Brian Dillon and Olivia Laing: ‘Suppose a Sentence’
49 min

Writer and critic Brian Dillon’s latest book Suppose a Sentence (Fitzcarraldo) is a series of essays, each of them taking as its pretext a single sentence drawn from literature. What emerges is a dazzling experiment in criticism, a personal and at times polemical investigation of style, meaning and sense. Dillon was in conversation about his work with Olivia Laing, author of Funny Weather and Crudo.


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New Books in Sociology
New Books in Sociology
Marshall Poe
Jason Keith Fernandes, "Citizenship in a Caste Polity: Religion, Language and Belonging in Goa" (Orient BlackSwan, 2020)
In the mid-1980s, Goa witnessed mass demonstrations, violent protests and political mobilising, following which Konkani was declared the official language of the Goan territory. However, Konkani was recognised only in the Devanagari script, one of two scripts used for the language in Goa, the other being the Roman script. Set against this historical background, Citizenship in a Caste Polity: Religion, Language and Belonging in Goa (Orient BlackSwan, 2020) studies the contestations around the demand that the Roman script also be officially recognised and given equal status. Based on meetings and interviews with individuals involved in this mobilisation, the author explores the interconnected themes of language, citizenship and identity, showing how, by deliberately excluding the Roman script, the largely lower-caste and lower-class Catholic users of this script were denoted as less-than-authentic members of civil society. As citizens of a former Portuguese territory, the Goan Catholics’ experience of Indian citizenship does not fall entirely within the framework of British Indian history. This allows for a construction of the post-colonial Indian experience from outside of the British Indian framework, and its focus on Catholics enables a more nuanced study of Indian secularism, while also studying a group that has remained largely underrepresented in research. The weaves together multiple disciplinary, conceptual, historical and empirical threads to give us an insight into how citizenship and political subjectivities are constructed, negotiated and experienced in Goa, especially when it comes to fixing and contesting identities around the Konkani Language, its dialects and scripts. Lucidly written and brilliantly argued, this book is a unique critical historical and ethnographic account of the politics of Konkani language, and will be valuable to scholars of History, Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Citizenship Studies and Cultural Studies, and beyond that also to the policy makers working on state and citizenship policies. Ali Mohsin is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Geneva. His research focuses on the politics of poverty, inequality and social protection in Pakistan. He can be reached at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1 hr 2 min
Shaping The Future - From Pandemic To Climate Change
Shaping The Future - From Pandemic To Climate Change
Nick Breeze
The Vatican’s head of Ecology, Father Josh, ‘Pandemic is a warning to humans’
In this episode of Shaping The Future, I am speaking to the Vatican’s head of ecology, Father Josh, who also happens to be coordinating the COVID-19 response within the Holy City. In May 2020 Pope Francis declared a year of Laudato Si, building on the work of his encyclical on climate change in order to inspire exponential change across all walks of life, including all forms of Christianity, other faiths, and like-minded people around the world. Through many advisors that make up the Pontifical academy of sciences among other advisers, church leaders are informed on climate and ecological science from some of the worlds most respected experts. Father Josh iterates the connection between nature, humanity and climate, while emphasising that the poor who have not caused this crisis are often the worst impacted and that a just response to climate change, means putting their needs at forefront of our actions. In this interview, Father Josh also reminds us that we must learn from the pandemic in order to reform our relationship with nature and live within planetary constraints. Thank you for listening to Shaping The Future - the next episode will feature the director of the World Resources Institute in Washington, Dan Lashof, discussing how impactful President-Elect Biden’s climate plans will likely be. Here is the link about the Laudato Si' Year and LS Action Platform (you can find the brochure in seven languages): Cambridge Climate Series & Shaping The Future:
19 min
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