New Books Network

Jules Evans, “The Art of Losing Control: A Philosopher’s Search for Ecstatic Experience” (Canongate Books, 2017)
People have always sought ecstatic experiences – moments where they go beyond their ordinary self and feel connected to something greater than them. Such moments are fundamental to human flourishing, but they can also be dangerous. Beginning around the Enlightenment, western intellectual culture has written off ecstasy as ignorance or... Read More
Ira Helderman, “Prescribing the Dharma: Psychotherapists, Buddhist Traditions, and Defining Religion” (UNC Press, 2019)
In today’s podcast, I speak with Ira Helderman about his newly published book, Prescribing the Dharma: Psychotherapists, Buddhist Traditions, and Defining Religion (University of North Carolina Press, 2019) which surveys the diversity of Buddhist practices used in psychotherapy today. Ira shows that psychotherapists’ approaches to Buddhist traditions are moulded by... Read More
Jamieson Webster, “Conversion Disorder: Listening to the Body in Psychoanalysis” (Columbia UP, 2019)
Entering into psychoanalysis takes courage, for patients and analysts alike. When it does what it’s supposed to do, it changes one’s relationship to the bigger questions in life—transforming a search for answers into an embrace of the unknown. But such transformation requires a change in how one thinks about knowledge... Read More
Amit Pinchevski, “Transmitted Wounds: Media and the Mediation of Trauma” (Oxford UP, 2019)
What does it mean to consider trauma and media from the perspective of technology and not from that of the subject of trauma, the clinician or the witness? In Transmitted Wounds: Media and the Mediation of Trauma (Oxford University Press, 2019), Amit Pinchevski carries out this thought experiment to great effect.... Read More
Elizabeth Schechter, “Self-Consciousness and Split Brains: The Mind’s I” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Human brains have two hemispheres whose major connection is the corpus callosum, which enables information to be shared between the hemispheres. Split-brain subjects are people whose corpus callosum has been surgically cut to alleviate epilepsy. This and other similar operations or conditions yield an odd phenomenon in which the patient... Read More
Emily Baum, “The Invention of Madness: State, Society, and the Insane in Modern China” (U Chicago Press, 2018)
Emily Baum’s The Invention of Madness: State, Society, and the Insane in Modern China, published by the University of Chicago Press in 2018 as part of the Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute book series, is a genealogy of “psychiatric modernity,” of the invention and reinvention of modern mental... Read More