Katherine Frank, “Plays Well in Groups: A Journey Through the World of Group Sex”

[Cross-posted from New Books in Anthropology] Dr. Katherine Frank’s book, Plays Well in Groups: A Journey Through the World of Group Sex (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), is a fascinating look at the taboo of group sex. Her robust research spans historical references to modern day accounts throughout cultures around the world. Dr. Frank used surveys, interviews, and ethnographic research to [...]

Karl Spracklen, “Whiteness and Leisure”

[Cross-posted from New Books in Critical Theory] Our taken for granted assumptions are questioned in a new book by Karl Spracklen, a professor of leisure studies at Leeds Metropolitan University in England. Whiteness and Leisure (Palgrave, 2013) combines two bodies of theoretical literature to interrogate leisure activities which seem innocuous or inoffensive. The book deploys insights from critical race theory [...]

Matt Grossmann, “Artists of the Possible: Governing Networks and American Policy Change Since 1945″

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Matt Grossmann is back on the podcast with his newest book, Artists of the Possible: Governing Networks and American Policy Change Since 1945 (Oxford University Press, 2014). Grossmann is associate professor of political science at Michigan State University. He is also author of The Not-So-Special Interests, for which he appeared on the podcast in [...]

Marianne Constable, “Our Word is Our Bond: How Legal Speech Acts”

[Cross-Posted from New Books in Law] Our Word is Our Bond: How Legal Speech Acts (Stanford UP, 2014), by UC Berkeley Professor of Rhetoric Marianne Constable, impels its readers to reassess the dominant methods of considering what is law. Constable’s study of law is informed by both philosophy and sociology; however, she avoids common approaches employed by both disciplines and [...]

Helene Snee, “A Cosmopolitan Journey?: Difference, Distinction and Identity Work in Gap Year Travel”

[Cross-posted from New Books in Critical Theory] Helene Snee, a researcher at the University of Manchester, has written an excellent new book that should be essential reading for anyone interested in the modern world. The book uses the example of the ‘gap year’, an important moment in young people’s lives, to deconstruct issues of class, cosmopolitanism and [...]

Martin Shaw, “Genocide and International Relations: Changing Patterns in the Transitions of the Late Modern World”

[Cross-posted from New Books in Genocide] Works in the field of genocide studies tend to fall into one of a few camps.  Some are emotional and personal.  Others are historical and narrative.  Still others are intentionally activist and aimed at changing policy or decisions. Martin Shaw‘s works fit into a fourth category.  A historical sociologist, Shaw brings [...]

Shabana Mir, “Muslim American Women on Campus: Undergraduate Social Life and Identity”

[Cross-posted from New Books in Islamic Studies] In the post 9/11 era in which Muslims in America have increasingly felt under the surveillance of the state, media, and the larger society, how have female Muslim students on US college campuses imagined, performed, and negotiated their religious lives and identities? That is the central question that animates Dr. Shabana [...]

Ronen Shamir, “Current Flow: The Electrification of Palestine”

[Cross-posted from New Books in Science, Technology, and Society] Ronen Shamir’s new book is a timely and thoughtful study of the electrification of Palestine in the early twentieth century. Current Flow: The Electrification of Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2013) makes use of Actor-Network Theory as a methodology to trace the processes involved in constructing a powerhouse and assembling an [...]

Kevin Schilbrack, “Philosophy and the Study of Religions: A Manifesto”

[Cross-posted from New Books in Religion] Very often evaluative questions about cultural phenomena are avoided for more descriptive or explanatory goals when approaching religions. Traditionally, this set of concerns has been left to philosophers of religion. In Philosophy and the Study of Religions: A Manifesto (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014), Kevin Schilbrack, professor of Religious Studies at Appalachian State University, argues that philosophical [...]

Darren Halpin, “The Organization of Political Interest Groups: Designing Advocacy”

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Darren Halpin is the author of The Organization of Political Interest Groups: Designing Advocacy (Routledge 2014). Halpin is associate professor and reader in Policy Studies, and the Head of School of Sociology, at the Research School of Social Sciences, the Australian National University. He is also co-editor of the journal Interest Groups [...]