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Dr. Christopher Ives teaches in the area of Asian Religions at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. In his scholarship, he focuses on modern Zen ethics. In 2009 he published Imperial-Way Zen, a book on Buddhist social ethics in light of Zen nationalism. Currently he is engaged in research on Zen approaches to nature and Buddhist environmental ethics…
 
What is the future for the House of Commons? In Held in Contempt: What’s Wrong with the House of Commons? Hannah White, Deputy Director of the Institute for Government, sets out a critique of the way a key institution at the heart of British democracy is failing to deliver for citizens, staff, and Members alike. Set against the backdrop of Brexit, …
 
Carolyn Eichner's new book, The Paris Commune: A Brief History (Rutgers University Press, 2022) was published on March 18th, the anniversary of the eruption of Paris Commune of 1871. In this accessible history of the 72-day uprising during which the working-class people of Paris established their own government; experimented with forms of radical d…
 
Through his blog K-Punk, Mark Fisher become one of the cult figures of cultural theory after the economic crash of 2008. One of Fisher’s insights, widely taken up by the online memesphere, was that capitalism breeds depression. Mike Watson picks up Fisher’s prognosis when the locked-down pandemic world is mired in a depression that is economic and …
 
The important new book by Alicia Puglionesi, In Whose Ruins: Power, Possession and the Landscapes of American Empire (Scribner, 2022), is a fat sampler of episodes that show how origin stories get made, what happens when white-supremacist origin stories are mistaken for empirical fact, and how the political impacts persist. The book is decidedly an…
 
Algorithms that work with deep learning and big data are getting so much better at doing so many things that it makes us uncomfortable. How can a device know what our favorite songs are, or what we should write in an email? Have machines become too smart? In Artificial Communication: How Algorithms Produce Social Intelligence (MIT Press, 2022), Ele…
 
In this episode Kim talks with Mustafa Yavas about Alienation. Mustafa quotes Karl Marx’s Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844. He also references Albert Camus’ books The Stranger and The Myth of Sisyphus, and Charlie Chaplin’s film Modern Times. Towards the end of the episode, he mentions Bertrand Russell’s 1930 article “In Praise of Idl…
 
Charters Wynn's book The Moderate Bolshevik: Mikhail Tomsky from the Factory to the Kremlin, 1880-1936 (Brill, 2022)is English-language biography of Mikhail Tomsky. It reveals Tomsky's central role in all the key developments in early Soviet history, including the stormy debates over the role of unions in the self-proclaimed workers’ state. Charter…
 
Listen to this interview of Dave Harris, a writing coach who uses principles from design to help authors develop writing practices. We talk about his book, Literature Review and Research Design: A Guide to Effective Research Practice (Routledge, 2019), and the ongoing conversation that is research. Dave Harris : "And one of the important elements o…
 
Uganda's capital, Kampala, is undergoing dramatic urban transformations as its new technocratic government seeks to clean and green the city. Waste Worlds: Inhabiting Kampala's Infrastructures of Disposability (U California Press, 2021) tracks the dynamics of development and disposability unfolding amid struggles over who and what belong in the new…
 
In this Pandemic Perspectives Podcast, Ideas Roadshow founder and host Howard Burton talks to renowned cognitive psychologist Stephen Kosslyn about how the COVID-19 pandemic influenced, or didn't influence, our understanding of the learning process. Ideas Roadshow's Pandemic Perspectives Project consists of three distinct, reinforcing elements: a d…
 
As the world confronts the largest refugee crisis since World War II, wealthy countries are being called upon to open their doors to the displaced, with the assumption that this will restore their prospects for a bright future. Refuge: How the State Shapes Human Potential (Princeton UP, 2022) follows Syrians who fled a brutal war in their homeland …
 
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…
 
Postcolonial feminist scholarship on the formation of gender relations primarily uses the analytic of colonizer-colonized dyad. In her new monograph, Gender Politics at Home and Abroad: Protestant Modernity in Colonial-Era Korea (Cambridge UP, 2020), Professor Hyaeweol Choi makes an important intervention by examining colonial Korea to propose a ne…
 
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…
 
This intricate, yearning work from award-winning poet Alison Calder asks us to think about the way we perceive and the ways in which we seek to know ourselves and others. In Synaptic (University of Regina Press, 2022) each section explores key themes in science, neurology, and perception. The first, Connectomics, riffs on scientific language to wor…
 
Human fertility rates are declining fast and in twenty years or so the global population will go down fast – not just in affluent countries but in the world as a whole. While many may welcome that outcome, Professor John Aitken who has just written The Infertility Trap: Why Life Choices Impact Your Fertility and Why We Must Act Now (Cambridge UP, 2…
 
The global epidemic of diabetes and prediabetes afflicts more than 1 billion people. And sadly, more than 50% of people with the disease do not achieve their desired glucose control. In Conquer Your Diabetes: Prevention, Control, Remission, Drs. Martin Abrahamson and Sanjiv Chopra, two Harvard Medical School professors and master clinicians, provid…
 
Political corruption remains … one of the most intriguing and challenging issues in social science research and public policy, perhaps because although it occurs in virtually all polities, its causes, patterns, and consequences often seem unique to each circumstance. – Cadres and Corruption by Xiaobo Lu (2000) Corruption is rampant in many authorit…
 
The ethics of changemaking and peacebuilding may appear straightforward: advance dignity, promote well-being, minimize suffering. Sounds simple, right? Actually acting ethically when it really matters is rarely straightforward. If someone engaged in change-oriented work sets out to "do good," how should we prioritize and evaluate whose good counts?…
 
Late one night, journalist Sally Hayden received an urgent message on Facebook: “Sally, we need your help.” It was from a group of Eritrean refugees who had been held in a Libyan detention center for months. Now, Tripoli was crumbling in a scrimmage between warring factions, and the refugees remained stuck, defenseless, with only one hope: contacti…
 
In today’s episode of How To Be Wrong we welcome Adrian Lenardic, who is a professor in the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences at Rice University and an avid scakteboarder. Adrian has an interesting background, having started as a visual arts major at UW Madison before switching to geophysics. He went on to get his PhD in pla…
 
The Benin Bronzes are among the British Museum’s most prized possessions. Celebrated for their great beauty, they embody the history, myth and artistry of the ancient Kingdom of Benin, once West Africa’s most powerful, and today part of Nigeria. But despite the Bronzes’ renown, little has been written about the brutal imperial violence with which t…
 
Diminished Faculties: A Political Phenomenology of Impairment (Duke UP, 2022) begins by calling into question a fundamental principle of orthodox phenomenology (and, for that matter, a great deal of humanities research): that of a fully self-aware unchanging subject who can provide a coherent account of its own experience, one which is commensurabl…
 
Does the idea of a world in which facts mean nothing cause anxiety? Fear? Maybe even paranoia? Disinformation: The Nature of Facts and Lies in the Post-Truth Era (Rowman and Littlefield, 2022) cannot cure all the ills of a post-truth world, but by demonstrating how the emergence of digital technology into everyday life has knitted together a number…
 
On a near-daily basis, data is being used to narrate our lives. Categorizing algorithms drawn from amassed personal data to assign narrative destinies to individuals at crucial junctures, simultaneously predicting and shaping the paths of our lives. Data is commonly assumed to bring us closer to objectivity, but the narrative paths these algorithms…
 
Are humans the only dreamers on Earth? What goes on in the minds of animals when they sleep? When Animals Dream: The Hidden World of Animal Consciousness (Princeton UP, 2022) brings together behavioral and neuroscientific research on animal sleep with philosophical theories of dreaming. It shows that dreams provide an invaluable window into the cog…
 
Three members of a loving Minnesota family have a voice in Caitlin Hamilton Summie’s new thought-provoking novel-in-stories, Geographies of the Heart (Fomite 2022). Sarah, the eldest daughter, Al, Sarah’s husband, and Glennie, Sarah’s younger sister take turns telling their story. The book begins with Sarah and Al’s courtship, their relationships w…
 
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