A new issue of the Journal of Art Historiography is out. Sven-Olov Wallenstein (Sodertorn): Space, Time, and the Arts: Rewriting the Laocoon. Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (La Trobe): Last Trope on the Left: Rape, Film and the Melodramatic Imagination. From TED, David Byrne on how architecture helped music evolve. From Prospect, why is so much contemporary art awful? We’re living through the death throes of the modernist project — and this isn’t the first time that greatness has collapsed into decadence. Ana Finel Honigman reviews Art School: (Propositions for the 21st Century). Arthur Danto on art, action and meaning. From Inside Catholic, a schema for discussing Christian Art. Through the Internet, video games, YouTube, Twitter, et al, original art is sampled and re-envisioned by anyone who can master the computer skills — but where does art end and amateurism begin? Big Game Hunter: Battered by controversy, Marc Meyer, the director of the National Gallery of Canada, goes art shopping in Holland. Fascist Seduction: One can be fervently anti-fascist and still admire — indeed savor — aesthetics for their own merits. Will the openness of Wiki-culture lead to a great glut of mediocre art, and will it then lead to a lowering of the bar, as well as stakes? What is the most important piece of architecture built since 1980? Vanity Fair’s survey of 52 experts, including 11 Pritzker Prize winners, has provided a clear answer. Unrealities: Is the art world any realer than reality TV? The Mark of a Masterpiece: Peter Paul Biro is the man who keeps finding famous fingerprints on uncelebrated works of art. Taking stock of the moment, Artforum has sought a number of perspectives, asking some of today’s foremost architects, artists, curators, museum directors, and theorists for their thoughts on the museum.
A new issue of Interactions it out. Pasquale Gagliardi (Unicatt): Organizations as Designed Islands. From Dissent, Jesse Larner on hate crime/thought crime (and a response and a reply); Jeff Faux writes to the Deficit Commission: First puncture the myths; and Roger Canaff on Arizona's immigration law: Unintended consequences and victimization. A review of What is Radical Politics Today? The relations among the three major groups of institutions where American intellectuals are most active — the academy, "serious" journalism and publishing, and policy institutes or think tanks — and between all of them and the educated lay public are shifting in complex and not always helpful ways. Oncle Jacques, Onkel Friedrich, Tio Jose: Do other countries have their own Uncle Sams? An interview with Noam Chomsky on death threats, the internet and why he thinks Obama was marketed like a brand of toothpaste. Not sleeping is a form of torture — without it, we die — but, for all its importance, do we know what sleep actually is? An interview with Clay Shirky on Cognitive Surplus (and more). The quest for purity: Vegans don't seem to realize that we're compromised from the start — to be alive is to be a murderer. How would Obama respond to a nuclear attack? The Agnostic Cartographer: How Google’s open-ended maps are embroiling the company in some of the world’s touchiest geopolitical disputes. An excerpt from Long For This World by Jonathan Weiner (and more). Dead man voting: They register, they run, they even get elected. What is deep thought? Most people are more sceptical than ever — we are learning to test out claims for ourselves. An interview with Linda Greenhouse, author of Before Roe v. Wade. An interview with Gary Vaynerchuk on influence, emotion, and being a "douche bag".
Miriam Temin and Ruth Levine and Sandy Stonesifer (CGD): Start with a Girl: A New Agenda for Global Health. Frank A. Pasquale (Seton Hall): Access to Medicine in an Era of Fractal Inequality. From Ethics and International Affairs, Sridhar Venkatapuram (UCL): Global Justice and the Social Determinants of Health. From the International Journal of Conflict and Violence, a special issue on Collective Memories of Colonial Violence, including Chris G. Sibley (Auckland): The Dark Duo of Post-Colonial Ideology: A Model of Symbolic Exclusion and Historical Negation; and Keri Lawson-Te Aho and James H. Liu (Wellington): Indigenous Suicide and Colonization: The Legacy of Violence and the Necessity of Self-Determination. From International NGO Journal, Amanda Murdie (KSU): The Impact of Human Rights NGO Activity on Human Rights Practices. From Diversities, a special issue on the human rights of migrants. A world ever more on the move: Pick almost any headline in the news, and between the lines, there is a chapter in the story of global migration. A revolution in global aid to the poor: Here's a radical idea to tackle world poverty — give money straight to the poor (and more). The BP crisis in the Gulf of Mexico has laid bare the harm caused by the plunder of natural resources, but a new approach could finally reap benefits for the world’s “bottom billion” people. Honesty for Hire: A few countries have found a way to stop graft and foster political stability — hire foreigners to collect their revenue. A review of “If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die”: How Genocide Was Stopped in East Timor by Geoffrey Robinson. From Freedom House, a look at the least free places on Earth. From UN Dispatch, what will it take to enroll every child in school in the developing world?
A new issue on the International Journal of the Commons is out. From the RSA Journal, in defence of the secular state: Cecile Laborde argues for a secular state that fosters the norms of democratic citizenship; Nick Pearce asks whether the rationalist tradition could help shape a new enlightened politics; and Pascal Bruckner describes a route to resurrection for Europe — by returning to the Enlightenment values that once made it great (and more on The Tyranny of Guilt). Online book reviewers are the common readers of our age, and, despite their common flaws, they deserve better than widespread derision — particularly from those whose livelihood depends upon them. The science of happiness: Roger Caldwell is happy to introduce Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Dubitable Darwin? Why some smart, nonreligious people doubt the theory of evolution. A review of Bullfighting: A Troubled History by Elisabeth Hardouin-Fugier. The future of intimacy is but a text message away: One can't comfortably opt out of a social medium that has become part of everyone's standard reality, if you want to stay in their social sphere. The end of trust: Though Web evangelists will tell you that society is on the verge of a new era in which everyone is always honest and secrets don't exist, the reality is that New Yorkers are keeping more from each other than ever before and watching what they say with unprecedented vigilance. Obama On and Off Base: Eugene Goodheart defends Barack Obama against attacks on him by what has been his liberal constituency. From Bookforum's Paper Trail blog, an interview with Nicolaus Mills, author of The Crowd in American Literature and Like a Holy Crusade: Mississippi 1964—The Turning of the Civil Rights Movement in America, on critics of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.
From Polygraph, Nina Power on Jacques Ranciere and the politics of contemporary education; and a review of Marc Bousquet's How the University Works (and a roundtable). Why rank doctoral departments? The E-Book Sector: In for-profit higher education, traditional textbooks are disappearing. A review of Seeing the Light: Religious Colleges in Twenty-First-Century America by Samuel Schuman. More and more on Ben Wildavsky's The Great Brain Race. The World’s Honors College: NYU Abu Dhabi admits a standout first class, as unprecedented experiment in student and faculty mobility gets underway (and more). From Standpoint, what are universities for? Humanities scholars should celebrate and preserve the lack of a clear hierarchy for journals in their disciplines. A look at the temporal rhythm of academic life in a globalizing era. A review of Campus Hate Speech on Trial by Timothy C. Shiell. We must stop the avalanche of low-quality research: A national effort is needed to eliminate the vast volume of worthless findings generated by academe. The rise of the global university: For the first time, a single world society is within reach — and higher education is a central driver. Revolutionary U: Edu-factory is a new group trying to revolutionize higher education. Curing Socratophobia: Thaddeus J. Kozinski on teaching the Great Books. From The Chronicle, Gary Y. Okihiro on the future of ethnic studies: The discipline is under assault from within as well as from without; and who gets to define ethnic studies? Here's one way to sober the debate: Ask if white studies violates Arizona's new law. What happened to studying? You won’t hear this from the admissions office, but college students are cracking the books less and less. Tenure, RIP: What the vanishing status means for the future of education.
Jason Lyall (Yale): Are Coethnics More Effective Counterinsurgents? Evidence from the Second Chechen War. Paul Gregory (Houston): The Ship of Philosophers: How the Early USSR Dealt with Dissident Intellectuals. From the Caucasian Review of International Affairs, Luke Chambers (Oxford): Authoritarianism and Foreign Policy: The Twin Pillars of Resurgent Russia; an interview with Julie A. George, author of The Politics of Ethnic Separatism in Russia and Georgia; and Fareed Shafee on the new geopolitics of the South Caucasus. From The Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies, Juliette Cadiot (CERCEC): Russian Army, Non-Russians, Non-Slavs, Non-Orthodox: The Risky Construction of a Multiethnic Army; and a special issue on NGOs and power ministries in Russia. Leaving home to go home: Kyrgyzstan’s ethnic Russians, isolated and increasingly powerless, are heading to the Motherland in droves. From Open Democracy, a review of Let Our Fame Be Great: Journeys Among the Defiant People of the Caucasus by Oliver Bullough; and Zeynel Abidin Besleney on Circassian nationalism and the Internet. An interview with Oliver Bullough on books on the Caucasus. A review of Red Star Over Russia: A Visual History of the Soviet Union by David King. From Foreign Policy, a short history of a bad metaphor: Working with Russia isn't necessarily a bad idea — reducing it to a catchphrase is; the Obama administration's efforts to reach out to Russia won't work as long as Russians don't take them seriously; and the charge that U.S. allies have been betrayed by the Russian reset is simply false. The real reason why Russia and China aren’t interested in stopping Iran’s nuclear program. The Russians are stressed — and Russia is stressed too, which is why the world ought to take note.
Vani Borooah (Ulster) and John Mangan (Queensland): Multiculturalism versus Assimilation: Attitudes towards Immigrants in Western Countries. From the International Journal of Transdisciplinary Research, William Bostock (Tasmania): Beyond the Realms of the Specialists: The Challenge of the Generalized Issue; and Robert Howell (CSRI): Choosing Ethical Theories and Principles and Applying Them to the Question: "Should the Seas Be Owned? From New York, Jonathan van Meter on the lure of the Jersey Shore: What has made America fall in love with the Cote Crass?; and the MTA has a simple, not very expensive ticket for improving how the city gets around: Revolutionize the bus — but can even the most sensible ideas get implemented these days? From Curve, when it comes to domestic violence, lesbians are far from safe; and an article on lesbian-on-lesbian rape: The rarely spoken about threat lesbians face, from one another. A review of Secret Language: Codes, Tricks, Spies, Thieves, and Witchcraft by Barry Blake. A review of Laura Vanderkam's 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think. Wild, hairy, folks who fought griffons and nomads — have paleontologists unearthed mythic figures of folklore? Shakespeare never had any guarantee that his name would be remembered to history — or, indeed, that four hundred years on academics would still be mining his sonnets for veiled references to premature hair-loss. A review of The Man Who Ate His Boots: The Tragic History of the Search for the Northwest Passage by Anthony Brandt. From Invention and Technology, a special issue on steam engines. What's with steampunk? A bizarre subculture that romanticises Victorian-era machines and Jules Verne is steadily entering the mainstream.
From The New York Review of Magazines, a profile of Modern Drunkard. A new kind of drunkenness: Troy Patterson on the greatness of gin. What's in the bottle? An investigation into the startling fraud accusations that have upended the fine wine world. Everyone’s the wine expert: Wine critics and bloggers, professional and amateur, are mixed up in a social media web. Who invented the cocktail? That depends on how you define invented — and cocktail. Greg Beato on Starbucks' midlife crisis: The coffee giant can’t quite accept its own customers’ tastes. Are you what you eat? While people with an unhealthy lifestyle are no more risk-loving than other people, they are more impatient. The world's healthiest diets: Is the American diet really so bad that it's time to look to other countries for help? French haute cuisine superstar from four-star Le Bernardin Eric Ripert draws inspiration from fatty fast food? Mon dieu! A review of Steak: One Man's Search for the World's Tastiest Piece of Beef by Mark Schatzker (and more). Shoe-leather reporting: A history of well-done meat in America. A review of The Theology of Food: Eating and the Eucharist by Angel F. Mendez Montoya. Melanie Rehak on urban farmers. From TED, Ellen Gustafson on how obesity + hunger = 1 global food issue. Food writer Michael Pollan has already changed the way many of us eat — does that mean he should go to Washington as Secretary of Agriculture? An interview with Anna Lappe, author of Diet for a Hot Planet. Tuna’s End: On the high seas, the bluefin is being hunted into extinction — will we ever be able to think about seafood the same way? The bold "pay-what-you-want" restaurant experiment: A new dining trend allows customers to decide their own menu prices; an economist explains why it's a bad idea.
A new issue of Open Letters Monthly is out. From International Socialism, Roland Boer on Marxism and religion; Talat Ahmed on Gandhi: the man behind the myths; Christian Hogsbjerg on CLR James and the Black Jacobins; Richard Seymour on the changing face of racism; Judith Orr on Marxism and feminism today; Jane Pritchard on the sex work debate (and a response); and a review of One Dimensional Woman by Nina Power. Darwin’s Literary Models: It may not be structured like a journal paper, but On the Origin of Species was written according to classical rules of rhetoric. That misery called meditation: What seven days of silence can do to your head. Is it okay to cheat in football? Peter Singer investigates. YouTube and Context: Faculty member's lecture about Machiavelli gets the professor accused of advocating rape and using inappropriate language. Here is a useful toolkit which can be used to identify pseudoscience. The transformation of a radical: Poland’s new president Bronislaw Komorowski was once a brave oppositionist — now he’s known as one of the country’s most cautious politicians. Outrage World: Emily Gould on how feminist blogs like Jezebel gin up page views by exploiting women's worst tendencies. Jezebel v. Jon Stewart: The women of The Daily Show fire back (and more). A review of Catholic Church and Modern Science: Documents from the Archives of the Roman Congregations of the Holy Office and the Index. Robert Skidelsky on Keynes and social democracy today. An interview with Jonah Hill on wanting to be like Bill Murray, finding beauty in silence and why he didn't want to get to know Marisa Tomei. The Curse of the Nike Ad: The company's "Write the Future" commercial is a warning against banking on star power during the World Cup.
From Intelligence Report, a special issue on militias and the larger antigovernment "Patriot" movement. John Eldredge's Wild At Heart, a Christian book touting manly aggression, inspires a violent fundamentalist meth trafficking cult. How one wing of the Tea Party movement is contributing to a new development in the religious right’s myth-making: the idea that racism is a legacy of slavery, not a cause. Our Founding Confusion: What the Boston Tea Party tells us about today’s Tea Partiers. Liberals vs. Glenn Beck University: With the Fox News host offering online lectures on faith, hope, and charity, the jokes practically write themselves. Mama Bear: Malcolm Gay on how Sarah Palin has inspired an army of Republican women to run for office. Deep roots, strong tree: In the morass of partisan politics, Lamar Alexander forges his own path. From Hoover Digest, Kenneth Starr as peacemaker? The former special prosecutor offers a bracing defense of political civility; and Harvey Mansfield says “beyond politics”, the latest mantra in Washington, is at best astoundingly naive. A Reasonable Man: In a world of loud voices and extreme positions, David Brooks manages to be both irrelevant and absolutely essential. An excerpt from Red Families vs. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture by Naomi Cahn and June Carbone. David Bromwich reviews Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight by Karl Rove. A review of books on neocons and the conservative movement. "You just don't get it": John Dickerson on the most popular put-down of the 2010 campaign so far. A review of Robert Kuttner's A Presidency in Peril. From NYRB, William Pfaff on what Obama should have said to BP; and David Cole on the Roberts Court’s free speech problem. A review of books on Eliot Spitzer.