Enduring Dispossession in Indonesia

Christian Lund— In 2013, my friend Oji and I were talking to a group of villagers not far from Garut, in West Java. The land around had been the object of dispute and struggle for generations. It had been taken over from Javanese nobility and peasants by Dutch planters in

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Oblivion or Glory

David Stafford— Shortly before noon on Wednesday 26 January 1921 an express train bound for Shrewsbury in England was speeding towards the small rural station of Abermule, close to the Severn river in Wales. It was on a single-track line. A safety system used by the Cambrian Railway Company involving

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A Vanished Kingdom’s Monumental Achievement

Richard Butterwick— The ancient Roman historian Sallust pronounced, “It is better to live in perilous liberty than in tranquil servitude.” But on May 3, 1791, a path beyond the Sallustian dilemma of perilous liberty or tranquil servitude was offered to old Poland, otherwise known as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Their parliament,

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A Conversation with Hoda Barakat

Next month, Yale University Press is pleased to publish Voices of the Lost by Hoda Barakat, translated from the Arabic by Marilyn Booth, a novel that weaves together a series of devastating confessions about life in contemporary Arab society. We sat down with Hoda to discuss the relationship between literature and

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The ‘Oskar Schindler’ of Vienna

Helen Fry— 11 March 1943. In a cell at Latimer House in Buckinghamshire, two German soldiers, a lower rank infantry officer captured in Tunisia the previous year, and a paratrooper captured in Algeria a few months before, are discussing the interrogations they have undergone. The previous day, British agents had

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Changeability for Survival: Sanford Biggers’s Codeswitch

Interview with the artist by David Ebony Sanford Biggers is a multifaceted, multi-talented artist with a singular, global vision. A major touring museum solo of works by the Los Angeles-born (1970), New York-based artist, Codeswitch features some sixty large-scale “quilt paintings,” as well as a number of relief constructions, and videos. Scheduled to

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A Personal Canon: Jennifer A. Pruitt on Five Influential Texts

In my work, I strive to understand how diverse populations of people used and experienced architecture in the medieval Islamic world. The texts I have chosen for my personal canon explore these cultural interactions, bringing the complexity of medieval humanity to life. The Cairo Geniza The Cairo Geniza, which is

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… in which Nick Mauss answers some questions about Transmissions

Transmissions is an installation, a collage of several art forms, a revisionist investigation of New York modernism and sexual expression, and an essay in queer theory…. The juxtapositions show that Transmissions is a work of creative imagination as much as revelation. You go to sample it as history, you absorb

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Fur: A Sensitive History

Jonathan Faiers— Fur Thinking In 1963, as part of a publicity stunt, World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Sonny Liston had a pair of boxing gloves made from mink.  The gloves were used during press interviews between Liston and newcomer Muhammad Ali (then still known as Cassius Clay), the joke being that

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