Books to Look out for in July 2022

Peacemaking and Peacebuilding in South Africa
The National Peace Accord, 1991-1994
by Liz Carmichael

This first full account of the South African National Peace Accord (NPA) fills a significant gap in knowledge of this key transitional phase in the country’s history. Signed by the ANC Alliance, Government, Inkatha Freedom Party and other political and labour organizations on 14 September 1991, the parties agreed in the NPA on the common goal of a united, non-racial democratic South Africa and provided practical means for moving towards this end. This book describes the formulation of the NPA and its implementation: the establishment of codes of conduct for political organizations and for the police, the creation of national, regional and local peace structures for conflict resolution and the investigation and prevention of violence, peace monitoring, as well as the critical socio-economic reconstruction and peacebuilding that aimed to bring lasting change. The NPA was recognized internationally as South Africa’s sole consensus document, bringing observers from the UN, EU, Commonwealth and OAU, and the author also assesses their role and that of the Goldstone Commission, which prefigured the TRC.

Landless Households in Rural Europe, 1600-1900
Edited by Christine Fertig, Richard Paping and Henry French

The numbers of landless people – those lacking formal rights to land, or possessing only tiny smallholdings – grew rapidly across post-medieval Europe, as rural population and economic growth divided landowners and farmers from (increasingly) landless rural workers. But they have hitherto been relatively neglected, a gap which this volume, covering Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Britain, France and Spain from the sixteenth to the early twentieth centuries, aims to fill, making creative use of a diverse range of unexplored sources. Instead of concentrating on the well-documented cases of landholding peasants, it explores the many different experiences of the numerous rural landless. It explains how their households were formed (often in the face of economic difficulties and official hostility), how all the members of a family contributed to its survival, how the landless related to other social groups and negotiated access to vital resources, and how they adapted as rural society was changed by war, politics, agrarian and industrial development, government policy and welfare systems.

Kinship in Old Norse Myth and Legend
by Katherine Marie Olley

Family interactions in Old Norse myth and legend were often fraught, competitive, even violent as well as loving, protective and supportive. Focusing particularly on intergenerational relationships in the legendary sagas, the Poetic Edda and Snorra Edda, this book reveals not only why ambivalence was so characteristic of mythic-heroic kinship relations but how they were able to endure, even thrive, in spite of such pressures. Close attention is paid to the way gender inflects the dynamic between parents and their children and to the patronymic naming system which prevailed in Old Norse society, while outdated assumptions about the existence of a special relationship between a man and his sister’s son inherited from earlier Germanic society are reassessed for the first time in decades.

Minna Wagner
A Life, with Richard Wagner
by Eva Rieger
Translated by Chris Walton

Minna Wagner, née Planer, Richard Wagner’s wife from 1836 to 1866, was given short shrift by early commentators who were keen to expunge her from the Wagnerian firmament. And yet she was at Richard’s side as he matured into the composer of the Ring and Tristan, and provided her restless husband with the emotional stability he craved. In this acclaimed biography, translated from the German by Chris Walton, Eva Rieger reveals Minna as a self-assured woman and successful actress who was crucial to the creativity of her husband.

Violencia, poder y afectos
narrativas del miedo en Latinoamérica
Edited by Marco Ramírez Rojas and David Rozotto

This collection offers a critical contribution to studies of the representation of socio-politically inflicted fears in contemporary literature and film, examining the immediate and long-lasting consequences of violence and terror in Latin American societies from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Looking at contemporary writers and cultural producers including Mónica Ojeda, Cristina Rivera Garza, Rodrigo Rey Rosa, Alonso Cueto and Manlio Argueta, the contributors of this volume analyse the climate of terror and anxiety resulting from the civil wars in Guatemala, El Salvador and Peru; the war on drugs in Mexico; the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama; and dynamics of class and gender power imbalances in Ecuador and Mexico.

German #MeToo
Rape Cultures and Resistance, 1770-2020
Edited by Elisabeth Krimmer and Patricia Anne Simpson

With 16 essays from established and emerging scholars, German #MeToo argues that sexual violence is not a universal human constant. Rather, it is nurtured and sustained by the social, political, cultural, legal, and economic fabric of specific societies. Focusing on German-speaking European cultures from the mid-eighteenth century to the present, the contributors sustain and vary their exploration of #MeToo-related issues through considerations of rape, prostitution, sexual murder, the politics of consent, and victim-blaming as enacted in literary works by canonical and marginalized authors, the visual arts, the graphic novel, Young Adult Fiction (YAF), film, television, and theater.

The Waste Land after One Hundred Years
Edited by Steven Matthews

T. S. Eliot first published his long poem The Waste Land in 1922. The revolutionary nature of the work was immediately recognised, and it has subsequently been acknowledged as one of the most influential poems of the twentieth century, and as crucial for the understanding of modernism. At this centenary moment, contributors to this volume both celebrate the richness of the work, its sounds and rare use of language, and also consider the poem’s legacy in Britain, Ireland, and India. The essays here, by an international team of writers from the UK, North America, and India, deploys a range of approaches. Some contributors seek to re-read the poem itself in fresh and original ways; others resist the established drift of previous scholarship on the poem, and present new understandings of the process of its development through its drafts, or as an orchestration on the page. An Introduction to the volume contextualises the poem itself, and the background to the essays. All pieces set out to review the nature of our understanding of the poem, and to bring fresh eyes to its brilliance, one hundred years on.


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