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August 13th, 2015

Placing Jesus People USA Within Evangelism



Gray Sabbath

“Unimpressed by the evangelical marketing machine, JPUSA views isolationism as dangerous to both the individual and the larger church culture. Simply put, its members are best understood as practical contemplatives.” — Shawn David Young

This week our featured book is Gray Sabbath: Jesus People USA, the Evangelical Left, and the Evolution of Christian Rock, by Shawn David Young. To start off the feature, we have excerpted part of Young’s Introduction, in which he explains the development of the Jesus People community, the evolution of the cultural stances of evangelicals, and the political importance of evangelical Christian groups.

Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of Gray Sabbath!

August 13th, 2015

Columbia UP Ceasing Distribution of Dalkey Archive Press



Columbia University Press regretfully announces that, as of August 31, CUP will no longer be distributing Dalkey Archive Press titles. After that date, all orders and inquiries should be directed to Ingram Distribution. The official press release can be found below: Read the rest of this entry »

August 12th, 2015

To Each Philosopher, Her or His Plant



The Philosopher's Plant

In his wonderful book The Philosopher’s Plant, Michael Marder creates a “herbarium of ideas, collecting theories of the most important Western thinkers, from Greek Antiquity to our days, as though they were botanical specimens preserved on the pages of [a] book. Here is an article he recently featured on his Los Angeles Review of Books Channel about the relationship between philosophy and plants:

To Each Philosopher, Her or His Plant
By Michael Marder

Although I am a philosopher, I have always been averse to abstract speculation. Throughout my work, I have relied on rather mundane figures that stimulate thinking: fire, dust, plants… Everything and everyone in the world can be thought-provoking, worthy of contemplation and wonder — not a boringly unremarkable and ultimately replaceable representative of a genus or an Idea, but a source of inexhaustible singularity.

My intention behind The Philosopher’s Plant was to create a herbarium of ideas, collecting theories of the most important Western thinkers, from Greek Antiquity to our days, as though they were botanical specimens preserved on the pages of my book. I also wished to weave a web of associations that would link certain common plants to particular ideas in the reader’s mind. Of course, it would have been absurd to put together a herbarium without the specimens themselves. To solve this problem, I did two things. First, I paired each philosopher whose life and thought I wanted discuss with a tree, flower, cereal, or grass that was mentioned in her or his work and that, in most cases, had something to do with her or his biography. And, second, I invited a fantastic French artist, Mathilde Roussel, to visualize these “philosoplants” and give an aesthetic dimension to the hybridized herbarium I had theorized about. Read the rest of this entry »

August 12th, 2015

Religious Certainty and Decision 2016



Gray Sabbath

“For the life of me I cannot understand how religious certainty continues to translate into political certainty. Yes, the faithful (if true to their belief) will certainly channel their ideas in a way that informs public policy. But when people of faith hold myriad interpretations of matters cosmic, how can they effectively engage matters that have global implications?” — Shawn David Young

This week our featured book is Gray Sabbath: Jesus People USA, the Evangelical Left, and the Evolution of Christian Rock, by Shawn David Young. In today’s post, Young looks at the history and the future of the complicated relationship between evangelical Christianity and American politics, paying particular attention to the way that evangelicals will affect the upcoming election cycle.

Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of Gray Sabbath!

Religious Certainty and Decision 2016
By Shawn David Young

An aging hotel looms over a street packed with cars, pedestrians, and sidewalks. A man stands near, asking for spare change. Others hustle by, talking to themselves. Sirens. Car horns. Music blaring from cars. Jaywalkers weaving in and out of cars on the street, eager to make way to the other side. Sporting a blue awning with white lettering, Jesus People USA’s building (quaintly named “Friendly Towers”) conveys a welcoming message, complete with psychedelic images in the windows. The front door opens to a hallway covered by an ornate ceiling—a relic of what was once a hotel—ending at a locked door; people are buzzed in by those holding post at the front desk. Regardless of the time of day, one can expect a mix of old hippies, young punk rockers, “goths,” and senior citizens. While an outsider might write the scene off as chaotic, it is readily apparent that all are members of a tight-knit community dedicated to shouldering the burdens of its members, many of whom display a certain sanguinity one might expect from utopian hopefuls. This community is about Jesus. But it’s also about discovery. Read the rest of this entry »

August 11th, 2015

On Jesus People USA and the Evangelical Left



Gray Sabbath

“The reason evangelicals have increasingly reconsidered their popular conceptions about faith, politics, and music can be traced to the so-called culture war, as represented in our common political and theological binary.” — Shawn David Young

This week our featured book is Gray Sabbath: Jesus People USA, the Evangelical Left, and the Evolution of Christian Rock, by Shawn David Young. To start off the feature, we have excerpted part of Young’s Introduction, in which he explains the development of the Jesus People community, the evolution of the cultural stances of evangelicals, and the political importance of evangelical Christian groups.

Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of Gray Sabbath!

August 11th, 2015

New Book Tuesday: The Story of Life in 25 Fossils, The Sensual God, Electric Santería, and More!



The Story of Life in 25 Fossils, by Donald R. Prothero

Our weekly listing of new books now available:

The Story of Life in 25 Fossils: Tales of Intrepid Fossil Hunters and the Wonders of Evolution
Donald R. Prothero

The Sensual God: How the Senses Make the Almighty Senseless
Aviad M. Kleinberg

Electric Santería: Racial and Sexual Assemblages of Transnational Religion
Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús

Ethical Loneliness: The Injustice of Not Being Heard
Jill Stauffer

The Capitalist Unconscious: From Korean Unification to Transnational Korea
Hyun Ok Park

The Fate of Ideas: Seductions, Betrayals, Appraisals
Robert Boyers

August 10th, 2015

Book Giveaway! Gray Sabbath: Jesus People USA, the Evangelical Left, and the Evolution of Christian Rock



Gray Sabbath

“A compelling story of the evolution of both an intentional Christian commune and of a generation of Christians who have become increasingly disenchanted with the religious right’s subservience to the Republican Party. As such, Gray Sabbath presents a possible model of what the theological and political future of evangelicalism could become.” — Jay Howard, Butler University

This week our featured book is Gray Sabbath: Jesus People USA, the Evangelical Left, and the Evolution of Christian Rock, by Shawn David Young. Throughout the week, we will be featuring content about the book and its authors on our blog as well as on our Twitter feed and our Facebook page.

We are also offering a FREE copy of Gray Sabbath. To enter our book giveaway, simply fill out the form below with your name and preferred mailing address. We will randomly select our winners on Friday, August 14th at 1:00 pm. Good luck, and spread the word!

August 7th, 2015

Introduction to “Terrorism in Cyberspace”



Terrorism in Cyberspace

“Studying terrorist communication online is one critical means of early warning or scanning of the horizon for potential future threats, as well as a method of keeping on top of evolving trends in terrorism.” — Gabriel Weimann

This week our featured book is Terrorism in Cyberspace: The Next Generation, by Gabriel Weimann, with a foreword by Bruce Hoffman. Today, we are happy to present Weimann’s Introduction, in which he discusses whether the time has come to end the War on Terror, while also engaging with the problem of what terrorism actually is.

Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for Terrorism in Cyberspace!

August 6th, 2015

Watch Gabriel Weimann discuss “Terrorism in Cyberspace”



Terrorism in Cyberspace

This week our featured book is Terrorism in Cyberspace: The Next Generation, by Gabriel Weimann, with a foreword by Bruce Hoffman. Today, we are happy to present a video interview with Weimann from the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Wilson Center Now, in which Weimann discusses his new book, the current state of cyberterrorism, and what governments can do in response.

Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for Terrorism in Cyberspace!

August 5th, 2015

There’s No Such Thing as a Lone Wolf in Cyberspace



Terrorism in Cyberspace

“Most important, however, a careful balance must be established between security and liberty. For fighting terrorism online raises the issue of the price paid in terms of U.S. civil liberties.” — Gabriel Weimann

This week our featured book is Terrorism in Cyberspace: The Next Generation, by Gabriel Weimann, with a foreword by Bruce Hoffman. Today, we are happy to present a post by Weimann that originally appeared on the Reuters’ The Great Debate blog: “There’s No Such Thing as a Lone Wolf in Cyberspace.”

Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for Terrorism in Cyberspace!

There’s No Such Thing as a Lone Wolf in Cyberspace
By Gabriel Weimann

“Lone wolf” terrorism is often cited as the biggest terrorist threat today. The problem with this label is none of the assailants act alone. They all belong to virtual wolf packs.

Law enforcement authorities in Boston, for example, described Usaamah Abdullah Rahim’s scheme to behead random police officers as the plot of a lone wolf. Police also applied the term to other recent terrorist assaults, among them the brutal attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that left 12 dead and the Boston Marathon bombing. In all these incidents, the assailants used traditional terror tactics, such as targeting civilians, but appeared to be acting independently of any organization.

The “lone wolf” metaphor is based on the image of a wolf alone in the wild. But this is incorrect, as my studies on terrorists reveal. Wolves never hunt alone — in nature or in terrorism.

In fact, wolves are among the most social of carnivores; they live and hunt in packs. Though the whole group is not always seen, their attacks rely on a well-coordinated circling and cornering of the victim. Lone-wolf terrorists are very similar.

They have their pack — but it’s a virtual one. The solo terrorists are often recruited, radicalized, trained and directed by others online. The current wave of lone-wolf attacks has been propelled by websites and online platforms that provide limitless opportunities for individuals to explore and locate their virtual pack. Read the rest of this entry »

August 4th, 2015

Bruce Hoffman’s Foreword to “Terrorism in Cyberspace”



Terrorism in Cyberspace

Terrorism in Cyberspace represents the next step in its author’s decades-long quest to map, analyze, and understand the evolution of terrorist communications since the advent of the Internet and this new form of mass communication.” — From the foreword by Bruce Hoffman

This week our featured book is Terrorism in Cyberspace: The Next Generation, by Gabriel Weimann, with a foreword by Bruce Hoffman. To start the week’s feature off, we’ve excerpted Hoffman’s foreword.

Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for Terrorism in Cyberspace!

August 4th, 2015

New Book Tuesday: Charlie Munger, History, Inventing English, and More New Books



Charlie Munger, Tren Griffin

Our weekly listing of new books now available:

Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor
Tren Griffin

Must We Divide History Into Periods?
Jacques Le Goff; Translated by Malcolm DeBevoise

Inventing English: A Portable History of the Language (Now available in paper)
Seth Lerer

The Why of Things: Causality in Science, Medicine, and Life (Now available in paper)
Peter Rabins

Transnational Feminism and Women’s Movements in Post-1997 Hong Kong: Solidarity Beyond the State
Adelyn Lim
(Hong Kong University Press)

Opulence of the Jao’s Lotus: The Formation and Development of the Jao’s Lotus
Tang Wai Hung
(Hong Kong University Press)

Christian Encounters with Chinese Culture: Essays on Anglican and Episcopal History in China
Edited by Philip L. Wickeri
(Hong Kong University Press)

Studying Hot Fuzz
Neil Archer
(Auteur)

August 3rd, 2015

The Blackening of Havana



Electric Santería

“Why do Santería and other African diaspora religions continue to bear the burden of racism? The perception that African (and hence black) practices are lesser than or unequal to Christian or Western forms of religion, has a long history justifying racist practices since slavery.” — Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús

The following is a guest post by Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús, author ofElectric Santería: Racial and Sexual Assemblages of Transnational Religion, that originally appeared on the Huffington Post’s BlackVoices blog:

The Blackening of Havana
By Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús

With all of the excitement around U.S. and Cuban relations finally opening up there is a host of questions around race and religion that are fundamental to the lives of Afro-Cuban religious practitioners left to be asked. On a recent trip to Cuba, a Cuban academic told me that whereas Havana used to be a “white city” (read, prosperous and cosmopolitan), due to the large influx of darker Cubans from the campo, rural outskirts of the island, Havana is now a “black city” (read, ghettoized and full of crime). This “unfortunate” darkening of Havana was blamed on the influx of marginalized black Cubans trying to gain access to foreigners and tourism since the late 1990s. I was told that Santería, an Afro-Cuban religion practiced throughout the world, was partially to blame for this occurrence.

Santería, the most popular of the Afro-Cuban religions practiced on the island, has been one of the ways in which black Cubans have had the ability to connect to larger international communities, and most importantly, gain access to foreign currency, goods, and travel. Given Cuba’s position, as the birthplace of these practices, which fuses Yoruba and other African religious traditions with Catholic saints, travelers come from all over to undergo costly rituals, initiation ceremonies, and divination-based consultations with Cuban priests. Most of these priests are Afro-descendants, which in a country like Cuba that has tried to eradicate racism (and the idea of race itself), often makes for complex engagements with racial politics. Read the rest of this entry »

August 3rd, 2015

Book Giveaway! Terrorism in Cyberspace: The Next Generation



Terrorism in Cyberspace

Terrorism in Cyberspace represents the next step in its author’s decades-long quest to map, analyze, and understand the evolution of terrorist communications since the advent of the Internet and this new form of mass communication.” — From the foreword by Bruce Hoffman

This week our featured book is Terrorism in Cyberspace: The Next Generation, by Gabriel Weimann, with a foreword by Bruce Hoffman. Throughout the week, we will be featuring content about the book and its authors on our blog as well as on our Twitter feed and our Facebook page.

We are also offering a FREE copy of Terrorism in Cyberspace. To enter our book giveaway, simply fill out the form below with your name and preferred mailing address. We will randomly select our winners on Friday, August 7th at 1:00 pm. Good luck, and spread the word!

July 31st, 2015

Translation’s Futures and the Work of Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries — Rebecca Walkowitz



In addition to discussing the novels of authors such as J. M. Coetzee, Junot Diaz, Jamaica Kincaid, Ben Lerner, and others, Rebecca Walkowitz also discusses the work of web artists Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries in Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of Literature. In the following passage she discusses how their work incorporates ideas of translation and how their works fit into literary modernism and the contemporary literary scene.

Immediately below is Young-Hae Chang’s TRAVELING TO UTOPIA, which Walkowitz mentions in the excerpt.

Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries collates a literary history of the twentieth century in which translation and translators play a central role. Pound, Beckett, Borges, and Nabokov composed and adapted their works in multiple languages, and all produced important works as translators as well as authors. Like Beckett and Nabokov, Chang and Voge practice self-translation; and like them, they treat the trans­lated versions as new productions rather than as derivations. Yet, for Chang and Voge, the value of the translation does not depend on uniqueness. That is, while Beckett insisted that rendering En Atten­dant Godot in English involved writing a completely new play, Chang and Voge take a page from Borges, suggesting that translations are part of the work, that they remake the work, or that they are indistin­guishable from it.

Because they suggest that translation is integral to production, Chang and Voge are altering the politics as well as the practice of translation. While Pound and other Anglo-American modernists encouraged translation into English, most were far less interested in the circulation of their own works beyond English. Pound trans­lated in order to enrich anglophone literary culture, but Chang and Voge often demote English by concealing or removing the distinction between original and target languages. This is not to say that English is not central to their creations and to the production and circula­tion of those creations. English is the principal language of the Web site, and it appears at some point in most of their work. But Chang and Voge emphasize the regional and political histories in which languages function. By amplifying themes of translation and non-translation, they make languages less neutral, and in this sense they register the inequality of languages, including the inequality that functions within their own works. Pound’s commitment to incorpo­rating multiple languages and multiple vernaculars led to a multilin­gualism with English at its center. Narrating translation and muting idiolect, Chang and Voge make Pound’s dream of multilingualism function multilingually. They create works not only for English lit­erary history but also for the many other literary histories in which their works travel and in which they begin.

Read the rest of this entry »

July 31st, 2015

University Press Roundup



Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best articles 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. (And look back at our University Press Roundup Manifesto to see why we do this post every Friday.)

This week, the Cambridge University Press blog published an article highlighting the issues surrounding migration in Europe. The article specifically mentions problems along the French and Italian border as an example of Europe’s pressing problems with migration and immigration. It also discusses the limitations of the law with regards to creating real change, but leaves hope for future cooperation between nations.

Johns Hopkins University Press recently featured an article that discusses the future of late-night talk shows. The topic was inspired by the news that Jon Stewart will be leaving the Daily Show after a long and successful run. The author fears that his departure, along with other changes in late-night, will lead to the loss of true political satire, and critiques the Daily Show’s new-hire, Trevor Noah, while imploring for the hiring of more female comedians.

The NYU Press blog has created an ongoing series of posts about the 2016 election. The most recent post discusses the important role that social media plays in the political arena. Social media is increasingly crucial during campaigns because it has become a primary source of news for many people. The post then transitions toward a discussion of comment forums and the discontent of Republican voters toward their own party. Comment forums show that Republicans feel like their party is not producing anything and they are therefore drawn to Donald Trump due to his ‘take charge’ attitude.

The Stanford University Press blog posted an article that discusses the power of symbolism within the context of the Confederate flag controversy. The author suggests that the flag’s distinctly different representations exemplify a broader schism within the American population.

Translated from its original French version, a post by Pierre Birnbaum, a professor at the Sorbonne, gives a brief history of the French Jewish politician, Leon Blum, on the Yale Press blog. Birnbaum explores Blum’s revolutionary implementation of the forty-hour workweek, its repeal due to its effect on the war effort, and its eventual re-implementation and legacy.

A post at the Oxford University Press blog debunked popular myths surrounding the American healthcare system that have grown due to their political divisiveness. The article tackles topics ranging from the connection between Medicaid and welfare programs to comparing the cost of Medicare and the cost of healthcare in the private sector.

Island Press published an article relaying the importance of modernizing America’s infrastructure. In 2013, America’s infrastructure received a grade of D+–a startling fact, especially in the face of climate change. Poor infrastructure disproportionately affects low-income households and has the potential to devastate communities if a natural disaster strikes. Hopefully Congress will continue to support policy focused on funding improvements to America’s infrastructure.

Thanks for reading! As always, we hope that you enjoyed the links. Please let us know what you think in the comments!

July 30th, 2015

Rebecca Walkowitz on Writing in Translation



In the following video, Rebecca Walkowitz discusses her new book Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature. In this section of her talk from the Novel: A Forum on Fiction conference, Walkowitz discusses writing in translation:

July 29th, 2015

Will the New Man Booker International Prize Challenge English’s Dominance in World Literature?



Born Translated, by Rebecca Walkowitz

“Upgrading the status of translators, the prize upgrades the status of multilingualism. It also upgrades the status of translations. No longer merely derivations or adaptations of original works, translated editions will be assessed as works in their own right.”—Rebecca Walkowitz on the new Man Booker Prize for Translated Fiction

The following post is by Rebecca Walkowitz, author of Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature

Earlier this month, the organizers of the Man Booker International Prize announced that they are scrapping the old prize, recognizing the career of a single novelist working in any language, and launching a new prize for a single novel translated into English. So, next year, we’ll have the Man Booker Prize, which celebrates the best novel published in English and also written in English. And we’ll have the Man Booker International Prize, which celebrates the best novel published in English translated from another language. What are the consequences of this change?

The new International Prize is likely to increase the visibility of translated books. All but two of the past International Prize winners have been English-language novelists. That group is no longer eligible, so the Man Booker’s enormous publicity machine will be focused at least half the time on writers who work in other languages. Greater publicity for translated books, it is hoped, will lead to a greater number of readers for those books. Not simply celebrating excellent translations, the Man Booker organizers want to increase the number of foreign-language works contracted by UK publishers.

To be sure, the new Prize is a boon for “foreign” writers, by which they mean writers who use languages other than English. But the organizers also have local readers and local publishing houses in mind. They want English-language readers to have more translations to choose from because they believe that reading books from other languages will help British citizens compete with their more worldly European neighbors. In this sense, the new International Prize, for all its cosmopolitanism, also has nationalist motives: the education of English-only readers. Of course, it may be that reading novels in translation will lead some people to learn additional languages and to think about English as one language among many.

In my view, the new Prize is likely encourage that kind of thinking not because it rewards foreign books but because it rewards translators of foreign books. The prize money (£50,000) will be split evenly between authors and translators, who will share credit for the production of the translated work. Upgrading the status of translators, the prize upgrades the status of multilingualism. It also upgrades the status of translations. No longer merely derivations or adaptations of original works, translated editions will be assessed as works in their own right. Readers will be asked to notice (instead of forget) that the work they are reading was brought from another language.

Read the rest of this entry »

July 29th, 2015

Video: Edward T. O’Donnell on Henry George



The following video is from Edward T. O’Donnell’s talk at the Brooklyn Historical Society on his new book Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality: Progress and Poverty in the Gilded Age

July 28th, 2015

Interview with Rebecca Walkowitz, author of Born Translated



Born Translated, by Rebecca Walkowitz

“For a long time, we’ve assumed that all books begin in one language, often called a ‘native language,’ and then travel out to other languages. This is how we’ve expected ‘world literature’ to work. But today, many books begin in several languages—they start as world literature…”—Rebecca Walkowitz

In Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature, Rebecca L. Walkowitz argues that translation should be understood as the engine rather than the caboose of literary history. She analyzes the ways in which contemporary novelists such as J. M. Coetzee and Jamaica Kincaid incorporate the themes, forms, structure, and visual devices of translation in their works to tell this story.

Question: What is a “born-translated” novel?

Rebecca Walkowitz: I call some contemporary novels “born-translated” because they have been published simultaneously, or almost simultaneously (within a few weeks or months), in several different languages. For a long time, we’ve assumed that all books begin in one language, often called a “native language,” and then travel out to other languages. This is how we’ve expected “world literature” to work. But today, many books begin in several languages—they start as world literature—and this is especially true for novels that are written in English. In my book, I am interested in how Anglophone novels have begun to reflect on this situation, embedding their existence as translated works into the stories they tell and even into their structure and style.

Q: How does this affect the way contemporary novels are written?

RW: From the perspective of fiction-writing, the fact that novels will appear in translation right away has changed the way writers use language. Kazuo Ishiguro has talked about his efforts to design his books around structure and narrative architecture rather than around individual phrases or puns. David Mitchell’s novels often tell us about the presence of foreign languages on the page rather than representing them directly (through direct quotation or inflected dialogue). We can see in Ishiguro’s and Mitchell’s novels a focus on narrating languages—describing their relationship to other languages, explaining how they circulate and who can use them, observing which characters understand them and which don’t—rather than a focus on playing with them or reproducing their characteristics on the page. Ben Lerner has noted that his novel Leaving the Atocha Station, about a young American’s experience of learning Spanish in Madrid, emphasizes the encounter with a language one does not understand rather than the “surface effects” of that language. In Jamaica Kincaid’s work, the reader is asked to think about the words they are not reading, because they have been spoken or thought by someone who does not have access to literacy or publication. These novels represent the different ways that characters speak English and other languages by explaining those differences, by telling us about the historical and political conditions of language education, and by developing generic, syntactical, and visual cues that can communicate multilingualism in multiple languages.

Read the rest of this entry »