491 episodes

Interviews with Historians about their New Books
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New Books in History Marshall Poe

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.4 • 19 Ratings

Interviews with Historians about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/history

    Steven B. Miles, "Opportunity in Crisis: Cantonese Migrants and the State in Late Qing China" (Harvard UP, 2021)

    Steven B. Miles, "Opportunity in Crisis: Cantonese Migrants and the State in Late Qing China" (Harvard UP, 2021)

    Opportunity in Crisis: Cantonese Migrants and the State in Late Qing China (Harvard UP, 2021) explores the history of late Qing Cantonese migration along the West River basin during war and reconstruction and the impact of those developments on the relationship between state and local elites on the Guangxi frontier. By situating Cantonese upriver and overseas migration within the same framework, Steven Miles re-conceives the late Qing as an age of Cantonese diasporic expansion rather than one of state decline.
    The book opens with crisis: rising levels of violence targeting Cantonese riverine commerce, much of it fomented by a geographically mobile Cantonese underclass. Miles then narrates the ensuing history of a Cantonese rebel regime established in Guangxi in the wake of the Taiping uprising. Subsequent chapters discuss opportunities created by this crisis and its aftermath and demonstrate important continuities and changes across the mid-century divide. With the reassertion of Qing control, Cantonese commercial networks in Guangxi expanded dramatically and became an increasingly important source of state revenue. Through its reliance on Hunanese and Cantonese to reconquer Guangxi, the Qing state allowed these diasporic cohorts more flexibility in colonizing the provincial administration and examination apparatus, helping to recreate a single polity on the eve of China’s transition from empire to nation-state.
    Huiying Chen is an Assistant Professor in History at Purdue University. She is interested in the circulation of people, goods, and ideas and how societies in history and today cope with the challenges wrought by increased travel in aspects of culture, politics, commerce, law, science, and technology.
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    • 42 min
    Lindsay Starkey, "Encountering Water in Early Modern Europe and Beyond" (Amsterdam UP, 2020)

    Lindsay Starkey, "Encountering Water in Early Modern Europe and Beyond" (Amsterdam UP, 2020)

    What is holding the oceans back from entirely flooding the earth? While a twenty-first century thinker may approach the answer to this question within a framework of gravity and geologic deep-time, Lindsay Starkey demonstrates in her monograph, Encountering Water in Early Modern Europe and Beyond: Redefining the Universe Through Natural Philosophy, Religious Reformations, and Sea Voyaging (Amsterdam University Press, 2020) how thinkers from antiquity to the sixteen-century held their own beliefs explaining the complex relation between dry land and water. After providing a detailed intellectual genealogy connecting the Early Modern Period with antiquity based on the transmission of knowledge through bookish methods, Starkey provides an extensively researched analysis explaining how and why perspectives and concerns about water began shifting in the sixteenth century due to sea voyages that revised medieval speculation about geographic composition of land-mass and oceans in the southern hemisphere. As we join the bookish lineage with Encountering Water in Early Modern Europe and Beyond please enjoy the episode not just for the incredible insight into the past, but to use as an opportunity to reconsider our current water crisis.
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    • 54 min
    Harvey J. Graff, "The Literacy Myth: Cultural Integration and Social Structure in the Nineteenth Century" (Transaction, 1991)

    Harvey J. Graff, "The Literacy Myth: Cultural Integration and Social Structure in the Nineteenth Century" (Transaction, 1991)

    Harvey Graff's pioneering study presents a new and original interpretation of the place of literacy in nineteenth-century society and culture. Based upon an intensive comparative historical analysis, employing both qualitative and quantitative techniques, and on a wide range of sources, The Literacy Myth: Cultural Integration and Social Structure in the Nineteenth Century (Transaction, 1991; new edition Routledge, 2017) reevaluates the role typically assigned to literacy in historical scholarship, cultural understanding, economic development schemes, and social doctrines and ideologies.
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    • 1 hr 13 min
    Katherine L. Carroll, "Building Schools, Making Doctors: Architecture and the Modern American Physician" (U Pittsburgh Press, 2022)

    Katherine L. Carroll, "Building Schools, Making Doctors: Architecture and the Modern American Physician" (U Pittsburgh Press, 2022)

    In the late nineteenth century, medical educators intent on transforming American physicians into scientifically trained, elite professionals recognized the value of medical school design for their reform efforts. Between 1893 and 1940, nearly every medical college in the country rebuilt or substantially renovated its facility. In Building Schools, Making Doctors: Architecture and the Modern American Physician (U Pittsburgh Press, 2022), Katherine Carroll reveals how the schools constructed during this fifty-year period did more than passively house a remodeled system of medical training; they actively participated in defining and promoting an innovative pedagogy, modern science, and the new physician.
    Interdisciplinary and wide ranging, her study moves architecture from the periphery of medical education to the center, uncovering a network of medical educators, architects, and philanthropists who believed that the educational environment itself shaped how students learned and the type of physicians they became. Carroll offers the first comprehensive study of the science and pedagogy formulated by the buildings, the influence of the schools’ donors and architects, the impact of the structures on the urban landscape and the local community, and the facilities’ privileging of white men within the medical profession during this formative period for physicians and medical schools.
    Rachel Pagones is an acupuncturist, educator, and author based in Cambridge, England. Her book, Acupuncture as Revolution: Suffering, Liberation, and Love (Brevis Press) was published in 2021.
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    • 47 min
    Anastasia Shesterinina, "Mobilizing in Uncertainty: Collective Identities and War in Abkhazia" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    Anastasia Shesterinina, "Mobilizing in Uncertainty: Collective Identities and War in Abkhazia" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    Anastasia Shesterinina begins Mobilizing in Uncertainty: Collective Identities and War in Abkhazia (Cornell University Press, 2021) with an account of Georgian troops crossing into eastern Abkhazia, in the Southern Caucasus region adjacent Russia, on August 14, 1992. Thus the war that is the book’s subject began. Yet, people didn’t know it at the time. In fact, the question on people’s lips was: is this a war? The answer to the question was: yes. But the uncertainty to which the question gave voice led Shesterinina to the questions motivating this book, namely: how do ordinary people deal with uncertainty in civil war? How do they decide whether and in what way to mobilise, and for whom?
    On this episode of New Books in Interpretive Political and Social Science Anastasia Shesterinina discusses her answers to these questions. Along the way, she also reflects on the inadequacies of theories that underestimate or overlook the uncertainty that pervades wartime conditions, particularly in wars’ earliest days; on the conduct and ethics of interview and ethnographic research in post-war settings; and, on the relevance of her research on Abkhazia for our understanding of the war in Ukraine today—and on why comparison of the two is, for her, not just an intellectually or politically interesting exercise.
    Mobilizing in Uncertainty is (with Mona El-Ghobashy’s Bread and Freedom: Egypt’s Revolutionary Situation, Stanford, 2021) joint winner of the 2022 Charles Taylor Book Award, awarded annually by the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods group of the American Political Science Association for the best book in political science that employs or develops interpretive methodologies and methods.
    Nick Cheesman is associate professor in the Department of Political and Social Change, Australian National University and in Fall 2022 a fellow at the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, University at Buffalo. He is a committee member of the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods group of the American Political Science Association and co-convenes the Interpretation, Method, Critique network at the ANU.
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Miriam Thaggert, "Riding Jane Crow: African American Women on the American Railroad" (U Illinois Press, 2022)

    Miriam Thaggert, "Riding Jane Crow: African American Women on the American Railroad" (U Illinois Press, 2022)

    Miriam Thaggert illuminates the stories of African American women as passengers and as workers on the nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century railroad. As Jim Crow laws became more prevalent and forced Black Americans to "ride Jim Crow" on the rails, the train compartment became a contested space of leisure and work. 
    Riding Jane Crow: African American Women on the American Railroad (U Illinois Press, 2022) examines four instances of Black female railroad travel: the travel narratives of Black female intellectuals such as Anna Julia Cooper and Mary Church Terrell; Black middle-class women who sued to ride in first class "ladies' cars"; Black women railroad food vendors; and Black maids on Pullman trains. Thaggert argues that the railroad represented a technological advancement that was entwined with African American attempts to secure social progress. Black women's experiences on or near the railroad illustrate how American technological progress has often meant their ejection or displacement; thus, it is the Black woman who most fully measures the success of American freedom and privilege, or "progress," through her travel experiences.
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    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
19 Ratings

19 Ratings

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