An 1870 portrait of Herman Melville painted by Joseph Oriel Eaton.
While clear-eyed about the country's injustices, Melville never succumbed to cynicism. On the author's bicentennial, American readers could use a dose of his ability to fuse realism with idealism.
What happens when an entire society succumbs to childlike behavior and discourse?
Our social institutions and politics suffer from a collective arrested development – and our relationship to technology has only exacerbated this trend.
Modern life seems to encourage acceleration for the sake of acceleration – to what end?
Technology has made many aspects of daily life much easier. So why do we still feel so overwhelmed?
Edward Hopper’s ‘Office in a Small City’ (1953).
Although loneliness may seem timeless and universal, the word seems to have originated in the 16th century,
"Critique of Black Reason" offers readers insight into how the construction of race and racism underpins our understanding of modernity.
Muslims pray at the Kofar Mata Central Mosque in Kano, Northern Nigeria. Liberal and fundamentalist Islam are in a contest of legitimacy in the region.
The debate around photos of two Nigerian Salafi clerics taken in London wasn't a trivial conversation about dress and recreational choices. It was loaded with symbolism.
Can technology be tamed? Or have we already lost complete control?
Much like the fictitious Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley's novel, more and more scientists are running away from their real-life creations.
Visions of the future, from the early 20th century.
Umberto Boccioni: Dynamism of a Cyclist
A transcript from a segment of The Anthill podcast about the futuristic visions of Filippo Marinetti.
Chilean-German DJ Matias Aguayo performing at Kitchener’s Bar in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Scholars of urban studies are acknowledging that the discipline is characterised by a fear of the dark and the night. But artists are giving us a creative language to engage with the darkness.
Bombardier (right), the reigning champion and ‘King of the Arenas’, prepares to defend his crown against the popular young challenger Modou Lô.
Mark Hann/ Global Sport
Wrestling is Senegal’s national sport. But the presence of an ethnic discourse within the sporting arena may well threaten the notion of the multi-ethnic nation state.
Palestinian men pray in the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-amid.
Religion and modernity need not be at odds with one another, and many leading Muslim thinkers are plumbing early texts to promote progressive ideas.
To Tolkien, the machine represents a means to attain power over others. His orcs – deformed and ugly creatures, whose hands are sometimes replaced with weapons – embody this lust for power.
My grandfather was a carpenter, and I don’t think he ever developed much of a sense of trust in machines. I remember him laboring away at our home one summer, transforming our screened-in porch into a…
Confucius stands guard at Beijing’s Renmin University.
George (Sam) Crane
In today’s China, the philosopher Confucius is back. To mark his 2,565th birthday this September, the nation’s President, Xi Jinping, paid homage to the sage at an international conference convened for…