What are you reading?

A weekly look over the shoulders of our scholar-reviewers

October 7, 2010

Gareth Dale, senior lecturer in politics, Brunel University, is reading Jonathan Neale's Stop Global Warming: Change the World (Bookmarks, 2008). "A shaft of light that cuts through the clouds of confusion on climate change. Eloquently and with scrupulous referencing, Neale argues that decisive and collective action can yet prevent runaway global warming, without irksome consumption sacrifices and with bonuses in the form of jobs and quality of life."

Nathan Emmerich, a PhD student at Queen's University Belfast, is reading Alexandra Plows' Debating Human Genetics: Contemporary Issues in Public Policy and Ethics (Routledge, 2010). "An interesting book that examines the public (and political) debates (and debaters) of the rapidly evolving science of genomics and genetics. Based around Plows' interview discussions with scientists, spokespeople and activists, it reveals the underlying analogical and metaphorical frames that configure the public discussion of issues by various institutionalised bodies and contribute directly to the wider understanding of genetic science and its medical potential."

Willy Maley, professor of Renaissance studies, University of Glasgow, is reading John D. Hargreaves' Academe and Empire: Some Overseas Connections of Aberdeen University, 1860-1970 (Aberdeen University Press, 1994). "For Hargreaves, a 'colonial university' is one paying 'greater attention to its standing in the eyes of foreigners than to the relevance of its activities to the needs of its own country'. We're all working in colonial universities now, with 'internationalisation agendas' supplanting access and local responsiveness. Hargreaves' book is a timely reminder not only of imperial histories, but colonial futures."

William H. Sherman is professor of English, University of York. "With the news of Frank Kermode's death, I'm sure I'm not alone in re-reading his groundbreaking work, The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction (Oxford University Press, revised edition 2000), a series of lectures from 1965 on the ways in which time gives shape and meaning to the stories we tell. The book is more timely than ever, and there is no better way to mark the end of Kermode's extraordinary career as a critic."

John Solomos, professor of sociology, City University London, is reading Houshang Asadi's Letters to My Torturer: Love, Revolution, and Imprisonment in Iran (Oneworld, 2010). "A moving and chilling account of Asadi's experiences of torture and brutality at the hands of Brother Hamid and the Islamic state of Iran. Written in a style that is both frightening and engaging at the same time, I found it difficult to put it down once I opened it."

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