Columbia Ink

Sept. 24, 2012Bookmark and Share

New books by faculty authors tackle the horror genre, global politics, feminism and more.

The Devil in Silver BY VICTOR LAVALLE
The Devil in Silver
BY VICTOR LAVALLE
Spiegel & Grau
LaValle’s third novel features a man named Pepper who is mistakenly committed to a mental hospital in New York. Pepper teams up with three other hospital inmates to vanquish a terrifying creature stalking the halls of the institution, all while fending off the pill-pushing staff. Although the book follows the conventions of horror writing, LaValle, an assistant professor of writing at the School of the Arts who claims Shirley Jackson as an inspiration, is ultimately more concerned with his characters than with the devil of the title.
     
The Global and the Intimate: Feminism in Our Time EDITED BY GERALDINE PRATT AND VICTORIA ROSNER The Global and the Intimate: Feminism in Our Time
EDITED BY GERALDINE PRATT AND VICTORIA ROSNER
Columbia University Press
Pratt, a geography professor at the University of British Columbia, and Rosner, associate dean at Columbia and literary critic, have compiled 16 essays by prominent feminist thinkers on topics connecting the intimate to the global. The writers, from a wide range of geographical and academic backgrounds, touch on everything from oysters and seed catalogs to interracial marriage and the suffering of victims of ethnic cleansing. Columbia English Professor Rachel Adams writes about how having a child with Down syndrome connects her globally to parents whose children have developmental disabilities.
     
Governing the World: The History of an Idea BY MARK MAZOWER Governing the World: The History of an Idea
BY MARK MAZOWER
Penguin
Mazower, the Ira D. Wallach Professor of World Order Studies and chair of the history department, surveys the development of internationalism from its 19th century beginnings after the Napoleonic Wars to the present. He argues that world powers typically use international institutions to advance their own interests, as the U.S. did with the U.N. after World War II. He also makes the case that U.S. influence has waned since the late 1960s, and we are entering an era when Western dominance of international life is rapidly coming to an end.
     
The Power of American Governors: Winning on Budgets and Losing on Policy BY THAD KOUSSER AND JUSTIN PHILLIPS The Power of American Governors: Winning on Budgets and Losing on Policy
BY THAD KOUSSER AND JUSTIN PHILLIPS
Cambridge University Press
The authors coded outcomes of over 1,000 gubernatorial proposals and budget negotiations at the state level to explore the effectiveness of American governors. Phillips, associate professor of political science at Columbia, and Kousser, who teaches at the University of California, San Diego, argue that negotiations over the budget, on the one hand, and policy bills on the other are driven by fundamentally different dynamics. While governors can be powerful actors in the lawmaking process, they demonstrate that what they’re bargaining over—budget or policy—shapes how they play the game and how often they win.
     
Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism BY JUDITH BUTLER Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism
BY JUDITH BUTLER
Columbia University Press
Butler, the Wun Tsun Tam Mellon Visiting Professor of the Humanities, examines Jewish philosophical positions to arrive at a critique of political Zionism. Citing a broad array of thinkers from Edward Said and Mahmoud Darwish to Hannah Arendt and Martin Buber, she argues for a state of Israel that embraces social plurality instead of cultural sameness. Rejecting the charge of anti-Semitic self-hatred often leveled against Jewish critics of Israel, Butler embraces Said’s proposal for a one-state solution in which Jews and Palestinians live together in a binational democracy.
     
After Etan: The Missing Child Case That Held America Captive BY LISA R. COHEN After Etan: The Missing Child Case That Held America Captive
BY LISA R. COHEN
Grand Central Publishing
Earlier this year, New York City police announced the arrest of a suspect in the killing of Etan Patz, 33 years after the boy disappeared from a SoHo street on his way to school. Cohen, an Emmy Award-winning television producer, documentary filmmaker and adjunct professor at the Journalism School, conducted hundreds of interviews and pored over Patz family files to tell the story of the investigators who pursued one of the most publicized missing child cases in American history. Excerpts of the book were chosen for 2010’s anthology of Best American Crime Reporting.
     
What Matters: Ethnographies of Value in a Not So Secular Age EDITED BY COURTNEY BENDER and ANN TAVES What Matters: Ethnographies of Value in a Not So Secular Age
EDITED BY COURTNEY BENDER and ANN TAVES
Columbia University Press
Over the past decade, religious, secular and spiritual distinctions have broken down, forcing scholars to recast these concepts in an increasingly ambiguous, pluralistic world. Bender, an associate professor of religion at Columbia, and Taves, professor of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have put together a collection of essays that considers religious and secular categories and what they mean to those who seek ethical lives. Chapters explore such topics as liberal American homeschooling and the role of contemporary humanitarian and volunteer organizations based in Europe and India.
     
Great Games, Local Rules: The New Great Power Contest in Central Asia BY ALEXANDER COOLEY Great Games, Local Rules: The New Great Power Contest in Central Asia
BY ALEXANDER COOLEY
Oxford University Press
The struggle between Russia and Great Britain over Central Asia in the 19th century was the original “great game.” But in the past quarter century, a new game has emerged, pitting America against Russia and China, all struggling for influence in one of the most volatile areas in the world: the long border region from Iran through Pakistan to Kashmir. In Great Games, Local Rules, Cooley, Tow Professor of Political Science at Barnard, explores the dynamics of the new competition for control of the region since 9/11.
 
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