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Teemu Taira's book Taking ‘Religion’ Seriously: Essays on the Discursive Study of Religion (Brill, 2022) demonstrates through methodological reflections and carefully chosen case studies a new way to conduct the study of religion. It focuses on how social actors negotiate what counts as “religion” and how discourses on religion are part of how cont…
 
In her eighteenth-century medical recipe manuscript, the Philadelphia healer Elizabeth Coates Paschall asserted her ingenuity and authority with the bold strokes of her pen. Paschall developed an extensive healing practice, consulted medical texts, and conducted experiments based on personal observations. As British North America’s premier city of …
 
The Families' Civil War: Black Soldiers and the Fight for Racial Justice (U Georgia Press, 2022) tells the stories of freeborn northern African Americans in Philadelphia struggling to maintain families while fighting against racial discrimination. Taking a long view, from 1850 to the 1920s, Holly A. Pinheiro Jr. shows how Civil War military service…
 
In Queer Companions: Religion, Public Intimacy, and Saintly Affects in Pakistan (Duke UP, 2022), Omar Kasmani theorizes saintly intimacy and the construction of queer social relations at Pakistan's most important site of Sufi pilgrimage. Conjoining queer theory and the anthropology of Islam, Kasmani outlines the felt and enfleshed ways in which sai…
 
Stephen Guy-Bray talks about sexuality, a concept that brings together the the use of sexual metaphors in the description of textual production and the erotics that inhere in reading praxes. Among other things, this concept is a critique of the use of popular heteronormative metaphors of reproduction to describe the creation of literature. Stephen …
 
An argument that social, political, and economic systems maintain power by discarding certain people, places, and things. Discard studies is an emerging field that looks at waste and wasting broadly construed. Rather than focusing on waste and trash as the primary objects of study, discard studies looks at wider systems of waste and wasting to expl…
 
The economist and historian Deirdre Nansen McCloskey has been best known recently for her Bourgeois Era trilogy, a vigorous defense, unrivaled in scope, of commercially tested betterment. Its massive volumes, The Bourgeois Virtues, Bourgeois Dignity, and Bourgeois Equality, solve Adam Smith's puzzle of the nature and causes of the wealth of nations…
 
A close look at stories of maternal death in Malawi that considers their implications in the broader arena of medical knowledge. By the early twenty-first century, about one woman in twelve could expect to die of a pregnancy or childbirth complication in Malawi. Specific deaths became object lessons. Explanatory stories circulated through hospitals…
 
Beginning in 1955, West Germany recruited millions of people as guest workers from Yugoslavia, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and especially Turkey. This labor force was essential to creating the postwar German economic miracle. Employers fantasized that foreign "guest workers" would provide labor power in their prime productive years without havi…
 
Victor Seow’s Carbon Technocracy: Energy regimes in Modern East Asia (U Chicago Press, 2021) is an account of the modern “world that carbon made” through the case study of the Fushun colliery in Manchuria. “Carbon technocracy” is a system dedicated to the optimal exploitation of fossil fuel resources. It is, as Seow shows, a system of consistent wa…
 
From grasshoppers to grubs, an eye-opening look at insect cuisine around the world. An estimated two billion people worldwide regularly consume insects, yet bugs are rarely eaten in the West. Why are some disgusted at the thought of eating insects while others find them delicious? Edible Insects: A Global History (Reaktion Books, 2021) provides a b…
 
Taking its inspiration from Great Expectations, Furnace Creek (Eyewear Publishing, 2021) teases us with the question of what Pip might have been like had he grown up in the American South of the 1960s and 1970s and faced the explosive social issues--racial injustice, a war abroad, women's and gay rights, class struggle--that galvanized the world in…
 
Krishnamacharya on Kundalini: The Origins and Coherence of His Position (Equinox Publishing, 2022) explores a distinctive teaching of 'the father of modern yoga', T. Krishnamacharya. Whereas most yoga traditions teach that kuṇḍalinī is a serpentine energy that rises, Krishnamacharya defined it differently. To him, kuṇḍalinī is a serpentine blockage…
 
Half a century after the Holocaust, on European soil, Bosnian Serbs orchestrated a system of concentration camps where they subjected their Bosniak Muslim and Bosnian Croat neighbors to torture, abuse, and killing. Foreign journalists exposed the horrors of the camps in the summer of 1992, sparking worldwide outrage. This exposure, however, did not…
 
The civil war in Yemen has going on since 2014. Noria al-Hossini, Communications Director of Mwatana for Human Rights, discusses the war and the numerous human right violations that have occurred and are occurring in it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnet…
 
Seán William Gannon's book The Irish Imperial Service: Policing Palestine and Administering the Empire, 1922–1966 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) explores Irish participation in the British imperial project after ‘Southern’ Ireland’s independence in 1922. Building on a detailed study of the Irish contribution to the policing of the Palestine Mandate, it…
 
Conversations with LeAnne Howe (UP of Mississippi, 2022) is the first collection of interviews with the groundbreaking Choctaw author, whose genre-bending works take place in the US Southeast, Oklahoma, and beyond our national borders to bring Native American characters and themes to the global stage. Best known for her American Book Award-winning …
 
Torsa Ghosal talks about Cognitive Cultural Studies, a field that entails methodologies that situate the human mind in historical and cultural contexts, sometimes working against models of the mind proceeding from the Cognitive Sciences. This includes inquiries into how narratives mediate knowledge about cognition, the subject of her new book Out o…
 
How much does the average person know about Alexander Hamilton (1755 or 1757 – 1804)? Would we have guessed that this hero of many fiscal conservatives wrote, “A national debt, if it is not excessive will be to us a national blessing; it will be a powerful cement of our union…?” Most of us know that he was killed by his political enemy Aaron Burr i…
 
In 1885 Jane and Leland Stanford cofounded a university to honor their recently deceased young son. After her husband’s death in 1893, Jane Stanford, a devoted spiritualist who expected the university to inculcate her values, steered Stanford into eccentricity and public controversy for more than a decade. In 1905 she was murdered in Hawaii, a vict…
 
In The Faddan More Psalter: The Discovery and Conservation of a Medieval Treasure Dr. John Gillis explores the conservation, construction, and context of an early medieval psalter discovered by chance in a bog at Faddan More, Co. Tipperary in July 2006. The different facets of this find are discussed in-depth, along with the pre-existing and newly …
 
In Climate Lyricism (Duke University Press, 2022), Min Hyoung Song models a climate change-centered reading practice that helps us better understand and respond to climate change by moving from forms of everyday denial to everyday attention and shared agency. Tune in to this episode of New Books in Asian American Studies to hear Min talk about how …
 
Philanthropists are praise for their generosity but does their desire to keep control of what happens to their donations mean they exercise power in ways that clash with democratic principles? Approval of philanthropists’ good intentions can mask some important moral considerations about what philanthropy means for the donor and the recipient. Gene…
 
Senior Sociopaths: How to Recognize and Escape Lifelong Abusers (Anderly Publishing, 2022) is the first book to examine antisocial behavior in the over-50 crowd. This is a far bigger problem than anyone realizes. In America, 14 million people over age 50 could be diagnosed with antisocial, narcissistic, borderline or histrionic personality disorder…
 
Michael Pettis is Professor of Finance at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management. He started his career in banking in 1987 just in time for the tidal wave of emerging market defaults and the birth of the Brady Bond restructurings. He has been a trader, investment banker, and advisor to countries on capital markets strategies all while te…
 
Benjamin Franklin grew up in a devout Protestant family with limited prospects for wealth and fame. By hard work, limitless curiosity, native intelligence, and luck (what he called "providence"), Franklin became one of Philadelphia's most prominent leaders, a world recognized scientist, and the United States' leading diplomat during the War for Ind…
 
Today I talked to Claire Bellerjeau about her book (co-authored with Tiffany Yecke Brooks) Espionage and Enslavement in the Revolution: The True Story of Robert Townsend and Elizabeth (Lyons Press, 2021). In January 1785, a young African American woman named Elizabeth was put on board the Lucretia in New York Harbor, bound for Charleston, where she…
 
Today I talked to Michael Hannah about his book Extinctions: Living and Dying in the Margin of Error (Cambridge UP, 2021). Are we now entering a mass extinction event? What can mass extinctions in Earth's history tell us about the Anthropocene? What do mass extinction events look like and how does life on Earth recover from them? The fossil record …
 
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