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The Fire These Times

107 EpisodesProduced by Joey AyoubWebsite

Each week, Lebanese writer Joey Ayoub brings you conversations at the intersection of politics, history, philosophy, culture, science, and all the fun stuff in between. It is a project born out of my conviction that doing so requires an interdisciplinary and intersectional approach to understanding … read more


88/ A History of Nothing (With Susan A. Crane)

This is a conversation with Susan A. Crane, author of the book “Nothing Happened: A History

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You can follow on Twitter or Instagram @ firethesetimes too.

Topics Discussed:

  • How do people think of the past?
  • What does Nothing even mean?
  • Four expressions of historical consciousness:
    1- Nothing Happened
    2- Nothing is the Way it Was
    3- Nothing has Changed
    4- Nothing is Left
  • How far away does the past have to be before being considered the past?
  • What the past says about the present
  • The examples of Germany, Chile, the USA, Spain and Lebanon
  • When histories become ruin
  • On biographies and ‘great men’
  • On ‘objectivity’ and ‘neutrality’ in history

Resources mentioned:

Recommended Books

  • In Memory of Memory by Maria Stepanova, translated by Sasha Dugdale
  • The Resonance of Unseen Things: Poetics, Power, Captivity, and UFOs in the American Uncanny by Susan Lepselter
  • Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval by Saidiya Hartman
  • A History of Silence: From the Renaissance to the Present Day by Alain Corbin
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