Sunday, May 26, 2019

"Governing Gender and Sexuality in Colonial India"

New from Cambridge University Press: Governing Gender and Sexuality in Colonial India: The Hijra, c.1850–1900 by Jessica Hinchy.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 1865, the British rulers of north India resolved to bring about the gradual 'extinction' of transgender Hijras. This book, the first in-depth history of the Hijra community, illuminates the colonial and postcolonial governance of gender and sexuality and the production of colonial knowledge. From the 1850s, colonial officials and middle class Indians increasingly expressed moral outrage at Hijras' feminine gender expression, sexuality, bodies and public performances. To the British, Hijras were an ungovernable population that posed a danger to colonial rule. In 1871, the colonial government passed a law that criminalised Hijras, with the explicit aim of causing Hijras' 'extermination'. But Hijras evaded police, kept on the move, broke the law and kept their cultural traditions alive. Based on extensive archival work in India and the UK, Jessica Hinchy argues that Hijras were criminalised not simply because of imported British norms, but due to a complex set of local factors, including elite Indian attitudes.
Follow Jessica Hinchy on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 25, 2019

"Japan's Carnival War"

New from Cambridge University Press: Japan's Carnival War: Mass Culture on the Home Front, 1937–1945 by Benjamin Uchiyama.

About the book, from the publisher:
Japan in the Asia-Pacific War years is usually remembered for economic deprivation, political repression, and cultural barrenness. Benjamin Uchiyama argues that although the war created the opportunity for the state to expand its control over society and mass culture, it also fractured Japanese people's sense of identity, spilling out through a cultural framework which is best understood as 'carnival war'. In this cultural history, we are introduced to five symbolic figures: the thrill-seeking reporter, the defiant munitions worker, the tragic soldier, the elusive movie star, and the glamorous youth aviator. Together they represent both the suppression and proliferation of cultural life in wartime Japan and demonstrate that 'carnival war' coexisted with total war to promote consumerist desire versus sacrifice, fantasy versus nightmare, and beauty versus horror. Ultimately, Uchiyama argues, this duality helped mobilize home front support for the war effort.
Follow Benjamin Uchiyama on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, May 24, 2019

"Jesus Loves Japan"

New from Stanford University Press: Jesus Loves Japan: Return Migration and Global Pentecostalism in a Brazilian Diaspora by Suma Ikeuchi.

About the book, from the publisher:
After the introduction of the "long-term resident" visa, the mass-migration of Nikkeis (Japanese Brazilians) has led to roughly 190,000 Brazilian nationals living in Japan. While the ancestry-based visa confers Nikkeis' right to settlement virtually as a right of blood, their ethnic ambiguity and working-class profile often prevent them from feeling at home in their supposed ethnic homeland. In response, many have converted to Pentecostalism, reflecting the explosive trend across Latin America since the 1970s. Jesus Loves Japan offers a rare window into lives at the crossroads of return migration and global Pentecostalism. Suma Ikeuchi argues that charismatic Christianity appeals to Nikkei migrants as a "third culture"—one that transcends ethno-national boundaries and offers a way out of a reality marked by stagnant national indifference. Jesus Loves Japan insightfully describes the political process of homecoming through the lens of religion, and the ubiquitous figure of the migrant as the pilgrim of a transnational future.
Visit Suma Ikeuchi's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 23, 2019

"Russia's Crony Capitalism"

New from Yale University Press: Russia's Crony Capitalism: The Path from Market Economy to Kleptocracy by Anders ├ůslund.

About the book, from the publisher:
A penetrating look into the extreme plutocracy Vladimir Putin has created and its implications for Russia’s future

This insightful study explores how the economic system Vladimir Putin has developed in Russia works to consolidate control over the country. By appointing his close associates as heads of state enterprises and by giving control of the FSB and the judiciary to his friends from the KGB, he has enriched his business friends from Saint Petersburg with preferential government deals. Thus, Putin has created a super wealthy and loyal plutocracy that owes its existence to authoritarianism.

Much of this wealth has been hidden in offshore havens in the United States and the United Kingdom, where companies with anonymous owners and black money transfers are allowed to thrive. Though beneficial to a select few, this system has left Russia’s economy in untenable stagnation, which Putin has tried to mask through military might.
Anders ├ůslund is a leading specialist on economic policy in Russia, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

"Weighty Problems"

New from Rutgers University Press: Weighty Problems: Embodied Inequality at a Children’s Weight Loss Camp by Laura Backstrom.

About the book, from the publisher:
Many parents, teachers, and doctors believe that childhood obesity is a social problem that needs to be solved. Yet, missing from debates over what caused the rise in childhood obesity and how to fix it are the children themselves. By investigating how contemporary cultural discourses of childhood obesity are experienced by children, Laura Backstrom illustrates how deeply fat stigma is internalized during the early socialization experiences of children. Weighty Problems details processes of embodied inequality: how the children came to recognize inequalities related to their body size, how they explained the causes of those differences, how they responded to micro-level injustices in their lives, and how their participation in a weight loss program impacted their developing self-image. The book finds that embodied inequality is constructed and negotiated through a number of interactional processes including resocialization, stigma management, social comparisons, and attribution.
Laura Backstrom is an assistant professor of sociology at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

"Reclaiming Community"

New from Stanford University Press: Reclaiming Community: Race and the Uncertain Future of Youth Work by Bianca J. Baldridge.

About the book, from the publisher:
Approximately 2.4 million Black youth participate in after-school programs, which offer a range of support, including academic tutoring, college preparation, political identity development, cultural and emotional support, and even a space to develop strategies and tools for organizing and activism. In Reclaiming Community, Bianca Baldridge tells the story of one such community-based program, Educational Excellence (EE), shining a light on both the invaluable role youth workers play in these spaces, and the precarious context in which such programs now exist.

Drawing on rich ethnographic data, Baldridge persuasively argues that the story of EE is representative of a much larger and understudied phenomenon. With the spread of neoliberal ideology and its reliance on racism—marked by individualism, market competition, and privatization—these bastions of community support are losing the autonomy that has allowed them to embolden the minds of the youth they serve. Baldridge captures the stories of loss and resistance within this context of immense external political pressure, arguing powerfully for the damage caused when the same structural violence that Black youth experience in school, starts to occur in the places they go to escape it.
Visit Bianca J. Baldridge's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, May 20, 2019

"Arc of Containment"

New from Cornell University Press: Arc of Containment: Britain, the United States, and Anticommunism in Southeast Asia by Wen-Qing Ngoei.

About the book, from the publisher:
Arc of Containment recasts the history of American empire in Southeast and East Asia from World War II through the end of American intervention in Vietnam. Setting aside the classic story of anxiety about falling dominoes, Wen-Qing Ngoei articulates a new regional history premised on strong security and sure containment guaranteed by Anglo-American cooperation.

Ngoei argues that anticommunist nationalism in Southeast Asia intersected with preexisting local antipathy toward China and the Chinese diaspora to usher the region from European-dominated colonialism to US hegemony. Central to this revisionary strategic assessment is the place of British power and the effects of direct neocolonial military might and less overt cultural influences based in decades of colonial rule. Also essential to the analysis in Arc of Containment is the considerable influence of Southeast Asian actors upon Anglo-American imperial strategy throughout the post-war period.

In Arc of Containment Ngoei shows how the pro-US trajectory of Southeast Asia after the Pacific War was, in fact, far more characteristic of the wider region's history than American policy failure in Vietnam. Indeed, by the early 1970s, five key anticommunist nations—Malaya, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia—had quashed Chinese-influenced socialist movements at home and established, with U.S. support, a geostrategic arc of states that contained the Vietnamese revolution and encircled China. In the process, the Euro-American colonial order of Southeast Asia passed from an era of Anglo-American predominance into a condition of US hegemony. Arc of Containment demonstrates that American failure in Vietnam had less long-term consequences than widely believed because British pro-West nationalism had been firmly entrenched twenty-plus years earlier. In effect, Ngoei argues, the Cold War in Southeast Asia was but one violent chapter in the continuous history of western imperialism in the region in the twentieth century.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, May 19, 2019

"All Together Now"

New from Rutgers University Press: All Together Now: American Holiday Symbolism Among Children and Adults by Cindy Dell Clark.

About the book, from the publisher:
In a hard driving society like the United States, holidays are islands of softness. Holidays are times for creating memories and for celebrating cultural values, emotions, and social ties. All Together Now considers holidays that are celebrated by American families: Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Halloween, and the December holidays of Christmas or Chanukah. This book shows how entire families bond at holidays, in ways that allow both children and adults to be influential within their shared interaction.

The decorations, songs, special ways of dressing, and rituals carry deep significance that is viscerally felt by even young tots. Ritual has the capacity to condense a plethora of meaning into a unified metaphor such as a Christmas tree, a menorah, or the American flag. These symbols allow children and adults to co-opt the meaning of symbols in flexible and age-relevant ways, all while the symbols are still treasured and shared in common.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 18, 2019

"City of Black Gold"

New from Stanford University Press: City of Black Gold: Oil, Ethnicity, and the Making of Modern Kirkuk by Arbella Bet-Shlimon.

About the book, from the publisher:
Kirkuk is Iraq's most multilingual city, for millennia home to a diverse population. It was also where, in 1927, a foreign company first struck oil in Iraq. Over the following decades, Kirkuk became the heart of Iraq's booming petroleum industry. City of Black Gold tells a story of oil, urbanization, and colonialism in Kirkuk—and how these factors shaped the identities of Kirkuk's citizens, forming the foundation of an ethnic conflict.

Arbella Bet-Shlimon reconstructs the twentieth-century history of Kirkuk to question the assumptions about the past underpinning today's ethnic divisions. In the early 1920s, when the Iraqi state was formed under British administration, group identities in Kirkuk were fluid. But as the oil industry fostered colonial power and Baghdad's influence over Kirkuk, intercommunal violence and competing claims to the city's history took hold. The ethnicities of Kurds, Turkmens, and Arabs in Kirkuk were formed throughout a century of urban development, interactions between communities, and political mobilization. Ultimately, this book shows how contentious politics in disputed areas are not primordial traits of those regions, but are a modern phenomenon tightly bound to the society and economics of urban life.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, May 17, 2019

"The Architecture of Banking in Renaissance Italy"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Architecture of Banking in Renaissance Italy: Constructing the Spaces of Money by Lauren Jacobi.

About the book, from the publisher:
Over the course of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, European society confronted rapid monetization, a process that has been examined in depth by economic historians. Less well understood is the development of architecture to meet the needs of a burgeoning mercantile economy in the Late Middle Ages and early modern period. In this volume, Lauren Jacobi explores some of the repercussions of early capitalism through a study of the location and types of spaces that were used for banking and minting in Florence and other mercantile centers in Europe. Examining the historical relationships between banks and religious behavior, she also analyzes how urban geographies and architectural forms reveal moral attitudes toward money during the onset of capitalism. Jacobi's book offers new insights into the spaces and locations where pre-industrial European banking and minting transpired, as well as the impact of religious concerns and financial tools on those sites.
--Marshal Zeringue