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Human Sciences

During a video meeting in February, Joshua Wolf Shenk — then the executive director of the Black Mountain Institute and editor in chief of the Believer magazine — showed his genitals to about a dozen colleagues. The incident was reported to the Office of Equal Employment and Title IX at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, which houses the literary institute, and Shenk resigned in March. He ...

In Maggie Nelson’s “Bluets,” her 2009 collection of poems on grief and loss, loneliness is “solitude with a problem.” Which is a useful way of understanding loneliness. Being alone and feeling lonely are not always the same thing. Except, of course, it’s complicated. Emily Dickinson wondered: Was loneliness “the maker of the soul”? Or its “seal”? Does loneliness define you? Or exacerbate ...

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