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Archive for August, 2013

Friday, August 30th, 2013

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments.

Wednesday, August 28th, marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, a pivotal event in the Civil Rights Movement in the US highlighted by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Naturally, there were many excellent blog posts written on the March this week in honor of the occasion. From the Square, the NYU Press blog, has been running a series of posts on the March all week, and Cynthia Taylor’s post on the oft-forgotten strategic planners of the March, A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin is especially fascinating in light of the constant media focus on Dr. King. The Harvard University Press Blog has an excerpt from Johnathan Rieder’s The Word of the Lord is Upon Me that discusses the brilliance of Dr. King’s speech in directing an “intimate black voice” at white Americans. The OUPblog has a post collecting images from the March and quotes about the events and impact of what happened in Washington DC that day. And, finally, the Penn Press Log has an excerpt from from Thomas F. Jackson’s examination of the media reaction to the March in 1963 (“Journalists most consistently reported the violence that did not happen”).

On a more modern note, this week the Princeton University Press Blog continued its excellent series on the “moral and political issues surrounding Edward Snowden and the NSA leaks.” Rahul Sagar and Gabriella Coleman each have new articles responding to points raised in the debate.

The US is considering intervening in the situation in Syria (CUP authors have offered words of caution), and in the interest of providing a full background of the ongoing uprising the University of Minnesota Press Blog has provided an excerpt from Paulo Gabriel Hilu Pinto’s essay “Syria,” which appears in Dispatches from the Arab Spring, and which shows the deep roots of the conflict.
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Friday, August 30th, 2013

An Interview with Adam Arvidsson and Nicolai Peitersen

The Ethical Economy

As we continue our week-long feature of The Ethical Economy: Rebuilding Value After the Crisis, by Adam Arvidsson and Nicolai Peitersen, we look to the authors’ interview with Zoe Romano at Digicult as they discuss the ideas of productive publics, economy reputation, and their joint role in the plausible shift toward an Ethical Economy.

Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a FREE copy of The Ethical Economy!

Ethical Economy. The New Distribution of Value

Zoe Romano: How do you see ethical phenomena like the signal of the emergence of a new way of production (what you call ‘Ethical Economy’) in addition to the emergence of a market niche, a term often used and abused to clean up the image of a company? Are we really facing a substantial change?

Adam Arvidsson & Nicolai Peitersen: The reason why these phenomena do not represent only a market niche is because they are companies’ and brands’ rational response to a deeper structural change. This deep transformation is made of two main elements: On one hand there is the rise of what we call “the productive publics,” and on the other hand the growing of the economy reputation.
In the book we show how the “productive publics” are becoming increasingly important for the organization of both the immaterial and the material. The “productive publics” identify collaborative networks of strangers who interact in a highly mediatic way (which often doesn’t need the use of informatic networks or social media) and who coordinate their interactions through sharing a common set of values. By coordinating production in such a way, the productive publics are different from markets and bureaucracies, not only because they allow one to consider as good reasons a wider range of issues, but also because they tend to be highly independent in conferring a value to the productive contribution of their members. In the book, we suggest that the productive publics are becoming increasingly influential in the information economy, not only in alternative circuits like Free Software, but also within the corporate economy itself, especially around the immaterial assets that in some sectors reach two thirds of the market value. As a result, there is recent growing emphasis on ethics and social responsibility in corporations which can be understood as an attempt to accommodate the orders of worth promoted by the productive publics.
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Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Marc Lynch and Erica Chenoweth on U.S. Military Intervention in Syria

“But Obama has actually learned the real lessons of Iraq, the risks and costs, to America and to the world, of poorly conceived interventions abroad that never go quite as promised.”—Marc Lynch on possible U.S. military intervention in Syria

As talk about military intervention in Syria intensifies, Marc Lynch, author of Voices of the New Arab Public: Iraq, al-Jazeera, and Middle East Politics Today and Erica Chenoweth, author of Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict offer words of caution about U.S. involvement.

In his article for Foreign Policy, Restraining Order, Lynch argues that Obama’s caution about military intervention in Syria reflects his understanding of the lessons of Iraq. Unlike some of his opponents who have faulted Obama for showing a lack of leadership, the President realizes that poorly conceived interventions, even those limited in scope, rarely go as planned and, more often than not, lead the United States into a wider conflict it cannot easily extricate itself from. Lynch writes:

Obama is routinely lambasted for a failure to lead on Syria. In fact, he has been leading … just not in the direction his critics would like to go. Washington remains wired for war, always eager to talk itself into another battle in the same basic ways: invocations of leadership, warnings of lost credibility, stark sketches based on worst-case scenarios of inaction and the best case scenarios for low-cost, high-reward action. Most presidents — including a John McCain, Hillary Clinton, or Mitt Romney — would likely have long ago leapt to play the assigned role; the United States would already be hip deep in the Syrian civil war. But Obama has actually learned the real lessons of Iraq, the risks and costs, to America and to the world, of poorly conceived interventions abroad that never go quite as promised.

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Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Adam Arvidsson: Can Capitalism Evolve? (Part 2)

The Ethical Economy

This week our featured book is The Ethical Economy: Rebuilding Value After the Crisis, by Adam Arvidsson and Nicolai Peitersen. Today, we have the second half of an essay by Adam Arvidsson: “Ethical Economy: Can Capitalism Evolve?” In his essay, Arvidsson discusses how the information age is changing current models of corporate capitalism and looks to the future to predict how those changes will play out. You can find the first half of the essay here.

Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a FREE copy of The Ethical Economy!

Ethical Economy: Can Capitalism Evolve? (Part 2)
Adam Arvidsson

Value
But values matter in an even more fundamental way. Financial valuations of companies at two to three times their book value are supported by so called ‘intangible assets’, chiefly brands, but also more esoteric things like ‘knowledge capital’ or ‘social capital.’ The problem is that nobody knows how to evaluate such intangible assets, or rather, there are as many methods as there are operators in the intangible-assets-valuation business. The Apple brand, for example, was evaluated at $150 billion by brand evaluation company Brand Z in 2012, while the market leader Interbrand valued it at $30 billion. But what are intangible assets? Some of them are probably cover-ups for speculation. But that aside, they are essentially estimations of a company’s ability to draw value from its use of common resources. The Apple brand reflects the fact that the Apple corporation is able to create cooler and more innovative products than, say, Samsung, while relying on the same suppliers, the same patents, and similar technical solutions. Louis Vuitton is not the only company around able to make high quality bags. But its brand is so highly valued because it is able to provide high quality bags that enable people to feel beautiful and elegant in ways that appeal across the world. Today the valuation of brands and other intangible assets are based on companies’ reputations for such excellence in the use of common resources. ‘Reputation’ in this sense refers to the opinion and hearsay among a small community of market analysts and experts (in some cases supported by a more participatory social media-based opinion). It looks a bit like 19th century monetary politics before the gold standard, where a small community of rich bankers came together to set interest rates and the price of money more generally, without there being any possibility for popular participation in the business. This way members of productive publics who continuously create the values that guide their own productive co-operation are excluded from the more important overall financial evaluations of what they produce. This is irrational in many ways. First, because it tends to perpetuate the ‘value crisis’ that now grows within corporations as well as in society more generally, creating a widespread perception, not only among the radical fringes but also within the core of knowledge of the working middle class, that corporations are not in the business of catering to what they really need and value. Second, because the absence of a wider participation in the opinion and reputation economy in which the values of intangible assets are set makes these evaluations unstable, incoherent, and insecure, thus providing an additional source of systemic risk and market volatility. Third, and perhaps most importantly, in this way ever more popular demand for really valuable products and innovation, that is, the kind of products and solutions that can help us transit to a more sustainable economic system, have no effect on the financial markets in which crucial decisions about the allocation of resources are made. This is a problem for corporations too. Most people who work in big corporations want to do something meaningful and constructive with their life; they want to feel that their professional activity is coherent with the overall values that they nourish. They want to do good. And intelligent corporations understand that they need to begin to cater to real use values, to acquire real social usefulness, if they want to survive the chaotic next century marked by resource scarcity and global warming. But as long as a company’s ability to do good is not reflected in the standards that reflect its economic performance, it is very difficult for this desire to have any serious practical consequences at the level of actions.
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Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Adam Arvidsson: Can Capitalism Evolve? (Part 1)

The Ethical Economy

This week our featured book is The Ethical Economy: Rebuilding Value After the Crisis, by Adam Arvidsson and Nicolai Peitersen. Today, we have the first half of an essay by Adam Arvidsson: “Ethical Economy: Can Capitalism Evolve?” In his essay, Arvidsson discusses how the information age is changing current models of corporate capitalism and looks to the future to predict how those changes will play out.

Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a FREE copy of The Ethical Economy!

Ethical Economy: Can Capitalism Evolve?
Adam Arvidsson

In the last century, capitalism could generate growth and prosperity by expanding consumer markets. Now that model has exhausted itself in various ways. In the West, popular prosperity as steady and secure employment have become a thing of the past. This happened to blue collar jobs in the 1990s and it is happening to white collar jobs now as the AI revolution kicks in. As a result, support for capitalism will continue to decline, even among the middle classes. And while the promise of capitalism might still seem attractive in rapidly growing economies like China, the present paradigm of consumerist growth is unsustainable, even in the not-so-long term, as climate change and resource scarcity are creating serious bottle necks. At an even more fundamental level, the corporate model is losing its social relevance. The business of actually making and selling stuff that meets people’s needs only accounts for a small part of the value added by the corporate economy, with most large companies making their money on financial markets. Worse, innovation seems to be slipping out of corporate control, even as companies pump unprecedented amounts of cash into R&D. We are likely to see a growing distance between an ever more financialized and self-referential economy, where ‘intangible’ values are tossed around while people actually need useful and innovative products. This gap will become particularly evident as the imminent ecological crisis will create a demand for radically innovative products: not just a new iPhone, but workable solutions to food, energy, and water scarcity. Capitalism will look ever more like the French monarchy in the 18th century, increasingly distant from the real needs of the people, offering the proverbial cakes in lieu of bread. Something similar is already happening as mistrust in big corporations is growing, despite soaring spending on goodwill and corporate social responsibility.
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Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Atlas by Dung Kai-cheung wins Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Award

“It is the task of literature to make visible the invisible.”—Dung Kai-cheung

Atlas: Archaeology of an Imaginary City, Dung Kai-cheung
We don’t publish a lot of science fiction, so we hope you will indulge us in our excitement in announcing the news of Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City, by Dung Kai-cheung (translated from the Chinese by Anders Hansson, Bonnie S. McDougall, and the author), winning the Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Award.

In praising the book jurist Alexis Brooks wrote, “Dung Kai-cheung’s amazingly yearning creation of short chapters toys with conceptions of place and being, with feeling and mythmaking, centered in the fictional story of one of the most painfully politicized cities still in existence in the world.”

While Kathryn Morrow, co-chair of the competition, praised the translation: “A masterwork on the nature of translation itself. The prose is beautifully rendered into English, and the author’s essential subject is the process by which myth, legend, and fact translate themselves into human cultural artifacts.”

For more on the book here is an excerpt from the book’s preface:

There are enough fictitious Hong Kongs circulating around the world. It doesn’t matter so much how real or false these fictions are but how they are made up. The Hong Kong of Tai-Pan and Suzie Wong, a mixture of economic adventures, political intrigues, sexual encounters, and romances; the Hong Kong of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li kung fu fighting their way through to the international scene; the Hong Kong of John Woo’s gangster heroes shooting doublehanded and Stephen Chow’s underdog antiheroes making nonsensical jokes. And yet, in spite of these eye-catching exposures, Hong Kong remains invisible. A large part of the reality of life here is unrepresented, unrevealed, and ignored. Hong Kong’s martial arts fiction, commercial movies, and pop songs are successful in East Asia and even farther abroad, but for all the talents, insights, and creativity of its writers, Hong Kong literature attracts minimal attention—not just internationally but even in mainland China. I am not claiming that literature represents a Hong Kong more real than the movies, but it has its unique role and methods and thus yields different meanings. It is not just a different way of world-representing but also a different way of world-building, that is, creating conditions for understanding, molding, preserving, and changing the world that we live in.

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Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Excerpt: Preface from The Ethical Economy

The Ethical Economy

This week our featured book is The Ethical Economy: Rebuilding Value After the Crisis, by Adam Arvidsson and Nicolai Peitersen. Today, we have an excerpt from the preface to The Ethical Economy, in which the authors discuss the central question of their book: “can the ethical turn that we are presently witnessing among corporations, consumers, investors, employees, activists, and other stakeholders – their desire to address a number of concerns beyond the profit motive – become a basis for a new “social contract” in which the interests of business and the interests of society can coincide? In other words, can there be such a thing as an ethical economy?”

Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a FREE copy of The Ethical Economy!

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

New Book Tuesday!: Negri on Spinoza and More New Titles

Spinoza for Our Time, Antonio NegriSpinoza for Our Time: Politics and Postmodernity
Antonio Negri

Encountering Religion: Responsibility and Criticism After Secularism
Tyler Roberts

Interracial Couples, Intimacy, and Therapy: Crossing Racial Borders
Kyle D. Killian

The Cinema of Raúl Ruiz: Impossible Cartographies
Michael Goddard

Hitchcock Annual: Volume 18
Edited by Sidney Gottlieb and Richard Allen

Hollywood’s Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet (Now available in paper)
Peter Decherney

Edward S. T. Ho: Watercolour Journey
Edward S. T. Ho

Monday, August 26th, 2013

The Art of Being Erich Fromm – A Review from The New York Review of Books

A review of The Lives of Erich Fromm: Love’s Prophet, by Lawrence J. Friedman, was published in the Summer Issue of The New York Review of Books. A link to the review is available by clicking here (you need a subscription to NYRoB for full article view). This post contains brief excerpts of the NYRB review by Alan Ryan.

The Art of Being Erich Fromm

Lawrence Friedman’s biography has many virtues; it is meticulous, detailed, friendly to its subject but not uncritical, the result of many years of archival investigation and interviews with people who knew Fromm well. Friedman is a professor of history in the Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative at Harvard, and the author of several books on the history of psychology, including a biography of Karl Menninger. Erich Fromm himself was a far from careful scholar, but The Lives of Erich Fromm is a reassuringly solid piece of work. What makes it a model of intellectual biography, however, is the way it illuminates the Erich Fromm who became famous in America in the 1950s, by seeing him in his many different settings—geographical, social, intellectual, and emotional.

Birth

Erich Fromm was born in Frankfurt in 1900. His father was a wine merchant. More importantly, Naphtali Fromm was an Orthodox Jew who came from a long line of distinguished rabbis, and was more embarrassed than pleased at his own modest economic success, always regretting that he had become an undistinguished wine merchant rather than a more distinguished rabbi.

During the Cold war, Fromm encountered Rabbi Nehemiah Nobel, who had studied at Marburg with Hermann Cohen, a distinguished Kant scholar who welded the universalism of Kant’s moral philosophy onto the Jewish religious tradition to create a form of “religious humanism” very like the humanism of Fromm’s later writings.

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Monday, August 26th, 2013

Book Giveaway! The Ethical Economy: Rebuilding Value After the Crisis, by Adam Arvidsson and Nicolai Peitersen

The Ethical Economy

This week our featured book is The Ethical Economy: Rebuilding Value After the Crisis, by Adam Arvidsson and Nicolai Peitersen. Throughout the week, we will be featuring content from and about the book and its authors here on our blog as well as on our Twitter feed and our Facebook page.

We are also offering a FREE copy of The Ethical Economy. To enter our Book Giveaway, simply fill out the form below with your name and preferred mailing address. We will randomly select one winner on August 30th at 1:00 pm. Good luck, and spread the word! The book giveaway is closed. Thanks for your participation!

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments.

Remains of Fort San Juan, a fort established by the Spanish in the Appalachian mountains nearly twenty years before the the English began their colonization efforts in the New World, was recently discovered by a team of archaeologists. At fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, Robin Beck, one of the members of the team that found the fort, has an excellent guest post describing the find.

At Voices in Education, the blog of Harvard Education Publishing, Lawrence Blum writes about his experiences discussing race relations with students in South Africa, a country whose past is full of racial strife, complete with short transcriptions of some of the conversations.

Plagiarism is a major problem in higher education today, and at the Indiana University Press blog, Martin H. Krieger examines some of the more popular types of plagiarism, and warns that “[i]t’s perhaps unlikely that some mosaic plagiarism will lead to your degree being rescinded, but you don’t really want to find out.”

Elmore Leonard passed away earlier this week, and at the JHU Press Blog, Charles J. Rzepka looks back at Leonard’s life and successful career, and argues that, while Leonard has “been referred to as “the Dickens of Detroit,” but it might be more accurate to call him its Homer, and Detroit his Ilium.”
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Friday, August 23rd, 2013

On Being a Sports Statistician: more interviews with Ben Alamar

Global Intellectual History

This week our featured book is Sports Analytics: A Guide for Coaches, Managers, and Other Decision Makers, by Benjamin C. Alamar, with a foreword by Dean Oliver. Today, the last day of our book giveaway, we have an excerpt from a couple of print interviews with Ben Alamar on his book, the use of statistics in organizations, and how one should prepare for a career as a sports statistician. The first of these two interviews can be found in its entirety on the Sports Analytics Blog, and the second at STATtr@k.

Sports Analytics Blog Interview

SA Blog: What made you decide to switch from “Corporate America” (where you worked for PwC) to the sports industry?

Ben: I switched careers as soon as I realized that I might be able to create a career in sports for myself. I grew up as a sports junky, but not a baseball fan, so it was not until after I had finished graduate school that I became aware of Bill James and the use of statistical analysis in baseball. Once I saw what was happening in baseball, and I had the good fortune of working with Aaron Schatz, Roland Beech and Jeff Ma at Protrade, I was sold. The possibility to apply these tools in football and basketball were too exciting to me to pass up.
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Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Interviews with Ben Alamar

Global Intellectual History

This week our featured book is Sports Analytics: A Guide for Coaches, Managers, and Other Decision Makers, by Benjamin C. Alamar, with a foreword by Dean Oliver. Today, we have a couple of great interviews with Ben Alamar, one with Grantland’s Zach Lowe and one with BBall Breakdown’s Coach Nick.

Enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of the book!

Zach Lowe and Ben Alamar: “The Thunder Almost Drafted Brook Lopez Instead of Russell Westbrook”

Coach Nick and Ben Alamar: “NBA Chat With Ben Alamar – Analytics Consultant for the Cleveland Cavaliers”

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Michael Mann Discusses Climate Change on Hardball and Al Jazeera America

Michael Mann, author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines has become one of the leading spokespeople about the science and dangers of climate change as well as the dangers of climate change denialists. Indeed one of the best ways to keep up with news about climate change and distortions about climate change is through Michael Mann’s twitter account.

With the recent release of a draft of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Michael Mann appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews to talk and debate climate change:

He also appeared on Al Jazeera America:

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Benjamin Alamar: “Analytics Is Not a Strategy”

Global Intellectual History

This week our featured book is Sports Analytics: A Guide for Coaches, Managers, and Other Decision Makers, by Benjamin C. Alamar, with a foreword by Dean Oliver. Today, we are featuring an article by Benjamin Alamar in All Things D on the difference between analytics and strategy.

Enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of the book!

Analytics Is Not a Strategy
Benjamin C. Alamar

I have been working in sports analytics for nearly 10 years, and still, virtually every time I tell someone what I do, they say some variation of “Oh, you do moneyball.” While my normal response is “yes, something like that,” the truth is that there is real difference between “sports analytics” and “moneyball.” As I’ve written elsewhere, sports analytics (or just plain old analytics) is a set of tools, while “moneyball” is the term coined by author Michael Lewis in his 2003 book to describe a strategy that employs the tools of analytics. The tools of analytics have advanced significantly since Michael Lewis’ book, yet the “moneyball” strategy is unchanged.

Analytics involves the tools of data gathering, data management, statistical analysis, data visualization and information systems to deliver better information, more efficiently, to decision makers within an organization. Clearly the technology behind these tools has advanced rapidly in the last ten years with tools such as Hadoop, R, Qlikview and the like all making the utilization of the mass amounts of data that are now available to organizations possible.

In sports, the most significant leap forward in technology is in data gathering, where companies such as Stats llc and Catapult Sports have utilized advances in technology to fundamentally change the size and scope of data available from practice and competitions. Stats llc utilizes cameras and optical tracking technology to capture the position of everything that moves on a basketball court 25 times a second, while Catapult Sports utilizes GPS, accelerometers and other wearable technology to track player movements and physical characteristics such as heart rate. Both technologies have shifted the type of data available in sports from the count of specific on court actions (attempted shots, for example) to the continuous movements of every element on the field of play.
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Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Interview with Whitney Strub, author of Perversion for Profit (now out in paper!)

With Perversion for Profit: The Politics of Pornography and the Rise of the New Right now available in paperback, we’re re-posting our earlier interview with the book’s author, Whitney Strub

Question: Why “Perversion for Profit”? Won’t people think the book is about the economics of the porn industry?

Whitney Strub: Hopefully not. I lay out the main emphasis in the subtitle! I chose the title for a few reasons. First, it was the name of an early-1960s antiporn short film distributed by Citizens for Decent Literature, which crystallizes some of the key methods of modern antiporn discourse—a secular veneer of legalisms and social science that tries to conceal a substantive moralism; a freewheeling construction of “perversity” that barrages the viewer with everything from bestiality to “your daughter, lured into lesbianism,” a dizzying array of perversions that share only their imagined contrast to the heterosexual nuclear family; and also the enticement of an opportunity to wallow in some perversion for a while, under the alibi of fighting for decency.

So the film Perversion for Profit occupies a place of centrality in the politics of pornography; my students laugh at the film today, but its tactics are still operative when politicians speak of the “debilitating effects on communities, marriages, families, and children,” as George W. Bush did in 2003. No meaningful evidence to speak of really supports that, but it’s the sort of trope the New Right mastered in the late 1960s and continues to employ to great effect—the displacement of material issues by moral ones. (Deindustrialization, economic and environmental deregulation, and the massive upward redistribution of wealth debilitate more communities, marriage, families, and children than porn, but you never heard Bush discuss those impacts.) That undergirds the other meaning of the title—that the modern Right has profited immensely through its use of various “perversions” for political gain. I argue that pornography played a crucial role in the formulation of the social-issues agenda that ultimately included comprehensive sex education, feminism, gay rights, reproductive rights, and other elements of modern sexuality that conservatism has very effectively construed as attacks on its monolithic notion of “the family.”

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Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

An Introduction to Sports Analytics – Benjamin C. Alamar

Global Intellectual History

This week our featured book is Sports Analytics: A Guide for Coaches, Managers, and Other Decision Makers, by Benjamin C. Alamar, with a foreword by Dean Oliver. Today, we have an excerpt from the first chapter of Sports Analytics, “Introduction to Sports Analytics.” Enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of the book!

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

New Book Tuesday: The Ethical Economy, Night Passages, and More New Titles

The Ethical EconomyOur weekly list of new titles:

The Ethical Economy: Rebuilding Value After the Crisis
Adam Arvidsson and Nicolai Peitersen

Night Passages: Philosophy, Literature, and Film
Elisabeth Bronfen

Democracy and Islam in Indonesia
Edited by Mirjam Künkler and Alfred Stepan

Perversion for Profit: The Politics of Pornography and the Rise of the New Right (Now available in paper)
Whitney Strub

Humour in Chinese Life and Letters: Modern and Contemporary Approaches
Edited by Jessica Milner Davis and Jocelyn Chey

Mongolia and the United States: A Diplomatic History
Jonathan Addleton

The British Presence in Macau, 1635–1793
Rogério Miguel Puga

Watching Over Hong Kong: Private Policing 1841-1941
Sheilah E. Hamilton

Early Psychosis Intervention: A Culturally Adaptive Clinical Guide
Edited by Eric Yu-hai Chen, Helen Lee, Gloria Hoi-kei Chan, and Gloria Hoi-yan Wong

Imperial to International: A History of St. John’s Cathedral, Hong Kong
Stuart Wolfendale

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Book Giveaway – Sports Analytics: A Guide for Coaches, Managers, and Other Decision Makers, by Benjamin C. Alamar

Global Intellectual History

This week our featured book is Sports Analytics: A Guide for Coaches, Managers, and Other Decision Makers, by Benjamin C. Alamar, with a foreword by Dean Oliver. Throughout the week, we will be featuring content from and about the book and its author here on our blog as well as on our Twitter feed and our Facebook page.

We are also offering a FREE copy of Sports Analytics. To enter our Book Giveaway, simply fill out the form below with your name and preferred mailing address. We will randomly select one winner on August 23th at 1:00 pm. Good luck, and spread the word!

Friday, August 16th, 2013

A Little Gay History — Protest and Rights

R. B. Parkinson, A Little Gay History

We conclude our week-long feature on A Little Gay History: Desire and Diversity Across the World, by R. B. Parkinson, with a focus not on art and culture but politics. The images above and below are pins from the past forty reflecting the efforts of the gay and lesbian community to win, protect, and assert their rights as well as to protest the indifference toward AIDS. Below is an excerpt from the book:

These badges from protest rallies were worn both by protesters and also by others as signs of their support for lesbian and gay rights. They represent four decades and a wide range of issues: some are specific, such as the threatened closure of a gay bookshop, while some are general. Some are serious, and some wittily caricature stereotypes about gay identity, such as the assumption that if you are a lesbian, you must own a cat, as in the badge by the cartoonist Kate Charlesworth.

Several of these designs include the pink triangle, a symbol with a dark history. The Nazi regime in Germany persecuted and killed millions of citizens whom they considered undesirable. These were predominantly Jews but also included trade unionists, communists, gypsies, physically disabled people and “homosexuals”. An estimated hundred thousand “homosexual” men were arrested, and those who were sent to concentration camps were made to wear the pink triangle. After the camps were liberated, some were re-imprisoned because ‘homosexuality’ remained illegal in Germany, and it was only in the 1980s that these forgotten victims began to be acknowledged officially. Campaigning organizations reclaimed the triangle as a badge of gay pride, inverting it, and it was widely used by the 1970s.

Such badges are still being produced, and people continue to fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights to be fully recognized. As the campaigner Peter Tatchell comments:

the only liberation struggle worth fighting is a struggle inspired by love. Love is the beginning, middle and end of liberation. Without love, there can be no liberation worthy of the name.


A Little Gay History, R. B. Parkinson