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New Book Highlights

God in the details : American religion in popular culture edited by Eric Michael Mazur and Kate McCarthy, 2nd ed.

“Exploring the blurred boundary between religion and pop culture, God in the Details offers a provocative look at the breadth and persistence of religious themes in the American consciousness. This new edition reflects the explosion of online activity since the first edition, including chapters on the spiritual implications of social networking sites, and the hazy line between real and virtual religious life in the online community Second Life. Also new to this edition are chapters on the migration of black male expression from churches to athletic stadiums, new configurations of the sacred and the commercial, and post 9/11 spirituality and religious redemption through an analysis of vampire drama, True Blood. Popular chapters on media, sports, and other pop culture experiences have been revised and updated, making this an invaluable resource for students and scholars alike.” –Publisher’s information

The hungry world : America’s Cold War battle against poverty in Asia by Nick Cullather

“A pioneering and transformative work that tracks the politics of hunger from the invention of the calorie to Asia’s Cold War ideological battlegrounds, The Hungry World explores, with a sharp, lively sense of irony, American scientists’ and policy-makers’ relentless and often futile efforts to transmute the conflictual politics of rural deprivation into a technocratic politics of agricultural production.” –Paul A. Kramer, author of The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States and the Philippines

Daniel by Henning Mankell ; translated from the Swedish by Steven T. Murray

“Set in the 1870s, this earnest and heartbreaking story opens with the unsolved murder of a mentally retarded Swedish girl, but this isn’t a mystery in the mode of Mankell’s international bestselling Kurt Wallander novels (Firewall, etc.). Hans Bengler, a Swedish entomologist, travels across southern Africa in search of undiscovered insects. In the desert, he finds an orphaned native boy, whom he adopts on impulse and calls Daniel. Bengler brings Daniel back to Sweden to exhibit him for money. A link eventually emerges between the girl’s murder and Daniel’s story, which dramatically illuminates the evils of colonialism (Bengler notes that he “had to make the important decisions for these black people”) and the cultural chasm between Europeans and Africans. Mankell fully understands Daniel’s radically different cultural perspective and indelibly captures the boy’s longing to return to his homeland and the tragic consequences of his forced exile.” –Publisher’s Weekly

Sheila Hicks : 50 years by Joan Simon and Susan C. Faxon ; with an essay by Whitney Chadwick

“Sheila Hicks (born 1934) is a pioneering artist noted for objects and public commissions whose structures are built of color and fiber. This volume accompanies the first major retrospective of Hicks’s work; it documents the remarkable versatility and dramatically divergent scale of her textiles as well as her distinctive use, and surprising range, of materials. Hicks deliberately and provocatively engages what are often considered mutually exclusive domains, rethinking and pushing the limits of generally accepted contexts, conditions, and frameworks. These include distinct objects and temporal, performative actions; studio works and commissions for public buildings; and textiles made in artisanal workshops as well as for industrial production in places as different as Chile, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Sweden, and the United States.” –Publisher’s information

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