A Dry January Reading List

by may | Friday, January 7, 2022 - 2:30 PM

Cocktail glasses hanging in a bar.

The practice of "Dry January", choosing to abstain from alcohol for the first month of the year, originated in the UK in 2013 and has become increasingly popular, particularly since the onset of Covid-19. During the last three years, many people have turned to alcohol to cope with the emotional toll and stress of the pandemic - and subsequently realized their intake might need to be addressed or curtailed. Taking "dry" time out of the year (some practice "Sober October" as well) - to evaluate drinking habits is now a recurring and positive event for an increasing number of people annually. Reading up on alcohol and its history and influence is a great place to start. Hopkins Press journals publish a wide range of scholarship on the subject - from the history of the temperance movement, the efficacy of college alcohol awareness campaigns, the psychology of addiction, to alcohol's influence in and on literature - and more. The papers below have all been made freely available through the month of January. Volitional Necessity and Volitional Shift: A Key to Sobriety? John Talmadge Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology Volume 11, Number 4, December 2004 ...Read More

Remembering Franklin Roosevelt's Wheelchair

by faa | Wednesday, December 29, 2021 - 4:00 PM

By Sara Polak On his dedication of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial in Washington DC in 1997, President Bill Clinton said about FDR: “It was that faith in his own extraordinary potential that enabled him to guide his country from a wheelchair. And from that wheelchair and a few halting steps, leaning on his son's arms or those of trusted aides, he lifted a great people back to their feet and set America to march again toward its destiny.” The idea that Franklin Roosevelt’s disability played a key role in his ability to “guide his country” and “lift a great people back to their feet” continues to resonate in Roosevelt's memory. However, the memorial that Clinton dedicated on this occasion did not show FDR in a wheelchair; members of the Roosevelt family and others had argued that FDR would not have wished to be represented as such. This is no doubt true. Between 1921 and 1945, FDR passed as able-bodied – an act of image-making that, next to himself, involved staff members, journalists, and the general public. Roosevelt had a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ with the press that they would not photograph him in his wheelchair, and photographers monitored each other to...Read More

Does empire have an expiry date?

by faa | Tuesday, December 28, 2021 - 12:00 PM

By Philip Tsang tsang.jpg In December 2020, BBC released a radio documentary about Dorothy Bonarjee . Born into a Bengali Christian family in India in 1894, Bonarjee was sent to London for school at the age of ten. She later enrolled in the University College of Wales and won a major literary prize there. After her time in Wales, she returned to London to undertake further studies, becoming the first woman to receive a law degree from University College London. Unlike her brothers, who went back to India, she remained in Europe and lived the rest of her life in exile. When I came across this documentary last year, I had just sent JHUP the final manuscript of my book The Obsolete Empire . What struck me about Bonarjee was how familiar her story is. When we look at the history of the British empire, we find countless stories of English-educated colonials who, caught between two cultures, never seemed to belong anywhere. These stories of empire-induced displacement are the core subject of my book. More specifically, my book traces an aesthetic of frustrated attachment that shaped the literary landscape of the...Read More

Eastward of Good Hope: Early America in a Dangerous World

by faa | Monday, December 27, 2021 - 4:00 PM

By Dane Morrison In his first State of the Union address in December 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt expressed his concerns about the state of the world in words that readers would have found familiar 120 years earlier. Roosevelt drew attention particularly to dangerous events in the Philippines, an East Indies colony that the United States had acquired three years earlier in the Spanish-American War: “We are extremely anxious that the natives shall show the power of governing themselves. We are anxious, first for their sakes, and next, because it relieves us of a great burden. There need not be the slightest fear of our not continuing to give them all the liberty for which they are fit...The only fear is [lest] in our overanxiety we give them a degree of independence for which they are unfit, thereby inviting reaction and disaster.” In his performance of benevolent regard and faux expression of “our anxiety for the welfare and progress of the Philippines,” Roosevelt echoed the voices of the Ottoman missionary Pliny Fisk, the China trader Robert Bennet Forbes, the India merchant William Augustus Rogers, and the East Indies sea captain Charles Endicott. His concerns recalled the real and imagined dangers of...Read More

Following Elephant Trails

by faa | Thursday, December 23, 2021 - 12:00 PM

By Nigel Rothfels Rothfels blog 1.jpg For six years, now, I have had this Charlie Hankin cartoon on my refrigerator, clipped from a New Yorker and sent to me by my sister. Writing a book about elephants, I guess, inevitably leads to receiving a stream of elephant-themed kitsch, stories, and memorabilia. I’ve kept a tie, an old, cast-iron piggy bank of a circus elephant standing on its hind legs, some bookends, a pad of notepaper made of elephant dung, a little silver elephant that opens to reveal a smaller version inside, a quick painting by an elephant whom I met in Milwaukee, and a few other items. More significantly, I was given a mammoth tooth that has become quite important to me and inherited an ivory-handled cutlery set that leaves me perplexed and troubled. I suppose I kept the Hankin cartoon on the fridge, with its double references to remembering, because it makes me smile and because historians – and possibly elephants – are in the business of memory. I started the research for my new book Elephant Trails: A History of Animals and Cultures because I wanted to write something about the life of a...Read More