Faculty Books: March and April 2023

March 10, 2023
Book cover The Early Imperial Republic From the American Revolution to the U.S.–Mexican War

The Early Imperial Republic: From the American Revolution to the U.S.–Mexican War

Edited by Michael A. Blaakman, Emily Conroy Krutz and Noelani Arista
March 2023

Created in a world of empires, the United States was to be something new: an expansive republic proclaiming commitments to liberty and equality but eager to extend its territory and influence. Yet from the beginning, Native powers, free and enslaved Black people, and foreign subjects perceived, interacted with, and resisted the young republic as if it was merely another empire under the sun. Such perspectives have driven scholars to reevaluate the early United States, as the parameters of early American history have expanded in Atlantic, continental, and global directions. If the nation’s acquisition of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippine Islands in 1898 traditionally marked its turn toward imperialism, new scholarship suggests the United States was an empire from the moment of its creation. Read more about The Early Imperial Republic.

Pseudoscience: A Very Short Introduction by Michael Gordin

Pseudoscience: A Very Short Introduction

By Michael D. Gordin
April 2023

Everyone has heard of the term "pseudoscience," typically used to describe something that looks like science, but is somehow false, misleading, or unproven. Many would be able to agree on a list of things that fall under its umbrella - astrology, phrenology, UFOlogy, creationism, and eugenics might come to mind. But defining what makes these fields “pseudo” is a far more complex issue. It has proved impossible to come up with a simple criterion that enables us to differentiate pseudoscience from genuine science. Given the virulence of contemporary disputes over the denial of climate change and anti-vaccination movements - both of which display allegations of “pseudoscience” on all sides - there is a clear need to better understand issues of scientific demarcation. Read more about Pseudoscience: A Very Short Introduction.

This Thing Called Love by Alawiya Sobh translated by Max Weiss

This Thing Called Love

By Alawiya Sobh, Translated by Max Weiss
April 2023

A heart-wrenching story about love, loss, sex, the friendship between women, and the universal struggle to come to terms with death.

Just before the outbreak of the July 2006 war in Lebanon, a middle-aged woman named Nahla has gone missing. Distraught, besieged, and without any leads, Nahla’s dearest friends—Suad, Azizeh, Hoda, Nadine, and the narrator Alawiya—band together to console one another. They reminisce about the better days of their youth, lifetimes of romantic turmoil, the trouble with love, and their inescapable confrontation with death. Unsure whether Nahla has been killed in the fighting, fled the country, or disappeared into the oblivion of Alzheimer’s, Alawiya pieces together Nahla’s intimate past, simultaneously illuminating the jagged history of modern Lebanon. Through searching discussions with Nahla’s closest confidante Suad, tenacious investigation, and an imaginative effort to reconstruct the life of another, Alawiya might just find a way to bring Nahla back. In This Thing Called Love, celebrated Lebanese novelist Alawiya Sobh takes the war between Israel and Hizballah as the backdrop for a heart-wrenching story about love, loss, sex, the friendship between women, and the universal struggle to come to terms with mortality. Read more about This Thing Called Love.