On Mouths

Mouths are weird. They’re not quite like other parts of our body, most of which are ‘objects’ in them­selves, even though they are some­times redu­cible to smaller parts. A hand has fin­gers, a palm, and so forth, but is also what it is: a hand. A mouth has lips, teeth, gums, a tongue, but it is no­thing in itself. A mouth is an empti­ness. […Read more…]

Runic Escapades: The Ribe Cranium

I wrote the intro­ductory post for a new his­tory blog founded by four colleagues/friends and myself. It’s about the Ribe cra­nium, an 8th cen­tury skull frag­ment with a runic inscrip­tion. The inscri­pion is (most likely) a healing spell to defeat a dwarven spirit causing ill­ness, pos­sibly a head­ache. The art­icle is part of an ongoing series “Runic Escapades”, in which I will present runic inscrip­tions in their cul­tural and his­tor­ical con­text. […Read more…]

The Xenophobic Face of the Netherlands

On my way to work, early this morning, I read a news­paper art­icle that made me very angry. I sup­pose it’s a cul­min­a­tion of pent-up frus­tra­tion with what I feel is an increas­ingly openly xeno­phobic and racist cli­mate dom­in­ating Dutch public dis­course. This art­icle was the last straw that made me decide to devote a […Read more…]