Lectures

What Does Toilet Paper Teach Us about Our Defecation Habits?

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Illustration by Bicram Rijal

An Australian photographer embarks on a jungle expedition in search of a “critically endangered species.” With a Canon camera on his shoulder and a pair of khaki shorts, he walks through a forest, occasionally stepping in puddles and crossing creeks. “It is harder to find than I thought,” he says, looking straight into the camera. “There …

Lectures

Fragments of a Transient Affliction: “Mass Hysteria” and the Question of Subjectivity

A study of “mass hysteria” is a study of fragments of a phenomenon in its absence. Absent because of its transient nature; the affliction appears suddenly, without warning, spreading and transferring from one person to another, and then suddenly it dissipates and is gone. People cautiously return to their lives, unsure when another outbreak might occur. How to study a …

BooksFeatures

Book Forum––Robert Desjarlais’ Subject to Death: Life and Loss in a Buddhist World

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Robert Desjarlais’s Subject to Death is like stepping onto a train already in motion. Its momentum isn’t fierce but there’s no time to ease in––from its first pages, as readers we find ourselves in the midst of death and life and loss as they take and are given form. At the risk of overusing the term, there is great care