A new issue of Africa Spectrum is out. Samuel Andreas Admasie (Leiden): The Bourgeois Revolution of Ethiopia. Jeremy Prestholdt (UCSD): Africa and the Global Lives of Things. With hundreds of tribes and languages, slang English known as “Naija” is becoming the glue of Nigeria. The Throne of Zion: Emily Raboteau on the vision of the immaculate present that’s for sale at Sao Jorge da Mina, Ghana’s most notorious slave castle. The man who brought the black flag to Timbuktu: Islamist strongman Iyad Ag Ghali has taken the stage in North Africa — his rising power is giving him a lot of bad ideas. Somalia edges towards peace, with football part of the endgame. Outrageous freedom: In the face of deep prejudice and persecution, the Ugandan gay rights movement has crafted a surprising victory. Raiders of the Congo: James Bamford retraces the strange odyssey of Tjostolv "Mike" Moland and Joshua French and discovers that more than one hundred years after Heart of Darkness, some things never change. One of the greatest humanitarian crises since WWII: Five million people have died since 1998 — why is the media so silent on the long-standing conflict in Congo? Self Service: "Saving Africa" to achieve personal growth is not the way to see the world.
Donna E. Young (Albany): Post Race Posthaste: Towards an Analytical Convergence of Critical Race Theory and Marxism. Linda A. Malone (William and Mary): The Legal Dilemma of Guantanamo Detainees from Bush to Obama. From RealClearBooks, Mark Judge on the end of conservative nonfiction. The end of jazz: Benjamin Schwarz on how America’s most vibrant music became a relic. Emancipation of the Sign: Franco Berardi Bifo on poetry and finance during the twentieth century. He's never been good with languages, so can Joshua Foer really hope to learn Lingala in a day? The paradox of nonlethal weapons: Under international law, killing an enemy is more permissible than blinding him. From NYRB, a review essay by Gabriel Winslow-Yost on the work of Chris Ware and the triumph of the comic-book novel. An interview with Kenneth C. Davis, author of Don't Know Much About the American Presidents. Seyed Hossein Mousavian on ten reasons Iran doesn't want the bomb. What the bloody hell is wrong with you Americans? Alex Massie on why you should be embarrassed by the fascination with Kate Middleton's womb.
From Too Much, take all that post-election commentary about foolish billionaires and wasted millions in political contributions with a grain of salt — our billionaires don't have to actually win on Election Day to get their way; and Sam Pizzigati on five plutocracy-busting ideas worth a revisit. Should the top tax rate be 73 percent? Warren Buffett calls for a minimum tax for the wealthy. If Obama were proposing a truly balanced plan, he’d be calling for even more tax revenue or even less spending reduction. A simple way to get conservatives to support higher taxes on the rich: According to new research, changing the way the issue of income inequality is framed moves conservatives closer to a liberal position. Mary Beard on why the rich look down on the poor. Does capitalism breed hate? Don Fitz goes inside the psyche of the 1%. Paul Bucheit on ten numbers the rich would like fudged. Natasha Lewis speaks with Strike Debt member, professor, and author Andrew Ross on The Debt Resistor’s Operations Manual. Steve Fraser on the hollowing out of America: “Debtpocalypse” is merely the latest installment in a tragic, forty-year story of the dispossession of American workers. Amy Ludlow reviews Addicted to Profit: Reclaiming our Lives from the Free Market by Stuart Sim.
Cass Sunstein (Harvard): The Storrs Lectures: Behavioral Economics and Paternalism. From the Journal of Critical Realism, a series of book reviews. Simon Doonan on the eight worst things about the art world. The introduction to Facing Fear: The History of an Emotion in Global Perspective. Why are mean people so hot? It's not that meanies are more physically attractive than everyone else — they're just very good at fooling us. Colin Burrow reviews Literary Names: Personal Names in English Literature by Alastair Fowler. Sarah Scire interviews Oliver Burkeman, author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking (and more and more). Depressive realism: An excerpt from the introduction to Anti-Matter: Michel Houellebecq and Depressive Realism by Ben Jeffery. Kevin Drum on a dictionary update: Serious vs. Unserious. No land ho: Frank Jacobs on Sandy Island and the age of un-discovery. Is the Harappan civilisation 2000 years older? Marc Herman on how someone successfully explained Egypt’s politics! Brian Tashman on how unhinged rhetoric sank a disabilities rights treaty in the Senate. Former Microsoft exec decides to just sell weed instead — fair enough.
Amos N. Guiora and Julia Chamberlin (Utah): Religion and the Status of Women. From Scholar & Feminist Online, a special issue on Feminist Media Theory: Iterations of Social Difference. From VQR, is there such a thing as the female conscience? Jean Bethke Elshtain wonders. Whether you were a cleric grappling with a life of celibacy or a noble forced to demonstrate his virility in combat, what was it like to be a man in the Middle Ages? Janna Bianchini busts some common misconceptions about women in the Middle Ages. Do we need men's lib? Berlin conference addresses male troubles. Jesse McLaren on why “men’s rights” groups are wrong. Why do men and women want different things? Jennifer Merchant on the “war on women”. Something strange is happening to feminists — we’re winning. Hollie Nyseth Brehm on (not) the end of men. Men and women can't be "just friends": Researchers asked women and men friends what they really think — and got very different answers. What is gender and why does it matter? Maria Fedoryka has some thoughts on femininity. Future Masculinity is an online course delivered by Joseph Gelfer via live web-based teleconferencing. Introducing The Sexes: Welcome to The Atlantic's newest channel.
Enzo Rossi (Wales): Consensus, Compromise, Justice and Legitimacy. Giulia Sissa (UCLA): Democracy: A Persian Invention? Frank S. Robinson wonders. Simon Labrecque (Victoria): Aesthetics of Coherence in Politological Thought: Engaging Impredicativity. From The Ethics Forum, a special issue on The Birthright Lottery: Citizenship and Global Inequality by Ayelet Shachar, including Duncan Ivison (Sydney): Transcending National Citizenship or Taming It?; Victor M. Muniz-Fraticelli (Mcgill): What Justice Entails; Speranta Dumitru (CNRS): Migration and Equality: Should Citizenship Levy Be a Tax or a Fine?; and a response by Shachar. Roger Morgan reviews On Politics: A History of Political Thought: From Herodotus to the Present by Alan Ryan (and more). From The Humanist, is freedom a mistaken idea? Tony Mckenna reviews Liberty and Property: A Social History of Western Political Thought from Renaissance to Enlightenment by Ellen Meiksins Wood. Robert Talisse interviews Jamie Kelly, author of Framing Democracy: A Behavioral Approach to Democratic Theory. Conor Gearty reviews On Global Justice by Mathias Risse. Roslyn Weiss on her book Philosophers in the Republic: Plato's Two Paradigms.
Julia M. Puaschunder (Harvard): Ethical and Socially Responsible Investment. Barbara P. Billauer (IWP): Le Corbusier, the Occult and How Art Deco Began. The books that inspired Lee Badgett: “Robert Heilbroner’s book convinced me that the roots of inequality and of efforts toward change were to be found in economics as much as politics”. From Metropolis, Laurie Olin and Avinash Rajagopal on the trouble with Washington: The noted landscape architect dissects how clumsy, ill-considered security measures have impacted our nation’s once majestic capital; and International Style: Thomas de Monchaux on the rise and fall (and perhaps, rise again) of U.S. embassy architecture. From The Chronicle, who's afraid of black sexuality? Scholars are starting to break taboos to study intimacy, homosexuality, incest, porn, and other delicate matters; and black dandies fashion new academic identities: Three professors talk about why they wear what they wear. How did the GOP become so unreasonable on the issue? Here's a hint — Grover Norquist had nothing to do with it. Could a carbon tax help solve Washington’s revenue problems?
From Religions, Klaus von Stosch (Paderborn): Comparative Theology as Liberal and Confessional Theology; Jacques Scheuer (Louvain): Comparative Theology and Religious Studies in a Non-religious Environment; and Reinhold Bernhardt (Basel): Comparative Theology: Between Theology and Religious Studies. Thomas M. Dicken (RMC): Graffiti Theology: Criteria and an Agenda. Carl Raschke on his book The Revolution in Religious Theory: Toward a Semiotics of the Event (and more). Is God Irish?: Roger McCann maps the limits of theology. Steve Fuller reviews The God Problem: Expressing Faith and Being Reasonable by Robert Wuthnow. Can philosophy of religion be an acceptable form of proselytism/apologetics? Wesley Hill reviews Christ the Stranger: The Theology of Rowan Williams by Benjamin Myers. Biblical foundations and the thread of history: Current trends that have existed in biblical scholarship for quite some time reveal a distinct blindness about the essence of Sacred Scripture. Peter Versteeg reviews Thinking in Tongues: Pentecostal Contributions to Christian Philosophy by James K.A. Smith. An imperfect God: The "perfect" God that philosophers have tried and failed to establish is nowhere to be found — not even in the Bible.
Annie Dell’Aria (CUNY): Negotiating Utopia and Dystopia: Space and Architecture in Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009). Eric Schniter, Timothy W. Shields, and John W. Dickhaut (Chapman): Ageism and Cooperation. Misreading Leo Strauss: Robert Howse on a misbegotten charge of Nazi sympathies. This collaborative chapter reflects five contributors’ (Bee Chen Goh, Habib Chamoun-Nicolas, Ellen E. Deason, H. Jay Folberg, and Sukhsimranjit Singh) respective cultural backgrounds and how each uses his or her own cultural yardstick to define “the other” — in a common setting, a Chinese market in Beijing. The introduction to The Democratic Foundations of Policy Diffusion by Katerina Linos. Alison Peck reviews Meat: A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlie. Emily Bazelon on the insane defense of the “castle doctrine” gone wild: A tragic killing in Montana proves once again that these laws do more to encourage violence than to prevent it. The Government Printing Office releases its quadrennial “United States Policy and Supporting Positions” directory, colloquially known as the “Plum Book”, a guide to the more than 8,000 federal civil service leadership and support positions available in the executive and legislative branches.
Greta Olson (Giessen): Issues in American Punitivity. From Mother Jones, a special report on solitary confinement from former hostage Shane Bauer. From the latest issue of The Jury Expert, a series of articles on false confessions. The execution of Carlos DeLuna: Gabriel O’Malley on preventing wrongful convictions. A gated community: At Angola, a game of golf comes with a spectacular view of Louisiana’s only maximum-security prison. David Wolman on the new economics of crime and punishment. From The Washington Monthly, David Dagan and Steven M. Teles on the Conservative War on Prisons: Right-wing operatives have decided that prisons are a lot like schools — hugely expensive, inefficient, and in need of root-and-branch reform; is this how progress will happen in a hyper-polarized world? A different death penalty: David R. Dow on life without parole. McCleskey's Omission: G. Ben Cohen on the racial geography of retribution. The Innocent Man: On August 13, 1986, Michael Morton came home from work to discover that his wife had been brutally murdered in their bed — his nightmare had only begun (and part 2). Welcome to "Crime," Slate's new crime blog about crime.