The Hedgehog Review
The Hedgehog Review

Current Issue

Minding Our Minds

Summer 2014 (16.2)

Distracted? Having problems focusing? Overwhelmed by emails, texts, and tweets? In “Minding Our Minds,” our editors and writers examine the increasingly parlous state of our minds in the face of the information age’s relentless barrage of media and messages. More than simply a psychological or neurological manifestation, our ability—or inability—to pay attention is a symptom of a larger cultural phenomenon.

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Europe in Search of Europeans

The Hedgehog ReviewSpring 2014 (16.1)

One hundred years after the outbreak of the Great War, Europe is again in crisis. The old cultural questions of Europe and Europeanness have emerged with renewed urgency: If Europe as a union is to survive, what forms of solidarity and identity might hold it together?

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Parenting in America

The Hedgehog ReviewFall 2013 (15.3)

Parenting in America has become the subject of vigorous debate among scholars, policy advocates, and parents themselves. Do parents truly want to be their children's best friends? Do parents today hesitate to use the language of “should” and “shouldn’t”? Is raising “awesome” children really all about the “awesomeness” of their parents? Our writers draw on a wide range of research to answer these and other questions about the complex business of child rearing.

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From our Recent Issues

From Fall 2013 (15.3)

Holding Them Closer

Nearly 30 years ago, sociologist Robert Bellah and his co-authors in Habits of the Heart described the American parenting ideal as the production of independent children who “leave home,” both figuratively and literally. If these were the habits of the parenting heart in the 1980s, American parents clearly have had a change of heart. | Read article >>>

From Fall 2013 (15.3)

Raising the Awesome Child

What does the relatively recent proliferation of amazing children reveal about American parents and American parenting culture as a whole? How did the cultivation of such children become the agenda for so much of what is now called parenting? What are the implications for parents, children, and society? Those are the questions the author proposes to examine here—and, in doing so, show how parenting has become both a form of culture and an important domain of activity that transforms contemporary culture. | Read article >>>

From Summer 2013 (15.2)

The Apocalyptic Strain in Popular Culture: The American Nightmare Becomes the American Dream

Whatever happened to the popular culture that used to offer up charming images of the American dream? Where are the happy households—the Andersons, the Nelsons, the Cleavers, the Petries—when we need them? Film and television today are more likely to present images of the American nightmare: our entire civilization reduced to rubble and the few survivors forced to live a primitive existence in terror of monstrous forces unleashed throughout the land. Has the American nightmare paradoxically become the new American dream? Is there some weird kind of wish-fulfillment at work in all these visions of near-universal death and destruction? | Read article >>>

From Summer 2012 (14.2)

Abundance on Trial: The Cultural Significance of "Sustainability"

Every now and then a single word emerges from our common parlance to achieve the status of a master term. Such a word gives expression to discrete needs and purposes, but it also provides a perspicuous lens through which to view the ethical disposition and emotional temper of a culture at a particular moment in time. The argument of this essay is that “sustainability” has become just such a word for our moment, deserving closer attention than it has so far received. | Read article >>>

From Spring 2012 (14.1)

Why Google Isn’t Making Us Stupid…or Smart

The history of the mutual constitution of humans and technology has been obscured as of late by the crystallization of two competing narratives about how we experience all of this information. On the one hand, there are those who claim that the digitization efforts of Google, the social-networking power of Facebook, and the era of big data in general are finally realizing that ancient dream of unifying all knowledge. On the other hand, less sanguine observers interpret the advent of digitization and big data as portending an age of information overload. We are suffering under a deluge of data. Many worry that the Web’s hyperlinks that propel us from page to page, the blogs that reduce long articles to a more consumable line or two, and the tweets that condense thoughts to 140 characters have all created a culture of distraction. | Read article >>>


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The Right of Assembly Violently Wrested

The right of peaceable assembly has been at the heart of the struggle of African American equality throughout our nation’s history. When honored, it has yielded important protections. When breached, it has facilitated widespread and systematic oppression. | Read post >>>

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Quit Lit: Do the Humanities Need the University?

We have a difficult time imagining the future of the humanities beyond the anxieties of professors and the failures of university administrators. And when we invoke the humanities, we are actually speaking about a beleaguered and exhausted profession. There are only professors and their disciplines here. And they both are trapped, as Nietzsche would say, in a "castrated" passive tense: "The humanities are compelled . . .." There are no agents in this drama, just put upon, passive professors. | Read post >>>

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Is Portland for Slackers? An Interview With Tom Krattenmaker

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The Hedgehog Review wins award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals for Best Public Intellectual Special Issue 2012. Read the award-winning issue: The Roots of the Arab Spring

About The Review

The Hedgehog Review publishes insightful essays and reviews by scholars and cultural critics focused on the most important questions of our day:

  • What does it mean to be human?
  • How do we live with our deepest differences?
  • What is the good life? The good community? The good world?

Who We Are

The Hedgehog Review is an intellectual journal concerned with contemporary cultural change published three times per year by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia.

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