Happy New Year! Penn Press's 2018 is off to a great start, with a range of new titles in literature, history, religious studies and more. Take a look below!
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Novels in the Time of Democratic Writing: The American Example
"Nancy Armstrong and Leonard Tennenhouse have long been our preeminent theorists of the novel. In this latest, virtuoso installment, they take on the novels of the early republic, seeing this corpus as nothing less than a template for a new polity, an updated version of the global and the local, replacing the hierarchical social contract of their English counterparts with a managed horizontality, a controlled redistribution of property and sensibility. Electrifying and eye-opening."—Wai Chee Dimock, Yale University
In the decades after U.S. independence, American novelists carried on an argument that pitted direct democracy against the representative liberalism they attributed to their British counterparts. The result was an American novel distinguished by its use of narrative tropes that generated a social system resembling today's distributed network.
264 pages | 6 x 9
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To Live Like a Moor: Christian Perceptions of Muslim Identity in Medieval and Early Modern Spain
"Because [Remie Constable] was always on the qui vive for new approaches and interests emerging in the profession, her work could put the medieval material she mined so well to the service of historians discovering those emerging topics even before they knew they wanted it. To pick but one example, whatever period they work in, the many historians who are becoming interested in the cultural work done by material culture—dress, food, housewares and furnishing, the things and objects we bear about our lives as we construct them—will find much inspiration in these pages. So too will those whose attention is increasingly tuned to questions of Islamic 'diasporas' in Christian Europe, both past and present. There is a great deal to learn from this book."—David Nirenberg, from the Foreword
To Live Like a Moor traces the many shifts in Christian perceptions of Islam-associated ways of life which took place across the centuries between early Reconquista efforts of the eleventh century and the final expulsions of Spain's converted yet poorly assimilated Morisco population in the seventeenth.
248 pages | 6 x 9 | 17 illus.
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The Elegies of Maximianus
A. M. Juster presents a faithful, poetic translation of the elegies of Maximianus, "last of the Roman poets." This comprehensive volume includes an introduction by renowned classicist Michael Roberts, the first English translation of an additional six poems attributed to Maximianus, and the first commentary in English on the elegies since 1900.
240 pages | 6 x 9
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"Unsettling the West is deeply researched, beautifully written, and powerfully argued. Rob Harper's sustained and painstaking attention to detail and his unfailingly judicious presentation make this book the most comprehensive account of the American Revolution in the Ohio Valley to date."— Eric Hinderaker, University of Utah
In Revolutionary America, colonists surged across the Appalachians, Indians fought to preserve their land, and a bloodbath ensued—but why? Breaking with previous interpretations, Unsettling the West tells the story of a frontier where government initiatives, rather than pioneer independence, drove violence and colonization.
272 pages | 6 x 9 | 7 illus.
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"[Lenski] shows convincingly how different messages, indeed different 'Constantines,' were modelled for different contexts and audiences, and asks us to consider how these contexts and audiences completed the construction of the emperor."—Times Literary Supplement
Roman Emperor Constantine raised Christianity from a minority religion to imperial status, but his religious orientation was by no means unambiguous. In Constantine and the Cities, Noel Lenski demonstrates how the emperor and his subjects used the instruments of government in a struggle for authority over the religion of the empire.
416 pages | 7 x 10 | 56 illus.
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Werner Scholem: A German Life
"A beautifully written, extremely moving, and brilliantly researched work. It is, on one level, a biography of Werner Scholem, whose odyssey through the Weimar Republic ultimately led to his death in 1940. But it is also the story of two brothers—the Communist, Werner, and Gershom, the committed Zionist and great Kabbalah scholar. Finally, it is a cultural history of German Jewry and the interwar Left in all its varieties. Mirjam Zadoff rightly concludes that there is no way to separate these strands, which all come together in this extraordinary book."—Anson Rabinbach, Princeton University
In Werner Scholem: A German Life, Mirjam Zadoff has written a book that is at once a biography of an individual, a family chronicle, and the story of an entire era.
384 pages | 6 x 9 | 39 illus.
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LITERATURE AND CULTURAL STUDIES
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"Patricia Crain has long been one of the handful of scholars whose work I have found truly transformative, changing my sense of the kinds of questions one could ask and of the strategies one might develop for answering them. Reading Children is capacious, precise, and at times breathtakingly original in its vision and methods."—Karen Sánchez-Eppler, Amherst College
Reading Children offers a history of the relationship between children and books in Anglo-American modernity, exploring early children's literature, pedagogical practices, property lessons inherent in children's book ownership, and the emergence of childhood itself as a literary property.
280 pages | 7 x 10 | 35 color, 45 b/w illus.
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MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE STUDIES
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"Everyone should read this book. There are at least two reasons I think so. The first is the sheer intellectual pleasure to be had in grappling with its challenging and complex argument. The second is the exciting way the book models the kind of comparative, cross-field, interdisciplinary projects that everyone values but that few of us are trained to do."—Criticism
By examining periodization together with the two controversial categories of feudalism and secularization, Kathleen Davis exposes the relationship between the constitution of "the Middle Ages" and the history of sovereignty, slavery, and colonialism.
200 pages | 6 x 9
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"An impressive demonstration of how far a scholar can go with painstaking investigation and interpretation of scattered and limited evidence. . . . There is a great deal to admire and ponder [in this book]."—The Medieval Review
This book reconstructs the history of beguine communities in one of medieval Europe's most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities: Paris. Drawing on an array of archival sources, Miller illuminates the important role beguines played in the economic, intellectual, and religious life of the city.
304 pages | 6 x 9 | 8 illus.
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POLITICAL SCIENCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS
"Mara E. Karlin combines rigorous scholarship with the knowledge and expertise gained from years of working on the front lines of Defense Department policy managing American military aid to states under enormous stress. This formidably written book has much to say to practitioners and scholars alike: it offers exceptional insight into an activity that the United States will engage in for decades to come."—Eliot A. Cohen, author of The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force
With a rich comparative case-study approach that spans Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, Building Militaries in Fragile States unearths provocative findings that suggest the traditional way of working with foreign militaries needs to be rethought.
296 pages | 6 x 9 | 6 illus.
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"Liturgical Subjects is a pioneering examination of the medieval religious subject that adds texture and nuance to studies that, so far, have tended to emphasize only the Western Christian tradition. . . . Krueger's is the first study to examine how Orthodox liturgy functioned as a mechanism for the formation of the Byzantine Christian's perception of self."—Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"A thrilling tour of Byzantine culture through wholly unexpected routes. With beautifully crafted prose, Krueger presents a trajectory lucidly drawn, filled with arresting insight and searing, poignant imagery; yet the account is concrete and concise, moving deftly through its chapters with impressive economy and formidable command of a wide array of textual and material evidence."—Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Brown University
Focusing on the practice of Byzantine Orthodoxy in Constantinople from the sixth to eleventh centuries, Liturgical Subjects examines how hymns, sermons, prayers, and art offered models for Christian self-recognition and scripts for repentance.
328 pages | 6 x 9 | 24 illus.
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UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA MUSEUM OF ARCHAEOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
The Great Maya center of Tikal, in Guatemala, is famous for its well-preserved architecture. This book presents descriptions of nine structures that line the Plaza of the Seven Temples, which sits immediately west of the South Acropolis of Central Tikal. These structures were surveyed with little or no excavation as part of the Tikal Project Standing Architecture Survey. This report is the primary record of these structures in Tikal's urban landscape, and it provides clear, precise, and usable architectural analyses for Mayanists, archaeologists, art historians, architectural historians, urbanists, and those interested in construction techniques and in the uses of Maya buildings.
144 pages | 8 1/2 x 11 | 69 illus.
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This book presents descriptions of six structures that belong to the Tikal Project category "standing architecture," that is, though partially collapsed, some features of these buildings remain in place and accessible without excavation. These structures were surveyed with little or no excavation as part of the Tikal Project Standing Architecture Survey. This report is the primary record of these structures in Tikal's urban landscape, and it provides clear, precise, and usable architectural analyses for Mayanists, archaeologists, art historians, architectural historians, urbanists, and those interested in construction techniques and in the uses of Maya buildings.
96 pages | 8 1/2 x 11 | 36 illus.
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