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Paul Radin was one of the founding generation of American cultural anthropologists: A student of Franz Boas, and famed ethnographer of the Winnebago. Yet little is known about Radin's life. A leftist who was persecuted by the FBI and who lived for several years outside of the United States, and a bohemian who couldn't keep an academic job, there ar…
 
A close friend and muse of many of postrevolutionary Mexico's greatest artists, Luz Jiménez's likeness appears across Mexico City in the form of painting, photography, and sculpture. Jiménez's ubiquity has earned her the titles of "the most painted woman in all of Mexico" and "the archetype of Indigenous Mexican woman." And yet the details of her c…
 
When asked what he saw after reverently peering into the freshly opened tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, Egyptologist Howard Carter could only find the words the say “Wonderful Things.” These words have become legend in Egyptology; whether they were actually spoken by Carter or were ascribed to him after the events took place in order to embellish the …
 
Today we are joined by Fiona Greenland, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, to talk about her new book, Ruling Culture: Art Police, Tomb Raiders, and the Rise of Cultural Power in Italy (University of Chicago Press, 2021). Through much of its history, Italy was Europe’s heart of the arts, an artistic playground for forei…
 
John G. Turner's excellent new history of the early American separatists, They Knew They Were Pilgrims: Plymouth Colony and the Contest for American Liberty (Yale University Press, 2020) provides a new benchmark study of Plymouth Colony. Turner provides a readable and convincing narrative of how a group of religious refugees sought to establish a h…
 
In 1877, Eloosykasit was on his way Tolo Lake, a gathering place frequented by the Nez Perce, when he heard news of the Wallowa band's flight from the U.S. Army. Only seventeen at the time, Eloosykasit elected to remain with the migrant Nez Perce, arming himself with a rifle abandoned at White Bird Canyon, and following Chief Joseph on toward Monta…
 
Studying the New Testament Through Inscriptions (Hendrickson Publishers, 2020)through Inscriptions is an intuitive introduction to inscriptions from the Greco-Roman world. Inscriptions can help contextualize certain events associated with the New Testament in a way that many widely circulated literary texts do not. This book both introduces inscrip…
 
Writing to U.S. President Grover Cleveland in 1888, Oglala Lakota leaders Little Wound, Young Man Afraid of His Horses, and Red Cloud insisted upon a simple yet significant demand to allow western Indigenous nations to retain intertribal communication networks, stating that "we do not want the gates closed between us." These vast networks - and the…
 
Behind the braided wigs, buckskins, and excess bronzer that typified the mid-century "filmic Indian" lies a far richer, deeper history of Indigenous labor, survival, and agency. This history takes center stage in historian Liza Black's new book, Picturing Indians: Native Americans in Film, 1941-1960 (University of Nebraska Press, 2020), which looks…
 
In Ireland in the Virginian Sea: Colonialism in the British Atlantic (University of North Carolina Press, 2017), Audrey Horning revisits the fraught connections between Ireland and colonial Virginia. Both modern scholars and early modern colonialists themselves viewed English incursions into Ireland and North America as intimately related. But the …
 
In Ireland in the Virginian Sea: Colonialism in the British Atlantic (University of North Carolina Press, 2017), Audrey Horning revisits the fraught connections between Ireland and colonial Virginia. Both modern scholars and early modern colonialists themselves viewed English incursions into Ireland and North America as intimately related. But the …
 
In Graphic Indigeneity: Comics in the Americas and Australasia (UP of Mississippi, 2020), Frederick Luis Aldama brings together comics scholars Joshua T. Anderson, Chad A. Barbour, Susan Bernardin, Mike Borkent, Jeremy M. Carnes, Philip Cass, Jordan Clapper, James J. Donahue, Dennin Ellis, Jessica Fontaine, Jonathan Ford, Lee Francis IV, Enrique Ga…
 
Our Time is Now: Race and Modernity in Postcolonial Guatemala (Cambridge University Press, 2020) is an ambitious exploration of modernity, history, and time in post-colonial Guatemala. Set in the Q’eqchi Maya highlands of Alta Verapaz from the 19th century into the 20th, Julie Gibbings explores how Q’eqchi, ladino, and German immigrant actors creat…
 
Agnès Delahaye’s new book, Settling the Good Land: Governance and Promotion in John Winthrop’s New England (Brill, 2020), is the story of John Winthrop’s tenure as governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1630’s. In a correction to the prevailing narrative of Puritans alone in the New England wilderness, Professor Delahaye shows the colonist…
 
Deep in the jungles of Myanmar lie the remains of an ancient kingdom, the 15th-century royal city of Mrauk-U. Located in the Bay of Bengal and separated from the rest of the country by the Arakan mountain range, Mrauk-U Township boasts a stunning rural landscape dotted with the hundreds of spires of stone temples, remnants of the former glories of …
 
In his new book, Where Caciques and Mapmakers Met: Border Making in Eighteenth-Century South America (UNC Press, 2020), Dr. Jeffrey Erbig charts the interplay between imperial and indigenous spatial imaginaries and shows the critical role that indigenous actors played in imperial border-making between the Spanish and the Portuguese in the Río de la…
 
Charles F. Walker’s Witness to the Age of Revolution: The Odyssey of Juan Bautista Tupac Amaru, 2020, is part of Oxford University Press’ Graphic History Series, which takes serious archival research and puts it into a comic format. For this volume, the brilliant Liz Clarke illustrated Dr. Walker’s biography of a ½ brother of José Gabriel Condorcan…
 
Before the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana became one of the state’s top private employers—with its vast landholdings and economic enterprises—they lived well below the poverty line and lacked any clear legal status. After settling in the Bayou Blue in 1884, they forged friendships with their neighbors, sparked local tourism, and struck strategic alli…
 
David Tavárez is a historian and linguistic anthropologist; he is Professor of Anthropology and Director of Latin American and Latino/a Studies at Vassar College. He is a specialist in Nahuatl and Zapotec texts, the study of Mesoamerican religions and rituals, Catholic campaigns against idolatry, Indigenous intellectuals, and native Christianities.…
 
In 1800, tens of millions of bison roamed the North American Great Plains. By 1900, fewer than 1,000 remained. In The Destruction of the Bison: An Environmental History, 1750-1920 (Cambridge UP, 2000), the University of Kansas Hall Distinguished Professor of History Andrew C. Isenberg explains how this ecological calamity came to pass. Bison popula…
 
What are the African Middle Ages? A place, certainly, and a time period, evidently. But also a “documentary regime,” argues François-Xavier Fauvelle. How do we reconstruct these centuries of the African past in the face of a daunting lack of sources? In thirty-four thoughtful vignettes, Fauvelle takes us along for the ride as he wrestles with this …
 
Transforming Indigenity: Urbanization and Language Revitalization in the Brazilian Amazon (University of Toronto Press) examines the role that language revitalization efforts play in cultural politics in the small city of São Gabriel da Cachoeira, located in the Brazilian Amazon. Sarah Shulist concentrates on how debates, discussions, and practices…
 
Spanning three hundred years and the colonial regimes of Spain, Mexico, and the United States, Maurice S. Crandall’s These People Have Always Been a Republic: Indigenous Electorates in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, 1598–1912 (UNC Press, 2019) demonstrates how Indigenous communities implemented, subverted, rejected, and indigenized colonial ideologie…
 
In Managing Multiculturalism: Indigeneity and the Struggle for Rights in Colombia (Stanford University Press) Jean Jackson narrates her remarkable journey as an anthropologist in Colombia for over 50 years. This is an extraordinary book because it shows us Jackson’s trajectory, the challenges she faced, the changes she underwent as a researcher and…
 
Colorizing Restorative Justice: Voicing Our Realities (Living Justice Press, 2020) consists of stories that have arisen from the lived experiences of a broad range of seasoned, loving restorative justice practitioners of color—mostly women—who have fiercely unearthed realities about devastation caused by white practitioners who have unthinkingly wo…
 
In August 1795, Apaches wiped out two Spanish patrols In the desert borderlands of the what is today the American Southwest and Mexican north. This attack ended what had bene an uneasy peace between various Apache groups and the Spanish Empire. In A Bad Peace and A Good War: Spain and the Mescalero Apache Uprising of 1795-1799 (University of Oklaho…
 
The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition was in many ways the crowning event of the nineteenth century United States. Held in Chicago, the metropolis of the West, and visited by tens of millions of people from around the world, it showcased America’s past, present, and future. And Indigenous people were there at center stage. In Unfair Labor?: America…
 
Ryan Hall is the author of Beneath the Backbone of the World: Blackfoot People and the North American Borderlands, 1720-1877, published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2020. Beneath the Backbone of the World tells the story of the Blackfoot (Niitsitapi) people who lived and controlled a large region of what is today the U.S. and Canadi…
 
Professor David Tavárez’s edited volume, Words & Worlds Turned Around: Indigenous Christianities in Colonial Latin America (Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 2017), is a collection of eleven essays from historians and anthropologists grappling with the big questions of the Christianization of Mexico after the Spanish Conquest and using sources…
 
In Balancing the Tides: Marine Practices in American Samoa (University of Hawai’i Press, 2020), JoAnna Poblete demonstrates how western-style economics, policy-making, and knowledge building imposed by the U.S. federal government have been infused into the daily lives of American Samoans. American colonial efforts to protect natural resources based…
 
In Sovereignty (Northwestern University Press, 2020) playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle weaves together two stories separated by 170 years but joined by a common dilemma: how can Cherokee people fight for justice under an unjust colonial legal framework? In present-day Oklahoma, Sarah Ridge Polson attempts to bring her abuser to justice using the Violen…
 
The game of basketball is perceived by most today as an “urban” game with a locale such as Rucker Park in Harlem as the game’s epicenter (as well as a pipeline to the NBA). While that is certainly a true statement, basketball is not limited to places such as New York City. In recent years scholars have written about the meaning of the game (and tri…
 
St. Louis, Missouri is the city with the highest rate of police shootings in the United States. It’s the city with an 18 year difference in life expectancy between Black and white neighborhoods which stand just 10 miles apart. It’s the city where, after Mike Brown was shot in 2014, the Black Lives Matter movement was born. It is also, now, the city…
 
For the second time, Nick Estes has been gracious enough to participate in a New Books Network podcast to discuss his book Our History is the Future: Standing Rock versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance (Verso, 2019). (Listen to Ryan Tate’s interview for New Books in the American West here). This second i…
 
Mexico of five centuries ago was witness to one of the most momentous encounters between human societies, when a group of Spaniards led by Hernando Cortés joined forces with tens of thousands of Mesoamerican allies to topple the mighty Aztec Empire. It served as a template for the forging of much of Latin America and initiated the globalized world …
 
Today we are joined by Allan Downey, Associate Professor of History and Indigenous Studies at McMaster University, and author of The Creator’s Game: Lacrosse, Identity, and Indigenous Nationhood (University of British Columbia Press, 2018). In our conversation, we discussed the origins of lacrosse, the cultural genocide of North America’s indigenou…
 
In Beyond Repair? Mayan Women’s Protagonism in the Aftermath of Genocidal Harm (Rutgers University Press, 2019), Alison D. Crosby and M. Brinton Lykes draw on eight years of feminist participatory action research conducted with fifty-four Q’eqchi’, Kaqchikel, Chuj, and Mam women to explore Mayan women’s agency in their search for truth, justice, an…
 
Many Americans are familiar with the real, but repeatedly stereotyped problem of alcohol abuse in Indian country. Most know about the Prohibition Era and reformers who promoted passage of the Eighteenth Amendment, among them the members of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). But few people are aware of how American Indian women joined fo…
 
In Collecting Food, Collecting People: Subsistence and Society in Central Africa (Yale University Press, 2016), Kathryn M. De Luna documents the evolving meanings borne in the collection of wild foods for an agricultural people in south central Africa around the turn of the first millennium. It is a history of everyday life that bears great insight…
 
We are schooled to believe that states formed more or less synchronously with settlement and agriculture. In Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States (Yale University Press, 2017), James C. Scott asks us to question this belief. The evidence, he says, is simply not on the side of states. Stratified, taxing, walled towns did not inev…
 
Brian Greene is a Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Columbia University in the City of New York, where he is the Director of the Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics, and co-founder and chair of the World Science Festival. He is well known for his TV mini-series about string theory and the nature of reality, including t…
 
Brian Greene is a Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Columbia University in the City of New York, where he is the Director of the Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics, and co-founder and chair of the World Science Festival. He is well known for his TV mini-series about string theory and the nature of reality, including t…
 
Protégé of Elsie Clews Parsons and Franz Boas, founder and head of Barnard College's anthropology department, and a trailblazer in Native American linguistics and anthropology, Gladys Reichard (1893–1955) is one of America’s least appreciated anthropologists. Her accomplishments were obscured in her lifetime by differences in intellectual approach …
 
In The Phenomenology of a Performative Knowledge System: Dancing with Native American Epistemology (Palgrave Macmillian, 2019), Shay Welch investigates the phenomenological ways that dance choreographing and dance performance exemplify both Truth and meaning-making within Native American epistemology, from an analytic philosophical perspective. Giv…
 
Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (University of Georgia Press, 2019), edited by Leslie M. Harris, James T. Campbell, and Alfred L. Brophy, is the first edited collection of scholarly essays devoted solely to the histories and legacies of this subject on North American campuses and in their Atlantic contexts. Gathering together con…
 
Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (University of Georgia Press, 2019), edited by Leslie M. Harris, James T. Campbell, and Alfred L. Brophy, is the first edited collection of scholarly essays devoted solely to the histories and legacies of this subject on North American campuses and in their Atlantic contexts. Gathering together con…
 
The Trail of Tears, during which the United States violently expelled thousands of Indigenous peoples from their ancestral homelands in the southeast, was anything but inevitable. Nor was it not the only manifestation of the federal government’s hotly debated Indian Removal policy of the 1830s. In his latest book Unworthy Republic: The Dispossessio…
 
Jeff and Darren celebrate the 30th Anniversary of “Twin Peaks” with a look back at the original pilot episode. Has “The Return” changed our understanding of the series premiere? And are there new mysteries to uncover in the international pilot? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices…
 
Paradox is a sophisticated kind of magic trick. A magician's purpose is to create the appearance of impossibility, to pull a rabbit from an empty hat. Yet paradox doesn't require tangibles, like rabbits or hats. Paradox works in the abstract, with words and concepts and symbols, to create the illusion of contradiction. There are no contradictions i…
 
Paradox is a sophisticated kind of magic trick. A magician's purpose is to create the appearance of impossibility, to pull a rabbit from an empty hat. Yet paradox doesn't require tangibles, like rabbits or hats. Paradox works in the abstract, with words and concepts and symbols, to create the illusion of contradiction. There are no contradictions i…
 
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