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Lessons of history are often referred to in public discourse, but seldom in scholarly discussions. Klas-Göran Karlsson's book Lessons of History: The Holocaust and Soviet Terror as Borderline Events (Academic Studies Press, 2024) seeks to change this by introducing an innovative scholarly, analytical model of historical lessons, starting from the b…
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Award winning author and short fiction writer, C. J. Spataro's debut novel, More Strange Than True (Sagging Meniscus Press, 2024) takes us in to a world of faeries and what happens when wishes do come true. After an epically shitty day, Jewell Jamieson unknowingly eats a magic-spiked meal and happens also to make a certain wish-and that's why she a…
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With the rapid development of artificial intelligence and labor-saving technologies like self-checkouts and automated factories, the future of work has never been more uncertain, and even jobs requiring high levels of human interaction are no longer safe. The Last Human Job: The Work of Connecting in a Disconnected World (Princeton UP, 2024) explor…
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How do unequal societies function? In Holding It Together: How Women Became America's Safety Net (Portfolio, 2024), Jesscia Calarco, an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, examines how America’s DIY society depends on the labour of mothers and excludes the sorts of social supports present in other countries. Thi…
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As Andrew M. Gardner explains in The Fragmentary City: Migration, Modernity, and Difference in the Urban Landscape of Doha, Qatar (Cornell UP, 2024) in Qatar and elsewhere on the Arabian Peninsula, nearly nine out of every ten residents are foreign noncitizens. Many of these foreigners reside in the cities that have arisen in Qatar and neighboring …
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Serving Hispanic, Latine, and Latinx Students in Academic Libraries (Library Juice Press, 2024) is a collection of essays written by library workers that highlights academic library practices, programs, and services that support Hispanic, Latine, and Latinx students. As of 2020, there were over 500 federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institutions…
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In this interview, he discusses his new book The Land War in Ireland: Famine, Philanthropy and Moonlighting (Cork UP, 2023), a collection of interconnected essays on different aspects of agrarian agitation in 1870s and 1880s Ireland. The Land War in Ireland addresses perceived lacunae in the historiography of the Land War in late nineteenth-century…
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Artist Eric Fischl was born in 1948 in New York City and grew up in the Long Island suburbs. His paintings first received critical attention for depicting the dark, disturbing undercurrents of mainstream American life. In 1972 he received a B.F.A. from the California Institute for the Arts. In February 2012, Fischl spoke to the Institute about his …
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At Every Depth: Our Growing Knowledge of the Changing Oceans (Columbia UP, 2024) takes readers on a journey from California tidepools to Antarctic poles, showcasing myriad efforts to research and protect marine environments. Through insightful interviews, oceanographer Tessa Hill and science journalist Eric Simons offer a compelling exploration of …
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Today I talked to Benjamin Breen about his book Tripping on Utopia: Margaret Mead, the Cold War, and the Troubled Birth of Psychedelic Science (Grand Central, 2024). The generation that survived the second World War emerged with a profoundly ambitious sense of social experimentation. In the '40s and '50s, transformative drugs rapidly entered mainst…
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In Breathtaking Revelations: The Science of Breath from the Fifty Kamarupa Verses to Hazrat Inayat Khan (Suluk Press, 2024), Carl W. Ernst and Patrick J. D’Silva explore the intersections of Sufi and yogic breath-based meditation. Ernst and D’Silva offer us here two stunning texts for study. The first, an anonymous Persian translation of a 14th cen…
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Ideas influence people. In particular, extremely well-developed sets of ideas shape individuals, groups, and societies in far-reaching ways. In Revolution and Witchcraft: The Code of Ideology in Unsettled Times (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023), Gordon Chang establishes these “idea systems” as an academic concept. Through three intense episodes of manipul…
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Protracted economic crises, accelerating inequalities, and increased resource scarcity present significant challenges for the majority of Africa's urban population. Limited state capacity and widespread infrastructure deficiencies common in cities across the continent often require residents to draw on their own resources, knowledge, and expertise …
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Dr. Lydia Walker's deeply researched and carefully narrated debut monograph, States-in-Waiting: A Counter Narrative of Global Decolonization (Cambridge University Press, 2024) traces “the un-endings of decolonization” – the messy and improvised ways in which the 20th-century state-centric international order replaced empire as the default mode of p…
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It’s the UConn Popcast, and “Hit Man” is writer and director Richard Linklater’s latest film, available on Netflix after a brief theatrical run. We analyze the movie through Linklater’s classic themes: identity and its malleability, American sub-cultures, and American mythologies. “Hit Man” is a less challenging watch than much of Linklater’s canon…
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In Pure: The Sexual Revolutions of Marilyn Chambers (Headpress, 2024), Jared Stearns tells the untold story of the world's most famous X-rated star, who rose to fame as the face of Ivory Snow and the star of Behind the Green Door but struggled to find her true self in a world of sex, scandal, and shattered dreams. Marilyn Chambers was the embodimen…
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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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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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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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