New Books In Public Health

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Interviews with scholars of public health about their new books read less
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Daniel Skinner et al., "The City and the Hospital: The Paradox of Medically Overserved Communities" (U Chicago Press, 2023)
昨日
Daniel Skinner et al., "The City and the Hospital: The Paradox of Medically Overserved Communities" (U Chicago Press, 2023)
An enduring paradox of urban public health is that many communities around hospitals are economically distressed and, counterintuitively, medically underserved. In The City and the Hospital two sociologists, Jonathan R. Wynn and Berkeley Franz, and a political scientist, Daniel Skinner, track the multiple causes of this problem and offer policy solutions. Focusing on three urban hospitals—Connecticut’s Hartford Hospital, the flagship of the Hartford Healthcare system; the Cleveland Clinic, which coordinates with other providers for routine care while its main campus provides specialty care; and the University of Colorado Hospital, a rare example of an urban institution that relocated to a new community—the authors analyze the complicated relationship between a hospital and its neighborhoods. On the one hand, hospitals anchor the communities that surround them, often staying in a neighborhood for decades. Hospitals also craft strategies to engage with the surrounding community, many of those focused on buying locally and hiring staff from their surrounding area. On the other hand, hospitals will often only provide care to the neighboring community through emergency departments, reserving advanced medical care and long-term treatment for those who can pay a premium for it. In addition, the authors show, hospitals frequently buy neighborhood real estate and advocate for development programs that drive gentrification and displacement. To understand how urban healthcare institutions work with their communities, the authors address power, history, race, and urbanity as much as the workings of the medical industry. These varied initiatives and effects mean that understanding urban hospitals requires seeing them in a new light—not only as medical centers but as complicated urban forces. Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is a Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. He is the author of The Social Construction of a Cultural Spectacle: Floatzilla (Lexington Books, 2023) and Community Media Representations of Place and Identity at Tug Fest: Reconstructing the Mississippi River (Lexington Books, 2022). His general area of study is about the construction of identity and place. He is currently conducting research for his next project that looks at nightlife and the emotional labor that is performed by bouncers at bars and nightclubs. To learn more about Michael O. Johnston you can go to his website, Google Scholar, Twitter @ProfessorJohnst, or by email at johnstonmo@wmpenn.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Cameron McWhirter and Zusha Elinson, "American Gun: The True Story of the AR-15" (FSG, 2023)
2日前
Cameron McWhirter and Zusha Elinson, "American Gun: The True Story of the AR-15" (FSG, 2023)
In the 1950s, an obsessive firearms designer named Eugene Stoner invented the AR-15 rifle in a California garage. High-minded and patriotic, Stoner sought to devise a lightweight, easy-to-use weapon that could replace the M1s touted by soldiers in World War II. What he did create was a lethal handheld icon of the American century. In American Gun: The True Story of the AR-15 (FSG, 2023), the veteran Wall Street Journal reporters Cameron McWhirter and Zusha Elinson track the AR-15 from inception to ubiquity. How did the same gun represent the essence of freedom to millions of Americans and the essence of evil to millions more? To answer this question, McWhirter and Elinson follow Stoner--the American Kalashnikov--as he struggled mightily to win support for his invention, which under the name M16 would become standard equipment in Vietnam. Shunned by gun owners at first, the rifle's popularity would take off thanks to a renegade band of small-time gun makers. And in the 2000s, it would become the weapon of choice for mass shooters, prompting widespread calls for proscription even as the gun industry embraced it as a financial savior. Writing with fairness and compassion, McWhirter and Elinson explore America's gun culture, revealing the deep appeal of the AR-15, the awful havoc it wreaks, and the politics of reducing its toll. The result is a moral history of contemporary America's love affair with technology, freedom, and weaponry. Cameron McWhirter is a national reporter for The Wall Street Journal, based in Atlanta. He has covered mass shootings, violent protests and natural disasters across the South. He is also the author of Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America. Previously, he reported for other publications in the U.S., as well as Bosnia, Iraq, and Ethiopia. Zusha Elinson is a national reporter, writing about guns and violence for the Wall Street Journal. Based in California, he has also written for the Center for Investigative Reporting and the New York Times Bay Area section. Recommended Books: Robert Caro, The Path to Power William Shawcross, Sideshow Dexter Filkins, The Forever War Adam Winkler, Gun Fight Tim Mak, Misfire Doug Stanton, Horse Solidiers  Chris Holmes is Chair of Literatures in English and Associate Professor at Ithaca College. He writes criticism on contemporary global literatures. His book, Kazuo Ishiguro Against World Literature, is under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing. He is the co-director of The New Voices Festival, a celebration of work in poetry, prose, and playwriting by up-and-coming young writers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Max Felker-Kantor, "DARE to Say No: Policing and the War on Drugs in Schools" (UNC Press, 2023)
5日前
Max Felker-Kantor, "DARE to Say No: Policing and the War on Drugs in Schools" (UNC Press, 2023)
With its signature "DARE to keep kids off drugs" slogan and iconic t-shirts, DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) was the most popular drug education program of the 1980s and 1990s. But behind the cultural phenomenon is the story of how DARE and other antidrug education programs brought the War on Drugs into schools and ensured that the velvet glove of antidrug education would be backed by the iron fist of rigorous policing and harsh sentencing. Max Felker-Kantor has assembled the first history of DARE, which began in Los Angeles in 1983 as a joint venture between the police department and the unified school district. By the mid-90s, it was taught in 75 percent of school districts across the United States. DARE received near-universal praise from parents, educators, police officers, and politicians and left an indelible stamp on many millennial memories. But the program had more nefarious ends, and Felker-Kantor complicates simplistic narratives of the War on Drugs.  In DARE to Say No: Policing and the War on Drugs in Schools (UNC Press, 2023), he shows how policing entered US schools and framed drug use as the result of personal responsibility, moral failure, and poor behavior deserving of punishment rather than something deeply rooted in state retrenchment, the abandonment of social service provisions, and structures of social and economic inequality. Jeffrey Lamson is a PhD student in world history at Northeastern University. His research focuses on the history of police technology, its relationship to the history of police reform, and its place at the intersection of U.S. domestic policing and global counterinsurgency. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Brian H. Williams, "The Bodies Keep Coming: Dispatches from a Black Trauma Surgeon on Racism, Violence, and How We Heal" (Broadleaf Books, 2023)
10-02-2024
Brian H. Williams, "The Bodies Keep Coming: Dispatches from a Black Trauma Surgeon on Racism, Violence, and How We Heal" (Broadleaf Books, 2023)
Trauma surgeon and professor Dr. Brian H. Williams has seen it all: gunshot wounds, stabbings, and traumatic brain injuries. In The Bodies Keep Coming: Dispatches from a Black Trauma Surgeon on Racism, Violence, and How We Heal (Broadleaf Books, 2023), Williams ushers us into the trauma bay, where the wounds of a national emergency amass. As a Harvard-trained physician, Williams learned to keep his head down and his scalpel ready. As a Black man, he learned to swallow the rage when patients told him to take out the trash. Just days after the tragic police shootings of two Black men, Williams tried to save the lives of police officers shot in Dallas in the deadliest incident for US law enforcement since 9/11. Thrust into the spotlight in a nation that loves feel-good stories about heroism more than hard truths about racism, Williams came to rethink everything he thought he knew about medicine, injustice, and what true healing looks like. Now, in raw and intimate detail, Williams narrates not only the events of that night in 2016, but the grief and anger of a Black doctor on the front lines of trauma care. Working in the physician-writer tradition of Atul Gawande and Damon Tweedy, Williams diagnoses the roots of the violence that plagues us. He draws a through line between white supremacy, gun violence, and the bodies he tries to revive, and he trains his surgeon's gaze on the structural ills that manifest themselves in the bodies of his patients. What if racism is a feature of our healthcare system, not a bug? What if profiting from racial inequality is exactly what it was designed to do? Black and brown bodies will continue to be wracked by all types of violence, Williams argues, until something changes. Until we transform policy and law with compassion and care, the bodies will keep coming. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Robert Alpert et al., "Diseased Cinema: Plagues, Pandemics and Zombies in American Movies" (Edinburgh UP, 2023)
06-02-2024
Robert Alpert et al., "Diseased Cinema: Plagues, Pandemics and Zombies in American Movies" (Edinburgh UP, 2023)
As I may be the target audience for Diseased Cinema: Plagues, Pandemics and Zombies in American Movies (Edinburgh UP, 2023), I really enjoyed interviewing Robert Alpert, Merle Eisenberg, and Lee Mordechai. Their co-authored book explores the politics of American films about disease and zombies. We had a wide-ranging, thoughtful, and funny conversation about pandemics, capitalism, academic collaboration, apocalyptic fiction, and the importance of family. Robert Alpert is an Adjunct Instructor at Fordham University where he has taught courses on computers and robots in film, movies and the American experience, and media law. He has written extensively on movies, including on directors, such as Chaplin, Meyers, and Bigelow, as well as on other topics, such as gender, the Hollywood idiom, and the politics of science fiction. His publications can be found in Jump Cut, Senses of Cinema, and CineAction. Alpert received his M.F.A. in Film from Columbia University. He also received a J.D. from New York University and practiced intellectual property law for over 30 years. Merle Eisenberg is an Assistant Professor of History at Oklahoma State University and a founding faculty member of the Oklahoma State Pandemic Center. He has published articles in journals including The American Historical Review and Past & Present. His work has also appeared in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which received press coverage in CNN, Fox News, USA Today, and the NY Post. He has also appeared on CNN to discuss historical pandemics and regularly teaches courses on plagues and pandemics in history. Along with Lee Mordechai, he is the co-founder and co-host of the Infectious Historians podcast. Lee Mordechai is a Senior Lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Associate Director of Princeton University’s Climate Change and History Research Initiative. He has published over twenty academic articles, including two in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and in The American Historical Review and Past & Present. He has taught several courses on epidemics, including a seminar that used a draft of Diseased Cinema: Plagues, Pandemics and Zombies in American Movies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Matthew D. Lassiter, "The Suburban Crisis: White America and the War on Drugs" (Princeton UP, 2023)
02-02-2024
Matthew D. Lassiter, "The Suburban Crisis: White America and the War on Drugs" (Princeton UP, 2023)
Most accounts of post-1950s political history tell the story of of the war on drugs as part of a racial system of social control of urban minority populations, an extension of the federal war on black street crime and the foundation for the "new Jim Crow" of mass incarceration as key characteristics of the U.S. in this period. But as the Nixon White House understood, and as the Carter and Reagan administrations also learned, there were not nearly enough urban heroin addicts in America to sustain a national war on drugs.  The Suburban Crisis: White America and the War on Drugs (Princeton University Press, 2023) argues that the long war on drugs has reflected both the bipartisan mandate for urban crime control and the balancing act required to resolve an impossible public policy: the criminalization of the social practices and consumer choices of tens of millions of white middle-class Americans constantly categorized as "otherwise law-abiding citizens."" That is, the white middle class was just as much a target as minority populations. The criminalization of marijuana - the white middle-class drug problem - moved to the epicenter of the national war on drugs during the Nixon era. White middle-class youth by the millions were both the primary victims of the organized drug trade and excessive drug war enforcement, but policymakers also remained committed to deterring their illegal drug use, controlling their subculture, and coercing them into rehabilitation through criminal law. Only with the emergence of crack cocaine epidemic of the mid-1980s did this use of state power move out of suburbs and reemerge more dramatically in urban and minority areas.  This book tells a history of how state institutions, mass media, and grassroots political movements long constructed the wars on drugs, crime, and delinquency through the lens of suburban crisis while repeatedly launching bipartisan/nonpartisan crusades to protect white middle-class victims from perceived and actual threats, both internal and external. The book works on a national, regional, and local level, with deep case studies of major areas like San Francisco, LA, Washington, and New York. This history uses the lens of the suburban drug war to examine the consequences when affluent white suburban families serve as the nation's heroes and victims all at the same time, in politics, policy, and popular culture. Matthew D. Lassiter is professor of history and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan, where he is co-director of the Carceral State Project. Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Caitlin Killian, "Failing Moms: Social Condemnation and Criminalization of Mothers" (Polity Press, 2023)
29-01-2024
Caitlin Killian, "Failing Moms: Social Condemnation and Criminalization of Mothers" (Polity Press, 2023)
The role of mother is often celebrated in the United States as the most important job in the world but Dr. Caitlin Killian argues that American motherhood is increasingly monitored and perilous. From preconception, through pregnancy, and while parenting, she argues that women are held to ever-higher standards and punished – both socially and criminally – for failing to live up to these norms. Using historical accounts, public health pronouncements, social psychological research, and course cases, Failing Moms: Social Condemnation and Criminalization of Mothers (Polity Press, 2023) documents how women of all ethnic backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses have been interrogated, held against their will, and jailed for a rapidly expanding list of offenses such as falling down the stairs while pregnant or letting a child spend time alone in a park, actions that were not considered criminal a generation ago. While poor mothers and moms of color are targeted the most, Dr. Killian argues that all moms are in jeopardy, whether they realize it or not. Women and mothers are disproportionately held accountable compared to men and fathers who do not see their reproduction policed and almost never incur charges for “failure to protect.” The gendered inequality of prosecutions reveals them to be more about controlling women than protecting children. Other books have examined the specific risks to either pregnant or parenting women – but few connect the issues – and that is Dr. Killian’s goal. Using a reproductive justice lens, she analyzes the extent of the crisis and what must change to prevent mass penalization and provide resources to allow people to mother well. Dr. Caitlin Killian is a professor of sociology at Drew University specializing in gender, families, reproduction, and immigration. She has worked as a consultant for the United Nations, developing the module on sexual and reproductive health and rights for UN staff training and co-authoring a UNDP report on Syrian refugee women. Her articles have appeared in Contexts magazine and The Conversation, and she has published in numerous academic journals about adoption, overblown warnings about women’s alcohol consumption during pregnancy, sexual and reproductive health and justice, and immigrant and refugee women. Dr. Killian mentions: Michele Goodwin, Policing the Womb: Invisible Women and the Criminalization of Motherhood Renee Almeling, GUYnecology: The Missing Science of Men’s Reproductive Health Jeanne Flavin, Our Bodies, Our Crimes: The Policing of Women's Reproduction Miranda R. Waggoner, The Zero Trimester: Pre-Pregnancy Care and the Politics of Reproductive Risk Cynthia Daniels, Exposing Men: The Science and Politics of Male Reproduction Kim Brooks, Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear  George Lobis served as the editorial assistant for this podcast. Susan Liebell is a Professor of Political Science at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, "Fit Nation: The Gains and Pains of America's Exercise Obsession" (U Chicago Press, 2023)
20-01-2024
Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, "Fit Nation: The Gains and Pains of America's Exercise Obsession" (U Chicago Press, 2023)
Today we are joined by Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, Professor of History at The New School, and author of Fit Nation: The Gains and Pains of America’s Exercise Obsession (University of Chicago Press, 2023). In our conversation, we discussed the beginnings of fitness in the United States, how fitness both offered the state a way to shape bodies and liberatory possibilities for counter-cultural communities, and the future of exercise in a post-covid world. In Fit Nation, Petrzela investigates the long history of fitness in the United States to better understand how fitness became such an important part of American life. She notes that the number of people who think fitness is essential for a full life has expanded dramatically since the 1890s and fitness shape our understandings of national community, industry, security, wealth, and wellness. Her comprehensive and readable account begins with the immigration of European fitness fanatics to the United States in the 19th century and illustrates how fitness became one of the most proto-typically American pursuits. The book is divided into seven sections; the first, “When Sweating Was Strange,” shows how American entrepreneurs translated European practices to a sceptical audience. Muscle Beach in Venice, California played a special role in promoting bodybuilding but it also alarmed ordinary Americans who worried about the time participants spent on what many thought were narcissistic and vain habits. One of the major themes of Petrzela’s work is the role of the government in promoting physical fitness and in the Cold War world the state opened the door to mass fitness. In the second section, “Slimming the Soft American,” she demonstrates how presidents starting with Eisenhower put fitness at the centre of their Cold War educational programs. The most notable example of government interventions into fitness was the President’s Council on Youth Fitness (now the President’s Council on Sport, Fitness, and Nutrition.) The third and fourth sections – “From the Margins to the Mainstream” and Movement Culture, Redefined” illustrate how fitness became a central part of the American experience and the limits to that experience in the 1960s and 1970s. Television brought fitness into American houses but gyms remained largely male spaces (although often associated with latent homosexuality.) Yoga and jogging made fitness accessible and linked fitness culture with counter-culture. Women were both the targets of most fitness programs – although not necessarily for liberatory reasons - and excluded from large sections of it. In the 1980s and 1990s, fitness changed further, moving away from the state-led efforts and counter-cultural currents of the 1950s and 1960s. Fitness became big business. In her fifth part, “Feel the Burn,” Petrzela shows how a new gospel of fitness emerged that made gyms, workout classes, and sweating accessible and desirable to growing numbers of Americans. In her sixth section, “Hard Bodies and Soulful Selves”, Petrzela shows how fitness shifted from an obligation imposed by the state for geo-political reasons to a more intrinsic requirement of people living in the neo-liberal era, but not everyone always fulfilled those obligations and many people resisted them. In the final section, “It’s Not Working Out,” Petrzela looks at the present and the future of the Fit Nation. Americans are by some measures less fit than ever before, but Petrzela raises real questions about the potential of any narrow definition of fitness to fix persistent health problems. 9/11, the Global Financial Crisis, and Covid-19 changed the way people worked out – cross-fit, home gyms, and Peloton became more popular than ever but fitness was also politicized into the left/right dynamic that dominates American cultural life. Keith Rathbone is a Senior Lecturer at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He researches twentieth-century French social and cultural history. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Patricia Strach and Kathleen S. Sullivan, "The Politics of Trash: How Governments Used Corruption to Clean Cities, 1890–1929" (Cornell UP, 2023)
18-01-2024
Patricia Strach and Kathleen S. Sullivan, "The Politics of Trash: How Governments Used Corruption to Clean Cities, 1890–1929" (Cornell UP, 2023)
Political Scientists Patricia Strach (The University at Albany, State University of New York) and Kathleen S. Sullivan (Ohio University) have written a fascinating and important exploration of trash. More precisely, this is a complex examination and analysis of the development of our municipal sanitation processes and structures, highlighting intersecting policy areas, urban and local politics, and racial, gender, and class politics. The Politics of Trash: How Governments Used Corruption to Clean Cities, 1890–1929 (Cornell UP, 2023) has it all: corruption, gender and racial hierarchies, blame defection, rejection of expertise, case studies across a host of different cities around the country, and the collection of, the disposal of, and the innovations of garbage. Strach and Sullivan examine this multidimensional policy issue from an American political development perspective when the issue really took root in the United States in the latter part of the 19th century. At this point, urban areas saw demographic growth from migration from rural areas as well as the waves of immigrants who came to the U.S. Most U.S. cities found themselves facing the same problem: unsanitary living situations. The initial research found that there were three different forms of trash collection, and they highlighted the processes in San Francisco, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh. San Francisco had no formal municipal collection process; instead, the citizens of San Francisco contracted directly with scavengers themselves to remove the garbage. Pittsburgh, as a municipality, contracted out the responsibility—but the process there was one that fed fees back to the municipal leadership. New Orleans, awash in local government corruption, ultimately had a municipal collection program, which was generally far from effective. While these three cities were the basis for the initial research, St. Louis and Charleston were also added to the case studies, with Birmingham and Louisville as secondary examples within the study. The Politics of Trash also explores the way in which citizens need to engage with and comply with the sanitation programs. In order to urge compliance, cities often called on women’s civic organizations to model and advocate for participation in the garbage process. Obviously, these were white women’s civic organizations and while they had been advocates for sanitation processes, they were generally cut out of the development process since women were not to be too close to politics itself. Strach and Sullivan spent time with the Good Housekeeping magazine archives in order to flesh out this dimension of the analysis. The research also highlights how blame was put on immigrants and people of color when the sanitation programs failed—often because of corruption and lack of sufficient resources. The authors note throughout the text that the form that we remove and dispose of waste/garbage/trash now is the same as it was 100 years ago. And while we often separate compostables from recyclables from trash, this is not all that different than the ways that people disposed of their garbage in Pittsburgh, and Charleston, and San Francisco a century ago. And many of the same forms of removal remain in place. The Politics of Trash is a lively and fascinating analysis of a part of our lives that we often don’t consider to be political, but it is political, and has been for quite some time. Lilly J. Goren is a professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-host of the New Books in Political Science channel at the New Books Network. She is co-editor of The Politics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (University Press of Kansas, 2022), as well as co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012). She can be reached @gorenlj.bsky.social Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jennifer Thomson, "The Wild and the Toxic: American Environmentalism and the Politics of Health" (UNC Press, 2019)
10-01-2024
Jennifer Thomson, "The Wild and the Toxic: American Environmentalism and the Politics of Health" (UNC Press, 2019)
The first wealth is health, according to Emerson. Among health’s riches is its political potential. Few know this better than environmentalists. In her debut book, The Wild and the Toxic: American Environmentalism and the Politics of Health (UNC Press, 2019), historian Jennifer Thomson revisits canonical figures and events from the environmental movement in the United States and finds everywhere talk of health. At its best, viewing the environment through the lens of health encouraged decentralized organizing and a sense of collective responsibility. At its worst it supported technocracy and uninspired paeans to green consumerism. With shrewd analysis, Thomson gives the movement its own check-up as she reassess the careers and political imaginations of many of the its luminaries, including David Brower, Wendell Berry, Dave Foreman, and Bill McKibben. Dispensing with the habit of thinking of environmentalism as responding only and ever to itself, Thomson sets its history within the larger context of American political development. So the book is full of unexpected historical crossovers, such as Love Canal residents responding to the Mariel boatlife or the OPEC embargo-era U.S. oil industry championing the Gaia hypothesis. Few books on environmentalism’s past are a better guide for envisioning its future. Jennifer Thomson is Assistant Professor of History at Bucknell History. She also hosts the radio program Bucknell: Occupied, which airs Thursday at 6:00 pm on WVBU. Brian Hamilton is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he is researching African American environmental history. A Maine native, he lives in Western Massachusetts and chairs the History and Social Science Department at Deerfield Academy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Chinmay Tumbe, "The Age Of Pandemics (1817-1920): How They Shaped India and the World" (Harper Collins, 2020)
03-01-2024
Chinmay Tumbe, "The Age Of Pandemics (1817-1920): How They Shaped India and the World" (Harper Collins, 2020)
On this episode of the Economic and Business History channel I spoke with Dr. Chinmay Tumbe, Assistant Professor of Economics at the Indian Institute of Management. He was Alfred D Chandler Jr. International Visiting Scholar in Business History, Harvard Business School in 2018. Dr, Tumbe has published academic articles in Management and Organizational History and in the Journal of Management History. He has written two books, one in 2018 India Moving: A History of Migration, which talks about how people have moved in India historically, and his 2020 book the Age of Pandemics 1817-1920: How They Shaped India and the World (HarperCollins, 2020). The book argues that the period between the early nineteenth century to the early twentieth century - an age otherwise known for the worldwide spread of the industrial revolution, imperialism, and globalization - was also the 'age of pandemics'. It documents the scale of devastation caused by different pandemics, cholera, the plague, influenza, and finally Covid. The book has great resources for the classroom and for the general public such as a timeline of pandemics, striking tables such as the death toll in millions for each epidemic, and a set of photographs at the end that is definitely worth viewing. Paula De La Cruz-Fernández is a consultant, historian, and digital editor. New Books Network en español editor. Edita CEO.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
David Courtwright, "The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business" (Harvard UP, 2019)
26-12-2023
David Courtwright, "The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business" (Harvard UP, 2019)
We are living in an age of addiction, from compulsive gaming and binge eating to pornography and opioid abuse. Today I talked with historian David Courtwright about the global nature of pleasure, vice, and capitalism. His new book is called The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business (Harvard University Press, 2019). During our discussion, Courtwright walks us through the emergence of the worldwide commodification of vice and shares his views on "limbic capitalism," the network of competitive businesses targeting the brain pathways responsible for feeling, motivation, and long-term memory. The book is equally interesting and disturbing. And Courtwright offers timely recommendations about how we can understand and address the Age of Addiction. Coming from one of the world's leading experts on the history of drugs and addiction, this important work raises stimulating and sobering questions about consumption and free will. Courtwright is the author of Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World (Harvard University Press, 2001) as well as Dark Paradise: A History of Opiate Addiction in America (Harvard University Press, 1982). Lucas Richert is an associate professor in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He studies intoxicating substances and the pharmaceutical industry. He also examines the history of mental health. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nessette Falu, "Unseen Flesh: Gynecology and Black Queer Worth-Making in Brazil" (Duke UP, 2023)
24-12-2023
Nessette Falu, "Unseen Flesh: Gynecology and Black Queer Worth-Making in Brazil" (Duke UP, 2023)
In Unseen Flesh: Gynecology and Black Queer Worth-Making in Brazil (Duke University Press, 2023) Nessette Falu explores how Black lesbians in Brazil define and sustain their well-being and self-worth against persistent racial, sexual, class, and gender-based prejudice. Focusing on the trauma caused by interactions with gynecologists, Falu draws on in-depth ethnographic work among the Black lesbian community to reveal their profoundly negative affective experiences within Brazil’s deeply biased medical system. In the face of such entrenched, intersectional intimate violence, Falu’s informants actively pursue well-being in ways that channel their struggle for self-worth toward broader goals of social change, self care, and communal action. Demonstrating how the racist and heteronormative underpinnings of gynecology erase Black lesbian subjecthood through mental, emotional, and physical traumas, Falu explores the daily resistance and abolitionist practices of worth-making that claim and sustain Black queer identity and living. Falu rethinks the medicalization of race, sex, and gender in Brazil and elsewhere while offering a new perspective on Black queer life through well-being grounded in relationships, socioeconomic struggles, the erotic, and freedom strivings. Nessette Falu is Assistant Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Reighan Gillam is an Associate Professor in the Department of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies at Dartmouth College. Her research examines the ways in which Afro-Brazilian media producers foment anti-racist visual politics through their image creation. She is the author of Visualizing Black Lives: Ownership and Control in Afro-Brazilian Media (University of Illinois Press). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Talking to Strangers: A Discussion with Psychotherapist Charlotte Fox Weber
21-12-2023
Talking to Strangers: A Discussion with Psychotherapist Charlotte Fox Weber
Can the kindness of strangers help with the loneliness crisis? Whether you are a student, staff, or have gone alt-ac, you’ve likely had to move at least once recently for your education and career goals. It can get lonely when family and friends are far away or they just don’t understand what you are doing with your life, and you are left wondering who you can talk to, who has your back, and who will be your people. In this episode, a podcaster and a psychotherapist sit down to talk about how their respective jobs regularly place them in conversations with strangers, and the unexpectedly good things that have come of that. As Christina Gessler and Charlotte Fox Weber consider reports of a global loneliness crisis, they offer up the idea that perhaps one of the answers to dealing with loneliness is not in cultivating or stressing big relationships, but in recognizing the value of all of the smaller roles played by the people you encounter, and in re-valuing daily interactions. Along with consideration for caring for mental wellbeing, having boundaries, making a safety-plan or setting up guardrails, and having realistic expectations for the roles people can fill in our lives, this episode reflects on how we can value the cumulative effect of all the smaller conversations that make up a life, and on the surprising kindness and wisdom that might be offered by strangers. Our guest is: Charlotte Fox Weber, who is a psychotherapist and writer. She cofounded Examined Life and was the founding head of The School of Life Psychotherapy. She grew up in Connecticut and Paris and now lives in London with her family. She is the author of Tell Me What You Want. Find out more at CharlotteFoxWeber.com. Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, who is the producer and host of the Academic Life podcast. She holds a PhD in history, which she uses to explore what stories we tell and what happens to those we never tell. Listeners may also be interested in: An Academic Life conversation on the good-enough life An Academic Life conversation on making a meaningful life An Academic Life conversation on community-building An Academic Life conversation about handling difficult conversations An Academic Life conversation about figuring out what you really want Welcome to Academic Life, the podcast for your academic journey—and beyond! Join us to learn from experts inside and outside the academy, and around the world. Missed any of the 175+ Academic Life episodes? You’ll find them all archived here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jenny Trinitapoli, "An Epidemic of Uncertainty: Navigating HIV and Young Adulthood in Malawi" (U Chicago Press, 2023)
20-12-2023
Jenny Trinitapoli, "An Epidemic of Uncertainty: Navigating HIV and Young Adulthood in Malawi" (U Chicago Press, 2023)
A decade-long study of young adulthood in Malawi demonstrates the impact of widespread HIV status uncertainty, laying bare the sociological implications of what is not known.  An Epidemic of Uncertainty: Navigating HIV and Young Adulthood in Malawi (U Chicago Press, 2023) advances a new framework for studying social life by emphasizing something social scientists routinely omit from their theories, models, and measures–what people know they don’t know. Taking Malawi’s ongoing AIDS epidemic as an entry point, Jenny Trinitapoli shows that despite admirable declines in new HIV infections and AIDS-related mortality, an epidemic of uncertainty persists; at any given point in time, fully half of Malawian young adults don’t know their HIV status. Reckoning with the impact of this uncertainty within the bustling trading town of Balaka, Trinitapoli argues that HIV-related uncertainty is measurable, pervasive, and impervious to biomedical solutions, with consequences that expand into multiple domains of life, including relationship stability, fertility, and health.  Throughout a groundbreaking decade-long longitudinal study, rich survey data and poignant ethnographic vignettes vividly depict how individual lives and population patterns unfold against the backdrop of an ever-evolving epidemic. Even as HIV is transformed from a progressive, fatal disease to a chronic and manageable condition, the accompanying epidemic of uncertainty remains fundamental to understanding social life in this part of the world. Insisting that known unknowns can and should be integrated into social-scientific models of human behaviour, An Epidemic of Uncertainty: Navigating HIV and Young Adulthood in Malawi treats uncertainty as an enduring aspect, a central feature, and a powerful force in everyday life. Rituparna Patgiri has a PhD in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. Her research interests lie in the areas of food, media, gender and public. She is also one of the co-founders of Doing Sociology. Patgiri can be reached at @Rituparna37 on Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Brian Brown and Virginia Kuulei Berndt, "Body Art" (Emerald Publishing, 2023)
19-12-2023
Brian Brown and Virginia Kuulei Berndt, "Body Art" (Emerald Publishing, 2023)
Body art, especially tattoos and piercings, has enjoyed an explosion of interest in recent years. However, the response of many health professionals and researchers to this phenomenon is often negative, as body art continues to be associated with issues ranging from ill mental health to offending behaviors. Arguing for a reappraisal of the diverse range of practices that fall under this heading, Brian Brown and Virginia (Ginger) Kuulei Berndt reconsider body art as an underappreciated yet accessible source for mental and physical wellbeing. How, they ask, does body art open up new sources of community, sociality, and aesthetics? How is it used for the reclamation of one’s body, as a marker of success or accomplishment, or for building friendships? How does participation in these practices impact the health and wellbeing of body artists themselves? Providing a radical rethink that integrates tattoos and other body modifications within health, wellbeing, and positive psychology, Body Art (Emerald Publishing, 2023) disrupts the narrative of stigmatisation that so often surrounds these practices to welcome a broader discussion of the benefits they can offer. Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is a Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. He is the author of The Social Construction of a Cultural Spectacle: Floatzilla (Lexington Books, 2023) and Community Media Representations of Place and Identity at Tug Fest: Reconstructing the Mississippi River (Lexington Books, 2022). His general area of study is about the construction of identity and place. He is currently conducting research for his next project that looks at nightlife and the emotional labor that is performed by bouncers at bars and nightclubs. To learn more about Michael O. Johnston you can go to his website, Google Scholar, Twitter @ProfessorJohnst, or by email at johnstonmo@wmpenn.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices