UW News

July 13, 2020

UW books in brief: Mutiny at sea, an anthropologist’s memoir, ‘unsettling’ Native American art histories, global social media design — and an award for UW Press


Notable new books by University of Washington faculty and staff include a study of rebellion at sea, an emeritus faculty member’s Buddhist-focused memoir, a reconsideration of Northwest Coast Native American art with Indigenous perspectives in mind, thoughts on bridging cultural gaps through design — and an award for the editor-in-chief of University of Washington Press.

UW sociology professor Steven Pfaff explores mutiny at sea during the Age of Sail in new book ‘The Genesis of Rebellion’

Cambridge University PressCambridge University Press

A new book co-written by Steven Pfaff, UW professor of sociology, uses mutinies at sea in the Age of Sail to study a topic all too relevant today — what causes people to rise up in rebellion against deprivation and poor governance.

The Genesis of Rebellion: Governance, Grievance, and Mutiny in the Age of Sail,” by Pfaff and Michael Hechter of Arizona State University was published in June by Cambridge University Press.

The Age of Sail — judged to be from about 1570 to 1860 — with its swashbuckling stories by Herman Melville, Joseph Conrad, Jack London and others, has long held a fascination for writers and readers. “The Genesis of Rebellion” explores “mutiny as a manifestation of collective action and contentious politics,” publisher’s notes say.

“The authors use narrative evidence and statistical analysis to trace the processes by which governance failed, social order decayed, and seamen mobilized. Their findings highlight the complexities of governance, showing that it was not mere deprivation, but how seamen interpreted that deprivation, which stoked the grievances that motivated rebellion.”

Reviewing the book, Margaret Levi, UW professor emerita of political science also with Stanford University, praised it as “a good read, a great puzzle, and a compelling analysis.

“Their book unfolds with treasures with every page. It provides entertaining — and sometimes horrifying — tales of mutiny and rebellion. The authors combine a wealth of material with theory and insight to make real advances in understanding the conditions that produce large-scale collective actions.”

Pfaff said the book is “the first to analyze mutinies in the British Royal Navy systematically, including both ships that experienced mutinies and a sample of those that did not.”

To learn more, contact Pfaff at pfaff@uw.edu.

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Anthropologist Charles Keyes looks back in Buddhism-focused memoir ‘Impermanence’

credit=”UW PressUW Press

In a new memoir, UW anthropologist Charles “Biff” Keyes reviews his long career at institutions in the United States, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos and discusses how the Buddhist emphasis on impermanence — or anicca — shaped his own life.

Impermanence: An Anthropologist of Thailand and Asia” was published in February by UW Press. Keyes is a professor emeritus of anthropology and international studies who taught at the UW from 1966 until his retirement in 2006.

Keyes, founding director of the Southeast Asia Center in the Jackson School of International Studies, has researched religious practice, ethnicity and national cultures, the transformation of rural society and political culture. Much of his writing has focused on the role of Buddhism in everyday life in Thailand and mainland Southeast Asia.

A review in the Bangkok Post called Keyes “exceptional,” adding: “He became a leading figure in the development of Southeast Asian studies in the U.S.”

Watch a UW Press video interview with Keyes.

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Indigenous understandings the focus of “Unsettling Native Art Histories on the Northwest Coast’

credit=”UW PressUW Press

Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse, UW assistant professor of art history, has co-edited the new book “Unsettling Native Art Histories on the Northwest Coast,” with Aldona Jonaitis, professor of anthropology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The volume of essays was published in July by UW Press.

“Northwest Coast art functions … beyond the scope of non-Indigenous scholarship, from demonstrating kinship connections to manifesting spiritual power,” publishers notes say. Contributors to this volume of essays, including Bunn-Marcuse, focus on “Indigenous understandings in recognition of this rich context and its historical erasure within the discipline of art history.”

Contributors to this book:

Other contributors are Karen Benbassat Ali, Janet Catherine Berlo, Iljuuwaas Tyson Brown (Haida Nation), Jisgang Nika Collison (Haida Nation), Karen Duffek, Sharon Fortney (Klahoose), Christopher Green, Denise Nicole Green, Ishmael Hope (Inupiaq and Tlingit), Lily Hope (Tlingit), Kaitlin McCormick, Emily L. Moore, Peter Morin (Tahltan Nation), Lou-ann Ika’wega Neel (Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw), Duane Niatum (Jamestown S’Klallam), Megan A. Smetzer, Robert Starbard (Tlingit), Evelyn Vanderhoop (Haida Nation), and Lucy Fowler Williams.

In this way, the essays “unsettle” Northwest Coast art studies “by centering voices that uphold Indigenous priorities, integrating the expertise of Indigenous knowledge holders about their artistic heritage and questioning current institutional practices.”

Bunn-Marcuse is also curator of Northwest Native American art and director of the Bill Holm Center at the Burke Museum. Jonaitis is former director of the University of Alaska Museum of the North.

“In this volume, essays by Indigenous artists, scholars and curators offer approaches grounded in genealogical or artistic kinship, Indigenous language insights, and community-based knowledge,” Bunn-Marcuse said.

Chadwick Allen, UW professor of English and American Indian Studies and co-director of the UW Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, praised the book, saying it “models best practices for Indigenous art studies — and for Indigenous studies more broadly.”

To learn more, contact Bunn-Marcuse at kbunn@uw.edu.

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UW Tacoma’s Huatong Sun pens book on bridging cultural gaps through social media design

credit=”Oxford University PressOxford University Press

Maybe our troubled world can come together, if in a small way, through design, suggests UW Tacoma’s Huatong Sun in a new book. “Global Social Media Design: Bridging Differences Across Cultures” was published in February by Oxford University Press, part of its Human Technology Interaction Series.

The book, Sun says, presents “a practice-theoretic design framework to approach cultural differences from the Global South vantage.” Sun said, “I believe in “the emancipating power of design as the primary activity of human beings.”

Sun, an associate professor in the Culture, Arts and Communication division of UW Tacoma’s School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, studies the interaction of technology, culture and design in the age of globalism.

To learn more, contact Sun at htsun@uw.edu.

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In other book news:

UW Press editor-in-chief Larin McLaughlin honored by Association of University Presses

Larin McLaughlin

The Association of University Presses has named Larin McLaughlin, editor-in-chief of UW Press, recipient of its 2020 Constituency Award.

“McLaughlin was honored for her contributions to advancing goals of diversity and inclusion in the university press community,” the association said in a news release. “In particular, her nominators commended her leadership in as author and principal investigator of the Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowship Program,” which began in 2016.

The Association of University Presses began in 1937 with UW Press as a founding member. The Constituency Award was started in 1991 and recognizes staff members at university presses “who have demonstrated active leadership and service to the association and the university press community.” Naomi Pascal, then editor-in-chief of UW Press, received the inaugural award.

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Former UW News director Bob Roseth publishes wry mystery novel ‘Ivy is a Weed’

Bob Roseth was director of UW News and Information for 35 years before his retirement in 2014. This June he self-published his first book, a funny mystery titled “Ivy is a Weed.” The plot features the public relations director of “a local university” and a mysterious death on campus.

“As a former reporter, he knows a little about investigating things that seem fishy,” Roseth writes. “He begins asking questions, looking for clues to what really happened.” A starred review in Publisher’s Weekly said “Roseth keeps the whodunit plot moving briskly while tweaking modern collegiate bureaucracies.” Learn more.