Skip to main content

Radical Humility

Essays on Ordinary Acts

Rebekah Modrak (Editor), Jamie Lausch Vander Broek (Editor), Aaron Ahuvia (Contribution by)


List Price: 16.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


What does humility mean and why does it matter in an age of golden escalators and billionaire entrepreneurs? How can the cultivation of humility empower us to see success in failure, to fight against injustice, to stretch beyond our usual ways of thinking, and to foster a culture of listening in an age of digital shouting? With contributions from renowned scholars as well as psychologists, artists, and many others, Radical Humility: Essays on Ordinary Acts offers guidance. Edited by Rebekah Modrak and Jamie Vander Broek, Radical Humility explores what we can learn from philosophers about why Socrates chose to question everyone--even the Oracle who proclaimed him to be the wisest of men. New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow examines the corrosive effect of Donald Trump's arrogance on our democracy. Artist Ruth Nicole Brown describes lessons learned from her aunt about living a life of "you before me," and how this informed her work celebrating Black girls. Journalist Lynette Clemetson lays out the conflicts for journalists trained to recede into the background but now urged to be social media presences. And scholars Aric Rindfleisch and Nadia Danienta describe why maker cultures are as good at celebrating failure as they are at championing success. Having witnessed the personal and civic costs of narcissism and arrogance, these and other writers consider humility as a valuable process--a state of being--with the power to impact institutions, systems, families, and individuals, and give voice to the ways in which humility is practiced in many ordinary but extraordinary actions. Contributors: Aaron Ahuvia, Russell Belk, Charles M. Blow, Richard C. Boothman, Agnes Callard, Lynette Clemetson, Tyler Denmead, Nadia Danienta, Mickey Duzyj, Kevin Em, Eranda Jayawickreme, Kevin Hamilton, Eranda Jayawickreme, Troy Jollimore, Melissa Koenig, Aric Rindfleisch, Valerie Tiberius, and Ami Walsh.

Belt Publishing, 9781948742962, 176pp.

Publication Date: March 16, 2021

About the Author

Rebekah Modrak is a writer and interventionist artist whose artworks resist consumer culture. Re Made Co. ( poses as an online "company" to recreate actual company Best Made Co. (seller of $350 luxury hand-painted axes) by promoting ($350) artisanal toilet plungers. RETHINK SHINOLA (; this artwork's meant for larger browser windows like laptops so don't try on your phone) will guide you through the Shinola company's past and present of marketing White supremacy. Hyperallergic, Core77, The Creators Project, Detroit MetroTimes, and Design Observer and other publications have written about her work. And you can read her own thoughts about reclaiming meaning from brand rhetoric in The Routledge Companion to Criticality in Art, Architecture and Design, Afterimage, Consumption Markets & Culture, and Infinite Mile.She is a Professor in the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan. Yes, she's critiqued them too--"Entrepreneurship 407" in Medium. Jamie Lausch Vander Broek is a Librarian for Art & Design at the University of Michigan. This summer, she bought a book made of cheese for her library. You can read about it on She holds a tailored Master's degree from the U-M School of Information in Art and Art Museum Librarianship, and received a B.A. in Art History with a minor in Italian Studies from Wellesley College. Since arriving in Ann Arbor, she has been active in the local art and book communities, and is currently on the board of the Ann Arbor District Library.