The Thin White Line

It allows them to have it both ways as majority and minority, center and margin. “They were given public deference and titles of courtesy because they were white,” he wrote. Although the Fraternal Order of Police leans conservative (it endorsed Donald Trump for president in 2016) and blue lives matter bills have had more success

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Memorializing the Present: Montgomery’s New Legacy Museum

As I stood in front of the most technologically sophisticated exhibit, a replica of slave pens from which holograms recite authentic 19th-century slave narratives, I couldn’t help but think of the work of Toni Morrison and Claudia Rankine. And for those of us who seek to communicate academic scholarship to a general audience, it’s also

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Science’s Freedom Fighters

Even as they were scooping up foreign publications and attending overseas meetings, sometimes returning home to write reports to their handlers on their observations, these scientists claimed their work as apolitical. Likewise, many scientists, reacting to critiques of power and privilege in the 1960s, “sought new forms of scientific organizations that rejected the possibility of

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Modernism and Mimesis

This history comprises a Western calendar, with key years and moments marking a purported break. Buddhism’s role here is key, since it points to a way of responding to the fragmentariness of the world that refuses to put humans at the center — that is, it eschews a mimetic reading of fragmentariness. In the postcolonial

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The Polish Predicament

That is just one possible set of reflections unleashed by Kosicki’s superb and timely story of how progressives across the continent endeavored to become allies in the struggle for peace and justice, and instead became prisoners of the 20th century. Soon three Catholic journals were operating, independent though censored: Piasecki’s Today and Tomorrow [Dziś i

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Obsessive Derring-Do

On January 22, he accepted the inevitable and was airlifted to an Antarctic tourism company’s compound on the other side of the continent. As Grann puts it: “In an age preoccupied with human mastery — over companies, battlefields, bureaucracies, and most of all, oneself — Shackleton was revered for the way he had recruited and

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The Limits of Language in a Surrealist Age: Sabrina Orah Mark’s “Wild Milk”

[…] Like if the Bible was a room you could walk inside and there was nothing. Common reference points are consistently stripped away and replaced by implausibilities, superimposed fantasies, and overlapping realities. At this point in the collection, Mark wants the reader to consider whether the world we live in is so far away from

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LARB Radio Hour: Rethinking Identity with Kwame Anthony Appiah

Appiah tackles questions of cultural appropriation, how we come to feel that we possess our various identities, and why it is past time that we start restructuring our relationship to identity and our relationship to others. While Appiah’s work has long engaged questions of how we relate to others through and across difference in pursuit

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Wives’ Tales

In the middle of what would have been a blow out, they receive their second most important phone call of the film: their first granddaughter is born. In The Wife, Joan wants the same thing: recognition. Björn Runge), she may have finally received her chance. Nathaniel reaches across their table to light Joan’s cigarette and

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M Is for Mother

She is capable of refusing her mother’s requests and enduring the repercussions. Her mother is consumed by the many peculiar excretions of her body, both real and imagined (worms in the eye, swellings, discharges, irritations). That story, full of contradictions and circular logic, is about her relationship with her mother and her mother’s unraveling mental

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Joshua Cohen Confronts the New National Deficit in “ATTENTION: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction”

As our written mediums have become ever speedier, ever more clickable, ever less like literature or journalism, it seems entirely possible, and a little tragic, that our very ability to pay attention has atrophied. S. Cohen’s answer is that the defense of literature and the defense of the human capacity to pay attention are inextricably

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“A Republic or a Monarchy?” A Citizen’s Guide to Impeachment

They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.” Having refused to sign the Constitution because it lacked a Bill of Rights, Mason was worried that the president could pardon “crimes which were advised by himself” before indictment and

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“The Liberal Order Is the Incubator for Authoritarianism”: A Conversation with Pankaj Mishra

Bhagwati’s response to the decline in Indian calorie consumption, which obviously reflected increased hunger and poverty, was positively Marie Antoinette–ish: the poor were probably consuming more “rice and fruits,” and in any case, “malnourished families should be shifting their diet to more milk and fruits.” It is probably unfair to single Bhagwati out, but you

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A Native with a Pale Face

Or are they the subcontractors following the orders of “republican racism”? Another defining element of “anti-Zionism” is given to us on page 57, where Bouteldja once again explains that Zionism is a white project whose beneficiaries are Jewish, but also clarifies, in passing, her vision of an egalitarian future between “Jews” and “natives”: So, then,

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