#MLA18 Book Launch: The Monster as War Machine

Meet Dr. Mabel Moraña, William H. Gass Professor in Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis and winner of the 2013 MLA Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize, on Saturday (January 6) at 11:30 a.m. at the Cambria Press booth (101) for a book signing for her latest book, The Monster as War Machine.

This book is in the Cambria Latin American Literatures and Cultures Series headed by Dr. Román de la Campa, the Edwin B. and Lenore R. Williams Professor of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr.  de la Campa will also be at the booth to celebrate the publication of this new book.

Read excerpts of The Monster as War Machine.

#MLA18

Professor Moraña will be a speaker at the session “Theoretical Approaches to Colonial Latin American Studies” on Thursday (Jan 4) at 5:15 p.m. in the Lincoln Suite at the Hilton hotel.

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The Monster as War Machine – Book Excerpts

Cambria Press is proud to announce the publication of the new book, The Monster as War Machine, by by Mabel Moraña, William H. Gass Professor in Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis and winner of the 2013 MLA Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize. See below for excerpts from this book, which has been hailed as “a tour de force” and praised for being “audacious, erudite, and exquisitely written.”

Monster as War Machine

From the preface

An apparatus of social immunization, a simulacrum that spectacularizes its artificiality, a shifter that activates social dynamics, an assemblage that threatens the machinery of power, the monster symbolizes the heroic resistance of the slave and the sinister excesses of the master. Thus, it is essential to contextualize, even though it may seem fallacious, even the universality that the monster evokes in every one of its apparitions and attributes. In spite of its extreme empiria, and although it frequently lacks rationality and language, the monster is in its own way always philosophical. This book proceeds as a critical exercise that follows the meanderings of the monster’s “negative aesthetics.”

On Epistemophilia and the Performance of Difference

The nineteenth century was inhabited by ghosts and monsters that expressed dystopian fantasies about the possibility of unrestrained combinations of nature and technology. The anxiety that accompanied the ideology of progress, the turbulent culmination of the colonialist enterprise in the Americas, and the massive expansion of capitalism came to be sublimated through the monstrous. In this context, monstrosity constituted a discourse that directly addressed the tensions and exclusions of the social “order” of modernity in which forms of domination and social exclusion that began with colonialism were perpetuated and made into law. Processes like the scientific “rationalization” of the body were based on the demonization of otherness. These practices took the form of taxonomies of races and individuals that became part of the hierarchical and discriminatory imaginaries of infinite “progress” in modern capitalism. Monstrosity provided a visual and conceptual support for currents of thought that promoted privilege and exclusion based on naturalist criteria and supposedly demonstrable and unimpeachable truths. “Scientific racism” asserted the superiority of the Caucasian race within a highly influential technological structure that legitimated the political, economic, and cultural domination of societies thought to be savage, primitive, or barbarous. Forms of hybridity like mestizaje were interpreted as monstrous processes that promoted impurity and the degeneration of “pure” races.

On the Ubiquitous Quality of Monsters

For the monster, neither progress nor utopia nor purity of class, race, or gender exists, because its being consists of a contaminated material in which human qualities have been definitively or partially displaced, erased, or substituted by spurious, out-of-place characteristics. This ubiquitous quality constitutes the essence of the monster. The remains of its soul reside precisely in this ambiguous, fragile, and unstable condition. Zombies, vampires, pishtacos, chupacabras, demons, phantasms, and other representatives of the broad family tree that shares the characteristics of the monstrous or the supernatural are all beings that benefit from solitude and isolation. However, they also share, within their domains, family resemblances. The monster generates itself—regenerates, degenerates—mechanically, in order to survive as a distinct concentration of irrationality in a world ruled by monstrous but legitimated principles of exclusion and reification.

On the Age of Futilitarianism

Certain social, economic, and political conditions nonetheless seem to be a breeding ground for the proliferation of monstrosity, which is expressed both in concrete fears such as the desperation of being trapped, or the disconcerting awareness of horizons that open up a landscape of disorienting freedom that manifests as a foreign, ghostly place. According to the Comaroffs, we are now in “the Age of Futilitarianism”—that is, an era in which all hope is thought to be vain and all effort is considered futile …

The Monster as War Machine is in the Cambria Latin American Literatures and Cultures Series headed by Román de la Campa, the Edwin B. and Lenore R. Williams Professor of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania.

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APSA 2017 Distinguished Teaching Award goes to Michael A. Genovese

Congratulations to Dr. Michael A. Genovese on winning the prestigious APSA 2017 Distinguished Teaching Award. This award honors an outstanding contribution to undergraduate and graduate teaching political science at two- or four-year institutions.

Dr. Genovese is Professor of Political Science, President of World Policy Institute, and the Loyola Chair of Leadership Studies at Loyola Marymount University. He is the author of numerous highly acclaimed books, including The Encyclopedia of the American PresidencyThe Power of the American Presidency 1789-2000, and The Paradoxes of the American Presidency. His latest books are The Trumping of American Politics (released September 2017) and How Trump Governs (forthcoming Fall 2017).

#APSA2017

 

9781604979886front

How Trump Governs (forthcoming Fall 2017)

Dr. Genovese will be chairing the #APSA2017 session “The Foundations of Executive Legitimacy” on Saturday at 2PM at Hilton Union Square in Continental Parlor 9.

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Cambria Press Forthcoming Publication on David Malouf

A new book on the celebrated Australian writer David Malouf will be out soon. Winner of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the inaugural Australia-Asia Literary Award, and the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature, Malouf’s works include novels, poetry, nonfiction, plays, and libretti.

His earlier works provide much insight into Malouf’s development as a writer, and the forthcoming book David Malouf and the Poetic: His Earlier Writings Yvonne Smith uncovers what the terms “poetic”, “poetic imagination” and “inner and outer ways” imply for his development as a writer. Making use of some of his correspondence, diaries, and drafts of work-in-progress, Yvonne Smith takes into fuller account the way his works relate to each other and to the circumstances in which they were written.

Cambria Press Publication David Malouf

Title: David Malouf and the Poetic: His Earlier Writings
Author: Yvonne Smith
Publisher: Cambria Press
ISBN: 9781604979367
304 pp. | 2017 | Hardback & E-book
Book Webpage: http://www.cambriapress.com/books/9781604979367.cfm

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Interview with Cambria Press author Professor Mark Bender

An interview with Professor Mark Bender (The Ohio State University) about his new book was posted on the MCLC. Professor Bender’s book The Borderlands of Asia: Culture, Place, Poetry was released last month at the 2017 AAS conference in Toronto.

Cambria Press author Mark Bender publication Borderlands of Asia

See also Professor Bender’s speech at the
AAS 2017 Cambria Press reception.

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Publication Excerpts from “Security Forces in African States: Cases and Assessment”

The following are publication excerpts from Security Forces in African States: Cases and Assessment, edited by Paul Shemella and Nicholas Tomb.

Order this book on Amazon today.

Publisher Cambria Press Publication Security Forces in African States

Excerpt from chapter 1, “The Larger Context”

Armed forces can be used to help governments improve human security along the difficult road to prosperity, literacy, political stability, and domestic tranquility. But that is not the primary role of armies and navies. As central as security is to social well-being, good governance is largely an exercise in making distinctions between these two broad types of security, and then applying armed forces, law enforcement, and intelligence resources appropriately (in coordination with the rest of the government). Too often, the military leg of this triad—driven by fearful or misguided politicians—actually serves to diminish human security. Perhaps the most essential element of governing well is making security forces part of the solution rather than part of the problem.”

Excerpt from chapter 2 “Tools for Assessment of Security: Level 1 and Level 2”

The tools offered in this chapter can be used in various ways to evaluate how well a selected African government is governing and developing its security force institutions. Within this set of tools also lie the means to assess how well single security institutions are performing their roles and expected missions.”

[…]

“Although this framework would be useful for Western governments in their efforts to support African government reform, the most significant application would be as a method for African governments to assess themselves.

The case studies that follow will draw on the analytical tools in this chapter to discuss the efforts of those governments to govern and operate their security forces. The cases have been selected to illustrate a diversity of responses to universal security challenges. In addition to examining the unique aspects of particular countries, each case study will address specifically the following set of questions, derived directly from tables 1 through 4:

  • What is the “national brand” of the country as a consequence of the way the government uses its armed forces?
  • What are the most significant threats that must be dealt with by the security sector?
  • What are the roles of the armed forces and law enforcement forces, and how do they complement one another?
  • Into which category of political system does the country fit most accurately? To what degree do security institutions influence the government’s political system?
  • Does the governance and capacity of the security sector contribute to healthy relationships between security forces and society, as well as good governance overall? If not, why not?
  • What are the trends for security sector institutions, and are there measures of effectiveness that can be captured and tracked over time?”

Excerpt from chapter 3, “The Case of the Democratic Republic of Congo”

“The Congo is sometimes described as the heart of Africa, and like any vital organ its condition will have a fundamental impact on the broader body. With a population of 80 million people, an enormous amount of territory, and nine neighboring countries, it is the key to stability in the region. If the culture of corruption and impunity can be replaced with accountability, good governance—and democratically elected civilian control of the armed forces—the DRC could become the breadbasket of Southern Africa that it rightfully should be. If things continue as they are, the ruling elite will use the security forces to enrich themselves at the expense of the citizenry, and risk throwing the entire region into chaos.”

This book is part of the Rapid Communications in Conflict and Security (RCCS) Series (General Editor: Geoffrey R.H. Burn).

Key words

Addis Ababa

Africa Parks

African Party of Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC)

African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)

Afrobarometer

air force

Al Qaeda

Al Shabaab

al-Bashir, Omar

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)

Alstom SA

Amhara

amnesty

Amnesty International

Angola

Ansar Dine

armed forces

army

Asab

authoritarian regime

bad governance

Badme War

Bardo National Museum

Belgium

Ben Ali

Benin

Berlin

Bishoftu

Boko Haram

border violation [border violation, borders violation]

Brazil

budgets

Burkina Faso

Camara, Dadis

Cameroon

capability

capacity

capacity measure [capacity measure, capacity measures]

Carter Center

Carvalho, Ana Larcher

cattle rustling

Center for Civil-Military Relations (CCMR)

Central African Republic (CAR)

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Cheick Modibo Diarra

child labor

child soldiers

China Poly Group

civil society

civil war

civil-military relations

climate change

coast guard

coercive force

Cold War

collapsed states

Collier, Paul

colonial history

combat experience

complementarity

Conakry

Condé, Alpha

Congo Free State

Constitution

constitutional democracy

Conté, Lansana

corruption

Côte d’Ivoire

Counter Terrorism Center (CTC)

counterinsurgency

counterterrorism

coup d’état

cronyism

culture

cyber attacks

Czechoslovakia

Darfur

Déby, Idriss

defender

defense committees

Defense Institute for International Legal Studies (DIILS)

democracy

democratic consolidation

democratic control

Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (DFLR)

democratic transition

democratization

Department of State Dignitary Protection Detail

Derg Regime

Desalegne, Haile Miriam

desertification

desired outcome

diplomacy

Dire Dawa

Doha Centre for Media Freedom

drought

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

drug trafficking

East Africa

Ebola

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG)

economic development

education

effectiveness

efficiency

elections

elephants

England

environmental pollution

Eritrea

Ethiopia/Eritrea War

Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF)

ethnic conflict

European Union (EU)

extrajudicial killings

extremism

Eyadéma, Gnassingbé [Eyadéma]

failed state

famine

Faure, Gnassingbé,

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (FEACC)

female

fireman

First Congo War

flooding

food insecurity

Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC)

France

Freedom House

Gadhafi, Muammar

Gafat Armament Engineering Complex

gendarmerie

gender

Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)

geography

George W. Bush

Germany

Global Political Agreement

globalization

good governance

governance measure [governance measure, governance measures]

Grand Renaissance Dam

Great Lakes region

Grindle, Merilee

Grunitzky, Nicolas

guardians

Gulf of Guinea

Habré, Hissène

Haile Selassie

Haleb Island

health insecurity

Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative

Hibret Machine Tools

High Council of Student Association Movements (HACAME)

Human Development Index (HDI)

human resources management system

human rights

human rights abuses

human rights groups

Human Rights Report

Hutu

ignorance

Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)

Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA)

information campaign

infrastructure

institutionalized competitive states

institutionalized noncompetitive states

institutions

insurgency

intelligence

intelligence fusion center

interagency

interagency operations

internal security forces

International Crisis Group (ICG)

invasion

Islam

Islamic Courts

Islamic State

ivory

Jasmine Revolution

jihadist

jihadist terrorism

judicial oversight

judicial review

Kabila, Joseph

Kabila, Laurent

Kabye

Kidal

King Leopold II

Kinshasa

Konaré, Alpha Oumar

Lake Chad

Lake Chad Basin

law enforcement

leadership

legal framework

legislative oversight

Liberia

Libya

locust infestations

Lomé

Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)

Mai Mai militia

major shortfalls

Malinké

maritime security

mass migration

Mbuji-Mayi

Meles Zenawi Asres

Mengistu Haile Mariam

merit-based promotion

Metals & Engineering Corporation (METEC)

military exclusion zones

Military Function High Council

military manufacturing

military operations

Military Section Committees

militias

minimally institutionalized states

Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs

Ministry of Internal Security

Ministry of Security and Civil Protection

Mobutu Sese Seko

Modibo Kéïta

money laundering

Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND)

Movement for the Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO)

Mozambique

Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA)

Mungiki

munitions factory

N’Diaye, Boubacar

narco trafficking

National Assembly

national brand

National Conference in Lomé

National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)

national defense

National Defense and Security Policy

national economy

national guard

National Independent Elections Commission

National Intelligence Agency (ANR)

National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS)

National Intelligence Service (NIS)

National Police Service Commission (NPSC)

National Security Council (NSC)

natural disaster

navy

Nazareth Canvas and Garment Factory

nepotism

Niger

Niger Delta

North Korea

Nye, Joseph

Olympio, Sylvanus

opposition leaders

Optimal Protection Services

organized crime

Oromia

Ouagadougou Accord

Oxfam International

peace-building

peacekeeper

peacekeeping

personal rule

Plato

Police Nationale Congolaise (PNC)

policemen

political opposition

political partisanship [partisanship]

political violence

polling

Portugal

poverty

power

Power, Samantha

President Guard Battalion

Prime Minister

private security companies

Private Security Regulatory Authority

Processing and Research Center

public disorder [“manifested in multiple categories”]

public goods

public health

public safety

Radisson Blu

rape

Rapid Response Units

rebels

reciprocity

refugees

Regional Police Commissions

Republican Guard

resource trap

resources

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)

risk

rule of law

Rwanda

Sahel

Samora

Sanogo, Amadou Haya

Schumpeter

Second Congo War

Secret Service

sectarian violence

security

Security Advisory Services

security companies

security sector reform (SSR)

Senegal

sex workers

sexual trafficking

sexual-based violence

Shell Oil

Sierra Leone

smuggling

Somalia

Sousse

Soviet Union

special forces

Special Forces Battalion

Spire Corp.

strategic vision

Sudan

tactical air control patrols

terrorism

terrorist attacks

Third Wave

391st Commando Battalion

Timbuktu

torture

Touré, Ahmed Sékou

Touré, Amadou Toumani

tourism

trafficking

training

Transitional National Government of Somalia (TNG)

transparency

Transparency International

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Traoré, Dioncounda

Traoré, Moussa

tribalism

troublemaker

trust

Tuareg

Uganda

UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS)

UN Organization for Stabilization in DR Congo (MONUSCO)

UN Security Council (UNSC)

Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)

Union of Islamic Courts (UIC)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

United Nations

United Nations Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO)

United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA)

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

United States Naval Postgraduate School (NPS)

University of Addis Ababa

University of Kara

US

US Department of State

US Special Forces

Usalama Reform Forum

vulnerability

warfighter

Warsaw Pact

Waterproof Shield

West Africa

West Virginia

Westgate Mall

white paper

wildlife poaching

World Bank

World Health Organization (WHO)

World War II

Yar’Adua, Umaru

Zaire

Zimbabwe

Title: Security Forces in African States: Cases and Assessment
Authors: Paul Shemella and Nicholas Tomb, eds.
Publisher: Cambria Press
ISBN: 9781604979817
294 pp.  |   2017   |   Paperback & E-book
Book Webpage: http://www.cambriapress.com/books/9781604979817.cfm

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Cambria Press author Mark Bender (AAS 2017 speech)

Cambria Press author Professor Mark Bender (The Ohio State University) spoke about his new book The Borderlands of Asia: Culture, Place, Poetry at the Cambria Press reception. This book is in the Cambria Press Sinophone World Series headed by Professor Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

Watch Professor Mark Bender’s speech
at the Cambria Press reception

Cambria Press author Mark Bender publication Borderlands of Asia

Below is a transcript of Professor Mark Bender’s speech:

“Firstly, I’d like to say a big thank-you to Toni Tan, Michelle Wright—and, of course, Victor Mair—of Cambria Press for helping me with this project.  I am endlessly grateful for their vision and hard work.

This project began as a side interest to my study of oral traditions in China.  It has grown organically from the translation of a few poems concerning cultural and environmental change written in Nuosu language by Yi poet and academic Aku Wuwu of Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu. The  present volume includes the works of 48 poets from Northeast India, Myanmar, Southwest China, Inner Mongolia, and Mongolia.

It has been my great pleasure to work with a number of onsite collaborators who helped in many ways to put me in touch with local poets.  These include Desmond Kharmawthlang from the Northeast Hill University in Shillong, Meghalaya in Northeast India; the poet ko ko thett, a former Burmese ex-pat, now living in Mandalay, Myanmar; poets Aku Wuwu and Burao Yilu, of Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, China; Prof. Chen Ganglong of Peking University who connected me to poets of Inner Mongolia; and the inimitable Delgermaa Ganbat of the Union of Mongolian Writers in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

The theme of the volume is the experiences of cultural and environmental change as channeled through the voices of poets from among the many ethnic groups within and without of the border areas of China and India. As I note in the Preface the array of poets included in this volume would have been different if I had met different people and if my travels had taken me to other places.  That said I feel strongly that the themes of cultural and environmental change treated in the volume have a sharp relevancy in many areas Asia and elsewhere on the planet.  One theme that I raise in the Introduction is that of “place-competency” – the deep familiarity with local environments and how to live in a place – knowledge threatened by new styles of living that require new competencies for survival.  Many of the poets in this volume have written poems that reflect their own adjustments to changing circumstances, and often speak for their local communities. To quote from page 15:

“Many of the poets in this volume reflect perceptual and experiential attitudes towards the lands and waters of specific places that belie deep place-competency—whether the environment they evoke is a humid jhum field in Northeast India, the sublime spaces of the northern steppes, the disorienting streets of an urban megalopolis in Southwest China, or a somehow familiar myth-world inhabited by speaking animals. Some of the poets stress the de-linkage from these familiar relationships with the environment, exhibiting nostalgia for an imagined world of harmony in contrast to the traumatic changes of the present. From another angle, poems such as Desmond Kharmawphlang’s “Thaiang Buried Roots,” reflect an attitude adopted by poets who seek to renew aspects of tradition amidst the chaos of cultural upheaval and environmental destruction and heal intimate ties between community and place (Syiem 2011, 129–130).”

Other themes, such as the imagery of ritual and material culture in relation to imagery are prominent in the poems, but as my three minutes are rapidly coming to a close, I will end here with an entreaty that we pay take advantage of the opportunity to listen to these voices from the borderlands of Asia and see what they have to teach us.”

* * * * *

The Borderlands of Asia is a rare collection that brings together the works of poets of diverse cultural backgrounds located in places that are only beginning to be recognized globally as sites of intense poetic work. This book contributes to raising global awareness of this poetry of land, waters, and cultures in less-highlighted parts of Asia. The subjects of environmental and cultural change are inescapable in the poetry represented in this volume, and many ethnic communities are on the front lines of development, affected in various ways by resource extraction (especially mining and logging), damming of rivers (a severe international issue), loss of wildlife and habitat, population displacement, and the effects of climate change. Likewise, the local cultures have variously experienced the effects of invasion, colonization, revolution, social engineering, insurgency, multi-spectrum development, and globalization contributing to often challenging (or worse) cultural changes. The intense contemporary poetry being produced is an index of the magnitude of these changes. An important book for Asian studies, Indigenous literature studies, and literature of the environment studies, this volume offers a substantial glimpse into contemporary poetry from exciting but under-represented poetic voices speaking out in the border areas of eastern Asia.

Title: The Borderlands of Asia: Culture, Place, Poetry
Author: Mark Bender
Publisher: Cambria Press
ISBN: 9781604979763
396 pp.  |   2017   |   Hardback & E-book

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