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In this very moving and heartwarming interview I had the opportunity to discuss with Fida Jiyris her work, a beautifully written memoir that tells the story of her and her family journey, which is also the story of Palestine, from the Nakba to the present—a seventy-five-year tale of conflict, exodus, occupation, return and search for belonging, see…
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Anthony Di Renzo's Pasquinades: Essays from Rome's Famous Talking Statue (Cayuga Lake Books, 2023) is the most audacious guide to Rome you will ever read. Pasquino, the city’s witty talking statue, will introduce you to the gallant heroes and grotesque villains, humble peddlers and flamboyant nobles, whores and saints and movie stars who have reign…
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Health inequity is one of the defining problems of our time. But current efforts to address the problem focus on mitigating the harms of injustice rather than confronting injustice itself. In Equal Care: Health Equity, Social Democracy, and the Egalitarian State (Johns Hopkins UP, 2024), Seth A. Berkowitz, MD, MPH, offers an innovative vision for t…
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In this episode of Radio ReOrient we return to the literary theme of this season, to explore the work of Laury Silvers. Laury is the author of many successful book series set in the past and present of the Islamicate, including her Sufi Mysteries Quartet set in 10th Century Baghdad. In this interview she tells Saeed Khan and Salman Sayyid about her…
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Melville Jacoby was a U.S. war correspondent during the Sino-Japanese War and, later, the Second World War, writing about the Japanese advances from Chongqing, Hanoi, and Manila. He was also a relative of Bill Lascher, a journalist–specifically, the cousin of Bill’s grandmother. Bill has now collected Mel’s work in a book: A Danger Shared: A Journa…
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A new kind of city park has emerged in the early twenty-first century. Postindustrial parks transform the derelict remnants of an urban past into distinctive public spaces that meld repurposed infrastructure, wild-looking green space, and landscape architecture. For their proponents, they present an opportunity to turn disused areas into neighborho…
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The development of Christian scriptures did not terminate once, for example, following Irenaeus and other influential patristic figures, the four gospels that would later be located at the front of the church’s New Testament were accepted by most churches and transmitted together in the same codex. Instead, erudite Christian readers employed new an…
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For some four hundred years, Hindus and Christians have been engaged in a public controversy about conversion and missionary proselytization, especially in India and the Hindu diaspora. Hindu Mission, Christian Mission: Soundings in Comparative Theology (SUNY Press, 2024) reframes this controversy by shifting attention from "conversion" to a wider,…
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Today’s book is: Freeman’s Challenge: The Murder That Shook America’s Original Prison for Profit (U Chicago Press, 2024), by Dr. Robin Bernstein, which tells the story of a teenager named William Freeman. Convicted of a horse theft he insisted he did not commit, he was sentenced to five years of hard labor in Auburn’s new prison. Uniting incarcerat…
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Eliza Scidmore (1856-1928) was a journalist, a world traveler, a writer, an amateur photographer, the first female board member of the National Geographic Society — and the one responsible for the idea to plant Japanese cherry trees in Washington DC. Her fascinating life is expertly told by Diana Parsell in Eliza Scidmore: The Trailblazing Journali…
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What we see through our windshields reflects ideas about our national identity, consumerism, and infrastructure. For better or worse, windshields have become a major frame for viewing the nonhuman world. The view from the road is one of the main ways in which we experience our environments. These vistas are the result of deliberate historical force…
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Examining the changing character of revolution around the world, The Revolutionary City: Urbanization and the Global Transformation of Rebellion (Princeton UP, 2022) focuses on the impact that the concentration of people, power, and wealth in cities exercises on revolutionary processes and outcomes. Once predominantly an urban and armed affair, rev…
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Welcome to another episode of New Books in Chinese Studies. Today, I will be talking to Columbia University professor Ying Qian about her new book, Revolutionary Becomings: Documentary Media in Twentieth-Century China (Columbia UP, 2023). The volume enriches our understanding of media’s role in China’s revolutionary history by turning to documentar…
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The 'baby boom' generation, born between the 1940s and the 1960s, is often credited with pioneering new and creative ways of relating, doing intimacy and making families. With this cohort now entering mid and later life in Britain, they are also said to be revolutionising the experience of ageing. Are the romantic practices of this 'revolutionary c…
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Fatima, the daughter of Prophet Muhammad, has an interesting legacy, one that is often shaped by sectarian differences and tensions. The sermon of Fatima, which is the focus of Mahjabeen Dhala's Feminist Theology and Sociology of Islam: A Study of the Sermon of Fatima (Cambridge University Press, 2024), though itself riddled with questions of authe…
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The Politics of Emotion: Love, Grief, and Madness in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia (Cornell University Press, 2024) by Dr. Nuria Silleras-Fernandez explores the intersection of powerful emotional states—love, melancholy, grief, and madness—with gender and political power on the Iberian Peninsula from the Middle Ages to the early modern period. U…
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America’s waterways were once the superhighways of travel and communication. Coursing through a central line across the landscape, with tributaries connecting the South to the Great Plains and the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River meant wealth, knowledge, and power for those who could master it. In Masters of the Middle Waters: Indian Nations and …
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All too often, the history of early modern Africa is told from the perspective of outsiders. In his book A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution (University of Chicago Press, 2019), Toby Green draws upon a range of underutilized sources to describe the evolution of West Africa over a period of four…
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Last week, I had the privilege to talk with Dr. Kristen R. Ghodsee about her most recent book Second World, Second Sex: Socialist Women's Activism and Global Solidarity during the Cold War (Duke University Press, 2019) and the behind-the-scene details of its making. Ghodsee is a professor in Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pe…
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In Tip of the Spear: Land, Labor, and US Settler Militarism in Guåhan, 1944–1962 (Cornell University Press, 2023), Dr. Alfred Peredo Flores argues that the US occupation of the island of Guåhan (Guam), one of the most heavily militarised islands in the western Pacific Ocean, was enabled by a process of settler militarism. During World War II and th…
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Numerous Iron-Age nomadic alliances flourished along the 5000-mile Eurasian steppe route. From Crimea to the Mongolian grassland, nomadic image-making was rooted in metonymically conveyed zoomorphic designs, creating an alternative ecological reality. The nomadic elite nucleus embraced this elaborate image system to construct collective memory in r…
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