Cultures & Languages


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Video/Demography & Migration

Amid massive urbanisation and modernisation, rural Japan persists in idiosyncratic corners

30 minutes

Video/Sports & Games

How Gaelic sports became a cultural binding force in Ireland’s most diverse town

15 minutes

Idea/History

Far-distant days: the past has a dizzying power to ground us

Ben Thomas

Video/Sports & Games

Looking like time travellers from a bygone era, sumo wrestlers gather for a competition

3 minutes

Essay/Beauty & Aesthetics

The sea was never blue

The Greek colour experience was made of movement and shimmer. Can we ever glimpse what they saw when gazing out to sea?

Maria Michela Sassi

Video/Progress & Modernity

Two young Bushmen grapple with the possibility of transitioning to modern lives

29 minutes

Essay/Cultures & Languages

Is linguistics a science?

Much of linguistic theory is so abstract and dependent on theoretical apparatus that it might be impossible to explain

Arika Okrent

Video/Cultures & Languages

The reverence and revelry of a New Orleans jazz funeral procession

2 minutes

Idea/Anthropology

Ancient ruins keep being ‘discovered’: were they ever lost?

Christopher Begley

Video/Travel

Castles, croquet and kilts: on the tour bus from China through the photo ops of Britain

10 minutes

Essay/Political Philosophy

Theory from the ruins

The Frankfurt school argued that reason is dangerous, mass culture deadening, and the Enlightenment a disaster. Were they right?

Stuart Walton

Idea/Philosophy of Language

Who needs a perfect language? It’s already perfectly imperfect

Charlie Huenemann

Essay/History

Why the Tudors still rule

The Tudors are always good box office, but their melodramatic lives distract from a much deeper legacy of civic nationhood

Anna Whitelock

Essay/Art

Has art ended again?

Ever since Hegel, artists and critics alike have been claiming that art is finished. But what could that actually mean?

Owen Hulatt

Idea/Cultures & Languages

Stuck on one idea of truth or beauty? Rhizomes can help

Nicholas Tampio

Video/Cultures & Languages

From accents to ‘sleep signing’ – the psychology and the politics of sign language

4 minutes

Essay/Law & Justice

The legal imagination

Hypotheticals, fantastical beings, and a fictional omnibus: legal reasoning is made supple by its use of the imagination

Maksymilian Del Mar

Idea/Cognition & Intelligence

The bilingual brain: why one size doesn’t fit all

Angela Grant

Idea/Cultures & Languages

Whatever you do, don’t call this an ‘interesting’ idea

Simson L Garfinkel

Essay/History

The Masada mystery

Have archaeologists proven the ancient tale of mass suicide in the Judaean desert or twisted science for political end?

Eric H Cline

Video/Stories & Literature

The welder-turned-poet who fell in love with words in a Glasgow shipyard

11 minutes

Video/Music

Melody, rhythm and piety: the rich forms and meanings of Indian classical music

17 minutes

Essay/Philosophy of Language

Chomsky, Wolfe and me

I took on Noam Chomsky’s ideas about language and unleashed a decade of debate and ridicule. But is my argument wrong?

Daniel Everett

Essay/History of Ideas

How not to be a chucklehead

Saturday mornings with J L Austin in postwar Oxford were a golden time for wordplay, silly jokes and serious philosophy

Nakul Krishna

Idea/Cultures & Languages

Shitloads and zingers: on the perils of machine translation

Arthur Goldhammer

Idea/Stories & Literature

When the stories add up: the six narrative arcs in fiction

Veronique Greenwood

Idea/History of Ideas

Arabic translators did far more than just preserve Greek philosophy

Peter Adamson

Video/Music

A rare glimpse into the world of North Korea’s classical musicians

13 minutes

Idea/Neuroscience

Some people really are wired better for learning languages

Angela Grant

Essay/Making

Chabuduo! Close enough …

Your balcony fell off? Chabuduo. Vaccines are overheated? Chabuduo. How China became the land of disastrous corner-cutting

James Palmer