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MLW Evolutionary Blog

Interesting Marriage & History Related Topics

Reality, Representation, and the Search for Meaning: Argentine Artist Mirtha Dermisache’s Invented Graphic Languages

“Is language the adequate expression of all realities?” Nietzsche asked in contemplating how we use language to both reveal and conceal reality. A century after Nietzsche, the Argentine artist Mirtha Dermisache (February 21, 1940–January 5, 2012) set out to probe the limits and possibilities of language by filling countless notebooks, letters, and postcards with text. […]

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Where were all the female Abstract Expressionists?

  Reader question: “I wonder if there have been women engaging in abstract expressionist art and if we maybe only don’t know them because Clement Greenberg forgot to tell us about them?” – asked by Natascha Short answer: Yes! There were plenty of women engaging in Abstract Expressionist art that simply never gained the fame […]

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Does archaeology have value outside of archaeology?

What is the value of archaeology for individuals, institutions, and disciplines beyond archaeology itself? This is the topic of a recent article in The SAA Archaeological Record (Minnis et al. 2017), based on a workshop held at the Amerind Foundation in May 2017. If you have followed this blog at all, you will know this […]

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Art History Spring Lecture Series: Dr. Sarah Betzer

This Wednesday, March 28th, Dr. Sarah Betzer will present a lecture, titled “Moving Statues: Towards an Eighteenth-Century Ontology of the Antique,” as a part of the Art History department’s Spring Lecture Series.  Dr. Betzer, an associate professor at University of Virginia, describes her research as such: “While masterworks of ancient sculpture had long been the […]

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Someone Butchered a Rhino in the Philippines 700,000 Years Ago, But Who?

Yesterday, Nature published an alarming find of butchered rhinoceros remains from the Kalinga site in the Cagayan Valley on Luzon in the Philippines. The long bones were clearly smashed as if to have access to marrow. The cut marks over the ribs are also clear signs of processing the meat off the bones. These marks were not […]

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A Lesson Plan for Videogame Archaeology in the Museum

I didn’t wake up that morning thinking I’d be playing an original Street Fighter II Championship Edition arcade console in just a few hours. It turned out to be a very good day. So I was on Long Island recently for our annual, far-too-short family visit to America. It was also my daughter’s second birthday but […]

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Pioneering Mathematician G.H. Hardy on the Noblest Existential Ambition and How We Find Our Purpose

“Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied,” Zadie Smith counseled in the tenth of her ten rules of writing — a tenet that applies with equally devastating precision to every realm of creative endeavor, be it poetry or mathematics. Bertrand Russell addressed this Faustian bargain of ambition in his 1950 […]

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Alumni Spotlight: Allison Porambo

Allison Porambo ’12 completed her undergraduate degree as an art history major at American University before going on to receive a Masters degree from the University of Texas, Austin, in Art History, Criticism, and Conservation in 2017. Now, she’s back in the D.C. area, and tells us about the ins and outs of her current […]

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Growing ‘Mini-Brains’ With Neanderthal DNA

  Svante Pääbo, director of the genetics department at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany wants to grow brain organoids from human stem cells that are edited to contain “Neanderthalized” versions of several genes. These blobs of brain are incapable of thoughts or feelings, but replicate basic structures of the brain, […]

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Did Antonina Use Witchcraft to Enslave the Mighty Byzantine General Belisarius?

Flavius Belisarius (500 – 565 AD) personified the perfect example of what a general of a powerful empire ought to have been. He was almost invincible in battle as he restored the influence of the Byzantine Empire in North Africa and Italy during the reign of the 6th century Emperor Justinian I, who reigned from […]

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