New Books Network

Richard Baxstrom and Todd Meyers, “Realizing the Witch: Science, Cinema, and the Mastery of the Invisible” (Fordham UP, 2015)
One of the most interesting, but largely overlooked silent films, is Haxan, written and directed by Benjamin Christensen. Using documentary methods as well as reenactments, he presented a study of witchcraft hysteria, particularly as it compared to post-World War I scientific and psychological studies. In their book, Realizing the Witch:... Read More
Andrew Causey, “Drawn to See: Drawing as Ethnographic Method” (U. Toronto Press, 2016)
In his new book Drawn to See: Drawing as an Ethnographic Method (University of Toronto Press, 2016) Andrew Causey argues that social science practitioners can cultivate new ways of experiencing the world through drawing. He has developed thirty-nine “etudes,” drawing exercises that challenge the reader to become a more rigorous... Read More
Yuval Harari, “Jewish Magic before the Rise of Kabbalah” (Wayne State UP, 2017)
Jewish Magic Before the Rise of Kabbalah (Wayne State University Press, 2017) opens new vistas not only on the history of the practice of magic throughout Jewish history, but on the variety and syncretistic depth of such practices. Its author is Yuval Harari, professor in the Department of Jewish Thought... Read More
Melissa Chakars, “The Socialist Way of Life in Siberia: Transformation in Buryatia” (Central European UP, 2014)
In The Socialist Way of Life in Siberia: Transformation in Buryatia (Central European University Press, 2014), Melissa Chakars reveals not only how Soviet policies disrupted traditional Buryat ways of life, but also how Buryats adapted to build a modern educated society in the post-war period. Ethnic Buryats were proportionally over-represented... Read More
Michaela DeSoucey, “Contested Tastes: Foie Gras and the Politics of Food” (Princeton UP, 2016)
A heritage food in France, and a high-priced obscurity in the United States. But in both countries, foie gras, the specially fattened liver of a duck or goose, has the power to stir a remarkable array of emotions and produce heated debates. Comparing the French and American producers and consumers... Read More
Kathleen McAuliffe, “This is Your Brain on Parasites: How Tiny Creatures Manipulate Our Behavior and Shape Society” (Mariner Books, 2017)
Kathleen McAuliffe‘s This is Your Brain on Parasites: How Tiny Creatures Manipulate Our Behavior and Shape Society (Mariner Books, 2017) unveils the world of parasites. From the influence of parasites on the ability to transform rats brains to be easily susceptible to cat predation to altering web formation structures in... Read More
Joan Maya Mazelis, “Surviving Poverty: Creating Sustainable Ties among the Poor” (NYU Press, 2017)
A number of recent events (the Great Recession, Occupy Wall Street, the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign) have brought inequality and poverty into national conversation. In an age of economic uncertainty and a declining social safety net, understanding the lives of people dealing with impoverished conditions has been a key task... Read More