Giant Ryan © Orr | Flickr
FeatureLiberal Democracy in QuestionPower and CrisisRaceRace/isms

Misrepresentation and Misrecognition

Steve King’s American Exceptionalism and its Ties to the “Slaves were Immigrants, too” Thesis


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past+present+history+podcast+nicole+hemmer+natalia+petrzela+neil+young+historians
Multi MediaPodcast

The Women’s Strike, Anti-Semitism, and Robots

Past and Present Episode 73

In this week’s episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate the complicated politics of the women’s strike, the rise of anti-Semitism in America, and humanity’s relationship to robots.

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Stop Violence sculpture in Petah Tikva, Israel, 2012 © Dr. Avishai Teicher | PikiWiki Israel
EssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in QuestionRace

Of Honor and Despair in Dark Times

Hannah Arendt on Stefan Zweig

In 1943, with confirmation of the Nazis’ implementation of what the ossified bureaucratic language called Endlösung (the final solution) — the extermination of all European Jews — Hannah Arendt published an essay in the émigré journal Aufbau (printed in New York) on Stefan Zweig and the bygone world of yesterday, namely the world of dreams and illusions of German culture’s bourgeois cosmopolitanism. As one of its most influential and admired voices …

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Ágnes Heller, October 27, 2014 © Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera | Flickr
EducationEssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionPower and CrisisTheory & Practice

Agnes Heller and “Everyday Revolutions”

Portrait of a Philosopher

The forms of the southern clouds at the dawn of April 30th, 1882, are comparable to those mottled streaks on this one book he had only seen once (a Spanish edition). Following the Naturalis Historia, he recounts exactly four historically exemplary cases of prodigious memory: Cyrus …

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Daniel Barenboim © Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda | Flickr
Essays

Why Iran is Afraid of Daniel Barenboim

Dischords instead of overtures

No Art of the Fugue in the land of a thousand centrifuges: Iran has informed Daniel Barenboim that his intended concert with the Berlin orchestra in Tehran has been cancelled. There will be no overture during the long-anticipated easing following the nuclear deal. This is a blow for Barenboim as well as for Steinmeier, the German foreign minister, who was meant to be the patron of the concert.

The official explanation is interesting …

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Günter Grass © Elisa Cabot | Flickr
Arts & DesignEssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

Germany’s Awkward Farewell to Günter Grass

Can good poetry also be a good politics? I am paraphrasing a question that I have heard Jeff Goldfarb asking on several occasions. Günter Grass, German novelist, poet, sculptor, and a Nobel Prize laureate, delivered both — the finest literature and daring political insights. With his departure, Germany and the world have lost one of the last novelists who practiced the art of modern novel that Milan Kundera understood as being intrinsic to the existence of modern individual. Grass’ss novels capture depths and intricacies of human experience that he reiterated in epic yet unheroic stories free of pathos and sentimentality. …

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Illustration of Hannah Arendt "Hannah-Arendt3" ©  Ben Northern | Flickr
EssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionTheory & Practice

Hannah and Me: Understanding Politics in Dark Times

Contrary to the suggestion of my informal title, I did not study with Hannah Arendt, nor were we ever colleagues, although I missed both experiences only by a bit. I was a graduate student in the early 1970s in one of the universities where she last taught, the University of Chicago, and my first and only long term position, at the New School for Social Research, was her primary American academic home.

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"Masquerade" by Aubrey Beardsley (1872 - 1898) © Public Domain |masterpieceart.net/aubrey-beardsley
EssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionMedia & Publics

We Say No to the “Sacred Union”

In the aftermath of the killings at Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher, critical voices have largely been drowned in the general sea of undifferentiated outrage. But this statement by French colleagues, which recently appeared in Le Monde, is a major intervention and a welcome exception.

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