Whether we know it or not, ritual pervades our lives, silently guiding our daily behavior. Like language, tool use, and music, ritual is a constituent element of what it means to be human, joining together culture, archaeology, and biology. The study of ritual, therefore, is a reflection on human nature and the society we inhabit.
A gifted orator, Lucy Stone dedicated her life to the fight for equal rights. Among the earliest female graduates of the Oberlin Collegiate Institute in Ohio, Stone was the first Massachusetts-born woman to earn a college degree. Stone rose to national prominence as a well-respected public speaker – an occupation rarely pursued by women of the era.
Whether they be songs about angels or demons, Heaven or Hell, the theme of the afterlife has inspired countless musicians of varying genres and has embedded itself into the lyrics of many popular hits. Though their styles may be different, artists show that our collective questions and musings about the afterlife provide us with a common thread across humanity. Here are some of the songs that best represent this wide range of emotions that many people have about what lies beyond.
The UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts, or PICC, were created in 1994 after decades of preparation, against what Oxford author Stephan Vogenauer calls a “romantic background” of a global commercial law, or lex mercatoria. While the UNIDROIT PICC offer a harmonizing global contract law, some objectors may say that as “principles”, they are too vague. Stefan tackles this objection in the video below, and also highlights how some practitioners may be surprised by the contents of the Principles.
In anticipation of the imminent General Election on 7 May 2015, we pulled together information from Who’s Who to take a closer look at the major players bidding for our votes. We’ve mapped nine party leaders and deputy leaders to their constituencies.
Recently reading through the Notes and Discographies section of Greil Marcus’s book Mystery Train (first published in 1975), I was struck by Marcus’s meticulousness when it came to recommending records.
Established in 2001, Jazz Appreciation Month celebrates the rich history, present accolades, and future growth of jazz music. Spanning the blues, ragtime, dixieland, bebop, swing, soul, and instrumentals, there’s no surprise that jazz music has endured the test of time from its early origins amongst African-American slaves in the late 19th century to its growth today.
Next week, 24 April 2015 marks the bicentenary of one of Britain’s great novelists, Anthony Trollope. He was an extremely prolific writer, producing 47 novels, as well as a great deal of non-fiction, in his lifetime. He also worked for the Post Office, and introduced the pillar box to Britain. So, do you think you know Anthony Trollope? Test your knowledge with our Trollope bicentenary quiz.
There were many books on vampires before Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Early anthropologists wrote accounts of the folkloric vampire — a stumbling, bloated peasant, never venturing far from home, and easily neutralized with a sexton’s spade and a box of matches. The literary vampire became a highly mobile, svelte aristocratic rake with the appearance of the short tale The Vampyre in 1819.
On 15 April, nations around the globe will be celebrating World Art Day, which is also Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday. A creative mastermind and one of the top pioneers of the Italian Renaissance period, his artistic visions fused science and nature producing most notably the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper.
We were working in Baga Oigor II when I heard my husband yelling from above, “Esther, get up here, fast!” Thinking he had seen some wild animal on a high ridge, I scrambled up the slope. There, at the back of a protected terrace marked by old stone mounds was a huge boulder covered with hundreds of images. Within that maze of elements I could distinguish a hunting scene and several square patterns suggesting the outlines of dwellings.
Today is the 60th anniversary of the polio vaccine being declared safe to use. The poliovirus was a major health concern for much of the twentieth century, but in the last sixty years huge gains have been made that have almost resulted in its complete eradication. The condition polio is caused by a human enterovirus called the poliovirus.
Composer, cosmopolite, cultural force, Nicolas Nabokov (1903-1978), first cousin of Vladimir Nabokov (the author of Lolita), came to prominence in Paris in the late 1920s with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. He then emigrated to America, returning to Europe in postwar Germany and subsequently as head of the Congress Cultural Freedom, for which he organized groundbreaking festivals. A tireless promoter of international cultural exchange, he was also remarkable for the range of his friendships, from Balanchine to Stravinsky and from Auden to Oppenheimer.
Complaints about “boomerang kids” or the lack of work ethic for younger generations isn’t uncommon. Yet over 80% of high school seniors have held at least one part-time job. And balancing schoolwork with a dead-end job is essential, as career prospects dissolve for young adults without an education.
Philosophy is one of the oldest fields of study in the world, branching out to various areas. How well do you know the writings of the most influential philosophers? Do you know the difference between sayings from Kant, Nietzsche, and Locke? Take the quiz below to see how well read you are in philosophy.
Recently, Research4Life and its partners, including Oxford University Press, have embarked on a campaign, “Unsung Heroes: Stories from the Library,” to raise awareness about the heroic and life-saving work being done by librarians in the developing world. In this new video, we follow a day in the life of Nasra Gathoni, Head Librarian at the Aga Khan University hospital in Kenya.