Sunday, December 17, 2017

"Sex, Love, and Migration"

New from Cornell University Press: Sex, Love, and Migration: Postsocialism, Modernity, and Intimacy from Istanbul to the Arctic by Alexia Bloch.

About the book, from the publisher:
Sex, Love, and Migration goes beyond a common narrative of women’s exploitation as a feature of migration in the early twenty-first century, a story that features young women from poor countries who cross borders to work in low paid and often intimate labor. Alexia Bloch argues that the mobility of women is marked not only by risks but also by personal and social transformation as migration fundamentally reshapes women’s emotional worlds and aspirations.

Bloch documents how, as women have crossed borders between the former Soviet Union and Turkey since the early 1990s, they have forged new forms of intimacy in their households in Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia, but also in Istanbul, where they often work for years on end. Sex, Love, and Migration takes as its subject the lives of post-Soviet migrant women employed in three distinct spheres—sex work, the garment trade, and domestic work. Bloch challenges us to decouple images of women on the move from simple assumptions about danger, victimization, and trafficking. She redirects our attention to the aspirations and lives of women who, despite myriad impediments, move between global capitalist centers and their home communities.
Alexia Bloch is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. She is the author of Red Ties and Residential Schools and The Museum at the End of the World.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Black Flags and Social Movements"

New from Manchester University Press: Black Flags and Social Movements: A sociological analysis of movement anarchism by Dana M. Williams.

About the book, from the publisher:
Anarchism may be the most misunderstood political ideology of the modern era, and one of the least studied social movements by English-speaking scholars. Black flags and social movements addresses this deficit with an in-depth analysis of contemporary anarchist movements as interpreted by social movement theories and political sociology. Using unique data gathered by anarchists themselves, Williams presents longitudinal and international analyses that focus upon who anarchists are, and where they may be found.

Social movement ideas including political opportunity, new social movements, and social capital theory, are relevant and adaptable to understanding anarchist movements. Due to their sometimes limited numbers and identities as radical anti-authoritarians, anarchists often find themselves collaborating with numerous other social movements, bringing along their values, ideas and tactics.
Dana M. Williams is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at California State University, Chico.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 16, 2017

"They Will Have Their Game"

New from Cornell University Press: They Will Have Their Game: Sporting Culture and the Making of the Early American Republic by Kenneth Cohen.

About the book, from the publisher:
In They Will Have Their Game, Kenneth Cohen explores how sports, drinking, gambling, and theater produced a sense of democracy while also reinforcing racial, gender, and class divisions in early America. Pairing previously unexplored financial records with a wide range of published reports, unpublished correspondence, and material and visual evidence, Cohen demonstrates how investors, participants, and professional managers and performers from all sorts of backgrounds saw these "sporting" activities as stages for securing economic and political advantage over others.

They Will Have Their Game tracks the evolution of this fight for power from 1760 to 1860, showing how its roots in masculine competition and risk-taking gradually developed gendered and racial limits and then spread from leisure activities to the consideration of elections as "races" and business as a "game." Compelling narratives about individual participants illustrate the processes by which challenge and conflict across class, race, and gender lines produced a sporting culture that continued to grant unique freedoms to a wide range of society even as it also provided a basis for the normalization of systematic inequality. The result reorients the standard narrative about the rise of commercial popular culture to question the influence of ideas such as "gentility" and "respectability," and to put men like P. T. Barnum at the end instead of the beginning of the process, unveiling a new take on the creation of the white male republic of the early nineteenth century in which sporting activities lie at the center and not the margins of economic and political history.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Britannia's Auxiliaries"

New from Oxford University Press: Britannia's Auxiliaries: Continental Europeans and the British Empire, 1740-1800 by Stephen Conway.

About the book, from the publisher:
Britannia's Auxiliaries provides the first wide-ranging attempt to consider the continental European contribution to the eighteenth-century British Empire. The British benefited from many European inputs--financial, material, and, perhaps most importantly, human. Continental Europeans appeared in different British imperial sites as soldiers, settlers, scientists, sailors, clergymen, merchants, and technical experts. They also sustained the empire from outside--through their financial investments, their consumption of British imperial goods, their supply of European products, and by aiding British imperial communication. Continental Europeans even provided Britons with social support from their own imperial bases.

The book explores the means by which continental Europeans came to play a part in British imperial activity at a time when, at least in theory, overseas empires were meant to be exclusionary structures, intended to serve national purposes. It looks at the ambitions of the continental Europeans themselves, and at the encouragement given to their participation by both private interests in the British Empire and by the British state.

Despite the extensive involvement of continental Europeans, the empire remained essentially British. Indeed, the empire seems to have changed the Europeans who entered it more than they changed the empire. Many of them became at least partly Anglicized by the experience, and even those who retained their national character usually came under British direction and control.

This study, then, qualifies recent scholarly emphasis on the transnational forces that undermined the efforts of imperial authorities to maintain exclusionary empires. In the British case, at least, the state seems, for the most part, to have managed the process of continental involvement in ways that furthered British interests. In this sense, those foreign Europeans who involved themselves in or with the British Empire, whatever their own perspective, acted as Britannia's auxiliaries.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 15, 2017

"Artisanal Enlightenment"

New from Yale University Press: Artisanal Enlightenment: Science and the Mechanical Arts in Old Regime France by Paola Bertucci.

About the book, from the publisher:
A groundbreaking work that places the mechanical arts and the world of making at the heart of the Enlightenment

What would the Enlightenment look like from the perspective of artistes, the learned artisans with esprit, who presented themselves in contrast to philosophers, savants, and routine-bound craftsmen? Making a radical change of historical protagonists, Paola Bertucci places the mechanical arts and the world of making at the heart of the Enlightenment. At a time of great colonial, commercial, and imperial concerns, artistes planned encyclopedic projects and sought an official role in the administration of the French state. The Société des Arts, which they envisioned as a state institution that would foster France’s colonial and economic expansion, was the most ambitious expression of their collective aspirations.

Artisanal Enlightenment provides the first in-depth study of the Société, and demonstrates its legacy in scientific programs, academies, and the making of Diderot and D’Alembert’s Encyclopédie. Through insightful analysis of textual, visual, and material sources, Bertucci provides a groundbreaking perspective on the politics of writing on the mechanical arts and the development of key Enlightenment concepts such as improvement, utility, and progress.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 14, 2017

"Heroic Shaktism"

New from Oxford University Press: Heroic Shaktism: The Cult of Durga in Ancient Indian Kingship by Bihani Sarkar.

About the book, from the publisher:
Heroic Saktism is the belief that a good king and a true warrior must worship the goddess Durga, the form and substance of kingship. This belief formed the bedrock of ancient Indian practices of cultivating political power. Wildly dangerous and serenely benevolent at one and the same time, the goddess's charismatic split nature promised rewards for a hero and king and success in risky ventures.

This book is the first expansive historical treatment of the cult of Durga and the role it played in shaping ideas and rituals of heroism in India between the 3rd and the 12th centuries CE. Within the story of ancient Indian kingship, two critical transitions overlapped with the rise of heroic Saktism: the decline of the war-god Skanda-Mahasena as a military symbol, and the concomitant rise of the early Indian kingdom. As the rhetoric of kingship once strongly linked to the older war god shifted to the cultural narratives of the goddess, her political imagery broadened in its cultural resonance. And indigenous territorial deities became associated with Durga as smaller states unified into a broader conception of civilization.

By assessing the available epigraphic, literary and scriptural sources in Sanskrit, and anthropological studies on politics and ritual, Bihani Sarkar demonstrates that the association between Indian kingship and the cult's belief-systems was an ancient one based on efforts to augment worldly power.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Claiming Crimea"

New from Yale University Press: Claiming Crimea: A History of Catherine the Great’s Southern Empire by Kelly O'Neill.

About the book, from the publisher:
Russia’s long-standing claims to Crimea date back to the eighteenth-century reign of Catherine II. Historian Kelly O’Neill has written the first archive-based, multi-dimensional study of the initial “quiet conquest” of a region that has once again moved to the forefront of international affairs. O’Neill traces the impact of Russian rule on the diverse population of the former khanate, which included Muslim, Christian, and Jewish residents. She discusses the arduous process of establishing the empire’s social, administrative, and cultural institutions in a region that had been governed according to a dramatically different logic for centuries. With careful attention to how officials and subjects thought about the spaces they inhabited, O’Neill’s work reveals the lasting influence of Crimea and its people on the Russian imperial system, and sheds new light on the precarious contemporary relationship between Russia and the famous Black Sea peninsula.
Kelly O’Neill is associate professor of history at Harvard University and a faculty associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

"Political Realism in Apocalyptic Times"

New from Cambridge University Press: Political Realism in Apocalyptic Times by Alison McQueen.

About the book, from the publisher:
From climate change to nuclear war to the rise of demagogic populists, our world is shaped by doomsday expectations. In this path-breaking book, Alison McQueen shows why three of history's greatest political realists feared apocalyptic politics. Niccolò Machiavelli in the midst of Italy's vicious power struggles, Thomas Hobbes during England's bloody civil war, and Hans Morgenthau at the dawn of the thermonuclear age all saw the temptation to prophesy the end of days. Each engaged in subtle and surprising strategies to oppose apocalypticism, from using its own rhetoric to neutralize its worst effects to insisting on a clear-eyed, tragic acceptance of the human condition. Scholarly yet accessible, this book is at once an ambitious contribution to the history of political thought and a work that speaks to our times.
Alison McQueen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. Her research focuses on early modern political theory and the history of International Relations thought.

--Marshal Zeringue

"India and the Patent Wars"

New from ILR Press: India and the Patent Wars: Pharmaceuticals in the New Intellectual Property Regime by Murphy Halliburton.

About the book, from the publisher:
India and the Patent Wars contributes to an international debate over the costs of medicine and restrictions on access under stringent patent laws showing how activists and drug companies in low-income countries seize agency and exert influence over these processes. Murphy Halliburton contributes to analyses of globalization within the fields of anthropology, sociology, law, and public health by drawing on interviews and ethnographic work with pharmaceutical producers in India and the United States.

India has been at the center of emerging controversies around patent rights related to pharmaceutical production and local medical knowledge. Halliburton shows that Big Pharma is not all-powerful, and that local activists and practitioners of ayurveda, India’s largest indigenous medical system, have been able to undermine the aspirations of multinational companies and the WTO. Halliburton traces how key drug prices have gone down, not up, in low-income countries under the new patent regime through partnerships between US- and India-based companies, but warns us to be aware of access to essential medicines in low- and middle-income countries going forward.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

"Listening In"

New from Yale University Press: Listening In: Cybersecurity in an Insecure Age by Susan Landau.

About the book, from the publisher:
A cybersecurity expert and former Google privacy analyst’s urgent call to protect devices and networks against malicious hackers?

New technologies have provided both incredible convenience and new threats. The same kinds of digital networks that allow you to hail a ride using your smartphone let power grid operators control a country’s electricity—and these personal, corporate, and government systems are all vulnerable. In Ukraine, unknown hackers shut off electricity to nearly 230,000 people for six hours. North Korean hackers destroyed networks at Sony Pictures in retaliation for a film that mocked Kim Jong-un. And Russian cyberattackers leaked Democratic National Committee emails in an attempt to sway a U.S. presidential election.

And yet despite such documented risks, government agencies, whose investigations and surveillance are stymied by encryption, push for a weakening of protections. In this accessible and riveting read, Susan Landau makes a compelling case for the need to secure our data, explaining how we must maintain cybersecurity in an insecure age.
Susan Landau is Bridge Professor in the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science, at Tufts University and Visiting Professor at University College London. She was previously a Senior Staff Privacy Analyst at Google and a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems. She is an Association for Computing Machinery Fellow, a Cybersecurity Hall of Fame inductee, and an American Association for Advancement of Science Fellow.

--Marshal Zeringue