The Year the Pandemic "Ended" (Part III)
The New Inquiry
by Artie Vierkant and Beatrice Adler-Bolton
1M ago
This piece has been adapted from Covid Year Three, an episode of Death Panel released earlier this month. It presents an incomplete timeline of the sociological production of the end of the pandemic across 2022. What follows is the third part of a three-part series; Part I is available here and Part II is available here.   + MAY 2022 By May, it’s common knowledge that we are now largely in the dark on Covid information. We can summarize this month through two headlines, especially since there’s little activity on covid from the Biden administration durin ..read more
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The Year the Pandemic "Ended" (Part II)
The New Inquiry
by Artie Vierkant and Beatrice Adler-Bolton
1M ago
This piece has been adapted from Covid Year Three, an episode of Death Panel released earlier this month. It presents an incomplete timeline of the sociological production of the end of the pandemic across 2022. What follows is the second part of a three-part series; Part I is available here.  + FEBRUARY 2022   February is the month that the final remains of state mask mandates went away. In early February, a group of states announced the end of many of the last remaining mask mandates both statewide and in schools. By the end of February, the CDC introduced its “Community Level ..read more
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The Year the Pandemic "Ended" (Part 1)
The New Inquiry
by Artie Vierkant and Beatrice Adler-Bolton
1M ago
The following piece presents an incomplete timeline of the sociological production of the end of the pandemic over the last year. In Part I, we look at the way elected officials and the press were talking about covid and the new omicron variant between November 2021 to January 2022. This piece has been adapted from Covid Year Three, an episode of Death Panel released earlier this month. + We are living simultaneously in the covid pandemic as an ongoing event, and as its aftermath.  On September 21st of this year, US President Joe Biden remarked to 60 Minutes that “the pandemic is over,” a ..read more
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Centrifugal Women
The New Inquiry
by Gabriel Fine
1M ago
A woman lies in bed in a large maternity ward. She’s just risen from a dream, and it overflows from sleep to tint her waking perceptions. A poplar tree glittering with sun is framed “like a mirage” in a large window; the ward is filled with “the peaceful sound of women’s voices” whose bodies appear “as bluish shadows” before a “flood of light.” When the woman reaches down to touch her belly, it feels like “wetting her hands in a shallow puddle.” Takiko, twenty-one and unmarried, has just given birth to a baby boy. Yet the fact seems alien to her: “Whether what she’d given birth to was alive or ..read more
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Baby Heists
The New Inquiry
by Andrew Lee
5M ago
States depend on the consent of the governed: there are only a finite number of cops, and politicians, once stripped of authority and armed guards, are about as liable to die from gunshot wounds or immolation as anyone else. The deepest wish of the modern state is to forge precisely the sort of population which might perfectly support it. The cruder versions of this practice are arithmetical. Fostering the right sort of births from the right sort of families, the inclusion of the right sort of immigrants from acceptable countries: such enlargements are addition. Genocide, forced disappearances ..read more
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Six years (and counting) of circlusion
The New Inquiry
by Sophie Lewis
5M ago
It gives me great pleasure, as well as relief, that The New Inquiry has agreed to republish this landmark essay. For a while now, strangers have been sending me emails, on average, every month, asking where my translation of the great German communist Bini Adamczak’s landmark piece about circlusion––the obverse of penetration––can be found. The original article in German, “Come On,” appeared in the Berlin-based Missy Magazine in March 2016. I had just helped out with the translation of Communism for Kids (Adamczak’s short book, which isn’t actually for children, excerpted in The New Inquiry ..read more
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Mall Gothic
The New Inquiry
by Anna Aguiar Kosicki
5M ago
“The Egyptians have pyramids, the Chinese have the Great Wall, the British have immaculate lawns, the Germans have castles, the Dutch have canals, the Italians have grand churches. And Americans have shopping centers.” wrote Kenneth T. Jackson in his 1996 article “The World’s a Mall.” Jackson, an eminent historian of New York City, turned his gaze to the suburban phenomenon of the American mall and found it to be a striking synecdoche for a particular epoch in American history. And he wouldn’t be wrong. The mall––in its sameness, and abundance, its hidden seediness and advertised cleanliness ..read more
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Not Feeling It
The New Inquiry
by Charlie Markbreiter
5M ago
In Disaffected, scholar Xine Yao looks at the racial history of unfeeling. Trained as a nineteenth century Americanist, Yao, much like Lauren Berlant, shows how sentimentality was used for nation-building. Sentiment promised to unite disparate people into a single, stable country if they all “felt right.” Of course, who is allowed to feel “right,” and who is punished for not doing so, is socially determined. While this suffocating framework of universal feeling is writ large in global modernity, Yao theorizes unfeeling as modes of disaffection and dissent that emerge from different entanglemen ..read more
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In the Mood for Loss
The New Inquiry
by Mason L. Wong
6M ago
Did Hong Kong ever have a belle époque? It’s difficult to say. Hong Kongers never had full control over their city’s political fate, no matter how hard they fought for it. Even now, it seems insulting to claim that the meager electoral reforms and quasi-autonomy afforded to the city at various points in its history ever set the stage for a sort of golden age. Yet it remains undeniable that there was a time spanning some set of years between 1980 and 2020––although I suspect that few will agree on which ones--in which there was a sense of political possibility in Hong Kong. During those years ..read more
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Can’t See the Wood for the Trees
The New Inquiry
by Malcolm Sanger
6M ago
Forests are foundational resources for humans. Fallen and felled wood is burned for heat and energy; trees are logged for construction material; sap or pitch is harvested for waterproofing boats; bark is stripped for use in clothing production; softwood is pulped to make paper--the list goes on. In games like Age of Empires, which recapitulate the history of humanity, the first thing the player does is turn forests of trees into wood. Before gold, before oil, there’s the accumulation of wood. It takes a bit more effort, and the consequences are greater outside, on the real planet earth. But, i ..read more
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