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In Theory: The JHI Podcast

Intellectual History of Racialized Emotions: Kristin Engelhardt interviews Dannelle Gutarra Cordero

In this latest episode of In Theory, Kristin Engelhardt interviews Dannelle Gutarra Cordero, Professor in African American Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton University and Faculty Adviser at Forbes College, about her book, “She is Weeping: An Intellectual History of Racialized Slavery and Emotions in the Atlantic World” (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

Her book examines the intellectual history of scientific racism and furnishes examples for the construction of an “Emotional Other” in intellectual discourses from its origins in the ancient world through the 18, 19 and 20th century to our present. Professor Gutarra Cordero also uncovers the dominating features of “White Storytelling” in history books and current media production and reveals the ambivalence within antislavery thought and Abolitionist movement that has entrenched the racialization of emotions within a biased white storytelling, rather than a true revision of a still persisting racialized emotional economy.

Of particular note is the addition of creative writing pieces that frame the different chapters. This book emerges as a harrowing study that questions the extent to which intellectual history can be held accountable for giving an unilateral perspective. By denouncing that, Gutarra Cordero stresses the importance of contextualizing, revising, and opening up broader perspectives on the intellectual history of emotions. The work ultimately argues that this shift can open up a space for emotional justice, within which black emotionality can attain its fullest expression.


Kristin Engelhardt, born in Hamburg, completed her BA studies in German and Italian Literature at the Universities of Hamburg and Geneva. As part of a double degree program, she received her Master’s degree in French and Francophone Studies from Humboldt University in Berlin and the University Ca’ Foscari in Venice. Her thesis explores the reception of French Surrealism in the GDR and, in particular, the anthology Surrealismus in Paris. 1919-1939 by Karl-Heinz Barck, published by Reclam in 1986. Her general research interests include avant-gardes of the 20th century with a special focus on Surrealism, Menippean satire, authors of the early modern period, and Fashion Theory. She is currently working as an editor at rethink GmbH in Berlin.

Edited by: Kristin Engelhardt

Featured Image: “Esclava de Puerto Rico” (1777-78) by Luis Paret y Alcázar.

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In Theory: The JHI Podcast

Edward Tyerman on “Internationalist Aesthetics: China and Early Soviet Culture”

In this latest episode of In Theory, Kristin Engelhardt interviews Edward Tyerman, Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley, about his book, Internationalist Aesthetics: China and Early Soviet Culture (Columbia University Press, 2021).

In his study, Tyerman offers not only a deep insight into cultural production in early 1920s Soviet culture that sought to capture Chinese culture through an “Internationalist lens”, but also a transnational look at the mutual relations between China and Russia in terms of political history and revolutionary ambitions.

Through a close reading of different media, Tyerman defines the internationalist aesthetics as oscillating between centripetal and centrifugal forces. He reveals the aspirations of transnational mediators and the Soviet avant-garde protagonists such as Sergei Tretyakov to overcome an exoticized imaginary of China and transform it into a broader knowledge through sensory experience, leading to a new political subjectivity.

By revisiting these experimental media and internationalists search for a method that is tangential to the political Sino-Soviet interweaving of the time, the book presents media such as literature, cinema and theatre as important catalysts for understanding history and stresses the importance of the internationalist project to intellectual history.


Kristin Engelhardt, born in Hamburg, completed her BA studies in German and Italian Literature at the Universities of Hamburg and Geneva. As part of a double degree program, she received her Master’s degree in French and Francophone Studies from Humboldt University in Berlin and the University Ca’ Foscari in Venice. Her thesis explores the reception of French Surrealism in the GDR and, in particular, the anthology Surrealismus in Paris. 1919-1939 by Karl-Heinz Barck, published by Reclam in 1986. Her general research interests include avant-gardes of the 20th century with a special focus on Surrealism, Menippean satire, authors of the early modern period, and Fashion Theory. She is currently working as an editor at rethink GmbH in Berlin.

Edited by: Kristin Engelhardt

Featured Image: Cover of Sergei Tretyakov’s book ‘Zhongguo’ (“China”) published in 1927.

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In Theory: The JHI Podcast

The Spirit of French Capitalism: Disha Karnad Jani interviews Charly Coleman

In this latest episode of In Theory, Disha Karnad Jani interviews Charly Coleman, Associate Professor of History at Columbia University and award-winning author of the 2016 Laurence Wylie Prize in French Cultural Studies, about his book, The Spirit of French Capitalism: Economic Theology in the Age of Enlightenment (Stanford University Press, 2021).


Disha Karnad Jani is a postdoctoral researcher in the Research Training Group on World Politics at Bielefeld University, Germany. She received her Ph.D from the Department of History at Princeton University in April 2022. Her dissertation is an intellectual history of the League Against Imperialism (1927-1937), and her research interests include global intellectual histories of mass movements, political economy, and state-making. 

Edited by: Kristin Engelhardt

Featured Image: Reading of Voltaire’s tragedy of the Orphan of China in the salon of Marie Thérèse Rodet Geoffrin in 1755, by Lemonnier, c. 1812, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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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.

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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.

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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.