Thursday, January 11, 2024

ENG 102 Spring 2024: Resource Archive #3

Abdelfatah, Rund, et al. "The Most Sacred Right (2020)." Throughline (November 3, 2022) ["Born into slavery in the early 1800s, Frederick Douglass would live to see the Civil War, Emancipation, Black men getting the right to vote, and the beginning of the terrors and humiliations of Jim Crow. And through all of that, he kept coming back to one thing, a sacred right he believed was at the heart of American democracy: Voting."]

Alberta, Tim. "COVID, Trump, Q-ANON: Evangelical Extremism." Breaking Points (December 9, 2023) ["Krystal and Saagar are joined by author Tim Alberta to talk about his new book The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism." Book description: "Evangelical Christians are perhaps the most polarizing—and least understood—people living in America today. In his seminal new book, The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory, journalist Tim Alberta, himself a practicing Christian and the son of an evangelical pastor, paints an expansive and profoundly troubling portrait of the American evangelical movement. Through the eyes of televangelists and small-town preachers, celebrity revivalists and everyday churchgoers, Alberta tells the story of a faith cheapened by ephemeral fear, a promise corrupted by partisan subterfuge, and a reputation stained by perpetual scandal. For millions of conservative Christians, America is their kingdom—a land set apart, a nation uniquely blessed, a people in special covenant with God. This love of country, however, has given way to right-wing nationalist fervor, a reckless blood-and-soil idolatry that trivializes the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Alberta retraces the arc of the modern evangelical movement, placing political and cultural inflection points in the context of church teachings and traditions, explaining how Donald Trump's presidency and the COVID-19 pandemic only accelerated historical trends that long pointed toward disaster. Reporting from half-empty sanctuaries and standing-room-only convention halls across the country, the author documents a growing fracture inside American Christianity and journeys with readers through this strange new environment in which loving your enemies is "woke" and owning the libs is the answer to WWJD. Accessing the highest echelons of the American evangelical movement, Alberta investigates the ways in which conservative Christians have pursued, exercised, and often abused power in the name of securing this earthly kingdom. He highlights the battles evangelicals are fighting—and the weapons of their warfare—to demonstrate the disconnect from scripture: Contra the dictates of the New Testament, today's believers are struggling mightily against flesh and blood, eyes fixed on the here and now, desperate for a power that is frivolous and fleeting. Lingering at the intersection of real cultural displacement and perceived religious persecution, Alberta portrays a rapidly secularizing America that has come to distrust the evangelical church, and weaves together present-day narratives of individual pastors and their churches as they confront the twin challenges of lost status and diminished standing. Sifting through the wreckage—pastors broken, congregations battered, believers losing their religion because of sex scandals and political schemes—Alberta asks: If the American evangelical movement has ceased to glorify God, what is its purpose?"]

Ball, Krystal. "Krystal Breaks Down The Israel Genocide Charge." Breaking Points (January 6, 2023) ["Krystal breaks down the latest International Court of Justice genocide charges against Israel."]

Blackie, Sharon. "Reclaiming the fierce women who are shapeshifters." To the Best of Our Knowledge (November 20, 2021) ["Bad things happen when people lose their connection to the more-than-human world. "Animals know something that we that don't," says psychologist and storyteller Sharon Blackie. That's one lesson you can take from shapeshifting myths and fairy tales. Luckily, they also show you the way back."]

Conti, Paul and Andrew Huberman.  "How to Understand & Assess Your Mental Health." The Huberman Lab (September 6, 2023) ["This is episode 1 of a 4-part special series on mental health with psychiatrist Dr. Paul Conti, M.D., who trained at Stanford School of Medicine and completed his residency at Harvard Medical School before founding his clinical practice, the Pacific Premier Group. Dr. Conti defines mental health in actionable terms and describes the foundational elements of the self, including the structure and function of the unconscious and conscious mind, which give rise to all our thoughts, behaviors and emotions. He also explains how to explore and address the root causes of anxiety, low confidence, negative internal narratives, over-thinking and how our unconscious defense mechanisms operate. This episode provides a foundational roadmap to assess your sense of self and mental health. It offers tools to reshape negative emotions, thought patterns and behaviors — either through self-exploration or with a licensed professional. The subsequent three episodes in this special series explore additional tools to further understand and improve your mental health."]

Fontainelle, Earl. "Esoteric Orientalism Part II: The Greeks are Always Children?" The Secret History of Western Esotericism #9 (October 18, 2017) ["We looked in the last episode at the phenomenon of orientalism among the ancient Greeks, and at the particular brand of orientalism known as ‘Platonic’, an approach to non-Greek civilizations which sees them as ancient sources of wisdom personified by wise men like Zoroaster, Hermes, and others. In our second excursion into the ancient Greeks’ reception of their ancient neighbors, we look at the common Greek claim that they learned their sciences from the wise barbarians. Were they right to say this? We don’t manage to get very far toward answering this question in a general way, but we do settle a few points, including the fact that we must look to Mesopotamia for the origins of scientific astronomy, and that the Greeks were standing on the shoulders of Babylonian giants when they made their own striking advances in astronomy in the Hellenistic period. Having concluded this much, we can’t resist a quick look at the controversy surrounding Martin Bernal’s work Black Athena, which is still raging (if staid academic debates can be said to ‘rage’) thirty years on from the publication of its first volume. Bernal’s work takes an interesting angle on the ‘Greeks are always children’ theme, claiming that ancient Egyptian culture was hugely influential on the development of Greek culture. We don’t agree or disagree with this claim (yet), but we do agree with Bernal’s important observation that the classical history of the nineteenth century wrote the near east out of the Greek story for reasons that have more to do with ideas of ‘Aryan European’ identity than with historical evidence."]

Gosden, Chris. "Shapeshifters, Shamans, and the New Animism." To the Best of Our Knowledge (November 20, 2021) ["Shapeshifting images run deep in human history, going back to ancient cave paintings. Oxford University archeologist Chris Gosden thinks they're linked to the shaman's ability to cross into the spirit world where humans and animals merge. He says animist beliefs are gaining new traction among some scientists, and they raise profound questions about the nature of consciousness."]

Popova, Maria. "Notes on Complexity: A Buddhist Scientist on the Murmuration of Being." Marginalian (August 27, 2023) ["In Notes on Complexity: A Scientific Theory of Connection, Consciousness, and Being (public library), the Buddhist scientist Neil Theise endeavors to bridge the mystery out there with the mystery of us, bringing together our three primary instruments of investigating reality — empirical science (with a focus on complexity theory), philosophy (with a focus on Western idealism), and metaphysics (with a focus on Buddhism, Vedanta, Kabbalah, and Saivism) — to paint a picture of the universe and all of its minutest parts “as nothing but a vast, self-organizing, complex system, the emergent properties of which are… everything.”"]

Scott, James C. Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play. Princeton University Press, 2012. ["James Scott taught us what’s wrong with seeing like a state. Now, in his most accessible and personal book to date, the acclaimed social scientist makes the case for seeing like an anarchist. Inspired by the core anarchist faith in the possibilities of voluntary cooperation without hierarchy, Two Cheers for Anarchism is an engaging, high-spirited, and often very funny defense of an anarchist way of seeing—one that provides a unique and powerful perspective on everything from everyday social and political interactions to mass protests and revolutions. Through a wide-ranging series of memorable anecdotes and examples, the book describes an anarchist sensibility that celebrates the local knowledge, common sense, and creativity of ordinary people. The result is a kind of handbook on constructive anarchism that challenges us to radically reconsider the value of hierarchy in public and private life, from schools and workplaces to retirement homes and government itself. Beginning with what Scott calls “the law of anarchist calisthenics,” an argument for law-breaking inspired by an East German pedestrian crossing, each chapter opens with a story that captures an essential anarchist truth. In the course of telling these stories, Scott touches on a wide variety of subjects: public disorder and riots, desertion, poaching, vernacular knowledge, assembly-line production, globalization, the petty bourgeoisie, school testing, playgrounds, and the practice of historical explanation. Far from a dogmatic manifesto, Two Cheers for Anarchism celebrates the anarchist confidence in the inventiveness and judgment of people who are free to exercise their creative and moral capacities."]

Vicino, Mia Lee. "Beauty and Brains: Yorgos Lanthimos, Emma Stone, Ramy Youssef and Tony McNamara dissect the body world of Poor Things." Letterboxd Journal (December 12, 2023) ["The mad geniuses behind Poor Things—stars Emma Stone and Ramy Youssef, director Yorgos Lanthimos and writer Tony McNamara—talk to Mia Lee Vicino about the literal anatomy of their Buñuel-inspired fantasy and why surgery is (and isn’t) the new sex."]

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