New releases for December

Shameful-stateThe Shameful State
Sony Labou Tansi
Translated by Dominic Thomas
Foreword by Alain Mabanckou

"This book showcases Tansi’s incredible talent and his position, even in death, as one of Africa’s important voices." —Publishers Weekly

Set in a fictitious African nation, this novel takes aim at the corruption, degeneracy, violence, and repression of political life in Africa. The evocation of this deranged world is a showcase for the linguistic and stylistic inventiveness that are the hallmark of Sony Labou Tansi’s work.

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Ernie-pyleAt Home with Ernie Pyle
Ernie Pyle
Edited and with an Introduction by Owen V. Johnson

"Owen V. Johnson has pulled off a superb triple play with At Home with Ernie Pyle. The book rescues a portion of Pyle’s work that would likely have been lost for good and it adds substantially to the documentary record of his home state. And, perhaps most important, it delivers a wonderful reading experience to all who treasure the work of this singular American writer." —James Tobin, author of Ernie Pyle’s War

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Grand-allusionsGrand Allusions
Robert Barnes—Late Works 1985-2015
Michael Rooks
Introduction by Dennis Adrian

Robert Barnes has been called the "most famous unknown painter in America." Picking up where his 1985 mid-career retrospective left off, this gorgeous catalog surveys Barnes's work from the past 30 years. Often identified as a Chicago School artist because of his training at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his representation by several major Chicago area galleries, Barnes’s style defies simple categorization.

SyriaSyria's Democratic Years
Citizens, Experts, and Media in the 1950s
Kevin W. Martin

The years 1954–1958 in Syria are popularly known as “The Democratic Years,” a brief period of civilian government before the consolidation of authoritarian rule. Kevin W. Martin provides a cultural history of the period and argues that the authoritarian outcome was anything but inevitable.

ShiiShi'i Cosmopolitanisms in Africa
Lebanese Migration and Religious Conversion in Senegal
Mara A. Leichtman

Mara A. Leichtman offers an in-depth study of Shi‘i Islam in two very different communities in Senegal: the well-established Lebanese diaspora and Senegalese "converts" from Sunni to Shi‘i Islam of recent decades. Leichtman provides new insights into the everyday lives of Shi‘i Muslims in Africa and the dynamics of local and global Islam.

Faked-in-chinaFaked in China
Nation Branding, Counterfeit Culture, and Globalization
Fan Yang

This is a critical account of the cultural challenge faced by China following its accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001. It traces the interactions between nation branding and counterfeit culture, two manifestations of the globalizing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime that give rise to competing visions for the nation.

Sex-radicalSex Radical Cinema
Carol Siegel

Carol Siegel explores how representation of sexually explicit content on film have shaped American cultural visions of sex and sexual politics in the 21st century. Siegel distinguishes between a liberal approach to visual representations, which has over-emphasized normative equal opportunity while undervaluing our distinctive erotic selves, and a radical approach to visual representation, which portrays forbidden sexualities and desires.

DivinationDivination’s Grasp
African Encounters with the Almost Said
Richard Werbner

Beginning with the silent language of the divinatory lots, Richard Werbner deciphers the everyday, metaphorical, and poetic language that is used to reveal their meaning. Through Werbner's skillful interpretations of the language of divination, a picture of Tswapong moral imagination is revealed.

West-africas-womenWest Africa's Women of God
Alinesitoué and the Diola Prophetic Tradition
Robert M. Baum

This book examines the history of direct revelation from Emitai, the Supreme Being, which has been central to the Diola religion from before European colonization to the present day. Robert M. Baum charts the evolution of this movement from its origins as an exclusively male tradition to one that is largely female.

Hidden-godThe Hidden God
Luther, Philosophy, and Political Theology
Marius Timmann Mjaaland

Centering his discussion on the theme of destruction, which is important in Luther's early writings, Mjaaland challenges the familiar notion that theology is a matter of faith and philosophy a matter of reason. By linking Luther to Heidegger, Gadamer, and Derrida, Mjaaland establishes connections between destruction and deconstruction and draws philosophy, politics, and theology together in the light of Luther’s radical critique of religion.

Pragmatic-fashionsPragmatic Fashions
Pluralism, Democracy, Relativism, and the Absurd
John J. Stuhr

John J. Stuhr, a leading voice in American philosophy, sets forth a view of pragmatism as a personal work of art or fashion. Stuhr develops his pragmatism by putting pluralism forward, setting aside absolutism and nihilism, opening new perspectives on democracy, and focusing on love.