What We’re Reading

What We’re Reading: Week of 19th February

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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:

Heather Agyepong, “The Forgotten Story of the Women Behind the Black British Panthers,” (The Debrief)

Tina Cartwright, “Whodunnit to whom? A case for language preservation,” (overland)

Pierre Challier, “Patrick Weil, historien, <<Il faut des procédures communes avec nos voisins»” (Ladepeche.fr)

Pamela E. Klassen, “When Secularism Fails Women,” (Public Books)

Thania Sanchez, “More of the same? Human Rights in an Age of Inequality,” (LawfareBlog)

 

Eric:

Online Forum: W.E.B. Du Bois @ 150” (Black Perspectives).

Greg Afinogenov, “Ice Age: Society as checkpoint” (N+1).

Hugo Drochon, “France’s Machiavellian Moment: Then and Now” (Tocqueville21).

Magali Della Sudda, “L’Europe des anti-genre” (Viedesidées).

 

Derek:

Priya Satia, “Guns and the British Empire” (Aeon)

William Howarth, “Reading Thoreau at 200” (The American Scholar)

Walter Johnson, “To Remake the World: Slavery, Racial Capitalism, and Justice” (Boston Review)

Thomas Meaney, “A Celebrity Philosopher Explains the Populist Insurgency” (New Yorker)

 

Spencer:

Anna Deavere Smith, “Ghost Whisperers” (NYRB)

Regina Marler, “In the Cauldron at Midnight” (NYRB)

Oliver Moody, “The Oddness of Isaac Newton” (TLS)

Brian Cummings, “Naked Luther” (Marginalia)

Christopher Turner, “Cinematic Airs” (Cabinet)

What We’re Reading: Week of 12th February

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For those who’ve already raced through the latest issue of the Journal of the History of Ideas and are still in need of intellectual history, here’s what our editorial board has been reading this week:

Kristin:

Some Valentine’s themed reading:

William Jankowiak, Shelly Volsche, and Justin R. Garcia, “The Half of the World That Doesn’t Make Out” (Sapiens)

A fiery debate for those interested in military strategy, links to oppositional pieces included:

Adam N. Weinstein, ““No, We Can’t Kill Our Way to Victory Despite What 2 Misguided Lieutenant Colonels Might Think” (Task & Purpose)

Franz-Stefan Gady, “Has the US Military Really Lost ‘The Art of Killing’?” (Diplomat)

Marina Koren, “What Color Is a Tennis Ball?” (Atlantic)

 

Derek:

Carol J. Adams, “The Hamburger: An American Lyric” (The Paris Review)

Anton Martinho-Truswell, “To automate is human” (Aeon)

Jennifer Hassan, “Meet Cheddar Man” (Washington Post)

Lisa Bitel, “The ‘real’ St. Valentine was no patron of love” (The Conversation)

 

Eric:

Hisham Aidi “L’anti-orientalisme ambigu de Juan Goytisolo” (Orient XXI).

Ibram X. Kendi “The Soul of W.E.B. Du Bois” (The Paris Review).

Adam Tooze, “Democracy’s Twenty-First-Century Histories” (AdamTooze).

Quinn Slobodian, “Neoliberalism’s Populist Bastards” (Public Seminar)

 

Spencer:

Francis Gooding, “Feathered, Furred or Coloured” (LRB)

Thomas Morris, “Circle of Life(TLS)

Amanda Dennis, “Life Writing(LARB)

Jason DeParle, “When Government Drew the Color Line” (NYRB)

Dan Piepenbring, “The Enthralling, Anxious World of Vladimir Nabokov’s Dreams(New Yorker)

What We’re Reading: Week of 5th February

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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.

Yitzchak:

David P. Goldman, “A Sea of Blood at the Met: Race theory, Aryan purity, and a Jewish purge in Wagner’s ‘Parsifal’” (Tablet)

Jia Tolentino, “The Mesmerizing Spectacle of North Korea’s “Army of Beauties” at the Winter Olympics” (New Yorker)

Don Piepenbring, “The Enthralling, Anxious World of Vladimir Nabokov’s Dreams” (New Yorker)

Ian Bostridge, “God’s Own Music” (NYRB)

 

Sarah:

Jill Lepore, “The Strange and Twisted Life of “Frankenstein,” (New Yorker)

Josephine Livingstone, “Losing the Twentieth Century,” (New Republic)

Andrew Rice, “The Fight to be a Muslim in America,” (Guardian Longreads)

Robert Wood, “On Guilty Pleasure: A Response to Reading Joyce Carol Oates,” (overland)

 

Kristin:

Amanda Giracca, ““Consider the Rooster” (Aeon)

Shaan Amin, “The Dark Side of the Comics That Redefined Hinduism” (The Atlantic)

Laura Spinney, “How the 1918 Flu Pandemic Revolutionized Public Health” (Smithsonian)

 

Spencer: 

Terence Tiller, “Political Prisoner(TLS)

Ian Bostrige, “God’s Own Music(NYRB)

Caroline Crampton, “Caroline of Ansbach(New Statesman)

Allison C. Meier, “Illustrating Carnival(Public Domain Review)

Robert Cremins, “Ishiguro’s Orphans” (LARB)

What We’re Reading: Week of 29th January

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Here are some pieces from around the internet that have caught the eyes of our editorial team this week:

Derek:

Garbage, Genius, or Both? Three Ways of Looking at Infinite Jest” (LitHub)

Editors, “Debating the Uses and Abuses of ‘Neoliberalism’: Forum” (Dissent)

Sean Wilentz, “The High Table Liberal” (NYRB)

Karen Kelsky, “When will we stop elevating predators?” (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Spencer:

Nick Richardson, “Even What Doesn’t Happen is Epic” (LRB)

Frederic Raphael, “Aryan Ghetto of One” (TLS)

David Dabydeen, “From royal trumpeter to chief diver, Miranda Kaufmann uncovers the Africans of Tudor Britain” (New Statesman)

Mark A. Michelson and John Ryle, “Remembering Paul Robeson” (NYRB)

Alex Ross, “The Rediscovery of Florence Price” (New Yorker)

Bennett Gilbert, “The Dreams of an Inventor in 1420” (Public Domain Review)

 

Sarah:

Charlotte Higgins, “The Cult of Mary Beard,” (Guardian)

Cressida Leyshon, “Jhumpa Lahiri on Writing in Italian,” (New Yorker)

Erik Moshe, “What I’m Reading: An Interview with Historian Ashley D. Farmer,” (History News Network)

Susan Pedersen, “One-Man Ministry,” (LRB)

 

Disha:

Bridget Minamore, “Black Men Walking: a hilly hike through 500 years of black British history” (The Guardian)

Gavin Walker and Ken Kawashima, “Surplus Alongside Excess: Uno Kōzō, Imperialism, and the Theory of Crisis” (Viewpoint Magazine)

What We’re Reading: Week of 25th September

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.

 

Cynthia

Moths have been on my mind, mostly thanks to Emmett Gowin, whose survey of Central and South American moths, Mariposas Nocturnas, was just released. Gowin began photographing moths in the early 2000s, tagging along with scientists on their travels to field sites in Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and other places. At each site, Gowin would set up lamps to attract moths, and then photograph them. Gowin’s work reminds me of Gene Stratton-Porter’s Moths of the Limberlost (1912). In the early 20th century, Indiana’s Limberlost swamp was threatened, as Stratton-Porter put it, “by commerce,” and like Gowin, she hoped that her work would help cultivate a sense of wonder and appreciation for these threatened places and their beautiful creatures. Stratton-Porter describes the use of “vapour lamps” for moth collection in her novel, A Girl of the Limberlost.

When I think of moths, my mind eventually turns to Nabokov, whose interest in lepidopterology was legendary. The subject of Nabokov the lepidopterologist has generated its own body of literature. In terms of range and thoroughness, Dieter E. Zimmer’s Guide to Nabokov’s Butterflies and Moths matches its subject. Nabokov was also an accomplished illustrator of butterflies and moths — Elif Batuman discusses this facet his practice in this brief New Yorker essay.

And finally, a purely aesthetic consideration of moths: Stan Brahkage’s Mothlight (1963, but mute the sound, because the soundtrack on this version is not original). “Mothlight” was a camera-less film, made by pressing moth wings and bits of plant matter between sheets of Mylar. Brakhage describes the making of his short film (~3 min in length) in a letter to his friend Robert Kelly:  “Metaphors on Vision” (Bomb Magazine)

Very briefly: María del Pilar Blanco, “This Bankrupt Island” (LRB Blog)]

 

Eric

Matt Bell, “My Grading Scale…Composed Entirely of Samuel Beckett Quotes” (McSweeney’s).

Dany Laferrière interviewed by Adam Leith Gollner “The Art of Fiction” (Paris Review).

Emmanuel Laurentin, “Histoire de l’Europe” four part podcast (La Fabrique de l’Histoire – France Culture).

Mark Mazower, “The rise and fall of moral globalisation” (FT).

Lu Xun, “What is Revolutionary Literature?” (LitHub).

 

Disha

Walter Johnson, “No Rights Which the White Man Is Bound to Respect” (The Boston Review)

Mark Mazower, “The rise and fall of moral globalisation” (The Financial Times)

Wen Stephenson, “Learning to Live in the Dark: Reading Arendt in the Time of Climate Change” (LARB)

 

Spencer

Hayden Pelliccia, “The Art of Wrath” (NYRB)

Kevin Power, “Thomas M. Ditsch Versus the Catholic Church” (LARB)

Sam Weller and Ray Bradbury, “The Intuitive Thing” (LARB)

Laura Freeman, “How to Dress like Beckett” (TLS)

 

Sarah:

Emily Clark, “Rethinking Religion and Race in the Great Migration,” (Black Perspectives)

Jelani Cobb, “From Louis Armstrong to the N.F.L.: Ungrateful as the New Uppity,” (New Yorker)

Steve Hahn, “The Rage of White Folk,” (The Nation)

Vimal Patel, “A Revolt At the Journal Puts Peer Review Under the Microscope,” (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Wen Stephenson, “Learning to Live in the Dark: Reading Arendt in the Time of Climate Change,” (LARB)

Giles Tremlett, “Short Cuts,” (LRB)

What We’re Reading: Week of 11th September

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.

 

Disha

Pankaj Mishra, “What Is Great About Ourselves” (LRB)

Rembert Browne, “Colin Kaepernick Has a Job” (Bleacher Report)

Toni Morrison, “The Color Fetish” (The New Yorker)

 

Spencer

Wyatt Mason, “Violence and Creativity” (NYRB)

Ruth Graham, “Could Father Mychal Judge Be the First Gay Saint?” (Slate)

Geoffrey Stone and Eric J. Segall, “Faith, Law, and Diane Feinstein” (NYT), responding to Noah Feldman, “Feinstein’s Anti-Catholic Questions are an Outrage” (Bloomberg)

 

Sarah

Jon Baskin, “Philosophy and the Gods of the City: Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft’s “Thinking in Public,” (LARB)

Adrien Chen, “The Fake News Fallacy,” (The New Yorker)

Oona A. Hathaway and Scott J. Shapiro, “Making war illegal changed the world. But it’s becoming too easy to break the law,” (Guardian)

Parul Sehgal, “The Gloom, Doom and Occasional Joy of Writing Life,” (NYT)

 

Derek

Maura Ewing, “How One Agency is Fixing American Amnesia about Reconstruction” (Pacific Standard)

Jennet Conant, “From Triumph to Terror” (Lithub)

James McCorkle, “A History of Barbed Wire” (New England Review)
Kristin:

John Lanchester, “The Case Against Civilization” (The New Yorker)

Charlotte Gao, “One Man, One Road: A Funny Tale of Civic Protest in China” (The Diplomat)

Leah Donnella, Kat Chow, Gene Demby “What Our Monuments (Don’t) Teach Us About Remembering the Past” (NPR)

Cynthia

Susan Sontag, “Simone Weil” (NYRB)

Okwui Enwezor with David Carrier & Joachim Pissaro, “In Conversation” (Brooklyn Rail)

Mary Jo Bang, “Five Hundred Glass Negatives” (The Paris Review)

Ken Gordon, “Narration Vs.Curation” (Design Observer)

 

Erin

The fall books issue of the NYRB is excellent! I’ve enjoyed these pieces:
Tim Flannery, “Gone Fishing” (NYRB)
Geoffrey O’Brien, “Five Magnificent Years” (NYRB)
Edmund White, “Under a Spell” (NYRB)
Joyce Carol Oates, “The Poet of Freakiness” (NYRB)

Film Series:
New Yorkers should check out Anthology’s “The Cinema of Transgression: Trans Film,” screening September 15-25 and Metrograph’s “UCLA Festival of Preservation,” September 15-20.

What We’re Reading: Week of 4th September

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.

Cynthia

Hanneke Grootenboer, “Sublime Still Life: On Adriaen Coorte, Elias van den Broeck, and the Je ne sais quoi of Painting” (J. of Historians of Netherlandish Art)

Richard Saul Wurman and Henry Wilcots, “Louis Kahn in Dacca (originally published in Domus 548 / July 1975)” (Domus)

Alexandra Schwartz, “500 Words: Helen Frankenthaler”  (Artforum)

Daniel Duane, “Goodbye, Yosemite. Hello, What?” (NYT)

Derek

Elizabeth Kolbert, “Who Owns the Internet” (The New Yorker)

USFSP Unearths Treasure Trove of Florida’s Distant Past With New Project” (University of South Florida, St. Petersburg)

Susan Straight, “The American Experience in 737 Novels” (Story Maps)

Clint Smith, “Affirmative Action as Reparations” (New Republic)

 

Disha

Arabelle Sicardi, “The Bonds of Power Are Diffuse: An Interview with Jenny Zhang” (Hazlitt)

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, “Not At That Price: On The Future of DACA” (n+1)

Francisco Herrera, “Theorizing Race in America: An Interview with Juliet Hooker” (African American Intellectual History Society)

 

Sarah

Chris Bryant, “How the aristocracy preserved their power,” (Guardian)

Ramon Glazov, “The Maid of Orleans, sacred and profane,” (overland)

Hua Hsu, “A Writing Workshop for Workers, and a Long Poem About Taking Orders,” (New Yorker)

Branko Marcetic, “Fighting the Klan in Reagan’s America,” (Jacobin)

Michael Wood, “The French are not men,” (LRB)

 

Spencer

Stuart Kelly, “Pratchett, Kafka, Virgil: Difficult final demands” (TLS)

​Reed McConnell, “Orphan Utopia” (Cabinet)​
​Annette Gordon-Reed, “Our Trouble With Sex” (NYRB)​

What We’re Reading: Week of 28th August

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.

 

Derek

Josephine Livingstone, “The British Museum Was Built on Coral, Butterflies, and Slavery” (The New Republic)

Jeannie Riess, “Removal” (Oxford American)

Stephen Pimpare, “Where do we learn that poverty is shameful and dangerous? At the movies” (Washington Post)

Ron Rosenbaum, “Deeper than Deep: David Reich’s genetics lab reveals our prehistoric past“ (Lapham’s Quarterly)

Meg Schoerke, “More than Just”: A Partial View of Robert Lowell” (The Hudson Review)

 

Cynthia

Gabrielle Schwartz, “Hélio Oiticica’s playful approach to protest” (Apollo)

Brian Droitcour, “Critical Eye: Venice: Off Beat” (Art in America)

Andrea Scott, “Etore Sottsass” (4Columns)

Louise Steinman, “Slight Exaggeration: An Interview with Adam Zagajewski” (LARB)

 

Spencer

Jeffrey Kastner and Sina Najafi, “Historical Amnesias: An Interview with Paul Connerton” (Cabinet)

Blake Smith, “The Alt-Right Apocalypse” (Marginalia Review of Books)

Margaret Drabble, “Strawberry Hill forever” (TLS)

Josephine Livingstone, “The British Museum Was Built on Coral, Butterflies, and Slavery” (New Republic)

 

Eric

Susanna Berger, “The Art of Philosophy” (PDR).

Sophie Guérard de Latour, “Changer la sociologie, refaire de la politique” (Vie des idées).

Tim Lacy, “History Conferences: What Are They Good For?” (USIH).

Brink Lindsey, “The End of the Working Class” (American Interest).

What We’re Reading: Week of 21st August

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:

Neal Ascherson, “A Swap for Zanzibar,” (LRB)

Michael P. Jeffries, “How Chester B. Himes Became the Rage in Harlem, and Beyond,” (NYT)

Roundtable, parts 1 & 2 from the USIH, edited by Michael Landis:

Frank Towers, “Roundtable: Reflections on David Potter’s The Impending Crisis, part 1,” (USIH)

Kerry Leigh Merritt, “Roundtable: Reflections on David Potter’s The Impending Crisis, part 2,” (USIH)

 

Cynthia:

Nancy Princenthal, “David Wojnarowicz” (Art in America)

Arthur Lubow, The Renaissance of Marisa Merz, Carol Rama, and Carla Accardi: Three Italian Women Artists Having a Moment” (W Magazine)

Kara Nandin, “Review: ‘Carol Rama: Antibodies’ at the New Museum” (The Bottom Line: The Drawing Center’s blog)

Richard Martin, “Painting for Pleasure: An Interview with Carolee Schneeman” (Apollo)

Joachim Kalka, “Madame Bovary’s Wedding Cake” (The Paris Review)

 

Spencer

Dimitra Fimi, “Alan Garner’s The Owl Service at fifty” (TLS)

Giovanni Vimercate, “Soviet Pseudoscience” (LARB)

Philip Hoare, “Peter Adey’s wonderfully digressive book explores the science and history of levitation” (New Statesman)

David Dabydeen, “David Olusoga’s look at a forgotten history shows there’s always been black in the Union Jack” (New Statesman)

 

Eric:

Merve Emre, “Two Paths for the Personal Essay” (Boston Review)

Nathan Heller, “Is There Any Point to Protesting?” (New Yorker)

Hilary Mantel, “2017 Reith Lectures.” (BBC audio).

 

Yitzchak

Ian Frazier, “The Pleasures of New York by Car” (New Yorker)

Kelefa Sanneh, “Mayweather versus McGregor: Who’s worse?” (New Yorker)

John Banville, “Ending at the Beginning(NYRB)

April Bernard, “Eloise: The Feral Star(NYRB)

What We’re Reading: Week of 14th August

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:

Steve Kolowich, “What is a black professor in America allowed to say?” (Guardian)

Elaine Showalter, “The Austenista,” (New Republic)

Marina Warner, “Back from the Underworld,” (LRB)

Aaron Winter & Aurelien Mondon, “Normalized Hate,” (Jacobin)

Robert Wood, “On Australian poetry now: a response to David Campbell,” (overland)

 

Derek:

Adrienne Lafrance  and Vann R. Newkirk II, “The Lost History of an American Coup d’Etat” (The Atlantic)

Gerald Shea, “Teaching Them to Speak: On Juan Pablo Bonet and the History of Oralism” (The Paris Review)

Jack Christian and Warren Christian “The Monuments Must Go: An open letter from the great-great-grandsons of Stonewall Jackson” (Slate)

 

Eric:

Beverly Gage, “An Intellectual Historian Argues His Case Against Identity Politics” (New York Times) – on Mark Lilla, from whom see “The Liberal Crackup” (Wall Street Journal).

John Lanchester, “You Are the Product” (LRB).

Ellen J. Stockstill, “Rescuing England: The Rhetoric of Imperialism and the Salvation Army” (PDR).

 

Basma:

Omnia El Shakry, “Psychoanalysis and Islam” (Princeton University Press).

Gil Anidjar, “Everything Burns: Derrida’s Holocaust” (LARB).

Lara Deeb and Jessica Winegar, “Middle East Politics in US Academia: The Case of Anthropology” (CSSAAME)

 

Spencer

Larry Wolff, “Wagner on Trial” (NYRB)

James M. McPherson, “Southern Comfort” (NYRB)

Alev Scott, “Getting Close to Judgement Day” (TLS)