In our location of Philadelphia, it sure doesn't feel like fall quite yet with temperatures in the high '80s, but the calendar doesn't lie: last Friday marked the official start of the new season. Whatever the weather is like where you are, there's no doubt that classes are back in full swing, and our latest batch of new books offers both exciting scholarly insights and even perhaps some relaxing, recreational reading! Check out these titles in religious studies, American history across numerous eras, urban studies, and more.
Jump to: Featured Titles | Early American Studies | Medieval and Renaissance Studies | Modern U.S. History | Political Science and Human Rights | Urban Studies | University of Pennsylvania Museum Titles
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Women at the Wheel: A Century of Buying, Driving, and Fixing Cars
"Now I understand why I so often end up in the passenger seat! Katherine Parkin has convinced me that driving—and all that surrounds it—is one of the most gendered experiences in American history. Women at the Wheel reads like a romp through American popular culture, but Parkin's claims are well worth taking seriously."—Beth Bailey, author of Sex in the Heartland
Women at the Wheel shows how stereotypes of women as uninterested in automobiles and, more perniciously, as poor drivers, has little basis in historical reality. However, Katherine J. Parkin argues that in American culture women are still considered imposters when they are at the wheel.
272 pages | 6 x 9 | 30 illus.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph: Family Trouble in the Infancy Gospels
"A clever and delightful book. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph provides a fresh perspective on the infancy gospels by interpreting them instead as 'family gospels.' Reading them together as two family dramas as opposed to separate texts about Jesus or Mary, Christopher A. Frilingos wrestles with concepts such as the ancient household, fatherhood, education, and divine intervention that are frequently overlooked in scholarly research on these documents."—Caroline Schroeder, University of the Pacific
What was it like in the household of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph? The extracanonical Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the Protogospel of James offer some answers. In stories of household conflict, as well as in scenes of courage and love, ancient Christians learned about human ignorance, divine omniscience, and the worth of family life.
200 pages | 6 x 9 | 1 illus.
Spaces in Translation: Japanese Gardens and the West
"Christian Tagsold provides a detailed social and intellectual history and a phenomenological study all at once. There is nothing remotely like this book, and with it, Tagsold becomes a central figure in the study of Japanese gardens."—Kendall Brown, California State University, Long Beach
In Spaces in Translation, Christian Tagsold explores Japanese gardens in the West and ponders their history, the reasons for their popularity, and their connections to geopolitical events. He concludes that a process of cultural translation between Japanese and Western experts created an idea of the Orient and its distinction from the West.
256 pages | 6 x 9 | 47 illus.
EARLY AMERICAN STUDIES
Liquid Landscape: Geography and Settlement at the Edge of Early America
"In Liquid Landscape, Michele Currie Navakas demonstrates with brilliant originality how the topographical distinctiveness of Florida's 'unstable ground' generated counter-conceptions of roots and boundaries, historical exceptionality, ideals of possession and property, and much else during the formation of national identity over the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A remarkable, fascinating achievement."—John Matthews, Boston University
In Liquid Landscape, Michele Currie Navakas analyzes the history of Florida's incorporation alongside the development of new ideas of personhood, possession, and political identity within American letters, from early American novels, travel accounts, and geography textbooks, to settlers' guides, maps, natural histories, and land surveys.
248 pages | 6 x 9 | 34 illus.
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE STUDIES
"Pious Postmortems is an original and carefully researched survey of the role of medical testimony in the canonization processes of the early modern period. Bradford A. Bouley's exposition both of physical examinations and of instances of actual autopsy of putatively saintly bodies provides an illuminating context for the search for signs of sanctity."—Nancy Siraisi, author of Communities of Learned Experience: Epistolary Medicine in the Renaissance
In Pious Postmortems, Bradford A. Bouley considers the examinations performed on reputedly holy corpses in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries at the request of the Catholic Church. Bouley concludes that neither religious nor scientific truths were self-evident but rather negotiated through a complex array of local and broader interests.
224 pages | 6 x 9
Mother and Sons, Inc.: Martha de Cabanis in Medieval Montpellier
"This compelling book enables scholars to understand how a widowed mother acted as an important player in managing the interests of a significant merchant family. Mother and Sons, Inc. is a treasure trove of information on the variety of commercial concerns as well as the living standards and domestic settings of merchant families in medieval Montpellier."—Rebecca Winer, Villanova University
In the late 1320s, Martha de Cabanis was widowed with three young sons. Mothers and Sons, Inc. shows how the widow Martha maneuvered within the legal constraints of her social, economic, and personal status and illuminates the opportunities and the limits of what was possible for elite mercantile women.
264 pages | 6 x 9 | 9 illus.
"Be a Perfect Man is a bold and well-crafted book that engages with the history of emotions, the cognitive turn in the humanities, divinity studies, and Carolingian history. Andrew J. Romig confronts and overturns current readings of Carolingian lay masculinity in ways that will prompt controversy."—Lynda Coon, University of Arkansas
In Be a Perfect Man, Andrew J. Romig argues that Carolingian representations of caritas served as a discourse of power, a means by which early medieval writers made claims, both explicit and implicit, about the hierarchies of masculine power that they believed ought to exist within their world.
264 pages | 6 x 9
MODERN U.S. HISTORY
Improvised Continent: Pan-Americanism and Cultural Exchange
"Count Richard Candida Smith among the best of those scholars doing transnational history. Improvised Continent is a brilliant investigation of U.S. and Latin American intellectuals and artists who formed networks that the United States used for its cultural diplomacy. But as Candida Smith deftly shows, there was an irony in cultural imperialism, as these intellectuals and artists served not only to teach U.S. audiences about the rest of the Americas. They also served as critics of American society and offered up a distinctly robust liberalism rooted in the utopia of pan-Americanism."—Andrew Hartman, author of A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars
In Improvised Continent, Richard Cándida Smith synthesizes over seventy years of Pan-American cultural activity in the United States and shows how Latin American artists and writers challenged U.S. citizens about their place in the world and about the kind of global relations the country's interests could allow.
352 pages | 6 1/8 x 9 1/4 | 27 illus.
POLITICAL SCIENCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS
"Statelessness in the Caribbean is a compelling, lucid, and timely analysis of statelessness that combines deft theoretical insights with fascinating ethnographic details. Belton argues that past and existing scholarship and advocacy on statelessness have overlooked a central and constitutive feature of the phenomenon—that the special type of 'forced displacement' associated with statelessness does not presuppose any migration, indeed any movement at all."—Jacqueline Bhabha, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Statelessness in the Caribbean demonstrates how people can be forcibly displaced under nonconflict conditions without having fled a home, and how democracies force people into statelessness—the condition of not being a citizen anywhere—through the cover of bureaucratic procedures, neutral laws, and sovereign claims to determine membership.
288 pages | 6 x 9 | 8 illus.
Making Cities Global: The Transnational Turn in Urban History
"With this collection, Sandoval-Strausz and Kwak have gathered transnational perspectives necessary for any truly global urban history, namely, a world beyond the well-established North Atlantic conversation. This is a much-needed volume."—Christopher Klemek, George Washington University
Making Cities Global argues that combining urban history with a transnational approach leads to a better understanding of our increasingly interconnected world. In order to achieve prosperity, peace, and sustainability in metropolitan areas in the present and into the future, we must understand their historical origins and development.
352 pages | 6 x 9 | 39 illus.
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA MUSEUM OF ARCHAEOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
The Maya center of Tikal, in Guatemala, is famous for its well-preserved architecture. This book presents detailed descriptions of four of the six Great Temples that dominate Tikal's city center. Whereas Great Temples I and II were published in 1990 in Tikal Report 14, the four structures presented here are Great Temples III, IV, V, and VI. All but Great Temple V represent Late Classic construction and can be associated with known rulers.
It is tempting to think of these structures as funerary monuments, but this is only a supposition. Their relationship with rulers may have been much more complex. This report is the primary record of these important buildings in Tikal's urban landscape. 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.
160 pages | 8 1/2 x 11 | 72 illus.
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