Saturday, July 30, 2016

"Sustainability through Soccer"

New from the University of California Press: Sustainability through Soccer: An Unexpected Approach to Saving Our World by Leidy Klotz.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the quest for sustainability, we strive to meet our present needs without sacrificing the same opportunity for future generations. Our success or failure depends on our ability to think in “systems,” integrating environmental, social, and economic considerations. But how do we learn systems-thinking? In a series of engaging, rapid-fire stories, Sustainability through Soccer takes readers on a journey through a progression of systems-thinking and sustainability concepts. Using the beautiful game of soccer as an analogy, Leidy Klotz illuminates real-world interdependencies (such as between climate change and human rights), building the chain of concepts in a fun, accessible way. Soccer nerds and newbies alike will be entertained on the way to a deeper understanding of sustainability science.
Leidy Klotz is Associate Professor of Engineering at Clemson University. Less than a decade into his academic career, he has been awarded a prestigious CAREER award from the National Science Foundation and named to NerdScholar’s inaugural list of “40 under 40: Professors Who Inspire” for his ability to captivate and engage students. Before becoming a professor, he was a professional soccer player.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Same-Sex Marriage in Renaissance Rome"

New from Cornell University Press: Same-Sex Marriage in Renaissance Rome: Sexuality, Identity, and Community in Early Modern Europe by Gary Ferguson.

About the book, from the publisher:
Same-sex marriage is a hotly debated topic in the United States, and the world, today. From the tenor of most discussions, however, it would be easy to conclude that the idea of marriage between two people of the same sex is a uniquely contemporary phenomenon. Not so, argues Gary Ferguson in this remarkable book about a same-sex wedding ceremony in sixteenth-century Rome. The case in question involved a group of mostly Spanish and Portuguese men, arrested and executed in Rome in 1578, said to have performed same-sex wedding ceremonies in one of the city's major churches. We know about the incident from a number of sources, including the travel journal of the French essayist Michel de Montaigne.

Several substantial fragments of the transcript of the men’s trial have also survived, along with copies of their wills. Making use of all these documents, Ferguson brings the story to life in striking detail. He reveals not only the names of the men but also where they lived, how they were employed, and who their friends were. In particular, he unearths a surprising amount of detail about the men’s sex lives, and how others responded to this information, which allows him to explore attitudes toward marriage, sex, and gender at the time. Emphasizing the instability of marriage in premodern Europe, Ferguson argues that same-sex unions should be considered part of the institution’s complex and contested history.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 29, 2016

"Industrial Forests and Mechanical Marvels"

New from Cambridge University Press: Industrial Forests and Mechanical Marvels: Modernization in Nineteenth-Century Brazil by Teresa Cribelli.

About the book, from the publisher:
An account of modernization and technological innovation in nineteenth-century Brazil that provides a distinctly Brazilian perspective. Existing scholarship on the period describes the beginnings of Brazilian modernization as a European or North American import dependent on foreign capital, transfers of technology, and philosophical inspiration. Promoters of modernization were considered few in number, derivative in their thinking, or thwarted by an entrenched slaveholding elite hostile to industrialization. Teresa Cribelli presents a more nuanced picture. Nineteenth-century Brazilians selected among the transnational flow of ideas and technologies with care and attention to the specific conditions of their tropical nation. Studying underutilized sources, Cribelli illuminates a distinctly Brazilian vision of modernization that challenges the view that Brazil, a nation dependent on slave labor for much of the nineteenth century, was merely reactive in the face of the modernization models of the North Atlantic industrializing nations.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Gringo Gulch"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Gringo Gulch: Sex, Tourism, and Social Mobility in Costa Rica by Megan Rivers-Moore.

About the book, from the publisher:
The story of sex tourism in the Gringo Gulch neighborhood of San José, Costa Rica could be easily cast as the exploitation of poor local women by privileged North American men—men who are in a position to take advantage of the vast geopolitical inequalities that make Latin American women into suppliers of low-cost sexual labor. But in Gringo Gulch, Megan Rivers-Moore tells a more nuanced story, demonstrating that all the actors intimately entangled in the sex tourism industry—sex workers, sex tourists, and the state—use it as a strategy for getting ahead.

Rivers-Moore situates her ethnography at the intersections of gender, race, class, and national dimensions in the sex industry. Instead of casting sex workers as hapless victims and sex tourists as neoimperialist racists, she reveals each group as involved in a complicated process of class mobility that must be situated within the sale and purchase of leisure and sex. These interactions operate within an almost entirely unregulated but highly competitive market beyond the reach of the state—bringing a distinctly neoliberal cast to the market. Throughout the book, Rivers-Moore introduces us to remarkable characters—Susan, a mother of two who doesn’t regret her career of sex work; Barry, a teacher and father of two from Virginia who travels to Costa Rica to escape his loveless, sexless marriage; Nancy, a legal assistant in the Department of Labor who is shocked to find out that prostitution is legal and still unregulated. Gringo Gulch is a fascinating and groundbreaking look at sex tourism, Latin America, and the neoliberal state.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 28, 2016

"Tracks of Change"

New from Cambridge University Press: Tracks of Change: Railways and Everyday Life in Colonial India by Ritika Prasad.

About the book, from the publisher:
From the mid-nineteenth century onwards, railways became increasingly important in the lives of a growing number of Indians. While allowing millions to collectively experience the endemic discomforts of third-class travel, the public opportunities for proximity and contact created by railways simultaneously compelled colonial society to confront questions about exclusion, difference, and community. It was not only passengers, however, who were affected by the transformations that railways wrought. Even without boarding a train, one could see railway tracks and embankments reshaping familiar landscapes, realise that train schedules represented new temporal structures, fear that spreading railway links increased the reach of contagion, and participate in new forms of popular politics focused around railway spaces. Tracks of Change explores how railway technology, travel, and infrastructure became increasingly woven into everyday life in colonial India, how people negotiated with the growing presence of railways, and how this process has shaped India's history.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Down, Out, and Under Arrest"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Down, Out, and Under Arrest: Policing and Everyday Life in Skid Row by Forrest Stuart.

About the book, from the publisher:
In his first year working in Los Angeles’s Skid Row, Forrest Stuart was stopped on the street by police fourteen times. Usually for doing little more than standing there.

Juliette, a woman he met during that time, has been stopped by police well over one hundred times, arrested upward of sixty times, and has given up more than a year of her life serving week-long jail sentences. Her most common crime? Simply sitting on the sidewalk—an arrestable offense in LA.

Why? What purpose did those arrests serve, for society or for Juliette? How did we reach a point where we’ve cut support for our poorest citizens, yet are spending ever more on policing and prisons? That’s the complicated, maddening story that Stuart tells in Down, Out and Under Arrest, a close-up look at the hows and whys of policing poverty in the contemporary United States. What emerges from Stuart’s years of fieldwork—not only with Skid Row residents, but with the police charged with managing them—is a tragedy built on mistakes and misplaced priorities more than on heroes and villains. He reveals a situation where a lot of people on both sides of this issue are genuinely trying to do the right thing, yet often come up short. Sometimes, in ways that do serious harm.

At a time when distrust between police and the residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods has never been higher, Stuart’s book helps us see where we’ve gone wrong, and what steps we could take to begin to change the lives of our poorest citizens—and ultimately our society itself—for the better.
Visit Forrest Stuart's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

"Morale and the Italian Army during the First World War"

New from Cambridge University Press: Morale and the Italian Army during the First World War by Vanda Wilcox.

About the book, from the publisher:
Italian performance in the First World War has been generally disparaged or ignored compared to that of the armies on the Western Front, and troop morale in particular has been seen as a major weakness of the Italian army. In this first book-length study of Italian morale in any language, Vanda Wilcox reassesses Italian policy and performance from the perspective both of the army as an institution and of the ordinary soldiers who found themselves fighting a brutally hard war. Wilcox analyses and contextualises Italy's notoriously hard military discipline along with leadership, training methods and logistics before considering the reactions of the troops and tracing the interactions between institutions and individuals. Restoring historical agency to soldiers often considered passive and indifferent, Wilcox illustrates how and why Italians complied, endured or resisted the army's demands through balancing their civilian and military identities.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Management of Hate"

New from Princeton University Press: The Management of Hate: Nation, Affect, and the Governance of Right-Wing Extremism in Germany by Nitzan Shoshan.

About the book, from the publisher:
Since German reunification in 1990, there has been widespread concern about marginalized young people who, faced with bleak prospects for their future, have embraced increasingly violent forms of racist nationalism that glorify the country’s Nazi past. The Management of Hate, Nitzan Shoshan’s riveting account of the year and a half he spent with these young right-wing extremists in East Berlin, reveals how they contest contemporary notions of national identity and defy the clichés that others use to represent them.

Shoshan situates them within what he calls the governance of affect, a broad body of discourses and practices aimed at orchestrating their attitudes toward cultural difference—from legal codes and penal norms to rehabilitative techniques and pedagogical strategies. Governance has conventionally been viewed as rational administration, while emotions have ordinarily been conceived of as individual states. Shoshan, however, convincingly questions both assumptions. Instead, he offers a fresh view of governance as pregnant with affect and of hate as publicly mediated and politically administered. Shoshan argues that the state’s policies push these youths into a right-extremist corner instead of integrating them in ways that could curb their nationalist racism. His point is certain to resonate across European and non-European contexts where, amid robust xenophobic nationalisms, hate becomes precisely the object of public dispute.

Powerful and compelling, The Management of Hate provides a rare and disturbing look inside Germany’s right-wing extremist world, and shines critical light on a German nationhood haunted by its own historical contradictions.
Visit Nitzan Shoshan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

"Midnight Basketball"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Midnight Basketball: Race, Sports, and Neoliberal Social Policy by Douglas Hartmann.

About the book, from the publisher:
Midnight basketball may not have been invented in Chicago, but the City of Big Shoulders—home of Michael Jordan and the Bulls—is where it first came to national prominence. And it’s also where Douglas Hartmann first began to think seriously about the audacious notion that organizing young men to run around in the wee hours of the night—all trying to throw a leather ball through a metal hoop—could constitute meaningful social policy.

Organized in the 1980s and ’90s by dozens of American cities, late-night basketball leagues were designed for social intervention, risk reduction, and crime prevention targeted at African American youth and young men. In Midnight Basketball, Hartmann traces the history of the program and the policy transformations of the period, while exploring the racial ideologies, cultural tensions, and institutional realities that shaped the entire field of sports-based social policy. Drawing on extensive fieldwork, the book also brings to life the actual, on-the-ground practices of midnight basketball programs and the young men that the programs intended to serve. In the process, Midnight Basketball offers a more grounded and nuanced understanding of the intricate ways sports, race, and risk intersect and interact in urban America.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Epicureans and Atheists in France, 1650–1729"

New from Cambridge University Press: Epicureans and Atheists in France, 1650–1729 by Alan Charles Kors.

About the book, from the publisher:
Atheism was the most foundational challenge to early-modern French certainties. Theologians and philosophers labelled such atheism as absurd, confident that neither the fact nor behaviour of nature was explicable without reference to God. The alternative was a categorical naturalism, whose most extreme form was Epicureanism. The dynamics of the Christian learned world, however, which this book explains, allowed the wide dissemination of the Epicurean argument. By the end of the seventeenth century, atheism achieved real voice and life. This book examines the Epicurean inheritance and explains what constituted actual atheistic thinking in early-modern France, distinguishing such categorical unbelief from other challenges to orthodox beliefs. Without understanding the actual context and convergence of the inheritance, scholarship, protocols, and polemical modes of orthodox culture, the early-modern generation and dissemination of atheism are inexplicable. This book brings to life both early-modern French Christian learned culture and the atheists who emerged from its intellectual vitality.
--Marshal Zeringue