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Alice Dailey’s How to Do Things with Dead People: History, Technology, and Temporality from Shakespeare to Warhol (Cornell University Press, 2022) is an exploration of Shakespeare’s chronicle plays through the theoretical rubric of modern technology. Dailey is Professor of English at Villanova University and is the author of the monograph The Engli…
 
Defections from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) were an important part of the narrative of the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan during the Cold War, but their stories have previously barely been told, less still examined, in English. During the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the ROC government paid much special attention to these anti-communist heroes (…
 
Elizabeth Oyler and Katherine Saltzman-Li's book Cultural Imprints: War and Memory in the Samurai Age (Cornell UP, 2022) draws on literary works, artifacts, performing arts, and documents that were created by or about the samurai to examine individual "imprints," traces holding specifically grounded historical meanings that persist through time. Th…
 
Today I talk with Peter Salmon, author of An Event, Perhaps; an intellectual biography of Jacques Derrida. Our conversation was rich: We tackle Derrida and Buddhism, Derrida and the culture wars, Derrida and practice. Foucault gets a mention, as does Heidegger, as does spiritual enlightenment, mindfulness and spirituality. Our conversation was inco…
 
In Race, Culture and Media (Sage, 2021), Anamik Saha provides an account of the role that media plays in both circulating and shaping ideas about race and racism in the contemporary world. Saha argues that we need to move beyond a focus on representation to engage with how media makes race. As Anamik describes in our interview, alongside providing …
 
Olga Bertelsen’s timely book, In the Labyrinth of the KGB: Ukraine’s Intelligentsia in the 1960s-1970s (Lexington Books, 2022), focuses on the generation of the sixties and seventies in Kharkiv, Soviet Ukraine—a milieu of writers who lived through the Thaw and the processes of de-Stalinization and re-Stalinization. Special attention is paid to KGB …
 
Listen to this interview of Roslyn Petelin, Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Queensland, Australia. We talk about her book How Writing Works: A Field Guide to Effective Writing (Routledge, 2021) writing well and knowing why. Roslyn Petelin : "My book caters for all kinds of writers: student writers, creative writers, technical writ…
 
"I've been a philosopher for all my adult life and the three most profound books of philosophy that I have ever read are Ecclesiastes, Job, and Song of Songs." This is the opening line of Peter Kreeft's Three Philosophies of Life: Ecclesiastes, Job, and Song of Songs (Ignatius Press, 2016). He reflects that there are ultimately only three philosoph…
 
In the decades after World War II, the American economy entered a period of prolonged growth that created unprecedented affluence—but these developments came at the cost of a host of new environmental problems. Unsurprisingly, a disproportionate number of them, such as pollution-emitting factories, waste-handling facilities, and big infrastructure …
 
In the early twentieth century, Khunu Lama journeyed across Tibet and India, meeting Buddhist masters while sometimes living, so his students say, on cold porridge and water. Yet this elusive wandering renunciant became a revered teacher of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. At Khunu Lama’s death in 1977, he was mourned by Himalayan nuns, Tibetan lamas, an…
 
In 1977, Jeanne’s German nationalist ex-husband, Klaus, tells her he’s gotten a new job and wants to take their three-year-old daughter and six-year-old son away for a long weekend to celebrate. Jeanne relents. But Klaus never returns and instead sends Jeanne a letter, delivered by a mutual friend, in which he declares that he has fled to Germany a…
 
Kim talks to Patrick Deer about the Military Industrial Complex, a term used by US President Dwight D. Eisenhower in a 1961 speech to describe a permanent war economy, and the political, economic, and cultural matrix that sustains it. References are made to James Ledbetter’s book Unwarranted Influence and Seymour Melman’s book The Permanent War Eco…
 
Sixteenth Street NW in Washington, DC, has been called the Avenue of the Presidents, Executive Avenue, and the Avenue of Churches. From the front door of the White House, this north-south artery runs through the middle of the District and extends just past its border with Maryland. The street is as central to the cityscape as it is to DC's history …
 
Today’s world is unpredictable and full of contradictions, and navigating its complexities while trying to make the best decisions is far from easy. The Joy of Science (Princeton UP, 2022) presents 8 short lessons on how to unlock the clarity, empowerment, and joy of thinking and living a little more scientifically. In this brief guide to leading a…
 
Focusing on your mental health can feel overwhelming, but with this supportive mindfulness journal, you’ll learn how your faith can guide you to a happier, healthier life. Inside you’ll find Biblical quotes and prompts to remind you of God’s unconditional love, plus short, therapeutic practices to help you take charge of your mental well-being. Wha…
 
Within the Western tradition, it was the philosophers Henri Bergson and Max Scheler who laid out and explored the nonrational power of "intuition" at work in human beings that plays a key role in orienting their thinking and action within the world. As author Adriana Alfaro Altamirano notes, Bergon's and Scheler's philosophical explorations, which …
 
Since the original airing of this episode in June 2021, Roger Reeves' second book Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. was published by W.W. Norton, and the paperback edition of David Ferry's translation of The Aeneid was published by the University of Chicago Press. The underworld, that repository of the Shades of the Dead, gets a lot of traffic …
 
The Crown Games were the apex of competition in ancient Greece. Along with prestigious athletic contests in honor of Zeus at Olympia, they comprised the Pythian Games for Apollo at Delphi, the Isthmian Games for Poseidon, and the Nemean Games, sacred to Zeus. For over nine hundred years, the Greeks celebrated these athletic and religious festivals,…
 
Emma Natalya Stein's book Constructing Kanchi: City of Infinite Temples (Amsterdam UP, 2021) traces the emergence of the South Indian city of Kanchi as a major royal capital and multireligious pilgrimage destination during the era of the Pallava and Chola dynasties (circa seventh through thirteenth centuries). It presents the first-ever comprehensi…
 
Today we are joined by Dr. Shannon Walsh, Associate Professor of Theatre History, and author of Eugenics and Physical Culture Performance in the Progressive Era: Watch Whiteness Workout (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020). In our conversation, we discussed the origins of women’s physical culture in the United States, the role that physical culture reformers…
 
Immigration is one of the most fraught, and possibly most misunderstood, topics in American social discourse—yet, in most cases, the things we believe about immigration are based largely on myth, not facts. Using the tools of modern data analysis and ten years of pioneering research, Streets of Gold: America's Untold Story of Immigrant Success (Pub…
 
In Affect, Ecofeminism, and Intersectional Struggles in Latin America: A Tribute to Berta Cáceres (Peter Lang, 2020), Irune del Rio Gabiola examines the power of affect in structuring decolonizing modes of resistance performed by social movements such as COPINH (Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras). Despite a harsh leg…
 
Uganda's capital, Kampala, is undergoing dramatic urban transformations as its new technocratic government seeks to clean and green the city. Waste Worlds: Inhabiting Kampala's Infrastructures of Disposability (U California Press, 2021) tracks the dynamics of development and disposability unfolding amid struggles over who and what belong in the new…
 
As the world confronts the largest refugee crisis since World War II, wealthy countries are being called upon to open their doors to the displaced, with the assumption that this will restore their prospects for a bright future. Refuge: How the State Shapes Human Potential (Princeton UP, 2022) follows Syrians who fled a brutal war in their homeland …
 
Late one night, journalist Sally Hayden received an urgent message on Facebook: “Sally, we need your help.” It was from a group of Eritrean refugees who had been held in a Libyan detention center for months. Now, Tripoli was crumbling in a scrimmage between warring factions, and the refugees remained stuck, defenseless, with only one hope: contacti…
 
Human fertility rates are declining fast and in twenty years or so the global population will go down fast – not just in affluent countries but in the world as a whole. While many may welcome that outcome, Professor John Aitken who has just written The Infertility Trap: Why Life Choices Impact Your Fertility and Why We Must Act Now (Cambridge UP, 2…
 
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