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How should we understand the role of television in everyday life? In On Living with Television (Duke UP, 2021), Amy Holdsworth, a Senior Lecturer in Theatre, Film & Television Studies at the University of Glasgow uses an autobiographical and autoethnographic approach to understand an object that has ‘always been there’ in many people’s lives. The b…
 
At the end of a long, sweltering day, as markets and businesses begin to close for the evening, an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude shakes the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. Award-winning author Myriam J. A. Chancy masterfully charts the inner lives of the characters affected by the disaster--Richard, an expat and wealthy water-bottling executive wit…
 
Embattled Dreamlands: The Politics of Contesting Armenian, Kurdish and Turkish Memory (Routledge, 2020) explores the complex relationship between competing national myths, imagined boundaries and local memories in the threefold-contested geography referred to as Eastern Turkey, Western Armenia or Northern Kurdistan. Spatially rooted in the shatter …
 
Attempting to derive aesthetic systems from natural structures of human cognition, designers looked toward the “savage mind”—a way of thinking they associated with a racialized subaltern. In Savage Mind to Savage Machine: Racial Science and Twentieth-Century Design (U Minnesota Press, 2021), Ginger Nolan uncovers an enduring relationship between “t…
 
In Partisan Aesthetics: Modern Art and India's Long Decolonization (Stanford UP, 2020), Sanjukta Sunderason explores art's entanglements with histories of war, famine, mass politics and displacements that marked late-colonial and postcolonial India. Introducing "partisan aesthetics" as a conceptual grid, the book identifies ways in which art became…
 
Elaine Kiely Kearns writes picture book and middle grade stories. A former elementary school teacher, she now writes books for children and co-runs the website for writers, KidLit411.com. We discussed her journey as an author, and celebrated her recent book Noah Noasaurus (Albert Whitman and Company, 2019). Mel Rosenberg is a professor of microbiol…
 
Societies all over the world are getting older, the result of the fact that we are living longer and having fewer children. At some point in the near future, much of the developed world will have at least twenty percent of their national populations over the age of sixty-five. Bradley Schurman calls this the Super Age. Today, Italy, Japan, and Germ…
 
Although largely unknown in the West, the Russian novelist and political essayist Konstantin Nikolaevich Leontiev (1831-1891) has left a strong legacy in his homeland. He has often been compared to Friedrich Nietzsche, yet his writings predate those of his German counterpart by several decades. Also, unlike his German counterpart came to embrace a …
 
In Folk Literati, Contested Tradition, and Heritage in Contemporary China: Incense Is Kept Burning (Indiana UP, 2020), Ziying You explores the role of the "folk literati" in negotiating, defining, and maintaining local cultural heritage. Expanding on the idea of the elite literati―a widely studied pre-modern Chinese social group, influential in cul…
 
Romanian Germans, mainly from the Banat and Transylvania, have occupied a place at the very heart of major events in Europe in the twentieth century yet their history is largely unknown. This east-central European minority negotiated their standing in a difficult new European order after 1918, changing from uneasy supporters of Romania, to zealous …
 
Bijal Shah shares story of the meteoric rise of Guild Education, the Denver-based ed tech firm that has quickly emerged as the leading marketplace for corporate education. True to its B-Corporation status, Guild focuses on building shared success for its corporate partners, adult learners and education and training providers. As a new start-up, Gui…
 
A true understanding of the pervasive role of software in the world demands an awareness of the volume and variety of real-world software failures and their consequences. No more thorough survey of these events may be available than Thomas Huckle and Tobias Neckel's Bits and Bugs: A Scientific and Historical Review of Software Failures in Computati…
 
This interview was recorded and first published in early 2020 when the NBN had about a million downloads a month. Since then the downloads have increased more than four-fold to just below 5 million monthly downloads at the end of 2021 and the number of hosts has increased greatly as well. On the New Books Network authors to talk about their books w…
 
In Health, Healing and Illness in African History (Bloomsbury, 2021), Rebekah Lee makes an overall assessment of the history and historiography and health, healing and illness in the African context. This unique text is divided in two parts. In the first half of the book, Lee presents a chronological survey and analysis of the ideas and literature …
 
How does Ultra-Orthodox Jewish literature describe the male body? What does the body represent? What is the ideal male body? In The Male Body in Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Theology, published in 2021 by Pickwick Publications, Yakir Englander presents a philosophical-theological exploration of the different images of the male body in Ultra-Orthodox liter…
 
The overwhelming majority of tea practitioners in contemporary Japan are women, but there has been little discussion on their historical role in tea culture (chanoyu). In Cultivating Femininity: Women and Tea Culture in Edo and Meiji Japan (U Hawaii Press, 2019), Rebecca Corbett (USC East Asian Library) writes women back into this history and shows…
 
Are celebrities “disruptors” who revitalize the development field, or are they just charismatic ambassadors for big business? In Batman Saves the Congo: How Celebrities Disrupt the Politics of Development (University of Minnesota Press, 2021) the authors argue that celebrities play both roles, and that understanding why and how yields insight into …
 
Every day, hundreds of thousands of people move through the Gare du Nord train station in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, the largest train station in Europe. Julie Kleinman's Adventure Capital: Migration and the Making of an African Hub in Paris (University of California Press, 2019) delves into the contemporary life of the station, and especial…
 
Mainland Southeast Asia is one of the most fascinating and complex cultural and linguistic areas in the world. This book provides a rich and comprehensive survey of the history and core systems and subsystems of the languages of this fascinating region. Drawing on his depth of expertise in mainland Southeast Asia, Enfield includes more than a thous…
 
A three-thousand-year history of the Yellow River and the legacy of interactions between humans and the natural landscape From Neolithic times to the present day, the Yellow River and its watershed have both shaped and been shaped by human society. Using the Yellow River to illustrate the long-term effects of environmentally significant human activ…
 
How did humans come to be who we are? In his marvelous, eccentric, and widely lauded book Being a Beast, legal scholar, veterinary surgeon, and naturalist extraordinaire Charles Foster set out to understand the consciousness of animal species by living as a badger, otter, fox, deer, and swift. Now, he inhabits three crucial periods of human develop…
 
“Kashmir” carries the burden of being known as one of the world’s biggest flashpoints. If a novel, TV show, or video game wants an easy international crisis, there’s a good chance Kashmir will be the crisis of choice. But while Kashmir is globally known, few understand the roots of the conflict—or what the people that live in Kashmir actually think…
 
Heroic science. Chaotic politics. Billionaire entrepreneurs. Award-winning journalist Brendan Borrell brings the defining story of our times alive through compulsively readable, first-time reporting on the players leading the fight against a vicious virus. The First Shots: The Epic Rivalries and Heroic Science Behind the Race to the Coronavirus Vac…
 
In Becoming Palestine: Toward an Archival Imagination of the Future (Duke UP, 2021), Gil Z. Hochberg examines how contemporary Palestinian artists, filmmakers, dancers, and activists use the archive in order to radically imagine Palestine's future. She shows how artists such as Jumana Manna, Kamal Aljafari, Larissa Sansour, Farah Saleh, Basel Abbas…
 
Today we are joined by Alistair Shearer, a freelance scholar of South Asian religion and culture, and teacher of yoga and the psychology of yoga. He is also the author of The Story of Yoga: From Ancient India to the Modern West (Hurst and Co, 2020). In our conversation, we discussed the origins of yoga, the differences between mind and body yoga pr…
 
During World War I, the British Empire enlisted half a million young men, predominantly from the countryside of Egypt, in the Egyptian Labor Corps (ELC) and put them to work handling military logistics in Europe and the Middle East. British authorities reneged on their promise not to draw Egyptians into the war, and, as Kyle Anderson shows, the ELC…
 
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Those who believe religion and politics aren't connected don't understand either.” The relationship between religion and state presents complex challenges to liberal democracies around the world. In this work, Gideon Sapir and David Statman Propose a comprehensive theory about state and religion relations, providing tools to t…
 
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