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Being Human in a Digital Age of Light and Darkness

Being Human in a Digital Age of Light and Darkness

In this digital age of polarized politics, where can we look for guidance on how to turn down the heat? After all, we don’t want to blow ourselves up. Fortunately,...
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Stranger Things Have Happened: The Civil War Among Media Forms

Stranger Things Have Happened: The Civil War Among Media Forms

“There’s Nothing Like a Best Seller to Set Hollywood a-Tingle” —The New York Times Book Review (Sep 16, 1962) “I’d willingly start my next novel—about a small town—right now, but...
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On the Narcosis of Narcissus

On the Narcosis of Narcissus

He could not go. He wanted neither to eat nor to sleep. Only to lie there — eyes insatiably Gazing into the eyes that were no eyes. This is how...
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Learning Wisdom in the Midst of Reversals

Learning Wisdom in the Midst of Reversals

The West shall shake the East awake While ye have the night for morn. — James Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake 企者不立;跨者不行; 自見者不明;自是者不彰; 自伐者無功;自矜者不長。 其在道也,曰:餘食贅行。 物或惡之,故有道者不處。 — Lao Tzu, Tao te Ching,...
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The Social Message of Social Media

The Social Message of Social Media

In the first chapter of Understanding Media (1964), called “The Medium is the Message,” Marshall McLuhan begins the book by explaining his most famous aphorism. Over time, the proposition has acquired...
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35th International Meeting of THE ERIC VOEGELIN SOCIETY, 2019

35th International Meeting of THE ERIC VOEGELIN SOCIETY, 2019

35th International Meeting of THE ERIC VOEGELIN SOCIETY, 2019 American Political Science Association Meeting, August 29-September 1 Washington, DC   David Walsh, Meeting Director [email protected]     Dear Friends, I...
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“The most dangerous state in the growth of civilization may well be that in which man has come to regard all these beliefs as superstitions and refuses to accept or submit to anything which he does not rationally understand. The rationalist whose reason is not sufficient to teach him those limitations of the power of conscious reason, and who despises…

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Cents and Sensibility: What Economics Can Learn from the Humanities. Gary Saul Morson and Morton Schapiro. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017.
 
The crisis of the humanities has been well-covered with a decline in students enrolling in its programs, an oversupply of doctorates who cannot find an academic position, and a diminishment of respect for these subjects because there are no jobs…

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The Novel After Film: Modernism and the Decline of Autonomy. Jonathan Foltz. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.
 
What is the novel after the invention of cinema? For Foltz, the relationship between the novel and film is a paradoxical one with both mediums indebted as well as distrustful of each other. The invention of cinematic narrative has forced novelists to recognize they…

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Under the Cover: The Creation, Production, and Reception of a Novel. Clayton Childress. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017.
 
In Under the Cover, Childress examines the novel as a sociological cultural object with attention to three aspects: creation (art), production (commerce), and reception (meaning). Adopting field theory, Childress examines those group of people who orient their attention toward each other and similar…

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Theory of the Novel. Guido Mazzoni. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017.
 
Between the mid-sixteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth, the novel, which long considered to be a form of superficial entertainment, became the preeminent art form in the West because it portrayed the “totality of life” against the reductive accounts of science, philosophy, and other forms of systematic thought.…

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The Work of Art: Value in Creative Careers. Alison Gerber. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2017.
 
In The Work of Art, Gerber shows how the “occupation turn” in the visual art world created confusion and tension over the value of art and the meaning of being an artist. Beginning in the 1960s, the professionalization of artists started and eventually became normalized in…

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The Intimate Universal: The Hidden Porosity Among Religion, Art, Philosophy, and Politics. William Desmond. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016.
 
One tradition in western philosophy is the universal – a public space for thought, a communal forum for negotiating conflict, a neutral intermedium for science – and is represented in the works of the likes Plato, Aristotle, nominalists, and idealists. A…

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In Virgil’s Aeneid, the strongest and most admirable characters like Aeneas and Turnus are seen as ideals of patriotism and courage. At times though, their stories are momentarily superseded by interactions with a minor character. These subplots often serve to deepen our understanding of the main characters, but in turn bring a new character into the spotlight. Could a minor…

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The Trojan War, for our Homeric heroes, begins with marital infidelity and succumbing to temptation, but ends with marital fidelity and overcoming temptation. While the gods are ever present in the Iliad and Odyssey, I wish to examine the otherwise purely human aspect of Homer’s two great epics and how they relate to family, and the role of marital infidelity and…

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On December 2, 1805, the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte achieved his most spectacular victory at the Battle of Austerlitz against an allied army of Russians and Austrians. The battle is remembered for its brilliance and savagery and was immortalized in Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. On the blood-stained slopes of the Pratzen Heights, Prince Andrei Bolkansky—wounded and looking up at…

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