Books & ideas

Here Comes the Sun
A Summer Selection

by Mélanie Cournil , 27 July 2017

Books & Ideas is going on holiday for the summer, and will resume its publication schedule in September. In the meantime, we present to you our first summer selection of our most recent essays and interviews.


Gilles Havard, “The Trapper: a Hollywood Ghost. On Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant
We should not be misled by the The Revenant’s hyperrealism: Iñárritu’s film is a brilliant filmmaker’s ego trip more than it is an accurate depiction of the trapper’s role in conquering the American West. Despite its meticulous reconstruction of living conditions at the time, the film is teeming with clichés and approximations.
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Marceau Chenault, "The Culture of Qi: A Chinese or a Universal One?
Qi—“breath” or “energy”—lies at the heart of many traditional Asian practices, be they martial or artistic, that rest upon a broader understanding of mind and body. This concept has now become pervasive in Western ideas of health and spirituality. Could this trend be a positive effect of globalization?
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Carolina Kobelinsky, “Judging Homosexuality, Granting Asylum
Asylum applications on the grounds of sexual orientation, although uncommon, raise questions that are relevant to any asylum claim: according to what criteria and what level of persecution are “genuine” refugees distinguished from “bogus” ones? And what is meant by this policy of proof?
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Nonna Mayer, “The Front National: Still Racist and Xenophobic
Judging by the opinions of the Front National’s members and supporters, no matter what its president says, the party has never stopped being racist and xenophobic. This is clearly shown by the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights’ annual survey.
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Ewa Tartakowsky, “The Jew with the Gold Coin
In Poland, one can purchase a strange good luck charm to become rich: the picture of a Jew holding a gold coin. What is the significance of this popular re-appropriation of the figure of the Jew in the context of post-Holocaust Poland? And how conscious are anti-Semitic prejudices in this representation?
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Guillaume Calafat and Eric Monnet, “The Return of the Economic History
The recent success of books on economic history – at a time when this specialism often seems disregarded in universities – coupled with parallel developments in both history and economics gives hope for new links between the two disciplines.
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Marc-Olivier Déplaude and Nicolas Larchet, “What are Philanthropic Organizations Hiding? An interview with Linsey McGoey
Linsey McGoey discusses philanthropic organizations such as the Gates Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Addressing the problematic aspects of “philanthrocapitalism”, she draws attention to the growing lack of transparency and accountability of those foundations.
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Emilie Frenkiel, “Whither Democracy in Brazil? An interview with Leonardo Avritzer
The president of the Brazilian Political Science Association, an expert of democratic innovations, discusses how Brazilian political scientists are taking stock of the Workers Party president’s curtailed electoral mandate in favor of Michel Temer and how it impacts their research orientation.
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by Mélanie Cournil, 27 July 2017

To quote this article :

Mélanie Cournil, « Here Comes the Sun. A Summer Selection », Books and Ideas , 27 July 2017. ISSN : 2105-3030. URL :

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