Rave Review for Genus Envy: Nationalities, Identities, and the Performing Body of Work

Cambria Press congratulates Professor Thomas Connolly on the rave review by the Eugene O’Neill Review of his book, Genus Envy: Nationalities, Identities, and the Performing Body of Work.

The book is commended for being “erudite, provocative, and witty,” which is not surprising given that “Connolly is well known to enthusiasts of O’Neill and to fans of NoëlCoward as well, being active in the international society of each. Though seemingly polar opposite in style and spirit, for Connolly both playwrights are radical in the broadest sense.”

The book reviewer for the journal had nothing but praise for the book, even stating that “I have not done service to Connolly’s impressive range of critical reference, nor his feeling for the postmodern project”!  More importantly, the review notes that “Connolly’s book is also rich in close reading, literary history, and original insight. And it is great fun to read.”

Genus Envy is an important book for all theatre, cultural studies, and literature collections.

Recommend this book to your librarian today! They can order it directly from Cambria Press or they can order through their preferred academic book wholesaler (Cambria Press is on the approval list of premier wholesalers like YBP).

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Read the author interview with Professor Elizabeth Soliday on her recently published book, Childbirth in a Technocratic Age

Cambria Press is pleased to announce that Childbirth in a Technocratic Age: The Documentation of Women’s Expectations and Experiences by Elizabeth Soliday is now available.

Below is a transcript of the Q&A session with Professor Soliday.

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1. Why did you decide to write this book?

I decided to write Childbirth in a Technocratic Age: The Documentation of Women’s Expectations and Experiences after observing what I perceive as contradictions within the contemporary maternal care culture that stand to confuse women on their role in the childbirth process.  In the context of the U.S.’s private health care system, the reality of having to meet the economic bottom line has resulted in an increasingly consumer-oriented maternal care culture, where medical interventions, necessary are not, are packaged to appeal to birthing women’s natural desires for safety and comfort.  Along with increased consumer choices comes an unspoken professional expectation that women will take an active role in medical decision making and in ensuring their own satisfaction with childbirth.

In reality, however — at least for the over 99% of U.S. women who give birth in hospitals — maternal agency and decision making in childbirth are constrained by long-standing professional biases and by institutional practices and policies.  In such a context, I wanted to understand the kinds of expectations contemporary women might have for their upcoming childbirth experiences and how those expectations bore out in the actual labor and delivery process.

2.  What do you hope your readers take away from your book?

First, in my presentation of research on obstetric issues, I hope readers come to a greater understanding of the contemporary context of maternal care in the U.S. — and by context I mean its benefits, its drawbacks, the pressures under which this system operates, and the pressures that the system in turn places on women.  Within that context, I hope that the maternal interview material gives readers an appreciation for the complex childbirth-related emotions that mothers struggle with long term, and I also hope that readers feel challenged to question the source of lingering negative feelings some mothers reported about birth giving.  Finally, I hope that readers, whether they are mothers or not, are reminded of the heroic act of childbirth itself, and with that in mind, consider for themselves and others how mothers could be more effectively supported.

3.  What other research do you believe is needed on this topic?

In the context of a rapidly evolving maternal care system and statistics indicating that the health of U.S. mothers is falling behind other global nations with less technologically-intensive approaches to maternal care, the field is wide open.  In terms of my own work, I have studies currently underway examining pregnant women’s personal orientation towards obstetric care that is, borrowing from anthropologist Robbie Davis-Floyd, technocratic or humanistic, and how their orientation predicts their later uptake of specific birth interventions, their satisfaction with childbirth, and their postpartum mood.  I am also working with non-Western health care practitioners on studies of non-medical supports in pregnancy and how those connect to the subsequent birth experience.  In my own work and in the field more generally, the power differential between maternal medical patients and obstetric professionals must continually be acknowledged, particularly as pressures on women to actively participate in medical decision making and in the childbirth process grow.  Moreover, factors that place women at disadvantage, including cultural differences, low income, and limited education, must be an integral part of any ongoing maternal health research.

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The book is targeted towards an academic readership, including scholars and medical professionals with interest in women’s health, women’s and maternal mental health, women’s reproductive health, reproductive technology, medical humanities, medical anthropology, narrative studies, pregnancy, and childbirth.

Recommend this book to your librarian today! They can order it directly from Cambria Press or they can order through their preferred academic book wholesaler (Cambria Press is on the approval list of premier wholesalers like YBP).

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Excellent Journal Review for The Traumatic Imagination: Histories of Violence in Magical Realist Fiction

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Cambria Press congratulates Dr. Eugene Arva on the recent outstanding review by Transnational Literature of his book, The Traumatic Imagination: Histories of Violence in Magical Realist Fiction. The journal commends the work because it shows that “Arva’s knowledge is extensive and comprehensive” and he “introduces innovative concepts of his own while remaining faithful to their original literary, cultural and critical sources.”

The book has also been praised by literary scholar Professor Wendy B. Faris (University of Texas at Arlington) who states that “this book contributes to the growing body of critical thought on magical realism … by integrating postcolonial and metropolitan texts, Eugene Arva’s study shows that magical realism is not only a postcolonial phenomenon but also belongs in meaningful ways to world literature in all cultural contexts, especially those having experienced trauma of one kind or another … this approach to magical realism through ideas associated with trauma studies enlarges our understanding of the cultural work magical realism has been continuing to do in contemporary world literature.”

Recommend this book to your librarian today! They can order it directly from Cambria Press or they can order through their preferred academic book wholesaler (Cambria Press is on the approval list of premier wholesalers like YBP).

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NEW PUBLICATION: Doing Archival Research in Political Science is now available! Meet the editors at the 2012 ACSC conference!

Three of the editors of Doing Archival Research in Political Science, Sean Q Kelly, Scott Frisch, and David C. W. Parker, will be at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress to discuss their book, which has been published just in time for the conference.

Doing Archival Research in Political Science by Scott A. Frisch, Douglas B. Harris, Sean Q Kelly, and David C.W. Parker has won praise from leading experts and is hailed as “simply the best treatment that we have of the practical logistics of conducting archival research about the national legislature” by C. Lawrence Evans, Newton Family Professor of Government at the College of William and Mary.

Dr. Raymond Smock (director of the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies; former historian, U. S. House of Representatives; and past president of the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress) also praises this pioneering work, stating that “this excellent, timely, and cogently written book boldly challenges political scientists to expand their research methods to include extensive use of the rich, largely untapped, political archives of this nation” and that “this book could help bring about a revolution in the way political scientists do their work.”

This first-of-its-kind book—traversing political science and library and information science—challenges political scientists’ reliance on “easy data” promising in return “better data.” The editors propose that the archival record is replete with data that are often superior to current, available public data, both quantitative and qualitative. Substantive chapters in Doing Archival Research in Political Science illustrate how archival data improve understanding across the array of subfields in American politics. It also challenges archivists to rethink their collections through the prism of political science.

Doing Archival Research in Political Science holds tremendous cross-disciplinary appeal. Students and faculty in political science are exposed to a fertile but underutilized source of empirical data. Political scientists will benefit from the methodological perspectives, the practical advice about doing archival work, and the concrete examples of archives-based research across the subfields in American politics (e.g., congressional studies, presidential studies, public opinion, national security, interest groups, and public policy).

Students and faculty in library and archival studies will benefit greatly from the candid discussion of the unique theoretical and methodological concerns inherent in political science, improving their ability to reach out and promote their collections to political scientists. Examples of archives-based political science research will help library faculty better understand how their collections are being utilized by users.

A Q&A session will be posted after the conference for those who were not able to attend. A special ACSC discount is being offered to conference attendees.

Recommend this book to your librarian today! They can order it directly from Cambria Press or they can order through their preferred academic book wholesaler (Cambria Press is on the approval list of premier wholesalers like YBP).

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Outstanding Review for David Foster: The Satirist of Australia

Cambria Press congratulates Dr. Susan Lever (general editor of the Cambria Australian Literature Series) on the recent outstanding review of her book, David Foster: The Satirist of Australia, by Australian Literary Studies, which praises the work—among other reasons––because “Lever begins the very necessary work of bridging the gap between generalist studies of European or British satire and the idiosyncrasies of Australian satirical writing.”

This book has already garnered many accolades from other academic journals and was also shortlisted for Australia’s prestigious Walter McRae Russell Award.

David Foster is the most original, challenging, contradictory, risk-taking and infuriating Australian novelist of his generation. Four of Foster’s novels have won major literary awards in Australia: his first novel, The Pure Land (1974), shared the first Age Book of the Year award (with volume three of Manning Clark’s A History of Australia) in 1975; his second novel, Moonlite (1981), was the National Book Council Book of the Year for 1981; The Glade Within the Grove (1996) won the Miles Franklin award in 1997; and In the New Country (1999) was the inaugural Brisbane Courier-Mail Book of the Year in 1999. Foster’s novels have attracted the admiration of many other writers and critics, including White, Geoffrey Dutton, Randolph Stow and Annie Proulx, and his contribution to Australian writing has been recognized by several Australia Council grants and a prestigious ‘Keating’ Creative Fellowship in 1991.

In this first critical study of David Foster’s works, Susan Lever steers us into penetrating the mysteries of Foster’s fiction, and provides guidance to readers willing to approach them. The book examines the contradictory nature of his commitments and interests as expressed mainly in his novels. Each of his works of fiction and poetry in the order of publication (except for The Adventures of Christian Rosy Cross and The Pale Blue Crochet Coathanger Cover which are discussed with similar novels) are discussed. The development of Foster’s philosophical ideas and technique as a novelist over the 35 years of his writing life to date is followed. The book also examines Foster’s letters to Geoffrey Dutton early in his career; his interviews and essays provide some of the background to these novels. The book also furnishes a sense of the Australian context for his work. A brief biography of Foster’s early life and a discussion of his approach to satire is also included.

Recommend this book to your librarian today! They can order it directly from Cambria Press or they can order through their preferred academic book wholesaler (Cambria Press is on the approval list of premier wholesalers like YBP).

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NEW PUBLICATION: Gangster Rap and Its Social Cost is now available! Read the rave reviews by scholars for this book!

Cambria Press is pleased to announce that Gangster Rap and Its Social Cost: Exploiting Hip Hop and Using Racial Stereotypes to Entertain America by Professor Benjamin P. Bowser is now available.

Rap music and its gangster rap variant are now far too important and influential in American life to be ignored by the general public and research communities alike. Artists and promoters alike have made a number of questionable claims about the authenticity and impact of their music that have been taken for granted and not been critically assessed. Those who have written about from communications, music and cultural studies have provided an important but relatively fixed narrative that leaves the central claims and impacts of this entrepreneur unaddressed.

It is in this context that the author Benjamin Bowser began studying hip hop and gangster rap precisely because the influence of this movement and music on African American adolescents HIV infection risk takers. At the same time, the frequent use of the N-word by gangster rappers has become a major unaddressed issue in civil rights that has also not been studied. Furthermore, an important reason to study these unaddressed issues is to not only better understand them, but to offer solutions to the problems they pose and to improve the quality of life of all involved.

Within the rapidly growing literature on hip hop and gangster rap, Gangster Rap and Its Social Cost stands out from the rest because it provides a number of unique contributions.

The book has already garnered rave review from top scholars:

Professor Mindy Thompson Fullilove of Columbia University highly recommends the book because it “startle, inform, and expand the discourse on the motives, meanings, and impact of the music.”

Professor Gina M. Wingood of Emory University praises the book because “finally, there is a rigorous examination of some of the most powerful social influences of the decade” and “Bowser offers the much-needed clarity about this social phenomenon.”

Professor Michael E. Woods of Hamilton College states that “It is not easy to find a book that covers all angles of both rap music and the music industry’s influence behind its controversial content. I am delighted that there is now a book that brings clarity to hip hop and its music, both of which have been misunderstood, misrepresented, and exploited for commercial gain” and further recommends that “this is a must read for students of music, Africana studies, sociology, anthropology, and any subject that deals with music in modern culture.”

Recommend this book to your librarian today! They can order it directly from Cambria Press or they can order through their preferred academic book wholesaler (Cambria Press is on the approval list of premier wholesalers like YBP).

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Read the author interview with Professor Barbara M. Miller on her recently published book, Marketplace Advocacy Campaigns: Generating Public Support for Business and Industry

Cambria Press is pleased to announce that Marketplace Advocacy Campaigns: Generating Public Support for Business and Industry by Barbara M. Miller is now available.

Below is a transcript of the Q&A session with Professor Miller.

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 1. Why did you decide to write this book?

Originally from West Virginia, I have long been familiar with the Friends of Coal campaign sponsored by the West Virginia Coal Association.  The FOC logo––on bumper stickers, billboards, and media––is prominent throughout the state.  This campaign is what initially sparked my interest in this unique genre of advertising and public relations, designed not to sell products and services but to promote and protect entire industries.

The FOC campaign is a prime example of a marketplace advocacy campaign in that it promotes the benefits of an industry sector to society, in this case coal, while also attempting to quell public concerns about industry risks. More and more I began to see marketplace advocacy campaigns on a national level – from industry trade associations representing oil and natural gas, coal, and plastics, to very prominent companies promoting the benefits of their industry or products to society.

I decided to write Marketplace Advocacy Campaigns: Generating Public Support for Business and Industry because I wanted to learn more about the persuasive potential of marketplace advocacy.  As these campaigns are becoming increasingly widespread, it’s important for audiences to understand if––and how––they can influence our perceptions of businesses and industries.

2.  What do you hope your readers take away from your book?

From a very broad perspective, I hope readers take away an increased awareness of the extent of marketplace advocacy campaigns and begin to consider their potential for impacting the political process.  Often after speaking with people about marketplace advocacy, they will comment several days later that they began to take note of these types of campaign advertisements––in television shows they watch and in magazines and newspapers they read.  As demonstrated in the model validated in this book, these campaigns have the potential to build and shape the public’s agenda regarding business and industry matters.

It’s important for readers to consider the fact that these campaigns are likely designed to encourage both action and inaction among audiences.  Persistent, positive messages emphasizing benefits of an industry to a community or society in general may in fact generate favorable attitudes toward an industry, in some contexts and among some individuals.  Among a much larger number of audience members, however, campaigns may simply eclipse audience skepticism resulting in inaction in opposing industry activities.  It is important to note that either outcome is ultimately beneficial to the advocated business or industry.

3.  What other research do you believe is needed on this topic?

This book demonstrates the ways in which marketplace advocacy campaigns may generate public support for the advocated business or industry.  Future research should consider what happens next – the influence of these campaigns on the political process.  Most corporate and industry marketplace advocacy campaigns encourage political advocacy among audiences through their online efforts.  Within several years of the American Plastics Council’s “Plastic Make it Possible℠” campaign, for example, the number of bills proposed in state legislatures with potentially negative impacts for the plastics industry was cut in half; meanwhile, plastic bags became a top choice for grocery stores.  A decade later, the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council, the sponsor of “Plastic Make it Possible℠” campaign, continues to advocate for plastic grocery bags and opposes proposed local and state bans of plastic bags in supermarkets, drug stores, and convenience stores.  Future research should consider the likelihood for specific individual behaviors in response to marketplace advocacy.

Other questions are also important to consider, such as the role of marketplace advocacy in times of limited trust or crisis.  Considering marketplace advocacy campaigns are often initiated to build a “reservoir of credibility” to weather future criticism, can they also be an effective means of attenuating negative public response following a crisis?  Or, might prior marketplace advocacy efforts have the opposite effect, magnifying negative public response when the crisis indicates inconsistency between its marketplace advocacy positioning as a safe and responsible organization?

Other topics include the function of marketplace advocacy in shaping U.S. and international discourses relative to energy and the environment and the relevance of the model validated in this study to other advocacy campaigns.

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Despite the proliferation of marketplace advocacy campaigns, there has been little professional or academic research published evaluating the potential outcomes of this form of communication on audiences. Ostensibly the last book devoted to advocacy advertising was published in 1977. This unprecedented study is therefore a crucial reference for esearchers in the areas of corporate social responsibility, environmental advocacy, issue advertising, and public opinion. This book is also appropriate for advanced advertising and public opinion classes.

Recommend this book to your librarian today! They can order it directly from Cambria Press or they can order through their preferred academic book wholesaler (Cambria Press is on the approval list of premier wholesalers like YBP).

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