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Most stories of medical progress come with ready-made heroes. John Snow traced the origins of London's 1854 cholera outbreak to a water pump, leading to the birth of epidemiology. Florence Nightingale's contributions to the care of soldiers in the Crimean War revolutionized medical hygiene, transforming hospitals from crucibles of infection to sanc…
 
“Nước Việt Nam: a home, a cradle, a point of departure” (Gandhi, 1). The Vietnamese word nước embraces the duality of land and water with an idea of “home.” Through a nuanced examination of the meaning of homeland and politics of belonging, Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi proposes nước to understand complex positionalities of refugee settlers on lands sutu…
 
The Lost Promise: American Universities in the 1960s (University of Chicago Press, 2021) is a magisterial examination of the turmoil that rocked American universities in the 1960s, with a unique focus on the complex roles played by professors as well as students. The 1950s through the early 1970s are widely seen as American academia’s golden age, w…
 
Does Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida´s new administration represent the true beginning of the “Post-Abe” era for Japan? After the one-year transitional administration of Yoshihide Suga, Kishida was able to win a three-year term as head of the LDP, the premiership, and lower house election in fall 2021. Since then Kishida has proven to be reas…
 
Unmasked: COVID, Community, and the Case of Okoboji (Vanderbilt UP, 2022) is the story of what happened in Okoboji, a small Iowan tourist town, when a collective turn from the coronavirus to the economy occurred in the COVID summer of 2020. State political failures, local negotiations among political and public health leaders, and community (dis)be…
 
Grain traders wandering across the steppe; the Russian conquest of Ukraine (in the 18th century, that is); boulevard barons and wheat futures; railroads; the first fast food breakfast; and war socialism. It’s all crammed into this discussion of wheat, and what it wrought, with Scott Nelson. Scott Reynolds Nelson is the Georgia Athletics Association…
 
Lives of Weeds: Opportunism, Resistance, Folly (Comstock Publishing, 2021) explores the tangled history of weeds and their relationship to humans. Through eight interwoven stories, John Cardina offers a fresh perspective on how these tenacious plants came about, why they are both inevitable and essential, and how their ecological success is ensured…
 
Against a groundswell of critiques of global English, Vernacular English: Reading the Anglophone in Postcolonial India (Princeton UP, 2022) argues that literary studies are yet to confront the true political import of the English language in the world today. A comparative study of three centuries of English literature and media in India, this origi…
 
Rivers host vibrant multispecies communities in their waters and along their banks, and, according to queer-trans-feminist river scientist Cleo Wölfle Hazard, their future vitality requires centering the values of justice, sovereignty, and dynamism. At the intersection of river sciences, queer and trans theory, and environmental justice, Underflows…
 
Art historian Catherine McCormack challenges how culture teaches us to see and value women, their bodies, and their lives. Venus, maiden, wife, mother, monster—women have been bound so long by these restrictive roles, codified by patriarchal culture, that we scarcely see them. In Women in the Picture: What Culture Does with Female Bodies (Norton, 2…
 
Sean Michael Wilson is an award-winning Scottish graphic novel/comic book writer. He has written more than 30 books, published by a variety of US, UK and Japanese publishers and translated into 12 languages. His books are of two broad types: 'western' style graphic novels, including original story ideas and various books on social issues; and a uni…
 
Today Stephen and I talk with EWP Phd grad and adjunct faculty, Heidi Fraser. She is also the Director of the CIIS Center for Writing and Scholarship, and was a former EWP program manager. We explore aspects of Integral Yoga as taught by Hari Das Chaudhuri and Bahman Shairazi and it’s applications in scholarship and activism. We also discuss approa…
 
Recent years have seen out-of-control wildfires rage across remote Brazilian rainforests, densely populated California coastlines, and major cities in Australia. What connects these separate events is more than immediate devastation and human loss of life. In Global Burning: Rising Antidemocracy and the Climate Crisis (Stanford UP, 2022), Eve Daria…
 
In China and the International Human Rights Regime (Cambridge University Press, 2021), Rana Siu Inboden examines the evolution of China’s posture towards the U.N. human rights system since the early 1980s. The book examines in unprecedented details China’s role and impact on the complex negotiations between U.N. members over the International Coven…
 
In Fierce Appetites: Loving, Losing and Living to Excess in my Present and in the Writings of the Past (Sandy Cove, 2022), Dr. Elizabeth Boyle weaves together the past and the present together, creating a beautiful memoir and reflection. To quote the book blurb, “Not only does Elizabeth Boyle write dazzling accounts of ancient stories, familiar and…
 
Today I talk with Peter Salmon, author of An Event, Perhaps; an intellectual biography of Jacques Derrida. Our conversation was rich: We tackle Derrida and Buddhism, Derrida and the culture wars, Derrida and practice. Foucault gets a mention, as does Heidegger, as does spiritual enlightenment, mindfulness and spirituality. Our conversation was inco…
 
Olga Bertelsen’s timely book, In the Labyrinth of the KGB: Ukraine’s Intelligentsia in the 1960s-1970s (Lexington Books, 2022), focuses on the generation of the sixties and seventies in Kharkiv, Soviet Ukraine—a milieu of writers who lived through the Thaw and the processes of de-Stalinization and re-Stalinization. Special attention is paid to KGB …
 
Listen to this interview of Roslyn Petelin, Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Queensland, Australia. We talk about her book How Writing Works: A Field Guide to Effective Writing (Routledge, 2021) writing well and knowing why. Roslyn Petelin : "My book caters for all kinds of writers: student writers, creative writers, technical writ…
 
"I've been a philosopher for all my adult life and the three most profound books of philosophy that I have ever read are Ecclesiastes, Job, and Song of Songs." This is the opening line of Peter Kreeft's Three Philosophies of Life: Ecclesiastes, Job, and Song of Songs (Ignatius Press, 2016). He reflects that there are ultimately only three philosoph…
 
Alice Dailey’s How to Do Things with Dead People: History, Technology, and Temporality from Shakespeare to Warhol (Cornell University Press, 2022) is an exploration of Shakespeare’s chronicle plays through the theoretical rubric of modern technology. Dailey is Professor of English at Villanova University and is the author of the monograph The Engli…
 
Sixteenth Street NW in Washington, DC, has been called the Avenue of the Presidents, Executive Avenue, and the Avenue of Churches. From the front door of the White House, this north-south artery runs through the middle of the District and extends just past its border with Maryland. The street is as central to the cityscape as it is to DC's history …
 
Today’s world is unpredictable and full of contradictions, and navigating its complexities while trying to make the best decisions is far from easy. The Joy of Science (Princeton UP, 2022) presents 8 short lessons on how to unlock the clarity, empowerment, and joy of thinking and living a little more scientifically. In this brief guide to leading a…
 
Within the Western tradition, it was the philosophers Henri Bergson and Max Scheler who laid out and explored the nonrational power of "intuition" at work in human beings that plays a key role in orienting their thinking and action within the world. As author Adriana Alfaro Altamirano notes, Bergon's and Scheler's philosophical explorations, which …
 
Since the original airing of this episode in June 2021, Roger Reeves' second book Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. was published by W.W. Norton, and the paperback edition of David Ferry's translation of The Aeneid was published by the University of Chicago Press. The underworld, that repository of the Shades of the Dead, gets a lot of traffic …
 
The Crown Games were the apex of competition in ancient Greece. Along with prestigious athletic contests in honor of Zeus at Olympia, they comprised the Pythian Games for Apollo at Delphi, the Isthmian Games for Poseidon, and the Nemean Games, sacred to Zeus. For over nine hundred years, the Greeks celebrated these athletic and religious festivals,…
 
Emma Natalya Stein's book Constructing Kanchi: City of Infinite Temples (Amsterdam UP, 2021) traces the emergence of the South Indian city of Kanchi as a major royal capital and multireligious pilgrimage destination during the era of the Pallava and Chola dynasties (circa seventh through thirteenth centuries). It presents the first-ever comprehensi…
 
Immigration is one of the most fraught, and possibly most misunderstood, topics in American social discourse—yet, in most cases, the things we believe about immigration are based largely on myth, not facts. Using the tools of modern data analysis and ten years of pioneering research, Streets of Gold: America's Untold Story of Immigrant Success (Pub…
 
In Affect, Ecofeminism, and Intersectional Struggles in Latin America: A Tribute to Berta Cáceres (Peter Lang, 2020), Irune del Rio Gabiola examines the power of affect in structuring decolonizing modes of resistance performed by social movements such as COPINH (Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras). Despite a harsh leg…
 
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