Books to Look Out for in March 2020

Read about the journey of Cameroonian filmmaker Jean-Marie Teno, the operas of Sergei Prokofiev, The Book of Margery Kempe set in the context of medieval medical discourse, to name a few! Which book will you choose this month?

Happy reading!

The Films of Konrad Wolf

Archive of the Revolution

Larson Powell

Konrad Wolf (1925-1982) was East Germany’s greatest filmmaker. His films range from musicals to antifascist films to films of everyday life. This book, the first in any language on Wolf’s entire oeuvre, views his work as an archive both of his own experience and of the ideology of socialism, embedded in self-reflexive films and generic references like those of Fassbinder, Wajda, and Tarkovsky. The book’s comparativist dimension will make it of interest to all readers concerned with late-twentieth-century film, art under socialism, and East German and Eastern European history.

Imagining Anglo-Saxon England

Utopia, Heterotopia, Dystopia

Catherine E. Karkov

This book explores the ways in which early medieval England was envisioned as an ideal, a placeless, and a conflicted geography in works of art and literature from the eighth to the eleventh century and in their modern scholarly and popular afterlives – allowing the political and ideological violence that was part of the origins of England to remain unacknowledged. It examines in particular the Beowulf-manuscript, the Franks Casket, and the writings of Bede and King Alfred.

Reel Resistance – The Cinema of Jean-Marie Teno

Melissa Thackway & Jean-Marie Teno

Both a monograph and a critical conversation between a filmmaker and an academic, Reel Resistance, the Cinema of Jean-Marie Teno presents and contextualizes the eminent Cameroonian director’s varied and richly complex body of work in its entirety, identifying and analysing its stylistic and thematic traits, and examining the individual films and the collective oeuvre. Tracing the connections, intersections and evolutions of Teno’s film language and concerns since the mid-1980s, this dialogic work takes the reader on a journey through his multifaceted on-going filmic reflection on contemporary and past Cameroon, on the African continent, its political systems, culture, history and memory. Foregrounding Teno’s constant focus on forms and instances of resistance, it positions the cineaste’s work as a decolonial aesthetics.

Margery Kempe’s Spiritual Medicine

Suffering, Transformation and the Life-Course

Laura Kalas

Margery Kempe’s various illnesses, mental, spiritual and physical, are a recurring theme in her Book. This volume, the first full-length interdisciplinary study from a medical humanities perspective, offers a medicalized reading of Kempe’s spirituality in the context of the ubiquitous medieval notion of Christ the Physician, and thus a new way of interpreting the Book itself: as a narrative of Kempe’s own engagement with the medical paradigms of which she has previously been a passive subject. Focusing on the interactions of medicine, mysticism and reproduction as a feminist project, the author explores the ontology of female flesh; the productive use of pain, suffering and sickness; and the ethics of a maternal theology.

Leonard Bernstein and Washington, DC

Works, Politics, Performances

Edited by Daniel Abraham, Alicia Kopfstein-Penk & Andrew H. Weaver

Washington, DC was the site of some of the most important moments in the life and work of composer, conductor, activist, and icon of twentieth-century America, Leonard Bernstein (1918-90). This pathbreaking collection of entirely new essays by noted musicologists and cultural historians places this important cultural figure in the seat of United States government. Leonard Bernstein and Washington, DC, offers new perspectives on the important roles that politics has played in American music history, and that music has played in American political life.

The Operas of Sergei Prokofiev

Christina Guillaumier

The operas of Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) mark a significant contribution to twentieth-century music and theatre. Opera was Prokofiev’s preferred genre; not counting juvenile and unfinished works, he wrote a total of eight. Yet, to date, little has been published about the context, rationale or musical and compositional processes behind this output. While systematic studies of Prokofiev’s symphonies and his ballets exist, the operas have come under no such scrutiny. This book is the first in the English language to engage with the composer’s operatic output in its entirety and provides a contextual, critical and musico-analytical account of all of Prokofiev’s operas, including those juvenile works that are unpublished as well as the incomplete works composed towards the end of his life. It also includes synopses of the operas. Drawing on a wealth of archival material and other sources, the book provides the compelling untold story of Prokofiev the opera composer.

Renegotiating Postmemory

The Holocaust in Contemporary German-Language Jewish Literature

Maria Roca Lizarazu

In the shifting media landscape of the twenty-first century, the second and third generations of German-language Jewish authors are grappling with the disappearance of the eyewitness generation and the hyper-mediation and globalization of Holocaust memory. Benjamin Stein, Maxim Biller, Vladmir Vertlib, and Eva Menasse each experiment with new approaches towards Holocaust representation and the Nazi past. This book investigates major shifts in Holocaust memory since the turn of the millennium, and offers a much-needed reassessment of key concepts and terms in Holocaust discourse such as authenticity, empathy, normalization, representation, traumatic unspeakability, and postmemory.

Law, Liberty and the Constitution

A Brief History of the Common Law

Harry Potter
Now in Paperback

A new approach to the telling of legal history, devoid of jargon and replete with good stories, which will be of interest to anyone wishing to know more about the common law – the spinal cord of the English body politic.

Potter lacerates the jargon and marches through a long timeline to produce a slim, superbly written account of the common law. LAW SOCIETY GAZETTE

Full of triumphs, tragedies, comedies, accidents and unintended consequences [with] an immense cast of characters. … [A] lively and opinionated book. TIMES

The Chivalric Biography of Boucicaut, Jean II le Meingre

Translated by Craig Taylor & Jane H.M. Taylor
Now in Paperback

First English translation of the chivalric biography of one of France’s leading figures of the middle ages.

This is an accessible . . . translation, with informative introduction and notes, which will be of great interest to anyone who wishes to study or teach medieval chivalry, tournaments or the crusades. FRENCH HISTORY

Clear, lively and deeply engaging..An important addition to the growing range of later medieval chivalric texts available to Anglophone students and scholars and which, because of its extensive supplementary material, will also provide an ideal teaching resource. FRANCIA

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