New Books Network

David Ambaras, “Japan’s Imperial Underworlds: Intimate Encounters at the Borders of Empire” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
Through a series of provocative case studies on mobility, transgression, and intimacy, David Ambaras’s Japan’s Imperial Underworlds: Intimate Encounters at the Borders of Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2018) interrogates the spatial and ideological formations of modern Japan in its first seven decades or so as a nation-state and empire, especially... Read More
Sheetal Chhabria, “Making the Modern Slum: The Power of Capital in Colonial Bombay” (U Washington Press, 2019)
In the 1870s, as colonial India witnessed some of the worst famines in its history where 6-10 million perished, observers watched in astonishment as famished people set out for the city of Bombay on foot in human caravans thousands of people long. Recently, images of a similar scale of deprivation... Read More
Alex Jeffrey, “The Edge of Law: Legal Geographies of a War Crimes Court” (Cambridge UP, 2020)
What happens when a court tries to become a “new” court? What happens to the many artifacts of its history—previous laws and jurisprudence, the building that it inhabits, the people who weave in and out of it? This is the question that grounds Alex Jeffrey’s new book, The Edge of... Read More
Jacob Blanc, “Before the Flood: The Itaipu Dam and the Visibility of Rural Brazil” (Duke UP, 2019)
Jacob Blanc’s Before the Flood: The Itaipu Dam and the Visibility of Rural Brazil (Duke University Press, 2019) tells the story of the the Itaipu dam, a massive hydroelectric complex built on the Brazil-Paraguay border in the 1970s and 1980s. The book is structurally and conceptually ambitious, but so readable... Read More
Maura Finkelstein, “The Archive of Loss: Lively Ruination in Mill Land Mumbai” (Duke UP, 2019)
Mumbai’s textile industry is commonly but incorrectly understood to be an extinct relic of the past. In The Archive of Loss: Lively Ruination in Mill Land Mumbai (Duke University Press, 2019), Maura Finkelstein examines what it means for textile mill workers—who are assumed not to exist—to live and work during... Read More
Steven Seegel, “Map Men: Transnational Lives and Deaths of Geographers in the Making of East Central Europe” (U Chicago Press, 2018)
Steven Seegel’s Map Men: Transnational Lives and Deaths of Geographers in the Making of East Central Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2018) is an insightful contribution to the history of map making which is written through and by individual geographers/cartographers/map men. The book focuses primarily on four countries: Germany, Hungary,... Read More
Jessie Labov, “Transatlantic Central Europe: Contesting Geography and Redefining Culture beyond the Nation” (Central European UP, 2019)
While there are still occasional uses of it today, the term “Central Europe” carries little of the charge that it did in the 1980s and early 1990s, and as a political and intellectual project it has receded from the horizon. Proponents of a distinct cultural profile of these countries―all involved... Read More
Diane Jones Allen, “Lost in the Transit Desert: Race, Transit Access, and Suburban Form” (Routledge, 2017)
Increased redevelopment, the dismantling of public housing, and increasing housing costs are forcing a shift in migration of lower income and transit dependent populations to the suburbs. These suburbs are often missing basic transportation, and strategies to address this are lacking. This absence of public transit creates barriers to viable... Read More
Nancy P. Appelbaum, “Mapping the Country of Regions: The Chorographic Commission of Nineteenth-Century Colombia” (UNC Press, 2016)
In the mid-nineteenth century, the Chorographic Commission of Colombia, an ambitious geographical expedition, set out to define and map a nascent and still unstable republic. The commission’s purpose was to survey the land, its resources and people, and portray Colombia as a nation prone to the “wonders” of modernization. In... Read More
Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins, “Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine” (Stanford UP, 2019)
Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2019) is an ethnography of Palestinian life under occupation that takes waste infrastructures as a starting point for exploring how Palestinians deal with toxicity and uncertainty, how governance happens under conditions of uncertainty, and how everyday goods circulate in... Read More