Populism and the overabundance of PhDs

by Rashmee

Posted on December 10, 2020


  Some little time ago I heard a science journalist on a podcast discussing populism in the context of oversupply – of PhDs. It sounded amusing. To think that someone like me, who has a PhD, would contribute to the sort of political instability that elects Donald Trump in 2016. Turns out, the theory of … Continue reading “Populism and the overabundance of PhDs”

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It’s too early for US museums to be recording the pandemic

by Rashmee

Posted on June 3, 2020 / The National


In late April, as the coronavirus outbreak continued its inexorable spread, a museum in Los Angeles put out a remarkable call. It asked communities in the western United States — the Great Plains, Rocky Mountains and the west coast — to help “identify and preserve items of historical and cultural significance during the Covid-19 pandemic”. The Autry Museum explained … Continue reading “It’s too early for US museums to be recording the pandemic”

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What is civilisation, Ibn Khaldun, famous son of Tunis, wondered in the 14th century

by Rashmee

Posted on December 2, 2017


Sitting in Tunis it feels entirely right and proper to be perusing ‘The Muqaddimah’, the 14th century history book written by Ibn Khaldun. He was a son of Tunis, and a traveller of great perspicacity and imagination. Ibn Khaldun served as a judge in Cairo and a confidante (of sorts) to Tamerlane (Timur), cruel fearsome … Continue reading “What is civilisation, Ibn Khaldun, famous son of Tunis, wondered in the 14th century”

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The problem with this Princeton professor’s lament about the end of ‘global history’

by Rashmee

Posted on March 4, 2017


It’s worth reading Princeton professor Jeremy Adelman’s thoughtful, thought-provoking piece on global history in Aeon magazine, and then thinking hard about it. The piece is written as one might expect – beautifully – but I came up against a great brick wall roughly half way down, about which more soon. First, to the piece. It … Continue reading “The problem with this Princeton professor’s lament about the end of ‘global history’”

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What does a poet do with history? They parse it so it’s no longer a souvenir

by Rashmee

Posted on August 18, 2015


Last week, it was that time of year again – when Indians and Pakistanis recall W. H. Auden’s 26-line poem on the partition of India, written with the clarity of hindsight nearly two decades after the sub-continent was divided up. It would be in the great tradition of poems that recreated history: Yeats’s ‘Easter 1916’, … Continue reading “What does a poet do with history? They parse it so it’s no longer a souvenir”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK