics of Donald Trump and the questions he has raised about the nature of modern democracy. Advocates of western democracy have traditionally pointed to the role of the opposition in holding government to account. The deal has been that oppositions c…
 
Sarah Derbew’s new book Untangling Blackness in Greek Antiquity (Cambridge UP, 2022) asks how should articulations of blackness from the fifth century BCE to the twenty-first century be properly read and interpreted? This important and timely book is the first concerted treatment of black skin color in the Greek literature and visual culture of ant…
 
Games are a unique art form. Games work in the medium of agency. Game designers tell us who to be and what to care about during the game. Game designers sculpt alternate agencies, and game players submerge themselves in those alternate agencies. Thus, the fact that we play games demonstrates the fluidity of our own agency. We can throw ourselves, f…
 
Muhtars, the lowest level elected political position in Turkey, hold an ambiguously defined place within the administrative hierarchy. They are public officials, but local citizens do not always associate them with the central government. Elise Massicard's Street-Level Governing: Negotiating the State in Urban Turkey (Stanford University Press, 202…
 
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