300 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Europe about their New Books

New Books in European Studies New Books Network

    • Society & Culture

Interviews with Scholars of Europe about their New Books

    Abraham Kuyper, "On Education" (Lexham Press, 2019)

    Abraham Kuyper, "On Education" (Lexham Press, 2019)

    Abraham Kuyper was one of the most important theologians in the Dutch Reformed tradition – and a newspaper editor, university founder and Prime Minister to boot. Lexham Press are publishing his "Collected Works in Public Theology," in editions that bring together his writings on business, economics, the arts and other cultural spheres. In today’s episode, we talk to Wendy Naylor, editor of the volume On Education (2019), about what makes Kuyper interesting, and why his educational theories continue to matter. What did Kuyper achieve as a politician, minister of religion and educational theorist? And how did his emphatic Calvinism work contribute to his commitment to educational pluralism?
    Crawford Gribben is a professor of history at Queen’s University Belfast. His research interests focus on the history of puritanism and evangelicalism, and he is the author most recently of John Owen and English Puritanism (Oxford University Press, 2016).
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    • 44 min
    Emily Colbert Cairns, "Esther in Early Modern Iberia and the Sephardic Diaspora: Queen of the Conversas" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

    Emily Colbert Cairns, "Esther in Early Modern Iberia and the Sephardic Diaspora: Queen of the Conversas" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

    Emily Colbert Cairns’ book, Esther in Early Modern Iberia and the Sephardic Diaspora: Queen of the Conversas (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), traces the biblical figure of Esther, the secret Jewish Queen, as she is reinvented as the patron saint for the early modern Sephardic community. This hybrid globetrotter emerges repeatedly in dramatic texts, poetry, and even visual representation in the global Sephardic diaspora on the Iberian Peninsula, Amsterdam, and New Spain. Colbert Cairns argues that Esther’s female body emerges as a site for power struggles and symbolic territory for drawing constantly moving communal boundaries. While certain early modern representations of Esther mobilize this queen promote traditional values for proper female behavior (obedience, deference to male authority, beauty), Colbert Cairns shows that Esther’s identity exceeds facile notions of national, ethnic, or racial identity and instead opens out a sense of Sephardic difference beyond geographical boundaries.
    Elizabeth Spragins is assistant professor of Spanish at the College of the Holy Cross. Her current book project is on corpses in early modern Mediterranean narrative. You can follow her on Twitter @elspragins.
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    • 54 min
    Astrid M. Eckert, "West Germany and the Iron Curtain: Environment, Economy, and Culture in the Borderlands" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    Astrid M. Eckert, "West Germany and the Iron Curtain: Environment, Economy, and Culture in the Borderlands" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    How did the Iron Curtain shape the Federal Republic of Germany? How did the internal border become a proving ground for rival ideologies? West Germany and the Iron Curtain: Environment, Economy, and Culture in the Borderlands (Oxford University Press 2019) explores these battles in the most sensitive geographic spaces of the Federal Republic. Join us for a conversation with Astrid M. Eckert illuminating how the border reflected Cold War debates back to society in ways that continue to shape German history. In a fascinating exploration of economic dislocation, border tourism, and the first environmental history of the wall, Eckert shows how borders become actors in their own right.
    Astrid M. Eckert is an Associate Professor of History at Emory University in Atlanta where she teaches 19th- and 20th-century German and European history. Her research has contributed to the Historical Commission on the History of the German Foreign Office, while her book on The Struggle for the Files: The Western Allies and the Return of German Archives after the Second World War received the Waldo Gifford Leland Award. You can listen to an interview with Eckert about The Struggle for the Files here.
    Ryan Stackhouse is a historian of Europe specializing in modern Germany and political policing under dictatorship. His forthcoming book Enemies of the People: Hitler's Critics and the Gestapo explores enforcement practices toward different social groups under Nazism. He also cohosts the Third Reich History Podcast and can be reached at john.ryan.stackhouse@gmail.com or @Staxomatix.
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    Ariel Mae Lambe, "No Barrier Can Contain It: Cuban Antifascism and the Spanish Civil War" (UNC Press, 2019)

    Ariel Mae Lambe, "No Barrier Can Contain It: Cuban Antifascism and the Spanish Civil War" (UNC Press, 2019)

    Ariel Mae Lambe’s new book No Barrier Can Contain It: Cuban Antifascism and the Spanish Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2019) is a history of transnational Cuban activists who mobilized in the mid-1930s to fight fascism both in Cuba and beyond. A wide variety of civic and political groups, including Communists, anarchists, Freemasons, and Afro-Cubans, mobilized to support the Spanish Republican cause, which they connected to their efforts at home to fight persisting colonial structures and strongman politics. Lambe emphasizes the human side of antifascist activism through biographical studies of both well-known and overlooked Cuban figures. Her book shows that the 1930s, often dismissed as an apolitical period in Cuban history, were in fact characterized by vibrant efforts to raise funds, send combat troops, and provide other kinds of aid to Spanish Republicans. Lambe argues that important changes on the island in 1940 – the holding of free elections and the promulgation of a progressive constitution – suggest that Cuban antifascist efforts, though unable to turn the tide of the Spanish Civil War, did have an impact on Cuban domestic politics. In the interview, Lambe reflects on how her work is relevant to the Antifa movement of today.
    Rachel Grace Newman is Lecturer in the History of the Global South at Smith College. She has a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University, and she writes about elite migration, education, transnationalism, and youth in twentieth-century Mexico. She is also the author of a book on a binational program for Mexican migrant children. She is on Twitter (@rachelgnew).
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    • 1 hr 10 min
    Jennifer Cazenave, "An Archive of the Catastrophe: The Unused Footage of Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah" (SUNY Press, 2019)

    Jennifer Cazenave, "An Archive of the Catastrophe: The Unused Footage of Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah" (SUNY Press, 2019)

    Jennifer Cazenave’s An Archive of the Catastrophe: The Unused Footage of Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah (SUNY Press, 2019) is a fascinating analysis of the 220 hours of outtakes edited out of the final nine and a half-hour 1985 film with which listeners and readers might be familiar. Well known around the world as one of the greatest documentary films ever made, and certainly one of the most important works/artifacts of Holocaust history and memory, Lanzmann’s eventual finished film emerged from an astonishing 230 hours of interview footage shot in various locations. Commissioned originally by the State of Israel to make a film about the catastrophe, Lanzmann collected these testimonies over a period of several years before beginning the epic task of editing the film. He saved the outtakes as a vital repository of accounts of those who had lived through the Shoah. The footage has since been acquired, preserved, and digitized as an archive by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
    The chapters of Cazenave’s book explore the film’s conceptualization and production, reframing the final film in terms of all that it left out, to think about what was included in relationship to those stories and scenes excluded for different reasons. Over years from an initial dissertation project to this volume, Cazenave pursued the story of the film and its outtakes through archival research, detective work, and close technical, aesthetic and theoretical consideration. The resulting analysis takes author and reader from consideration of the film/archive in relationship to Holocaust trials (and especially the Eichmann trial of 1961), to issues of gender and the feminine, to the question of rescue and refugees, as well as debates about representation, witnessing, and testimony. The book is a wonderful and complex study that will be of great interest to readers in Holocaust and cinema studies. The magnum opus of a French filmmaker working with a largely French crew, and produced with funding provided in part by the French government, the film also illuminates, in its own ways (including its silences) the difficult French past and politics of Holocaust history and memory.
    Roxanne Panchasi is an Associate Professor of History at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada who specializes in twentieth and twenty-first century France and its empire. She is the author of Future Tense: The Culture of Anticipation in France Between the Wars (2009). Her current research focuses on the history of French nuclear weapons and testing since 1945. Her most recent article, '"No Hiroshima in Africa": The Algerian War and the Question of French Nuclear Tests in the Sahara' appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of History of the Present. She lives and reads in Vancouver, Canada. If you have a recent title to suggest for the podcast, please send her an email (panchasi@sfu.ca).
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Benjamin Dangl, "The Five Hundred Year Rebellion: Indigenous Movements and the Decolonization of History in Bolivia" (AK Press, 2019)

    Benjamin Dangl, "The Five Hundred Year Rebellion: Indigenous Movements and the Decolonization of History in Bolivia" (AK Press, 2019)

    Moments before his death at the hands of Spanish colonial officials on November 15, 1781, Aymaran leader Túpac Katari assured his apostles as well as his adversaries that he would “return as millions.” As promised, Katari’s presence in Bolivia did not end with his life. In the centuries since his historic siege of La Paz, Katari has returned often, and remains a cornerstone of the five-hundred-year-long rebellion to reclaim and restore an Indigenous world that long predated the formation of Bolivia. Such a rebellion is the topic of Benjamin Dangl’s latest book, The Five Hundred Year Rebellion: Indigenous Movements and the Decolonization of History in Bolivia (AK Press, 2019), a deep dive into the historical roots and contemporary relevancy of Indigenous-led movements in modern Bolivia.
    Drawing on fifteen years of journalistic experience in Bolivia, Dangl demonstrates the ways that Aymara, Quechua, and Guaraní intellectuals, activists, and communities use history as a means of resistance. Dangl shows how the Indigenous campesino union, the Andean Oral History Workshop, caciques apoderados, and other Indigenous activists seized historical knowledge and symbolism as their own, reminding the world of their role as agents of historical change. Over the last several decades, such efforts have led to monumental shifts in Bolivian politics that have permanently transformed the past, present, and future of the country.
    Benjamin Dangl teaches journalism at the University of Vermont where he is Lecturer of Public Communication in the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics. As a specialist of Bolivian politics, Dangl provides New Books listeners with insightful commentary on the historical context and immediate impact of the recent coup that removed Indigenous president Evo Morales from power.
    Annabel LaBrecque is a PhD student in the Department of History at UC Berkeley. You can find her on Twitter @labrcq.
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    • 53 min

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