New Books Network

Sumit K. Mandal, “Becoming Arab: Creole Histories and Modern Identity in the Malay World” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
In the wake of the so-called war on terror we’ve become accustomed to racialized portrayals of the Arab as an inflexible and threatening other to the mores and ways of the non-Arab world. Although these portrayals are new in their historical contingencies and sociological particulars, the manner in which Arabs... Read More
Jerome Whitington, “Anthropogenic Rivers: The Production of Uncertainty in Lao Hydropower” (Cornell UP, 2019)
Jerome Whitington‘s Anthropogenic Rivers: The Production of Uncertainty in Lao Hydropower (Cornell University Press, 2019) examines the dynamics and discourses centered around the development of hydropower dams in the Mekong River Basin. Through deep and connected ethnographies, the book traces how such projects create ecologically uncertain environments and the surprising... Read More
Sher Banu Khan, “Sovereign Women in a Muslim Kingdom: The Sultanahs of Aceh, 1641-1699” (Cornell UP, 2018)
In her book, Sovereign Women in a Muslim Kingdom: The Sultanahs of Aceh, 1641-1699 (Cornell University Press, 2018), Sher Banu Khan provides a rare and empirically rich view of queenship in early modern maritime Southeast Asia. Four women ruled the Muslim realm of Aceh in succession during the second half... Read More
Christopher J. Shepherd, “Haunted Houses and Ghostly Encounters: Ethnography and Animism in East Timor, 1860-1975” (NIAS Press, 2019)
Anyone who tries to understand the history, religion, and especially the “culture” of Southeast Asia, will soon encounter the phenomenon of animism, the belief that landscapes, natural objects, trees and plants, animals, and deceased ancestors, possess spirits that influence the human world. Yet “animism” is a Western analytical category, coined... Read More
Timothy Barnard, “Imperial Creatures: Humans and Other Animals in Colonial Singapore, 1819-1942” (NUS Press, 2019)
In Imperial Creature: Humans and Other Animals in Colonial Singapore, 1819-1942 (National University of Singapore Press, 2019), Timothy Barnard explores the more-than-human entanglements between empires and the creatures they govern. What is the relationship between the subjugation of human communities and that of animals? How did various interactions with animals... Read More
Howard Jones, “My Lai: Vietnam, 1968, and the Descent into Darkness” (Oxford UP, 2017)
In his book My Lai: Vietnam, 1968, and the Descent into Darkness (Oxford UP, 2017), Dr. Howard Jones describes how on March 16th, 1968, several units of American soldiers descended upon a collection of small villages in Central Vietnam, now collectively known as My Lai. In the space of a... Read More
Ivan V. Small, “Currencies of Imagination: Channeling Money and Chasing Mobility in Vietnam” (Cornell UP, 2018)
Overseas Vietnamese are estimated to remit 15 billion dollars annually to family that remains in Vietnam. Ivan V. Small moves beyond the numbers to examine how remittances affect sociality and human relations in his book Currencies of Imagination: Channeling Money and Chasing Mobility in Vietnam (Cornell University Press, 2018). Although... Read More