A behind-the-scenes look at what Public Books editors and staff have been reading this month.
Capitalism seeks wealth to meet desires. But foraging societies follow “the Zen road to affluence”: not by getting more, but wanting less.
“If we want technologies that will not undermine our humanity, social analysts must join with other researchers.”
An aerodynamicist and an anthropologist discuss the world of “Dune,” finding it as aesthetically beautiful as it is functionally implausible.
Transhumanists want to transcend humanity. Where does that leave anthropology?
The Middle East must no longer be defined through the lens of decolonization and the agendas of perpetrators.
“People rise through the ranks and are allowed to hide torture in plain sight because they become complicit.”
History, Ann Stoler showed, is not just political action, disconnected from daily domestic acts. Intimate relations are worthy of serious study.
What happens when thinking of soil as a living being and force, with whom the human world needs to repair and rebuild ties?
Anthropology’s attention to the granular texture of someone’s life is a beautiful training for being a fiction writer.
With so many crises—environmental, humanitarian, racial, viral, and economic—the work of “critique” can seem to be a luxury. But is it?
“Flagged for deportation, I was hurtled into my own little nightmare, an absurdist take on all the immigration tragedies raging across the world.”
Avian flu came from environmental devastation, an increasingly interconnected world, and a growing population—just like COVID-19.
As large spaces where different sectors of the city converge, stadiums are sites of social and political struggle.
The walls were lined with books, as one might expect. Among them were a number of wooden masks, woven baskets, and a tapestry of a bodhisattva. The desk was ...
One of Jorge Luis Borges’s most enduring fictions is the one-paragraph story “Del rigor en la ciencia” (“On Exactitude in Science”). Structured as a fragment of ...
In the early 1980s, an Indian guru homesteaded a tract of ranchland in rural Oregon, building a utopia equipped to withstand both HIV and American hypocrisy. Armed with free love and even freer ...
Stuart Kirsch began his career as an anthropologist doing research on myth ...
Across the Muslim world today ambitious experiments are underway to create an Islamic alternative to conventional finance. These initiatives are inspired by the ...
Tim Watson’s Culture Writing surveys the border between anthropology and literature in the years following World War II. Watson provides illuminating ...