Congratulations to Catherine Burke, winner of the Anne Bloomfield Book Prize

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

A life in education and architectureAshgate are delighted to announce that A Life in Education and Architecture: Mary Beaumont Medd has received the Anne Bloomfield Book Prize:  an award given by The History of Education Society recognising this work as the best book on the history of education published between 2010-13. Catherine Burke recently received her award at the Society’s annual conference in Dublin, details of which can be found on their Blog.

Enthusiastic praise for A Life in Education has come from many quarters

‘This is a generous, well-crafted review of the life of Bradford-born public sector architect Mary Medd (née Crowley, 1907-2005). As a means of gaining insight into how to design schools, Catherine Burke’s book beautifully illuminates her subject’s profound impact on the thinking and processes involved… Burke, a historian of education, shows mastery of her subject here and delivers it through a light, accessible style.’   Times Higher Education

‘…this splendid volume, engagingly written and lavishly supplied with over 100 illustrations, is the most interesting, informative and inspirational book on the history of education that I have read in 2013′   Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education

Catherine Burke is an historian and senior lecturer in education at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. She has researched Mary Medd’s life and travels since the architect’s death in 2005, while at the same time engaging with architects designing schools today to bring about a better understanding of the history of the subject. Other related publications include The School I’d Like (2003) and School (2008) both with Ian Grosvenor.

The Antonio II Badile Album of Drawings – ‘an exceptionally interesting and meticulous book’

Posted by Beth Whalley, Marketing Executive

The Antonio Il Badile Album of Drawings‘This is an exceptionally interesting and meticulous book, whose supreme merit is to cast light on a hitherto distinctly overlooked but utterly absorbing corner of the admittedly seemingly endless artistic landscape of the Italian Renaissance.’

So writes world-renowned authority on Italian Renaissance painting Professor David Ekserdjian in November’s issue of The Art Newspaper, on Evelyn Karet’s The Antonio II Badile Album of Drawings: The Origins of Collecting Drawings in Early Modern Northern Italy.

The book makes a major contribution to the study of North Italian drawings, a field that has been relatively neglected when compared with Tuscan drawings of the Renaissance. The album in question is the earliest known example of an art collection pasted onto the pages of a book, and Karet traces its long history, from its assemblage in the late 1530s to its dismantling in the 1950s by dealer Francis Matthiesen. Matthiesen photographed the album in its entirety before taking it apart, meaning that Karet is able to discuss what the album originally looked like and draw conclusions about its organisation. The volume is supplemented by appendices providing a reconstruction of the original album and a page-by-page guide to its contents.

Karet uses the album as a new point of reference for the collecting of drawings in northern Italy in the early modern era before Vasari. She discusses the Badile family, the contact between artists and humanists, and the hitherto little-acknowledged role of Verona as an exceptionally early centre of collection in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Evelyn Karet holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University and is a Scholar in Residence in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Clark University, USA where she was previously Associate Professor and taught Renaissance Art History. A scholar of late Gothic and Renaissance art, she has also taught at Boston College, Wheaton College, and the University of Georgia Studies Abroad Program in Italy.

Environment and Sustainability Publishing from Ashgate and Gower

Posted by Katy Crossan, Commissioning Editor

How do we secure a sustainable future?

Social science and humanities scholars have much to contribute to crucial debates around policy, as well as asking fundamental questions about how we understand the history of our environment and the impact of business, culture and society on sustainability.

The issue of how we secure a sustainable future for our society, the environment and natural resources does and should involve cross-disciplinary research.

With this in mind we have brought together over 150 of our key titles on environmental and sustainability research from across the Ashgate and Gower publishing programmes in our new Environment and Sustainability webpage to make it easier to navigate the broad range of titles and series we offer in this area.

Ashgate authors Iain J. M. Robertson and Richard A. Marsden shortlisted for the Saltire Society Literary Awards

Posted by Beth Whalley, Marketing Executive

Ashgate authors Iain J. M. Robertson and Richard A. Marsden were among those honoured at Scotland’s prestigious Saltire Society Literary Awards on Tuesday, 11th November 2014. Robertson and Marsden were shortlisted for the Research Book of the Year Award and History Book of the Year Award respectively, in the company of acclaimed academics and famed fiction writers, all of whom reside in Scotland, are of Scottish descent, or take a Scottish figure, historical event, or issue as their subject.

In a true celebration of Scottish literary talent, the Awards ceremony took place at Dynamic Earth, an iconic visitor attraction set at the heart of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site, and was supported by the British Council Scotland, Waterstones, the Scottish Historical Review and the National Library of Scotland, amongst others.

Cosmo Innes and the defence of Scotlands pastBoth authors enrich our understandings of crucial moments in Scotland’s history. Marsden considers the work of the influential antiquarian Cosmo Innes (1798-1874) to answer the question of how Victorian Scots reconciled an independent history with a unionist present. Innes, a prolific editor of medieval and early modern documents relating to Scotland’s parliament, universities and church, operated within an elite network, had access to the leading intellectuals and politicians of the day, and had significant influence on a contemporary understanding of Scottish history. Marsden’s ‘masterly scholarly monograph’ (Stefan Berger, Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum, Germany) therefore provides a window onto the ways in which the Scots viewed their own ‘national past.’ You can read more about Cosmo Innes, and its relationship with Scotland’s contested identity in the 21st century, here.

Lanscapes of Protest in the Scottish HighlandsRobertson’s ‘critical landmark in protest history’ (Carl Griffin, University of Sussex, UK) draws on oral testimony and individual case studies to provide a lens through which to explore the fluid and contingent nature of protest performances. He turns to the Scottish Highlands in November 1918. Agrarian change threatened a wave of unemployment and eviction for the land-working population, and those who had served during the First World War found themselves returning to social and economic conditions that should have been left behind. Widespread social protest rapidly followed. Robertson navigates these events in order to illustrate how a range of forms of protest demanded attention (unlike the earlier Land Wars period, these protests were successful) and illustrate the formative role of landscape in people’s lifespaces.

We’d like to extend our congratulations to Richard, Iain, and all the other winners and shortlisted authors honoured at the awards.

Richard A. Marsden works for Cardiff University where he teaches History and coordinates a foundation pathway enabling adults without formal qualifications to progress onto degrees in the historical disciplines. More information about Cosmo Innes and the Defence of Scotland’s Past c. 1825-1875

Iain J. M. Robertson is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Gloucestershire. More information about Landscapes of Protest in the Scottish Highlands after 1914: The Later Highland Land Wars

Border Walls 25 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Posted by Katy Crossan, Commissioning Editor

The fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago this month raised hopes of a new borderless era however in recent years the border wall has been given renewed vigour, particularly along the U.S.-Mexico border, and in Israel-Palestine. The success of these new walls in the development of friendly and orderly relations between nations (or indeed, within nations) remains unclear. What role does the wall play in the development of security and insecurity? Do walls contribute to a sense of insecurity as much as they assuage fears and create a sense of security for those ‘behind the line’? Exactly what kind of security is associated with border walls?

Borders fences and wallsTackling these questions, Borders, Fences and Walls edited by Élisabeth Vallet, explores the issue of how the return of border fences and walls as a political tool may be symptomatic of a new era in border studies and international relations. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, it examines problems that include security issues ; the recurrence and/or decline of the wall; wall discourses ; legal approaches to the wall; the ‘wall industry’ and border technology as well as their symbolism, role, objectives and efficiency.

Élisabeth Vallet has recently been interviewed by the Courrier International and her research has informed an article in the Washington Post.

Élisabeth Vallet is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geography and scientific director of Geopolitics at the Raoul Dandurand Chair at the University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada.

New series: Sexualities in Society, edited by Helen Hester – call for proposals

Posted by Claire Jarvis, Senior Commissioning Editor

Ashgate Publishing is delighted to announce the launch of a new series: Sexualities in Society. Edited by Helen Hester (Lecturer in Promotional Cultures at Middlesex University, UK and author of Beyond Explicit: Pornography and the Displacement of Sex (SUNY Press, 2014) and co-editor of Fat Sex (Ashgate, 2015), it will offer a dedicated and much-needed space for the very best in interdisciplinary research on sex, sexualities, and twenty-first century society.

Its contemporary focus, methodological inclusivity, and international scope will provide a distinctive vantage point in terms of surveying the social organization of sexuality. It critically addresses numerous aspects of sex and sexuality, from media representations, to embodied sexual practices, to the sometimes controversial issues surrounding consent, sexual fantasy, and identity politics. It represents a critically rigorous, theoretically informed, and genuinely interdisciplinary attempt to interrogate a complex nexus of ideas regarding the ways in which sexualities inform, and are informed by, the broader sociopolitical contexts in which they emerge.

For further information about the series, including details of how to submit a proposal, please email Senior Commissioning Editor for Sociology Claire Jarvis (cjarvis@ashgatepublishing.com).

Honorable Mention for Cruz and Stampino’s ‘Early Modern Habsburg Women’ at the SSEMW Book Awards

Posted by Beth Whalley, Marketing Executive

Early Modern Habsburg WomenWe’re delighted to announce that the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women has awarded an honourable mention to Early Modern Habsburg Women: Transnational Contexts, Cultural Conflicts, Dynastic Continuities (2013) in the category of Best Collaborative Project in their 2013 Book Awards. The society awards this prize to the best edited collection or multi-authored volume on women and gender in the early modern period.

The committee declared that they were particularly impressed by:

“how the collection gathers together in one place essays on six remarkable women of the Spanish and Austrian Habsburg dynasties. The transnational, comparative, and interdisciplinary scope of the essays illuminate the complex negotiations performed by these powerful women who crossed borders defined by gender, geography, language, culture, and politics. The volume exemplifies the richness of women’s history that travels across and between political, disciplinary, and methodological boundaries.”

The six Habsburg women examined in the volume – queens, duchesses, vicereines, and even a nun – had a lasting impact on the diplomatic map of early modern Europe. Through an investigation of archival documents, pictorial and historical accounts, literature, and correspondence, as well as cultural artifacts such as paintings, jewellery and clothing, contributors bring to light the real power of early modern Habsburg women as they moved from court to court and transferred their cultural, religious and diplomatic traditions.

The volume, edited by Anne J. Cruz and Maria Galli Stampino, boasts a variety of contributors from across the globe, and we would like to congratulate each of them for this latest achievement. This isn’t the first time that an Ashgate book co-edited by Anne J. Cruz has been honoured by the SSEMW; Women’s Literacy in Early Modern Spain and the New World (2011) won the prize for Best Collaborative Project in 2011.

About the Editors: Anne J. Cruz is Professor of Spanish and Cooper Fellow at the University of Miami. Maria Galli Stampino is Professor of Italian and French also at the University of Miami.

Contributors: Anne J. Cruz; Joseph F. Patrouch; Maria Galli Stampino; Blythe Alice Raviola; Magdalena S. Sánchez; Vanessa de Cruz Medina; Félix Labrador Arroyo; María Cruz de Carlos Varona; Silvia Z. Mitchell; Mercedes Llorente; Laura Oliván Santaliestra; Cordula van Wyhe.

More information about Early Modern Habsburg Women: Transnational Contexts, Cultural Conflicts, Dynastic Continuities