In Theory: The JHI Podcast Intellectual history

Samuel Moyn on Cold War Liberalism and Humanitarian Warfare

In this latest episode of In Theory, Tom Furse, one the primary editors at the JHI Blog, interviewed Samuel Moyn, Professor at Yale University about his Carlyle Lectures, “The Cold War and the Canon of Liberalism,” and his latest book, Human: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War (Verso, 2022). We discussed how liberal acceptance of war came through putting humanity at the center and that the 1970s were a turning point in the politics of justification for war. Following this, we go through Judith Shklar, Isaiah Berlin, Karl Popper, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Hannah Arendt, and Lionel Trilling as a canon of liberal thinkers. In particular, we talk about their thought on neoconservatism, fascism, socialism, and communism, the tensions between liberty and equality, and how the Enlightenment, Cold War fears, and Christianity influenced their works.

Thomas Furse is a primary editor at the JHI Blog and a PhD candidate at City, the University of London. He researches the connections between strategic thought, the social sciences, management theory and political economy.

Edited by Kristin Engelhardt

Featured Image: Antiwar March outside Crisler Arena on the University of Michigan Campus, September 20, 1969. Courtesy of The Detroit News Collection, Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University.

In Theory: The JHI Podcast

Christopher S. Celenza on The Italian Renaissance and Modern Humanities

In this latest episode of In Theory John Raimo, one of the founding editor of the JHI blog, interviews Christopher S. Celenza on his new book, The Italian Renaissance and the Origins of the Modern Humanities: An Intellectual History, 1400-1800 (Cambridge University Press, 2021) which returns us to the history of what we fundamentally do as scholars working with texts. Celenza explores the different careers of noted and not-so-well-remembered philologists, revisiting a key figure in his own scholarly output in the unforgettable Lorenzo Valla before tracing an arc through the better-known Angelo Poliziano, the lesser-known yet fascinating Angelo Decembrio and Petrus Crinitus (or Pietro di Riccio Baldi), the surprising figure of the philosopher René Descartes, generations of French scholars from Montfaucon and Hardouin to D’Alembert and Diderot before arriving at Thomas Jefferson. From the eighth century forgery of the Donation of Constantine to Thomas Jefferson’s Biblical studies, Celenza expands our history of philology to its echoes in the present. He also stretches its borders in the Italian Renaissance. Celenza folds in the subjects of emotion, identity, trust, authenticity, literary history, philosophy, skepticism, historiography, and encyclopedism into a disciplinary history. What emerges in Celenza’s telling proves both a rich history of personalities impressing themselves upon methods we still use as scholars and a new, broader genealogy for today’s humanities. Both a history and a defense of philology and its arts of reading, The Italian Renaissance and the Origins of the Modern Humanities: An Intellectual History, 1400-1800 compliments recent publications from such scholars as Rens BodPaul Reitter and Chad WellmonEmily J. LevineJames Turner, and Françoise Waquet to remind us of the potential and challenges ahead for all humanists.

John Raimo is a graduate student at New York University, and is also one of the founding editors of the JHI blog.

Edited by: Kristin Engelhardt

Featured Image: Raphael, “The School of Athens”, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

In Theory: The JHI Podcast

Manan Ahmed Asif on the Lost Idea of Hindustan

In Theory co-host Disha Karnad Jani interviews Manan Ahmed Asif, Associate Professor of History at Columbia University and co-executive editor of the JHI, about his book The Loss of Hindustan: The Invention of India (Harvard University Press, 2020).

Correction: The podcast episode misstated the name of the book’s publisher in the introduction. The book was published with Harvard University Press in 2020.

Disha Karnad Jani is a writer and historian from Markham, Ontario. She is currently a graduate student in the Department of History at Princeton University, where she studies global/transnational history. She is interested in the politics and practices of anti-imperial resistance between the World Wars, in the British Empire and across sites of empire’s incarnation.

Featured Image: Map of India by Matthaeu Seutter, ca. 1735, titled “Imperii magni Mogolis sive Indici Padschach, juxta recentissimas navigationes.” Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

In Theory: The JHI Podcast

Hannah Marcus on Science and Censorship in Early Modern Italy

In Theory guest host Glauco Schettini interviews Hannah Marcus, Assistant Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University and the winner of the JHI’s 2020 Morris D. Forkosch Prize, about her book Forbidden Knowledge: Medicine, Science, and Censorship in Early Modern Italy (University of Chicago Press, 2020).

Glauco Schettini is a PhD candidate in history at Fordham University, New York. His research centers on religion and politics in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe and the Atlantic world. His dissertation, titled “The Invention of Catholicism: A Global Intellectual History of the Catholic Counterrevolution, 1780s-1840s,” investigates how European and Latin American counterrevolutionary thinkers reinvented Catholicism during the Age of Revolutions. An alumnus of the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, Italy, he is the author of more than a dozen articles and book chapters.

Featured Image: Close-up from De sanitate tuenda libri sex, 1541. Courtesy of the New York Academy of Medicine Library.

In Theory: The JHI Podcast

William H. Sewell Jr. on Commercial Capitalism and Civic Equality

In Theory co-host Simon Brown interviews William H. Sewell Jr., the Frank P. Hixon Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Political Science and History at the University of Chicago, about his new book, Commercial Capitalism and Civic Equality in Eighteenth-Century France (University of Chicago Press, 2021).

Simon Brown is a PhD candidate in history at the University of California, Berkeley and a primary editor at the JHI Blog.

Featured Image: William H. Sewell Jr. faculty photo, University of Chicago (left); Medal commemorating and depicting the abolition of feudal privileges by the National Assembly in August 1789, Nicolas-Marie Gatteaux and Pierre Simon Benjamin Duvivier.

In Theory: The JHI Podcast

Sebastian Veg on China’s Grassroots Intellectuals

Guest host John Raimo interviews Sebastian Veg, professor of the intellectual history of twentieth-century China at the School of Advanced Studies in Social Science (EHESS) in Paris, about his book, Minjian: The Rise of China’s Grassroots Intellectuals (Columbia University Press 2019, and paperback 2021).


“Creating Public Opinion, Advancing Knowledge, Engaging in Politics: The Local Public Sphere in Chengdu, 1898–1921,” The China Quarterly, vol. 246, forthcoming (June 2021).  

Resisting Enchantment, Questioning Aestheticism: Modern Chinese Literature and the Public Sphere,” Critical Inquiry, Volume 46, No. 3 (Spring 2020): 536-554.

The Rise of China’s Statist Intellectuals: Law, Sovereignty, and ‘Repoliticization’,” The China Journal, vol. 82 (July 2019), p. 23-45.

What Role Will Intellectuals Play in China’s Future?” Chinafile, 31 July 2019.

 “Debating the Memory of the Cultural Revolution in China Today”, Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, 8 August 2016.

John Raimo, a founding editor of the JHI Blog, is finishing a dissertation on Czech, French, German, and Italian publishing and ideas of European culture between 1945 and 1970.