Jim Lance joined Cornell University Press this year as senior acquiring editor for anthropology and social science. A graduate of Haverford College, he earned a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in African history from Stanford University. Lance came to Cornell from Kumarian Press, where he served as editor and publisher, acquiring books in comparative politics, international development, and globalization. Prior to that, he served as the African Studies Editor for Greenwood-Heinemann.
Sage House: Your academic background was initially in international relations and African history. Can you tell us what led you to your new role as acquiring editor in anthropology at Cornell University Press?
Jim Lance: Academia is a very critical profession. In publishing, although it’s necessarily critical, by and large the goal is to be supportive [of the author], and to make something. I really like that. For me, personally, the academy felt too hermetic, with people talking to each other and not talking to a broader community. And among university presses Cornell is definitely geared not only for the academic community, but toward other purposes and missions.
SH: What’s the broader purpose or mission of Cornell University Press as you see it?
JL: I think there’s a definite sense of social justice at Cornell. ILR Press is obviously the most visible presence, but Roger Haydon’s books, many of them, have a component that asks, “What does this mean for society as a whole?” Michael [McGandy]’s and certainly Kitty [Liu]’s books as well. There’s a sense that these books are bigger than the book itself; they’re about what kind of society we want to live in. Continue reading ““Beyond the Academy”: An Interview with Senior Anthropology Editor Jim Lance”
The Witness, directed and produced by James Solomon, William Genovese, and Melissa Jacobson, with Trish Govoni as director of photography, is an evocative tribute to Kitty Genovese, one of America’s most infamous and enduring crime victims. It is an intense, surprising and at times disturbing account of her brother Bill’s eleven-year search to learn the truth about the cold night in 1964 when 28-year-old Kitty was fatally assaulted near her home in Kew Gardens, Queens. It also is a poignant portrait of a man on a mission to make peace with a horrible family trauma that became an international symbol of apathy.
Bill is a thoughtful and soft-spoken man in his late 60s who conducts his search from his wheelchair, an indirect result of his response to a cultural call to action that his sister’s death immediately generated. After joining the Marines a few years later, he lost his legs in an explosion while leading his troops on a dangerous mission in Vietnam. “But I had people who helped me,” he says in the film. “I survived.” Continue reading “Witnessing “The Witness” – A Film Review by Marcia Gallo”
Congratulations to Marina Rustow, author of Heresy and the Politics of Community: The Jews of the Fatimid Caliphate, who has been named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow on the basis of her work with the Cairo Geniza texts. From the MacArthur Foundation’s description of Rustow’s work:
“In Heresy and the Politics of Community: The Jews of the Fatimid Caliphate (2008), Rustow focuses on the period from 909 to 1171 C.E. and upends long-accepted ideas about the relationship between two rival Jewish communities under Fatimid rule. Prior historians, basing their interpretation on literary polemics, had depicted the Rabbanites and Karaites (or Qaraites) of Egypt and Syria as factions bitterly divided by theological difference, the latter branded as heretics and marginalized. Rustow examined nonliterary Geniza documents (such as letters, legal contracts, and state petitions and decrees) and revealed a wealth of social, economic, and political transactions between the two groups. The finding calls into question the depth of the religious schism, suggesting a higher level of tolerance and cooperation than had been assumed.”
Clothing the Clergy: Virtue and Power in Medieval Europe, c. 800–1200 by Maureen C. Miller is the winner of the John Gilmary Shea Prize (American Catholic Historical Association)
Compassionate Communalism: Welfare and Sectarianism in Lebanon by Melani Cammett is the winner of the winner of the Giovanni Sartori Book Award (Qualitative and Multi-Method Research Section of the American Political Science Association) and received Honorable Mention, Gregory Luebbert Best Book Award (Comparative Politics Section of the American Political Science Association)
Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods: International Development and the Making of the Postwar Order by Eric Helleiner is the winner of the Canadian Political Science Association Prize in International Relations
Nobility Lost: French and Canadian Martial Cultures, Indians, and the End of New France by Christian Ayne Crouch is winner of the Mary Alice and Philip Boucher Book Prize (French Colonial Historical Society) Continue reading “Recent Award Winners”
Peter Del Tredici, author of Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: A Field Guide, is quoted (speaking about the role of the New Jersey Turnpike in shaping its local ecosystem) in Andrew Cockburn’s “Letter from Washington” in the September 2015 issue of Harper’s: Weed Whackers
The August 18 edition of the Wall Street Journal features a commentary on Putin’s Russia by Michael Khodarkovsky, author most recently of Bitter Choices: Loyalty and Betrayal in the Russian Conquest of the North Caucasus:
Putin Creates a Fantasyland
Mark J. Conversino reviews The American Way of Bombing: Changing Ethical and Legal Norms, from Flying Fortresses to Drones, edited by Matthew Evangelista and Henry Shue in the August 2015 edition of H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews. Here’s an excerpt:
“The American Way of Bombing: Changing Ethical and Legal Norms, From Flying Fortresses to Drones, edited by Matthew Evangelista and Henry Shue, brings together an array of historians, practitioners, and legal experts from both the military and civilian worlds. Overall, the volume is balanced and the authors engage with logic and consistency. This collection is a vital resource for military professionals, policymakers, and scholars alike. Unfortunately, the challenges of norm-setting in aerial warfare chronicled here are far from over and likely to become even more contentious in light of ongoing military and counterterrorist operations across the globe and in the face of rapid technological change.”—Mark J. Conversino, H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews
The latest episode of Ben Franklin’s World, a podcast about early American history, features an interview with Kathleen Bartoloni-Tuazon, author of For Fear of an Elective King: George Washington and the Presidential Title Controversy of 1789. Listen here!
Zones of Rebellion: Kurdish Insurgents and the Turkish State by Aysegul Aydin and Cem Emrence has been reviewed in Hurriyet Daily News, the top-selling English language newspaper in Turkey: Kurdish Insurgents and the Turkish State.
The reviewer, William Armstrong, also interviewed Cem Emrence: PKK and Ankara still trapped by decisions taken years ago