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With the pressing work of decolonising our reading lists gaining traction in UK higher educational contexts, Decolonising the Conrad Canon (Liverpool UP, 2022) shows how those author-Gods most associated with the colonial literary canon can also be retooled through decolonial, queer, feminist readings. This book finds pockets of powerful anti-colon…
 
Today Judson Davis, East-West Psychology PhD, takes us on a guided meditation and the conversation emerges from themes that arose in this liminal space. Through integral frameworks we discuss the meaning and purpose behind the world of suffering, the role of evolution and reincarnation, and the need for expanding our awareness beyond the purely hum…
 
Tara Nurin explores women in all aspects of the brewing industry in A Women's Place is in the Brewhouse (Chicago Review Press, 2021). Women have brewed beer throughout most of human history. Their role as family and village brewer lasted for hundreds of thousands of years--through the earliest days of Mesopotamian civilization, the reign of Cleopat…
 
What a Mushroom Lives For: Matsutake and the Worlds They Make (Princeton University Press, 2022) by Dr. Michael Hathaway pushes today’s mushroom renaissance in compelling new directions. For centuries, Western science has promoted a human- and animal-centric framework of what counts as action, agency, movement, and behavior. But, as Michael Hathawa…
 
Some people just seem to have all the luck, and Robin Bennett is one of them. Robin is a British entrepreneur, writer, and documentary producer. He is also the founder of The Bennett Group, a consortium of companies that primarily provide professional communication products and services. One of the companies, The Aktuel Translation Group, serves bu…
 
Through the heart of Hollywood cinema runs a surprising current of progressive politics. Sports movies, a genre that has flourished since the mid-seventies, evoke the American dream and represent the nation to itself. Once considered mere credos for Reaganism, on closer view, movies from Rocky (1976) to Ali (2001) dream of democratic participation …
 
During the Cold War, the People's Republic of China used Switzerland as headquarters for its economic, political, intelligence, and cultural networks in Europe. Based on extensive research in Western and Chinese archives, China's European Headquarters: Switzerland and China during the Cold War (Cambridge University Press, 2022) by Dr. Ariane Knüsel…
 
Miriam Thaggert illuminates the stories of African American women as passengers and as workers on the nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century railroad. As Jim Crow laws became more prevalent and forced Black Americans to "ride Jim Crow" on the rails, the train compartment became a contested space of leisure and work. Riding Jane Crow: African Ameri…
 
How did the concept of Israel impact early Jewish apocalyptic hopes of restoration? How diverse was Israelite identity in antiquity? Tune in as we talk with Jason A. Staples about his recent book, The Idea of Israel, in which he proposes a new paradigm for how the biblical concept of Israel developed in Early Judaism. Jason A. Staples (Ph.D., UNC-C…
 
This week, we’re showcasing some of our favourite past episodes of Darts and Letters themed around “Activism & Academia”. Today’s episode originally aired a little earlier this summer. In the US, the January 6th hearings were continuing - and discourse about the factors that led to the insurrection was rampant. You might notice that when these kind…
 
What happens when you bring together an important collection of previously secret archival documents dealing with France's nuclear detonations in the Pacific from 1966 to 1996, a nuclear scientist, and an investigative journalist? Working together beginning in early 2020, Sébastien Philippe and Tomas Statius, the authors of Toxique: Enquête sur les…
 
Sylvia Liu grew up with books and daydreams in Caracas, Venezuela. Once an environmental attorney protecting the oceans, she now spins stories for children, inspired by high tech, ghost crabs, and strong girls. She is also co-founder of KidLit411, an informational website and FB group with over 15,000 writers and illustrators. In our interview we c…
 
Listen to this interview of Nicholas Rowe, researcher and educator based in Finland. We talk his book The Realities of Completing a PhD: How to Plan for Success (Routledge, 2021) and about what needs to change. Nicholas Rowe : "Writing for different purposes, for different audiences is a huge skill, because people are going to need this communicati…
 
A Strange and Stubborn Endurance (Tor, 2022) is marketed as a historical fantasy novel, but its subtle and humane sweetness set it aside from most examples of the genre. Though it offers political intrigues and battles, it is also a compassionate exploration of a man’s recovery from assault and homophobia with the help of his new husband. The man i…
 
Why are societies still not offering racial equality? In The Cruel Optimism of Racial Justice (Policy Press, 2022), Nasar Meer, a professor of Race, Identity and Citizenship in the School of Social and Political Sciences and director of RACE.ED at the University of Edinburgh, explores the past, present, and future of the struggle for racial justice…
 
For the hermits and communal monks of antiquity, the desert was a place to flee the cacophony of ordinary life in order to hear and contemplate the voice of God. But these monks discovered something surprising in their harsh desert surroundings: far from empty and silent, the desert is richly reverberant. Sonorous Desert: What Deep Listening Taught…
 
In The Castle: A History (Yale University Press, 2022) Dr. John Goodall presents a vibrant history of the castle in Britain, from the early Middle Ages to the present day. The castle has long had a pivotal place in British life, associated with lordship, landholding, and military might, and today it remains a powerful symbol of history. But castles…
 
Mohsin Hamid is the author of five novels -- The Last White Man, Exit West, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and Moth Smoke -- and a book of essays, Discontent and Its Civilizations. His writing has been translated into forty languages, featured on bestseller lists, and adapted for the cinema. Born in Lahore, he …
 
As the newest nation in Southeast Asia, Timor-Leste has been independent for just over 20 years. Timor-Leste is regularly ranked the most democratic nation in the region, and since reclaiming independence in May 2002, the country’s political situation has grown increasingly complex, with the emergence of new parties, new coalitions and new leaders.…
 
Dr. Christopher Krentz is an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia, where he has a joint appointment with the departments of English and American Sign Language. He is also the author of Writing Deafness: The Hearing Line in Nineteenth-Century American Literature and editor of A Mighty Change: An Anthology of Deaf American Writing, 1816–…
 
Oil, the State, and War: The Foreign Policies of Petrostates (Georgetown University Press, 2022) by Dr. Emma Ashford presents a comprehensive challenge to prevailing understanding of international implications of oil wealth that shows why it can create bad actors. In a world where oil-rich states are more likely to start war than their oil-dependen…
 
How green is green energy really? And what role does Asia, more specifically China play in the transition to green energy? On the 7th of July, International Energy Agency came out with a press release warning the world to diversify the solar panel supply chain, which as of now is dominated by China. In this episode, Saskia Lilli Lehtsalu, an intern…
 
A literary and cultural milestone, Spoon River Anthology captured an idea of the rural Midwest that became a bedrock myth of life in small-town America. Jason Stacy places the book within the atmosphere of its time and follows its progress as the poetry took root and thrived. Published by Edgar Lee Masters in 1915, Spoon River America: Edgar Lee Ma…
 
Ben Stroud speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about his story “Three Omens of Federico da Montefeltro,” which appears in The Common’s spring issue. The story fictionalizes a moment in the lives of historical figures from fifteenth-century Italy. In this conversation, Ben talks about finding his interest in writing stories set in ancient and me…
 
On the morning of Thursday 29 June 1682, a magpie came rasping, rapping and tapping at the window of a prosperous Devon merchant. Frightened by its appearance, his servants and members of his family had, within a matter of hours, convinced themselves that the bird was an emissary of the devil sent by witches to destroy the fabric of their lives. As…
 
In The Memory of Colonialism in Britain and France: The Sins of Silence (Palgrave MacMillan, 2021), Itay Lotem explores the remembering of empire in Britain and France. By comparing these two former colonial powers, the author tells two distinct stories about coming to terms with the legacies of colonialism, the role of silence and the breaking the…
 
A special opportunity to hear from Sara Custer, editor of The Campus (Times Higher Education), about the role of journalism and reporting in higher education. Avi and Sara cover topics ranging from the role of media in increasing cross-institution collaboration and sharing during the pandemic to how universities can do a better job supporting their…
 
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