Politics and History

Children in Addis Ababa.

Dagmawi Woubshet and Julie Mehretu were both born in Addis Ababa and then moved to America. They wonder what the city's explosive growth will mean for its unique character — one rooted in Ethiopia's history as the only African nation never colonized.More

Art of Julie Mehretu

The families of Dagmawi Woubshet and Julie Mehretu fled Ethiopia because of the brutal Communist regime that overthrew Emperor Haile Selassie. The violence and corruption in the post-colonial era decimated the hope and idealism of many Africans.More

A moment on the street in Addis Ababa.

Ghanaian post-colonial theorist Ato Quayson thinks a lot about globalization, diaspora and transnationalism. Because he’s a literary scholar, he decided to "read" a single street — Oxford Street in Accra — as a study of contemporary urban Africa.More

Cash

Journalist Anand Giridharadas says that sometimes, major philanthropic gifts are a lot less altruistic than they may appear.More

person and dog

Ecofeminist philosopher Donna Haraway has a reputation for tackling the big intellectual questions of our time — and blowing them wide open. Steve spoke with her for the Los Angeles Review of Books.More

give the gift of a clean kitchen

Psychologist Elizabeth Dunn on how to spend money on ourselves and others in a way that maximizes happiness.More

Mahjong tiles

Board games are a tradition for a lot of us. But have you ever thought about where those traditions come from? Producer Angelo Bautista investigates the history of mahjong.More

desks

Young people seem to be feeling the pressure to be perfect more than anyone else. Social psychologist Tom Curran tells us how neoliberalism and the digital age created a generation that feels guilty about falling short of flawlessness.More

prison

Feeling regret about committing a crime matters in criminal sentencing. But if emotion isn't supposed to have a place in the law, should it matter? Susan Bandes tells us how judges and juries evaluate remorse, and why.More

Antigone

Writer, classicist, and stand-up comic Natalie Haynes makes a strong case for reading ancient Greek and Roman literature in the modern age.More

A house in Savannah, Georgia — one of America's most haunted cities.

The Sorrel-Weed House has been called the “most haunted house” in Savannah, Georgia, and its “ghost tour” is a big tourist attraction. But historian Tiya Miles found another story of slavery and racial stereotypes buried in this history.More

president ghost

A ghost story for the election season from listener Eric Van Vleet.More

Vaccine tubes

In her book "On Immunity," social critic Eula Biss explores the metaphors and myths hidden within the current vaccine debate.More

Avery Trufelman

Avery Trufelman hosts "Articles of Interest," a six-part podcast from "99 Percent Invisible" about some iconic items of clothing — from blue jeans to Hawaiian shirts to pockets. Anne wanted to know how that work connects to what she wears every day.More

people

Social scientists are finding that generating happiness in your life may have less to do with an arbitrary number — like your bank account or how many Instagram followers you have — and more to do with how well you connect with the people around you.More

kisses

Kathryn Bond Stockton is an English professor and queer theorist and a self-professed lover of kissing. She wrote a whole book just to make out what kissing means in our lives.More

sunny protest

Lynne Segal, the British feminist icon, has a theory about happiness: it's both personal and political. She advocates radical happiness — finding joy in collective action.More

Twitterstorm

Journalist Alissa Quart thinks it's unfair when people's reputations are torn to shreds on Twitter for saying the wrong thing. She even wrote a poem about it.More

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