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Jeffrey Bachman's edited volume Cultural Genocide: Law, Politics, and Global Manifestations (Routledge, 2019) asks where the boundaries between genocide and other kinds of mass atrocity violence rest and what the stakes are in locating them here rather than there. Bachman, Senior Professorial Lecturer at the American University and a co-host of thi…
 
With COP26 and high fossil fuel prices, energy is back in the headlines. And Russia, as one of the world’s largest producers of hydrocarbons, is part of the conversation--most recently, in Putin’s refusal to expand oil production to ease global prices. The world is coming up on three major transitions—peak use of fossil fuels, renewables competing …
 
Priyanka Sacheti speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about her essay “Oman is Mars: An Alien All Along,” which appears in a portfolio of writing from the Arabian Gulf, in The Common’s fall issue. In this conversation, Priyanka talks about her feeling of not belonging anywhere—born in Australia to an Indian family, but growing up in Oman as a th…
 
Critical Situations is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Philip Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Stanford University. During this extensive conversation Philip Zimbardo relates his intriguing life history and the survival techniques that he developed from the particular dynamics of his upbringing in the…
 
In Economic Thought in Modern China: Market and Consumption, c.1500–1937 (Cambridge University Press, 2020), Margherita Zanasi argues that basic notions of a free market economy emerged in China a century and half earlier than in Europe. In response to the commercial revolutions of the late 1500s, Chinese intellectuals and officials called for the …
 
We are delighted to present All for One and One for All: Public Seminar Series on Mental Health in Academia and Society. All for One and One for All talks will shine the light on and discuss mental health issues in academia across all levels – from students to faculty, as well as in wider society. Seminars are held online once per month on Wednesda…
 
In Dissident Histories in the Soviet Union: From De-Stalinization to Perestroika (Bloomsbury,, 2019), Barbara Martin traces the careers of four prominent figures: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Roy Medvedev, Aleksandr Nekrich and Anton Antonov-Ovseenko. Based on extensive archival research into these four authors, Martin provides a new account of dissiden…
 
According to US Secretary of War Henry Stimson, the "most shocking single event" of World War II was not the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but rather the fall of France in spring 1940. Michael Neiberg offers a dramatic history of the American response--a policy marked by panic and moral ineptitude, which placed the United States in league with f…
 
Several months ago, Saskia Wieringa joined her co-authors Jess Melvin and Annie Pohlman on the show to talk about their edited volume The International People's Tribunal for 1965 and the Indonesian Genocide. This time, Wieringa is on the show to talk about another co-edited volume. Propaganda and the Genocide in Indonesia (Routledge, 2018) is a kin…
 
One Hundred Years of Solitude is a revered classic today fifty five years after it was first published in 1967. Today I talked to Alvaro Santana Acuña a sociologist and historian who describes the ingredients that went into manufacturing the success of this book. In Ascent to Glory: How One Hundred Years of Solitude Was Written and Became a Global …
 
Amid a string of fall 2021 news reports about past-due exonerations and (white) self-defense that document the limits of racial justice within the U.S. legal system, Pain and Shock in America: Politics, Advocacy, and the Controversial Treatment of People with Disabilities (Brandeis University Press, 2021) becomes an even more relevant and timely bo…
 
Today I speak to Stephen Batchelor, figurehead for Secular Buddhism, well known author, and Scot. I present the lovely man some of the critique aimed at his work in the book Secularizing Buddhism, and from my previous interview with Richard K. Payne. We also discuss some of his intellectual influences, touch on phenomenology, Gianni Vattimo, and wh…
 
Devotional Hindu Dance: A Return to the Sacred (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021) sheds light on the purpose of Hindu dance as devotional. Dr. Sabrina D. MisirHiralall explains the history of Hindu dance and how colonization caused the dance form to move from sacred to a Westernized system that emphasizes culture. Postcolonialism is a main theme throughout…
 
The Enlightenment is often either praised as the wellspring of modern egalitarianism or condemned as the cradle of scientific racism. How should we make sense of this paradox? The Color of Equality: Race and Common Humanity in Enlightenment Thought (U Pennsylvania Press, 2021) is the first book to investigate both the inclusive language of common h…
 
In this interview, I speak with Till F. Paasche and James D. Sidaway about their new book, Transecting Securityscapes: Dispatches from Cambodia, Iraq, and Mozambique (University of Georgia Press, 2021). In addition to the book's methodological and theoretical contributions, we also discussed the extensive field research and important personal exper…
 
We tend to think that states can act wrongfully, even criminally. Thus, we also tend to think that states can be held responsible for their acts. They can be made to pay compensation to their victims or suffer penalties with respect to their standing in the international community, and so on. The trouble, though, is that when states are held respon…
 
How can it be that deeply religious poetry is being written by a committed socialist, literary revolutionary and modernist? How sacredness appears in working in the field? How one can pray after the “death of God”? This magical contradiction is being explored and explained in the book Abraham the Hebrew Believer: Secularism and Religion in the work…
 
Today I talked to Anne F. Harris. Anne wears two hats: she's a medieval art historian and president of Grinnell College. We talked about her new book Medieval Art 250-1450: Matter, Making, and Meaning (Oxford University Press, 2021), which she co-authored with Nancy M. Thompson. We also discussed the significance and relevance of Medieval art today…
 
Pink Revolutions: Globalization, Hindutva, and Queer Triangles in Contemporary India (Northwestern UP, 2021) describes how queer politics in India occupies an uneasy position between the forces of neoliberal globalization, on the one hand, and the nationalist Hindu fundamentalism that has emerged since the 1990s, on the other. While neoliberal forc…
 
Herculaneum Uncovered is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, Director of Research and Honorary Professor of Roman Studies in the Faculty of Classics at the University of Cambridge. This wide-ranging conversation covers his fascinating archeological work done in Herculaneum and Pompeii, the poli…
 
Kevin Bruyneel confronts the chronic displacement of Indigeneity in the politics and discourse around race in American political theory and culture, arguing that the ongoing influence of settler-colonialism has undermined efforts to understand Indigenous politics while also hindering conversation around race itself. By reexamining major episodes, t…
 
Sleep Insights is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Matthew Walker, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology and Founder and Director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at UC Berkeley. This extensive conversation gives a clear and compelling picture of our recent understanding of sleep’s essential role in our dai…
 
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