Kingdom of the Sick: A History of Leprosy and Japan
Susan Burns (History)
Susan L. Burns examines the history of leprosy in Japan from medieval times until the present. At the center of Kingdom of the Sick is the rise of Japan’s system of national leprosy sanitaria, which today continue to house more than 1,500 former patients, many of whom have spent five or more decades within them. Burns argues that long before the modern Japanese government began to define a policy toward leprosy, the disease was already profoundly marked by ethical and political concerns and associated with sin, pollution, heredity, and outcast status.
The Donigers of Great Neck: A Mythologized Memoir
Wendy Doniger, Committee on Social Thought/Divinity School
“Many memories, many myths”—this is how Wendy Doniger begins the story of her parents’ origins in Europe and sharply bifurcated life in America. Recalling their contrasting attitudes toward Judaism and religion in general—and acknowledging the mythologized narratives that keep bubbling up in those recollections—Doniger tells the story of their childhoods, their unusual marriage, their life in the post–World War II Jewish enclave of Great Neck, New York, and her own complex relationship with each of them.
The Patchwork City: Class, Space, and Politics in Metro Manila
Marco Garrido, Department of Sociology
In contemporary Manila, slums and squatter settlements are peppered throughout the city, often pushing right up against the walled enclaves of the privileged, creating the complex geopolitical pattern of Marco Garrido’s “patchwork city.” Garrido documents the fragmentation of Manila into a mélange of spaces defined by class, particularly slums and upper- and middle-class enclaves. He then looks beyond urban fragmentation to delineate its effects on class relations and politics, arguing that the proliferation of these slums and enclaves and their subsequent proximity have intensified class relations. For enclave residents, the proximity of slums is a source of insecurity, compelling them to impose spatial boundaries on slum residents. For slum residents, the regular imposition of these boundaries creates a pervasive sense of discrimination. Class boundaries then sharpen along the housing divide, and the urban poor and middle class emerge not as labor and capital but as squatters and “villagers,” Manila’s name for subdivision residents. Garrido further examines the politicization of this divide with the case of the populist president Joseph Estrada, finding the two sides drawn into contention over not just the right to the city, but the nature of democracy itself. The Patchwork City illuminates how segregation, class relations, and democracy are all intensely connected. It makes clear, ultimately, that class as a social structure is as indispensable to the study of Manila—and of many other cities of the Global South—as race is to the study of American cities.
Worldmaking After Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination
Adom Getachew, Department of Political Science
Decolonization revolutionized the international order during the twentieth century. Yet standard histories that present the end of colonialism as an inevitable transition from a world of empires to one of nations--a world in which self-determination was synonymous with nation-building--obscure just how radical this change was. Drawing on the political thought of anticolonial intellectuals and statesmen such as Nnamdi Azikiwe, W.E.B Du Bois, George Padmore, Kwame Nkrumah, Eric Williams, Michael Manley, and Julius Nyerere, this important new account of decolonization reveals the full extent of their unprecedented ambition to remake not only nations but the world.
Adom Getachew shows that African, African American, and Caribbean anticolonial nationalists were not solely or even primarily nation-builders. Responding to the experience of racialized sovereign inequality, dramatized by interwar Ethiopia and Liberia, Black Atlantic thinkers and politicians challenged international racial hierarchy and articulated alternative visions of worldmaking. Seeking to create an egalitarian postimperial world, they attempted to transcend legal, political, and economic hierarchies by securing a right to self-determination within the newly founded United Nations, constituting regional federations in Africa and the Caribbean, and creating the New International Economic Order.
Using archival sources from Barbados, Trinidad, Ghana, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, Worldmaking after Empire recasts the history of decolonization, reconsiders the failure of anticolonial nationalism, and offers a new perspective on debates about today's international order.
To See Paris and Die: The Soviet Lives of Western Culture
Eleonory Gilburd, Department of History
The Soviet Union was a notoriously closed society until Stalin’s death in 1953. Then, in the mid-1950s, a torrent of Western novels, films, and paintings invaded Soviet streets and homes, acquiring heightened emotional significance. To See Paris and Die is a history of this momentous opening to the West. At the heart of this history is a process of translation, in which Western figures took on Soviet roles: Pablo Picasso as a political rabble-rouser; Rockwell Kent as a quintessential American painter; Erich Maria Remarque and Ernest Hemingway as teachers of love and courage under fire; J. D. Salinger and Giuseppe De Santis as saviors from Soviet clichés. Imported novels challenged fundamental tenets of Soviet ethics, while modernist paintings tested deep-seated notions of culture. Western films were eroticized even before viewers took their seats. The drama of cultural exchange and translation encompassed discovery as well as loss.
Why Bother?: Rethinking Participation in Elections and Protests
Susan Stokes, Department of Political Science
Why do vote-suppression efforts sometimes fail? Why does police repression of demonstrators sometimes turn localized protests into massive, national movements? How do politicians and activists manipulate people's emotions to get them involved? The authors of Why Bother? offer a new theory of why people take part in collective action in politics, and test it in the contexts of voting and protesting. They develop the idea that just as there are costs of participation in politics, there are also costs of abstention - intrinsic and psychological but no less real. That abstention can be psychically costly helps explain real-world patterns that are anomalies for existing theories, such as that sometimes increases in costs of participation are followed by more participation, not less. The book draws on a wealth of survey data, interviews, and experimental results from a range of countries, including the United States, Britain, Brazil, Sweden, and Turkey.
Emily Talen, Division of the Social Sciences
The term neighborhood has been reduced to a word for a convenient geographical locator. In fact, most cities claim to be compiled of neighborhoods, but this strays far from the term's original meaning - a spatial unit that people relate to. Neighborhood seeks to dispel this common misconception by integrating a complex historical record and multidisciplinary literature to produce a singular resource for understanding what is meant by neighborhood. Emily Talen provides a multi-dimensional, comprehensive view of what neighborhoods signify, how they're idealized and measured, and what their historical progression has been. Talen balances perspectives from sociology, urban history, urban planning, and sustainability among others in efforts to make neighborhoods compatible with 21st century ideals. If neighborhoods are going to play a role in the future of the city, we need to know what and where they are in a more meaningful way. Neighborhoods need to be more than a label and more than a social segregator. For those living in the undefined expanse of contemporary urbanism-which characterizes most of American cities-can the neighborhood come to be more than a shaded area on a map?