New Books Network

John Tresch, “The Romantic Machine: Utopian Science and Technology after Napoleon”  (University of Chicago Press, 2012)
John Tresch‘s beautiful new book charts a series of transformations that collectively ushered in a new cosmology in the Paris of the early-mid nineteenth century. The Romantic Machine: Utopian Science and Technology after Napoleon (University of Chicago Press, 2012) narrates the emergence of a new image of the machine, a... Read More
John Protevi, “Life, War, Earth: Deleuze and the Sciences” (University of Minnesota Press, 2013)
Right now, humanists across very different disciplinary fields are trying to create the kinds of cross-disciplinary conversations that might open up new ways to conceptualize and ask questions of our objects of study. John Protevi‘s new book offers a wonderfully stimulating conceptual toolbox for doing just that. Life, War, Earth:... Read More
Alice Conklin, “In the Museum of Man: Race, Anthropology, and Empire in France, 1850-1950” (Cornell UP, 2013)
Host Jonathan Judaken and author Alice Conklin discuss the thorny relationship between science, society, and empire at the high water mark of French imperialism and European fascism, as well as this neglected chapter in the international history of the human sciences. In Memphis, and in America generally, we remain haunted by... Read More
Noah Shusterman, “The French Revolution: Faith, Desire, and Politics” (Routledge, 2013)
This year marks the 225th anniversary of the outbreak of the French Revolution. You don’t have to be a historian to know and appreciate how significant that revolution is to our understanding of French society and culture since the eighteenth century. Noah Shusterman‘s new book, The French Revolution: Faith, Desire,... Read More
Mary Terrall, “Catching Nature in the Act” (University of Chicago Press, 2014)
Mary Terrall‘s new book is a beautifully-written, carefully-researched, and compellingly-argued account of the practices of natural history in the eighteenth-century francophone world. Catching Nature in the Act: Reaumur and the Practice of Natural History in the Eighteenth Century (University of Chicago Press, 2014) explores this world via the work of... Read More
Clare Haru Crowston, “Credit, Fashion, Sex: Economies of Regard in Old Regime France”
Anyone who’s been paying attention to the flurry around the French economist Thomas Piketty’s 2013 Capitalism in the Twenty-first Century (Le Capital au XXIe siecle) knows how a la mode the economy is at the moment. Contemporary ideas and debates about capital, debt, and austerity are only part of what... Read More
Miranda Spieler, “Empire and Underworld: Captivity in French Guiana” (Harvard University Press, 2012)
In Empire and Underworld: Captivity in French Guiana (Harvard University Press, 2012), historian Miranda Spieler tells of the transformation of a slave plantation colony into a destination for metropolitan convicts in the eight decades following the French Revolution. Unlike the better-known case of British Australia, French Guiana failed to turn... Read More