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Renato describes his accidental journey into entrepreneurship, the many mistakes and near disasters on his road to business success. We learn about the importance of being the guy who says “Yes”, and then figuring out how to to get things done. Anyone listening can learn from his journey, the importance of finding opportunities in setbacks, and bei…
 
Chronicling Stankonia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop South (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) pulses with the beats of a new American South, probing the ways music, literature, and film have remixed southern identities for a post–civil rights generation. For scholar and critic Dr. Regina N. Bradley, OutKast’s work is the touchstone, a blend of fu…
 
The Art of Experiment: Post-Pandemic Knowledge Practices for 21st-Century Architecture and Design (Routledge, 2020) is a handbook for navigating our troubled and precarious times. In search of new knowledge practices that can help us make the world livable again, this book takes the reader on a journey across time—from the deep past to the unfoldin…
 
Social networks existed and shaped our lives long before Silicon Valley startups made them virtual. For over two decades economist Matthew O. Jackson, a professor at Stanford University, has studied how the shape of networks and our positions within them can affect us. In this interview, he explains how network structures can create poverty traps, …
 
In 2007, the Museum at Eldridge Street opened at the site of a restored nineteenth-century synagogue originally built by some of the first Eastern European Jewish immigrants in New York City. Visitors to the museum are invited to stand along indentations on the floor where footprints of congregants past have worn down the soft pinewood. Here, many …
 
Much has long been made of the bold legislative action that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt marshalled forward in his first 100 days in office in the midst of the Great Depression. To take stock of the Biden presidency, Lilly and Susan asked three thoughtful political scientists—Dr. Jonathan Bernstein (Bloomberg Media), Dr. Nadia E. Brown (Purd…
 
Owed (Penguin, 2020) is the second collection of poems by Dr. Joshua Bennett, poet, professor, and artist. This volume is a wide-ranging, celebratory book focused on what Bennett calls "the Black quotidian," including the poetry of the barbershop, plastic slip-covers on couches, and the benign struggle between a father and a son over a pair of long…
 
Though poverty and vagrancy as social phenomena greatly preoccupied authorities of Colonial Mexico, the social and individual lives of vagabonds and strangers of Spanish American early modernity remain elusive to the historian. In his new book, Fugitive Freedom: The Improbable Lives of Two Impostors in Late Colonial Mexico (University of California…
 
Alina Stefanescu posits that At First & Then by Danielle Rose is a collection in which “the feminine is reclaimed.” And it is. It is also a collection of lushly and cleverly crafted poetry that sees the self and the body as a multi-faceted state of being. One that is unafraid to dissect and question what makes the speaker who she is, what she is wi…
 
In A New Christian Identity: Christian Science Origins and Experience in American Culture (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) , Amy B. Voorhees contextualizes this American religious movement and argues that Christian Science allowed adherents to form new theological and spiritual identities in the technologically shifting landscape of the l…
 
What is the story of race in American fiction? In Redlining Culture: A Data History of Racial Inequality and Postwar Fiction (Columbia University Press, 2020), Richard Jean So, an assistant professor of English in the Department of English at McGill University, uses computational and quantitative methods, alongside close textual analysis, to demons…
 
The three decades that followed World War II were an exceptionally fertile period for American essays. The explosion of journals and magazines, the rise of public intellectuals, and breakthroughs in the arts inspired a flowering of literary culture. At the same time, the many problems that confronted mid-century America--racism, sexism, nuclear thr…
 
Y. Yvon Wang draws on previously untapped archives--ranging from police archives and surveys to ephemeral texts and pictures--to argue that pornography in China represents a unique configuration of power and desire that both reflects and shapes historical processes. On the one hand, since the late imperial period, pornography has democratized pleas…
 
Gardens at the Frontier: New Methodological Perspectives on Garden History and Designed Landscapes (Routledge, 2019) addresses broad issues of interest to architectural historians, environmental historians, garden writers, geographers, and other scholars. It uses different disciplinary perspectives to explore garden history’s thematic, geographical…
 
In this episode, I interview Michael Snediker, professor of English at the University of Houston, about his book, Contingent Figure: Chronic Pain and Queer Embodiment, recently published by University of Minnesota Press. At the intersection of queer theory and disability studies, Snediker locates something unexpected: chronic pain. Starting from th…
 
Panoramic and provocative in its scope, John Geoffrey Scott and Christian Grov's The Routledge Handbook of Male Sex Work, Culture, and Society (Routledge, 2021) is the definitive guide to contemporary issues associated with male sex work and a must read for those who study masculinities, male sexuality, sexual health, and sexual cultures. This grou…
 
The western travel narrative genre has a history long tied to voyeurism and conquest. A way to see the world—and its many unique people and places—through the eyes of mostly white and male travelers. In an increasingly globalized world, many writers are beginning to raise questions about the ethics of travel writing and its tropes, especially the w…
 
Western culture has endlessly represented the ways in which love miraculously erupts in people's lives, the mythical moment in which one knows someone is destined for us; the feverish waiting for a phone call or an email, the thrill that runs our spine at the mere thought of him or her. Yet, a culture that has so much to say about love is virtually…
 
Michela Wrong’s Do Not Disturb: The Story of a Political Murder and an African Regime Gone Bad (PublicAffairs, 2021) is a glorious piece of journalism. It tells the story of Rwanda’s former head of external intelligence turned government critic, Patrick Karegeya, and his falling out with the Rwandan leadership, including current President Paul Kaga…
 
Dr. J. M. White’s new book, Unity in Faith?: Edinoverie, Russian Orthodoxy, and Old Belief, 1800-1918 (Indiana University Press, 2020) discusses the Russian Orthodox/Old Believer schism. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the Russian government decided, largely for reasons of state, to bring the schismatic Old Believers back into the Orthod…
 
Our democracies repeatedly fail to safeguard the future. From pensions to pandemics, health and social care through to climate, biodiversity and emerging technologies, democracies have been unable to deliver robust policies for the long term. In Can Democracy Safeguard the Future? (Polity Press, 2021), Graham Smith, a leading scholar of democratic …
 
The rapid gentrification of Black and brown neighborhoods in urban areas by predominantly upper-class white and other white-adjacent peoples is largely facilitated by urban redevelopment and revitalization projects. These projects often usher in aesthetics that seek to attract those understood as desirable populations. But what happens when the aes…
 
If health policy truly seeks to improve population health and reduce health disparities, addressing homelessness must be a priority. Homelessness is a public health problem. Nearly a decade after the great recession of 2008, homelessness rates are once again rising across the United States, with the number of persons experiencing homelessness surpa…
 
Political Theorist and activist Dana Mill’s latest new book, Rosa Luxemburg (Reaktion Books, 2020), is part of an extensive series of books published by Reaktion Books, Ltd, which focuses both on the ideas or creations and the lives of many leading cultural figures of the modern period. These volumes are not long, but they are thorough, and they he…
 
For the next five weeks, SSEAC Stories will be hosting a mini-series of podcasts on research partnerships in Southeast Asia. In the context of COVID-19, it has become clear that working in partnership is a critical part of being able to do research in Southeast Asia. Through interviews with University of Sydney academics working across all discipli…
 
The horror of the battlefield is fresh for Princess Askia. She’s just been forced to flee her kingdom, the northern country of Seravesh, where her cousin now rules under the protection of the Emperor of Roven. All that remains of her army is a loyal general and her last remaining legion, the Black Wolves—not enough to protect her former kingdom fro…
 
Successful word-coinages--those that stay in currency for a good long time--tend to conceal their beginnings. We take them at face value and rarely when and where they were first minted. Engaging, illuminating, and authoritative, Ralph Keyes's The Hidden History of Coined Words (Oxford University Press, 2021) explores the etymological underworld of…
 
Welcome to The Academic Life. You are smart and capable, but you aren’t an island, and neither are we. So we reached across our mentor network to bring you podcasts on everything from how to finish that project, to how to take care of your beautiful mind. Wish we’d bring in an expert about something? Email us at cgessler@gmail.com or dr.danamalone@…
 
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