New and Note­wor­thy

THE (Times Higher Education) - - CONTENTS -

Sto­icism: A Very Short In­tro­duc­tion

Brad In­wood

Ox­ford Univer­sity Press

James Stock­dale, a US pi­lot shot down and im­pris­oned for much of the Viet­nam War, found con­so­la­tion in re­call­ing the Stoic Hand­book of the for­mer slave Epicte­tus ( c. 55-135 AD). Oth­ers have sought in­spi­ra­tion in the Med­i­ta­tions of the Ro­man em­peror Mar­cus Aure­lius. Yet while Sto­icism re­mains in­flu­en­tial, we of­ten have a sim­plis­tic idea of its pro­po­nents’ be­liefs. From the limited sur­viv­ing ev­i­dence, how­ever, it now seems clear that the orig­i­nal Sto­ics were as in­ter­ested in logic and physics as in prac­ti­cal ethics. Brad In­wood’s “short in­tro­duc­tion” of­fers an in­ci­sive overview of how Sto­icism de­vel­oped – and why it might still be rel­e­vant.

In­ter­net Celebrity: Un­der­stand­ing Fame On­line

Crys­tal Abidin

Emer­ald Pub­lish­ing

To­day, sug­gests Crys­tal Abidin, we are liv­ing si­mul­ta­ne­ously in a Golden Age and a Dark Age of in­ter­net celebrity. While “an in­creas­ing num­ber of young peo­ple are skill­fully par­lay­ing their in­ter­net fame into full-fledged vi­able ca­reers” (and in some cases be­com­ing millionaires), we also see the world’s most pow­er­ful politi­cian “push­ing out highly sen­sa­tional and vi­ral tweets” that at­tract far more at­ten­tion than his pres­i­den­tial ac­tions. Tak­ing in ev­ery­thing from cam­girls to “cash­ing in on catch­phrases”, this book at­tempts to make sense of this con­fus­ing new world by ex­plor­ing the qual­i­ties (from “ex­clu­siv­ity” to “ev­ery­day­ness”) that can gen­er­ate in­ter­net fame, the links with tra­di­tional me­dia and the ways some celebrities man­age to be­come gen­uine “in­flu­encers”.

The Com­mon Free­dom of the Peo­ple: John Lil­burne and the English Rev­o­lu­tion

Michael Brad­dick

Ox­ford Univer­sity Press

One of the most com­pelling fig­ures of his era, John Lil­burne (1614-57) fell foul of both Charles I and Oliver Cromwell and was even­tu­ally ac­cused of treason no less than four times. Yet he fought a num­ber of cru­cial le­gal bat­tles – for the right to re­main silent, for the right to an open trial and for a writ­ten con­sti­tu­tion – and has re­mained an in­spi­ra­tion to many ever since. This “po­lit­i­cal life”, the first for al­most 60 years, takes us, as Michael Brad­dick puts it, into “the world of il­le­gal print, street demon­stra­tions, dawn raids, mil­i­tary cam­paigns, and the court­room”, pro­vid­ing a vivid por­trait of both the man and his age.

Artists and Their Books: Books and Their Artists

Mar­cia Reed and Glenn Phillips

Getty Re­search In­sti­tute

Artists as­so­ci­ated with Cu­bism, Dadaism, Ex­pres­sion­ism, Fu­tur­ism and Sur­re­al­ism all pro­duced works us­ing but also sub­vert­ing the tra­di­tional form of the book. More re­cent con­cep­tual artists have gone fur­ther and pro­duced “books” so big one can walk into them, “books” whose “pages” con­sist of crushed Coca-Cola cans and books fea­tur­ing pho­to­graphs of fis­sures in the earth… Such artists’ books sel­dom re­ceive much at­ten­tion from art or book his­to­ri­ans. One of the ma­jor col­lec­tions is held by the Getty Re­search In­sti­tute in Los An­ge­les. This new ac­count, tied to an ex­hi­bi­tion, of­fers an ex­cel­lent overview of a strange and stim­u­lat­ing medium.

Speak­ing Up: Un­der­stand­ing Lan­guage and Gen­der

Allyson Jule

Mul­ti­lin­gual Matters

In many parts of the world, ar­gues Allyson Jule, “lan­guage re­mains a key tool of op­pres­sion used to en­sure that (of­ten pow­er­less) women and sex­ual mi­nori­ties do not share power equally with white het­ero­sex­ual men… if we can make hidden as­sump­tions about gen­der and lan­guage more ex­plicit, then we can play a part in mak­ing this world a bet­ter place to live as hu­man be­ings.” Her lively and ac­ces­si­ble book con­sid­ers com­pli­ments and con­sumer fem­i­nin­ity, lib­eral fem­i­nism and “lin­guis­tic shit­work”, “slut­sham­ing” and stereo­typ­ing to re­veal the per­ni­cious power of gen­dered lan­guage ev­ery­where from ad­ver­tis­ing and tech­nol­ogy to re­li­gion and re­la­tion­ships.

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