front cover of Some of the Dead Are Still Breathing
Some of the Dead Are Still Breathing
Living in the Future
By Charles Bowden
University of Texas Press, 2018

The third book in Charles Bowden’s “accidental trilogy” that began with Blood Orchid and Blues for Cannibals, Some of the Dead Are Still Breathing attempts to resolve the overarching question: “How can a person live a moral life in a culture of death?” As humanity moves further into the twenty-first century, Bowden continues to interrogate our roles in creating the ravaged landscapes and accumulated death that still surround us, as well as his own childhood isolation, his lust for alcohol and women, and his waning hope for a future. We witness post-Katrina New Orleans and terrorist-bombed Bali; we encounter our shared actions with the animal world and the desirous need for consumption; we see the clash and erosion of our physical and figurative borders, the savagery of our own civilization. A man of his time and out of time, Bowden seeks acceptance and a will to endure what may lie ahead.


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Sound Sense
Living and Learning with Hearing Loss
Sara Laufer Batinovich
Gallaudet University Press, 2011

One out of every eight people between the ages of 18 and 67 in the United States has a hearing loss, estimated as 12 percent of the working-age population. Sound Sense: Living and Learning with Hearing Loss addresses the acute need of these people to function at the highest level in these income-earning years, the longest phase in their lives. In nine pointed chapters, author Sara Laufer Batinovich, who also has lost her hearing, shares her experience and knowledge in turning every challenge into an opportunity to become one’s best self-advocate.

Batinovich begins in the workplace, advising on winning a job, keeping it, and developing a long-term career, plus how to reduce stress and establish fulfilling professional relationships with colleagues. She offers tips on communication ranging from having sales people face you for easier speechreading to parsing boarding announcements at airports and play-by-play at ballparks. Her practical handbook also provides step-by-step guidance for getting a hearing aid or a cochlear implant and finding one’s way through prickly insurance claim mazes.

Sound Sense features information on finding a service dog, securing legally mandated accommodations for continuing education, tips on exercise and health, and even sensitive suggestions on strengthening personal relationships. Batinovich’s vivacious style and her own anecdotes add an upbeat, genuine sensibility to her book’s value as a positive guide to living with hearing loss.


front cover of Speculative Communities
Speculative Communities
Living with Uncertainty in a Financialized World
Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou
University of Chicago Press, 2022
Speculative Communities investigates the financial world’s influence on the social imagination, unraveling its radical effects on our personal and political lives.

In Speculative Communities, Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou examines the ways that speculation has moved beyond financial markets to shape fundamental aspects of our social and political lives. As ordinary people make exceptional decisions, such as the American election of a populist demagogue or the British vote to leave the European Union, they are moving from time-honored and -tested practices of governance, toward the speculative promise of a new, more uncertain future. This book shows how even our methods of building community have shifted to the speculative realm as social media platforms enable and amplify our volatile wagers.

For Komporozos-Athanasiou, “to speculate” means increasingly “to connect,” to endorse the unknown pre-emptively, and often daringly, as a means of social survival. Grappling with the question of how more uncertainty can lead to its full-throated embrace rather than dissent, Speculative Communities shows how finance has become the model for society writ large. As Komporozos-Athanasiou argues, virtual marketplaces, new social media, and dating apps bring finance’s opaque infrastructures into the most intimate realms of our lives, leading to a new type of speculative imagination across economy, culture, and society.

front cover of Sticks and Stones
Sticks and Stones
Living with Uncertain Wars
Padraig O'Malley
University of Massachusetts Press, 2006
Albert Einstein famously remarked that he did not know what weapons would be used in World War III, but World War IV would be fought with sticks and stones. In this volume, a distinguished group of scholars, government officials, politicians, journalists, and statesmen examine what can be learned from the wars of the twentieth century and how that knowledge might help us as we step ever so perilously into the twenty-first.

Following an introduction by Padraig O'Malley, the book is divided into four sections: "Understanding the World as We Have Known It"; "Global Uncertainties"; "Whose Values? Whose Justice?"; and "Shaping a New World." The first section reviews what we have learned about war and establishes benchmarks for judging whether that knowledge is being translated into changes in the behavior of our political cultures. It suggests that the world's premier superpower, in its effort to promote Western-style democracy, has taken steps that have inhibited rather than facilitated democratization.

The second section examines the war on terror and the concept of global war. From the essays in this section emerges a consensus that democracy as practiced in the West cannot be exported to countries with radically different cultures, traditions, and values. The third section visits the question of means and ends in the context of varying value systems and of theocracy, democracy, and culture. In the final section, the focus shifts to our need for global institutions to maintain order and assist change in the twenty-first century.

Although each contributor comes from a different starting point, speaks with a different voice, and has a different ideological perspective, the essays reach startlingly similar conclusions. In sum, they find that the West has not absorbed the lessons from the wars of the last century and is inadequately prepared to meet the new challenges that now confront us.

Contributors to the volume include J. Brian Atwood, Susan J. Atwood, John Cooley, Romeo Dallaire, Ramu Damodaran, Valerie Epps, Michael J. Glennon, Stanley Heginbotham, Robert Jackson, Winston Langley, Alfred W. McCoy, Greg Mills, Jonathan Moore, Chris Patten, Gwyn Prins, Jonathan Schell, John Shattuck, Cornelio Sommargua, Brian Urquhart, Stephen Van Evera, and Robert Weiner.

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Storytellers of Art Histories
Living and Sustaining a Creative Life
Edited by Yasmeen Siddiqui and Alpesh Kantilal Patel
Intellect Books, 2021
An anthology amplifying the voices of the figures reshaping art histories across disciplines and a range of fluid practices. 

With a focus on gender, race (including whiteness), class, sexuality, and transnationality—all of which are often marginalized in dominant art histories—each individual has provided short, often personal contributions detailing how they become passionate about their practice. The contributors’ offerings are varied and surprising, appealing equally to people enmeshed in the field through their work as well as those with a beginner’s interest. Their pieces take various forms—epistolary, children’s fable, interview, coauthored narrative, pastiche, memoir, manifesto, and apology—and a number of the essays perform in their structure or content the theories they explore about publishing, curating, and archival work.

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