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Simulated Shelves: Browse February 2016 New Books

We’re pleased to offer a selection of latest releases from our core subjects of Anthropology, Economic History, Film Studies, and Gender Studies, along with our New in Paperback titles.




Love and Violence in the Rural Solomon Islands
Debra McDougall

Volume 6, ASAO Studies in Pacific Anthropology


The civil conflict in Solomon Islands (1998-2003) is often blamed on the failure of the nation-state to encompass culturally diverse and politically fragmented communities. Writing of Ranongga Island, the author tracks engagements with strangers across many realms of life—pre-colonial warfare, Christian conversion, logging and conservation, even post-conflict state building. She describes startling reversals in which strangers become attached to local places, even as kinspeople are estranged from one another and from their homes. Against stereotypes of rural insularity, she argues that a distinctive cosmopolitan openness to others is evident in the rural Solomons in times of war and peace.

Read Introduction: On being a stranger in a hospitable land



Uncertainty in North-Eastern Sudan
Sandra Calkins


Although uncertainty is intertwined with all human activity, plans, and aspirations, it is experienced differently: at times it is obsessed over and at times it is ignored. This ethnography shows how Rashaida in north-eastern Sudan deal with unknowns from day-to-day unpredictability to life-threatening dangers. It argues that the amplification of uncertainty in some cases and its extenuation in others can be better understood by focusing on forms that can either hold the world together or invite doubt. Uncertainty, then, need not be seen solely as a debilitating problem, but also as an opportunity to create other futures.

Read Introduction: Taming Unknowns in Sudan




Edited by Jacqueline Knörr and Christoph Kohl

Volume 12, Integration and Conflict Studies


For centuries, Africa’s Upper Guinea Coast region has been the site of regional and global interactions, with societies from different parts of the African continent and beyond engaging in economic trade, cultural exchange, and various forms of conflict. This book provides a wide-ranging look at how such encounters have continued into the present day, identifying the disruptions and continuities in religion, language, economics, and various other social phenomena that have resulted. These accounts show a region that, while still grappling with the legacies of colonialism and the slave trade, is both shaped by and an important actor within ever-denser global networks, exhibiting consistent transformation and creative adaptation.

Read Introduction: The Upper Guinea Coast in Global Perspective



A Modern History of Greed
Jared Poley

Volume 11, Spektrum: Publications of the German Studies Association


A seeming constant in the history of capitalism, greed has nonetheless undergone considerable transformations over the last five hundred years. This multilayered account offers a fresh take on an old topic, arguing that greed was experienced as a moral phenomenon and deployed to make sense of an unjust world. Focusing specifically on the interrelated themes of religion, economics, and health—each of which sought to study and channel the power of financial desire—Jared Poley shows how evolving ideas about greed became formative elements of the modern experience.

Read Introduction



Radicalism and Revolution in Western European Film
Benjamin Halligan


As with many aspects of European cultural life, film was galvanized and transformed by the revolutionary fervor of 1968. This groundbreaking study provides a full account of the era’s cinematic crises, innovations, and provocations, as well as the social and aesthetic contexts in which they appeared. The author mounts a genuinely fresh analysis of a contested period in which everything from the avant-garde experiments of Godard, Pasolini, Schroeter, and Fassbinder to the “low” cinematic genres of horror, pornography, and the Western reflected the cultural upheaval of youth in revolt—a cinema for the barricades.

Read Chapter 1. “All All All”



Ecocriticism and the Environmental Sensibility of New Hollywood
Adam O’Brien


In their bold experimentation and bracing engagement with culture and politics, the “New Hollywood” films of the late 1960s and early 1970s are justly celebrated contributions to American cinematic history. Relatively unexplored, however, has been the profound environmental sensibility that characterized movies such as The Wild Bunch, Chinatown, and Nashville. This brisk and engaging study explores how many hallmarks of New Hollywood filmmaking, such as the increased reliance on location shooting and the rejection of American self-mythologizing, made the era such a vividly “grounded” cinematic moment. Synthesizing a range of narrative, aesthetic, and ecocritical theories, it offers a genuinely fresh perspective on one of the most studied periods in film history.

Read Introduction



Autobiographical and Biographical Experiences
Edited by Shirley Ardener, Fiona Armitage-Woodward, and Lidia Dina Sciama


Drawing on family materials, historical records, and eyewitness accounts, this book shows the impact of war on individual women caught up in diverse and often treacherous situations. It relates stories of partisans in Holland, an Italian woman carrying guns and provisions in the face of hostile soldiers, and Kikuyu women involved in the Mau Mau insurrection in Kenya. A woman displaced from Silesia recalls fleeing with children across war-torn Germany, and women caught up in conflicts in Burma and in Rwanda share their tales. War’s aftermath can be traumatic, as shown by journalists in Libya and by a midwife on the Cambodian border who helps refugees to give birth and regain hope. Finally, British women on active service in Afghanistan and at NATO headquarters also speak.

Read Introduction: Women’s Autobiographical and Biographical Experiences of War across Continents: An Introduction





New in Paperback: 


Tracing Welfare Reform in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Canada
Catherine Kingfisher


“Despite the empirical challenges evident in research that focuses on welfare policy in two different locations and on different levels of policy, Kingfisher skillfully composes her results into a coherent narrative […] I’d recommend the book especially as course material, since it opens up possibilities for analyzing the phenomenon we call the welfare state from a different point of view than just that of welfare state models and large-scale political shifts.” · Sosiologia



The Poetics of Visual Style in Soviet Avant-Garde Cinema of the 1920s
Philip Cavendish


“Cavendish’s carefully researched book argues that men like Eduard Tisse, Anatolii Golovnia, and Danylo Demuts’kyi, among others, should be acknowledged as coauthors, in terms of visual styles, of the films on which they worked. [It] offers exacting descriptions of many shots, developing an appreciation for the styles cultivated by these camera artists despite differences in subject matter or dramatic theme. Though he may at times downplay the director’s role in determining how shots were jointly shaped, Cavendish has written one of the most original works of scholarship on Soviet film practice since David Bordwell’s brilliant The Cinema of Eisenstein. Summing Up: Essential.” · Choice



Political Mythologies and Film Events, 1945-1995
Hugo Frey


“Nationalism and the cinema in France offers an original and meticulously researched historical investigation of a highly interesting selection of French cinema culture…By focusing upon the extreme-right in these last two chapters, Frey offers an original and most timely analysis of the National Front’s relationship with cinema. As in the previous chapters, this analysis insightfully illustrates the pivotal role that films can play in society.” · Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television



Ingmar Bergman and European Cinema
John Orr†

“Orr’s analysis offers consistently fresh comparisons, tracing ways that… represent rich and subtle cinematic conversations. Orr’s reach is broad, detailed, and informed by both current critical conversations and the perspective of intervening decades… Highly recommended.”  ·  Choice

“…one of the most remarkable features of the book is the emphasis, usually forgotten, on  contextualizing Bergman among other film traditions, taking into consideration not only subject matter criteria, but historical or socio-economic issues…Precisely at a time that increasingly advocates for interdisciplinary approaches and contextualization of cultural phenomena, this book provides the  necessary material and insight and opens the opportunity for addressing important issues on the impact of modernist European films in the history of cinema and for us to move forward into further discussion on theoretical and methodological questions.”  ·  Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television



Armenia and Rwanda Reexamined
Deborah Mayersen


“Mayersen has written a fine text… Ultimately, Mayersen concludes that genocides are ‘fundamentally preventable’ and offers insights into prevention.  The text is well organized, thoroughly researched, and brings to bear important new perspectives on genocide studies. – Highly recommended.”  ·  Choice

“This is an excellent book. The combination of theory and context works well…The prose is sharp and the author has set up the problem in a logical way that is easy to follow.  It also benefits from an interdisciplinary approach.  Her grasp of detail is superior to many theorists…It reads very fluently, the author is clearly a gifted prose writer. The thread of argument runs through the book in a compelling way…The conclusion is full of intriguing ties to other case studies and the author summarizes her argument well.”  ·  Cathie Carmichael, University of East Anglia


Ethnic Cleansing in Modern Europe
Philipp Ther

Volume 19, War and Genocide


“This instructive text offers a useful analysis of ethnic cleansing that drills into acts often conflated with genocide… Neatly written in a case study style, the chapters help readers understand the complex interplay of cultural bias and the politics of nation-states… The annotated bibliography that concludes the text is excellent, providing a range of sources that touch on country-specific literature and collective memory. This well-researched text will empower readers to carefully consider the intersections and differences between ethnic cleansing and genocide. – Highly Recommended.” · Choice



German Visions of Europe, 1926-1950
Christian Bailey


“Bailey’s approach adds a thorough analysis of journals, clubs, and organizations that functioned as important intermediaries between the private and public spheres…his refreshing, well-written, and convincingly argued intellectual history complements traditional historiography.” · Choice

“The great merit of Bailey’s study is that he has recovered the pre-1945 Central European foundations of a European integration process that has too often been conceived as a purely post-1945 West European development. It represents a significant contribution to the intellectual history of twentieth-century Europe and should be read by anyone interested in the genesis of the European Union.” · Journal of European Studies


Ernst Cassirer and Hannah Arendt’s Hidden Conversation
Ned Curthoys


“Most readers will finish this work with a renewed appreciation of the continuing significance of the moral vision articulated by these exemplars of liberal Judaism.” · Choice

“The book then provides various interesting challenges to scholarship on Arendt, as well as the material on thinkers brought together here as part of the tradition of Liberal Judaism. All this make The Legacy of Liberal Judaism of relevance beyond an exclusively scholarly debate.” · Patterns of Prejudice



Anthropologists Trace the Pathways of Power
Edited by Rachael Stryker and Roberto González
Foreword by Laura Nader

Volume 7, Studies in Public and Applied Anthropology


“The case studies demonstrate that anthropology has much to offer to the study of power and that the study of power has much to offer to our grasp of contemporary society and culture. The selections range over a wide territory of countries and institutional settings, interestingly not dwelling on anthropology’s customary ‘traditional’ societies but rather focusing on modern state and trans-state systems. It has much to offer the discipline and should inspire much more valuable research and theory.” · Anthropology Review Database