New Books Network

Leonard Cassuto, “The Graduate School Mess: What Caused It and How We Can Fix It” (Harvard UP, 2015)
The discontented graduate student is something of a cultural fixture in the U.S. Indeed theirs is a sorry lot. They work very hard, earn very little, and have very poor prospects. Nearly all of them want to become professors, but most of them won’t. Indeed a disturbingly large minority of... Read More
Cass Sunstein, “Choosing Not to Choose: Understanding the Value of Choice” (Oxford UP, 2015)
The political tradition of liberalism tends to associate political liberty with the individual’s freedom of choice. The thought is that political freedom is intrinsically tied to the individual’s ability to select one’s own path in life – to choose one’s occupation, one’s values, one’s hobbies, one’s possessions, and so on... Read More
Nick Sousanis, “Unflattening” (Harvard UP, 2015)
Nick Sousanis‘s new book is a must-read for anyone interested in thinking or teaching about the relationships between text, image, visuality, and knowledge. Unflattening (Harvard University Press, 2015) uses the medium of comics to explore “flatness of sight” and help readers think and work beyond it by opening up new... Read More
Naomi S. Baron, “Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World” (Oxford UP, 2015)
Screens are ubiquitous. From the screen on a mobile, to that on a tablet, or laptop, or desktop computer, screens appear all around us, full of content both visual and text. But it is not necessarily the ubiquity of screens that has societal implications. The significance is in how screens... Read More
Thom van Dooren, “Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction” (Columbia UP, 2014)
Thom van Dooren‘s new book is an absolute must-read. (I was going to qualify that with a “…for anyone who…” and realized that it really needs no qualification.) Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction (Columbia University Press, 2014) is a beautifully written and evocative meditation on... Read More
Steven Shaviro, “The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism” (University of Minnesota Press, 2014)
Steven Shaviro‘s new book is a wonderfully engaging study of speculative realism, new materialism, and the ways in which those fields can speak to and be informed by the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. While The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism (University of Minnesota Press, 2014) will satisfy even... Read More
Daniel Cloud, “The Domestication of Language” (Columbia UP, 2014)
One of the most puzzling things about humans is their ability to manipulate symbols and create artifacts. Our nearest relatives in the animal kingdom–apes–have only the rudiments of these abilities: chimps don’t have language and, if they have culture, it’s extraordinarily primitive in comparison to the human form. What we... Read More