New Books Network

Heather Kopelson, “Faithful Bodies: Performing Religion and Race in the Puritan Atlantic” (NYU Press, 2014)
Heather Miyano Kopelson explores how religion, primarily expressed through bodily action, contributed to colonial notions of difference in her recent book Faithful Bodies: Performing Religion and Race in the Puritan Atlantic (NYU Press, 2014). She examines the religious rituals of Taíno, Algonquian, and West African peoples in the New World,... Read More
Brian Epstein, “The Ant Trap: Rebuilding the Foundations of the Social Sciences” (Oxford UP, 2015)
The social sciences are about social entities – things like corporations and traffic jams, mobs and money, parents and war criminals. What is a social entity? What makes something a social entity? Traditional views hold that these things can be fully explained by facts about people – their bodies, their... Read More
Phillip Penix-Tadsen, “Cultural Code: Video Games and Latin America” (MIT Press, 2016)
Symbols have meanings that change depending upon the cultural context. But how do we discuss symbols, their meanings, and their cultural contexts without an adequate vocabulary? Phillip Penix-Tadsen, assistant professor of Spanish at the University of Delaware and author of the new book Cultural Code: Video Games and Latin America (MIT Press,... Read More
Krista A. Thompson, “Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice” (Duke UP, 2015)
Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice (Duke University Press, 2015) is a gorgeous book. It’s about light and the practices of self representation in diasporic and Caribbean communities. Krista A. Thompson looks carefully and sees in the glittery surfaces of contemporary art, photographic and video... Read More
Deirdre de la Cruz, “Mother Figured: Marian Apparitions and the Making of a Filipino Universal” (U of Chicago Press, 2015)
There is no female religious figure so widely known and revered as the Virgin Mary. Filipino Catholics are especially drawn to Mama Mary and have a strong belief in her power, including her ability to appear to her followers. In Mother Figured: Marian Apparitions and the Making of a Filipino... Read More
Christopher Bondy, “Voice, Silence, and Self: Negotiations of Buraku Identity in Contemporary Japan” (Harvard Asia Center, 2015)
“You are a member of a minority group but do not know it. How is this possible?” Christopher Bondy’s new book explores this question in a study of the making of burakumin identity in the schools and communities of young people in modern Japan. Voice, Silence, and Self: Negotiations of... Read More
Agnieszka Joniak-Luthi, “The Han: China’s Diverse Majority” (U of Washington Press, 2015)
Agnieszka Joniak-Luthi‘s new book opens with a series of questions that animate the study. They include but are not limited to: What does being Han mean to those classified as Hanzu? What are the narratives of Han-ness today? What other collective identities matter to the Hanzu? What are their roles... Read More