Martin Fradley (Edge Hill): “Why Doesn’t Your Compass Work?”: Pirates of the Caribbean, Fantasy Blockbusters and Contemporary Queer Theory. From Hippocampus, an interview with Dinty W. Moore on creative nonfiction. A common faith: Marilynne Robinson looks to the stars for clues about our nature. An interview with Matthew White, author of The Great Big Book of Horrible Things: The Definitive Chronicle of History’s 100 Worst Atrocities. The other side of freedom: The birth of life insurance is often tied to the birth of freedom, but the historical record tells a different story. Ink, Inc.: Is the ancient art of tattooing on the verge of a massive sellout? The image of the "creative type" is a myth: Jonah Lehrer on why anyone can innovate and why a hot shower, a cold beer or a trip to your colleague's desk might be the key to your next big idea. Boy Scouts are from Mars, Girl Scouts are from Venus: Behind the khaki uniforms and the merit badges, the two organizations have vastly different political leanings. Is the editorial cartoonist dead? It is now officially OK to make World War II references.
Richard Rymarz (St. Joseph's): The Future of Catholic Schools in a Secular Culture of Religious Choice. From Rethinking Schools, a special issue on the school-to-prison pipeline. Teach for America: Andrew Hartman on the hidden curriculum of liberal do-gooders. From NYRB, Diane Ravitch reviews A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn’t in Providing an Excellent Education for All by Wendy Koop and reviews Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland? by Pasi Sahlberg; on how the current frenzy of blaming teachers for low scores smacks of a witch-hunt, the search for a scapegoat, someone to blame for a faltering economy, for the growing levels of poverty, for widening income inequality; and on flunking Arne Duncan. Diana Senechal writes in defense of Diane Ravitch. Megan Erickson on a nation of Little Lebowski Urban Achievers. A new study suggests that a good grade school teacher can boost college attendance rates, reduce teenage pregnancy, and increase a student’s earning potential. Liberals, don’t homeschool your kids: Dana Golstein on why teaching children at home violates progressive values (and a response).
From the International Journal of Business and Social Science, Mary L. Rucker and Theresa I. Myadze (Wright State): Obama, the Obstructionist 112th U.S. Congress and Tea Party Adamantine: A Political Spectacle. From The Washington Monthly, a cover story on the Incomplete Greatness of Barack Obama: He's gotten more done in three years than any president in decades — too bad the American public still thinks he hasn't accomplished anything; a look at Obama's top 50 accomplishments; and Paul Glastris on Clinton's third term. Joshua Green on Barack Obama, "Greatest Gun Salesman in America". Southern voters speculate why Barack Obama won in 2008. Michael Sean Winters on how the ghost of Jerry Falwell conquered the Republican Party. After Harvard, young Mitt Romney rose rapidly in the Mormon Church and made a fortune at Bain Capital; Michael Kranish and Scott Helman report on the collateral damage. If you like painful idiocy, you can watch Ted Nugent discuss politics. From Suite 101, an article on Lyndon LaRouche and the fringe politics of America.
From Intersections, a special issue on the Art and Politics of Moving Bodies in Oceania. From The Guardian, a series on Thomas Aquinas, a father of modernity. While sex purges our genome of harmful mutations and pushes biodiversity, it's a costly exercise for the average organism, so when, and why, did it all begin? The problem(s) with sex: Sex is quite simply a terrible way to reproduce. Is Grover Norquist America's “most powerful man”? James Fallows on the sad and infuriating Mike Daisey case. Political Malpractice, Deficit Edition: Bang-your-head-against-the-wall material about the Obama administration’s “pivot” to deficits. The U.S. cruises toward a 2013 fiscal cliff: As tax cuts expire and spending falls, the economy will be hit with a 3.5% decline in gross domestic demand. The Baffler is back: Founded in 1988 by Thomas Frank and Keith White, and staffed by such bright lights as Matt Weiland, Dave “Diamonds” Mulcahey, Chris Lehmann, Damon Krukowski, and Tom Vanderbilt, The Baffler was one of the two most important zine/journals of the Nineties (1994-2003).
Frederic Megret (McGill): War and the Vanishing Battlefield. Mark Harrison (Warwick): Capitalism at War. Adil Ahmad Haque (Rutgers): Killing in the Fog of War. From Joint Force Quarterly, Dennis M. Murphy (AWC): The Future of Influence in Warfare; and war is a moral force: Peter D. Fromm, Douglas A. Pryer, and Kevin R. Cutright on designing a more viable strategy for the Information Age. A book salon on When The World Outlawed War by David Swanson. David W. Bates on his book States of War: Enlightenment Origins of the Political. The introduction to War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences by Mary L. Dudziak (and more and more). From Michigan War Studies Review, a review of Barbarous Philosophers: Reflections on the Nature of War from Heraclitus to Heisenberg by Christopher Coker; and a review of Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War by Matt Gallagher. From Small Wars Journal, an article on natural selection and nature of war. War on the World: How does warfare affect the environment? A look at 5 screw-ups on the battlefield that accidentally won the war.
From the International Journal of Baudrillard Studies, including Russell Manning (Monash): Jumping the Jaguar Shark: Seduction and Steve Zissou; Mark S. Roberts (SCC): Brave New World Revisited Again: Resistance, the Unreal and the Real; Mel Salm (Goldsmiths): Mediation, Simulation, and the Large Hadron Collider. Joel Anderson (Utrecht): Situating Axel Honneth in the Frankfurt School Tradition. From Kritikos, Uli Muehe (Kent): Whose Empire? Which Multitude?; and Wayne E. Arnold (Louisiana): American Psycho, Cosmopolis and the Coiffure? Jordan Alexander Stein (Colorado): How To Be a Theory Dinosaur. From Social Text, a series of articles on the "speculative life". From Lacan.com, Jacques Alain Miller on reading a symptom. Theorizing the Contemporary: A forum on Theory from the South: How Euro-America is Evolving Toward Africa by Jean and John Comaroff. A review of Marx Through Post Structuralism: Lyotard, Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze by Simon Choat. An interview with Walter Benjamin: A Philosophical Portrait by Eli Friedlander. A review of Althusser's Lesson by Jacques Ranciere. A review of Emerging Trends in Continental Philosophy, ed. Todd May.
From the Journal of Aesthetics and Culture, Giorgio Riello (Warwick): The Object of Fashion: Methodological Approaches to the History of Fashion. The decision to wear a tie can be a sartorial minefield for politicians and the public alike. From Philosophy Now, the Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant: Nick Bostrom tells us a philosophical parable about death. From Make, time for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts 2.0? Why Greg Smith is "dead right" about Goldman Sachs: The resignation letter heard round the world proves what we already know: Washington would like to think it can change the culture of Wall Street — and it can't. Charles Murray on why economics can't explain our cultural divide: Even during upturns, blue-collar Americans are marrying and working less. David Ignatius on the bin Laden plot to kill President Obama (and more). Ani DiFranco's “¿Which Side Are You On?”: a “radical” artist openly embraces Obama and the Democrats. Jonathan Chait on Romney's health care evasions: A history. Iceland’s ex-prime minister Geir H. Haarde is on trial over role in financial crisis.
Karl S. Coplan (Pace): Climate Change, Political Truth, and the Marketplace of Ideas. From the inaugural issue of Wayfarer, when your whole island is sinking, what do you do? The village of Kivalina, Alaska, sits on the tip of a six- to eight-mile-long barrier island some 80 to 120 miles above the Arctic Circle — and its Inupiat population is already feeling the effects of climate change. An interview with Stephen Gardiner, author of A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change. Why climate change will make you love Big Government: Christian Parenti on a secret history of free enterprise and the government that made it possible. Bill Gates backs climate scientists lobbying for large-scale geoengineering. From Momentum, what would it take to shape a planet on which people, other living things and the systems that support us can sustainably co-exist? Why the environmental movement is not winning: A new report places the blame on misguided strategies of environmental funders. Should global-warming activists lie to defend their cause? William D. Nordhaus on why the global warming skeptics are wrong.
From World History Connected, a special issue on Hawaii in world history. Wrangles over wrangel: Sovereignty issues have recently been appearing in Alaskan newspapers. The District of Columbia: From the oldest colony to the 51st state? As Puerto Rico prepares to hold its first status referendum in 14 years this November, a leading advocate for District of Columbia statehood said he sees strong parallels between the two jurisdictions' political situations. PR set to voice a choice in GOP race. A review of The Wandering Gene and the Indian Princess: Race, Religion, and DNA by Jeff Wheelwright. From Geocurrents, Asya Pereltsvaig on mapping heritage languages. Citizenship for sale: St. Kitts and Nevis will let you buy citizenship — the United States should do the same. Anniversaries from "unhistory": The events we fail to commemorate say as much about our national narrative as those we acknowledge. An excerpt from The Last Myth: What the Rise of Apocalyptic Thinking Tells Us about America by Matthew Barrett Gross and Mel Gilles. What makes America? A review of The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States by Gordon S. Wood.
A new issue of Triple Canopy is out. Ami E. Stearns and Thomas J. Burns (Oklahoma): About the Human Condition in the Works of Dickens and Marx. Ronald J. Colombo (Hofstra): The Corporation as a Tocquevillian Association. From Forward, does education fuel anti-Semitism? German study says Holocaust Studies may increase hatred; and Daniel Jonah Goldhagen on the other denied genocides: From Turkey to Guatemala, nations deny worst crimes. If pennies and nickels are largely useless, why does the U.S. Mint continue to manufacture them?: An excerpt from The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers — and the Coming Cashless Society by David Wolman. Justice on the High Seas: The Supreme Court says corporations have a right to free speech — but can they get away with murder? Death by Treacle: Sentiment surfaces fast and runs hot in public life, dumbing it down and crippling intimacy in private life. What do fact-checkers and anesthesiologists have in common? Understanding why some people choose professions where accomplishments go unheralded.