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Simulated Shelves: Browse August 2015 New Books

We’re delighted to offer a selection of latest releases from our core subjects of Anthropology, Film Studies, Genocide Studies, History, and Politics.

 

We are especially excited to announce the publication of Final Sale in Berlin, by Christoph Kreutzmüller.

“Christoph Kreutzmüller’s book is vigorously researched, elegantly structured and well-written, and succeeds in providing new information on a subject already exhaustively studied, namely ‘Aryanization’ and the destruction of business, that extends beyond the borders of Berlin.” · H-Soz-u-Kult

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FINAL SALE IN BERLIN
The Destruction of Jewish Commercial Activity, 1930-1945
Christoph Kreutzmüller
Translated from the German by Jane Paulick and Jefferson Chase

Click to read the Introduction!

 

Before the Great Depression Jewish businesspeople in Berlin thrived alongside their non-Jewish neighbors. But Nazi racism changed that, gradually destroying Jewish businesses before murdering the Jews themselves. Reconstructing the fate of more than 8,000 companies, this bookoffers the first comprehensive analysis of Jewish economic activity and its destruction in Berlin. Rather than just examining violent and bureaucratic steps taken by the persecutors, it also tells the stories of Jewish strategies in countering the effects of persecution. In doing so, this book exposes a fascinating paradox where Berlin, serving as the administrative heart of the Third Reich, was also the site of a dense network for Jewish self-help and assertion.

 

 

TOPOGRAPHIES OF SUFFERING
Buchenwald, Babi Yar, Lidice
Jessica Rapson

Click to View Photo Gallery

Click to read the Introduction!

 

Commentary on memorials to the Holocaust has been plagued with a sense of “monument fatigue,” a feeling that landscape settings and national spaces provide little opportunity for meaningful engagement between present visitors and past victims. This book examines the Holocaust via three sites of murder by the Nazis: the former concentration camp at Buchenwald, Germany; the mass grave at Babi Yar, Ukraine; and the razed village of Lidice, Czech Republic. The author balances scrutiny with a focus on the way these violent histories are remembered, allowing these sites to emerge as dynamic transcultural landscapes of encounter in which difficult pasts can be represented and comprehended in the present.

 

 

GERMANS AGAINST NAZISM
Nonconformity, Opposition and Resistance in the Third Reich: Essays in Honour of Peter Hoffmann
Edited by Francis R. Nicosia and Lawrence D. Stokes†
New and Revised Paperback Edition

Click to read Chapter 1. Introduction: Resistance to National Socialism in the
 Work of Peter Hoffmann

 

Rather than being accepted by all of German society, the Nazi regime was resisted in both passive and active forms. This re-issued volume examines opposition to National Socialism by Germans during the Third Reich in its broadest sense. It considers individual and organized nonconformity, opposition, and resistance ranging from symbolic acts of disobedience to organized assassination attempts, and looks at how disparate groups such as the Jewish community, churches, conservatives, communists, socialists, and the military all defied the regime in their own ways.

 

 

 

THE EMPEROR’S OLD CLOTHES
Constitutional History and the Symbolic Language of the Holy Roman Empire
Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger
Translated from the German by Thomas Dunlap

Volume 10, Spektrum: Publications of the German Studies Association

Click to read the Introduction!

 

For many years, scholars struggled to write the history of the constitution and political structure of the Holy Roman Empire. This book argues that this was because the political and social order could not be understood without considering the rituals and symbols that held the Empire together. What determined the rules (and whether they were followed) depended on complex symbolic-ritual actions. By examining key moments in the political history of the Empire, the author shows that it was a vocabulary of symbols, not the actual written laws, that formed a political language indispensable in maintaining the common order.

 

SOCIAL BONDS AS FREEDOM
Revisiting the Dichotomy of the Universal and the Particular
Edited by Paul Dumouchel and Reiko Gotoh

Click to read the Introduction: Of Bonds and Boundaries

 

Central to discussions of multiculturalism and minority rights in modern liberal societies is the idea that the particular demands of minority groups contradict the requirements of equality, anonymity, and universality for citizenship and belonging. The contributors to this volume question the significance of this dichotomy between the universal and the particular, arguing that it reflects how the modern state has instituted the basic rights and obligations of its members and that these institutions are undergoing fundamental transformations under the pressure of globalization. They show that the social bonds uniting groups constitute the means of our freedom, rather than obstacles to achieving the universal.

 

 

 

WITCHCRAFT, WITCHES, AND VIOLENCE IN GHANA
Mensah Adinkrah

Click to read the Introduction: Witchcraft Violence in Comparative Perspective

 

Witchcraft violence is a feature of many contemporary African societies. In Ghana, belief in witchcraft and the malignant activities of putative witches is prevalent. Purported witches are blamed for all manner of adversities including inexplicable illnesses and untimely deaths. As in other historical periods and other societies, in contemporary Ghana, alleged witches are typically female, elderly, poor, and marginalized. Childhood socialization in homes and schools, exposure to mass media, and other institutional mechanisms ensure that witchcraft beliefs are transmitted across generations and entrenched over time. This book provides a detailed account of Ghanaian witchcraft beliefs and practices and their role in fueling violent attacks on alleged witches by aggrieved individuals and vigilante groups.

 

 

 

 

BUSH BOUND
Young Men and Rural Permanence in Migrant West Africa
Paolo Gaibazzi

Click to read the Introduction!

 

Whereas most studies of migration focus on movement, this book examines the experience of staying put. It looks at young men living in a Soninke-speaking village in Gambia who, although eager to travel abroad for money and experience, settle as farmers, heads of families, businessmen, civic activists, or, alternatively, as unemployed, demoted youth. Those who stay do so not only because of financial and legal limitations, but also because of pressures to maintain family and social bases in the Gambia valley. ‘Stayers’ thus enable migrants to migrate, while ensuring the activities and values attached to rural life are passed on to the future generations.

 

 

 

AT HOME IN THE OKAVANGO
White Batswana Narratives of Emplacement and Belonging
Catie Gressier

Click to read the Introduction: Waiting for the Flood

 

An ethnographic portrayal of the lives of white citizens of the Okavango Delta, Botswana, this book examines their relationships with the natural and social environments of the region. In response to the insecurity of their position as a European-descended minority in a postcolonial African state, Gressier argues that white Batswana have developed cultural values and practices that have allowed them to attain high levels of belonging. Adventure is common for this frontier community, and the book follows their safari lifestyles as they construct and perform localized identities in their interactions with dangerous wildlife, the broader African community, and the global elite via their work in the nature-tourism industry.

 

 

FIGURATIONS OF THE FUTURE
Forms and Temporalities of Left Radical Politics in Northern Europe
Stine Krøijer

Volume 2, Ethnography, Theory, Experiment

Click to read the Introduction!

 

Built around key events, from the eviction of a self-managed social centre in Copenhagen in 2007 to the Climate Summit protests in 2009, this book contributes to anthropological literature on contemporary Euro-American politics foreshadowing recent waves of public dissent. Stine Krøijer explores political forms among left radical and anarchist activists in Northern Europe focusing on how forms of action engender time. Drawing on anthropological literature from both Scandinavia and the Amazon, this ethnography recasts theoretical concerns about body politics, political intentionality, aesthetics, and time.

 

 

 

BORO, L’ÎLE D’AMOUR
The Films of Walerian Borowczyk
Edited by Kamila Kuc, Kuba Mikurda, and Michał Oleszczyk

Click to read the Introduction: A Private Universe

 

There has been a recent revival of interest in the work of Polish film director Walerian Borowczyk, a label-defying auteur and “escape artist” if there ever was one. This collection serves as an introduction and a guide to Borowczyk’s complex and ambiguous body of work, including panoramic views of the director’s output, focused studies of particular movies, and more personal, impressionistic pieces. Taken together, these contributions comprise a wide-ranging survey that is markedly experimental in character, allowing scholars to gain insight into previously unnoticed aspects of Borowczyk’s oeuvre.