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It's easy to be pessimistic about inequality. We know it has increased dramatically in many parts of the world over the past two generations. No one has done more to reveal the problem than Thomas Piketty. Now, in this surprising and powerful new work, Piketty reminds us that the grand sweep of history gives us reasons to be optimistic. Over the ce…
 
In the beginning was the Big Bang: an unimaginably hot fire almost fourteen billion years ago in which the first elements were forged. The physical theory of the hot nascent universe--the Big Bang--was one of the most consequential developments in twentieth-century science. And yet it leaves many questions unanswered: Why is the universe so big? Wh…
 
This installment of the EWP podcast will conclude our double episode feature on Haridas Chaudhuri and the roots of the California Institute of Integral Studies. This episode features a talk by Jim Ryan, who started teaching at CIIS in 1981, and became core faculty in 1986. He is the former Director of the Asian and Comparative Studies program in th…
 
Our Laundry, Our Town: My Chinese American Life from Flushing to the Downtown Stage and Beyond (Fordham UP, 2022) is a memoir that decodes and processes the fractured urban oracle bones of Alvin Eng's upbringing in Flushing, Queens in the 1970s. Back then, his family was one of the few immigrant Chinese families in a far-flung neighborhood in New Y…
 
Sylvia Chan-Malik is Associate Professor in the Departments of American and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She talks, teaches, and writes about the intersections of race, gender, and religion, with a focus on the history and cultures of Islam and Muslims in the United States. Her research highlights the lives, voic…
 
Ulrich Baer talks to Kim about the process and phenomenon of witnessing, which creates collective acknowledgement, understanding, and responsibility for trauma. Among other works, he talks about Shoshana Felman and Dori Laub’s book Testimony. In his discussion of witnessing with respect to our present political moment, he talks about the murder of …
 
Stunning Indigenous resistance to the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipelines has made global headlines in recent years. Less remarked on are the crucial populist movements that have also played a vital role in pipeline resistance. Kai Bosworth explores the influence of populism on environmentalist politics, which sought to bring together Indig…
 
Britain in the 1840s should have been, observes Simon Heffer, a time of great social improvement. Instead it was a country that was beset by poverty, unrest, assassination attempts on young Queen Victoria and her Prime Minister, and fears of revolution. Yet just forty years later, it was as if none of that had ever happened. It had become a prosper…
 
For all of the doubts raised about the effectiveness of international aid in advancing peace and development, there are few examples of developing countries that are even relatively untouched by it. Sarah Phillips's When There Was No Aid: War and Peace in Somaliland (Cornell UP, 2020) offers us one such example. Using evidence from Somaliland's exp…
 
In Projectland: Life in a Lao Socialist Model Village (U Hawaii Press, 2021), anthropologist Holly High combines an engaging first-person narrative of her fieldwork with a political ethnography of Laos, more than forty years after the establishment of the Lao PDR and more than seven decades since socialist ideologues first “liberated” parts of upla…
 
A retrospective monograph of Alistair MacLennan’s performance art practice, its influence on the Belfast art scene, and its relationships with wider art histories. Actional Poetics-Ash She He: The Performance Actuations of Alastair MacLennan, 1971-2020 (Intellect, 2022) (Intellect, 2022) is the most comprehensive and complete legacy monograph about…
 
Four Shades of Gray: The Amazon Kindle Platform (MIT Press, 2022) is the first book-length analysis of Amazon's Kindle explores the platform's technological, bibliographical, and social impact on publishing. Dr. Simon Peter Rowberry recounts how Amazon built the infrastructure for a new generation of digital publications, then considers the consequ…
 
Nathan Jordan Poole speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about his story “Idlewild,” which appears in The Common’s new spring issue. In this conversation, Nathan talks about doing seasonal work at Christmas tree farms, the workers from all walks of life he met there, and how those experiences and those people helped to inspire this story. He als…
 
The collapse of the Soviet Union forced Russia to engage in a process of nation building. This involved a reassessment of the past, both historical and cultural, and how it should be remembered. The publication of previously barely known underground and émigré literary works presented an opportunity to reappraise "official" Soviet literature and re…
 
In Innocent Until Proven Muslim: Islamophobia, the War on Terror, and the Muslim Experience Since 9/11 published in 2022 with Broadleaf Books, Maha Hilal describes how narratives of 9/11 and the war on terror have been constructed over the last twenty years and the various ways in which they have justified state violence against Muslims. Hilal offe…
 
Victoria A. Malko's book The Ukrainian Intelligentsia and Genocide: The Struggle for History, Language, and Culture in the 1920s and 1930s (Lexington Books, 2021) focuses on the first group targeted in the genocide known as the Holodomor: Ukrainian intelligentsia, the "brain of the nation," using the words of Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term gen…
 
The history of the Palestine War does not only concern military history. It also involves social, humanitarian and religious history, as in the case of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jerusalem. A Liminal Church: Refugees, Conversions and the Latin Diocese of Jerusalem, 1946–1956 (Brill, 2020) offers a complex narrative of the Latin patriarchal dioce…
 
Everything is breaking down. Chaos is increasing. Entropy is not just a metaphor, although it also that. In Entropic Philosophy: Chaos, Breakdown, and Creation (Rowman and Littlefield, 2022), Shannon M. Mussett argues that while denial and nihilism are common and world-shaping responses to entropy, they are not our only options. By revaluing order …
 
Dr. Sofia Stolk’s The Opening Statement of the Prosecution in International Criminal Trials: A Solemn Tale of Horror (Routledge, 2021) addresses the discursive importance of the prosecution’s opening statement before an international criminal tribunal. Opening statements are considered to be largely irrelevant to the official legal proceedings but …
 
Kim speaks with Amanda Caleb about Michel Foucault’s concept of heterotopia. Amanda says that the classic definition of “heterotopia” is found in Foucault’s article “Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias” (Architecture /Mouvement/Continuité, October, 1984). She also mentions The Birth of the Clinic. In comparison to Foucault’s heterotopia, we t…
 
Realize your fullest leadership potential, claim your boldest vision, and prioritize the well-being of your team and world with this new science-based approach to leadership. In Boundless Leadership: The Breakthrough Method to Realize Your Vision, Empower Others, and Ignite Positive Change (Shambhala, 2021), psychotherapist Joe Loizzo and executive…
 
In Holy Science: The Biopolitics of Hindu Nationalism (University of Washington Press, 2019), Banu Subramaniam examines how science and religion have come together to propel a vision of the modern Indian nation, and in particular, a Hindu nationalist vision of India. Subramaniam demonstrates that the politics of gender, race, class, caste, sexualit…
 
Our contemporary political condition is obsessed with immunity. The immunity of bodies and the body politic; personal immunity and herd immunity; how to immunize the social system against breakdown. The obsession intensifies with every new crisis and the mobilization of yet more powers of war and police, from quarantine to border closures and from …
 
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