I’m on The Week.

On June 10, 2019, I published the following article on The Week. I had so much fun writing this article. I could talk about runestones all day.

Viking Runestones Were the Original Tweets.

Runestones the First Tweets |The Week |The Boomerang

Runestone Sö 106. Source: Riksantikvarieämbetet/Swedish National Heritage Board.

In the remote Swedish countryside, a 1,000-year-old stone slab stands raised by the side of a road. Chiseled onto it, a message has been carved in runes — symbols that served as letters in the ancient Germanic alphabet. The runes tell onlookers that a man named Alrik commissioned and raised this stone slab in commemoration of his father, Spjut, a Viking famous for destroying and laying siege to fortifications in the west. Alrik basks in the glory of Spjut’s accomplishments: “Alrik raised the stone, son of Sigrid, after his father Spjut, he in the west had been, castle he had broken and conquered. The arts of the siege, he knew them all.”

Thousands of Viking Age runestones like this one dot the Swedish landscape, providing direct glimpses into the lives of the Vikings. The messages are short, self-expressive, and, for us onlookers, very out-of-context. More often than not, they contain the unsolicited opinions of the person who commissioned the stone. In many ways, these ancient dispatches are similar to another, more modern style of communication: tweets.

If you would like to read the article in its entirety, please click here.

In the words of my friend, the Australian, I shall return.

I’m on The Daily Beast

On April 20, 2019, I published the following article on The Daily Beast.

Give the Notre Dame a Modern Roof the Alt-Right Will Hate.

Notre Dame fire_BBC
Photo: BBC.

If you wish to read the article, please click here.

In the words of my friend, the Australian, I shall return.

Catch Me on the Season Premiere of The Story of God with Morgan Freeman

Catch Me on The Story of God with Morgan Freeman | Erika Harlitz-Kern | The Boomerang

In October last year I flew to the Czech Republic and worked on an episode of The Story of God with Morgan Freeman. I spent a day at the Broumov Monastery, just south of the Czech-Polish border, filming an episode on the amazing medieval manuscript Codex Gigas, also known as the Devil’s Bible.

The episode I filmed has been chosen as the premiere episode of the third season of The Story of God by Morgan Freeman and will air on the NatGeo Channel on Tuesday March 5 9/8c. Check out the trailer for Season 3 and then set your DVR for Tuesday night (or be a little crazy, and do it old school, and actually sit down to watch the episode as it airs).

In the words of my friend, the Australian, I shall return.

10 Things You Need to Know about the Ancient Library of Alexandria

On February 4, 2019, I published the following post on Book Riot.

10 Things You Need to Know about the Ancient Library of Alexandria.

Alexander the Great | 10 Things You Need to Know about the Ancient Library of Alexandria | The Boomerang

Alexander the Great, part of a mosaic, c. 100 BCE, Pompeii, Italy.

In 334 BCE, Alexander the Great set out to conquer the world. On his conquests, Alexander brought with him historians and geographers to document and spread the word about the different societies and cultures they encountered as they fought their way from Macedonia and Greece in the west to India in the east.

After his untimely death in 323 BCE, Alexander’s conquests helped usher in an era in Ancient history named Hellenism. Hellenism is the result of Greek-Macedonian culture blending with the societies of North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and India. It is defined by vibrant artistic expressions, expanded philosophical horizons, and a constant search for new knowledge. No other institution illustrates the spirit of Hellenism better than the ancient library of Alexandria, Egypt.

Here are ten things you need to know about the ancient library of Alexandria.

If you wish to read the article in its entirety, please click here.

In the words of my friend, the Australian, I shall return.

I’m on Goodreads

Last year I took the plunge and joined Goodreads. I’ve been searching for a way to keep track of my readings as well as writing short reviews, since I’ve noticed that doing both of these things helps me retain what I read to a higher degree. I’ve tried keeping book journals, writing about books here on The Boomerang, tweeting about books I’ve read, but nothing seemed to work out in the long run.

I joined Goodreads in July last year, and so far, it seems to be working out well. If you’d like to follow me on Goodreads, you can find me there under my full name.

Here’s a sample of the books I’ve read and reviewed on Goodreads. Hopefully it will help you find some new books and authors to read. Either way, I hope you enjoy the reviews.

Nnedi Okorafor, Binti: Home.

Eric Idle, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. A Sortabiography.

Brian McClellan, Promise of Blood.

Aeschylus, Oresteia.

J.Y. Yang, The Black Tides of Heaven.

Eve MacDonald, Hannibal. A Hellenistic Life.

Myke Cole, The Queen of Crows.

In the words of my friend, the Australian, I shall return.

TTR: Are We Really Global Citizens? Cosmopolitanism and Its Myths.

On September 18, 2018, fellow historian Vanesa Galindo Rodriguez and myself gave a talk at FIU’s Tuesday Times Roundtable on cosmopolitanism throughout the centuries and today. The Tuesday Times Roundtable is part of FIU’s Global Learning Initiative and is organized in co-operation with The New York Times.

In the words of my friend, the Australian, I shall return.

Murakami Withdraws from the Alternative Nobel Prize in Literature

On September 17, 2018, I published the following post on Book Riot.

Murakami Withdraws from the Alternative Nobel Prize in Literature.

Haruki-MurakamiJapanese author Haruki Murakami has asked to withdraw his nomination as one of the four finalists for The New Academy Prize in Literature, also known as the alternative Nobel Prize in Literature.

According to The New Academy’s press release, Murakami is…

If you would like to read the post in its entirety, please click here.

In the words of my friend, the Australian, I shall return.