Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Reference: Cultural Studies, the Environment and More

The Carmichael Library has recently accumulated a bevy of new and and exciting reference books. The diversity of the new additions to the reference collection speaks to the focused flexibility the library can provide at any step in a research project.

Historical Dictionary of the Green Movement

Elim Papadakis, Professor of Modern European Studies at The Australian National University, has provided a lucid account of the various machinations of environmental activism. Loosely speaking, the book devotes itself to a kind of clear archeology of green movements and parties over the course of human-occupied millenia.

African American National Biography

A product of the union of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University and Oxford University Press, the African American National Biography examines 4,100 commonly and uncommonly known lives in an effort to scan an image of African American experience. To its credit, the book attempts to circumvent the limits of the typical lists based on celebrity and recognized ingenuity, opening the field of vision to include some of those everyday lives that tend to disappear into more private geneologies.

Saving the Earth as a Career

For anyone interested in becoming a conservation professional, Saving the Earth as a Career opens the field up in a clear way to provide a practical guide to the various possible entry points.

The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Love, Courtship, & Sexuality Through History

Engaging the span from prehistory to an era some have called 'the end of history', this Greenwood volume attempts to look at love and sexuality on the myriad, diffuse terms of each respectively. The denotation of the umbrella terms 'love', 'courtship', and 'sexuality' serves as a kind of provisionally essentialist grounding upon which to draw up similarities and dissimilarities across borders. When removed from the context of the broad, binding terms in the title, the entry list of the book reads like an list of disparate or eclectic errata: abortion, daoism, Joan of Arc, bestiality, painting, virginity, Ottoman women, Benjamin Franklin, geisha, divorce, etc.

Icons of Hip Hop

This Greenwood 2-volume set seeks to balance an attentive devotion to 24 prominent hip-hop artists with the extended family of the genre, its influences as well as the objects of its post-productive appropriations. From DJs Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash to Kanye West, the iconology limits its primary focuses in order to smoothly and helpfully digress into such subjects as "the mixtape, the concept of a "beef," the 808 drum machine, and anti-Semitism in rap, to name a few. A timeline of hip hop history is also included." (Reference & Research Book News August 2007)

Encyclopedia of American Indian Literature

So often glossed over in even the more substantive typical North American literary bibliographies, the work of American Indians finds itself lit in this particular encyclopedia. The book provides an insightful lauch pad for private projects as well as for more expansive programs in American-Indian studies.

Encyclopedia of American Indian History

From precontact history to the shift marked by European assimilation, research in American Indian experience over time would do well to begin here. The book works to manifest an implicit dialog between the scholarly historical narratives of both Native and non-Native Americans.

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