How to Resist Policing: The Practical Meanings of Towel Masks for Student Protesters in Late 1960s Japan

Masks have long been a symbol of resistance movements around the world, especially in East Asia. As early as the 1960s, protestors in Japan began wearing masks during their demonstrations. Masks became a part of the uniform of the late 1960s protesters for causes such as the Vietnam War, the university system, and the evictions for Narita Airport.

It is …


Edgar Morin’s Leçons d’un siècle de vie

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Leçons d’un siècle de vie.

Morin, Edgar.

2022.  Paris: Pluriel.

Edgar Morin is probably the most influential French sociologist that the English-speaking world has never acknowledged. He has more than twenty honorary degrees from universities that work mainly in French, Spanish or Italian and research centres named for him in Sicily and Peru, as well as in Paris. A special …


Writing Life No. 16: An Interview with Warwick Anderson

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Figure 1: Writing and thinking in anticipation of writing: notes stacked in files next to a computer (Warkwick’s desk).

In the early days of freedom after a long lockdown in Sydney, I visited Warwick Anderson at his light-filled house perched at the top of a hill looking over rusted industrial relics to the shimmer and glare of the city.


Christopher Kelty’s The Participant: A Century of Participation in Four Stories

The Participant: A Century of Participation in Four Stories

Christopher M. Kelty

University of Chicago Press, 2020. 344 pages.

A book about participation? Chris Kelty’s delightful new book begins by giving voice to his audience’s likely incredulity. Mimicking the standard response to the project, he launches with the question, “Participation in what?” In everything and nothing, of course. He notes …


How to Make Sense of “Traditional (Chinese) Medicine” In a Time of Covid-19: Cold War Origin Stories and the WHO’s Role in Making Space for Polyglot Therapeutics

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Note: I wrote this for anyone trying to “teach the virus,” something I will soon be doing myself. The question in the title is meant to signal that this is an open-ended dialogue. Most of the sources are in English and are easily available, meaning that students can use them as evidence, read other scholarship, and develop their own (counter)


Events of Disruptive Transformation

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We have been discussing the prospects of catastrophes of our own making for decades. We have been debating risks linked to anthropogenic climate change and runaway technologies, trying to fathom even those futures that we otherwise deem unfathomable. Yet it is a known natural risk that wreaks havoc around the globe today.

Events of Surprise

Despite the fact that we …

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