New under the Sun: Early Zionist Encounters with the Climate in Palestine (University of California Press 2024)

Written by Netta Cohen

The front cover of New Under the Sun

'New under the Sun explores Zionist perceptions of—and responses to—Palestine’s climate. From the rise of the Zionist movement in the late 1890s to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Netta Cohen traces the production of climactic knowledge through a rich archive that draws from medicine and botany, technology and economics, and architecture and planning. 

'As Cohen convincingly argues, this knowledge was not only shaped by Jewish settlers’ Eurocentric views but was also indebted to colonial practices and institutions. Zionists’ claims to the land were often based on the construction of Jewish settlers as natives, even while this was complicated by their alienated responses to Palestine’s climate. New under the Sun offers a highly original environmental lens on the ways in which Zionism’s spatial ambitions and racial fantasies transformed the lives of humans and nonhumans in Palestine.'

The Routledge International Handbook of Harmful Cultural Practices (Routledge 2023)

'Chapter Six: The British Campaign to Ban Virginity Testing and Hymenoplasty' written by Saarrah Ray, Christ Church DPhil candidate in Law

Routledge International Handbook of Harmful Cultural Practices

'This handbook looks at cross-cultural work on harmful cultural practices considered gendered forms of abuse of women. These include female genital mutilation (FGM), virginity testing, hymenoplasty, and genital cosmetic surgery.

'Bringing together comparative perspectives, intersectionality, and interdisciplinarity, it uses feminist methodology and mixed methods, with ethnography of central importance, to provide holistic, grounded theorizing within a framework of transformative research. Taking female genital mutilation, a topical, contested practice, and making it a heuristic reference for related procedures makes the case for global action based on understanding the complexity of harmful cultural practices that are contextually differentiated and experienced in intersectional ways. But because this phenomenon is enshrouded in matters of sensitivity and prejudice, narratives of suffering are muted and even suppressed, are dismissed as indigenous ritual, or become ammunition for racist organizing. Such conflicted and often opaque debates obstruct clear vision of the scale of both problem and solution.

'Divided into six parts:

• Discourses and Epistemological Fault Lines
• FGM and Related Patriarchal Inscriptions
• Gender and Genitalia
• Female Bodies and Body Politics: Economics, Law, Medicine, Public Health, and Human Rights
• Placing Engagement, Innovation, Impact, Care
• Words and Texts to Shatter Silence

'Comprised of 24 newly written chapters from experts around the world, this book will be of interest to scholars and students of nursing, social work, and allied health more broadly, as well as sociology, gender studies, and postcolonial studies.'

A Life in Pieces (Troubador Publishing 2023)

Biographical fiction written by Christopher Robinson

The cover to A Life in Pieces by Christopher Robinson

'Young Bartholomew, just out of university, finds himself charged with the task of going out to Thailand to sort and possibly edit and publish the papers of his dead grandfather, Ta. Whilst he knew that his Ta was gay, Bart is initially a little shocked by the material he finds. He becomes caught up in the task of piecing together the man who wrote them and begins to ask himself new questions about how we perceive and understand ourselves.

'Bart decides to publish the book about his grandfather’s journey growing up as a closeted gay boy in 1950’s and 1960’s England. It follows his journey in finding other possible selves both in the very different society of Greece in the 60’s and in the transformative possibilities of amateur acting. And after getting lost in the stifling atmosphere of an academic career and trying, through marriage and fatherhood, to mould himself into a ‘self’ which he could not maintain, Ta ostensibly finds release and a new sense of possibilities in Thailand. But was the new self any less fictive than earlier ones?

'In A Life in Pieces follow Bart and his grandfather, Ta, as they journey to find their true selves and understand their identities.'

The Oxford Handbook of History and International Relations (OUP 2023)

Edited by Mlada Bukovansky, Edward Keene, Christian Reus-Smit and Maja Spanu

The Oxford Handbook of History and International Relations

'Historical approaches to the study of world politics have always been a major part of the academic discipline of International Relations (IR), and there has recently been a resurgence of scholarly interest in this area. This Oxford Handbook examines the past and present of the intersection between History and IR, and looks to the future by laying out new questions and directions for research. Seeking to transcend well-worn disciplinary debates between Historians and IR scholars, the Handbook asks authors from both fields to engage the central themes of "modernity" and "granularity". 

'Modernity is one of the basic organising categories of speculation about continuity and discontinuity in the history of world politics, but one that is increasingly questioned for privileging one kind of experience and marginalising others. 

'The theme of granularity highlights the importance of how decisions about the scale and scope of historical research in IR shape what can be seen, and how one sees it. Together, these themes provide points of affinity across the wide range of topics and approaches presented here.'

The Imagination of the Mind in Classical Athens (Routledge 2023)

Edited by Emily Clifford and Xavier Buxton

Emily Clifford's latest book

'This book explores the imaginative processes at work in the artefacts of Classical Athens. When ancient Athenians strove to grasp ‘justice’ or ‘war’ or ‘death’, when they dreamt or deliberated, how did they do it? Did they think about what they were doing? Did they imagine an imagining mind?

'European histories of the imagination have often begun with thinkers like Plato and Aristotle. By contrast, this volume is premised upon the idea that imaginative activity, and especially efforts to articulate it, can take place in the absence of technical terminology. In exploring an ancient culture of imagination mediated by art and literature, the book scopes out the roots of later, more explicit, theoretical enquiry. Chapters hone in on a range of visual and verbal artefacts from the Classical period. Approaching the topic from different angles – philosophical, historical, philological, literary, and art historical – they also investigate how these artefacts stimulate affective, sensory, meditative – in short, ‘imaginative’ – encounters between imagining bodies and their world.

'The Imagination of the Mind in Classical Athens offers a ground-breaking reassessment of ‘imagination’ in ancient Greek culture and thought: it will be essential reading for those interested in not only philosophies of mind, but also ancient Greek image, text, and culture more broadly.'

The Covid Pandemic and the World’s Religions (Bloomsbury 2023)

Edited by George D. Chryssides and Dan Cohn-Sherbok, with an introductory chapter from Christopher Lewis (former Dean of Christ Church)

The Covid Pandemic and the World's Religions front cover

'Believers from a variety of faith communities were asked to assess how the Covid pandemic has affected their faith. The anthology collects their responses to key questions, such as:

· How does your faith explain why such events occur?
· How has it affected your religious practices?
· What changes has it necessitated?
· What differences might we expect once the pandemic is over?
· What have we learned from it?

'Two exponents of each major religion and a number of minority faiths comment on these issues, combined with a concluding essay by the editors assessing the overall impact of the pandemic on religion worldwide. Faiths explored include Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto, Sikh Baha'i, Jain, African Traditional Religion, Zoroastrian, Unitarian, Jehovah's Witnesses and Christian Science.'

Quartet: How Four Women Changed the Musical World (Faber & Faber 2023)

Written by Leah Broad

Quartet by Leah Broad

'Ethel Smyth (b.1858): Famed for her operas, this trailblazing queer Victorian composer was a larger-than-life socialite, intrepid traveller and committed Suffragette.

'Rebecca Clarke (b.1886): This talented violist and Pre-Raphaelite beauty was one of the first women ever hired by a professional orchestra, later celebrated for her modernist experimentation.

'Dorothy Howell (b.1898): A prodigy who shot to fame at the 1919 Proms, her reputation as the ‘English Strauss’ never dented her modesty; on retirement, she tended Elgar’s grave alone.

'Doreen Carwithen (b.1922): One of Britain’s first woman film composers who scored Elizabeth II’s coronation film, her success hid a 20-year affair with her married composition tutor.

'In their time, these women were celebrities. They composed some of the century’s most popular music and pioneered creative careers; but today, they are ghostly presences, surviving only as muses and footnotes to male contemporaries like Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten – until now.

'Leah Broad’s magnificent group biography resurrects these forgotten voices, recounting lives of rebellion, heartbreak and ambition, and celebrating their musical masterpieces. Lighting up a panoramic sweep of British history over two World Wars, Quartet revolutionises the canon forever.'

Experimental Philosophy and the Origins of Empiricism (CUP 2023)

Written by Peter R. Anstey (Fowler Visiting Fellow, Christ Church) and Alberto Vanzo

The cover of Peter Anstey's book

'The emergence of experimental philosophy was one of the most significant developments in the early modern period. However, it is often overlooked in modern scholarship, despite being associated with leading figures such as Francis Bacon, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Jean Le Rond d'Alembert, David Hume and Christian Wolff. Ranging from the early Royal Society of London in the seventeenth century to the uptake of experimental philosophy in Paris and Berlin in the eighteenth, this book provides new terms of reference for understanding early modern philosophy and science, and its eventual eclipse in the shadow of post-Kantian notions of empiricism and rationalism. Experimental Philosophy and the Origins of Empiricism is an integrated history of early modern experimental philosophy which challenges the rationalism and empiricism historiography that has dominated Anglophone history of philosophy for more than a century.'

The Poems of W.B. Yeats Volume Three: 1899-1910 (Routledge 2023)

Edited by Peter McDonald

Book cover, The Poems of W.B.Yeats Vol. 3 edited by Peter McDonald

'In this multi-volume edition, the poetry of W.B. Yeats (1865–1939) is presented in full, with newly established texts and detailed, wide-ranging commentary. Yeats began to write verse in the nineteenth century, and over time his own arrangements of poems repeatedly revised and rearranged both texts and canon. 

'This edition of Yeats’s poetry presents all his verse, both published and unpublished, including a generous selection of textual variants from the many manuscript and printed sources. 

'The edition also supplies the most extensive commentary on Yeats’s poetry to date, explaining specific references, and setting poems in their contexts; it also gives an account of the vast range of both literary and historical influences at work on the verse.'

A Gaping Wound: Mourning in Italian Poetry (Legenda 2022)

Edited by Adele Bardazzi, Francesco Giusti and Emanuela Tandello

Book cover, A Gaping Wound: Mourning in Italian Poetry (Legenda, 2022) - Adele Bardazzi, Francesco Giusti, Emanuela Tandello (Editors)

'Poetry has always maintained a particular relationship with mourning and its rituals, but what is it that lyric discourse has to offer in coping with death, grief, and bereavement? On the other hand, how does mourning become a central creative force in lyric poetry? How does this affect the nature of its discourse and the desires it performs? 

'Focusing on poems by Giacomo Leopardi, Guido Gozzano, Giorgio Caproni, Giorgio Bassani, Amelia Rosselli, Antonella Anedda, and Vivian Lamarque, the essays collected in this volume explore how poetry dwells on the boundaries between high lyric and vernacular forms, the personal and the political, the local and the national, the individual and the collective, one’s own story and public history, the masculine and the feminine, individual expression and shared language. 

'The Italian poetic tradition finds two crucial milestones in two collections of poems devoted to the lost beloved, Dante’s Vita Nova and Petrarch’s Canzoniere, and its modern and contemporary ramifications have much to offer for reflection on the ethics and poetics of mourning.'

Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen (Bloomsbury 2022)

Edited by Sophie Duncan

Book cover, Hedda Gabler - Henrik Ibsen (Author), Sophie Duncan (Anthology Editor)

'Universally condemned in 1890 when it was written, Hedda Gabler has subsequently become one of Ibsen's most performed and studied plays. Blending comedy and tragedy, Ibsen probes the thwarted aspirations and hidden anxieties of his characters against a backdrop of contemporary social Habits and hypocrisies.

'This Methuen Drama Student Edition is published with Michael Meyer's classic translation, and with commentary and notes by Dr. Sophie Duncan. These offer a contemporary lens on the play's gender politics, and consider some key twentieth and twenty-first century productions of Hedda Gabler, which include actresses like Maggie Smith, Harriet Walker, and Ruth Wilson taking on the iconic titular role.'

Thucydides' The Peloponnesian War Book VI and The Peloponnesian War Book VII (CUP 2022)

Edited by Christopher Pelling

Book cover, Thucydides: The Peloponnesian War Book VI & Thucydides: The Peloponnesian War Book VII - Christopher Pelling

'In Books 6 and 7 Thucydides' narrative is, as Plutarch puts it, 'at its most emotional, vivid, and varied' as he describes the Sicilian Expedition that ended so catastrophically for Athens (415–413 BCE). Book 6 features tense debates both at Athens, with cautious Nicias no match for risk-taking Alcibiades, and at Syracuse, with the statesmanlike Hermocrates confronting the populist Athenagoras. The spectacle of the armada is memorably described; so is the panic at Athens when people fear that acts of sacrilege may be alienating the gods, with Alcibiades himself so implicated that he is soon recalled. The Book ends with Athens seeming poised for victory; that will soon change, and a sister commentary on Book 7 is being published simultaneously. The Introduction discusses the narrative skill and the part these books play in the architecture of the history. Considerable help with the Greek is offered throughout the Commentary.'