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Italy's resurrection from 20 years of fascism, three years of war, and two years of civil war is one of the 20th century's great, under-told stories. It's a history of a decade of clashes and compromises between two mass movements - Communism and Christian Democracy - backed offstage by two superpowers. Above all, it's about the party management of…
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Bradford Morrow is an American novelist, editor, essayist, poet, and children’s book author. A professor of literature and Bard Center Fellow at Bard College, he is the founding editor of Conjunctions literary magazine. In 2020, he published The Forger’s Daughter, which the New York Times named a “Ten Best Crime Novels of 2020 selection.” His tenth…
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Today’s book is: More Than A Glitch: Confronting Race, Gender, and Ability Bias in Tech (MIT Press, 2024), by Meredith Broussard. When technology reinforces inequality, it's not just a glitch—it's a signal that we need to redesign our systems to create a more equitable world. The word “glitch” implies an incidental error, as easy to patch up as it …
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Why do international donors brand foreign aid? And what impact does it have on popular attitudes towards them? Join Matthew Winters and Petra Alderman as they talk about soft power, foreign aid branding, and popular attitudes towards USAID and Japan in India, Bangladesh, and Uganda. They discuss whether foreign aid branding works and address severa…
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Amidst the global instability of the early twentieth century, white Christian American women embraced the idea of an “empire of Christ” that was racially diverse, but which they believed they were uniquely qualified to manage. America’s burgeoning power, combined with women’s rising roles within the church, led to white Protestant women adopting a …
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In this episode of International Horizons, RBI Director John Torpey spoke with Francesco Ronchi and Udo Zolleis, two European Parliament officials and analysts. With the European Parliament elections taking place shortly after we spoke, they share their insights on the direction that politics in Europe may take in the coming months and years, espec…
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In Tabula Raza: Mapping Race and Human Diversity in American Genome Science (University of California Press, 2024), Duana Fullwiley has penned an intimate chronicle of laboratory life in the genomic age. She presents many of the influential scientists at the forefront of genetics who have redefined how we practice medicine and law and understand an…
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In this episode, we speak to Nivedita Menon about her new book, Secularism as Misdirection: Critical Thought from the Global South (Duke University Press, 2024; Permanent Black, 2023). Secularism as Misdirection is an ambitious and wide-ranging work, unravelling a term that is perhaps as contentious as it is ubiquitous in discourses of the Global S…
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Running and securing an empire can get expensive–especially one known for its opulence, like the Mughal Empire, which conquered much of northern India before rapidly declining in the eighteenth century. But how did the Mughals get their money? Often, it was through wealthy merchants, like the Jhaveri family, who willingly—and then not-so-willingly–…
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Personhood is central to the worldview of ancient India. Across voluminous texts and diverse traditions, the subject of the puruṣa, the Sanskrit term for "person," has been a constant source of insight and innovation. Yet little sustained scholarly attention has been paid to the precise meanings of the puruṣa concept or its historical transformatio…
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The Occasional Human Sacrifice: Medical Experimentation and the Price of Saying No (Norton, 2024) is an intellectual inquiry into the moral struggle that whistleblowers face, and why it is not the kind of struggle that most people imagine. Carl Elliott is a bioethicist at the University of Minnesota who was trained in medicine as well as philosophy…
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Hell on earth is real. The toxic fusion of big oil, Evangelical Christianity, and white supremacy has ignited a worldwide inferno, more phantasmagoric than anything William Blake could dream up and more cataclysmic than we can fathom. Escaping global warming hell, this revelatory book shows, requires a radical, mystical marriage of Christianity and…
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In the eighteenth century, women’s contributions to empire took fewer official forms than those collected in state archives. Their traces were recorded in material ways, through the ink they applied to paper or the artefacts they created with muslin, silk threads, feathers, and shells. Handiwork, such as sewing, knitting, embroidery, and other craf…
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In Implications of Pre-Emptive Data Surveillance for Fundamental Rights in the European Union (Brill Nijhoff, 2023) Julia Wojnowska-Radzińska offers a comprehensive legal analysis of various forms of pre-emptive data surveillance adopted by the European legislator and their impact on fundamental rights. It also identifies what minimum guarantees ha…
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Infinite Dreams: The Life of Alan Vega (Backbeat, 2024) by Laura Davis-Chanin and Liz Lamere is the first biography on the life of Alan Vega, best known as the co-founder of the punk duo Suicide. In their exhaustive biography Davis-Chanin and Vega's wife of 30 years, Liz Lamere, start with Vega's early life and attempts at astrophysics in college, …
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Hundreds of thousands of individuals perished in the epic conflict of the American Civil War. As battles raged and the specter of death and dying hung over the divided nation, the living worked not only to bury their dead but also to commemorate them. President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address perhaps best voiced the public yearning to memorial…
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After the end of the Maoist era in the People's Republic of China, the rise of queer communities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has generated growing public and academic attention. Drawing on over a decade of ethnographic fieldwork in northwest China, Casey James Miller offers a novel, compelling, and intimately personal perspective on C…
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Artificial intelligence started with programmed computers, where programmers would manually program human expert knowledge into the systems. In sharp contrast, today's artificial neural networks – deep learning – are able to learn from experience, and perform at human-like levels of perceptual categorization, language production, and other cognitiv…
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In this episode we speak with Dr. John W. Cave, a scientist and thought leader who has been in the research world for over 20 years. Dr. Cave has worked at a variety of elite research institutions at the intersection of biochemistry, neurology, and brain injury and has long history of mentoring younger scientists. Listen to our conversation for his…
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Housing experts and activists have long described the foundational role race has played in the creation of mass homeownership. This book insistently tracks the inverse: the role of mass homeownership in changing the definition, perception, and value of race. In The Residential Is Racial: A Perceptual History of Mass Homeownership (Stanford Universi…
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In this episode, Dr Pierce Salguero sits down with Naomi Worth, a scholar and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism’s postural yoga tradition. We dive into Naomi's experiences in yogic retreats, highlight the vigorous movement and intense visual elements of the practice, and explore yoga’s role in the Nyingma contemplative path. Naomi also shares how sh…
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Kids are at the center of today's "culture wars"--pundits, politicians, and parents alike are debating which books they should be allowed to read, which version of history they should learn in school, and what decisions they can make about their own bodies. And yet, no one asks kids what they think about these issues. In Children of a Troubled Time…
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Selling French Sex: Prostitution, Trafficking, and Global Migrations (Cambridge UP, 2024) is an illuminating account of the cultural, social, and economic history of the sale of 'French sex'. It explores the discourses and experiences surrounding the early twentieth century debate on sex trafficking, which mobilized various international reform mov…
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A vivid and intimate glimpse of ancient life under the sway of cosmic and spiritual forces that the modern world has forgotten. Life: The Natural History of an Early Christian Universe (U California Press, 2024) immerses the reader in the cosmic sea of existences that made up the late ancient Mediterranean world. Loosely structured around events in…
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Harmony and Normalization: US-Cuban Musical Diplomacy (University Press of Mississippi, 2020) explores the channels of musical exchange between Cuba and the United States during the eight-year presidency of Barack Obama, who eased the musical embargo of the island and restored relations with Cuba. Musical exchanges during this period act as a lens …
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Patriarchy and Its Discontents: Psychoanalytic Perspectives (Routledge, 2022) joins luminaries in contemporary psychoanalysis with pioneers of feminism to provide a timely analysis of the crushing effects of patriarchy and the role that psychoanalysis can play in moving us into a future defined by mutuality and respect. Departing from the contempor…
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In this beautiful new book, Dr. Youngna Kim draws on her vast understanding of Korean art to provide an overview of the peninsula’s contemporary art scene. Korean artists have become increasingly active at an international level, with many being invited for residencies and exhibitions all over the world. Nonetheless, for various reasons, the genera…
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