Nayeli Riano

About Nayeli Riano

Nayeli L. Riano is a writer whose work reflects on literature, politics, history, art, and faith. She is a Ph.D. student in political theory at Georgetown University and holds degrees from the University of St. Andrews (M.Litt, Intellectual History) and the University of Pennsylvania (BA, English and French Studies). Follow her on twitter@NayeliLRiano.

Constancy and Coleridge

By |2020-10-07T14:38:10-05:00October 10th, 2020|Categories: Great Books, Literature, Poetry, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Shakespeare|

As Samuel Taylor Coleridge expresses in his poem “Constancy to an Ideal Object,” we might find in art the most constants, idealized in our creations, which piece together some meaning of truth amid a world of change where it might appear that nothing has meaning. Although this essay will be about Samuel Taylor Coleridge [...]

Thomas Kuhn and the Persistence of Myth, Magic, and Genealogies

By |2020-09-22T11:03:31-05:00September 22nd, 2020|Categories: Faith, History, Myth, Science, Truth|

The relationship between science and the humanities is unavoidable simply because genealogies, in the end, are an extension of man’s thinking that combines reality with myth. Thomas Kuhn seemed to accept this fact, but today his colleagues’ aversion toward myth and magic has effected new iterations of magic that are devoid of meaning and [...]

Michael Oakeshott on the Tensions Between Political Theory and Practice

By |2020-08-19T13:42:20-05:00August 19th, 2020|Categories: Civilization, History, Liberal Arts, Michael Oakeshott, Political Philosophy, Politics|

Political theory sets out to consider the kind of knowledge involved in political activity and the appropriate form of education that will continue to inculcate this knowledge and the value in sustaining such knowledge to society. Political theory may not be so theoretical, after all. Within political theory, there is a pressure to operate [...]

Hagia Sophia: Once a Church, Always a Church

By |2020-08-09T08:56:06-05:00August 8th, 2020|Categories: Architecture, Christianity, Culture, Religion, Secularism, Western Civilization|

Every awe-inspiring element of Hagia Sophia is a testament to our Christian faith that should make us feel proud of our cultural heritage, even in today’s society where our churches are defaced and adapted for secular use. The church is undeniably Christian in spirit and character, no matter how many times its use is [...]

Secular Iconoclasm and the Peasants’ Indignation

By |2020-06-30T18:19:29-05:00June 30th, 2020|Categories: Civil Society, Conservatism, Politics, Revolution, Secularism|

Defacing public monuments, streets, churches, and administrative buildings constitutes an act of secular iconoclasm that should be taken seriously—not because the things destroyed possess the sanctity of real icons, but because the spirit in which these places and things are being destroyed conveys a hatred on the part of the rioters towards their own [...]

Ledwidge, Spenser, and Pastoral Poetry

By |2020-06-23T18:05:22-05:00June 23rd, 2020|Categories: Literature, Nature, Poetry|

The arrival of the summer months signals joy for many, and their departure is a reminder of another year gone by. Pastoral poetry, however, is special because it allows us to contemplate our “ripening of age” and to view it along the course of nature as a process filled with beauty—both in its blossoming [...]

“Notes from Underground” in Lockdown and Isolation

By |2020-06-10T22:57:21-05:00June 10th, 2020|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Coronavirus, Fiction, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Imagination, Literature|

The fear of the coronavirus allows our governing bodies to keep us in isolation and the consequences of our permitting this act are more pernicious than we can imagine. Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Notes from Underground” has never appeared less fictional. And why are you so firmly, so triumphantly, convinced that only the normal and the [...]

Machiavelli’s “Prince” & Tomasi di Lampedusa’s “The Leopard”

By |2020-05-28T14:04:16-05:00May 26th, 2020|Categories: Books, Government, History, Imagination, Revolution, Western Civilization|

Tomasi di Lampedusa’s “The Leopard” provides invaluable insight into 19th-century Italian history while creating a compelling story, allowing readers to relive an unfamiliar age of revolution and a fading nobility. Time under quarantine has been an excuse to revisit a personal favorite book and to explore its history, controversy, and literary value. I can [...]

Modernism, Formed or Fleeting?

By |2020-05-12T15:49:02-05:00May 12th, 2020|Categories: Culture, History, Literature, Modernity, Poetry, T.S. Eliot, Tradition, Western Civilization|

The dual definition of “modern”—something that is current and something that is done in a certain manner—touches on a problem that is at the heart of the literary and artistic movement of the early twentieth century known as “Modernism”: Is Modernism something that was meant to represent the “just now” or is it something [...]

Who Is Queen Mab?

By |2020-04-22T18:25:36-05:00April 22nd, 2020|Categories: Books, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, William Shakespeare|

In his collection of essays, Soliloquies in England, George Santayana dedicated some pages to a piece titled “Queen Mab” presumably after the enigmatic faery who is mentioned by Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet.[1] The essay turns into an analysis of British literature, which I take to mean that Santayana saw some form of greater [...]

George Santayana and the Ironies of Liberalism

By |2020-04-06T12:07:25-05:00April 7th, 2020|Categories: Conservatism, Liberalism, Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Politics|

The question—is liberalism a self-defeating enterprise?—has gained traction over the last couple of years. Even as far back as 1921, the Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana dedicated time to this topic in the form of an essay he titled “The Irony of Liberalism.” In this brief work, Santayana explored prevalent themes that emerged throughout liberalism’s [...]

Art and Patriotism in Japanese-American Internment Camps

By |2020-03-11T03:08:59-05:00March 10th, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, History, World War II|

During the Japanese-American internment of 1942-1946, there arose a style of art that drew from elements and techniques of Western and traditional Japanese forms. Through a closer look at these works of art, Japanese-American internment art can serve to reflect the internees’ cultural, social, and political resilience while also allowing us to study the [...]

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