Berfrois

Justin E. H. Smith: The Search for Intelligent Life

Justin E. H. Smith: The Search for Intelligent Life

It is hard to read about SETI and more recent related projects looking for intelligent life in the stars without discerning in them certain silent presuppositions about what counts or should count as intelligent life on earth.

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Justin E. H. Smith On Plants

Justin E. H. Smith On Plants

Imagine you are in an urban park. Look around. How many animals do you see? I’d imagine you see a few birds, a dog or two, perhaps some insects, and a dozen or so humans.

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Gerardo Muñoz on Andrés Ajens

Gerardo Muñoz on Andrés Ajens

To write or speak on behalf of Ajens’ recent book, Cúmulo Lúcumo (Das Kapital, 2017), is already to allude to its secret vortex. Cúmulo is a book that we welcome and celebrate yet another feat of language that dwells in a threshold.

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The Hermeneutics of Babies

The Hermeneutics of Babies

Babies are usually the stuff of private life, clichés, and endearing memories that we check out as we set foot on campus grounds. Yet babies are the greatest--and arguably the cutest--hermeneutic subjects.

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j/j hastain: Priest/ess

j/j hastain: Priest/ess

My thought-forms don’t appear to me as grammar. For so long in my life I felt taxed by this—a kind of soul stressor. Would I have to translate these thought-forms pure from mystery into normative grammar for my entire life?

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‘Before Foucault, political philosophers had presumed that power had an essence’

‘Before Foucault, political philosophers had presumed that power had an essence’

Foucault remains one of the most cited 20th-century thinkers and is, according to some lists, the single most cited figure across the humanities and social sciences.

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Gerardo Muñoz on Roberto Esposito

Gerardo Muñoz on Roberto Esposito

In a sequence of thirteen sections, Esposito dwells on the question of the origin of the political in light of western decline into nihilism, empire, and modern totalitarianism.

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Voltaire described Devadatta as a badly behaved rascal…

Voltaire described Devadatta as a badly behaved rascal…

by Donald S. Lopez, Jr. This article was originally published at Public Domain Review, under a Creative Commons 3.0 license. After Ignatius Loyola formed the Society of Jesus in 1539, he required that his missionaries send back detailed letters describing their activities and the peoples and places they encountered. In France,...

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We must be ready to mingle on the dance floor…

We must be ready to mingle on the dance floor…

The antiliberal left has never been cooler. By ‘cool’ here I mean that its members have honed a mocking and casual disdain of the center-left’s alarmism, with a massive proliferation of memes and jokes.

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Why do some rare individuals become the vehicles of universal ideas?

Why do some rare individuals become the vehicles of universal ideas?

Born on May 5, 1818, in Trier, a city in the German Rhineland, Marx was the third child of Jewish converts to Christianity. His father Heinrich, né Herschel, had no choice except to fall in with the Lutheran Church if he wished to practice law in Prussia.

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Stuart Elden on Ernst Kantorowicz

Stuart Elden on Ernst Kantorowicz

Kantorowicz led a remarkable life, and it seems only right to wonder what else he might have achieved as a scholar had he not encountered so many challenges to his academic career.

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Gerardo Muñoz on Jean-Luc Nancy

Gerardo Muñoz on Jean-Luc Nancy

Jean Luc Nancy’s The Banality of Heidegger (Fordham, 2017) is yet another contribution to the ongoing debate on Heidegger and Nazism, in the wake of the publication of the Black Notebooks in recent years.

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Michael O’Rourke: The Afterlives of Queer Theory

Michael O’Rourke: The Afterlives of Queer Theory

If queer thinking were reduced to being the province of one particular thinker then its multiple localities would be worryingly narrowed and its localities would become merely parochial.

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Gathering and Assembling: Judith Butler on the Future of Politics

Gathering and Assembling: Judith Butler on the Future of Politics

It is impossible to under-estimate the exceptional contribution to political understanding provided in the writing of Judith Butler.

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Olivia Rao plays

Olivia Rao plays

It had been so long since I last pulled out the Snakes & Ladders set that the cardboard box had warped. I'd put it away in that attic ages ago, and if the weather hadn't been the way it was, and I hadn't needed distraction, it never would've occurred...

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Ed Simon: The Grand Apprentice

Ed Simon: The Grand Apprentice

It had been twenty centuries since He’d last walked upon the Earth, and it was in the ninth year of the new reign that He quietly appeared again late afternoon on a cold Christmas Eve.

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‘The error is to tie a religion to a specific culture’

‘The error is to tie a religion to a specific culture’

Islam is in many ways more European than a conventional notion of 'European heritage' suggests. From 1362 to 1924, the Ottoman sultan bore the title of Caliph.

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Ed Simon: Elsewheres

Ed Simon: Elsewheres

What do you think Ishmael’s life is like after the last page of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick? What ultimately happens to that survivor of the ill-fated Pequod? Where does he go, what does he do, how does he end his days? The “scandal of fiction” is that although these questions...

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Adam Staley Groves: Why I Didn’t Vote

Adam Staley Groves: Why I Didn’t Vote

You don’t get to choose when it’s over but, do you get a chance to recognize that it is? Americans have elected an accused child rapist. An accused rapist who is also accused of sexual assault he condones. And that’s just part of it as you know. Trump may...

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