Nationalism, Brexit and Drones – A Conversation with Neal Ascherson

  Before he arrived in 1952 to study history at King’s College, Cambridge under the supervision of Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm, Neal Ascherson was conscripted into the Royal Marines at age 18 to defend British colonial interests in Malaya against Chin Peng’s communist insurgency. It was Hobsbawm who, in his benevolently probing way during their first encounter, helped Ascherson confront his own feelings of remorse, later calling him “perhaps the […]

‘Economy, Happiness, and the Good Life:’ An Interview with Edward F. Fischer

In the second interview for the series ‘The Good Life: Conversations for the King’s Review,’ Jonas Tinius and Johannes Lenhard invited anthropologist and social entrepreneur Edward F. Fischer to reflect on the core themes of his latest book The Good Life: Aspirations, Dignity, and the Anthropology of Well-Being (Stanford, 2014). We spoke about the imperfect but valued opportunities of entrepreneurship for realising desires for a better life; hopes for a better future, and the role of economies and markets in thinking about well-being.

Farewell, neoliberalism: An interview with Wolfgang Streeck

Wolfgang Streeck is emeritus director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne. His latest book, How Will Capitalism End?, explores the crisis of capitalism today, which Yanis Varoufakis has deemed a brilliant exposé of ‘the deeply illiberal, irrational, anti-humanist tendencies of contemporary capitalism.’ KR editors Johannes Lenhard and Rebecca Liu caught up with the economic sociologist on his thoughts on Corbyn, the EU, and whether there is such thing as a […]

Age of Extraction: An Interview With Saskia Sassen

  Professor Saskia Sassen is a world-renowned scholar who teaches at Columbia University in New York. She became increasingly known in the social sciences since the early 1990s, after the publication of her book The Global City (Princeton University Press, 1991), which introduced an urban and spatial perspective into the anti-capitalist critique to late-century market models and the growing power of the digital economy. In March 2017, KR editor Giulia Torino […]

EVERNESS – the art of being dead

When somebody passes away, the way in which they are remembered and commemorated is left largely to the friends and family they leave behind. But what if living individuals could exercise more choices regarding their death and legacy? Cemeteries in the UK offer the option of booking a plot in advance of one’s death. Should the living then not be able to determine more than merely the space they will […]

Torre Bela: The Portuguese Revolution

Torre Bela, a film by the German director Thomas Harlan, explores the Portuguese revolution and centers on the 1975 occupation of an aristocratic farm by its tenants and other locals. Caroline Rito considers the role of the filmmakers themselves within the occupation, surveying their influence in the sequence of events and the significance of cinematic technologies in 20th century history.

Doing the Work: A Conversation with Patti Smith

During a brief period of respite from summer tours and performing obligations, Alice Blackhurst met Patti Smith on a humid, tropically stormy day at her home in New York City, where her cat, Cairo, stalked between the stacks of books and art objects, and the sounds of ubiquitous Manhattan traffic railed sporadically against the walls. What follows is a distilled record of an afternoon-long conversation, where the topics ranged from opera, Picasso, the pressure faced by today’s young artists to court visibility and notoriety, and the solitude and focus necessary to create enduring works of art.

Martin Amis Misses England

Our editorial fellow Christopher Prendergast offers a harsh critique of the re-apperance of novelist Martin Amis who recently announced that he misses England living in New York.

Who’s afraid of the young Asian girl? On Jenny Zhang’s “Sour Heart”

  Jenny Zhang is not interested in your approval. Her debut collection of short stories Sour Heart, all narrated from the perspective of various Chinese teen girls (or teens-to-be), drips of unabashed vulgarity and candour. Her first short story, We Love Your Crispina, opens with the observation that ‘we had to mash our king-sized shits into smaller pieces since we were too poor and too irresponsible back then to even […]

Re-membering Europe: nostalgia and the refugee crisis

A visit to the Hungarian National Museum prompts Theo Di Castri to reflect on the intersections of nostalgia, nationalism and Europe’s hostile response to the recent influx of refugees that have arrived within its border over the past year. Looking beyond the obvious and troublesome ways in which nostalgia is employed to bolster regressive, far-right politics, he explores the ways in which the nostalgic impulse might be salvaged as a resource for building a new and expanded sense of solidarity and community within a changing Europe.

My Brother, George Best and Me

When my brother persuaded our dad to take him to see George Best and Manchester United for the first time, I was three years old. As I pottered about on that September day in 1969, I was unaware that Paul had managed, at the age of 12, to break through into another world altogether: one where colours were more vivid and the romance of life was transformed into something extraordinary […]

The Lonely Old Bitcoin Miner Touches Eternity Or, What is a Peer?

The Lonely Old Bitcoin Miner is a playful experiment in critical making. He is a pitiful amalgam of stolen Disney intellectual property and low-end computer hardware. He is powered by dreams of distributed peer-to-peer networks: first, of striking it rich through Bitcoin, and now, of contributing to the blockchain, a permanent infrastructure of collective memory. Are both dreams equally hopeless? The Lonely Old Bitcoin Miner invites us to ask: what does it really mean to be a peer?

Living Against Everything: An Interview with Mark Greif

Mark Greif is Professor of Literary Studies at the New School, NY, and a founding editor of the magazine n+1. His collection of essays “Against Everything” offers a sustained critique of contemporary consumer culture, and asks questions about our assumptions concerning ‘the good life’. King’s Review editors Johannes Lenhard and Chris Townsend spoke with Greif about Romanticism, hipsters, and universal basic income.

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