New Republic Hires NYU Grad

Josephine Livingstone starts Jan. 3 as a staff writer covering culture.

Josephine Livingstone (pictured) earned her B.A. at Oxford and her doctorate from NYU. Starting next month, she will apply that finely attuned mind’s eye as a staff writer for the New Republic, covering culture.

From Livingstone’s website bio:

You could describe my work as “alt-ac,” if you wanted. I hold a PhD from New York University (2015) in English. My dissertation was about race and maps and landscape in medieval European culture. I am interested in the conjunction of archives with emotion, so I made Web Safe 2k16 with my friends. I review a lot of books and write a column for The Awl about academia, called Lab Reports. I teach writing at NYU and produce events for n+1 and Ace Hotel New York.

Livingstone recently contributed a piece to The New Yorker website titled “The Unsolvable Mysteries of the Voynich Manuscript.” Check out this exquisite first paragraph:

The word “ink” is a child of the Latin incaustum, which means “having been burned.” In the Middle Ages, people thought that ink burned its way into parchment, because iron-gall inks go onto the page pale, then darken. This is not what’s happening, physically, but it makes sense as a metaphor: a medieval manuscript, because it was made by hand, is necessarily an original, even when it is a copy of something else. It cannot be standardized any more than a thing can be unburned.

Livingstone will report to deputy editor Ryu Spaeth. FishbowlNY’s suggestion to the New Republic receptionist on duty the morning of Tuesday Jan. 3 is to be ready with the greeting, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

P.S. Just in case any media colleagues might be wondering, yes, a lower-case “the” is how the venerable magazine founded in 1914 now spells its brand name.