New books in 2018

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book coverPhilosophy of Sex and Love: An Opinionated Introduction, by Patricia Marino. Routledge, 2018.

Writing for non-specialists and students as well as for fellow philosophers, this book explores some basic issues surrounding sex and love in today's world, among them consent, objectification, non-monogamy, racial stereotyping, and the need to reconcile contemporary expectations about gender equality with our beliefs about how love works. Author Patricia Marino argues that we cannot fully understand these issues by focusing only on individual desires and choices. Instead, we need to examine the social contexts within which choices are made and acquire their meanings. 


book coverPolicy Change, Courts, and the Canadian Constitution, edited by Emmett Macfarlane. University of Toronto Press, 2018.

Policy Change, Courts, and the Canadian Constitution aims to further our understanding of judicial policy impact and the role of the courts in shaping policy change. Bringing together a group of political scientists and legal scholars, this volume delves into a diverse set of policy areas, including health care issues, the regulation of elections, criminal justice policy, minority language education, citizenship, refugee policy, human rights legislation, and Indigenous policy.


book coverEarly Modern English Marginalia, edited by Katherine Acheson. Routledge, 2018.

Marginalia in early modern and medieval texts – printed, handwritten, drawn, scratched, colored, and pasted in – offer a glimpse of how people, as individuals and in groups, interacted with books and manuscripts over often lengthy periods of time. The chapters in this volume build on earlier scholarship that established marginalia as an intellectual method (Grafton and Jardine), as records of reading motivated by cultural, social, theological, and personal inclinations (Brayman [Hackel] and Orgel), and as practices inspired by material affordances particular to the book and the pen (Fleming and Sherman). They further the study of the practices of marginalia as a mode – a set of ways in which material opportunities and practices overlap with intellectual, social, and personal motivations to make meaning in the world. 


book coverThe Bloomsbury Companion to Marx, edited by Andrew Pendakis, Imre Szeman, Jeff Diamanti. Bloomsburry, 2018.

There are very few figures in history that have exerted as much and as varied an influence as Karl Marx. The Bloomsbury Companion to Marx is the definitive reference guide to Marx's life and work. Written by an international team of leading Marx scholars, the book offers comprehensive coverage of Marx's: life and contexts; sources, influences and encounters; key writings; major themes and topics; and reception and influence. 


book coverDisabled Upon Arrival: Eugenics, Immigration, and the Construction of Race and Disability, by Jay Timothy Dolmage. The Ohio State University Press, 2018.

In North America, immigration has never been about immigration. That was true in the early twentieth century when anti-immigrant rhetoric led to draconian crackdowns on the movement of bodies, and it is true today as new measures seek to construct migrants as dangerous and undesirable. This premise forms the crux of Jay Timothy Dolmage’s new book Disabled Upon Arrival: Eugenics, Immigration, and the Construction of Race and Disability, a compelling examination of the spaces, technologies, and discourses of immigration restriction during the peak period of North American immigration in the early twentieth century.


book coverAtomic Assurance: The Alliance Politics of Nuclear Proliferation, by Alexander Lanoszka. Cornell University press, 2018.

Do alliances curb efforts by states to develop nuclear weapons? Atomic Assurance looks at what makes alliances sufficiently credible to prevent nuclear proliferation; how alliances can break down and so encourage nuclear proliferation; and whether security guarantors like the United States can use alliance ties to end the nuclear efforts of their allies. Alexander Lanoszka finds that military alliances are less useful in preventing allies from acquiring nuclear weapons than conventional wisdom suggests. Through intensive case studies of West Germany, Japan, and South Korea, as well as a series of smaller cases on Great Britain, France, Norway, Australia, and Taiwan, Atomic Assurance shows that it is easier to prevent an ally from initiating a nuclear program than to stop an ally that has already started one.


book coverJewish Theology Unbound, by James A. Diamond. Oxford University Press, 2018.

Jewish Theology Unbound challenges the widespread misinterpretation of Judaism as a religion of law as opposed to theology. James A. Diamond provides close readings of the Bible, classical rabbinic texts, Jewish philosophers, and mystics from the ancient, medieval, and modern period, which communicate a profound Jewish philosophical theology on human nature, God, and the relationship between the two. It explores such themes as the nature of God through the various names by which God is known in the Jewish intellectual tradition, love of others and of God, death, martyrdom, freedom, angels, the philosophical quest, the Holocaust, and the state of Israel, all in light of the Hebrew Bible and the way it is filtered through the rabbinic, philosophical, and mystical traditions.

book coverSloganization in Language Education Discourse: Conceptual Thinking in the Age of Academic Marketization, edited by Barbara Schmenk, Stephan Breidbach, Lutz Küster. Channel View Publications, 2018.

This volume focuses (self-)critically on sloganization as an emergent phenomenon in language education discourse. Motivated by an increasing uneasiness with a number of widespread concepts in current language education research that have become sloganized, this volume comprises a collection of chapters by international scholars that scrutinize the discourse of language education, identify popular slogans and reconstruct the sloganization processes. It promotes critical self-reflection of scholars and professionals in the field of language education – a field that has widely been dominated by the need to develop innovative approaches and practices, at the expense of self-critical work that attempts to situate the field and its approaches within wider historical, cultural and conceptual contexts.


book coverAmerican Folk Music as Tactical Media, by Henry Adam Svec. Amsterdam University Press, 2018.

American folk music has long presented a problematic conception of authenticity, but the reality of the folk scene, and its relationship to media, is far more complicated. This book draws on the fields of media archaeology, performance studies, and sound studies to explore the various modes of communication that can be uncovered from the long American folk revival. From Alan Lomax's cybernetic visions to Bob Dylan's noisy writing machines, this book retrieves a subterranean discourse on the concept of media that might help us to reimagine the potential of the networks in which we work, play, and sing.


book coverThe SAGE Handbook of Web History, edited by Niels Brügger and Ian Milligan. SAGE Publishing, 2018.

The Web has been with us now for almost 25 years. An integral part of our social, cultural and political lives, ‘new media’ is simply not that new anymore. Despite the rapidly expanding archives of information at our disposal, and the recent growth of interest in web history as a field of research, the information available to us still far outstrips our understanding of how to interpret it. The SAGE Handbook of Web History marks the first comprehensive review of this subject to date. Its editors emphasise two main different forms of study: the use of the web as an historical resource, and the web as an object of study in its own right. Bringing together all the existing knowledge of the field, with an interdisciplinary focus and an international scope, this is an incomparable resource for researchers and students alike. 


book coverAncient Philosophy: A Companion to the Core Readings, by Andrew Stumpf. Broadview Press, 2018.

Ancient Philosophy: A Companion to the Core Readings is designed as an approachable guide to the most important and influential works of ancient philosophy. The book begins with a brief overview of ancient Greek mythology and the pre-Socratic philosophers. It then examines a number of the most important works from Plato and Aristotle, including EuthyphroMenoRepublic, the Categories, the Physics, and the Nicomachean Ethics, before concluding with a brief look at Hellenistic philosophy and the origins of Neoplatonism. Readers who might otherwise struggle with the original texts will find an exceedingly helpful guide in Stumpf’s clear explanations and analyses. Numerous diagrams and images are provided to aid in comprehension.


book coverCanadian Carnival Freaks and the Extraordinary Body, 1900-1970s, by Jane Nichols. University of Toronto Press, 2018.

In 1973, a five year old girl known as Pookie was exhibited as "The Monkey Girl" at the Canadian National Exhibition. Jane Nicholas takes us on a search for answers about how and why the freak show persisted into the 1970s. Canadian Carnival Freaks and the Extraordinary Body, 1900–1970s offers a sophisticated analysis of the place of the freak show in twentieth-century culture. Freak shows survived and thrived because of their flexible business model, government support, and by mobilizing cultural and medical ideas of the body and normalcy. This book is the first full length study of the freak show in Canada and is a significant contribution to our understanding of the history of Canadian popular culture, attitudes toward children, and the social construction of able-bodiness.


book coverWhat Effect Have I Had? 100 Communication Practices to Help You be a Better Partner, Teammate, Writer, Speaker, and Leader, by Robert Danisch. Independently published, 2018.

Instead of thinking about communication as the transmission of information from one person to another, this book shows that we ought to think about communication as a practical art of producing effects on others. Once we start to ask "What effect have I had?" then we are in a better position to improve our communication skills. In thinking about interpersonal communication, small group communication, writing, public speaking, and leadership through questions about the effects we produce on others anyone can significantly improve their communication competencies. Through one hundred small lessons this book provides practical tools to immediately be a better partner, teammate, writer, speaker, and leader.

book coverCognitive Psychology: In and Out of the Laboratory, by Jennifer Stolz, Jonathan Fugelsang, Myra Fernandes. Kendall Hunt, 2018.


book coverBeastly Blake, edited by Helen Bruder and Tristanne Connolly. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

Blake’s ‘Human Form Divine’ has long commanded the spotlight. Beastly Blake shifts focus to the non-human creatures who populate Blake’s poetry and designs. The author of ‘The Tyger’ and ‘The Lamb’ was equally struck by the ‘beastliness’ and the beauty of the animal kingdom, the utter otherness of animal subjectivity and the meaningful relationships between humans and other creatures. The collection uses animal studies and posthuman studies to go beyond traditional understandings of Blake. It includes both established and emerging scholars, and give balanced attention to Blake’s poetry and visual art.


book coverPtolemy's Philosophy: Mathematics as a Way of Life, by Jacqueline Feke. Princeton Univeristy Press, 2018.

In this stimulating intellectual history, Jacqueline Feke uncovers references to a complex and sophisticated philosophical agenda scattered among Ptolemy’s technical studies in the physical and mathematical sciences. She shows how he developed a philosophy that was radical and even subversive, appropriating ideas and turning them against the very philosophers from whom he drew influence. Feke reveals how Ptolemy’s unique system is at once a critique of prevailing philosophical trends and a conception of the world in which mathematics reigns supreme. 


book coverThe Routledge Reader of African American Rhetoric, edited by Vershawn Ashanti Young and Michelle Bachelor Robinson. Routledge, 2018.

A comprehensive compendium of primary texts that is designed for use by students, teachers, and scholars of rhetoric and for the general public interested in the history of African American communication. The volume and its companion website include dialogues, creative works, essays, folklore, music, interviews, news stories, raps, videos, and speeches that are performed or written by African Americans. Both the book as a whole and the various selections in it speak directly to the artistic, cultural, economic, gendered, social, and political condition of African Americans from the enslavement period in America to the present, as well as to the Black Diaspora.


book coverNeo-Passing: Performing Identity after Jim Crow, edited by Mollie Godfrey and Vershawn Ashanti Young. University of Illinois Press, 2018.

African Americans once passed as whites to escape the pains of racism. Today’s neo-passing has pushed the old idea of passing in extraordinary new directions. A white author uses an Asian pen name; heterosexuals live “out” as gay; and, irony of ironies, whites try to pass as black. Mollie Godfrey and Vershawn Ashanti Young present essays that explore practices, performances, and texts of neo-passing in our supposedly postracial moment. Together, the works reveal that the questions raised by neo-passing—questions about performing and contesting identity in relation to social norms—remain as relevant today as in the past.


book coverTextes missionnaires dans l’espace francophone Tome II. L’envers du décor, edited by Guy Proirier. Presses de l'Université Laval, 2018.

L’équipe du partenariat « Textes missionnaires dans l’espace francophone » explore, dans cette seconde publication, l’envers du décor de la mission. Ses recherches ont ainsi permis de relire certaines œuvres de l’Ancien Régime avec une perspective nouvelle, tout en rappelant l’importance des contextes de publication et de diffusion de ces ouvrages. De plus, des documents d’archives sont scrutés afin de souligner leur rôle déterminant dans toute entreprise de reconstitution et de compréhension des textes du passé. La diffusion des missions modernes dans la presse et le documentaire et les questions liées à la traduction dans les activités pastorales sont aussi examinées afin de poursuivre notre enquête à l’époque moderne.


book coverNarratives of Fear: Horror in Literary, Cinematic and Television Works from Latin America, edited by Marco Ramírez, David Rozotto and Karem Langer. Peter Lang Publishing, 2018.

The first volume of Narratives of Fear is a collection of essays that analyze different representations of fear as a structural and symbolic element in literary, theatrical and visual works from Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. Together with the upcoming second volume, this collective volume offers a coherent and comprehensive vision that opens a discussion on one of the most problematic consequences of violence: fear. During the last two centuries, Latin American countries have experienced several conflicts such as civil wars, revolutions, dictatorships, drug trafficking, mass population displacements, exile, among others. These conflicts and their literary and cinematographic representations have been amply analyzed in several critical studies. However, little has been said about the fear that different types of violence inflict on societies and individuals, and how such phenomena condition artistic and literary representations. Therefore, Narratives of Fear focuses on this emotional force so deeply ingrained in the production of novels, short stories, plays, movies, and comics from Latin America.


book coverModernization and Territorialization in Guatemala: The Novels of Virigilio Rodriguez Macal, by David Rozotto. Buenos Aires: Editorial Biblos, 2018.

Rozotto delves into a neglected literary production whose study offers an original perspective about a national period with continental projection: the Regionalist novels of the Guatemalan writer Virgilio Rodriguez Macal. His literary project is the expression of an independent intellectual trajectory dedicated to propound alternative projects for the modernization and territorialization of Guatemala. In his novels, Carazamba (1953), Jinayá (1956) and Guayacán (1962), this writer adopts the Regionalist aesthetics in order to postulate a Guatemalan autochthonous essence founded on the discourse of narrators that act as interpreters of that same essence, thanks to a scientific knowledge in areas such as anthropology, historiography and sociology. An analysis of these novels demonstrates that Rodriguez Macal, who belonged to the Latin American lettered tradition committed to the construction of the nation, postulates narrative worlds that can be read as programs for national integration.


book coverUnderstanding Bonhoeffer, by Peter Frick. Baylor University Press, 2018.

In this volume, Peter Frick seeks new dimensions of that complexity by tracing and then weighing the influence of Bonhoeffer’s philosophical, theological, and social formation in order to understand his lasting significance. Frick divides his study into three parts: "Reading Bonhoeffer" explores hermeneutical and translation difficulties; "Backgrounding Bonhoeffer" unpacks how the thought of Kempis, Nietzsche, Bultmann, Tillich, and Ebeling informs Bonhoeffer’s work; and "Foregrounding Bonhoeffer" models concrete ways in which Bonhoeffer speaks to issues of race, globalization, peace, politics, and social responsibility. If Bonhoeffer is enigmatic, it is equally true, as Frick reveals, that he remains endlessly relevant.


book coverLire la ville, dire le crime - Mise en scène de la criminalité dans les mystères urbains de 1840 à 1860, by Nicolas Gauthier. Pulim, 2018.

Des brutes sauvages et sanguinaires rôdant au cœur de la cité, des policiers qui volent, des médecins qui assassinent, des surhommes punissant en dehors des lois : les mystères urbains offrent au lecteur une imposante galerie de criminels dans une société où les honnêtes gens semblent confinés au rôle de victime. Leur principale contribution au mythe de la ville moderne consiste ainsi à cristalliser une criminalité urbaine anxiogène et à affirmer déchiffrer un espace social chaotique et incompréhensible pour le non-initié.


book coverMasculinities in Play, edited by Nicholas Taylor and Gerald Voorhees. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

This volume addresses the persistent and frequently toxic associations between masculinity and games. It explores many of the critical issues in contemporary studies of masculinity — including issues of fatherhood, homoeroticism, eSports, fan cultures, and militarism—and their intersections with digital games, the contexts of their play, and the social futures associated with sustained involvement in gaming cultures. Unlike much of the research and public discourse that put the onus of “fixing” games and gaming cultures on those at its margins—women, LGBTQ, and people of color—this volume turns attention to men and masculinities, offering vital and productive avenues for both practical and theoretical intervention.


book coverFeminism in Play, edited by Kisshona Gray, Gerald Voorhees, Emma Vossen. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

Feminism in Play focuses on women as they are depicted in video games, as participants in games culture, and as contributors to the games industry. This volume showcases women’s resistance to the norms of games culture, as well as women’s play and creative practices both in and around the games industry. Contributors analyze the interconnections between games and the broader societal and structural issues impeding the successful inclusion of women in games and games culture. In offering this framework, this volume provides a platform to the silenced and marginalized, offering counter-narratives to the post-racial and post-gendered fantasies that so often obscure the violent context of production and consumption of games culture.


The Art of Dying bookThe Art of Dying, by Sarah Tolmie. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2018.

A satirical look at the euphemistic practices of dying today. Sarah Tolmie’s second collection of poems is a traditional ars moriendi, a how-to book on the practices of dying. Confronting the fear of death head-on, and describing the rituals that mitigate it, the poems in The Art of Dying take a satirical look at the ways we explain, enshrine, and, above all, evade death in contemporary culture.


Entertaining Futility bookEntertaining Futility: Despair and Hope in the Time of Climate Change The Art of Dying, by Andrew McMurry. Texas A&M University Press, 2018.

In playfully pessimistic and thought-provoking essays, author Andrew McMurry explores a vital but fundamentally perverse human practice: destroying our planet while imagining we are not. How are humans able to do this? Entertaining Futility: Despair and Hope in the Time of Climate Change investigates the discourses of hope, progress, and optimism in the era of climate change, concepts that, McMurry argues, are polite names for blind faith, greed, and wishful thinking. The itemized list of humanity’s arrogance can quickly lead to despair, so McMurry compensates by presenting the news in a darkly comic and irreverent style.


book coverReassessing the Rogue Tory: Canadian Foreign Relations in the Diefenbaker Era, edited by Janice Cavell and Ryan M. Touhey. UBC Press, 2018.

This book reassesses foreign policy in the Diefenbaker era to determine whether its failures can be mainly attributed to the prime minister’s personality traits, particularly his indecisiveness, or whether broader underlying shifts in world affairs were to blame. Written by leading scholars who mine new sources of archival research, the chapters examine the full range of international issues that confronted Diefenbaker and his ministers and probe the factors that led to success or failure, decision or indecision, on specific issues. 


Note: Books are listed in no particular order, and book descriptions have been adapted from those appearing on publisher websites.