Books to Look out for in February 2022

Welcome to a new month and new releases from Boydell & Brewer. This month includes publications focused on the last white minority in Africa, considerations on how information can be used and abused in the service of heresy and inquisition, the first full-length study of the use and perception of deceit in medieval warfare, and much more. Enjoy a preview of some of Boydell & Brewer’s February releases below, and visit our website to explore more new releases.

Whites and Democracy in South Africa

by Roger Southall

How have whites adjusted to, contributed to, and detracted from democracy in South Africa since 1994? This book examines how whites in the last bastion of ‘white minority rule’ in Africa have adapted to the sweeping political changes. Overturning current thinking, the author finds a variety of responses in how white South Africans sought to grapple with the history of apartheid, and shows how their memories of this critical era shaped their reactions to political equality. Though the majority feared the coming of democracy, they found the new Constitution embedded individual rights, alongside the important principle of proportionality of political representation, and many embraced came to embrace it, either enthusiastically welcoming its freedoms or engaging with its realities in defence of ‘minority rights’. A small number chose to emigrate, but only a right-wing minority actively resisted, or withdrew into social enclaves. Examining this crucial issue against the historical context of minority rule and white withdrawal elsewhere on the African continent, this book presents a new dynamic to Whiteness and the dangers that may lurk unless present inequalities of both race and class are challenged head-on.

Inquisition and Knowledge, 1200-1700

Edited by Peter Biller and L J Sackville

The collection, curation, and manipulation of knowledge were fundamental to the operation of inquisition. Its coercive power rested on its ability to control information and to produce authoritative discourses from it – a fact not lost on contemporaries, or on later commentators. Inquisitors and their historians have always been preoccupied with the process by which information was gathered and recirculated as knowledge. The tenor of that question has changed over time, but we are still asking how knowledge was made and handed down – to them and to us. This volume approaches the theme by looking at heresy and inquisition in the Middle Ages, and also at how they were seen in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The contributors consider a wide range of medieval texts, including papal bulls, sermons, polemical treatises and records of interrogations, both increasing our knowledge of medieval heresy and inquisition, and at the same time delineating the twisting of knowledge. As a whole, the collection provides a clear view of – and invites readers’ reflection on – the shading of truth and untruth in medieval and early modern “knowledge” of heresy and inquisition.

Medieval Arms and Armour: a Sourcebook. Volume I

The Fourteenth Century

Edited by Ralph Moffat

Medieval arms and armour are intrinsically fascinating. From the smoke and noise of the armourer’s forge to the bloody violence of the battlefield or the silken panoply of the tournament, weapons and armour – and those who made and bore them – are woven into the fabric of medieval society. This sourcebook will aid anyone who seeks to develop a deeper understanding by introducing and presenting the primary sources in which these artefacts are first mentioned. Over a hundred original documents are transcribed and translated, including wills and inventories, craft statutes, chronicle accounts, and challenges to single combat. The book also includes an extensive glossary, lavishly illustrated with fifty-two images of extant armour and weapons from the period, and contemporary artistic depictions from illuminated manuscripts and other sources. This book will therefore be of interest to a wide audience, from the living history practitioner, crafter, and martial artist, to students of literature, military history, art, and material culture.

The Epic Mirror

Poetry, Conflict Ethics and Political Community in Colonial Peru

by Imogen Choi

Working across the fields of Hispanic literature, the history of political thought, and studies of empire, colonialism and globalisation, this book reinterprets three major works of colonial Latin American literature: Alonso de Ercilla’s La Araucana (1569-90), Pedro de Oña’s Arauco domado (1596), and Juan de Miramontes Zuázola’s Armas antárticas (1608-9). The wars that are the subjects of these poems took place at the frontiers of the Spanish empire, where new political communities were emerging: fiercely independent Amerindian republics, rebellious Spanish settlers, maroon kingdoms of fugitive African slaves. This colonial reality generated a distinctive vision of just warfare and political community, here revealed through the imaginative mirrors of epic.

A Medieval Songbook

Trouvère MS C

Edited by Elizabeth Eva Leach, Joseph W. Mason and Matthew P. Thomson

The medieval songbook known as trouvère manuscript C or the “Bern Chansonnier” (Bern, Burgerbibliothek, Cod. 389) is one of the most important witnesses to musical life in thirteenth-century France. Almost certainly copied in Metz, it provides the texts to over five hundred Old French songs, and is a unique insight into cultures of song-making and copying on the linguistic and political borders between French and German-speaking lands in the Middle Ages. However, the manuscript has received relatively little scholarly attention, partly because the songs’ musical staves remained empty for reasons now unknown, and partly because of where it was copied. This collection of essays is the first to consider C on its own terms and from a range of disciplinary perspectives. The contributors explore the process of creating the complex object that is a music manuscript, examining the work of scribes and artists who worked on C, and questioning how scribes acquired and organised exemplars for copying. As a whole, the volume demonstrates that in this eastern hub of music and poetry, poet-composers, readers, and scribes interacted with the courtly song tradition in fascinating and unusual ways.

Decolonizing African Studies

Knowledge Production, Agency, and Voice

by Toyin Falola

This book examines the most significant aspects of decolonization and decoloniality, the voices that articulate them, and how they are represented in the disciplines. From the anticolonial intellectual insurgency to the contemporary conception of Afro-futurism, the book argues that alternative thought processes are informed by radical and contentious ideas. The knowledge produced attacks Western hegemonic thought traditions that insist on shaping the African trajectory in Western-universalist terms. Although not always successful, African alternative voices rebel against the attempts to reduce African academics and universities to a mere conduit for inculcating Western knowledge, values, and worldviews.

Ælfrician Homilies and Varia

Editions, Translations, and Commentary [2 volume set]

Edited by Aaron J Kleist and Robert K. Upchurch

The thirty-one texts presented here, with facing translations, span the course of Ælfric’s career: Old English and Latin, ordinary and alliterative prose, pithy prayers and exhaustive exegesis. Nine appear in print for the first time; others for the first time in well over 100 years. Introductions to the texts offer overviews of the content, composition, and circulation of each work, using the fruits of the latest research to envision real-world contexts for their use in specific places, among particular groups, and by certain individuals. Meanwhile, the commentary traces Ælfric’s role in the history of ideas, examining his relationship to over 100 sources, 200 other Ælfrician works, and over 1,000 biblical passages; it seeks to clarify Ælfric’s compositional aims and further to establish the authorship and date of these remarkable writings from early England.

Deception in Medieval Warfare

Trickery and Cunning in the Central Middle Ages

by James Titterton

Deception and trickery are a universal feature of warfare, from the Trojan horse to the inflatable tanks of the Second World War. The wars of the Central Middle Ages (c. 1000-1320) were no exception. This book looks at the various tricks reported in medieval chronicles, from the Normans feigning flight at the battle of Hastings (1066) to draw the English off Senlac Hill, to the Turks who infiltrated the Frankish camp at the Field of Blood (1119) disguised as bird sellers, to the Scottish camp followers descending on the field of Bannockburn (1314) waving laundry as banners to mimic a division of soldiers. This study also considers what contemporary society thought about deception on the battlefield: was it a legitimate way to fight? Was cunning considered an admirable quality in a warrior? Were the culturally and religious “other” thought to be more deceitful in war than Western Europeans? Through a detailed analysis of vocabulary and narrative devices, this book reveals a society with a profound moral ambivalence towards military deception, in which authors were able to celebrate a warrior’s cunning while simultaneously condemning their enemies for similar acts of deceit.

Exhibitions, Music and the British Empire

by Sarah Kirby

Examining international exhibitions held in Australia, India, and the United Kingdom, Kirby shows how music was codified, ordered, and ‘exhibited’ in manifold ways. This book uses the multiple ways that music was used, experienced, and represented to argue that exhibitions can demonstrate in microcosm many of the broader musical traditions, purposes, arguments, and anxieties of the day. Sociocultural themes, covering issues of race, class, public education, economics, and entertainment in the context of music, are traced through the networks of communication that existed within the British Empire during the 1880s.

Masquerade and Money in Urban Nigeria

The Case of Calabar

by Jordan Fenton

Far from being merely “traditional” and relegated to an earlier time, the masquerade culture of urban Calabar (capital of Nigeria’s Cross River State) has a contemporary and global context and is a vital part of the changing patterns of city life. This book explores the fluidity and thriving nature of masquerade by analyzing the ways in which masking is steeped in economic transaction and how street performances have become more public and spatially calculated. By unraveling the urban layers of masquerade arts and their performances, Jordan Fenton’s groundbreaking work shows how so-called traditional culture gains new roles or currencies within a contemporary, city-based context.

Subscribe to the Boydell & Brewer blog via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

* indicates required

Recent Posts