New Books Network

Maile Arvin, “Possessing Polynesians: The Science of Settler Colonial Whiteness in Hawai‘i and Oceania” (Duke UP, 2020)
From their earliest encounters with Indigenous Pacific Islanders, white Europeans and Americans saw Polynesians as almost racially white, and speculated that they were of Mediterranean or Aryan descent. In Possessing Polynesians: The Science of Settler Colonial Whiteness in Hawai‘i and Oceania (Duke University Press, 2020) Maile Arvin argues that a... Read More
Nadia Eghbal, “Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software” (Stripe Press, 2020)
Open source is the once-radical idea that code should be freely available to everyone. Open-source software was once an optimistic model for public collaboration, but is now a near-universal standard. But most open-source code is not developed by big teams or equitable collaborations; it’s maintained by unseen individuals who work... Read More
Jill A. Fisher, “Adverse Events: Race, Inequality, and the Testing of New Pharmaceuticals” (NYU Press, 2020)
Imagine that you volunteer for the clinical trial of an experimental drug. The only direct benefit of participating is that you will receive up to $5,175. You must spend twenty nights literally locked in a research facility. You will be told what to eat, when to eat, and when to... Read More
Jennifer Atkins, “New Orleans Carnival Balls: The Secret Side of Mardi Gras, 1870-1920” (LSU Press, 2017)
In New Orleans Carnival Balls: The Secret Side of Mardi Gras, 1870-1920 (LSU Press, 2017), Dr. Jennifer Atkins draws back the curtain on the origin of the exclusive Mardi Gras balls, bringing to light unique traditions unseen by outsiders. The oldest Carnival organizations emerged in the mid-nineteenth century and ruled... Read More
Mathangi Krishnamurthy, “1-800-Worlds: The Making of the Indian Call Center Economy” (Oxford UP, 2018)
1-800-Worlds: The Making of the Indian Call Center Economy (Oxford University Press, 2018) chronicles the labour practices, life-worlds, and media atmospheres of Indian call centre workers, and locates them within the socio-political context of the new Indian middle classes. Through a thick description of the nightly and daily routines of... Read More
Charles Piot, “The Fixer: Visa Lottery Chronicles” (Duke UP, 2019)
In the West African nation of Togo, applying for the U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery is a national obsession, with hundreds of thousands of Togolese entering each year. From the street frenzy of the lottery sign-up period and the scramble to raise money for the embassy interview to the gamesmanship of those... Read More
David Tavárez, “Words and Worlds Turned Around: Indigenous Christianities in Colonial Latin America” (U Colorado Press, 2017)
Professor David Tavárez’s edited volume, Words & Worlds Turned Around: Indigenous Christianities in Colonial Latin America (University of Colorado Press, 2017), is a collection of eleven essays from historians and anthropologists grappling with the big questions of the Christianization of Mexico after the Spanish Conquest and using sources in several... Read More
Leah Zani, “Bomb Children: Life in the Former Battlefields of Laos” (Duke UP, 2019)
In this episode, I talk with Dr. Leah Zani, a public anthropologist and poet based in California, about her truly wonderful book Bomb Children: Life in the Former Battlefields of Laos (Duke University Press, 2019). Her research takes place half a century after the CIA’s Secret War in Laos –... Read More
Kathleen Klaus, “Political Violence in Kenya: Land, Elections, and Claim-Making” (Cambridge UP, 2020)
Kathleen Klaus, Assistant Professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco has written a terrific book, Political Violence in Kenya: Land, Elections, and Claim-Making published in 2020 by Cambridge University Press.  Kathleen’s book is richly researched and beautifully written. She draws on 15 months of survey and interview methods... Read More