Maybe It’s Colbert’s Fault

Stephanie Brehm Supporters claim Trump does not mean everything he said on the campaign trail; that he will not do half of the abhorrent things he spewed. But do they believe that in part because our comedians, the funny, ironic truth-tellers were for so long invested in perpetuating truthiness?

The Power of Names

Hussein Rashid While some of this discussion may seem to be semantic, it is about the power of naming. The questions of power and control depend on the ability to name. Without proper naming, we see conflict where there is none, and read politics as theology.

From Sophia to Silicon: The Materiality of Information

Sylvester Johnson In my last post, I discussed Bina48, an intelligent machine engineered as part of the LifeNaut project. LifeNaut engineers have uploaded into Bina48 the memories, speech samples, and other cognitive patterns of an actual human, Bina Aspen Rothblatt.

Candomblé Reconsidered: A Sacred Matters Interview

Dianne Stewart In the twenty-first century, increasing populations are becoming aware of the presence of African-heritage religions in the diaspora but we have still much to learn from and about these religions.

Teaching True Believers

Jolyon Baraka Thomas The religious studies classroom is a strange place. Whether one teaches in a public university or a private one, the subject matter demands that students set aside personal commitments in order to engage with religion both critically and respectfully.

Literary Antecedents and Contemporary Reflections of Thomas Dixon’s “The Clansman”

Carolyn M. Jones Medine As The Clansman demonstrates, the Ku Klux Klan was a structure within which white men acted out their vision of southern society and through which they used terror to enforce those visions. The KKK may have been the United States’ first cellular terrorist structure: it was and is covert, local and de-centered, mobile, and opportunistic, multiplying by opportunity and interpersonal connections.

A Dreadful and Improbable Creature: Race, Aesthetics, and the Burdens of Greatness

Judith Weisenfeld The plot of The Birth of a Nation features two intertwined narratives: a political story that moves from national unity to division in war and back to unity, and a romance in which a couple unites despite the obstacles the war presents. The Birth of a Nation is also, of course, a story about the subjugation of people of African descent, a process director D. W. Griffith frames as carried out by honorable white men who had no choice in the face of social chaos.

Cutting up “The Birth of a Nation”

S. Brent Plate Cut up D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation and it bleeds a little. Rearrange the pieces, as Griffith so expertly cut up film sequences, and put them together in new ways. Splice it into histories, the stories of photography, race, literature, the KKK, bodies, film technique, and it comes out looking different. But it’s gonna bleed. The following articles, are such cuts, such incisive interventions.