From the Los Angeles Review of Books, the academy in peril: A symposium on Blow Up the Humanities by Toby Miller (and more). Remy Smida reviews Game Theory and the Humanities: Bridging Two Worlds by Steven J. Brams. A group of digital humanists foresees a new phase of scholarly e-publishing; Scott McLemee gets a peek into their crystal ball. Richard Utz on how the English professoriate should embrace, accompany critically, and shape the new discourses its students sorely need to communicate and compete: blogs, video essays, Web comics, digital archives, data visualization, and the like. From n+1, Alva Edwards visits MLA 2013. Academe is complicit: In the wake of Aaron Swartz's death, Timothy Burke asks why so many scholars have failed to consider the ethical arguments for open access — or to act on them. Grading the glitterati professoriat: What students thought of the teaching of celebrities who have stepped inside the classroom. Can an element of secular transcendence be returned to the American college curriculum? A review of College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be by Andrew Delbanco. Toby Miller did not take a straight path into academia; he reflects on how his atypical trajectory shaped his views of the insular scholarly world.
Will Kymlicka (Queen’s): Multiculturalism: Success, Failure, and the Future. Benjamin M. Eidelson (Yale): The Majoritarian Filibuster. Our need to elevate the president into a monarchical figure not only causes us to persistently misunderstand the world around us, but is also detrimental to the habits of self-government. The Galapagos gave Darwin a free rein and ample inspiration; now, Rebecca Willis finds, they are tightly policed — and make you think about the destruction of species. Nate Silver contemplates Obama's place in history, statistically: Winning a second term is something of a prerequisite for presidential greatness, at least as historians have evaluated the question, but it is no guarantee of it. Because most people lie to themselves about death instead of worrying about it, we are neglecting a radical possibility brought by advancing technology: our imminent nonexistence might not be as inevitable as we think. A rape a minute, a thousand corpses a year: Rebecca Solnit on hate crimes in America (and elsewhere). From Arena, the triumph of reason? Guy Rundle on “medievalism” and reason in the US election.
From the Oxonian Review, complete with dreadlocks and cigarette: Charne Lavery reviews Moving Spirit: The Legacy of Dambudzo Marechera in the 21st Century. Electric fences are going up around Kenya's forested mountaintops — is this the only way to keep Africa's water flowing? Carla Nappi interviews Catherine Higgs, author of Chocolate Islands: Cocoa, Slavery, and Colonial Africa. Ruled by Morocco for decades, some say Western Sahara shares commonalities with the occupied Palestinian territories (and Angel L. Martinez on the long, lonely journey of Sahrawi activism). Rick Rowden on the myth of Africa's rise: Why the rumors of Africa's explosive growth have been greatly exaggerated (and a response). Augusta Conchiglia on Thomas Deltombe, Manuel Domergue and Jacob Tatsitsa’s Kamerun!, the first full account of France’s hidden colonial war in West Africa. Joanna Lewis reviews Re-imagining the Dark Continent in Fin de Siecle Literature by Robbie McLaughlan. Christina M. Russo on the perils and rewards of protecting Congo’s gorillas. Most of Africa spent two generations under colonial rule; contrary to some recent commentaries highlighting the benefits of colonialism, it is this intense experience that has significantly retarded economic development across the continent.
Oran R. Young (UCSB): Arctic Stewardship: Maintaining Regional Resilience in an Era of Global Change. Superstar in Green: Portland cohousing developer Eli Spevak builds sustainable homes around an ethos of sharing. Eric Posner on how Aaron Swartz's cause wins in the end — the protests against his prosecution will promote open access. Martin Boer on the debt-equity conundrum. From Jacobin, Alyssa Battistoni on life after emergency: Do disasters act as turning points, or wake-up calls, or teachable moments? Not long ago Tajik police were forcing men to shave their beards, convinced a terrorist lurked behind every whisker — now the health minister has recommended salons stop trimming Tajikistan’s chins lest dirty razors spread HIV. Turkey's facial hair implants are growing as men shell out for virile image. Freedom from everything: Hito Steyerl on freelancers and mercenaries. Has Nate Silver forever changed statistics? Nate Cohn reviews Naked Statistics by Charles Wheelan. Gary Gutting on the joy of Zadie Smith and Thomas Aquinas. The November 2012 elections revealed that the Republicans believe in nothing, while the Democrats believe in Nothing.
Pui Yee June Chan (Hong Kong): Consequentializing and Deontology. Amos Schurr, Ilana Ritov, Yaakov Kareev and Judith Avrahami (HUJ): Is That the Answer You Had in Mind? The Effect of Perspective on Unethical Behavior. From the Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, Richard Rowland (Reading): Moral Error Theory and the Argument from Epistemic Reasons; and Russ Shafer-Landau (Wisconsin): Evolutionary Debunking, Moral Realism and Moral Knowledge. How did morality originate? Dennis L. Krebs and Kaleda K. Denton review Moral Origins: The Evolution of Virtue, Altruism, and Shame by Christopher Boehm. Doves devoured, the serpent remains: A review essay on the need for a scientific critique of ethics by Paul Christopher Gray. Michael Shermer on the is-ought fallacy of science and morality. From FiveBooks, an interview with David Edmonds on ethical problems. Dina Mendonca reviews Moralism: A Study of a Vice by Craig Taylor. Is morality rational? Michael Hauskeller investigates. Jaana Woiceshyn on why income inequality is moral. Micah Mattix on the morality of modern cycling. Reading Jane Austen as a moral philosopher: Thomas Rodham keenly observes Jane Austen’s exacting ethical expertise.
Brendan Sheehan (Leeds Metropolitan): Some Challenges of Global Financial Governance. Alessio M. Pacces (Erasmus): Illiquidity and Financial Crisis. Usha Rodrigues (Georgia): Securities Law's Dirty Little Secret. The best comprehensive history of the financial crisis so far makes the case for the US government response: John McDermott reviews After The Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead by Alan Blinder. Scott A. Redenius reviews The Development of American Finance by Martijn Konings. Karen Weise on how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is having an impact. Rohan Mascarenhas interviews Andrew W. Lo, editor of Rethinking the Financial Crisis. Bill Moyers and Michael Winship on the shady inside deals that are protecting Goldman Sachs at your expense. From n+1, the trouble’s still the banks. How the rentier class cannibalizes the economy: An excerpt from Michael Hudson’s The Bubble and Beyond. In the next four years, we’ll see if Wall Street can be reformed. The Untouchables: Frontline investigates why Wall Street’s leaders have escaped prosecution for any fraud related to the sale of bad mortgages. Slavoj Zizek on how the west's crisis is one of democracy as much as finance. Eileen P. Flynn on her boook Ethical Lessons of the Financial Crisis.
A new issue of German Law Journal is out. Aaron Tugendhaft (AIAR): Unsettling Sovereignty: Politics and Poetics in the Baal Cycle. From Figure/Ground Communication, Gonzalo Ralon and Laureano Ralon interview Howard S. Becker, author of Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance. An open letter to President Obama: The time on the Doomsday Clock is five minutes to midnight. Shahidha Bari reviews Romanticism and the Question of the Stranger by David Simpson. Ingrid Piller on why English for everyone is unfair. Jacob Soll reviews The Demon of Writing: Powers and Failures of Paperwork by Ben Kafka. David Yerle on why the future will almost certainly be better than the present. Ian McEwan sinks his Sweet Tooth into the Monty Hall Problem. Bones of contention: Paige Williams on Eric Prokopi’s curious trade in Mongolian dinosaurs. Reminiscence bump explanations: Why we remember young adulthood better than any other age. Is it possible to love all humanity? Juliana Breines investigates. The introduction to Public Capital, Growth and Welfare: Analytical Foundations for Public Policy by Pierre-Richard Agenor. No, Brian Dunning is not on the payroll of (name your evil entity).
Devika Mittal (SAU): History and the “Modern” Nation-States: Analysis of Hindutva and Sinhalese Nationalism. Brent M. Smith-Casanueva (Stony Brook): Nation in Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front and Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers. Amelie Constant and Klaus F. Zimmermann (IZA): Immigrants, Ethnic Identities and the Nation-State. Robert Kaplan on the return of toxic nationalism: The spread of universal values is being rolled back on many fronts, from Russia to the Middle East (and a response). The first chapter from Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks by Jenny White. Is Hungarian national heritage doomed? Thalia Bayle wonders. David Pan on Carl Schmitt’s Theory of the Partisan and the stability of the nation-state. From United Nations University, Stephan Schmidt interviews Seunghoon Emilia Heo, author of Reconciling Enemy States in Europe and Asia. Jacqueline Newmyer Deal on China's nationalist heritage. Toshio Nishi on the new Japanese nationalism: A once-reserved country fuels itself on indignation and catharsis. Nationalism rises in northeast Asia: Jean-Pierre Lehmann on how anger and territory fights menace prosperity in Japan, China, South Korea and global interdependence. Us and them: From newborns to nation states, we trust similarity — but does that mean we must hate difference?
Eleanor Wilkinson (Leeds): What’s Queer About Non-monogamy Now? Kevin Jon Heller (Melbourne): The Role of the International Prosecutor. From the Los Angeles Review of Books, Ariana Kelly the phantom phone booth. More evidence emerges that "hobbits" were a separate species. For years, researchers have puzzled over why Viking descendents abandoned Greenland in the late 15th century, but archaeologists now believe that economic and identity issues, rather than starvation and disease, drove them back to their ancestral homes. Tax reform a la 1986 may not be possible in today's political environment, but tax standardization is a goal within reach in 2013. The Dewey Decimal System, and where innovation goes wrong: The innovation paradox is the need to find answers we didn't know we needed, from places we didn't know to look — the very antithesis of what we often do. Stewart Brand is credited with coining the phrase "information wants to be free"; in the wake of the suicide of 26-year-old cyber activist Aaron Swartz, we need to re-evaluate that assumption. Steve Kolenberg on 6 ridiculous myths about the Middle Ages everyone believes. Bansky in Ukraine, maybe.
A new issue of Military Review is out. Roy Sugarman reviews Mind Wars: Brain Science and the Military in the 21st Century by Jonathan D. Moreno. Military suicides at record high, far outnumbering combat deaths. Is the no-draft military creating a warrior class? Some fear all-volunteer force may desensitize US to effects of warfare. Paul Akers interviews Lewis Sorely, author of Westmoreland: The General Who Lost Vietnam. Fred Andrews reviews Bleeding Talent: How the US Military Mismanages Great Leaders and Why It’s Time for a Revolution by Tim Kane. Brad Plumer on America’s staggering defense budget, in charts. How much military is enough? Jill Lepore on the battle over military spending. Barney Frank on the new mandate on defense: No, it’s not to spend more — it’s to spend less, and liberals should not flinch from that position. Christian fundamentalists freak out over yoga in the military. The most satisfied military employees? Black women — the least satisfied are white men. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has lifted the military’s ban on women serving in combat. From Military History Monthly, Joe Knight looks at the life of Maria Dickin, founder of the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) in 1917 and creator of the “animals’ Victoria Cross”.