Aug. 24, 2018 | It's hard to remember when the humanities weren't in crisis. But this time is different. Students are fleeing, especially at elite colleges... more »


Aug. 23, 2018 | The past is not a foolproof guide to the future. It is, however, the only guide we have. So why are historians reluctant to comment on contemporary affairs?... more »


Aug. 22, 2018 | When Caitlin Rosenthal began studying slave-plantation management, she didn't expect to find parallels with modern business practices... more »


Aug. 21, 2018 | “The thing I’m most proud of is my finish — the finish on the painting," says Alex Katz, now in his 90s. "It took me years to get to this finish.”... more »


Aug. 20, 2018 | “In poetry, words rhyme; in puns, ideas rhyme,” says James Geary. “This is the ultimate test of wittiness, keeping your balance even when you’re of two minds.” So why do puns have a bad reputation?... more »


Aug. 18, 2018 | Sixty-six million years ago, three-quarters of the earth’s species went extinct. Why? Enter one of the longest and most rancorous controversies in science... more »


Aug. 17, 2018 | More than 10 million antiquities have disappeared from China, some of them ending up in museums around the world. Why are so many being stolen?... more »


Aug. 16, 2018 | The years leading up to World War I were a time of radical artistic experimentation — vorticism, cubism, futurism, "anti-art." These new movements turned out to be further casualties of the war... more »


Aug. 15, 2018 | For Roland Barthes, understanding society required understanding how meaning is produced and consumed. It led him to a social psychology of human alienation... more »


Aug. 14, 2018 | V.S. Naipaul was a grumpy reactionary whose sense of humor bordered on cruelty. His irascibility sharpened his vision... more »


Aug. 13, 2018 | The physicist Leo Szilard was integral to the creation of nuclear weapons. His literary legacy, including a cabal of messianic dolphins, is less well known... more »


Aug. 11, 2018 | The tyranny of language. European colonizers tried to stamp out indigenous languages. The legacy of linguistic imperialism lives on... more »


Aug. 10, 2018 | What’s it like to take a psychedelic drug? Answers may tend to echo the “love conquers all” platitudes of Hallmark cards, but they're convincing... more »


Aug. 9, 2018 | Black English is not a degraded form of the language. It's an alternative form. There's nothing wrong with it. So should white writers get in trouble for using it?... more »


Aug. 8, 2018 | Simone Weil was a French pseudo-Catholic mystic and writer of monkish austerity. Her life and death are stark and memorable. But is she relevant?... more »


Aug. 7, 2018 | The neuroscientist Barbara Lipska spent her career mapping the line between sanity and insanity. Then her own mind began to go wrong... more »


Aug. 6, 2018 | "Bodies are unruly sites for politics," says Merve Emre. "Between the body and the political lies a vastly mediated world where belief and behavior do not always overlap"... more »


Aug. 4, 2018 | Holocaust-deniers, anti-vaccinators, climate-change skeptics: The psychology of denialism runs deep and affects us all... more »


Aug. 3, 2018 | The mythic personification of evil has been around for a long time, and our sense of its reality has not vanished with the steady march of rationalism... more »


Aug. 2, 2018 | The big business of the “war of ideas.” In front of 6,000 people, Jordan Peterson riffs on the human brain, God, and genocide, mining mass ennui for money... more »


Aug. 1, 2018 | In defense of ugly art. From da Vinci’s “series of disgusts” to such works as “A Grotesque Old Woman,” viewers tend to gawk at the hideous. They should look deeper... more »


July 31, 2018 | Recondite, scholarly works on human evolution or the history of trade have topped the best-seller list. Is this a boom in “brainy” books?... more »


July 30, 2018 | Have people said that you should write a book? Hate to break it to you, but they're almost certainly wrong... more »


July 28, 2018 | What English has wrought. It's everywhere. Meantime, a language goes extinct every two weeks; up to 90 percent of the world’s 6,000 languages are at risk of disappearing... more »


July 27, 2018 | Welcome to the David Foster Wallace Conference, where “DFDubs” was, by turns, venerated and exhaustively flayed for being a misogynist... more »


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