What We’re Reading

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)

What We’re Reading: Week of 7th 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.

 

Disha:

Rudrapriya Rathore, “India’s Imagined Worlds” (Hazlitt)

Natalie Diaz, “A Native American Poet Excavates the Language of Occupation” (The New York Times)

Lauren Michele Jackson, “We Need To Talk About Digital Blackface in Reaction GIFs” (Teen Vogue)

Cyrus Schayegh, “Switch Cities, Decolonization, and Globalization: Singapore, Beirut, Dakar” (Medium)

 

Eric:

Cord Aschenbrenner, “Albert Speer – Hitlers Architekt” (Neue Züricher Zeitung)

Elizabeth Bruenig, “Notes on Locke (against this critic)” (ESB).  

Anthony Madrid, “H.D. Notebook, Part 2” (The Paris Review).

Matthew J. Smith, “Overpowered: Control and Contingence in Haiti” (LARR).

 

Derek:

“How The Kellogg Brothers Revolutionized Breakfast“ (Fresh Air, podcast)

Daniel Dreisbach, “Reading the Bible with the Founding Fathers” (New Books Network, Podcast)

Dan Chiasson, “Susan Howe’s Patchwork Poems” (The New Yorker)

 

Cynthia

Larissa Pham, “Agnes Martin Finds the Light that Gets Lost” (The Paris Review)

On passion, professionalization, and the disciplinary and economic structures that scaffold the production of art and knowledge: Molly Nesbit with Jarrett Earnest, “Close Encounters: A Conversation” (The Brooklyn Rail)

Susan Sidlauskas, “On Graduate Education: A Primer (with Memoir) For the Art History Graduate Student” (Rutgers Art Review)

Sharon Louden, “3 Examples of Proactive Artists Creating New Opportunities” (Creative Capital Blog)

Miya Tokumitsu, “Completely Unprofessional” (Frieze)

In Memoriam, Judith Jones: Julia Moskin, “An Editing Life, A Book of Her Own” (The New York Times)

 

Basma

Steven Salaita, “A Few Thoughts on Leaving Academe” (Jadaliyya)

Alex Mayassi, “Of Money and Morals” (Aeon)

Gayatri Spivak, “On Teaching Reading” (ICLS Columbia, lecture abstract)

Suzy Hansen, “James Baldwin’s Istanbul” (Public Books)

John Hutnyk, “Marx in Algeria 1882” (Trinketization)

 

Spencer

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

Ian Sansom, “Jane Austen, on the money” (TLS)

Ariel Sophia Bardi, “The Soft Nationalism of Amma, India’s Hugging Saint” (LARB)

Lewis Lapham, “Petrified Forest” (Lapham’s Quarterly)

Ron Charles, “Stop dissing romance novels already” (Washington Post)

What We’re Reading: Week of 31st July

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.

Basma

Zia Meral, “The Question of Theodicy and Jihad” (War on the Rocks)

Max Ajl, “Critical Readings in Political Economy: 1967” (Jadaliyya)

Disha

Michael Stahl, “A Sneak Peek Inside the National Comedy Center’s George Carlin Archives” (Splitsider)

Anna Kornbluh, “The Murder of Theory” (Public Books)

Maria Michela Sassi, “The sea was never blue” (Aeon)

Derek

Nicola Twilley and Cynthia Graber,  “Britain’s Great Tea Heist” (The Atlantic)

Roberto Suro, “Leave Emma Lazarus Out of It” (Politico)

Jenna Weissman, “Breaking the Ten Commandments: A Short History of the Contentious American Monuments” (Religion and Politics)

Alec Luhn, “Gulag grave hunter unearths uncomfortable truths in Russia” (Guardian)

Spencer

David Horspool, “Theatre of cruelty” (TLS)
D. Graham Burnett, “Out From Behind This Mask” (Public Domain Review)
Bee Wilson, “I am the fifth dimension!” (LRB)

What We’re Reading: Week of 24th July

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:

Adolfo Aranjuez, “Death of the Editor,” (overland)

Mary Beard, “What do academics do in the summer ‘vacation’?” (TLS)

Hua Hsu, “Stuart Hall and the Rise of Cultural Studies,” (New Yorker)

Jamie Martin, “Nudged,” (LRB)

Cathy Otten, “Slaves of Isis:The Long Walk of the Yazidi Women,”

Russell Rickford, “Neo-McCarthyism and the Radical Professor,” (Back Perspectives)

 

Disha:

Paul Barrett, Darcy Ballantyne, Camille Isaacs, and Kris Singh, “The Unbearable Whiteness of CanLit,” (The Walrus)

A review of Enzo Traverso’s Left-Wing Melancholia: Marxism, History, and Memory:

Peter E. Gordon, “Mourning in America,” (Boston Review)
Derek:

(Podcast interview) Raul Coronado, “A World Not to Come: A History of Latino Writing and Print Culture” (New Books Network)

Richard Brody, “‘Dunkirk’: A War Movie about Patriotic Ciphers” (The New Yorker)

Eric Kurlander, “A Song of Ice and Fire” (Lapham’s Quarterly)

 

Cynthia:

On Cultural Analytics, or how do we make sense of Instagram:

“Lev Manovich in conversation with Hunter O’Hainan” (CAA News)

What happens when poetry meets photography:

> “America Today, in Vision and Verse” (NY Times)

> “How Poems Inspire Pictures” (NY Times)

Rebecca Fulleylove, “Art Director, Author, and Editor Steven Heller on His Favourite Books” (It’s Nice That)

Even poetry needs design and branding. Here, designers describe how they approach the task of creating a visual experience equal to the poetry itself:

> Lucy Bourton, “Pouya Ahmadi’s Typographic Designs for the Festival of Poets Theater” (It’s Nice That)

>Rebecca Fulleylove, “Michael Bierut’s new brand identity for the Poetry Foundation” (It’s Nice That)

> Fraser Muggeridge, “[The Making of a Concrete Poem: Sun-cheese Wheel-Ode” (Eye)
Eric:

Junot Díaz interviews Samuel R. Delany, “Radicalism Begins in the Body” (Boston Review).

Kevin M. Gannon, “Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, and a Revolutionary Praxis for Education I & II” (Age of Revolutions).

Dan Gorman, “All Things to All People? (symposium on Duncan Bell’s Reordering the World)” (Disorder of Things)

Achille Mbembe “There is Only One World (extract from Critique of Black Reason)” (The Con).

John Strawson, “Colonialism and the Jews” (fathom).

 

Spencer:

Allison Meier, “Washington Irving Bishop: The Magician Killed by an Autopsy” (Atlas Obscura)

Will Wiles, “The Corner of Lovecraft and Ballard” (Places)

Julianne Neely, “20 Literary Would-You-Rathers” (McSweeney’s Internet Tendency)

What We’re Reading: Week of 17th July

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:

Kate Evans, “Day in the Working Life of a Historian: Kate Evans,” (Vida)

John Rapley, “How Economics Became a Religion,” (Guardian Long Reads)

James Robertson, “The Life and Death of Yugoslav Socialism,” (Jacobin)

Andy Seal, “The Controversy Over Democracy in Chains,” (USIH Blog)

Robyn Spencer, “Writing an Organizational History of the Black Panthers: An Author’s Response,” (Black Perspectives)

 

Spencer

Rebecca Rideal, “Forget the big historical names, it’s historic fear of disease that Game of Thrones nails” (New Statesman)

John Toohey, “The Long, Forgotten Walk of David Ingram” (Public Domain Review)

Rhodri Lewis, “Pre-Modern Post-Truth” (LARB)

 

Disha:

Hua Hsu, “Stuart Hall and the Rise of Cultural Studies” (The New Yorker)

Christina Heatherton, “Not Just Being Right, But Getting Free: Reflections on Class, Race, and Marxism” (Verso Blog)

Brenna M. Munro, “Atlantic Got Your Tongue: On The Poetry of Safia Elhillo” (Public Books)

 

Cynthia:

If you can, get yourself over to Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum to see “Raphael: The Drawings.” If you can’t, well, here are some reviews that you can read:

>Andrew Butterfield, “Raphael Up Close” (NYRB)

>Charles Hope, “At the Ashmolean” (LRB)

>Catherine Whistler, the curator of the Ashmolean exhibition, on her approach to curating an exhibition of Raphael’s drawings, “A New Way to Look at Raphael” (Apollo)

 

On time and its monuments:

Anthony Grafton, “Invented Antiquities” (LRB)

Heidi Julavits, “The Art at the End of the World” (NY Times)
Yitzchak:

Yo-Yo Ma, “Save Louis Kahn’s Concert Boat” (NYRB)

Julian Bell, “The Perennial Student: The Art of Camille Pissaro” (NYRB)

Hua Hsu, “Jay-Z, Dr. Dre and the Music of Success” (New Yorker)

Hua Hsu, “Stuart Hall and the Rise of Cultural Studies” (New Yorker)
Derek:

Christine Philips, “Why these professors are warning against promoting the work of straight, white men” (Washington Post)

Ottoman History Podcast, “Genetics and Nation-Building in the Middle East

Lydia Kiesling, “Letter of Recommendation: The Life of Marshall Hodgson”(New York Times)