Author Archives: ashgatepublishing

Helping to support Project Luangwa in Zambia

Eleanor HillThe Estelle Trust is a small charitable fund which works with others on schemes to improve education, health and governance in Africa and runs a small number of its own projects in Zambia. Ashgate donates a proportion of its profits to the Trust each year, and Ashgate staff members are also involved in supporting the Estelle Trust through various fund raising activities. Recently, Eleanor Hill, Ashgate’s e-books Administrator, went one step further. She spent a week with Project Luangwa in Zambia, helping them with database design for their child sponsorship and building project management. This is her account of her visit.

The Estelle Trust has close links with Project Luangwa in Zambia. The Trust funded the building of a library for Mfuwe Secondary School which is now built and stocked with books but not yet open pending the cataloguing of the books by a volunteer. Karen and Dave (who run Project Luangwa) are particularly delighted to be seeing this volunteer again as they know him, and know that he will do a thorough and accurate job! He will also be doing some training of both staff and students before the official opening of the library.

Mfuwe Secondary School Library

Mfuwe Secondary School Library

The purpose of my visit was to analyse and design a couple of databases to help with the administration of the Project. One will help Karen with the Sponsorship records, currently held in 134 separate spreadsheets and the other will help Dave administer his building projects and allow him to produce more accurate estimates for each new school block or teachers house they build. Having succeeded in producing the designs I will now have plenty to occupy my evenings and weekends turning the designs into working databases.

Mfuwe baboon

I had been told to expect views of wildlife across the lagoon outside the office window but hadn’t expected the wildlife to be quite so up close and personal!

I couldn’t be more impressed with the work that Karen and Dave do in providing educational opportunities for orphans in rural Zambia. AIDS is not the only killer out there and there are huge numbers of orphans who would have no hope of an education if it weren’t for the work they do. And, as if poverty were not enough of a handicap, the girls have to overcome even more obstacles to get the chance to achieve their potential, which is where the Mfuwe Secondary School Girls’ club comes into its own.  This is a wonderful group of girls all from problem backgrounds, who are determined to improve their lot. I attended their weekly meeting where they had a guest speaker – the delightfully down to earth, unshockable and entertaining local western doctor whose brief was to answer any questions the girls wanted to ask – Karen and I both learned things there too. At the end of the meeting there was great excitement as Karen had some T shirts and knickers to hand out to the girls – see below:

Mfuwe Secondary School Girls' Club

Mfuwe Secondary School Girls’ Club

If you want to find out more about the sort of lives and problems the girls can look forward to in this area do take a look at the following link http://www.projectluangwa.org/gendersupport

If anyone is interested in making a donation to the very worthwhile work that Karen and Dave are doing in Zambia, you can find more information here: http://www.projectluangwa.org/library

Call for Contributors: Controversies in Criminal Evidence

Posted by Sarah Lucy Cooper, Birmingham City University

In 2012, Birmingham City University’s School of Law launched a new centre of excellence, the Centre for American Legal Studies (CALS). CALS was launched to celebrate and advance the School of Law’s expertise in the theory and application of American law. The Centre’s members have expertise in a variety of areas including American criminal law and procedure, the death penalty, equal protection and environmental law. In addition, CALS hosts the largest UK to USA student internship programme and the British Journal of American Legal Studies (BJALS), the only peer reviewed journal of its kind in the UK. The BJALS Editorial Board is headed up by President Obama’s first Federal judicial appointee, the Honourable Judge Joseph A. Greenaway Jr., and is currently in its third volume.

In order to celebrate the launch of CALS, bring together the scholarly interests of its members, and further engage with colleagues in the United States, CALS was delighted to strike a relationship with Ashgate Publishing Ltd to develop, under the Series Editorship of Dr. Jon Yorke and Dr. Anne Richardson-Oakes, a multi-volume series entitled Controversies in American Constitutional Law. The volumes, each of which will be led by the Centre’s faculty, will include edited collections on equal protection law, death penalty law and international law and American exceptionalism. The first collection in the series, Controversies in Innocence Cases in America, led by Sarah Lucy Cooper was published in May, 2014. Founders of the American Innocence Movement, Peter J. Neufeld and Barry C. Scheck, reviewed the collection and commented that “Anyone who cares about miscarriages of justice and thinks critically about the system as a whole will find this collection to be a provocative, insightful, and valuable resource.” Purchasing information about this title can be found here, and the Editor’s review of the collection can be found here.

Ms. Cooper’s second collection – Controversies in Criminal Evidence – will bring together leading experts on the theory, application and scholarly analysis of evidence law in America, from a variety of legal, scientific, policy and ethical perspectives. The contributors will investigate contemporary questions concerning the issues presented by criminal evidence. The chapters will be placed within a multi-disciplinary perspective to provide cogent observations and recommendations for the effective application and development of criminal evidence law.

The topics to be included are:

  1. Theory and criminal evidence.
  2. Basic principles, burdens, presumptions and procedural aspects.
  3. Perspectives on major federal and state admissibility frameworks such as the Federal Rules of Evidence.
  4. Expert evidence, including scientific, forensic and medical evidence in criminal cases.
  5. Circumstantial, character, hearsay and impeachment evidence.
  6. Integrity issues and criminal evidence.
  7. Judicial notice, privileges and trial procedure.
  8. Current legislative and policy reforms in evidence law.
  9. International perspectives and/or comparative discussions.

Submissions Information

Interested contributors may focus upon one of the above topics or submit a different issue to be analysed. Co-authored chapters are welcome. Chapters should be approximately 12,000 words, including footnotes. Footnotes should be Bluebook compliant, but chapters will otherwise accord with the Ashgate house-style. The submission deadline for abstracts (max. 400 words) is December, 12, 2014. After this, a proposal will be formed and forwarded to Ashgate for approval. The provisional deadline for first drafts is August 1, 2015.

If you have any questions or you would like to discuss an alternative topic to the ones identified above, please contact me the Editor at: sarah.cooper@bcu.ac.uk.

Restorative Justice Symposium 2014, sponsored by RJ4All

Posted by Sarah Stilwell, Senior Marketing Manager

Ashgate authors Theo Gavrielides and Vasso Artinopoulou recently organised a 2nd Restorative Justice Symposium on the island of Skopelos, Greece.

The highly successful Symposium was built on the model of the 1st International Symposium on Restorative which took place in 2012; as before, it was sponsored by the Restorative Justice for All Institute (RJ4All), and followed the format of an ancient Greek symposium to allow in-depth discussion.

This year’s Symposium took the theme ‘Race and Power’ and brought together international experts in the field of race equality, international relations and restorative justice to explore new avenues in dealing with the issue of power structures within society, racism and the growing levels of violence and xenophobia locally, nationally and internationally. Delegates were a mixture of academics and practitioners in order to achieve an interdisciplinary dialogue.

The Symposium methodology allowed the exchange of ideas and experiences that will help bridge a gap in restorative justice and race equality issues in academia, research and policy areas internationally. It is hoped that the final output of the Symposium will be the production of a series of webinars using the delegate presentations. These will form part of a package that will be made available through the RJ4All website.

The Aristotle RoomPrior to the Symposium a book launch was held at the Panteion University of Athens – the photo here is of the ‘Aristotle’ room.

Authors Theo Gavrielides and Vassao Artinopoulou

Authors Theo Gavrielides and Vassao Artinopoulou

The proceedings of the first Symposium of seven days of in-depth discussion, debate and collaboration, are published by Ashgate under the title Reconstructing Restorative Justice Philosophy.

Honorable Mention for Richard Weisman’s book Showing Remorse: Law and the Social Control of Emotion

Posted by Sarah Stilwell, Senior Marketing Executive

Showing remorseWe are delighted to learn that Richard Weisman’s book Showing Remorse: Law and the Social Control of Emotion has received Honorable Mention from the Committee for the Distinguished Book Award for 2014 of the Sociology of Law section of the American Sociological Association. The Honorable Mention will be formally recognised at the Sociology of Law Section Business Meeting at the 2014 ASA Conference in San Francisco.

The award panel’s citation includes:

The work is deeply researched, persuasively argued and lucidly written.  In its treatment of emotions as an event mediated by symbols and interpretations, the work suggests an inextricable social component in expressions of remorse.  Its argument that expressions of remorse vary across social contexts in terms of cultural style, when called for and how they should be conveyed and that these are matters to be explained is evocative.  Along with Foucauldian roots in the notion of the creation of ‘the subject of power’, the book offers an intriguing focus on the contingency of attributions of remorse as well as recognition of the pathological approach to the absence of remorse where a transgressor who is perceived as unable to experience remorse is naturalized as different and somehow deficient.  Emphasis on the ways in which defiance in the refusal to express remorse can be construed as a challenge to the moral basis for the actions of the court offers new insight into the ways communal normativity is reaffirmed or, as in the case of South Africa, reshaped.  This book adds nuance and depth to a much considered topic and so makes a most significant contribution to the intellectual wealth of our field.”

Richard Weisman is Professor Emeritus, Department of Social Science, Law and Society Program, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, and Department of Sociology, Glendon College, York University, in Toronto, Canada

‘My current research analyzes the social processes by which remorsefulness and remorselessness are claimed by self and attributed by other. Law is one important site for this process in that considerations of remorse enter into judgments about parole, sentencing, dangerous offender status in Canada and capital punishment in the United States’.

Other endorsements for Showing Remorse include:

‘In this gem of a book, Richard Weisman wrestles with the concept of remorse in surprisingly novel ways, using rich illustrations to depict remarkably diverse rituals of apology. Weisman’s effort to probe the contested meanings that remorse holds in our culture, law, and morality has yielded a tour de force.’   Constance Backhouse, University of Ottawa, Canada

In the legal system, much depends on whether an accused wrongdoer shows appropriate remorse, yet little attention has been paid to how and why remorse should be exhibited. Richard Weisman’s important book explores what the community expects from a remorseful wrongdoer and what happens – or ought to happen – when those expectations are thwarted.’   Susan Bandes, DePaul University College of Law, USA

In this carefully argued and researched volume, Richard Weisman provides an original examination of the concept of remorse. The work constitutes a valuable addition to the literature on this complex issue and will be of great interest to sociolegal scholars and legal practitioners alike.’   Julian V. Roberts, University of Oxford, UK

‘While contemporary criminal justice is officially secular and fact-driven, offenders are nevertheless expected to show remorse, and lack of visible remorse can have a marked negative impact in parole and probation contexts as well as in sentencing. In this innovative work Richard Weisman explores the complex emotional, psychological and legal issues raised by the criminal justice’s system unwritten expectations about offending and remorse. The book will be of interest to criminologists, sociolegal scholars, forensic psychologists, defence lawyers, and judges, but it is also accessible to the general public.’   Mariana Valverde, University of Toronto, Canada

Showing Remorse was published by Ashgate in January 2014. For more information on the book please visit Ashgate’s website

A Controversial Subject – The Architecture of Abortion Clinics

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

Recently interviewed by the on-line journal Women in the World Lori Brown shares her experiences and responds to the debate with some thought-provoking insights

 ‘Though abortion and the legal disputes that often surround it are visible media topics, abortion clinics are often pushed to the fringes of communities where access is the most crucial. But what if they were integrated into the mainstream of our everyday space: clinics in malls, clinics on military bases, clinics on high school campuses, and open access to preventative care?   Lori Brown

Read the interview

Contested SpacesLori Brown is Associate Professor of Architecture, Syracuse University School of Architecture, USA and author of Contested Spaces: Abortion Clinics, Women’s Shelters and Hospitals, a book in which she considers the relationship between space, defined physically, legally and legislatively and also explores how these factors directly impact the spaces of abortion.

Contested Spaces: Abortion Clinics, Women’s Shelters and Hospitals is classified as ‘Research Essential’ by Baker & Taylor YBP Library Services

Queering Fat Embodiment’s social media book tour

Posted by Michael Drapper, Marketing Executive

Queering Fat EmbodimentCongratulations to the editors of Queering Fat EmbodimentCat Pausé, Jackie Wykes, and Samantha Murray – for hosting a successful global book launch using Google Hangouts on Air! If you missed the live launch, you can watch a recording of it here.

Against the backdrop of the ever-growing medicalisation, pathologisation, and commodification of fatness, coupled with the moral panic over an alleged ‘obesity epidemic’, this volume brings together the latest scholarship from various critical disciplines to challenge existing ideas of fat and fat embodiment. Queer is a heterogeneous and multidisciplinary practice aimed at ‘bringing forth’ and thus denaturalising the taken for granted, the invisible, the normalized. This book examines the ways in which fat embodiment is lived, experienced, regulated and (re)produced across a range of cultural sites and contexts.

Queering Fat Embodiment is the first book to focus on the intersection of queer studies and fat studies, and promises to be a classic in its field. What could be more exciting than discussions of fat and queer fashion, desire, performance, cyberspace, and politics, as well as the fluidity of gender identity, bodies, and sexuality? It’s a great read,’ reviewed Dr Esther Rothblum, editor of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight & Society

‘Queering Fat Embodiment is an important contribution to the emerging literature of Fat Studies because it restates the necessity for radical critique and makes space for anti-assimilationist activism. The book offers an exciting balance of better-known contributors and fresh new voices and I highly recommend it to anybody interested in developing a critical understanding of fat and obesity,’ notes Dr Charlotte Cooper of The Obesity Timebomb.

Queering Fat Embodiment sheds light on the ways in which fat embodiment is lived, experienced, regulated, and (re)produced across a range of cultural sites and contexts. Contributing authors include Katie LeBesco, Robyn Longhurst, Jenny Lee, Margitte Kristjansson, Stefanie Jones, Kimberly Dark, James Burford, Sam Orchard, Scott Beattie and Zoë Meleo-Erwin.

The editors are currently conducting a social media book tour, with stops along the way on blogs, online magazines, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, and more! If you’d like to follow along the tour, tour stops are updated here.

Sarah Bachelard’s Resurrection and Moral Imagination reviewed in The Tablet by Philip McCosker

Resurrection and the Moral ImaginationSarah Bachelard’s book Resurrection and Moral Imagination was recently reviewed in The Tablet by Philip McCosker. An edited extract of the review appears below, or you can read the full review online on The Tablet’s website.

It is staggering how little good recent theo­logical writing on the Resurrection there is. You might expect that the pivotal element of the Christian Gospel would have been the focus of theologians’ attention for centuries; you would be disappointed…

Very rarely has the Resurrection been treated as theologically revealing in its own right. There are some notable exceptions: Rowan Williams, James Alison, Anthony Kelly CSsR, and most recently, Brian Robinette’s brilliant Grammars of Resurrection.

But now we have Australian philosopher-­theologian Sarah Bachelard’s excellent Resurrection and Moral Imagination which boldly and astutely builds on all these theologians to forge an ethical vision from that most Christian of doctrines. It will be of interest to ­anyone concerned with the question of how to live in our world, whether religious or secular.

Bachelard’s game-changing vision is quite different from that of her fellow Anglican moral theologian Oliver O’Donovan’s earlier Resurrection and Moral Order. For O’Donovan, ethics must be founded on the Resurrection because it vindicates the created order and its morality; for Bachelard, the Resurrection gives a new world from which to act, and that world can be perceived even without explicit religious belonging…

…Bachelard has interesting and nourishing things to say about desire, sacrifice, secularisation, the need for the Church and theology to  attend to the messiness of real life. Her prose is refreshing and crystal clear, deceptively simple, open, conciliatory, non-fluffy and imaginative. Her focus on practice is astute and the engagement with the secular timely. This book is a major contribution to theological ethics and deserves sustained engagement.

About the Author:  Reverend Dr Sarah Bachelard is an Anglican priest and theologian based in Canberra, Australia. She is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Australian Catholic University, with special interests in philosophy, ethics and spirituality, and is the author of Experiencing God in a Time of Crisis (Convivium, 2012). She is the leader and founder of Benedictus Contemplative Church, an ecumenical worshipping community with a practice of silent meditation at its heart, and is a member of the World Community for Christian Meditation.

Other reviews:

‘Far more than a discrete proposition, the resurrection of Jesus entails an imaginative world to be inhabited and cultivated-a world that would transform our moral stances by reframing the horizons and desires that shape and often distort our views of transcendence, self and neighbor, and death. Sarah Bachelard’s Resurrection and Moral Imagination powerfully evokes such a world, yet does so by showing how the distinctive features of Christian imagination open up to and are deepened by sustained conversation across philosophical and theological boundaries. While skillfully conducting this conversation, Bachelard’s own keen insights provide the reader with a rich sense of the Christian’s resurrection ethic as a wisdom ethic.’    Brian Robinette, Boston College, USA

‘More than any other book I have read, Resurrection and Moral Imagination brings the kind of moral philosophy first developed in the English-speaking world by Iris Murdoch, into critical dialogue with theology. In prose of enviable simplicity, with sensitivity, depth and sometimes startling originality, Bachelard explores the ways each needs the other.’   Raimond Gaita, University of Melbourne, Australia

‘Innovative, lucid and sensitive, this is a genuinely fresh look at what is distinctive about the Christian moral vision, worked out in conversation with a variety of sympathetic but more secular voices, including Rai Gaita and Iris Murdoch. Sarah Bachelard is a really significant new voice in theological ethics.’   Rowan Williams, Magdalene College, Cambridge, UK

Full information about Resurrection and Moral Imagination is on our website

Call for Papers: Playthings in Early Modernity: Party Games, Word Games, Mind Games (edited collection)

Posted by Erika Gaffney, Publishing Manager

Contributions are sought for an interdisciplinary collection of essays to be edited by Allison Levy and published by Ashgate Publishing in the new book series, Cultures of Play, 1300-1700 (series editor Bret Rothstein). Dedicated to early modern playfulness, this series serves two purposes. First, it recounts the history of wit, humor, and games, from jokes and sermons, for instance, to backgammon and blind man’s buff. Second, in addressing its topic – ludic culture – broadly, Cultures of Play also provides a forum for reconceptualizing the play elements of early modern economic, political, religious, and social life.

Within this framework, PLAYTHINGS IN EARLY MODERNITY: PARTY GAMES, WORD GAMES, MIND GAMES emphasizes the rules of the game(s) as well as the breaking of those rules: playmates and game changers, teammates and tricksters, matchmakers and deal breakers, gamblers and grifters, scripts and ventriloquism, charades and masquerades, game pieces and pawns. Thus, a ‘plaything’ is understood as both an object and a person, and play, in early modern Europe (1300-1700), is treated not merely as a pastime, a leisurely pursuit, but also as a pivotal part of daily life, a strategic psychosocial endeavor: Why do we play games – with and upon each other as well as ourselves? Who are the winners, and who are the losers? Desirable essays will also consider the spaces of play: from the stage to the street, from the pulpit to the piazza, from the bedroom to the brothel: What happens when players go ‘out of bounds,’ or when games go ‘too far’? We seek new and innovative scholarship at the nexus of material culture/the study of objects, performance studies, and game theory. We welcome proposals from a wide range of disciplines, including gender studies, childhood studies, history, languages and literature, theater history, religious studies, the history and philosophy of science, philosophy, psychology, and the history of art and visual culture.

PLAYTHINGS IN EARLY MODERNITY: PARTY GAMES, WORD GAMES, MIND GAMES will be an illustrated volume, with individual contributors responsible for any permission and/or art acquisition fees. Final essays, of approximately 8,000 words (incl. notes), and all accompanying b&w illustrations/permissions will be due no later than January 15, 2015. For consideration, please send an abstract (max. 500 words), a preliminary list of illustrations (if applicable), and a CV to Allison Levy (allisonlevy2@gmail.com or playthingsvolume@gmail.com) by September 15, 2014. Notifications will be emailed by the end of September.

Ireland’s 1916 Rising shortlisted for the Geographical Society of Ireland’s Book of the Year award 2014

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

Irelands 1916 RisingCongratulations to Mark McCarthy, whose book Ireland’s 1916 Rising, was short-listed for the 2014 book of the year award from the Geographical Society of Ireland.

The Judges’ comments:

‘immaculately researched and a lively engagement with the key critical debates surrounding issues of memory, commemoration and historical legacies surrounding the revolutionary period in modern Irish history ‘  Nessa Cronin, Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway

‘In this definitive work on the topic, Mark McCarthy traces the political, ideational, identity and iconographic impacts of the Easter 1916 Rising in Ireland… This is required reading for scholars in the field and beyond’   Pádraig Carmody, Dept of Geography, Trinity College Dublin

Mark McCarthy’s book explores why, how and in what ways the memory of Ireland’s 1916 Rising has persisted over the decades? It breaks new ground by offering a wide-ranging exploration of the making and remembrance of the story of 1916 in modern times, which is not only of historical concern, but of contemporary political and cultural importance.

More about Ireland’s 1916 Rising

Beryl Graham talks at Tate Modern, at the ‘Cultural Value and the Digital’ conference

Posted by Helen Moore, Marketing Manager

Beryl Graham, author of New Collecting: Exhibiting and Audiences after New Media Art gave a talk at the Tate Modern earlier this week, taking part in the conference Cultural value and the digital: practice, policy and theory, the culmination of a research project and series of eight public workshops, to explore how conceptions of cultural value are currently operating and could be examined in relationship to digital media and museums.

This research project focused on Tate’s digital practices and policies as well as the practices of other UK and European Museums that shape contemporary production of culture; a context which is transformed or challenged by current digital technologies and network culture.

New Collecting_Graham PPC_new collectingBeryl Graham’s book New Collecting: Exhibiting and Audiences after New Media Art sets out to explore the many new challenges faced by curators and collectors of new media art

‘This is essential reading for artists, curators, art historians, students and anyone else interested in creating, commissioning, collecting, exhibiting and documenting new media art. The authors provide an excellent overview of the challenges involved in dealing with 21st-century artworks that are “not easy to collect”.’   Douglas Dodds, Victoria and Albert Museum, UK

‘New forms of art production necessitate new ways of thinking about exhibiting and collecting. This book fills a gap in the field by directly addressing the challenge for curators and audiences alike in exploring ways that do not simply replicate old models but redefine possibilities of what is collected, how, and for whom.’   Joasia Krysa, Kunsthal Aarhus, Denmark

Beryl Graham is Professor of New Media Art, at the University of Sunderland, UK and co-founder and editor of CRUMB, the resource for curators of new media art. She curated the international exhibition Serious Games for the Laing and Barbican art galleries, and has also worked with The Exploratorium, San Francisco, and San Francisco Camerawork.  Beryl Graham has presented papers at conferences including Decoding the Digital (Victoria and Albert Museum).