John Malkovich - Actor, Director, Designer
Over the last 25 years, John Malkovich has appeared in more than 70 motion pictures including, "Empire of the Sun," "The Killing Fields," "Dangerous Liaisons" and of course "Being John Mailkovich. " But it is about his role as a fashion designer, that he talks to Breandáin O'Shea in this week's Inspired Minds.
New Books In History
Anthony Penna, “The Human Footprint: A Global Environmental History”
One of the most disturbing insights made by practitioners of “Big History” is that the distinction between geologic time and human time has collapsed in our era. The forces that drove geologic time–plate tectonics, the orientation of the Earth’s axis relative to the sun, volcanic activity–were distinct from the forces that drove human time–evolution, technological change, population growth. To be sure, they interacted. But the causal arrow always went from geologic change to human change. As Anthony Penna rightly points out in The Human Footprint: A Global Environmental History (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), the causal arrow now goes in both directions.
New Books in African American Studies
Deborah Whaley, “Disciplining Women: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Black Counterpublics, and the Cultural Politics of Black Sororities”
Deborah Whaley’s new book Disciplining Women: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Black Counterpublics, and the Cultural Politics of Black Sororities (SUNY Press, 2010) may be the first full-length study of a Black Greek-Letter Organization (BGLO) written by a non-BGLO member. But that’s not the only reason to read her book. Whaley takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study, which includes a personal rumination on her family’s relation to BGLO’s, interviews with sorority sisters, ethnographic participant observations, and literary and film analyses. Her foray into popular black culture is enriched by deep critical engagement with such texts as Spike Lee’s canonical film “School Daze” and the recent cinematic representation of Black Greek life “Stomp the Yard.” Whaley takes her subject matter seriously, but not so much so that her book lacks wit and charm. Indeed, her prose is just as pleasant, inviting, and engaging as she is in the interview. Check it out.
The Partially Examined Life
Pat Churchland on the Neurobiology of Morality (Plus Hume’s Ethics)
What does the physiology of the brain have to do with ethics? What bearing do facts have on values? Churchland thinks that while Hume is (famously) correct in saying that you can’t deduce “ought” from “is,” the fact that we have moral sentiments is certainly relevant to figuring out what our ethical positions should be, and it’s her main goal to figure out what the mechanisms behind those moral sentiments are: What brain parts and processes are involved? How and when did these evolve? How did cultural factors come into play, building on top of our biological capacity to care for others?
Kurukshetra, Days 3 & 4
Episode 64 - The third and fourth days of the great war. It seems like the tide may be turning somewhat, since both days of fighting were dominated by Arjun and Bhimasena. Despite having the honor of receiving Krishna's teaching firsthand, Arjun still seems to be holding back somewhat. His lassitude gets so bad that Krishna finally gets annoyed with him, and takes matters in his own hands.