Trailer for Lawrence P. Jackson, Professor of English and African American Studies at Emory, and his new book, "My Father's Name: A Black Virginia Family after the Civil War" (University of Chicago Press, available May 2012). The book, part detective story and part historical memoir, tells the story of his quest to learn more about his ancestral past, one tied to the history of slavery.
Emory professor Rosemarie Garland-Thomson (Women's Studies) talks about how we examine other people in her book "Staring: How We Look" (Oxford University Press, 2009). A Davidson College art exhibit that used the book as a theme provides dramatic imagery in the video.
Robert McCauley (William Rand Kenan Jr. University Professor and director of Emory's Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture) talks about his new book, (Oxford University Press, 2011). His main point is that our minds are better suited to religious belief than to scientific inquiry. Religion has existed for many thousands of years in every society because the kinds of explanations it provides are precisely the kinds that come naturally to human minds. Science, on the other hand, is a much more recent and rare development because it reaches radical conclusions and requires a kind of abstract thinking that only arises consistently under very specific social conditions. Religion makes intuitive sense to us, while science requires a lot of work. The naturalness of religion, he suggests, means that science poses no real threat to it, while the unnaturalness of science puts it in a surprisingly precarious position.
During the seventeenth century, Holland created the world's most dynamic colonial empire, outcompeting the British and capturing Spanish and Portuguese colonies. Yet, in the Sino-Dutch War--Europe's first war with China--the Dutch met their match in a colorful Chinese warlord named Koxinga. Part samurai, part pirate, he led his generals to victory over the Dutch and captured one of their largest and richest colonies--Taiwan. How did he do it? Examining the strengths and weaknesses of European and Chinese military techniques during the period Tonio Andrade's "Lost Colony: The Untold Story of China's First Great Victory over the West" (Princeton University Press, 2011) provides a balanced new perspective on long-held assumptions about Western power, Chinese might, and the nature of war. Andrade is an associate professor of history at Emory University.
From the book jacket: "You can read this book as an exciting novel full of pirates, swashbuckling characters, beheadings, treachery, and battles on land and sea--a novel that just happens to be true--or as a revelatory look at the little-known first war between China and the West, and window into one of the biggest unsolved questions of world history: why Europe rather than China colonized the world from the time of Columbus onward. Either way, you will be sorry when you reach the last page." --Jared Diamond, author of "Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse"