New Books Network

Julie Billaud, “Kabul Carnival: Gender Politics in Postwar Afghanistan” (U of Pennsylvania Press, 2015)
Kabul Carnival: Gender Politics in Postwar Afghanistan (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015) by Julie Billaud is a fascinating account of women and the state and ongoing ‘reconstruction’ projects in post-war Afghanistan. The book moves through places such as gender empowerment training programmes and women’s dormitories, and analyses such topics as... Read More
Kevin O’Neill, “Secure the Soul: Christian Piety and Gang Prevention in Guatemala” (U of California Press, 2015)
Kevin O’Neill‘s fascinating book Secure the Soul: Christian Piety and Gang Prevention in Guatemala (University of California Press, 2015) traces the efforts of multi-million dollar programs aimed at state security through gang prevention in Guatemala. O’Neill is most interested in the ways that Christianity and ideas about piety, salvation, redemption,... Read More
Joseph Webster, “The Anthropology of Protestantism: Faith and Crisis among Scottish Fishermen” (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013)
In The Anthropology of Protestantism:Faith and Crisis among Scottish Fishermen (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), anthropologist Joseph Webster takes readers deep into the lives of fishermen in Gamrie, a village perched above the sea in northeastern Scotland. It’s a place of great wealth and also poverty, a place of staunch Protestantism among... Read More
Todd Meyers, “The Clinic and Elsewhere: Addiction, Adolescents, and the Afterlife of Therapy” (U of Washington Press, 2013)
Todd Meyers‘ The Clinic and Elsewhere: Addiction, Adolescents, and the Afterlife of Therapy (University of Washington Press, 2013) is many things, all of them compelling and fully realized. Most directly, the book is an ethnography of drug dependence and treatment among adolescents in Baltimore between 2005-2008. Meyers traces twelve people... Read More
Nicholas B. Dirks, “Autobiography of an Archive : A Scholar’s Passage to India” (Columbia UP, 2015)
Nicholas B. Dirks‘ Autobiography of an Archive: A Scholar’s Passage to India (Columbia University Press, 2015) is a wonderful collection of essays, loosely arranged along the line’s of the author’s scholarly life. The chapters touch upon themes such as empire and the politics of knowledge, as well as the experience... Read More
Eben Kirksey, “The Multispecies Salon” (Duke University Press, 2014)
Eben Kirksey‘s wonderful new volume is an inspiring introduction to a kind of multispecies ethnography where artists, anthropologists, and others collaborate to create objects and experiences of great thoughtfulness and beauty. Growing out of a traveling art exhibit of the same name, The Multispecies Salon (Duke University Press, 2014) curates... Read More
Ritu G. Khanduri, “Caricaturing Culture in India: Cartoons and History in the Modern World” (Cambridge UP, 2014)
Caricaturing Culture in India: Cartoons and History in the Modern World (Cambridge University Press, 2014) is a wonderful piece of visual anthropology by Ritu Gairola Khanduri, which uses the history of cartoons, from colonial to current times, to talk about various aspects of Indian society from the state, to political... Read More
Peter Gottschalk, “Religion, Science, and Empire: Classifying Hinduism and Islam in British India” (Oxford UP, 2012)
When did religion begin in South Asia? Many would argue that it was not until the colonial encounter that South Asians began to understand themselves as religious. In Religion, Science, and Empire: Classifying Hinduism and Islam in British India (Oxford University Press, 2012), Peter Gottschalk, Professor of Religion at Wesleyan... Read More
Jie Li, “Shanghai Homes: Palimpsests of Private Life” (Columbia UP, 2015)
What’s not to love about Jie Li‘s new book? Shanghai Homes: Palimpsests of Private Life (Columbia University Press, 2015) explores the history and culture of Shanghai alleyway homes by focusing on two physical spaces, both built in the early twentieth century by Japanese and British companies, and both located in... Read More
Abdelwahab El-Affendi, “Genocidal Nightmares” (Bloomsbury, 2014)
Genocide studies is one of the few academic fields with which I’m acquainted which is truly interdisciplinary in approach and composition. Today’s guest Abdelwahab El-Affendi, and the book he has edited, Genocidal Nightmares: Narratives of Insecurity and the Logic of Mass Atrocities (Bloomsbury Academic 2014), is an excellent example of... Read More