NEW April Books
Who's Black and Why? by "A fascinating, if disturbing, window onto the origins of racism." --Publishers Weekly "The eighteenth-century essays published for the first time in Who's Black and Why? contain a world of ideas--theories, inventions, and fantasies--about what blackness is, and what it means. To read them is to witness European intellectuals, in the age of the Atlantic slave trade, struggling, one after another, to justify atrocity." --Jill Lepore, author of These Truths: A History of the United States The first translation and publication of sixteen submissions to the notorious eighteenth-century Bordeaux essay contest on the cause of black skin--an indispensable chronicle of the rise of scientifically based, anti-Black racism. In 1739 Bordeaux's Royal Academy of Sciences announced a contest for the best essay on the sources of "blackness." What is the physical cause of blackness and African hair, and what is the cause of Black degeneration, the contest announcement asked. Sixteen essays, written in French and Latin, were ultimately dispatched from all over Europe. The authors ranged from naturalists to physicians, theologians to amateur savants. Documented on each page are European ideas about who is Black and why. Looming behind these essays is the fact that some four million Africans had been kidnapped and shipped across the Atlantic by the time the contest was announced. The essays themselves represent a broad range of opinions. Some affirm that Africans had fallen from God's grace; others that blackness had resulted from a brutal climate; still others emphasized the anatomical specificity of Africans. All the submissions nonetheless circulate around a common theme: the search for a scientific understanding of the new concept of race. More important, they provide an indispensable record of the Enlightenment-era thinking that normalized the sale and enslavement of Black human beings. These never previously published documents survived the centuries tucked away in Bordeaux's municipal library. Translated into English and accompanied by a detailed introduction and headnotes written by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Andrew Curran, each essay included in this volume lays bare the origins of anti-Black racism and colorism in the West.
Call Number: GN 27 .C38 2022 - Royal Oak
Publication Date: 2022-03-22
Kindred by "Kindred is important reading not just for anyone interested in these ancient cousins of ours, but also for anyone interested in humanity."--The New York Times Book Review "[A] bold and magnificent attempt to resurrect our Neanderthal kin."--The Wall Street Journal In Kindred, Neanderthal expert Rebecca Wragg Sykes shoves aside the cliché of the shivering ragged figure in an icy wasteland, and reveals the Neanderthal you don't know, our ancestor who lived across vast and diverse tracts of Eurasia and survived through hundreds of thousands of years of massive climate change. This book sheds new light on where they lived, what they ate, and the increasingly complex Neanderthal culture that researchers have discovered. Since their discovery 150 years ago, Neanderthals have gone from the losers of the human family tree to A-list hominins. Our perception of the Neanderthal has changed dramatically, but despite growing scientific curiosity, popular culture fascination, and a wealth of coverage in the media and beyond are we getting the whole story? The reality of 21st century Neanderthals is complex and fascinating, yet remains virtually unknown and inaccessible outside the scientific literature. Based on the author's first-hand experience at the cutting-edge of Palaeolithic research and theory, this easy-to-read but information-rich book lays out the first full picture we have of the Neanderthals, from amazing new discoveries changing our view of them forever, to the more enduring mysteries of how they lived and died, and the biggest question of them all: their relationship with modern humans.
Call Number: GN 285 .W73 2020 - Royal Oak
Publication Date: 2020-10-27
MORE NEW April Books
Worn by A sweeping and captivatingly told history of clothing and the stuff it is made of--an unparalleled deep-dive into how everyday garments have transformed our lives, our societies, and our planet. "We learn that, if we were a bit more curious about our clothes, they would offer us rich, interesting and often surprising insights into human history...a deep and sustained inquiry into the origins of what we wear, and what we have worn for the past 500 years." --The Washington Post In this panoramic social history, Sofi Thanhauser brilliantly tells five stories--Linen, Cotton, Silk, Synthetics, Wool--about the clothes we wear and where they come from, illuminating our world in unexpected ways. She takes us from the opulent court of Louis XIV to the labor camps in modern-day Chinese-occupied Xinjiang. We see how textiles were once dyed with lichen, shells, bark, saffron, and beetles, displaying distinctive regional weaves and knits, and how the modern Western garment industry has refashioned our attire into the homogenous and disposable uniforms popularized by fast-fashion brands. Thanhauser makes clear how the clothing industry has become one of the planet's worst polluters and how it relies on chronically underpaid and exploited laborers. But she also shows us how micro-communities, textile companies, and clothing makers in every corner of the world are rediscovering ancestral and ethical methods for making what we wear. Drawn from years of intensive research and reporting from around the world, and brimming with fascinating stories, Worn reveals to us that our clothing comes not just from the countries listed on the tags or ready-made from our factories. It comes, as well, from deep in our histories.
Call Number: GT 511 .T53 2022 - Royal Oak
Publication Date: 2022-01-25