Archive for the 'New' Category

New Open Access Books for August 2018

By Alison Fox, on 1 August 2018

Just a single open access book to tell you about this month: but it’s a corker!

Cities Made of Boundaries presents the theoretical foundation and concepts for a new social scientific urban morphological mapping method, Boundary Line Type (BLT) Mapping. Its vantage is a plea to establish a frame of reference for radically comparative urban studies positioned between geography and archaeology. Based in multidisciplinary social and spatial theory, a critical realist understanding of the boundaries that compose built space is operationalised by a mapping practice utilising Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

Benjamin N. Vis gives a precise account of how BLT Mapping can be applied to detailed historical, reconstructed, contemporary, and archaeological urban plans, exemplified by sixteenth to twenty-first century Winchester (UK) and Classic Maya Chunchucmil (Mexico). This account demonstrates how the functional and experiential difference between compact western and tropical dispersed cities can be explored.

The methodological development of Cities Made of Boundaries will appeal to readers interested in the comparative social analysis of built environments, and those seeking to expand the evidence-base of design options to structure urban life and development.

New Open Access Books for July 2018

By Alison Fox, on 2 July 2018

This month we have two new open access books that will transport you to far-away places: Sri Lanka and Estonia.

On July 2nd, we bring you The Politics and Poetics of Authenticity: A Cultural Genealogy of Sinhala NationalismHarshana Rambukwella’s fascinating exploration of the role of cultural authenticity in the making of nations. Placing authenticity at the heart of Sinhala nationalism in late nineteenth and twentieth-century Sri Lanka, this book argues that the passion for the ‘real’ or the ‘authentic’ has played a significant role in shaping nationalist thinking and argues for an empathetic yet critical engagement with the idea of authenticity.

July 5th brings the fascinating Remains of the Soviet Past in Estonia: An Anthropology of Forgetting, Repair and Urban Traces, the second book in the acclaimed FRINGE series. Written by Francisco Martínez, it’s a fascinating ‘transdisciplinary ethnography of post-socialist material culture and social change in Estonia’ that looks at a number of sites of interest to explore the vanquishing of the Soviet legacy in Estonia.

A fascinating read for anyone who’s ever wondered about the impact that the past has on the present.

Author Experience: Nick Piercey

By Alison Fox, on 28 June 2018

Today’s guest post is by Nick Piercey, author of  Four Histories about Early Dutch Football 1910–1920: Constructing Discourses , Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Sport History in the Department of Exercise and Sports Science at Manchester Metropolitan University and an Honorary Research Associate in UCL’s Department of Dutch in the UCL School of European Languages, Culture & Society.

In September 2016, my first book Four Histories about Early Dutch Football 1910–1920: Constructing Discourses was published by UCL Press and 3 years after the first books were published I am delighted that my work is a very small part  of the nearly 1,000,000 UCL Press downloads from around the world. I am equally delighted that I have been given the opportunity to briefly reflect on my experiences of publishing with UCL Press with these milestones in view. As the figure suggests, the first 3 years have met with great success and to have such a large number of downloads is testament to the great work the team at UCL Press have put in. Indeed, my abiding memories of the process of publishing a book (if I ignore the sudden insecurities and panic over where to put commas) is the support given by each member of the team from proposal to publication. As a first-time author, the process of publishing research was initially daunting, however, at each stage of the process, members of the UCL Press team were on hand to ensure that mini-panics and concerns did not erupt into a full-blown crisis. It seems fitting to me that I should finally get the chance to thank Chris, Alison and Jaimee by name for their help in a way that I could not do in my book (I blame the publishing deadline!)

Beyond the personal support the team offers before, during and after publication, I believe that UCL Press’s new model of Open Access Publication is something that all academics should welcome. Looking back on a blog I wrote in 2016, I remain as convinced now as I was then that UCL Press’s commitment to freely accessible, innovative, world-leading publications is something that will revolutionise academic publishing. Hopefully more universities and presses will see the benefit of making new knowledge available to all and providing young scholars with a path to publication. From a personal perspective, the opportunity to publish my work in both Open Access and low-cost hard copies has allowed my ideas to spread much further and faster than they would have done with a traditional academic publishing model. In a time when academic quality is often measured by metrics and statistics, being able to demonstrate that my work has been viewed around the world in sizable numbers is a significant advantage. As more universities and funding bodies require research to appear in an Open Access format, to have a book published by UCL Press that fulfils these requirements is also enormously beneficial (having a ‘free book’ is also a pretty useful thing at conferences too!)

It is, I think, not often that such ambitious projects can provide both practical results and remain focused on providing a personal service, which can ensure that new research and researchers find their voice. I hope that I can be part of this in the future and contribute towards the next 1,000,000 downloads.

Author Bio

Nick Piercey is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Sport History in the Department of Exercise and Sports Science at Manchester Metropolitan University and an Honorary Research Associate in UCL’s Department of Dutch in the UCL School of European Languages, Culture & Society.

New open access books for June 2018

By Alison Fox, on 15 June 2018

June brings adventuring archaeologists, cattle herders and a fascinating look into the British Library’s collection of Canadian photography.

Knowledge Sovereignty Among African Cattle Herders (20th June) argues that indigenous knowledge can be viewed as a stand-alone science, and that a community’s rights over ownership should be defended by government officials, development planners and policy makers, making the case for a celebration of the knowledge sovereignty of pastoralist communities. It’s a fascinating argument, informed by Zeremariam Fre’s experiences as the founding director and former head of regional NGO, the Pastoral and Environmental Network in the Horn of Africa (PENHA).

Amara Thornton’s Archaeologists in Print (25th June) has received one of the best endorsements we’ve ever read.  Dr Samantha Rayner, Dirctor of the UCL Centre for Publishing said:

‘This beautifully written book will be valued by all kinds of readers: you don’t need to be an archaeologist to enjoy the contents, which take you through different publishing histories of archaeological texts and the authors who wrote them. From the productive partnership of travel guide with archaeological interest, to the women who feature so often in the history of archaeological publishing, via closer analysis of the impact of John Murray, Macmillan and Co, and Penguin, this volume excavates layers of fascinating facts that reveal much of the wider culture of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The prose is clear and the stories compulsive: Thornton brings to life a cast of people whose passion for their profession lives again in these pages.

Warning: the final chapter, on Archaeological Fictions, will fill your to-be-read list with stacks of new titles to investigate!  This is a highly readable, accessible exploration into the dynamic relationships between academic authors, publishers, and readers. It is, in addition, an exemplar of how academic research can attract a wide general readership, as well as a more specialised one: a stellar combination of rigorous scholarship with lucid, pacy prose. Highly recommended!’

Finally, Canada in the Frame (18 June) explores a wonderful photographic collection held at the British Library that offers a unique view of late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Canada. The collection, which contains in excess of 4,500 images, taken between 1895 and 1923, covers a dynamic period in Canada’s national history and provides a variety of views of its landscapes, developing urban areas and peoples.

Written by Philip Hatfield,  Head of the Eccles Centre for American Studies and former Curator for Canadian and Caribbean Collections at the British Library , the book asks key questions about what it shows contemporary viewers of Canada and its photographic history, and about the peculiar view these photographs offer of a former part of the British Empire in a post-colonial age, viewed from the old ‘Heart of Empire’. Case studies are included on subjects such as urban centres, railroads and migration, which analyse the complex ways in which photographers approached their subjects, in the context of the relationship between Canada, the British Empire and photography.

New Open Access Books for May 2018

By Alison Fox, on 1 May 2018

From polar ghosts and country houses to how data can be used for good and digital museums, we’ve got an exciting host of new publications this month.

First up on May 1, is the Shane McCorristine’s spooky The Spectral Arctic, a fascinating history of ghosts and dreams in the Arctic. In contrast to oft-told tales of heroism and disaster, this book reveals the hidden stories of dreaming and haunted explorers, of frozen mummies, of rescue balloons, visits to Inuit shamans, and of the entranced female clairvoyants who travelled to the Arctic in search of John Franklin’s lost expedition. Well worth adding to your Summer reading list!

Consumer Data Research follows on 2 May. Based on the work of the innovative Consumer Data Research Centre, it provides the first consolidated statement of the enormous potential of consumer data research in the academic, commercial and government sectors – and a timely appraisal of the ways in which consumer data challenge scientific orthodoxies.

The fascinating Museum Object Lessons for the Digital Age by Haidy Geismar follows on 14th May. This book is sure to be essential reading for anyone in anthropology, archaeology, the heritage and museum sector and beyond. Drawing on the author’s extensive experience working with collections across the world, Geismar argues for an understanding of digital media as material, rather than immaterial, and advocates for a more nuanced, ethnographic and historicised view of museum digitisation projects than those usually adopted in the celebratory accounts of new media in museums.

Next up is Fonthill Recovered: A Cultural History on May 16. Wealth, collections, politics, power, sexual misdemeanours… this one has it all. If you’ve ever wondered what kinds of secrets a country house can tell you, this is a great place to start.

Finally, our last book of the month:  The World of UCL. Publishing on 21st May, this book charts the history of UCL from 1826 through to the present day, highlighting its many contributions to society in Britain and around the world, and its rise to becoming one of the powerhouses of research and teaching, and a truly global university.

Book Launch: The Venice Variations by Sophia Psarra

By Alison Fox, on 20 April 2018

Hear Sophia Psarra discuss her new book The Venice Variations: Tracing the Architectural Imagination.

Date: Wed 2 May 2018
Time: 18:30 – 20:00
Location: 6.02 The Bartlett School of Architecture, 22 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0QB

Register your attendance

For the launch of her new book Sophia will discuss the lessons learnt from the construction of Venice and the key figures and events that motivated her to write this publication. In her book, Sophia explores cities and buildings as multi-authored processes of formation, alongside the ways in which they interact with individual authorship and intention.

Following an introduction from Professor Alan Penn, Dean of The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, Sophia will be in conversation with invited guests including Margarita Greene, Professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Published by UCL Press, The Venice Variations will be made available in a variety of formats, including as a free Open Access PDF. Printed copies will be available to purchase on the evening (cash only).

Register your attendance

Book Launch Event: Brexit and Beyond

By Alison Fox, on 10 January 2018

Date: Mon 29th January 2018
Time: 18:00 – 19:30
Location: G29 JZ Young Lecture Theatre, Anatomy Building, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

Join us for the launch of a new book with contributions from 28 leading experts on Brexit and the future of Europe, edited by Uta Staiger and Benjamin Martill.

Brexit will have significant consequences for the country, for Europe, and for global order. And yet much discussion of Brexit in the UK has focused on the causes of the vote and on its consequences for the future of British politics. This volume examines the consequences of Brexit for the future of Europe and the European Union, adopting an explicitly regional and future-oriented perspective missing from many existing analyses.

Drawing on the expertise of 28 leading scholars from a range of disciplines, ‘Brexit and Beyond’ (UCL Press) offers various different perspectives on the future of Europe, charting the likely effects of Brexit across a range of areas, including institutional relations, political economy, law and justice, foreign affairs, democratic governance, and the idea of Europe itself. Whilst the contributors offer divergent predictions for the future of Europe after Brexit, they share the same conviction that careful scholarly analysis is in need – now more than ever – if we are understand what lies ahead for the EU.

Speakers:

Helen Drake, Professor of French and European Studies, Loughborough
Piet Eeckhout, Dean of the Faculty of Laws and Professor of EU Law, UCL
Simon Hix, Harold Laski Professor of Political Science, LSE
Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford

The panel discussion will be followed by a drinks reception.

About the editors:

Dr Uta Staiger is the co-founder and Executive Director of the UCL European Institute. Her research examines the relationship between culture and politics, drawing together insights from modern European thought, the arts, and the history of European integration. She is particularly interested in mid-twentieth-century German theory and philosophy that seeks to straddle aesthetics and the idea of the political. Uta also holds the position of Pro-Vice-Provost (Europe), a strategic role shaping UCL’s engagement with Europe, and acting as advocate for UCL’s work on the continent.

Dr Benjamin Martill is a Dahrendorf Fellow in Europe after Brexit at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research looks at how political ideology and party politics affect foreign policymaking, with particular reference to the politics of Cold War strategy in Europe. At LSE, Benjamin contributes to the work of the Dahrendorf Forum, a joint research venture between LSE Ideas and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. He was previously Lecturer in Politics at Canterbury Christ Church University and Research Associate at the UCL European Institute.

October titles from UCL Press

By Alison Fox, on 2 October 2017

We are delighted to announce the publication of two new open access books from UCL Press in October

In case you missed it, UCL Press also published three titles in September: