Books to look out for in January 2019

Looking for a new read to titilate the mind this new year? Here are our five biggest titles hitting the shelves this month – from the role of the occult in Nazism to the neglected aspects of Ralph Waldo Emerson. What subject piques your fancy?

Until next time!

Military Society and the Court of Chivalry in the Age of the Hundred Years War

by Philip J. Caudrey

The Court of Chivalry was England’s senior military court during the age of the Hundred Years War (1337-1453), but unfortunately its medieval registers are now lost and only a bare few cases survive. This book explores three of the best preserved of those cases: Scrope v. Grosvenor (1385-91), Lovel v. Morley (1386-7) and Grey v. Hastings (1407-10), disputes in which competing knightly families claimed rightful possession of the same coat-of-arms. Hundreds of witnesses gave evidence in each of these cases, in the process providing vivid insights into the military, social, and cultural history of late medieval England.

Limpopo’s Legacy

Student Politics & Democracy in South Africa

by Anne Heffernan

In 2015 and 2016 waves of student protest swept South African campuses under the banner of FeesMustFall. This book brings an historical perspective to the recent risings by analysing regional influences on the ideologies that have underpinned South African student politics from the 1960s to the present. Organized around the stories of several key political actors, the book introduces the reader to critical spaces of political mobilization in the region.

Revisiting the “Nazi Occult”

Histories, Realities, Legacies

Edited by Monica Black and Eric Kurlander

Scholars have debated the role of the occult in Nazism since it first appeared on the German political landscape in the 1920s. After 1945, a consensus held that occultism – an ostensibly anti-modern, irrational blend of pseudo-religious and -scientific practices and ideas – had directly facilitated Nazism’s rise. This new collection of essays promises to re-energize the debate on Nazism’s occult roots and legacies and thus our understanding of German cultural and intellectual history over the past century.

A Liberal Education in Late Emerson

Readings in the Rhetoric of Mind

by Sean Ross Meehan

Sean Meehan’s book reclaims three important but critically neglected aspects of the late Emerson’s “mind”: first, his engagement with rhetoric, conceived as the organizing power of mind and, unconventionally, characterized by the trope “metonymy”; second, his public engagement with the ideals of liberal education and debates in higher education reform early in the period (1860-1910) that saw the emergence of the modern university; and third, his intellectual relation to significant figures from this age of educational transformation: Walt Whitman, William James, Harvard president Charles W. Eliot, and W. E. B. Du Bois.

Written under the Skin

Blood and Intergenerational Memory in South Africa

by Carli Coetzee

Coetzee argues that a younger generation of South Africans are developing important and innovative ways of understanding South African pasts, and the challenge narratives have over the last decades. The author uses the image of history-rich blood to explore these approaches to intergenerational memory. Blood under the skin is a carrier of embodied and gendered histories and using this image, the chapters revisit older archives, as well as analyse contemporary South African cultural and literary forms.

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