Published this Week

July 8, 2010


Duchamp and the Aesthetics of Chance: Art as Experiment
By Herbert Molderings, professor of art history, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany; translated by John Brogden. Columbia University Press, £19.00. ISBN 9780231147620

Marcel Duchamp is often viewed as an "artist-engineer-scientist", a kind of rationalist who relied heavily on the ideas of the French mathematician and philosopher Henri Poincare. Situating Duchamp firmly within the literature and philosophy of his time, Molderings recaptures the spirit of a frequently misread artist and his thrilling aesthetic of chance.

Cinema, Emergence, and the Films of Satyajit Ray
By Keya Ganguly, professor of cultural studies and comparative literature, University of Minnesota. University of California Press, £41.95 and £16.95. ISBN 9780520262164 and 2171

Ganguly argues that in their depictions of Indian life, Ray's films intimate the sense of a radical future and document the capacity of the image to conceptualise a different world glimpsed in the remnants of a disappearing past.

Evolution, Literature, and Film: A Reader
Edited by Brian Boyd, university distinguished professor of English, University of Auckland; Joseph Carroll, curators' professor of English, University of Missouri; and Jonathan Gottschall, lecturer in English, Washington and Jefferson College. Columbia University Press, £68.50 and £22.50. ISBN 9780231150187 and 0194

This collection of 39 essays by pioneering scholars, scientists and critics explains how our universal human nature works its way into diverse cultural forms and how this "biocultural" conception can illuminate many narrative works.


Learning by Example: Imitation and Innovation at a Global Bank
By David Strang, professor of sociology, Cornell University. Princeton University Press, £24.95. ISBN 9780691142180

Strang takes an unprecedented look at the benchmarking initiative of a major financial institution as he follows 21 teams of managers sent out to observe the practices of other companies in order to develop recommendations for change in their own organisation.


Tough Choices: Structured Paternalism and the Landscape of Choice
By Sigal R. Ben-Porath, assistant professor, Graduate School of Education. Princeton University Press, £19.95. ISBN 9780691146416

This book charts a middle course between freedom-oriented anti-interventionism and equality- oriented social welfare. It presents a way to structure choices that equalise opportunities while protecting the freedom of individuals to choose among them.

Valuing the Unique: The Economics of Singularities
By Lucien Karpik, sociologist, Ecole des Mines and the Centre Raymond Aron, Paris; translated by Nora Scott. Princeton University Press, £59.00 and £.95. ISBN 9780691135847 and 7100

Singularities are goods and services that cannot be studied by standard methods because they are multidimensional, incommensurable and of uncertain quality. Karpik provides a theoretical framework to explain this important class of products and markets that for so long have eluded neoclassical economics.

Orderly Fashion: A Sociology of Markets
By Patrik Aspers, associate professor of sociology, Stockholm University. Princeton University Press, £24.95. ISBN 9780691141572

This book examines how order is maintained in the different interconnected consumer, producer and credit markets of the global fashion industry. Emphasising consumption rather than production, Aspers considers the larger retailers' roles as buyers in the production market of garments, and as potential objects of investment in financial markets.


Commonwealth and the English Reformation: Protestantism and the Politics of Religious Change in the Gloucester Vale, 1483-1560
By Ben Lowe, associate professor of history, Florida Atlantic University. Ashgate, £65.00. ISBN 9781409400455

Taking the Vale of Gloucester as a case study, the book examines the connections between local gentry, city leaders, reformers, MPs and Royal Court officials, illuminating the broad network of political relationships that were essential to the success of Protestant reform. It demonstrates how Commonwealth ideology galvanised leaders towards a new vision of reform that served their material interests.

Clerical Celibacy in the West: c.1100-1700
By Helen Parish, senior lecturer in history, University of Reading. Ashgate, £60.00. ISBN 9780754639497

Parish reassesses the history of sacerdotal celibacy, examining the emergence and evolution of the celibate priesthood in the Latin church from the beginning of the 12th to the end of the 17th centuries.

Alcatraz: The Gangster Years
By David Ward, professor emeritus of sociology, University of Minnesota. University of California Press, £24.95 and £16.95. ISBN 9780520256071 and 65967

Ward presents vivid accounts of the lives of the legendary "public enemies" for whom America's first supermax prison was created. By shining a light on the most famous prison in the world, he also raises timely questions about today's supermax prisons.


Narrating Marriage in Eighteenth-Century England and France
By Chris Roulston, associate professor of women's studies and French studies, University of Western Ontario. Ashgate, £55.00. ISBN 9780754668398

Drawing on a wide range of English and French fiction and advice literature, this study analyses the problems of representation that emerge in light of the changing definition of marriage from one of hierarchy to companionship in the 18th century.

Popular Medicine, Hysterical Disease, and Social Controversy in Shakespeare's England
By Kaara L. Peterson, assistant professor of English literature, Miami University. Ashgate, £55.00. ISBN 9780754669937

Mining a series of previously uncharted conversations springing up in 16th- and 17th-century popular medicine and culture, this study explores early modern England's significant and sustained interest in the "hysterical" diseases of women.

At Home in Shakespeare's Tragedies
By Geraldo U. de Sousa, professor of English, University of Kansas. Ashgate, £55.00. ISBN 9780754668862

This interdisciplinary study explores the representation, perception and function of the house, home, household and family life in Shakespeare's great tragedies.


Philosophy in Turbulent Times: Canguilhem, Sartre, Foucault, Althusser, Deleuze, Derrida.
By Elizabeth Roudinesco, director of research, University of Paris. Columbia University Press, £19.00 and £13.50. ISBN 9780231143004 and 43011

Roudinesco launches a passionate defence of Canguilhem, Sartre, Foucault, Althusser, Deleuze and Derrida against the "new philosophers" of the late 1970s and 1980s, who denounced the work, and sometimes the private lives, of this generation of thinkers.

Winged Faith: Rethinking Globalization and Religious Pluralism through the Sathya Sai Movement
By Tulasi Srinivas, assistant professor of anthropology, Emerson College. Columbia University Press, £62.00 and £20.50. ISBN 97802311493 and 9334

In a dynamic account of the Sathya Sai movement's explosive growth, this book argues for a rethinking of globalisation and the politics of identity in a religiously plural world.


Critically Engaging CBT
By Del Loewenthal, professor of psychotherapy and counselling; and Richard House, senior lecturer in psychotherapy and counselling, both at Roehampton University. McGraw-Hill, £24.99. ISBN 9780335238293

While cognitive behaviour therapy has become an increasingly popular therapy, the editors of this book argue that in the rush to embrace CBT, sufficient attention has not been paid to the potential drawbacks of such therapy. This book takes a critical look at CBT through various standard psychotherapy approaches.

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