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Latest episodes from New Books in Intellectual History

Jason A. Staples, "The Idea of 'Israel' in Second Temple Judaism: A New Theory of People, Exile, and Israelite Identity" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 33:39

How did the concept of Israel impact early Jewish apocalyptic hopes of restoration? How diverse was Israelite identity in antiquity? Tune in as we talk with Jason A. Staples about his recent book, The Idea of Israel, in which he proposes a new paradigm for how the biblical concept of Israel developed in Early Judaism. Jason A. Staples (Ph.D., UNC-Chapel Hill) is a historian, author, speaker, journalist, voice actor, and American football coach/analyst. He is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at NC State University and the author of The Idea of Israel in Second Temple Judaism: A New Theory of People, Exile, and Israelite Identity (Cambridge University Press, 2021) and numerous articles in ancient Judaism and Christianity. Michael Morales is Professor of Biblical Studies at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and the author of The Tabernacle Pre-Figured: Cosmic Mountain Ideology in Genesis and Exodus (Peeters, 2012), Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord?: A Biblical Theology of Leviticus (IVP Academic, 2015), and Exodus Old and New: A Biblical Theology of Redemption (IVP Academic, 2020). He can be reached at mmorales@gpts.edu Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

January 6th and the Myth of the Mob: The Pervasive Power of Crowd Theory

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 71:53

This week, we're showcasing some of our favourite past episodes of Darts and Letters themed around “Activism & Academia”. Today's episode originally aired a little earlier this summer. In the US, the January 6th hearings were continuing - and discourse about the factors that led to the insurrection was rampant. You might notice that when these kinds of events take place, similar descriptors are used: groupthink, mob mentality, deindividuation…and all of these ideas can be traced back to one bigoted, reactionary bigot: 19th-century French physician Gustave Le Bon. Why does academia always fear the masses? Our host Gordon Katic takes us through the story of Le Bon and beyond to analyze the academic stereotype of the public. —————————-SUPPORT THE SHOW—————————- You can support the show for free by following or subscribing on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or whichever app you use. This is the best way to help us out and it costs nothing so we'd really appreciate you clicking that button. If you want to do a little more we would love it if you chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patrons get content early, and occasionally there's bonus material on there too. ——————-ABOUT THE SHOW—————— For a full list of credits, contact information, and more, visit our about page. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Itay Lotem, "The Memory of Colonialism in Britain and France: The Sins of Silence" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 5, 2022 108:29

In The Memory of Colonialism in Britain and France: The Sins of Silence (Palgrave MacMillan, 2021), Itay Lotem explores the remembering of empire in Britain and France. By comparing these two former colonial powers, the author tells two distinct stories about coming to terms with the legacies of colonialism, the role of silence and the breaking thereof. Focusing on memory as an ongoing, politicized public debate, the book examines the afterlife of colonial history as an element of political and social discourse that depends on actors' goals and priorities. Itay Lotem earned his Ph.D at the University of London, Queen Mary and is currently a senior lecturer in French Studies at the University of Westminster. Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 2018). When he's not reading or talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Nina Rattner Gelbart, "Minerva's French Sisters: Women of Science in Enlightenment France" (Yale UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2022 54:24

In Minerva's French Sisters: Women of Science in Enlightenment France (Yale University Press, 2021), Nina Gelbart, Professor of History and Anita Johnson Wand Professor of Women's Studies at Occidental College, shares the stories of six, incredibly resourceful, and dedicated women who contributed substantially to the sciences of their time. While offering valuable comments on the challenges of writing gender-inclusive histories of science, the book restores the legacies of the mathematician Elisabeth Ferrand, the astronomer Nicole Reine Lepaute, the botanists Jeanne Barret and Madeleine Françoise Basseporte, the anatomist Marie-Marguerite Bihéron, and the chemist Marie Geneviève Charlotte Thiroux d'Arconville. Minerva's French Sisters also reads as the personal journey of an historian looking for lost evidence and piecing together traces to offer a unique vision of the Enlightenment sciences through the lens of these women. Victor Monnin, Ph.D. is an historian of science specialized in the history of Earth sciences. He is also teaching French language and literature to undergraduates. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Wayne Allen, "Thinking about Good and Evil: Jewish Views from Antiquity to Modernity" (U Nebraska Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2022 63:42

oday I talked to Rabbi Wayne Allen about his book Thinking about Good and Evil: Jewish Views from Antiquity to Modernity (U Nebraska Press, 2021). Starting with the Bible and Apocrypha, Rabbi Allen takes us through the Talmud; medieval Jewish philosophers and Jewish mystical sources; the Ba'al Shem Tov and his disciples; early modern thinkers such as Spinoza, Mendelssohn, and Luzzatto; and, finally, modern thinkers such as Cohen, Buber, Kaplan, and Plaskow. Each chapter analyzes individual thinkers' arguments and synthesizes their collective ideas on the nature of good and evil and questions of justice. Allen also exposes vastly divergent Jewish thinking about the Holocaust: traditionalist (e.g., Ehrenreich), revisionist (e.g., Rubenstein, Jonas), and deflective (e.g., Soloveitchik, Wiesel). Rabbi Allen's engaging, accessible volume illuminates well-known, obscure, and novel Jewish solutions to the problem of good and evil. Matthew Miller is a graduate of Yeshivat Yesodei HaTorah. He studied Jewish Studies and Linguistics at McGill for his BA and completed an MA in Hebrew Linguistics at Queen Mary University of London. He works with Jewish organizations in media and content distribution, such as TheHabura.com and RabbiEfremGoldberg.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Philip Tsang, "The Obsolete Empire: Untimely Belonging in Twentieth-Century British Literature" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2022 47:58

Modernist literature at the end of the British empire challenges conventional notions of homeland, heritage, and community.The waning British empire left behind an abundance of material relics and an inventory of feelings not easily relinquished.  In The Obsolete Empire: Untimely Belonging in Twentieth-Century British Literature (Johns Hopkins UP, 2021), Philip Tsang brings together an unusual constellation of writers—Henry James, James Joyce, Doris Lessing, and V. S. Naipaul—to trace an aesthetics of frustrated attachment that emerged in the wake of imperial decline. Caught between an expansive Britishness and an exclusive Englishness, these writers explored what it meant to belong to an empire that did not belong to them.Thanks to their voracious reading of English fiction and poetry in their formative years, all of these writers experienced a richly textured world with which they deeply identified but from which they felt excluded. The literary England they imagined, frozen in time and out of place with the realities of imperial decline, in turn figures in their writings as a repository of unconsummated attachments, contradictory desires, and belated exchanges. Their works arrest the linear progression from colonial to postcolonial, from empire to nation, and from subject to citizen. Drawing on a rich body of scholarship on affect and temporality, Tsang demonstrates how the British empire endures as a structure of desire that outlived its political lifespan. By showing how literary reading sets in motion a tense interplay of intimacy and exclusion, Tsang investigates a unique mode of belonging arising from the predicament of being conscripted into a global empire but not desired as its proper citizen. Ultimately, The Obsolete Empire asks: What does it mean to be inside or outside any given culture? How do large-scale geopolitical changes play out at the level of cultural attachment and political belonging? How does literary reading establish or unsettle narratives of who we are? These questions preoccupied writers across Britain's former empire and continue to resonate today. Dr. Philip Tsang is Assistant Professor at Colorado State University.  Gargi Binju is a researcher at the University of Tübingen.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Megan Threlkeld, "Citizens of the World: U. S. Women and Global Government" (U Pennsylvania Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2022 44:21

In Citizens of the World: U.S. Women and Global Government (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022), Megan Threlkeld profiles nine American women in the first half of the 20th century who invoked world citizenship as they promoted world government. These women agreed neither on the best form for such a government nor on the best means to achieve it, and they had different definitions of peace and different levels of commitment to genuine equality. But they all saw themselves as part of a global effort to end war that required their participation in the international body politic. This book argues that the phrase “citizen of the world” was not simply a rhetorical flourish; it represented a demand to participate in shaping the global polity and an expression of women's obligation to work for peace and equality. It gave them a language with which to advocate for international cooperation. Citizens of the World not only provides a more complete understanding of the kind of world these women envisioned, it also draws attention to the ways in which they were excluded from international institution-building and to the critiques many of them leveled at those institutions. Women's arguments for world government and their practices of world citizenship represented an alternative reaction to the crises of the first half of the twentieth century, one predicated on cooperation and equality rather than competition and force. Rebecca Turkington is a PhD Candidate in History at Cambridge University studying transnational women's networks.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Timothy Bewes, "Free Indirect: The Novel in a Postfictional Age" (Columbia UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2022 45:25

What is the purpose of a novel? What purpose or logic do literary critics assign to a novel? How has the novel changed? What does that mean for its readers and literary criticism in the contemporary era? What does novel share with cinema and what does that mean for contemporary thought? Timothy Bewes provides brilliant insights on these questions in his book, Free Indirect: The Novel in a Postfictional Age (Columbia UP, 2022). Everywhere today, we are urged to “connect.” Literary critics celebrate a new "honesty" in contemporary fiction or call for a return to "realism." Yet such rhetoric is strikingly reminiscent of earlier theorizations. Two of the most famous injunctions of twentieth-century writing - E. M. Forster's “Only connect . . .” and Fredric Jameson's “Always historicize!” - helped establish connection as the purpose of the novel and its reconstruction as the task of criticism. But what if connection was not the novel's modus operandi but the defining aesthetic ideology of our era-and its most monetizable commodity? What kind of thought is left for the novel when all ideas are acceptable as long as they can be fitted to a consumer profile? This book develops a new theory of the novel for the twenty-first century. In the works of writers such as J. M. Coetzee, Rachel Cusk, James Kelman, W. G. Sebald, and Zadie Smith, Timothy Bewes identifies a mode of thought that he calls "free indirect," in which the novel's refusal of prevailing ideologies can be found. It is not situated in a character or a narrator and does not take a subjective or perceptual form. Far from heralding the arrival of a new literary genre, this development represents the rediscovery of a quality that has been largely ignored by theorists: thought at the limits of form. Free Indirect contends that this self-awakening of contemporary fiction represents the most promising solution to the problem of thought today. Iqra Shagufta Cheema is writer, researcher, and chronic procrastinator. When she does write, she writes in the areas of postmodernist postcolonial literatures, transnational feminisms, gender and sexuality studies, and film studies. Check out her latest book chapter Queer Love: He is also Made in Heaven. She can be reached via email at IqraSCheema@gmail.com or Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Mark Solovey, "Social Science for What? Battles over Public Funding for the 'Other Sciences' at the National Science Foundation" (MIT Press, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2022 50:51

This is part two of a two part interview. Mark Solovey's ‘Social Science for What?' is essential reading for anyone in either the history of science policy or the history of the social sciences in the United States. The book is not, as the subtitle might imply, merely an institutional history of the social sciences at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Rather, Solovey's follow-up to his 2013 book, ‘Shaky Foundations: The Politics-Patronage-Social Science Nexus in Cold War America', is a commanding explanation of certain characteristics of academic social science as commonly practiced in the United States in the second half of the twentieth century. — Audra J. Wolfe, PhD. history and sociology of science, in ISIS Vol. 113, No. 2, June 2022 In our first episode, Professor Solovey shared some of the political and legislative history establishing the National Science Foundation; heated controversy over the social sciences that undermined the effort to include them in the initial legislation for the new science agency; how they nevertheless became included on a small and cautious basis grounded in a scientistic strategy; and some of the landmark developments, controversies, and interesting individuals involved from roughly the mid-1940s to the late 1960s. This included Senator Harris's remarkable legislative proposal in the mid-to-late 1960s to establish a separate national social science foundation. This second part of the interview opens with the late 1960s' controversy over Project Camelot and draws on Mark's 2001 journal article in the Social Studies of Science, titled ‘Project Camelot and the 1960s Epistemological Revolution: Rethinking the Politics–Patronage–Social Science Nexus' - which remains the professor's most often cited scholarly article. We then move up through the dark days of the Reagan years, along the way discussing key figures, from David Stockman to Talcott Parsons, Clifford Geertz, Thomas Kuhn, Milton Friedman, and Richard Atkinson, the emergence and impact of the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA), alternatives to the scientistic strategy, and persistent challenges faced by the social sciences at the levels of institutional representation, leadership and funding constraints relative to the natural sciences - all of which continue to the present day. We end with Professor Solovey's call for reviving the idea of a new federal agency for the social sciences, a National Social Science Foundation, as first introduced by Senator Harris of Oklahoma, and finally, with some book recommendations. An open access edition of Social Science for What?: Battles over Public Funding for the "Other Sciences' at the National Science Foundation (MIT Press, 2020) was made possible by generous funding from the MIT Libraries. Mark Solovey is professor at the University of Toronto's Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. His research focuses on the development of the social sciences in the United States, and especially the controversies regarding the scientific identity of the social sciences, private and public funding for them, and public policy implications of social science expertise. He has written and co-edited a number of books related to the Cold War and social science history. Keith Krueger lectures in the SILC Business School at Shanghai University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Kimberly Anne Coles, "Bad Humor: Race and Religious Essentialism in Early Modern England" (U Pennsylvania Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 29, 2022 62:34

Kimberly Anne Coles is Professor of English at the University of Maryland; her first book, Religion, Reform and Women's Writing in Early Modern England, was published with Cambridge University Press in 2008. Her work has been supported by the John W. Kluge Center, the Warburg Institute, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. Today, we are discussing Bad Humor: Race and Religious Essentialism in Early Modern England, which was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2022. In Bad Humor, Professor Coles charts how concerns around lineage, religion and nation converged around a pseudoscientific system that confirmed the absolute difference between Protestants and Catholics, guaranteed the noble quality of English blood, and justified English colonial domination. Professor Coles delineates the process whereby religious error, first resident in the body, becomes marked on the skin. Early modern medical theory bound together psyche and soma in mutual influence. By the end of the sixteenth century, there is a general acceptance that the soul's condition, as a consequence of religious belief or its absence, could be manifest in the humoral disposition of the physical body. The history that this book unfolds describes developments in natural philosophy in the early part of the sixteenth century that force a subsequent reconsideration of the interactions of body and soul and that bring medical theory and theological discourse into close, even inextricable, contact. With particular consideration to how these ideas are reflected in texts by Elizabeth Cary, John Donne, Ben Jonson, William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, Mary Wroth, and others, Professor Coles reveals how science and religion meet nascent capitalism and colonial endeavor to create a taxonomy of Christians in Black and White. John Yargo recently received his PhD in English literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, specializing in the environmental humanities and early modern culture. His articles have been published or are forthcoming in the Journal for Early Modern Culture Studies, Early Theatre, Studies in Philology, and Shakespeare Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Christy Pichichero, "The Military Enlightenment: War and Culture in the French Empire from Louis XIV to Napoleon" (Cornell UP, 2018)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 29, 2022 63:30

Covering the pivotal period from the mid-seventeenth century through the era of the French Revolution, Christy Pichichero's The Military Enlightenment: War and Culture in the French Empire from Louis XIV to Napoleon (Cornell University Press, 2018; paperback ed. 2020) is a fascinating interdisciplinary study that pushes us to rethink our ideas about both the military and the Enlightenment in and beyond a a France that was a global, as well as a continental European imperial power. As Pichichero shows, the (long) eighteenth century holds the key to our understanding historical concepts and transformations that we tend to associate with later developments in military thought and practice, from conventions around "good" and "humane" conflict to ideas about community and civility between soldiers fighting together and on opposing sides. The book's five chapters explore a broad range of compelling events and sources, from the work of well known Enlightenment thinkers and authors such as Voltaire and Choderlos de Laclos, to military manuals and debates regarding how wars would and should be waged, how soldiers should be trained to think and act in battle. Now available in a new paperback edition, the book is a must-read for anyone interested in the longue durée of military culture and warfare, as well as those with an interest in all that the Enlightenment did and could mean. Roxanne Panchasi is an Associate Professor of History at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada who specializes in twentieth and twenty-first century France and empire.She is the founding host of New Books in French Studies, a channel launched in 2013. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

David Konstan, "The Origin of Sin: Greece and Rome, Early Judaism and Christianity" (Bloomsbury, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2022 61:32

Where did the idea of sin arise from? In The Origin of Sin: Greece and Rome, Early Judaism and Christianity (Bloomsbury, 2022), David Konstan takes a close look at classical Greek and Roman texts, as well as the Bible and early Judaic and Christian writings. He argues that the fundamental idea of “sin” arose in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, although this original meaning was obscured in later Jewish and Christian interpretations. Through close philological examination of the words for “sin,” in particular the Hebrew hata' and the Greek hamartia, he traces their uses over the centuries in four chapters and concludes that the common modern definition of sin as a violation of divine law indeed has antecedents in classical Greco-Roman conceptions, but acquired a wholly different sense in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. Tiatemsu Longkumer is a Ph.D. scholar working on ‘Anthropology of Religion' at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong: India Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Ali Mirsepassi, "The Discovery of Iran: Taghi Arani, a Radical Cosmopolitan" (Stanford UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2022 70:17

The Discovery of Iran: Taghi Arani, a Radical Cosmopolitan (Stanford UP, 2021), opens with a fascinating passage about the 1934 decree whereby foreign delegates were instructed to refer to the country as Iran rather than Persian. In Ali Mirsepassi's view, the event closes a chapter on the long intellectual history of Iranian nationalism, which began in the often overlooked interwar era (1919-1935). Mirsepassi skillfully reconstructs the intellectual history of Iran during the interwar period by providing a holistic picture of the life and thought of Taghi Arani, a multifaceted public intellectual, a scientist, a cosmopolitan, and a Marxist. According to Mirsepassi, Arani's vision of Iran brings together cosmopolitanism with the idea of "civic nationalism" as a viable alternative to Soviet Marxism in the Global South. Arani's nuanced account of Iran as a nation has remained unacknowledged as an autocratic nationalism rises in Iran between 1934 and 1935. Yet, Arani's commitment to upholding the democratic ideals of the Constitutional Revolution (1905-1911), traceable to the Enlightenment, still has relevance today in the struggle against oppression, religious fanaticism, and cultural chauvinism. This study contributes a great deal to the understanding of intellectual history and social movements in the Global South, where demands for democracy and independence as well as oppression have been a part of the nation-building project. Kaveh Rafie is a PhD candidate specializing in modern and contemporary art at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His dissertation charts the course of modern art in the late Pahlavi Iran (1941-1979) and explores the extent to which the 1953 coup marks the recuperation of modern art as a viable blueprint for cultural globalization in Iran. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Thomas S. Kidd, "Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father" (Yale UP, 2017)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2022 63:22

Renowned as a printer, scientist, and diplomat, Benjamin Franklin also published more works on religious topics than any other eighteenth-century American layperson. Born to Boston Puritans, by his teenage years Franklin had abandoned the exclusive Christian faith of his family and embraced deism. But Franklin, as a man of faith, was far more complex than the “thorough deist” who emerges in his autobiography. As Thomas Kidd reveals in Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father (Yale University Press, 2018), deist writers influenced Franklin's beliefs, to be sure, but devout Christians in his life kept him tethered to the Calvinist creed of his Puritan upbringing. Thomas Kidd is Research Professor of Church History at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., and a Senior Research Scholar at Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion. Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020). Visit him online at ZalmanNewfield.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Skye Cleary, "How to Be Authentic: Simone de Beauvoir and the Quest for Fulfillment" (St. Martin's Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2022 49:47

Skye C. Cleary is a philosopher, writer and university teacher. In her new book How to Be Authentic: Simone de Beauvoir and the Quest for Fulfillment (St. Martin's Press, 2022) offers an introduction to Beauvoir's thinking about authenticity and how experience and situation shape the people we become. For Beauvoir, as an existential philosopher, we first exist and spend our lives not uncovering who we are but constructing our identity. Authenticity is the pursuit of self-creation and self-renewal. Under patriarchy women receive a set of myths that stand in the way of taking responsibility for our freedom. Through the experiences and the milestones of friendship, love, marriage, children and confronting death we have opportunity to choose who we will become. Because we live in interdependence with others, Beauvoir's philosophy of the self and genuine living allows others to also achieve freedom in self-creation through reciprocity. Cleary has given us a lively written book drawing not only from Beauvoir's life but her own experience in self-creation. Lilian Calles Barger is a cultural, intellectual and gender historian. Her most recent book is entitled The World Come of Age: An Intellectual History of Liberation Theology (Oxford University Press, 2018). Her current writing project is on the cultural and intellectual history of women and the origins of feminism seen through the emblematic life and work of Simone de Beauvoir. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Presentism

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2022 15:53

Anna Kornbluh talks about presentism, the anachronistic historical practice of studying the past with contemporary frames of understanding. While some orthodoxies might consider it to be tantamount to historical heresy, presentism can be a powerful tool in building histories of anti-establishment struggles, such as women's and workers' rights movements. The conversation also focuses on the work of the V21 Collective, a research collective that Anna organizes, which applies presentist methods to Victorianist scholarship. Anna Kornbluh is Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies at University of Illinois, Chicago. Her research and teaching focus on the novel, film, and critical theory, especially marxism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, and formalism. She is the author of The Order of Forms: Realism, Formalism, and Social Space (University of Chicago 2019), Marxist Film Theory and Fight Club (Bloomsbury “Film Theory in Practice” series, 2019), and Realizing Capital: Financial and Psychic Economies in Victorian Form (Fordham UP 2014). Her current research concerns impersonality, objectivity, mediation, and abstraction as residual faculties of the literary in privatized urgent times. She is the founding facilitator of two scholarly cooperatives: V21 Collective and InterCcECT. Image: © 2022 Saronik Bosu Music used in promotional material: ‘Past has not Passed' by James Blackshaw. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Duy Lap Nguyen, "The Unimagined Community: Imperialism and Culture in South Vietnam" (Manchester UP, 2019)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 25, 2022 49:18

Duy Lap Nguyen's book The Unimagined Community: Imperialism and Culture in South Vietnam (Manchester UP, 2019) proposes a reexamination of the Vietnam War from a perspective that has been largely excluded from historical accounts of the conflict, that of the South Vietnamese. Challenging the conventional view of the conflict as a struggle on the part of the Vietnamese people against US imperialism and its puppets, the study presents a wide-ranging investigation of South Vietnamese culture, from political philosophy and psychological warfare to popular culture and film. Beginning with a genealogy of the concept of a Vietnamese "culture," as it emerged as a product of modern print media in the context of European imperialism, the book concludes with a reflection on the rise of urban mass culture during the period of the American intervention. In addition, the study provides an extended analysis of one of the most remarkable, but least understood aspects of this particular history of imperialism and culture: the attempt by the early South Vietnamese state to overcome the Communist Revolution by carrying its own "Personalist revolution" in the countryside. Contrary to the conventional view of Vietnamese Personalism as a religious and authoritarian ideology, the study contends that the latter was in fact an anticolonial form of communitarian socialism, derived from the Marxist theology developed by the French philosopher, Emmanuel Mounier. Reexamining the war from the South Vietnamese perspective, The unimagined community pursues the provocative thesis that the conflict, in this early stage, was not an anti-communist crusade, but a struggle between two competing versions of anticolonial communism. Duy Lap Nguyen is Assistant Professor at the University of Houston in their School of World Cultures and Literatures and holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Irvine. His research interests include Critical theory, visual Studies, Vietnamese studies, world cinema and literature Thomas Kingston is an incoming Berkeley Fellow in South and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. His PhD research looks at the intellectual history and political economy of Southeast Asia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

James P. Byrd and James Hudnut-Beumler, "The Story of Religion in America: An Introduction" (Westminster John Knox Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 25, 2022 67:45

The Story of Religion in America: An Introduction (Westminster John Knox Press, 2021) presents the broad scope of the story of religion in the American colonies and the United States. While following certain central narratives, including the long shadow of Puritanism, the competition between revival and reason, and the defining role of racial and ethnic diversity, the book also tells the story of American religion in all its historical and moral complexity. To appeal to its broad range of readers, this text includes charts, timelines, and suggestions for primary source documents that will lead readers into a deeper engagement with the material. Unlike similar history books, The Story of Religion in America: An Introduction pays careful attention to balancing the story of Christianity with the central contributions of other religions. James P. Byrd is Professor of American Religious History, Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research, and Chair of the Graduate Department of Religion at Vanderbilt University Divinity School. James Hudnut-Beumler is Anne Potter Wilson Distinguished Professor of American Religious History at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and Professor of History in the College of Arts and Science at Vanderbilt University. Jackson Reinhardt is a graduate of University of Southern California and Vanderbilt University. He is currently an independent scholar, freelance writer, and research assistant. You can reach Jackson at jtreinhardt1997@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @JTRhardt Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

The Bland Corporation: On the RAND Corporation and the Defence-Intellectual Industrial Complex

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 25, 2022 44:29

Welcome to week two of our Darts and Letters summer showcase! Darts and Letters is a show about the politics of ideas. We're celebrating joining the New Books Network by bringing you some of our favourite past episodes of the show. Each week, we're following a different theme. Last week's was “ideas in strange places” - and today, we're kicking off a week of episodes about the politics of education. This episode asks a big and nefarious question: have intellectuals enabled the US empire? Our host Gordon Katic looks at the RAND corporation (famously lampooned in Dr. Strangelove as the BLAND Corporation), and the broader defence-intellectual industrial complex. Get ready to meet some of the boring calculator men who are partially responsible for our permanent state of war. We'll be launching brand-new episodes of Darts and Letters here on the New Books Network starting on September 18th - until then, stay tuned for more of our greatest hits. ——————-FURTHER READING AND LISTENING—————— Have a look at Daniel's book Democracy in Exile and check out his other books and articles on his academic homepage, including his co-authored volume The Decisionist Imagination: Sovereignty, Social Science and Democracy in the 20th Century. Listen to his podcast, American Prestige, including the latest episode special “Auf Wiedersehen, Merkel.” Read more of his popular writing in The Nation, including “Can We Live Without Twitter,” The New Republic, including “The Case Against Humane War,” and Jacobin, including “Everything You Need to Know About What's Happening in Afghanistan — An Interview with Derek Davison.” For some further reading on the national security state, dig into Top Secret America: The Rise of the American Security State by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin. For more from Daniel, visit his personal homepage. —————————-SUPPORT THE SHOW—————————- You can support the show for free by following or subscribing on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or whichever app you use. This is the best way to help us out and it costs nothing so we'd really appreciate you clicking that button. If you want to do a little more we would love if you chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patrons get content early, and occasionally there's bonus material on there too. —————————-CONTACT US————————- To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. If you'd like to write to us, email darts@citedmedia.ca or tweet Gordon directly. ———-CREDITS———- Darts and Letters is hosted and edited by Gordon Katic. Our lead producer is Jay Cockburn. Our assistant producer for this episode was Ren Bangert. Our managing producer is Marc Apollonio. David Moscrop wrote the show notes and is a research assistant. Our theme song and music was created by Mike Barber, our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop, and our marketing was done by Ian Sowden. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Tova Ganzel, "Ezekiel's Visionary Temple in Babylonian Context" (de Gruyter, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 25, 2022 44:16

What are we to make of the Temple envisioned by Ezekiel? How can we better understand Ezekiel, chapters 40 through 48? One way, suggests Tova Ganzel, is by examining evidence from Babylonian sources. She argues that Neo-Babylonian temples provide a meaningful backdrop against which many unique features of Ezekiel's vision should be interpreted. Tune in as we speak with Tova Ganzel about her recent book, Ezekiel's Visionary Temple in Babylonian Context (de Gruyter, 2021). Tova Ganzel is a Senior Lecturer at the Multidisciplinary Department of Jewish Studies and is the Head of Cramim - the Jewish Studies Honors Program - at Bar-Ilan University. Her work is mainly on the Hebrew Bible in the context of the larger ancient Near Eastern world. Her recent research focuses on prophetic literature, ancient Near Eastern temples and second temple texts, the Jewish reception of biblical criticism from the eighteenth century to the present and on women as Halakhic Professionals. Michael Morales is Professor of Biblical Studies at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and the author of The Tabernacle Pre-Figured: Cosmic Mountain Ideology in Genesis and Exodus(Peeters, 2012), Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord?: A Biblical Theology of Leviticus(IVP Academic, 2015), and Exodus Old and New: A Biblical Theology of Redemption (IVP Academic, 2020). He can be reached at mmorales@gpts.edu Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Mark Solovey, "Social Science for What?: Battles over Public Funding for the 'Other Sciences' at the National Science Foundation" (MIT Press, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 25, 2022 47:13

This is part one of a two part interview. "The social sciences have prospered best in the federal government where they have been included under broad umbrella classifications of the scientific disciplines. … In close company with scientific areas which enjoy the prestige and status of biological or physical sciences, the social sciences have enjoyed a protection and nourishment which they normally do not have when they are identified as such and stand exposed, 'naked and alone.'" — Harry Alpert, sociologist and first social science policy architect, 1960 (Solovey: Ch. 1 lead-in) In the early Cold War years, the U.S. government established the National Science Foundation (NSF), a civilian agency that soon became widely known for its dedication to supporting first-rate science. The agency's 1950 enabling legislation made no mention of the social sciences, although it included a vague reference to “other sciences.” Nevertheless, as Mark Solovey shows in this book, the NSF also soon became a major—albeit controversial—source of public funding for them. Solovey's analysis underscores the long-term impact of early developments, when the NSF embraced a “scientistic” strategy wherein the natural sciences represented the gold standard, and created a social science program limited to “hard-core” studies. Along the way, Solovey shows how the NSF's efforts to support scholarship, advanced training, and educational programs were shaped by landmark scientific and political developments, including McCarthyism, Sputnik, reform liberalism during the 1960s, and a newly energized conservative movement during the 1970s and 1980s. Finally, he provides a balanced assessment of the NSF's relevance in a “post-truth” era. Solovey's study of the battles over public funding is crucial for understanding the recent history of the social sciences as well as ongoing debates over their scientific status and social value. In this first part of two episodes the professor takes us from the mid-1940s up to the tumultuous 1960s and the (ultimately unsuccessful) legislative proposal for a National Social Science Foundation. Look for the second part which moves from the late 1960s' controversy over Project Camelot up through the dark days of the Reagan years, culminating in a call to revive discussion about the need to create a new federal agency, a National Social Science Foundation. An open access edition of Social Science for What?: Battles over Public Funding for the "Other Sciences' at the National Science Foundation (MIT Press, 2020) was made possible by generous funding from the MIT Libraries. Mark Solovey is professor at the University of Toronto's Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. His research focuses on the development of the social sciences in the United States, and especially the controversies regarding the scientific identity of the social sciences, private and public funding for them, and public policy implications of social science expertise. He has written and co-edited a number of books related to the Cold War and social science history. Keith Krueger lectures in the SILC Business School at Shanghai University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Jason Resnikoff, "Labor's End: How the Promise of Automation Degraded Work" (U Illinois Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 21, 2022 60:38

Labor's End: How the Promise of Automation Degraded Work (U Illinois Press, 2021) traces the discourse around automation from its origins in the factory to its wide-ranging implications in political and social life. As Jason Resnikoff shows, the term automation expressed the conviction that industrial progress meant the inevitable abolition of manual labor from industry. But the real substance of the term reflected industry's desire to hide an intensification of human work--and labor's loss of power and protection--behind magnificent machinery and a starry-eyed faith in technological revolution. The rhetorical power of the automation ideology revealed and perpetuated a belief that the idea of freedom was incompatible with the activity of work. From there, political actors ruled out the workplace as a site of politics while some of labor's staunchest allies dismissed sped-up tasks, expanded workloads, and incipient deindustrialization in the name of technological progress. A forceful intellectual history, Labor's End challenges entrenched assumptions about automation's transformation of the American workplace. Jason Resnifoff is Assistant Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Groningen (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen) in the Netherlands. Tom Discenna is Professor of Communication at Oakland University whose work examines issues of academic labor and communicative labor more broadly. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Maxwell Kennel, "Postsecular History: Political Theology and the Politics of Time" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2022 32:13

In this thought provoking book entitled PostSecular History:Political Theology and The Politics of Time (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), Max Kennel explores how contemporary approaches to the meaning of time and history follow patterns that are simultaneously political and theological. Even after postsecular critiques of Christianity, religion, and secularity, many influential ways of dividing time and history continue to be formed by providential narratives that mediate between experience and expectation in movements from promise to fulfilment. In response to persistent theological influences within ostensibly secular ways of understanding time and history, Postsecular History revisits and revises the concept of periodization by tracing powerful efforts to divide time into past, present, and future, and by critiquing historical partitions between the Reformation and Enlightenment. Developing a postsecular critique of theopolitical periodization in six chapters, Postsecular History questions how relations of possession, novelty, freedom, and instrumentality implied in the prefix ‘post' are reproduced in postsecular discourses and the field of political theology. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Xine Yao, "Disaffected: The Cultural Politics of Unfeeling in Nineteenth-Century America" (Duke UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2022 37:47

What is unfeeling? According to today's guest, Xine Yao, unfeeling includes “a broad range of affective modes, including withholding, disregard, growing a thick skin, refusing to care, opacity, numbness, dissociation, inscrutability, frigidity, insensibility, obduracy, flatness, insensitivity, disinterest, coldness, heartlessness, fatigue, desensitization, and emotional unavailability.”  In short, Xine argues in a new book from Duke University Press, titled Disaffected: The Cultural Politics of Unfeeling in Nineteenth-Century America, “people who are disaffected break from affectability and present themselves as unaffected” (11). Xine is a Lecturer of English before 1900 at University College London. Xine is a BBC Radio 3/AHRC New Generation Thinker and the co-host of the PhDivas Podcast which focuses on social justice and academia across the STEM/Humanities divide. Disaffected is an urgent book that examines how sentimentality was (and is) a part of the political architecture of white supremacy and governmentality—and the forms of unfeeling that writers of color used (and continue to use) to roil that architecture. John Yargo holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His specializations are early modern literature, the environmental humanities, and critical race studies. His dissertation explores early modern representations of environmental catastrophe, including The Tempest, Oroonoko, and the poetry of Milton. He has published in Studies in Philology, The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, and Shakespeare Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Patrick Hastings, "The Guide to James Joyce's Ulysses" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 18, 2022 68:46

From the creator of UlyssesGuide.com, The Guide to James Joyce's Ulysses (Johns Hopkins UP, 2022) weaves together plot summaries, interpretive analyses, scholarly perspectives, and historical and biographical context to create an easy-to-read, entertaining, and thorough review of Ulysses. In The Guide to James Joyce's 'Ulysses,' Patrick Hastings provides comprehensive support to readers of Joyce's magnum opus by illuminating crucial details and reveling in the mischievous genius of this unparalleled novel. Written in a voice that offers encouragement and good humor, this guidebook maintains a closeness to the original text and supports the first-time reader of Ulysses with the information needed to successfully finish and appreciate the novel.  Deftly weaving together spirited plot summaries, helpful interpretive analyses, scholarly criticism, and explanations of historical and biographical context, Hastings makes Joyce's famously intimidating novel-one that challenges the conventions and limits of language-more accessible and enjoyable than ever before. He unpacks each chapter of Ulysses with episode guides, which offer pointed and readable explanations of what occurs in the text. He also deals adroitly with many of the puzzles Joyce hoped would "keep the professors busy for centuries." Full of practical resources-including maps, explanations of the old British system of money, photos of places and things mentioned in the text, annotated bibliographies, and a detailed chronology of Bloomsday (June 16, 1904-the single day on which Ulysses is set)-this is an invaluable first resource about a work of art that celebrates the strength of spirit required to endure the trials of everyday existence. The Guide to James Joyce's 'Ulysses' is perfect for anyone undertaking a reading of Joyce's novel, whether as a student, a member of a reading group, or a lover of literature finally crossing this novel off the bucket list. Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube Channel. Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Joy Wiltenburg, "Laughing Histories: From the Renaissance Man to the Woman of Wit" (Routledge, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 18, 2022 51:06

Joy Wiltenburg's book Laughing Histories: From the Renaissance Man to the Woman of Wit (Routledge, 2022) breaks new ground by exploring moments of laughter in early modern Europe, showing how laughter was inflected by gender and social power. "I dearly love a laugh," declared Jane Austen's heroine Elizabeth Bennet, and her wit won the heart of the aristocratic Mr. Darcy. Yet the widely read Earl of Chesterfield asserted that only "the mob" would laugh out loud; the gentleman should merely smile. This literary contrast raises important historical questions: how did social rules constrain laughter? Did the highest elites really laugh less than others? How did laughter play out in relations between the sexes? Through fascinating case studies of individuals such as the Renaissance artist Benvenuto Cellini, the French aristocrat Madame de Sévigné, and the rising civil servant and diarist Samuel Pepys, Laughing Histories reveals the multiple meanings of laughter, from the court to the tavern and street, in a complex history that paved the way for modern laughter. ​ With its study of laughter in relation to power, aggression, gender, sex, class, and social bonding, Laughing Histories is perfect for readers interested in the history of emotions, cultural history, gender history, and literature. Elspeth Currie is a PhD student in the Department of History at Boston College where she studies women's intellectual history in early modern Europe. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Victoria W. Wolcott, "Living in the Future: Utopianism and the Long Civil Rights Movement" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 18, 2022 41:38

Living in the Future: Utopianism and the Long Civil Rights Movement (U Chicago Press, 2022) reveals the unexplored impact of utopian thought on the major figures of the Civil Rights Movement. Utopian thinking is often dismissed as unrealistic, overly idealized, and flat-out impractical-in short, wholly divorced from the urgent conditions of daily life. This is perhaps especially true when the utopian ideal in question is reforming and repairing the United States' bitter history of racial injustice. But as Victoria W. Wolcott provocatively argues, utopianism is actually the foundation of a rich and visionary worldview, one that specifically inspired the major figures of the Civil Rights Movement in ways that haven't yet been fully understood or appreciated. Wolcott makes clear that the idealism and pragmatism of the Civil Rights Movement were grounded in nothing less than an intensely utopian yearning. Key figures of the time, from Martin Luther King Jr. and Pauli Murray to Father Divine and Howard Thurman, all shared a belief in a radical pacificism that was both specifically utopian and deeply engaged in changing the current conditions of the existing world. Living in the Future recasts the various strains of mid-twentieth-century civil rights activism in a utopian light, revealing the power of dreaming in a profound and concrete fashion, one that can be emulated in other times that are desperate for change, like today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Christina B. Carroll, "The Politics of Imperial Memory in France, 1850–1900" (Cornell UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2022 57:18

In The Politics of Imperial Memory in France, 1850–1900 (Cornell University Press, 2022), Dr. Christina Carroll highlights the connections between domestic political struggles and overseas imperial structures. She explains how and why French Republicans embraced colonial conquest as a central part of their political platform. The book explores the meaning and value of empire in late-nineteenth-century France, arguing that ongoing disputes about the French state's political organization intersected with racialized beliefs about European superiority over colonial others in French imperial thought. For much of this period, French writers and politicians did not always differentiate between continental and colonial empire. By employing a range of sources—from newspapers and pamphlets to textbooks and novels—Dr. Carroll demonstrates that the memory of older continental imperial models shaped French understandings of, and justifications for, their new colonial empire. She shows that the slow identification of the two types of empire emerged due to a politicized campaign led by colonial advocates who sought to defend overseas expansion against their opponents. This new model of colonial empire was shaped by a complicated set of influences, including political conflict, the legacy of both Napoleons, international competition, racial science, and French experiences in the colonies. The Politics of Imperial Memory in France, 1850–1900 skillfully weaves together knowledge from its wide-ranging source base to articulate how the meaning and history of empire became deeply intertwined with the meaning and history of the French nation. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Donovan Sherman, "The Philosopher's Toothache: Embodied Stoicism in Early Modern English Drama" (Northwestern UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2022 71:02

In Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing, Leonato says, “I pray thee peace; I will be flesh and blood. / For there was never yet philosopher / That could endure the toothache patiently, / However they have writ the style of gods / And make a push at chance and sufferance.” These lines serve as the inspiration for the title of a new book from today's guest, Donovan Sherman. The Philosopher's Toothache: Embodied Stoicism in Early Modern English Drama, was published by Northwestern University Press in 2022. Donovan is a Professor of English at Seton Hall University; his previous book is Second Death: Theatricalities of the Soul in Shakespeare's Drama (2016), from Edinburgh University Press. The Philosopher's Toothache is a meditation on conceptual latticing of early modern theatre and the ancient Greek philosophy of Stoicism. Writers explored in the book range from James I to Shakespeare and Ben Jonson. John Yargo recently received his PhD in English literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, specializing in the environmental humanities and early modern culture. His articles have been published or are forthcoming in the Journal for Early Modern Culture Studies, Early Theatre, Studies in Philology, and Shakespeare Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Laurie Marhoefer, "Racism and the Making of Gay Rights: A Sexologist, His Student, and the Empire of Queer Love" (U Toronto Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 14, 2022 55:56

In 1931, a sexologist arrived in colonial Shanghai to give a public lecture about homosexuality. In the audience was a medical student. The sexologist, Magnus Hirschfeld, fell in love with the medical student, Li Shiu Tong. Li became Hirschfeld's assistant on a lecture tour around the world. Racism and the Making of Gay Rights: A Sexologist, His Student, and the Empire of Queer Love (U Toronto Press, 2022) shows how Hirschfeld laid the groundwork for modern gay rights, and how he did so by borrowing from a disturbing set of racist, imperial, and eugenic ideas. Following Hirschfeld and Li in their travels through the American, Dutch, and British empires, from Manila to Tel Aviv to having tea with Langston Hughes in New York City, and then into exile in Hitler's Europe, Laurie Marhoefer provides a vivid portrait of queer lives in the 1930s and of the turbulent, often-forgotten first chapter of gay rights. Laurie Marhoefer is the Jon Bridgman Endowed Associate Professor in History at the University of Washington. Armanc Yildiz is a doctoral candidate in Social Anthropology with a secondary field in Studies in Women, Gender and Sexuality at Harvard University. He is also the founder of Academics Write, where he supports scholars in their writing projects as a writing coach and developmental editor. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Dean Krouk, "The Making of an Antifascist: Nordahl Grieg Between the World Wars" (U Wisconsin Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 13, 2022 58:44

A young imperialist adventurer turned hero of the anti-Nazi resistance, Norwegian journalist, poet, and playwright Nordahl Grieg has become more of a national legend than a real person since his death as a war reporter in Berlin in 1943. A look into Grieg's intellectual development during the dynamic interwar period sheds light on the political and cultural ideologies that competed in a turbulent Europe. Often portrayed with an emphasis on his humanist and pacifist positions, this antifascist figure becomes more complex in his writings, which reveal shifting allegiances, including an unsavory period as a rigid Stalinist. In The Making of an Antifascist: Nordahl Grieg Between the World Wars (U Wisconsin Press, 2022), Dean Krouk examines a significant public figure in Scandinavian literature and a critical period in modern European history through original readings of the political, ethical, and gender issues in Grieg's works. This volume offers a first-rate analysis of the interwar period's political and cultural agendas in Scandinavia and Europe leading to the Second World War by examining the rise of fascism, communism, and antifascism. Grieg's poetry found renewed resonance in Norway following the 2011 far-right domestic terrorist attacks, making insight into his contradictory ideas more crucial than ever. Krouk's presentation of Grieg's unexpected ideological tensions will be thought-provoking for many readers in the United States and elsewhere. Nicholas Misukanis is a doctoral candidate in the history department at the University of Maryland - College Park. He studies modern European and Middle Eastern history with a special emphasis on Germany and the role energy autonomy played in foreign and domestic German politics. He is currently working on his dissertation which analyzes why the West German government failed to convince the public to embrace nuclear energy and the ramifications this had on German politics between 1973 and 1986. He can be reached at misukani@umd.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Yehudah Mirsky, "Towards the Mystical Experience of Modernity: The Making of Rav Kook, 1865-1904" (Academic Studies Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 13, 2022 87:30

Avraham Yitzhaq Ha-Cohen Kook (1865-1935) stands as a colossal figure of modern Jewish history and thought. Jurist, mystic, poet, theologian, communal leader, founder of the modern Chief Rabbinate and still the defining thinker of Religious Zionism, he is indispensable for understanding modern Jewish thought, the contemporary State of Israel, and the most fundamental interactions of religion, nationalism, ethics and spirituality. Despite countless studies of him, almost no full-fledged intellectual biography of him exists in any language.  This study of the years before his momentous move to Jaffa in 1904, drawing on little-known works, including recently published manuscripts, begins to fill that gap. Towards the Mystical Experience of Modernity: The Making of Rav Kook, 1865-1904 (Academic Studies Press, 2021) traces his life and times in the remarkably intense Rabbinic intellectual milieu of late nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, and his path from a profound, regularly rationalist traditionalism, towards a dynamic theology and spiritual practice weaving together Kabbalah, philosophy, universal ethics, and romantic mysticism. Matthew Miller is a graduate of Yeshivat Yesodei HaTorah. He studied Jewish Studies and Linguistics at McGill for his BA and completed an MA in Hebrew Linguistics at Queen Mary University of London. He works with Jewish organizations in media and content distribution, such as TheHabura.com and RabbiEfremGoldberg.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

On Hannah Arendt and Humanitarianism

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 13, 2022 47:52

From the Institute's Vault, we have an excerpt from a two day symposium--“Hannah Arendt Right Now”--which explored the philosopher's impact on the 21st Century. The 2006 event was held on the hundredth anniversary of Arendt's birth. In this episode, Dr. Rony Brauman describes how Arendt influenced his thinking about the politics of humanitarian aid. Brauman was president of Doctors without Borders from 1982 to 1994. In 1999, he co-directed The Specialist - Portrait of a Modern Criminal, a documentary about the trial of Adolf Eichman. Samantha Power responds to Brauman's presentation. Power was the US ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017, and author of A Problem From Hell, America and the Age of Genocide, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Travis W. Proctor, "Demonic Bodies and the Dark Ecologies of Early Christian Culture" (Oxford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 12, 2022 43:01

Drawing insights from gender studies and the environmental humanities, Demonic Bodies and the Dark Ecologies of Early Christian Culture (Oxford UP, 2022) analyze how ancient Christians constructed the Christian body through its relations to demonic adversaries. Through case studies of New Testament texts, Gnostic treatises, and early Christian church fathers, Travis W. Proctor notes that early followers of Jesus construed the demonic body in diverse and sometimes contradictory ways, as both embodied and bodiless, “fattened” and ethereal, heavenly and earthbound. Across this diversity of portrayals, however, demons consistently functioned as personifications of “deviant” bodily practices such as “magical” rituals, immoral sexual acts, gluttony, and pagan religious practices. This demonization served an exclusionary function whereby Christian writers marginalized fringe Christian groups by linking their ritual activities to demonic modes of (dis)embodiment. The tandem construction of demonic and human corporeality demonstrates how Christian authors constructed the bodies that inhabited their cosmos - human, demon, and otherwise as part of overlapping networks or “ecosystems” of humanity and nonhumanity. Through this approach, Proctor provides new resources for reimagining the enlivened ecosystems that surround and intersect with our modern ideas of “self.” Tiatemsu Longkumer is a Ph.D. scholar working on ‘Anthropology of Religion' at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong: India. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Spenser and Race: A Discussion with Dennis Austin Britton and Kimberly Anne Coles

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 12, 2022 60:19

Today's guests are Dennis Austin Britton and Kimberly Anne Coles who have co-edited a special issue of Spenser Studies in 2021, on “Spenser and Race.” Dennis is Associate Professor of English at the University of British Columbia; his previous book Becoming Christian: Race, Reformation, and Early Modern English Romance, was published through Fordham University Press in 2014. Dennis is the former board president of the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire. Kim is Professor of English at the University of Maryland; she has published Religion, Reform and Women's Writing in Early Modern England, with Cambridge University Press in 2008; and Bad Humor: Race and Religious Essentialism in Early Modern England, with the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2022. We will be discussing the impetus and contributions of this special issue, which features brilliant scholarship by Tess Grogan, Anna Wainwright, Ayanna Thompson, Melissa Sanchez, Eric Song, Urvashi Chakravarty, Ross Lerner, Andrew Hadfield, Thomas Herron, and Benedict Robinson. John Yargo holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His specializations are early modern literature, the environmental humanities, and critical race studies. His dissertation explores early modern representations of environmental catastrophe, including The Tempest, Oroonoko, and the poetry of Milton. He has published in Studies in Philology, The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, and Shakespeare Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

On Hannah Arendt's "Eichmann in Jerusalem"

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 8, 2022 32:14

In this episode from the Institute's Vault, we have an excerpt from a two day symposium--“Hannah Arendt Right Now”--which explored the philosopher's impact on the 21st Century. The 2006 event was held on the hundredth anniversary of Arendt's birth. The focus of this episode is Arendt's 1963 book, Eichmann in Jerusalem. The session begins with historian Anthony Grafton, whose father, a journalist, once wrote about Arendt. The second speaker is Dr. Rony Brauman, the co-directed The Specialist: Portrait of a Modern Criminal, a documentary about the trial of Adolf Eichman. The third speaker is Margarethe von Trotta, the German director whose 2012 film about Hannah Arendt focuses on the Eichmann trial. The session concludes with Pamela Katz, who wrote the screenplay for Hannah Arendt. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Adam Hanna, "Poetry, Politics, and the Law in Modern Ireland" (Syracuse UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 7, 2022 65:22

Dr. Adam Hanna's Poetry, Politics, and the Law in Modern Ireland (Syracuse University Press, 2022) is a richly detailed exploration of how modern Irish poetry has been shaped by, and responded to, the laws, judgments, and constitutions of both of the island's jurisdictions. Focusing on poets' responses in their writing to such contentious legal issues as partition, censorship, paramilitarism, and the curtailment of women's reproductive and other rights, this volume is the first in the growing field of law and literature to monograph exclusively on modern Ireland. Dr. Hanna unpacks the legal engagements of both major and non-canonical poets from every decade between the 1920s and the present day, including Rhoda Coghill, Austin Clarke, Paul Durcan, Elaine Feeney, Miriam Gamble, Seamus Heaney, Thomas Kinsella, Paula Meehan, Julie Morrissy, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, and W. B. Yeats. Poetry from the time of independence onward has been shaped by two opposing forces. On the one hand, the Irish public has traditionally had strong expectations that poets offer a dissenting counter-discourse to official sources of law. On the other hand, poets have more recently expressed skepticism about the ethics of speaking for others and about the adequacy of art in performing a public role. Dr. Hanna's fascinating study illuminates the poetry that arises from these antithetical modern conditions. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Andrew R. Polk, "Faith in Freedom: Propaganda, Presidential Politics, and the Making of an American Religion" (Cornell UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 7, 2022 57:09

In Faith in Freedom: Propaganda, Presidential Politics, and the Making of an American Religion (Cornell UP, 2021), Andrew R. Polk argues that the American civil religion so many have identified as indigenous to the founding ideology was, in fact, the result of a strategic campaign of religious propaganda. Far from being the natural result of the nation's religious underpinning or the later spiritual machinations of conservative Protestants, American civil religion and the resultant "Christian nationalism" of today were crafted by secular elites in the middle of the twentieth century. Polk's genealogy of the national motto, "In God We Trust," revises the very meaning of the contemporary American nation. Polk shows how Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, working with politicians, advertising executives, and military public relations experts, exploited denominational religious affiliations and beliefs in order to unite Americans during the Second World War and, then, the early Cold War. Armed opposition to the Soviet Union was coupled with militant support for free economic markets, local control of education and housing, and liberties of speech and worship. These preferences were cultivated by state actors so as to support a set of right-wing positions including anti-communism, the Jim Crow status quo, and limited taxation and regulation. Faith in Freedom is a pioneering work of American religious history. By assessing the ideas, policies, and actions of three US Presidents and their White House staff, Polk sheds light on the origins of the ideological, religious, and partisan divides that describe the American polity today. Andrew R. Polk is Associate Professor of History at Middle Tennessee State University. Jackson Reinhardt is a graduate of University of Southern California and Vanderbilt University. He is currently an independent scholar, freelance writer, and research assistant. You can reach Jackson at jtreinhardt1997@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @JTRhardt Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Vered Noam, "Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature" (Oxford UP, 2018)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2022 52:29

The shifting image of the Hasmoneans in the eyes of their contemporaries and later generations is a compelling issue in the history of the Maccabean revolt and the Hasmonean commonwealth. Based on a series of six Jewish folktales from the Second Temple period that describe the Hasmonean dynasty and its history from its legendary founders, through achievement of full sovereignty, to downfall, Vered Noam's Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature (Oxford UP, 2018) examines the Hasmoneans through the lens of reception history. On the one hand, these brief, colorful legends are embedded in the narrative of the historian of the age, Flavius Josephus; on the other hand, they are scattered throughout the extensive halakhic-exegetical compositions known as rabbinic literature, redacted and compiled centuries later. Each set of parallel stories is examined for the motivation underlying its creation, its original message, language, and the historical context. This analysis is followed by exploration of the nature of the relationship between the Josephan and the rabbinic versions, in an attempt to reconstruct the adaptation of the putative original traditions in the two corpora, and to decipher the disparities, different emphases, reworking, and unique orientations typical of each. These adaptations reflect the reception of the pristine tales and thus disclose the shifting images of the Hasmoneans in later generations and within distinct contexts. The compilation and characterization of these sources which were preserved by means of two such different conduits of transmission brings us closer to reconstruction of a lost literary continent, a hidden Jewish Atlantis of early pseudo-historical legends and facilitates examination of the relationship between the substantially different libraries and worlds of Josephus and rabbinic literature. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Drew Daniel, "Joy of the Worm: Suicide and Pleasure in Early Modern English Literature" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2022 65:31

Advisory: this episode discusses the literary representation of self-harm and suicide, in particular, how writers such as Shakespeare and Milton often treated the subject in unserious or trivializing ways. In 1643, the writer Thomas Browne introduced the word “suicide” into the English language. Eventually, “suicide” would become a monolith in how we think about self-harm and self-killing. “Suicide” has come to represent an individualizing, pathologizing way of looking at people who contemplate ending their lives. But, when Thomas Browne's new word was first used, it was entering a discursive space that was wider and more open to campy humor, slapstick, and misogynistic trolling. This is the argument of an exciting and nuanced book from today's guest, Drew Daniel. The title of the book is Joy of the Worm: Suicide and Pleasure in Early Modern English Literature published by the University of Chicago Press in 2022. Daniel is a Professor of English at Johns Hopkins University, and teaches early modern literature, critical theory, and aesthetics. Joy of the Worm is a fresh, elegantly written exploration of scenes of self-murder (or the contemplation of self-murder) in Antony and Cleopatra, Paradise Lost, and Joseph Addison's Cato, a Tragedy. He is the author of the previous monograph, The Melancholy Assemblage (from Fordham UP), and the 33 1/3 book on Throbbing Gristle's Twenty Jazz Funk Greats. He is also one-half of the electronic band Matmos. John Yargo holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His specializations are early modern literature, the environmental humanities, and critical race studies. His dissertation explores early modern representations of environmental catastrophe, including The Tempest, Oroonoko, and the poetry of Milton. He has published in Studies in Philology, The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, and Shakespeare Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Leila Neti, "Colonial Law in India and the Victorian Imagination" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2022 58:05

Situated at the intersection of law and literature, nineteenth-century studies and post-colonialism, Colonial Law in India and the Victorian Imagination (Cambridge UP, 2021) draws on original archival research to shed new light on Victorian literature. Each chapter explores the relationship between the shared cultural logic of law and literature, and considers how this inflected colonial sociality. Leila Neti approaches the legal archive in a distinctly literary fashion, attending to nuances of voice, character, diction and narrative, while also tracing elements of fact and procedure, reading the case summaries as literary texts to reveal the common turns of imagination that motivated both fictional and legal narratives. What emerges is an innovative political analytic for understanding the entanglements between judicial and cultural norms in Britain and the colony, bridging the critical gap in how law and literature interact within the colonial arena. Leila Neti is an associate professor of English at Occidental College, Los Angeles.   Gargi Binju is a researcher at the University of Tübingen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

Annette G. Aubert and Zachary Purvis, "Transatlantic Religion: Europe, America, and the Making of Modern Christianity" (Brill, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 5, 2022 43:27

Annette G. Aubert and Zachary Purvis' edited volume Transatlantic Religion: Europe, America, and the Making of Modern Christianity (Brill, 2021) offers a new perspective on nineteenth-century American Christianity that takes into account the century's major transformations in politics, philosophy, education, and religious doctrine. The book includes previously unexamined material to explain the influences of European ideas on the intellectual diversity and cultural specifics of American Christianity. It gives readers access to a new analytical approach to the transatlantic development of religion in America, one that acknowledges the role of ecumenical and partisan religious journalism, academic-religious mentoring, profound changes in the field of scientific inquiry, and the aims of institution builders. Justin McGeary is Director of Christian Studies at John Witherspoon College and a graduate student at Union School of Theology, Wales. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

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