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Cultures & Languages


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Essay/
Anthropology
Relics of power

From the foreskin of Jesus to the scarf of Elvis: why humans cannot resist the magical potency of charismatic objects

Jesper Sørensen

Essay/
Stories & Literature
L’art de la traduction

What is the task of the translator – to be a servant to the source or to create a new work of illuminated meaning?

Mark Polizzotti

Essay/
Cultures & Languages
The say of the land

Is language produced by the mind? Romantic theory has it otherwise: words emerge from the cosmos, expressing its soul

Mark Vernon

Essay/
Cultures & Languages
The deep roots of writing

Was writing invented for accounting and administration or did it evolve from religious movements, sorcery and dreams?

Michael Erard

Essay/
Cognition & Intelligence
Gesture talks

Across vast cultural divides people can understand one another through gesture. Does that make it a universal language?

Kensy Cooperrider

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Cultures & Languages
Black Achilles

The Greeks didn’t have modern ideas of race. Did they see themselves as white, black – or as something else altogether?

Tim Whitmarsh

Essay/
Religion
Not your Tibetan Buddhism

Behind the beatific image of Tibetan Buddhism lies a dark, complicated reality. But is it one the Western gaze wants to see?

Mark Hay

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Cultures & Languages
Did Homo erectus speak?

Early hominins who sailed across oceans left indirect evidence that they might have been the first to use language

Daniel Everett