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  • In Time Regained—the final, unfinished volume of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time—World War I is inescapable. Proust’s magnum opus, begun in 1913, already bore the scars of modernity, but the War sounded the death knell of the rarified life he had known in his childhood. Yet, Time Regained is not merely about nostalgia or loss. It also concerns the problems of social form, the question of how art and artists are made, the way a form of life collapses, how to get on in a modern world, and the theory of involuntary memory Proust had been developing since the novel’s earliest drafts. Time Regained gives us Proust’s final attempt at representing inner life in a social context. ...
  • Is the very dynamism of innovation that animates capitalism also its potential ruin? This is the central question that the conservative economist Joseph Schumpeter posed in his magnum opus Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy. Schumpeter may seem an unlikely candidate to question the very viability of capitalism. Many of today’s most celebrated market-oriented economic ideas find their origins in Schumpeter. And yet, Schumpeter reluctantly concluded that the capitalist economic and social system would be, in his words, “killed by its achievements.” ...
  • How can we think about the variety and diversity of Black art and aesthetics in the aftermath of Civil Rights? If the Civil Rights Movement, in its fight for basic recognition, put forth a unitary image of blackness, Black identity is now fractured into countless pieces. B-boy, militant, bohemian, queer, bourgeoise: all exist and flourish in a context riven by contradiction. African-Americans are more free, their art and style predominates mainstream culture; yet racism, structural and personal, continues to oppress and warp Black lives. ...
  • In the process of investigating and treating the enigmatic disorder known as “hysteria,” Sigmund Freud established the discipline of psychoanalysis—and by doing so, profoundly altered Western subjectivity. By insisting that the bodily symptoms of hysterics represented unconscious conflict, Freud established a new way of thinking about human experience, motivations, desire, and suffering. The Freudian revolution destabilized longstanding social and philosophical biases that privileged consciousness, reason, and self-reflection as the anchors for subjectivity, proposing that we are not, in fact, “masters in our own houses.” ...

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Recent Posts

Podcast for Social Research, Episode 55: The Last Emperor

In episode 55 of the Podcast for Social Research, BISR faculty Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Rebecca Ariel Porte, and Isabella Katrina Litke sit down after our Occasional Evening screening of The Last Emperor to record a film guide to Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1987 masterpiece. Subjects discussed include the making of the film (with the active participation of […]

Faculty In the Media: On Expanded Criminal Punishment for Abortion Seekers, and How to Do STS as a Feminist

Podcast for Social Research, Episode 54: Night of Ideas—Security Hoarding: Moving Beyond the Culture of Constant Vigilance

Faculty Writing: On Epistemic Injustice in Psychiatric Practice, and Coming of Age through Geek Culture