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New Books: February 2013
A selection from the most recent titles added to the SMCM Library
Tracing the development of altruism and group social control over 6 million years, Boehm argues that our moral sense is a sophisticated defense mechanism that enables individuals to survive and thrive in groups. One of the biggest risks of group living is the possibility of being punished for our misdeeds by those around us. Bullies, thieves, free-riders, and especially psychopaths—those who make it difficult for others to go about their lives—are the most likely to suffer this fate. Getting by requires getting along, and this social type of selection, Boehm shows, singles out altruists for survival. This selection pressure has been unique in shaping human nature, and it bred the first stirrings of conscience in the human species. Ultimately, it led to the fully developed sense of virtue and shame that we know today.
Drawing on studies by social scientists and economists, as well as on new case studies, [Linton] provides balanced answers to hard questions: How can large institutions be persuaded to commit to using Fair Trade suppliers? Does ethical consumerism work? Are the "social premiums" that are built into Fair Trade prices really being used for community projects? Will Fair Trade market growth reach the scale of organics or green products? This book meets a long-felt need among economic-justice activists, consumer groups, and academics for a reliable qualitative and quantitative overview of achievements of the Fair Trade movement.
To be modern may mean many different things, but for nineteenth-century Europeans ’modernity’ suggested a new form of life in which bourgeois activities, people, attitudes and values all played key roles. Jerrold Seigel’s panoramic new history offers a magisterial and highly original account of the ties between modernity and bourgeois life, arguing that they can be best understood not in terms of the rise and fall of social classes, but as features of a common participation in expanding and thickening ’networks of means’ that linked together distant energies and resources across economic, political and cultural life.
This brief history connects the past and present of utopian thought, from the first utopias in ancient Greece, right up to present day visions of cyberspace communities and paradise. Explores the purpose of utopias, what they reveal about the societies who conceive them, and how utopias have changed over the centuries. Unique in including both non-Western and Western visions of utopia.
In the thirteenth century, the University of Paris emerged as a complex community with a distinctive role in society. This book explores the relationship between contexts of learning and the ways of knowing developed within them, focusing on twelfth-century schools and monasteries, as well as the university. By investigating their views on money, marriage and sex, Ian Wei reveals the complexity of what theologians had to say about the world around them.
Explores the imagery of woman in Mexican art and visual culture. Examines how woman signified a variety of concepts, from modernity to authenticity and revolutionary social transformation, both before and after the Mexican Revolution
Beyond Rosie the Riveter takes readers back to a time before television’s dominance, to the golden age of print art and its singular power over public opinion. Focusing specifically on instances of “female masculinity” when women entered previously all-male fields, Knaff places these images within the context of popular discussions of gender roles and examines their historical, cultural, and textual contexts.
Combining work by critics from Latin America, the US, and Europe, Latin American Science Fiction: Theory and Practice is the first anthology of articles in English to examine science fiction in all of Latin America, from Mexico and the Caribbean to Brazil and the Southern Cone. Using a variety of sophisticated theoretical approaches, the book explores not merely the development of a science fiction tradition in the region, but more importantly, the intricate ways in which this tradition has engaged with the most important cultural and literary debates of recent years.
Before most Americans ever saw an actual daguerreotype, they encountered this visual form through written descriptions, published and rapidly reprinted in newspapers throughout the land. In The Camera and the Press, Marcy J. Dinius examines how the first written and published responses to the daguerreotype set the terms for how we now understand the representational accuracy and objectivity associated with the photograph, as well as the democratization of portraiture that photography enabled.
In this book, Rudolf A. Raff reaches out to the scientifically queasy, using his life story and his growth as a scientist to illustrate why science matters, especially at a time when many Americans are both suspicious of science and hostile to scientific ways of thinking. Noting that science has too often been the object of controversy in school curriculums and debates on public policy issues ranging from energy and conservation to stem-cell research and climate change, Raff argues that when the public is confused or ill-informed, these issues tend to be decided on religious, economic, and political grounds that disregard the realities of the natural world.