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Fluid Matter(s) »

Flow and Transformation in the History of the Body

Publication date: 2020
Once upon a time, doctors across Eurasia imagined human beings in ways that strike us today as profoundly strange and alien. For over 2,000 years, they worried anxiously about fluids to which our modern doctors spare hardly a thought (such as sweat, phlegm and qi) and they obsessed over details (such as whether a person’s pores were open or closed) whose meaning and vital importance has now largely faded from memory. Through a series of case studies from Europe, India, China, Mongolia and Japan, Fluid Matter(s) suggests ways to make sense of this strange and dimly remembered past, and urges us to reflect anew on the significance of fluids and flows in the history of medicine. The book also urges us, more generally, to reimagine the way in which we narrate history. The articles here are essays, in the original French sense. They are exploratory trials, experiments to illustrate some of the ways in which digital texts can go beyond the affordances of print. They test visual effects that are inconceivable on a paper page, but that are easily conjured on an electronic screen. Fluid Matter(s) is the first work of its kind: a study that narrates the body’s past in a form that embodies new futures for narrative.

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A Linguistic History of Italy »

Storia Linguistica d'Italia

Publication date: 2019
Italy has a long and fascinating history that has been recorded since the earliest days of Rome itself: we know how politics, ideas, culture, art, architecture, music and much more, have developed over nearly three millennia. At the heart of the life of the peoples of the Italian peninsula and islands is their language. A Linguistic History of Italy tells the story of how the language spoken in Italy developed from Latin to multiple dialects, to the selection of Florentine for a national written language and how Italian became the common language of the entire nation. At each step on this amazing journey language intertwines with other components of Italian social life. The chapters of A Linguistic History of Italy take you through the history of Italian society, art, ideas and language. The chapters focus on the turning points in language history – when Latin ‘became’ Romance, when local dialects were first used in writing, when Florentine was selected as the national language for literature, when Italian became the ‘national language’ – and show how those moments only fully make sense when seen in a broader context. The text is written in both English and Italian, so you can improve your linguistic skills while immersing yourself in Italian culture. And the many images give a visual feast of Italian beauty through the centuries.

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Also Innovators »

How one computer salesman contributed to the digital revolution

Publication date: April 2019
‘Thank you for your order, Mr Mainframe Customer. The cost is £5 million and the lead-time for manufacture will be two years. In the meantime you will have to build a special computer centre to our specification. For our part, our project team will help you recruit and train potential programmers and we shall advise on how you might use the system.’ How different from today when the customer will want to see a specific application running before he puts a hand in his/her pocket. Chris Yardley lived the changes as a computer salesman and tells his story of a career living and working in five countries. Warts and all. The ecstasies, the heartbreaks and idiocies of major corporations.  His career was not a planned one. In a growing industry, opportunities presented themselves and Chris believes he grasped every one presented. Having written his story, he has had every chapter verified by at least one person who features in that narrative. His respondents have universally endorsed the facts with comments such as ‘Wow, I’d forgotten most of that’. ‘You have a fantastic memory.’ ‘I never knew before the full facts of what happened.’ ‘How have you remembered all the circumstances?’ ‘It really is a people business.’ This is the only book that has followed a computer sales career over almost 50 years.

Indigenous Efflorescence »

Beyond Revitalisation in Sapmi and Ainu Mosir

Publication date: December 2018
Indigenous efflorescence refers to the surprising economic prosperity, demographic increase and cultural renaissance currently found amongst many Indigenous communities around the world. This book moves beyond a more familiar focus on ‘revitalisation’ to situate these developments within their broader political and economic contexts. The materials in this volume also examine the everyday practices and subjectivities of Indigenous efflorescence and how these exist in tension with ongoing colonisation of Indigenous lands, and the destabilising impacts of global neoliberal capitalism. Contributions to this volume include both research articles and shorter case studies, and are drawn from amongst the Ainu and Sami (Saami/Sámi) peoples (in Ainu Mosir in northern Japan, and Sapmi in northern Europe, respectively). This volume will be of use to scholars working on contemporary Indigenous issues, as well as to Indigenous peoples engaged in linguistic and cultural revitalisation, and other aspects of Indigenous efflorescence.

Solomon Islanders in World War II »

An Indigenous Perspective

Authored by: Anna Annie Kwai
Publication date: December 2017
The Solomon Islands Campaign of World War II has been the subject of many published historical accounts. Most of these accounts present an ‘outsider’ perspective with limited reference to the contribution of indigenous Solomon Islanders as coastwatchers, scouts, carriers and labourers under the Royal Australian Navy and other Allied military units. Where islanders are mentioned, they are represented as ‘loyal’ helpers. The nature of local contributions in the war and their impact on islander perceptions are more complex than has been represented in these outsiders’ perspectives. Islander encounters with white American troops enabled self-awareness of racial relationships and inequality under the colonial administration, which sparked struggles towards recognition and political autonomy that emerged in parts of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate in the postwar period. Exploitation of postwar military infrastructure by the colonial administration laid the foundation for later sociopolitical upheaval experienced by the country. In the aftermath of the 1998 crisis, the supposed unity and pride that prevailed among islanders during the war has been seen as an avenue whereby different ethnic identities can be unified. This national unification process entailed the construction of the ‘Pride of our Nation’ monument that aims to restore the pride and identity of Solomon Islanders.

Clio’s Lives »

Biographies and Autobiographies of Historians

Publication date: October 2017
Including contributions from leading scholars in the field from both Australia and North America, this collection explores diverse approaches to writing the lives of historians and ways of assessing the importance of doing so. Beginning with the writing of autobiographies by historians, the volume then turns to biographical studies, both of historians whose writings were in some sense nation-defining and those who may be regarded as having had a major influence on defining the discipline of history. The final section explores elements of collective biography, linking these to the formation of historical networks. A concluding essay by Barbara Caine offers a critical appraisal of the study of historians’ biographies and autobiographies to date, and maps out likely new directions for future work. Clio’s Lives is a very good scholarly collection that advances the study of autobiography and biography within the writing of history itself, taking theoretical questions in significant new directions. The contributors are well known and highly respected in the history profession and write with an insight and intellectual energy that will ensure the book has considerable impact. They examine cutting-edge issues about the writing of history at the personal level through autobiography and biography in diverse and innovative ways. Together the writers have provided reflective chapters that will be widely read for their impressive theoretical advances as well as being inspirational for new entrants to the disciplinary area. — Patricia Grimshaw, University of Melbourne Clio’s Lives brings together a most interesting and varied cast of contributors. Its chapters contain sophisticated and well-penned ruminations on the uses of biography and autobiography among historians. These are clearly connected with the general themes of the volume. This delightfully mixed bag makes very good reading and, as well, will serve as a substantial contribution to the study of the biography and autobiography. — Eric Richards, Flinders University

International Review of Environmental History: Volume 3, Issue 2, 2017 »

Edited by: James Beattie
Publication date: October 2017
International Review of Environmental History takes an interdisciplinary and global approach to environmental history. It encourages scholars to think big and to tackle the challenges of writing environmental histories across different methodologies, nations, and time-scales. The journal embraces interdisciplinary, comparative and transnational methods, while still recognising the importance of locality in understanding these global processes. The journal’s goal is to be read across disciplines, not just within history. It publishes on all thematic and geographic topics of environmental history, but especially encourage articles with perspectives focused on or developed from the southern hemisphere and the ‘global south’.

War and Other Means »

Power and violence in Houaïlou (New Caledonia)

Authored by: Michel Naepels
Publication date: October 2017
War and Other Means describes and analyses the practices of war, the ‘objects of war’ and the conventions of the use of violence in Houaïlou, New Caledonia. It focuses on the colonial repression conducted in 1856 and after, the anti-sorcerer hunt in 1955, the independence mobilisation in the 1980s and the village feuds in the 2000s. Through this archaeology of violence, it reports on the practical inventiveness, intelligence and cunning of the Kanaks involved in social, often violent, conflicts. The use of archival material and recourse to the oral stories gathered from the inhabitants of Houaïlou restores the depth of these historical moments and the nested contexts of the political action that unfolded; it also questions the value and limits of fieldwork investigation. These episodes are moments of change in the social, administrative, land and political organisation of New Caledonia; they make it possible to understand, from France’s takeover to the present day, the real modalities of implementation of colonial and postcolonial governmentality. The attention given to the invention, the importation or the adaptation of repressive techniques, closely linked to the French experience in Algeria, opens up a geopolitics of colonisation. Through this detailed description of the social logics of conflict, Michel Naepels also invites us to reflect on the place of European fantasies on violence and on the representations of otherness. For the French edition, Conjurer la guerre. Violence et pouvoir à Houaïlou (Nouvelle-Calédonie), published by Éditions de l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales, please visit editions.ehess.fr/ouvrages/ouvrage/conjurer-la-guerre

German Ethnography in Australia »

Publication date: September 2017
The contribution of German ethnography to Australian anthropological scholarship on Aboriginal societies and cultures has been limited, primarily because few people working in the field read German. But it has also been neglected because its humanistic concerns with language, religion and mythology contrasted with the mainstream British social anthropological tradition that prevailed in Australia until the late 1960s. The advent of native title claims, which require drawing on the earliest ethnography for any area, together with an increase in research on rock art of the Kimberley region, has stimulated interest in this German ethnography, as have some recent book translations. Even so, several major bodies of ethnography, such as the 13 volumes on the cultures of northeastern South Australia and the seven volumes on the Aranda of the Alice Springs region, remain inaccessible, along with many ethnographically rich articles and reports in mission archives. In 18 chapters, this book introduces and reviews the significance of this neglected work, much of it by missionaries who first wrote on Australian Aboriginal cultures in the 1840s. Almost all of these German speakers, in particular the missionaries, learnt an Aboriginal language in order to be able to document religious beliefs, mythology and songs as a first step to conversion. As a result, they produced an enormously valuable body of work that will greatly enrich regional ethnographies.

Grappling with the Bomb »

Britain’s Pacific H-bomb tests

Authored by: Nic Maclellan
Publication date: September 2017
Grappling with the Bomb is a history of Britain’s 1950s program to test the hydrogen bomb, code name Operation Grapple. In 1957–58, nine atmospheric nuclear tests were held at Malden Island and Christmas Island—today, part of the Pacific nation of Kiribati. Nearly 14,000 troops travelled to the central Pacific for the UK nuclear testing program—many are still living with the health and environmental consequences. Based on archival research and interviews with nuclear survivors, Grappling with the Bomb presents i-Kiribati woman Sui Kiritome, British pacifist Harold Steele, businessman James Burns, Fijian sailor Paul Ah Poy, English volunteers Mary and Billie Burgess and many other witnesses to Britain’s nuclear folly.