What we’re reading: Week of October 30th

Here are a few interesting articles and pieces we found around the web this week. If you come across something that other intellectual historians might enjoy, please let us know in the comments section.

 

Sarah:

Roqayah Chamseddine, “Wanting to Believe,” (overland)

Malcolm Gaskill, “Unnatural Rebellion,” (LRB)

Robert Greene II “The Enduring Crisis of Black Intellectuals,” (Black Perspectives)

Sarah Manguso, “The Surprisingly Happy Journals of Jules Renard,” (New Yorker)

 

Cynthia:

Linda Nochlin passed away on October 29th. She was 86. ARTnews published Nochlin’s essay, “Why have there been no great women artists?” in 1971. Even if you read nothing else this week, you must read Nochlin’s essay, and follow it with this open letter, signed by over 5,000 artists, curators, writers, and other members of the art world. The letter opens with the phrase, “we are not surprised,” a play on Jenny Holzer’s 1982 piece, “Abuse of Power Comes as No Surprise.” We are tired of being #notsurprised.

Almost half a century ago, Nochlin wrote: “What is important is that women face up to the reality of their history and of their present situation, without making excuses or puffing mediocrity. Disadvantage may indeed be an excuse; it is not, however, an intellectual position. Rather, using as a vantage point their situation as underdogs in the realm of grandeur, and outsiders in that of ideology, women can reveal institutional and intellectual weaknesses in general, and, at the same time that they destroy false consciousness, take part in the creation of institutions in which clear thought—and true greatness—are challenges open to anyone, man or woman, courageous enough to take the necessary risk, the leap into the unknown.”

Are we, those living in this moment, “courageous enough to take the necessary risk, the leap into the unknown”?

 

Eric:

Peter Brown, “Dialogue with God” (NYRB).

Philip Gorski, Susan McWilliams, Peter Steinfels, Matthew Sitman, “Beyond Identity?: Forum on Mark Lilla’s Once and Future Liberal” (Commonweal).

Zacharia Mampilly, “A Handbook for Revolution” (Africa is a Country).

Jacques Rancière, Giuseppina Mecchia, David Bell, Marina van Zuylen, Suzanne Guerlac (video) “Rancière: Aesthetics and the Question of Disciplinarity” (FRIT: OSU).

 

Spencer:

Antoinette Nwandu, “Reading Audre Lorde’s ‘Sister Outsider’ After Charlottesville” (LARB)

Delia Ungureanu, “The Surreal Sources of ‘Lolita’” (LARB)

The Guardian view on the Reformation: justification through faith” (The Guardian)

Tim Page, “The Perfectionist” (NYRB)

Chris Power, “The hunt for a ‘complete edition’ of Fernando Pessoa’s fragmentary masterpiece” (New Statesman)

 

Kristin:

Rafia Zakaria, “The Myth of Women’s ‘Empowerment'” (NYT)

Susie Kilshaw, ““How Culture Shapes Perceptions of Miscarriage” (Sapiens)

Yu Ning, “How the Two-Child Policy Shapes Kids’ Names” (Sixth Tone)

 

Derek:

Véronique Truong, “American Rage: On Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s The Vietnam War(Harpers)

Interview with Richard Rabinowitz, “Curating America: Journeys through Storyscapes of the American Past” (New Books Review)

Kathryn Nuernberger, “The Invention of Witches” (The Paris Review)

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