New Books in Sociology

New Books in Sociology

newbooksnetwork.com/category/politics-society/sociology
Interviews with Sociologists about their New Books


Jean Halley, “Horse Crazy: Girls and the Lives of Horses” (U Georgia Press, 2019)
Jul 7 • 51 min
Today Jana Byars talks to Jean Halley, Professor of Sociology at the College of Staten Island and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York about her new book Horse Crazy: Girls and the Lives of Horses (University of Georgia Press, 2019).…
S. Moskalenko and C. McCauley, “Radicalization to Terrorism: What Everyone Needs to Know” (Oxford UP, 2020)
Jul 6 • 58 min
Terrorism and radicalization came to the forefront of news and politics in the US after the unforgettable attacks of September 11th, 2001. When George W. Bush famously asked “Why do they hate us?,” the President echoed the confusion, anger and fear felt…
Jonathan Parry, “Classes of Labor: Work and Life in an Indian Steel Town” (Routledge, 2020)
Jul 3 • 113 min
Classes of Labour: Work and Life in a Central Indian Steel Town (Routledge, 2020) is a classic in the social sciences. The rigour and richness of the ethnographic data of this book and its analysis is matched only by its literary style. This magnum opus…
Co-Authored: Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward
Jul 2 • 31 min
When you ask people about academic collaborations, Piven and Cloward is almost always the first one they mention. In this episode of the Co-Authored podcast, we look at the four-decade collaboration between Professors Frances Fox Piven and Richard…
A. P. Carnevale, “The Merit Myth: How Our Colleges Favor the Rich and Divide America” (The New Press, 2020)
Jul 2 • 26 min
Colleges fiercely defend America’s higher education system, arguing that it rewards bright kids who have worked hard. But it doesn’t actually work this way. As the recent bribery scandal demonstrates, social inequalities and colleges’ pursuit of wealth…
Ali Meghji, “Black Middle-Class Britannia: Identities, Repertoires, Cultural Consumption” (Manchester UP, 2019)
Jul 1 • 35 min
Who are the Black middle-class in Britain? In Black Middle-Class Britannia: Identities, Repertoires, Cultural Consumption (Manchester University Press, 2019) Ali Meghji, a lecturer in social inequalities at the University of Cambridge, considers the…
Mark Vincent, “Criminal Subculture in the Gulag” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020)
Jun 30 • 49 min
Most Gulag scholarship focuses on political prisoners and, as a result, our knowledge of the camps as a lived experience remains relatively incomplete. Criminal Subculture in the Gulag: Prisoner Society in the Stalinist Labour Camps, 1924–53 (Bloomsbury…
Theodor Adorno, “The Authoritarian Personality” (Verso, 2019)
Jun 30 • 74 min
70 years ago, the philosopher Theodore Adorno and a team of scholars released a massive book titled The Authoritarian Personality (Verso, 2019), which attempted to map the psychological and emotional dynamics of those who might find themselves seduced by…
D. Conley and J. Eckstein, “Cookery: Food Rhetorics and Social Production” (U Alabama Press, 2020)
Jun 30 • 52 min
On this episode of the New Books Network, Dr. Lee Pierce (s/t) interviews editors Donovan Conley and Justin Eckstein about their new book Cookery: Food Rhetorics and Social Production (University of Alabama Press, 2020), which explores the rhetoric of…
Pepper Glass, “Misplacing Ogden, Utah” (U Utah Press, 2020)
Jun 30 • 34 min
Pepper Glass’s new book Misplacing Ogden, Utah: Race, Class, Immigration, and the Construction of Urban Reputation (University of Utah Press, 2020) evaluates the widely held assumption that divisions between urban areas are reflections of varying amounts…
Tsedale Melaku, “You Don’t Look Like a Lawyer: Black Women and Systemic Gendered Racism” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2019)
Jun 29 • 51 min
What kind of discrimination do Black women face in the legal profession? Tsedale Melaku explores this question and more in her new book: You Don’t Look Like a Lawyer: Black Women and Systemic Gendered Racism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). Using in-depth…
Charlotte Bruckermann, “Claiming Homes: Confronting Domicide in Rural China” (Berghahn Books, 2019)
Jun 24 • 48 min
Today I talked to Charlotte Bruckermann about her new book Claiming Homes: Confronting Domicide in Rural China (Berghahn Books, 2019). Chinese citizens make themselves at home despite economic transformation, political rupture, and domestic dislocation in…
Monika Gosin, “The Racial Politics of Division: Interethnic Struggles For Legitimacy in Multicultural Miami” (Cornell UP, 2019)
Jun 22 • 60 min
Over recent years, scholarship centering Afrolatinidad has pushed the bounds of the field towards greater forms of racial and ethnic understanding. Dr. Monika Gosin’s monograph, The Racial Politics of Division: Interethnic Struggles For Legitimacy in…
Mariann Hardey, “The Culture of Women in Tech: An Unsuitable Job for a Woman” (Emerald, 2019)
Jun 22 • 43 min
What is the culture of the tech industry? In The Culture of Women in Tech: An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (Emerald, 2019), Mariann Hardey, an Associate Professor in Marketing at Durham University, shows the ongoing inequalities faced by women in the IT…
Rebecca Hanson and Patricia Richards, “Harassed: Gender, Bodies, and Ethnographic Research” (U California Press, 2019)
Jun 22 • 62 min
Researchers frequently experience sexualized interactions, sexual objectification, and harassment as they conduct fieldwork. These experiences are often left out of ethnographers’ “tales from the field” and remain unaddressed within qualitative…
Robert Samet, “Deadline: Populism and the Press in Venezuela” (U Chicago Press, 2019)
Jun 19 • 57 min
Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, has been ranked as one of the most violent cities in the world. In Deadline: Populism and the Press in Venezuela (University of Chicago Press, 2019), Robert Samet undertakes ethnography with crime journalists on their…
George Lawson, “Anatomies of Revolution” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
Jun 19 • 84 min
The success of populist politicians and the emergence of social justice movements around the world, and the recent demonstrations against police violence in the United States, demonstrate a widespread desire for fundamental political, economic, and social…
Marcia Chatelain, “Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America” (Liveright, 2020)
Jun 18 • 70 min
Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America (Liveright, 2020) by Marcia Chatelain is a fascinating examination of the relationship between the fast-food industry, Black business owners, and the communities where they set up franchises after the Holy…
E. Lonergan and M. Blyth, “Angrynomics” (Agenda/Columbia UP, 2020)
Jun 18 • 46 min
How are we going to address inequality and put the economy on a sounder footing? Today I talked to Eric Lonergan and Mark Blyth about their new book Angrynomics (Agenda Publishing/Columbia University Press, 2020). Lonergan is an economist and macro fund…
Joy White, “Terraformed: Young Black Lives in the Inner City” (Repeater Books, 2020)
Jun 17 • 36 min
How are black lives lived in the contemporary city? In Terraformed: Young Black Lives in the Inner City, Dr Joy White, a sociologist and ethnographer based in London, explores the case study of Newham in East London to illustrate issues of privatisation,…
Nora Haenn, “Marriage after Migration: An Ethnography of Money, Romance, and Gender in Globalizing Mexico” (Oxford UP, 2019)
Jun 17 • 53 min
Marriage after Migration: An Ethnography of Money, Romance, and Gender in Globalizing Mexico (Oxford University Press, 2019) tells the stories of five women in rural Mexico, each navigating the tricky terrain that is men’s international migration. With…
R. Farrugia and K. D. Hay, “Women Rapping Revolution: Hip Hop and Community Building in Detroit” (U California Press, 2020)
Jun 17 • 50 min
On this episode of the New Books Network, Lee Pierce (s/t) interviews Rebekah Farrugia and Kellie D. Hay of Oakland University on their new book Women Rapping Revolution.(University of California Press, 2020). Detroit, Michigan, has long been recognized…
Barbara J. Risman, “Where the Millennials Will Take Us: A New Generation Wrestles with the Gender Structure” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Jun 16 • 59 min
In Where the Millennials Will Take Us: A New Generation Wrestles with the Gender Structure (Oxford University Press 2018), Barbara J. Risman uses her gender structure theory to tackle the question about whether today’s young people, Millennials, are…
Shauna L. Shames et al., “Good Reason to Run: Women and Political Candidacy” (Temple UP, 2020)
Jun 11 • 56 min
Good Reason to Run: Women and Political Candidacy (Temple University Press, 2020) is an excellent text that provides a wealth of information and analysis of the reasons why women (and men) choose to run for public office and what that path looks like in…
Daniel Q. Gillion, “The Loud Minority: Why Protests Matter in American Democracy” (Princeton UP, 2020)
Jun 9 • 51 min
Political Scientist Daniel Q. Gillion’s new book, The Loud Minority: Why Protests Matter in American Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2020) is an incredibly topical and important analysis of the connection between protests and the influence this…
Martina Cvajner, “Soviet Signoras: Personal and Collective Transformations in Eastern European Migration” (U Chicago, 2019)
Jun 9 • 50 min
Jana Byars talks with Martina Cvajner, Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Psychology and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Trento, about her new book, Soviet Signoras: Personal and Collective Transformations in Eastern European…
B. J. Pine II and J. H. Gilmore, “The Experience Economy: Competing for Customer Time, Attention, and Money” (HBR Press, 2020)
Jun 4 • 48 min
How is the retail sector going to be best able to survive the Amazon juggernaut? I address this question with B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore in a discussion of their book The Experience Economy: Competing for Customer Time, Attention, and Money…
S. E. Schier and T. E. Eberly, “How Trump Happened: A System Shock Decades in the Making” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2020)
Jun 4 • 40 min
How did Donald Trump’s leveraging of emotions get him to The White House? Today I discussed this question with Steven E. Schier and Todd E. Eberly, co-authors of the new book How Trump Happened: A System Shock Decades in the Making (Rowman and…
James C. Scott, “Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States” (Yale UP, 2017)
Jun 4 • 54 min
We are schooled to believe that states formed more or less synchronously with settlement and agriculture. In Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States (Yale University Press, 2017), James C. Scott asks us to question this belief. The…
Michele Wakin, “Hobo Jungle: A Homeless Community in Paradise” (Lynne Rienner, 2020)
Jun 4 • 51 min
Michele Wakin’s new book Hobo Jungle: A Homeless Community in Paradise (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2020) is an up-close exploration of the evolution that has taken place with unsheltered homelessness. She provided an evocative portrait of a jungle…
Sam Han, “(Inter)Facing Death: Life in Global Uncertainty” (Routledge, 2020)
Jun 4 • 52 min
In modern times, death is understood to have undergone a transformation not unlike religion. Whereas in the past it was out in the open, it now resides mostly in specialized spaces of sequestration—funeral homes, hospitals and other medical facilities. A…
Brian Greene, “Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe” (Random House, 2020)
Jun 2 • 120 min
Brian Greene is a Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Columbia University in the City of New York, where he is the Director of the Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics, and co-founder and chair of the World Science Festival. He…
Mary-Kate Lizotte, “Gender Differences in Public Opinion: Values and Political Consequences” (Temple UP, 2020)
Jun 1 • 50 min
Political Scientist Mary-Kate Lizotte’s new book, Gender Differences in Public Opinion: Values and Political Consequences (Temple University Press, 2020) helps us to understand the concept of the gender gap in American politics and how this gap looks…
Diana Fu, “Mobilizing Without the Masses: Control and Contention in China” (Cambridge UP, 2017)
May 27 • 43 min
When advocacy organizations are forbidden from rallying people to take to the streets, what do they do? Diana Fu’s nuanced ethnography of Chinese labor organizations demonstrates how grassroots non-governmental organizations (NGOs) mobilize under…
Joel Thiessen and Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme, “None of the Above: Nonreligious Identity in the US and Canada” (NYU Press, 2020)
May 27 • 61 min
In recent decades, the number of Americans and Canadians who identify has nonreligious has risen considerably. With nearly one quarter of Canadian and American adults identifying as nonreligious, religious “nones” represent a sizable and growing group…
Govind Gopakumar, “Installing Automobility: Emerging Politics of Mobility and Streets in Indian Cities” (MIT Press, 2020)
May 27 • 56 min
Automobiles and their associated infrastructures, deeply embedded in Western cities, have become a rapidly growing presence in the mega-cities of the Global South. Streets, once crowded with pedestrians, pushcarts, vendors, and bicyclists, are now choked…
Richard Lachmann, “First Class Passengers on a Sinking Ship: Elite Politics and the Decline of Great Powers” (Verso, 2020)
May 27 • 71 min
Richard Lachmann’s First Class Passengers on a Sinking Ship: Elite Politics and the Decline of Great Powers (Verso, 2020) is a two-for-one deal. The first half of the book is a historical analysis of why some empires transform their geopolitical power…
Kevin Duong, “The Virtues of Violence: Democracy Against Disintegration in Modern France” (Oxford UP, 2020)
May 26 • 57 min
Kevin Duong, a political theorist in the Politics Department at the University of Virginia, has written a fascinating analysis of the way that violence has been used, in a sense, to create or promote solidarity during the course of the “long nineteenth…
Adriana Mica, “Sociology as Analysis of the Unintended: From the Problem of Ignorance to the Discovery of the Possible” (Routledge, 2020)
May 26 • 39 min
Sociology of unintended consequences is commonly depicted as a framework for understanding the outcomes that run counter to the initial intentions of social actors because of factors such as ignorance, error and complexity. This conventional approach,…
Santiago Zabala, “Being at Large: Freedom in the Ago of Alternative Facts” (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2020)
May 25 • 57 min
In recent years, questions around the nature of ​truth ​and ​facts have reentered public debate, often in discussions around journalistic bias, and whether politically neutral reporting is possible, or even desirable. Many pundits have tried to place…
Ashley Mears, “Very Important People: Status and Beauty in the Global Party Circuit” (Princeton UP, 2020)
May 22 • 52 min
Ashley Mears’ new book Very Important People: Status and Beauty in the Global Party Circuit (Princeton University Press, 2020) provides readers with a closer look at the global party circuit. A lifestyle that offers million-dollar birthday parties,…
Yassir Morsi, “Radical Skin, Moderate Masks: De-radicalising the Muslim and Racism in Post-racial Societies” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017)
May 22 • 77 min
Muslims living in locations like Australia, Europe, or North America exist within a context dominated by white racial norms and are forced to grapple with those conventions on a daily basis. If they succeed in meeting the presiding criterion of secular…
James M. Jasper, “Public Characters: The Politics of Reputation and Blame” (Oxford UP, 2020)
May 22 • 44 min
Did Donald Trump win the U.S. presidency in 2016 because he was a master of character work – able to sum up opponents in pithy epithets that encourage the public to see them as weak or immoral? What is character work and how do characters with roots in…
T. Skocpol and C. Tervo, “Upending American Politics: Polarizing Parties, Ideological Elites, and Citizen Activists from the Tea Party to the Anti-Trump Resistance” (Oxford UP, 2019)
May 21 • 67 min
How can we make sense of the elections of Barack Obama and Donald Trump? What forces moved American politics from the first African-American president and an all-Democratic Congress (2008) to ethno-nationalist rhetoric and GOP control of Congress (2016)?…
Yaacov Yadgar, “Israel’s Jewish Identity Crisis: State and Politics in the Middle East” (Cambridge UP, 2020)
May 21 • 55 min
Yaacov Yadgar discusses his new book, Israel’s Jewish Identity Crisis: State and Politics in the Middle East (Cambridge University Press, 2020) with Peter Bergamin. An important and topical contribution to the field of Middle East studies, this…
C. M. Driscoll and M. R. Miller, “Method as Identity: Manufacturing Distance in the Academic Study of Religion” (Lexington, 2018)
May 21 • 76 min
In the study of religion there are various camps that each approach their subjects in unique ways. Each method is shaped by particular interpretive choices, such as to be objectively neutral, experientially invested, or use scientific measures, for…
Massimo Modonesi, “The Antagonistic Principle: Marxism and Political Action​” (Haymarket, 2019)
May 21 • 43 min
What does it mean to be a political subject? This is one of the key questions asked by Massimo Modonesi in ​The Antagonistic Principle: Marxism and Political Action (2019)​, published as part of the Historical Materialism book series from Brill and…
Cailin O’Connor, “The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread” (Yale UP, 2018)
May 20 • 42 min
Why should we care about having true beliefs? And why do demonstrably false beliefs persist and spread despite bad, even fatal, consequences for the people who hold them? In The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread (Yale University Press, 2018),…
Nancy J. Chodorow, “The Psychoanalytic Ear and the Sociological Eye” (Routledge 2020)
May 20 • 66 min
In The Psychoanalytic Ear and the Sociological Eye: Toward an American Independent Tradition (Routledge 2020) Professor Nancy J. Chodorow gives name and shape to an American middle group between the ego psychological and interpersonal approaches: The…
Julia C. Strauss, “State Formation in China and Taiwan: Bureaucracy, Campaign, and Performance” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
May 20 • 98 min
State Formation in China and Taiwan: Bureaucracy, Campaign, and Performance (Cambridge University Press, 2019) by Julia C. Strauss is a comparative study of regime consolidation in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (Taiwan)…
Sarah M. A. Gualtieri, “Arab Routes: Pathways to Syrian California” (Stanford UP, 2019)
May 20 • 60 min
In her latest book, Arab Routes: Pathways to Syrian California(Stanford University Press, 2019), Sarah M. A. Gualtieri uncovers the dynamic and complex stories of Arabic-speaking migrant communities who came to call Southern California home. Rather than a…
Stacy Wolf, “Beyond Broadway: The Pleasure and Promise of Musical Theatre Across America” (Oxford UP, 2019)
May 18 • 67 min
On this episode, Lee Pierce (she/they) interviews Stacy Wolf of Princeton University about her book Beyond Broadway: The Pleasure and Promise of Musical Theatre Across America (Oxford University Press, 2019), an exploration of the complexities of amateur…
Nick Prior, “Popular Music, Digital Technology and Society” (SAGE, 2018)
May 18 • 71 min
Nick Prior—Professor of Cultural Sociology at the University of Edinburgh—discusses his new book, Popular Music, Digital Technology and Society (SAGE Publications, 2018). The book explores the social, cultural and industrial contexts for the changes that…
T. Sangaramoorthy and K. Kroeger, “Rapid Ethnographic Assessments” (Routledge, 2020)
May 15 • 59 min
How can researchers gather information quickly, for instance in the times of COVID-19? IN their new book, Rapid Ethnographic Assessments: A Practical Approach and Toolkit for Collaborative Community Research (Routledge, 2020), Thurka Sangaramoorthy and…
Nusrat S. Chowdhury, “Paradoxes of the Popular: Crowd Politics in Bangladesh” (Stanford UP, 2019)
May 15 • 54 min
Few places are as politically precarious as Bangladesh, even fewer as crowded. Its 57,000 or so square miles are some of the world’s most inhabited. Often described as a definitive case of the bankruptcy of postcolonial governance, it is also one of the…
Pasha Mahdavi, “Power Grab: Political Survival through Extractive Resource Mobilization” (Cambridge UP, 2020)
May 14 • 48 min
Why did Muammar Qaddafi and Hugo Chavez nationalize the oil industries in Libya and Venezuela? Machiavelli urged princes to attend to both acquiring and sustaining power. In Power Grab: Political Survival through Extractive Resource Mobilization…
Forrest Stuart, “Ballad of the Bullet: Gangs, Drill Music, and the Power of Online Infamy” (Princeton UP, 2020)
May 13 • 64 min
How do young men use drill music and social media to gain power? In his new book, Ballad of the Bullet: Gangs, Drill Music, and the Power of Online Infamy (Princeton University Press, 2020), Forrest Stuart uses ethnographic and interview methods to…
Maria Rashid, “Dying to Serve: Militarism, Affect, and the Politics of Sacrifice in the Pakistan Army” (Stanford UP, 2020)
May 8 • 68 min
In her spellbindingly brilliant new book, Dying to Serve: Militarism, Affect, and the Politics of Sacrifice in the Pakistan Army (Stanford University Press, 2020), Maria Rashid conducts an intimate and layered ethnography of militarism and death in…
Matthew McManus, “The Rise of Post-Modern Conservatism” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)
May 8 • 48 min
The election of Donald Trump in 2016 shocked and surprised a number of commentators, especially because his own attitudes seemed to be in conflict with much of what people often associate with conservatism. Matt McManus argues, however, that Trump and…
Matthew McManus, “The Rise of Post-Modern Conservatism” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)
May 8 • 48 min
The election of Donald Trump in 2016 shocked and surprised a number of commentators, especially because his own attitudes seemed to be in conflict with much of what people often associate with conservatism. Matt McManus argues, however, that Trump and…
Rebecca J. Kissane and Sarah Winslow, “Whose Game?: Gender and Power in Fantasy Sports” (Temple UP, 2020)
May 7 • 66 min
Fantasy sports have the opportunity to provide a sporting community in which gendered physical presence plays no role—a space where men and women can compete and interact on a level playing field. Whose Game?: Gender and Power in Fantasy Sports (Temple…
Tyler Bickford, “Tween Pop: Children’s Music and Public Culture” (Duke UP, 2020)
May 5 • 75 min
In his new book, Tween Pop: Children’s Music and Public Culture (Duke University Press, 2020), Tyler Bickford explores how the tween music market rose during the mid to late 2000s. Bickford addresses the ways in which the music industry seized only…
Mythri Jegathesan, “Tea and Solidarity: Tamil Women and Work in Postwar Sri Lanka” (U Washington Press, 2019)
May 5 • 55 min
In recent years, commodity chain analysis – the scholarly effort to piece together the production and consumption ends of various commodities – has really taken off. For goods ranging from cotton to coffee & tobacco to tea, scholars have brought…
Ayala Fader, “Hidden Heretics: Jewish Doubt in the Digital Age” (Princeton UP, 2020)
May 5 • 93 min
What would you do if you questioned your religious faith, but revealing that would cause you to lose your family and the only way of life you had ever known? Dr. Ayala Fader explores this question in Hidden Heretics: Jewish Doubt in a Digital Age––her new…
M. R. Michelson and B. F. Harrison, “Transforming Prejudice: Identity, Fear, and Transgender Rights” (Oxford UP, 2020)
May 4 • 51 min
Since the mid-1990s, there has been a seismic shift in attitudes toward gay and lesbian people, with a majority of Americans now supporting same-sex marriage and relations between same-sex, consenting adults. However, support for transgender individuals…
Jyoti Puri, “Sexual States: Governance and the Struggle over the Antisodomy Law in India” (Duke UP, 2016)
May 1 • 55 min
In Sexual States: Governance and the Struggle over the Antisodomy Law in India (Duke UP, 2016), Jyoti Puri tracks the efforts to decriminalize homosexuality in India to show how the regulation of sexuality is fundamentally tied to the creation and…
Katie Horowitz, “Drag, Interperformance, and the Trouble with Queerness” (Routledge, 2019)
May 1 • 64 min
Published by Routledge in 2019, Drag, Interperformance, and the Trouble with Queerness is a comparative ethnography of drag king and drag queen performances in Cleveland Ohio. It uses the concept of interperformance as a framework for identity formation…
Andre Brock, “Distributed Blackness: African American Cybercultures” (NYU Press, 2020)
May 1 • 45 min
Technology has been instrumental in allowing audiences to encounter expressions of culture to which they may have no direct connection. The popular commercial platforms like Twitter and Instagram mediate culture, the affordances of each determining how…
Paul M. Renfro, “Stranger Danger: Family Values, Childhood, and the American Carceral State” (Oxford UP, 2020)
Apr 30 • 34 min
Beginning with Etan Patz’s disappearance in Manhattan in 1979, a spate of high-profile cases of missing and murdered children stoked anxieties about the threats of child kidnapping and exploitation. Publicized through an emerging twenty-four-hour news…
Fiona Vera-Gray, “The Right Amount of Panic: How Women Trade Freedom for Safety” (Policy Press, 2018)
Apr 29 • 53 min
Have you ever thought about how much energy goes into avoiding sexual violence? The work that goes into feeling safe goes largely unnoticed by the women doing it and by the wider world, and yet women and girls are the first to be blamed the inevitable…
Jathan Sadowski, “Too Smart” (MIT Press, 2020)
Apr 29 • 49 min
The ubiquity of technology that collects massive volumes of all kinds of data lends itself to one overarching question: “What?” As in what is the purpose(s) of this collection? What are the benefits? And, what are the impacts? In his new book, Too Smart:…
Leslie M. Harris, “Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies” (U Georgia Press, 2019)
Apr 28 • 59 min
Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (University of Georgia Press, 2019), edited by Leslie M. Harris, James T. Campbell, and Alfred L. Brophy, is the first edited collection of scholarly essays devoted solely to the histories and legacies of…
Christopher D. Bader, “Fear Itself: The Causes and Consequences of Fear in America” (NYU Press, 2020)
Apr 22 • 54 min
From moral panics about immigration and gun control to anxiety about terrorism and natural disasters, Americans live in a culture of fear. While fear is typically discussed in emotional or poetic terms—as the opposite of courage, or as an obstacle to be…
Thomas Piketty, “Capital and Ideology” (Harvard UP, 2020)
Apr 21 • 36 min
It seems easier for us today to imagine the thoroughgoing deterioration of the earth and of nature than the breakdown of late capitalism; perhaps that is due to some weakness in our imaginations - Fredric Jameson, The Seeds of Time Thomas Piketty, the…
Baptiste Brossard, “Forgetting Items: The Social Experience of Alzheimer’s Disease” (Indiana UP, 2019)
Apr 20 • 51 min
Alzheimer’s disease has not only profound medical consequences for the individual experiencing it but a life-changing impact on those around them. From the moment a person is suspected to be suffering from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, the…
Pawan Dhingra, “Hyper Education: Why Good Schools, Good Grades, and Good Behavior Are Not Enough” (NYU Press, 2020)
Apr 17 • 46 min
Pawan Dhingra’s new book Hyper Education: Why Good Schools, Good Grades, and Good Behavior Are Not Enough (NYU Press, 2020) is an up-close evaluation of the competitive nature of the United States education system and the extra-curricular and…
Carlo Caduff, “The Pandemic Perhaps: Dramatic Events in a Public Culture of Danger” (U California Press, 2015)
Apr 16 • 49 min
Carlo Caduff’s The Pandemic Perhaps: Dramatic Events in a Public Culture of Danger (University of California Press, 2015) is an ethnographic inquiry into pandemic anxieties in the mid-2000s when such an event was widely anticipated by experts. Examining…
A Discussion with Kelly McFall about Using “Reacting to the Past” in College Courses
Apr 13 • 55 min
How best to teach history and, for that matter any social science subject, to college students? The traditional answer has been to lecture them. Given that the typical length of an attentive lecture-listener is about 15 minutes, this might not be the best…
Miriam J. Abelson, “Men in Place: Trans Masculinity, Race, and Sexuality in America” (U Minnesota Press, 2019)
Apr 13 • 62 min
American masculinity is being critiqued, questioned, and reinterpreted for a new era. In Men in Place: Trans Masculinity, Race, and Sexuality in America (University of Minnesota Press, 2019), Miriam J. Abelson makes an original contribution to this…
Maura Finkelstein, “The Archive of Loss: Lively Ruination in Mill Land Mumbai” (Duke UP, 2019)
Apr 13 • 71 min
Mumbai’s textile industry is commonly but incorrectly understood to be an extinct relic of the past. In The Archive of Loss: Lively Ruination in Mill Land Mumbai (Duke University Press, 2019), Maura Finkelstein examines what it means for textile mill…
Ismail K. White and Chryl N. Laird, “Steadfast Democrats: How Social Forces Shape Black Political Behavior” (Princeton UP, 2020)
Apr 8 • 44 min
In their new book, Steadfast Democrats: How Social Forces Shape Black Political Behavior (Princeton University Press, 2020), political scientists Ismail K. White and Chryl N. Laird explore the political behavior of African American voters in the United…
Great Books: Denis Hollier on Lévi-Strauss’ “Tristes Tropiques”
Apr 7 • 56 min
Claude Lévi-Strauss’ Tristes Tropiques is one of the great books of the 20th century: intellectually bold, morally capacious, and it aims to understand nothing less than the elemental workings of the human mind. Ostensibly a travelogue and ethnographic…
Anna Bull, “Class, Control, and Classical Music” (Oxford UP, 2019)
Apr 7 • 44 min
What is the relationship between inequality and classical music? In Class, Control, and Classical Music (Oxford University Press, 2019), Anna Bull, a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Portsmouth and co-director of the 1752 Group, explores…
J. S. Hirsch and S. Khan, “Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus” (Norton, 2020)
Apr 6 • 61 min
The fear of campus sexual assault has become an inextricable part of the college experience. Research has shown that by the time they graduate, as many as one in three women and almost one in six men will have been sexually assaulted. But why is sexual…
Owen Whooley, “On the Heels of Ignorance: Psychiatry and the Politics of Not Knowing” (U Chicago Press, 2019)
Apr 3 • 62 min
Psychiatry has always aimed to peer deep into the human mind, daring to cast light on its darkest corners and untangle its thorniest knots, often invoking the latest medical science in doing so. But, as Owen Whooley’s sweeping new book tells us, peering…
Katharina Pistor, “The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality” (Princeton UP, 2019)
Apr 2 • 70 min
“Most lawyers, most actors, most soldiers and sailors, most athletes, most doctors, and most diplomats feel a certain solidarity in the face of outsiders, and, in spite of other differences, they share fragments of a common ethic in their working life,…
Marco Z. Garrido, “The Patchwork City: Class, Space and Politics in Metro Manila” (U Chicago Press, 2019)
Apr 2 • 48 min
In contemporary Manila, slums and squatter settlements are peppered throughout the city, often pushing right up against the walled enclaves of the privileged, creating the complex geopolitical pattern of what sociologist Marco Garrido calls the “patchwork…
V. Hudson, D. Bowen, P. Nielsen, “The First Political Order: How Sex Shapes Governance and National Security Worldwide” (Columbia UP, 2020)
Apr 1 • 99 min
Global history records an astonishing variety of forms of social organization. Yet almost universally, males subordinate females. How does the relationship between men and women shape the wider political order? Valerie M. Hudson, Donna Lee Bowen, and…
Jatin Dua, “Captured at Sea: Piracy and Protection in the Indian Ocean” (U California Press, 2019)
Apr 1 • 59 min
Captured at Sea: Piracy and Protection in the Indian Ocean (University of California Press, 2019) is a pirate story of a different kind. Based on years of ethnographic fieldwork in Somalia, the UK and other parts of Africa and the Middle East, Jatin Dua…
Gerald R. Gems, “Sport and the Shaping of Civic Identity in Chicago” (Lexington Books, 2020)
Mar 31 • 55 min
The city of Chicago is one of the US’ most diverse cosmopolitan areas. Given the array of people who live in the city, it is reasonable to assume that the goals of the various communities differ in regard to sport and its social functions. Gerald R. Gems’…
Matt Cook, “Sleight of Mind: 75 Ingenious Paradoxes in Mathematics, Physics, and Philosophy” (MIT Press, 2020)
Mar 30 • 54 min
Paradox is a sophisticated kind of magic trick. A magician’s purpose is to create the appearance of impossibility, to pull a rabbit from an empty hat. Yet paradox doesn’t require tangibles, like rabbits or hats. Paradox works in the abstract, with words…
Frederic C. Schaffer, “Elucidating Social Science Concepts: An Interpretivist Guide” (Routledge, 2015)
Mar 30 • 57 min
For the third installment in our special series on interpretive political and social scientific research, Frederic C. Schaffer joins us to discuss his Elucidating Social Science Concepts: An Interpretivist Guide (Routledge, 2015). In it, Fred explains why…
Baptiste Brossard, “Why do We Hurt Ourselves? Understanding Self-Harm in Social Life” (Indiana UP, 2018)
Mar 30 • 50 min
Why does an estimated 5% of the general population intentionally and repeatedly hurt themselves? What are the reasons certain people resort to self-injury as a way to manage their daily lives? In Why do We Hurt Ourselves? Understanding Self-Harm in Social…
Neil Selwyn, “What is Digital Sociology?” (Polity, 2019)
Mar 27 • 56 min
The rise of digital technology is transforming the world in which we live. Our digitalized societies demand new ways of thinking about the social, and this short book introduces readers to an approach that can deliver this: digital sociology. In What is…
Tobie Stein, “Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Performing Arts Workforce” (Routledge, 2020)
Mar 27 • 33 min
Has can theatre confront racial inequality? In Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Performing Arts Workforce (Routledge, 2020), Tobie S. Stein, Professor Emerita in the Department of Theater, Brooklyn College, CUNY, analyses the longstanding failure of…
Andrew Leigh, “Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Are Changing Our World” (Yale UP, 2018)
Mar 26 • 41 min
From the unending quest to turn metal into gold to the major discoveries that reveal how the universe works, experiments have always been a critical part of the hard sciences. In recent decades social scientists have started to catch up and the results…
Joseph Reagle, “Hacking Life: Systematized Living and its Discontents” (MIT Press, 2019)
Mar 26 • 76 min
Life hackers track and analyze the food they eat, the hours they sleep, the money they spend, and how they’re feeling on any given day. They share tips on the most efficient ways to tie shoelaces and load the dishwasher; they employ a tomato-shaped…
Ahmet T. Kuru, “Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment: A Global and Historical Comparison” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
Mar 25 • 61 min
Ahmet T. Kuru’s new book Islam, Authoritarianism and Underdevelopment, A Global and Historical Comparison (Cambridge University Press, 2019) is a ground-breaking history and analysis of the evolution of the state in Muslim countries. Thoroughly researched…
Erin Hatton, “Coerced: Work Under Threat of Punishment” (U California Press, 2020)
Mar 24 • 51 min
What do prisoner laborers, graduate students, welfare workers, and college athletes have in common? According to sociologist Erin Hatton, they are all part of a growing workforce of coerced laborers. Coerced: Work Under Threat of Punishment (University of…
Elizabeth A. Wheeler, “HandiLand: The Crippest Place on Earth” (U Michigan Press, 2019)
Mar 23 • 59 min
Throughout her new book, HandiLand: The Crippest Place on Earth (University of Michigan Press 2019), Elizabeth A. Wheeler uses a fictional place called HandiLand as a yardstick for measuring how far American society has progressed toward social justice…
Zahi Zalloua, “​Žižek on Race: Towards an Anti-Racist Future​” (Bloomsbury, 2020)
Mar 23 • 39 min
The Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek’s prolific quips on various cultural and political issues around race and related issues, found either in short YouTube clips or lengthy books have gained a lot of attention, much of it admittedly…
D. A. Bell and W. Pei, “Just Hierarchy: Why Social Hierarchies Matter in China and the Rest of the World” (Princeton UP, 2020)
Mar 18 • 55 min
What are the arguments in favor of social hierarchies? Are there differences in how hierarchy is viewed and valued in China compared with other countries? Which forms of social hierarchy are morally justified and how can they be promoted in the future?…
Diane Jones Allen, “Lost in the Transit Desert: Race, Transit Access, and Suburban Form” (Routledge, 2017)
Mar 18 • 47 min
Increased redevelopment, the dismantling of public housing, and increasing housing costs are forcing a shift in migration of lower income and transit dependent populations to the suburbs. These suburbs are often missing basic transportation, and…
Tania Jenkins, “Doctors’ Orders: The Making of Status Hierarchies in an Elite Profession” (Columbia UP, 2020)
Mar 16 • 51 min
In her new book, Doctors’ Orders: The Making of Status Hierarchies in an Elite Profession (Columbia University Press, 2020), Dr. Tania Jenkins engages readers in readers in a ethnography where she spent years observing and interviewing American,…
Nick Crossley, “Connecting Sounds: The Social Life of Music” (Manchester UP, 2020)
Mar 16 • 38 min
What does music tell us about society? In Connecting Sounds: The Social Life of Music (Manchester University Press, 2020), Nick Crossley, Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester, introduces a relational sociology of music. The book thinks…
Josh Seim, “Bandage, Sort, and Hustle: Ambulance Crews on the Front Lines of Urban Suffering” (U California Press, 2020)
Mar 13 • 61 min
What is the role of the ambulance in the American city? The prevailing narrative provides a rather simple answer: saving and transporting the critically ill and injured. This is not an incorrect description, but it is incomplete. Drawing on field…
Ken-Hou Lin and Megan T. Neely, “Divested: Inequality in the Age of Finance” (Oxford UP, 2020)
Mar 11 • 50 min
Ken-Hou Lin and Megan Tobias Neely’s new book Divested: Inequality in the Age of Finance (Oxford University Press, 2020) explores the rise of finance in American life over the last forty years and its implications for American workers, families, and…
Theda Skocpol, “Upending American Politics” (Oxford UP, 2020)
Mar 11 • 45 min
Since 2008, the Tea Party and the Resistance have caused some major shake-ups for the Republican and Democratic parties. The changes fall outside the scope of traditional party politics, and outside the realm of traditional social science research. To…
M. Maloney, S. Roberts, and T. Graham, “Gender, Masculinity and Video Gaming: Analysing Reddit’s r/gaming Community” (Palgrave, 2019)
Mar 9 • 39 min
What can online social spaces like Reddit’s r/gaming reveal about gender attitudes, masculinized spaces, and turning points in gamer communities? In their new book Gender, Masculinity and Video Gaming: Analysing Reddit’s r/gaming Community (Palgrave…
Jerome Whitington, “Anthropogenic Rivers: The Production of Uncertainty in Lao Hydropower” (Cornell UP, 2018)
Mar 6 • 41 min
Jerome Whitington’s Anthropogenic Rivers: The Production of Uncertainty in Lao Hydropower (Cornell University Press, 2019) examines the dynamics and discourses centered around the development of hydropower dams in the Mekong River Basin. Through deep and…
Jennifer E. Gaddis, “The Labor of Lunch: Why We Need Real Food and Real Jobs in American Public Schools” (U California Press, 2019)
Mar 6 • 60 min
There’s a problem with school lunch in America. Big Food companies have largely replaced the nation’s school cooks by supplying cafeterias with cheap, precooked hamburger patties and chicken nuggets chock-full of industrial fillers. Yet it’s no secret…
Richard Polt, “Time and Trauma: Thinking Through Heidegger in the Thirties” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2020)
Mar 4 • 58 min
For some time, the German philosopher Martin Heidegger has been treated with a certain level of skepticism because of his engagement with the Nazi party, a skepticism that has resurfaced with the publication of the ​Black Notebooks​, private journals he…
Great Books: Peter Brooks on Freud’s “Civilization and its Discontents”
Mar 3 • 52 min
We want to be happy, we want to get what we want, we want to love and be loved. But life, even when our basic needs are met, often makes us unhappy. You can’t always get what you want, Freud noted in his 1930 short book, Civilization and its Discontents.…
Joseph O. Baker, “Deviance Management: Insiders, Outsiders, Hiders, and Drifters” (U California Press, 2019)
Mar 2 • 55 min
Christopher D. Bader and Joseph O. Baker’s book Deviance Management: Insiders, Outsiders, Hiders, and Drifters (University of California Press, 2019) examines how individuals and subcultures manage the stigma of being labeled socially deviant. Exploring…
Patrick Inglis, “Narrow Fairways: Getting By and Falling Behind in the New India” (Oxford UP, 2019)
Feb 27 • 59 min
Processes of globalization—the liberalization of national markets, the rapid movement of goods, services, and labor across national borders—have had profound impacts on local contexts, perhaps especially so in the Global South. While some people in the…
Kimberly Dark, “Fat, Pretty, and Soon to Be Old: A Makeover for Self and Society” (AK Press, 2019)
Feb 26 • 58 min
In her new book Fat, Pretty, and Soon to Be Old: A Makeover for Self and Society (AK Press 2019), sociologist and storyteller Kimberly Dark considers what it means to look a certain way. Integrating memoir with cultural critique, Dark describes her…
Phillipa Chong, “Inside the Critics’ Circle: Book Reviewing in Uncertain Times” (Princeton UP, 2020)
Feb 25 • 42 min
How does the world of book reviews work? In Inside the Critics’ Circle: Book Reviewing in Uncertain Times (Princeton University Press, 2020), Phillipa Chong, assistant professor in sociology at McMaster University, provides a unique sociological analysis…
Jennifer B. Saunders, “Imagining Religious Communities: Transnational Hindus and their Narrative Performances” (Oxford UP, 2019)
Feb 25 • 73 min
Imagining Religious Communities: Transnational Hindus and their Narrative Performances (Oxford University Press, 2019) tells the story of the Gupta family through the personal and religious narratives they tell as they create and maintain their extended…
matthew heinz, “Entering Transmasculinity: The Inevitability of Discourse” (Intellect Books, 2016)
Feb 24 • 58 min
Published by intellect books in 2016, and currently distributed by The University of Chicago Press, Entering Transmasculinity: The Inevitability of Discourse is a holistic study of the intersecting and overlapping discourses that shape the identities of…
Orly Clergé, “The New Noir: Race, Identity and Diaspora in Black Suburbia” (U California Press, 2019)
Feb 24 • 37 min
How has the expansion of the Black American middle class and the increase in the number of Black immigrants among them since the Civil Rights period transformed the cultural landscape of New York City? In her new book The New Noir: Race, Identity &…
Megan Burke, “When Time Warps: The Lived Experience of Gender, Race, and Sexual Violence” (U Minnesota Press, 2019)
Feb 20 • 57 min
In When Time Warps: The Lived Experience of Gender, Race, and Sexual Violence (University of Minnesota Press, 2019), Megan Burke considers the relationship of sexual violence to lived time by reexamining and building upon the work of Simone de Beauvoir,…
Randal Schnoor, “Jewish Family: Identity and Self-Formation at Home” (Indiana UP, 2018)
Feb 20 • 59 min
In Jewish Family: Identity and Self-Formation at Home (Indiana University Press, 2018), Alex Pomson and Randal Schnoor examine the impact of the family on Jewish identity. Through interviewing a sample of families over a 10-year period, Pomson and Schnoor…
Virginia Eubanks, “Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor” (St. Martin’s, 2018)
Feb 20 • 82 min
The State of Indiana denies one million applications for healthcare, foodstamps and cash benefits in three years―because a new computer system interprets any mistake as “failure to cooperate.” In Los Angeles, an algorithm calculates the comparative…
Caitlin Frances Bruce, “Painting Publics: Transnational Legal Graffiti Scenes as Spaces for Encounter” (Temple UP, 2019)
Feb 19 • 65 min
Public art is a form of communication that enables spaces for encounters across difference. These encounters may be routine, repeated, or rare, but all take place in urban spaces infused with emotion, creativity, and experimentation. In Painting Publics:…
Iyko Day, “Alien Capital: Asian Racialization and the Logic of Settler Colonial Capitalism” (Duke UP, 2016)
Feb 17 • 57 min
In our efforts to comprehend the systematic dispossession of indigenous peoples in settler colonies such as the United States, Canada, Australia, or Israel, the notion that “invasion is a structure, not merely an event,” first articulated by Patrick…
Robert Frank, “Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work” (Princeton UP, 2020)
Feb 17 • 29 min
Psychologists have long understood that social environments profoundly shape our behavior, sometimes for the better, often for the worse. But social influence is a two-way street―our environments are themselves products of our behavior. Under the…
Angela Jones, “Camming: Money, Power, and Pleasure in the Sex Work Industry” (NYU Press, 2020)
Feb 14 • 52 min
In her new book, Camming: Money, Power, and Pleasure in the Sex Work Industry (NYU Press, 2020), Dr. Angela Jones engages readers in a five-year mixed-methods study she conducted on the erotic webcam industry where she tells a pornographic story about the…
Shai M. Dromi, “Above the Fray: The Red Cross and the Making of the Humanitarian NGO Sector” (U Chicago Press, 2020)
Feb 13 • 44 min
How should we understand humanitarian NGOs? In Above the Fray: The Red Cross and the Making of the Humanitarian NGO Sector (University of Chicago Press, 2020), Shai M. Dromi, a lecturer in sociology at Harvard University, uses insights from cultural…
James K. Wellman, Jr., “High on God: How Megachurches Won the Heart of America” (Oxford UP, 2020)
Feb 13 • 49 min
In the United States, the number of megachurches increased from 350 in 1990 to over 1,600 in 2011 with that number continuing to grow exponentially in subsequent years. By 2015, a Hartford Institute for Religion Research study showed that over five…
Germaine R. Halegoua, “The Digital City: Media and the Social Production of Place” (NYU Press, 2019)
Feb 12 • 54 min
In her new book, The Digital City: Media and the Social Production of Place (NYU Press, 2019), Germaine R. Halegoua rethinks everyday interactions that humans have with digital infrastructures, navigation technologies, and social media as we move through…
Matthew Gutmann, “Are Men Animals? How Modern Masculinity Sells Men Short” (Basic Books, 2019)
Feb 12 • 61 min
In Are Men Animals? How Modern Masculinity Sells Men Short (Basic Books, 2019), Matthew Gutmann examines how cultural expectations viewing men as violent and sex driven becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Dubious interpretations of the scientific study of…
Jay Wexler, “Our Non-Christian Nation” (Redwood Press, 2019)
Feb 11 • 62 min
Less and less Christian demographically, America is now home to an ever-larger number of people who say they identify with no religion at all. These non-Christians have increasingly been demanding their full participation in public life, bringing their…
Charlene Makley, “The Battle for Fortune: State-led Development, Personhood, and Power among Tibetans in China” (Cornell UP, 2018)
Feb 10 • 87 min
Rebgong, in the Northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau (China’s Qinghai Province), is in the midst of a ‘Battle for Fortune.’ That is, a battle to both accumulate as much fortune, but also a battle to decide which definitions of fortune are going to…
Carol Gilligan and Naomi Snider, “Why Does Patriarchy Persist?” (Polity, 2018)
Feb 10 • 42 min
Activists have been working to dismantle patriarchal structures since the feminist and civil rights movements of the last century, and yet we continue to struggle with patriarchy today. In their new book, Why Does Patriarchy Persist? (Polity, 2018), Carol…
Gil Eyal, “The Crisis of Expertise” (Polity, 2019)
Feb 10 • 66 min
In recent political debates there has been a significant change in the valence of the word “experts” from a superlative to a near pejorative, typically accompanied by a recitation of experts’ many failures and misdeeds. In topics as varied as Brexit,…
Jonathan A. C. Brown, “Slavery and Islam” (Oneworld Academic, 2019)
Feb 7 • 71 min
In his majestic and encyclopedic new book Slavery and Islam (Oneworld Academic, 2019), Jonathan A. C. Brown presents a sweeping analysis of Muslim intellectual, political, and social entanglements with slavery, and some of the thorniest conceptual and…
Ivan V. Small, “Currencies of Imagination: Channeling Money and Chasing Mobility in Vietnam” (Cornell UP, 2018)
Feb 6 • 50 min
Overseas Vietnamese are estimated to remit 15 billion dollars annually to family that remains in Vietnam. Ivan V. Small moves beyond the numbers to examine how remittances affect sociality and human relations in his book Currencies of Imagination:…
T. Mose “The Playdate” (NYU Press, 2016) and L. Crehan “Cleverlands” (Random House, 2017)
Feb 5 • 31 min
In this episode we consider vital role of play, and what it does to expand a child’s creativity and resilience. Urban sociologist Tamara Mose is an Associate Professor at Brooklyn College, and author of The Playdate: Parents, Children and the New…
Sean Jacobs, “Media in Postapartheid South Africa: Postcolonial Politics in the Age of Globalization” (Indiana UP, 2019)
Feb 4 • 61 min
Sean Jacobs, Associate Professor of International Affairs at The New School in New York City. Jacobs is also the founder and editor of the acclaimed Africa is A Country website, a leader His new book Media in Postapartheid South Africa: Postcolonial…
Daniel Mattingly, “The Art of Political Control in China” (Cambridge UP, 2020)
Feb 4 • 39 min
Tocqueville and Putnam insist that civil society helps individuals flourish and resist authority, but Daniel C. Mattingly’s decade of research in rural China leads him to conclude that civil society offers officials leverage over citizens that strengthens…
SpearIt, “American Prisons: A Critical Primer on Culture and Conversion to Islam” (First Edition Design, 2017)
Jan 31 • 78 min
America has the largest incarcerated population in the world. This staggering and troubling fact has driven a great deal of scholarship. Much of this research has shown that mass incarceration in America is facilitated by systemic racial discrimination,…
Allison Ochs, “Would I Have Sexted Back in the 80s?” (Amsterdam UP, 2019)
Jan 31 • 67 min
In her new books, Would I Have Sexted Back in the 80s?: A Modern Guide to Parenting Digital Teens, Derived from Lessons of the Past (Amsterdam University Press, 2019), Allison Ochs combines experiences from her childhood with her research and expertise on…
K. Linder et al., “Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers” (Stylus Publishing, 2020)
Jan 30 • 39 min
If you’re a grad student facing the ugly reality of finding a tenure-track job, you could easily be forgiven for thinking about a career change. However, if you’ve spent the last several years working on a PhD, or if you’re a faculty member whose career…
Andrea Boyles, “You Can’t Stop the Revolution: Community Disorder and Social Ties in Post-Ferguson America” (U California Press, 2019)
Jan 30 • 61 min
“Black lives matter before death.” (p.132) In her powerful new book, You Can’t Stop the Revolution: Community Disorder and Social Ties in Post-Ferguson America (University of California Press, 2019), Andrea S. Boyles provides vivid ethnographic work and…
Alexis Elder, “Friendship, Robots, and Social Media: False Friends and Second Selves” (Routledge, 2017)
Jan 30 • 73 min
Various emerging technologies, from social robotics to social media, appeal to our desire for social interactions, while avoiding some of the risks and costs of face-to-face human interaction. But can they offer us real friendship? In this book, Alexis…
Lindsay Mayka, “Building Participatory Institutions in Latin America: Reform Coalitions and Institutional Change” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
Jan 27 • 56 min
Lindsay Mayka’s new book examines the idea and implementation of participatory institutions, asking the question about when they actually work, and when they do not work, and why this is the case, especially in Latin America. Building Participatory…
Helen Taylor, “Why Women Read Fiction: The Stories of Our Lives” (Oxford UP, 2020)
Jan 27 • 32 min
Why and how is fiction important to women? In Why Women Read Fiction: The Stories of Our Lives (Oxford University Press, 2020), Helen Taylor, Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Exeter, explores this question to give a detailed and engaging…
Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger, “Re-Engineering Humanity” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
Jan 23 • 89 min
Every day, new warnings emerge about artificial intelligence rebelling against us. All the while, a more immediate dilemma flies under the radar. Have forces been unleashed that are thrusting humanity down an ill-advised path, one that’s increasingly…
Catherine Besteman, “Making Refuge: Somali Bantu Refugees and Lewiston, Maine” (Duke UP, 2016)
Jan 21 • 47 min
Catherine L. Besteman’s book Making Refuge: Somali Bantu Refugees and Lewiston, Maine (Duke University Press, 2016) is an important contribution to our understanding of the process of remaking one’s way of life after war in a new place, and in a new…
Safi Bahcall, “Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries” (St. Martins, 2019)
Jan 21 • 58 min
Safi Bahcall’s Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries (St. Martin’s Press, 2019) reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought…
Rachel Chrastil, “How to Be Childless: A History and Philosophy of Life Without Children” (Oxford UP, 2019)
Jan 21 • 36 min
In this episode, Jana Byars talks with Rachel Chrastil, Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences and member of the history department at Xavier University, about her newest book, How to Be Childless: A History and Philosophy of Life Without Children (Oxford…
Wendy Bottero, “A Sense of Inequality” (Roman and Littlefield, 2020)
Jan 20 • 40 min
How should we understand inequality? In A Sense of Inequality (Roman and Littlefield, 2020), Wendy Bottero, a Reader in Sociology at the University of Manchester offers a detailed and challenging new approach to how we conceive of, how we study, and how…
Ben Green, “The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology in its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future” (MIT Press, 2019)
Jan 20 • 33 min
The “smart city,” presented as the ideal, efficient, and effective for meting out services, has capture the imaginations of policymakers, scholars, and urban-dweller. But what are the possible drawbacks of living in an environment that is constantly…
Filippo Marsili, “Heaven Is Empty: A Cross-Cultural Approach to ‘Religion’ and Empire in Ancient China” (SUNY Press, 2018)
Jan 17 • 78 min
Heaven Is Empty: A Cross-Cultural Approach to ‘Religion’ and Empire in Ancient China (SUNY Press, 2018) offers a new comparative perspective on the role of the sacred in the formation of China’s early empires (221 BCE–9 CE) and shows how the unification…
Josh Reno, “Military Waste: The Unexpected Consequences of Permanent War Readiness” (U California Press, 2019)
Jan 17 • 77 min
Seven decades of military spending during the cold war and war on terror have created a vast excess of military hardware – what happens to all of this military waste when it has served its purpose and what does it tell us about militarism in American…
John N. Singer, “Race, Sports, and Education: Improving Opportunities and Outcomes for Black Male College Athletes” (Harvard Ed Press, 2019)
Jan 10 • 59 min
College sport is a multi-billion dollar industry. The men and women who lead the teams in the most important conferences often make millions of dollars between their coaching salaries and endorsement deals. But what about the athletes themselves? Most get…
Gediminas Lankauskas, “The Land of Weddings and Rain: Nation and Modernity in Post-Socialist Lithuania” (U Toronto Press, 2015)
Jan 10 • 84 min
Gediminas Lankauskas’ new book The Land of Weddings and Rain: Nation and Modernity in Post-Socialist Lithuania (University of Toronto Press, 2015) is “an ethnography concerned with the ambiguities, paradoxes, ruptures and incongruities of social life…
Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier, ”Aerial Imagination in Cuba: Stories from Above the Rooftops” (Routledge, 2019)
Jan 9 • 46 min
In her new book Aerial Imagination in Cuba: Stories from Above the Rooftops (Routledge, 2019), Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier looks up at the sky, and from there she begins her stories about wifi, pigeons, cacti, the lottery and congas. This dense and…
Robert Rozehnal, “Cyber Sufis: Virtual Expressions of the American Muslim Experience” (OneWorld, 2019)
Jan 8 • 63 min
What happens when the digital world meets Sufism? This is the question raised in the exciting new book Cyber Sufis: Virtual Expressions of the American Muslim Experience (OneWorld Academic, 2019) by Robert Rozehnal, a professor of Islamic Studies and…
Maria Veri and Rita Liberti, “Gridiron Gourmet: Gender and Food at the Football Tailgate” (U Arkansas Press, 2019)
Jan 3 • 56 min
Today we are joined by Maria Veri, Associate Professor of Kinesiology at San Francisco State University, and Rita Liberti, Professor of Kinesiology at California State University, East Bay. Together they are the authors of Gridiron Gourmet: Gender and…
Mark Bartholomew, “Adcreep: The Case Against Modern Marketing” (Stanford Law Books, 2017)
Jan 2 • 71 min
Advertising is everywhere. By some estimates, the average American is exposed to over 3,000 advertisements each day. Whether we realize it or not, “adcreep”―modern marketing’s march to create a world where advertising can be expected anywhere and…
John Danaher, “Automation and Utopia: Human Flourishing in a World without Work” (Harvard UP, 2019)
Jan 2 • 69 min
The future is a constant focus of anxiety, and we are all familiar with the pressures that come distinctively from automation – the transformation by which tasks formerly assigned to humans come to be performed by machines. These days, the stakes seem to…
Ajantha Subramanian, “The Caste of Merit: Engineering Education in India” (Harvard UP, 2019)
Dec 27, 2019 • 65 min
What is merit? How is it claimed? In her much-awaited book The Caste of Merit: Engineering Education in India (Harvard University Press, 2019), Ajantha Subramanian addresses the pertinent question of caste inheritance and privilege in the making of merit…
Jennifer Utrata, “Women without Men: Single Mothers and Family Change in the New Russia” (Cornell UP, 2015)
Dec 27, 2019 • 56 min
Jennifer Utrata in her book, Women without Men: Single Mothers and Family Change in the New Russia (Cornell University Press, 2015), investigates what she calls a “quiet revolution” in the Russian family after the fall of the Soviet Union. Based on over…
Phoebe Moore, “The Quantified Self in Precarity: Work, Technology and What Counts” (Routledge, 2017)
Dec 26, 2019 • 61 min
Humans are accustomed to being tool bearers, but what happens when machines become tool bearers, calculating human labour via the use of big data and people analytics by metrics? Phoebe Moore’s The Quantified Self in Precarity: Work, Technology and What…
Jason Read, “The Politics of Transindividuality” (Haymarket Books, 2017)
Dec 26, 2019 • 74 min
Many major political questions today revolve around questions of human nature; what sort of people we are and what sort of people we’re capable of being constitute both the goals and limits of the sort of society we can and ought to try and create. Jason…
David Pettinicchio, “Politics of Empowerment: Disability Rights and the Cycle of American Policy Reform” (Stanford UP, 2019)
Dec 26, 2019 • 25 min
David Pettinicchio has written Politics of Empowerment: Disability Rights and the Cycle of American Policy Reform (Stanford University Press, 2019). He is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Toronto. In Politics of Empowerment, David…
Sandra Fahy, “Dying for Rights: Putting North Korea’s Human Rights Abuses on the Record” (Columbia UP, 2019)
Dec 23, 2019 • 50 min
“The things that are happening to North Korea are happening to all of us…they are part of the human community. To say that this is just a problem for North Korea is to say that North Koreans are not part of the human community.” In her new book, Dying for…
Xiao Liu, “Information Fantasies: Precarious Mediation in Postsocialist China” (U Minnesota Press, 2019)
Dec 21, 2019 • 66 min
International and transnational historiography has given us vivid glimpses of the development and impact of cybernetics on a national scale in such countries as the Soviet Union, Chile and, of course, in the US and Great Britain where the field initially…
Sidharthan Maunaguru, “Marrying for a Future: Transnational Sri Lankan Tamil Marriages in the Shadow of War” (U Washington Press 2019)
Dec 19, 2019 • 70 min
Sidharthan Maunaguru’s Marrying for a Future: Transnational Sri Lankan Tamil Marriages in the Shadow of War (University of Washington Press 2019) is an unusual ethnography of the ‘in-betweenness’ and ‘potential’ of marriage in the time of political…
Davin Phoenix, “The Anger Gap: How Race Shapes Emotion in Politics” (Cambridge UP, 2020)
Dec 19, 2019 • 26 min
In the race for the best book of 2020, Davin Phoenix has placed himself in the lead. Phoenix has written The Anger Gap: How Race Shapes Emotion in Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2019). He is assistant professor of political science at the…
William Westermeyer, “Back to America: Identity, Political Culture, and the Tea Party Movement” (U Nebraska 2019)
Dec 18, 2019 • 76 min
With his new book Back to America: Identity, Political Culture, and the Tea Party Movement (University of Nebraska, 2019), Professor William Westermeyer explores the once-powerful Tea Party Movement and the changing nature of political culture in the…
Ayo Wahlberg, “Good Quality: The Routinization of Sperm Banking in China” (U California Press, 2018)
Dec 18, 2019 • 70 min
From its crude and uneasy beginnings thirty years ago, Chinese sperm banking has become a routine part of China’s pervasive and restrictive reproductive complex. Today, there are sperm banks in each of China’s twenty-two provinces, the biggest of which…
Andrea Kitta, “The Kiss of Death: Contagion, Contamination, and Folklore” (Utah State UP, 2019)
Dec 17, 2019 • 68 min
Disease is a social issue and not just a medical one. This is the central tenet underlying The Kiss of Death: Contagion, Contamination, and Folklore (Utah State University Press 2019) by Andrea Kitta, Associate Professor in the English department at East…
Joshua Sperber, “Consumer Management in the Internet Age: How Customers Became Managers in the Modern Workplace” (Lexington, 2019)
Dec 16, 2019 • 63 min
In Consumer Management in the Internet Age: How Customers Became Managers in the Modern Workplace (Lexington Books, 2019), Joshua Sperber analyzes online consumer management, a practice in which customers monitor, report on, and—sometimes…
Zahra Ali, “Women and Gender in Iraq: Between Nation-Building and Fragmentation” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
Dec 16, 2019 • 72 min
In her powerful new book Women and Gender in Iraq: Between Nation-Building and Fragmentation (Cambridge UP, 2018), Zahra Ali presents a detailed and fascinating account of Muslim feminist discourses and politics in modern Iraq. Women and Gender in Iraq…
Louis Hyman, “Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream became Temporary” (Viking, 2018)
Dec 13, 2019 • 74 min
It has become a truism that work has become less secure and more precarious for a widening swath of American workers. Why and how this has happened, and what workers can and should do about it, is the subject of a wide-ranging new book, Temp: How American…
Miriam Driessen, “Tales of Hope, Tastes of Bitterness: Chinese Road Builders in Ethiopia” (Hong Kong UP, 2019)
Dec 13, 2019 • 30 min
I met Dr Miriam Driessen at Oxford University where she works at the China Centre. We spoke about her wonderful new book Tales of Hope, Tastes of Bitterness: Chinese Road Builders in Ethiopia (Hong Kong University Press, 2019). Through unprecedented…
Thomas Yarrow, “Architects: Portraits of a Practice” (Cornell UP, 2019)
Dec 12, 2019 • 36 min
What is creativity? What is the relationship between work life and personal life? How is it possible to live truthfully in a world of contradiction and compromise? These deep and deeply personal questions spring to the fore in Thomas Yarrow’s vivid…
Chris Arnade, “Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America” (Sentinel, 2019)
Dec 11, 2019 • 27 min
A lot of politicians like to say that there are “two Americas,” but do any of them know what life is really like for the marginalized poor? We speak with journalist and photographer, Chris Arnade, about the forgotten towns and people of back row America.…
Vicky Pryce, “Women vs. Capitalism: Why We Can’t Have It All in a Free Market Economy” (Hurst, 2019)
Dec 10, 2019 • 29 min
Free market capitalism has failed women, and even the recent progress that had been made in closing the gender wage gap has leveled off in many rich democracies. Vicky Pryce helps us understand the causes of this ongoing discrimination, the harm it does…
R. Muirhead and N. L. Rosenblum, “A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy” (Princeton UP, 2019)
Dec 9, 2019 • 40 min
From Pizzagate to Jeffrey Epstein, conspiracies seem to be more prominent than ever in American political discourse. What was once confined to the pages of supermarket tabloids is now all over our media landscape. Unlike the 9/11 truthers or those who…
William D. Lopez, “Separated: Family & Community in the Aftermath of an Immigration Raid” (Johns Hopkins UP, 2019)
Dec 9, 2019 • 28 min
What happens to families and communities after immigration raids? William D. Lopez answers this question and more in his new book Separated: Family & Community in the Aftermath of an Immigration Raid (Johns Hopkins UP, 2019). Using ethnographic methods…
Maziyar Ghiabi, ”Drug Politics: Managing Disorder in the Islamic Republic of Iran” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
Dec 9, 2019 • 45 min
Iran has one of the planet’s highest rates of addiction. Maziyar Ghiabi’s Drug Politics: Managing Disorder in the Islamic Republic of Iran (Cambridge University Press, 2019) offers a fascinating, new, and nuanced perspective on the control and consumption…
Deborah Lupton, “The Quantified Self” (Polity, 2016)
Dec 5, 2019 • 64 min
With the advent of digital devices and software, self-tracking practices have gained new adherents and have spread into a wide array of social domains. The Quantified Self movement has emerged to promote ‘self-knowledge through numbers’. In The Quantified…
Victoria Reyes, “Global Borderlands: Fantasy, Violence, and Empire in Subic Bay, Philippines” (Stanford UP, 2019)
Dec 4, 2019 • 72 min
Increasing levels of globalization have led to the proliferation of spaces of international exchange. In her new book, Global Borderlands: Fantasy, Violence, and Empire in Subic Bay, Philippines (Stanford, 2019), sociologist Victoria Reyes looks at one…
Alexandra D’Arcy, “Discourse-Pragmatic Variation in Context: Eight hundred years of LIKE” (John Benjamins, 2017)
Dec 4, 2019 • 71 min
Like is a ubiquitous feature of English with a deep history in the language, exhibiting regular and constrained variable grammars over time. Alexandra D’Arcy’s book Discourse-Pragmatic Variation in Context: Eight hundred years of LIKE (John Benjamins,…
Alberto Cairo, “How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter about Visual Information” (Norton, 2019)
Dec 3, 2019 • 57 min
We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if we don’t understand what we’re looking at? Social media has made charts, infographics, and diagrams ubiquitous―and easier to share than ever. We associate charts with science and…
Caroline Wanjiku Kihato, “Migrant Women of Johannesburg: Everyday Life in an In-Between City” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)
Dec 2, 2019 • 45 min
Caroline Wanjiku Kihato’s Migrant Women of Johannesburg: Everyday Life in an In-Between City (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013) is a book about home and not-home, eloquently told about the hopes and dreams, fears and hardships of migrant women trying to make life…
Mila Dragojević, “Amoral Communities: Collective Crimes in Time of War” (Cornell UP, 2019)
Nov 27, 2019 • 44 min
How does violence against civilians become permissible in wartime? Why do some communities experience violence while others do not? In her new book, Mila Dragojević develops the concept of amoral communities to find an answer to these questions. In Amoral…
Ann K. McClellan, “Sherlock’s World: Fan Fiction and the Reimagining of BBC’s Sherlock” (U Iowa Press, 2018)
Nov 26, 2019 • 69 min
In Sherlock’s World: Fan Fiction and the Reimagining of BBC’s Sherlock (University of Iowa Press, 2018), Ann K. McClellan explores fan fiction inspired by one of the most-watch BBC series in history. Even after 130 years, Sherlock Holmes is still one of…
Elizabeth Bernstein, “Brokered Subjects: Sex, Trafficking and the Politics of Freedom” (U Chicago, 2018)
Nov 21, 2019 • 78 min
Jana Byars talks with Elizabeth Bernstein, Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Barnard College about her newest book, Brokered Subjects: Sex, Trafficking and the Politics of Freedom (University of Chicago, 2018). This book provides an…
Jonathan Rothwell, “A Republic of Equals: A Manifesto for a Just Society” (Princeton UP, 2019)
Nov 20, 2019 • 38 min
Inequality in the U.S. has increased dramatically over the past decades — on that there is agreement. There is less agreement on the causes of that inequality, the consequences of it, and, perhaps least of all, what to do about it. Join us to hear…
Susan Opotow, “New York After 9/11” (Fordham UP, 2019)
Nov 19, 2019 • 34 min
The impact of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the country have been widely discussed—but what about the impact on New York City, specifically? In their new anthology, New York After 9/11 (Fordham University Press, 2018), Susan Opotow and Zachary Baron…
Ruha Benjamin, “Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code” (Polity, 2019)
Nov 19, 2019 • 56 min
From everyday apps to complex algorithms, Ruha Benjamin cuts through tech-industry hype to understand how emerging technologies can reinforce White supremacy and deepen social inequity. In Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code…
Mark Alizart, “Dogs” (Polity, 2019)
Nov 18, 2019 • 47 min
Man’s best friend, domesticated since prehistoric times, a travelling companion for explorers and artists, thinkers and walkers, equally happy curled up by the fire and bounding through the great outdoors―dogs matter to us because we love them. But is…
Dana Fisher, “American Resistance: From the Women’s March to the Blue Wave” (Columbia UP, 2019)
Nov 14, 2019 • 28 min
Dana Fisher has written a big new book on the movement to oppose Donald Trump, titled American Resistance: From the Women’s March to the Blue Wave (Columbia University Press, 2019). American Resistance follows activists from the streets back to their…
Quassim Cassam, “Conspiracy Theories” (Polity, 2019)
Nov 11, 2019 • 59 min
9/11 was an inside job. The Holocaust is a myth promoted to serve Jewish interests. The shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School were a false flag operation. Climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese government. These are all conspiracy…
Serin D. Houston, “Imagining Seattle: Social Values in Urban Governance” (U Nebraska Press, 2019)
Nov 6, 2019 • 44 min
In Imagining Seattle: Social Values in Urban Governance (University of Nebraska Press, 2019), the geographer Serin Houston complicates Seattle’s liberal and progressive reputation through a close ethnographic study of its urban governance. She sheds light…
L. A. Kauffman, “How to Read a Protest: The Art of Organizing and Resistance” (U California Press, 2018)
Nov 4, 2019 • 30 min
When millions of people took to the streets for the 2017 Women’s Marches, there was an unmistakable air of uprising, a sense that these marches were launching a powerful new movement to resist a dangerous presidency. But the work that protests do often…
Nina Sun Eidsheim, “The Race of Sound: Listening, Timbre and Vocality in African American Music” (Duke UP, 2019)
Nov 4, 2019 • 69 min
In 2018, Nicolle R. Holliday and Daniel Villarreal published the results of a study they conducted asking people to rank how “black” President Obama sounded when given four different examples of his speech. Dr. Nina Sun Eidsheim’s latest book, The Race of…
Jonathan Rosa, “Looking like a Language, Sounding like a Race” (Oxford UP, 2019)
Nov 4, 2019 • 64 min
Jonathan Rosa’s new book Looking like a Language, Sounding like a Race: Raciolinguistic Ideologies and the Learning of Latinidad (Oxford University Press, 2019) examines the emergence of linguistic and ethnoracial categories in the context of Latinidad.…
Kathryn Conrad on University Press Publishing
Nov 3, 2019 • 40 min
As you may know, university presses publish a lot of good books. In fact, they publish thousands of them every year. They are different from most trade books in that most of them are what you might called “fundamental research.” Their authors—dedicated…
Perla Guerrero, “Nuevo South: Asians, Latinas/os, and the Remaking of Place” (U Texas Press, 2017)
Oct 31, 2019 • 54 min
Perla Guerrero is the author of Nuevo South: Asians, Latinas/os, and the Remaking of Place (University of Texas Press, 2017). Nuevo South explores the history of an ever diversifying U.S. South by examining the mixed reactions refugees, immigrants, and…
Lynne Pettinger, “What’s Wrong with Work?” (Policy Press, 2019)
Oct 31, 2019 • 37 min
How should we understand work? In What’s Wrong with Work? (Policy Press, 2019), Lynn Pettinger, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, explores how work is organised, interconnected, and what work does. The book offers a history of…
Gary J. Adler, Jr., “Empathy Beyond US Borders: The Challenges of Transnational Civic Engagement” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
Oct 29, 2019 • 57 min
Do immersion trips really transform those who participate and how so? In his new book Empathy Beyond US Borders: The Challenges of Transnational Civic Engagement (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Gary J. Adler, Jr. explores this question and more. Using…
Andreas Bernard, “Theory of the Hashtag” (Polity, 2019)
Oct 25, 2019 • 41 min
In his short book, Theory of the Hashtag (Polity, 2019), Andreas Bernard traces the origins and career of the hashtag. Following the history of the # sign through its origins in the Middle Ages and how it became a common symbol through its placement on…
J. Neuhaus, “Geeky Pedagogy: A Guide for Intellectuals, Introverts, and Nerds Who Want to Be Effective Teachers” (West Virginia UP, 2019)
Oct 24, 2019 • 32 min
The things that make people academics — as deep fascination with some arcane subject, often bordering on obsession, and a comfort with the solitude that developing expertise requires — do not necessarily make us good teachers. Jessamyn Neuhaus’s Geeky…
Francesco Duina, “Broke and Patriotic: Why Poor Americans Love Their Country” (Stanford UP, 2018)
Oct 22, 2019 • 62 min
In his new book, Broke and Patriotic: Why Poor Americans Love Their Country (Stanford University Press 2018), Professor Francesco Duina asks why impoverished Americans espouse such great and abiding love for their country even as they suffer and struggle…
Erik Harms, “Luxury and Rubble: Civility and Dispossession in the New Saigon” (U California Press, 2016)
Oct 22, 2019 • 49 min
What happens when market-oriented policy reforms butt heads with a single-party state’s strictly maintained limits on political freedoms? That question sets the terms for Luxury and Rubble: Civility and Dispossession in New Saigon (University of…
jimi adams, “Gathering Social Network Data” (Sage, 2019)
Oct 21, 2019 • 44 min
What is social network data and what are the issues associated with collecting it? In his new book Gathering Social Network Data (Sage, 2019), jimi adams focuses on the principles necessary for gathering social network data. adams provides the reader with…
Melanie Simms, “What Do We Know and What Should We Do About the Future of Work?” (Sage, 2019)
Oct 18, 2019 • 32 min
What is the future of work? In What Do We Know and What Should We Do About the Future of Work? (Sage, 2019), Melanie Simms, a Professor of Work and Employment at the University of Glasgow offers an overview off a vast range of issues associated with work-…
Rita Kesselring, “Bodies of Truth: Law, Memory, and Emancipation in Post-Apartheid South Africa” (Stanford UP, 2017)
Oct 17, 2019 • 48 min
Rita Kesselring’s important book Bodies of Truth: Law, Memory, and Emancipation in Post-Apartheid South Africa (Stanford University Press, 2017) seeks to understand the embodied and everyday effects of state-sponsored violence as well the limits of the…
T. L. Bunyasi and C. W. Smith, “Stay Woke: A People’s Guide to Making All Black Lives Matter” (NYU Press, 2019)
Oct 14, 2019 • 61 min
Tehama Lopez Bunyasi and Candis Watts Smith have written an accessible and important book about the #BlackLivesMatter social movement and broader considerations of, essentially, how we got to where we are, in the United States, in regard to race and…
C. Strachan and L. Poloni-Staudinger, “Why Don′t Women Rule the World?: Understanding Women′s Civic and Political Choices” (Sage, 2019)
Oct 9, 2019 • 39 min
Why Don′t Women Rule the World?: Understanding Women′s Civic and Political Choices (Sage, 2019) is a comprehensive and useful addition to the established literature on women and politics. This book, authored by four political scientists with a diversity…
Elizabeth Cullen Dunn, “No Path Home: Humanitarian Camps and the Grief of Displacement” (Cornell UP, 2018)
Oct 8, 2019 • 39 min
In No Path Home: Humanitarian Camps and the Grief of Displacement (Cornell University Press, 2018), Elizabeth Cullen Dunn describes in a very on point and straight forward way how displacement has become a chronic condition for more than 60 million…
Stephen Hamnett, “Planning Singapore: The Experimental City” (Routledge, 2019)
Oct 7, 2019 • 54 min
In this episode, we talk with Stephen Hamnett about Planning Singapore: The Experimental City(Routledge, 2019), a book he edited with Belinda Yuen. Two hundred years ago, Sir Stamford Raffles established the modern settlement of Singapore with the intent…
Remi Joseph-Salisbury, “Black Mixed-Race Men: Transatlanticity, Hybridity and ‘Post-Racial’ Resilience” (Emerald, 2018)
Oct 7, 2019 • 47 min
What are the experiences of mixed-race men? In Black Mixed-Race Men: Transatlanticity, Hybridity and ‘Post-Racial’ Resilience (Emerald Publishing, 2018), Remi Joseph-Salisbury, a Presidential Fellow in Sociology at the University of Manchester, explores…
Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, “The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games” (NYU Press, 2019)
Oct 3, 2019 • 52 min
Stories provide portals into other worlds, both real and imagined. The promise of escape draws people from all backgrounds to speculative fiction, but when people of color seek passageways into the fantastic, the doors are often barred. This problem lies…
Rachel Werczberger, “Jews In The Age Of Authenticity: Jewish Spiritual Renewal In Israel” (Peter Lang, 2016)
Oct 1, 2019 • 49 min
Perhaps there’s something in the air in the Middle East, something that elevates spirituality. The Middle East, particularly Israel, is the legendary home of spiritual searching, of prophecy and religious expression. And in this historical birthplace of…
Benjamin Tausig, “Bangkok is Ringing: Sound, Protest, and Constraint” (Oxford UP, 2019)
Sep 30, 2019 • 39 min
The political protests of the “Red Shirts” movement in Thailand in April-May 2010 ended in tragedy, with the security forces killing over 90 people and injuring thousands more. Thailand’s political protests have been studied from many different angles,…
Dolly Kikon, “Living with Oil and Coal: Resource Politics and Militarization in Northeast India” (U Washington Press, 2019)
Sep 25, 2019 • 57 min
In Living with Oil and Coal: Resource Politics and Militarization in Northeast India(University of Washington Press, 2019), anthropologist Dolly Kikon offers a rich account of life in the midst of a landscape defined by multiple overlapping extractive…
Ashanté M. Reese, “Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C.” (UNC Press, 2019)
Sep 23, 2019 • 52 min
Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C. (University of North Carolina Press, 2019), by Ashanté M. Reese, examines the ways in which residents of the Deanwood neighborhood navigate the surrounding area to acquire…
Emily Skidmore, “True Sex: The Lives of Trans Men at the Turn of the 20th Century” (NYU Press, 2017)
Sep 23, 2019 • 63 min
In True Sex: The Lives of Trans Men at the Turn of the 20th Century (New York University Press, 2017), Emily Skidmore weaves in a vibrant discussion on how trans men created community and crafted their lives in rural America at the turn of the twentieth…
Anastasia Denisova, “Internet Memes and Society: Social, Cultural, and Political Contexts” (Routledge, 2019)
Sep 20, 2019 • 34 min
How have memes changed politics? In Internet Memes and Society: Social, Cultural, and Political Contexts(Routledge, 2019), Anastasia Denisova, a lecturer in journalism at the University of Westminster, gives both a history of internet memes as well as an…
Mark Winne, “Food Town USA: Seven Unlikely Cities that are Changing the Way We Eat” (Island Press, 2019)
Sep 12, 2019 • 49 min
Cities are extremely complex institutions to understand and are continually changing. A central place to make sense of the complexities of a city is the food that is grown and sold in these areas. Mark Winne, author of Food Town USA: Seven Unlikely Cities…
Cymene Howe and Dominic Boyer, “Wind and Power in the Anthropocene” (Duke UP, 2019)
Sep 10, 2019 • 39 min
This is the third of three interviews with Cymene Howe and Dominic Boyer about their duo-graph, Wind and Power in the Anthropocene. Also listen to my individual interviews with Howe and Boyer about their separate volumes, Ecologics and Energopolitics. In…
Harriet Washington, “A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind” (Little, Brown Spark, 2019)
Sep 9, 2019 • 48 min
Environmental racism is visible not only as cancer clusters or the location of grocery stores. It is responsible for the reported gap in IQ scores between white Americans and Black, Latinx, and Native Americans. So argues science writer Harriet Washington…
Mubbashir A. Rizvi, “The Ethics of Staying: Social Movements and Land Rights Politics in Pakistan” (Stanford UP, 2019)
Sep 6, 2019 • 54 min
The military coup that brought General Pervez Musharraf to power as Pakistan’s tenth president resulted in the abolition of a century-old sharecropping system that was rife with corruption. In its place the military regime implemented a market reform…
E. H. Ecklund and D. R. Johnson, “Secularity and Science: What Scientists Around the World Really Think of Religion” (Oxford UP, 2019)
Sep 5, 2019 • 94 min
It is common to see science and religion portrayed as mutually exclusive and warring ways of viewing the world, but is that how actual scientists see it? For that matter, which cultural factors shape the attitudes of scientists toward religion? Could…
Charles King, “Gods of the Upper Air: How A Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century” (Doubleday, 2019)
Sep 4, 2019 • 62 min
American anthropologists consider Franz Boas, Ruth Benedict, and Margaret Mead to be foundational figures, but outside the academy few people know the details of their ideas. In this new volume, Charles King provides a carefully-researched and…
Adem Yavuz Elveren, “The Economics of Military Spending: A Marxist Perspective” (Routledge, 2019)
Sep 3, 2019 • 39 min
I spoke with Dr Adem Yavuz Elveren about his book on the economics of military spending; this is a very original theoretical and empirical contribution Adem Yavuz Elveren is Associate Professor at Fitchburg State University, U.S.A. His research focuses on…
Dominic Boyer, “Energopolitics: Wind and Power in the Anthropocene” (Duke UP, 2019)
Sep 3, 2019 • 44 min
This is the second of three interviews with Cymene Howe and Dominic Boyer about their duo-graph, Wind and Power in the Anthropocene. Also listen to my interview with Howe about her volume, Ecologics, as well as my interview with both authors together…
Cecilia Caballero et al. “The Chicana M(other)work Anthology: Porque Sin Madres No Hay Revolucion” (U Arizona Press, 2019)
Aug 28, 2019 • 65 min
In The Chicana M(other)work Anthology: Porque Sin Madres No Hay Revolucion (University of Arizona Press, 2019) editors Cecilia Caballero, Yvette Martinez-Vu, Judith Perez-Torres, Michelle Tellez, and Christine Vega, bring together a diverse collective of…
Cymene Howe, “Ecologics: Wind and Power in the Anthropocene (Duke UP, 2019)
Aug 27, 2019 • 43 min
This is the first of three interviews with Cymene Howe and Dominic Boyer about their duo-graph, Wind and Power in the Anthropocene (Duke University Press, 2019). Also listen to my interview with Boyer about his volume, Energopolitics, as well as my…
Suzanne Scott, “Fake Geek Girls: Fandom, Gender, and the Convergence Culture Industry” (NYU Press, 2019)
Aug 26, 2019 • 39 min
Suzanne Scott’s new book Fake Geek Girls: Fandom, Gender, and the Convergence Culture Industry (NYU Press, 2019) provides an overview of the convergence culture industry and the world of fandom while examining the role that gender and misogyny has played…
Levi McLaughlin, “Soka Gakkai’s Human Revolution: The Rise of A Mimetic Nation in Modern Japan” (U Hawaii Press, 2018)
Aug 26, 2019 • 48 min
Being Japan’s largest and most influential new religious organization, Soka Gakkai (Society for the Creation of Value) and Soka Gakkai International (SGI) claims to have 12 million members in 192 countries around the world. Founded in the 1930s by a group…
Patricia A. Banks, “Diversity and Philanthropy at African American Museums: Black Renaissance” (Routledge, 2019)
Aug 23, 2019 • 37 min
What is the future, and what is the past, of the African American Museum? In Diversity and Philanthropy at African American Museums: Black Renaissance(Routledge, 2019), Patricia Banks, an associate professor of sociology at Mount Holyoke College, explores…
Evgeny Finkel, “Ordinary Jews: Choice and Survival during the Holocaust” (Princeton UP, 2017)
Aug 22, 2019 • 60 min
Can there be a political science of the Holocaust? Evgeny Finkel, in his new book Ordinary Jews: Choice and Survival during the Holocaust(Princeton University Press, 2017), answers Charles King’s question with a resounding yes. Finkel is interested in a…
William Elison, “The Neighborhood of Gods: The Sacred and the Visible at the Margins of Mumbai” (U Chicago Press, 2018)
Aug 21, 2019 • 67 min
William Elison’s The Neighborhood of Gods: The Sacred and the Visible at the Margins of Mumbai(University of Chicago Press, 2018) explores how slum residents, tribal people, and members of other marginalized groups use religious icons to mark urban spaces…
Nancy Lough and Andrea N. Geurin, “Routledge Handbook of the Business of Women’s Sport” (Routledge, 2019)
Aug 21, 2019 • 77 min
Shortly after the conclusion of the Women’s World Cup earlier this summer, a friend suggested to me that it signaled the long-awaited arrival of soccer as a mainstream sport in the U.S. I thought a second, remembering the commercials around the game and…
Belinda Stillion Southard, “How to Belong: Women’s Agency in a Transnational World” (Penn State UP, 2018)
Aug 20, 2019 • 53 min
On this episode of the New Books Network, Dr. Lee Pierce (she/they)—Asst. Prof. of Communication at the State University of New York at Geneseo—interviews Dr. Belinda Stillion Southard (she/hers)—Assoc. Prof. of Communication at the University of…
Peregrine Schwartz-Shea and Dvora Yanow, “Interpretive Research Design: Concepts and Processes” (Routledge, 2012)
Aug 19, 2019 • 56 min
This episode is the first in a new series, New Books in Interpretive Social Science, which will feature works on interpretive research design and practice alongside recently published exemplary interpretive social scientific studies. To get the ball…
Maureen S. Hiebert, “Constructing Genocide and Mass Violence: Society, Crisis, Identity” (Routledge, 2017)
Aug 16, 2019 • 69 min
How can this happen? If there’s any question that people interested in genocide ask, it’s this one. How can people do this to each other? How can this be possible? What is wrong with this world that this can happen? Maureen Hiebert’s book Constructing…
Juan Javier Rivera Andía, “Non-Humans in Amerindian South America” (Berghahn, 2018)
Aug 12, 2019 • 60 min
In Non-Humans in Amerindian South America: Ethnographies of Indigenous Cosmologies, Rituals, and Songs (Berghahn, 2018), eleven researchers bring new ethnographies to bear on anthropological debates on ontology and the anthropocene. In this episode of New…
Philip Grant, “Chains of Finance: How Investment Management is Shaped” (Oxford UP, 2017)
Aug 9, 2019 • 49 min
The authors of Chains of Finance: How Investment Management is Shaped (Oxford University Press, 2017) make points that professionals already know and that end-investors ought to know: that there are a lot of cooks in the investment kitchen, and that the…
Sean Foley, “Changing Saudi Arabia: Art, Culture and Society in the Kingdom” (Lynne Rienner, 2019)
Aug 8, 2019 • 67 min
In Changing Saudi Arabia, Art, Culture and Society in the Kingdom (Lynne Rienner, 2019), Sean Foley offers eye-opening insights into a changing society that is under the international magnifying glass. Using the prism of an exploding arts scene populated…
Alpa Shah, et al., “Ground Down by Growth: Tribe, Caste, Class and Inequality in 21st-Century India” (Pluto Press, 2017)
Aug 7, 2019 • 65 min
A recent UNDP report makes the astonishing claim that India has halved its poverty between 2006 and 2016. Moving us past the rosy picture, Alpa Shah and her co-author’s multi-authored, masterful Ground Down by Growth: Tribe, Caste, Class and Inequality in…
Sarah L. Quinn, “American Bonds: How Credit Markets Shaped a Nation” (Princeton UP, 2019)
Aug 6, 2019 • 25 min
Federal housing finance policy and mortgage-backed securities have gained widespread attention in recent years because of the 2008 financial crisis, but government credit has been part of American life since the nation’s founding. Sarah L. Quinn’s new…
Anne O’Brien, “Women, Inequality and Media Work” (Routledge, 2019)
Aug 2, 2019 • 43 min
How do women experience gender inequality in film and television production industries? In Women, Inequality and Media Work (Routledge, 2019), Dr Anne O’Brien, lecturer in the Department of Media Studies at Maynooth University, answers this question with…
Jaime Alves, “Anti-Black City: Police Terror and Black Urban Life in Brazil (U Minnesota Press, 2018)
Aug 2, 2019 • 65 min
The 2018 election of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil has brought the issues of police violence, racial discrimination, and misogyny to the fore. Jaime Alves’s book the Anti-Black City: Police Terror and Black Urban Life in Brazil (University…
Krishnendu Ray, “The Ethnic Restaurateur” (Bloomsbury, 2016)
Jul 31, 2019 • 47 min
Academic discussions of ethnic food have tended to focus on the attitudes of consumers, rather than the creators and producers. In this ground-breaking new book, The Ethnic Restaurateur (Bloomsbury, 2016), Krishnendu Ray reverses this trend by exploring…
Sarah Halpern-Meekin, “Social Poverty: Low-Income Parents and the Struggle for Family and Community Ties” (NYU Press, 2019)
Jul 26, 2019 • 44 min
Does a person’s well-being go well beyond how much money they have in their bank account? In Social Poverty: Low-Income Parents and the Struggle for Family and Community Ties (NYU Press, 2019), Dr. Sarah Halpern-Meekin provides an in-depth picture of the…
Celeste Watkins-Hayes, “Remaking a Life: How Women Living with HIV/AIDS Confront Inequality” (U California Press, 2019)
Jul 26, 2019 • 28 min
How do women — especially poor and low-income women with histories of childhood sexual trauma and drug addiction — respond to and deal with an HIV/AIDS diagnosis? How do some manage to not merely rebuild their lives, but remake them entirely? Why do…
Jennifer A. Jones, “The Browning of the New South” (U Chicago Press, 2019)
Jul 24, 2019 • 56 min
The dawn of the new millennium bore witness to an unprecedented transformation of the population in the Southeastern United States as evidenced by Dr. Jennifer A. Jones in her new book The Browning of the New South (University of Chicago Press, 2019).…
Susan Ellison, “Domesticating Democracy: The Politics of Conflict Resolution in Bolivia” (Duke UP, 2018)
Jul 23, 2019 • 62 min
Susan Ellison’s Domesticating Democracy: The Politics of Conflict Resolution in Bolivia (Duke University Press, 2018) explores the world of foreign-funded alternate dispute resolution (ADR) organizations working in El Alto, Bolivia. Ellison’s engaging…
Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra, “Automating Finance: Infrastructures, Engineers, and the Making of Electronic Markets” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
Jul 22, 2019 • 44 min
How are markets made? In Automating Finance: Infrastructures, Engineers, and the Making of Electronic Markets (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra, an assistant professor in sociology at the University of California, San Diego,…
Chika Watanabe, “Becoming One: Religion, Development, and Environmentalism in a Japanese NGO in Myanmar” (U Hawaii Press, 2019)
Jul 15, 2019 • 60 min
Chika Watanabe’s Becoming One: Religion, Development, and Environmentalism in a Japanese NGO in Myanmar (University of Hawaii Press, 2019) is a rich ethnographic study of the work of a Japanese NGO called the Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and…
Susan Brownell, “The Anthropology of Sport: Bodies, Borders, Biopolitics” (U California Press, 2018)
Jul 15, 2019 • 53 min
As my first guest, I’d would like to introduce Susan Brownell, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Missouri – St Louis, one of the authors of The Anthropology of Sport: Bodies, Borders, Biopolitics (University of California Press, 2018). During…
Chinyere K. Osuji, “Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race” (NYU Press, 2019)
Jul 11, 2019 • 55 min
The increasing presence of interracial relationships is often read as an antidote to racism or as an indicator of the decreasing significance of race. In her book, Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race (NYU Press, 2019),…
Eric Blanc, “Red State Revolt: The Teachers’ Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics” (Verso, 2019)
Jul 9, 2019 • 23 min
Eric Blanc is the author of Red State Revolt: The Teachers’ Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics(Verso, 2019). Blanc is a former teacher, journalist, and doctoral student in sociology at New York University. He has written for The Nation, The Guardian,…
Diana Pasulka, “American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology” (Oxford UP, 2019)
Jul 8, 2019 • 58 min
More than half of American adults and more than seventy-five percent of young Americans believe in intelligent extraterrestrial life. This level of belief rivals that of belief in God. In American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology (Oxford University…
Michael E. Kerr, “Bowen Theory’s Secrets: Revealing the Hidden Life of Families” (Norton, 2019)
Jul 4, 2019 • 53 min
A pivotal development in the history of psychology was the invention of family systems theory by psychiatrist Murray Bowen. He was among the first to observe families in a naturalistic setting, and his observations informed his ideas about families as…
David Beer, “The Data Gaze: Capitalism, Power and Perception“ (Sage, 2019)
Jul 2, 2019 • 36 min
What is the social role of data? In The Data Gaze: Capitalism, Power and Perception (Sage, 2019), David Beer, a professor of sociology at the University of York, considers this question by introducing the concept of the data gaze. The book is the third in…
M. D. Foster and J. A. Tolbert, “The Folkloresque: Reframing Folklore in a Popular Culture World” (Utah State UP, 2015)
Jul 2, 2019 • 52 min
This volume introduces a new concept to explore the dynamic relationship between folklore and popular culture: the “folkloresque.” With “folkloresque,” Foster and Tolbert name the product created when popular culture appropriates or reinvents folkloric…
Laura R. Barraclough, “Charros: How Mexican Cowboys Are Remapping Race and American Identity” (U California Press, 2019)
Jul 1, 2019 • 70 min
In Charros: How Mexican Cowboys Are Remapping Race and American Identity (University of California Press, 2019), Dr. Laura R. Barraclough tells a surprising story about the urban American West. Barraclough, the Sarai Ribicoff Associate Professor in…
Kirsten Fermaglich, “A Rosenberg by Any Other Name: A History of Jewish Name Changing in America” (NYU Press, 2018)
Jul 1, 2019 • 59 min
Throughout the 20th century, especially during and immediately after WWII, New York Jews changed their names at rates considerably higher than any other ethnic group. Representative of the insidious nature of American anti-Semitism, recognizably Jewish…
Carolina Alonso Bejarano, “Decolonizing Ethnography: Undocumented Immigrants and New Directions in Social Science” (Duke UP, 2019)
Jul 1, 2019 • 60 min
Almost 30 years ago, following the lead of scholars and thinkers of color and from the global South, anthropologist Faye Harrison and some of her colleagues published Decolonizing Anthropology: Moving Further Toward an Anthropology of Liberation. Harrison…
Caitlyn Collins, “Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving” (Princeton UP, 2019)
Jun 28, 2019 • 47 min
Where in the world do working moms have it best? In her new book, Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving (Princeton University Press, 2019), Caitlyn Collins explores how women balance motherhood and work across the globe. Using…
Jeremy F. Walton, “Muslim Civil Society and the Politics of Religious Freedom in Turkey” (Oxford UP, 2017)
Jun 28, 2019 • 66 min
The social history of Turkey across the twentieth century has produced a tension between state governance and religion. This history informs and shapes modern subjects as they try to live out an authentic vision of the present. In Muslim Civil Society and…
Amanda Littauer, “Bad Girls: Young Women, Sex, and Rebellion before the Sixties” (UNC Press, 2015)
Jun 26, 2019 • 78 min
In her innovative and revealing study of midcentury American sex and culture, Bad Girls: Young Women, Sex, and Rebellion before the Sixties (University of North Carolina Press, 2015), Amanda Littauer traces the origins of the “sexual revolution” of the…
Morgan Marietta, “One Nation, Two Realities: Dueling Facts in American Democracy” (Oxford UP, 2019)
Jun 26, 2019 • 47 min
American society is deeply divided at this moment—not just on values and opinions but on basic perceptions of reality. In their latest book, One Nation, Two Realities: Dueling Facts in American Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2019), Morgan Marietta…
Jennifer Hubbert, “China in the World: An Anthropology of Confucius Institutes, Soft Power, and Globalization” (U Hawaii Press, 2019)
Jun 24, 2019 • 59 min
In recent years, Confucius Institutes—cultural and language programs funded by the Chinese government—have garnered attention in the United States due to a debate over whether they threaten free speech and academic freedom. In addition to this, much of…
Dorinne Kondo, “Worldmaking: Race, Performance, and the Work of Creativity” (Duke UP, 2018)
Jun 24, 2019 • 48 min
In Worldmaking: Race, Performance, and the Work of Creativity (Duke University Press 2018), Dorinne Kondo brings together critical race studies, affect theory, psychoanalysis and her critically keen awareness of the politics and potential of theatre…
Anne A. Cheng, “Ornamentalism” (Oxford UP, 2019)
Jun 21, 2019 • 67 min
On this episode, Dr. Lee Pierce (she/they)—Asst. Prof. of Rhetoric and Communication at the State University of New York at Geneseo—Dr. Anne Cheng (she/hers)—Professor of English and Director of the Program in American Studies at Princeton University—to…
John O’Brien, “States of Intoxication: The Place of Alcohol in Civilisation” (Routledge, 2018)
Jun 20, 2019 • 47 min
Is alcohol a universal feature of human society? Why is problematic in some countries and not others? How was alcohol helped build the modern state? These are just a few of the questions that sociologist John O’Brien addresses in States of Intoxication:…
Melanie A. Madeiros, “Marriage, Divorce, and Distress in Northeast Brazil: Black Women’s Perspectives on Love, Respect, and Kinship” (Rutgers UP, 2018)
Jun 18, 2019 • 60 min
On this episode, Dr. Lee Pierce (she/they)—Asst. Prof. of Rhetoric at SUNY Geneseo—interviews Dr. Melanie Madeiros (she/hers)—Asst. Prof. of Cultural Anthropology at SUNY Geneseo—on the cutting-edge research presented in Marriage, Divorce, and Distress in…
Chandra Russo, “Solidarity in Practice: Moral Protest and the US Security State” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
Jun 12, 2019 • 46 min
In her book Solidarity in Practice: Moral Protest and the US Security State (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Chandra Russo explores how solidarity activists contest the practices of the US security state both within its borders and abroad. Russo…
Joseph C. Sternberg, “The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials’ Economic Future” (PublicAffairs, 2019)
Jun 11, 2019 • 65 min
Joseph C. Sternberg’s book The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials’ Economic Future (PublicAffairs, 2019) is an analysis of the economic condition of the Millennial generation, which was as cohort of people born between 1981 and…
Amira Mittermaier, “Giving to God: Islamic Charity in Revolutionary Times” (U California Press, 2019)
Jun 11, 2019 • 56 min
In her stunning new book, Giving to God: Islamic Charity in Revolutionary Times (University of California Press, 2019), Amira Mittermaier, Associate Professor of Religion and Anthropology at the University of Toronto, conducts a dazzling and at many times…
Thomas S. Mullaney, “The Chinese Deathscape: Grave Reform in Modern China” (Stanford UP, 2019)
Jun 10, 2019 • 73 min
The Chinese landscape is dramatically changing. Modernization has drastically altered Chinese infrastructure, urban zones, waterways, and even rural spaces. These changes have also affected Chinese burial practices and the resting places of the deceased.…
Alexander Garvin, “The Heart of the City: Creating Vibrant Downtowns for a New Century” (Island Press, 2019)
Jun 10, 2019 • 48 min
Downtowns are more than economic engines: they are repositories of knowledge and culture and generators of new ideas, technology, and ventures. They are the heart of the city that drives its future. If we are to have healthy downtowns, we need to…
Long T. Bui, “Returns of War: South Vietnam and the Price of Refugee Memory” (NYU Press, 2018)
Jun 7, 2019 • 51 min
In Returns of War: South Vietnam and the Price of Refugee Memory (New York University Press, 2018), Long T. Bui examines the complicated relationship between the Vietnamese diasporic community and its home country, the former South Vietnam. Central to…
Safet HadžiMuhamedović, “Waiting for Elijah: Time and Encounter in a Bosnian Landscape” (Berghahn Books, 2018)
Jun 5, 2019 • 75 min
Set in the beautiful, sprawling Field of Gacko in southeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, Safet HadžiMuhamedović’s book Waiting for Elijah: Time and Encounter in a Bosnian Landscape (Berghahn Books, 2018) takes readers through intimate encounters and…
Abigail De Kosnik and Keith P. Feldman, “#Identity: Hashtagging Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Nation” (U Michigan Press, 2019)
Jun 5, 2019 • 61 min
In the new book #Identity: Hashtagging Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Nation (University of Michigan Press, 2019), Abigail De Kosnik and Keith Feldman bring together a broad array of chapters that dive into multiple perspectives on social media engagement,…
Jennifer Helgren, “American Girls and Global Responsibility: A New Relation to the World during the Early Cold War” (Rutgers UP, 2017)
Jun 4, 2019 • 62 min
In her book, American Girls and Global Responsibility: A New Relation to the World during the Early Cold War (Rutgers University Press, 2017), Jennifer Helgren traces the creation of a new internationalist girl citizenship in the first two decades…
Jeevan Sharma, “Crossing the Border to India: Youth, Migration, and Masculinities in Nepal” (Temple UP, 2018)
Jun 4, 2019 • 63 min
People’s decisions to migrate in search of work are often discussed in terms of economic necessity, but these decisions are also shaped by a host of historical and cultural factors. In his new book Crossing the Border to India: Youth, Migration, and…
Anne Balay, “Semi Queer: Inside the World of Gay, Trans, and Black Truck Drivers” (UNC Press, 2018)
Jun 3, 2019 • 56 min
In this multi-layered ethnography that centers truck drivers, Semi Queer: Inside the World of Gay, Trans, and Black Truck Drivers (University of North Carolina Press, 2018) describes both the long-haul trucking industry as well as the significance of…
John Pat Leary, “Keywords: The New Language of Capitalism” (Haymarket Books, 2019)
May 28, 2019 • 45 min
John Pat Leary’s Keywords: The New Language of Capitalism (Haymarket Books, 2019) chronicles the rise of a new vocabulary in the twenty-first century. From Silicon Valley to the White House, from kindergarten to college, and from the factory floor to the…
A. Harkins and M. McCarroll, “Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy” (West Virginia UP, 2019)
May 27, 2019 • 52 min
Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy (West Virginia University Press, 2019) is a retort, at turn rigorous, critical, angry, and hopeful, to the long shadow J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis has…
Gökçe Günel, “Spaceship in the Desert: Energy, Climate Change, and Urban Design in Abu Dhabi” (Duke UP, 2019)
May 24, 2019 • 44 min
Whether in space colonies or through geo-engineering, the looming disaster of climate change inspires no shortage of techno-utopian visions of human survival. Most of such hypotheses remain science fiction, but in Spaceship in the Desert: Energy, Climate…
Gwendoline M. Alphonso, “Polarized Families, Polarized Parties: Contesting Values and Economics in American Politics” (U Pennsylvania Press, 2018)
May 23, 2019 • 26 min
Gwendoline M. Alphonso’s new book Polarized Families, Polarized Parties: Contesting Values and Economics in American Politics (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018) demonstrates how regional ideas about family in the 20th century shaped, not only…
Jerry T. Watkins III, “Queering the Redneck Riviera: Sexuality and the Rise of Florida Tourism” (UP of Florida, 2018)
May 21, 2019 • 54 min
As the title suggests, Jerry T. Watkins III’s Queering the Redneck Riviera: Sexuality and the Rise of Florida Tourism (University Press of Florida, 2018) re-queers this North Florida tourist destination showing how people who defied gender and sexual…
David Bissell, “Transit Life: How Commuting Is Transforming Our Cities” (MIT Press, 2018)
May 20, 2019 • 64 min
What kind of time do we endure on our daily commutes? What kind of space do we occupy? What new sorts of urbanites do we thereby become? In Transit Life: How Commuting Is Transforming Our Cities (MIT Press, 2018), geographer David Bissell contends that to…
Diane Tober, “Romancing the Sperm: Shifting Biopolitics and the Making of Modern Families” (Rutgers UP, 2019)
May 15, 2019 • 53 min
The development of a whole suite of new reproductive technologies in recent decades has contributed to broad cultural conversations and controversies over the meaning of family in the United States. In Romancing the Sperm: Shifting Biopolitics and the…
Kristin D. Phillips, “An Ethnography of Hunger: Politics, Subsistence, and the Unpredictable Grace of the Sun” (Indiana UP, 2018)
May 9, 2019 • 72 min
Families in parts of rural Tanzania regularly face periods when they cut back on their meals because their own food stocks are running short and they cannot afford to buy food. Kristin D. Phillips’ new book An Ethnography of Hunger: Politics, Subsistence,…
Ernest McGowen III, “African Americans in White Suburbia: Social Networks and Political Behavior” (UP of Kansas 2017)
May 6, 2019 • 24 min
Relative wealth has given suburban African Americans employment opportunities and political resources—but not necessarily neighbors, coworkers, or elected officials who share their concerns. How does this environment affect the political behavior of…
Susan Lepselter, “The Resonance of Unseen Things: Poetics, Power, and UFOs in the American Uncanny” (U Michigan Press, 2016)
May 6, 2019 • 56 min
When we talk about stories of alien abduction in the United States, we often do so through a framework of belief vs. disbelief. Do I think this story is true, or do I think it’s false? Anthropologist Susan Lepselter asks what happens when we instead…
Jack Wertheimer, “The New American Judaism: How Jews Practice their Religion Today” (Princeton UP, 2018)
May 6, 2019 • 63 min
Countless sociological studies and surveys present a rather bleak picture of religion and religious engagement in the United States. Attendance at worship services remains very low and approximately one quarter of Americans indicate that they are not…
Jessica A. J. Rich, “State-Sponsored Activism: Bureaucrats and Social Movements in Democratic Brazil” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
May 3, 2019 • 52 min
Jessica Rich’s new book, State-Sponsored Activism: Bureaucrats and Social Movements in Democratic Brazil (Cambridge University Press, 2019) is a fascinating and important examination of civil-state relations, social movements, and bureaucracies all…
Crystal Abidin, “Internet Celebrity: Understanding Fame Online” (Emerald Publishing, 2018)
Apr 29, 2019 • 50 min
What does it mean to be famous on the Internet? How do people become Internet celebrities, and what can that celebrity be used to do? Dr. Crystal Abidin offers anthropological insight into these questions in her book Internet Celebrity: Understanding Fame…
Melissa Johnson, “Becoming Creole: Nature and Race in Belize” (Rutgers UP, 2018)
Apr 26, 2019 • 47 min
Drawing from Sylvia Wynter’s call for rethinking our category of “human”, Melissa Johnson’s ethnography Becoming Creole: Nature and Race in Belize (Rutgers University Press, 2018) demonstrates how entangled people are with the other-than-human that…
Tricia Bruce, “Parish and Place: Making Room for Diversity in the American Catholic Church” (Oxford UP, 2017)
Apr 24, 2019 • 41 min
What does a typical American Catholic parish look like? Tricia Bruce, an affiliate of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Religion and Society, argues in her new book that America’s largest denomination is held together by the…
Emily Dawson, “Equity, Exclusion and Everyday Science Learning: The Experiences of Minoritised Groups” (Routledge, 2019)
Apr 18, 2019 • 50 min
Who is excluded from science? What is the role of museums in this exclusion? In Equity, Exclusion and Everyday Science Learning: The Experiences of Minoritised Groups (Routledge, 2019), Dr Emily Dawson, an Associate Professor in the Department of Science…
Eliot Borenstein, “Plots Against Russia: Conspiracy and Fantasy after Socialism” (Cornell UP, 2019)
Apr 16, 2019 • 52 min
Since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, conspiratorial thinking has taken deep root in contemporary Russia, moving from the margins to the forefront of cultural, historical, and political discourse and fueled by centuries-long prejudices and new…
Federico Varese, “Mafias on the Move: How Organized Crime Conquers New Territories” (Princeton UP, 2011)
Apr 12, 2019 • 42 min
Tonight we are talking with Federico Varese about his new book Mafias on the Move: How Organized Crime Conquers New Territories (Princeton University Press, 2011). Whenever you read a book about transnational crime one of the themes will be about how…
Leta Hong Fincher, “Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China” (Verso, 2018)
Apr 12, 2019 • 50 min
On the eve of International Women’s Day in 2015, five activists were detained by the police in China for their plans to distribute anti-sexual harassment stickers. Although such detainments usually last 24 hours, these women were detained 37 days, the…
Sally Nuamah, “How Girls Achieve” (Harvard UP, 2019)
Apr 11, 2019 • 27 min
What does it take for all girls to achieve? What will it take to remove the seen and unseen barriers— some a matter of policy and others cultural practice—to more girls achieving the equitable education that is their human right? Sally Nuamah has an…
Mickey and Dick Flacks, “Making History/Making Blintzes: How Two Red Diaper Babies Found Each Other and Discovered America” (Rutgers UP, 2018)
Apr 10, 2019 • 81 min
Mickey and Dick Flacks’ new book Making History/Making Blintzes: How Two Red Diaper Babies Found Each Other and Discovered America (Rutgers UP, 2018) is a chronicle of the political and personal lives of progressive activists Richard (Dick) and Miriam…
Laurence Cox, “Why Social Movements Matter: An Introduction” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018)
Apr 8, 2019 • 36 min
In his book Why Social Movements Matter: An Introduction (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018), Senior Lecturer Laurence Cox, from Maynooth University, highlights how social movements have shaped the world we live in and their importance for today’s social…
John Komlos, “Foundations of Real-World Economics: What Every Economics Student Needs to Know” (Routledge, 2019)
Apr 3, 2019 • 35 min
I met with John Komlos, an American economic historian of Hungarian descent and former holder of the Chair of Economic History at the University of Munich. We spoke about his latest book, Foundations of Real-World Economics: What Every Economics Student…
Racquel J. Gates, “Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture” (Duke UP, 2018)
Apr 3, 2019 • 45 min
Racquel J. Gates’ new book, Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture (Duke University Press, 2018), interrogates understandings of African-American representations on screen. This book is an important analysis of the concepts of negative and…
Kevin T. Smiley, “Market Cities, People Cities: The Shape of Our Urban Future” (NYU Press, 2018)
Apr 2, 2019 • 43 min
Are market cities better than people cities? Does the satisfaction that residents take in their city vary from market city to people city? In Market Cities, People Cities: The Shape of Our Urban Future (NYU Press, 2018), Dr. Michael Oluf Emerson and Dr.…
Levi S. Gibbs, “Song King: Connecting People, Places and Past in Contemporary China” (U Hawaii Press, 2018)
Apr 2, 2019 • 65 min
How does music link people across time and space? How do singers modulate their repertoires to forge links with audiences both within and across local, regional and national borders? What are the consequences of these developments? In Song King:…
Ward Keeler, “The Traffic in Hierarchy: Masculinity and Its Others in Buddhist Burma” (U Hawaii Press, 2017)
Apr 1, 2019 • 48 min
Michael Walzer once began a book with the advice of a former teacher to “always begin negatively”. Tell your readers what you are not going to do and it will relieve their minds, he says. Then they will be more inclined to accept what seems a modest…
Jules Evans, “The Art of Losing Control: A Philosopher’s Search for Ecstatic Experience” (Canongate Books, 2017)
Mar 28, 2019 • 74 min
People have always sought ecstatic experiences - moments where they go beyond their ordinary self and feel connected to something greater than them. Such moments are fundamental to human flourishing, but they can also be dangerous. Beginning around the…
Candis Watts Smith, “Black Politics in Transition: Immigration, Suburbanization, and Gentrification” (Routledge, 2019)
Mar 27, 2019 • 23 min
Candis Watts Smith and Christina Greer are the editors of Black Politics in Transition: Immigration, Suburbanization, and Gentrification (Routledge, 2019). Smith is assistant professor of public policy at the University of North Carolina; Greer is…
Michael Mario Albrecht, “Masculinity in Contemporary Quality Television” (Routledge, 2015)
Mar 26, 2019 • 58 min
On this episode of the New Books Network, Dr. Lee Pierce (she/they)—Asst. Prof. of Rhetoric at SUNY Geneseo—interviews Dr. Michael Mario Albrecht (he/his)—to discuss a sweeping exploration of masculinity, economic crisis, and some of the great television…
I. Gould Ellen and J. Steil, “The Dream Revisited: Contemporary Debates about Housing, Segregation, and Opportunity” (Columbia UP, 2019)
Mar 25, 2019 • 59 min
Why do people live where they do? What explains the persistence of residential segregation? Why is it complicated to address residential segregation? Please join me as I meet with Dr. Ingrid Gould Ellen and Dr. Justin Peter Steil to discuss The Dream…
Alex Colas et al., “Food, Politics, and Society Social Theory and the Modern Food System” (U California Press, 2018)
Mar 20, 2019 • 47 min
The consumption of food and drink is much more than what we put in our mouth. Food and drink have been a focal point of modern social theory since the inception of agrarian capitalism and the industrial revolution. The origins of food and drink are rather…
Discussion of Massive Online Peer Review and Open Access Publishing
Mar 19, 2019 • 32 min
In the information age, knowledge is power. Hence, facilitating the access to knowledge to wider publics empowers citizens and makes societies more democratic. How can publishers and authors contribute to this process? This podcast addresses this issue.…
Jessica Hardin, “Faith and the Pursuit of Health: Cardiometabolic Disorders in Samoa” (Rutgers UP, 2018)
Mar 14, 2019 • 84 min
Jessica Hardin’s new book Faith and the Pursuit of Health: Cardiometabolic Disorders in Samoa (Rutgers University Press, 2018)explores how Pentecostal Christians manage chronic illness in ways that sheds light on health disparities and social suffering in…
Suk-Young Kim, “K-Pop Live: Fans, Idols, and Multimedia Performance” (Stanford UP, 2018)
Mar 13, 2019 • 55 min
Given its expanding multimedia presence in Asia and around the world for many years now, K-pop is a phenomenon that is hard to ignore. This “animal that thrives on excess,” as Suk-Young Kim puts it (p. 6) is more than just music, however, as it offers us…
Prakash Shah, “Western Foundations of the Caste System” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)
Mar 13, 2019 • 60 min
The Indian caste system is an ancient, pervasive institution of social organization within the subcontinent – or is it? Join me as I speak with Dr. Prakash Shah (Reader in Culture and Law at the Queen Mary University of London, UK) about his co-edited…
Kartik Hosanagar, “A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence: How Algorithms Are Shaping Our Lives” (Viking, 2019)
Mar 12, 2019 • 55 min
Our guest today is Kartik Hosanagar, the author of A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence: How Algorithms Are Shaping Our Lives and How We Can Stay in Control(Viking, 2019). This is one of those rare books that I think everyone can read and I think…
Natalie Koch, “Critical Geographies of Sport: Space, Power, and Sport in Global Perspective” (Routledge, 2017)
Mar 12, 2019 • 68 min
Today we are joined by Natalie Koch, Associate Professor of Geography at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and editor of Critical Geographies of Sport: Space, Power, and Sport in Global Perspective (Routledge,…
Rick Van Noy, “Sudden Spring: Stories of Adaptation in a Climate-Changed South” (U Georgia Press, 2019)
Mar 8, 2019 • 49 min
As climate change politics abound, Dr. Rick Van Noy’s Sudden Spring: Stories of Adaptation in a Climate-Changed South (University of Georgia Press, 2019) cuts through it all to get to the core. What matters? People’s experiences with climate forces and…
Meredith McCarroll, “Unwhite: Appalachia, Race, and Film” (U Georgia Press, 2018)
Mar 7, 2019 • 61 min
If you mention Appalachia to many people, they may immediately respond with the “Deliverance” dueling banjos theme. Unfortunately, this is an example of how the region is stereotyped and misunderstood, particularly in films. In her book, Unwhite:…
Thomas F. Gieryn, “Truth-Spots: How Places Make People Believe” (U Chicago, 2018)
Mar 5, 2019 • 63 min
Is the existence of truth coming to a screeching halt? Does truth still exist? In Truth-Spots: How Places Make People Believe (University of Chicago Press, 2018), Dr. Thomas F. Gieryn takes time to explain how place informs truth. During this interview…
Jacob Johanssen, “Psychoanalysis and Digital Culture: Audiences, Social Media, and Big Data” (Routledge, 2018)
Feb 28, 2019 • 37 min
How can insights from psychoanalysis help us understand digital culture? in Psychoanalysis and Digital Culture: Audiences, Social Media, and Big Data (Routledge, 2018), Jacob Johanssen, a senior lecturer in the University of Westminster’s School of Media…
Bernadete Barton, “Stripped: More Stories from Exotic Dancers” (NYU Press, 2017)
Feb 28, 2019 • 58 min
Women get into stripping for money, writes Dr. Bernadete Barton, and the experience the girls have throughout their career in exotic dancing varies. Dr. Barton uses Stripped: More Stories from Exotic Dancers, Completely Revised and Updated Edition (NYU…
Martin Demant Frederiksen, “An Anthropology of Nothing in Particular” (Zero Books, 2018)
Feb 28, 2019 • 42 min
An Anthropology of Nothing in Particular (Zero Books, 2018) is an “exploration of what goes missing when one looks for meaning” (p. 1). The book is both an experimental ethnography and a theoretical treatise on how we can understand and represent absence…
Geraldine Heng, “The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
Feb 26, 2019 • 61 min
In The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press 2018), Geraldine Heng collects a remarkable array of medieval approaches to race that show the breadth and depth of the kinds of racial thinking in medieval society. In…
Susan Thomson, “Rwanda: From Genocide to Precarious Peace” (Yale UP, 2018)
Feb 25, 2019 • 59 min
How do you put Humpty-Dumpty back together again? Susan Thomson’s new book Rwanda: From Genocide to Precarious Peace (Yale University Press, 2018) examines the postwar history of Rwanda to consider the ways the Rwandan genocide shaped governance, policy…
Catherine Baker, “Race and the Yugoslav Region: Postsocialist, Post-Conflict, Postcolonial?” (Manchester UP, 2018)
Feb 21, 2019 • 64 min
Catherine Baker’s fascinating new book poses a deceptively simple question: what does race have to do with the Yugoslav region? Eastern European studies has often framed the region as unimplicated in global formations of race, while still remarking on the…
David Ray Papke, “Containment and Condemnation: Law and the Oppression of the Urban Poor” (Michigan State UP, 2019)
Feb 15, 2019 • 31 min
The law does things, writes David Ray Papke, and it says things, and if we are talking about poor Americans, especially those living in big cities, what it does and says combine to function as powerfully oppressive forces that can much more likely be…
Justine Howe, “Suburban Islam” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Feb 14, 2019 • 68 min
The study of Islam is often focused on subjects involved in legal debates or ritual practice. But our understanding of Muslims should also be informed by everyday practices found in the suburbs. In Suburban Islam (Oxford University Press, 2018), Justine…
Caleb Simmons, “Nine Nights of the Goddess: The Navaratri Festival in South Asia” (SUNY Press, 2018)
Feb 13, 2019 • 42 min
Nine Nights of the Goddess: The Navaratri Festival in South Asia (SUNY Press, 2018), edited by Caleb Simmons, Moumita Sen, and Hillary Peter Rodrigues, is a diverse collection of cutting-edge interdisciplinary essays looking at the most ubiquitous…
Jieun Baek, “North Korea’s Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground Is Transforming a Closed Society” (Yale UP, 2016)
Feb 12, 2019 • 63 min
With recent events having raised hopes that significant change may be afoot in North Korea, it is important to remember that DPRK society has in fact been undergoing steady transformation for a considerable period of time. Among the most important…
Jessica Trisko Darden, Alexis Henshaw, and Ora Szekley, “Insurgent Women: Female Combatants in Civil Wars” (Georgetown UP, 2019)
Feb 11, 2019 • 54 min
Insurgent Women: Female Combatants in Civil Wars (Georgetown University Press, 2019), investigates the mobilization of female fighters, women’s roles in combat, and what happens to women when conflicts end. The book focuses on three case studies of…
Jonathan Birch, “The Philosophy of Social Evolution” (Oxford UP, 2017)
Feb 11, 2019 • 63 min
It seems to go against evolutionary theory for an individual to give up its own chances at reproducing in order to increase the fitness of others. Yet social behavior is found throughout nature, from bacteria and social insects to wolves, whales, and of…
Thomas Patton, “The Buddha’s Wizards: Magic, Protection, and Healing in Burmese Buddhism” (Columbia UP, 2018)
Feb 11, 2019 • 70 min
In his recent monograph, The Buddha’s Wizards: Magic, Protection, and Healing in Burmese Buddhism(Columbia University Press, 2018), Thomas Patton examines the weizzā, a figure in Burmese Buddhism who is possessed with extraordinary supernatural powers,…
Peter Hopsicker and Mark Dyreson, “A Half Century of Super Bowls: National and Global Perspectives on America’s Grandest Spectacle” (Routledge, 2018)
Jan 31, 2019 • 39 min
The Super Bowl is a singular spectacle in American culture. More than just a championship football game, the Super Bowl has become an unparalleled display of nationalism, consumerism, and culture. But despite its impact in the United States, the Super…
David J. Puglia, “Tradition, Urban Identity, and the Baltimore ‘Hon’: The Folk in the City” (Lexington Books, 2018)
Jan 31, 2019 • 61 min
Folklorist David J. Puglia is an assistant professor at the City University of New York and in his latest book - Tradition, Urban Identity, and the Baltimore “Hon”: The Folk in the City (Lexington Books, 2018) – he considers the term “hon” and its…
Sam Friedman and Daniel Laurison, “The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to be Privileged” (Policy Press, 2019)
Jan 31, 2019 • 39 min
Who gets in to top professions? In The Class Ceiling: Why it pays to be privileged (Policy Press, 2019), Drs Sam Friedman, an associate professor of sociology at LSE, and Daniel Laurison, an assistant professor of sociology at Swarthmore College, explore…
John Torpey, “The Three Axial Ages: Moral, Material, Mental” (Rutgers UP, 2017)
Jan 30, 2019 • 31 min
Since its initial postulation by Karl Jaspers, the concept of an “axial age” in the development of human thought and religion has exerted enormous influence in the fields of history and sociology. In The Three Axial Ages: Moral, Material, Mental (Rutgers…
Rosalind Fredericks, “Garbage Citizenship: Vital Infrastructures of Labor in Dakar, Senegal” (Duke UP, 2018)
Jan 29, 2019 • 51 min
The production and removal of garbage, as a key element of the daily infrastructure of urban life, is deeply embedded in social, moral, and political contexts. In her book Garbage Citizenship: Vital Infrastructures of Labor in Dakar, Senegal (Duke…
Jan English-Lueck, “Cultures@SiliconValley: Second Edition” (Stanford UP, 2017)
Jan 28, 2019 • 68 min
Silicon Valley is understood to be one of the most fast-paced regions on earth, where innovation and upheaval are part and parcel of daily life. Imagine the challenge, then, when it’s your job to document and analyze the complex, intersecting,…
Marcia Morgan, “Black Women Prison Employees: The Intersectionality of Gender and Race” (Edwin Mellen Press, 2018)
Jan 23, 2019 • 49 min
With prison reform a topic of international conversation and debate, Marica Morgan’s Black Women Prison Employees: The Intersectionality of Gender and Race offers an in-depth and unique analysis of a population largely lost in these debates and…
Jamal Elias, “Alef is for Allah: Childhood, Emotion, and Visual Culture in Islamic Societies” (U California Press, 2018)
Jan 23, 2019 • 40 min
In his groundbreaking new book, Alef is for Allah: Childhood, Emotion, and Visual Culture in Islamic Societies (University of California Press, 2018), Jamal Elias takes his readers on a riveting intellectual tour thematically centered on the interaction…
Katie Beswick, “Social Housing In Performance: The English Council Estate On and Off Stage” (Methuen Drama, 2018)
Jan 22, 2019 • 42 min
How has the council estate been represented on stage? In Social Housing In Performance: The English Council Estate On and Off Stage (Methuen Drama, 2018), Dr. Katie Beswick, a lecturer in drama at the University of Exeter, explores this question using a…
Ellen Moore, “Grateful Nation: Student Veterans and the Rise of the Military-Friendly Campus” (Duke UP, 2017)
Jan 16, 2019 • 65 min
I don’t know about the colleges and universities you’re familiar with, but the U.S. military has a pretty visible presence on my campus—through the ROTC, a newly remodeled Veterans Resource Center, and the student veterans themselves who enroll in my…
Derek Hird and Geng Song, “The Cosmopolitan Dream: Transnational Chinese Masculinities in a Global Age” (Hong Kong UP, 2018)
Jan 15, 2019 • 68 min
China’s global rise has been analysed from many perspectives in recent years. But pressing questions over how understandings of gender – and particularly masculinity – have been changing amidst increasing mutual contact between China and the wider world…
Sarah Thomsen Vierra, “Turkish Germans in the Federal Republic of Germany: Immigration, Space, and Belonging, 1961-1990” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
Jan 14, 2019 • 69 min
After years of being overlooked, there has been a growing interest among academic historians in the history of Turkish Guest Workers in West Germany. In her new book, Turkish Germans in the Federal Republic of Germany: Immigration, Space, and Belonging,…
M. Evans, S. Moore, and H. Johnstone, “Detecting the Social: Order and Disorder in Post-1970s Detective Fiction” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)
Jan 14, 2019 • 41 min
How can detective fiction explain the social world? In Detecting the Social: Order and Disorder in Post-1970s Detective Fiction(Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), Mary Evans and Hazel Johnstone, both from the London School of Economics’ Department of Gender…
Michele Gelfand, “Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World” (Scribner Books, 2018)
Jan 10, 2019 • 44 min
In Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World(Scribner Books, 2018), Dr. Michele Gelfand leverages cultural psychology research to examine social norms and their implications on individuals, organizations, and nations. Dr.…
Alf Gunvald Nilsen, “Adivasis and the State: Subalternity and Citizenship in India’s Bhil Heartland” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
Jan 9, 2019 • 42 min
Almost a decade in the making, Adivasis and the State: Subalternity and Citizenship in India’s Bhil Heartland(Cambridge University Press, 2018) draws on collaboratively collected oral histories of two social movements in western Madhya Pradesh, the Khedut…
Alex Bentley and Michael O’Brien, “The Acceleration of Cultural Change: From Ancestors to Algorithms” (MIT Press, 2017)
Jan 8, 2019 • 52 min
Our evolutionary success, according to co-authors Alex Bentley and Michael O’Brien, lies in our ability to acquire cultural wisdom and teach it to the next generation. Today, we follow social media bots as much as we learn from our ancestors. We are…
Tania Li, “Land’s End: Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier” (Duke UP, 2014)
Jan 7, 2019 • 66 min
If you want to read just one book to properly understand capitalism, let it be Tania Li’s award-winning 2014 book Land’s End: Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier (Duke University Press, 2014). This might seem like a strange choice: how can a…
Andrea Micocci and Flavia Di Mario, “The Fascist Nature of Neoliberalism” (Routledge, 2017)
Jan 4, 2019 • 40 min
Today I spoke with Flavia di Mario, a young scholar of political economy and industrial relations. She coauthored a very provocative book with Andrea Micocci, The Fascist Nature of Neoliberalism (Routledge, 2017). Flavia is doctoral student at London…
Denis Provencher, “Queer Maghrebi French: Language, Temporalities, Transfiliations” (Liverpool UP, 2017)
Jan 4, 2019 • 62 min
Sometimes a book can take inspiration from a (not so) simple map. At the end of his previous book, Queer French: Globalization, Language, and Sexual Citizenship (Routledge, 2007), Denis Provencher discusses a map of “gay Paris” drawn by Samir, one of his…
Special Discussion: Approaches to Textbooks on Genocide
Jan 3, 2019 • 79 min
How do you write a textbook about genocide? Consider what such a textbook must do. It needs to integrate insights from a variety of disciplines. It must make complicated legal and definitional issues clear and compelling. It needs to make historical…
Peter Hart-Brinson, “The Gay Marriage Generation: How the LGBTQ Movement Transformed American Culture” (NYU Press, 2018)
Dec 27, 2018 • 45 min
How and why did public opinions about gay marriage shift? In his new book, The Gay Marriage Generation: How the LGBTQ Movement Transformed American Culture (New York University Press, 2018), Peter Hart-Brinson explores this question and more through…
Seamus O’Hanlon, “City Life: The New Urban Australia” (NewSouth Publishing, 2018)
Dec 27, 2018 • 17 min
In his new book, City Life: The New Urban Australia (NewSouth Publishing, 2018), Seamus O’Hanlon, an Associate Professor at Monash University, explores the economic, social, cultural, and demographic changes in Australian cities over the last four…
Ashley Jardina, “White Identity Politics” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
Dec 27, 2018 • 24 min
One of the themes of the era of Donald Trump is whiteness and white identity. From his first steps into the public eye, Trump used race to frame his positions and relevance. His presidency has been no different. White identity, though, has remained a…
Till Mostowlansky, “Azan on the Moon: Entangling Modernity Along Tajikistan’s Pamir Highway” (U Pittsburgh Press, 2017)
Dec 26, 2018 • 59 min
In eastern Tajikistan, the Trans-Pamir Highway flows through the mountains creating a lunar-like landscape. In his latest work, Azan on the Moon: Entangling Modernity Along Tajikistan’s Pamir Highway (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017), Dr. Till…
George Lakey, “How We Win: A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigning” (Melville House, 2018)
Dec 26, 2018 • 46 min
“One-off” protests don’t change the world; sustained direct action campaigns do. That’s one of the many insights from George Lakey in his new book, How We Win: A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigning (Melville House, 2018). Lakey, a retired…
Irmak Karademir Hazir, “Enter Culture, Exit Arts? The Transformation of Cultural Hierarchies in European Newspaper Culture Sections, 1960–2010” (Routledge, 2018)
Dec 26, 2018 • 36 min
How has European culture changed since the 1960s? In Enter Culture, Exit Arts? The Transformation of Cultural Hierarchies in European Newspaper Culture Sections, 1960–2010 (Routledge, 2018), Dr. Irmak Karademir Hazir and her co-authors, explore this…
Steve Stewart-Williams, “The Ape That Understood the Universe: How Mind and Culture Evolve” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
Dec 26, 2018 • 56 min
In this episode, cross-posted from from the podcast Psychologists Off The Clock, Dr. Yael Schonbrun takes a dive into evolutionary psychology with professor and author, Dr. Steve Stewart-Williams. Steve’s recent book, The Ape That Understood the Universe:…
Margot Finn, “Discriminating Taste: How Class Anxiety Created the American Food Revolution” (Rutgers UP, 2017)
Dec 21, 2018 • 53 min
You eat what you are and are what you eat, right? There is an increasing number of Americans who pay great attention to the food they eat, buy organic vegetables, drink fine wines, and seek out exotic cuisine. The affordability of food across the class…
Victoria Cann, “Girls Like This, Boys Like That: Understanding the (Re)Production of Gender in Contemporary Youth Cultures” (I.B.Tauris, 2018)
Dec 18, 2018 • 41 min
How does cultural taste regulate our lives? In Girls Like This, Boys Like That: Understanding the (Re)Production of Gender in Contemporary Youth Cultures (I.B. Tauris, 2018), Dr. Victoria Cann, a lecturer in humanities at the University of East Anglia,…
Radhika Govindrajan, “Animal Intimacies: Interspecies Relatedness in India’s Central Himalayas” (U Chicago Press, 2018)
Dec 18, 2018 • 55 min
In what is sure to become a classic, Radhika Govindrajan’s Animal Intimacies: Interspecies Relatedness in India’s Central Himalayas (University of Chicago Press, 2018) mobilizes the thematic of “interspecies relatedness” to explore a variety of…
Hannah Holleman, “Dust Bowls of Empire: Imperialism, Environmental Politics, and the Injustice of ‘Green’ Capitalism” (Yale UP, 2018)
Dec 17, 2018 • 59 min
None of the climate news that we’re getting is good right now, especially now that a number of governments are reversing or failing to meet commitments they made as part of the Paris Climate Accord. One of the challenges facing human societies and the…
Annabel Cooper, “Filming the Colonial Past: The New Zealand Wars on Screen” (Otago UP, 2018)
Dec 14, 2018 • 17 min
In her new book, Filming the Colonial Past: The New Zealand Wars on Screen (Otago University Press, 2018), Annabel Cooper, an Associate Professor in the Gender Studies Programme at the University of Otago, explores how filmmakers have portrayed the New…
Ana Paulina Lee, “Mandarin Brazil: Race, Representation, and Memory” (Stanford UP, 2018)
Dec 13, 2018 • 70 min
In her new book, Mandarin Brazil: Race, Representation, and Memory (Stanford University Press, 2018), Ana Paulina Lee (Columbia University) analyzes representations of the Chinese in Brazilian culture to understand their significance for Brazilian…
Sarah Banet-Weiser, “Empowered: Popular Feminism and Popular Misogyny” (Duke UP, 2018)
Dec 10, 2018 • 40 min
What is the relationship between popular misogyny and popular feminism? In Empowered: Popular Feminism and Popular Misogyny(Duke University Press, 2018), Sarah Banet-Weiser, Professor of Media and Communications and Head of Department at the LSE’s…
Snigdha Poonam, “Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing the World” (Harvard UP, 2018)
Dec 7, 2018 • 41 min
49.91% of India’s population was below the age of 24 in the 2011 Census. By 2020 India will become the world’s youngest country with 64% of its population in the working age group of 15-64 years. This is India’s much touted “demographic dividend”.…
Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan, “Transition Economies: Transformation, Development, and Society in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union” (Routledge, 2018)
Dec 7, 2018 • 44 min
We spoke with the author Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan. His book Transition Economies: Transformation, Development, and Society in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union (Routledge, 2018) is a very interesting contribution to the understanding of Soviet…
McKenzie Wark, “General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty-First Century” (Verso, 2017)
Dec 6, 2018 • 64 min
McKenzie Wark’s new book offers 21 focused studies of thinkers working in a wide range of fields who are worth your attention. The chapters of General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty-First Century (Verso, 2017) introduce readers to…
Sara Komarnisky, “Mexicans in Alaska: An Ethnography of Mobility, Place, and Transnational Life” (U Nebraska Press, 2018)
Dec 6, 2018 • 58 min
“There are Mexicans in Alaska?” This was the response Sara Komarnisky heard repeatedly when describing her research on three generations of transnational migrants who divide their time between Anchorage, Alaska and Acuitzio del Canje, Michoacán, Mexico.…
Julian Meyrick, Robert Phiddian and Tully Barnett, “What Matters?: Talking Value in Australian Culture” (Monash UP, 2018)
Dec 6, 2018 • 34 min
How should we value culture? In What Matters? Talking Value in Australian Culture (Monash University Press, 2018), Professors Julian Meyrick, Robert Phiddian and Tully Barnett, from Flinders University’s Laboratory Adelaide: The Value of Culture project,…
D.A. Silver and T.N. Clark, “Scenescapes: How Qualities of Place Shape Social Life” (U Chicago Press, 2016)
Dec 5, 2018 • 60 min
I don’t mean to make a scene, but please open your eyes and look around. There are complex scenes everywhere and we have all served witness to them. A scene is an experience in which we feel connected to other people. Scenes also cultivate skills, create…
Jessica Marie Falcone, “Battling the Buddha of Love: A Cultural Biography of the Greatest Statue Never Built” (Cornell UP, 2018)
Dec 4, 2018 • 62 min
What can we learn from the anthropological study of projects that are never realized, or of dreams that are never fulfilled? In her new book Battling the Buddha of Love: A Cultural Biography of the Greatest Statue Never Built(Cornell University Press,…
John Sides, Michael Tesler, Lynn Vavreck, “Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America” (Princeton UP, 2018)
Dec 3, 2018 • 45 min
In Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America (Princeton University Press, 2018), co-authors John Sides, Michael Tesler, and Lynn Vavreck explore the underlying question of American identity as a key…
Jeong-Hee Kim, “Understanding Narrative Inquiry: The Crafting and Analysis of Stories as Research” (Sage Publications, 2016)
Nov 27, 2018 • 64 min
In today’s episode, I talked with Dr. Jeong-Hee Kim about her new book, Understanding Narrative Inquiry: The Crafting and Analysis of Stories as Research (Sage Publications, 2016). The book offers a comprehensive overview of the theoretical foundation and…
Sohini Kar, “Financializing Poverty: Labor and Risk in Indian Microfinance” (Stanford UP, 2018)
Nov 27, 2018 • 45 min
Is microfinance the magic bullet that will end global poverty or is it yet another a form of predatory lending to the poor? In her new book Financializing Poverty: Labor and Risk in Indian Microfinance (Stanford University Press, 2018), Sohini Kar brings…
Julie L. Rose, “Free Time” (Princeton UP, 2018)
Nov 26, 2018 • 57 min
Though early American labor organizers agitated for the eight-hour workday on the grounds that they were entitled to “eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, and eight hours for what we will,” free time as a political good has received little…
David Charles Sloane, “Is the Cemetery Dead?” (U Chicago Press, 2018)
Nov 26, 2018 • 44 min
It is certain that we all will experience death in our life. What is less certain is how and where our bodies will be disposed of. In Is the Cemetery Dead? (University of Chicago Press, 2018), Dr. David Charles Sloane discussed how cemeteries have…
Randy Shaw, “Generation Priced Out: Who Gets to Live in the New Urban America?” (U California Press, 2018)
Nov 21, 2018 • 33 min
Why is housing so expensive in so many cities, and what can be done about it? Join us as we speak with long-time San Francisco housing activist Randy Shaw about his book Generation Priced Out: Who Gets to Live in the New Urban America? (University of…
Michelle Fine, “Just Research in Contentious Times: Widening the Methodological Imagination” (Teachers College, 2018)
Nov 16, 2018 • 80 min
What can a researcher do to promote social justice? A conventional image of a researcher describes her staying in the ivory tower for most of the time, producing papers filled with academic jargons periodically, and occasionally providing consultations…
Shannon Spaulding, “How We Understand Others: Philosophy and Social Cognition” (Routledge, 2018))
Nov 15, 2018 • 65 min
Social cognition includes the ways we explain, predict, interpret, and influence other people. The dominant philosophical theories of social cognition–the theory-theory and the simulation theory–have provided focused accounts of mindreading, the more…
Andrew C. A. Elliott, “Is That a Big Number?” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Nov 9, 2018 • 53 min
Andrew C. A. Elliott‘s Is That a Big Number? (Oxford University Press, 2018) is a book that those of us who feast on numbers will absolutely adore, but will also tease the palates of those for whom numbers have previously been somewhat distasteful. This…
Kate Parker Horigan, “Consuming Katrina: Public Disaster and Personal Narrative” (UP of Mississippi, 2018)
Nov 9, 2018 • 54 min
Kate Parker Horigan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology at Western Kentucky University, and a co-editor of the Journal of American Folklore. In Consuming Katrina: Public Disaster and Personal Narrative (University…
Andrew L. Yarrow, “Man Out: Men on the Sidelines of American Life” (Brookings Institution Press, 2018)
Nov 9, 2018 • 2 min
In the era of #MeToo, Brett Kavanaugh, and Donald Trump, masculinity and the harmful effects that follow certain versions of masculinity have become national conversations. Now, like many other times throughout American history, people are asking “what’s…
Claudia Sadowski-Smith, “The New Immigrant Whiteness: Race, Neoliberalism, and Post-Soviet Migration to the United States” (NYU Press, 2018)
Oct 30, 2018 • 53 min
From Dancing with the Stars to the high-profile airport abandonment of seven-year-old Artyom Savelyev by his American adoptive parents in April 2010, popular representations of post-Soviet immigrants in America span the gamut of romantic anti-Communist…
Adam Reich and Peter Bearman, “Working for Respect: Community and Conflict at Walmart” (Columbia UP, 2018)
Oct 29, 2018 • 45 min
When we hear about the “future of work” today we tend to think about different forms of automation and artificial intelligence—technological innovations that will make some jobs easier and others obsolete while (hopefully) creating new ones we cannot yet…
Gary Alan Fine, “Talking Art: The Culture of Practice and the Practice of Culture in MFA Education” (U Chicago Press, 2018)
Oct 25, 2018 • 42 min
Most people have heard of the Masters of Fine Arts–“MFA”–degree, but few know about the grueling process one must undergo to complete one. In Talking Art: The Culture of Practice and the Practice of Culture in MFA Education (University of Chicago Press,…
Lee Humphreys, “The Qualified Self: Social Media and the Accounting of Everyday Life” (MIT Press, 2018)
Oct 19, 2018 • 27 min
Physical journals, scrapbooks, and photo albums all offer their owners the opportunity to chronicle both mundane and extravagant events. But unlike social media posting, this analog memorializing of life happenings is not encumbered with the negative…
Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, “What Slaveholders Think: How Contemporary Perpetrators Rationalize what They Do” (Columbia UP, 2017)
Oct 17, 2018 • 39 min
According to the Walk Free Foundation, there are currently 46 million slaves in the world. Despite being against international law, slavery is not yet culturally condemned everywhere. Despite being human rights violators, many perpetrators are respected…
Rachel O’Neill, “Seduction: Men, Masculinity, and Mediated Intimacy” (Polity , 2018)
Oct 12, 2018 • 35 min
How does the seduction, or “pick-up artist,” industry work? In her new book Seduction: Men, Masculinity, and Mediated Intimacy (Polity, 2018), Rachel O’Neill provides a sociological analysis of the seduction industry. By using ethnographic and interview…
Charlotte Greenhalgh, “Aging in Twentieth-Century Britain” (U California Press, 2018)
Oct 9, 2018 • 45 min
What role did elderly Britons have in shaping the twentieth-century welfare state? In her new book, Aging in Twentieth-Century Britain (University of California Press, 2018), Charlotte Greenhalgh offers a compelling portrait of a segment of Britain’s…
Peter Harries-Jones, “Upside-Down Gods: Gregory Bateson’s World of Difference” (Fordham UP, 2016)
Oct 4, 2018 • 64 min
The work of polymath Gregory Bateson has long been the road to cybernetics travelled by those approaching this trans-disciplinary field from the direction of the social sciences and even the humanities. Fortunately for devotees of Bateson’s expansive…
Bill Ivey, “Rebuilding an Enlightened World: Folklorizing America” (Indiana UP, 2018)
Oct 2, 2018 • 70 min
Bill Ivey’s Rebuilding an Enlightened World: Folklorizing America (Indiana University Press, 2018) advances the idea that we are entering a post-enlightenment world increasingly characterized by alternative facts, fake news, and doubts over the…
S. Hayes and D. S. Wilson, “Evolution and Contextual Behavioral Science: An Integrated Framework for Understanding, Predicting, and Influencing Human Behavior” (Context Press, 2018)
Sep 27, 2018 • 76 min
Evolution science and behavioral science both have strong theories that can help us understand humans in context, and yet, until now, the two fields have been mostly separate. In this episode, cross-posted from the podcast Psychologists Off The Clock, Dr.…
Svetlana Stephenson, “Gangs of Russia: From the Streets to the Corridors of Power” (Cornell University Press, 2015)
Sep 26, 2018 • 36 min
The title of Svetlana Stephenson’s book Gangs of Russia: From the Streets to the Corridors of Power (Cornell UP, 2015) invites a number of questions: How do criminal and legal spheres conflate? Is the cooperation of criminal organizations and legal…
Lorenzo Zamponi, “Social Movements, Memory and Media: Narrative in Action in the Italian and Spanish Student Movements” (Palgrave, 2018)
Sep 25, 2018 • 36 min
How do social movements remember the past? How do collective memories affect their current strategic choices? In his book Social Movements, Memory and Media: Narrative in Action in the Italian and Spanish Student Movements (Palgrave, 2018), Lorenzo…
Elana Buch, “Inequalities of Aging: Paradoxes of Independence in American Home Care” (NYU Press, 2018)
Sep 24, 2018 • 51 min
How are the vulnerabilities of older adults in need of care and their care workers intertwined? In Inequalities of Aging: Paradoxes of Independence in American Home Care (New York University Press, 2018), Elana Buch considers this question and more. Using…
Kathleen Belew, “Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America” (Harvard UP, 2018)
Sep 24, 2018 • 56 min
After the U.S. presidential election in 2016, discussions about white nationalism, supremacists, and neo-Nazis went from being a niche topic to mainstream news. For those who hadn’t been keeping tabs on what we’re now calling the “alt-right,” it was as…
Michael Levien, “Dispossession Without Development: Land Grabs in Neoliberal India” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Sep 20, 2018 • 56 min
Historically ubiquitous at least since the 15th century and integral to the rise and consolidation of capitalism, land dispossession has re-emerged as a hot button issue for governments, industries, social movements and researchers. In his first book…
Steven Roberts, “Young Working-Class Men in Transition” (Routledge, 2018)
Sep 17, 2018 • 40 min
How do young working-class men experience the transition to adulthood? In his new book Young Working-Class Men in Transition (Routledge, 2018), Steven Roberts talks directly to young men to gain their insight into this topic. A highlight of this book is…
Freeden Blume Oeur, “Black Boys Apart: Racial Uplift and Respectability in All-Male Public Schools” (U Minnesota Press, 2018)
Sep 13, 2018 • 68 min
How do schools empower but also potentially emasculate young black men? In his new book, Black Boys Apart: Racial Uplift and Respectability in All-Male Public Schools (University of Minnesota Press, 2018), Freeden Blume Oeur uses observational and…
J. Lester, C. Lochmiller, and R. Gabriel, “Discursive Perspectives on Education Policy and Implementation” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)
Sep 13, 2018 • 51 min
The study of education policy is a scholarly field that sheds light on important debates and controversies revolving around education policy and its implementation. In this episode, we will be talking with three scholars who have made substantial…
Azra Hromadžić, “Citizens of an Empty Nation: Youth and State-Making in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina” (U Pennsylvania Press, 2015)
Sep 12, 2018 • 57 min
Despite all the buzz about the reconstruction of Mostar’s beautiful Old Bridge, Mostar remains a largely divided city, with Bosniaks on one side and Croats on the other. In Citizens of an Empty Nation: Youth and State-Making in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina…
Spencer Piston, “Class Attitudes in American Politics: Sympathy for the Poor, Resentment of the Rich, and Political Implications” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
Sep 12, 2018 • 30 min
It has long been a truism that Americans’ disdain for poor people–our collective sense that if they only worked harder or behaved more responsibly they would do well in this land of opportunity–explains, at least in part, why it is we have such a weak and…
Shelley Tremain, “Foucault and Feminist Philosophy of Disability” (U Michigan Press, 2017)
Sep 11, 2018 • 34 min
How should we understand disability? In Foucault and Feminist Philosophy of Disability (University of Michigan Press, 2017), Dr. Shelley Tremain explores this complex question from the perspective of feminist philosophy, using the work of Michel Foucault.…
Jan M. Padios, “A Nation on the Line: Call Centers as Postcolonial Predicaments in the Philippines” (Duke UP,
Sep 10, 2018 • 63 min
Jan M. Padios‘ new book A Nation on the Line: Call Centers as Postcolonial Predicaments in the Philippines (Duke University Press, ) sheds light on the industry of offshore call centers in the Philippines, and attempts to understand the narratives cast…
Tom Cliff, “Oil and Water: Being Han in Xinjiang” (U Chicago Press, 2016)
Sep 4, 2018 • 67 min
Compared to the provinces’s native Uyghur population, Han Chinese settlers in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region have not attracted as much scholarly or indeed journalistic attention of late. But in a profoundly troubled and troubling present for…
Charles Umney, “Class Matters: Inequality and Exploitation in 21st-Century Britain” (Pluto Press, 2018)
Sep 3, 2018 • 43 min
What is class? In Class Matters: Inequality and Exploitation in 21st-Century Britain (Pluto Press, 2018), Charles Umney, an Associate Professor in Work and Employment Relations at the University of Leeds, offers a new marxist analysis of the meaning and…
Julia Miele Rodas, “Autistic Disturbances: Theorizing Autism Poetics from the DSM to Robinson Crusoe” (U Michigan Press, 2018)
Sep 3, 2018 • 106 min
Ever since the first clinical account of autism was published by Dr. Leo Kanner in 1943, Western culture has tended to mythologise the disorder as impenetrable, non-verbal and characterised by silence. As such, in both medical literature and popular…
Harold Morales, “Latino and Muslim in America: Race, Religion, and the Making of a New Minority” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Sep 3, 2018 • 45 min
Harold Morales, an associate professor of Religion at Morgan State University, is the author of the momentous new book, Latino and Muslim in America: Race, Religion, and the Making of a New Minority (Oxford University Press, 2018). Morales’ monograph…
Ned Blackhawk and Isaiah Wilner, “Indigenous Visions: Rediscovering the World of Franz Boas” (Yale UP, 2018)
Aug 30, 2018 • 62 min
Indigenous Visions: Rediscovering the World of Franz Boas (Yale University Press, 2018), edited by Yale University History and American Studies Professor Ned Blackhawk and University of Chicago Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Isaiah Lorado Wilner, is a compelling…
Laura Neitzel, “The Life We Longed for: Danchi Housing and the Middle Class Dream in Postwar Japan” (MerwinAsia, 2016)
Aug 30, 2018 • 34 min
Laura Neitzel’s The Life We Longed for: Danchi Housing and the Middle Class Dream in Postwar Japan (MerwinAsia, 2016) is a chronicle of the large, government-sponsored housing projects called danchi that were built during Japan’s high-growth years,…
Samira Mehta, “Beyond Chrismukkah: The Christian-Jewish Interfaith Family in the United States” (UNC Press, 2018)
Aug 29, 2018 • 57 min
With rates of interfaith marriage steadily increasing since the middle of the twentieth century, interfaith families have become a permanent and significant feature of the religious landscape in the United States. In her recent book, Beyond Chrismukkah:…
Michele Margolis, “From Politics to the Pews: How Partisanship and the Political Environment Shape Religious Identity” (U Chicago Press, 2018)
Aug 28, 2018 • 23 min
On this American Political Science Association special podcast, we welcome a special guest host – and former guest of the podcast – Andy Lewis. In addition to his recent book, The Rights Turn in Conservative Christian Politics, Andy is a contributor to…
Larisa Jašarević, “Health and Wealth on the Bosnian Market: Intimate Debt” (Indiana UP, 2017)
Aug 24, 2018 • 58 min
In her new book, Health and Wealth on the Bosnian Market: Intimate Debt (Indiana University Press, 2017), Larisa Jašarević traces the odd entanglements between the body and the economy in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the new post-war, post-socialist market, the…
Devin Fergus, “Land of the Fee: Hidden Costs and the Decline of the American Middle Class” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Aug 23, 2018 • 41 min
Politicians, economists, and the media have put forth no shortage of explanations for the mounting problem of wealth inequality – a loss of working class jobs, a rise in finance-driven speculative capitalism, and a surge of tax policy decisions that…
Susan Greenfield, “You and Me: The Neuroscience of Identity” (Notting Hill Editions, 2016)
Aug 21, 2018 • 38 min
What makes you who you are? What makes you distinct from me? What is identity? In the book You and Me: The Neuroscience of Identity (Notting Hill Editions, 2016), Baroness Susan Greenfield scientifically dives into concepts of identity from, a biological…
Judith Weisenfeld, “New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity during the Great Migration” (NYU Press, 2017)
Aug 17, 2018 • 67 min
A wave of religious leaders in black communities in the early twentieth-century insisted that so-called Negroes were, in reality, Ethiopian Hebrews, Asiatic Muslims, or a raceless children of God. In New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity…
John H. McWhorter, “The Creole Debate” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
Aug 14, 2018 • 73 min
John H. McWhorter is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He has written academic books on creole linguistics, including the book we’ll be talking about today, but also a number of popular books on language…
Jacob Levine, “Cannabis Discourse: Facts and Opinions in Context” (Jacob Levine, 2018)
Aug 13, 2018 • 67 min
What is the landscape of our cannabis knowledge? In his new book Jacob Levine author of the Cannabis Discourse: Facts and Opinions in Context (Jacob Levine, 2018) gives readers an overview of the perceptions, opinions, and arguments surrounding cannabis…
Valerie Francisco-Menchavez, “The Labor of Care: Filipina Migrants and Transnational Families in the Digital Age” (U Illinois Press, 2018)
Aug 13, 2018 • 61 min
Dr. Valerie Francisco-Menchavez‘s new book, The Labor of Care: Filipina Migrants and Transnational Families in the Digital Age (University of Illinois Press, 2018) traces how globalization, neoliberalism and new technology have reshaped migrant care work…
Andrew B. Kipnis, “From Village to City: Social Transformation in a Chinese County Seat” (U California Press, 2016)
Aug 8, 2018 • 67 min
“When I first went to Zouping in 1988,” writes Andrew B. Kipnis in From Village to City: Social Transformation in a Chinese County Seat (University of California Press, 2016), “I could not have imagined what the place would be like by 2008” (p. 25). This…
Heather Schoenfeld, “Building the Prison State: Race and the Politics of Mass Incarceration” (U Chicago Press, 2018)
Aug 8, 2018 • 61 min
How did prisons become a tool of racial inequality? Using historical data, Heather Schoenfeld’s new book Building the Prison State: Race and the Politics of Mass Incarceration (University of Chicago Press, 2018) “answers how the United States became a…
Damien Riggs, “The Psychic Life of Racism in Gay Men’s Communities” (Lexington Books, 2018)
Aug 7, 2018 • 56 min
In order to fully grasp the workings of racism, we cannot limit ourselves to examining it within majority cultures. Racism exists in minority cultures, such as the gay community, but the intersection of diverse minority identities can make the operation…
Michelle Pannor Silver, “Retirements and its Discontents: Why We Don’t Stop Working, Even If We Can” (Columbia UP, 2018)
Aug 6, 2018 • 62 min
How do different professionals experience retirement? Michelle Pannor Silver’s new book Retirements and its Discontents: Why We Won’t Stop Working, Even If We Can (Columbia University Press, 2018), explores this question and more through interview with…
Rob Dekkers, “Applied Systems Theory” (Springer, 2017)
Aug 1, 2018 • 54 min
As Reader in Industrial Management in the Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow, Rob Dekkers is well positioned to survey the currents of the vibrant systems tradition in the United Kingdom. In his book, Applied Systems Theory, out in…
Wendy Laybourn and Devon Goss, “Diversity in Black Greek-Letter Organizations: Breaking the Line” (Routledge, 2018)
Aug 1, 2018 • 32 min
Black Greek-Letter organizations (BGLOs) appeared as an initiative from black college students to provide support, opportunities and service, as well as a free space for the black community. Despite most BGLO members are black, there are some non-black…
Sabina Leonelli, “Data-Centric Biology: A Philosophical Study” (U Chicago Press, 2016)
Jul 27, 2018 • 41 min
Commentators have been forecasting the eclipse of hypothesis-driven science and the rise of a new ‘data-driven’ science for some time now. Harkening back to the aspirations of Enlightenment empiricists, who sought to establish for the collection of sense…
Chris Clearfield and András Tilcsik, “Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It” (Penguin, 2018)
Jul 26, 2018 • 40 min
How can we learn from large system failures? In their new book Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It (Penguin Press, 2018), Chris Clearfield and András Tilcsik explore system failures and what we can learn from them. The book takes…
Megan Condis, “Gaming Masculinity: Trolls, Fake Geeks, and the Battle for Online Culture” (U Iowa Press, 2018)
Jul 25, 2018 • 72 min
Gaming has increasingly become part of mainstream culture, from the continued rise of console and PC gaming to the emergence of eSports. Gaming culture has also come under more scrutiny to the non-gaming public. The #Gamergate controversy showed the ugly…
Sarah Igo, “The Known Citizen: A History of Privacy in Modern America” (Harvard UP, 2018)
Jul 25, 2018 • 42 min
To write a book on such a multifarious and vast, if not ubiquitous, concept as privacy is a tall task for the historian. Sarah Igo, associate professor of history at Vanderbilt University, took this on and succeeded masterfully. Her book, The Known…
John O’Brien, “Keeping it Halal: The Everyday Lives of Muslim American Teenage Boys” (Princeton UP, 2017)
Jul 24, 2018 • 49 min
What do the social worlds of teenage Muslim American boys look like? What issues do they grapple with and how do they think about issues that arise in their everyday lives? In his new book Keeping it Halal: The Everyday Lives of Muslim American Teenage…
David Peter Stroh, “Systems Thinking For Social Change” (Chelsea Green, 2015)
Jul 20, 2018 • 46 min
While Systems Thinking has enjoyed an increasing amount of societal influence through work of such practitioner/authors as Peter Senge, it is also true that the vast majority of the popular literature on the systems view has taken place within a business…
Norah MacKendrick, “Better Safe Than Sorry: How Consumers Navigate Exposure to Everyday Toxics” (U California Press, 2018).
Jul 19, 2018 • 71 min
Consumers today have a lot of choices. Whether in stores or online, people are inundated by an abundance of options for what to buy. At the same time, the products we consume seem to have more and more ingredients, additives, and chemicals in them that…
Kelsy Burke, “Christians Under Covers: Evangelicals and Sexual Pleasure on the Internet” (U California Press, 2016)
Jul 17, 2018 • 41 min
How do we conceptualize religious conservatives and their relationship with sex? And how do Christians use digital media for sexual knowledge and pleasure? In her new book, Christians Under Covers: Evangelicals and Sexual Pleasure on the Internet…
Chris Brickell, “Teenagers: The Rise of Youth Culture in New Zealand” (Auckland UP, 2017),
Jul 13, 2018 • 19 min
In his new book, Teenagers: The Rise of Youth Culture in New Zealand (Auckland University Press, 2017), Chris Brickell, Associate Professor of Gender Studies and Head of the Department of Sociology, Gender & Social Work at the University of Otago,…
Frank R. Baumgartner, “Suspect Citizens: What 20 Million Traffic Stops Tell Us about Policing and Race” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
Jul 4, 2018 • 32 min
We recently marked the 50th Anniversary of Terry vs. Ohio, the US Supreme Court case that dramatically expanded the scope under which agents of the state could stop people and search them. Taking advantage of a North Carolina law that required the…
Gordon Mathews, “The World in Guangzhou: Africans and Other Foreigners in South China’s Global Marketplace” (U Chicago Press, 2017)
Jul 3, 2018 • 54 min
When we think of globalization and global cities, we might be inclined to think of New York or London. Yet in recent years, Guangzhou, the central manufacturing node in the world, has acted as a magnet for foreign traders. Anthropologist Gordon Mathews…
James M. Jasper, “The Emotions of Protests” (U Chicago Press, 2018)
Jun 28, 2018 • 67 min
How do emotions affect participation in protests, and in politics more generally? In The Emotions of Protests (University of Chicago Press, 2018), James M. Jasper develops a solid critique to approaches that present political action as strictly rational…
Paula Serafini, “Performance Action: The Politics of Art Activism” (Routledge, 2018)
Jun 28, 2018 • 39 min
How can art change the world? In Performance Action: The Politics of Art Activism (Routledge, 2018), Paula Serafini, a Research Associate at the University of Leicester’s CAMEo Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies, explores art activism,…
Hongwei Bao, “Queer Comrades: Gay Identity and Tongzhi Activism in Postsocialist China” (NIAS Press, 2018)
Jun 25, 2018 • 46 min
Hongwei Bao’s book is a thoughtful exploration of gay identity and queer activism in China. This work stems from the term and identity tongzhi, which means “comrade” and in more recent decades has been a popular term to refer to gay people and sexual…
Daisy Deomampo, “Transnational Reproduction: Race, Kinship, and Commercial Surrogacy in India” (NYU Press, 2016)
Jun 21, 2018 • 49 min
In Transnational Reproduction: Race, Kinship, and Commercial Surrogacy in India (NYU Press, 2016), Daisy Deomampo explores relationships between Indian surrogates, their families, aspiring parents from all over the world, egg donors and doctors in a…
Amanda Huron, “Carving Out the Commons: Tenant Organizing and Housing Cooperatives in Washington, D.C.” (University of Minnesota Press, 2018)
Jun 21, 2018 • 38 min
Is modern capitalism too far advanced in the U.S. to create common property regimes? Are there models for what an Urban Commons might look like? Join us as we speak with Amanda Huron, author of Carving Out the Commons: Tenant Organizing and Housing…
Rob Sullivan, “The Geography of the Everyday: Toward an Understanding of the Given” (U Georgia Press, 2017)
Jun 20, 2018 • 54 min
How to theorize what goes without saying? In The Geography of the Everyday: Toward an Understanding of the Given (University of Georgia Press, 2017), Rob Sullivan develops a general theory of everydayness as the necessary, if elusive, starting point for…
Gordon C. C. Douglas, “The Help-Yourself City: Legitimacy and Inequality in DIY Urbanism” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Jun 20, 2018 • 58 min
The built environment around us seems almost natural, as in beyond our control to alter or shape. Indeed, we have reached a point in history when cities—the largest and most complex of our settlements—are more scientifically planned, managed, and…
Aaron Kuntz, “The Responsible Methodologist: Inquiry, Truth-Telling, and Social Justice” (Left Coast Press, 2015)
Jun 18, 2018 • 65 min
In this episode, I speak with Aaron M. Kuntz about his book, The Responsible Methodologist: Inquiry, Truth-Telling, and Social Justice (Left Coast Press, 2015). This book offers a thorough and much-needed interrogation of the role of research…
Yasemin Besen-Cassino, “The Cost of Being a Girl: Working Teens and the Origins of the Gender Wage Gap” (Temple UP, 2017)
Jun 11, 2018 • 30 min
With the rise of the #MeToo movement following dozens of high-profile cases of sexual harassment and assault by professional men against women colleagues, gender equality has become a popular topic of discussion and a policy goal. Among the many topics…
Peter Allen, “The Political Class: Why It Matters Who Our Politicians Are” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Jun 8, 2018 • 37 min
Who is in charge? In The Political Class: Why It Matters Who Our Politicians Are (Oxford University Press, 2018), Peter Allen, a Reader in Comparative Politics in the Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies at the University of Bath,…
Lilliana Mason, “Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity” (University of Chicago Press, 2018)
Jun 6, 2018 • 23 min
Recent debates about partisan polarization have focused primarily on ideology and policy views. In Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity (University of Chicago Press, 2018), social identity moves to the center of how to think about the…
Barry Eidlin, “Labor and the Class Idea in the United States and Canada” (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
Jun 5, 2018 • 87 min
How do unions and ideas around labor compare between the U.S. and Canada? And how did they come to be as they are today? In his new book, Labor and the Class Idea in the United States and Canada (Cambridge University Press, 2018), Barry Eidlin uses a…
Patrick Lopez-Aguado, “Stick Together and Come Back Home: Racial Sorting and the Spillover of Carceral Identity” (U California Press)
May 31, 2018 • 67 min
How do systems of incarceration influence racial sorting inside and outside of prisons? And how do the social structures within prisons spill out into neighborhoods? In his new book, Stick Together and Come Back Home: Racial Sorting and the Spillover of…
Ji-Yeon O. Jo, “Homing: An Affective Topography of Ethnic Korean Return Migration” (U Hawaii Press, 2018)
May 31, 2018 • 62 min
For anyone with an interest in Korean studies, the study of diaspora and globalization, and indeed in broader questions around transnational identities and encounters in East Asia and beyond, Homing will prove an invaluable text. In it Ji-Yeon Jo,…
Christina Scharff, “Gender, Subjectivity, and Cultural Work: The Classical Music Profession” (Routledge, 2018)
May 29, 2018 • 35 min
What sort of inequalities characterize classical music today? In Gender, Subjectivity, and Cultural Work: The Classical Music Profession (Routledge, 2018), Christina Scharff, a senior lecturer in culture, media and creative industries in the department of…
Jessica Calarco, “Negotiating Opportunities: How the Middle Class Secures Advantages in School” (Oxford UP, 2018)
May 24, 2018 • 37 min
In what ways do middle class students obtain advantages in schools? In her new book, Negotiating Opportunities: How the Middle Class Secures Advantages in School (Oxford University Press, 2018), Jessica McCrory Calarco uses ethnographic data to elaborate…
Joseph O. Baker and Buster G. Smith, “American Secularism: Cultural Contours of Nonreligious Belief” (NYU Press, 2015)
May 23, 2018 • 56 min
A rapidly growing number of Americans are embracing life outside the bounds of organized religion. Although the United States has long been viewed as a fervently religious Christian nation, survey data shows that more and more Americans are identifying as…
Donni Wang, “Before the Market: The Political Economy of Olympianism” (Common Ground, 2018)
May 23, 2018 • 37 min
Did capitalism exist in ancient Greece, the cradle of democracy and western civilization? I was joined to discuss this and other issues with Donni Wang, the author of Before the Market: The Political Economy of Olympianism (Common Ground, 2018). The book…
Dieter Vandebroeck, “Distinctions in the Flesh: Social Class and the Embodiment of Inequality” (Routledge, 2017)
May 22, 2018 • 43 min
How is class inequality intertwined with the body? In Distinctions in the Flesh: Social Class and the Embodiment of Inequality (Routledge, 2017), Dieter Vandebroeck, an assistant professor in sociology at the Free University of Brussels, explores this…
Donatella della Porta, “Legacies and Memories in Movements: Justice and Democracy in Southern Europe” (Oxford UP, 2018)
May 21, 2018 • 65 min
How do transitions to democracy affect the shape and participation of social movements in the present? In their new book, Legacies and Memories in Movements: Justice and Democracy in Southern Europe (Oxford University Press, 2018), Donatella della Porta…
Michael Ramirez, “Destined for Greatness: Passions, Dreams, and Aspirations in a College Music Town” (Rutgers UP, 2018)
May 18, 2018 • 48 min
The pursuit of a musical career crosses the mind of most children. But, for most, a vocation is nothing more than a farfetched fantasy that will never come true. Music is often considered more appropriate as a leisure activity that need be abandoned when…
Patricia Leavy and Victoria Scotti, “Low-Fat Love Stories” (Sense Publishers, 2017)
May 16, 2018 • 54 min
Patricia Leavy and Victoria Scotti‘s Low-Fat Love Stories (Sense Publishers, 2017) is a collection of short stories and artistic portraits focusing on women’s dissatisfying relationships. What makes these stories different from conventional fictions is…
Sean R. Gallagher, “The Future of University Credentials: New Developments at the Intersection of Higher Education and Hiring” (Harvard Education Press, 2016)
May 14, 2018 • 35 min
The Future of University Credentials: New Developments at the Intersection of Higher Education and Hiring (Harvard Education Press, 2016) offers a thorough and urgently needed overview of the burgeoning world of university degrees and credentials. At a…
Gregory Snyder, “Skateboarding LA: Inside Professional Street Skateboarding” (NYU Press, 2017)
May 14, 2018 • 62 min
Today we are joined by Gregory Snyder, an Associate Professor of Sociology at Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY), and author of Skateboarding LA: Inside Professional Street Skateboarding (New York University Press, 2017). In Skateboarding…
John J. Pitney, “The Politics of Autism: Navigating the Contested Spectrum” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015)
May 8, 2018 • 50 min
Autism as a condition has received much focused attention recently, but less attention has been paid to its politics. It is a condition that necessitates significant accommodations and interventions, which can be difficult for people with autism and their…
Rense Nieuwenhuis and Laurie C. Maldonado, “The Triple Bind of Single-Parent Families” (Policy Press, 2018)
May 8, 2018 • 49 min
What kind of barriers and risks do single parents face? In their new book, The Triple Bind of Single-Parent Families: Resources, Employment and Policies to Improve Well-Being (Policy Press, 2018), editors Rense Nieuwenhuis and Laurie C. Maldonado argue…
Richard S. Marken and Timothy A. Carey, “Controlling People” (Australian Academic Press, 2015)
May 4, 2018 • 71 min
The word “control”, with its seemingly instantaneous mental associations with forms of top-down oppression, is one that makes even some cyberneticians nervous and is often downplayed in contemporary descriptions of the field. Perhaps this is one reason…
Sarah Schulman, “Conflict is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair” (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016)
May 4, 2018 • 62 min
Sarah Schulman’s Conflict is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016) examines how accusations of harm are appropriated and deployed by powerful people, groups, and political entities in…
Dan Bendarz, “East German Intellectuals and the Unification of Germany: An Ethnographic View” (Palgrave, 2017)
May 3, 2018 • 59 min
In his new book, East German Intellectuals and the Unification of Germany: An Ethnographic View (Palgrave 2017), Dan Bednarz, Assistant Professor at Bristol Community College, examines the impact of German unification on East German intellectuals. Through…
Mark Liechty, “Far Out: Countercultural Seekers and the Tourist Encounter in Nepal” (U of Chicago Press, 2017)
May 1, 2018 • 63 min
How did Nepal become synonymous, in the minds of many Westerners, with the idea of a mystical paradise and a place to find enlightenment? How did Kathmandu become the subject of songs by countercultural icons such as Janis Joplin and Cat Stevens? What did…
Erica Lehrer, “Jewish Poland Revisited: Heritage Tourism in Unquiet Places” (Indiana UP, 2013)
May 1, 2018 • 68 min
Sometime in the very early 1990s, while I was in grad school, I got a call from a student at Grinnell College, where I myself had graduated asking me about studying Poland. It was an engaging chat with a young woman very interested in exploring Poland and…
Marie E. Berry, “War, Women, and Power: From Violence to Mobilization in Rwanda and Bosnia Herzegovina” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
Apr 30, 2018 • 67 min
How can war change women’s political mobilization? Using Rwanda and Bosnia as case studies Marie E. Berry answers these questions and more in her powerful new book, War, Women, and Power: From Violence to Mobilization in Rwanda and Bosnia Herzegovina…
Leah Bassel and Akwugo Emejulu, “Minority Women and Austerity: Survival and Resistance in France and Britain” (Policy Press, 2017)
Apr 27, 2018 • 41 min
What is the impact of austerity on minority women? How has this impacted on already long standing forms of social inequality across England, France and Scotland? These questions are the subject of Minority Women and Austerity: Survival and Resistance in…
Michal Kravel-Tovi, “When the State Winks: The Performance of Jewish Conversion in Israel” (Columbia UP, 2017)
Apr 25, 2018 • 40 min
In When the State Winks: The Performance of Jewish Conversion in Israel (Columbia University Press, 2017), Michal Kravel Tovi, associate professor in the department of sociology and anthropology at Tel Aviv University, offers an intimate, insightful…
Greg Berman and Julian Adler, “Start Here: A Roadmap to Reducing Mass Incarceration” (The New Press, 2018)
Apr 23, 2018 • 46 min
The United States leads the world in incarceration. That’s a problem, especially the disproportionate impact of “mass incarceration” on low-income men of color. In their new book Start Here: A Roadmap to Reducing Mass Incarceration (The New Press, 2018),…
Jenny Reardon, “The Postgenomic Condition: Ethics, Knowledge and Justice after the Genome” (U Chicago Press, 2017)
Apr 20, 2018 • 68 min
How do we create meaning after the genome? Such a profound question is at the center of the recently published book by Jenny Reardon, The Postgenomic Condition: Ethics, Knowledge and Justice after the Genome (University of Chicago Press, 2017). Drawing…
Samuel Harrington, “At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life” (Grand Central Life & Style, 2018)
Apr 20, 2018 • 63 min
Most people say they would like to die quietly at home. But overly aggressive medical advice, coupled with an unrealistic sense of invincibility or overconfidence in our health-care system, results in the majority of elderly patients misguidedly dying in…
Mehal Krayem, “Heroes, Villains and the Muslim Exception: Muslim and Arab Men in Australian Crime Drama” (Melbourne UP, 2017)
Apr 20, 2018 • 20 min
In her new book, Heroes, Villains and the Muslim Exception: Muslim and Arab Men in Australian Crime Drama (Melbourne University Publishing, 2017), Mehal Krayem, a sociologist and researcher at the University of Technology Sydney, explores the…
John Krinsky and Maud Simonet, “Who Cleans the Park? Public Works and Urban Governance in New York City” (U Chicago Press, 2017)
Apr 18, 2018 • 46 min
It is possible that you did not know that you need a comprehensive labor market analysis of the New York City Parks Department, but John Krinsky and Maud Simonet, in their new book, Who Cleans the Park? Public Works and Urban Governance in New York City…
Alexandra Cox, “Trapped in a Vice: The Consequences of Confinement for Young People” (Rutgers UP, 2018)
Apr 16, 2018 • 45 min
How does the juvenile justice system impact the lives of the young people that go through it? In her new book, Trapped in a Vice: The Consequences of Confinement for Young People (Rutgers University Press, 2018), Alexandra Cox uses interviews and…
Nadia Yaqub and Rula Quawas, “Bad Girls of the Arab World” (U Texas Press, 2017)
Apr 16, 2018 • 48 min
Modeled on Bad Girls of Japan (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), Bad Girls of the Arab World (University of Texas Press, 2017), edited by Nadia Yaqub and the late Rula Quawas stands apart from the edited volume crowd. It includes, not only academic entries, but…
Jonathan S. Coley, “Gay on God’s Campus: Mobilizing for LGBT Equality at Christian Colleges and Universities” (UNC Press, 2018)
Apr 12, 2018 • 48 min
How do students become LGBT activists at Christian Universities and Colleges? And what is the impact on the school but also on the activists themselves? In his new book, Gay on God’s Campus: Mobilizing for LGBT Equality at Christian Colleges and…
Daniel Bessner, “Democracy in Exile: Hans Speier and the Rise of the Defense Intellectual” (Cornell UP, 2018)
Apr 11, 2018 • 64 min
Daniel Bessner’s Democracy in Exile: Hans Speier and the Rise of the Defense Intellectual (Cornell University Press, 2018) provides a fascinating account of Hans Speier, an oft forgotten yet highly influential figure within the mid-century national…
Japonica Brown-Saracino, “How Places Make Us: Novel LBQ Identities in Four Small Cities” (U Chicago Press, 2017)
Apr 10, 2018 • 51 min
Many of us move to a new place at some point in our lives for a variety of reasons: for a job, to be with a partner, to attend school, for a change of scenery, to retire. When we have a choice, we consider a host of place characteristics to make a…
Anamik Saha, “Race and the Cultural Industries” (Polity, 2018)
Apr 9, 2018 • 49 min
How do the media make race? This question is at the heart of Race and the Cultural Industries (Polity, 2018), the new book by Anamik Saha, Lecturer in Media, Communications and Promotion at Goldsmiths, University of London. The book sits between critical…
Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, “Politics at Work: How Companies Turn Their Workers into Lobbyists” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Apr 9, 2018 • 24 min
Alexander Hertel-Fernandez is the author of Politics at Work: How Companies Turn Their Workers into Lobbyists (Oxford University Press, 2018). He is an assistant professor of political science at Columbia University. We often think of corporate political…
Chad Montrie, “The Myth of Silent Spring: Rethinking the Origins of American Environmentalism” (U California Press, 2018)
Apr 5, 2018 • 49 min
Uncle Tom’s Cabin didn’t start the Civil War and Silent Spring didn’t start the environmental movement. In The Myth of Silent Spring: Rethinking the Origins of American Environmentalism (University of California Press, 2018), historian Chad Montrie…
Mara Buchbinder, “All in Your Head: Making Sense of Pediatric Pain” (U California Press, 2015)
Apr 4, 2018 • 65 min
As physicians, we cannot image or measure it, we can only try to locate within the lives and (sometimes) bodies of our patients. In All in Your Head: Making Sense of Pediatric Pain (University of California Press, 2015), an ethnography of a pediatric pain…
Gloria Origgi, “Reputation: What it is and Why it Matters” (Princeton UP, 2018)
Apr 2, 2018 • 60 min
We all put a great deal of care into protecting, managing, and monitoring our reputation. But the precise nature of a reputation is obscure. In one sense, reputation is merely hearsay, a popular perception that may or may not have any basis in fact. Yet…
Dahlia Schweitzer, “Going Viral: Zombies, Viruses, and the End of the World” (Rutgers UP, 2018)
Mar 29, 2018 • 65 min
Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory as we prep for the zombie apocalypse. In her new book Going Viral: Zombies, Viruses, and the End of the World (Rutgers University Press, 2018), Dahlia Schweitzer brings them together as she explores the outbreak…
Chad Alan Goldberg, “Modernity and the Jews in Western Social Thought” (U Chicago Press, 2017
Mar 27, 2018 • 52 min
In his new book, Modernity and the Jews in Western Social Thought (University of Chicago Press, 2017), Chad Alan Goldberg looks at how social thinkers from Karl Marx, to Emile Durkheim, to Robert Park mobilized ideas and ideologies about Jews to…
George Paul Meiu, “Ethno-erotic Economies: Sexuality, Money and Belonging in Kenya” (U Chicago Press, 2017)
Mar 26, 2018 • 53 min
Professor George Paul Meiu‘s debut anthropological book, Ethno-erotic Economies: Sexuality, Money, and Belonging in Kenya (University of Chicago Press, 2017), dives into the commodification of culture and sex on the beachfronts of coastal Kenya, as well…
Alex Wade, “Playback: A Genealogy of 1980s British Videogames” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018)
Mar 23, 2018 • 50 min
In his book Playback: A Genealogy of 1980s British Videogames (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), Alex Wade examines the culture of bedroom coding, arcades, and format wars in 1980s Britain. Wade interviews gamers, developers and journalists to better understand…
Dorothy Noyes, “Humble Theory: Folklore’s Grasp on Social Life” (Indiana UP, 2016)
Mar 22, 2018 • 81 min
Humble Theory: Folklore’s Grasp on Social Life (Indiana University Press, 2016) is an anthology of essays from Dorothy Noyes, professor of English and Comparative Studies at the Ohio State University and president of the American Folklore Society. The…
Fareen Parvez, “Politicizing Islam: The Islamic Revival in France and India (Oxford UP, 2017)
Mar 21, 2018 • 40 min
Politicizing Islam: The Islamic Revival in France and India (Oxford University Press, 2017) by Fareen Parvez is a rich ethnographic analysis of Islamic Revival movements in France (Lyon) and India (Hyderabad). In her study, Parvez maps the complex ways in…
Stephen Cummings, et al., “A New History of Management” (Cambridge UP, 2017)
Mar 21, 2018 • 41 min
Did Abraham Maslow actually ever draw a pyramid of hierarchy of needs? Did Kurt Lewin devote substantial work on the development of a change management theory? Why do we omit or misrepresent important features of the work of Adam Smith, Max Weber or…
Karina O. Alvarado et al, “U.S. Central Americans: Reconstructing Memories, Struggles, and Communities of Resistance” (U of Arizona Press, 2017)
Mar 16, 2018 • 58 min
In U.S. Central Americans: Reconstructing Memories, Struggles, and Communities of Resistance (University of Arizona Press, 2017) editors Karina O. Alvarado, Alicia Ivonne Estrada, and Ester E. Hernandez have produced the first anthology to focus on the…
Arlie Russell Hochschild, “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right” (New Press, 2016)
Mar 15, 2018 • 26 min
Since it was published in 2016, Arlie Russell Hochschild‘s Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (The New Press, 2016) has been many times heralded as necessary reading for our current political moment. For her perceptive…
Adriana M. Brodsky, “Sephardi, Jewish, Argentine: Community and National Identity, 1880-1960” (Indiana UP, 2016)
Mar 14, 2018 • 60 min
How do immigrant populations navigate between ancestral ties and connections to their new homes? How do their plural histories create layered identities, and how do those identities change over time? Adriana M. Brodsky, Professor of History at St. Mary’s…
Claudio Sopranzetti, “Owners of the Map: Motorcycle Taxi Drivers, Mobility and Politics in Bangkok” (U California Press, 2017)
Mar 9, 2018 • 36 min
When the army brutally dispersed Red Shirts protestors in Bangkok’s busy commercial district in May 2010, motorcycle taxi drivers emerged as a key force, capable of playing cat-and-mouse with security forces, evading military checkpoints, and rescuing…
Sadek Hamid, “Sufis, Salafis and Islamists: The Contested Grounds of British Islamic Activism” (I.B. Tauris, 2016)
Mar 8, 2018 • 68 min
In Sufis, Salafis and Islamists: The Contested Grounds of British Islamic Activism (I.B. Tauris, 2016), Sadek Hamid explores the contours of “Islamic activism”—and indeed the meaning of this key term—in the context of the UK. Despite the specific focus,…
Aidan Smith, “Gender, Heteronormativity, and the American Presidency” (Routledge, 2017)
Mar 7, 2018 • 64 min
Aidan Smith has written a timely and important analysis of the way that we understand images, masculinity, and femininity, especially through the lens of presidential campaigns and political advertising. Smith’s book, Gender, Heteronormativity, and the…
Kathryn Woolard, “Singular and Plural: Ideologies of Linguistic Authority in Twenty-First Century Catalonia” (Oxford UP, 2016)
Mar 6, 2018 • 102 min
Kathryn Woolard is Professor Emerita and Research Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego. She has authored seminal works on language ideology and the sociolinguistic situation in Catalonia, including the present book Singular…
Christopher Oldstone-Moore, “Of Beard and Men: The Revealing History of Facial Hair” (U Chicago Press, 2015)
Mar 6, 2018 • 32 min
Throughout Western history the clean-shaven face has been the default style. However, the ideal of the cleanly-shaven face has been challenged across time in Western society. Facial hair is a symbol of masculinity and the sculpting of facial hair allows…
Sida Liu and Terence C. Halliday, “Criminal Defense in China: The Politics of Lawyers at Work” (Cambridge UP, 2016)
Mar 6, 2018 • 68 min
Sida Liu and Terence C. Halliday spent ten years interviewing criminal defense attorneys throughout China in order to compile the evidence on the professional lives of criminal defense attorneys in the one-party authoritarian state that is modern China.…
Betsy DiSalvo, et al., “Participatory Design for Learning: Perspectives from Practice and Research” (Routledge, 2017)
Mar 1, 2018 • 33 min
Betsy DiSalvo, assistant professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology, joins us in this episode to discuss the recently published co-edited volume entitled, Participatory Design for Learning: Perspectives from…
Jon Kraszewski, “Reality TV” (Routledge, 2017)
Mar 1, 2018 • 54 min
In his book Reality TV (Routledge, 2017), author Jon Kraszewski explores reality television’s relationship to the American cityscape. Starting with show such as Candid Camera and An American Family, Kraszewski positions reality television in cities where…
Shiri Noy, “Banking on Health: The World Bank and Health Sector Reform in Latin America” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)
Feb 28, 2018 • 64 min
What role has the World Bank played in influencing health sector reform in Latin America? In her new book, Banking on Health: The World Bank and Health Sector Reform in Latin America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), Shiri Noy explores this question and more…
Thomas Mira y Lopez, “The Book of Resting Places: A Personal History of Where We Lay the Dead” (Counterpoint Press, 2017)
Feb 28, 2018 • 53 min
We’ve all participated in the rituals of the dead at some time or another in our lives, going to funerals and wakes, visiting loved ones in cemeteries. Some of us may even have a plan for when we pass away, ourselves. But few of us have considered the…
Lucinda Carspecken, “Love in the Time of Ethnography” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017)
Feb 27, 2018 • 43 min
Love in the Time of Ethnography: Essays on Connection as a Focus and Basis for Research (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017) is edited by Lucinda Carspecken, anthropologist and lecturer in the School of Education, Indiana University Bloomington. In this…
Rachel Sherman, “Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence” (Princeton UP, 2017)
Feb 26, 2018 • 47 min
For her new book Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence (Princeton University Press, 2017), Rachel Sherman conducted in-depth interviews with fifty wealthy New Yorkers—including hedge fund financiers, corporate lawyers, professors, artists, and stay at…
Jerry Flores, “Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance, and Wrap-Around Incarceration” (U California Press, 2016)
Feb 23, 2018 • 61 min
What are the lives of young incarcerated Latinas like? And what were their lives like before and after their incarceration? In his new book, Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance, and Wrap-Around Incarceration (University of California Press, 2017), Jerry Flores…
Daphna Hacker, “Legalized Families in the Era of Bordered Globalization” (Cambridge UP, 2017)
Feb 23, 2018 • 52 min
As debates on globalization rage in the twenty-first century, many countries and the people within them have been challenged socially, economically, and legally. At the same time, our world is now more bordered geopolitically than ever before. What effect…
D. Harris and P. Guiffre, “Taking the Heat: Women Chefs and Gender Inequality in the Professional Kitchen” (Rutgers UP, 2015)
Feb 22, 2018 • 30 min
In Taking the Heat: Women Chefs and Gender Inequality in the Professional Kitchen (Rutgers University Press, 2015), Deborah Harris and Patti Giuffre trace the historical evolution of the profession, analyze more than two thousand examples of chef profiles…
Ammara Maqsood, “The New Pakistani Middle Class” (Harvard UP, 2017)
Feb 21, 2018 • 36 min
The relationship between class and religious piety represents a theme less explored in the study of modern Islam in general, and in the study of South Asian Islam in particular. In her incredibly nimble and nuanced recent book The New Pakistani Middle…
C. Mudde and C. Kaltwasser, “Populism: A Very Short Introduction” (Oxford UP, 2017)
Feb 19, 2018 • 25 min
At the start of Populism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2017), five different, and competing, approaches to populism. It has been used to describe those on the left and the right, those in power and those seeking out power. Into this…
Daniel Fridman, “Freedom From Work: Embracing Financial Self-Help in the United States and Argentina” (Stanford UP, 2017)
Feb 15, 2018 • 52 min
In Freedom From Work: Embracing Financial Self-Help in the United States and Argentina (Stanford University Press, 2017), Daniel Fridman explores what it means to be an economic subject in what different people call the new economy, the post-industrial…
Mark Padoongpatt, “Flavors of Empire: Food and the Making of Thai America” (U of California Press, 2017)
Feb 13, 2018 • 66 min
In Flavors of Empire: Food and the Making of Thai America (University of California Press, 2017), Mark Padoongpatt weaves together histories of food, empire, race, immigration, and Los Angeles in the second half of the twentieth century. Flavors of Empire…
Douglas Hartman, “Midnight Basketball: Race, Sports, and Neoliberal Social Policy” (U Chicago Press, 2016)
Feb 12, 2018 • 47 min
The concept of late-night basketball gained prominence in the late 1980s when G. Van Standifer founded Midnight Basketball League as a vehicle upon which citizens, businesses, and institutions can stand together to prevent crime, violence, and drug abuse.…
Claire Schmidt, “If You Don’t Laugh, You’ll Cry: The Occupational Humor of White Wisconsin Prison Workers” (U Wisconsin Press, 2017)
Feb 8, 2018 • 69 min
Claire Schmidt is not a prison worker, rather she is a folklorist and an Assistant Professor at Missouri Valley College. However, many members of her extended family in her home state of Wisconsin either were or are prison workers and it is their…
Jean Beaman, “Citizen Outsider: Children of North African Immigrants in France” (U California Press, 2017)
Feb 8, 2018 • 36 min
What does it mean to be a citizen? Every country has its own legal codes that confer a set of rights on official members. But full citizenship is often more than what the law says. A better question is: what does it mean to be an accepted member of one’s…
Joseph Nathan Cohen, “Financial Crisis in American Households” (Praeger, 2017)
Jan 30, 2018 • 46 min
Are iPhones or homes bankrupting Americans? Joe Cohen‘s new book, Financial Crisis in American Households: The Basic Expenses That Bankrupt the Middle Class (Praeger, 2017), presents data and discussion on the financial status of American households. The…
John Mingers, “Systems Thinking, Critical Realism and Philosophy: A Confluence of Ideas” (Routledge, 2014(
Jan 22, 2018 • 64 min
In the fields of systems and cybernetics, such movements as Soft Systems Methodology and Second-Order Cybernetics have undermined the objective realist view from nowhere at the core of scientific practice. Instead, they foreground a constructivist view of…
Mark S. Hamm and Ramon Spaaij, “The Age of Lone Wolf Terrorism” (Columbia UP, 2017)
Jan 19, 2018 • 45 min
The Age of Lone Wolf Terrorism (Columbia University Press, 2017), by Mark S. Hamm and Ramon Spaaij, identifies patterns among individuals that commit acts of terror outside of a group or network. Hamm and Spaaij follow these individuals, commonly called…
Alison Gerber, “The Work of Art: Value in Creative Careers” (Stanford UP, 2017)
Jan 19, 2018 • 52 min
Is making art a job? This question is central to The Work of Art: Value in Creative Careers (Stanford University Press, 2017), the new book by Alison Gerber, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Sociology at Lund University. The book explores the…
Leo Coleman, “A Moral Technology: Electrification as Political Ritual in New Delhi” (Cornell UP, 2017)
Jan 19, 2018 • 52 min
We take electricity for granted. But the material grids and wires that bring light to homes and connect places are also objects of moral concern, political freedoms and national advancement, suggests Leo Coleman in his new book A Moral Technology:…
Malcolm Harris, “Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials” (Little, Brown and Co, 2017)
Jan 11, 2018 • 44 min
Every young generation inspires a host of comparisons—usually negative ones—with older generations. Whether preceding a criticism or punctuating one, “kids these days” is a common utterance. Perhaps because of the ubiquity of the internet and their heavy…
Wolfgang Seibel, “Persecution and Rescue: The Politics of the Final Solution in France, 1940-1944” (U Michigan Press, 2017)
Jan 9, 2018 • 62 min
In his recent book, Persecution and Rescue: The Politics of the Final Solution in France, 1940-1944 (University of Michigan Press, 2017). Wolfgang Seibel explores the factors that shaped the Holocaust in wartime France. Eschewing the recent emphasis on…
Jonathan R. Wynn, “Music/City: American Festivals and Placemaking in Austin, Nashville, and Newport” (U of Chicago, 2015)
Jan 5, 2018 • 33 min
A city in its original state is arbitrary and has no meaning. The act of placemaking is a multifaceted process in the planning, designing, and management of public spaces. The social construction of meaning is a process that capitalizes on the assets,…
Chelsea Schelly, “Dwelling in Resistance: Living with Alternative Technologies in America” (Rutgers UP, 2017)
Dec 28, 2017 • 34 min
Technology is a form of material culture and is a human activity. The way in which humans view technology is a social construction in which people use social processes of interpretation and negotiation. The mundane rituals that humans carry out when…
Corey D. Fields, “Black Elephants in the Room: The Unexpected Politics of African American Republicans” (UC Press, 2016)
Dec 24, 2017 • 55 min
What is it about Black Republicans that makes them fodder for comedy? How do Black Republicans view their participation in their political group? Corey D. Fields answers these questions and more in his new book, Black Elephants in the Room: The Unexpected…
Mario Luis Small, “Someone to Talk To” (Oxford UP, 2017)
Dec 19, 2017 • 56 min
Who do people turn to when they want to talk about serious issues in their life? Do they end up confiding in people they list as confidants? In his new book, Someone to Talk To (Oxford University Press, 2017), Mario Luis Small uses in-depth interviews…
Melanee Thomas and Amanda Bittner, eds. “Mothers and Others: The Role of Parenthood in Politics” (UBC Press, 2017)
Dec 18, 2017 • 59 min
Melanee Thomas and Amanda Bittner have assembled a fascinating and important exploration of the role, understanding, and perceptions of mothers and motherhood within the realm of politics. Mothers and Others: The Role of Parenthood in Politics (University…
Zek Valkyrie, “Game Worlds Get Real: How Who We Are Online Became Who We Are Offline” (Praeger, 2017)
Dec 15, 2017 • 56 min
Zek Valkyrie teaches at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. His new book, Game Worlds Get Real: How Who We Are Online Became Who We Are Offline (Praeger, 2017), takes readers into the world of electronic games and the complex social…
Sareeta Amrute, “Encoding Race, Encoding Class: Indian IT Workers in Berlin” (Duke UP, 2016)
Dec 13, 2017 • 48 min
Associate professor of anthropology at the University of Washington Sareeta Amrute has written Encoding Race, Encoding Class: Indian IT Workers in Berlin (Duke University Press, 2016), a study of contemporary capitalism, new forms of work, and the…
Rafia Zakaria, “Veil” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017)
Dec 13, 2017 • 63 min
Muslim women are often the focus of debate when it comes to public conversations about Islam. Much of this centers on feelings and assumptions surrounding an object, the veil. Rafia Zakaria, journalist and author, unravels the complex nexus of attitudes,…
Kevan Harris, “A Social Revolution: Politics and the Welfare State in Iran” (U. Cal Press, 2017)
Dec 11, 2017 • 24 min
Kevan Harris is the author of A Social Revolution: Politics and the Welfare State in Iran (University of California Press, 2017). Harris is assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Much scholarship has focused on…
Mandy Sayer, “Australian Gypsies: Their Secret History” (NewSouth Publishing, 2017)
Dec 8, 2017 • 14 min
In her new book, Australian Gypsies: Their Secret History (NewSouth Publishing, 2017), award-winning writer Mandy Sayer explores the neglected history of Gypsies, or Romani people, in Australia, from the earliest European settlement until today. Utilizing…
Eli Cook, “The Pricing of Progress: Economic Indicators and the Capitalization of American Life” (Harvard UP, 2017)
Dec 6, 2017 • 48 min
I was joined by Eli Cook from Israel to talk about his amazing new book The Pricing of Progress: Economic Indicators and the Capitalization of American Life (Harvard University Press, 2017). While economists and politicians are busy discussing alternative…
Kinneret Lahad, “A Table for One: A Critical Reading of Singlehood, Gender and Time” (Manchester UP, 2017)
Dec 5, 2017 • 53 min
Why are you still single? This question is often asked of single women, especially those who are deemed by loved ones or friends to be too old to be single. In her newest book, A Table for One: A Critical Reading of Singlehood, Gender and Time (Manchester…
Carolyn Sufrin, “Jailcare: Finding the Safety Net for Women behind Bars” (U. Cal Press, 2017)
Dec 1, 2017 • 65 min
In 1976, the landmark supreme court case Estelle v. Gamble, established that under the Eighth Amendment “deliberate indifference” to the health needs of incarcerated individuals was tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment. Now, jails and prisons are…
Roderic Broadhurst et.al., “Violence and the Civilising Process in Cambodia” (Cambridge UP, 2015)
Nov 29, 2017 • 40 min
The work of sociologist Norbert Elias has had a renaissance in recent times, with Steven Pinker, among others, using it to argue that interpersonal violence has declined globally as states have expanded and subdued restless populations. In Violence and…
Pasquale Tridico, “Inequality in Financial Capitalism” (Routledge, 2017)
Nov 29, 2017 • 44 min
I was joined by Pasquale Tridico, Professor of Political Economy at Roma Tre University in Italy. His latest book, Inequality in Financial Capitalism, was published by Routledge in 2017. The issue of inequality has regained attention in the economic and…
Mindy Fried, “Caring for Red: A Daughter’s Memoir” (Vanderbilt UP, 2016)
Nov 29, 2017 • 51 min
In her new book, Caring for Red: A Daughter’s Memoir (Vanderbilt University Press, 2016), Mindy Fried shares her experiences with providing care for her father at the end of his life. With rich stories and memories of her father, the book introduces the…
Michelle Murphy, “The Economization of Life” (Duke University Press, 2017)
Nov 27, 2017 • 42 min
In The Economization of Life (Duke University Press, 2017), Michelle Murphy pulls apart the late modern concept of “population” to show the lives this concept has produced and continues to produce, and, importantly, the lives it has failed to allow under…
Sujatha Gidla, “Ants among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India” (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2017)
Nov 26, 2017 • 40 min
In her searing book Ants among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017), Sujatha Gidla traces her family’s history over four generations in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. From their…
Jonathan Morduch and Rachel Schneider, “The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty” (Princeton UP, 2017)
Nov 21, 2017 • 41 min
Volatility. Instability. Insecurity. Precarity. There’s a burgeoning lexicon seeking to capture the grim economic state of more and more Americans. Join us as Jonathan Morduch describes what he and Rachel Schneider discovered when they got 253 households…
Jeremy Milloy, “Blood, Sweat, and Fear: Violence at Work in the North American Auto Industry, 1960-1980” (U. of Illinois Press, 2017)
Nov 20, 2017 • 52 min
In the twenty first century, violence at work is often described in the context of a lone employee “snapping” and harming coworkers or management. In his new book, Blood, Sweat, and Fear: Violence at Work in the North American Auto Industry, 1960-1980…
Neda Maghbouleh, “The Limits of Whiteness: Iranian Americans and the Everyday Politics of Race” (Stanford UP, 2017)
Nov 20, 2017 • 56 min
How does a group become defined as white? And does that group define themselves that way as well? Neda Maghbouleh‘s new book, The Limits of Whiteness: Iranian Americans and the Everyday Politics of Race (Stanford University Press, 2017), uses interview…
Kathryn Lofton, “Consuming Religion” (U. Chicago Press, 2017)
Nov 20, 2017 • 60 min
Kathryn Lofton is a professor of religious studies and history at Yale University. Her book Consuming Religion (University of Chicago Press, 2017) offers a collection of eleven essays of cultural critique that reflect on the connections between religion,…
Jo Littler, “Against Meritocracy: Culture, Power, and Myths of Mobility” (Routledge, 2017)
Nov 17, 2017 • 45 min
How does the idea of ‘meritocracy’ serve to reinforce social inequality? In Against Meritocracy: Culture, Power and Myths of Mobility (Routledge, 2017) Dr Jo Littler, Reader in Culture and Creative Industries at City, University of London analyses the…
Jennifer Randles, “Proposing Prosperity? Marriage Education Policy and Inequality in America” (Columbia UP, 2016)
Nov 14, 2017 • 44 min
“Marriage is the foundation of a successful society,” proclaimed the Clinton-era welfare reform bill. Since then, national and state governments have spent nearly a billion dollars on programs designed to encourage poor and low-income Americans to get…
Steve Viscelli, “The Big Rig: Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream” (U. Cal Press, 2016)
Nov 13, 2017 • 61 min
There may not be a more ubiquitous presence on American highways than the truck. The images are iconic: eighteen-wheelers with muddy steel and chrome, and a driver in aviator sunglasses and a mesh hat. But as Steve Viscelli, political sociologist and…
David Goldstein, “Alley-Oop To Aliyah: African American Hoopsters in The Holy Land” (Skyhorse Publishing, 2017)
Nov 11, 2017 • 37 min
Today we are joined by David A. Goldstein, author of the book Alley-Oop To Aliyah: African American Hoopsters in The Holy Land (Skyhorse Publishing, 2017.) Goldstein explores the story of the African-American professional basketball players who practice…
Carla Joinson, “Vanished in Hiawatha: The Story of the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians” (U. Nebraska, 2016)
Nov 8, 2017 • 48 min
Between 1902 and 1934, hundreds of Native American men, women, and children were institutionalized at the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians; only nine of them, however, were officially committed by court order. In Vanished in Hiawatha: The Story of the…
Joshua Clark Davis, “From Head Shops to Whole Foods: The Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs” (Columbia UP, 2017)
Nov 2, 2017 • 37 min
In From Head Shops to Whole Foods: The Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs (Columbia University Press, 2017), historian Joshua Clark Davis offers an unconventional history of the 1960s and 1970s by uncovering the work of activist entrepreneurs. These…
Jeffrey H. Cohen, “Eating Soup without a Spoon: Anthropological Theory and Method in the Real World” (U. Texas Press, 2015)
Nov 2, 2017 • 27 min
Jeffrey H. Cohen, a professor at The Ohio State University, has managed a rare feat: placing anthropology classics like Argonauts of the Western Pacific in the context of eating grasshoppers. His impressively readable Eating Soup without a Spoon:…
Christopher Baylor, “First to the Party: The Group Origins of Political Transformations” (Penn Press, 2017)
Oct 30, 2017 • 22 min
Christopher Baylor is the author of First to the Party: The Group Origins of Political Transformations (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017). Baylor is an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow. Based on substantial archival…
Eric J. Pido, “Migrant Returns: Manila, Development, and Transnational Connectivity” (Duke UP, 2017)
Oct 27, 2017 • 38 min
The government of the Philippines has for decades encouraged its citizens to seek work abroad and send money back to the country in remittances. But in recent years it has increasingly sought to entice Filipinos who have settled abroad to come home, not…
Jeffrey Kidder, “Parkour and the City: Risk, Masculinity, and Meaning in a Postmodern Sport” (Rutgers UP, 2017)
Oct 26, 2017 • 45 min
The meaning assigned to architecture is complex and varied. Urban architecture is often stripped of meaning when people abandon the neighborhoods or are absent of meaning at the time of their inception. This leaves the people who inhabit the terrain to…
Julia Beltsiou, “Immigration in Psychoanalysis: Locating Ourselves” (Routledge, 2016)
Oct 24, 2017 • 45 min
Immigrant experiences are complex and varied. People who leave their home countries for a new one often feel torn between two identities and struggle to feel at home in either place. Dr. Julia Beltsiou, my guest for this episode, has put together an…
Ryan D. Enos, “The Space Between Us: Social Geography and Politics” (Cambridge UP, 2017)
Oct 19, 2017 • 24 min
Ryan Enos is the author of The Space Between Us: Social Geography and Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Enos is associate professor of government at Harvard University. Scholars have long wrestled with the impact of segregation on politics. The…
Mya Guranieri Jaradat, “The Unchosen: The Lives of Israel’s New Others” (U. Chicago/Pluto Press, 2017)
Oct 19, 2017 • 25 min
In The Unchosen: The Lives of Israel’s New Others (University of Chicago/Pluto Press, 2017), Mya Guarnieri-Jaradat offers her readers an intimate, often devastatingly gloomy portrait of the lives of Southeast Asian migrant workers and African asylum…
Walter Scheidel, “The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality” (Princeton UP, 2017)
Oct 19, 2017 • 26 min
In 2017 half of the world’s wealth belongs to the top 1% of the population. In his new book, The Great Leveler Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century (Princeton University Press, 2017), Walter Scheidel…
Lisa M. Corrigan, “Prison Power: How Prison Influenced the Movement for Black Liberation” (U. Press of Mississippi, 2016)
Oct 16, 2017 • 32 min
In the black liberation movement, imprisonment emerged as a key rhetorical, theoretical, and media resource. Imprisoned activists developed tactics and ideology to counter white supremacy. Prison Power: How Prison Influenced the Movement for Black…
Ron Mallon, “The Construction of Human Kinds” (Oxford University Press, 2016)
Oct 15, 2017 • 64 min
Social constructionists hold that the world is determined at least in part by our ways of representing it. Recent debates regarding social construction have focused on categories that play important roles in the human social world, such as race and…
Clayton Childress, “Under the Cover: The Creation, Production, and Reception of a Novel” (Princeton UP, 2017)
Sep 29, 2017 • 48 min
How does a book come into being? In Under the Cover: The Creation, Production, and Reception of a Novel (Princeton University Press, 2017), Clayton Childress, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at The University of Toronto, accounts for…
Stephen Pimpare, “Ghettos, Tramps, and Welfare Queens: Down and Out on the Silver Screen” (Oxford UP, 2017)
Sep 25, 2017 • 62 min
In Stephen Pimpare‘s new book, Ghettos, Tramps, and Welfare Queens: Down and Out on the Silver Screen (Oxford University Press, 2017), the reader is encouraged to think about how we portray poverty and people in poverty in movies. Overall, Pimpare argues…
Jamie Woodcock, “Working the Phones: Control and Resistance in Call Centers” (Pluto Press, 2017)
Sep 21, 2017 • 36 min
What are the working conditions and what are the possibilities for change in the contemporary economy? In Working the Phones: Control and Resistance in Call Centers (Pluto Press, 2017), Jamie Woodcock, a fellow at the London School of Economics, analyses…
Ruth Braunstein, “Prophets an Patriots: Faith in Democracy across the Political Divide” (U. California Press, 2017)
Sep 20, 2017 • 26 min
Ruth Braunstein is the author of Prophets and Patriots: Faith in Democracy across the Political Divide (University of California Press, 2017). Braunstein is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut. There are many reasons to think…
Shaun Scott, “Millennials and the Moments that Made Us: A Cultural History of the U.S. from 1982-Present” (Zero Books, 2018)
Sep 18, 2017 • 61 min
In Millennials and the Moments that Made Us: A Cultural History of the U.S. from 1982-Present (Zero Books, 2018), Shaun Scott critiques the America millennials inherited and using a pop culture lens to explore how they navigate it. Starting in 1982 as the…
Keri Leigh Merritt, “Masterless Men: Poor Whites in the Antebellum South” (Cambridge UP, 2017)
Sep 11, 2017 • 32 min
Analyzing land policy, labor, and legal history, Masterless Men: Poor Whites in the Antebellum South (Cambridge University Press, 2017) reveals what happens to excess workers when a capitalist system is predicated on slave labor. With the rising global…
Omar Valerio-Jimenez and Santiago Vaquera-Vasquez, eds. “The Latina/o Midwest Reader” (U. Illinois Press, 2017)
Sep 5, 2017 • 49 min
In The Latina/o Midwest Reader (University of Illinois Press, 2017) editors Omar Valerio-Jimenez, Santiago Vaquera-Vasquez, and Claire F. Fox bring together an exceptional cadre of scholars to dispel the notion that Latinas/os are newcomers to the…
Rosemary Lucy Hill, “Gender, Metal and the Media: Women Fans and the Gendered Experience of Music” (Palgrave Macmillan 2016)
Sep 5, 2017 • 48 min
How do women experience and participate in Metal? This question forms the core of Gender, Metal and the Media: Women Fans and the Gendered Experience of Music (Palgrave Macmillan 2016), the new book from Rosemary Lucy Hill, a lecturer in sociology at the…
Johanna Neuman, “Gilded Suffragists: The New York Socialites Who Fought for Women’s Right to Vote” (NYU Press, 2017)
Aug 29, 2017 • 50 min
In the late 19th century New York socialites enjoyed a newfound celebrity status thanks to their conspicuous wealth and the attention of the rapidly expanding newspaper industry. Many of these women sought to use their status to promote causes important…
Brooke Erin Duffy “(Not) Getting Paid to Do What You Love: Gender, Social Media and Aspirational Work” (Yale UP, 2017)
Aug 16, 2017 • 38 min
What is life like in the aspirational economy? In (Not) Getting Paid to Do What You Love: Gender, Social Media and Aspirational Work (Yale University Press, 2017) Brooke Erin Duffy, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at Cornell…
Gareth M. Thomas, “Down’s Syndrome Screening and Reproductive Politics: Care, Choice, and Disability in the Prenatal Clinic” (Routledge, 2017)
Aug 15, 2017 • 42 min
Drawing on an ethnography of Down’s syndrome screening in two UK clinics, Gareth M. Thomas‘ Down’s Syndrome and Reproductive Politics: Care, Choice, and Disability in the Prenatal Clinic (Routledge, 2017) explores how and why we are so invested in this…
Ivan Ascher, “Portfolio Society: A Capitalist Mode of Prediction” (Zone Books, 2016)
Aug 12, 2017 • 29 min
Is Marx still relevant? Any social scientist will answer with a resounding yes! In what he refers to as a thought experiment, Ivan Ascher uses Marx to understand the financial market. In Portfolio Society: A Capitalist Mode of Prediction (Zone Books,…
Sarah Bond, “Trade and Taboo: Disreputable Professions in the Roman Mediterranean” (U of Michigan Press, 2016)
Aug 12, 2017 • 47 min
Dominant social norms and expectations shape how individuals and their public activities are understood. In Roman antiquity, various shifts influenced the production and dissolution of prejudices towards certain types of occupations. In Trade and Taboo:…
David Beer, “Metric Power” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)
Aug 2, 2017 • 34 min
How do metrics rule the social world? In Metric Power (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) David Beer, Reader in Sociology at the University of York, outlines the rise of the metric and the role of metrics in shaping everyday life. The book outlines the core…
Jatinder Mann, “The Search for a New National Identity: The Rise of Multiculturalism in Canada and Australia, 1890s-1970s” (Peter Lang, 2016)
Jul 30, 2017 • 18 min
In his new book, The Search for a New National Identity: The Rise of Multiculturalism in Canada and Australia, 1890s-1970s (Peter Lang Publishing, 2016), Jatinder Mann, an assistant professor of history at Hong Kong Baptist University, offers a…
Tommy J. Curry, “The Man-Not: Race, Class, and the Dilemmas of Black Manhood” (Temple UP, 2017)
Jul 25, 2017 • 61 min
The Man-Not: Race, Class, Genre, and the Dilemmas of Black Manhood (Temple University Press, 2017) is a book-length justification for the burgeoning field of Black Male Studies. The author posits that we should conceptualize the black male as a victim,…
Victor Tan Chen, “Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy” (U. California Press, 2015)
Jul 24, 2017 • 60 min
We are nearly a decade removed from the start of the Great Recession, and many indicators show that the economy is doing relatively well. But during this economic catastrophe, a significant number of people faced long-term unemployment, especially in the…
Franck Cochoy, et al. eds., “Markets and the Arts of Attachment’ (Routledge, 2017)
Jul 19, 2017 • 49 min
How should we understand markets? In Markets and the Arts of Attachment (Routledge, 2017) Franck Cochoy, Liz McFall, and Joe Deville (from University Toulouse- Jean Jaures,Open University and Lancaster University respectively) bring together essays…
Allan H. Pasco, “Balzac, Literary Sociologist” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)
Jul 8, 2017 • 54 min
In Balzac, Literary Sociologist (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), Allan H. Pasco explores the talents of the writer whose reputation has been primarily based on his extraordinary gift to compose captivating stories. In his meticulously conducted research, Allan…
Jon Dean, “Doing Reflexivity: An Introduction” (Policy Press, 2017)
Jul 6, 2017 • 35 min
Doing Reflexivity: An Introduction (Policy Press, 2017) by Jon Dean, a senior lecturer in politics and sociology at Sheffield Hallam University, explores and explains reflexivity as one of the essential concepts in modern social research. The book draws…
Daniel P. Keating, “Born Anxious: The Lifelong Impact of Early Life Adversity” (St. Martin’s Press, 2017)
Jul 3, 2017 • 59 min
Anxiety has become a social epidemic. People feel anxious all the time about nearly everything: their work, families, and even survival. However, research shows that some of us are more prone to chronic anxiety than others, due in large part to…
Erik Love, “Islamophobia and Racism in America” (NYU Press, 2017)
Jun 26, 2017 • 32 min
In his new book, Islamophobia and Racism in America (New York University Press, 2017), Sociologist Erik Love provides a historical and current snapshot of civil rights issues surrounding people from the “middle east” in America. Much like other racial and…
Mark Banks, “Creative Justice: Cultural Industries, Work and Inequality” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017)
Jun 20, 2017 • 3 min
How can we address inequity and injustice in cultural and creative industries? In Creative Justice: Cultural Industries, Work and Inequality (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017), Mark Banks, a professor of culture and communication and director of CAMEo, the…
Jordan Lacey, “Sonic Rupture: A Practice-led Approach to Urban Soundscape Design” (Bloomsbury, 2016)
Jun 15, 2017 • 48 min
Sonic Rupture: A Practice-led Approach to Urban Soundscape Design (Bloomsbury 2016) by Jordan Lacey offers a practice-led alternative approach to urban soundscape design. Rather than understanding the functional noises of the city as solely problematic or…
Liana Christin Landivar, “Mothers at Work: Who Opts Out?” (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2017)
Jun 13, 2017 • 40 min
A big question in Sociology regarding work and gender is: which mothers opt out of the labor force to take care of children? Popularly known as “opting out,” this trend is often seen as a mother’s personal choice rather than a decision made within a set…
Jessie Daniels and Arlene Stein, “Going Public: A Guide for Social Scientists” (U Chicago Press, 2017)
Jun 12, 2017 • 17 min
Jessie Daniels and Arlene Stein have written Going Public: A Guide for Social Scientists (University of Chicago Press, 2017). How can political scientists and other social scientists speak beyond campus walls? Through blogs, social media, and podcasts,…
Bruce D. Haynes and Syma Solovitch, “Down the Up Staircase: Three Generations of a Harlem Family” (Columbia UP, 2017)
Jun 2, 2017 • 50 min
Public scholarship takes many forms, from op-eds to activism to blog posts. In their new book, Down the Up Staircase: Three Generations of a Harlem Family (Columbia University Press, 2017), Associate Professor Bruce Haynes and freelance writer,…
“Latino City” Part I: An Interview with Dr. Erualdo Gonzalez
Jun 1, 2017 • 34 min
In Latino City: Urban Planning, Politics, and the Grassroots (Routledge 2017) Dr. Erualdo R. Gonzalez addresses the salient issue of gentrification and its effect on immigrant and working-class populations in the city of Santa Ana, California. Centering…
Armando Salvatore, “Sociology of Islam: Knowledge, Power, Civility” (Wiley, 2016)
Jun 1, 2017 • 28 min
Armando Salvatore’s (Professor Global Religious Studies, McGill University) formidable new book Sociology of Islam: Knowledge, Power, Civility (Wiley, 2016) is a dense yet delightful meditation on the concept of sociology of Islam. Building on the work of…
Peter Balint, “Respecting Toleration: Traditional Liberalism and Contemporary Diversity” (Oxford University Press, 2017)
Jun 1, 2017 • 60 min
The freedoms prized and secured in a modern liberal democratic societies give rise to significant forms of moral and social diversity. In many cases, these forms of diversity must be dealt with by the state and its citizens. A standard way of trying to…
Christopher Mele, “Race and the Politics of Deception: The Making of an American City” (NYU Press, 2017)
May 27, 2017 • 56 min
Urban sociologists typically use a few grand narratives to explain the path of the American city through the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. These include industrialization, mass immigration, the “Great Migration,” deindustrialization,…
Megha Amrith, “Caring for Strangers: Filipino Medical Workers in Asia” (NIAS Press, 2016)
May 22, 2017 • 42 min
If you’ve been hospitalized in Europe, North America, Australia or the Middle East in recent years, chances are that at some point a nurse from the Philippines has had some part in your treatment. As Megha Amrith writes in the introduction to Caring for…
Richard E. Ocejo, “Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy” (Princeton UP, 2017)
May 22, 2017 • 51 min
Readers will want to grab a cocktail and charcuterie board when they sit down to read Richard E. Ocejo‘s new book, Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy (Princeton University Press, 2017). Ocejo explores the performance of culture through…
Melissa L. Cooper, “Making Gullah: A History of Sapelo Islanders, Race, and the American Imagination” (UNC Press, 2017)
May 19, 2017 • 55 min
Making Gullah: A History of Sapelo Islanders, Race, and the American Imagination (University of North Carolina Press, 2017) is a wide-ranging history that upends a long tradition of scrutinizing the Low Country blacks of Sapelo Island by outsiders. The…
Dorothy Ko, “The Social Life of Inkstones: Artisans and Scholars in Early Qing China” (U. of Washington Press, 2017)
May 18, 2017 • 65 min
Dorothy Ko‘s new book is a must-read. Troubling the hierarchy of head over hands and the propensity to denigrate craftsmen in Chinese history, The Social Life of Inkstones: Artisans and Scholars in Early Qing China (University of Washington Press, 2017)…
Amy Ziettlow and Naomi Cahn, “Homeward Bound: Modern Families, Elder Care, and Loss” (Oxford UP, 2017)
May 18, 2017 • 56 min
The U.S. population is aging and we often rely on our family to care for us during our twilight years. But, families today can be quite complex, with divorce, step-families, and cohabitation changing the roles that family members are used to playing. In…
David Garland, “The Welfare State: A Very Short Introduction” (Oxford UP, 2016)
May 15, 2017 • 53 min
What is a welfare state? What is it for? Does the U.S. have one? Does it work at cross-purposes to a free-market economy or is it, in fact, essential to the functioning of modern, post-industrial societies? Join us as we speak with David Garland, author…
Paul Hollander, “From Benito Mussolini to Hugo Chavez: Intellectuals and a Century of Political Hero Worship” (Cambridge UP, 2016)
May 13, 2017 • 61 min
It’s true that Western “intellectuals” have not always been wrong about dictators fighting for a supposedly “brighter future,” usually (though not always) of the non-capitalist variety. Nonetheless, as Paul Hollander well shows in his readable, relevant…
Lotta Bjorklund Larsen,”Shaping Taxpayers: Values in Action at the Swedish Tax Agency” (Berghahn Books, 2017)
May 2, 2017 • 28 min
How do you make taxpayers comply? Lotta Bjorklund Larsen‘s ethnography, Shaping Taxpayers: Values in Action at the Swedish Tax Agency (Berghahn Books, 2017) offers a vivid, yet nuanced account of knowledge making at one of Sweden’s most esteemed…
Stafanie Deluca, et.al. “Coming of Age in the Other America” (Russell Sage Foundation, 2016)
Apr 26, 2017 • 50 min
Do you think that what poor people most need to escape poverty is grit? Join us as we speak with Stefanie Deluca, co-author, along with Susan Clampet-Lundquist and Kathryn Edin, of Coming of Age in the Other America (Russell Sage Foundation, 2016), about…
Carrie Jenkins, “What Love is: And What it Could Be” (Basic Books, 2017)
Apr 25, 2017 • 68 min
Carrie Jenkins‘ new book is a model for what public philosophy can be. Beautifully written, thoughtful, and compellingly and carefully argued, What Love Is: And What it Could Be (Basic Books, 2017) invites us to think openly and critically about romantic…
Donna Freitas, “The Happiness Effect: How Social Media is Driving a Generation to Appear Perfect at Any Cost” (Oxford UP, 2017)
Apr 18, 2017 • 24 min
In The Happiness Effect: How Social Media is Driving a Generation to Appear Perfect at Any Cost (Oxford University Press, 2017), Donna Freitas investigates the darker side of social media use and explains how pressure to appear happy and successful online…
Lynn Dumenil, “The Second Line of Defense: American Women and World War I” (UNC Press, 2017)
Apr 18, 2017 • 48 min
When America went to war against Germany in 1917, the scale of the conflict required the mobilization of women as well as men in order to achieve victory. In The Second Line of Defense: American Women and World War I (University of North Carolina Press,…
Amit Prasad, “Imperial Technoscience: Transnational Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain, and India” (MIT, 2014)
Apr 18, 2017 • 58 min
Amit Prasad is widely admired for using Postcolonial Studies to explore questions about science, technology and medicine. In Imperial Technoscience: Transnational Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain, and India (MIT, 2014), Prasad looks at the…
Lizabeth Cohen, “Making A New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939” (Cambridge UP, 2014)
Apr 12, 2017 • 70 min
Lizabeth Cohen‘s Making A New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939 was originally published in 1990, and recently re-published in 2014. In this book, Cohen explores how it was that Chicago workers, who could not overcome ethnic and racial…
Michael Diamond, “Discovering Organizational Identity: Dynamics of Relational Attachment” (U. of Missouri, 2016)
Apr 10, 2017 • 44 min
Psychological and psychoanalytic principles are often associated with individuals and therapist-client pairs, though they have plenty to bear on understanding and helping organizations in trouble. In particular, a psychoanalytic lens can uncover…
Michael A. McCarthy, “Dismantling Solidarity: Capitalist Politics and American Pensions since the New Deal” (Cornell UP, 2017)
Apr 7, 2017 • 53 min
Over half of Americans approaching retirement age report having no money saved for retirement, but how did we get here as a nation? In his book, Dismantling Solidarity: Capitalist Politics and American Pensions since the New Deal (ILR/Cornell University…
Lisa Wade, “American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus” (Norton, 2017)
Apr 6, 2017 • 45 min
“Hookup” has become a buzzword, a misleading concept for students, parents and educators alike–one that confuses more than explains the nuances of this complex and pervasive trend. In American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus (W. W. Norton, 2017),…
Daina Ramey Berry, “The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation” (Beacon Press, 2017)
Apr 5, 2017 • 49 min
A profoundly humane look at an inhumane institution, The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation (Beacon Press, 2017) will have a major impact how we think about slavery, reparations,…
Brandon Kendhammer, “Muslims Talking Politics: Framing Islam, Democracy and Law in Northern Nigeria” (U. Chicago Press, 2016)
Apr 4, 2017 • 43 min
Brandon Kendhammer takes a fresh approach to the juxtaposition of Islam and democracy in his latest book, Muslims Talking Politics: Framing Islam, Democracy and Law in Northern Nigeria (University of Chicago Press, 2016). Rather than employing a top-down…
Cristina Bicchieri, “Norms in the Wild: How to Diagnose, Measure, and Change Social Norms” (Oxford UP, 2017)
Apr 1, 2017 • 57 min
Humans engage in a wide variety of collective behaviors, ranging from simple customs like wearing a heavy coat in winter to more complex group actions, as when an audience gives applause at the close of a musical performance. Some of these collective…
Danielle Knafo and Rocco Lo Bosco, “The Age of Perversion: Desire and Technology in Psychoanalysis and Culture” (Routledge, 2016)
Mar 27, 2017 • 50 min
The wish to transcend one’s mortality, and the anxiety associated with being unable to do so, are universal human experiences. People deal with these in their idiosyncratic ways, often by transgressing rules and boundaries that serve as the parameters of…
Andrew Causey, “Drawn to See: Drawing as Ethnographic Method” (U. Toronto Press, 2016)
Mar 27, 2017 • 56 min
In his new book Drawn to See: Drawing as an Ethnographic Method (University of Toronto Press, 2016) Andrew Causey argues that social science practitioners can cultivate new ways of experiencing the world through drawing. He has developed thirty-nine…
Quincy T. Mills, “Cutting Along the Color Line: Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America” (UPenn Press, 2013)
Mar 25, 2017 • 52 min
Business. Community. Politics. That’s the making of a barbershop. In Cutting Along the Color Lines: Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), Dr. Quincy Mills chronicles the history of black barber shops as…
Michaela DeSoucey, “Contested Tastes: Foie Gras and the Politics of Food” (Princeton UP, 2016)
Mar 25, 2017 • 65 min
A heritage food in France, and a high-priced obscurity in the United States. But in both countries, foie gras, the specially fattened liver of a duck or goose, has the power to stir a remarkable array of emotions and produce heated debates. Comparing the…
Kathleen McAuliffe, “This is Your Brain on Parasites: How Tiny Creatures Manipulate Our Behavior and Shape Society” (Mariner Books, 2017)
Mar 21, 2017 • 39 min
Kathleen McAuliffe‘s This is Your Brain on Parasites: How Tiny Creatures Manipulate Our Behavior and Shape Society (Mariner Books, 2017) unveils the world of parasites. From the influence of parasites on the ability to transform rats brains to be easily…
Laurence A. Rickels, “The Psycho Records” (Wallflower Press, 2016)
Mar 21, 2017 • 4 min
Reading Laurence Rickels‘ The Psycho Records (Wallflower Press, 2016) gave me the urge to ask random strangers questions like: Are you haunted by Alfred Hitchcock’s famous shower scene? How do you feel about Norman Bates and other cinematic killers…
Todd McGowan, “Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets” (Columbia UP, 2016)
Mar 19, 2017 • 59 min
Todd McGowan‘s Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets (Columbia University Press, 2016) elegantly employs psychoanalytic thinking to unpack the lure of capitalism. He argues that we are drawn to capitalism because, under an overt promise…
Joan Maya Mazelis, “Surviving Poverty: Creating Sustainable Ties among the Poor” (NYU Press, 2017)
Mar 16, 2017 • 53 min
A number of recent events (the Great Recession, Occupy Wall Street, the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign) have brought inequality and poverty into national conversation. In an age of economic uncertainty and a declining social safety net,…
Travis Linnemann, “Meth Wars: Police, Media, Power” (NYU Press, 2016)
Mar 15, 2017 • 56 min
If all you knew about methamphetamines came from popular culture (“Breaking Bad”) or government anti-drug campaigns (“Faces of Meth”), then you’d probably think that the typical meth user was a unemployed, rail thin degenerate with bad acne, no teeth and…
Nancy Wang Yuen, “Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism” (Rutgers UP, 2017)
Mar 14, 2017 • 39 min
How can we challenge the way film and television represents the world around us? In Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism (Rutgers University Press, 2017) Nancy Wan Yuen, and Associate Professor of Sociology at Biola University, offers a…
Brent Willock, et.al. “Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Identity and Difference: Navigating the Divide” (Routledge, 2017)
Mar 13, 2017 • 57 min
Literature and training in diversity and multiculturalism typically emphasize cultural differences–how to identify them, and the importance of honoring them. But does such an emphasis neglect other important dimensions of cross-cultural relating? Brent…
Gregory Mitchell, “Tourist Attractions: Performing Race and Masculinity in Brazil’s Sexual Economy” (U. Chicago Press, 2015)
Mar 13, 2017 • 55 min
Moving through the saunas of Rio de Janeiro, the Amazonian eco-resorts of Manaus, and the Afro-Brazilian heritage of Bahia, Tourist Attractions: Performing Race and Masculinity in Brazils Sexual Economy (University of Chicago Press, 2015) explores sex as…
Patrick Phillips, “Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America” (W.W. Norton, 2016)
Mar 13, 2017 • 49 min
This episode of New Books in African American Studies covers Patrick Phillips’ powerful new book Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America (W.W. Norton and Company, 2016) At the turn of the twentieth century, Forsyth County in Georgia, was home to…
Tyina Steptoe, “Houston Bound: Culture and Color in a Jim Crow City” (U. California Press, 2015)
Mar 9, 2017 • 46 min
What do you know about Houston, Texas? That Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States? That Houston was the home of the 2016 NCAA Final Four in basketball and the home of the NFL’s Super Bowl LI in 2017? That Houston is the home of the…
Paul Harvey, “Bounds of Their Habitation: Race and Religion in American History” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016)
Mar 7, 2017 • 59 min
Paul Harvey is a professor of history at the University of Colorado. His book Bounds of Their Habitation: Race and Religion in American History (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017) provides an accessible and expansive narrative of the relationship between race,…
Randy Stoecker, “Liberating Service Learning and the Rest of Higher Education Civic Engagement” (Temple UP, 2016)
Mar 3, 2017 • 39 min
It’s common for colleges in the U.S. to have service learning programs of one kind or another. These are sometimes criticized as being liberal or even radical endeavors — especially if “social justice” language is employed. But what if these are, in fact,…
Benjamin Schreier, “The Impossible Jew: Identity and the Reconstruction of Jewish American Literary History” (NYU Press, 2015)
Feb 27, 2017 • 46 min
What is Jewish about Jewish American literature? While the imaginative possibilities are numerous many scholars approach literary products with an established notion of a Jewish identity before they reach their subjects. This is one of the central…
Kerry Pimblott, “Faith in Black Power: Religion, Race, and Resistance in Cairo, Illinois” (U. Press of Kentucky, 2016)
Feb 21, 2017 • 50 min
When you think of black power, do you think about churches and religious institutions, or do you relate them more to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s? How do the social justice struggles of the past relate to those of today? In this vital…
Harris Beider, “White Working-Class Voices: Multiculturalism, Community-Building, and Change” (Policy Press, 2015)
Feb 20, 2017 • 23 min
Harris Beider is the author of White Working-Class Voices: Multiculturalism, Community-Building, and Change (Policy Press, 2015). Beider is chair in Community Cohesion at the Center for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations, Coventry University, UK, and…
Helen Glew, “Gender, Rhetoric and Regulation: Women’s Work in the Civil Service and the London County Council, 1900-1955” (Manchester UP, 2016)
Feb 18, 2017 • 37 min
What role has gender played in government institutions? In Gender, Rhetoric and Regulation: Women’s Work in the Civil Service and the London County Council 1900-1955, Helen Glew, a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Westminster uses detailed…
Mical Raz, “What’s Wrong with the Poor: Psychiatry, Race, and the War on Poverty” (UNC Press, 2016)
Feb 17, 2017 • 38 min
In What’s Wrong with the Poor: Psychiatry, Race, and the War on Poverty (University of North Carolina Press, 2016), Mical Raz offers a deep dive into the theoretical roots of the Head Start program, and offers a fascinating story of unexpected policy…
Jayde Lin Roberts, “Mapping Chinese Rangoon: Place and Nation among the Sino-Burmese” (U. Washington Press, 2016)
Feb 17, 2017 • 61 min
In recent years, scholarship on Burma, or Myanmar, has undergone a renaissance. Jayde Lin Roberts’ Mapping Chinese Rangoon: Place and Nation among the Sino-Burmese (University of Washington Press, 2016) is a bellwether of exciting new books to come, and a…
Tamar Carroll, “Mobilizing New York: AIDS, Antipoverty and Feminist Activism” (U. North Carolina Press, 2015)
Feb 14, 2017 • 76 min
Tamar Carroll is an Assistant Professor of History at Rochester Institute of Technology and the Program Director for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences. Her book, Mobilizing New York: AIDS, Antipoverty and Feminist Activism (University of North…
Melissa Hidalgo, “Mozlandia: Morrissey Fans in the Borderlands” (Headpress, 2016)
Feb 13, 2017 • 78 min
In Mozlandia: Morrissey Fans in the Borderlands (Headpress, 2016), Melissa Hidalgo examines the world of Morrissey fandom in US-Mexico borderlands. As the frontman of The Smiths, Morrissey is regarded as one of the most influential and iconic musical…
Jessie Daniels, Karen Gregory, and Tressie McMillan Cottom, eds “Digital Sociologies” (Policy Press, 2016)
Feb 9, 2017 • 31 min
How do we do sociology in the digital era? In Digital Sociologies (Policy Press, 2016) Jessie Daniels, Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and The Graduate Center, CUNY, Karen Gregory a Lecturer in Digital Sociology at the University of Edinburgh,…
Eve Rosenhaft and Robbie Aitken, “Black Germany: The Making and Unmaking of a Diaspora Community, 1884-1960” (Cambridge UP, 2015)
Feb 4, 2017 • 54 min
“There were black Germans?” My students are always surprised to learn that there were and are a community of African immigrants and Afro-Germans that dates back to the nineteenth century (and sometimes earlier), and that this community has at times had an…
Dave Gosse, “Abolition and Plantation Management in Jamaica, 1807-1838” (U. of the West Indies Press, 2012)
Jan 30, 2017 • 34 min
Dave Gosse’s recent book Abolition and Plantation Management in Jamaica, 1807-1838 (University of the West Indies Press, 2012), looks at a crucial period in Jamaican history. The time between the abolition of Britain’s slave trade in 1807 and the end of…
Justin Parkhurst, “The Politics of Evidence: From Evidence-Based Policy to the Good Governance of Evidence” (Routledge, 2016)
Jan 30, 2017 • 51 min
What is the role of evidence in the policy process? In The Politics of Evidence: From Evidence-Based Policy to the Good Governance of Evidence (Routledge, 2016), Justin Parkhurst, Associate Professor of Global Health Policy at the London School of…
Anthony Lioi, “Nerd Ecology: Defending the Earth with Unpopular Culture” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016)
Jan 20, 2017 • 67 min
In Nerd Ecology: Defending the Earth with Unpopular Culture (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016), Anthony Lioi examines literature, film, television, and comics through an ecocritical study of nerd culture. Lioi explores Star Trek, The Hunger Games, The Matrix,…
Andrew Scull, “Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity” (Princeton UP, 2015)
Jan 20, 2017 • 54 min
The wish to understand mental suffering is universal and requires an appreciation for its history. Since Biblical times, humans have understood madness, or other deviations from normal mental functioning, in diverse and unique ways. These have included…
Patrick Phillips, “Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America” (W.W. Norton, 2016)
Jan 16, 2017 • 38 min
Forsyth County, Georgia, at the turn of the twentieth century was home to a large African American community that included ministers and teachers, farmers and field hands, tradesmen, servants, and children. In 1912, three young black laborers were accused…
Matthew Pehl, “The Making of Working-Class Religion” (U. Illinois Press, 2016)
Jan 13, 2017 • 58 min
Matthew Pehl is an associate professor of history at Augustana University. His book, The Making of Working-Class Religion (University of Illinois Press, 2016), gives us a rich and deep study of working class religion in Detroit beginning with the growth…
Manisha Sinha, “The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition” (Yale UP, 2016).
Jan 6, 2017 • 65 min
Manisha Sinha is the Draper Chair in American History at the University of Connecticut. She was born in India and received her Ph.D from Columbia University where her dissertation was nominated for the Bancroft prize. Her book The Slave’s Cause: A History…
Nicholas A. John, “The Age of Sharing” (Polity Press, 2016)
Jan 6, 2017 • 47 min
In his new book The Age of Sharing (Polity Press, 2016), the sociologist and media scholar Nicholas A. John documents the history and current meanings of the word sharing, which he argues, is a central keyword of contemporary media discourse. John…
Elizabeth Barnes, “The Minority Body: A Theory of Disability” (Oxford UP, 2016)
Jan 3, 2017 • 69 min
We are all familiar with the idea that some persons are disabled. But what is disability? What makes it such that a condition–physical, cognitive, psychological–is a disability, rather than, say, a disease or illness? Is disability always and…
Claudia Malacrida, “A Special Hell: Institutional Life in Albertas Eugenic Years” (U of Toronto Press, 2015)
Dec 29, 2016 • 56 min
In A Special Hell: Institutional Life in Alberta’s Eugenic Years (University of Toronto Press, 2015), Claudia Malacrida explores the practices of the Michener Center in Red Deer, Northern Alberta, to uncover a close relationship between the…
Amir Hussain, “Muslims and the Making of America” (Baylor UP, 2016)
Dec 23, 2016 • 61 min
Muslims and the Making of America (Baylor University Press, 2016) offers a succinct and gripping account of Muslim presence in the United States. The book gives attention to the contemporary moment and also reaches as far back as the days of Columbus, who…
Devin Naar, “Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece” (Stanford UP, 2016)
Dec 19, 2016 • 45 min
In Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece (Stanford University Press, 2016) Devin Naar delves deep into the archives to produce this intimate and exciting portrait of Salonica’s Jewish community between the late 19th century until…
Robert Aronowitz, “Risky Medicine: Our Quest to Cure Fear and Uncertainty” (U. Chicago Press, 2015)
Dec 9, 2016 • 70 min
Statistics have been on the minds of more people than usual in the run-up and post-mortem of this past U.S. presidential election; some feel as though they were misled by numbers intended to lend a modicum of certainty to the complex calculus of modern…
Heath Brown, “Immigrants and Electoral Politics: Nonprofit Organizing in a Time of Demographic Change” (Cornell UP, 2016)
Nov 28, 2016 • 50 min
Why do nonprofits representing immigrants participate (or choose not to participate) in electoral politics, and what forms does their participation take? In his new book, Immigrants and Electoral Politics: Nonprofit Organizing in a Time of Demographic…
Corey D. Fields, “Black Elephants in the Room: The Unexpected Politics of African American Republicans” (U. of California Press, 2016)
Nov 21, 2016 • 31 min
The 2016 election cycle will be remembered as one for the history books. Many people are left asking questions as to what happened to lead to such an expected outcome, while still others are left wondering after such a tumultuous and divisive campaign…
Vicki Lens, “Poor Justice: How the Poor Fare in Court” (Oxford UP, 2015)
Nov 21, 2016 • 45 min
It’s been said that for poor and low-income Americans, the law is all over. Join us for a conversation with Vicki Lens, who, in Poor Justice: How the Poor Fare in Court (Oxford University Press, 2015), shows us how vulnerable populations interact with the…
Marc Steinberg, “England’s Great Transformation: Law, Labor, and the Industrial Revolution” (U. of Chicago Press, 2016)
Nov 14, 2016 • 51 min
Marc Steinberg is a professor of sociology at Smith College. His latest book, England’s Great Transformation: Law, Labor, and the Industrial Revolution (University of Chicago Press, 2016) is a response to Karl Polyani’s vision of an emerging modern labor…
George T. Diaz, “Border Contraband: A History of Smuggling Across the Rio Grande” (U. of Texas Press, 2015)
Nov 8, 2016 • 49 min
In Border Contraband: A History of Smuggling Across the Rio Grande (University of Texas Press, 2015) Professor George T. Diaz examines a subject that has received scant attention by historians, but one that is at the heart of contemporary debates over…
Alison N. Novak, “Media, Millennials, and Politics: The Coming of Age of the Next Political Generation” (Lexington Books, 2016)
Nov 6, 2016 • 30 min
The millennial generation (those born from 1980 through the beginning of the 21st century) now comprises the largest voting bloc in the American electorate. In Media, Millennials, and Politics: The Coming of Age of the Next Political Generation (Lexington…
Susan Greenbaum, “Blaming the Poor: The Long Shadow of the Moynihan Report on Cruel Images about Poverty” (Rutgers UP, 2015)
Nov 6, 2016 • 55 min
Patrick Moynihan’s Report on the Negro Family was a seminal document in Great Society-era racial politics and public policy. Join us as we talk with Susan Greenbaum about her new book, Blaming the Poor: The Long Shadow of the Moynihan Report on Cruel…
LaShawn Harris, “Sex Workers, Psychics and Number Runners: Black Women in New York City’s Underground Economy” (U. of Illinois Press, 2016)
Nov 3, 2016 • 54 min
LaShawn Harris is an assistant professor of history at Michigan State University. Sex Workers, Psychics and Number Runners: Black Women in New York City’s Underground Economy, (University of Illinois Press, 2016) offers a colorful look at the lives of…
Rupa Viswanath, “The Pariah Problem: Caste, Religion, and the Social in Modern India” (Columbia UP, 2014)
Nov 2, 2016 • 35 min
The so called “Pariah Problem” emerged in public consciousness in the 1890s in India as state officials, missionaries and “upper”caste landlords, among others, struggled to understood the situation of Dalits (those subordinated populations once called…
Jeffrey Gurock, “The Jews of Harlem: The Rise, Decline, and Revival of a Jewish Community” (NYU Press, 2016)
Oct 31, 2016 • 38 min
In The Jews of Harlem: The Rise, Decline, and Revival of a Jewish Community (New York University Press, 2016), Jeffrey Gurock, Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University, returns to the neighborhood he studied in his first…
Doreen Lee, “Activist Archives: Youth Culture and the Political Past in Indonesia” (Duke UP, 2016)
Oct 28, 2016 • 57 min
Activist Archives: Youth Culture and the Political Past in Indonesia (Duke University Press, 2016) is a book about Indonesian youth activism both before 1998 and after. But it is no ordinary chronological study, a story told in halves with Soeharto’s end…
Michael Copperman, “Teacher: Two Years in the Mississippi Delta” (U. Press of Mississippi, 2016)
Oct 27, 2016 • 42 min
Anyone who has spent time in a school as an adult probably knows how hard it is for teachers to leave their work when they come home every night. There always seems to be more work for them to do, along with inordinate responsibility and a sense that…
Matthew MacWilliams, “The Rise of Trump: America’s Authoritarian Spring” (Amherst College Press, 2016)
Oct 22, 2016 • 50 min
NB: Because Amherst College Press is open-access, this book is available free for download here. Just when I thought I had a pretty good handle on the ways and means of American politics, Donald Trump “happened.” I watched with amazement as he insulted…
Natalie Byfield, “Savage Portrayals: Race, Media, and the Central Park Jogger Story” (Temple UP, 2014)
Oct 21, 2016 • 68 min
Savage Portrayals: Race, Media, and the Central Park Jogger Story (Temple University Press, 2014) offers a timely reminder of how racial bias and prejudice continue to shape political perspectives and dominant media narratives. Drawing on her unique…
Damien M. Sojoyner, “First Strike: Educational Enclosures in Black Los Angeles” (U. of Minnesota Press, 2016)
Oct 21, 2016 • 30 min
Dr. Damien M. Sojoyner, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine, joins the New Books Network to discuss his recently published book, entitled First Strike: Educational Enclosures in Black Los Angeles (University of…
David Ensminger, “The Politics of Punk: Protest and Revolt from the Streets” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016)
Sep 30, 2016 • 57 min
Punk has long been viewed as a subculture of anger, disruption, and alternative political and lifestyle choices. In The Politics of Punk: Protest and Revolt from the Streets (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016) David Ensminger examines the various ways in which…
Jason Pierce, “Making the White Man’s West: Whiteness and the Creation of the American West” (UP of Colorado, 2016)
Sep 26, 2016 • 53 min
The West, particularly the mountain West of states like Colorado, Utah, Idaho, has long had an image as a land of white men. This image dates to the 19th century, yet it is counterintuitive. Before it became a white man’s paradise, the West was the land…
Sali Tagliamonte, “Teen Talk: The Language of Adolescents” (Cambridge UP, 2016)
Sep 26, 2016 • 58 min
Teenagers get a lot of bad press. Whether it’s how they look, how they dress, the things they say, the way they say it – it sometimes seems as if they can’t get anything right. And when it comes to language, it’s clear that teenagers are special. But…
James E. Campbell, “Polarized: Making Sense of a Divided America” (Princeton UP, 2016)
Sep 26, 2016 • 22 min
James E. Campbell has written Polarized: Making Sense of a Divided America (PrincetonUniversity Press, 2016). Campbell is UB Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Buffalo, State University of New York. Are we a polarized nation…
Kenneth Schaffner, “Behaving: What’s Genetic, What’s Not, and Why Should We Care?” (Oxford UP, 2016)
Sep 15, 2016 • 66 min
In the genes vs. environment debate, it is widely accepted that what we do, who we are, and what mental illnesses we are at risk for result from a complex combination of both factors. Just how complex is revealed in Behaving: What’s Genetic, What’s Not,…
Mary Chayko, “Superconnected: The Internet, Digital Media, and Techno-Social Life” (SAGE, 2016)
Sep 13, 2016 • 36 min
New technology has made us more connected than ever before. This has its advantages: instantaneous communication, expanded circles of influence, access to more information. And, of course, our connectedness has concomitant drawbacks including issues with…
Mireya Loza, “Defiant Braceros: How Migrant Workers Fought for Racial, Sexual, and Political Freedom” (UNC Press, 2016)
Sep 12, 2016 • 60 min
Mireya Loza’s Defiant Braceros How Migrant Workers Fought for Racial, Sexual, and Political Freedom (University of North Carolina Press, 2016) sheds new light on the private lives of migrant men who participated in the Bracero Program (1942-1964), a…
Matt Dawson “Social Theory for Alternative Societies” (Palgrave, 2016)
Sep 9, 2016 • 41 min
What can social theory offer to visions of an alternative society? In his new book, Social Theory for Alternative Societies (Palgrave, 2016), Dr Matt Dawson, a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Glasgow, explores how classical and contemporary…
Prerna Singh, “How Solidarity Works for Welfare: Subnationalism and Social Development in India” (Cambridge UP, 2015)
Sep 7, 2016 • 28 min
Prerna Singh has written How Solidarity Works for Welfare: Subnationalism and Social Development in India (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Singh is the Mahatma Gandhi Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Brown…
Paula S. Fass, “The End of American Childhood: A History of Parenting from Life on the Frontier to the Managed Child” (Princeton UP, 2016)
Aug 11, 2016 • 59 min
Paula S. Fass is a professor of history emerita at the University of California, Berkeley. Her book The End of American Childhood: A History of Parenting from Life on the Frontier to the Managed Child (Princeton University Press, 2016) traces the changing…
D. Asher Ghertner, “Rule by Aesthetics: World-Class City Making in Delhi” (Oxford UP, 2015)
Aug 11, 2016 • 56 min
D. Asher Ghertner explores why the ways things look are fundamental for Delhi’s transformation into a “world class”city. Based on deep ethnographic engagement in one of the city’s slums that is destined to be demolished, Rule by Aesthetics: World-Class…
Ingrid Piller, “Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice: An Introduction to Applied Sociolinguistics” (Oxford UP, 2016)
Aug 3, 2016 • 59 min
According to the blurb, Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice: An Introduction to Applied Sociolinguistics (Oxford University Press, 2016) “explores the ways in which linguistic diversity mediates social justice in liberal democracies.” This is true,…
Michael Lesher, “Sexual Abuse, Shonda and Concealment in the Orthodox Jewish Communities” (McFarland, 2014)
Aug 3, 2016 • 68 min
Sexual Abuse, Shonda and Concealment in Orthodox Jewish Communities (McFarland, 2014) analyzes how and why cases of child sexual abuse have been systematically concealed in Orthodox Jewish communities. The book (the first of its kind) thoroughly examines…
John Mollenkopf and Manuel Pastor, eds. “Unsettled Americans: Metropolitan Context and Civic Leadership for Immigrant Integration” (Cornell UP, 2016)
Jul 27, 2016 • 23 min
John Mollenkopf and Manuel Pastor are the editors of Unsettled Americans: Metropolitan Context and Civic Leadership for Immigrant Integration (Cornell University Press, 2016). Mollenkopf is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology and…
Susan Cahan, “Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power” (Duke UP, 2016)
Jul 21, 2016 • 46 min
The struggle for representation within the art museum is the focus of a timely and important new book by Susan Cahan, Associate Dean for the Arts at Yale College. Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power (Duke University Press, 2016)…
Phaedra Daipha, “Masters of Uncertainty: Weather Forecasters and the Quest for Ground Truth” (U. of Chicago Press, 2015)
Jul 9, 2016 • 66 min
Phaedra Daipha’s thoughtful new book uses a careful sociological study of a particular community of weather forecasters to develop a sociology of decision making. Based on fieldwork conducted over five years at a local office of the National Weather…
Brent Walker, “The Hidden South–Come Home” (Beaver’s Pond Press, 2016)
Jul 1, 2016 • 49 min
The Hidden South–Come Home (Beaver’s Pond Press, 2016) is the result of an ongoing project that documents intimate stories of people who are often overlooked in society. Photographer and author Brent Walker traveled around the southern United States…
Eric Tang, “Unsettled: Cambodian Refugees in the NYC Hyperghetto” (Temple UP, 2015)
Jun 28, 2016 • 58 min
Eric Tang’s book, Unsettled: Cambodian Refugees in the NYC Hyperghetto (Temple University Press, 2015), is an intimate ethnography of a single person, Ra Pronh, a fifty year old survivor of the Cambodian genocide, who afterwards spent nearly six years in…
John Alba Cutler, “Ends of Assimilation: The Formation of Chicano Literature” (Oxford UP, 2015)
Jun 26, 2016 • 64 min
In Ends of Assimilation: The Formation of Chicano Literature (Oxford University Press, 2015), John Alba Cutler provides a literary history of Chicano/a literature that tracks the fields formation and evolution from the 1960s forward. The central focus of…
Emily Schmitt and Lashawn Richburg-Hayes, “Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency”
Jun 6, 2016 • 58 min
The application of behavioral science inside government has gained steam over the past few years with the creation of so-called “Nudge units” popping up in countries around the world. Their goals are simple: Use the lessons of behavioral science to make…
Mingwei Song, “Young China: National Rejuvenation and the Bildungsroman, 1900-1959” (Harvard University Asia Center, 2016)
Jun 3, 2016 • 67 min
What does it mean to be young? Mingwei Song‘s new book explores this question in the context of a careful study of the nature and significance of the discourse of youth in modern China. Young China: National Rejuvenation and the Bildungsroman, 1900-1959…
Alfred Frankowski, “The Post-Racial Limits of Memorialization: Towards a Political Sense of Mourning” (Lexington Press, 2015)
Jun 2, 2016 • 44 min
How are cultural practices that suggest social inclusion at the root of marginalizing social suffering? In The Post-Racial Limits of Memorialization: Towards a Political Sense of Mourning (Lexington Books, 2015), Alfred Frankowski, an Assistant Professor…
Andrew Woolford, “This Benevolent Experiment” (U of Nebraska Press, 2015)
Jun 1, 2016 • 53 min
I grew up in Michigan, in the United States, where I was surrounded by places named with Native American names. I drove to Saginaw to play in basketball tournaments and to Pontiac to watch an NBA team play. Now in Kansas, I live near towns called Kiowa…
Adam Ferziger, “Beyond Sectarianism: The Realignment of American Orthodox Judaism” (Wayne State UP, 2015)
May 28, 2016 • 36 min
In Beyond Sectarianism: The Realignment of American Orthodox Judaism (Wayne State University Press, 2015), Adam Ferziger, S.R. Hirsch Chair for Research of the Torah with Derekh Erez Movement at Bar-Ilan University, traces the evolution of Orthodox…
Jonathon S. Kahn and Vincent W. Lloyd, editors, “Race And Secularism in America” (Columbia UP, 2016)
May 28, 2016 • 60 min
Jonathon S. Kahn is an associate professor of religion at Vassar College. He is co-editor with Vincent W. Lloyd of a collection of essays entitled Race and Secularism in America (Columbia University Press, 2016). Eleven scholars forward the argument that…
Valerie Sperling, “Sex, Politics and Putin: Political Legitimacy in Russia” (Oxford UP, 2015)
May 23, 2016 • 59 min
The prevalence of media that reinforces a traditional masculine image of Vladimir Putin, Russia’s leader, is at the core of Valerie Sperling‘s analysis of gender norms and sexualization as a means of political legitimacy. Not surprisingly, the cover of…
Rajika Bhandari and Mirka Martel, “Social Justice and Sustainable Change: The Impacts of Higher Education” (IIE, 2016)
May 19, 2016 • 28 min
Rajika Bhandari, Deputy Vice President, Research and Evaluation Institute of International Education (IIE), and Mirka Martel, Assistant Director of Research and Evaluation at IIE, join New Books in Education to discuss a new report from the organization,…
Ho-fung Hung, “The China Boom: Why China Will Not Rule the World” (Columbia UP, 2016)
May 18, 2016 • 68 min
Ho-fung Hung‘s new book has two main goals: to to outline the historical origins of Chinas capitalist boom and the social and political formations in the 1980s that gave rise to this boom, and to explore the global effects of Chinas capitalist boom and…
Ira Lit, “The Bus Kids: Children’s Experiences with Voluntary Desegregation” (Yale UP, 2009)
May 17, 2016 • 65 min
Many of us are familiar with the court-mandated bussing programs created in an effort to achieve school desegregation in the 1960s and 1970s. Far fewer of us realize there were also voluntary transfer programs that were crafted in out-of-court settlements…
Amy Randall, “Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Survey” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015)
May 16, 2016 • 63 min
Any time I prepare to do an interview, I make sure I read the blurb on the back of the book. One of the blurbs on the back cover of Amy Randall’s superb new collection Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Survey (Bloomsbury…
Malcolm James, “Urban Multiculture: Youth, Politics and Transformations in a Global City” (Palgrave, 2015)
May 16, 2016 • 41 min
How is youth culture changing in a globalised city? In Urban Multiculture: Youth, Politics and Transformations in a Global City Malcolm James, a lecturer at the University of Sussex, introduces the concept of Urban Multiculture as a framework for…
Brooke Schedneck, “Thailand’s International Meditation Centers” (Routledge, 2015)
May 16, 2016 • 64 min
In her recent monograph, Thailand’s International Meditation Centers: Tourism and the Global Commodification of Religious Practices (Routledge, 2015), Brooke Schedneck examines Buddhist meditation centers in Thailand and draws our attention to the way in…
Lynn Davidman, “Becoming Un-Orthodox: Stories of Ex-Hasidic Jews” (Oxford University Press, 2015)
May 11, 2016 • 34 min
In Becoming Un-Orthodox: Stories of Ex-Hasidic Jews (Oxford University Press, 2015), Lynn Davidman, Robert M. Beren Distinguished Professor of Modern Jewish Studies at the University of Kansas, utilizes interviews with more than forty individuals who have…
Joshua Braun, “This Program is Brought to You By … Distributing Television Online” (Yale UP, 2015)
May 7, 2016 • 64 min
“One of the things that was most shocking to me getting into the media business, an MSNBC.com producer tells Josh Braun, was the realization that regular people were making it. Television to me … was just like sunlight. You push the button and it just…
Lynne Pettinger, “Work, Consumption and Capitalism” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)
May 4, 2016 • 33 min
What do jeans tell us about the contemporary world? They provide the starting point for Lynne Pettinger‘s Work, Consumption and Capitalism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). Pettinger, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Warwick, examines…
Pedro Garcia de Leon, “Data Source: Education GPS”
May 4, 2016 • 21 min
Pedro Garcia de Leon, Policy Analyst for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), joins New Books in Education to discuss the organizations new data website, gpseducation.oecd.org. The new site streamlines all of OECDs educational…
David Grazian, “American Zoo: A Sociological Safari” (Princeton UP, 2015)
Apr 20, 2016 • 42 min
Urban zoos are both popular and imperiled. They are sites of contestation, but what are those contests about? In his new book, American Zoo: A Sociological Safari(Princeton, 2015), ethnographer David Grazian tracks the competing missions of zoos as site…
Keenanga-Yamahtta Taylor, “From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation” (Haymarket Books, 2016)
Apr 20, 2016 • 47 min
Few social justice struggles have captivated recent political history like the broad Black Lives Matter movement. From the streets of Ferguson and Baltimore to campaign rally interruptions of leading politicians, we have seen people speak up in outrage…
Tran Ngoc Angie, “Ties that Bind: Cultural Identity, Class, and Law in Vietnam’s Labor Resistance” (Cornell UP, 2013)
Apr 19, 2016 • 62 min
Labour consciousness is not just class-based; it also emerges out of cultural identities, as Tran Ngoc Angie argues powerfully in Ties that Bind: Cultural Identity, Class, and Law in Vietnam’s Labor Resistance (Cornell University Press, 2013). Vietnamese…
Kate Bolick, “Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own” (Crown, 2015)
Apr 19, 2016 • 40 min
“There still exists little organized sense of what a woman’s biography or autobiography should look like,” Carolyn G. Heilbrun wrote in her 1988 classic, Writing A Woman’s Life, noting, “Even less has been told of the life of the unmarried woman.” One can…
Alfie Bown, “Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism” (Zero Books, 2015)
Apr 18, 2016 • 31 min
What is enjoyment and what can contemporary critical theory tell us about it? In Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism (Zero Books, 2015), Alfie Bown, a lecturer at Hang Seng Management College and co-editor of Everyday Analysis and the Hong Kong Review…
Sangay Mishra, “Desis Divided: The Political Lives of South Asian Americans” (U of Minnesota Press, 2016)
Apr 12, 2016 • 24 min
Sangay Mishra is the author of Desis Divided: The Political Lives of South Asian Americans (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). Mishra is an assistant professor of political science at Drew University. While the number of South Asian Americans living in…
Emma Jackson, “Young Homeless People and Urban Space: Fixed in Mobility” (Routledge, 2015)
Apr 8, 2016 • 36 min
What is the experience of young homeless people? What does this experience tell us about space, place and society? In Young Homeless People and Urban Space: Fixed in Mobility (Routledge, 2015), Dr. Emma Jackson, a lecturer in the Sociology Department of…
Mike Lanza, “Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood into a Place for Play” (Free Play Press, 2012)
Mar 22, 2016 • 48 min
When adults today look back on their time as children, many of their memories may come from moments when they were engaged in free play with kids in their neighborhood — exploring creeks, riding bikes, and playing pick-up sports. Moments like these,…
Lisa McCormick, “Performing Civility: International Competitions in Classical Music” (Cambridge UP, 2015)
Mar 18, 2016 • 48 min
The competition seems to be a crucial part of the classical music world. In Performing Civility: International Competitions in Classical Music (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Dr. Lisa McCormick, a lecturer in sociology at the University of Edinburgh,…
Brian Epstein, “The Ant Trap: Rebuilding the Foundations of the Social Sciences” (Oxford UP, 2015)
Mar 14, 2016 • 71 min
The social sciences are about social entities – things like corporations and traffic jams, mobs and money, parents and war criminals. What is a social entity? What makes something a social entity? Traditional views hold that these things can be fully…
Hillary Chute, “Disaster Drawn: Visual Witness, Comics, and Documentary Form” (Harvard UP, 2016)
Mar 14, 2016 • 54 min
In her new book Disaster Drawn: Visual Witness, Comics, and Documentary Form (Harvard UP, 2016), Hillary Chute analyses the documentary power in the comics-form sometimes known as “graphic novels.” Chute is particularly interested in Art Spiegelman’s…
Phillip Penix-Tadsen, “Cultural Code: Video Games and Latin America” (MIT Press, 2016)
Mar 14, 2016 • 46 min
Symbols have meanings that change depending upon the cultural context. But how do we discuss symbols, their meanings, and their cultural contexts without an adequate vocabulary? Phillip Penix-Tadsen, assistant professor of Spanish at the University of…
Deirdre de la Cruz, “Mother Figured: Marian Apparitions and the Making of a Filipino Universal” (U of Chicago Press, 2015)
Mar 2, 2016 • 70 min
There is no female religious figure so widely known and revered as the Virgin Mary. Filipino Catholics are especially drawn to Mama Mary and have a strong belief in her power, including her ability to appear to her followers. In Mother Figured: Marian…
David R. Brake, “Sharing our Lives Online: Risks and Exposure in Social Media” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)
Feb 29, 2016 • 46 min
With the growth of social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, we are increasingly heading toward a radically open society. In Sharing our Lives Online: Risks and Exposure in Social Media (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), author David R. Brake…
Idelisse Malave and Esti Giordani, “Latino Stats: American Hispanics by the Numbers” (The New Press, 2015)
Feb 24, 2016 • 64 min
In Latino Stats: American Hispanics by the Numbers (The New Press, 2015), Idelisse Malave and Esti Giordani have produced a concise and accessible one-stop resource of facts and figures that detail the multi-faceted demographics, characteristics, and…
Nicola Rollock et al. “The Colour of Class: The Educational Strategies of the Black Middle Classes” (Routledge, 2014)
Feb 22, 2016 • 53 min
The experience of the African American middle class has been an important area of research in the USA. However, the British experience has, by comparison, not been subject to the same amount of attention, particularly with regard to the middle class…
Jeroen Duindam, “Dynasties: A Global History of Power, 1300-1800” (Cambridge UP, 2015)
Feb 22, 2016 • 92 min
For most of recorded history, single rulers such a kings, queens, chiefs, and emperors exercised authority over human populations. Jeroen Duindam (Professor of Early Modern History, Leiden University) examines an important part of this story in his new…
Agnieszka Joniak-Luthi, “The Han: China’s Diverse Majority” (U of Washington Press, 2015)
Feb 16, 2016 • 57 min
Agnieszka Joniak-Luthi‘s new book opens with a series of questions that animate the study. They include but are not limited to: What does being Han mean to those classified as Hanzu? What are the narratives of Han-ness today? What other collective…
Shana Kushner Gadarian and Bethany Albertson, “Anxious Politics: Democratic Citizenship in a Threatening World” (Cambridge UP, 2015)
Feb 8, 2016 • 25 min
Shana Kushner Gadarian and Bethany Albertson are the authors of Anxious Politics: Democratic Citizenship in a Threatening World (Cambridge UP, 2015). Gadarian is assistant professor of political science at Syracuse University; Albertson is assistant…
Keren R. McGinity, “Marrying Out: Jewish Men, Intermarriage, and Fatherhood” (Indiana UP, 2014)
Feb 8, 2016 • 32 min
In Marrying Out: Jewish Men, Intermarriage, and Fatherhood (Indiana University Press, 2014), Keren R. McGinity, founding director of the Love and Tradition Institute and a Research Associate at Brandeis University, seeks to challenge the common assumption…
Sarah Bowen, “Divided Spirits: Tequila, Mezcal, and the Politics of Production” (U of California Press, 2015)
Feb 6, 2016 • 42 min
In her new book, Divided Spirits: Tequila, Mezcal, and the Politics of Production (University of California Press, 2015), Sarah Bowen presents the challenges and politics associated with the establishment of Denominations of Origin (DOs) for tequila and…
Sara Shneiderman, “Rituals of Ethnicity: Thangmi Identities Between Nepal and India” (U Pennsylvania Press, 2015)
Feb 3, 2016 • 59 min
Rituals of Ethnicity: Thangmi Identities Between Nepal and India (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015) by Sara Shneiderman is the first comprehensive ethnography of the Thangmi, a Himalayan community who move between Nepal, India and the Tibetan…
David Wright, “Understanding Cultural Taste: Sensation, Skill and Sensibility,” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)
Feb 3, 2016 • 39 min
What is cultural taste? How is it formed, imagined and patterned? In Understanding Cultural Taste: Sensation, Skill and Sensibility (Palgrave MacMillan, 2015), David Wright, Associate Professor at the University of Warwick, explores the theories and…
Lisong Liu, “Chinese Student Migration and Selective Citizenship” (Routledge, 2015)
Jan 29, 2016 • 70 min
Lisong Liu‘s thoughtful new book is an important and insightful read for any of us who are currently engaged in conversations about supporting the increasing numbers of international students in the North American academy. Since the inception of open-door…
Maris Kreisman, “Slaughterhouse 90210: Where Great Books Meet Pop Culture” (Flatiron Books, 2015)
Jan 28, 2016 • 38 min
The concept sounds simple: Maris Kreizman‘s Slaughterhouse 90210: Where Great Books Meet Pop Culture (Flatiron Books, 2015), based on her popular Tumblr, pairs up classic celebrity and television images with relevant quotes from literature. But the blend…
Michael Schwalbe, “Michael Schwalbe Rigging The Game: How Inequality is Reproduced in Everyday Life” (Oxford UP, 2014)
Jan 28, 2016 • 54 min
In his new book Rigging The Game: How Inequality is Reproduced in Everyday Life (Oxford University Press, 2014), Michael Schwalbe identifies the roots of inequality in the appearance of economic surplus as human societies transitioned from communal…
Oli Mould, “Urban Subversion and the Creative City” (Routledge, 2015)
Jan 21, 2016 • 40 min
Every city seems to be ‘creative’, whether because it has a creative brand, a creative quarter or is home to creative industries. In his new book Urban Subversion and the Creative City Routledge, 2015), Oli Mould shows how this is an essential, but…
Annette Miae Kim, “Sidewalk City: Remapping Public Space in Ho Chi Minh City” (U of Chicago Press, 2015)
Jan 20, 2016 • 57 min
Sidewalk City: Remapping Public Space in Ho Chi Minh City (University of Chicago Press, 2015) is a remarkable book about overlooked yet ubiquitous urban spaces, and the people and things that occupy them. Drawing on the resources of property rights…
Barry Brown and Oskar Juhlin, “Enjoying Machines” (MIT 2015)
Jan 6, 2016 • 34 min
When we consider the television, we think not only about how it’s used, but also it’s impact on culture. The television, tv, telly, or tube, became popular in the West in the late 1940s and early 1950s and was seen as a form of entertainment and enjoyment…
Sean McCloud, “American Possessions: Fighting Demons in the Contemporary United States” (Oxford UP, 2015)
Jan 5, 2016 • 48 min
Exorcisms and demons. In his new book American Possessions: Fighting Demons in the Contemporary United States (Oxford University Press, 2015), Sean McCloud argues that not only have such phenomena been on the rise in the last 30 or so years, they also…
Carla Freeman, “Entrepreneurial Selves: Neoliberal Respectability and the Making of a Caribbean Middle Class” (Duke University Press, 2014)
Jan 5, 2016 • 52 min
This marvelous ethnography traces one of the surprising outcomes of shifting neoliberal regimes in Barbados. As women find themselves leading entrepreneurial lives, they also find themselves engaging in a new range of emotions, both at work and at home.…
Sujey Vega, “Latino Heartland: Of Borders and Belonging in the Midwest” (NYU Press, 2015)
Dec 30, 2015 • 71 min
In Latino Heartland: Of Borders and Belonging in the Midwest (New York University Press, 2015), Sujey Vega Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Arizona State University, traces the way Latina/o Hoosiers established community and belonging in…
Peter J. Gloviczki, “Journalism and Memorialization in the Age of Social Media” (Palgrave MacMillan, 2015)
Dec 30, 2015 • 33 min
Humans have coped with tragedy using ritual and memorials since the Neolithic era. Doka called a memorial a space invested with meaning, “set aside to commemorate an event such as a tragedy.” Memorialization is a ritual of bereavement, the creation of a…
Nathan Altice, “I Am Error: The Nintendo Family Computer-Entertainment System Platform” (MIT Press, 2015)
Dec 23, 2015 • 38 min
The genre of “platform studies” offers both researchers and readers more than an examination of the technical machinations of a computing system. Instead, the family of methodologies presents a humanist exploration of digital media from the perspective of…
Natasha Myers, “Rendering Life Molecular: Models, Modelers, and Excitable Matter” (Duke UP, 2015)
Dec 21, 2015 • 66 min
After reading Natasha Myers’s new book, the world begins to dance in new ways. Rendering Life Molecular: Models, Modelers, and Excitable Matter (Duke University Press, 2015) is a sensory ethnography of protein crystallographers that is based on five years…
Michael Kimmel, “Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era” (Nation Books, 2013)
Dec 18, 2015 • 46 min
Michael Kimmel is the Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University. He is also executive director of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities. His book Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an…
Arlene Davila, “Latinos, Inc.: The Marketing and Making of a People” (U California Press, 2012)
Dec 11, 2015 • 60 min
In Latinos Inc.: The Marketing and Making of a People (University of California Press, updated ed. 2012) Arlene Davila, Professor of Anthropology at New York University, questions the profound influence of the Hispanic-Latina/o marketing industry in…
Erica Weiss, “Conscientious Objectors in Israel: Citizenship, Sacrifice, Trials of Fealty” (U of Pennsylvania Press, 2014)
Dec 10, 2015 • 30 min
In Conscientious Objectors in Israel: Citizenship, Sacrifice, Trials of Fealty (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), Erica Weiss, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University, examines the lives and…
Peter van der Veer, “The Modern Spirit of Asia: The Spiritual and the Secular in China and India” Princeton University Press, 2013
Dec 7, 2015 • 4 min
What are the differences between religion, magic, and spirituality? Over time, these categories have been articulated in a variety of ways across differing cultures. However, many assume that the multiple understandings are merely derivative of western…
Saba Mahmood, “Religious Difference in a Secular Age: A Minority Report” (Princeton UP, 2015)
Dec 7, 2015 • 85 min
It is commonly thought that violence, injustice, and discrimination against religious minorities, especially in the Middle East, are a product of religious fundamentalism and myopia. Concomitantly, it is often argued, that more of secularism and less of…
Eli Zaretsky, “Political Freud: A History” (Columbia UP, 2015)
Dec 2, 2015 • 56 min
Back in the early 70s, Eli Zaretsky wrote for a socialist newspaper and was engaged to review a recently released book, Psychoanalysis and Feminism by Juliet Mitchell. First, he decided, he’d better read some Freud. This started a life-long engagement…
Angelique V. Nixon, “Resisting Paradise: Tourism, Diaspora, and Sexuality in Caribbean Culture” (U Press of Mississippi, 2015)
Dec 2, 2015 • 46 min
It’s easy to conjure images of paradise when thinking of the Caribbean. The region is know for its lovely beaches, temperate weather, and gorgeous landscapes. For the people who live there, however, living in paradise means dealing with tourists,…
Laura Sjoberg, “Gender, War, and Conflict” (Polity Press, 2014)
Dec 1, 2015 • 64 min
How does gender make war, and how does war make gender? In Gender, War, and Conflict (Polity Press, 2014), Laura Sjoberg (University of Florida) analyzes war and conflict through a gendered lens, arguing for the need for “gender mainstreaming” in the…
Jorg Matthias Determann, “Researching Biology and Evolution in the Gulf States: Networks of Science in the Middle East” (I. B. Tauris, 2015)
Nov 29, 2015 • 64 min
Jorg Matthias Determann‘s new book looks at the history of modern biology in the Arab Gulf monarchies, focusing on the treatment of evolution and related concepts in the publications of biologists who worked in the Gulf states. Researching Biology and…
Dan Bouk, “How Our Days Became Numbered: Risk and the Rise of the Statistical Individual” (U of Chicago Press, 2015)
Nov 23, 2015 • 44 min
Who made life risky? In his dynamic new book, How Our Days Became Numbered: Risk and the Rise of the Statistical Individual (University of Chicago Press, 2015), historian Dan Bouk argues that starting in the late nineteenth century, the life-insurance…
Philip Roscoe, “A Richer Life: How Economics Can Change the Way We Think and Feel” (Penguin, 2015)
Nov 19, 2015 • 38 min
So many of our social questions are now the subject of analysis from economics. In A Richer Life: How Economics can Change the Way We Think and Feel (Penguin, 2015), Phillip Roscoe, a reader at the University of St Andrew’s School of Management, offers a…
Anderson Blanton, “Hittin’ the Prayer Bones: Materiality of Spirit in the Pentecostal South” (UNC Press, 2015)
Nov 12, 2015 • 60 min
Anderson Blanton‘s Hittin’ the Prayer Bones: Materiality of Spirit in the Pentecostal South (University of North Carolina Press, 2015), illuminates how prayer, faith, and healing are intertwined with technologies of sound reproduction and material culture…
Grace Wang, “Soundtracks of Asian America: Navigating Race Through Musical Performance”
Nov 9, 2015 • 46 min
Many people assume that music, especially classical music, is a universal language that transcends racial and class boundaries. At the same time, many musicians, fans, and scholars praise music’s ability to protest injustice, transform social relations…
Nahuel Ribke, “A Genre Approach to Celebrity Politics” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)
Nov 9, 2015 • 42 min
From Ronald Reagan through Gilberto Gil to Donald Trump, our media channels are filled with celebrities vying for the highest political posts. In A Genre Approach to Celebrity Studies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), cultural historian Nahuel Ribke explores…
Katie Ellis, “Disability and Popular Culture: Focusing Passion, Creating Community and Expressing Defiance” (Ashgate, 2015)
Nov 8, 2015 • 37 min
Popular culture has been transformed in its attitudes towards disability, as representations across media forms continues to respond to the contemporary politics of disability. In Disability and Popular Culture: Focusing Passion, Creating Community and…
Hilary Neroni, “The Subject of Torture: Psychoanalysis and Biopolitics in Television and Film” (Columbia UP, 2015)
Oct 27, 2015 • 60 min
Did you notice that after 9/11, the depiction of torture on prime-time television went up nearly seven hundred percent? Hilary Neroni did. She had just finished a book on the changing relationship between female characters and violence in narrative…
Aileen Moreton-Robinson, “The White Possessive: Property, Power, and Indigenous Sovereignty” (U of Minnesota Press, 2015)
Oct 22, 2015 • 60 min
Owning property. Being property. Becoming propertyless. These are three themes of white possession that structure Aileen Moreton-Robinson’s brilliant new inquiry into the dynamics of race and Indigeneity in “postcolonizing” societies like Australia.The…
Jon Birger, “Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game” (Workman Publishing Company, 2015)
Oct 15, 2015 • 30 min
In Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game (Workman Publishing Company, 2015), Jon Birger, an award-winning journalist and contributor to Fortune magazine, explores the social implications of dating markets with a shortage of…
Miriam Solomon, “Making Medical Knowledge” (Oxford, 2015)
Oct 15, 2015 • 64 min
How are scientific discoveries transmitted to medical clinical practice? When the science is new, controversial, or simply unclear, how should a doctor advise his or her patients? How should information from large randomized controlled trials be weighed…
Erika Robb Larkins, “The Spectacular Favela: Violence in Modern Brazil” (U of California Press, 2015)
Oct 9, 2015 • 46 min
After the emancipation of slavery in the late nineteenth century, Afro-Brazilians moved to cities like Rio de Janeiro in search of employment. Because of the lack of opportunity and a shortage of resources, Brazilians set up their own housing arrangements…
Annie Blazer, “Playing for God: Evangelical Women and the Unintended Consequences of Sports Ministry” (NYU Press, 2015)
Oct 8, 2015 • 72 min
In her new book, Playing for God: Evangelical Women and the Unintended Consequences of Sports Ministry (NYU Press, 2015), Annie Blazer shows through archival research and participant-observation how the paradigm of sports ministry transformed from one…
Kate Pahl, “Materializing Literacies in Communities: The Uses of Literacy Revisited” (Bloomsbury, 2014)
Oct 6, 2015 • 37 min
Literary practices are often associated with specific social groups in particular social settings. Kate Pahl‘s Materializing Literacies in Communities: The Uses of Literacy Revisited (Bloomsbury, 2014) challenges these assumptions by showing the varieties…
Sanjay Srivastava, “Entangled Urbanism: Slum, Gated Community and Shopping Mall in Delhi and Gurgaon” (Oxford UP, 2015)
Oct 2, 2015 • 45 min
Entangled Urbanism: Slum, Gated Community and Shopping Mall in Delhi and Gurgaon (Oxford University Press, 2015) is the latest book by Sanjay Srivastava. A wonderfully readable piece of urban anthropology, the book explores the ways spaces and processes…
Joseph M. Reagle, “Reading the Comments: Likers, Haters and Manipulators at the Bottom of the Web” (MIT Press, 2015)
Oct 2, 2015 • 32 min
What do we know about the individuals who make comments on online news stories, blogs, videos and other media? What kind of people take the time to post all manner of information and context to material created by others? Joseph M. Reagle, assistant…
Debra Majeed, “Polygyny: What it Means When African American Muslim Women Share Their Husbands” (UP of Florida, 2015)
Sep 30, 2015 • 47 min
In her wonderful new book Polygyny: What it Means When African American Muslim Women Share Their Husbands (University Press of Florida, 2015), Debra Majeed, Professor of Religious Studies at Beloit College, provides an analytically robust and moving…
Isabelle Dussauge, Claes-Fredrik Helgesson, and Francis Lee, “Value Practices in the Life Sciences and Medicine” (Oxford UP, 2015)
Sep 26, 2015 • 51 min
Valuation is a central question in contemporary social science. Indeed the question of value has a range of academic projects associated with it, whether in terms of specific questions or in terms of emerging fora for academic publications. In Value…
Christopher R. Duncan, “Violence and Vengeance: Religious Conflict and Its Aftermath in Eastern Indonesia” (Cornell UP, 2013)
Sep 15, 2015 • 61 min
Researching the communal killings that occurred in North Maluku, Indonesia during 1999 and 2000, Christopher Duncan was struck by how participants “experienced the violence as a religious conflict and continue to remember it that way”, yet outsiders–among…
Lois Lee, “Recognizing the Non-religious: Reimagining the Secular” (Oxford UP, 2015)
Sep 14, 2015 • 38 min
What does non-religion mean? In a new book Recognizing the Non-Religious: Reimagining the Secular (Oxford University Press, 2015), Lois Lee, one of the editors of Secularism and Non-Religion, interrogates the role of non-religion in society, to better…
Kristin Peterson, “Speculative Markets: Drug Circuits and Derivative Life in Nigeria” (Duke UP, 2015)
Sep 10, 2015 • 64 min
Kristin Peterson‘s new ethnography looks carefully at the Nigerian pharmaceutical market, paying special attention to the ways that the drug trade links West Africa within a larger global economy. Speculative Markets: Drug Circuits and Derivative Life in…
Alf Gunvald Nilsen and Srila Roy, “New Subaltern Politics: Reconceptualizing Hegemony and Resistance in Contemporary India” (Oxford UPs 2015)
Sep 8, 2015 • 37 min
New Subaltern Politics: Reconceptualizing Hegemony and Resistance in Contemporary India (Oxford University Press, 2015), edited by Alf Gunvald Nilsen and Srila Roy, is a wonderfully rich and theoretically coherent collection of texts that critically…
Sandra Harding, “Objectivity and Diversity: Another Logic of Scientific Research” (U of Chicago Press, 2015)
Sep 4, 2015 • 74 min
Sandra Harding‘s new book Objectivity and Diversity: Another Logic of Scientific Research (University of Chicago Press, 2015) raises new questions about two central concepts in STS – objectivity and diversity – and in doing so it allows us to animate them…
Liz McFall, “Devising Consumption Cultural Economies of Insurance, Credit and Spending” (Routledge, 2014)
Sep 2, 2015 • 46 min
The role of financial services in individuals’ and communities’ everyday lives is more important than ever. In Devising Consumption: Cultural Economies of Insurance, Credit and Spending (Routledge, 2014), Liz McFall charts the rise of one particular…
Paul A. Christensen, “Japan, Alcoholism, and Masculinity: Suffering Sobriety in Tokyo” (Lexington Books, 2014)
Aug 19, 2015 • 66 min
Paul A. Christensen‘s new book is a thoughtful ethnography of drinking, drunkenness, and male sociability in modern urban Japan. Focusing on two major alcohol sobriety support groups in Japan, Alcoholics Anonymous and Danshukai, Japan, Alcoholism, and…
Paul Verhaeghe, “What About Me?: The Struggle for Identity in a Market-Based Society” (Scribe, 2014)
Aug 18, 2015 • 52 min
Feeling exhausted, hopeless, and anxious? You might be suffering from symptoms of neoliberalism, according toPaul Verhaeghe. In What About Me?: The Struggle for Identity in a Market-Based Society (Scribe Publications, 2014), he takes on “Enron society,”…
Gyanendra Pandey, “A History of Prejudice: Race, Caste, and Difference in India and the United States” (Cambridge UP, 2013)
Aug 14, 2015 • 57 min
A History of Prejudice: Race, Caste, and Difference in India and the United States (Cambridge University Press, 2013) is the latest book by Gyanendra Pandey. The book analyses prejudice and democracy through a comparison of African Americans and Indian…
Janet Vertesi, “Seeing like a Rover: How Robots, Teams, and Images Craft Knowledge of Mars” (U of Chicago Press, 2015)
Aug 10, 2015 • 67 min
Janet Vertesi‘s fascinating new book is an ethnography of the Mars Rover mission that takes readers into the practices involved in working with the two robotic explorers Spirit and Opportunity. Based on two years of immersive ethnography from 2006-2008,…
Craig Martin, “Capitalizing Religion: Ideology and the Opiate of the Bourgeoisie” (Bloomsbury, 2014)
Aug 4, 2015 • 62 min
Whether you need help being more focused at work, are having a spiritual crisis, or want to understand how you can change your inner self for the better, the popular self-help and spiritual well-being market has got you covered. In Capitalizing Religion:…
Nancy Fraser, “Transnationalizing the Public Sphere” (Polity, 2014)
Jul 8, 2015 • 70 min
How is “the public sphere” best conceptualized on a transnational scale? Nancy Fraser (The New School for Social Research) explores this pressing question in her book Transnationalizing the Public Sphere (Polity, 2014). Opening with Fraser’s foundational…
Kocku von Stuckrad, “The Scientification of Religion: An Historical Study of Discursive Change, 1800-2000” (De Gruyter, 2014)
Jul 6, 2015 • 55 min
Science and religion are often paired as diametric opposites. However, the boundaries of these two fields were not always as clear as they seem to be today. In The Scientification of Religion: An Historical Study of Discursive Change, 1800-2000 (De…
James Laine, “Meta-Religion: Religion and Power in World History” (U of California Press, 2015)
Jun 23, 2015 • 51 min
Most world religions textbooks follow a structure and conceptual framework that mirrors the modern discourse of world religions as distinct entities reducible to certain defining characteristics. In his provocative and brilliant new book Meta-Religion:…
Scott Straus, “Making and Unmaking Nations: War, Leadership and Genocide in Modern Africa” (Cornell University Press, 2015)
Jun 9, 2015 • 74 min
Who, in the field of genocide studies, hasn’t at least once used the phrase “The century of genocide?” Books carry the title, journalists quote it in interviews and undergrads adopt it. There’s nothing wrong with the phrase, as far as it goes. But, as…
Kevin O’Neill, “Secure the Soul: Christian Piety and Gang Prevention in Guatemala” (U of California Press, 2015)
Jun 2, 2015 • 50 min
Kevin O’Neill‘s fascinating book Secure the Soul: Christian Piety and Gang Prevention in Guatemala (University of California Press, 2015) traces the efforts of multi-million dollar programs aimed at state security through gang prevention in Guatemala.…
Todd Meyers, “The Clinic and Elsewhere: Addiction, Adolescents, and the Afterlife of Therapy” (U of Washington Press, 2013)
May 22, 2015 • 67 min
Todd Meyers‘ The Clinic and Elsewhere: Addiction, Adolescents, and the Afterlife of Therapy (University of Washington Press, 2013) is many things, all of them compelling and fully realized. Most directly, the book is an ethnography of drug dependence and…
J. Bronsteen, C. Buccafusco, and J. S. Masur, “Happiness and the Law” (U Chicago Press, 2014)
May 12, 2015 • 43 min
In their new book Happiness and the Law (University of Chicago Press 2014), John Bronsteen, Christopher Buccafusco, and Jonathan S. Masur argue through the use of hedonic psychological data that we should consider happiness when determining the best ways…
Lu Zhang, “Inside China’s Automobile Factories” (Cambridge UP, 2014)
May 10, 2015 • 65 min
China’s automobile industry has grown considerably over the past two decades. Massive foreign investment and an increased scale and concentration of work spurred the creation of a new generation of autoworkers with increased bargaining power. At the same…
Timothy Jordan, “Information Politics: Liberation and Exploitation in the Digital Society” (Pluto Press, 2015)
May 5, 2015 • 52 min
Struggles over information in the digital era are central to Tim Jordan‘s new book, Information Politics: Liberation and Exploitation in the Digital Society (Pluto Press, 2015). The book aims to connect a critical theoretical reading of the idea of…
Simon C. Kim, “Memory and Honor” (Liturgical Press, 2013)
May 5, 2015 • 72 min
The intersection between ethnic and religious identities can be both complex and rich, particularly when dealing with a community that still has deep roots in the immigrant experience. In his book, Memory and Honor: Cultural and Generational Ministry with…
Thomas Kemple, “Intellectual Work and the Spirit of Capitalism: Weber’s Calling” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)
Apr 28, 2015 • 71 min
Thomas Kemple‘s new book is an extraordinarily thoughtful invitation to approach Max Weber (1864-1920) as a performer, and to experience Weber’s work by attending to his spoken and written voice. Intellectual Work and the Spirit of Capitalism: Weber’s…
Joseph E. Uscinski and Joseph M. Parent, “American Conspiracy Theories” (Oxford UP, 2014)
Apr 27, 2015 • 42 min
“Conspiracy theories are neither the vile excrescence of puny minds nor the telltale symptom of a sick society. They are the ineradicable stuff of politics.”That’s a quotation from American Conspiracy Theories (Oxford UP, 2014), by Joseph E. Uscinski and…
Eva Illouz, “Hard-Core Romance: Fifty Shades of Grey, Best-Sellers, and Society” (U of Chicago Press, 2014)
Apr 27, 2015 • 63 min
Eva Illouz is professor of sociology at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and president of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her book Hard-Core Romance: Fifty Shades of Grey, Best Sellers, and Society (University of Chicago Press, 2014), provides a…
Robert W. Gehl, “Reverse Engineering Social Media” (Temple UP, 2014)
Apr 13, 2015 • 42 min
Reverse Engineering Social Media: Software, Culture, and Political Economy in New Media Capitalism (Temple University Press, 2014) by Robert Gehl (University of Utah, Department of Communication) explores the architecture and political economy of social…
Daniel Feierstein, “Genocide as Social Practice” (Rutgers UP, 2014)
Apr 10, 2015 • 66 min
So I should start out with a confession. I don’t know much about the history of Argentina (I said something similar about Guatemala a year or so ago on the program). And I don’t think it would have occurred to me to do a comparative study Argentina and…
Caroline Lee, et al., “Democratizing Inequalities: Dilemma of the New Public Participation” (NYU Press 2015)
Apr 6, 2015 • 21 min
Caroline Lee, Michael McQuarrie, and Edward Walker are the editors of Democratizing Inequalities: Dilemma of the New Public Participation (NYU Press 2015). Lee is associate professor of sociology at Lafayette College, McQuarrie is associate professor of…
Abdelwahab El-Affendi, “Genocidal Nightmares” (Bloomsbury, 2014)
Mar 25, 2015 • 58 min
Genocide studies is one of the few academic fields with which I’m acquainted which is truly interdisciplinary in approach and composition. Today’s guest Abdelwahab El-Affendi, and the book he has edited, Genocidal Nightmares: Narratives of Insecurity and…
James A. Holstein, Richard S. Jones, George Koonce, Jr., “Is There Life After Football? Surviving the NFL” (New York UP, 2014)
Mar 17, 2015 • 55 min
The health of former NFL players has received plenty of attention in recent years. The suicides of Junior Seau and Dave Duerson, along with stories of retired players in only their 40s and 50s affected by dementia and ALS, have revealed the toll that a…
Ervin Staub, “Overcoming Evil: Genocide, Violent Conflict and Terrorism” (Oxford UP, 2010)
Mar 14, 2015 • 79 min
After “Schindler’s List,” it became customary for my students, and I, to repeat the slogan “Never Again.” We did so seriously, with solemn expressions on our faces and intensity in our voices. But, if I’m being honest, I also uttered this slogan with some…
Edward Telles and PERLA, “Pigmentocracies: Ethnicity, Race and Color in Latin America” (UNC Press, 2014)
Mar 9, 2015 • 43 min
How do race, ethnicity and appearance work on Latin America? Edward Telles‘ and the Project on Ethnicity and Race in Latin America‘s (PERLA) new book Pigmentocracies: Ethnicity, Race and Color in Latin America (UNC Press, 2014) shatters the idea that…
Victoria Hesford, “Feeling Women’s Liberation” (Duke University Press, 2013).
Mar 6, 2015 • 70 min
Victoria Hesford is an associated professor of Women and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University in New York. Her book Feeling Women’s Liberation (Duke University Press, 2013) examines the pivotal year of 1970 as defining the meaning of “women’s…
Deana A. Rohlinger, “Abortion Politics, Mass Media, and Social Movements in America” (Cambridge UP, 2015)
Feb 16, 2015 • 17 min
Deana A. Rohlinger has just written Abortion Politics, Mass Media, and Social Movements in America (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Rohlinger is associate professor of sociology at Florida State University. In the last several weeks, the podcast has…
Lynn Chancer and John Andrews, “The Unhappy Divorce of Sociology and Psychoanalysis” (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014)
Feb 12, 2015 • 51 min
The Unhappy Divorce of Sociology and Psychoanalysis: Diverse Perspectives on the Psychosocial (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014)is an edited volume. Its chapters document the central place of psychoanalysis in American sociology in the 1950s and sketch the…
Steven Shaviro, “The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism” (University of Minnesota Press, 2014)
Jan 16, 2015 • 63 min
Steven Shaviro‘s new book is a wonderfully engaging study of speculative realism, new materialism, and the ways in which those fields can speak to and be informed by the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. While The Universe of Things: On Speculative…
Carl H. Nightingale, “Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities” (U of Chicago Press, 2012)
Jan 2, 2015 • 54 min
We often think of South Africa or America when we hear the word ‘segregation.’ Or — a popular view — that social groups have always chosen to live apart.But as Carl H. Nightingale shows in his new book, Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities…
Sarah Mayorga-Gallo, “Behind the White Picket Fence: Power and Privilege in a Multiethnic Neighborhood” (UNC Press 2014)
Dec 29, 2014 • 21 min
Sarah Mayorga-Gallo is the author of Behind the White Picket Fence: Power and Privilege in a Multiethnic Neighborhood (UNC Press 2014). She is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Cincinnati. We are joined by a guest podcaster, Candis…
Frank Pasquale, “The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information” (Harvard UP, 2015)
Dec 24, 2014 • 52 min
Hidden algorithms make many of the decisions that affect significant areas of society: the economy, personal and organizational reputation, the promotion of information, etc. These complex formulas, or processes, are thought by many to be unbiased and…
Christopher Lubienski and Sarah Lubienski, “The Public School Advantage” (University of Chicago Press, 2013)
Dec 15, 2014 • 40 min
Conventional thinking tells us that private school education is better than public schooling in the US. Why else would parents pay the hefty price tag often associate with private education, especially at very elite schools? But, Dr. Christopher Lubienski…
Scott Mainwaring and Anibal Perez-Linan, “Democracies and Dictatorships in Latin America: Emergence, Survival, and Fall” (Cambridge UP, 2013)
Dec 15, 2014 • 22 min
Scott Mainwaring and Anibal Perez-Linan are the authors of Democracies and Dictatorships in Latin America: Emergence, Survival, and Fall (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Mainwaring is the Eugene and Helen Conley Professor of Political Science at the…
Beth Driscoll, “The New Literary Middlebrow: Readers and Tastemaking in the Twenty-First Century” (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2014)
Dec 3, 2014 • 41 min
It is a cliche to suggest we are what we read, but it is also an important insight. In The New Literary Middlebrow: Readers and Tastemaking in the Twenty First Century (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2014), Beth Driscoll, from University of Melbourne, extends and…
Jacob N. Shapiro, “The Terrorist’s Dilemma: Managing Violent Covert Organizations” (Princeton UP, 2013)
Nov 27, 2014 • 42 min
Jacob N. Shapiro‘s The Terrorist’s Dilemma: Managing Violent Covert Organizations (Princeton University Press, 2013) is a welcome addition to a field that sometimes depicts terrorist activity as an unfamiliar, idiosyncratic phenomenon. Shapiro…
Janet K. Shim, “Heart-Sick: The Politics of Risk, Inequality, and Heart Disease” (NYU Press, 2014)
Nov 27, 2014 • 76 min
Janet K. Shim‘s new book juxtaposes the accounts of epidemiologists and lay people to consider the roles of race, class, and gender (among other things) in health and illness. Heart-Sick: The Politics of Risk, Inequality, and Heart Disease (New York…
Sam Friedman, “Comedy and Distinction” (Routledge, 2014)
Nov 21, 2014 • 48 min
What is funny? What makes you laugh? We think of laughter as being universal idea that applies to everyone, no matter their age, ethnicity, gender or social class. In Comedy and Distinction: The Cultural Currency of a ‘Good’ Sense of Humour (Routledge,…
Paul Loeb, “The Impossible Will Take a Little While” (Basic Books, 2014)
Nov 18, 2014 • 44 min
Paul Loeb is well known in sociology as the author of Soul of a Citizen: Living With Conviction in Challenging Times, and for the previous edition of the book reviewed here. His books are used in college classes all across the country. Paul also has a…
Dan Slater, “Ordering Power: Contentious Politics and Authoritarian Leviathans in Southeast Asia” (Cambridge UP, 2010)
Nov 14, 2014 • 62 min
Few books on Southeast Asia cover as much geographic, historical and theoretical ground as Dan Slater’s Ordering Power: Contentious Politics and Authoritarian Leviathans in Southeast Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2010). Working across seven case…
Steven Conn, “Americans Against the City: Anti-Urbanism in the Twentieth Century” (Oxford UP, 2014)
Nov 12, 2014 • 57 min
Americans have a paradoxical relationship with cities, Steven Conn argues in his new book,Americans Against the City: Anti-Urbanism in the Twentieth Century (Oxford University Press, 2014). Nearly three-quarters of the population lives near an urban…
Marisol Sandoval, “From Corporate to Social Media” (Routledge, 2014)
Nov 5, 2014 • 39 min
What would a truly ‘social’ social media look like? This is the core question of From Corporate to Social Media: Critical Perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility in Media and Communication Industries (Routledge, 2014), the new book by Marisol…
Amrita Pande, “Wombs in Labor: Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in India” (Columbia UP, 2014)
Nov 4, 2014 • 64 min
Amrita Pande‘s Wombs in Labor: Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in India (Columbia University Press 2014) is a beautiful and rich ethnography of a surrogacy clinic. The book details the surrogacy process from start to finish, exploring the intersection…
Matthew Huber, “Lifeblood: Oil, Freedom, and the Forces of Capital” (U of Minnesota Press, 2013)
Oct 17, 2014 • 43 min
Lifeblood: Oil, Freedom, and the Forces of Capital (University of Minnesota Press, 2013) is an incisive look into how oil permeates our lives and helped shape American politics during the twentieth century. Author Matthew Huber shows the crucial role oil…
Hugh F. Cline, “Information Communication Technology and Social Transformation” (Routledge, 2014)
Oct 9, 2014 • 42 min
There is no doubt that innovations in technology have had, and are having, a significant impact on society, changing the way we live, work, and play. But the changes that we are seeing are far from novel. In fact, most are a continuation of changes to…
Philip Kretsedemas, “Migrants and Race in the US: Territorial Racism and the Alien/Outside” (Routledge, 2014)
Sep 29, 2014 • 25 min
Philip Kretsedemas is the author of Migrants and Race in the US: Territorial Racism and the Alien/Outside (Routledge, 2014). Kretsedemas is associate professor of sociology at University of Massachusetts-Boston. This is the second time he has been…
Deborah Mayersen, “On the Path to Genocide: Armenia and Rwanda Reexamined” (Berghahn Books, 2014)
Sep 23, 2014 • 10 min
I live and work in the state of Kansas in the US. We think of ourselves as living in tornado alley and orient our schedules in the spring around the weather report. Earthquakes are something that happen somewhere else. Recently, however, our southern…
Vernadette V. Gonzalez, “Securing Paradise: Tourism and Militarism in Hawai’i and the Philippines” (Duke UP, 2013)
Sep 22, 2014 • 78 min
Vernadette Vicuna Gonzalez‘s Securing Paradise: Tourism and Militarism in Hawai’i and the Philippines (Duke University Press, 2013), examines the intertwined relationship between tourism and militarism in Hawai’i and the Philippines. Dr. Gonzalez…
Hahrie Han, “How Organizations Develop Activists: Civic Associations and Leadership in the 21st Century” (Oxford UP 2014)
Sep 22, 2014 • 23 min
Hahrie Han has written How Organizations Develop Activists: Civic Associations and Leadership in the Twenty-First Century (Oxford UP, 2014). Han is associate professor of political science at Wellesley College. She has previously written Groundbreakers:…
Katherine Frank, “Plays Well in Groups: A Journey Through the World of Group Sex” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2013)
Sep 15, 2014 • 32 min
Dr. Katherine Frank‘s book, Plays Well in Groups: A Journey Through the World of Group Sex (Rowman and Littlefield, 2013), is a fascinating look at the taboo of group sex. Her robust research spans historical references to modern day accounts throughout…
Karl Spracklen, “Whiteness and Leisure” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)
Sep 12, 2014 • 46 min
Our taken for granted assumptions are questioned in a new book by Karl Spracklen, a professor of leisure studies at Leeds Metropolitan University in England. Whiteness and Leisure (Palgrave, 2013) combines two bodies of theoretical literature to…
Matt Grossmann, “Artists of the Possible: Governing Networks and American Policy Change Since 1945” (Oxford University Press, 2014)
Aug 25, 2014 • 22 min
Matt Grossmann is back on the podcast with his newest book, Artists of the Possible: Governing Networks and American Policy Change Since 1945 (Oxford University Press, 2014). Grossmann is associate professor of political science at Michigan State…
Marianne Constable, “Our Word is Our Bond: How Legal Speech Acts” (Stanford UP, 2014)
Aug 16, 2014 • 65 min
Our Word is Our Bond: How Legal Speech Acts (Stanford UP, 2014), by UC Berkeley Professor of Rhetoric Marianne Constable, impels its readers to reassess the dominant methods of considering what is law. Constable’s study of law is informed by both…
Helene Snee, “A Cosmopolitan Journey: Difference, Distinction and Identity Work in Gap Year Travel” (Ashgate, 2014)
Aug 12, 2014 • 41 min
Helene Snee, a researcher at the University of Manchester, has written an excellent new book that should be essential reading for anyone interested in the modern world. The book uses the example of the ‘gap year’, an important moment in young people’s…
Martin Shaw, “Genocide and International Relations” (Cambridge UP, 2013)
Aug 8, 2014 • 62 min
Works in the field of genocide studies tend to fall into one of a few camps. Some are emotional and personal. Others are historical and narrative. Still others are intentionally activist and aimed at changing policy or decisions. Martin Shaw‘s works fit…
Kevin Schilbrack, “Philosophy and the Study of Religions: A Manifesto” (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014)
Jul 18, 2014 • 61 min
Very often evaluative questions about cultural phenomena are avoided for more descriptive or explanatory goals when approaching religions. Traditionally, this set of concerns has been left to philosophers of religion. In Philosophy and the Study of…
Darren Halpin, “The Organization of Political Interest Groups: Designing Advocacy” (Routledge, 2014)
Jul 14, 2014 • 20 min
Darren Halpin is the author of The Organization of Political Interest Groups: Designing Advocacy (Routledge 2014). Halpin is associate professor and reader in Policy Studies, and the Head of School of Sociology, at the Research School of Social Sciences,…
Amit Prasad, “Imperial Technoscience: Transnational Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain, and India” (MIT Press, 2014)
Jul 9, 2014 • 39 min
In his new book, Imperial Technoscience: Transnational Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain, and India (MIT Press, 2014), Amit Prasad, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Missouri, examines what he calls the “entangled…
Benjamin Lieberman, “Remaking Identities: God, Nation and Race in World History” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2013)
Jun 27, 2014 • 52 min
What do you say to someone who suggests that genocide is not just destructive, but constructive? This is the basic theme of Benjamin Lieberman‘s excellent new book Remaking Identities: God, Nation and Race in World History (Rowman and Littlefield, 2013).…
William Arnal and Russell T. McCutcheon, “The Sacred Is the Profane: The Political Nature of Religion” (Oxford UP, 2013)
Jun 27, 2014 • 70 min
What brings us together as scholars in Religious Studies? Are the various social phenomena commonly grouped together as religion really that similar? The Sacred Is the Profane: The Political Nature of “Religion” (Oxford University Press, 2012) adds to…
Patrick Burkart, “Pirate Politics: The New Information Policy Contests” (MIT Press, 2014)
Jun 26, 2014 • 42 min
The mid-’00s saw the rise of a political movement in Europe concerned with technocratic impositions on the ideals of free culture, privacy, government transparency and other technology policy issues. Led by online file sharers and developers, the Swedish…
David Hesmondhalgh, “Why Music Matters” (Wiley Blackwell, 2014)
Jun 19, 2014 • 40 min
What is the value of music and why does it matter? These are the core questions in David Hesmondhalgh‘s new book Why Music Matters (Wiley Blackwell, 2014). The book attempts a critical defence of music in the face of both uncritical populist…
Leilani Nishime, “Undercover Asian: Multiracial Asian Americans in Visual Culture” (University of Illinois Press, 2014)
Jun 16, 2014 • 58 min
Leilani Nishime‘s Undercover Asian: Multiracial Asian Americans in Visual Culture (University of Illinois Press, 2014) challenges the dominant U.S. cultural narrative that imagines multiracial people as symbols of a future United States where race has…
Isaac Weiner, “Religion Out Loud: Religious Sound, Public Space, and American Pluralism” (NYU Press, 2014)
Jun 8, 2014 • 71 min
In 2004, the traditionally Polish-Catholic community of Hamtramck Michigan became the site of a debate over the Muslim call to prayer. Members of the Hamtramck community engaged in a contest about the appropriateness of sound and its intrusion into public…
David Nemer, “Favela Digital: The Other Side of Technology” (GSA Editora e Grafica, 2013)
Jun 5, 2014 • 39 min
Inherently problematic in most mainstream discussions of the impact of technology is the dominant western or global northern perspective. In this way, the impact of technology on societies in developing countries, the impact of these societies on…
William Davies “The Limits of Neo-Liberalism: Authority, Sovereignty and the Logic of Competition” (Sage,
May 29, 2014 • 44 min
In his new book, The Limits of Neo-Liberalism: Authority, Sovereignty, and the Logic of Competition (Sage, 2014), William Davies, from Goldsmiths College University of London presents a detailed and challenging account of the dominant ideology of our age.…
Leah Hager Cohen, “No Book But the World” (Riverhead Books, 2014)
May 20, 2014 • 45 min
Works of fiction sometimes offer unique windows on society, and so it is with Leah Hager Cohen‘s novel No Book but the World (Riverhead, 2014). The story opens with Ava’s search for answers to how her brother Fred has landed in jail, accused of killing a…
danah boyd, “It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens” (Yale UP, 2014)
May 12, 2014 • 45 min
Social media is ubiquitous, and teens are ubiquitous on social media. And this youth attachment to social media is a cause for concern among parents, educators, and legislators concerned with issues of privacy, harm prevention, and and cyberbullying. In…
Michael Salter, “Organised Sexual Abuse” (Routledge, 2012)
May 7, 2014 • 51 min
Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how certain types of violence can occur, and organized multi-perpetrator abuse certainly fits into this category. Ritual abuse, sadistic abuse and pedophilia rings are often things we see in episodes of “Law and Order,”…
Patricia Ventura, “Neoliberal Culture: Living With American Neoliberalism” (Ashgate, 2012)
May 7, 2014 • 42 min
Culture is inescapably linked to questions of political economy. In Neoliberal Culture: Living With American Neoliberalism (Ashgate, 2012), Patricia Ventura explores the relationship between contemporary American culture and the ideology that seems to…
Betsy Leondar-Wright, “Missing Class” (Cornell UP, 2014)
Apr 23, 2014 • 52 min
Gender and race are visible markers of identity, regularly talked about both in the news and sociology circles. There is another marker, however, that is just as important and predictive, but much less visible – social class. In Missing Class: How Seeing…
Vershawn Young et al., “Other People’s English” (Teacher’s College Press, 2013)
Apr 15, 2014 • 53 min
In linguistics, we all happily and glibly affirm that there is no “better” or “worse” among languages (or dialects, or varieties), although we freely admit that people have irrational prejudices about them. But what do we do about those prejudices? And…
Paul-Brian McInerney, “From Social Movement to Moral Market: How the Circuit Riders Sparked an IT Revolution and Created a Technology Market” (Stanford UP, 2014)
Apr 14, 2014 • 34 min
Paul-Brian McInerney is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He is the author of From Social Movement to Moral Market: How the Circuit Riders Sparked an IT Revolution and Created a Technology Market (Stanford University…
Nick Yee, “The Proteus Paradox: How Online Games and Virtual Worlds Change Us-and How They Don’t” (Yale UP, 2014)
Apr 11, 2014 • 51 min
The image of online gaming in popular culture is that of an addictive pastime, mired in escapism. And the denizens of virtual worlds are thought to be mostly socially awkward teenaged boys. In his new book The Proteus Paradox: How Online Games and Virtual…
George E. Vaillant, “Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study” (Harvard UP, 2012)
Mar 27, 2014 • 51 min
There are very few studies like the Harvard Grant Study. Started in 1938, it has been following its approximately 200 participants ever since, analyzing their physical and mental health and assessing which factors are correlated with healthy living and…
Joshua Dubler, “Down in the Chapel: Religious Life in an American Prison” (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2013)
Mar 19, 2014 • 68 min
In almost every prison movie you see, there is a group of fanatically religious inmates. They are almost always led by a charismatic leader, an outsized father-figure who is loved by his acolytes and feared by nearly everyone else. They’re usually black…
Gilbert Mireles, “Continuing La Causa: Organizing Labor in California’s Strawberry Fields” (Lynne Rienner, 2013)
Mar 17, 2014 • 17 min
Gilbert Mireles is the author of Continuing La Causa: Organizing Labor in California’s Strawberry Fields (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2013). He is associate professor of sociology at Whitman College. Mireles applies theories from political sociology and…
Leslie Irvine, “My Dog Always Eats First: Homeless People and their Animals” (Lynne Rienner, 2013)
Mar 11, 2014 • 41 min
Homelessness and stigma go hand in hand, and nowhere is this more apparent than pet ownership among the homeless. From nasty looks to outright insults – ” you can’t even take care of yourself, you have no business having a dog!” – homeless pet owners use…
Sarah Franklin, “Biological Relatives: IVF, Stem Cells, and the Future of Kinship” (Duke University Press, 2013)
Mar 9, 2014 • 66 min
Sarah Franklin‘s new book is an exceptionally rich, focused yet wide-ranging, insightful account of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the worlds that it creates and inhabits. Biological Relatives: IVF, Stem Cells, and the Future of Kinship (Duke University…
Steven Engler and Michael Stausberg, eds., “The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in Religious Studies” (Routledge, 2011)
Mar 5, 2014 • 57 min
In almost every graduate program in Religious Studies and many undergraduate majors you will find a course on theories and methods in the study of religion. Usually, in these types of courses you will find lots of Freud, Marx, and Durkheim but there is…
Aswin Punthamabekar, “From Bombay to Bollywood: The Making of a Global Media Industry” (NYU Press, 2013)
Feb 19, 2014 • 48 min
Aswin Punthamabekar‘s From Bombay to Bollywood: The Making of a Global Media Industry (New York University Press, 2013) offers a deeply researched and richly theorized look at the evolution of the world’s largest film industry over the past few decades.…
John Ahlquist and Margaret Levi, “In the Interest of Others: Organizations and Social Activism” (Princeton UP, 2013)
Feb 17, 2014 • 25 min
John Ahlquist and Margaret Levi are the authors of In the Interest of Others: Organizations and Social Activism (Princeton University Press, 2013). Ahlquist is associate professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin; Levi is professor of…
Karen G. Weiss, “Party School: Crime, Campus, and Community” (Northeastern UP, 2013)
Feb 8, 2014 • 56 min
In this episode, I sit down with Karen G. Weiss, associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at West Virginia University, to talk about her book, Party School: Crime, Campus, and Community (Northeastern University Press, 2013). We…
Jarrod Gilbert, “Patched: The History of Gangs in New Zealand” (Auckland UP, 2013)
Feb 6, 2014 • 42 min
Jarrod Gilbert is very lucky that he comes from a country the size of New Zealand. With only 4 million people he could carry out a project that would be beyond the abilities of someone from a large nation and beyond the scope of a single book, namely, the…
Joseph Albini and Jeffrey S. McIllwain, “Deconstructing Organized Crime: An Historical and Theoretical Study” (MacFarlane, 2012)
Jan 31, 2014 • 52 min
Joseph Albini and Jeffrey S. McIllwain, Deconstructing Organized Crime: An Historical and Theoretical Study (MacFarlane, 2012) is not, as some academics might think, a post-modern analysis of organized crime. It is however, an exercise of deconstructing…
Patrick Burkart, “Pirate Politics: The New Information Policy Conflicts” (MIT Press, 2014)
Jan 24, 2014 • 49 min
Patrick Burkart‘s Pirate Politics: The New Information Policy Conflicts (MIT Press, 2014) considers the democratic potential and theoretical significance of groups espousing radical perspectives on intellectual property and cyber-liberty. Focusing on the…
Brent Nongbri, “Before Religion: A History of a Modern Concept” (Yale University Press, 2013)
Jan 18, 2014 • 74 min
We all know that religion is a universal feature of human history, right? Well, maybe not. In Before Religion: A History of a Modern Concept (Yale University Press, 2013), Brent Nongbri, Post Doctoral Fellow at Macquarie University, argues that throughout…
Emily Matchar, “Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity” (Simon and Schuster, 2013)
Dec 5, 2013 • 38 min
A couple of years ago I was living in a hip district of a university town in the Midwest. It had all the hip stuff you’d expect: a record store (and I mean record store), a big used bookstore, a greasy spoon, two dive bars, a coffee shop, and two…
Melissa Aronczyk, “Branding the Nation: The Global Business of National Identity” (Oxford UP, 2013)
Dec 4, 2013 • 56 min
In Branding the Nation: The Global Business of National Identity, Melissa Aronczyk locates the rise of nation branding as a response to the perceived need to sculpt national identity in the face of a fiercely competitive global economy. In tracking the…
Muhammed Ali Khalidi, “Natural Categories and Human Kinds: Classification in the Natural and Social Sciences” (Cambridge UP, 2013)
Nov 15, 2013 • 66 min
The division between natural kinds – the kinds that ‘cut nature at its joints’ – and those that simply reflect human interests and values has a long history. The natural kinds are often thought to have certain essential characteristics that are fixed by…
Tony Bennett, “Making Culture, Changing Society” (Routledge, 2013)
Nov 13, 2013 • 64 min
In his new book Making Culture, Changing Society (Routledge, 2013), Professor Tony Bennett aims to change the way we think about culture. The book uses four core ideas about the nature and meaning of culture to present a view that does not see culture as…
Ken MacLeish, “Fort Hood: Life and Uncertainty in a Military Community” (Princeton UP, 2013)
Nov 12, 2013 • 44 min
Ken MacLeish offers an ethnographic look at daily lives and the true costs borne by soldiers, their families, and communities, in his new book Making War at Fort Hood: Life and Uncertainty in a Military Community (Princeton University Press, 2013). His…
Joanne Benham Rennick, “Religion in the Ranks: Belief and Religious Experience in the Canadian Forces” (University of Toronto Press, 2011)
Sep 24, 2013 • 61 min
What is the role of religion in the military? What are the roles of religious chaplains in the military? How are important issues such as post-traumatic stress, religious and ethnic diversity, and related concerns dealt with in the Canadian Forces? Joanne…
Ian Samson, “Paper: An Elegy” (Harper Collins, 2012)
Sep 24, 2013 • 34 min
In our digital world, it does seem like paper is dying by inches. Bookstores are going out of business, and more and more people get their news from the internet than from newspapers. But how irrelevant has paper really become? As Ian Samson argues in his…
Christopher Powell, “Barbaric Civilization: A Critical Sociology of Genocide” (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2011)
Sep 21, 2013 • 68 min
What exactly is genocide? Is there a fundamental difference between episodes of genocide and how we go about our daily life? Or can it be said that the roots of the modern world, or civilization itself, has the potential to produce genocide? If the latter…
David Beer, “Popular Culture and New Media: The Politics of Circulation” (Palgrave, 2013)
Sep 21, 2013 • 38 min
Popular Culture and New Media: The Politics of Circulation (Palgrave, 2013) is written by David Beer, a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at York University in the UK. He blogs here and tweets here. The book attempts to describe and analyse the impact of new…
Gayle Kaufman, “Superdads: How Fathers Balance Work and Family in the 21st Century” (NYU Press, 2013)
Sep 19, 2013 • 51 min
Pretty much every day you can read an article–usually somewhat intemperate–about how women can or can’t “have it all.” Rarely, however, do you read anything about the way in which men try to balance work and family. The assumption seems to be that fathers…
Mary Eberstadt, “How the West Really Lost God” (Templeton Press, 2013)
Sep 7, 2013 • 51 min
There are a lot of theories that attempt to explain how Westerns came to leave their churches in great numbers. Some focus on ideas, particularly the idea that believing in God made no sense because the evidence for the existence of God is (so it’s said)…
Fabian Drixler, “Mabiki: Infanticide and Population Growth in Eastern Japan, 1660-1950” (University of California Press, 2013)
Sep 5, 2013 • 72 min
The book opens on a scene in the mountains of Gumna, Japan. A midwife kneels next to a mother who has just given birth, and she proceeds to strangle the newborn. It’s an arresting way to begin an inspiring new book by Fabian Drixler. Mabiki: Infanticide…
Sarah Banet-Weiser, “Authentic: The Politics of Ambivalence in a Brand Culture” (NYU Press, 2013)
Aug 27, 2013 • 57 min
In Authentic: The Politics of Ambivalence in a Brand Culture (NYU Press, 2013), Sarah Banet-Weiser scrutinizes the spread of brand culture into other spheres of social life that the market–at least in our imaginations–had left untouched: politics,…
Elizabeth A. Armstrong and Laura T. Hamilton, “Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality” (Harvard UP, 2013)
Aug 9, 2013 • 70 min
One of the basic rules of human behavior is that people generally want to do what their peers do. If your friends like jazz, you’ll probably like jazz. If your friends want to go to the movies, you’ll probably want to go to the movies. If your friends…
Matthew W. Hughey, “White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race” (Stanford UP, 2012)
Aug 9, 2013 • 42 min
Whiteness studies has confirmed that race is a social construction, even for whites, and that the identity we understand as white is also a social invention. Those who benefit from this invention accrue privileges that others either must pay dearly to…
David Garland, “Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition” (Harvard UP, 2010)
Aug 5, 2013 • 55 min
Why is it that the United States continues to enforce the death penalty when the rest of the Western world abolished its use a little over three decades ago? That question, along with many other equally important questions, is at the heart of Dr. David…
Martha C. Howell, “Commerce Before Capitalism in Europe, 1300-1600” (Cambridge UP, 2010)
Jul 17, 2013 • 68 min
When I was an undergraduate, I was taught that merchants in early modern Western Europe were “proto-capitalists.” I was never quite sure what that meant. If it meant they traded property for money, yes. But that would make everyone who traded things for…
Nancy Segal, “Born Together-Reared Apart: The Landmark Minnesota Twin Study” (Harvard UP, 2012)
Jun 28, 2013 • 51 min
Identical twins, separated at birth, raised in different families, and reunited in adulthood. In 1979, psychology researchers in Minnesota found some twins who had been reunited after a lifetime of separation, and brought them in to participate in a…
Paula Huston, “A Season of Mystery: 10 Spiritual Practices for Embracing a Happier Second Half of Life” (Loyola Press, 2012)
Jun 11, 2013 • 74 min
“Paula Huston wrote literary fiction for more than twenty years before shifting her focus to spirituality. She is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Daughters of Song (Random House, 1995), which the Baltimore Sun called “far and away the best…
Elizabeth H. Pleck, “Not Just Roommates: Cohabitation after the Sexual Revolution” (Chicago UP, 2012)
May 31, 2013 • 48 min
Most countries, believing that married people form a kind of demographic and political bedrock, promote marriage (and, of course, child-having within wedlock). Nonetheless, many couples choose to live together before marriage and many choose not to get…
James Dawes, “Evil Men” (Harvard UP, 2013)
May 16, 2013 • 58 min
This week a Syrian rebel ripped the heart out of a loyalist fighter and ate part of it. You can see it on YouTube. Many people asked “How can people do things like this?” In his new book Evil Men (Harvard UP, 2013), James Dawes explores why people commit…
Azar Gat, “Nations: The Long History and Deep Roots of Political Ethnicity and Nationalism” (Cambridge UP, 2013)
Apr 9, 2013 • 53 min
When I went to college long ago, everyone had to read Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto (1848). I think I read it in half-a-dozen classes. Today Marx is out. Benedict Anderson, however, is in. You’d be hard-pressed to get a college degree without…
Neil Gross, “Why are Professors Liberal and Why do Conservatives Care?” (Harvard UP, 2013)
Apr 8, 2013 • 58 min
Most people think that professors are more liberal, and some much more liberal, than ordinary folk. As Neil Gross shows in his eye-opening Why are Professors Liberal and Why do Conservatives Care? (Harvard UP, 2013), “most people” are right: academia is…
David M. Halperin, “How to be Gay” (Harvard UP, 2012)
Feb 25, 2013 • 33 min
What does it mean to be gay? According to many people, gayness is simply homosexuality – a sexual orientation. However, as David M. Halperin argues in his new book How to be Gay (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012), being gay is about more…
Nick Couldry, “Media, Society, World: Social Theory and Digital Media Practice” (Polity Press, 2012)
Feb 4, 2013 • 63 min
In Media, Society, World: Social Theory and Digital Media Practice (Polity Press, 2012), Nick Couldry provides a sweeping synthesis of his important media theory over the last decade. Couldry reassesses his work on media rituals, media power, and the…
Christian J. Churchill and Gerald E. Levy, “The Enigmatic Academy Class, Bureaucracy, and Religion in American Education” (Temple UP, 2011)
Jan 28, 2013 • 59 min
According to the Marriam-Webster dictionary, an “enigma” can be defined as “something hard to understand or explain.” What is it that is so enigmatic about education? Aren’t schools there to teach information, and expand people’s minds? What’s so…
Scott Melzer, “Gun Crusaders: The NRA’s Culture War” (NYU Press, 2012)
Dec 13, 2012 • 25 min
Scott Melzer is the author of Gun Crusaders: The NRA’s Culture War (New York University Press, 2012). Scott earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside and now is an associate professor of Sociology at Albion College. His book adds to…
Signe Rousseau, “Food and Social Media: You Are What You Tweet” (AltaMira Press, 2012)
Dec 13, 2012 • 54 min
The other day I found myself in a cooking situation that’s fairly common: I had a few odd ingredients–some oxidized strips of bacon, a withered red pepper, a bunch of half-wilted parsley–and needed to use them before they went bad, but how? The cookbooks…
Keri E. Iyall Smith, “Sociology of Globalization: Cultures, Economies, and Politics” (Westview Press, 2012)
Nov 30, 2012 • 32 min
Globalization is one of those words we hear on an almost daily basis. The world today is interconnected in ways that would have been unimaginable even twenty years ago. It seems as if everyone knows what globalization is, but what does it really consist…
Brett Bebber, “Violence and Racism in Football: Politics and Cultural Conflict in British Society, 1968-1998” (Pickering & Chatto, 2011)
Nov 29, 2012 • 55 min
This past September an independent panel commissioned in 2009 by the British government released its 395-page report on the Hillsborough Stadium disaster of April 1989. The published findings and the accompanying release of documents confirmed what had…
Karen E. Fields and Barbara J. Fields, “Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life” (Verso Books, 2012)
Nov 11, 2012 • 43 min
Racism is a process by which people are segregated and discriminated against based on their race, and race is defined as a set of physical characteristics which certain groups share. Or is it? In Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life (Verso…
Jini Kim Watson, “The New Asian City: Three-Dimensional Fictions of Space and Urban Form (University of Minnesota Press, 2011)
Nov 6, 2012 • 71 min
Jini Kim Watson‘s book links literature, architecture, urban studies, film, and economic history into a wonderfully rich account of the fictions of urban transformation in Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. Ranging from the colonial period to the late…
David Chura, “I Don’t Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine: Tales of Kids in Adult Lockup” (Beacon Press, 2010)
Oct 25, 2012 • 55 min
It is easy to dismiss juveniles in prison as “bad seeds”, as people with which we have nothing in common, and of which we want only distance. David Chura, however, did not maintain his distance, and has been working with at-risk kids for other 40 years.…
Giusi Tamburello, “Concepts and Categories of Emotion in East Asia” (Carocci editore, 2012)
Oct 4, 2012 • 57 min
What is the relationship between language and the emotions? Where ought we look for evidence of emotion in historical and literary texts? Is it possible to talk about the emotional states of entire cultures or groups of peoples, and if so, how should that…
Sandra Chait, “Seeking Salaam: Ethiopians, Eritreans and Somalis in the Pacific Northwest” (University of Washington Press, 2011)
Sep 18, 2012 • 46 min
In the Pacific Northwest, immigrants from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia coexist, making a life for themselves and their family in a new country. In the book Seeking Salaam : Ethiopians, Eritreans and Somalis in the Pacific Northwest (University of…
Barry Schwartz, “The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less – How the Culture of Abundance Robs Us of Satisfaction” (Harper Perennial, 2003)
Jul 16, 2012 • 45 min
Is there such a thing as too much choice? In The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less – How the Culture of Abundance Robs Us of Satisfaction (Harper Perennial, 2005), author Barry Schwartz answers with a resounding yes. Though some choice is healthy and…
Kevin Young, “Sport, Violence and Society” (Routledge, 2012)
Jun 29, 2012 • 57 min
The one play of my football career that my father remembers most fondly came in my very first game, when I was eleven years old. Younger and smaller than the other players, I was positioned out of harm’s way at outside linebacker. But on one play, the…
Phil Zuckerman, “Society Without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment” (New York University Press, 2010)
May 23, 2012 • 31 min
It is not uncommon for many Americans to believe that morality and order comes from God and religion. A society without these elements would consequently be immoral and chaotic. When Phil Zuckerman traveled to Scandinavia, however, where he would spend…
Stephanie Coontz, “The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap” (Basic Books, 2000)
May 10, 2012 • 47 min
“My mother was a saint.” ” In my time, we pulled ourselves up by our own bootstraps.” “A man’s home is his castle.” “The home is the foundation of society.” These are just some of the romantic catchphrases that are commonly recited by those who claim that…
Matthew Delmont, “The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in 1950s Philadelphia” (University of California Press, 2011)
Apr 20, 2012 • 59 min
Matthew Delmont‘s The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in 1950s Philadelphia (University of California Press, 2012) weaves a fascinating narrative in which the content of a popular television show…
Matt Grossmann, “The Not-So-Special Interests: Interest Groups, Public Representation, and American Governance” (Stanford UP, 2012)
Apr 20, 2012 • 31 min
Matt Grossmann, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Michigan State University, has authored the recently released book, The Not-So-Special Interests: Interest Groups, Public Representation, and American Governance (Stanford University Press,…
Marshall Poe, “A History of Communications: Media and Society from the Evolution of Speech to the Internet” (Cambridge UP, 2011)
Mar 26, 2012 • 81 min
It is not every historian who would offer readers an attempt to explain human nature. In A History of Communications: Media and Society from the Evolution of Speech to the Internet (Cambridge University Press, 2011), Marshall Poe does just that. At the…
Vorris Nunley, “Keepin’ It Hushed: The Barbershop and African American Hush Harbor Rhetoric” (Wayne State UP, 2011)
Feb 16, 2012 • 74 min
Vorris Nunley‘s Keepin it Hushed: The Barbershop and African American Hush Harbor Rhetoric (Wayne State University Press, 2011), uses the black barbershop as a trope to discuss black talk within literary, cultural, and political sites. Nunley’s brilliant…
Erica Prussing, “White Man’s Water: The Politics of Sobriety in a Native American Community” (University of Arizona Press, 2011)
Nov 15, 2011 • 50 min
For the past half century, Alcoholics Anonymous and its 12-step recovery program has been the dominant method for treating alcohol abuse in the United States. Reservation communities have been no exception. But as Erica Prussing vividly describes in her…
Jennifer Frost, “Hedda Hopper’s Hollywood: Celebrity Gossip and American Conservatism” (NYU Press, 2011)
Oct 25, 2011 • 57 min
Any pop culture scholar worth her salt will tell you that discussion of Beyonce’s baby bump or Charlie Sheen’s unique sex life is far from apolitical, but, at times, gossip columnists have engaged more transparently in political debate. Hedda Hopper,…
James Unnever and Shaun L. Gabbidon, “A Theory of African American Offending: Race, Racism, and Crime” (Routledge, 2011)
Sep 15, 2011 • 92 min
Is comedian and cultural critic Bill Cosby right–that black youth suffer from a cultural pathology that leads them to commit more crimes than their white counterparts? Is the remedy to the high rate of offending by African American men the “shape up or…
Robert Thurston, “Lynching: American Mob Murder in Global Perspective” (Ashgate, 2011)
Aug 5, 2011 • 64 min
It takes a brave historian to take on the orthodoxy regarding the rise and fall of lynching in the United States. That orthodoxy holds that lynching in the South was a ‘system of social control’ in which whites used organized terror to oppress blacks. You…
Robert J. Corber, “Cold War Femme: Lesbianism, National Identity, and Hollywood Cinema” (Duke University Press, 2011)
Aug 4, 2011 • 43 min
The study of non-heteronormative sexualities in the academy continues to be remarkably dynamic. Despite the usual attempts to harden the frame around this scholarship, it remains consistently exciting and surprising. Robert J. Corber is one of the reasons…
Antonia Levi, Mark McHarry, and Dru Pagliasotti, “Boy’s Love Manga: Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-Cultural Fandom of the Genre” (McFarland, 2010)
Jul 13, 2011 • 49 min
Growing up in the suburbs of Indianapolis, Indy-car racing offered my friends and me some very exciting heroes. As children, we played “Indy 500” on our bikes in the cul-de-sac. As we became teenagers, the Indy-car drivers who descended on our city in…
Robert Lane Greene, “You Are What You Speak: Grammar Grouches, Language Laws and the Politics of Identity” (Delacorte Press, 2011)
Jul 11, 2011 • 51 min
Isn’t it odd how the golden age of correct language always seems to be around the time that its speaker was in high school, and that language has been going to the dogs ever since? Such is the anguish of declinists the world over, pushing the commercial…
Carrie Pitzulo, “Bachelors and Bunnies: The Sexual Politics of Playboy” (University of Chicago Press, 2011)
Jun 6, 2011 • 72 min
Playboy is having (another) moment. Since its fiftieth birthday in 2003, the brand’s relevance has risen after a period of decline. The Girls Next Door, a reality television show about the goings-on at Hugh Hefner’s Los Angeles mansion, was a breakout hit…
Peter Baehr, “Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism, and the Social Sciences” (Stanford UP, 2010)
May 16, 2011 • 56 min
Contemporary research into illiberal governments draws much inspiration from the writings of Hannah Arendt. In her classic The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), Arendt claimed that Nazi Germany and Bolshevik Russia were not merely typical authoritarian…
Jonathan Metzl, “The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease” (Beacon Press, 2010)
May 4, 2011 • 45 min
Schizophrenia is a real, frightening, debilitating disease. But what are we to make of the fact that several studies show that African Americans are two to three times more likely than white Americans to be diagnosed with this malady, and that black…
Francesco Duina, “Winning: Reflections on an American Obsession” (Princeton University Press, 2010)
Apr 17, 2011 • 56 min
“Winning is everything” is such a common phrase that we rarely question where it comes from and why we apply it to everyday experiences. One can win a little league game, an election, the lottery, a friendly competition at work or an unfriendly one.…
Teresa Gowan, “Hobos, Hustlers and Backsliders-Homeless in San Francisco” (University of Minnesota Press, 2010)
Mar 25, 2011 • 68 min
Why do people become homeless? Is it because some people have made bad decisions in their lives or can’t hold onto a stable job? Or is homelessness the result of a depilating mental illness or chemical addiction? From a different perspective, perhaps…
Thomas Wheatland, “The Frankfurt School in Exile” (University of Minnesota Press, 2009)
Jun 12, 2009 • 75 min
I have a friend who, as a young child, happened to meet Herbert Marcuse, by that time a rock-star intellectual and darling of the American student movement. Upon seeing the man, he exclaimed “Marcuse! Marcuse! You have such a beautiful head!” I don’t know…