Noboru IshikawaBetween Frontiers: Nation and Identity in a South East Asian Borderland

June 6, 2011

[Crossposted from New Books in South Asian Studies] Borneo (Indonesian: Kalimantan) is an island where three very different nation-states meet: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. The Indonesian province of Kalimantan occupies most of the island; of the rest, all except one percent is taken up by the Malaysian provinces of Sabah and Sarawak. The tiny but [...]

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Doug RogersThe Old Faith and the Russian Land: A Historical Ethnography of Ethics in the Urals

May 17, 2011

[Crossposted from New Books in Russia and Eurasia] What are ethics? What are morals? How are they constituted, practiced, and regulated? How do they change over time? My own research is informed by these question; so is Douglas Rogers’. So it was only natural that I would be drawn to Rogers’ new book The Old Faith and the [...]

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Ann FabianThe Skull Collectors: Race, Science and America’s Unburied Dead

March 9, 2011

[Crossposted from New Books in History] What should we study? The eighteenth-century luminary and poet Alexander Pope had this to say on the subject: “Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man ” (An Essay on Man, 1733). He was not alone in this opinion. The philosophers of [...]

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Gregory CochranThe 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution

March 9, 2011

[Crossposted from New Books in History] First, the conventional wisdom. Because Homo sapiens are a young species and haven’t had time to genetically differentiate, we modern humans are all basically genetically identical. Because Homo sapiens figured out ways to use culture to overcome natural selection, human genetic evolution ceased ages ago. Because Homo sapiens are [...]

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P. Bingham and J. SouzaDeath From a Distance and the Birth of a Humane Universe

March 9, 2011

[Crossposted from New Books in History] Long ago, historians more or less gave up on “theories of history.” They determined that human nature was too unpredictable, cultures too various, and developmental patterns too evanescent for any really scientific theory of history to be possible. Human history, they said, was chaos. The problem is that human [...]

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