Bookshelf: Social Sciences Division

The Future of Nuclear Waste: What Art and Archaeology Can Tell Us about Securing the World's Most Hazardous Material

Rosemary Joyce

How can sites of waste disposal be marked to prevent contamination in the future? The United States government addressed this challenge in planning for nuclear waste repositories. Consulting with experts in imagining future scenarios, in language and communication, and in anthropology, the Department of Energy sought to develop plans that would satisfy demands from the Environmental Protection Agency for a marker system that would be effective long into the future. Expert consultants proposed two very different designs: one based on archaeological sites recognized as cultural...

The Feeling of History Islam, Romanticism, and Andalusia

Charles Hirschkind

In today’s world, the lines between Europe and the Middle East, between Christian Europeans and Muslim immigrants in their midst, seem to be hardening. Alarmist editorials compare the arrival of Muslim refugees with the “Muslim conquest of 711,” warning that Europe will be called on to defend its borders. Violence and paranoia are alive and well in Fortress Europe.

Against this xenophobic tendency, The Feeling of History examines the idea of Andalucismo—a modern tradition founded on the principle that contemporary Andalusia is connected in vitally important ways...

Unburied Lives The Historical Archaeology of Buffalo Soldiers at Fort Davis, Texas, 1869–1875

Laurie A. Wilkie

According to the accounts of two white officers, on the evening of November 20, 1872, Corporal Daniel Talliafero, of the segregated Black 9th cavalry, was shot to death by an officer's wife while attempting to break into her sleeping apartment at the military post of Fort Davis, Texas. Historians writing about Black soldiers serving in the West have long accepted the account without question, retelling the story of Daniel Talliafero, the thwarted "rapist."

In Unburied Lives Wilkie takes a different approach, demonstrating how we can "listen" to stories found in things...

Unlearning Rethinking Poetics, Pandemics, and the Politics of Knowledge

Charles L. Briggs

A provocative theoretical synthesis by renowned folklorist and anthropologist Charles L. Briggs, Unlearning questions intellectual foundations and charts new paths forward. Briggs argues, through an expansive look back at his own influential works as well as critical readings of the field, that scholars can disrupt existing social and discourse theories across disciplines when they collaborate with theorists whose insights are not constrained by the bounds of scholarship.

Eschewing narrow Eurocentric modes of explanation and research foci, Briggs brings together...

The Spectacular Generic Pharmaceuticals and the Simipolitical in Mexico

Cori Hayden

In The Spectacular Generic, Cori Hayden examines how generic drugs have transformed public health politics and everyday experiences of pharmaceutical consumption in Latin America. Focusing on the Mexican pharmacy chain Farmacias Similares and its proprietor, Víctor González Torres, Hayden shows how generics have become potent commodities in a postpatent world. In the early 2000s, González Torres, a.k.a. “Dr. Simi,” capitalized on the creation of new markets for generic medicines, selling cheaper copies of leading-brand drugs across Latin America. But Dr. Simi has not simply competed...

Engineering Vulnerability In Pursuit of Climate Adaptation

Sarah E. Vaughn

In Engineering Vulnerability Sarah E. Vaughn examines climate adaptation against the backdrop of ongoing processes of settler colonialism and the global climate change initiatives that seek to intervene in the lives of the world’s most vulnerable. Her case study is Guyana in the aftermath of the 2005 catastrophic flooding that ravaged the country’s Atlantic coastal plain. The country’s ensuing engineering projects reveal the contingencies of climate adaptation and the capacity of flooding to shape Guyanese expectations about racial (in)equality. Analyzing the coproduction of race and...

Untimely Sacrifices Work and Death in Finland

Daena Aki Funahashi

Untimely Sacrifices questions why individuals may give their time and energy to the collective against their own self-interest. Turning to Finland where public health officials named occupational burnout as a "new hazard" of the new economy, Daena Funahashi asks: What moves people to work to the point of pathological stress?

Contrary to health experts who highlight the importance of self-management and energetic conservation, Funahashi questions the very economic premise of cognitive psychology that one could "economize" one's energy and thus save oneself. By pitting anthropological...

The High Price of Freeways

Judy Juanita

The High Price of Freeways consists of stories, most set in California, that explore the oddity of living in a place where freedom is touted, but its costs are often hidden: abortion, rape, and childbirth form the backdrop for several stories; a pan-sexual comic gets perilously intimate with her handsome acupuncturist; three long-separated triplets reunite and somebody ends up the odd one out; militants establish a black cultural clearinghouse in San Francisco where new identities are forged. Oakland, Berkeley, S.F., Sacramento, Los Angeles — all are crisscrossed...

The Cambridge Centenary Ulysses: The 1922 Text with Essays and Notes

Catherine Flynn

James Joyce's Ulysses is considered one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. This new edition - published to celebrate the book's first publication - helps readers to understand the pleasures of this monumental work and to grapple with its challenges. Copiously equipped with maps, photographs, and explanatory footnotes, it provides a vivid and illuminating context for the experiences of Leopold Bloom, Stephen Dedalus, and Molly Bloom, as well as Joyce's many other Dublin characters, on June 16, 1904. Featuring a facsimile of the historic 1922 Shakespeare and Company text...

Asian American Histories of the United States

Catherine Ceniza Choy

An impressive new work about how major moments in Asian American history continue to influence the modern world.

In the first chapter, Choy, a professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley, connects anti-Asian violence during the Covid-19 pandemic to a history of stereotyping Asian immigrants as carriers of disease. Later, she ties the erasure of Chinese railroad workers to the lack of Asian representation in popular media. Popular culture, she writes, has “played a formative role in portraying Asians as subhuman and superhuman threats.” Besides covering...