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    Call For Manuscripts: Tamesis Books

    Tamesis provides a forum for the best current work relating to all periods of the literature, cinema, history, art, and music of the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America, and the Caribbean.


    Preference is given to works of 80,000 words and over, and to volumes of collected essays of similar length on condition that they have a clear unifying theme; short monographs and reprints of essays will not be considered, editions of texts only in exceptional cases.


    The Companion Series is an intrinsic part of the Tamesis monograph series and aims to provide a set of lively, scholarly and accessible introductions to the major literatures and cultures of the Spanish-, Catalan- and Portuguese-speaking worlds. The typical companion (which may be single- or multi-authored) may focus on literary history (as in A Companion to Latin American Literature), or the history of a significant genre (A Companion to Spanish Cinema), or the work of a canonic Hispanic author (A Companion to Federico García Lorca) or an in-depth study of a single work (A Companion to Don Quixote).

    The series is aimed primarily aimed undergraduate and graduate students but also responds to the general reader looking for an intelligent introduction to the area in question. For this reason, all quotations and titles are accompanied by English translations, and each volume contains a list of suggestions for further reading, principally in English.

    Icons of the Luso-Hispanic World

    A Companion to Federico García Lorca
    Edited by Federico Bonaddio

    Boydell & Brewer is delighted to announce a new series under the general editorship of Professor Stephen M. Hart. The Icons series will primarily include books of no more than 80,000 words by single authors on a broad range of historical individuals and events which have had a significant impact on the course of human history and whose influence is still felt today—the writers of Roman Spain; literary heroes; kings and queens; saints; the age of exploration; literary movements; individual artists, musicians, philosophers, film directors, footballers, popes; and more.

    Possible subjects include: Martial, El Cid, Alfonso X, Philip II, Charles V, Isabella I of Castile, Vasco da Gama, Luís de Camões, Francisco Pizarro, Lope de Vega, Saint Teresa of Ávila, Pedro I and Pedro II of Brazil, Machado de Assis, Alejo Carpentier, Che Guevara, Eva Perón, Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, Manuel de Falla, Pedro Almodóvar, Pele, and Pope Francis.

    Icons books will be based on the most up-to-date scholarly research but written in plain English for the benefit of the non-specialist reader as well as academics looking for a concise introduction to a particular literary, cultural, or historical figure or movement.

    Founding Editors

    J. E. Varey
    Alan Deyermond

    General Editor

    Stephen M. Hart

    Series Editor of Fuentes para la historia del teatro en España

    Charles Davis

    advisory board

    Rolena Adorno
    Andrew M. Beresford
    John Beverley
    Efraín Kristal
    Jo Labanyi
    Alison Sinclair
    Isabel Torres

    Queries, or completed proposal forms (available from, should be sent to the commissioning editor, Scott Mahler ( All submissions will receive prompt and informed consideration.

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    University of Rochester Press celebrates Women’s History Month!

    University of Rochester Press celebrates Women’s History Month with five featured titles that reflect the rich diversity of African, African-American, and Diaspora Studies.  These five books all either by or about women encompass Africa, North America, and the Caribbean, and span more than two thousand years.  So, whether your interest is in pre-colonial Africa or post-reconstruction of the American South, nineteenth-century Cuban patriarchy or twentieth-century Kenyan nationalism, our URP authors have ground-breaking studies for you to discover.

    Honor women who made history and women who write it with URP this March!

    An Architecture of Education

    African American Women Design the New South

    by Angel David Nieves

    Post-Civil War African American women living in the nadir of Jim Crow engaged in race uplift by building industrial and normal schools and, in the process, memorializing the trauma and struggle of a people. In An Architecture of Education author Angel David Nieves examines material culture and the act of institution creation itself, especially as embodied in architecture and landscape, to recount a deeper history of the lives and community building of former slaves and working-class African American women — social groups typically overlooked by historians of prosperous clubwomen, writers, and other African American elites.

    The Power of the Oath

    Mau Mau Nationalism in Kenya, 1952-1960

    by Mickie Mwanzia Koster

    Through a critical examination of the Mau Mau oath used to initiate and unite fighters, The Power of the Oath argues for a historiographical shift in the framing of the Mau Mau rebellion as a Kikuyu war. Instead, Mickie Mwanzia Koster suggests that Mau Mau was a nationalist movement. Mwanzia Koster traces the evolution and structure of the Mau Mau oath, examining the British criminalization of the oath, its gendered use, and the purification associated with it, in order to reveal how Mau Mau unfolded in Kenya.

    Women’s Authority and Society in Early East-Central Africa

    by Christine Saidi

    This study of more than two thousand years of African social history weaves together evidence from historical linguistics, archaeology, comparative ethnography, oral tradition, and art history to challenge the assumptions that all African societies were patriarchal and that the status of women in precolonial Africa is beyond the scope of historical research. In East-Central Africa, women played key roles in technological and economic developments during the long precolonial period. Female political leaders were as common as male rulers, and women, especially mothers, were central to religious ceremonies and beliefs. These conclusions contribute a new and critical element to our understanding of Africa’s precolonial history.

    The Politics of Chieftaincy

    Authority and Property in Colonial Ghana, 1920-1950

    by Naaborko Sackeyfio-Lenoch

    When Accra became the British colonial capital of the Gold Coast in the late nineteenth century, the political and economic lives of its residents were dramatically transformed. Disputes over political authority and land coalesced, leading to the reconstitution of chieftaincy and land affairs. Important chiefs were removed from office, succession to office was more contested than ever, and disputes over control and sale of land grew dramatically. The Politics of Chieftaincy documents this transformative era in colonial Ghana’s history by highlighting the impact of urban and colonial processes in an African port town.

    Women and Slavery in Nineteenth-Century Colonial Cuba

    by Sarah L. Franklin

    Based on a variety of archival and printed primary sources, this book examines how patriarchy functioned outside the confines of the family unit by scrutinizing the foundation on which nineteenth-century Cuban patriarchy rested. This book investigates how patriarchy operated in the lives of the women of Cuba, from elite women to slaves. Through chapters on motherhood, marriage, education, public charity, and the sale of slaves, insight is gained into the role of patriarchy both as a guiding ideology and lived history in the Caribbean’s longest lasting slave society.

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    My first year at the London Book Fair

    On March 12, I made my way into the big city to attend the annual London Book Fair. I was feeling extremely excited as the fair had always been a gathering I had wanted to be part of, just never quite made it. When the overground arrived at Kensington Olympia, I knew I was in the right place. Exiting the train were editors, authors, translators, publishers, and book enthusiasts. We had all come together to celebrate books. And what a truly great thing to celebrate.

    I felt proud as I made my way into Olympia, holding my badge up for everyone to see. It felt like the proof I needed to convince myself that I had finally made it into the publishing industry, I was here!

    Boydell & Brewer have had a stand at the London Book Fair for many years. Among the other fairs and conferences we attend, it allows us to meet our reps, our buyers and our authors. It allows us to show the publishing world that we are here, stronger than ever. This year it was especially exciting since the company is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

    As anything, it is extremely different every year and things you may not have planned for may occur. There was one year when our stand was missing a vital piece…

    “One year the stand was built without its outer wall, leaving us open to a busy corridor. After more than an hour of false-starts finding helpers who didn’t help, I got to an organiser who could fix it. “Did you book it without the wall?”, she asked, apparently in all seriousness. Yes, because of course I’d order shelves but not a wall to hang them on, I was going for that bombed-out look. She assented to having the lost wall installed because it was simply easier than having me hang around her office all afternoon. It took hours.”

    As with this memory, the fair has a feeling of frenzy around it, yes it is stressful, but you don’t feel the stress as negative. Granted, I wasn’t involved in the setup of our stand, which is stressful for any company, but there wasn’t a sour look as far as the eye could see. Feeling stressed at LBF is like being stressed during a bath, it’s still relaxing.

    I felt happy as I saw our stand: our colourful 50th anniversary logo stood tall and proud, a vast collection of all the different genres we publish were visible for everyone to see. We looked big for a small publisher, which we are.

    I think one of the things that stood out most to me on the day was how excited everyone seemed when they came to see us for a meeting. Whether they were reps, buyers, authors, old employees or simply passers-by, everyone was happy to say hello to the team at Boydell. I felt proud to be part of this excellent reputation we have as a publishing house.

    In between my meetings I had the chance to wander around and to explore different stalls. Making my way into the main hall, I couldn’t quite believe how big it was and how many companies were there. I spent a good hour or so just walking around, trying to take in as much as I could from the other stalls. Some stalls had candy, some had water or coffee, a few even had bars.  

    Once back in the safe chair of the Boydell stand, I couldn’t help but notice how nice it was to come back. We may not have had chocolate to give out or Nescafe to tempt our meetings with, but we had the material they wanted. A buyer who came to see us about our African studies books found a new interest in our music list, medieval literature enthusiasts marvelled in the local history books we publish and did you know that we have Indian and Nordic studies lists? At Boydell there is something for everyone.

    As my day ended and my meetings wrapped up I couldn’t quite believe how quick the day had gone. But at the same time I was excited to get back to the office and to go over my notes and ensure I was on top of all my meetings. After 6 years of wanting to be part of LBF, I am glad my first fair was representing Boydell & Brewer.

    My day at the London Book Fair was everything I had hoped it to be. But I couldn’t help wondering how it must have been extremely different, even just 5 years ago. The publishing industry, like most industries, is changing dramatically in many different ways. I wanted to try to understand how it had been a few years back, and my colleague put it well:

    “How has the fair changed over the years? There’s much more tech and rather fewer books. It doesn’t quite seem as busy as it once was – until you try to take one of the main walkways at midday and realise it would have been quicker and less stressful to have taken the nearest exit, hail a cab and just re-enter the building from the other end. And of course it’s now back in Olympia again after a spell at Earl’s Court and a very unhappy year at ExCel which seemed to coincide with a hairdressing expo in an adjacent hall. That was odd.”

    It’s an understatement to say I can’t wait for LBF 2020!

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    Howard Skempton in conversation with Esther Cavett: it is about time

    Howard Skempton has contributed to British musical life for more than half a century, as composer, performer and commentator. His output includes pieces for solo piano, accordion, cello, and guitar, chamber ensemble, orchestra, and voice.

    In the early Summer of 2016, Skempton met Esther Cavett—who conceived the idea for an (auto)biography about Skempton, undertook the transcriptions within it, and compiled its materials—in order to discuss the nature of the project. The following is an edited transcript of their conversations, showing their hopes for the project and giving a flavour of how it eventually turned out.

    Howard Skempton in conversation with Esther Cavett

    EC:  I thought it would be useful to have a discussion about the nature of our book project now that we have a general sense of what it might look like.  You and I plan to have a series of conversations about specific aspects of your life and music, and I have now had confirmation from a group of experienced commentators, Matthew Head, Heather Wiebe, Arnold Whittall and Pwyll Ap Siôn, that they will contribute reflections on our conversations.

    HS:  Inventive thinking is what the book should be about, and the idea of making sense of what goes in to creating music, what we are doing with it.  I’m convinced the reflections will form the main substance of the book.  I love the idea that your and my discussions might, as it were, prompt good thinking.  And to that extent, I would like to provide no more than is required to do just that.  The facts of my life and music may be of interest, but they are not primary.

    EC: Effectively there will be “parallel processes” happening in the book.  First, there will be our conversations. These will go through your life and music in roughly chronological order but not, I hope, in the old-fashioned, “life and works” kind of way. Our conversations will start each of the main chapters, and the second half of each main chapter will be a “reflection” on our conversation by another commentator. The reader can either read our conversations sequentially or read each chapter as a conversation and reflection on related topics. There will also be a chapter where I interview people who have commissioned and performed your music, because they will bring their own perspectives. The book will finish with your authorised list of works and a discography.

    My hope is that the book will prompt consideration of how we write about a creative life, and the process of creating such knowledge.  I used to do a lot of work on Mozart, and became fascinated about how myths were created around his life­–or should I say lives, because there have been so many different views of Mozart created over the centuries (from Nissen and Niemetchek to Hildesheimer and Eisen), not to mention of his music.   I am looking forward to seeing what comes of this collective effort of understanding you and your creative output. 

    The last chapter of the book, not mentioned in this transcript because it was not in the original proposal, is Cavett’s reflection on the nature of the project post its completion.

    HS: So, this project could be a case study which is not so much about me as about writing about a creative artist.  I would have liked to read such a study when I was a young man. I was very interested when I was young in certain books on composers.  Arthur Honegger wrote a book called I am a composer.  And there were Copland’s books on composing, too.  I was interested in what characterises a composer’s life, what form it might take.  And that is not what is normally discussed in a book on a composer’s life and works. 

    EC:  Looking at the book’s outline, you’ll see I’ve suggested it starts with a timeline of key dates in your life and events in the world around you which you consider had some impact on you.  We can talk these through when we meet later this summer.

    HS:  This list of key dates could be extremely simple.  Indeed, in a sense, my list of compositions is my biography.  My CV has reduced in this way because I lost interest in other things.  But I could put in important performances.  Maybe I could put a general note in of places I went to which had an influence on what happened later in my life, and people I met who were important to me. 

    In the event, Matthew Head and Cavett, as co-editors, tracked Skempton down at a conference, like a couple of investigative journalists, jotting Skempton’s timeline on the back of an envelope as they walked together through the Yorkshire Sculpture Park–as memorialised in Plate 1.3 of the book.

    Howard Skempton in conversation with Esther Cavett

    EC: The other part of the book we should talk about is the end of it: a list of your compositions.  This will be as inclusive as we can make it, so consisting of published works, but also unpublished ones if you have a record of them.

    Head complied an “authorised worklist” for the book, and also a discography of Skempton’s recorded music, as Appendices 1 and 2. 

    HS: My friend Laurence Crane made the list up to about 1991.  From that date I noted the titles and year, of everything, even birthday tributes.  It is just scribbled down on bits of paper.  They are in an envelope and it is bang up to date, except for my most recent work which is my latest string quartet, called Moving On (2016).  I have everything.  I’m also very happy to consider how particular works relate to earlier works. It is what you do as you get older as a composer, you start working in your own tradition.  I’m very aware of how works relate to what I have done before.  I am interested in this.  I think one can rightfully call this my research.  What am I exploring in this or that work.

    EC:  Do you remember all your compositions? 

    HS:  I remember a lot of them.  I surprised myself recently, because all my accordion pieces which I played in a concert abroad, including my unplanned encore, I played from memory.  I don’t practise very much, so I suppose they are hard-wired somehow.  In a related vein, I tend to work and re-work the piano pieces at the piano, and on the whole a lot of those piano pieces are fully committed to memory before I put a note on paper.  Or I may have something on paper to begin with, but usually I work on them for a day or two in my head after that, until everything has been fully resolved, and in that process, one has committed everything to memory. 

    EC:  Do you keep newspapers clippings about your music and performances?  Will I be able to rifle through them for information about you if I want?

    HS:  I don’t go out of my way to look for reviews and keep them.  But we only have to google these to find them, except of course older things.  I don’t have a scrap book.  I don’t keep these things.  I have old files, labelled “reviews”, but I can’t even remember where these are.  I put things in storage boxes so that I can see the path ahead of me.  I am only interested really in meeting my next deadline or writing a good piece.  And so, it is hugely important to me that I get everything in order­­–but not yet.  That is the trouble.  In fact, it is also important that I tackle my “to do list”, because that gets me down. 

    It is about time, or lack of it.  There was someone who wanted to seek out everything I had written, but that didn’t happen.  My wife believed very much in filing.  She didn’t pile things up as I do.  I am quite organized, though.  I do file.  Indeed, you have a very fetching blue file, with your name on it.  I brought new files recently, and I wrote neatly on them.   Blue is restful. 

    The book concludes with a select bibliography which includes references to key writing about Skempton’s music.

    EC:  I assume you know Kipling’s Just So Stories? What I love about that book is not just the stories, but also the wonderful illustrations and the captions to the illustrations with the authorial voice saying such things as “O best beloved, in this picture you will see . . .”, so creating a reflection on the action of the story, a moment of repose.  I would like the reflections in our book to create moments of repose, and perhaps the reader will be stimulated to have yet further thoughts when looking through the illustrations at the beginning and end of each chapter.

    Illustrations give a documentary quality to the book since they are largely informal snapshots of Skempton as a young man, and more recent photographs by Julius Weinberg of the contributors of the book in conversation with one another; the book also contains images of original manuscript scores of six previously unpublished works by Skempton.

    HS:  The musical quality of those Just So Stories is wonderful.  The repetition.  “By the great, green, greasy Limpopo”.  The incantatory quality of the story telling.  It is a marvel.  This is what children’s story telling should be like.  And, of course, we remember rhymes which have silly things in them, such as A.A. Milne’s What is the matter with Mary Jane. I love reading this poem because of the way the repetition is varied.  And it is the enthusiasm of the adult reader and the sound of the reading which excites the child.  I would love our book to have something of the sound of storytelling in it.  I suppose I will be telling my story.  We will have to see how that turns out.

    Howard Skempton in conversation with Esther Cavett

    EC:  Often I will pick up an unfamiliar book because its cover catches my eye. Then I will look at the contents page and then often flick through the index.  Just to get my bearings.  We should think about what would be nice to put on your front cover. 

    The front cover shows a sketch of Skempton by his mother, who was a significant influence and support in his early life.  The back cover has a “ribbon” of small images of Skempton and Cavett in conversation.

    HS:  The index is another important thing. I said to the publisher of the Cornelius Cardew biography [by John Tilbury (2008)] that the index should consist mainly of names.  I can imagine referring to a lot of contemporaries in discussing my own work.  Of course, you are then immediately inviting the possibly of comparison and contrast.  It is very interesting to check the index of any book about a composer.  You can explore the index as you might explore a dictionary.

    The index was created by Marie-Pierre Evans too late for acknowledgement in the book, but whose skill is gratefully acknowledged here.

    EC:  I have a quick question on chapter four, on “influencing”.  This will have a different focus because it will be about how you teach. 

    HS:  This is a distinct area of the book, yes, but there is a continuity in that I suppose I teach as Cardew taught.  The most important thing about Cardew was the way he encouraged.  Feldman remarked on that.  He was such a fine example at that time.  As a teacher he would encourage you to take part.  I mean, I was involved in premieres of his work from the outset.  It was incredibly exciting.  I went to London at the age of 19 and a few weeks later I was involved in the premiere of a work called The Tiger’s Mind.  I played the part of the Mind originally.  It is the most beautiful text.  Published in The Musical Times in June 1967.

    EC:  You even know the month.  Your sharp memory will be useful when I come to check details with you.

    HS:  Yes, I have a good memory for dates and for numbers.  I remember the birthdays of people I hardly know.  I remember bar numbers of pieces I wrote 30 years ago.  June 1967 is the month I actually met Stockhausen.  I arranged to meet Stockhausen via Cardew.  Cardew did teach at the Royal Academy of Music, where he had a rather unconventional approach.  But the way he taught me was quite different, I think because he used to see me privately.  It was much more relaxed and informal.  He didn’t keep his distance in quite the same way.  It was a private arrangement and he said he would only see me once every few weeks when I had something to show him and that he would adjust the fee accordingly.  I must have shown him one or two things at the beginning which reasonably impressed him and persuaded him to take me on.  He immediately involved me in putting on concerts, and his approach and the first things he had to say were about notation and about presentation.  About what it is to be professional.  T0his is how I teach now, which is probably why I didn’t do composition teaching in earnest until I became well established myself.

    Looking back over my life, as I will need to do for our book, I feel like the robot Marvin in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy [Douglas Adams].  He said the first twenty million years were the worst.   I’m really happy now.  Obviously, I’m anxious about the next stage, the next piece.  There is always that thought that “at last I’ve met my Waterloo” and so on.  I’m under great pressure to produce the current piece for instance.  The deadline is now past.  So, I’ve now promised to send as much as I can to the processor tomorrow. I’m half way through the first of three settings.

    Howard Skempton in conversation with Esther Cavett

    It has been an extraordinary year.  And last year was an extraordinary year as well.

    EC:  Well I hope you have many more of them.

    HS: I’m afraid I can only do all this work on my own terms.  If I write a programme note it has to be written in the way I want it.  I wrote a note for my string quartet recently.  I talk about familiarity and unfamiliarity.  It is not a typical programme note.  But whatever way I do it, it all consumes time. I spent two hours this afternoon, doing my emails.  I promised myself I would not do emails at all.  But I looked and once you look you then spend hours on them.  At least I composed this morning until 2.00am.  At least I don’t have a smart phone.  But when you do look at the emails, they nag at you.  These everyday things, which mean a huge amount.  They are very important.  It is very important I send a birthday card or do a reference.  It does give you a lift when you do something to help someone.  I would rather get up at 6.00am and make up the time then.  One suddenly becomes aware of the time.  Or the washing.

    Esther Cavett is Senior Research Fellow at King’s College, London. Her book Howard Skempton: Conversations and Reflections on Music, co-edited with Matthew Head, is available in hardback from Boydell Press.

    Howard Skempton’s music is performed by leading artists and recorded by, amongst others, Sony and NMC.  There are informal recordings of his work on YouTube.

    Howard Skempton: Conversations and Reflections on Music
    by Esther Cavett
    Edited by Esther Cavett, Matthew Head
    Hardback / 9781783273218 / £33.75 or $60
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