With almost every news broadcast, we are reminded of the continuing instability of the Middle East, where state collapse, civil wars, and terrorism have combined to produce a region in turmoil. If the Middle East is to achieve a more stable and prosperous future, Egypt-which possesses the region's largest population, a formidable military, and considerable soft power-must play a central role. Modern Egypt: What Everyone Needs to Know® by Bruce Rutherford and Jeannie Sowers introduces readers to this influential country. The book begins with the 2011-2012 uprising that captured the world's attention before turning to an overview of modern Egyptian history. The book then focuses on present-day Egyptian politics, society, demography, culture, and religion. It analyzes Egypt's core problems, including deepening authoritarianism, high unemployment, widespread poverty, rapid population growth, and pollution. The book then concentrates on Egypt's relations with the United States, Israel, Arab states, and other world powers. Modern Egypt concludes by assessing the country's ongoing challenges and suggesting strategies for addressing them. Concise yet sweeping in coverage, the book provides the essential background for understanding this fascinating country and its potential to shape the future of the Middle East.
Under the Starry Flag: How a Band of Irish Americans Joined the Fenian Revolt and Sparked a Crisis over Citizenship
by Lucy E. Salyer
Harvard University Press (October 2018)
In 1867 forty Irish-American freedom fighters, outfitted with guns and ammunition, sailed to Ireland to join the effort to end British rule. Yet they never got a chance to fight. British authorities arrested them for treason as soon as they landed, sparking an international conflict that dragged the United States and Britain to the brink of war. "Under the Starry Flag" recounts this gripping legal saga, a prelude to today’s immigration battles.
The Fenians, as the freedom fighters were known, claimed American citizenship. British authorities disagreed, insisting that naturalized Irish Americans remained British subjects. Following in the wake of the Civil War, the Fenian crisis dramatized anew the idea of citizenship as an inalienable right, as natural as freedom of speech and religion. The captivating trial of these men illustrated the stakes of extending those rights to arrivals from far-flung lands. The case of the Fenians, Lucy E. Salyer shows, led to landmark treaties and laws acknowledging the right of exit. The U.S. Congress passed the Expatriation Act of 1868, which guaranteed the right to renounce one’s citizenship, in the same month it granted citizenship to former American slaves.
The small ruckus created by these impassioned Irish Americans provoked a human rights revolution that is not, even now, fully realized. Placing Reconstruction-era debates over citizenship within a global context, "Under the Starry Flag" raises important questions about citizenship and immigration.
Walking to the Sun: A Journey through America's Energy Landscapes
by Tom Haines
ForeEdge (October 2, 2018)
On a winter day in 2013, Tom Haines stood in front of his basement furnace and wondered about the source of the natural gas that fueled his insulated life. During the next four years, Haines, an award-winning journalist and experienced wanderer, walked hundreds of miles through landscapes of fuel — oil, gas, and coal, and water, wind, and sun—on a crucial exploration of how we live on Earth in the face of a growing climate crisis. Can we get from the fossil fuels of today to the renewables of tomorrow? The story Haines tells in "Walking to the Sun" is full not only of human encounters — with roustabouts working on an oil rig, farmers tilling fields beneath wind turbines, and many others — but also of the meditative range that arrives with solitude far from home. "Walking to the Sun" overcomes the dislocation of our industrial times to look closely at the world around us and to consider what might come next.
Funeral Culture: AIDS, Work, and Cultural Change in an African Kingdom
by Casey Golomski
Indiana University Press (June 4, 2018)
Contemporary forms of living and dying in Swaziland cannot be understood apart from the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, according to anthropologist Casey Golomski. In Africa’s last absolute monarchy, the story of 15 years of global collaboration in treatment and intervention is also one of ordinary people facing the work of caring for the sick and dying and burying the dead. Golomski’s ethnography shows how AIDS posed challenging questions about the value of life, culture, and materiality to drive new forms and practices for funerals. Many of these forms and practices―newly catered funeral feasts, an expanded market for life insurance, and the kingdom’s first crematorium―are now conspicuous across the landscape and culturally disruptive in a highly traditionalist setting. This powerful and original account details how these new matters of death, dying, and funerals have become entrenched in peoples’ everyday lives and become part of a quest to create dignity in the wake of a devastating epidemic.
Latin American Technopoetics: Scientific Explorations in New Media
by Scott E. Weintraub
New Hispanisms: Cultural and Literary Studies Routledge (June 4, 2018)
"Latin American Technopoetics: Scientific Explorations in New Media" analyzes the ways in which poetry and multimedia installations by six prominent poets and artists engage, and in turn are engaged by, scientific discourses. In its innovative readings of contemporary digital media works, "Latin American Technopoetics" is the first book to investigate the powerful dialogue between recent techno-cultural phenomena, literature, and various scientific fields. This cutting-edge analysis of poetic and artistic experimentation — robots that compose and recite poetry, algorithms that create visualizations of poetic language or of the connections between everyday language and scientific terminology, arrays of multi-dimensional poetic spaces, and telematic and transgenic art — makes a strong case for the increasing viability of a scientific poetics currently gaining prominence in Latin American literary and media studies, digital humanities, and science and technology studies.