"We define ourselves more by certain emotions. I've never heard anybody say, 'I'm trying to get over my embarrassment and I feel so inauthentic.'"
The Art We Do Together: “Art Worlds” 40th Anniversary
Howard Becker pointed out that critics, curators, suppliers, and administrators are as important to the creation of art as artists themselves.
Marshall Sahlins’s “Original Affluent Society” 50 Years Later
Capitalism seeks wealth to meet desires. But foraging societies follow “the Zen road to affluence”: not by getting more, but wanting less.
Succeeding through Failure: Andrew Lakoff on Preparing for Emergencies
“What is the range of available measures to address our catastrophic future?”
Private Pain, Public Disinvestment: Talking Student Debt with Elizabeth Tandy Shermer
“Individual Americans thought they were the only ones who could not afford to send their kids to college.”
Tolerance by Accident, Trust by Design
Today, trade and globalization often reinforce the incentives for coercion and violence. But what might the history of India reveal about the economic conditions of toleration?
Art and Culture in Schorske’s Century
With decades of creativity—that ended with World War I—Vienna jolted Western art and culture forward into high modernity. But how?
“They Don’t See Their Work as Surveillance”: Jennifer Pan on Chinese Welfare and Society
“It’s like ‘The Minority Report,’ only without psychics.”
Sex, Race, and Feminist Connection
History, Ann Stoler showed, is not just political action, disconnected from daily domestic acts. Intimate relations are worthy of serious study.
Public Thinker: Catherine S. Ramírez on Measuring the Unmeasurable
“That is the paradox of assimilation … You can be essential—an essential worker—and at the same time excluded from the CARES Act.”
Can Game Theory Combat Discrimination?
Originally used to decipher the 1950s nuclear stalemate, the “Prisoner’s Dilemma” might reveal how resources are unfairly distributed today.
Science Turned Upside Down: Carolyn Merchant’s Vision of Nature, 40 Years Later
The Death of Nature wrote a new narrative of science that explored the costs of modernity for nature and humankind.
Beyond the Objectivity Myth
It is no exaggeration to say that Evelyn Fox Keller and her compatriots made possible not only my work but entire generations of scholarship on science.
Listen Closely: “Exit, Voice, and Loyalty” @50
When the Trump presidency ends, and the toll of years of toxicity and mismanagement becomes clear, we are going to need some guidance.
What’s in a Name?
Stanley Lieberson wrestled with the problem of causation throughout his prodigious research career, but nowhere more ingeniously than in A Matter of Taste.
Democracy’s Long Game: An Interview with Paul Starr
“You have to think … about how you’re going to make the changes stick.”
Patricia Banks on Supporting African American Museums
Studies of museum patronage mostly focus on social class. That's not the whole story.
What Does Assimilation Mean?
When Samuel P. Huntington first published “The Hispanic Challenge,” in Foreign Policy in 2004, I was an assistant professor of American studies ...
Disrupting the “Startup Hustle”: An Interview with Margaret O’Mara
Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, John Doerr, Jeff Bezos ...