Bookbeat

Bookbeat: July 2015

Emergent Brazil: Key Perspectives on a New Global Power

Emergent Brazil

Jeffrey D. Needell, Professor and Affiliate Professor of Latin American Studies. Available from University Press of Florida.

For decades, scholars and journalists have hailed the enormous potential of Brazil, which has been one of the world's largest economies for the last twenty years. But its promise has too often been curtailed by dictatorship, racism, poverty, and violence.

Offering an interdisciplinary approach to the critical issues facing Brazil, the contributors to this volume analyze the democratization of the country's media, its nuclear capabilities, changing crime rates, the spread of Pentecostalism and indigenous religions, the development of popular culture, the growth of Brazilian agribusiness, and the implementation of sustainable economic development, especially in the Amazon.

The only member of the large, newly industrialized, fast-growing BRICS economies (along with Russia, China, India, and South Africa) in the Western hemisphere, Brazil plays a unique role regionally and throughout the world. Emergent Brazil is a comprehensive and timely collection of essays that explore the country's major domestic concerns and the impact of its trends, institutions, culture, and religion across the globe.

Rethinking Therapeutic Culture

Rethinking Therapeutic Culture

Trysh Travis, Associate Director and Undergraduate Coordinator for the Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research. Available from University of Chicago Press.

Social critics have long lamented America's descent into a “culture of narcissism,” as Christopher Lasch so lastingly put it fifty years ago. From “first world problems” to political correctness, from the Oprahfication of emotional discourse to the development of Big Pharma products for every real and imagined pathology, therapeutic culture gets the blame. Ask not where the stereotype of feckless, overmedicated, half-paralyzed millennials comes from, for it comes from their parents' therapist's couches.

Editors Timothy Aubry and Trysh Travis bring us a dazzling array of contributors and perspectives to challenge the prevailing view of therapeutic culture as a destructive force that encourages narcissism, insecurity, and social isolation. The collection encourages us to examine what legitimate needs therapeutic practices have served and what unexpected political and social functions they may have performed. Offering both an extended history and a series of critical interventions organized around keywords like pain, privacy, and narcissism, this volume offers a more nuanced, empirically grounded picture of therapeutic culture than the one popularized by critics. Rethinking Therapeutic Culture is a timely book that will change the way we've been taught to see the landscape of therapy and self-help.

The Lily and the Thistle: The French Tradition and the Older Literature of Scotland

The Lily and the Thistle

William Calin, professor of Language, Literature and Culture, argues for a reconsideration of the French impact on medieval and renaissance Scottish literature. Available from Amazon Books.

In The Lily and the Thistle, William Calin argues for a reconsideration of the French impact on medieval and renaissance Scottish literature. Calin proposes that much of traditional, medieval, and early modern Scottish culture, thought to be native to Scotland or primarily from England, is in fact strikingly international and European. By situating Scottish works in a broad intertextual context, Calin reveals which French genres and modes were most popular in Scotland and why.

The Lily and the Thistle provides appraisals of medieval narrative texts in the high courtly mode (equivalent to the French “dits amoureux”); comic, didactic, and satirical texts; and Scots romance. Special attention is accorded to texts composed originally in French such as the Arthurian “Roman de Fergus,” as well as to the lyrics of Mary Queen of Scots and little known writers from the French and Scottish canons. By considering both medieval and renaissance works, Calin is able to observe shifts in taste and French influence over the centuries.

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