Welcome to the Library’s virtual New Book Shelf. Here we will present new titles for you to browse and check out. Titles listed here will be monographs published in the current year. If you see a title you would like to borrow, please click the link below the item and sign in with your Hawk ID and Password to request a loan.
Stanley Kubrick revolutionized Hollywood with movies like Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and A Clockwork Orange, and electrified audiences with The Shining and Full Metal Jacket. David Mikics takes listeners on a deep dive into Kubrick’s life and work, illustrating his intense commitment to each of his films.
Kubrick grew up in the Bronx, a doctor’s son. From a young age he was consumed by photography, chess, and, above all else, movies. He was a self-taught filmmaker and self-proclaimed outsider, and his films exist in a unique world of their own outside the Hollywood mainstream. Kubrick’s Jewishness played a crucial role in his idea of himself as outsider. Obsessed with rebellion against authority, war, and male violence, Kubrick was himself a calm, coolly masterful creator and a talkative, ever-curious polymath immersed in friends and family.
Drawing on interviews and new archival material, Mikics for the first time explores the personal side of Kubrick’s films.
Becoming George Orwell
Is George Orwell the most influential writer who ever lived? Yes, according to John Rodden’s provocative book about the transformation of a man into a myth. Rodden does not argue that Orwell was the most distinguished man of letters of the last century, nor even the leading novelist of his generation, let alone the greatest imaginative writer of English prose fiction. Yet his influence since his death at midcentury is incomparable. No writer has aroused so much controversy or contributed so many incessantly quoted words and phrases to our cultural lexicon, from “Big Brother” and “doublethink” to “thoughtcrime” and “Newspeak.” Becoming George Orwell is a pathbreaking tour de force that charts the astonishing passage of a litterateur into a legend.
Rodden presents the author of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four in a new light, exploring how the man and writer Orwell, born Eric Arthur Blair, came to be overshadowed by the spectral figure associated with nightmare visions of our possible futures.
Rodden opens with a discussion of the life and letters, chronicling Orwell’s eccentricities and emotional struggles, followed by an assessment of his chief literary achievements. The second half of the book examines the legend and legacy of Orwell, whom Rodden calls “England’s Prose Laureate”, addressing his influence on everything ranging from cyberwarfare to “fake news.” The closing chapters address both Orwell’s enduring relevance to burning contemporary issues and the multiple ironies of his popular reputation, showing how he and his work have become confused with the very dreads and diseases that he fought against throughout his life.
The Ethics of Engagement: Media, Conflict and Democracy in Africa
In Africa, the media plays a significant role in conflict management and resolution. Which conflicts the media report, which are ignored, and how conflicts are represented can have a profound impact on the outcomes. While the media can in some cases ensure the stability of African democracy, critics
have pointed out that in other cases, the media actually increases tensions in areas of conflict. The media tends to privilege only elite voices, offering superficial coverage of marginalized groups in a way that increases polarization.
In The Ethics of Engagement, Herman Wasserman explores the ethics of the media in conflicts that arise during transitions to democracy in Africa. He examines the roles, responsibilities, and obligations of media in contexts of high socioeconomic inequality. In doing so, he looks at ethnic and racial
polarization in the histories of colonialism, post-colonial authoritarianism, and hybrid regimes. Taking a critical view of the normative guidelines and professional identities of journalism inherited from contexts outside of Africa, he argues that a more reciprocal and collaborative approach is
needed. He develops a new ethics of engagement that would require the media to facilitate the resolution of conflicts across differences of ethnicity, citizenship, and class. A central point of this theory is the development of an “ethics of listening” which would enable the media to conceive of
their role as facilitators in democratic deliberation and community-building. Wasserman applies his ethics of listening to case studies across the African continent. He finds that by following this new model of conduct, the media may actually deepen democracy and help de-escalate conflict. This
original study provides a useful framework for reimaging the media’s role in transitional democracies in Africa–and across the globe.
Konstantin Stanislavsky (1863–1938) was one of the most innovative and influential directors of modern theatre and his system and related practices continue to be studied and used by actors, directors and students. Maria Shevtsova sheds new light on the extraordinary life of Stanislavsky, uncovering and translating Russian archival sources, rehearsal transcripts, production scores and plans. This comprehensive study rediscovers little-known areas of Stanislavsky’s new type of theatre and its immersion in the visual arts, dance and opera. It demonstrates the fundamental importance of his Russian Orthodoxy to the worldview that underpinned his integrated System and his goals for the six laboratory research studios that he established or mentored. Stanislavsky’s massive achievements are explored in the intricate and historically intertwined political, cultural and theatre contexts of Tsarist Russia, the 1917 Revolution, the volatile 1920s, and Stalin’s 1930s. Rediscovering Stanislavksy provides a completely fresh perspective on his work and legacy.
After toppling the Ming dynasty, the Qing conquerors forced Han Chinese males to adopt Manchu hairstyle and clothing. Yet China’s new rulers tolerated the use of traditional Chinese attire in performances, making theater one of the only areas of life where Han garments could still be seen and where Manchu rule could be contested.
Staging Personhood uncovers a hidden history of the Ming–Qing transition by exploring what it meant for the clothing of a deposed dynasty to survive onstage. Reading dramatic works against Qing sartorial regulations, Guojun Wang offers an interdisciplinary lens on the entanglements between Chinese drama and nascent Manchu rule in seventeenth-century China. He reveals not just how political and ethnic conflicts shaped theatrical costuming but also the ways costuming enabled different modes of identity negotiation during the dynastic transition. In case studies of theatrical texts and performances, Wang considers clothing and costumes as indices of changing ethnic and gender identities. He contends that theatrical costuming provided a productive way to reconnect bodies, clothes, and identities disrupted by political turmoil. Through careful attention to a variety of canonical and lesser-known plays, visual and performance records, and historical documents, Staging Personhood provides a pathbreaking perspective on the cultural dynamics of early Qing China.
British Enlightenment Theatre
In this ground-breaking work, Bridget Orr shows that popular eighteenth-century theatre was about much more than fashion, manners and party politics. Using the theatre as a means of circulating and publicizing radical Enlightenment ideas, many plays made passionate arguments for religious and cultural toleration, and voiced protests against imperial invasion and forced conversion of indigenous peoples by colonial Europeans. Irish and labouring-class dramatists wrote plays, often set in the countryside, attacking social and political hierarchy in Britain itself. Another crucial but as yet unexplored aspect of early eighteenth-century theatre is its connection to freemasonry. Freemasons were pervasive as actors, managers, prompters, scene-painters, dancers and musicians, with their own lodges, benefit performances and particular audiences. In addition to promoting the Enlightened agenda of toleration and cosmopolitanism, freemason dramatists invented the new genre of domestic tragedy, a genre that criticized the effects of commercial and colonial capitalism.
Maters at Work: Becoming a Teacher
Go behind the scenes and be mentored by the best in the business to find out what it’s really like, and what it really takes, to become a teacher. Educators are the bedrock of a healthy society, and the exceptional ones have a lasting impact. The best teachers surpass mere instruction to cultivate and empower students beyond school.
In LaQuisha Hall’s classroom, students are “scholars,” young ladies are “queens,” and young men are “kings.” The Baltimore high school English teacher’s pioneering approach to literacy has earned her teacher of the year accolades, and has established her as a visionary mentor to the young black men and women of Baltimore. Acclaimed education writer Melinda D. Anderson shadows Mrs. Hall to reveal how this rewarding profession changes lives. Learn about Hall’s path to prominence, from the challenging realities of her rookie year to her place of excellence in the classroom. Learn from Hall’s inspiring approach and confront the critical issues of race, identity, and equity in education. Here is how the job is performed at the highest level.
The Game, A Digital Turning Point
The Game analyzes our current cultural and social moment by examining just how it is that we got here. Year by year, innovation by innovation, the book recontextualizes our relationship with technology. Alessandro Baricco explores not only how massive technological leaps have changed our world, but how they modified human behavior, economics, and our relationship with our possessions and contemporaries. He focuses on how Space Invaders dramatically shifted how we view our interaction with digital and social space, how the dot-com bubble birthed the online venture capitalist, and how the advent of the algorithm permanently delegitimized the cultural and academic elite in a way we’ll grapple with for decades to come. Razor sharp and technically astute, this book-length essay also reverberates with humanity.
Under A White Sky
That man should have dominion “over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” is a prophecy that has hardened into fact. So pervasive are human impacts on the planet that it’s said we live in a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene.
The question we now face is: Can we change nature, this time in order to save it? Elizabeth Kolbert, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction, takes a hard look at the new world we are creating. Along the way, she meets scientists who are trying to preserve the world’s rarest fish, which lives in a single, tiny pool in the middle of the Mojave; engineers who are turning carbon emissions to stone in Iceland; Australian researchers who are trying to develop a “super coral” that can survive on a hotter globe; and physicists who are contemplating shooting tiny diamonds into the stratosphere to cool the earth.
One way to look at human civilization, says Kolbert, is as a 10,000-year exercise in defying nature. In The Sixth Extinction, she explored the ways in which our capacity for destruction has reshaped the natural world. Now she examines how the very sorts of interventions that have imperiled our planet are increasingly seen as the only hope for its salvation. By turns inspiring, terrifying, and darkly comic, Under a White Sky is an utterly original examination of the challenges we face.
Stories From Palestine
In Stories from Palestine: Narratives of Resilience, Marda Dunsky presents a vivid overview of contemporary Palestinian society in the venues envisioned for a future Palestinian state. Dunsky has interviewed women and men from cities, towns, villages, and refugee camps who are farmers, scientists, writers, cultural innovators, educators, and entrepreneurs. Using their own words, she illuminates their resourcefulness in navigating agriculture, education, and cultural pursuits in the West Bank; persisting in Jerusalem as a sizable minority in the city; and confronting the challenges and uncertainties of life in the Gaza Strip. Based on her in-depth personal interviews, the narratives weave in quantitative data and historical background from a range of primary and secondary sources that contextualize Palestinian life under occupation.
More than a collection of individual stories, Stories from Palestine presents a broad, crosscut view of the tremendous human potential of this particular society. Narratives that emphasize the human dignity of Palestinians pushing forward under extraordinary circumstances include those of an entrepreneur who markets the yields of Palestinian farmers determined to continue cultivating their land, even as the landscape is shrinking; a professor and medical doctor who aims to improve health in local Palestinian communities; and an award-winning primary school teacher who provides her pupils a safe and creative learning environment. In an era of conflict and divisiveness, Palestinian resilience is relatable to people around the world who seek to express themselves, to achieve, to excel, and to be free. Stories from Palestine creates a new space from which to consider Palestinians and peace.
The hero stands on stage in high-definition 3-D while doubled on a crude pixel screen in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Alien ships leave Earth by dissolving at the conclusion of Arrival. An illusory death spiral in Vertigo transitions abruptly to a studio set, jolting the spectator. These are a few of the startling visual moments that Garrett Stewart examines in Cinemachines, a compelling, powerful, and witty book about the cultural and mechanical apparatuses that underlie modern cinema.
Engaging in fresh ways with revelatory special effects in the history of cinematic storytelling—from Buster Keaton’s breaching of the film screen in Sherlock Jr. to the pixel disintegration of a remotely projected hologram in Blade Runner 2049—Stewart’s book puts unprecedented emphasis on technique in moving image narrative. Complicating and revising the discourse on historical screen processes, Cinemachines will be crucial reading for anyone interested in the evolution of the movies from a celluloid to a digital medium.
For centuries, scientists and society cast moral judgments on anyone deemed mentally ill, confining many to asylums. In Nobody’s Normal, anthropologist Roy Richard Grinker chronicles the progress and setbacks in the struggle against mental-illness stigma – from the 18th century, through America’s major wars, and into today’s high-tech economy.
Nobody’s Normal argues that stigma is a social process that can be explained through cultural history, a process that began the moment we defined mental illness, that we learn from within our communities, and that we ultimately have the power to change. Though the legacies of shame and secrecy are still with us today, Grinker writes that we are at the cusp of ending the marginalization of the mentally ill. In the 21st century, mental illnesses are fast becoming a more accepted and visible part of human diversity.
Grinker infuses the book with the personal history of his family’s four generations of involvement in psychiatry, including his grandfather’s analysis with Sigmund Freud, his own daughter’s experience with autism, and culminating in his research on neurodiversity. Drawing on cutting-edge science, historical archives, and cross-cultural research in Africa and Asia, Grinker takes listeners on an international journey to discover the origins of, and variances in, our cultural response to neurodiversity.
Urgent, eye-opening, and ultimately hopeful, Nobody’s Normal explains how we are transforming mental illness and offers a path to end the shadow of stigma.
The Mental Life of Modernism
At the beginning of the twentieth century, poetry, music, and painting all underwent a sea change. Poetry abandoned rhyme and meter; music ceased to be tonally centered; and painting no longer aimed at faithful representation. These artistic developments have been attributed to cultural factors ranging from the Industrial Revolution and the technical innovation of photography to Freudian psychoanalysis. In this book, Samuel Jay Keyser argues that the stylistic innovations of Western modernism reflect not a cultural shift but a cognitive one. Behind modernism is the same cognitive phenomenon that led to the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century: the brain coming up against its natural limitations.
Keyser argues that the transformation in poetry, music, and painting (the so-called sister arts) is the result of the abandonment of a natural aesthetic based on a set of rules shared between artist and audience, and that this is virtually the same cognitive shift that occurred when scientists abandoned the mechanical philosophy of the Galilean revolution. The cultural explanations for Modernism may still be relevant, but they are epiphenomenal rather than causal. Artists felt that traditional forms of art had been exhausted, and they began to resort to private formats―Easter eggs with hidden and often inaccessible meaning. Keyser proposes that when artists discarded their natural rule-governed aesthetic, it marked a cognitive shift; general intelligence took over from hardwired proclivity. Artists used a different part of the brain to create, and audiences were forced to play catch up.
The Swire Group, started by John Swire in 1816, had its beginnings as a modest Liverpool import-export company, focused mainly on the textile trade. John Swire’s sons, John Samuel (1825-1898) and William Hudson (1830-1884), took the firm overseas and it was John Samuel Swire in particular whose entrepreneurial instincts would be at the root of the firm’s successes in years to come.
In 1861, John Swire & Sons Limited began to trade with China. In 1866, in partnership with R.S. Butterfield, the firm of Butterfield & Swire was established in Shanghai. Four years later, a branch of Butterfield & Swire was opened in Hong Kong.
In 1953, four years after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, Butterfield & Swire closed all of its China offices. In 1974, Butterfield & Swire in Hong Kong was renamed John Swire & Sons (H.K.) Ltd. Today, Swire is a highly diversified group of companies–covering shipping, airlines (including Cathay Pacific), luxury hotels and agribusiness–and continues to operate out of Hong Kong, with a formal group HQ in London.