Violent Sensations: Sex, Crime, and Utopia in Vienna and Berlin, 1860–1914

Scott Spector

From University of Chicago Press: "In Violent Sensations, Scott Spector explores how the protagonists of these stories [media reports on crime]—people at society’s margins—were given new identities defined by the groundbreaking sciences of psychiatry, sexology, and criminology, and how this expert knowledge was then transmitted to an eager public by journalists covering court cases and police investigations. The book analyzes these sexual and criminal subjects on three levels: first, the expertise of scientists, doctors, lawyers, and scholars; second, the sensationalism of newspaper scandal and pulp fiction; and, third, the subjective ways that the figures themselves came to understand who they were. Throughout, Spector answers important questions about how fantasies of extreme depravity and bestiality figure into the central European self-image of cities as centers of progressive civilization, as well as the ways in which the sciences of social control emerged alongside the burgeoning emancipation of women and homosexuals."

Cultures of Communication: Theologies of Media in Early Modern Europe and Beyond

Helmut Puff (editor with Ulrike Strasser and Christopher Wild)

From University of Toronto Press: "Contrary to the historiographical commonplace 'no Reformation without print' Cultures of Communication examines media in the early modern world through the lens of the period’s religious history. Looking beyond the emergence of print, this collection of ground-breaking essays highlights the pivotal role of theology in the formation of the early modern cultures of communication. The authors assembled here urge us to understand the Reformation as a response to the perceived crisis of religious communication in late medieval Europe. In addition, they explore the novel demands placed on European media ecology by the acceleration and intensification of global interconnectedness in the early modern period."

The Curious Humanist: Siegfried Kracauer in America

Johannes von Moltke

From University of California Press: "During the Weimar Republic, Siegfried Kracauer established himself as a trenchant theorist of film, culture, and modernity, and he is now considered one of the key thinkers of the twentieth century. ...Johannes von Moltke details the intricate ways in which the American intellectual and political context shaped Kracauer’s seminal contributions to film studies and shows how, in turn, Kracauer’s American writings helped shape the emergent discipline. ...Adopting a transatlantic perspective on Kracauer’s work, von Moltke demonstrates how he pursued questions in conversation with contemporary critics from Theodor Adorno to Hannah Arendt, from Clement Greenberg to Robert Warshow: questions about the origins of totalitarianism and the authoritarian personality; about high and low culture; about liberalism, democracy, and what it means to be human."

Our Ancient Wars: Rethinking War through the Classics

Silke-Maria Weineck (editor with Victor Caston)

From University of Michigan Press: "Our Ancient Wars features essays by top scholars from across academic disciplines classicists and historians, philosophers and political theorists, literary scholars, some with firsthand  experience of war and some without—engaging with classical texts to understand how differently they were read in other times and places. Contributors articulate difficult but necessary questions about contemporary conceptions of war and conflict."