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Dag Herbjørnsrud

Former editor of MODERN TIMES. Now head of the Center for Global and Comparative History of Ideas.

When history needs to be rewritten: Teotihuacán, Mesopotomia, Tlaxcala

"BULLSHIT THEORIES": We have been wrong: Advanced societies did not come with agriculture. Rather, people have lived freely and egalitarianly both before and after some became farmers, Graeber and Wengrow show in The Dawn of Everything. While Nikole Hannah-Jones provides a whole new understanding of American history with her 1619 book.

There is hope for better times for the past

HISTORY: National-cultivating historiography has characterized Norway for several decades, but Leidulf Melve and Eivind Heldaas Seland show the way out of disability.

To challenge a Eurocentric perspective

IDEA HISTORY: African and African-European personalities were central in building what we today call Europe – from the dawn of time to the present day. Africans founded cities in Spain and Italy before ruling the Roman Empire. And Ethiopia also helped Europe advance in the 1400th century.

African-American thinking and critical racial studies

RACE THEORY: In the United States, Republicans ban the study of racism. In Denmark, the Folketing has decided that the universities are «European». Viktor Orbán in Hungary had gender studies removed, and in Poland, social anthropology has become a favorite object of hatred. In Norway, the government sets up a commission due to fears of debate about "racist structures". The Norwegian public has copied this right-wing narrative from the United States – the notion that critical race theory, ie academic knowledge, should be a "societal problem". The background is an African-American intellectual heritage that began with the thinker Phillis Wheatley over 200 years ago.

Herodotus isonomia

Isonomia: Herodotus has the earliest, if not the most beautiful, description of good governance, isonomia

Seducers love majority decisions

IDEA HISTORY: Is Greece more of a cultural periphery in the Middle East than the origin of our modern democracy? Aristotle believed that the Phoenicians in Carthage, like the law – isonomia – had a better government than Athens – the so-called cradle of democracy.

In memory of Nawal El-Saadawi

Obituary: Uncompromisingly, she spoke out against power. Now she is gone, 89 years old. Author, physician and feminist Nawal El-Saadawi wrote for MODERN TIMES from June 2009.

Africa and «the brutish museums»

Cultural history: It is necessary to relinquish ownership of colonial loot. The treasures of European museums have been stolen. And what about the Cultural History Museum in Oslo – which is also on the list of museums that have Benin's stolen bronze sculptures?

More universal philosophy

ESSAY: Time to learn what the world's many translating female philosophers thought? Or what about the omitted African philosophy? Four books provide a broader understanding of the history of thought.