New Books Network

Emilia Nielsen, “Disrupting Breast Cancer Narratives: Stories of Rage and Repair” (U Toronto Press, 2019)
In this interview, Prof. Emilia Nielsen discusses the problem of the usual breast cancer narrative. She says that the happy stories of breast cancer survivors are so common that any other types of narrative almost require an apology. Emilia Nielsen is an assistant professor of arts, medicine and healing at... Read More
Sarah Handley-Cousins, “Bodies in Blue: Disability in the Civil War North” (U Georgia Press, 2019)
All wars, in a practical sense, center on the destruction of the human body, and in Bodies in Blue: Disability in the Civil War North (University of Georgia Press, 2019), Sarah Handley-Cousins, a clinical assistant professor at the University at Buffalo, shows how disability was a necessary by-product of the... Read More
Lundy Braun, “Breathing Race into the Machine” (U Minnesota Press, 2014)
“We cannot get answers to questions we don’t ask.” Lundy Braun’s influential book, Breathing Race into the Machine: The Surprising Career of the Spirometer from Plantation to Genetics (University of Minnesota Press, 2014) documents the history and present-day use of an everyday medical instrument, the spirometer, which measures a person’s... Read More
Rosalind Fredericks, “Garbage Citizenship: Vital Infrastructures of Labor in Dakar, Senegal” (Duke UP, 2018)
They were throwing garbage in the streets. Rosalind Fredericks makes sense of the garbage-scape of Dakar, Senegal in the wake of the 2007 trash “revolts” against the city and country’s uneven and failing garbage infrastructure—and puts into readers’ senses the smelly, sticky, full-sensory politics of waste management in the Global... Read More
Stephen Le, “100 Million Years of Food: What Our Ancestors Ate and Why It Matters Today” (Picador, 2016)
There are few areas of modern life that are burdened by as much information and advice, often contradictory, as our diet and health: eat a lot of meat, eat no meat; whole-grains are healthy, whole-grains are a disaster; eat everything in moderation; eat only certain foods–and on and on. In... Read More
John P. Davis, “Russia in the Time of Cholera: Disease under Romanovs and Soviets” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018)
The idea of “backwardness” often plagues historical writing on Russia. In Russia in the Time of Cholera: Disease under Romanovs and Soviets (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), Dr. John P. Davis counteracts this “backwardness” paradigm, arguing that from the early 19th to the early 20th centuries, Russian medical researchers—along with their counterparts... Read More
Michael G. Vann, “The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empire, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam” (Oxford UP, 2018)
A funny thing happened to historian Michael Vann* on the way to his PhD thesis. While he was doing his research on French colonialism and the urbanist project in Hanoi, he came across an intriguing dossier: “Destruction of animals in the city”. The documents he found started him on a... Read More