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Interviews with Scholars of Gender about their New Books
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    • Science

Interviews with Scholars of Gender about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/gender-studies

    Rebecca Corbett, "Cultivating Femininity: Women and Tea Culture in Edo and Meiji Japan" (U Hawaii Press, 2019)

    Rebecca Corbett, "Cultivating Femininity: Women and Tea Culture in Edo and Meiji Japan" (U Hawaii Press, 2019)

    The overwhelming majority of tea practitioners in contemporary Japan are women, but there has been little discussion on their historical role in tea culture (chanoyu). In Cultivating Femininity: Women and Tea Culture in Edo and Meiji Japan (U Hawaii Press, 2019), Rebecca Corbett (USC East Asian Library) writes women back into this history and shows how tea practice for women was understood, articulated, and promoted in the Edo (1603–1868) and Meiji (1868–1912) periods. Viewing chanoyu 茶の湯 from the lens of feminist and gender theory, she sheds new light on tea’s undeniable influence on the formation of modern understandings of femininity in Japan.
    Corbett overturns the iemoto 家元 tea school’s carefully constructed orthodox narrative by employing underused primary sources and closely examining existing tea histories. She incorporates Pierre Bourdieu’s theories of social and cultural capital and Norbert Elias’s “civilizing process” to explore the economic and social incentives for women taking part in chanoyu. Although the iemoto system sought to increase its control over every aspect of tea, including book production, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century popular texts aimed specifically at women evidence the spread of tea culture beyond parameters set by the schools. The expansion of chanoyu to new social groups cascaded from commoner men to elite then commoner women. Shifting the focus away from male tea masters complicates the history of tea in Japan and shows how women of different social backgrounds worked within and without traditionally accepted paradigms of tea practice. The direct socioeconomic impact of the spread of tea is ultimately revealed in subsequent advances in women’s labor opportunities and an increase in female social mobility. Through their participation in chanoyu, commoner women were able to blur and lessen the status gap between themselves and women of aristocratic and samurai status.
    Cultivating Femininity offers a new perspective on the prevalence of tea practice among women in modern Japan. It presents a fresh, much-needed approach, one that will be appreciated by students and scholars of Japanese history, gender, and culture, as well as by tea practitioners.
    This book is now available for free in open access at DOAB, ProjectMuse, and JSTOR. 
    Takeshi Morisato is philosopher and sometimes academic. He is the editor of the European Journal of Japanese Philosophy. He specializes in comparative and Japanese philosophy but he is also interested in making Japan and philosophy accessible to a wider audience.
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    • 1 hr 17 min
    Suzanne Cope, "Power Hungry: Women of the Black Panther Party and Freedom Summer and Their Fight to Feed a Movement" (Lawrence Hill Books, 2021)

    Suzanne Cope, "Power Hungry: Women of the Black Panther Party and Freedom Summer and Their Fight to Feed a Movement" (Lawrence Hill Books, 2021)

    Today I talked to Suzanne Cope about her new book Power Hungry: Women of the Black Panther Party and Freedom Summer and Their Fight to Feed a Movement (Lawrence Hill Books, 2021)
    In early 1969 Cleo Silvers and a few Black Panther Party members met at a community center laden with boxes of donated food to cook for the neighborhood children. By the end of the year, the Black Panthers would be feeding more children daily in all of their breakfast programs than the state of California was at that time.
    More than a thousand miles away, Aylene Quin had spent the decade using her restaurant in McComb, Mississippi, to host secret planning meetings of civil rights leaders and organizations, feed the hungry, and cement herself as a community leader who could bring people together--physically and philosophically--over a meal.
    These two women's tales, separated by a handful of years, tell the same story: how food was used by women as a potent and necessary ideological tool in both the rural south and urban north to create lasting social and political change. The leadership of these women cooking and serving food in a safe space for their communities was so powerful, the FBI resorted to coordinated extensive and often illegal means to stop the efforts of these two women, and those using similar tactics, under COINTELPRO--turning a blind eye to the firebombing of the children of a restaurant owner, destroying food intended for poor kids, and declaring a community breakfast program a major threat to public safety.
    But of course, it was never just about the food.
    Carrie Helms Tippen is Assistant Professor of English at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she teaches courses in American Literature.
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    • 1 hr 10 min
    Yakir Englander, "The Male Body in Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Theology" (Pickwick Publications, 2021)

    Yakir Englander, "The Male Body in Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Theology" (Pickwick Publications, 2021)

    How does Ultra-Orthodox Jewish literature describe the male body? What does the body represent? What is the ideal male body? In The Male Body in Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Theology, published in 2021 by Pickwick Publications, Yakir Englander presents a philosophical-theological exploration of the different images of the male body in Ultra-Orthodox literature since the holocaust. The body is not incidental to this community but is the axis by which it tries to understand its meaning and its role in life.
    In the first part of the book, Englander explains the “problem of the body” and the different ways that Ultra-Orthodox theology deals with it. These different and even contradictory voices can teach the reader about the shifting of ideas inside Ultra-Orthodox thought in the last decades. The second part of the book focuses on the image of the ideal body and describes how the rabbis train their bodies to reach ultimate form.
    Yakir Englander is a scholar and an activist who teaches at the Academy for Jewish Religion and is also a host on the New Books Network.
    Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020). 
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    • 59 min
    Coleen Ammerman and Boris Groysberg, "Glass Half Broken: Shattering the Barriers That Still Hold Women Back at Work" (HBR Press, 2021)

    Coleen Ammerman and Boris Groysberg, "Glass Half Broken: Shattering the Barriers That Still Hold Women Back at Work" (HBR Press, 2021)

    Today I talked to Colleen Ammerman about her new book (co-authored with Boris Groysberg) Glass Half Broken: Shattering the Barriers That Still Hold Women Back at Work (HBR Press, 2021).
    The statistics are annoying, exasperating: choose your adjective. The proportion of female CEOs struggles to break 10%. On Fortune 500 boards, only about 0% of the seats are held by women. The problems with achieving gender fairness go on and on. Fortunately, my guest Colleen Ammerman covers many potentially solid ways of addressing the injustices still present. They include not tolerating bad behavior from “rainmakers”—even to the point of disallowing severance pay or other benefit if terminated due to sexual misconduct. Declining invitations to events that don’t prioritize gender diversity among speakers is another avenue of applying some pressure for change. From job interviews being structured before, to ensuring mentors are available, Ammerman offers a wealth of ideas. For anybody who wants to witness both structural changes and cultural changes within companies, this episode is well worth a listen.
    Colleen Ammerman, the director of the Harvard Business School Gender Initiative. She’s also a researcher with Life and Leadership After HBS.
    Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of nine books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc. (https://www.sensorylogic.com). His new book is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo. To check out his related “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight” blog, visit https://emotionswizard.com.
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    • 36 min
    Einav Rabinovitch-Fox, "Dressed for Freedom: The Fashionable Politics of American Feminism" (U Illinois Press, 2021)

    Einav Rabinovitch-Fox, "Dressed for Freedom: The Fashionable Politics of American Feminism" (U Illinois Press, 2021)

    In Dressed for Freedom: The Fashionable Politics of American Feminism (University of Illinois Press, 2021), Einav Rabinovitch-Fox examines how clothes empowered women, and particularly women barred from positions of influence due to race or class. Moving from 1890s shirtwaists through the miniskirts and unisex styles of the 1970s, Rabinovitch-Fox shows how the rise of mass media culture made fashion a vehicle for women to assert claims over their bodies, femininity, and social roles. She highlights how trends in women's sartorial practices expressed ideas of independence and equality. As women employed new clothing styles, they expanded feminist activism beyond formal organizations and movements and reclaimed fashion as a realm of pleasure, power, and feminist consciousness. Dressed for Freedom examines how fashion and clothing are everyday feminist practices. 
    Rebekah Buchanan is an Associate Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music.
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Laurie R. Lambert, "Comrade Sister: Caribbean Feminist Revisions of the Grenada Revolution" (U Virginia Press, 2020)

    Laurie R. Lambert, "Comrade Sister: Caribbean Feminist Revisions of the Grenada Revolution" (U Virginia Press, 2020)

    My conversation with Laurie Lambert, author of Comrade Sister: Caribbean Feminist Revisions of the Grenada Revolution (University of Virginia Press, 2020). This book asks us to rethink the Grenadan Revolution through the literature of authors including Merle Collins, Dionne Brand, Derek Walcott and others. Lambert's attention to gender offers new narratives through which to consider the relationships between violence, memory, trauma, and colonialism. We talk about her writing process and methods, and about the broader implications of her book to Caribbean historiography. 
    Alejandra Bronfman is Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies Latin American, Caribbean & U.S. Latino Studies at SUNY, Albany.
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    • 45 min

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