Saturday, March 27, 2021

ENG 102: Books for Argument Essay Research Projects


"#Charleston Syllabus." African American Intellectual History Society (2016)  ["Here is a list of readings that educators can use to broach conversations in the classroom about the horrendous events that unfolded in Charleston, South Carolina on the evening of June 17, 2015. These readings provide valuable information about the history of racial violence in this country and contextualize the history of race relations in South Carolina and the United States in general. They also offer insights on race, racial identities, global white supremacy and black resistance. All readings are arranged by date of publication."]

"Abolition/Defund the Police Study Guide." Abolition Journal (June 25, 2020) ["Week one: Prisons and Policing in the U.S. as a History of anti-Blackness; Week two: The Prison Industrial Complex;
Week three: Policing and Imprisonment as Racial Violence; Week four: Reformist Reforms vs. Abolitionist Steps; Week five: Feminist, Queer and Trans Abolitionism; Week six: Abolitionist Alternatives"]

Acocella, Joan. "Angela's Carter's Feminist Mythology." The New Yorker (March 5, 2017) ["A new biography shows how the British author made fairy tales psychological and sexy." The Invention of Angela Carter: "This is the story of how Angela Carter invented herself – as a new kind of woman and a new kind of writer – and how she came to write such seductive works as The Bloody Chamber, Nights at the Circus and Wise Children."]

Adayfi, Mansoor. "Meet Mansoor Adayfi: I Was Kidnapped as a Teen, Sold to the CIA & Jailed at Guantánamo for 14 Years." Democracy Now (September 27, 2021) ["We speak with Mansoor Adayfi, a former Guantánamo Bay detainee who was held at the military prison for 14 years without charge, an ordeal he details in his new memoir, Don't Forget Us Here: Lost and Found at Guantanamo . Adayfi was 18 when he left his home in Yemen to do research in Afghanistan, where he was kidnapped by Afghan warlords, then sold to the CIA after the 9/11 attacks. Adayfi describes being brutally tortured in Afghanistan before he was transported to Guantánamo in 2002, where he became known as Detainee #441 and survived years of abuse. Adayfi was released against his will to Serbia in 2016 and now works as the Guantánamo Project coordinator at CAGE, an organization that advocates on behalf of victims of the war on terror. “The purpose of Guantánamo wasn’t about making Americans safe,” says Adayfi, who describes the facility as a “black hole” with no legal protections. “​​The system was designed to strip us of who we are. Even our names were taken.”"]

Alexander, Michelle. "The New Jim Crow." The UO Channel (November 15, 2012) ["For reasons that seem to have little to do with crime or crime rates, we in the United States have chosen to lock up more than two million of our citizens. The U.S. has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world, and it is continuing to rise. Michelle Alexander, a legal scholar and former civil rights attorney, examines this phenomenon, and offers her thoughts on what she believes to be the underlying racial biases that drive the U.S. criminal justice system. Alexander’s lecture ... will be based on her recent book, Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color-Blindness. The New Press, 2010."]

Allen, Theodor W. The Invention of the White Race, Vol. 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control. Verso, 2012. ["Groundbreaking analysis of the birth of racism in America. When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no “white” people there. Nor, according to colonial records, would there be for another sixty years. In this seminal two-volume work, The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen tells the story of how America’s ruling classes created the category of the “white race” as a means of social control. Since that early invention, white privileges have enforced the myth of racial superiority, and that fact has been central to maintaining ruling-class domination over ordinary working people of all colors throughout American history. Volume I draws lessons from Irish history, comparing British rule in Ireland with the “white” oppression of Native Americans and African Americans. Allen details how Irish immigrants fleeing persecution learned to spread racial oppression in their adoptive country as part of white America."]

---. The Invention of the White Race, Vol. 2: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America. Verso, 2012. ["On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, Martin Luther King outlined a dream of an America where people would not be judged by the color of their skin. That dream has yet to be realized, but some three centuries ago it was a reality. Back then, neither social practice nor law recognized any special privileges in connection with being white. But by the early decades of the eighteenth century, that had all changed. Racial oppression became the norm in the plantation colonies, and African Americans suffered under its yoke for more than two hundred years. In Volume II of The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen explores the transformation that turned African bond-laborers into slaves and segregated them from their fellow proletarians of European origin. In response to labor unrest, where solidarities were not determined by skin color, the plantation bourgeoisie sought to construct a buffer of poor whites, whose new racial identity would protect them from the enslavement visited upon African Americans. This was the invention of the white race, an act of cruel ingenuity that haunts America to this day."]

Alter, Adam. "The Rise of Addictive Technology." Radio West (March 5, 2018) ["Marketing professor Adam Alter begins his new book by noting that Steve Jobs didn’t let his own children use an iPad, a product he invented, because he was worried they’d get addicted to it. That’s what Alter’s book is about: our increasing addiction to technology. These days, we aren’t just hooked on substances, like drugs and alcohol. We’re addicted to video games, social media, porn, email, and lots more. Alter joins us to explore the business and psychology of irresistible technologies." His book is Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked.]

Baher, Amzy, Lizzy Ratner and Vince Warren. "Don’t Pursue War, Pursue War Crimes: Michael Ratner’s Decades-Long Battle to Close Guantánamo." Democracy Now (October 1, 2021) ["We look at the life and legacy of the late Michael Ratner, the trailblazing human rights lawyer and former president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, with three people who knew him well: Baher Azmy, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights; Vince Warren, the organization’s executive director; and ​​Lizzy Ratner, Ratner’s niece and a senior editor at The Nation magazine. Michael Ratner spent decades opposing government abuse and fought to close the U.S. base at Guantánamo Bay, first in the 1990s when it was used to hold thousands of Haitian asylum seekers and later when the George W. Bush administration opened a military prison there to detain hundreds of people from the so-called war on terror. Ratner died in 2016 at age 72. His posthumous memoir, Moving the Bar: My Life as a Radical Lawyer, has just been published."]

Baheyeldin, Khalid, et al. "The Book of Dune." Imaginary Worlds (July 12, 2017) ["Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel Dune and its sequels tackled a lot of big themes. The books are about ecology. They’re about journeys of self-realization through mind-altering substances. But religion is at the core of the series, since the main character Paul Atreides transforms from a teenage aristocrat into a messianic revolutionary leader of a nomadic desert tribe. And the real world religion that Frank Herbert borrows from the most is Islam. Khalid Baheyeldin, Salman Sayyid, and Sami Shah discuss why the book resonated deeply with them, despite the fact that Frank Herbert wasn’t Muslim. And Liel Liebowitz explains why the novel even spoke to him as an Israeli."]

Bamford, James. "On NSA Secrets, Keith Alexander’s Influence & Massive Growth of Surveillance, Cyberwar." Democracy Now (June 14, 2013) ["As the U.S. vows to take “all necessary steps” to pursue whistleblower Edward Snowden, James Bamford joins us to discuss the National Security Agency’s secret expansion of government surveillance and cyber warfare. In his latest reporting for Wired magazine, Bamford profiles NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander and connects the dots on PRISM, phone surveillance and the NSA’s massive spy center in Bluffdale, Utah. Says Bamford of Alexander: “Never before has anyone in America’s intelligence sphere come close to his degree of power, the number of people under his command, the expanse of his rule, the length of his reign or the depth of his secrecy.” The author of The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, Bamford has covered the National Security Agency for the last three decades, after helping expose its existence in the 1980s."]

---. The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9-11 to the Eavesdropping on America. Doubleday, 2008. ["James Bamford has been the preeminent expert on the National Security Agency since his reporting revealed the agency’s existence in the 1980s. Now Bamford describes the transformation of the NSA since 9/11, as the agency increasingly turns its high-tech ears on the American public. The Shadow Factory reconstructs how the NSA missed a chance to thwart the 9/11 hijackers and details how this mistake has led to a heightening of domestic surveillance. In disturbing detail, Bamford describes exactly how every American’s data is being mined and what is being done with it. Any reader who thinks America’s liberties are being protected by Congress will be shocked and appalled at what is revealed here."]

Becker, Elizabeth. "You Don't Belong Here." On the Media (April 30, 2021) ["Before the Vietnam War there was a law that banned women from reporting on the frontlines of any war for the U.S. When President Johnson refused to officially declare a state of war in Vietnam, an opening appeared: no war, no ban. A handful of pioneering women bought one-way tickets into the battlefield. They had no editors, no health insurance and little or no formal training. This week, Brooke spoke about this time to reporter Elizabeth Becker, formerly a Washington Post war correspondent in Cambodia, NPR's foreign editor and then national security correspondent for the New York Times. Becker is the author of a new book: You Don't Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Story of War."]

Beckett, Lois and Julia Serrano.  "An Anti-Trans Instagram Video Leads to a Street Brawl." On the Media (August 6, 2021) ["Guest host Brandy Zadrozny speaks with Lois Beckett, a senior reporter at the Guardian who co-authored the story "‘A nightmare scenario’: how an anti-trans Instagram post led to violence in the streets," with Sam Levin, about how these protests follow a pattern of online violence leading to street-level violence. Brandy also talks to Julia Serano, author of Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity and other books, about how the anti-trans movement is following the playbook of earlier moral panics. Serano describes how the groups sharing the video and showing up at the protests reveal the ways that the backlash to transgender acceptance has cut across ideologies, forging alliances between religious and social conservatives, QAnon followers, gender-critical feminists, anti-trans queers groups, and Proud Boys."]

Belew, Kathleen. "Understanding the White Power Movement." On the Media (March 22, 2019) ["When events like Christchurch happen, the elements may indeed be obvious: Guns. Sociopathy. Alienation. But the obvious is also reductive, and risks obscuring larger forces at play. The same goes with the vocabulary of race violence: White nationalist. White identity. Alt-right. White supremacy. White power. They’re used interchangeably, which further clouds the picture. Christchurch, says University of Chicago professor Kathleen Belew, is the latest manifestation not just of resentment and paranoia, or even radical racism, but of a clearly defined revolutionary movement: the white power movement. Belew is author of Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America, which describes the history of the white power movement that consolidated after the Vietnam War. She argues that if society is to wage an effective response to the white power threat, we need to work to understand it."]

Benjamin, Medea and Soraya Chemaly. "Where Does #MeToo Go from Here? Women Are 'On Fire' with Rage as Kavanaugh Joins Supreme Court." Democracy Now (October 8, 2018) ["Thousands of women protested outside the U.S. Capitol and across the country on Saturday as Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, just hours after the Senate voted to confirm him. “I hope that it is deep enough that it is forming a strong, cohesive movement among people that will resonate through this country and change the culture,” says Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink, who joined the protests. We also speak with longtime feminist activist and writer Soraya Chemaly, author of the new book, Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger. She says conservatives’ biggest fear since the “Me Too” movement is that women are telling the truth. “And if women are telling the truth,” Chemaly notes, “then it’s not just an indictment of a few bad apples, but an indictment of the entire system.”"]

Bilson, Anne. "The Vampire as Metaphor." Screen Studies (Excerpted from Bilson's book Let the Right One In: "Audiences can't get enough of fang fiction. Twilight, True Blood, Being Human, The Vampire Diaries, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Blade, Underworld, and the novels of Anne Rice and Darren Shan—against this glut of bloodsuckers, it takes an incredible film to make a name for itself. Directed by Tomas Alfredson and adapted for the screen by John Ajvide Lindqvist, The Swedish film Làt den rätte komma in (2008), known to American audiences as Let the Right One In, is the most exciting, subversive, and original horror production since the genre's best-known works of the 1970s. Like Twilight, Let the Right One In is a love story between a human and a vampire—but that is where the resemblance ends. Set in a snowy, surburban housing estate in 1980s Stockholm, the film combines supernatural elements with social realism. It features Oskar, a lonely, bullied child, and Eli, the girl next door. "Oskar, I'm not a girl," she tells him, and she's not kidding—she's a vampire. The two forge an intense relationship that is at once innocent and disturbing. Two outsiders against the world, one of these outsiders is, essentially, a serial killer. What does Eli want from Oskar? Simple companionship, or something else? While startlingly original, Let the Right One In could not have existed without the near century of vampire cinema that preceded it. Anne Billson reviews this history and the film's inheritence of (and new twists on) such classics as Nosferatu (1979) and Dracula (1931). She discusses the genre's early fliration with social realism in films such as Martin (1977) and Near Dark (1987), along with its adaptation of mythology to the modern world, and she examines the changing relationship between vampires and humans, the role of the vampire's assistant, and the enduring figure of vampires in popular culture."]

Bius, Joel R. "What Cigarettes Tell Us About the Military-Industrial Complex." War College (February 2, 2019) ["Drugs and the battlefield go together like peanut butter and jelly. The Third Reich’s soldier ran on methamphetamine and American soldiers smoked like chimneys. The picture of the US GI with a burning cigarette pressed between their lips is so iconic that few people question it...or realize how young the image really is. Joel R. Bius, assistant professor of national security studies at the U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College, is here to help us dispel the myth of the great American military cigarette and walk us through the fascinating history of how cigarettes ended up in the US military kit, and how they left. It’s the subject of his new book, Smoke Em If You Got Em: The Rise and Fall of the Military Cigarette Ration."]

Brown, Julia K. "Listening to Epstein's Victims." On the Media (August 6, 2021) ["In 2008, Jeffrey Epstein pled guilty to some remarkably soft state charges: one count of solicitation of prostitution and one count of solicitation of prostitution with a minor. He even got federal immunity. His crimes were often only reported on when a famous friend, like Prince Andrew, was sullied by association. While the world had seemingly moved on, four years ago Miami Herald investigative reporter Julie K. Brown saw stories left to tell — specifically, those of the dozens of women Epstein had abused. The press often mischaracterized Epstein’s underaged victims as sex workers, when in fact they had mostly been assaulted after having been lured into visiting Epstein’s Palm Beach home, often with the glittering promise of a job as an assistant or a job. Brown’s reporting was explosive. Within months, Epstein was arrested, and then-Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned due to his part in Epstein's plea deal. This summer, Brown published a book based on her Herald investigation called Perversion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story, . This week, Brandy Zadrozny asks Brown how she found Epstein's victims, and asks why Epstein's life and death attracts so many conspiracy theories."]

Bruder, Jessica. "Nomadland." Longform #449 (July 28, 2021) [Description of Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century: "From the beet fields of North Dakota to the National Forest campgrounds of California to Amazon’s CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that Social Security comes up short, often underwater on mortgages, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads: migrant laborers who call themselves “workampers.” In a secondhand van she names “Halen,” Jessica Bruder hits the road to get to know her subjects more intimately. Accompanying her irrepressible protagonist, Linda May, and others from campground toilet cleaning to warehouse product scanning to desert reunions, then moving on to the dangerous work of beet harvesting, Bruder tells a compelling, eye-opening tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy—one that foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, she celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these quintessential Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive. Like Linda May, who dreams of finding land on which to build her own sustainable “Earthship” home, they have not given up hope."]

Capria, Don, et al. "A Mob Boss Starts a Movement." History This Week (June 28, 2021) ["June 28, 1971. It’s the second annual “Unity Day” rally at Columbus Circle in New York City, organized by the Italian American Civil Rights League. Joe Colombo is the very public face of the League, a group that actively fights discrimination and ugly stereotypes against the Italian-American community, such as their association with organized crime and the Mafia. The problem? That same Joe Colombo is a leader of the Mafia, one of the heads of the “Five Families” in New York. It’s an open secret; many people across the city know who he really is, and the FBI is hot on his tail, trying to catch him in the act. On this day, Colombo’s dual life—as a media-facing advocate and as an underground criminal—will come crashing down in a violent display. Special thanks to Don Capria, co-author of Colombo: The Unsolved Murder; Selwyn Raab, veteran Mafia reporter and author of Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires; and Geoff Schumacher, vice president of exhibits and programs for the Mob Museum in Las Vegas."]

Clark, Ashley. "Bamboozled: New Millennium, Same Bullshit."  The Current (March 17, 2021) [Discusses themes of his book Facing Blackness: Media and Minstrelsy in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled (2015): "Four years on, I stand by my assessment of the centrality of Bamboozled to Lee’s output, and his most significant subsequent releases have explicitly harked back to itmore than to any other film. Consider the wild, outsize, sex-and-guns social satire of Chi-Raq (2015), or the Oscar-winning box-office smash BlacKkKlansman (2018), a more easily digestible and conventional film than Bamboozled but one that nevertheless echoes its predecessorin its sharply critical deployment of footage from Gone with the Wind and The Birth of a Nation to illustrate the long-held racist myths seeping from American entertainment into the national social and political fabric. It seems unlikely, though, that Lee will ever again produce something with the sheer, unsettling force of Bamboozled—as much an exorcism as a film, a brilliant, fiery obelisk that turns the demonic power of racism inside out for the world to gaze upon, if it dares."]

Cobbina, Jennifer E. "Hands Up, Don't Shoot." This is Not a Pipe (November 7, 2019) ["Jennifer E. Cobbina discusses her book Hands Up, Don’t Shoot: Why the Protests in Ferguson and Baltimore Matter, and How they Changed America with Chris Richardson. Cobbina is an Associate Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. She received her PhD in criminal justice at the University of Missouri – St. Louis in 2009. Dr. Cobbina’s areas of expertise center on police-community relations, youth violence, and concentrated neighborhood disadvantage, with a special focus on the experiences of minority youth and the impact of race, class, and gender on criminal justice practices. Her research also focuses on corrections, prisoner reentry and the understanding of recidivism and desistance from crime. Her mixed-methods qualitative and quantitative research predicts recidivism and desistance outcomes and also explores offenders’ perceptions regarding how they manage reentry and integration back into the community. Her scholarship is centered on improving the reentry outcomes of individuals with a felony record and/or has been formerly incarcerated. Her goal is to produce research that is theoretically informed, empirically rich, and informs criminal justice policy and crime control practices. Dr. Cobbina’s research has been published in a number of academic journals, including Criminology, Justice Quarterly, Crime and Delinquency, Criminal Justice & Behavior, British Journal of Criminology, and Journal of Crime and Justice."]

Cohn, Jonathan. "The Burden of Choice." This is Not a Pipe (December 20, 2020) ["Jonathan Cohn discusses his book The Burden of Choice: Recommendations, Subversion, and Algorithmic Culture with Chris Richardson. Cohn is an assistant professor of digital cultures and head of the digital humanities program at the University of Alberta. His research focuses on digital culture and history, critical algorithmic studies, film and media, postfeminist and postracial discourses…and television. With Dr. Jennifer Porst, he is co-editing Very Special Episodes: Event Television and Social Change (Rutgers, forthcoming) on the history of how the television industry has confronted traumatic events and cultural change. In the meantime, he is thinking a lot about what differences might exist between algorithmic and AI culture, and the experiences of incoherence endemic to our current moment. In an effort to make our relationship with AI more collaborative, ethical and egalitarian, he is also creating a program to help humanities scholars co-write and research with AI."]

Collier, Kevin, et al. "The Ethics of Reporting on Data Leaked From Ransomware Attacks." On the Media (July 30, 2021) [Includes discussion with Kim Zetter, a journalist covering cybersecurity and national security and the author of Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon, on whether reporters should use hacked data from ransomware attacks."]

Connolly, N.D.B. "Race and Real Estate in Miami." Who Makes Cents #5 (September 5, 2014) ["N.D.B. Connolly discusses how examining the ownership of real estate in Miami changes our perspective on the history of capitalism and African American history in the twentieth century. Ever wondered how real estate factors into American history? Curious about the impact of landlord-tenant struggles on the history of race in America? Listen to find out. N.D.B. Connolly is Assistant Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida."]

Connor, J.D., Florence Dore and Dan Sinykin. "Rebel Yale: Reading and Feeling Hillbilly Elegy." Los Angeles Review of Books (January 10, 2018)

Dalrymple, William, et al. "The End of the War." Open Source (August 26, 2021) ["The war for Afghanistan is over: the Taliban won in a walk. We’re shocked, more than surprised, but then what? Is this our American empire at sundown we’re seeing? And how would we feel about that? Is it the end of a collective delusion of world dominance? And who fed that fantasy? Was Joe Biden’s exit planning really worse than George Bush’s entry plan, invading Afghanistan after 9/11? Was it as bad as Barack Obama’s notion of “the right war,” compared to Iraq, back in 2009? The US labels itself the keeper of a liberal world order. In the chaos of Kabul we could look more like a military empire, ever in denial, losing our way. An Army chaplain summed up defeat in Afghanistan this way: the war was “begun,” he wrote, “for no wise purpose, carried on with a strange mixture of rashness and timidity, brought to a close after suffering and disaster, without much glory attached either to the government which directed, or the great body of troops which waged it. Not one benefit, political or military, has been acquired with this war.” The writer was an English reverend, noting what he had seen of the First Afghan War and the rout, and deaths, of 14,000 British invaders in 1842—the beginning of the end of the British Empire. Our guest William Dalrymple has the story for today. He’s the Scotsman gone half-way native in India, who wrote the dazzling, depressing history of that first modern battle for Afghanistan, and he autographed copies of his book at the White House in 2013, for President Obama, who was extending the US war in Afghanistan, and for his successor Joe Biden, who has just now ended our engagement." William Dalyrmple's book Return of the King: The Battle for Afghanistan 1839 - 1842.]

Davis, Joseph E. "When Your Authenticity is an Act, Something's Gone Wrong." Psyche (March 31, 2021) [Discusses multiple books that examine this issue.]

Denevi, Timothy. Freak Kingdom: Hunter S. Thompson's Ten Year Crusade Against American Fascism. The Joe Rogan Show #1264 (March 13, 2019) ["Hunter S. Thompson is often misremembered as a wise-cracking, drug-addled cartoon character. This book reclaims him for what he truly was: a fearless opponent of corruption and fascism, one who sacrificed his future well-being to fight against it, rewriting the rules of journalism and political satire in the process. This skillfully told and dramatic story shows how Thompson saw the danger of Richard Nixon early and embarked on a life-defining campaign to stop it. In his fevered effort to expose institutional injustice, Thompson pushed himself far beyond his natural limits, sustained by drugs, mania, and little else. For ten years, he cast aside his old ambitions, troubled his family, and likely hastened his own decline, along the way producing some of the best political writing in our history. This timely biography recalls a period of anger and derangement in American politics, and one writer with the guts to tell the truth."]

Donegan, Moira. "Raising the Bar." Bookforum (October 14, 2021) [Interview with Alexandra Brodsky about her new book Sexual Justice: Supporting Victims, Ensuring Due Process, and Resisting the Conservative Backlash: "A pathbreaking work for the next stage of the #MeToo movement, showing how we can address sexual harms with fairness to both victims and the accused, and exposing the sexism that shapes today's contentious debates about due process."]

Dorian, M.J. "Carl Jung • The Red Book (Part 1)." Creative Codex #11 (November 18, 2019) ["On this episode we dive into one of the strangest and most enigmatic books ever written: The Red Book. This is a book so infamous that it was kept locked away for fifty years after Carl Jung's death, raising concerns that it might prove that the world renowned psychologist was actually insane. Is it a work of visionary creativity or divine madness? Let's find out."]

---. "Carl Jung • The Red Book (Part 2)." Creative Codex #12 (February 3, 2020) ["In this episode we join Carl Jung as he meets Death, Satan, and his own soul. Join the journey as we deep dive with soundscape simulations of Jung’s visions, exploring the Archetypes, the Mundus Imaginalis, and Active Imagination."]

Draper, Donald. "How and Why America Went to War in Iraq." The Realignment #145 (July 27, 2021) ["Robert Draper, writer at large for The New York Times Magazine and author of To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America Into Iraq joins The Realignment to discuss the process that led President Bush to make one of the worst foreign policy decisions in American history." Book description: "Even now, after more than fifteen years, it is hard to see the invasion of Iraq through the cool, considered gaze of history. For too many people, the damage is still too palpable, and still unfolding. Most of the major players in that decision are still with us, and few are not haunted by it, in one way or another. Perhaps that combination, the passage of the years and the still unresolved trauma, explains why so many protagonists opened up so fully for the first time to Robert Draper. Draper's prodigious reporting has yielded scores of important new revelations, from the important to the merely absurd. As a whole. the book paints a vivid and indelible picture of a decision-making process that was fatally compromised, by a combination of post-9/11 fear and paranoia, rank naïveté, craven group think, and a set of actors with idées fixes who gamed the process relentlessly. Everything was believed; nothing was true. The intelligence failure was comprehensive. Draper's fair-mindedness and deep understanding of the principal actors suffuse his account, as does a storytelling genius that is close to sorcery. No one is cheap-shotted here, which makes the ultimate conclusion all the more damning. In the spirit of Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August and Marc Bloch's Strange Defeat, To Start a War will stand as the definitive account of a collective process that arrived at evidence that would be prove to be, not just dubious but entirely false, driven by imagination rather than a quest for truth--evidence to drive a verdict that led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and a flood tide of chaos in the Middle East that shows no signs of ebbing."]

Fahsing, Ivar. "How to Think Like a Detective." This is Not a Pipe (April 21, 2021) ["Thinking the detective way won’t always guarantee a solution to your problem. There are still a number of circumstances involved that you can’t control as an investigator. There are always things you don’t know and perhaps won’t ever know. That said, using the approach I’ve outlined will help you handle the complexity inherent in almost all investigations or other difficult decisions. If you learn how to systematically shift focus and rewrite your understanding, you’ll increase the chance of discovering a quick and simple solution to your problem. In more complex and high-risk matters, following the expert-detective approach will help you reduce the risk of prematurely jumping to conclusions and therefore avoid serious blunders on your way. With practice, we can adjust the brain’s automatic wiring, unveil our inner detective, and improve our decision-making. This is like any other skill. The more you practise, the better you’ll get." Includes reference to two books: The Book of Why: The Science of Cause and Effect and Thinking, Fast, and Slow ]

Fawaz, Ramzi. "The New Mutants." This Is Not a Pipe (February 22, 2018) ["Ramzi Fawaz discusses his book The New Mutants: Superheroes and the Radical Imagination of American Comics with Chris Richardson. Fawaz is assistant professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The New Mutants won the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies Fellowship Award for best first book manuscript in LGBT Studies and the 2017 ASAP Book Prize of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present. His work has been published in numerous journals including American Literature, GLQ, Feminist Studies, Callaloo, and Feminist Review. He is currently co-editing a special issue of American Literature with Darieck Scott titled "Queer About Comics," and co-editing Keywords in Comics Studies with Deborah Whaley and Shelley Streeby for NYU Press. His new book Queer Forms, explores the relationship between feminist and queer politics and formal innovation in the art and culture of movements for women’s and gay liberation. Queer Forms will be published by NYU Press."]

Fhlainn, Sorcha Ní. "Postmodern Vampires." This Is Not a Pipe (November 26, 2020) ["Sorcha Ní Fhlainn discusses her book Postmodern Vampires: Film, Fiction, and Popular Culture with Chris Richardson. Ní Fhlainn is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies and American studies at Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom. She is a founding member of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies and author of Postmodern Vampires: Film, Fiction, and Popular Culture (Palgrave, 2019). She has published widely on socio-cultural history, subjectivity and postmodernism in Film Studies, American studies, Horror studies, and Popular Culture. Previous books include Clive Barker: Dark imaginer (Manchester UP, 2017), and The Worlds of Back to the Future: Critical Essays on the Films (McFarland, 2010), and articles in Adaptation (Oxford UP), and Horror Studies (Intellect). She is currently leading a research project and writing a monograph on the popular culture of the 1980s."]

Filippo, Maria San. "Provocateurs and Provocations: Screening Sex in 21st Century Media (Indiana University Press, 2021)." New Books in Media & Communications (April 13, 2021) ["Twenty-first century media has increasingly turned to provocative sexual content to generate buzz and stand out within a glut of programming. New distribution technologies enable and amplify these provocations, and encourage the branding of media creators as "provocauteurs" known for challenging sexual conventions and representational norms. While such strategies may at times be no more than a profitable lure, the most probing and powerful instances of sexual provocation serve to illuminate, question, and transform our understanding of sex and sexuality. In Provocauteurs and Provocations: Screening Sex in 21st Century Media (Indiana UP, 2021), award-winning author Maria San Filippo looks at the provocative in films, television series, web series and videos, entertainment industry publicity materials, and social media discourses and explores its potential to create alternative, even radical ways of screening sex. Throughout this edgy volume, San Filippo reassesses troubling texts and divisive figures, examining controversial strategies--from "real sex" scenes to scandalous marketing campaigns to full-frontal nudity--to reveal the critical role that sexual provocation plays as an authorial signature and promotional strategy within the contemporary media landscape."]

Fogg, B.J., et al. "A History of Persuasion, Pt. 3." On the Media (August 28, 2019) [On how the tech innovators that started our social media platforms were trained at Stanford University in the creation of addictive behaviors through their technological devices. Features the authors: - Alexandra Rutherford, Professor in the Department of Psychology at York University in Toronto and author of Beyond the Box: B.F. Skinner's Technology of Behaviour from Laboratory to Life, 1950s-1970s
- Ian Leslie, author of The Scientists Who Make Apps Addictive

Ford, Phil, Connor Habib and J.F. Martel. "On Joy Williams Breaking and Entering." Weird Studies #107 (September 29, 2021) ["Joy Williams' third novel, Breaking and Entering, is the story of lovers who break into strangers' homes and live their lives for a time before moving on. First published in 1988, it is a book impossible to describe, a work of singular vision and sensibility that is as infectious in its weird effect as it is unforgettable for the quality of its prose. In this episode, the novelist, spiritual thinker, and acclaimed podcaster Conner Habib joins JF and Phil to explore how the novel's enchantments rest on the uniqueness of Williams' style, which is to say, her bold embrace of ways of seeing that are hers alone. Williams is an artist who refuses to work from within some predetermined philosophical or political idiom. As Habib tells your hosts, she goes her own way, and even the gods must follow."]

Freeman, Judith. "A Steady Diet of Low Expectations: A Conversation with Jessica Bruder, Author of Nomadland." Los Angeles Review of Books (April 23, 2021) ["Three years ago, when Jessica Bruder, the author of the Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, published her nonfiction account of the growing tribe of nomads roaming the American West, people who live in their vans or cars or RVs and work seasonal jobs to get by, she couldn’t have known that her book would end up as a movie, directed by Chloé Zhao and starring Frances McDormand, one that is not only sweeping up awards but has also been embraced by a great cross-section of viewers who are enthralled by its generous and moving portrait of humanity. Not that Bruder’s book didn’t get a lot of attention when it first came out: it ended up on half a dozen of the best book lists of 2017. At the time, Rebecca Solnit said of Nomadland, “People who thought the 2008 financial collapse was over a long time ago need to meet the people Jessica Bruder got to know in this scorching, beautifully written, vivid, disturbing (and occasionally wryly funny) book.”"]

Gribben, Crawford. "Survival and Resistance in Evangelical America: Christian Reconstruction in the Pacific Northwest (Oxford University Press, 2021)." New Books in Christian Studies (March 29, 2021) ["In America's Pacific Northwest a group of conservative Protestants have been conducting a new experiment in cultural transformation. Dissatisfied with what they see as the clumsy political engagement and vapid literary and artistic culture of mainstream Evangelicals, these Christian Reconstructionists have deployed an altogether different set of strategies for the long game, fueled by their Calvinist theology and much-more-hopeful apocalypse. In Survival and Resistance in Evangelical America: Christian Reconstruction in the Pacific Northwest (Oxford UP, 2021), Crawford Gribben presents a hybrid study of historical, theological, literary, and anthropological analysis of this variant of Evangelical counter-culture. Gribben paints a rich and detailed portrait of this loosely banded, sometimes coordinated migration to the "American redoubt." This migration has led, in part, to the establishment of a network of communities and institutions that include churches, a liberal arts college, a publishing house, and an ambitious media strategy that has already had an outsize impact. From their outpost in Idaho and prompted by their revised postmillennial eschatology, these Christian conservatives are preparing to survive the collapse American society and to reconstruct a godly society that will usher in the Kingdom of Christ. For this group of born-again Protestants, their apocalyptic strategy is precisely to be left behind."]

Hampton, Timothy. "Bob Dylan's Poetics: How the Songs Work." Berkeley Book Chats (April 17, 2019) ["The 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature recognized Bob Dylan as a major modern artist, elevating his work beyond the world of popular music. In his book Bob Dylan's Poetics (Zone, 2019), Timothy Hampton (Comparative Literature and French, Townsend Center director) focuses on the details and nuances of Dylan's songs, showing how they work as artistic statements designed to create meaning and elicit emotion. Locating Dylan in the long history of artistic modernism, Hampton offers both a nuanced engagement with the work of a major artist and a meditation on the contribution of song at times of political and social change."]

Hanhardt, Christina. "On Gay Neighborhoods and Violence." Who Makes Cents? (January 7, 2015) ["Christina Hanhardt discusses her book Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence. Today we’ll focus on how the history of quality of life policing connects to the history of gay neighborhood politics. By looking at the gay neighborhoods in San Francisco and New York City, Christina Hanhardt will also shed light on what focusing on real estate, housing, violence, and the politics of place have to do with the history of capitalism."]

Hannah-Jones, Nikole.  "On The 1619 Project, Teaching Critical Race Theory & White Supremacy on Trial." Democracy Now (November 23, 2021)  ["Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, which reframes U.S. history by marking the year when the first enslaved Africans arrived on Virginia soil as the foundational date for the United States. The project launched in 2019, and has been expanded into an anthology of 18 essays along with poems and short stories, even as several states have attempted to ban it from school curriculums. “We should all as Americans be deeply, deeply concerned about these anti-history laws because what they’re really trying to do is control our memory and to control our understanding of our country,” says Hannah-Jones. Hannah-Jones’s new book that she co-edited is out this month, titled “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story,” along with an adaptation of the 1619 Project for children, “Born On The Water.” Hannah-Jones describes the role of her own teachers in opening her eyes beyond the usual curriculum that excluded the history she has now uplifted. She also discusses the trial of the murderers of Ahmaud Arbery, and how she felt when she won the Pulitzer Prize on the same day as one of her heroines, the formerly enslaved pioneering anti-lynching journalist, Ida B. Wells."]

Hari, Johann. Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs. Bloomsbury, 2015. ["It is now one hundred years since drugs were first banned in the United States. On the eve of this centenary, journalist Johann Hari set off on an epic three-year, thirty-thousand-mile journey into the war on drugs. What he found is that more and more people all over the world have begun to recognize three startling truths: Drugs are not what we think they are. Addiction is not what we think it is. And the drug war has very different motives to the ones we have seen on our TV screens for so long. In Chasing the Scream, Hari reveals his discoveries entirely through the stories of people across the world whose lives have been transformed by this war. They range from a transsexual crack dealer in Brooklyn searching for her mother, to a teenage hit-man in Mexico searching for a way out. It begins with Hari's discovery that at the birth of the drug war, Billie Holiday was stalked and killed by the man who launched this crusade--and it ends with the story of a brave doctor who has led his country to decriminalize every drug, from cannabis to crack, with remarkable results. Chasing the Scream lays bare what we really have been chasing in our century of drug war--in our hunger for drugs, and in our attempt to destroy them. This book will challenge and change how you think about one of the most controversial--and consequential--questions of our time."]

Hatzipanagos, Rachel. "What the founders of critical race theory have to say about the conservative attacks." The Washington Post (July 22, 2021) [The article discusses the 3rd edition of Critical Race Theory: An Introduction: "Since the publication of the first edition of Critical Race Theory in 2001, the United States has lived through two economic downturns, an outbreak of terrorism, and the onset of an epidemic of hate directed against immigrants, especially undocumented Latinos and Middle Eastern people. On a more hopeful note, the country elected and re-elected its first black president and has witnessed the impressive advance of gay rights. As a field, critical race theory has taken note of all these developments, and this primer does so as well. It not only covers a range of emerging new topics and events, it also addresses the rise of a fierce wave of criticism from right-wing websites, think tanks, and foundations, some of which insist that America is now colorblind and has little use for racial analysis and study. Critical Race Theory is essential for understanding developments in this burgeoning field, which has spread to other disciplines and countries. The new edition also covers the ways in which other societies and disciplines adapt its teachings and, for readers wanting to advance a progressive race agenda, includes new questions for discussion, aimed at outlining practical steps to achieve this objective."]

 Henry, Charles. "On the Case for Reparations." Berkeley Talks (February 12, 2021) ["Charles Henry, professor emeritus of African American studies at UC Berkeley and author of Long Overdue: The Politics of Racial Reparations, discusses why reparations are gaining mainstream support, why he believes they are a solution and what could enable Black Americans to feel "acknowledged, redressed and with closure.""]

Heying, Heather and Bret Weinstein. "A Hunter-Gatherer's Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life." The Joe Rogan Experience #1705 (September 14, 2021) ["We are living through the most prosperous age in all of human history, yet we are listless, divided and miserable. Wealth and comfort are unparalleled, but our political landscape is unmoored, and rates of suicide, loneliness and chronic illness continue to skyrocket. How do we explain the gap between these truths? And how should we respond? For evolutionary biologists Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein, the cause of our woes is clear: the modern world is out of sync with our ancient brains and bodies. We evolved to live in clans, but today many people don't even know their neighbors' names. Survival in our earliest societies depended on living in harmony with nature, but today the food we eat, the work we do - even the light we absorb - is radically different from what our minds and bodies evolved to expect.In this book, Heying and Weinstein draw on decades of their work teaching in college classrooms and exploring earth's most biodiverse ecosystems to confront today's pressing social ills - from widespread sleep deprivation and dangerous diets to damaging parenting styles and backward education practices. A Hunter-Gatherer's Guide to the 21st Century outlines a science-based worldview that will empower you to live a better, wiser life."]

Hooven, Carole. "T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone That Dominates and Divides Us." The Joe Rogan Experience #1665 (June 10, 2021) [Description of T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone That Dominates and Divides Us: "Through riveting personal stories and the latest research, Harvard evolutionary biologist Carole Hooven shows how testosterone drives the behavior of the sexes apart and how understanding the science behind this hormone is empowering for all. Since antiquity—from the eunuchs in the royal courts of ancient China to the booming market for “elixirs of youth” in nineteenth-century Europe—humans have understood that typically masculine behavior depends on testicles, the main source of testosterone in males. Which sex has the highest rates of physical violence, hunger for status, and desire for a high number of sex partners? Just follow the testosterone. Although we humans can study and reflect on our own behavior, we are also animals, the products of millions of years of evolution. Fascinating research on creatures from chimpanzees to spiny lizards shows how high testosterone helps males out-reproduce their competitors. And men are no exception. While most people agree that sex differences in human behavior exist, they disagree about the reasons. But the science is clear: testosterone is a potent force in human society, driving the bodies and behavior of the sexes apart. But, as Hooven shows in T, it does so in concert with genes and culture to produce a vast variety of male and female behavior. And, crucially, the fact that many sex differences are grounded in biology provides no support for restrictive gender norms or patriarchal values. In understanding testosterone, we better understand ourselves and one another—and how we might build a fairer, safer society."]

Huberman, Andrew. "Controlling Your Dopamine for Motivation, Focus, and Satisfaction." Huberman Lab (September 27, 2021) ["This episode serves as a sort of “Dopamine Masterclass.” Dr. Huberman discusses the immensely powerful chemical that we all make in our brain and body: dopamine. He describes what it does and the neural circuits involved. He explains dopamine peaks and baselines and the cell biology of dopamine depletion. Dr. Huberman includes 14 tools for how to control your dopamine release for the sake of motivation, focus, avoiding and combating addiction and depression. He explains why dopamine stacking with chemicals and behaviors inevitably leads to states of underwhelm and poor performance. He explains how to achieve sustained increases in baseline dopamine, compounds that injure and protect dopamine neurons, including caffeine, from specific sources. Dr. Huberman describes non-prescription supplements for increasing dopamine—both their benefits and risks—and the synergy of pro-dopamine supplements with those that increase acetylcholine." Huberman recommends two books: Anna Lembke's Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence and Daniel Z. Lieberman's and Michael Long's The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in Your Brain Drives Love, Sex, and Creativity—and Will Determine the Fate of the Human.] Race]

Hudson, David. "Bravo, Bradley, and Butler." The Current (July 27, 2021) [An article on three books by SF writer Octavia Butler that are being adapted for Film and TV: "The probing mind that animates her novels, short stories, and essays is obsessed with the viability of the human enterprise. Will we survive our worst habits? Will we change? Do we want to?” ... Reviewing the Library of America’s new collection of work by Octavia Butler for Bookforum, Gabrielle Bellot writes that Butler “called out bigotry unflinchingly; she also imagined futures in which we have so thoroughly dismissed the crude prejudices of racism, sexism, and anti-queerness that we can learn to embrace that which seems Other, such that it ceases to be Other at all.” Butler’s work “now speaks poignantly to an America—so starkly polarized as to seem like two separate planets whose races, unlike in Butler’s fiction, have failed to coexist—that needs her blunt but empathetic vision more than ever.”"]

Johnson, Theodore R. "How National Solidarity Can Defeat Racial Division." The Realignment (August 12, 2021) [Discussion of Johnson's book When the Stars Begin to Fall: Overcoming Racism and Renewing the Promise of America: "“Racism is an existential threat to America,” Theodore R. Johnson declares at the start of his profound and exhilarating book. It is a refutation of the American Promise enshrined in our Constitution that all men and women are inherently equal. And yet racism continues to corrode our society. If we cannot overcome it, Johnson argues, while the United States will remain as a geopolitical entity, the promise that made America unique on Earth will have died. When the Stars Begin to Fall makes a compelling, ambitious case for a pathway to the national solidarity necessary to mitigate racism. Weaving memories of his own and his family’s multi-generational experiences with racism, alongside strands of history, into his elegant narrative, Johnson posits that a blueprint for national solidarity can be found in the exceptional citizenship long practiced in Black America."]

Jones, Matthew. "The Case for Animal Rights: A Defense of Tom Regan." Philosophy in Film (October 24, 2020) [On Tom Regan's 1987 book The Case for Animal Rights and Bong Joon-Ho's 2017 film Okja.]

Junger, Sebastian. "Freedom." The Joe Rogan Experience #1655 (May 20, 2021) ["Sebastian Junger is a bestselling author, journalist, and an Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker." His latest book is Freedom "Throughout history, humans have been driven by the quest for two cherished ideals: community and freedom. The two don’t coexist easily. We value individuality and self-reliance, yet are utterly dependent on community for our most basic needs. In this intricately crafted and thought-provoking book, Sebastian Junger examines the tension that lies at the heart of what it means to be human. For much of a year, Junger and three friends—a conflict photographer and two Afghan War vets—walked the railroad lines of the East Coast. It was an experiment in personal autonomy, but also in interdependence. Dodging railroad cops, sleeping under bridges, cooking over fires, and drinking from creeks and rivers, the four men forged a unique reliance on one another. In Freedom, Junger weaves his account of this journey together with primatology and boxing strategy, the history of labor strikes and Apache raiders, the role of women in resistance movements, and the brutal reality of life on the Pennsylvania frontier. Written in exquisite, razor-sharp prose, the result is a powerful examination of the primary desire that defines us."]

Kaiser, Brittany. "Meet Brittany Kaiser, Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Releasing Troves of New Files from Data Firm." Democracy Now (January 7, 2020) ["New details are emerging about how the shadowy data firm Cambridge Analytica worked to manipulate voters across the globe, from the 2016 election in the United States to the Brexit campaign in Britain and elections in over 60 other countries, including Malaysia, Kenya and Brazil. A new trove of internal Cambridge Analytica documents and emails are being posted on Twitter detailing the company’s operations, including its work with President Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton. The documents come from Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Brittany Kaiser, who worked at the firm for three-and-a-half years before leaving in 2018. We speak with Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, co-directors of the Oscar shortlisted documentary “The Great Hack”; Brittany Kaiser, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower featured in “The Great Hack” and author of “Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower’s Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump, and Facebook Broke Democracy and How It Can Happen Again”; and Emma Briant, a visiting research associate in human rights at Bard College whose upcoming book is titled Propaganda Machine: Inside Cambridge Analytica and the Digital Influence Industry." Part Two: "The Great Hack: Big Data Firms Helped Sway the 2016 Election. Could It Happen Again in 2020?" Part Three: "Propaganda Machine: The Military Roots of Cambridge Analytica’s Psychological Manipulation of Voters."]

Kaufman, Amy S. and Paul B. Sturtevant. "Devil's Historians: How Modern Extremists Abuse the Medieval Past (University of Toronto Press, 2020)." New Books in History (July 23, 2021) ["In The Devil's Historians: How Modern Extremists Abuse the Medieval Past (University of Toronto Press, 2020), Amy S. Kaufman and Paul B. Sturtevant examine the many ways in which the medieval past has been manipulated to promote discrimination, oppression, and murder. Tracing the fetish for “medieval times” behind toxic ideologies like nationalism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, misogyny, and white supremacy, Kaufman and Sturtevant show us how the Middle Ages have been twisted for political purposes in every century that followed. The Devil’s Historians casts aside the myth of an oppressive, patriarchal medieval monoculture and reveals a medieval world not often shown in popular culture: one that is diverse, thriving, courageous, compelling, and complex."]

Kirkpatrick, Kate. "Becoming Beauvoir." Bloomsbury Academic (April 8, 2020) ["Simone de Beauvoir was an existentialist philosopher who laid the foundation for the modern feminist movement. We sat down to talk to author Kate Kirkpatrick about everything Beauvoir, from her childhood, to her personal relationships, to her commitment to social justice movements such as the decolonization of Algeria. This episode is for anyone interested in discussing Beauvoir’s social ideals and discovering how they remain relevant today." Publisher page for Becoming Beauvoir.]

Lee, Edward Ashford. "The Coevolution: The Entwined Futures of Humans and Machines (MIT Press, 2020)." New Books in Science, Technology, and Society (April 2, 2021) ["Are humans defining technology, or is technology defining humans? In The Coevolution: The Entwined Futures of Humans and Machines (MIT Press, 2020), Edward Ashford Lee considers the case that we are less in control of the trajectory of technology than we think. It shapes us as much as we shape it, and it may be more defensible to think of technology as the result of a Darwinian coevolution than the result of top-down intelligent design. Richard Dawkins famously said that a chicken is an egg's way of making another egg. Is a human a computer's way of making another computer? To understand this question requires a deep dive into how evolution works, how humans are different from computers, and how the way technology develops resembles the emergence of a new life form on our planet. Lee presents the case for considering digital beings to be living, then offers counterarguments. What we humans do with our minds is more than computation, and what digital systems do--be teleported at the speed of light, backed up, and restored--may never be possible for humans. To believe that we are simply computations, he argues, is a "dataist" faith and scientifically indefensible. Digital beings depend on humans--and humans depend on digital beings. More likely than a planetary wipe-out of humanity is an ongoing, symbiotic coevolution of culture and technology."]

Like Stories of Old. "The Archetype of the Warrior - How Film Helps Empower Us All." (Posted on Youtube: January 15, 2018) ["Exploring the Archetype of the Warrior in films, based on Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette’s King, Warrior, Magician, Lover and Carol S. Pearson’s The Hero Within."]

---. "Baby Driver: Introversion Done Right." (Posted on Youtube: October 13, 2017) ["An examination of introversion in Baby Driver and how Edgar Wright subverts the stereotypical introvert in an extroverted society." Uses Laurie Helgoe's Introvert Power – Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength in the analysis of the characterization of Baby in the film.]

---. "The Fantasy of Ultimate Purpose – How Our Entertainment Reveals Our Deepest Desire." (Posted on Youtube: July 31, 2018) ["Explores the anatomy of purpose in films, television series and video games, how it differs from finding meaning in our own lives, and the importance of discussing our escapes into these fictional worlds. Book used: Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning."]

---. "Fight Club: How (Not) to Become a Space Monkey." (Posted on Youtube: November 16, 2019) ["Video essay on Fight Club; examining how charismatic leaders like Tyler Durden turn men into Space Monkeys." Ernest Becker book The Denial of Death is used to formulate the critique/interpretation.]

---. "The Grey - A Philosophy of Heroic Suffering." (Posted on Youtube: November 24, 2017) ["A video essay exploring how The Grey, although poorly marketed at the time of its release, is an underrated survival film about the importance of finding meaning in desperate situations. Resources: Viktor Frankl's book Man's Search for Meaning."]

---. "How Ken Burns Changed the Way We Look at History." (Posted on Youtube: September 15, 2017) ["An exploration of the academic validity and public value of the work of renowned documentarian Ken Burns. Content: 0:00 Introduction; 1:34 What is History?; 4:57 The Ken Burns Approach; 9:22 Bringing History to Life."  Uses two books in its analysis: Ways of Knowing by Jonathan W. Moses and Torbjorn L. Knutsen, and What is History? by E.H. Carr.]

---. "In Search of the Distinctively Human: The Philosophy of Blade Runner 2049." (Posted on Youtube: Jan 29, 2018) [Uses Ernest Becker's The Birth and Death of Meaning and Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning.]

---. "The Lover Within: How Moonlight Relates to ALL Men." (Posted on Youtube: April 9, 2017) ["... Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette’s archetypes" in their book King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine  "are a very interesting way to analyze media and provide personal insights, similarly to Joseph Campbell’s related concept of the Hero’s Journey."]

---. "The New World: The Lost Art of Grief." (Posted on Youtube: September 29, 2017) ["An examination of sorrow and grief in Terrence Malick’s The New World based on Francis Weller’ The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief. North Atlantic Books: "The work of the mature person is to carry grief in one hand and gratitude in the other and be stretched large by them. Noted psychotherapist Francis Weller provides an essential guide for navigating the deep waters of sorrow and loss in this lyrical yet practical handbook for mastering the art of grieving. Describing how Western patterns of amnesia and anesthesia affect our capacity to cope with personal and collective sorrows, Weller reveals the new vitality we may encounter when we welcome, rather than fear, the pain of loss. Through moving personal stories, poetry, and insightful reflections he leads us into the central energy of sorrow, and to the profound healing and heightened communion with each other and our planet that reside alongside it. The Wild Edge of Sorrow explains that grief has always been communal and illustrates how we need the healing touch of others, an atmosphere of compassion, and the comfort of ritual in order to fully metabolize our grief. Weller describes how we often hide our pain from the world, wrapping it in a secret mantle of shame. This causes sorrow to linger unexpressed in our bodies, weighing us down and pulling us into the territory of depression and death. We have come to fear grief and feel too alone to face an encounter with the powerful energies of sorrow. Those who work with people in grief, who have experienced the loss of a loved one, who mourn the ongoing destruction of our planet, or who suffer the accumulated traumas of a lifetime will appreciate the discussion of obstacles to successful grief work such as privatized pain, lack of communal rituals, a pervasive feeling of fear, and a culturally restrictive range of emotion. Weller highlights the intimate bond between grief and gratitude, sorrow and intimacy. In addition to showing us that the greatest gifts are often hidden in the things we avoid, he offers powerful tools and rituals and a list of resources to help us transform grief into a force that allows us to live and love more fully."]

---. "The Philosophy of Cloud Atlas: How Beauty Will Save the World." (Posted on Youtube: February 14, 2018) [The philosophy of the movie Cloud Atlas through the lens of Fyodor DostoevskyJose Saramago, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.]

---. "The Problem of Other Minds – How Cinema Explores Consciousness." (Posted on Youtube: May 31, 2018) ["How have films engaged the problem of other minds? In this video essay, I discuss cinematic explorations into consciousness in the context of the cognitive revolution that has challenged many of the basic assumptions about what was for a long time believed to be a uniquely human trait." Uses Frans de Waal's book Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?: "Hailed as a classic, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? explores the oddities and complexities of animal cognition--in crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, chimpanzees, and bonobos--to reveal how smart animals really are, and how we've underestimated their abilities for too long. Did you know that octopuses use coconut shells as tools, that elephants classify humans by gender and language, and that there is a young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame? Fascinating, entertaining, and deeply informed, de Waal's landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal--and human--intelligence."]

---. "Stoicism in The Shawshank Redemption: Meditations 1." (Posted on Youtube: February 28, 2018) ["The Stoic Philosophy of The Shawshank Redemption, presented in a few brief meditations based on the writings by Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Epictetus and Chrysippus. Primary sources: Marcus Aurelius – Meditations; Seneca - Letters from a Stoic; Epictetus – Enchiridion; Secondary Sources: Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman – The Daily Stoic."]

---. "The Unexplored Depths of Spider-Man 3 – Facing the Dragon of Grandiosity." (Posted on Youtube: April 30, 2018) [Uses Robert L. Moore's book Facing the Dragon: Confronting Personal and Spiritual Grandiosity: "Structured around a series of lectures presented at the Jung Institute of Chicago in a program entitled "Jungian Psychology and Human Spirituality: Liberation from Tribalism in Religious Life," this book-length essay attacks the related problems of human evil, spiritual narcissism, secularism and ritual, and grandiosity. Moore dares to insist that we stop ignoring these issues and provides clear-sighted guidance for where to start and what to expect. Along the way, he pulls together many important threads from recent findings in theology, spirituality, and psychology and brings us to a point where we can conceive of embarking on a corrective course."]

---. "Venturing into Sacred Space | Archetype of the Magician." (Posted on Youtube: April 21, 2018) ["In this conclusion of my Archetype Series based on the book King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette, I examine the archetype of the Magician and explore some related concepts such as initiation, ritual process and sacred space." Other sources discussed:  Carol S. Pearson – The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By; Robert Moore – The Archetype of Initiation: Sacred Space, Ritual Process and Personal Transformation; Mircea Eliade - The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion; Victor Turner – The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure.]

---. "What Makes a Great King? Exploring the Archetype of the King in Movies and Television." (Posted on Youtube: August 18, 2017) [MB: I think this has a great message about the leader role/archetype (not comfortable with the king thing, but I recognize it is an archetype) and only wish that is wasn't limited to just a discussion of masculine archetypes. Easily beats the ocean of facile business leadership books. From the author: "... Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette’s archetypes" in their book King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine  "are a very interesting way to analyze media and provide personal insights, similarly to Joseph Campbell’s related concept of the Hero’s Journey."]

Loewen, James. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. The New Press, 2018. ["Americans have lost touch with their history, and in Lies My Teacher Told Me Professor James Loewen shows why. After surveying eighteen leading high school American history texts, he has concluded that not one does a decent job of making history interesting or memorable. Marred by an embarrassing combination of blind patriotism, mindless optimism, sheer misinformation, and outright lies, these books omit almost all the ambiguity, passion, conflict, and drama from our past. In this revised edition, packed with updated material, Loewen explores how historical myths continue to be perpetuated in today's climate and adds an eye-opening chapter on the lies surrounding 9/11 and the Iraq War. From the truth about Columbus's historic voyages to an honest evaluation of our national leaders, Loewen revives our history, restoring the vitality and relevance it truly possesses.
Thought provoking, nonpartisan, and often shocking, Loewen unveils the real America in this iconoclastic classic beloved by high school teachers, history buffs, and enlightened citizens across the country."]

---. Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism. New Press, 2018. ["In this groundbreaking work, sociologist James W. Loewen, author of the classic bestseller Lies My Teacher Told Me, brings to light decades of hidden racial exclusion in America. In a provocative, sweeping analysis of American residential patterns, Loewen uncovers the thousands of sundown towns--almost exclusively white towns where it was an unspoken rule that blacks weren't welcome--that cropped up throughout the twentieth century, most of them located outside of the South. Written with Loewen's trademark honesty and thoroughness, Sundown Towns won the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award, received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and launched a nationwide online effort to track down and catalog sundown towns across America. In a new preface, Loewen puts this history in the context of current controversies around white supremacy and the Black Lives Matter movement. He revisits sundown towns and finds the number way down, but with notable exceptions in exclusive all-white suburbs such as Kenilworth, Illinois, which as of 2010 had not a single black household. And, although many former sundown towns are now integrated, they often face second-generation sundown town issues, such as in Ferguson, Missouri, a former sundown town that is now majority black, but with a majority-white police force."]

Lorr, Benjamin. The Secret Life of Groceries: The Dark Miracle of the American Supermarket (Penguin 2020) New Books in Economics and Business History (June 29, 2021) ["This episode of the New Books in Economic and Business History is an interview with New York writer Benjamin Lorr. Benjamin Lorr is the author of Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain, and the Search for Something Like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga, a book that explores the Bikram Yoga community and movement. His second book, The Secret Life of Groceries: The Dark Miracle of the American Supermarket is "an extraordinary investigation into the human lives at the heart of the American grocery store. The miracle of the supermarket has never been more apparent. Like the doctors and nurses who care for the sick, suddenly the men and women who stock our shelves and operate our warehouses are understood as ‘essential’ workers, providing a quality of life we all too easily take for granted. But the sad truth is that the grocery industry has beenfailing these workers for decades. In this page-turning expose, author Benjamin Lorr pulls back the curtain on the highly secretive grocery industry. Combining deep sourcing, immersive reporting, and sharp, often laugh-out-loud prose, Lorr leads a wild investigation, asking what does it take to run a supermarket? How does our food get on the shelves? And who suffers for our increasing demands for convenience
and efficiency?"]

Maté, Gabor. In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. North Atlantic Books, 2010. ["In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction, explores addiction as a symptom of distress, from the pain of individual trauma and family history to the spiritual emptiness pervading our entire society. Dr. Maté weaves brain science, case studies, personal testimony, and social critique into a powerful and kaleidoscopic look at one of our culture’s most perplexing epidemics. In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts is a best-selling book that won the 2010 Hubert Evans Award for Best BC Non-Fiction Book."]

McGhee, Heather. "'The Sum of Us': Heather McGhee on How Racism Undercuts the American Dream for Everyone." Democracy Now (March 19, 2021) ["Amid a national reckoning with structural racism and the dangers of white supremacy, author Heather McGhee’s new book details how racism in the United States hurts not just people of color but also white people. In The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, McGhee details how zero-sum thinking has worsened inequality and robbed people of all stripes of the public goods and support they need to thrive. We speak with McGhee about the cost of racism, Republican voter suppression efforts and what people can accomplish when they come together in solidarity across racial lines. “Fundamentally, racism has been the most powerful tool wielded against the best of America — against American democracy, against cross-racial solidarity, against the American dream itself,” says McGhee."]

McKee, Robert. "Character: The Art of Role and Cast Design for Page, Stage, and Screen." Longform #448 (July 21, 2021) ["The long-awaited third volume of Robert McKee’s trilogy on the art of fiction. Following up his perennially bestselling writers' guide Story and his inspiring exploration of the art of verbal action in Dialogue, the most sought-after expert in the storytelling brings his insights to the creation of compelling characters and the design of their casts. CHARACTER explores the design of a character universe: The dimensionality, complexity and arcing of a protagonist, the invention of orbiting major characters, all encircled by a cast of service and supporting roles."]

McNamee, Roger. "Roger McNamee on his quest to stop Facebook." Berkeley Talks (July 30, 2021) ["In episode 120 of Berkeley Talks, longtime venture capitalist Roger McNamee discusses how he, an early investor in Facebook and former adviser to Mark Zuckerberg, came to realize the damage caused by the social media giant and others like it, and how he’s committed to try to stop them. McNamee, author of the New York Times bestseller Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe (2019) spoke with Henry Brady, dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy, in February 2021."]

Meek, James. "Hooyah: Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill." London Review of Books 24.15 (August 2, 2007) [Interview Scahill's book Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army: "BLACKWATER USA, the world's most secretive and powerful mercenary firm. Based in the wilderness of North Carolina, it is the fastest-growing private army on the planet, with forces capable of carrying out regime change throughout the world. Blackwater protects the top US officials in Iraq, and yet we know almost nothing about the firm's quasi-military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and inside the US. Blackwater was founded by an extreme right-wing fundamentalist Christian mega-millionaire ex-Navy Seal named Erik Prince, the scion of a wealthy conservative family that bankrolls far-right-wing causes. This book is the dark story of the rise of a powerful mercenary army, ranging from the blood-soaked streets of Fallujah to rooftop firefights in Najaf to the hurricane-ravaged US Gulf to Washington DC, where Blackwater executives are hailed as new heroes in the war on terror." -- From publisher description.]

Meek, Michelle. "Sex Sells—But Why? and How? Author Maria San Filippo on Sexual Provocation in Film and TV." Ms. (April 6, 2021) ["How has sexual provocation been used by female filmmakers as a feminist act? Is it possible to separate art from artists? How have sex scenes changed over the years?" In her latest book Provocauteurs and Provocations: Screening Sex in 21st Century Media, San Filippo examines the history of sexual provocation in the media. Yes, sex sells—but why and how? In particular, she examines how female and queer filmmakers coopt sexual provocation for their own radical and sometimes even radically ordinary purposes."]

Morrison, Grant. Supergods. Spiegel and Grau, 2011. ["From one of the most acclaimed and profound writers in the world of comics comes a thrilling and provocative exploration of humankind’s great modern myth: the superhero." Available in BCTC's library.]

Moyn, Samuel. "'Humane': Yale Historian Samuel Moyn on 'How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War.'" Democracy Now (September 9, 2021) ["In his new book, Yale historian Samuel Moyn explores whether the push to make U.S. wars more “humane” by banning torture and limiting civilian casualties has helped fuel more military interventions around the world. He looks in detail at the role of President Obama in expanding the use of drones even as he received the Nobel Peace Prize. “What happened after 2001 is that, in the midst of an extremely brutal war on terror, a new kind of war emerged. … It was important to Americans to see their wars fought more humanely,” says Moyn. “Even though this represents a kind of progress, it also helped Americans sustain war and helped make the war on terror endless.” Moyn’s new book is Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War."]

Muraresku, Brian and Graham Hancock. "The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name." The Joe Rogan Show #1543 (June 21, 2020) ["Attorney and scholar Brian C. Muraresku is the author of The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name. Featuring an introduction by Graham Hancock, The Immortality Key is a look into the psychedelic origins of the world's great spiritual practices and what those might mean for how we view ourselves and the world around us. Hancock's most recent book is America Before: The Key to Earth's Lost Civilization."]

Needham, Andrew. "On Electricity and the Southwest." Who Makes Cents? (November 3, 2014) ["
Andrew Needham discusses his new book, Power Lines: Phoenix and the Making of the Modern Southwest. Power Lines shows that we can't think of the modern southwest without the energy that makes such places possible. Through this, he knits together a metropolitan geography that connects Phoenix with the places where it got its electricity--most prominently, coal from the Navajo Nation."]

Nestle, Marion, et al. "Let's Ask Marion: What You Need to Know about the Politics of Food, Nutrition, and Health (University of California Press, 2020)." New Books in Food (January 13, 2021) ["Marion Nestle describes her new book as “a small, quick and dirty reader for the general audience” summarizing some of her biggest and most influential works. Let’s Ask Marion: What You Need to Know About the Politics of Food, Nutrition, and Health published September 2020 by University of California Press, was written in conversation with Kerry Trueman, a blogger and friend. Trueman’s questions served as prompts to organize Nestle’s 800-1000 word summaries in approachable and engaging prose. Readers familiar with Nestle’s groundbreaking Food Politics will recognize many of the ideas and information, but this new pocket-sized and affordable volume serves as an introduction for undergraduate students or readers new to Food Studies. However, Nestle does cover some new material in her explanation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, especially the campaign for Zero Hunger. Nestle also summarizes how nutrition advice has changed in the last few years by thinking about food in categories ranging from unprocessed (corn on the cob) to ultraprocessed (Nacho Cheese tortilla chips). This reevaluation makes it easier to identify foods that are acceptable to eat without excessive focus on micronutrients. In the conversation, Nestle addresses the ethics of marketing food to children, food as a human right and access in the Covid era, the possibility of a National Food Policy Agency, the politics of food banks, and the promise of regenerative agricultural practices. Nestle concludes by talking about the pleasures of food and eating and how to establish a “loving relationship” with food that doesn’t include fear, guilt, or anxiety about nutrition. Marion Nestle is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, at New York University, and the author of books about food politics, most recently Unsavory Truth."]

Nieman, Susan. "Monuments, The Holocaust, and the Legacy of the Confederacy." Free Speech #67 (July 28, 2019) ["How can the German response to the Holocaust teach us about America's legacy of the Confederacy? Susan Neiman, Director of the Einstein Forum and author of many books, including the recent "Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil", suggests that it's a way into talking about American racial politics and potentially a way forward. Susan Newman, a philosopher and leading thinker on evil and modern thought, probes this question in her new book. She offered us a detailed account of how both East and West Germany dealt with the Nazi past in the postwar decades, and how we may learn from these two different countries' approaches to a painful and challenging legacy. The second part of the book is devoted to discussing the legacies of racism and slavery in the United States. Neiman does not imply that there is an equivalency between slavery and the genocide committed by the Germans. The point is not to create an analogy, but to see whether learning from these examples can teach us something about living in the present."]

Omar, Ilhan. "This Is What America Looks Like: Ilhan Omar on Her Refugee Journey from Mogadishu to Minneapolis." Democracy Now (August 5, 2021) ["We speak with Minnesota Congressmember Ilhan Omar about her memoir This Is What America Looks Like, the Biden administration’s recent airstrikes in her birth country of Somalia and why the U.S. must remain a country of refuge for people fleeing war and poverty like she did. Omar adds that the Biden administration must stop enforcing Trump-era immigration rules that allow for expedited deportations of asylum seekers. “These policy choices have consequences. We have a moral imperative in this country to get our immigration policy right and make it a more humane system."]

Orlando, Christina. "Feral Monstrosity: On Rivers Solomon’s Sorrowland." Los Angeles Review of Books (July 24, 2021) [Description on Goodreads: "Vern - seven months pregnant and desperate to escape the strict religious compound where she was raised - flees for the shelter of the woods. There, she gives birth to twins, and plans to raise them far from the influence of the outside world. But even in the forest, Vern is a hunted woman. Forced to fight back against the community that refuses to let her go, she unleashes incredible brutality far beyond what a person should be capable of, her body wracked by inexplicable and uncanny changes. To understand her metamorphosis and to protect her small family, Vern has to face the past, and more troublingly, the future - outside the woods. Finding the truth will mean uncovering the secrets of the compound she fled but also the violent history in America that produced it."]

Park, Ed. "Fortress of Solitude: Susanna Clarke’s house of wonders." Bookforum (May 2021) [On Clarke's novel Piranesi: "Piranesi's house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house. There is one other person in the house—a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known."]

Pelroth, Nicole. "On the Cyberweapons Race." The Lawfare Podcast (March 19, 2021) ["Jack Goldsmith spoke with New York Times cybersecurity reporter Nicole Perlroth about her new bookThis is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race. They discussed the dark world of markets for zero-day vulnerabilities that are so vital in offensive cyber operations, the history of the markets, how they work, who the players are and why the United States doesn't control as much as it used to. They also discussed broader issues of U.S. cybersecurity policy, including the recent SolarWinds hack."]

Peters, John Durham. "Promiscuous Knowledge: Information, Image, and Other Truth Games in History (University of Chicago Press, 2020)." New Books in Communications (November 5, 2020) ["Sergey Brin, a cofounder of Google, once compared the perfect search engine to “the mind of God.” As the modern face of promiscuous knowledge, however, Google’s divine omniscience traffics in news, maps, weather, and porn indifferently. Promiscuous Knowledge: Information, Image, and Other Truth Games in History (U Chicago Press, 2020), begun by the late Kenneth Cmiel and completed by his close friend John Durham Peters, provides a genealogy of the information age from its early origins up to the reign of Google. It examines how we think about fact, image, and knowledge, centering on the different ways that claims of truth are complicated when they pass to a larger public. To explore these ideas, Cmiel and Peters focus on three main periods—the late nineteenth century, 1925 to 1945, and 1975 to 2000, with constant reference to the present. Cmiel’s original text examines the growing gulf between politics and aesthetics in postmodern architecture, the distancing of images from everyday life in magical realist cinema, the waning support for national betterment through taxation, and the inability of a single presentational strategy to contain the social whole. Peters brings Cmiel’s study into the present moment, providing the backstory to current controversies about the slipperiness of facts in a digital age. A hybrid work from two innovative thinkers, Promiscuous Knowledge enlightens our understanding of the internet and the profuse visual culture of our time."]

Petersen, Kristian. "Imagining Afghanistan: The History and Politics of Imperial Knowledge (Cambridge University Press, 2020)." New Books in Islamic Studies (August 13, 2021) ["Over time and across different genres, Afghanistan has been presented to the world as potential ally, dangerous enemy, gendered space, and mysterious locale. These powerful, if competing, visions seek to make sense of Afghanistan and to render it legible. In Imagining Afghanistan: The History and Politics of Imperial Knowledge (Cambridge University Press, 2020), Nivi Manchanda, Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary, University of London, uncovers and critically explores Anglophone practices of knowledge cultivation and representational strategies, and argues that Afghanistan occupies a distinctive place in the imperial imagination: over-determined and under-theorised, owing largely to the particular history of imperial intervention in the region. Focusing on representations of gender, state and tribes, Manchanda re-historicizes and de-mythologizes the study of Afghanistan through a sustained critique of colonial forms of knowing and demonstrates how the development of pervasive tropes in Western conceptions of Afghanistan have enabled Western intervention, invasion and bombing in the region from the nineteenth century to the present. In our conversation we discussed Afghanistan as a discursive regime, the imperial politics of knowledge production, modern myths about Afghanistan, the narratives of the “Great Game” and the “Graveyard of Empires,” the role of the native informant, the failed state, the “War on Terror,” the representation of the “Afghan woman” and Afghan masculinities, and a genealogy of the term “tribe.”"]

Phillips-Fein, Kim. "On the Businessmen's Crusade Against the New Deal." Who Makes Cents? #10 (April 1, 2015) ["Kim Phillips-Fein discusses her book Invisible Hands: The Businessmen’s Crusade Against the New Deal. Today we’ll focus on the history of resistance to the New Deal. Kim Phillips-Fein details how many of the most prominent elites had their ideas and practices shaped by groups that were part of organized resistance to the New Deal. She argues that this history helps revise common understandings of the rise of conservatism in the 1970s and after."]

Piketty, Thomas. Capital and Ideology. trans. Arthur Goldhammer. Harvard University Press, 2020. ["Thomas Piketty’s bestselling Capital in the Twenty-First Century galvanized global debate about inequality. In this audacious follow-up, Piketty challenges us to revolutionize how we think about politics, ideology, and history. He exposes the ideas that have sustained inequality for the past millennium, reveals why the shallow politics of right and left are failing us today, and outlines the structure of a fairer economic system. Our economy, Piketty observes, is not a natural fact. Markets, profits, and capital are all historical constructs that depend on choices. Piketty explores the material and ideological interactions of conflicting social groups that have given us slavery, serfdom, colonialism, communism, and hypercapitalism, shaping the lives of billions. He concludes that the great driver of human progress over the centuries has been the struggle for equality and education and not, as often argued, the assertion of property rights or the pursuit of stability. The new era of extreme inequality that has derailed that progress since the 1980s, he shows, is partly a reaction against communism, but it is also the fruit of ignorance, intellectual specialization, and our drift toward the dead-end politics of identity. Once we understand this, we can begin to envision a more balanced approach to economics and politics. Piketty argues for a new “participatory” socialism, a system founded on an ideology of equality, social property, education, and the sharing of knowledge and power. Capital and Ideology is destined to be one of the indispensable books of our time, a work that will not only help us understand the world, but that will change it." This is the Harvard University Press book page, it has links to app. 50 interviews and features on the author & the book.]

Pruitt, Lisa. "Gunfight, My Battle Against the Industry that Radicalized America." The Daily Yonder (October 26, 2021) ["A former executive offers excruciating detail on how hardliners and the NRA changed the gun industry into the servant of military-style weapons and absolutist views on the Second Amendment." Review of Ryan Busse's book Gunfight, My Battle Against the Industry that Radicalized America: "A former firearms executive pulls back the curtain on America's multibillion-dollar gun industry, exposing how it fostered extremism and racism, radicalizing the nation and bringing cultural division to a boiling point. As an avid hunter, outdoorsman, and conservationist-all things that the firearms industry was built on-Ryan Busse chased a childhood dream and built a successful career selling millions of firearms for one of America's most popular gun companies. But blinded by the promise of massive profits, the gun industry abandoned its self-imposed decency in favor of hardline conservatism and McCarthyesque internal policing, sowing irreparable division in our politics and society. That drove Busse to do something few other gun executives have done: he's ending his 30-year career in the industry to show us how and why we got here. Gunfight is an insider's call-out of a wild, secretive, and critically important industry. It shows us how America's gun industry shifted from prioritizing safety and ethics to one that is addicted to fear, conspiracy, intolerance, and secrecy. It recounts Busse's personal transformation and shows how authoritarianism spreads in the guise of freedom, how voicing one's conscience becomes an act of treason in a culture that demands sameness and loyalty. Gunfight offers a valuable perspective as the nation struggles to choose between armed violence or healing."]

Raworth, Kate. "A Renegade Solution to Extractive Economics." Your Undivided Attention (February 11, 2021) ["When Kate Raworth began studying economics, she was disappointed that the mainstream version of the discipline didn’t fully address many of the world issues that she wanted to tackle, such as human rights and environmental destruction. She left the field, but was inspired to jump back in after the financial crisis of 2008, when she saw an opportunity to introduce some fresh perspectives. She sat down and drew a chart in the shape of a doughnut, which provided a way to think about our economic system while accounting for the impact to the world around us, as well as for humans’ baseline needs. Kate’s framing can teach us a lot about how to transform the economic model of the technology industry, and help us move from a system that values addicted, narcissistic, polarized humans to one that values healthy, loving and collaborative relationships. Her book, “Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist,” gives us a guide for going from a 20th-century paradigm to an evolved 21st-century one that will address our existential-scale problems."]

Richardson, Chris. "Reimagining Livelihoods." This is Not a Pipe (December 26, 2019) ["Ethan Miller discusses his book Reimagining Livelihoods: Life Beyond Economy, Society, and Environment with Chris Richardson. Miller is an activist-scholar committed to co-creating resilient and liberatory forms of collective livelihood. He is an interdisciplinary lecturer teaching in politics, anthropology, and environmental studies at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, a board member of the Community Economies Institute, and has worked for the past twenty years with an array of grassroots organizing and popular education projects. Ethan lives at the Wild Mountain Cooperative (formerly JED Collective), a collective subsistence homestead, and works as an organizer for Land in Common community land trust, focused on land justice and cooperative forms of land tenure. His research and teaching focuses on solidarity economics and postcapitalist livelihood, intersections of economy and ecology and, most recently, land justice. His first book, Reimagining Livelihoods: Life Beyond Economy, Society, and Environment was released in March 2019 by the University of Minnesota Press."]

Robbins, Kirk. "Lessons from Plants." Science for All (April 24, 2021) [Discussion and resources on/for Beronda L. Montgomery's book Lessons from Plants:  Publisher's description: "An exploration of how plant behavior and adaptation offer valuable insights for human thriving. We know that plants are important. They maintain the atmosphere by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. They nourish other living organisms and supply psychological benefits to humans as well, improving our moods and beautifying the landscape around us. But plants don’t just passively provide. They also take action. Beronda L. Montgomery explores the vigorous, creative lives of organisms often treated as static and predictable. In fact, plants are masters of adaptation. They “know” what and who they are, and they use this knowledge to make a way in the world. Plants experience a kind of sensation that does not require eyes or ears. They distinguish kin, friend, and foe, and they are able to respond to ecological competition despite lacking the capacity of fight-or-flight. Plants are even capable of transformative behaviors that allow them to maximize their chances of survival in a dynamic and sometimes unfriendly environment. Lessons from Plants enters into the depth of botanic experience and shows how we might improve human society by better appreciating not just what plants give us but also how they achieve their own purposes. What would it mean to learn from these organisms, to become more aware of our environments and to adapt to our own worlds by calling on perception and awareness? Montgomery’s meditative study puts before us a question with the power to reframe the way we live: What would a plant do?"]

Rogers, Amanda and Adam Shatz. "Forty years on, Edward Said's 'Orientalism' still groundbreaking." Ideas (October 23, 2019) ["Edward Said's seminal book,  Orientalism (1978), proposed one of the most influential and enduring analyses of the relationship between the West and the Middle East. In many ways, his ideas seem uncontroversial, perhaps even obvious today. But four decades ago, what Said proposed was radical. It still is."]

Sandel, Michael. The Cost of Meritocracy. Capitalisn't (August 12, 2021) ["Does meritocracy create a better world for everyone, or does it create massive inequality? There's been a lot of debate in the last few years about meritocracy, and it's become even more pressing in light of the pandemic. If essential workers are "essential", are they really less meritorious than a banker or accountant? So, we decided to discuss both sides of this debate in our next two episodes. On this episode, we'll be joined by Michael Sandel who teaches political philosophy at Harvard University and is author of the new book The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good. He'll be making a nuanced case against meritocracy."]

Sapolsky, Robert. "Science of Stress, Testosterone, and Free Will." Huberman Lab (August 30, 2021) ["In this episode, Dr. Huberman interviews Dr. Robert Sapolsky, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, Neurology & Neurosurgery at Stanford University. They discuss stress, what defines short-term versus long-term stress, and how stress can be beneficial or detrimental, depending on the context. Drs. Huberman and Sapolsky also discuss stress mitigation and how our sense of control over stress mitigation techniques, including exercise, determine health outcomes. Dr. Sapolsky explains some of the key effects of the hormone testosterone — how it can amplify pre-existing tendencies for aggression or sexual behavior, but that it does not produce those behaviors per se. He also explains how testosterone impacts our social hierarchies, sense of confidence, and willingness to embrace challenges of different kinds. He also explains how our behaviors and perceptions shape testosterone levels. And they discuss estrogen and the powerful role it plays in brain development, health and longevity. Finally, they discuss free will, what it means to have free will, and if we have any free will, including how knowledge alone might allow us to make better decisions for ourselves and society." Robert Sapolsky's latest book is Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst.]

Sas, Peter. "Non-Dualism in East and West: An Introduction." Critique of Pure Interest (December 30, 2018) [It’s myself in Burma, it’s myself in the earthquake. It’s myself starving in Africa. People sometimes hear the message of non-duality and they think that it’s about sitting back and doing nothing. They think it’s about arrogantly sitting back and saying, “Oh, it’s just a dream, it’s just a story, there’s nobody there suffering so what’s the point in doing anything at all?”… Oneness recognises itself in the face of that starving child and can move to help itself, not out of pity, not because it needs to be a good person, that’s nothing to do with it. It doesn’t come from a set morality. But in seeing that it’s all One – and this is the mystery of the universe – somehow it moves to help itself.” (Jeff Foster in Conversations on Non-Duality, p.37)]

Schafer, Simon. "How To Think About Science (Part 1)." Ideas (October 10, 2017) ["In 1985 a book appeared that changed the way people thought about the history of science. Until that time, the history of science had usually meant biographies of scientists, or studies of the social contexts in which scientific discoveries were made. Scientific ideas were discussed, but the procedures and axioms of science itself were not in question. This changed with the publication of Leviathan and the Air Pump, subtitled Hobbes, Boyle and the Experimental Life, the book's avowed purpose was - "to break down the aura of self-evidence surrounding the experimental way of producing knowledge." This was a work, in other words, that wanted to treat something obvious and taken for granted - that matters of fact are ascertained by experiment - as if it were not at all obvious; that wanted to ask, how is it actually done and how do people come to agree that it has truly been done. The authors of this pathbreaking book were two young historians, Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, and both have gone on to distinguished careers in the field they helped to define, science studies. Steven Shapin will be featured later in this series, but How to Think About Science begins with a conversation with Simon Schaffer. David Cayley called on him recently in his office at the Whipple Museum of the History of Science at Cambridge where he teaches."]

Schapiro, Mark. "Seeds of Resistance: The Fight to Save Our Food Supply." Townsend Center for the Humanities (October 23, 2019) ["The fate of the food supply has slipped into a handful of the world’s largest companies, with more than half of commercial seed varieties owned by three agri-chemical companies. In Seeds of Resistance (Skyhorse, 2018), Mark Schapiro (School of Journalism, UC Berkeley) examines what this corporate stranglehold is doing to our daily diet, from the explosion of genetically modified foods to the rapid disappearance of plant varieties to the elimination of independent farmers who have long been the bedrock of our food supply."]

Schüklenk, Udo and Peter Singer, eds. Bioethics: An Anthology. Fourth Edition. Wiley Blackwell, 2021. ["For more than two decades, Bioethics: An Anthology has been widely regarded as the definitive single-volume compendium of seminal readings on both traditional and cutting-edge ethical issues in biology and medicine. Acclaimed for its scope and depth of coverage, this landmark work brings together compelling writings by internationally-renowned bioethicist to help readers develop a thorough understanding of the central ideas, critical issues, and current debate in the field" Available in BCTC's library.]

Schwartzberg, Melissa. "Great Books 24: Jean-Jacques Rousseau." Think About It (October 19, 2019) [""Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains." The opening sentence of 18th century philosopher Jean-Jacques Roussau's Social Contract poses a central question for all of us. Why do we live under conditions of inequality, violence, dependency and general unhappiness (just look on twitter!) if society is made by us and for us? I spoke with Melissa Schwartzberg, who is Silver Professor of Politics at New York University and a specialist in political theory, about Rousseau's importance today."]

Seller, Bakari. "'My Vanishing Country': Mass Protests Rise from 400 Years of Systemic Racism." Democracy Now (June 1, 2020) ["As mass unrest engulfs the U.S., we speak with attorney and political commentator Bakari Sellers, whose new memoir My Vanishing Country was just published. One of the central moments in the book is the Orangeburg massacre of 1968, when police opened fire on a crowd of students gathered on the campus of South Carolina State University to protest segregation at Orangeburg’s only bowling alley. When the shooting stopped, three Black students were dead, 28 students were wounded. The nine officers who opened fire that day were all acquitted. The only person convicted of wrongdoing was Bakari Sellers’s father, Cleveland Sellers, a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, known as SNCC. He was convicted of a riot charge and spent seven months behind bars. He was pardoned in 1993. We speak with Bakari Sellers about Orangeburg, 2020 and “400 years of systemic racism” in the U.S."]

Selod, Saher. "Forever Suspect: Racialized Surveillance of Muslim Americans in the War on Terror (Rutgers University Press, 2018)." New Books in Sociology (March 29, 2021) ["How does a specific American religious identity acquire racial meaning? What happens when we move beyond phenotypes and include clothing, names, and behaviors to the characteristics that inform ethnoracial categorization? Forever Suspect, Racialized Surveillance of Muslim Americans in the War on Terror (Rutgers University Press, 2018) provides a nuanced portrayal of the experiences of South Asian and Arab Muslims in post 9/11 America and the role of racialized state and private citizen surveillance in shaping Muslim lived experiences. Saher Selod, an Associate Professor of Sociology at Simmons University, shares with us her story of growing up in Kansas and Texas and how writing this book helped her reclaim her own racialized experiences as the children of Pakistani immigrants to the US. Saher first began this project as a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin. As she returned to the dissertation to craft it into a book, she realized that beyond just race, racism and racialization, surveillance was a key recurring theme for the interview respondents. In today’s conversation, we explore the nuances of gender, race and surveillance, what it means to “Fly while Muslim”, and the harmful consequences of institutional surveillance laws like “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) that came about during the Obama Administration. We also touch on limitations of the book, including the exclusion of Black Muslims from this specific project. Saher’s openness with which she shares how her thinking has evolved over the years since this project first began leads us to discuss the ways in which non-Black Muslim immigrants and American born Muslims enact and maintain white supremacist structures. Forever Suspect provides an important and eye opening lens for us to consider how racialized surveillance, in all dimensions and forms, the War on Terror and U.S. Empire building continues to impact Muslim communities in the U.S."]

Sepinwall, Alyssa Goldstein. "Slave Revolt on Screen: The Haitian Revolution in Film and Video Games (University Press of Mississippi, 2021)." New Books in History (July 22, 2021) ["Michel-Rolph Trouillot wrote that “the silencing of the Haitian Revolution is only a chapter within a narrative of global domination. It is part of the history of the West and it is likely to persist, even in attenuated form, as long as the history of the West is not retold in ways that bring forward the perspective of the world.” Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall’s Slave Revolt on Screen: The Haitian Revolution in Film and Video Games (University Press of Mississippi, 2021) illustrates how this holds true not just in the writing of historical narratives but also the history of film. The book shows how one of the most important revolutions in world history, a revolt in which enslaved people fought for their freedom and created the first majority Black and post-slavery republic, has been silenced, ridiculed, or whitewashed by American and European film makers. She introduces us to Haitian directors such as Raoul Peck who want to tell their own story, free of white saviors but with the full horrors of slavery. The book takes some surprising turns. It turns out video games such as Assassins’ Creed do a better job at recreating the resistance of enslaved people than most films. Sepinwall also finds an unexpected hero in comedian Chris Rock. His Top Five contains a subplot about a fictionalized version of Rock trying to promote his film about the Haitian Revolution to white journalists who can't even understand the concept of a slave revolt."]

Shane, Charlotte. "Stupid Human Tricks: Why animals may be smarter than we think." Bookforum (May 2021) [On the book How to Be Animal: A New History of What It Means to Be Human by Melanie Challenger.]

Shellenberger, Michael. "San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities." Joe Rogan Experience (October 14, 2021) [San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities: "Progressives claimed they knew how to solve homelessness, inequality, and crime. But in cities they control, progressives made those problems worse. Michael Shellenberger has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for thirty years. During that time, he advocated for the decriminalization of drugs, affordable housing, and alternatives to jail and prison. But as homeless encampments spread, and overdose deaths skyrocketed, Shellenberger decided to take a closer look at the problem. What he discovered shocked him. The problems had grown worse not despite but because of progressive policies. San Francisco and other West Coast cities -- Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland -- had gone beyond merely tolerating homelessness, drug dealing, and crime to actively enabling them. San Fransicko reveals that the underlying problem isn't a lack of housing or money for social programs. The real problem is an ideology that designates some people, by identity or experience, as victims entitled to destructive behaviors. The result is an undermining of the values that make cities, and civilization itself, possible."]

Shermer, Ellie. "On Local Elites Creating a 'Good Business Climate.'" Who Makes Cents? (December 5, 2014) ["Ellie Shermer discusses her book Sunbelt Capitalism: Phoenix and the Transformation of American Politics. On this episode, we speak to Ellie Shermer about how local elites in Phoenix crafted a “business climate” that made Pheonix hospitable to industry and shaped both the modern sunbelt and contemporary politics."]

Sokolower, Jody, ed. Teaching About the Wars. Rethinking Schools, 2013. ["During his four years in office, President Trump pushed the United States closer toward war with Iran. After barely a month in office, President Joe Biden carried out airstrikes in Syria, against facilities allegedly belonging to Iran-backed militia groups. “We cannot escape the realities of how we got here, decades of U.S. war in the Middle East and a continued belief that bombs will somehow bring peace,” the organization Win Without War said in a statement. “History has shown how utterly failed that mentality is, with a cost of countless lives and massive destruction.” Teaching About the Wars breaks the curricular silence on the U.S. military engagement in the Middle East and Afghanistan. The articles and lessons in this volume explore “the realities of how we got here.” Even though the United States has been at war continuously since just after 9/11, sometimes it seems that our schools have forgotten. This collection of articles and hands-on lessons shows how teachers prompt their students to think critically about big issues. Here is the best writing from Rethinking Schools magazine on war and peace in the 21st century."]

Stein, Zak. "On Propaganda and the Information War." Jim Rutt War (October 7, 2021) ["Zak Stein & Jim have a wide-ranging talk inspired by two recent Consilience Project essays on the information war & propaganda. They discuss the culture wars as a case of mutually assured destruction, distinguishing education from propaganda, developing widespread resistance to propaganda, epistemic nihilism, key indicators of propaganda, the function of thought-terminating clichés, a typology of propaganda, leaders’ failure to educate rather than propagandize regarding Covid vaccines, modulating noise & chaos in the information ecosystem, redirecting technological innovation toward new goals of educational development, and much more." Zak Stein's latest book is Education in a Time Between Two Worlds: "Our world is currently undergoing major transformations, from climate change and politics to agriculture and economics. The world we have known is disappearing and a new world is being born. The subjects taught in schools and universities today are becoming irrelevant at faster and faster rates. Not only are we facing complex challenges of unprecedented size and scope, we’re also facing a learning and capacity deficit that threatens the future of civilization. Education in a Time Between Worlds seeks to reframe this historical moment as an opportunity to create a global society of educational abundance. Educational systems must be transformed beyond recognition if humanity is to survive the planetary crises currently underway. Human development and learning must be understood as the Earth's most valuable resources, with human potential serving as the open frontier into which energy and hope can begin to flow. The expansive essays within this book cover a diverse array of topics, including social justice, the neuroscience of learning, deschooling, educational technology, standardized testing, the future of spirituality, basic income guarantees, and integral meta-theory. As an invitation to re-vision the future of schools, technology, and society, Education in a Time Between Worlds replaces apathy and despair with agency, transformation, and hope."]

Streahle, Deborah. "Corpse Capitalism: On John Troyer’s Technologies of the Human Corpse." Los Angeles Review of Books (August 26, 2021) [Description of Technologies of the Human Corpse (MIT Press, 2020: "The relationship of the dead body with technology through history, from nineteenth-century embalming machines to the death-prevention technologies of today. Death and the dead body have never been more alive in the public imagination—not least because of current debates over modern medical technology that is deployed, it seems, expressly to keep human bodies from dying, blurring the boundary between alive and dead. In this book, John Troyer examines the relationship of the dead body with technology, both material and conceptual: the physical machines, political concepts, and sovereign institutions that humans use to classify, organize, repurpose, and transform the human corpse. Doing so, he asks readers to think about death, dying, and dead bodies in radically different ways. Troyer explains, for example, how technologies of the nineteenth century including embalming and photography, created our image of a dead body as quasi-atemporal, existing outside biological limits formerly enforced by decomposition. He describes the “Happy Death Movement” of the 1970s; the politics of HIV/AIDS corpse and the productive potential of the dead body; the provocations of the Body Worlds exhibits and their use of preserved dead bodies; the black market in human body parts; and the transformation of historic technologies of the human corpse into “death prevention technologies.” The consequences of total control over death and the dead body, Troyer argues, are not liberation but the abandonment of Homo sapiens as a concept and a species. In this unique work, Troyer forces us to consider the increasing overlap between politics, dying, and the dead body in both general and specifically personal terms."]

Swanson, Barrett. "Lost in Summerland." Longform Podcast (June 23, 2021) ["Barrett Swanson is a contributing editor at Harper’s and the author of Lost in Summerland: Barrett Swanson embarks on a personal quest across the United States to uncover what it means to be an American amid the swirl of our post-truth climate in this collection of critically acclaimed essays and reportage. A trip with his brother to a New York psychic community becomes a rollicking tour through the world of American spiritualism. At a wilderness retreat in Ohio, men seek a cure for toxic masculinity, while in the hinterlands of Wisconsin, antiwar veterans turn to farming when they cannot sustain the heroic myth of service. And when his best friend's body washes up on the shores of the Mississippi River, he falls into the gullet of true crime discussion boards, exploring the stamina of conspiracy theories along the cankered byways of the Midwest. In this exhilarating debut, Barrett Swanson introduces us to a new reality. At a moment when grand unifying narratives have splintered into competing storylines, these critically acclaimed essays document the many routes by which people are struggling to find stability in the aftermath of our country's political and economic collapse, sometimes at dire and disillusioning costs."]

Swenson, Kristin. A Most Peculiar Book: The Inherent Strangeness of the Bible. Oxford University Press, 2021. [Excerpt: "Besides lofty wisdom, inspiration, comfort, and guidance, the Bible contains bewildering archaisms, inconsistencies, questionable ethics, and a herky-jerky narrative style. Yet those features barely get a passing glance these days. Some believers simply explain them away, while nonbelievers use them as a reason to dismiss the Bible entirely. This book looks squarely at what’s so weird, difficult, and disconcerting both about and in the Bible, and in the process shows how those qualities can actually enrich one’s relationship, religious or not, to the text. I am not trying to convert anybody to anything except to learning. I’m committed to providing information, digging into the text and its background, and sharing questions of my own that might resonate with you. Those questions are both what make me love the Bible and what make that love so complicated … The Bible invites— nay, demands—interaction, even argument. And I don’t mean simply argument about what the Bible says or means (though that’s inevitable) but argument with the text itself. For the qualities I have cited—its disparate voices and images of God, its fissures and cracks and the endless ways and things to learn about it—the Bible defies the simplistic treatment of so-called literalism. (I say “so-called” because what exactly does it mean to “read the Bible literally,” especially if what one is reading is itself a translation from the Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek?) The Bible’s diversity of perspectives and tone, not to say those texts in blatant disagreement with each other, actually models conversation, dialogue, and debate. It could issue no bolder invitation to engagement, no more compelling demand to bring the best of one’s faculties to bear on any interpretation of it."]

Vervaeke, John. "Awakening from the Meaning Crisis - Introduction (Ep. 1)." (Posted on Youtube: January 22, 2019)  [List of Books discussed: Michael Anderson - After Phrenology: Neural Reuse and the Interactive Brain; Barry Boyce (Editor) - The Mindfulness Revolution: Leading Psychologists, Scientists, Artists, and Meditation Teachers on the Power of Mindfulness in Daily Life; Andy Clark - Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence; Michel Ferrari and Nic Weststrate (Editors) - The Scientific Study of Personal Wisdom: From Contemplative Traditions to Neuroscience; Harry Frankfurt – On Bullshit; David Lewis-Williams - The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art; L. A. Paul - Transformative Experience; Massimo Pigliucci - How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life; Matt Rossano - Supernatural Selection: How Religion Evolved; Daniel Siegel - Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation; Steve Taylor - Waking From Sleep: Why Awakening Experiences Occur and How to Make Them Permanent; John Vervaeke, Christopher Mastropietro, and Filip Miscevic - Zombies in Western Culture: A Twenty-First Century Crisis; Michael Winkelman - Shamanism: A Biopsychosocial Paradigm of Consciousness and Healing; Susan Wolf - Meaning in Life and Why It Matters"]

---. "Awakening from the Meaning Crisis - Flow, Metaphor, and the Axial Revolution (Ep. 2)." (Posted on Youtube: January 23, 2019) [Books discussed: "Karen Armstrong - The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions; Robert Bellah and Hans Joas (Editors) – The Axial Age and its Consequences; Eric Cline - 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed; Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi - Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience; The Dhammapada; Robert Drews - The End of the Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe ca. 1200 B.C.; Robin Hogarth – Educating Intuition; Karl Jaspers - The Origin and Goal of History; George Lakoff and Mark Johnson - Metaphors We Live By; Steven Pinker - The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined; Arthur Reber - Implicit Learning and Tacit Knowledge: An Essay on the Cognitive Unconscious; Joseph Schear (Editor) - Mind, Reason, and Being-in-the-World: The McDowell-Dreyfus Debate."]

Wampole, Christy. "Simone Weil for Americans." Los Angeles Review of Books (April 26, 2021) [A review of Robert Zaretsky's book The Subversive Simone Weil A Life in Five Ideas. Zaretsky describes his subject: "An anarchist who espoused conservative ideals, a pacifist who fought in the Spanish Civil War, a saint who refused baptism, a mystic who was a labor militant, a French Jew who was buried in the Catholic section of an English cemetery, a teacher who dismissed the importance of solving a problem, the most willful of individuals who advocated the extinction of the self."]

Wengrow, David. "The Dawn of Everything: David Wengrow & the Late David Graeber On a New History of Humanity." Democracy Now (November 18, 2021) ["In an extended interview, we speak with archeologist David Wengrow, who co-authored the new book “The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity” with the late anthropologist David Graeber." Book description: A dramatically new understanding of human history, challenging our most fundamental assumptions about social evolution--from the development of agriculture and cities to the origins of the state, democracy, and inequality--and revealing new possibilities for human emancipation. For generations, our remote ancestors have been cast as primitive and childlike--either free and equal innocents, or thuggish and warlike. Civilization, we are told, could be achieved only by sacrificing those original freedoms or, alternatively, by taming our baser instincts. David Graeber and David Wengrow show how such theories first emerged in the eighteenth century as a conservative reaction to powerful critiques of European society posed by Indigenous observers and intellectuals. Revisiting this encounter has startling implications for how we make sense of human history today, including the origins of farming, property, cities, democracy, slavery, and civilization itself. Drawing on pathbreaking research in archaeology and anthropology, the authors show how history becomes a far more interesting place once we learn to throw off our conceptual shackles and perceive what's really there. If humans did not spend 95 percent of their evolutionary past in tiny bands of hunter-gatherers, what were they doing all that time? If agriculture, and cities, did not mean a plunge into hierarchy and domination, then what kinds of social and economic organization did they lead to? The answers are often unexpected, and suggest that the course of human history may be less set in stone, and more full of playful, hopeful possibilities, than we tend to assume. The Dawn of Everything fundamentally transforms our understanding of the human past and offers a path toward imagining new forms of freedom, new ways of organizing society. This is a monumental book of formidable intellectual range, animated by curiosity, moral vision, and a faith in the power of direct action."]

West, Stephen. "The Frankfurt School (Part 3) - The Culture Industry." Philosophize This #110 (September 7, 2017) ["So it’s been said about the workers in the United States post World War II… that they found themselves in a very unique situation in terms of what options are made available to them. Capitalism... massive improvements that come along with it in technology and efficiency…has made it possible for the average person, to do things only the super rich had been able to do throughout human history. That for consumers in this post World War II world…people no longer need to live together under one roof like it’s little house on the prairie, sharing a communal horse and doing shadow puppetry on the walls for entertainment…no we live in a new world now. We live in a world where, it is entirely feasible for the average consumer, to buy their own house (far better than a shack on a prairie) buy their own car (with the power 300 of those communal horses) and through the advent of mass media and entertainment broadcasting have instant access to mountains of art and cultural artifacts to consume with the push of a button. (little bit better than trying to make your hand look like an alligator chomping on the wall). Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, two members of the Frankfurt School who co-wrote the book The Dialectic of Enlightenment, would no doubt agree that Capitalism is responsible for these changes in what is possible for the average person. But they’d want to ask the question: Why is it... that there seems to be such a strong correlation between the trappings of Capitalism, and the alienation of society? In other words, when people get the house and they get the car and they have access to more art than they could ever consume…why is it that the worker in the 20th century seems to be the most alienated from other people around them, and the most alienated from the process of creating world they’re living in… in human history?"]

---. "The Frankfurt School: Erich Fromm on Freedom." Philosophize This! (February 6, 2021) ["Both the young adult from our example before and the citizen of modernity are in a similar place to Erich Fromm. They are free now. They are the person at the helm of the ship with a lot of different directions they can go. When you finally find yourself in this place...seems like things would have to feel really good for you. So why is the book by Erich Fromm that we’re covering today called Escape From Freedom? Why would anybody want to escape from freedom? Freedom is one of those things...what person doesn't want freedom...pretty commonly considered to be a universally good thing. Fromm makes the case that for both of our examples here today, this initial state of freedom that we’re born into can be both a good or a bad thing….because on one hand...becoming an autonomous free individual certainly gives you a new level of independence, a new level of rationality because now you’re making the decisions, a new level a responsibility for the things you decide to do...your parents aren’t making the itinerary you have to follow anymore...you don’t have the chains of a village or a profession or a particular church...and all this is great! But on the flip side what comes along with that is that now you are responsible. You know sometimes kids can’t wait until they’re a grown up so that they can make decisions for themselves...but once you’re an adult what you realize is that sure, you can decide to eat a half gallon of ice cream at 9am if you want...but you also are the only one that has to deal with the consequences of that choice. You choose your own adventure now...but now you’re responsible for the adventures you choose. To quote Kierkegaard anxiety is the dizziness of freedom...so no wonder...when you finally find yourself individuated and free...in this new place...you naturally feel more anxious about decision making than you did as a child. You feel more alone and isolated...because now you don’t have a village or something greater than yourself you’re attached to...you’re an individual. For Fromm there is always this trade off going on between you having higher levels of freedom and lower levels of security. Having independence can mean both that you have greater levels of freedom and greater levels of isolation all at the same time. "]

---. "The Frankfurt School: Erich Fromm on Love." Philosophize This! #150 (January 30, 2021) ["So Erich Fromm in his 1956 book The Art of Loving famously wrote this about love: “Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.” But what did he mean by that? ... Well, I think the best entry point into understanding what he meant would be to look at the two most philosophically loaded concepts in that statement and that would be one, love. What did he mean by love? And two, What does he mean when he says the fundamental problem of human existence? "]

---. "On Media: Manufacturing Consent, Pt. 1." Philosophize This (December 17, 2020) [On Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman's landmark book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media and Noam Chomsky's later book Media Control: The Spectacular Achievement of Propaganda (1997). "Now...regardless of any sort of fourth estate mythology that could be tacked on about news media...forget about what our culture tells us the media is doing for us...want to consider on the episode today that both of these definitions of the word medium could equally describe the service that the news media provides for us. See to the thinkers we’re covering today it may be incredible useful to think of the news media as an intermediary between us and reality. Meaning...the reality of the world is that we can't get on a jet ski and rocket across the ocean to see what's going on in Bolivia, for example. But man isn't it great... we have these thankless, truth loving public servants out there on the news that can do it for us...then create a nice little short set of moving pictures that tell us exactly what is going on on the other side of the world. Media in this way serves as a filter. The intervening substance through which impressions are conveyed to the senses. But another thing the thinkers today would want us to consider is that...say you could somehow have control over those impressions that are conveyed...to give people their impressions of what the world is like...to have the only key to a lock on a door that people want opened for them every day...needless to say you'd have quite a bit of consolidated power. What would a media landscape look like if such a concentrated level of consolidated power existed? Would we even know it? Would it require a conspiracy on a level so vast that it would just be impossible? We're going to be exploring the origins of modern mass media today by looking at the work by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman published in 1988 entitled Manufacturing Consent with many other references to Chomsky's later work entitled Media Control."]


---. "On Media Pt. 2: Marshall McLuhan." Philosophize This! #149 (January 5, 2021) ["Now, McLuhan takes this one step further. He doesn't want to just stop with written language and the effects it has on people...he wants to examine all forms of media that communicate ideas and the effects they have. Because yes, reading printed text in the newspaper is going to have one type of effect on your reality...but what if you don't read the newspaper? What if you watch TV? What if you listen to the radio or podcasts for your information? Keep in mind that it's not just information media...roads, airplanes, clothes, any extension of ourselves...these are all media as well...that to McLuhan send similar messages and contribute to our way of perceiving the world. But by the word message... he's not talking about the specific content of a podcast, for example, or the specific image that a particular outfit is setting off. Just like written language...where the message that's being sent goes far beyond whatever specific thing is being talked about at the time...it is far bigger than that...so too with things like TV's, podcasts, newspapers...and yes also with things like roads airplanes and clothes. When Marshall McLuhan says his famous line at the beginning of Understanding Media when he says "The medium is the message." Whenever we have a medium, any extension of ourselves...the message that it delivers is so much greater than just the immediate content we might be receiving...just like with written language...it's bigger than that...he describes the true message of a medium as the change of "scale or pace or pattern" and then how those factors impact life as a person within that culture. He's more concerned with the human experience or effect that using a medium is going to have than whatever meaning the immediate content may have. "]

Whitlock, Craig. "The Afghanistan Papers: Docs Show How Bush, Obama, Trump Lied About Brutality & Corruption of War." Democracy Now (August 19, 2021) ["We speak with Washington Post investigative reporter Craig Whitlock, author of the new book The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War, which reveals how multiple U.S. presidents deceived the public about progress in the war despite widespread skepticism among defense and diplomatic officials about the mission. “The public narrative was that the U.S. was always making progress. All these presidents said we were going to win the war, and yet, in private, these officials were extremely pessimistic,” says Whitlock. He also discusses miscalculations in the initial invasion of Afghanistan, the collapse of the Afghan security forces and how U.S. defense contractors have benefited from the last two decades of war."]

Whitlock, Craig and The Washington Post. The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War. Simon and Schuster, 2021. ["The groundbreaking investigative story of how three successive presidents and their military commanders deceived the public year after year about the longest war in American history by Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock, a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist. Unlike the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 had near-unanimous public support. At first, the goals were straightforward and clear: to defeat al-Qaeda and prevent a repeat of 9/11. Yet soon after the United States and its allies removed the Taliban from power, the mission veered off course and US officials lost sight of their original objectives. Distracted by the war in Iraq, the US military became mired in an unwinnable guerrilla conflict in a country it did not understand. But no president wanted to admit failure, especially in a war that began as a just cause. Instead, the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations sent more and more troops to Afghanistan and repeatedly said they were making progress, even though they knew there was no realistic prospect for an outright victory. Just as the Pentagon Papers changed the public’s understanding of Vietnam, The Afghanistan Papers contains startling revelation after revelation from people who played a direct role in the war, from leaders in the White House and the Pentagon to soldiers and aid workers on the front lines. In unvarnished language, they admit that the US government’s strategies were a mess, that the nation-building project was a colossal failure, and that drugs and corruption gained a stranglehold over their allies in the Afghan government. All told, the account is based on interviews with more than 1,000 people who knew that the US government was presenting a distorted, and sometimes entirely fabricated, version of the facts on the ground. Documents unearthed by The Washington Post reveal that President Bush didn’t know the name of his Afghanistan war commander—and didn’t want to make time to meet with him. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld admitted he had “no visibility into who the bad guys are.” His successor, Robert Gates, said: “We didn’t know jack shit about al-Qaeda.” The Afghanistan Papers is a shocking account that will supercharge a long overdue reckoning over what went wrong and forever change the way the conflict is remembered."]

Wilensky-Lanford, Brook. "Gen Z's Religious Affiliation Stats are Confusing ... but Only When Viewed From a Christian-Centric Perspective." Religion Dispatches (July 27, 2021) [A good contextual analysis of recent surveys of Gen Z belief & non-belief. Introduces Kaya Oakes 2015 book The Nones are Alright: A New Generation of Seekers, Believers, and Those In-Between."]

Williams, R. Owen. "Unequal Justice Under the Law." Los Angeles Review of Books (August 27, 2021) ["In their new book, Justice Deferred: Race and the Supreme Court, Clemson University Professor Orville Vernon Burton and respected civil rights lawyer Armand Derfner demonstrate that the United States judiciary constructed race as a legal concept and, in the process, often tilted toward racism. In an encyclopedic examination of judicial racism that distills over 200 legal cases (an exasperating majority of which make the reader want to scream Foul!), Burton and Derfner are as comprehensible in style as they are comprehensive in scope, delivering as much about race generally as about racial justice. Alert to the civil rights history of all racial groups, the authors focus primarily on African Americans. There is not much new here for constitutional scholars or legal historians (though they will certainly learn some social history), yet this is an extremely important and timely story very well told."]

Wooldridge, Adrian. "The Promise of Meritocracy." Capitalisn't (July 29, 2021) ["Does meritocracy create a better world for everyone, or does it create massive inequality? There's been a lot of debate in the last few years about meritocracy, and it's become even more pressing in light of the pandemic. If essential workers are "essential", are they really less meritorious than a banker or accountant? So, we decided to discuss both sides of this debate in our next two episodes. On this episode, we'll be joined by Adrian Wooldridge, political editor at The Economist and author of the new book The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World. He'll be making the nuanced case in favor of meritocracy, and we'll hear the other side on our next episode."]

Yuen, Nancy Wang. "Reel Inequality." This is Not a Pipe (December 7, 2017) ["Nancy Wang Yuen discusses her book Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism with Chris Richardson. She is an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Sociology Department at Biola University. She is the author of Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism (2016), the first book to examine the barriers actors of color face in Hollywood and how they creatively challenge stereotypes. Along with a team of researchers, she pioneered the first study of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on television (2005/2006) and the 2017 study, Tokens on the Small Screen: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Prime Time and Streaming Television. Dr. Yuen is an expert speaker on race and media, appearing on BBC World TV, NPR and The Washington Post. "]

Zoellner, Tom. "The Rwanda Myth." Los Angeles Review of Books (April 3, 2021) [On Michela Wrong's book Do Not Disturb: The Story of a Political Murder and an African Regime Gone Bad."]

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