show episodes
 
Mutations is a podcast exploring latent futures in the radical present. We inhabit a time between times, between worlds—what are the emergent potentials, articulated visions, or, in a word, ‘mutations’ that can help us to pathfind our way into the future? What forms of integrative thinking and being are required for this leap? Author (Seeing Through the World), show host, and integral philosopher Jeremy D Johnson explores these questions through solo podcasts, readings, and with featured guests.
 
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show series
 
Ronald Deibert is a professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto and the Director of The Citizen Lab, a public interest research organization that uncovers privacy and human rights abuses on the internet. In his latest book, Reset: Reclaiming the Internet for Civil Society (House of Anansi Press, 2020), Deibert unites a growing corpu…
 
How can ethnographers use multimedia presentations of their work to reach new audiences, build different relationships with their participants, and promote new practices of witnessing and representation? On today’s episode we talk with Dr. Deborah Thomas, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. She tells us about her collaborat…
 
Terrorism is a cancer, an infection, an epidemic, a plague. For more than a century, this metaphor has figured insurgent violence as contagion in order to contain its political energies. In Epidemic Empire: Colonialism, Contagion, and Terror, 1817–2020 (University of Chicago Press, 2021), Anjuli Fatima Raza Kolb, Associate Professor at the Universi…
 
Dangerous Religious Ideas: The Deep Roots of Self-Critical Faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Beacon, 2020) reveals how faith traditions have always passed down tools for self-examination and debate, because all religious ideas—not just extremist ones—can cause harm, even as they also embody important moral teachings. Scripture’s abiding re…
 
Digital dualism, or a sharp division between online and offline activity as "virtual" or "real" has long been a feature of liturgical studies and discussions around worship gatherings for theorists and practitioners alike. Teresa Berger's new book @Worship: Liturgical Practices in Digital Worlds (Routledge, 2017) provides a manifesto for more nuanc…
 
Bina Shah speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about her short story “Weeds and Flowers,” which appears in Issue 19 of The Common magazine. In this conversation, Shah talks about how the people she observes and encounters in her life in Karachi, Pakistan, inspire her work in fiction. She also discusses her 2018 feminist dystopian novel Before Sh…
 
In the late-18th century, a group of publishers in what historian Robert Darnton calls the "Fertile Crescent" — countries located along the French border, stretching from Holland to Switzerland — pirated the works of prominent (and often banned) French writers and distributed them in France, where laws governing piracy were in flux and any notion o…
 
Wow! Food, family, memory, insight, body, mind - worth the effort this one. Eating with My Mouth Open (NewSouth, 2021) is food writing like you’ve never seen before: honest, brave, and exceptionally tasty. Lyrically written, Sam van Zweden offers a millennial response to classic food writers, revelling in body positivity on Instagram, remembering h…
 
In The Sea and the Sacred in Japan: Aspects of Maritime Religion (Bloomsbury 2018), Fabio Rambelli invites various fifteen scholars of Japanese religions to reflect on a well taken-for-granted fact: although the sea has always been a critical source of religious inspirations for Japan, the study of Japanese religions has chosen to turn its attentio…
 
Today we are joined by Fiona Greenland, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, to talk about her new book, Ruling Culture: Art Police, Tomb Raiders, and the Rise of Cultural Power in Italy (University of Chicago Press, 2021). Through much of its history, Italy was Europe’s heart of the arts, an artistic playground for forei…
 
In 1935, the writer Baburao Patel writes the following about Bombay’s film industry: “In India, with financing conditions still precarious, the professional film distributor thrives. . . . He comes with a fortune made in share and cotton gambling, advances money to the producer at a killing rate of interest plus a big slice of royalty and recovers …
 
Would your dog eat you if you died? What are face mites? Why do clowns creep us out? In this illuminating collection of grisly true science stories, journalist Erika Engelhaupt, the writer of National Geographic’s highly acclaimed Gory Details blog, shares the answers to these questions and many more. Gory Details: Adventures from the Dark Side of …
 
Maybe the People Would Be the Times (Verse Chorus Press, 2020) could be described as a memoir in essay form. Collecting pieces from the past two decades, this book covers Luc Sante's childhood as an immigrant from Belgium, his engagement with the downtown arts scene that gave rise to punk, and the eventual downfall of a version of New York that may…
 
Welcome to The Academic Life. You are smart and capable, but you aren’t an island, and neither are we. So we reached across our mentor network to bring you podcasts on everything from how to finish that project, to how to take care of your beautiful mind. Wish we’d bring in an expert about something? Email us at cgessler@gmail.com or dr.danamalone@…
 
Lori Cox Han and Caroline Heldman, both scholars of gender and politics as well as scholars of the American Presidency, have assembled a wide array of essays[*] to revisit the question about whether “we” are ready for the first female president of the United States, and what the path might look like to arrive at that glass-ceiling shattering event.…
 
Today I talked to Candacy Taylor about her book Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America (Abrams Press, 2020). Taylor is an award-winning author, photographer and cultural documentarian. She’s been a fellow at Harvard University under the direction of Henry Louis Gates Jr. and her projects have been funded by org…
 
Dispute over land and kingdom may lie at the heart of this story of war between cousins the Pandavas and the Kouravas but the Mahabharata is about conflicts of dharma. These conflicts are immense and various, singular and commonplace. Throughout the epic, characters face them with no clear indications of what is right and what is wrong; there are n…
 
As a Thai-Australian woman artist, Phaptawan Suwannakudt has long battled prejudice and discrimination relating to her gender. This disappointment with society’s dictates features at the heart of Phaptawan’s artistic practice. Spanning more than four decades, Phaptawan’s rich body of work includes paintings, sculptures and installations, informed b…
 
Kaitland Byrd’s new book Real Southern Barbecue: Constructing Authenticity in Southern Food Culture (Lexington Press, 2019) examines an archive of oral histories collected by the Southern Foodways Alliance featuring the voices of barbecue pit masters and restaurant owners from the South. Byrd argues that barbecue as a cultural product has a unique …
 
Humans have found many ways to divide and stratify—by skin color, ancestry, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, health status, body type or size, and so on. The list is so long that it’s hard to imagine it getting longer, and yet debut author Chris Panatier has found a way. In The Phlebotomist (Angry Robot, 2020)t, society is di…
 
Based on a viral article, the gripping medical mystery story of Ron Davis, a world-class Stanford geneticist who has put his career on the line to find the cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, the disease killing his son. For the past six years, Whitney Dafoe has been confined to a bedroom in the back of his parents' home, unable to walk, to eat, to …
 
When John Foster Dulles died in 1959, he was given the largest American state funeral since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s in 1945. President Eisenhower called Dulles—his longtime secretary of state—“one of the truly great men of our time,” and a few years later the new commercial airport outside Washington, DC, was christened the Dulles International…
 
The remarkable life of history's first foreign-born samurai and his astonishing journey from Northern Africa to the heights of Japanese society. When Yasuke arrived in Japan in the late 1500s, he had already traveled much of the known world. Kidnapped as a child, and trained into a boy soldier in India, he had ended up an indentured servant and bod…
 
Founded in 1935 by a young publisher disillusioned with the class prejudices of the interwar publishing trade, Penguin Books set out to make good books available to all. The 'Penguin Specials', a series of current affairs books authored by leading intellectuals and politicians, embodied its democratising mission. Published over fifty years and ofte…
 
The medium of cinema emerged during the height of Victorian-era European empires, and as a result, settler colonial imperialism has thematically suffused film for well over a century. In Cinematic Settlers: The Settler Colonial World on Film (Routledge, 2020), Drs. Janne Lahti (Academy of Finland Fellow in history, University of Helsinki) and Rebec…
 
Chelsea Szendi Schieder’s Co-Ed Revolution: The Female Student in the Japanese New Left and Naoko Koda’s The United States and the Japanese Student Movement, 1948-1973: Managing a Free World provide new insights into the postwar Japanese student movement. Koda, a scholar of diplomatic history and international relations, situates student activism w…
 
It’s hard to avoid innovation these days. Nearly every product gets marketed as being disruptive, whether it’s genuinely a new invention or just a new toothbrush. But in this manifesto on the state of American work, historians of technology Lee Vinsel and Andrew L. Russell argue that our way of thinking about and pursuing innovation has made us poo…
 
Suyoung Son’s book Writing for Print: Publishing and the Making of Textual Authority in Late Imperial China (Harvard UP, 2018) examines the widespread practice of self-publishing by writers in late imperial China, focusing on the relationships between manuscript tradition and print convention, peer patronage and popular fame, and gift exchange and …
 
Listen to this interview of Shyam Sharma, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric at Stony Brook University. We talk about how mutually appreciative attitudes advance Writing in the Disciplines, about how other languages matter to writing in English, and about how US Presidents have changed the wa…
 
With over 100 million followers, Buddhism in the People's Republic of China now fosters the largest community in the world of individuals who self-identify as Buddhists. Although Buddhism was harshly persecuted during the Cultural Revolution under the leadership of Mao Zedong, Buddhist communities around the country were able to revive their tradit…
 
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