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The Censorship Effect
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The Censorship Effect: Baudelaire, Flaubert, and the Formation of French Modernism, by William Olmsted (Oxford University Press, 2016).

In 1857 the trials of Flaubert and Baudelaire for offending against religion and public morality drew attention to the features we now associate with literary modernism; but instead of winning praise for their innovations they were indicted for “ideological crimes.” With the passage of time the offenses have been forgotten and the innovations inserted into a triumphal narrative about the rise of modernism.

Far from manifesting the autonomy proclaimed by modernism’s defenders, though, Flaubert’s and Baudelaire’s works remain enmeshed in their socio-historical contexts. To that end, The Censorship Effect argues that the stylistic features that prompted the criminal indictment of Madame Bovary and Les Fleurs du Mal–Flaubert’s free indirect style and Baudelaire’s multiple poetic personae–were much more the products of an intense struggle with a culture of censorship than they were hallmarks of autonomous or autoreferential works of art. They exhibit signs of self-censorship and collaboration with a regime of ethical and political censorship that not only shaped their very composition but affected their reception and continues to operate in the field of literary criticism. Indeed, as William Olmsted compellingly demonstrates, French modernism begins and remains deeply embedded in a culture of censorship whose proprieties, both literary and social, Baudelaire and Flaubert nevertheless challenged and transgressed.

Exploring the censorship effect as it played out for Baudelaire and Flaubert, from their trials to their monuments, The Censorship Effect recaptures some sense of their original anger as well as its ongoing suppression by new orthodoxies and reveals how the effect of censorship has implications beyond Flaubert and Baudelaire, beyond authors, but for us as readers too.

Heart of Europe
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Heart of Europe: A History of the Holy Roman Empire, by Peter H. Wilson (Harvard University Press, 2016).

The Holy Roman Empire lasted a thousand years, far longer than ancient Rome. Yet this formidable dominion never inspired the awe of its predecessor. Voltaire distilled the disdain of generations when he quipped it was neither holy, Roman, nor an empire. Yet as Peter Wilson shows, the Holy Roman Empire tells a millennial story of Europe better than the histories of individual nation-states. And its legacy can be seen today in debates over the nature of the European Union.

Heart of Europe traces the Empire from its origins within Charlemagne’s kingdom in 800 to its demise in 1806. By the mid-tenth century its core rested in the German kingdom, and ultimately its territory stretched from France and Denmark to Italy and Poland. Yet the Empire remained stubbornly abstract, with no fixed capital and no common language or culture. The source of its continuity and legitimacy was the ideal of a unified Christian civilization, but this did not prevent emperors from clashing with the pope over supremacy—the nadir being the sack of Rome in 1527 that killed 147 Vatican soldiers.

Though the title of Holy Roman Emperor retained prestige, rising states such as Austria and Prussia wielded power in a way the Empire could not. While it gradually lost the flexibility to cope with political, economic, and social changes, the Empire was far from being in crisis until the onslaught of the French revolutionary wars, when a crushing defeat by Napoleon at Austerlitz compelled Francis II to dissolve his realm.

Brother-Making in Late Antiquity and Byzantium: Monks, Laymen, and Christian Ritual
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Brother-Making in Late Antiquity and Byzantium: Monks, Laymen, and Christian Ritual, by Claudia Rapp (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Among medieval Christian societies, Byzantium is unique in preserving an ecclesiastical ritual of adelphopoiesis, which pronounces two men, not related by birth, as brothers for life. It has its origin as a spiritual blessing in the monastic world of late antiquity, and it becomes a popular social networking strategy among lay people from the ninth century onwards, even finding application in recent times. Located at the intersection of religion and society, brother-making exemplifies how social practice can become ritualized and subsequently subjected to attempts of ecclesiastical and legal control.

Controversially, adelphopoiesis was at the center of a modern debate about the existence of same-sex unions in medieval Europe. This book, the first ever comprehensive history of this unique feature of Byzantine life, argues persuasively that the ecclesiastical ritual to bless a relationship between two men bears no resemblance to marriage. Wide-ranging in its use of sources, from a complete census of the manuscripts containing the ritual of adelphopoiesis to the literature and archaeology of early monasticism, and from the works of hagiographers, historiographers, and legal experts in Byzantium to comparative material in the Latin West and the Slavic world, Brother-Making in Late Antiquity and Byzantium examines the fascinating religious and social features of the ritual, shedding light on little known aspects of Byzantine society.

Hemingway’s Spain: Imagining the Spanish World
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Hemingway’s Spain: Imagining the Spanish World, by Carl P. Eby and Mark Cirino (The Kent State University Press, 2016).

Ernest Hemingway famously called Spain the country that I loved more than any other except my own, and his forty-­year love affair with it provided an inspiration and setting for major works from each decade of his career:The Sun Also Rises, Death in the Afternoon, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Dangerous Summer, and The Garden of Eden; his only full­-length play, The Fifth Column; the Civil War documentary The Spanish Earth; and some of his finest short fiction, including Hills Like White Elephants and A Clean, Well­ Lighted Place.

In Hemingway’s Spain, Carl P. Eby and Mark Cirino collect thirteen penetrating and innovative essays by scholars of different nationalities, generations, and perspectives who explore Heming­way’s writing about Spain and his relationship to Spanish culture and ask us in a myriad of ways to rethink how Hemingway imagined Spain whether through a modernist mythologization of the Spanish soil, his fascination with the bullfight, his interrogation of the relationship between travel and tourism, his involvement with Spanish politics, his dialog with Spanish writers, or his appreciation of the subtleties of Spanish values. In addition to fresh critical responses to some of Hemingway’s most famous novels and stories, a particular strength of Hemingway’s Spain is its consideration of neglected works, such as Hemingway’s Spanish Civil War stories and The Dangerous Summer. The collection is noteworthy for its attention to how Hemingway’s post World War II fiction revisits and re-imagines his earlier Spanish works, and it brings new light both to Hemingway’s Spanish Civil War politics and his reception in Spain during the Franco years.

Hemingway’s lifelong engagement with Spain is central to under­standing and appreciating his work, and Hemingway’s Spain is an indispensable exploration of Hemingway’s home away from home.

Justifying Genocide: Germany and the Armenians from Bismarck to Hitler
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Justifying Genocide: Germany and the Armenians from Bismarck to Hitler, by Stefan Ihrig (Harvard University Press, 2016).

The Armenian Genocide and the Nazi Holocaust are often thought to be separated by a large distance in time and space. But Stefan Ihrig shows that they were much more connected than previously thought. Bismarck and then Wilhelm II staked their foreign policy on close relations with a stable Ottoman Empire. To the extent that the Armenians were restless under Ottoman rule, they were a problem for Germany too. From the 1890s onward Germany became accustomed to excusing violence against Armenians, even accepting it as a foreign policy necessity. For many Germans, the Armenians represented an explicitly racial problem and despite the Armenians’ Christianity, Germans portrayed them as the “Jews of the Orient.”

As Stefan Ihrig reveals in this first comprehensive study of the subject, many Germans before World War I sympathized with the Ottomans’ longstanding repression of the Armenians and would go on to defend vigorously the Turks’ wartime program of extermination. After the war, in what Ihrig terms the “great genocide debate,” German nationalists first denied and then justified genocide in sweeping terms. The Nazis too came to see genocide as justifiable: in their version of history, the Armenian Genocide had made possible the astonishing rise of the New Turkey.

Ihrig is careful to note that this connection does not imply the Armenian Genocide somehow caused the Holocaust, nor does it make Germans any less culpable. But no history of the twentieth century should ignore the deep, direct, and disturbing connections between these two crimes.

At the Edges of Citizenship: Security and the Constitution of Non-citizen Subjects
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At the Edges of Citizenship: Security and the Constitution of Non-citizen Subjects, by Kate Hepworth (Ashgate, 2015).

Proposing a new, dynamic conception of citizenship, this book argues against understandings of citizenship as a collection of rights that can be either possessed or endowed, and demonstrates it is an emergent condition that has temporal and spatial dimensions. Furthermore, citizenship is shown to be continually and contingently reconstituted through the struggles between those considered insiders and outsiders. Significantly, these struggles do not result in a clear division between citizens and non-citizens, but in a multiplicity of states that are at once included within and excluded from the political community.
These liminal states of citizenship are elaborated in relation to three specific forms of non-citizenship: the ‘respectable illegal, the ‘intimate foreigner’ and the ‘abject citizen’. Each of these modalities of citizenship corresponds to either the figure of the clandestino/a or the nomad as invoked in the 2008 Italian Security Package and a second set of laws, commonly referred to as the ‘Nomad Emergency Decree’. Exploring how this legislation affected and was negotiated by individuals and groups who were constituted as ‘objects of security’, author Kate Hepworth focuses on the first-hand experience of individuals deemed threats to the nation. Situated within the field of human geography, the book draws on literature from citizenship studies, critical security studies and migration studies to show how processes of securitisation and irregularisation work to delimit between citizens and non-citizens, as well as between legitimate and illegitimate outsiders.

The Sea in the British Musical Imagination
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The Sea in the British Musical Imagination, edited by Eric Saylor and Christopher M. Scheer (Boydell Press, 2015).

For centuries, the sea and those who sail upon it have inspired the imaginations of British musicians. Generations of British artists have viewed the ocean as a metaphor for the mutable human condition – by turns calm and reflective, tempestuous and destructive – and have been influenced as much by its physical presence as by its musical potential. But just as geographical perspectives and attitudes on seascapes have evolved over time, so too have cultural assumptions about their meaning and significance. Changes in how Britons have used the sea to travel, communicate, work, play, and go to war have all irresistibly shaped the way that maritime imagery has been conceived, represented, and disseminated in British music.
By exploring the sea’s significance within the complex world of British music, this book reveals a network of largely unexamined cultural tropes unique to this island nation. The essays are organised around three main themes: the Sea as Landscape, the Sea as Profession, and the Sea as Metaphor, covering an array of topics drawn from the seventeenth century to the twenty-first. Featuring studies of pieces by the likes of Purcell, Arne, Sullivan, Vaughan Williams, and Davies, as well as examinations of cultural touchstones such as the BBC, the Scottish fishing industry, and the Aldeburgh Festival, The Sea in the British Musical Imagination will be of interest to musicologists as well as scholars in history, British studies, cultural studies, and English literature.

The Astronomer and the Witch: Johannes Kepler’s Fight for his Mother
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The Astronomer and the Witch: Johannes Kepler’s Fight for his Mother, by Ulinka Rublack (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was one of the most admired astronomers who ever lived and a key figure in the scientific revolution. A defender of Copernicus’s sun-centred universe, he famously discovered that planets move in ellipses and defined the three laws of planetary motion. Perhaps less well known is that in 1615, when Kepler was at the height of his career, his widowed mother Katharina was accused of witchcraft. The proceedings led to a criminal trial that lasted six years, with Kepler conducting his mother’s defense.

In The Astronomer and the Witch, Ulinka Rublack pieces together the tale of this extraordinary episode in Kepler’s life, one that takes us to the heart of his changing world. First and foremost an intense family drama, the story brings to life the world of a small Lutheran community in the center of Europe at a time of deep religious and political turmoil – a century after the Reformation and on the threshold of the Thirty Years’ War.

Kepler’s defense of his mother also offers us a fascinating glimpse into the great astronomer’s world view, on the cusp between Reformation and scientific revolution. While advancing rational explanations for the phenomena that his mother’s accusers attributed to witchcraft, Kepler nevertheless did not call into question the existence of magic and witches. On the contrary, he clearly believed in them. And, as the story unfolds, it appears that there were moments when even Katharina’s children wondered whether their mother really did have nothing to hide . . .

British Literary Salons of the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries
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British Literary Salons of the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries, by Susanne Schmid (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, British salons were veritable hothouses of political and cultural agitation, with renowned guests such as Byron, Moore, Thackeray, and Baillie. In this comprehensive study of the British salon, Susanne Schmid traces the activities of three salonnières: Mary Berry, Lady Holland, and the Countess of Blessington. Mapping out the central place these circles held in London, this study explains how they shaped intellectual debate and publishing ventures. Using a large number of sources — diaries, letters, silver-fork novels, satires, travel writing, Keepsakes, and imaginary conversations — the book establishes sociable networks of days gone by.

The Concept of State Aid Under EU Law
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The Concept of State Aid Under EU Law: From Internal Market to Competition and Beyond, by Juan Jorge Piernas Lopez (Oxford University Press, 2015).

How has the evolution and transformation of the Common Market affected the legal concept of State aid? How has State aid adapted to the development of the European Union? These questions and more are answered in Juan Jorge Piernas Lopez’s examination of the historical, political, constitutional, and economical events that have affected the development of State aid in the EU.

Examining three key, interwoven arguments, this book provides a richer understanding of current formulas which depict the concept of aid through the prism of policy and enforcement considerations. First, the book demonstrates that the concept of aid is a ‘living instrument’ that has been applied in accordance with the main policy priorities of the European Commission. Second, contrary to what has been affirmed in other literature, the evolution of this concept has been influenced by the broader advancement of the case law of the Court of Justice in different periods of the integration process. Third, the author contends that the study of the evolution of the concept of aid in light of policy and case law provides a holistic outlook valuable to the decision making process of difficult cases. In this regard, the book provides criteria to interpret and discuss cases including Sloman Neptun, Philip Morris, and Azores, beyond the analysis traditionally adopted in this field.

Recovered Territory
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Recovered Territory: A German-Polish Conflict over Land and Culture, 1919-1989, by Peter Polak-Springer (Berghahn, 2015).

Upper Silesia, one of Central Europe’s most important industrial borderlands, was at the center of heated conflict between Germany and Poland and experienced annexations and border re-drawings in 1922, 1939, and 1945. This transnational history examines these episodes of territorial re-nationalization and their cumulative impacts on the region and nations involved, as well as their use by the Nazi and postwar communist regimes to legitimate violent ethnic cleansing. In their interaction with—and mutual influence on—one another, political and cultural actors from both nations developed a transnational culture of territorial rivalry. Architecture, spaces of memory, films, museums, folklore, language policy, mass rallies, and archeological digs were some of the means they used to give the borderland a “German”/“Polish” face. Representative of the wider politics of twentieth-century Europe, the situation in Upper Silesia played a critical role in the making of history’s most violent and uprooting eras, 1939–1950.

Commedia dell’ Arte and the Mediterranean
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Commedia dell’ Arte and the Mediterranean: Charting Journeys and Mapping ‘Others’, by Erith Jaffe-Berg (Ashgate, 2015).

Drawing on published collections and also manuscripts from Mantuan archives, Commedia dell’ arte and the Mediterranean locates commedia dell’ arte as a performance form reflective of its cultural crucible in the Mediterranean. The study provides a broad perspective on commedia dell’ arte as an expression of the various cultural, gender and language communities in Italy during the early-modern period, and explores the ways in which the art form offers a platform for reflection on power and cultural exchange.

While highlighting the prevalence of Mediterranean crossings in the scenarios of commedia dell’ arte, this book examines the way in which actors embodied characters from across the wider Mediterranean region. The presence of Mediterranean minority groups such as Arabs, Armenians, Jews and Turks within commedia dell’ arte is marked on stage and ‘backstage’ where they were collaborators in the creative process. In addition, gendered performances by the first female actors participated in ‘staging’ the Mediterranean by using the female body as a canvas for cartographical imaginings.

By focusing attention on the various communities involved in the making of theatre, a central preoccupation of the book is to question the dynamics of ‘exchange’ as it materialized within a spectrum inclusive of both cultural collaboration but also of taxation and coercion.

Exhibiting the Empire
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Exhibiting the Empire: Cultures of Display and the British Empire, edited by John M. Mackenzie and John McAleer (Manchester University Press, 2015).

Exhibiting the empire considers a whole range of cultural products DS from paintings, prints, photographs and panoramas.

The empire was exhibited for a variety of reasons: to promote trade and commerce; to encourage emigration and settlement; to assert, project and cement imperial authority; to digest and display the data and specimens derived from various voyages of exploration and missionary endeavours undertaken in the name of empire; to celebrate and commemorate important landmarks, people or events in the imperial pantheon. By considering a broad sweep of different media and ‘s imperial meridian. Exhibiting the empire represents a significant and original contribution to our understanding of the relationship between culture and the British Empire.

Written by leading scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, individual chapters bring fresh perspectives to the interpretation of media, material culture and display, and their interaction with the history of the British Empire.

Exhibiting the empire will be essential reading for scholars and students interested in British history, the history of empire, art history, and the history of museums and collecting.

Viktor Frankl’s Search for Meaning
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Viktor Frankl’s Search for Meaning: An Emblematic 20th-Century Life, by Timothy Pytell (Berghahn, 2015).

First published in 1946, Viktor Frankl’s memoir Man’s Search for Meaning remains one of the most influential books of the last century, selling over ten million copies worldwide and having been embraced by successive generations of readers captivated by its author’s philosophical journey in the wake of the Holocaust. This long-overdue reappraisal examines Frankl’s life and intellectual evolution anew, from his early immersion in Freudian and Adlerian theory to his development of the “third Viennese school” amid the National Socialist domination of professional psychotherapy. It teases out the fascinating contradictions and ambiguities surrounding his years in Nazi Europe, including the experimental medical procedures he oversaw in occupied Austria and a stopover at the Auschwitz concentration camp far briefer than has commonly been assumed. Throughout, author Timothy Pytell gives a penetrating but fair-minded account of a man whose paradoxical embodiment of asceticism, celebrity, tradition, and self-reinvention drew together the complex strands of twentieth-century intellectual life.

Lincoln in the Atlantic World
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Lincoln in the Atlantic World, by Louise L. Stevenson (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

This original and wide-ranging work reveals how Abraham Lincoln responded to prompts from around the globe to shape his personal appearance, political appeal, and presidential policies. Throughout his life, he learned lessons about slavery, American politics, and international relations from sources centered in Africa, Britain, and the European continent.

Answering questions that previous scholars have not thought to ask, the book opens the vision of Lincoln as a global republican. Thanks to its new stories and compelling analyses, this book provides a provocative and stimulating read that will generate debate at both high and popular levels.