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The Custom House – Episode 1: Babo’s Razor

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This week: Jonathan Elmer, director of Indiana University’s College Arts and Humanities Institute discusses Herman Melville’s novella, Benito Cereno, a masterful exposure of 19th century cultural presumptions in the American slave nation.

This week on The Custom House, Doug looks at how we use our reading experiences as tools for thinking in a conversation with Jonathan Elmer, the Director of Indiana University’s College Arts and Humanities Institute. The two inspect Benito Cereno, a novella by Herman Melville, where nothing is as it seems to the blinkered American ship Captain Amasa Delano as he finds himself in the middle of a slave rebellion aboard what appears to be a crippled Spanish slaving ship.

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