From The Brooklyn Rail, Katie Rolnick reviews The Art of Freedom: Teaching the Humanities to the Poor by Earl Shorris. Humanities fall from favor: Far fewer Harvard students express interest in field with weak job prospects. Ave atque vale: Upon his retirement from Yale, Donald Kagan considers the future of liberal education in this farewell speech. From LARB, Ian Bogost, Cathy N. Davidson, Al Filreis and Ray Schroeder on MOOCs and the future of the humanities: A roundtable (and part 2). Erik Loomis on Leon Wieseltier on the core reason for the humanities crisis. Honing the mind and nurturing the soul: Steven Schwartz on why the humanities are underrated. Peter Augustine Lawler on defending the humanities: Job one is outing scientism. A humanist apologizes to numbers: Word person Jon Volkmer, despite years of mutual hostility, tries a little detente with those dour digits. Who knows what: For decades the sciences and the humanities have fought for knowledge supremacy — both sides are wrong-headed.
Dimitris Batzilis (Chicago): Bribing Abroad. Joel D. Velasco (Caltech): Phylogeny as Population History. The judge as geokrat and maximalist: An interview with Aharon Barak, former President of the Supreme Court of Israel. Bathrooms are not separate-but-equal: A Maine court case signals the next frontier of civil rights — transgender equality. The Transhumanist Pendulum: George Bickers on post-human morality according to Chronicle. From The Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology, here is the entry on political rhetoric by Susan Condor, Cristian Tileaga, and Michael Billig. Where looks don’t matter and only the best writers get laid: Elvia Wilk on how the feminist internet utopia failed, and we ended up with speculative realism. Simon Critchley reviews The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths by John Gray.
From The Village Voice, Nick Greene on “Only in New York!” and six other New York sayings that are completely false. Washington, a tale of two cities: Two politicians — a former and a would-be mayor — symbolise the momentous changes polarising America’s capital. Edward McClelland on why the smartest people in the Midwest all move to Chicago. The death and life of Chicago: Ben Austen on an innovative campaign to move “home-less people into people-less homes”. L.A. takes the high road: Los Angelenos are at long last seeing the error of their ways and taking a very different view of their city — and themselves. Think again, again: Brian Doyle writes in defense of the City of Roses. The future of the American city: A “great inversion” is taking place — once, Americans fled inner cities for a suburban paradise, bit now an urban revival is making the suburbs the home of the poor.
A new issue of 21C Magazine is out. From the Claremont Review of Books, a review essay on geography and world politics by Colin Dueck. Amitai Etzioni on the moral minimum of arming rebels. From Metanexus, Lowell Gustafson on Big History and Big Politics and the dialectic of individualism and communitarianism; and the littleBIG History app is an interactive timeline that lets you explore world history on an unprecedented scale — from the first miliseconds after big bang to the present and beyond. Mat Little writes in praise of idleness and other scandalous notions. Cops and Robbers: Robert Whitaker on why the Church of Scientology hated Interpol. Joao Cezar de Castro Rocha on "anthropophagy as a worldview": Camus meets Oswald de Andrade. Satisfaction and smiles in an unequal world: If President Obama played basketball with the king of Bhutan, would the world have a better shot at becoming a happier place?
Andrew Reynolds (UNC): Representation and Rights: The Impact of LGBT Legislators in Comparative Perspective. Hennie Weiss reviews The Right to Be Parents LGBT Families and the Transformation of Parenthood by Carlos A. Ball. Research finds that same-sex unions are happier than heterosexual marriages — what can gay and lesbian couples teach straight ones about living in harmony? The gay retiree utopia: Mickey Rapkin on the booming business of LGBT retirement communities. Leon Neyfakh on how Boston powered the gay rights movement: In the 1970s, a small, staid city laid the intellectual groundwork for the change to come. Ancient gay history is really just yesterday; Clayton Coots was one of countless closeted men who didn’t live long enough to see this moment. Rachel Arons on the queerness of Liberace. Daniel D’Addario on the waning power of Dan Savage. Should straight actors play gay roles? J. Bryan Lowder on the curious case of gayface.