Big and Small: A Cultural History of Extraordinary Bodies [EPUB]
26 March 2018, 07:13
2017 | EPUB | 8.13MB
A groundbreaking work that explores human size as a distinctive cultural marker in Western thought
Author, scholar, and editor Lynne Vallone has an international reputation in the field of child studies. In this analytical tour-de-force, she explores bodily size difference—particularly unusual bodies, big and small—as an overlooked yet crucial marker that informs human identity and culture.
Exploring miniaturism, giganticism, obesity, and the lived experiences of actual big and small people, Vallone boldly addresses the uncomfortable implications of using physical measures to judge normalcy, goodness, gender identity, and beauty. This wide-ranging work surveys the lives and contexts of both real and imagined persons with extraordinary bodies from the seventeenth century to the present day through close examinations of art, literature, folklore, and cultural practices, as well as scientific and pseudo-scientific discourses. Generously illustrated and written in a lively and accessible style, Vallone’s provocative study encourages readers to look with care at extraordinary bodies and the cultures that created, depicted, loved, and dominated them.
Terrestrial Lessons: The Conquest of the World as Globe [EPUB]
25 March 2018, 14:08
2017 | EPUB | 5.23MB
Why and how do debates about the form and disposition of our Earth shape enlightened subjectivity and secular worldliness in colonial modernity? Sumathi Ramaswamy explores this question for British India with the aid of the terrestrial globe, which since the sixteenth century has circulated as a worldly symbol, a scientific instrument, and not least an educational tool for inculcating planetary consciousness.
In Terrestrial Lessons, Ramaswamy provides the first in-depth analysis of the globe’s history in and impact on the Indian subcontinent during the colonial era and its aftermath. Drawing on a wide array of archival sources, she delineates its transformation from a thing of distinction possessed by elite men into that mass-produced commodity used in classrooms worldwide—the humble school globe. Traversing the length and breadth of British India, Terrestrial Lessons is an unconventional history of this master object of pedagogical modernity that will fascinate historians of cartography, science, and Asian studies.
Inside Lenin's Government: Ideology, Power and Practice in the Early Soviet State [EPUB]
25 March 2018, 04:13
2018 | EPUB | 0.43MB
Lara Douds examines the practical functioning and internal political culture of the early Soviet government cabinet, the Council of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom), under Lenin. This study elucidates the process by which Sovnarkom's governmental decision-making authority was transferred to Communist Party bodies in the early years of Soviet power and traces the day-to-day operation of the supreme state organ.
The book argues that Sovnarkom was the principal executive body of the early Soviet government until the Politburo gradually usurped this role during the Civil War. Using a range of archival source material, Lara Douds re-interprets early Soviet political history as a period where fledging 'Soviet' rather than simply 'Communist Party' power was attempted, but ultimately failed when pressures of Civil War and socio-economic dislocation encouraged the centralising and authoritarian rather than democratic strand of Bolshevism to predominate.
Inside Lenin's Government explores the basic mechanics of governance by looking at the frequency of meetings, types of business discussed, processes of decision-making and the administrative backdrop, as well as the key personalities of Sovnarkom. It then considers the reasons behind the shift in executive power from state to party in this period, which resulted in an abnormal situation where, as Leon Trotsky commented in 1923, 'leadership by the party gives way to administration by its organs'.