Notre Dame de Paris as Symbol and Simulacrum

N.B. This is a longer version of an article I originally published on Play the Past on Thursday, April 18, 2019, under the title “The Cathedral and the Simulacrum”. “Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.” John Donne, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, 1624. Staring bewildered at the images Notre Read More

Big Data, History & Video Games: a Thought Experiment

Two years ago, a friend of mine forwarded me a link to a book whose title and very premise she knew I would find compelling: The History Manifesto. I ordered the book, and upon reception proceeded to devour it. “Finally“, I thought to myself, “a good introduction to the field of academic history and a spirited Read More

Ask the Greeks: Love Hurts

Perhaps the most famous aspect of the Ancient Greek view of love is that it is personified by a goddess: Aphrodite. To be sure, Aphrodite’s enduring appeal has much to do with the fact that love is an important part of human existence. It seems fitting that a divinely beautiful goddess should remain, across the Read More

Prager U (and their Ilk) Also Killed the Liberal Arts

It’s not often that I feel compelled to share and comment an opinion piece from Prager “University”. Albeit not an officially-registered institute of higher learning in the U.S., Prager works more like a think tank. Seizing upon the Youtube phenomenon, the conservative folks at Prager U have produced a series of punchy videos, with the Read More

The School of Life : Humanities Graduates in the New Economy

On the tail of my recent post delving into the nature and value of the humanities, this quick addendum. It’s inspired by this short video from The School of Life, which examines the sense of exile felt by lovers of the humanities stuck in a capitalist economy.     What the video clarifies for me: According Read More

Practicing the Humanities – Amanda Anderson

If you’ve ever taken to the serious pursuit of the humanities (literature, philosophy, history or any of their classic buddies), you’ve no doubt been reminded as I have, on countless social occasions, of the noble yet useless tenor of such passions. Still in hot pursuit of classical letters, I’ve begun to take note, of late, Read More

Apotheon Game Review on Play the Past

Once in a while, I come across a video game that seems to have strong affinities with the Humanities. In early February 2015, Canadian video game developer Alientrap released Apotheon, a Greek-themed action-adventure 2D sidescroller on Steam. In a matter of two weeks, the game received widespread critical acclaim from the video gaming community, and Read More