Geoffrey Alderman is Michael Gross professor of politics and contemporary history, University of Buckingham. He is reading Norman Rose: A Senseless, Squalid War: Voices from Palestine 1945-1948 (Vintage, 2009) – “ a compelling account of the end of the British Mandate for Palestine”.
Jerome de Groot is lecturer in Renaissance literature and culture, University of Manchester. He is reading Helen Pierce: Unseemly Pictures: Graphic Satire and Politics in Early Modern England (Yale University Press, 2008) – “It is a very good and brilliantly illustrated work with some very useful insights into material culture and satire in the 17th century” – and Makeover Television: Realities Remodelled, edited by Dana Heller (I. B. Tauris, 2007), “for an article I’m writing about diet television – it outlines the key issues associated with what is increasingly the most important hybrid reality-TV genre”.
Johan Franzén, who teaches Middle East history at the School of Oriental and African Studies, is reading Michael Freeden: Ideologies and Political Theory: A Conceptual Approach (Oxford University Press, 1996) – “a very interesting and theoretically sound book”.
Shelley King is associate professor, department of English, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. She is reading Ricki Stefanie Tannen: The Female Trickster: The Mask that Reveals – Post-Jungian and Postmodern Psychological Perspectives on Women in Contemporary Culture (Routledge, 2007). “I’m working on Philip Pullman’s Lyra as a trickster figure, so this study presenting a specifically postmodern female trickster offers a new perspective on the traditional trickster type.”
Deborah Rogers is professor of English, University of Maine. “To justify my existence, I am reading several books that attempt to prop up literary studies and the fate of the humanities,” she says. These include Rita Felski’s Uses of Literature (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008) and Bruce Fleming’s What Literary Studies Could Be, and What It Is (University Press of America, 2008).