What Water Teaches: Wissenschaft in the Age of Sea Level Rise

Does the sense of urgency occasioned by global warming and sea level rise have the power to reshape the humanities? Insofar as sea level rise will affect thousands of institutions of education and culture in coastal cities, the answer is yes.

Health, Illness, and Memory

Juan Obarrio

As a cancer patient in remission, the author considers the meaning of health and illness as they relate to language and to his own experience growing up in Argentina during its brutal military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983.

Human Impact on Geospheric Processes in the Critical Zone Exemplified by the Regional Water Exchange Between the Mexico City Metropolitan Area and the Mezquital Valley

The aim of this contribution is to show how humans have altered the water balance in the basin of Mexico and created an agroecosystem that has profoundly changed Critical Zone processes in a 90,000-hectare area in the Mezquital valley.

Two Coins Image

Common Currencies: British Music and Europe in the Age of Brexit

The notion of "British music" represents some kind of unavoidable supreme fiction among a crowd of invented traditions, canons, and genres. But if national markers of the British are (in every sense of the word) insular, their flow of signs, like the flow of peoples migrating across our planet daily, will never be done.

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From Local Knowledge: Ecological Relationships in the World of Water

This essay focuses on the supportive efforts of Tropenbos International Colombia to bring to light the vast knowledge and close relationship indigenous peoples in the Colombian Amazon have with their surroundings.

Name and Draw: An Exploration of Communicating Traditional Knowledge in the Work of Abel Rodríguez

Indigenous peoples possess a close and complex relationship with their surroundings and have gathered from their traditions and life experiences invaluable and extensive knowledge of a wide range of academic research areas.

Zhuangzi Dreaming of a Butterfly, Ming dynasty, mid-16th century, ink on silk.

Cosmographic Experiments: Thinking, Doing, and Being with Classical Chinese Medicine

Mei Zhan

In questioning the status of materialist theory and the process of theorization in traditional Chinese medicine, and in postsocialist life more broadly speaking, classical Chinese medicine advocates imagine nondialectical materialisms as immanent ways of thinking, doing, and being in the world.

Pume Bylex's Tourist City

"Illuminating the Hole": Kinshasa’s Makeovers Between Dream and Reality

I examine the history of modern urban planning ideas and makeover models in the capital city of Kinshasa, Congo, with specific reference to the career of Pume Bylex. These proposed and attempted makeovers are looked at in the historical, cultural, and social context of Kinshasa itself, specifically regarding its colonial past, its prevailing mysticism, and its residents’ collective yearning for a dream city and a utopia that removes them from the reality of the actual city and nation they inhabit.

Man Collecting a blood sample from a Tibetan subject

Genetic Origami in Asian Experiments

Aihwa Ong

How can the humanities and social sciences can be blended in a contemporary inquiry into the flow of bioscience to sites in Asia?

Lebanese women wave their national flag and hold placards as they take part in a protest in Beirut

Environmental Activism in the Middle East: Prospects and Challenges

Environmental activism has intensified across the Middle East and North Africa over the past few decades, focusing primarily on environmental issues that affect public health, livelihoods, and essential services.

Douglas Bleakley, father of Alan Bleakley, behind the wheel of a Jaguar c.1946

Don’t Breathe a Word: A Psychoanalysis of Medicine’s Inflations

Modern medicine has achieved great things but, like all institutions, it has significant flaws. Medicine’s major flaw is inflation, appearing in a variety of guises and intensities as the following: overconfidence, arrogance, self-importance, narcissism, authoritarianism, impulsivity or lack of reflection, fear of failure, intolerance of ambiguity, and overdeterminism.

Persian Literature and Educating the Whole Person

I suggest that students can learn to use emotional and aesthetic intelligence as a means of living healthier and more balanced lives and that ancient artistic and literary masterpieces are intellectual tools that revive and nourish our ability to pause, look closely, and ponder. I further suggest that, more often than not, seeking questions is more important than finding answers.

Eko-Atlantic project, Nigeria.

Re-Urbanism in Africa: Frictionless Utopias for the Contemporary Urban Age

Following an introduction to the concept of the "parallel city" or "satellite city," this essay reviews a variety of examples, including city-building projects in Lagos, Morocco, Mauritius, Ghana, and Uganda.

Malaria Commission of the League of Nations, Geneva. Photograph by Poesch photographic agency, 1928

From Colonial Medicine to International Health in East Asia

This essay examines in depth the history of colonial medicine in East Asia and its transition to an international health initiative.

Colorful pile of pills

Toward Global Histories of Pharmaceuticals in East Asia

Timothy Yang

This brief essay considers the history of pharmaceuticals in East Asia. It begins with a discussion of the burgeoning popularity of cultural and social histories of modern medicine in East Asia, and it describes the benefits and potential pitfalls of examining medicines as commodities.