We are beginning a new category of postings for the NAS website: items we quote without comment from articles, books, websites, and other sources. Some of the items that will appear here strike us as so perfect of their kind that our comment would be superfluous. Perfection, of course, comes in many varieties. We will report perfect inanity, perfect inflation of triviality to academic bombast, perfect pretension in the pursuit of shabby ends, and perfect sophistry, as well as the occasional perfect moments of lucidity and good argument.
We won’t be commenting on these items (at least in words), but our readers may have something to add.
Here, from today’s issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required), is our first entry: the latest in scholarly anthropological books.
Allah Made Us: Sexual Outlaws in an Islamic African City, by Rudolf Pell Gaudio (Wiley-Blackwell; 237 pages; $89.95 hardcover, $29.95 paperback). A study of 'yan daudu, or "feminine men," in Kano. (How to buy this book)
Birth Models That Work, edited by Robbie E. Davis-Floyd and others (University of California Press; 484 pages; $65 hardcover, $27.50 paperback). Writings by anthropologists, midwives, and others on approaches to childbirth around the world. (How to buy this book)
Dancing From the Heart: Movement, Gender, and Cook Islands Globalization, by Kalissa Alexeyeff (University of Hawai'i Press; 206 pages; $55). Combines ethnographic and archival research in a study of how dance figures in Cook Islanders' local, regional, and transnational concerns. (How to buy this book)
Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China, by Tiantian Zheng (University of Minnesota Press; 304 pages; $67.50 hardcover, $22.50 paperback). A study of hostesses in a karaoke bar in the Chinese seaport of Dalian. (How to buy this book)
With Shaking Hands: Aging With Parkinson's Disease in America's Heartland, by Samantha Solimeo (Rutgers University Press; 192 pages; $68 hardcover, $24.95 paperback). A work in medical anthropology that examines the experiences of elderly Iowans diagnosed with the disease. (How to buy this book)
Chronicle of Higher Education, June 12, 2009