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New Books: February 2015
A selection from the most recent titles added to the SMCM Library
The sixteen essays in The Larder argue that the study of food does not simply help us understand more about what we eat and the foodways we embrace. The methods and strategies herein help scholars use food and foodways as lenses to examine human experience. The resulting conversations provoke a deeper understanding of our overlapping, historically situated, and evolving cultures and societies.
Humans have an appetite for food, and anthropology—as the study of human beings, their culture, and society—has an interest in the role of food. From ingredients and recipes to meals and menus across time and space, Eating Culture is a highly engaging overview that illustrates the important role that anthropology and anthropologists have played in understanding food. Organized around the sometimes elusive concept of cuisine and the public discourse—on gastronomy, nutrition, sustainability, and culinary skills—that surrounds it, this practical guide to anthropological method and theory brings order and insight to our changing relationship with food.
Orientalism is a central factor within the fashion system, both subtle and overt. In this timely and groundbreaking book, the author shows the extent of the influence that the Orient had, and continues to have, on fashion. ... Exploring topics including Chinoiserie, masquerade, bohemianism, Japonisme, the "de-Orientalization" of the Orient, perfume and the birth of couture, Fashion and Orientalism is an essential read for students and scholars of fashion, cultural studies and history.
"Agger brings his critical, yet optimistic, lens to bear on the contemporary practice of everyday life and utopian imagination in the context of rapidly changing modes of communication, work, and play. He provides an important sociological compass as we struggle to distinguish the potentially disciplinary from the potentially liberating uses of today's technological tools. Slow down and read this book." - --Patricia Nickel, Virginia Tech University
In this sweeping survey of intellectual and musical history, David C. Paul tells the new story of how the music of American composer Charles Ives (1874-1954) was shaped by shifting conceptions of American identity within and outside of musical culture. Paul focuses on the critics, composers, performers, and scholars whose contributions were most influential in shaping the critical discourse on Ives, many of them marquee names of American musical culture themselves, including Henry Cowell, Aaron Copland, Elliott Carter, and Leonard Bernstein.
Vitamin D2 offers a critical account of the recent evolution and role of drawing in the art world, and introduces to the world prominent trends, methods and artists in the field. The 115 artists, nominated by highly respected critics and curators from around the world, are presented in an A to Z order with about 5 selections of work reproduced for each. The 500-word texts accompanying each artist offer insight into their careers to date, and aims at introducing the methods and subject matter at issue in their recent works.
Setting out to recover the roots of modernity in the boulevards, interiors, and arcades of the "city of light," Walter Benjamin dubbed Paris "the capital of the nineteenth century." In this eagerly anticipated sequel to his acclaimed Coasts of Bohemia: A Czech History, Derek Sayer argues that Prague could well be seen as the capital of the much darker twentieth century. Ranging across twentieth-century Prague's astonishingly vibrant and always surprising human landscape, this richly illustrated cultural history describes how the city has experienced (and suffered) more ways of being modern than perhaps any other metropolis.
Can a case be made for reading literature in the digital age? Does literature still matter in this era of instant information? Is it even possible to advocate for serious, sustained reading with all manner of social media distracting us, fragmenting our concentration, and demanding short, rapid communication? ... The Edge of the Precipice is a passionate, articulate, and entertaining collection that reflects on the role of literature in our society and asks if it is now under siege.
Mex-Cine; offers an accessibly written, multidisciplinary investigation of contemporary Mexican cinema that combines industrial, technical, and sociopolitical analysis with analyses of modes of reception through cognitive theory. Mex-Cine; aims to make visible the 21st-century Mexican film industry, its blueprints, and the cognitive and emotive faculties involved in making and consuming its corpus.
Gisèle d’Estoc was the pseudonym of a nineteenth-century French woman writer and, it turns out, artist who, among other things, was accused of being a bomb-planting anarchist, the cross-dressing lover of writer Guy de Maupassant, and the fighter of at least one duel with another woman, inspiring Bayard’s famous painting on the subject. The true identity of this enigmatic woman remained unknown and was even considered fictional until recently, when Melanie C. Hawthorne resurrected d’Estoc’s discarded story from the annals of forgotten history.
Bringing together all the important issues surrounding the climate debate, Nordhaus describes the science, economics, and politics involved—and the steps necessary to reduce the perils of global warming. Using language accessible to any concerned citizen and taking care to present different points of view fairly, he discusses the problem from start to finish: from the beginning, where warming originates in our personal energy use, to the end, where societies employ regulations or taxes or subsidies to slow the emissions of gases responsible for climate change.
Exploring Personal Genomics provides a novel, inquiry-based approach to the understanding and interpretation of the practical, medical, physiological, and societal aspects of personal genomic information. The material is presented in two parts: the first provides readers of all backgrounds with a fundamental understanding of the biology of human genomes, information on how to obtain and understand digital representations of personal genomic data, tools and techniques for exploring the personal genomics of ancestry and genealogy, discovery and interpretation of genetic trait associations, and the role of personal genomics in drug response. The second part offers more advanced readers an understanding of the science, tools, and techniques for investigating interactions between a personal genome and the environment, connecting DNA to physiology, and assessing rare variants and structural variation.