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This is a weekly podcast of the Sunday service at the Midwest Buddhist Temple, a JodoShinshu Buddhist temple. The Midwest Buddhist Temple is a member of the Buddhist Churches of America, http://buddhistchurchesofamerica.org/home/. Visit our website at http://mbtchicago.org or come to one of our services at 435 W. Menomonee St, Chicago, IL 60614, Visit our website for directions.
 
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Citizens around the world look to the state for social welfare provision, but often struggle to access essential services in health, education, and social security. Claiming the State: Active Citizenship and Social Welfare in Rural India (Cambridge UP, 2018) investigates the everyday practices through which citizens of the world's largest democracy…
 
The people who make music recommender systems have lofty goals: they want to broaden listeners’ horizons and help obscure musicians find audiences, taking advantage of the enormous catalogs offered by companies like Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora. But for their critics, recommender systems seem to embody all the potential harms of algorithms: th…
 
Monumental Names: Archival Aesthetics and the Conjuration of History in Moscow (Routledge, 2022) asks us to consider: what stands behind the propensity to remember victims of mass atrocities by their personal names? Grounded in ethnographic and archival research with Last Address and Memorial, one of the oldest independent archives of Soviet politi…
 
Identity is often fraught for multiracial Douglas, people of both South Asian and African descent in the Caribbean. In this groundbreaking volume titled Dougla in the Twenty-First Century: Adding to the Mix (University Press of Mississippi, 2021), Sue Ann Barratt and Aleah N. Ranjitsingh explore the particular meanings of a Dougla identity and exam…
 
The city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand has become the destination for a growing segment of the international tourism market: religious tourism. International tourists visit Buddhist temples, volunteer as English teachers, discuss Buddhism with student monks, and experiment with meditation. In her new book, Religious Tourism in Northern Thailan…
 
Drag shows that test the capacity of bars persist alongside wishes for stronger community among River City's LGBTQ population. In this examination of LGBTQ community in a small, Midwestern city, Clare Forstie highlights the ambivalence of LGBTQ lives in the rural Midwest. Drawing on in-depth interviews, ethnographic research, and friendship mapping…
 
The Varieties of Atheism: Connecting Religion and Its Critics (University of Chicago Press, 2022), edited by Professor David Newheiser reveals the diverse nonreligious experiences obscured by the combative intellectualism of Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens. In fact, contributors contend that narrowly defining atheism as the be…
 
Over six million prime-age men are neither working nor looking for work; America's low unemployment rate hides the fact that many men have dropped out of the workforce altogether. Our workforce participation rate is on par with that seen during the Great Depression. Why does this problem affect men so acutely? Why is it so specific to America? What…
 
M. R. Sharan is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, studying questions centred around development economics and political economy. He obtained his PhD from Harvard University in 2020 and was previously at the Delhi School of Economics and Hansraj College. His novel, Blue, was published in 2014. His writings have appeared across va…
 
In this episode of High Theory, Jack Jen Gieseking tells us about queer space. Queer geographies matter alongside queer temporalities. And it turns out that lesbian life in the 1950s cannot be generalized from the specific history of Buffalo, New York. In the episode they reference a number of scholarly books including J. Jack Halberstam, In a Quee…
 
Though we rarely see them at work, building inspectors have the power to significantly shape our lives through their discretionary decisions. The building inspectors of Chicago are at the heart of sociologist Robin Bartram’s analysis of how individuals impact—or attempt to impact—housing inequality. In Stacked Decks: Building Inspectors and the Rep…
 
The Vulgarity of Caste: Dalits, Sexuality, and Humanity in Modern India (Stanford UP, 2022) offers the first social and intellectual history of Dalit performance of Tamasha—a popular form of public, secular, traveling theater in Maharashtra—and places Dalit Tamasha women who represented the desire and disgust of the patriarchal society at the heart…
 
China re-opened border in a final farewell to its strict zero-COVID policy on the 8th of January, 2023. But in the first few weeks of January, the Myanmar side of the border and the Myanmar immigration authorities refused to open the border for fear of COVID surge. This has continued to affect the livelihood of Myanmar jewellers who used to travel …
 
Today I talked to Batja Mesquita about her book Between Us: How Cultures Create Emotions (Norton, 2022). To a degree sometimes not realized, we discuss emotions through the lens of what have been called WEIRD cultures, i.e. Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic. As a result, the perspective taken tends to be inside/out, privileging…
 
Not long ago it seemed flood control experts were close to mastering the unruly flows funnelling toward Hudson Bay and the Prairie city of Winnipeg. But as more intense and out-of-synch flood events occur, wary cities like Winnipeg continue to depend on systems and specifications that will soon be out of date. Rivers have impulses that defy many of…
 
Claudia Garcia crossed the border because her toddler, Natalia, could not hear. Leaving behind everything she knew in Mexico, Claudia recounts the terror of migrating alone with her toddler and the incredible challenges she faced advocating for her daughter's health in the United States. When she arrived in Texas, Claudia discovered that being undo…
 
Harm takes shape in and through what is suppressed, left out, or taken for granted. Unsaid: Unsaid: Analyzing Harmful Silences (U California Press, 2022) is a guide to understanding and uncovering what is left unsaid—whether concealed or silenced, presupposed or excluded. Drawing on a variety of real-world examples, narrative criminologist Lois Pre…
 
Tibetan nomads have developed a way of life that is dependent in multiple ways on their animals and shaped by the phenomenological experience of mobility. These pastoralists have adapted to many changes in their social, political and environmental contexts over time. From the earliest historically recorded systems of segmentary lineage to the incor…
 
What transformative effects does a multimillion-dollar industry have on those who work within it? The Industrial Ephemeral presents the untold stories of the people, politics, and production chains behind architecture, real estate, and construction in areas surrounding New Delhi, India. In The Industrial Ephemeral: Labor and Love in Indian Architec…
 
Over the past 50 years, scholars across the social sciences have employed critical juncture analysis to understand how social orders are created, become entrenched, and change. In this book, leading scholars from several disciplines offer the first coordinated effort to define this field of research, assess its theoretical and methodological founda…
 
Fatigue, disorientation, numbness, envy, rage, burnout. What good could come from thinking about trans experience and these bad feelings? In Side Affects: On Being Trans and Feeling Bad (University of Minnesota Press, 2022), Hil Malatino theorizes the centrality of bad feelings in a world of quotidian and spectacular anti-trans misrecognition, host…
 
How do farmers struggle for land and democracy in Myanmar’s hybrid political system? How might a feminist approach to this question look like and enable novel findings? In which ways can researchers make the most of ethnographic methods to understand ordinary people’s survival strategies? And do experiences from rural Myanmar reflect the wider chan…
 
For many centuries, Hindu temples and shrines have been of great importance to South Indian religious, social and political life. Aside from being places of worship, they are also pilgrimage destinations, centres of learning, political hotspots, and foci of economic activities. In these temples, not only the human and the divine interact, but they …
 
Cultivating Q Methodology is a collection of essays is in honor of Professor Steven R. Brown, the preeminent scholar of Q methodology. Q methodology, innovated by the British physicist/psychologist William Stephenson (1902-1989), Q methodology is a conceptual framework and set of procedures to systematically and scientifically study the subjective.…
 
Voices of the Race: Black Newspapers in Latin America, 1870-1960 (Cambridge University Press, 2022) offers English translations of more than one hundred articles published in Black newspapers in Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, and Uruguay from 1870 to 1960. Those publications were as important in Black community and intellectual life in Latin America as A…
 
Science and Technologies scholar Lilly Irani talks her book, Chasing Innovation: Making Entrepreneurial Citizens in Modern India, with Peoples & Things host Lee Vinsel. Irani’s work examines the ideological role that ideas of “innovation” and “entrepreneurship” have played in India and the people who are left behind by such visions. Irani and Vinse…
 
“Raise your voice!” and “Speak up!” are familiar refrains that assume, all too easily, that gaining voice will lead to empowerment, healing, and inclusion for marginalized subjects. Marlene Schäfers’s Voices That Matter: Kurdish Women at the Limits of Representation in Contemporary Turkey (U Chicago Press, 2022) reveals where such assumptions fall …
 
Content note: This episode contains discussions of suicide, as well as allusions to graphic anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-Black violence Advances in LGBTQ rights in the recent past—marriage equality, the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and the expansion of hate crimes legislation—have been accompanied by a rise in attacks against trans, queer and/or gender…
 
Today I had the pleasure of talking to Professor Xiang Biao on his new book, Self as Method: Thinking Through China and the World, which was originally written and published in Chinese. The English translation has just come out with Palgrave Macmillan. Self as Method provides a manifesto of intellectual activism that counsels China’s young people t…
 
How does creativity work? In Creativities: The What, How, Where, Who and Why of the Creative Process (Edward Elgar, 2022), Chris Bilton, a Reader at University of Warwick’s Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies, Stephen Cummings, Professor of Strategy and Innovation at Victoria University Wellington, and dt ogilvie, Professor of Urban Entrep…
 
In The Made-Up State: Technology, Trans Femininity, and Citizenship in Indonesia (Cornell UP, 2022), Benjamin Hegarty contends that warias, one of Indonesia's trans feminine populations, have cultivated a distinctive way of captivating the affective, material, and spatial experiences of belonging to a modern public sphere. Combining historical and …
 
In the early twenty-first century Bolivian social movements made streets, plazas, and highways into the decisively important spaces for acting politically, rivaling and at times exceeding voting booths and halls of government. The Sovereign Street documents this important period, showing how indigenous-led mass movements reconfigured the politics a…
 
Today I talked to Steven Lukes about Émile Durkheim's classic The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912). Lukes is the author of Emile Durkheim: His Life and Work: A Historical and Critical Study among many other works. In The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912), Emile Durkheim sets himself the task of discovering the enduring source of hu…
 
Racial Innocence: Unmasking Latino Anti-Black Bias and the Struggle for Equality (Beacon Press, 2022) will challenge what you thought about racism and bias and demonstrate that it’s possible for a historically marginalized group to experience discrimination and also be discriminatory. Racism is deeply complex, and law professor and comparative race…
 
Jesuit Father Greg Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries in East LA, the world’s largest and most successful gang intervention and rehabilitation program. He talks about this ministry and his “therapeutic mysticism” which has trained him to see God and God’s people. Father Greg (“Father G”) has no interest in categories and the games of exclus…
 
Cannibalism has been used for centuries to define the lowest form of humanity, but the story isn't as straightforward as it may seem. Turns out, there may be a logic - or even a love - to eating people. Guests Emily Anderson, Curator of “Cannibalism: Myth & Reality” Bill Schutt, Author of Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History Learn more about yo…
 
What needs are satisfied in digital gaming? And what does the shift of these need satisfactions into the digital space say about the social realities in which they are embedded? Harald Koberg lets gamers themselves have their say and follows their traces of the described fascinations and passions in his latest book Free Play: Digital Gaming and the…
 
Most people in developed countries think inequality is increasing. And most would also agree that in terms of the global poor, the last 20 years have seen vast improvements with hundreds of millions living much better lives than their parents. These are some of the themes Professor Mike Savage addresses in his book The Return of Inequality: Social …
 
Contemporary diet culture is only the latest manifestation of a long history of religious fervor about food. Guests Isabel Foxen Duke, health coach Alan Levinovitz, Professor of Religious Studies at James Madison University Corrie Norman, Associate Director, Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Learn more about your ad choices. …
 
The future of Honduras begins and ends on the white sand beaches of Tela Bay on the country's northeastern coast where Garifuna, a Black Indigenous people, have resided for over two hundred years. In The Ends of Paradise: Race, Extraction, and the Struggle for Black Life in Honduras (Stanford UP, 2022), Christopher A. Loperena examines the Garifuna…
 
In The Unexceptional Case of Haiti: Race and Class Privilege in Postcolonial Bourgeois Society (University Press of Mississippi, 2022), Philippe-Richard Marius recasts the world-historical significance of the Saint-Domingue Revolution to investigate the twinned significance of color/race and class in the reproduction of privilege and inequality in …
 
Contemporary issues like the refugee crisis, climate refugees, and global restrictions on movement caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have brought into stark relief the extent to which our movements, lives, and worldviews are governed by national borders and boundary-making. But these borders and their associated militarization and security infrastruc…
 
Against the bleak backdrop of pressing issues in today’s world, civil societies remain vibrant, animated by people’s belief that they should and can solve such issues and build a better society. Their imagination of a good society, their understanding of their engagement, and the ways they choose to act constitute the cultural aspect of civil socie…
 
In Administering Affect: Pop-Culture Japan and the Politics of Anxiety (Stanford UP, 2022), Daniel White draws on extensive fieldwork in government ministries and government-adjacent organizations to explore Japan’s current “politics of anxiety,” the ways in which state administrators have transformed anxieties about Japan’s global geopolitical sta…
 
Contemporary popular culture is riddled with references to Mexican drug cartels, narcos, and drug trafficking. In the United States, documentary filmmakers, journalists, academics, and politicians have taken note of the increasing threats to our security coming from a subculture that appears to feed on murder and brutality while being fed by a roma…
 
Order at the Bazaar: Power and Trade in Central Asia (Cornell UP, 2017) delves into the role of bazaars in the political economy and development of Central Asia. Bazaars are the economic bedrock for many throughout the region--they are the entrepreneurial hubs of Central Asia. However, they are often regarded as mafia-governed environments that are…
 
Django Generations: Hearing Ethnorace, Citizenship, and Jazz Manouche in France (U Chicago Press, 2021) shows how relationships between racial identities, jazz, and national belonging become entangled in France. Jazz manouche—a genre known best for its energetic, guitar-centric swing tunes—is among France’s most celebrated musical practices of the …
 
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