Book Beat: February 2002

Literary Masterpieces, Volume 8: The Stranger

Literary Masterpieces, Volume 8: The StrangerRaymond Gay-Crosier, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
(Gale, 2002)
Available through Amazon

This volume of Literary Masterpieces explores Albert Camus' best-known novel, The Stranger. As a seasoned journalist who had proved his mettle, first in the local press of Algiers (1937- 1940), later in French Resistance and post-war newspapers and magazines (1941-1956), Camus initially stood in the forefront of [contemporary] press wars. Yet as his personal struggles grew stronger and his indecision regarding the status of Algiers became more painful to him, he found himself in the position of an outcast who had been flushed out as a stranger by his chosen tribe, a group to which he had never belonged.

How could Albert Camus—author of three popular novels, two major philosophical and numerous political and critical essays—and (from 1944 to 1950), a highly successful playwright—fall into such political and literary disrepute among many of his peers but still remain popular with a large number of his French readers and continue to build a steadily growing international reputation.

This series promotes a comprehensive understanding of Albert Camus' The Stranger by presenting information about the circumstances in which the work was created, the relevancy of the themes, the history of the novels reception, and an extensive assessment and sampling of the critical approaches it generated. This series gives educators and students a personal source that features not only literary aspects and biographical facts but relevant cultural and historical contexts in which the work must be placed.

- Publisher

Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches

Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches H. Russell Bernard, Department of Anthropology
(Alta Mira Press, 2002)
Available through Amazon

Research Methods in Anthropology is the standard textbook for methods classes in anthropology programs. Over the past years, it has launched tens of thousands of students into the field with its combination of rigorous methodological advice, wry humor, common sense advice, and numerous examples from actual field projects. Now the third edition of this classic textbook is ready, written in Bernard's unmistakable conversational style. RMA 3 contains all the useful methodological advice of previous editions and more: additional material on text analysis, an expanded section on sampling field settings, advice concerning the use of computers for fieldwork and analysis, a discussion of the pros and cons of rapid assessments techniques in anthropology, and dozens of new examples.

"Methods belongs to us all" is the watchword of this book. Whether you come from a scientific, interpretive, or applied anthropological tradition, you should learn field methods from the best guide around.

- Publisher

Colonialism Past and Present: Reading and Writing about Colonial Latin America Today

Colonialism Past and Present: Reading and Writing about Colonial Latin America Todayedited by Alvaro Félix Bolaños, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and Gustavo Verdesio
(State University of New York Press, 2002)
Available through Amazon

This collection of essays offers alternative readings of historical and literary texts produced during Latin America's colonial period. By considering the political and ideological implications of the texts' interpretation yesterday and today, it attempts to "decolonize" the field of Latin American studies and promote an ethical, interdisciplinary practice that does not falsify or appropriate knowledge produced by both the colonial subjects of the past and the oppressed subjects of the present.

- Publisher

"A deep, thoughtful, diverse, rich confrontation with postcolonial theory and the way it affects contemporary scholarly exegesis and appropriations of New World colonial literatures. A major contribution to Latin American studies and postcolonial theory."

— Eduardo Mendieta, Co-editor of
Thinking from the Underside of History:
Enrique Dussel's Philosophy of Liberation

The Making of the Slavs: History and Archeology of the Lower Danube Region, c.500-700

The Making of the Slavs: History and Archeology of the Lower Danube Region, c.500-700by Florin Curta, Department of History
(Cambridge University Press, 2002)
Available through Amazon

This book offers a new approach to the problem of Slavic ethnicity in southeastern Europe between c. 500 and c. 700, from the perspective of current anthropological theories. The conceptual emphasis here is on the relation between material culture and ethnicity. The author demonstrates that the history of the Sclavenes and the Antes begins only at around 500 AD. He also points to the significance of the archaeological evidence, which suggests that specific artifacts may have been used as identity markers. This evidence also indicates the role of local leaders in building group boundaries and in leading successful raids across the Danube. Because of these military and political developments, Byzantine authors began employing names such as Sclavines and Antes in order to make sense of the process of group identification that was taking place north of the Danube frontier. Slavic ethnicity is therefore shown to be a Byzantine invention.

- Publisher

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