Faculty Publications

American Passage:

The Communications Frontier in Early New England

Katherine Grandjean

320 pages | 6.125 x 9.25| 12 Halftones | 4 maps  | 1 Table

Hardcover January 2015 | ISBN 978-0-674-428991-8 | $29.95 | £22.95 | 

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New England was built on letters. Its colonists left behind thousands of them, brittle and browning and crammed with curls of purplish script. How they were delivered, though, remains mysterious. We know surprisingly little about the way news and people traveled in early America. No postal service or newspapers existed—not until 1704 would readers be able to glean news from a “public print.” But there was, in early New England, an unseen world of travelers, rumors, movement, and letters. Unearthing that early American communications frontier, American Passage retells the story of English colonization as less orderly and more precarious than the quiet villages of popular imagination.

The English quest to control the northeast entailed a great struggle to control the flow of information. Even when it was meant solely for English eyes, news did not pass solely through English hands. Algonquian messengers carried letters along footpaths, and Dutch ships took them across waterways. Who could travel where, who controlled the routes winding through the woods, who dictated what news might be sent—in Katherine Grandjean’s hands, these questions reveal a new dimension of contest and conquest in the northeast. Gaining control of New England was not solely a matter of consuming territory, of transforming woods into farms. It also meant mastering the lines of communication.

Read Pr. Grandjean's interview in the Boston Globe.

History and Popular Memory: The Power of Story in Moments of Crisis

Paul A. Cohen

336 pages | 6.5 x 9.5| 19 B&W Illustrations| 5 maps 

Cloth April 2014 | ISBN 978-0-231-16636-2 | $35.00 | £24.00 | 

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When people experience a traumatic event, such as war or the threat of annihilation, they often turn to history for stories that promise a positive outcome to their suffering. During World War II, the French took comfort in the story of Joan of Arc and her heroic efforts to rid France of foreign occupation. To bring the Joan narrative more into line with current circumstances, however, popular retellings modified the original story so that what people believed took place in the past was often quite different from what actually occurred.

Paul A. Cohen identifies this interplay between story and history as a worldwide phenomenon, found in countries of radically different cultural, religious, and social character. He focuses here on Serbia, Israel, China, France, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain, all of which experienced severe crises in the twentieth century and, in response, appropriated age-old historical narratives that resonated with what was happening in the present to serve a unifying, restorative purpose. 

A central theme in the book is the distinction between popular memory and history. Although vitally important to historians, this distinction is routinely blurred in people’s minds, and the historian’s truth often cannot compete with the power of a compelling story from the past, even when it has been seriously distorted by myth or political manipulation. Cohen concludes by suggesting that the patterns of interaction he probes, given their near universality, may well be rooted in certain human propensities that transcend cultural difference.

Clan Cleansing in Somalia: The Ruinous Legacy of 1991

Lidwien Kapteijns

336 pages | 6 x 9 | 1 map 
Cloth Dec 2012 | ISBN 978-0-8122-4467-0 | $69.95 | £45.50 | 

A volume in the Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights series

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In 1991, certain political and military leaders in Somalia, wishing to gain exclusive control over the state, mobilized their followers to use terror—wounding, raping, and killing—to expel a vast number of Somalis from the capital city of Mogadishu and south-central and southern Somalia. Manipulating clan sentiment, they succeeded in turning ordinary civilians against neighbors, friends, and coworkers. Although this episode of organized communal violence is common knowledge among Somalis, its real nature has not been publicly acknowledged and has been ignored, concealed, or misrepresented in scholarly works and political memoirs—until now. Marshaling a vast amount of source material, including Somali poetry and survivor accounts,Clan Cleansing in Somalia analyzes this campaign of clan cleansing against the historical background of a violent and divisive military dictatorship, in the contemporary context of regime collapse, and in relationship to the rampant militia warfare that followed in its wake.

Clan Cleansing in Somalia also reflects on the relationship between history, truth, and postconflict reconstruction in Somalia. Documenting the organization and intent behind the campaign of clan cleansing, Lidwien Kapteijns traces the emergence of the hate narratives and code words that came to serve as rationales and triggers for the violence. However, it was not clans that killed, she insists, but people who killed in the name of clan. Kapteijns argues that the mutual forgiveness for which politicians often so lightly call is not a feasible proposition as long as the violent acts for which Somalis should forgive each other remain suppressed and undiscussed. Clan Cleansing in Somalia establishes that public acknowledgment of the ruinous turn to communal violence is indispensable to social and moral repair, and can provide a gateway for the critical memory work required from Somalis on all sides of this multifaceted conflict.


The Mysteries of Artemis of Ephesos: Cult, Polis, and Change in the Graeco-Roman World

Guy Maclean Rogers

528 pages | 6 1/8 x 9 1/4 | 2 color illustrations, 27 b&w, 11 maps 
 9780300178630 | $45.00

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Artemis of Ephesos was one of the most widely worshiped deities of the Graeco-Roman World. Her temple, the Artemision, was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and for more than half a millennium people flocked to Ephesos to learn the great secret of the mysteries and sacrifices that were celebrated every year on her birthday.

In this work Guy MacLean Rogers sets out the evidence for the celebration of Artemis's mysteries against the background of the remarkable urban development of the city during the Roman Empire and then proposes an entirely new theory about the great secret that was revealed to initiates into Artemis's mysteries. The revelation of that secret helps to explain not only the success of Artemis's cult and polytheism itself but, more surprisingly, the demise of both and the success of Christianity. Contrary to many anthropological and scientific theories, the history of polytheism, including the celebration of Artemis's mysteries, is best understood as a Darwinian tale of adaptation, competition, and change.


Foreign Front: Third World Politics in Sixties West Germany

Quinn Slobodian

320 pages | 6 x 9 | 24 photographs 
Cloth Mar 2012 | ISBN 978-0-8223-5184-9 | $24.95

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It is often asserted that West German New Leftists "discovered the Third World" in the pivotal decade of the 1960s. Quinn Slobodian upsets that storyline by beginning with individuals from the Third World themselves: students from Africa, Asia, and Latin America who arrived on West German campuses in large numbers in the early 1960s. They were the first to mobilize German youth in protest against acts of state violence and injustice perpetrated beyond Europe and North America. The activism of the foreign students served as a model for West German students, catalyzing social movements and influencing modes of opposition to the Vietnam War. In turn, the West Germans offered the international students solidarity and safe spaces for their dissident engagements. This collaboration helped the West German students to develop a more nuanced, empathetic understanding of the Third World, not just as a site of suffering, poverty, and violence, but also as the home of politicized individuals with the capacity and will to speak in their own names.


House, but No Garden

Apartment Living in Bombay's Suburbs, 1898-1964

Nikhil Rao

320 pages | 7 x 10 | 53 photographs | 2 tables
Cloth Jan 2013 |
 ISBN 978-0-8166-7813-6  | $30.00

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 Between the well-documented development of colonial Bombay and sprawling contemporary Mumbai, a profound shift in the city’s fabric occurred: the emergence of the first suburbs and their distinctive pattern of apartment living. In House, but No Garden Nikhil Rao considers this phenomenon and its significance for South Asian urban life. It is the first book to explore an organization of the middle-class neighborhood that became ubiquitous in the mid-twentieth-century city and that has spread throughout the subcontinent.

Rao examines how the challenge of converting lands from agrarian to urban use created new relations between the state, landholders, and other residents of the city. At the level of dwellings, apartment living in self-contained flats represented a novel form of urban residence, one that expressed a compromise between the caste and class identities of suburban residents who are upper caste but belong to the lower-middle or middle class. Living in such a built environment, under the often conflicting imperatives of maintaining the exclusivity of caste and subcaste while assembling residential groupings large enough to be economically viable, led suburban residents to combine caste with class, type of work, and residence to forge new metacaste practices of community identity.

As it links the colonial and postcolonial city—both visually and analytically—Rao’s work traces the appearance of new spatial and cultural configurations in the middle decades of the twentieth century in Bombay. In doing so, it expands our understanding of how built environments and urban identities are constitutive of one another. 


The Transformation of a Religious Landscape

Medieval Italy, 850-1150

Valerie Ramseyer

240 pages | 6.1 x 9.3 | 8 illustrations
Cloth June 2006 |
 ISBN 978-0-8014-4403-6 | $55.00

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Awarded the Helen and Howard R. Marraro prize for best book on Italian History (2007) by the Society for Italian Historical Studies

The Transformation of a Religious Landscape paints a detailed picture of the sheer variety of early medieval Christian practice and organization as well as the diverse modes in which church reform manifested itself in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.

From the rich archives of the abbey of the Holy Trinity of Cava, Valerie Ramseyer reconstructed the complex religious history of southern Italy. No single religious or political figure claimed authority in the region before the eleventh century, and pastoral care was provided by a wide variety of small religious houses. The line between the secular and the regular clergy was not well pronounced, nor was the boundary between the clergy and the laity or between Eastern and Western religious practices.

In the second half of the eleventh century, however, the archbishop of Salerno and the powerful abbey of Cava acted to transform the situation. Centralized and hierarchical ecclesiastical structures took shape, and an effort was made to standardize religious practices along the lines espoused by reform popes such as Leo IX and Gregory VII. Yet prelates in southern Italy did not accept all aspects of the reform program emanating from centers such as Rome and Cluny, and the region’s religious life continued to differ in many respects from that in Francia: priests continued to marry and have children, laypeople to found and administer houses, and Greek clerics and religious practices to co-exist with those sanctioned by Rome.


Lenin Lives!

The Lenin Cult in Soviet Russia

Nina Tumarkin

337 pages | 6 1/8 x 9 1/4 |
Cloth April 1997 | ISBN 9780674524316| $31.50 

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Was the deification of Lenin a show of spontaneous affection--or a planned political operation designed to solidify the revolution with the masses? This book provides a startling answer. Exploring the cult’s mystical, historical, and political aspects, Tumarkin demonstrates the galvanizing power of ritual in the establishment of the post-revolutionary regime. In a new Preface and Postscript, she brings the story up to date, considering the fall of the Soviet Union and Russia’s new democracy.


The Living and the Dead

The Rise and the Fall of the Cult of World War II in Russia

Nina Tumarkin

244 pages | 6 x 9 |
Cloth Aug 1995 | ISBN 9780465041442 | $24.00 |

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This eye-opening book shows how Communist state and party authorities stage-managed the Soviets’ memory of World War II, transforming a national trauma into a heroic exploit that glorified the party while systematically concealing the disastrous mistakes and criminal cruelties committed by the Stalinist tyranny.