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03 Dec 15

The Internet of Things – Solutionism at Its Worst, or Humanity’s Last Savior?

Evgeny Morozov articulates a way to put the Internet of Things to more humane and citizen-focused use.

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19 Nov 15

X-Ray Architecture

Architectural historian Beatriz Colomina discusses how modern architecture, launched by an international group of avant-garde architects in the 1920s, has usually been understood in terms of functional efficiency, new technologies of construction, and the machine aesthetic.

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14 Nov 15

Shame and Shamelessness in the Age of New Media

The New York correspondent of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Andrea Köhler, discusses how shamers can wreak havoc on the lives of those who have offended their values.

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09 Nov 15

Shifting Power Dynamics in the New Digital Age

The founder and director of Google Ideas, Jared Cohen, discusses how from the Great Firewall of China to Russia’s troll armies, from the Syrian Electronic Army to ISIS’s propaganda machine, states and non-state actors are presently using technology to repress people and restrict free expression.

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02 Nov 15

The Possibility of Social Progress

In this lecture, philosopher Philip Kitcher explores the concept of social progress by proposing that we should think of progress pragmatically -- a did John Dewey -- in terms of overcoming problems rather than as directed towards some ideal state.

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28 Oct 15

Gay Berlin, Birthplace of a Modern Identity

In this lecture, Robert Beachy presents the broad argument from his book Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity (published in November 2014 and in German translation last June). He argues that German legal reformers and medical doctors invented a new language to describe an “essentialist” sexual identity that helped to shape Berlin’s community of sexual minorities, both before and after the First World War.

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27 Oct 15

Building between Worlds: The Spaces of Yugoslavia’s Socialist Globalization

For Yugoslavia, the Cold War period was a decisive moment of world-wide expansion in its political, economic, cultural relations -- and its architecture.

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24 Oct 15

The South and the Federal Income Tax

Historian Robin Einhorn discusses the big story about taxation in American history: the redistribution from the South to the Northeast, through the nineteenth-century tariff, and then from the Northeast to the South, through the twentieth-century income tax.

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23 Oct 15

A Global History of Health

In this lecture, "A Global History of Health: Reconstructing Humankind’s Encounters with Infectious Diseases," historian Monica Green addresses the need for a narrative of global health that encompasses every continent, across time, and includes all major infectious diseases.

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21 Oct 15

France and Its Rivers

Historian Michael Miller uses French waterways to propose a different framework for exploring the intersection of French geography, history, and identity.

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