Hannah Arendt on Zionism

Susie Linfield— It’s a pleasant day in the summer of 2013, and I sit with a Jewish-Israeli intellectual in a lively Tel Aviv café. She is a member of the far Left who advocates a one-state solution and is adamantly anti-Zionist. (She has since emigrated from Israel.) She asks me

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Protestantism in Brazil

Erika Helgen— Protestantism has a long, complex history in Brazil, full of starts and stops, growth and stagnation, political and social transformations. The earliest manifestations of Protestantism were short-lived. French and Dutch Calvinists who competed with the Catholic Portuguese for supremacy in the New World during the sixteenth and seventeenth

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Combatting Voter Suppression

Richard L. Hasen— The media often frame the voting wars as a stalemate between claims of voter fraud and voter suppression, but it is time to declare the battle over. The issue of organized voter fraud has now been put to the test in courts and in social science, and

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A Lilac Sprig Dangling from a Horn

Kasia Boddy— In the last eighteen months of his short life, Richard Wright became obsessed with haiku. Since Wright was a self-declared “protest writer,” readers have struggled to reconcile these (4,000 or so) delicate experiments in verse with the hard-hitting naturalism of works such as Black Boy (1945) and Native

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White Beaches in Connecticut

Andrew W. Kahrl— It was a hot and hazy August afternoon in the summer of 1975. The line was long, and tempers were short. Outside the entrance to Hammonasset State Park, sunburned arms dangled from the sides of cars, children’s heads rested on windows, and idle drivers burned fuel that

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Challenging Stereotypes about Black Women

Melissa V. Harris-Perry— Eliza Gallie was a free black woman living in Petersburg, Virginia, before the Civil War. She was divorced, owned property, and had financial resources that made her unusual among free blacks in the Confederate South. In 1853 Gallie was arrested and charged with stealing cabbages from a

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Shifting Paradigms in the Study of Christian Origins

Matt Jackson-McCabe— One of the more intriguing questions in the history of religion is how the Jewish apostles of a first-century Jewish messiah came to be considered the authoritative embodiment of values fundamentally other than Jewish. Making sense of Christianity’s relationship to Judaism has been a problem ever since the

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To Describe a Life by Darby English

A quotation from the French philosopher and political activist Simone Weil is the first thing the reader encounters upon starting chapter one of To Describe a Life: Notes from the Intersection of Art and Race Terror by Professor Darby English. These words encapsulate the complex questions about self-identity, agency, and force that Darby English

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Two Dresses

David Margolick— Early in the morning of September 4, 1957, two girls in Little Rock, Arkansas, each fifteen years old, dressed for school. On a block of black families nestled in the west side of town, in the small brick house she shared with her parents and five brothers and

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