by Nicholas Jenkins | 09.14.2009
The ancestral line of Henry Straith Venn (1869-1908) was a weighty, chronicled one stocked almost entirely on the male side by distinguished, formidable, moralistic churchmen. Henry's great-uncle, John Venn, was the logician who introduced the 'Venn diagram', that pleasingly bulbous, promiscuous mathematical diagram.
by Brian Reed | 09.13.2009
I was writing a different post, but yesterday someone broke into our house and stole assorted things, including my laptop.  Farewell, my Sony Vaio, we had some good times.  After adversity, one seeks distraction.  I went straight to one of the most beautiful poems in the Russian language, Afanasii Fet's "Shëpot, robkoe dykhanie" (1850).  
by Ato Quayson | 09.11.2009
Allow me to take undue advantage of double vision and describe Oxford Street from the perspective of an erstwhile denizen of Accra as well as that of someone who has lived abroad for many years.
by Christopher Warley | 09.11.2009
Raymond Chandler is making me depressed this afternoon.  Not because Chandler has a knack for hitting a nerve (“On the way out I had another look at the face in the mirror.  I looked as if I had made up my mind to drive off a cliff”).  I’m depressed because I am currently rereading The Little Sister in The Library of America edition.
by William Egginton | 09.10.2009
Used to describe a particular variant of religious belief, the concept of fundamentalism has its origins in relatively recent US Protestantism, where it was positively connoted by those who identified as fundamentalist in reaction to liberal theology and biblical criticism.
by Jonathan Mayhew | 09.09.2009
The phenomenon of "swing" has received a lot of attention.  Does it swing or doesn't it?  Today I'd like to consider another quality, which I am going to call the "lilt," a rapid up-and-down motion seen in stride piano and in later forms of jazz as well.  (I'll get to my related consideration of "swing" in a subsequent post.)
by Ato Quayson | 09.09.2009
The evidence of material on African cities does not inspire confidence.  They are increasingly overcrowded with no clear plan for matching population growth to available facilities.  Sewage and garbage disposal are perennial problems. The hope some five decades ago when many countries gained freedom from their former colonial masters was that the cities would act as engines of growth.
by Ban Wang | 09.08.2009
Invoked as antidote to oriental authoritarianism, human rights talk often draws a line between us and them, between other cultures bereft of rights and the West blessed with rights and liberty.