Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Public, Intimate Spaces (Bathrooms & Brains)

Bounded categories and category-bounded spaces are always of interest. This month, there were salient discussions of two such spaces: the (gendered) public bathroom and the brain.

Bathrooms

Public bathrooms as dichotomously-gendered spaces have been in the news this month. Controversy and legal action have been in the news across the United States, with schools at the forefront of debate (…

Features

Epidemics and Xenophobia

In June 2015 The Bellagio Task Force on Epidemics and Xenophobia met to discuss the resurgence of xenophobia across the globe—one most recently prompted by fearful and unsympathetic responses to the Ebola epidemic and those afflicted communities and healthcare workers who returned home. The problem of xenophobia is however part of a much larger and pernicious problem, one that falls

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Empathy in the news

The capacity of individuals to imagine another’s perspective or personal agenda, and our own ability to feel anger, despondency or frustration in response to their pain and distress, has been singled out as something to consider in multiple stories and studies found on the web this month. Is empathy a choice, or something less conscious? Is it always a good …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Transportation Technologies and Futures

This month’s Web Roundup is about transportation—technologies, politics, and histories. Much of it has to do with driverless/autonomous cars, which have been in the news a lot this month.

Time has a piece on the technical details of how driverless cars work, and what hurdles need to be overcome before they do. The Atlantic’s CityLab has an interesting article on …

Features

“Body Leads”: Medicalizing Cultural Difference, or, what are we doing when we Say Putin Has Asperger’s Syndrome?

A recent USA Today article described a report from a Department of Defense think tank study that suggested that President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has “neurological abnormalities” and, perhaps, an Autism Spectrum Disorder. The report, part of a project entitled “Body Leads,” which claims to use analysis of bodily behavior to suggest underlying neurological states, was originally written …

Books

Listening with Veena Das to Ordinary Ethics

9780823261819_14Affliction: Health, Disease, Poverty

by Veena Das

Fordham University Press, 2014. 255 pages

 

In Affliction: Health, Disease, Poverty  (Fordham 2014) we listen with Veena Das to ordinary ethics in challenged lives of poverty, illness, and family relations; and in three often conflicting registers of (a) advocacy, (b) moral engagement, and (c) acknowledgement of inherent uncertainties (in the very fabric …