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Immigration in the 21st Century: The Comparative Politics of Immigration Policy (Routledge, 2020) is an excellent primer for those looking to understand the complexities of immigration not only as a policy arena, but the study of immigration and migration, and to get a sense of the different approaches to immigration from a variety of kinds of coun…
 
While a number of books came out on the centenary of the Russian Revolution, few seriously considered how the 20th century would have unfolded differently if the violent forces of counter-revolution and White terror had not crushed the Marxist dreams of a new future. What if the revolution had successfully spread to Western Europe and the United St…
 
The first in-depth study of the All World Gayatri Pariwar, a modern Indian religious movement. The All World Gayatri Pariwar is a modern religious movement that enjoys wide popularity in North India, particularly among the many STEM workers who joined after becoming disillusioned with their lucrative but unfulfilling private-sector careers. Founded…
 
Tropics of Savagery: The Culture of Japanese Empire in Comparative Frame (U California Press, 2010) is an incisive and provocative study of the figures and tropes of “savagery” in Japanese colonial culture. Through a rigorous analysis of literary works, ethnographic studies, and a variety of other discourses, Robert Thomas Tierney demonstrates how …
 
Today I talked to Mathew Sweezy about his new book The Context Marketing Revolution: How to Motivate Buyers in the Age of Infinite Media (Harvard Business Review Press, 2020). Mathew Sweezey is Principal of Marketing Insights for Salesforce. His work has appeared in leading publications such as AdAge, Forbes, Brand Quarterly, The Economist, and The…
 
May 1857. The Indian city of Shahjahanabad, today called Delhi, is tense. British officers are worried about rumors of insubordination and rebellion elsewhere in India, while the local residents both await and fear a coming storm of revolutionary fervor. Trying to make a living in this setting is Mirza Ghalib, one of India’s most celebrated poets, …
 
Carrie Noland's Merce Cunningham: After the Arbitrary (University of Chicago Press, 2020) goes past conventional understandings of Cunningham that insist that randomness was his central goal as a choreographer, instead providing a portrait of a choreographer interested in story, connection, and affect. For Noland, chance is a starting point in unde…
 
The capital city of a nation founded on the premise of liberty, nineteenth-century Washington, D.C., was both an entrepot of urban slavery and the target of abolitionist ferment. The growing slave trade and the enactment of Black codes placed the city's Black women within the rigid confines of a social hierarchy ordered by race and gender. At the T…
 
When Esther Barazzone took over Chatham College in 1992, it was in danger of closing – selling off property each year surrounding its beautiful in Pittsburgh, PA campus to cover its budget shortfall. In this episode, she describes the first stages of her remarkable 24-year tenure that transformed Chatham from a small, all women’s liberal arts colle…
 
Through discussion of his famous 1970s experiment alongside new research, in Why Chimpanzees Can’t Learn Language and Only Humans Can (Columbia University Press, 2019), Herbert Terrace argues that, despite the failure of famous attempts to teach primates to speak, from these efforts we can learn something important: the missing link between non-lin…
 
For the first time, one volume includes a discourse analysis of every writing in the New Testament. Discourse analysis of written texts involves examining units of language higher than the sentence and considering how the author used those units of language to accomplish communicative purposes. But discourse analysis is not a clearly defined method…
 
In Mapping Abundance for a Planetary Future: Kanaka Maoli and Critical Settler Cartographies in Hawai'i (Duke University Press, 2021), Candace Fujikane draws upon Hawaiian stories about the land and water and their impact upon Native Hawai'ian struggles to argue that Native economies of abundance provide a foundation for collective work against cli…
 
Jeremy Black's new book on England in the Age of Austen, just published by Indiana University Press (2021), will be a treat for anyone who loves Jane - and who does not? - as well as anyone who is interested in her contexts. Black situates Austen's work in its social, political, economic and religious cultures, showing how her youthful commitments …
 
Digitization is reshaping creative industries. Old gatekeepers in music, publishing, television, movies, and other industries no longer play such an important role, and digital piracy makes it easy for consumers to avoid paying companies, artists, and writers for what they produce. On the other hand, independents can now cheaply produce and distrib…
 
When We Were Arabs: A Jewish Family’s Forgotten History (New Press, 2019) is part-memoir, part-history of Jewish Arabs. We follow Massoud Hayoun as he documents his family’s history, their place in the Arab world and how they came to America, as well as engage with how Massoud engages with his own sense of identity. Massoud Hayoun is a journalist a…
 
Since the historic #MeToo movement materialized in 2017, innumerable survivors of sexual assault and misconduct have broken their silence and called out their abusers publicly--from well-known celebrities to politicians and high-profile business leaders. Not surprisingly, conservatives quickly opposed this new movement, but the fact that "sex posit…
 
How did Japanese academics study their "fields" in places like Manchuria and Inner Mongolia in the transwar decades? How did they transform in the postwar, under the US Occupation, and after? Into the Field: Human Scientists of Transwar Japan (Stanford UP, 2019) is the first monograph on the collective biography of this cohort of professional Japan…
 
Is curiosity political? Does it have a philosophical lineage? In Curiosity and Power: The Politics of Inquiry (University of Minnesota Press, 2021), Perry Zurn shows, consequentially, yes. He further asks: Who can be curious? How? When? To what effect? What happens when we are curious together? Engaged with multiple social movements ranging from th…
 
In 2013, when the state of Oklahoma erected a statue of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the state capitol, a group calling themselves The Satanic Temple applied to erect a statue of Baphomet alongside the Judeo-Christian tablets. Since that time, The Satanic Temple has become a regular voice in national conversations about religious freedom,…
 
In Vinyl Ventures: My Fifty Years at Rounder Records (Equinox, 2021), founder Bill Nowlin combines memoir with a history of the founding and evolution of Rounder as he talks about his experiences as one of the labels three founders. Rounder Records was born in 1970, a "hobby that got out of control," a fledgling record company more or less conceive…
 
The COVID19 pandemic has profoundly changed the landscape of K-12 education in our society. Last March, many states closed their brick-and-mortar schools and shifted to remote education. The massive shift is historic and unprecedented. Until now, while we see the light at the end of the tunnel in our battle against the coronavirus, millions and mil…
 
Plastic: An Autobiography (Nightboat Books, 2021) explores how technology, sprung from desire, draws all beings into its net, and asks how to live justly within its grasp. In Plastic: An Autobiography, Allison Cobb’s obsession with a large plastic car part leads her to explore the violence of our consume-and-dispose culture, including her own life …
 
The Art of Experiment: Post-Pandemic Knowledge Practices for 21st-Century Architecture and Design (Routledge, 2020) is a handbook for navigating our troubled and precarious times. In search of new knowledge practices that can help us make the world livable again, this book takes the reader on a journey across time—from the deep past to the unfoldin…
 
In 2007, the Museum at Eldridge Street opened at the site of a restored nineteenth-century synagogue originally built by some of the first Eastern European Jewish immigrants in New York City. Visitors to the museum are invited to stand along indentations on the floor where footprints of congregants past have worn down the soft pinewood. Here, many …
 
Though poverty and vagrancy as social phenomena greatly preoccupied authorities of Colonial Mexico, the social and individual lives of vagabonds and strangers of Spanish American early modernity remain elusive to the historian. In his new book, Fugitive Freedom: The Improbable Lives of Two Impostors in Late Colonial Mexico (University of California…
 
The three decades that followed World War II were an exceptionally fertile period for American essays. The explosion of journals and magazines, the rise of public intellectuals, and breakthroughs in the arts inspired a flowering of literary culture. At the same time, the many problems that confronted mid-century America--racism, sexism, nuclear thr…
 
The western travel narrative genre has a history long tied to voyeurism and conquest. A way to see the world—and its many unique people and places—through the eyes of mostly white and male travelers. In an increasingly globalized world, many writers are beginning to raise questions about the ethics of travel writing and its tropes, especially the w…
 
The rapid gentrification of Black and brown neighborhoods in urban areas by predominantly upper-class white and other white-adjacent peoples is largely facilitated by urban redevelopment and revitalization projects. These projects often usher in aesthetics that seek to attract those understood as desirable populations. But what happens when the aes…
 
Mehmet the Conqueror shook Europe to its foundations when he captured Constantinople in 1453 and, over the next decades, the Ottoman sultan continued his westward advance through the Balkans and the Mediterranean. But one Albanian fortress became an “unexpected bone in Mehmed’s throat” (xviii). David Hosaflook’s The Siege of Shkodra is the first En…
 
The horror of the battlefield is fresh for Princess Askia. She’s just been forced to flee her kingdom, the northern country of Seravesh, where her cousin now rules under the protection of the Emperor of Roven. All that remains of her army is a loyal general and her last remaining legion, the Black Wolves—not enough to protect her former kingdom fro…
 
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