New Books Network

Jessie Labov, “Transatlantic Central Europe: Contesting Geography and Redefining Culture beyond the Nation” (Central European UP, 2019)
While there are still occasional uses of it today, the term “Central Europe” carries little of the charge that it did in the 1980s and early 1990s, and as a political and intellectual project it has receded from the horizon. Proponents of a distinct cultural profile of these countries―all involved... Read More
Andrew Ollett, “Language of the Snakes” (U California Press, 2017)
Andrew Ollett, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, argues in his book, Language of the Snakes (University of California Press, 2017), that Prakrit is “the most important Indian language you’ve never heard of.” In this book, subtitled “Prakrit, Sanskrit, and the Language... Read More
Great Books: John Callahan on Ellison’s “Invisible Man”
Ralph Waldo Ellison’s masterpiece Invisible Man tells the story of an African-American man who insists on his visibility, agency, and humanity in a country dead-set on not seeing him. Barring him from most opportunities, and denying his humanity. The book charts this young man’s course from the segregated South into 1950’s... Read More
Melissa Walker and Giselle Roberts, “Women’s Diaries and Letters of the South” (U South Carolina Press)
Professors Melissa Walker of Converse College and Giselle Roberts of Australia’s La Trobe University, editors of the Women’s Diaries and Letters of the South series, discuss the field of documentary editing and how the personal writings of southern women reveal the broader history of life in the U.S. South during... Read More
Carl W. Ernst, “Hallaj: Poems of a Sufi Martyr” (Northwestern UP, 2018)
“I am the Real,” is the ecstatic statement often associated with the early Sufi poet Mansur al-Hallaj. In popular narratives about Hallaj this declaration of absolute unity with God is what led to his execution in Abbasid Baghdad. Other accounts attribute it to Hallaj’s directive to build a symbolic Ka’ba... Read More
Andrew Milner, “Again, Dangerous Visions: Essays in Cultural Materialism​” (Brill/Haymarket, 2018)
Again, Dangerous Visions: Essays in Cultural Materialism (Brill/Haymarket, 2018) brings together twenty-six essays charting the development of Andrew Milner‘s distinctively Orwellian version of cultural materialism between 1981 and 2015. The essays address three substantive areas: the sociology of literature, cultural materialism and the cultural politics of the New Left, and... Read More
Great Books: Hillary Chute on Art Spiegelman’s “Maus”
 Art Spiegelman’s Maus is the story of an American cartoonist’s efforts to uncover and record his father’s story of survival of the Holocaust. It is also a cartoon, where the Jews are mice, the Nazis cats, the Poles dogs, and the French, well, you’ll have to read it. It’s a... Read More