Berfrois

Before the Tempest Hurl’d

Before the Tempest Hurl’d

Hunt started his working life as a surgeon’s apprentice before making a living, at different times, as a chemist and druggist, a statistician with the geological survey, and a professor at the School of Mines in London.

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Respond Until

Respond Until

When does an online exchange come to a conclusion?

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‘Critical thinking is not bracketed off from poetic and political imaginaries’

‘Critical thinking is not bracketed off from poetic and political imaginaries’

In conversations with students feeling overwhelmed by their studies, I sometimes use the phrase, ‘remember that studying is part of life, not the other way around.’

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‘Criminality at the highest levels’

‘Criminality at the highest levels’

The relationship of the lawmen to the president is as transparent as it is intricate: they know he knows they know. But defeating this presidency ...

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The story of the subway is the urtext of any book about New York…

The story of the subway is the urtext of any book about New York…

When the ground was first broken in 1900 to build a subway under the crowded streets of New York, some 25,000 of the city’s residents gathered to watch the ceremonies and cheer

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Saturday-morning cartoons and kung fu…

Saturday-morning cartoons and kung fu…

Released in 1998, Lauryn Hill’s first solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, was also a canonical intervention—to both the previously male-dominated sphere of hip-hop as well as the white-dominated upper echelons of the music industry and pop culture.

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Remains as the End

Remains as the End

Some time back I took a group of students to the Galerie d'Anatomie Comparée at the Jardin des Plantes. This is the famous collection of skeletons laid out according to one version of the order of nature by Georges Cuvier at the turn of the 19th Century.

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‘I look underneath my desk and think I might sit there’

‘I look underneath my desk and think I might sit there’

I can’t pick up the clothes. I can’t explain the granite of that “can’t” to anyone else, the way it feels impossible to beat. Look at me looking at the pile and you will think, Just pick it up. For fuck’s sake.

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Cosmology vs. Philosophy

Cosmology vs. Philosophy

What is it with the philosophy-haters in astrophysics and cosmology? From the late Stephen Hawking’s claim that ‘philosophy is dead’, to Steven Weinberg’s chapter-long jeremiad ‘Against Philosophy’...

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Kick Out the Joy

Kick Out the Joy

The MC5 were never a famous band, merely a legendary one. The Clash wrote a song about their lead guitarist and ideologue, Wayne Kramer, called Jail Guitar Doors.

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Ed Simon: First Five Observations about the Moment

Ed Simon: First Five Observations about the Moment

Life experienced narratively, which is to say the only way actual life can be experienced, continually deletes the immediacy of the transitory, but in depicting the specifically of the second within the crystalline moment artists reendow the present with meaning.

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When the Wrestlers Are Women

When the Wrestlers Are Women

“The virtue of wrestling is to be a spectacle of excess,” Roland Barthes begins—but we are wary of excess in women, wary of too much flesh, too much blood, too much lust or power.

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D.H. Lawrence on Moby Dick

D.H. Lawrence on Moby Dick

For Moby Dick, the huge white sperm whale: who is old, hoary, monstrous, and swims alone; who is unspeakably terrible in his wrath, having so often been attacked; and snow-white...

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Dance ‘n’ Hop

Dance ‘n’ Hop

Also known as the “dancing plague”, it was the most fatal and best documented of the more than ten such contagions...

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Vast Comic Proportions

Vast Comic Proportions

I have been a professor of philosophy and a fonctionnaire in Paris for five years. I think by now this gives me at least some credibility as a participant-observer

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Official anti-communism is a rhetorical tool for upholding the status quo…

Official anti-communism is a rhetorical tool for upholding the status quo…

Back in the fall of 2014, I visited the House of Terror museum in Budapest. On the way out, I flipped through the pages of the guest book, curious to read the reactions of other visitors after they had perused the exhibits.

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