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A History of Cerebral Anthropology
Since the second half of the eighteenth century, generations of scientists persisted in studying the relationships between the volume, weight or shape of the human brain and the degree of ‘intelligence’. In Pogliano’s book, the thread of time drives the narrative up to the mid-twentieth century. It investigates the duration and changes of a game that was intrinsically political, although having to do with bones and nervous matter. Races made its main object, during a long period when Western culture believed the human species to be naturally partitioned into a number of discrete types, with their innate and hereditary traits. Never leading to irrefutable achievements, the polycentric (as well as visual) enterprise herein described is full of growing tensions, doubts, and disillusionment.
The Things of Others: Ethnographies, Histories, and Other Artefacts deals with the things mainly, but not only, mobilized by anthropologists in order to produce knowledge about the African American, the Afro-Brazilian and the Afro-Cuban during the 1930s. However, the book's goal is not to dig up evidence of the creation of an epistemology of knowledge and its transnational connections. The research on which this book is based suggests that the artefacts created in fieldwork, offices, libraries, laboratories, museums, and other places and experiences – beyond the important fact that these places and situations involved actors other than the anthropologists themselves – have been different things during their troubled existence. The book seeks to make these differences apparent, highlighting rather than concealing the relationships between partial modes of making and being ‘Afro’ as a subject of science. If the artefacts created in a variety of situations have been different things, we should ask what sort of things they were and how the actors involved in their creation sought to make them meaningful. The book foregrounds these discontinuous and ever-changing contours.
Read an interview with Karen Thornber.

In Global Healing: Literature, Advocacy, Care, Karen Laura Thornber analyzes how narratives from diverse communities globally engage with a broad variety of diseases and other serious health conditions and advocate for empathic, compassionate, and respectful care that facilitates healing and enables wellbeing.

The three parts of this book discuss writings from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania that implore societies to shatter the devastating social stigmas which prevent billions from accessing effective care; to increase the availability of quality person-focused healthcare; and to prioritize partnerships that facilitate healing and enable wellbeing for both patients and loved ones.

Thornber’s Global Healing remaps the contours of comparative literature, world literature, the medical humanities, and the health humanities.

Watch a video interview with Thornber by the Mahindra Humanities Center, part of their conversations on Covid-19.

Read an interview with Thornber on Brill's Humanities Matter blog.
In American History in Transition, Yoshinari Yamaguchi provides fresh insights into early efforts in American history writing, ranging from Jeremy Belknap’s Massachusetts Historical Society to Emma Willard’s geographic history and Francis Parkman’s history of deep time to Henry Adams’s thermodynamic history. Although not a well-organized set of professional researchers, these historians shared the same concern: the problems of temporalization and secularization in history writing.
As the time-honored framework of sacred history was gradually outdated, American historians at that time turned to individual facts as possible evidence for a new generalization, and tried different “scientific” theories to give coherency to their writings. History writing was in its transitional phase, shifting from religion to science, deduction to induction, and static to dynamic worldview.
In Frantz Fanon and Emancipatory Social Theory: A View from the Wretched, Dustin J. Byrd and Seyed Javad Miri bring together a collection of essays by a variety of scholars who explore the lasting influence of Frantz Fanon, psychiatrist, revolutionary, and social theorist. Fanon’s work not only gave voice to the “wretched” in the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962), but also shaped the radical resistance to colonialism, empire, and racism throughout much of the world. His seminal works, such as Black Skin, White Masks, and The Wretched of the Earth, were read by The Black Panther Party in the United States, anti-imperialists in Africa and Asia, and anti-monarchist revolutionaries in the Middle East. Today, many revolutionaries and scholars have returned to Fanon’s work, as it continues to shed light on the nature of colonial domination, racism, and class oppression.

Contributors include: Syed Farid Alatas, Rose Brewer, Dustin J. Byrd, Sean Chabot, Richard Curtis, Nigel C. Gibson, Ali Harfouch, Timothy Kerswell, Seyed Javad Miri, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Pramod K. Nayar, Elena Flores Ruíz, Majid Sharifi, Mohamed Imran Mohamed Taib and Esmaeil Zeiny.
In Migration, Reproduction and Society, Alejandro I. Canales offers a theoretical model for understanding the dilemmas presented by migration in the transformation of contemporary society. Aging and changing demographics in advanced societies make economic and social reproduction dependent upon the contributions made by immigration. However, these same demographic processes are conducive to ethnic transformations. The political dilemma facing advanced societies is that immigration is required to ensure their reproduction, but this entails becoming multicultural societies where the political hegemony of ethnic and demographic majorities becomes radically subverted. This paves the way to a pervasive political conflict already evident in the current immigration crisis in Europe just as in the revival of racism and xenophobia in the United States.

En Migration, Reproduction and Society, Alejandro I. Canales propone un modelo teórico para el entendimiento del dilema político y social concerniente al papel de las migraciones en la transformación de la sociedad contemporánea. El envejecimiento y decline demográfico en las sociedades avanzadas hacen que la dinámica económica y la reproducción social de la población dependan directamente de los aportes que hace la inmigración. Sin embargo, estos mismos procesos demográficos propician una transformación étnica de sus actuales equilibrios sociales y demográficos. El dilema político que enfrentan las sociedades avanzadas es que para asegurar su reproducción debe necesariamente abrirse a la inmigración, pero ello conlleva la posibilidad de constituirse en sociedades multiculturales en donde la hegemonía política de las actuales mayorías étnicas y demográficas se trastocaría radicalmente. Es la base de un conflicto político cuyos indicios ya se advierten en la actual crisis migratoria en Europa, así como en el renacer del racismo y xenofobia en los Estados Unidos.
Author: Ingrid Falque
This is the first exhaustive catalogue of paintings with devotional portraits produced in the Low Countries between c. 1400 and 1550. This catalogue is an appendix to the book Devotional Portraiture and Spiritual Experience in Early Netherlandish Painting. The catalogue can be accessed and downloaded for free as well as be purchased in hardback.
This volume addresses trauma not only from a theoretical, descriptive and therapeutic perspective, but also through the survivor as narrator, meaning maker, and presenter. By conceptualising different outlooks on trauma, exploring transfigurations in writing and art, and engaging trauma through scriptotherapy, dharma art, autoethnography, photovoice and choreography, the interdisciplinary dialogue highlights the need for rethinking and re-examining trauma, as classical treatments geared towards healing do not recognise the potential for transfiguration inherent in the trauma itself. The investigation of the fissures, disruptions and shifts after punctual traumatic events or prolonged exposure to verbal and physical abuse, illness, war, captivity, incarceration, and chemical exposure, amongst others, leads to a new understanding of the transformed self and empowering post-traumatic developments.

Contributors are Peter Bray, Francesca Brencio, Mark Callaghan, M. Candace Christensen, Diedra L. Clay, Leanne Dodd, Marie France Forcier, Gen’ichiro Itakura, Jacqueline Linder, Elwin Susan John, Kori D. Novak, Cassie Pedersen, Danielle Schaub, Nicholas Quin Serenati, Aslı Tekinay, Tony M. Vinci and Claudio Zanini.
Positive measures to prevent and remedy discrimination have been adopted in many parts of the world. By comparing the scope and form of such measures in different legal systems, we can gain a better perspective on our own system, and appreciate possible new approaches. This book compares positive anti-discrimination measures in the United States, India, Brazil, South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.
Editors: Nicola Simmons and Ann Singh
Writing comprises a significant proportion of academic staff members’ roles. While academics have been acculturated to the notion of ‘publish or perish,’ they often struggle to find the time to accomplish writing papers and tend to work alone. The result can be a sense of significant stress and isolation around the writing process. Writing partnerships, groups, and retreats help mitigate these challenges and provide significant positive writing experiences for their members.

Critical Collaborative Communities describes diverse examples of partnerships from writing regularly with one or two colleagues to larger groups that meet for a single day, regular writing meetings, or a retreat over several days. While these approaches bring mutual support for members, each is not without its respective challenges. Each chapter outlines an approach to writing partnerships and interrogates its strengths and limitations as well as proposes recommendations for others hoping to implement the practice. Authors in this volume describe how they have built significant trusting relationships that have helped avoid isolation and have led to their self-authorship as academic writers.