December 2017

CSSH congratulates Joel Cabrita (CSSH 57-2, 2015, “People of Adam: Divine Healing and Racial Cosmopolitanism in the Early Twentieth-Century Transvaal, South Africa“) on the publication of his forthcoming book, The People’s Zion: Southern Africa, the United States, and a Transatlantic Faith-Healing Movement
Harvard University Press describes the books as follows:

In The People’s ZionJoel Cabrita tells the transatlantic story of Southern Africa’s largest popular religious movement, Zionism. It began in Zion City, a utopian community established in 1900 just north of Chicago. The Zionist church, which promoted faith healing, drew tens of thousands of marginalized Americans from across racial and class divides. It also sent missionaries abroad, particularly to Southern Africa, where its uplifting spiritualism and pan-racialism resonated with urban working-class whites and blacks.

Circulated throughout Southern Africa by Zion City’s missionaries and literature, Zionism thrived among white and black workers drawn to Johannesburg by the discovery of gold. As in Chicago, these early devotees of faith healing hoped for a color-blind society in which they could acquire equal status and purpose amid demoralizing social and economic circumstances. Defying segregation and later apartheid, black and white Zionists formed a uniquely cosmopolitan community that played a key role in remaking the racial politics of modern Southern Africa.

Connecting cities, regions, and societies usually considered in isolation, Cabrita shows how Zionists on either side of the Atlantic used the democratic resources of evangelical Christianity to stake out a place of belonging within rapidly-changing societies. In doing so, they laid claim to nothing less than the Kingdom of God. Today, the number of American Zionists is small, but thousands of independent Zionist churches counting millions of members still dot the Southern African landscape.

Congratulations to Alena Ledeneva (​​CSSH 50-1, 2008, “Blat and Guanxi: Informal Practices in Russia and China“) on the forthcoming publication of a two-set edited volume, The Global Encyclopaedia of Informality

University College Press describes the book as follows:

Alena Ledeneva invites you on a voyage of discovery, to explore society’s open secrets, unwritten rules and know-how practices. Broadly defined as ‘ways of getting things done’, these invisible yet powerful informal practices tend to escape articulation in official discourse. They include emotion-driven exchanges of gifts or favours and tributes for services, interest-driven know-how (from informal welfare to informal employment and entrepreneurship), identity-driven practices of solidarity, and power-driven forms of co-optation and control. The paradox, or not, of the invisibility of these informal practices is their ubiquity. Expertly practised by insiders but often hidden from outsiders, informal practices are, as this book shows, deeply rooted all over the world, yet underestimated in policy. Entries from the five continents presented in this volume are samples of the truly global and ever-growing collection, made possible by a remarkable collaboration of over 200 scholars across disciplines and area studies.

By mapping the grey zones, blurred boundaries, types of ambivalence and contexts of complexity, this book creates the first Global Map of Informality. The accompanying database is searchable by region, keyword or type of practice, so do explore what works, how, where and why!

Congratulations to Sebastian Conrad (CSSH 56-1, 2014, “The Dialectics of Remembrance: Memories of Empire in Cold War Japan“) on his new co-edited volume, An Emerging Modern World, 750-1870. From Harvard University Press’s description of the book:

For as long as there have been nations, there has been an “international”—a sphere of cross-border relations. But for most of human history, this space was sparsely occupied. States and regions were connected by long-distance commerce and the spasms of war, yet in their development they remained essentially separate. The century after 1750 marked a major shift. Fleeting connection gave way to durable integration. Culture, politics, and society were increasingly, and indelibly, entangled across continents. An Emerging Modern World charts this transformative period, addressing major questions about the roots of the present from a distinctly global perspective.

Why, for instance, did industrialization begin in England and not in China? Was there early capitalist development outside of the West? Was the Enlightenment exclusively a European event? Led by editors Sebastian Conrad and Jürgen Osterhammel, a distinguished group of historians tackles these issues, along with the roles of nomads and enslaved people in fostering global integration, the development of a bourgeoisie outside Euro-America, Hinduism’s transformation into a universal “religion” comparable to Christianity, the invention of pan-Islamic identity, and the causes and effects of the revolution in time regimes. The world appeared to be undergoing such a radical renewal that the impression of an epochal watershed was widespread.

This fourth volume in the six-volume series A History of the World engages the political, economic, social, and intellectual ferment of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries outside Europe and North America. In doing so, it bears witness to the birth of the modern world.