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Rebecca EarleThe Body of the Conquistador: Food, Race and the Colonial Experience in Spanish America

May 6, 2015

Rebecca Earle's recent book The Body of the Conquistador: Food, Race and the Colonial Experience in Spanish America (Cambridge University Press, 2012) investigates the importance of food during the first two centuries of Spanish imperialism in the Americas. She explores how food took a central place in conceptions of bodily health and composition, both in […]

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Pedro MachadoOcean of Trade: South Asian Merchants, Africa, and the Indian Ocean, c.1750-1850

May 5, 2015

Pedro Machado's Ocean of Trade: South Asian Merchants, Africa and the Indian Ocean, c.1750-1850 (Cambridge University Press, 2014) is a richly detailed and engaging account of Gujarati merchants and their role in the trade of textiles, ivory and slaves across the Indian Ocean. The book not only enhances our understanding of an under researched pan-continental trade […]

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Michael Nylan and Griet VankeerberghenChang’an 26 BCE: An Augustan Age in China

May 5, 2015

Michael Nylan and Griet Vankeerberghen have produced a landmark volume. Chang'an 26 BCE: An Augustan Age in China (University of Washington Press, 2015) collects 19 essays (plus an Introduction and an Afterword) devoted to exploring the built environment and archaeology of Han Chang'an, sociopolitical transformations in the late Western Han, and leading figures of the […]

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David MerenWith Friends Like These: Entangled Nationalisms in the Canada-Quebec-France Triangle, 1944-1970

May 5, 2015

In 1967, French President Charles de Gaulle cried out "Vive le Québec libre!" from the balcony of Montreal's City Hall. The controversial moment became a myth almost instantly. The four words De Gaulle uttered remain emblematic of an extremely important moment in the histories of Quebec and Canada. Illustrative of the General's penchant for political […]

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Ellen BoucherEmpire’s Children: Child Emigration, Welfare, and the Decline of the British World, 1869-1967

May 1, 2015

For almost 100 years, it seemed like a good, even wholesome and optimistic idea to take young, working-class and poor British children and resettle them, quite on their own and apart from their families, in Canada, Australia, and southern Rhodesia. The impulse behind this program was philanthropic: to bring disadvantaged children living in crowded cities […]

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Ananya VajpeyiRighteous Republic: The Political Foundations of Modern India

April 30, 2015

Righteous Republic: The Political Foundations of Modern India (Harvard University Press, 2012) by Ananya Vajpeyi is a rethinking of the self in self-rule, as understood in the ideas generated and reworked by five leading figures of the Indian independence movement. Analysing crises of the self, which it is argued stem from a crisis of tradition […]

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John-Paul Himka and Joanna Beata MichlicBringing the Dark Past to Light: The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe

April 29, 2015

I'll be leaving soon to take students on a European travel course. During the three weeks we'll be gone, in addition to cathedrals, museums and castles, they'll visit Auschwitz, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and a variety of other Holocaust related sights.  And I'll ask them to think about what we can […]

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Thomas KempleIntellectual Work and the Spirit of Capitalism: Weber’s Calling

April 28, 2015

Thomas Kemple's new book is an extraordinarily thoughtful invitation to approach Max Weber (1864-1920) as a performer, and to experience Weber's work by attending to his spoken and written voice. Intellectual Work and the Spirit of Capitalism: Weber's Calling (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) looks carefully at the literary structure and aesthetic elements of Weber's arguments, considering […]

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Joseph E. Uscinski and Joseph M. ParentAmerican Conspiracy Theories

April 27, 2015

"Conspiracy theories are neither the vile excrescence of puny minds nor the telltale symptom of a sick society. They are the ineradicable stuff of politics." That's a quotation from American Conspiracy Theories (Oxford UP, 2014), by Joseph E. Uscinski and Joseph M. Parent, two professors of political science at the University of Miami. Their study of conspiracy […]

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Matthew M. HeatonBlack Skin, White Coats: Nigerian Psychiatrists, Decolonization, and the Globalization of Psychiatry

April 27, 2015

In Black Skin, White Coats: Nigerian Psychiatrists, Decolonization, and the Globalization of Psychiatry (Ohio University Press, 2013), Matthew M. Heaton explores changes in psychiatric theory and practice during the decolonization of European empires in Africa in the mid-twentieth century. His story follows the transcultural Nigerian psychiatrists who tried to transform the discourse around and treatment of mental illness […]

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