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.

1857_mutineers_mosque_meerut2.jpg

After the Rebellion: Religion, Rebels, and Jihad in South Asia

This essay addresses how the events of 1857–58 minoritized and racialized Indian Muslims, with particular attention to the use of jihad as a rhetorical concept in the colonial period.

Climate Change, Cultures, Territories, Nonhumans, and Relational Knowledges in Colombia

Introduction Climate change (CC) has led not only to environmental transformations, but also to economic, and political responses of various…

Clive Bell’s "Significant Form" and the Neurobiology of Aesthetics

Semir Zeki

Though first published almost one century ago, and though its premise has been disputed, Clive Bell’s essay on aesthetics in his book Art still provides fertile ground for discussing problems in aesthetics, especially as they relate to neuroesthetics. In this essay, I begin with a brief account of Bell’s ideas on aesthetics, and describe how they focus on problems of importance to neuroesthetics.

The New Humanities?

David Ferris

In this essay, I examine the future state of the humanities, as has been done by others many times in the past, but in the context of the current positioning of the university and the future world to come as they pivot toward a quantifiable and technological future that conforms to STEM models.

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.

Frames of Thought

This think piece employs a graphical format to argue against a traditional hierarchy in which words are more respected and valued in the world of knowledge than images.

“Still It Makes Me Laugh, No Time to Die”: Methodological Reflections on Oxford Street

Ato Quayson

In responding to several commentaries on his book, Oxford Street, Accra: City Life and the Itineraries of Transnationalism, the author calls upon autobiographical memories and probes their relation to fieldwork and translational transactions between various languages, pointing out that there are no easy or single sources for entextualized anecdotes or slogans.

Más Arte Más Acción: Utopia’s 500th

This essay presents the work of Más Arte Más Acción, a UK–Colombian non-profit cultural foundation set up in 2009 by visual artist Fernando Arias and cultural manager Jonathan Colin.

Comic by Craig Klugman

The Health Humanities and the Future of Publishing

This paper discusses the evolution of the field of Health Humanities and examines the effects that changes in publishing may hold for its continued development, including open access, pre-print servers, textbooks, ebooks, blogs, and other innovations that might presage a non-print—and even post-text—future.

Los intelectuales africanos ante el fenómeno de las dictaduras

A menudo me preguntan para qué sirve la literatura en las sociedades africanas. Desde fuera, resultan incomprensibles tantas horas de…

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.