What We’re Reading

What We’re Reading: March 17

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.


Charlie Tyson, The Loneliness of the Gay Aesthete: Alan Hollinghurst and Queer Theory (LARB)

Laurie Stras, Sisters doing it for themselves: radical motets from a 16th-century nunnery (Guardian)

Susan Chira, When Japan Had a Third Gender (NY Times)

Jonathan Freedland on Netflix’s The Crown: A Great Family Business (NYRB), to be paired with the following explanation of how the country I study is completely bonkers:
Sam Knight, Operation London Bridge: the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death (Guardian)

Chris Hilliard, Words That Disturb the State: Hate Speech and the Lessons of Fascism in Britain, 1930s–1960s (Journal of Modern History)

Gavin Jacobson, There is no more Vendée: The Terror (LRB)

Margaret Atwood, What ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Means in the Age of Trump (NY Times)

Philip Dodd in conversation with Paul Gilroy on Free Thinking (BBC Radio 3)

Stephen Vider et al., Family Viewing: Historians Watch When We Rise (OutHistory)

Linda Greenhouse, How Smart Women Got the Chance, review of Nancy Malkiel’s new history of coeducation in the Ivy League (NYRB)


Ahmed Al-Dawoody, “Islam and international humanitarian law: An overview” (Humanitarian Law & Policy)

James Kirchick, “Hungary’s Ugly State-Sponsored Holocaust Revisionism” (Tablet)

Ann Rees, “Persia Campbell, Our Woman at the United Nations” (VIDA)

Fernando Reimers, “Can Universities Save the Enlightenment from Populism?” (Huffington Post)

Joshua Zeitz, “Lessons From the Fake News Pandemic of 1942” (Politico)


Last week the Antiquarian Book Fair came to New York, and I’m still perusing the catalogues I picked up there. Here are some of the best available online.

Amanda Hall, Teffont 38. Excerpted from her introduction to the catalogue: This is the first of several catalogues to include books from the library of Claude Lebédel. A voracious collector of Diderot and his circle, he had an eye for the exceptional and the esoteric, eagerly pursuing little known works, interesting provenances and unusual bindings alongside the masterpieces of the philosophes. This catalogue presents a selection of these books, the often outlandish and eccentric publications that formed the backdrop to the great philosophical upheaval of the Age of Enlightenment.

Deborah Coltham specializes in books on the history of medicine and science. Here’s the list of 40 books she brought with her from the UK, each with vivid descriptions.

Nina Musinsky had a stunning booth as usual, and here is her excellent catalog of European printed books, manuscripts, and prints.

Lorne Bair, specializing in the history, art, and literature of American social movements, didn’t publish a Fair list on his website, but you can take a look at his most recent catalog here.

The Biblioctopus catalogue is a great read. They offer “first editions of the classics of fiction” thus: Books and manuscripts, allied with a multiplicity of related items, 165 to 2014, connected by subject, form, appearance, manufacturing mode, or creative process, all described with a presumption of familiarity, and in our unruly, bawdy, and quixotic style, many with rants and assaults from the scrolls of book collecting (Book Code), and some others enhanced by, or if you prefer, diminished by those hopefully tolerated detours and digressions, captured under the banner we fly as, The Tao of the Octopus. The seventh catalog in an unfinished series of undetermined length, reinforcing the bookseller’s avant–garde, and heralding the winds of change, through our once concealed, but now revealed aim to craft book catalogs as folk art, without abandoning the self–actualizing forms, protocols, disciplines, and traditions we embrace as the internally guiding, and externally comforting, virtues of the past.

If you missed the Fair and want my take on it, LitHub published a little piece I wrote about the ways that the book trade is making room for a new generation of booksellers and collectors.


L.D. Burnett, “Back to the Well: The Backchannel” (USIH)

Jason Heller, “A Purplish Haze” (Noisey)

Chad Wellmon, “Whatever Happened to General Education?” (The Hedgehog Review)

Rich Yeselson, “When Labor Fought for Civil Rights” (Dissent)


Hal Foster, “Père Ubu is President!” (E-Flux Conversations)

Colin Koopman, “The Power Thinker” (Aeon)

Nancy Macdonald, “How Indigenous People Are Rebranding Canada 150” (Maclean’s)

Jeet Heer, “Horrible Histories” (New Republic)

Alison Meier, “The Dynamic Brain Drawings of the Father of Modern Neuroscience” (Hyperallergic)


Adam Kirsch, “Camille Paglia on Jews and Feminism” (Tablet)

David Cole, “Why Free Speech is Not Enough” (NYRB)

Naomi Fry, “Memoirs of Addiction and Ambition by Cat Marnell and Julia Phillips” (New Yorker)

Haider Javed Warraich, “What Our Cells Teach Us About a ‘Natural’ Death” (New York Times)


Bee Wilson, “Il Duce and the Red Alfa” (London Review of Books)

Jenny Uglow, “When Art Meets Power” (New York Review of Books)

Kate Robertson, “Why Female Cannibals Frighten and Fascinate” (The Atlantic)

What We’re Reading: March 10

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.


Robert E. Norton, Ernst Kantorowicz: man of two bodies (TLS)

Briallen Hopper, Waveforms and the Women’s March (LARB)

Pauls Toutonghi, Leaving Aleppo (New Yorker)

Lisa Appignanesi, Cold War Freud and Freud: An Intellectual Biography review – the politics of psychoanalysis (Guardian)

Jeremy Adelman, Is global history still possible, or has it had its moment? (Aeon)


Roger Scruton, “If We Are Not Just Animals, What Are We?” (New York Times)

Darryl Pinckney, “Under the Spell of James Baldwin” (NYRB)

Mark Danner, “What He Could Do” (NYRB)

Ariel Levy, “Catherine Opie, All-American Subversive” (The New Yorker)


Carey Dunne, “The Emperor’s New Corsets” (The Baffler)

Jessica Marie Johnson, “Sowande’ Mustakeem Book Roundtable: The Moral Challenge of the Middle Passage” (Black Perspectives)

Itmar Mann, “Gunneflo Book Symposium: Israel and the Forever War” (Völkerrechtsblog)

John Palattella, “Consolation Prizes” (The Point)


Anne Chisholm, “Eleanor Roosevelt’s Life and Loves” (TLS)

Jonathan Barnes, “Fantasias of Possibility” (The Times Literary Supplement)

What We’re Reading: March 3

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.


Barbara Newman, Byzantine Laments: Anna Komnene, Historian (LRB)

Benjamin Kunkel, Marx’s Revenge (The Nation)

Deborah Cohen, A Vast Masquerade: Dr James Barry (LRB)

Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, The Radical Argument of the New Oxford Shakespeare (New Yorker)

Miya Tokumitsu, In Defense of the Lecture (Jacobin)


Lisa Appignanesi, “Cold War Freud and Freud: An Intellectual Biography Review – the politics of psychoanalysis” (Guardian)

Ann Jamison, “The Retrospect: Australian Women’s Writing Symposium” (VIDA)

Thea Riofrancos, “Democracy Without the People” (n+1)

Timothy Snyder, “The Reichstag Warning” (The New York Review of Books)

Miya Tokumitsu, In Defense of the Lecture (Jacobin)


Barbara Newman, “Byzantine Lament” (London Review of Books)

Robert E. Norton, “Ernst Kantorowicz: Man of Two Bodies” (The Times Literary Supplement)

Violet Hudson, “Horrors of Waugh” (The Times Literary Supplement)

Peter E. Gordon, “Saul Friedländer’s Many Lives” (The Nation)

Antonio Gramsci, Jr. “My Grandfather” (The New Left Review)


Unorthodox, “British Invasion” (Tablet)

Robert Zaretsky, “Trump and the ‘Society of Spectacle’” (New York Times)

Kenneth Roth, “Must it Always be Wartime” (NYRB)

David Grann, “The Marked Woman” (The New Yorker)


Jeremy Adelman, “What is Global History Now?” (Aeon)

Barbara Newman, “Byzantine Laments” (London Review of Books)

Michele Nijhuis, “What Do You Call The End of A Species?” (The New Yorker)

Yvonne Seale, “George Washington: A Descendant of Odin?” (The Public Domain Review)

Nell Zink, “Writing for Rejection” (n+1)

What We’re Reading: February 24

Don’t forget that this Wednesday, March 1 is the deadline for authors and publishes to nominate outstanding first books in intellectual history/history of ideas for JHI’s Forkosch Prize! Details here on what and how to nominate.

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.


Timothy Larsen, Incarnation and drains, a review of James Kirby’s Historians and the Church of England (TLS)
Rosemary Hill, The World of Mr Casaubon by Colin Kidd review – in defence of George Eliot’s pedant (Guardian)

John Lanchester argues with his Amazon Echo (LRB on YouTube

Dan-el Padilla Peralta, Classics Beyond the Pale (Eidolon)

More than the headline, a thoughtful exploration of the pedagogic usefulness of canons: Kenan Malik, Are Soas students right to ‘decolonise’ their minds from western philosophers? (Guardian)

A dramatization of H.G. Wells’ Ann Veronica (1908) (BBC Radio 4)

David Rohrbacher, A Sexual Encounter, Narrated through Entries in the Index of Herbert Weir Smyth, (Ancient) Greek Grammar (1920) (Eidolon)


Mark Rowlands, “Dirty Animals, Clean Animals” (TLS)

Michael Prodger, “A sketchy legacy? How Pieter’s sons kept Brand Breughel going” (New Statesman)

Eileen Cronin, “Dagoberto Gilb on the Right Way to be Crippled and Naked” (LARB)

Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow “An Ad Hoc Affair: Jane Jacob’s clear-eyed vision of humanity” (The Nation)

Caitlin Hu, “Syndrome K” (Quartz)


Kevin Amara, “Les petits matins avant le grand soir” (Le Comptoir)

Nicolas Duvoux, “L’idée de ghetto” (La Vie des Idées)

Arun Kapil, “2017 César award virtual Ballot” (Arun with a View)

Sarah Larson, “The Librarian of Congress” (The New Yorker)

What We’re Reading: February 17

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.


André Aciman, “The Life Unlived” (The American Scholar)

Ulka Anjaria, “The Goddess of Loss” (Boston Review)

Sudip Bose, “The Conscience of Adolf Busch” (The American Scholar)

Bettina Maria Brosowsky, »Vergessenes Bauhaus« (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

Guillaume Calafat, « Une histoire de France sans œillères » (La république des livres)

Caryl Emerson, “Writing in the Heat of Crisis” (TLS)

Eberhard Falke, »Ein Grenzgänger zwischen Ordnung und Chaos« (Deutschlandfunk)

Peter E. Gordon, “After the Inferno” (The Nation)

Maxime Laurent, « Paris, capitale anticoloniale » (BibliObs)

Joshua Sperling, “The Transcendental Face of Art” (Guernica)

And finally, a wonderful (and bizarrely prescient) recording of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and his wife Charlotte (in English; YouTube)


Max Weber, Science As a Vocation (1922)

Rory Stewart, How to Serve Coffee: Aleppan Manners (LRB)

Alison Light, A Memoir of a Marriage, recording of a lecture about her new memoir (History Workshop)

Mike Ratcliffe, Raising the Stakes in Student Accommodation (More Means Better)


Laurence de Cock, “Todorov et l’école, un plaidoyer contre le racisme, et pour l’humanité” (Mediapart)

Tyler Fleming, “Pan-Africanism Was Peter Abraham’s Country” (Africa is a Country)

Samuel Moyn, “Endless War Watch, Winter 2017” (Lawfare)

Timothy Snyder, “We have at most a year to defend American democracy, perhaps less” (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Michael Walzer, “Learning to Listen” (Dissent)


Amy Julia Harris, The Religious Freedom Loophole (Reveal)

Benjamin Kearl, Of Laggards and Morons: Definitional Fluidity . . . in Progressive Era Special Education (Education’s Histories)

John Ernest, Life Beyond Biography: Black Lives and Biographical Research (Common-place)

Annette Joseph-Gabriel, Resisting Racism and Islamophobia: Lessons from Muslim Slave Narratives (Black Perspectives)


Seth Denbo, “Whose Work is it Really?” (Perspectives)

Robin D. G. Kelley, “Black Study, Black Struggle” (Boston Review)

Sarah Marks and Daniel Pick, “Lessons from the 1950s on Mind Control” (Chatham House)

Laura Marsh, “Between the Lines: Ferrante’s Frantumaglia” (Dissent)


Stephen Lovell, “Rasputin: Full of Fire and Ecstasy” (The Times Literary Supplement)

Lanre Bakare, “The fire this time—the legacy of James Baldwin” (The Guardian)

Robert Darnton, “The True History of Fake News” (The New York Review of Books)

Paul Veyne “The Oasis of Palmyra” (Lapham’s Quarterly)

What We’re Reading: Feb. 11

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.


Heidi Egginton, ‘Cadogan’s Last Fling’: The Papers of Sir Alexander Cadogan continued (Churchill College Archives Centre)

Alex Abramovich, Ode to Joy (LRB blog)

Daniel Penny, #Milosexual and the Aesthetics of Fascism (Boston Review)

Nicholas Syrett interviews April Haynes, More than Masturbatory (on Haynes’ new book about nineteenth-century US anti-masturbation campaigns) (Notches)


Alys Aglan à propos de Sergio Luzzatto, « La justice des partisans » (La vie des idées)

Dirk Baecker, »Superintelligenz, und die Plastizität des Menschen« (Open Edition: Kultur/Reflexion)

Markus Beyer im Gesprach mit Norman Manea, »Die Chance des Exils« (NZZ)

Sylvain Bourmeau avec Marc Joly, « La sociologie, une révolution » (France Culture)

Caryl Emerson, “Word Wars” (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Emilio Gentile, “Storiografia in crisi d’identità” (Il Sole 24 Ore – Domenica):

Wolfgang Herbert zum neuen Buch Jan Assmanns, »Genealogie des Monotheismus« (Literaturkritik.de)

Anna von Münchhausen zu Willy Fleckhaus, »Ein Mann färbt ab« (Zeit)

Anna-Verena Nosthoff und Felix Maschewski, »„Democracy as Data“? – Über Cambridge Analytica und die „moralische Phantasie“« (Merkur)

Jacob Soll, “How Think Tanks Became Engines of Royal Propaganda” (Tablet Magazine)

And finally, a late interview (« La beauté sauvera-t-elle le monde ? ») with the great scholar Tzvetan Todorov (1939-2017; avec John Cornil, CLAV/CAL-YouTube)


Roxana Azimi, A Marrakech, quand la bourgeoisie marocaine construit des musées plutôt que des golfs (Le Monde)

Juliet Hooker, More and more influential: Frederick Douglass and Donald Trump (AAIHS Black Perspectives)

Benjamin Kunkel, Marx’s Revenge (The Nation)

Fiona Paisley, Australian Women at the League of Nations: A spotlight on settler colonialism in the 1930s (Australian Women’s History Network Blog)

Tim Parks, What Are the Pitfalls for the Politically Engaged Writer? (New York Times)


David Bell, “France: The Death of the Elephants” (Dissent)

Peter Kujawinski, “Guardians of a Vast Lake, and a Refuge for Humanity” (The New York Times)

Amani Bin Shikhan, “Why Princess Nokia Matters, Now More Than Ever” (Vice)

Peggy Noonan, “What Comes After Acheson’s Creation?” (The Wall Street Journal)

Rachel Syme, “The Big Short” (The New Republic)


Janet Flanner, “Isadora” (The New Yorker)

Rachel Aviv, “How Albert Woodfox Survived Solitary” (The New Yorker)

Michael Engelhard, “Darwin’s Polar Bear” (Time to Eat the Dogs)

Mark Harman, “Lesser-Known Kafkas” (Los Angeles Review of Books)


I. Augustus Durham, “How “Black” Is Your Science Fiction?” (Black Perspectives)

Claire Jarvis, “Woman Problems” (N+1)

Damon Linker, “Trump’s theofascist” (The Week)

Kathryn Schulz, “When Things Go Missing” (The New Yorker)


Raphael Pope-Sussman, “A German Historian’s Thoughts on Trump, Fascism and America: Interview with Isabel Hull” (The Gothamist)

Pankaj Mishra, “Václav Havel’s Lessons on How to Create ‘Parallel Polis’” (The New Yorker)

David Bornstein, “Comparing Young Americans for a Complex World” (NYT)

What We’re Reading: February 2

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.


Raise your hand if your coping mechanism as a historian is to geek out about tariff reform!
Michael Kenny and Nick Pearce, The empire strikes back (New Statesman)
Dominic Rushe, Smoot and Hawley, the ghosts of tariffs past, haunt the White House (Guardian)

Isabel Hull, The Innocence Campaign: The Sinking of the ‘Lusitania’ (LRB)

Donna Zuckerberg, Classics in the Time of Intolerance (Eidolon)

Beverly Gage, How the Women of the Mormon Church Came to Embrace Polygamy (NY Times)

Stephen Rohde, What Do You Have to Lose? Mark Danner on the Forever War (LARB)

And finally, be the Eleanor Rathbone you want to see in the world.


Eric Aeschimann and David Caviglioli, « “Histoire mondiale de la France”: le livre qui exaspère Finkielkraut, Zemmour et Cie » (L’Obs)

Roger Berkowitz, “Turning Ourselves into Outlaws” (Hannah Arendt Center)

Sam Dresser, “How Camus and Sartre split up over the question of how to be free” (Aeon)

Tom Edwards in conversation with Klaus Brinkbäumer and Christoph Amend, “German weeklies” (The Stack)

Par Marie-Madeleine Fragonard, « Translation de Rabelais » (La république des livres)

John Gray, “Noi, fatti solo di material” (Il Sole 24 Ore Domenica)

Clive James, “In Homage to Gianfranco Contini” (TLS, 1974; CliveJames.com)

Jérémie Majorel, « Les essais esthétiques de Jean Starobinski » (La vie des idées)

Ahlrich Meyer, »Herrschaftsfreie Diskussion, aber keine kritische Theorie« (NZZ)

Elisabeth Richter in conversation with Sofia Gubaidulina, »Eine Kraft, die aus der Stille kommt« (NZZ)

And finally, présentation du livre « Le temps suspendu » par Giovanni Careri et Bernhard Rüdiger (28 novembre 2016, CRAL – YouTube)


Hilary Mantel, “How do we know her?” (London Review of Books)

Jane Darcy, “Jane Austen the Teenager” (The Times Literary Supplement)

Hannah Arendt “From an Interview” (New York Review of Books)


Kritika Agarwal, “Historians as Expert Witnesses” (Perspectives)

Jean-Luc Bonniol, “Races sans couleur” (La vie des idées)

Branko Milanovic, “Is liberalism to blame?” (globalinequality)

Laura Tanenbaum and Mark Engler, “When women revolted” (Waging Nonviolence)


Amy Julia Harris, Steve Bannon had a big weekend in the White House. Get to know him (Reveal)

Dana Goldstein, How to Inform a More Perfect Union (Slate)

Jim Dalrymple II and Blake Montgomery, Trump Threatens UC Berkeley’s Federal Funding (Buzzfeed)

Kristen West Savali, The Radical Uses of Anger (The Root)

What We’re Reading: January 28th

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 Al-Matary, « Henri Guillemin, intellectuel réfractaire : Entretien avec Patrick Berthier » (La vie des idées)

Arnauld Chandivert and Claire Ducournau, « L’esprit libre de Richard Hoggart » (La vie des idées)

Marshall Poe interviews Stephen Brockmann on his new book The Writers’ State: Constructing East German Literature, 1945-1959 (New Books in History)

Marshall Poe interviews Matthew L. Jones on his new book Reckoning with Matter: Calculating Machines, Innovation, and Thinking about Thinking from Pascal to Babbage (New Books in History)

Christine Richard, »Peter von Matt: Wie küsst Mann mit 80?« (Die Zeit)

Carlo Rovelli, “This Granular Life” (Aeon)

Niccolò Scaffai, “Le opere di Primo Levi” (Le parole e le cose)

Jörg Scheller, »Unter einem Dach die ganze Welt« (Die Zeit)

Ena Selimovic, “The accumulation of tragedy leads to farce: An Interview with Aleksandar Hemon” (The Balkanist)

Adam Tooze, “What Held Nazi Germany Together? The Aly-Tooze Debate Revisited” (AdamTooze.com)

And finally, Becci Sharp on Laurent Kronental’s photography, “Neglected Utopia: Photographer explores the forgotten modernist estates of Paris” (Creative Boom)


Susan Pedersen, Super-shallow-fragile-ego-Trump-UR-atrocious, on the women’s march (LRB)

Duncan Bell, The Anglosphere: new enthusiasm for an old dream (Prospect)

Jennifer Schuessler, Columbia Unearths Its Ties to Slavery (NY Times)

Eleanor Parker, Times and Seasons (A Clerk of Oxford)

Helen McCarthy, Nineteen Thirty-One (LRB Blog)

Alison Light, Diary: Raphael Samuel (LRB)

John Banville, The Strange Genius of the Master (NYRB)

Jonah Miller, To Be Worth Forty Shillings: Early Modern Inequality (LRB)

A one-day conference at the Institute for Historical Research, London: London’s women historians: a celebration and a conversation, March 13, 2017.


This week’s NPR program, The Takeaway, had an excellent interview with UT Austin History Professor Daina Ramey Berry on her book, The Price for Their Pound of Flesh.  I wish it had been longer.

Bookseller Brian Cassidy’s recent e-list of books on drugs is great.

I was disappointed not to attend the Diversifying the Digital Historical Records conference, but followed the conversation on Twitter.  It’s worth perusing the Tweets by Bergis Jules, Bethanie Nowiski, and others.

Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO) is now live in Beta! See The Collation blog for the skinny.

Roberta Kwok “Crowdsourcing for Shakespeare” (New Yorker)

Louise Nicholson, “Virginia Dawn Emerges as the star of the NGAS New Galleries” (Apollo Magazine)

Dan Piepenbring, “Mr. Coffee Mansplains and Other News” (The Paris Review – this links out to several other excellent pieces, particularly about the recent uptick in sales of Orwell’s 1984)

Ed Smith, “Selling Rare Books on NYC Sidewalks” (The New Antiquarian)


Hugo Drochon, “‘Zombie’ Apocalypse in the West?” (Project Syndicate)

Leslie James, “What lessons on fascism can we learn from Africa’s colonial past?” (Africa is a Country)

Dominic Pettman, “Some Remarks on the Legacy of Madame Francine Descartes” (Public Domain Review)

Pierre Rimbert, “Le mot qui tue” (Le monde diplomatique)


Peter Myers, ‘The Third City,’ (ArchitectureAU)

Susan Pedersen, ‘Super-shallow-fragile-ego-Trump-UR-atrocious,’ (London Review of Books)

Karen Stohr, ‘The New Age of Contempt,’ (New York Times)

Adam Tooze, ‘Goodbye to the American Century,’ (Zeit Online)

Rosemary Wakeman, ‘“The ‘Urban Question’ is Now at the Center of Intellectual Life”: A Conversation with Rosemary Wakeman,’ (Global Urban History Blog)


A.S. Hamrah, “All That Counts is Getting to A Normal World” (n+1)

Alena Graedon, “Cesar Aira’s Infinite Footnote to Borges” (The New Yorker)

Helen McCarthy, “Nineteen Thirty-One”  (The London Review of Books)


Steven Shapin, “Invisible Science” (The Hedgehog Review)

Lorraine Daston, “When Science Went Modern” (The Hedgehog Review … maybe just read the whole issue)

Lorraine Berry, “Bibliomania: The Strange Historyof Compulsive Book Buying” (The Guardian)

Isabel Hull, “The Innocence Campaign” (LRB)

Timothy Garton Ash, “Is Europe Disintegrating?” (NYRB)

What We’re Reading: January 20th

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.


Lina Bolzoni, “ «Furioso» per l’Ariosto” (Il Sole 24 Ore Domenica)

Hugo Drochon, “Why Elites Always Rule” (New Statesman)

Heinrich Geiselberger in conversation with Angela Gutzeit, »Für Bauman war die Moderne kein eindeutiger Fortschrittsprozess« (Deutschlandfunk)

Timothy Nunan interviews Elizabeth Borgwardt, “A New Deal for the Nuremburg Trials?” (Toynbee Prize Foundation)

François Ottmann, « Du pragmatisme kantien » (La vie des idées)

Marshall Poe interviews Surekha Davies on her new book Renaissance Ethnography and the Invention of the Human: New Worlds, Maps, and Monsters (New Books in History)

Patrycja Pustkowiak, “Lem, the Stars, and the Holocaust” (Aspen Review)

Doreen Reinhard, »Die Mauer aus Glas« (Die Zeit)

James Schmidt, “The Making and the Marketing of the Philosophische Fragmente: A Note on the Early History of the Dialectic of Enlightenment (Part I)” (Persistent Enlightenment)

Adam Shatz, “Where Life is Seized” (London Review of Books)

And finally, Marielle Macé, « Sciences sociales : sciences du style » (CRAL – YouTube)


August Kleinzahler, Inauguration Day (LRB Blog)

Daniel Rodgers, When Truth Becomes a Commodity (Chronicle)

Christian Lorentzen, Considering the Novel in the Age of Obama (Vulture)

Claire Potter, Did We Lose It At The Movies?, a review of Kelly Oliver’s Hunting Girls (review31)

Samuel Moyn, Beyond Liberal Internationalism (Dissent)

Pete Kuryla, Some Thoughts on a Politics of Love in the Age of the Deal (USIH)

Antony Carpen, The Newnham connection to the making of modern Cambridge (Lost Cambridge)

Tom Seymour, After hours: capturing the journey home from New York City’s gay nightclubs (Guardian)

In shameless self-promotion, my article “Arthur Sidgwick’s Greek Prose Composition: Gender, Affect, and Sociability in the Late-Victorian University” is in the January issue of the Journal of British Studies.


Rebecca Solnit, “From Lying to Leering: Rebecca Solnit on Donal Trump’s Fear of Women” (LRB)

Marcus H. Johnson, “Stop Calling It ‘Identity Politics’ – It’s Civil Rights” (AlterNet)

Susan Chira’s “‘You Focus on the Good:’ Women Who Voted for Trump, in Their Own Words” (NYT)

I’m also still reading Janet Lewis. The Ghost of Monsieur Scarron is not as poignant as the masterful The Wife of Martin Guerre, but the story revolves around a bookbinder’s shop and the circulation of a slanderous pamphlet against Louis XIV. The pamphlet’s format (duodecimo) is mentioned over and over again – it’s a bibliographer’s novel.  I’ve also dipped into her Selected Poems. In short, she is my antidote to DJT.


Teresa Bejan “Mere Civility—An introduction” (The Immanent Frame)

Marcus Bunyan “Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920s” (Art Blart)

Chris Kark on Mark Lilla “the future ain’t what it used to be” (3:AM)

Jessica Wright “Latin Behind Bars” (Eidolon)


Matt Bruenig, Antti Jauhiainen & Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen, ‘The UBI Bait and Switch’, (Jacobin)

Robin D.G. Kelley, ‘What Did Cedric Robinson Mean by Racial Capitalism?’ (Boston Review)

Jeanne Marie Laskas, ‘To Obama With Love, and Hope, and Desperation,’ (New York Times Magazine)

Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, ‘Martin Luther King’s Radical Legacy, From the Poor People’s Campaign to Black Lives Matter,’ (Dissent Magazine)

Adam Shatz, “Where Life Is Seized’ (London Review of Books)

Carolyn :

Glen Newey, “Utopia in Texas” (LRB)

Jonathan Kirshner, “America, America” (Blog of the LARB)

Karen Horn, “Der Homo oeconomicus – ein Missverständnis” (NZZ)

What We’re Reading: January 14th

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.


« La constellation des savoirs : Entretiens avec Patrick Boucheron et Barbara Cassin » (La vie des idées)

Susanna Ferguson with Omnia El Shakry, “Islam, Psychoanalysis, and the Arabic Freud” (Ottoman History Podcast)

Wolfgang Kaußen, »Durch die Bibliothek …« (Suhrkamp Logbuch)

Jürgen Osterhammel, “Arnold Toynbee and the Problems of Today” (Toynbee Prize Foundation)

Stéphane Sahuc and Lucie Fougeron, « Il faut réinventer une manière de mener la bataille d’idées » (entretien avec Patrick Boucheron; L’Humanité)

Don Skemer, “Martin Guerre Returns, Again” (Princeton RBSC Manuscripts Division)

Alexander Stern, “The Art of Thinking in Other People’s Heads” (Humanities)

Emily Thompson, “The Women of Charter 77 and the New Dissenters” (Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty)

And finally, « Lumière, Lumières » (colloque au Collège de France)


Check out the CFP for “Beyond Between Men: Homosociality Across Time, my dream conference happening in Oxford this June.

Amia Srinivasan, Remembering Derek Parfit (LRB)
Jane O’Grady, Derek Parfit obituary (Guardian)

Our friends at Eidolon are sponsoring an essay contest for high-school students: if you know a teenage classicist, encourage them to apply!

Xiaolu Guo, ‘Is this what the west is really like?’ How it felt to leave China for Britain (Guardian)

Andrew Hartman, The Long Lives of Marxist Books (S-USIH)

Tamson Pietsch, I read this book so you don’t have to (Cap and Gown), a review of William Lubenow’s Only Connect: Learned Societies in Nineteenth-Century Britain

Robert B. Townsend and Emily Swafford, Conflicting Signals in the Academic Job Market for History (AHA Perspectives)

John Broich, How Journalists Covered the Rise of Mussolini and Hitler (Smithsonian)


Erich Chaim Kline’s recent catalog of photographic books

Rebecca Herscher, “What Happened when Dylan Roof Asked Google About Race?” (NPR)

I just started Janet Lewis’ wonderful Cases of Circumstantial Evidence series, with The Trial of Soren Qvist. I happily read it in 24 hours, absolutely perfect for a wintry night at home. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series, and delving into her poetry as well.  Larry McMurtry reviewed several reissues of her work for the NYRB in 1998.

Charles Wood’s recent catalogue of photo-technically illustrated books

J.T. Roan, “Pedagogy for the World: Black Studies in the Classroom and Beyond” (AAIHS)


For a Luxury Leftism” (Current Affairs)

Atossa Araxia Abrahamian on Branko Milanovic, “An Economist’s Case for Open Borders” (Dissent)

Dean Baker, “Forum: Is Globalization to Blame?” (Boston Review)

Nathan Perl-Rosenthal “Plotting Revolution, Part One, Two, and Three” (Age of Revolutions).

Adam Shatz, “Where Life is Seized” (LRB)


Timothy Garton Ash, ‘Is Europe Disintegrating?’ (The New York Review of Books)

Arthur Goldhammer, ‘France Chooses a New President,’ (The American Prospect)

Patrick Iber, ‘Literary Agents: Rethinking the legacy of writers who worked with the CIA,’ (New Republic)

Wesley Morris, ‘Visiting the African-American Museum: Waiting, Reading, Thinking, Connecting, Feeling,’ (NY Times)

Samuel Moyn, ‘Beyond Liberal Internationalism,’ (Dissent)


Amani Bin Shikhan, “Finding the Right Light: With his music debut, Mustafa the Poet grows up – and turns inward” (GOOD)

George Blaustein, “The Obama Speeches: Drones need no Churchills and deserve no Lincolns” (N+1)

Alex Dueben, “How ‘His Girl Friday’, One of the Best Movies of All Time, Led to Today’s TV Dramedies” (Splitsider)

Jamila Osman, “A Map of Lost Things: On Family, Grief, and the Meaning of Home” (Catapult)

Timothy Shenk, “Jonathan Chait and the Failure of “Grown Up” Liberalism” (New Republic)


Christiane Habermalz, “Gelöschtes Gedächntis? Kritik am neuen Bundesarchivgesetz” (Deutschlandradio Kultur)

Helene von Bismarck, “Lost in translation: Brexit and the Anglo-German Relationship” (History & Policy, Opinion)

Ian Frazier, “The Vertical Farm” (The New Yorker)

Mark Micale, “Early Global Thinker” (TLS)