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Jeffrey Jenkins and Justin Peck’s new book Congress and the First Civil Rights Era, 1861-1918 (U Chicago Press, 2021) explores how Congressional Republicans enacted laws aimed at establishing an inclusive, multiracial democracy. During the Civil War and Reconstruction, Congress crafted a civil rights agenda -- including laws, strict enforcement mec…
 
In a world that purports to know more about the future than any before it, why do we still need speculation? Insubstantial speculations – from utopian thinking to high-risk stock gambles – often provoke backlash, even when they prove prophetic. Why does this hypothetical way of thinking generate such controversy? Gayle Rogers, author of Speculation…
 
An inspiring new voice in resiliency, Dr. Robyne Hanley-DaFoe believes that our modern conception of resiliency as "fighting" or being "tougher" is misguided. Learning happens when we are able to trust and feel safe; fear and shame are barriers, not facilitators, for authentic growth, acceptance, and change. In Calm Within the Storm: Resiliency for…
 
No Future in This Country: The Prophetic Pessimism of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner (U Mississippi Press, 2020) is a history of the career of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner (1834–1915), specifically focusing on his work from 1896 to 1915. Drawing on the copious amount of material from Turner’s speeches, editorial, and open and private letters, Dr. Andre E…
 
The 1980s saw the peak of a moral panic over fantasy role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons. A coalition of moral entrepreneurs that included representatives from the Christian Right, the field of psychology, and law enforcement claimed that these games were not only psychologically dangerous but an occult religion masquerading as a game. …
 
What does psychoanalysis want? In The Desire of Psychoanalysis: Exercises in Lacanian Thinking (Northwestern UP, 2021), analyst and academic Gabriel Tupinambá takes the Lacanian world to task for failing to properly address this question and, in so doing, both overestimating the field's political applicability, and undervaluing the role of analysan…
 
The world is in a midst of a renewable energy revolution, with the price of utility scale photo-voltaic solar power falling by nearly 90% between 2009 and 2019, and the price of wind power falling by 70% during the same period. Annual global investment in renewable electricity generation assets is now more than double that for fossil fuel and nucle…
 
Gramsci’s concept of hegemony is often invoked, but usually as a means of cultural critique and analysis. However, my guest Lorenzo Fusaro argues in his recent book Crises and Hegemonic Transitions: From Gramsci's Quaderni to the Contemporary World Economy (Haymarket Books, 2020) that Gramsci’s work is permeated by Marx’s economic critique and his …
 
Two experts of extremist radicalization take us down the QAnon rabbit hole, exposing how the conspiracy theory ensnared countless Americans, and show us a way back to sanity. In January 2021, thousands descended on the U.S. Capitol to aid President Donald Trump in combating a shadowy cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles. Two women were among those…
 
What would it feel like to wake up inside the head of someone who writes about science for a living? John Horgan, acclaimed author of the bestseller The End of Science, answers that question in his genre-bending new book Pay Attention: Sex, Death, and Science (MIT Press, 2020), a stream-of-consciousness account of a day in the life of his alter ego…
 
Meryl Altman's new book Beauvoir in Time, published by Brill Rodopi Press (2020), situates Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex (1949) in its historical context and responds to criticism that muddles what she actually said about sex, race and class. She takes up three aspects of Beauvoir's work today’s feminists find problematic: the characterizatio…
 
The image most of us have of whalers includes harpoons and intentional trauma. Yet eating commercially caught seafood leads to whales' entanglement and slow death in rope and nets, and the global shipping routes that bring us readily available goods often lead to death by collision. We--all of us--are whalers, marine scientist and veterinarian Mich…
 
Jyoti Gulati Balachandran's Narrative Pasts: The Making of a Muslim Community in Gujarat, c. 1400-1650 (Oxford University Press, 2020) explores the complex power of Sufi texts in creating Muslim communities in Gujarat from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries. Balachandran focuses on three main Sufi saints, including Ahmad Khattu, whose disci…
 
The city that sits on the River Foyle on the North side of the Irish isle in many ways has stood as a microcosm of the conflicts in Northern Ireland, even to the contestation over the name of Derry/Londonderry. In Derry City: Memory and Political Struggle in Northern Ireland (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020), Margo Shea examines the popular an…
 
Lisa Heschong's book Visual Delight in Architecture: Visual Delight in Architecture (Routledge, 2021) examines the many ways that our lives are enriched by the presence of natural daylight and window views within our buildings. It makes a compelling case that daily exposure to the rhythms of daylight is essential to our health and well-being, tied …
 
In Radiant Infrastructures: Media, Environment, and Cultures of Uncertainty (Duke UP, 2020), Rahul Mukherjee explores how the media coverage of nuclear power plants and cellular phone antennas in India—what he calls radiant infrastructures—creates environmental publics: groups of activists, scientists, and policy makers who use media to influence p…
 
Distributing Condoms and Hope: The Racialized Politics of Youth Sexual Health (U California Press, 2020) is a feminist ethnographic account of how youth sexual health programs in the racially and economically stratified city of “Millerston” reproduce harm in the marginalized communities they are meant to serve. Chris Barcelos makes space for the st…
 
Scott Krzych's book Beyond Bias: Conservative Media, Documentary Form, and the Politics of Hysteria (Oxford University Press, 2021) offers the first scholarly study of contemporary right-wing documentary film and video. Drawing from contemporary work in political theory and psychoanalytic theory, the book identifies what author Scott Krzych describ…
 
What makes some cities world class? Increasingly, that designation reflects the use of a toolkit of urban planning practices and policies that circulates around the globe. These strategies—establishing creative districts dedicated to technology and design, “greening” the streets, reinventing historic districts as tourist draws—were deployed to buil…
 
Plato’s Heaven: A User’s Guide is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and James Robert Brown, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto. This wide-ranging conversation addresses a central theme in current philosophy: Platonism vs. Naturalism and provides accounts of both approaches to mathematics. The …
 
Photography emerged in the 1840s in the United States, and it became a visual medium that documents the harsh realities of enslavement. Similarly, the photography culture grew during the Civil War, and it became an important material that archived this unprecedented war. Deborah Willis's The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and…
 
Once described as a “German oddity”†, Ordoliberalism was one of a number of new liberalisms that emerged from the political maelstrom of the interwar period. But, unlike the other neoliberal splinters, Ordoliberalism – founded at the University of Freiburg by economist Walter Eucken and jurist Franz Böhm – was quickly tested in the real world. The …
 
Andrew Jenks' book Collaboration in Space and the Search for Peace on Earth (Anthem Press, 2021) explores the era of space collaboration (from 1970 to the present). This period has been largely ignored by historians in favor of a focus on the earlier space race. The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, a key program and catalyst for Détente, marked the trans…
 
Building on work in feminist studies, queer studies and critical race theory, this volume challenges the universality of propositions about human nature, by questioning the boundaries between predominant neurotypes and 'others', including dyslexics, autistics and ADHDers. Neurodiversity Studies: A New Critical Paradigm (Routledge, 2020) is the firs…
 
How can Buddhism and feminism be brought together in a constructive way to challenge patriarchial structures? What could such a philosophy say about anger over injustice and oppression? In Buddhist Feminism: Transforming Anger Against Patriarchy (Palgrave, 2020), Sokthan Yeng answers these questions. She argues that, despite Buddhist institutions t…
 
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