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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Title cover for "Empires of the Dead: Inca Mummies and the Peruvian Acestors of American Anthropology" by Christopher Heaney, published by Oxford University Press

Why global museums amassed the ancestral dead, starting in Peru

It is a time of worldwide reckoning for museums that display or contain ancestral dead. But the specific story of the collection of Andean ancestors charts a different origin for this global process, and it asks us to think with more nuance regarding what to do with the museums it created.

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Making Sense of the Molly Maguires 25th anniversary edition by Kevin Kenny, published by Oxford University Press

Making sense of the Molly Maguires today

Twenty Irish mine workers were hanged in the anthracite region of Pennsylvania in the 1870s, convicted of a series of murders organized under the cover of a secret society called the Molly Maguires. Here Professor Kenny discusses 10 things that helped him answer the questions at the heart of his book, “Making Sense of the Molly Maguires.”

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The Oxford Comment podcast

The revelation of the Book of Mormon at 200 [podcast]

On today’s episode, we’re joined by two preeminent scholars on the history and theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to discuss with us the legacy of Joseph Smith’s Gold Plates as well as the state of academic scholarship surrounding The Book of Mormon.

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The Oxford Comment podcast

Revisiting toxic masculinity and #MeToo [podcast]

On this episode of The Oxford Comment, we explore two recognizable components in contemporary conversations on gender and gendered violence: that of “toxic masculinity” and of the #MeToo movement with scholars Robert Lawson and Iqra Shagufta Cheema.

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The Oxford Comment podcast

The great gun conundrum [podcast]

In this podcast episode, we discuss the history of the gun debate in the US with Robert J. Spitzer and how a reform of policing can deter gun violence with Philip J. Cook.

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The Oxford Comment podcast

Privacy and the LGBT+ experience: the Victorian past and digital future [podcast]

Scholars continue to explore the role of sexuality in private lives—from the retrospective discovery of transgendered people in historical archives to present questions of identity and representation in social media—with the understanding that those who identify as LGBTQ+ have always existed and have fought tirelessly to advance their rights.

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"The All-Consuming Nation: Chasing the American Dream Since World War II" by Mark H. Lytle, published by Oxford University Press

COVID-19 and consumerism: what have we learnt?

Writers often worry that someone will scoop them before they finish, or an unexpected event will undo years of research and writing. Two weeks after naturalist Rachel Carson published her first book, Under the Sea Wind, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Despite excellent reviews, the book sold fewer than a thousand copies. The COVID-19 pandemic became my […]

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"Scars on the Land: An Environmental History of Slavery in the American South" by David Silkenat, published by Oxford University Press

Scars on the Land: Slavery and the environment in the American South [extract]

Although typically treated separately, slavery and the environment naturally intersect in complex and powerful ways, leaving lasting effects from the period of emancipation through modern-day reckonings with racial justice. David Silkenat’s Scars on the Land provides an environmental history of slavery in the American South from the colonial period to the Civil War.

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