New Books in the Faculty of Arts

August 8, 2019

In the past year, Arts faculty wrote books on topics ranging from data journalism, to the sociology of home cooking, to gender and sexuality in East German film. Below is a running list of some of our recent faculty publications.


Oikosophia: dall’intelligenza del cuore all’ecofilosofia / from the intelligence of the heart to ecophilosophy

By Daniela Boccassini

What is your new book about?
This collection of essays argues that, in order to regain a meaningful connection to our “communal home”, just “caring for the environment” is simply not enough: rather, we need to recover the vision and inner presence that allows us to feel, and to inwardly know, how radically we belong to this home of ours.

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The Afrikaner

By Arianna Dagnino

What is your new book about?
A transcultural novel of a young woman’s struggle to recover from the brutal killing of her lover, cope with her family’s tragic past and find her way in post-Apartheid South Africa is both moving and memorable.

COVERAGE

 

 

 

 


Creating Canadian English: The Professor, the Mountaineer, and a National Variety of English

By

What is your new book about?
Two fatal heart attacks are among the many reasons why the names of Walter S. Avis and Charles J. Lovell, the Lennon-McCartney of Canadian English, have not become the Canadian household names they should perhaps be. This book tells their and other’s long forgotten stories from the 1940s to the 1990s, with a good helping of present-day hindsight.

Why did you write this book?
The early history of linguistics in Canada seems utterly forgotten in the field. As a field without an awareness of its history is bound to produce suboptimal or subpar output, the topic has been gestating for 15 years.


Pressure Cooker: Why Home Cooking Won’t Solve Our Problems and What We Can Do About It

By Sinikka Elliott with Sarah Bowen and Joslyn Brenton

What is your new book about?
Based on extensive interviews and field research in the homes and kitchens of a diverse group of American families, Pressure Cooker exposes how modern families struggle to confront high expectations and deep-seated inequalities around getting food on the table.

Why did you write this book?
Food is at the center of national debates about how Americans live and the future of the planet. Not everyone agrees about how to reform our relationship to food, but one suggestion rises above the din: We need to get back in the kitchen. Making food a priority, we are told, will lead to happier and healthier families. But is it really that simple?


Tiempo del sur

By Maria Adelaida Escobar-Trujillo

What is your new book about?
This story of a family through the voices of four women reveals the events that have marked their path in several countries and the particular effect that those events have had on their lives and personalities. The reader can explore different ways of facing experiences such as illegal immigration, homosexuality, death and love.

COVERAGE

 

 

 


Gender and Sexuality in East German Film: Intimacy and Alienation

By Kyle Frackman

What is your new book about?
This is the first scholarly collection to examine the depiction of gender and sexuality in East German film and media, especially in films from the state-run DEFA Studios. The book analyzes previously unresearched topics, such as films and directors that have received little to no attention in this area.

Why did you write this book?
This was inspired by the eighth biennial East German Summer Film Institute, an event I co-directed that focused on the exploration of little-known media (films and television shows) from the former East Germany. The goal is to focus on gender and sexuality in discussions of East German media.


Data Journalism and the Regeneration of News

By Alfred Hermida and Mary Lynn Young (School of Journalism)

What is your new book about?
The book traces the growth of data journalism as a subspecialty in a profession that is still responding to the disruptive effects of digital media. It finds that data journalists, particularly in well-resourced newsrooms, are able to address issues of trust and credibility to advance their professional interests.

Why did you write this book?
Drawing on five years of in-depth field research, largely in Canada, we sought to surface how data journalism is shaping professional identities, tools and technologies, educational opportunities, as well as giving rise to new forms of collaboration and computational thinking.

COVERAGE

 


Books Before Print

By Erik Kwakkel

What is your new book about?
This book provides an accessible introduction to the medieval manuscript, the main vehicle of written text before the introduction of print. In 32 short chapters it highlights extraordinary continuities between medieval book culture and modern-world communication, as witnessed in for example pop-up books, speech bubbles, and even sticky notes.

Why did you write this book?
There are few accessible introductions to the design and production of books before print. The narrative surrounding these objects can be quite technical and “alien,” which is why this book uses a light tone (based on my blog), includes a high volume of images, and draws parallels to modern times.

 


Across Oceans of Law: The Komagata Maru and Jurisdiction in the Time of Empire

By Renisa Mawani

What is your new book about?
It retells the voyage of the Komagata Maru, a British-built and Japanese-owned steamer that was chartered by Gurdit Singh in 1914. Moving away from questions of land and sovereignty, the book asks what we can learn by centering the ship and the sea as legal forms and placing histories of Indian migration within maritime worlds.

Why did you write this book?
The Komagata Maru has received considerable scholarly and artistic attention. But what has always amazed me is that so few scholars have paid attention to the ship and the ocean. I approach oceans not as watery surfaces of the planet but as spaces to think with (what I term “oceans as method”).


Transitive Cultures: Anglophone Literature of the Transpacific

By Christopher B. Patterson

What is your new book about?
Transitive Cultures explores how Southeast Asian migrant literature refuses the optics of multiculturalism—with its emphasis on authenticity and identifiable cultural difference—and instead enacts a variety of hybrid, transnational identities and intimacies.

Why did you write this book?
To understand the potentials of migrant literature when read outside of traditional “postcolonial” or “ethnic literary” frameworks. “Transpacific Anglophone literature” considers how authors use English strategically, and focuses on brown queer migrants, those who resist ethnic stereotypes, and those who feel few ties to their ostensible homelands.

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The Coward

By Gavin Paul

What is your new book about?
This collection of essays explores a range of topics, including fatherhood, gun control, terrorism, imagination, death, memory and forgetting, and a quiet longing for the past that is “all around you, just out of reach.” Above all, it seeks to understand the pains and pleasures of a life devoted to reading.

Why did you write this book?
Reading and writing have defined my life and identity, but I grapple with the fact that these are solitary, even selfish, pursuits. Reading’s great gift is also its curse: it is always, in its essence, an act of solitude. The collection thus seeks to both celebrate my solitude and attempt to overcome it.

COVERAGE

 


The First Minds: Caterpillars, ‘Karyotes, and Consciousness

By Arthur Reber

What is your new book about?
It presents a novel theory of the origins of mind and consciousness dubbed the Cellular Basis of Consciousness (CBC). It argues that sentience emerged with life itself. The most primitive unicellular species of bacteria are conscious, though it is a sentience of a primitive kind. They have minds, though they are tiny and limited in scope.

Why did you write this book?
The basic thesis has been brewing in my mind since the mid ’90’s. In the past two years it was developed through a series of papers in the open-peer reviewed journal Animal Sentience. After some forty commentaries and several replies it seemed obvious that the ideas were of sufficient interest to develop the theory more thoroughly and in book form.


Darjeeling Reconsidered: Histories, Politics, Environments

By Sara Shneiderman

What is your new book about?
Darjeeling Reconsidered provocatively rethinks Darjeeling’s legendary status in the postcolonial imagination of South Asia. Mobilizing diverse disciplinary approaches from the social sciences and humanities, this collection of essays sheds fresh light on the region’s past and offers critical insight into the issues facing its people today.

Why did you write this book?
Darjeeling is a locale with instant name recognition, but little accessible contemporary scholarship. Several emerging scholars have recently produced important new work about the region, and my co-editor Townsend Middleton and I sought to bring these voices together to provide a new view of Darjeeling’s historical and contemporary realities.


Memory

Edited by Mark Turin, Philippe Tortell & Margot Young

What is your new book about?
November 11, 2018, was the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Taking this particular moment as a catalyst, this book examines the character and relevance of memory more broadly. The essays in this collection ask readers to think creatively and deeply about notions of memory – its composition and practices.

Why did you write this book?
Memory navigates a broad terrain, with essays drawn from a diverse group of contributors who capture different perspectives on the idea of memory in fields ranging from molecular genetics, astrophysics and engineering, to law, Indigenous oral histories, and the natural world.

COVERAGE


News from Germany: The Competition to Control World Communications, 1900-1945

By Heidi Tworek

What is your new book about?
To control information is to control the world. This innovative history reveals how, across two devastating wars, Germany attempted to build a powerful communication empire―and how the Nazis manipulated the news to rise to dominance in Europe and further their global agenda.

Why did you write this book?
I wrote this book to understand how news did and did not change the course of history. The book explores how information warfare was a feature, not a bug, of the international system. I also wanted to understand how the vibrant press landscape of the democratic Weimar Republic could collapse into the Nazi era.


Julia Feyrer and Tamara Henderson

By Scott Watson

What is your new book about?
This publication marks the culmination of Julia Feyrer and Tamara Henderson’s three-part exhibition project. Julia Feyrer and Tamara Henderson documents the project viewed through the artists’ films from the perspective of the exhibition installations at Banff Centre, ICA and the Belkin Art Gallery that served as the sets for their films.

 

 

 

 


Migration and the Media: Debating Chinese Migration to Italy, 1992-2012 (Cultural Spaces)

By Gaoheng Zhang

What is your new book about?
The first book to analyze cultural dynamics of Chinese migration to Italy between 1992 and 2012, Migration and the Media compares Italian, Chinese migrant, and international media interpretations. It places the strong media interest in Italian-Chinese migrant relations within relevant economic, political, cultural, and linguistic contexts.

COVERAGE