The People in Your Neighborhood: A #UPWeek Reading List by Haun Saussy

December 19th, 2016

Haun Saussy is University Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago. His books include: The Problem of a Chinese Aesthetic (Stanford University Press), Great Walls of Discourse and Other Adventures in Cultural China (Harvard University Asia Center), The Ethnography of Rhythm: Orality and its Technologies (Fordham University Press), and, as editor or co-editor, Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization (John Hopkins University Press), Sinographies: Writing China (University of Minnesota Press), The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry: A Critical Edition (Fordham University Press), Partner to the Poor: A Paul Farmer Reader (University of California Press), and A Book to Burn and a Book to Keep Hidden: Selected Writings of Li Zhi (Columbia University Press). He contributes to the collective blog Printculture. His current book project is called Translation as Citation: Zhuangzi Inside Out

A great bookstore like the Seminary Co-Op is a place to get lost in. I think I need a specific book, and on the way to finding it I bump into so many other books on related and unrelated subjects that the mind I exit with is not exactly the mind I entered with: in other words, I got educated, ever so slightly. Now if only I could acquire all the books I stumble on… This style of random encounter sometimes happens when reading publishers’ catalogues too, but rarely, of course, in the bookbuying venues that consider you a person interested only in “Similar Items” or in the books “Previously Purchased Together With” the thing you’re buying.

So here are a few recent finds, with a skew towards methodology and a definite hankering for ideas that might be exportable—even contagious. That is, the books that attract me are the ones that may make the next book happen.

William Empson. The Face of the Buddha. Oxford 2016.

E. Summerson Carr and Michael Lempert, eds., Scale: Discourse and Dimensions of Social Life. California 2016.

Iain Wilson and Arthur Kleinman. A Passion for Society: How We Think About Human Suffering. California 2016.

Wendy Doniger, Redeeming the Kamasutra. Oxford 2016.

Claus Pias, Cybernetics: The Macy Conferences 1946-1953, The Complete Transcripts. Chicago 2016.

Jessica Riskin, The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument Over What Makes Living Things Tick. Chicago 2016.

Katya Guenther, Localization and its Discontents: A Genealogy of Psychoanalysis and the Neuro Disciplines. Chicago 2015.

Sheldon Pollock, ed. and trans. A Rasa Reader. Columbia 2015.

Amitav Ghosh. The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable. Chicago 2016.

Angus Fletcher. The Topological Imagination: Spheres, Edges and Islands. Harvard 2015.

Celebrate Community during University Press Week, November 14-19, 2016 by taking a UPWeek Blog Tour! Today’s tour includes stops at Northwestern University Press, Rutgers University Press, Fordham University Press, University of Toronto Press, University of Toronto Press Journals Athabasca University Press, and University Press of Florida. Learn more about University Press Week here.

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