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New Books in Intellectual History

Marshall Poe

310
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1.5K
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New Books in Intellectual History

New Books in Intellectual History

Marshall Poe

310
Followers
1.5K
Plays
OVERVIEWEPISODESYOU MAY ALSO LIKE

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Interviews with Scholars of Intellectual History about their New Books

Latest Episodes

Joshua Nall, "News from Mars: Mass Media and the Forging of a New Astronomy, 1860-1910" (U Pittsburgh Press, 2019)

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re hearing an awful lot about the fraught relationship between science and media. In his book, News from Mars: Mass Media and the Forging of a New Astronomy, 1860-1910 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), historian of science Joshua Nall shows us that a blurry boundary between science and journalism was a key feature—not a bug—of the emergence of modern astronomy. Focusing on objects and media, such as newspapers, encyclopedias, cigarette cards, and globes, Nall offers a history of how astronomers’ cultivation of a mass public shaped their discipline as it managed controversies over the possibility of canals on Mars, and even interplanetary communication. This book is strongly recommended for historians of science and communication, as well as those with an eye for material culture. Joshua Nall is curator of modern sciences at the Whipple Museum of the History of Science in the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. Mikey McGovern is a PhD candidate in Princeton University’s Program in the History of Science. He is writing a dissertation on how people used statistics to make claims of discrimination in 1970s America, and how the relationship between rights and num- bers became a flashpoint in political struggles over bureaucracy, race, and law. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

64 MIN5 h ago
Comments
Joshua Nall, "News from Mars: Mass Media and the Forging of a New Astronomy, 1860-1910" (U Pittsburgh Press, 2019)

Kim Adrian, "Dear Knausgaard: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle" (Fiction Advocate, 2020)

In 2009, a novel was released in Norway with a fairly simple premise; the author would simply write about himself, his life and his attempts to write. The autobiographical novel would be the first in a 6-volume series that would eventually total over 3,500 pages written in just 3 short years. The frenzied pace at which it was produced would only be matched by the frenzied pace at which it was consumed, with each volume hitting the bestseller list, and it would all eventually be translated into over 30 languages. The author was Karl Ove Knausgaard, and the novel was called ​My Struggle​. With the dust finally settling in the wake of the enormous controversy the book stirred up, many people are starting to move in to analyze the work with a more critical lens, trying to examine what the work actually achieves, what it’s place might be in the larger canon of literature, and elements of it we should be skeptical of. One of those critical examiners is Kim Adrian in her book ​Dear Knausgaard: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle (Fiction Advocate, 2020)​, a collection of short letters written to the man himself where she wrestles with his work. While Adrian is herself a fan of Knausgaard, she is not uncritical of him, and even finds herself frustrated at various moments with his views on writing, literature, politics, gender and identity, but this dynamic gives the book an interesting back-and-forth as it helps her wrestle with these topics. Kim Adrian is a visiting lecturer in English at Brown University, and is the author of the memoir The 27th Letter of the Alphabet and ​Sock​. She has had both fiction and nonfiction appear in a number of outlets, including ​Tin House,​ ​The Gettysburg Review​, and ​The Seneca Review​. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

68 MIN1 d ago
Comments
Kim Adrian, "Dear Knausgaard: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle" (Fiction Advocate, 2020)

Nyasha Junior, “Reimagining Hagar: Blackness and Bible” (Oxford UP, 2019)

Popular culture helps shape how audiences imagine Biblical personalities in our contemporary moment. For many, Warner Sallman’s portrait of Jesus fixes him as white, others envision Moses as Charlton Heston because of Cecil B. DeMille’s film, The Ten Commandments, and the Jezebel stereotype is more well known than the Biblical figure. This merging of cultural productions and scripture clearly intersect in the modern understanding of Hagar as a Black woman. In Reimagining Hagar: Blackness and Bible(Oxford University Press, 2019),Nyasha Junior, Associate Professor in Temple University’s Department of Religion, sought to understand how Hagar become Black and what purposes that served. Junior lays out the primary sources and the divergent interpretive terrain where this identity makes sense to its readers. In our conversation we discuss Hagar in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and Muslim sources, categories of color, ethnicity, and race in ancient contexts, Biblical interpretation in nineteenth-century US debates about enslavement, Hagar in the visual arts, music, and literature, womanist theology, and being a Black scholar in the academy. Kristian Petersenis an Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. You can find out more about his work on hiswebsite, follow him on Twitter@BabaKristian, or email him atkpeterse@odu.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

50 MIN1 d ago
Comments
Nyasha Junior, “Reimagining Hagar: Blackness and Bible” (Oxford UP, 2019)

Samuel Morris Brown, "Joseph Smith's Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Mormonism's founder, Joseph Smith, claimed to have translated ancient scriptures. He dictated an American Bible from metal plates reportedly buried by ancient Jews in a nearby hill, and produced an Egyptian "Book of Abraham" derived from funerary papyri he extracted from a collection of mummies he bought from a traveling showman. In addition, he rewrote sections of the King James Version as a "New Translation" of the Bible. Smith and his followers used the term translation to describe the genesis of these English scriptures, which remain canonical for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Whether one believes him or not, the discussion has focused on whether Smith's English texts represent literal translations of extant source documents. On closer inspection, though, Smith's translations are far more metaphysical than linguistic. In Joseph Smith's Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism (Oxford UP, 2020), Samuel Morris Brown argues that these translations express the mystical power of language and scripture to interconnect people across barriers of space and time, especially in the developing Mormon temple liturgy. He shows that Smith was devoted to an ancient metaphysics--especially the principle of correspondence, the concept of "as above, so below"--that provided an infrastructure for bridging the human and the divine as well as for his textual interpretive projects. Joseph Smith's projects of metaphysical translation place Mormonism at the productive edge of the transitions associated with shifts toward "secular modernity." This transition into modern worldviews intensified, complexly, in nineteenth-century America. The evolving legacies of Reformation and Enlightenment were the sea in which early Mormons swam, says Brown. Smith's translations and the theology that supported them illuminate the power and vulnerability of the Mormon critique of American culture in transition. This complex critique continues to resonate and illuminate to the present day. Daniel P. Stone holds a PhD inAmerican religious history from Manchester Metropolitan University (United Kingdom) and is the author ofWilliam Bickerton: Forgotten Latter Day Prophet (Signature Books, 2018).He has taughthistory coursesat the University of Detroit Mercy and Florida Atlantic University, and currently, he works as a research archivist for a private library/archive in Detroit, Michigan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

56 MIN1 d ago
Comments
Samuel Morris Brown, "Joseph Smith's Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Nathan Spannaus, "Preserving Islamic Tradition: Abu Nasr Qursawi and the Beginnings of Modern Reformism" (Oxford UP, 2019)

What were some of the major transformations taking place for Muslim communities in the Russian Empire of the eighteenth century? How did the introduction of a state-backed structure for Muslim religious institutions alter Islamic religious authority in the empire? And who exactly was Abu Nasr Qursawi and what was his reformist project to grapple with this situation? These are some of the questions asked by Nathan Spannaus in his book, Preserving Islamic Tradition: Abu Nasr Qursawi and the Beginnings of Modern Reformism (Oxford University Press, 2019). The book offers a novel intervention in the study of early-modern Islamic thought, whose conventional geographical contours often focus on the Middle East and South Asia. Spannaus shows us that eighteenth-century Russia was also blooming with its own indigenous Islamic scholarly discourses that encompassed theology, jurisprudence, philosophy, and more. These discourses were neither totally disembodied from wider concurrent global trends in Islamic thought, nor completely dependent on them. He examines the work of one Abu Nasr al-Qursawi, an erudite and intrepid scholar who criticized clerical institutions for stagnating the development of Islamic jurisprudence and theology by foreclosing independent juristic reasoning. In doing so, Spannaus meticulously demonstrates how Qursawi radically critiqued the established tradition while simultaneously embarking on his project of interpretive reform, all while maintaining fidelity to the discursive modes and fields of that tradition. Asad Dandia is a graduate student of Islamic Studies at Columbia University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53 MIN1 d ago
Comments
Nathan Spannaus, "Preserving Islamic Tradition: Abu Nasr Qursawi and the Beginnings of Modern Reformism" (Oxford UP, 2019)

Michael Rectenwald, "Beyond Woke" (New English Review Press, 2020)

A few short years ago, Michael Rectenwald was a Marxist professor at NYU, pursuing his career and contemplating becoming a Trotskyist, when the political climate on campus - victimology, cancel-culture, no-platforming, and political correctness run-amok - began to bother him. He responded by creating a Twitter handle, @AntiPCNYUProf (now @TheAntiPCProf), and began bashing campus excesses with humor and biting satire. Predictably, he was soon discovered and pushed out of his job. Rectenwald struck back by publishing Springtime for Snowflakes, a memoir of his experiences in academia, which included criticism and analyses of the leftism now dominating campus culture. He followed that book with Google Archipelago, which delves into the seeming enigma of why big business embraces far-left politics - hint: self-interest is involved - and the rapid growth of consumer/citizen surveillance. The foundation for a robust leftist totalitarianism is being carefully laid. With this new volume, Rec...

63 MIN2 d ago
Comments
Michael Rectenwald, "Beyond Woke" (New English Review Press, 2020)

A Very Square Peg: A Podcast Series about Polymath Robert Eisler. Episode 9: Vanity of Vanities

In this episode, I look at Eisler’s last days in England, where he found that the Oxford readership he had been promised before being sent to Dachau was taken by someone else, a paper shortage had put a stop to academic publishing, and that foreign Jews without visas were being imprisoned in a British internment camp on the Isle of Man. I also talk with astrology scholar Dr. Nicholas Campion about Eisler’s scathing criticisms of newspaper astrological columns and unpack Eisler’s final scholarly works on folklore, philology, and ethics. This episode officially concludes the story of Robert Eisler, but there will be a tenth and final episode in the near future that reflects on this project and academic podcasting as a whole after I have had time to hear some feedback. On that note, now that you have heard the story, I would love to hear what you think about it! Guests: Steven Beller (independent scholar), Nicholas Campion (Principal Lecturer in History at Bath Spa University and Di...

59 MIN2 d ago
Comments
A Very Square Peg: A Podcast Series about Polymath Robert Eisler. Episode 9: Vanity of Vanities

Nicholas B. Miller, "John Millar and the Scottish Enlightenment: Family Lfe and World History" (Voltaire Foundation, 2017)

During the long eighteenth century the moral and socio-political dimensions of family life and gender were hotly debated by intellectuals across Europe. John Millar, a Scottish law professor and philosopher, was a pioneer in making gendered and familial practice a critical parameter of cultural difference. His work was widely disseminated at home and abroad, translated into French and German and closely read by philosophers such as Denis Diderot and Johann Gottfried Herder. Taking Millar’s writings as his basis, Nicholas B. Miller explores the role of the family in Scottish Enlightenment political thought and traces its wider resonances across the Enlightenment world. John Millar’s organisation of cultural, gendered and social difference into a progressive narrative of authority relations provided the first extended world history of the family. InJohn Millar and the Scottish Enlightenment: Family Life and World History (Voltaire Foundation, 2017),Nicholas B. Miller examines contem...

65 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Nicholas B. Miller, "John Millar and the Scottish Enlightenment: Family Lfe and World History" (Voltaire Foundation, 2017)

Melissa J. Wilde, "Birth Control Battles: How Race and Class Divided American Religion" (U California Press, 2020)

Although it has largely been erased from the collective memory of American Christianity, the debate over eugenics was a major factor in the history of 20th-century religious movements, with many churches actively supporting the pseudoscience as a component of the Social Gospel. In Birth Control Battles: How Race and Class Divided American Religion (University of California Press, 2020), Dr. Melissa J. Wilde, Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, demonstrates that support for contraception among some of America’s most prominent religious groups was tied to white supremacist views of race, immigration, and manifest destiny. We discuss how birth control use and promotion was conceived as a religious duty, how Biblical exegesis was used in support of eugenics, how the fear of “race suicide” motivated predominantly White denominations to limit reproduction among marginalized people, how groups like the Catholics and the Orthodox Jews pushed back against the pro-eug...

65 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Melissa J. Wilde, "Birth Control Battles: How Race and Class Divided American Religion" (U California Press, 2020)

Linda Goddard, "Savage Tales: The Writings of Paul Gauguin" (Yale UP, 2019)

In Savage Tales: The Writings of Paul Gauguin (Yale University Press, 2019), Linda Goddard investigates the role that Paul Gauguin’s writings played in his artistic practice and in his negotiation of his colonial identity. As a French artist who lived in Polynesia, Gauguin occupies a crucial position in histories of European primitivism, but this is the first book to be devoted to his wide-ranging literary output, including his journalism, travel writing, art criticism, and essays on aesthetics, religion, and politics. In the book, Dr. Goddard analyzes what are often richly illustrated manuscripts and she counters the tendency to interpret these writings merely as a source of information about his life. Instead, she reveals how the seemingly haphazard structure of Gauguin’s manuscripts were an important part of an artistic practice that ranged across media, one that enabled him to evoke the “primitive” culture that he so celebrated. This critical analysis of his writings signifi...

54 MIN6 d ago
Comments
Linda Goddard, "Savage Tales: The Writings of Paul Gauguin" (Yale UP, 2019)

Latest Episodes

Joshua Nall, "News from Mars: Mass Media and the Forging of a New Astronomy, 1860-1910" (U Pittsburgh Press, 2019)

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re hearing an awful lot about the fraught relationship between science and media. In his book, News from Mars: Mass Media and the Forging of a New Astronomy, 1860-1910 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), historian of science Joshua Nall shows us that a blurry boundary between science and journalism was a key feature—not a bug—of the emergence of modern astronomy. Focusing on objects and media, such as newspapers, encyclopedias, cigarette cards, and globes, Nall offers a history of how astronomers’ cultivation of a mass public shaped their discipline as it managed controversies over the possibility of canals on Mars, and even interplanetary communication. This book is strongly recommended for historians of science and communication, as well as those with an eye for material culture. Joshua Nall is curator of modern sciences at the Whipple Museum of the History of Science in the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. Mikey McGovern is a PhD candidate in Princeton University’s Program in the History of Science. He is writing a dissertation on how people used statistics to make claims of discrimination in 1970s America, and how the relationship between rights and num- bers became a flashpoint in political struggles over bureaucracy, race, and law. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

64 MIN5 h ago
Comments
Joshua Nall, "News from Mars: Mass Media and the Forging of a New Astronomy, 1860-1910" (U Pittsburgh Press, 2019)

Kim Adrian, "Dear Knausgaard: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle" (Fiction Advocate, 2020)

In 2009, a novel was released in Norway with a fairly simple premise; the author would simply write about himself, his life and his attempts to write. The autobiographical novel would be the first in a 6-volume series that would eventually total over 3,500 pages written in just 3 short years. The frenzied pace at which it was produced would only be matched by the frenzied pace at which it was consumed, with each volume hitting the bestseller list, and it would all eventually be translated into over 30 languages. The author was Karl Ove Knausgaard, and the novel was called ​My Struggle​. With the dust finally settling in the wake of the enormous controversy the book stirred up, many people are starting to move in to analyze the work with a more critical lens, trying to examine what the work actually achieves, what it’s place might be in the larger canon of literature, and elements of it we should be skeptical of. One of those critical examiners is Kim Adrian in her book ​Dear Knausgaard: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle (Fiction Advocate, 2020)​, a collection of short letters written to the man himself where she wrestles with his work. While Adrian is herself a fan of Knausgaard, she is not uncritical of him, and even finds herself frustrated at various moments with his views on writing, literature, politics, gender and identity, but this dynamic gives the book an interesting back-and-forth as it helps her wrestle with these topics. Kim Adrian is a visiting lecturer in English at Brown University, and is the author of the memoir The 27th Letter of the Alphabet and ​Sock​. She has had both fiction and nonfiction appear in a number of outlets, including ​Tin House,​ ​The Gettysburg Review​, and ​The Seneca Review​. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

68 MIN1 d ago
Comments
Kim Adrian, "Dear Knausgaard: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle" (Fiction Advocate, 2020)

Nyasha Junior, “Reimagining Hagar: Blackness and Bible” (Oxford UP, 2019)

Popular culture helps shape how audiences imagine Biblical personalities in our contemporary moment. For many, Warner Sallman’s portrait of Jesus fixes him as white, others envision Moses as Charlton Heston because of Cecil B. DeMille’s film, The Ten Commandments, and the Jezebel stereotype is more well known than the Biblical figure. This merging of cultural productions and scripture clearly intersect in the modern understanding of Hagar as a Black woman. In Reimagining Hagar: Blackness and Bible(Oxford University Press, 2019),Nyasha Junior, Associate Professor in Temple University’s Department of Religion, sought to understand how Hagar become Black and what purposes that served. Junior lays out the primary sources and the divergent interpretive terrain where this identity makes sense to its readers. In our conversation we discuss Hagar in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and Muslim sources, categories of color, ethnicity, and race in ancient contexts, Biblical interpretation in nineteenth-century US debates about enslavement, Hagar in the visual arts, music, and literature, womanist theology, and being a Black scholar in the academy. Kristian Petersenis an Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. You can find out more about his work on hiswebsite, follow him on Twitter@BabaKristian, or email him atkpeterse@odu.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

50 MIN1 d ago
Comments
Nyasha Junior, “Reimagining Hagar: Blackness and Bible” (Oxford UP, 2019)

Samuel Morris Brown, "Joseph Smith's Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Mormonism's founder, Joseph Smith, claimed to have translated ancient scriptures. He dictated an American Bible from metal plates reportedly buried by ancient Jews in a nearby hill, and produced an Egyptian "Book of Abraham" derived from funerary papyri he extracted from a collection of mummies he bought from a traveling showman. In addition, he rewrote sections of the King James Version as a "New Translation" of the Bible. Smith and his followers used the term translation to describe the genesis of these English scriptures, which remain canonical for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Whether one believes him or not, the discussion has focused on whether Smith's English texts represent literal translations of extant source documents. On closer inspection, though, Smith's translations are far more metaphysical than linguistic. In Joseph Smith's Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism (Oxford UP, 2020), Samuel Morris Brown argues that these translations express the mystical power of language and scripture to interconnect people across barriers of space and time, especially in the developing Mormon temple liturgy. He shows that Smith was devoted to an ancient metaphysics--especially the principle of correspondence, the concept of "as above, so below"--that provided an infrastructure for bridging the human and the divine as well as for his textual interpretive projects. Joseph Smith's projects of metaphysical translation place Mormonism at the productive edge of the transitions associated with shifts toward "secular modernity." This transition into modern worldviews intensified, complexly, in nineteenth-century America. The evolving legacies of Reformation and Enlightenment were the sea in which early Mormons swam, says Brown. Smith's translations and the theology that supported them illuminate the power and vulnerability of the Mormon critique of American culture in transition. This complex critique continues to resonate and illuminate to the present day. Daniel P. Stone holds a PhD inAmerican religious history from Manchester Metropolitan University (United Kingdom) and is the author ofWilliam Bickerton: Forgotten Latter Day Prophet (Signature Books, 2018).He has taughthistory coursesat the University of Detroit Mercy and Florida Atlantic University, and currently, he works as a research archivist for a private library/archive in Detroit, Michigan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

56 MIN1 d ago
Comments
Samuel Morris Brown, "Joseph Smith's Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Nathan Spannaus, "Preserving Islamic Tradition: Abu Nasr Qursawi and the Beginnings of Modern Reformism" (Oxford UP, 2019)

What were some of the major transformations taking place for Muslim communities in the Russian Empire of the eighteenth century? How did the introduction of a state-backed structure for Muslim religious institutions alter Islamic religious authority in the empire? And who exactly was Abu Nasr Qursawi and what was his reformist project to grapple with this situation? These are some of the questions asked by Nathan Spannaus in his book, Preserving Islamic Tradition: Abu Nasr Qursawi and the Beginnings of Modern Reformism (Oxford University Press, 2019). The book offers a novel intervention in the study of early-modern Islamic thought, whose conventional geographical contours often focus on the Middle East and South Asia. Spannaus shows us that eighteenth-century Russia was also blooming with its own indigenous Islamic scholarly discourses that encompassed theology, jurisprudence, philosophy, and more. These discourses were neither totally disembodied from wider concurrent global trends in Islamic thought, nor completely dependent on them. He examines the work of one Abu Nasr al-Qursawi, an erudite and intrepid scholar who criticized clerical institutions for stagnating the development of Islamic jurisprudence and theology by foreclosing independent juristic reasoning. In doing so, Spannaus meticulously demonstrates how Qursawi radically critiqued the established tradition while simultaneously embarking on his project of interpretive reform, all while maintaining fidelity to the discursive modes and fields of that tradition. Asad Dandia is a graduate student of Islamic Studies at Columbia University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53 MIN1 d ago
Comments
Nathan Spannaus, "Preserving Islamic Tradition: Abu Nasr Qursawi and the Beginnings of Modern Reformism" (Oxford UP, 2019)

Michael Rectenwald, "Beyond Woke" (New English Review Press, 2020)

A few short years ago, Michael Rectenwald was a Marxist professor at NYU, pursuing his career and contemplating becoming a Trotskyist, when the political climate on campus - victimology, cancel-culture, no-platforming, and political correctness run-amok - began to bother him. He responded by creating a Twitter handle, @AntiPCNYUProf (now @TheAntiPCProf), and began bashing campus excesses with humor and biting satire. Predictably, he was soon discovered and pushed out of his job. Rectenwald struck back by publishing Springtime for Snowflakes, a memoir of his experiences in academia, which included criticism and analyses of the leftism now dominating campus culture. He followed that book with Google Archipelago, which delves into the seeming enigma of why big business embraces far-left politics - hint: self-interest is involved - and the rapid growth of consumer/citizen surveillance. The foundation for a robust leftist totalitarianism is being carefully laid. With this new volume, Rec...

63 MIN2 d ago
Comments
Michael Rectenwald, "Beyond Woke" (New English Review Press, 2020)

A Very Square Peg: A Podcast Series about Polymath Robert Eisler. Episode 9: Vanity of Vanities

In this episode, I look at Eisler’s last days in England, where he found that the Oxford readership he had been promised before being sent to Dachau was taken by someone else, a paper shortage had put a stop to academic publishing, and that foreign Jews without visas were being imprisoned in a British internment camp on the Isle of Man. I also talk with astrology scholar Dr. Nicholas Campion about Eisler’s scathing criticisms of newspaper astrological columns and unpack Eisler’s final scholarly works on folklore, philology, and ethics. This episode officially concludes the story of Robert Eisler, but there will be a tenth and final episode in the near future that reflects on this project and academic podcasting as a whole after I have had time to hear some feedback. On that note, now that you have heard the story, I would love to hear what you think about it! Guests: Steven Beller (independent scholar), Nicholas Campion (Principal Lecturer in History at Bath Spa University and Di...

59 MIN2 d ago
Comments
A Very Square Peg: A Podcast Series about Polymath Robert Eisler. Episode 9: Vanity of Vanities

Nicholas B. Miller, "John Millar and the Scottish Enlightenment: Family Lfe and World History" (Voltaire Foundation, 2017)

During the long eighteenth century the moral and socio-political dimensions of family life and gender were hotly debated by intellectuals across Europe. John Millar, a Scottish law professor and philosopher, was a pioneer in making gendered and familial practice a critical parameter of cultural difference. His work was widely disseminated at home and abroad, translated into French and German and closely read by philosophers such as Denis Diderot and Johann Gottfried Herder. Taking Millar’s writings as his basis, Nicholas B. Miller explores the role of the family in Scottish Enlightenment political thought and traces its wider resonances across the Enlightenment world. John Millar’s organisation of cultural, gendered and social difference into a progressive narrative of authority relations provided the first extended world history of the family. InJohn Millar and the Scottish Enlightenment: Family Life and World History (Voltaire Foundation, 2017),Nicholas B. Miller examines contem...

65 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Nicholas B. Miller, "John Millar and the Scottish Enlightenment: Family Lfe and World History" (Voltaire Foundation, 2017)

Melissa J. Wilde, "Birth Control Battles: How Race and Class Divided American Religion" (U California Press, 2020)

Although it has largely been erased from the collective memory of American Christianity, the debate over eugenics was a major factor in the history of 20th-century religious movements, with many churches actively supporting the pseudoscience as a component of the Social Gospel. In Birth Control Battles: How Race and Class Divided American Religion (University of California Press, 2020), Dr. Melissa J. Wilde, Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, demonstrates that support for contraception among some of America’s most prominent religious groups was tied to white supremacist views of race, immigration, and manifest destiny. We discuss how birth control use and promotion was conceived as a religious duty, how Biblical exegesis was used in support of eugenics, how the fear of “race suicide” motivated predominantly White denominations to limit reproduction among marginalized people, how groups like the Catholics and the Orthodox Jews pushed back against the pro-eug...

65 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Melissa J. Wilde, "Birth Control Battles: How Race and Class Divided American Religion" (U California Press, 2020)

Linda Goddard, "Savage Tales: The Writings of Paul Gauguin" (Yale UP, 2019)

In Savage Tales: The Writings of Paul Gauguin (Yale University Press, 2019), Linda Goddard investigates the role that Paul Gauguin’s writings played in his artistic practice and in his negotiation of his colonial identity. As a French artist who lived in Polynesia, Gauguin occupies a crucial position in histories of European primitivism, but this is the first book to be devoted to his wide-ranging literary output, including his journalism, travel writing, art criticism, and essays on aesthetics, religion, and politics. In the book, Dr. Goddard analyzes what are often richly illustrated manuscripts and she counters the tendency to interpret these writings merely as a source of information about his life. Instead, she reveals how the seemingly haphazard structure of Gauguin’s manuscripts were an important part of an artistic practice that ranged across media, one that enabled him to evoke the “primitive” culture that he so celebrated. This critical analysis of his writings signifi...

54 MIN6 d ago
Comments
Linda Goddard, "Savage Tales: The Writings of Paul Gauguin" (Yale UP, 2019)
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