The Illusion of the End

Jean Baudrillard

“The year 2000, the end of the millennium: Is this anything other than a mirage, the illusion of an end, like so many other imaginary endpoints which have littered the path of history… Baudrillard argues that the notion of the end is part of the fantasy of a linear history. Today, we are not approaching the end of history but moving into reverse, into a process of systematic obliteration. We are wiping out the entire 20th century…”

Publisher: Stanford University
Paperback: 123 pages

Headhunting and the Social Imagination in Southeast Asia

Edited by Janet Hoskins

“Brings together comparative material on headhunting in a number of Southeast Asian societies, examining the cultural contexts in which such practices occurred, and relating them to colonial history, violence and ritual. This volume documents and analyzes headhunting practices and shows the persistence of headhunting as a symbol or trope. Ethnographers of seven regions (the Philippine highlands, Sarawak, Brunei, South Borneo and the Indonesian islands of Sulawesi, Sumba and Timor) share their experiences of living with former headhunters (including an eyewitness account of a headhunting feast), attending rituals and collecting oral histories to understand the heritage of headhunting in context. They also report on contemporary people who reenact headhunts, often with effigies or surrogates for the head itself.”

Publisher: Stanford University
Paperback: 296 pages

Fascist Modernism: Aesthetics, Politics, and the Avant Garde

Andrew Hewitt

“What was it about fascism that made the movement, in its various forms, so attractive and exciting to such writers and artists as Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound, and Céline, among others? Using as a focal point the literary work of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the founder of the Italian Futurist movement and an early associate of Mussolini, the author examines the points of contact between a ‘progressive’ aesthetic practice and a ‘reactionary’ political ideology.”

Publisher: Stanford University
Paperback: 222 pages

The Frozen Echo: Greenland and the Exploration of North America, circa A.D. 1000-1500

Kirsten A. Seaver

There is no doubt that sometime early in the 11th century medieval Norse sailors ventured west and south from settlements in Greenland searching for lumber and fur on the North American continent. Excavations 30 years ago in northern Newfoundland proved that the site found at L’Anse aux Meadows was Norse, and that it could be reliably dated to approximately A.D. 1000.
This book establishes the latest archeological evidence for Norse habitation of the New World; describes the nature of North Atlantic commerce in both commodities and ideas, discusses the role of the Catholic church at the farthest reaches of European settlement; charts relations between Norse settlers and indigenous people; and chronicles the often strained political relations between colonists and their European home governments. Finally, there are some new ideas about what became of these people when large-scale European exploration began to bypass the northern settlements in the 15th century. JTW

Publisher: Stanford University
Hardback: 428 pages

Staging Fascism: 18BL and the Theater of Masses for Masses

Jeffrey T. Schnapp

“On an April evening in 1934, on the left bank of the River Arno in Florence before twenty thousand spectators, the mass spectacle 18BL was presented, involving two thousand amateur actors, an air squadron, one infantry and cavalry brigade, fifty trucks (18BL was the model number of the first truck to be mass-produced by Fiat), four field and machine gun batteries, ten field-radio stations, and six photoelectric units. However titanic its scale, 18BL’s ambitions were even greater: to institute a revolutionary fascist theater of the future, a modern theater of and for the masses that would end, once and for all, the crisis of the bourgeois theater. This is the complete story of 18BL, a direct response to an April 1933 speech by Mussolini, who called for the creation of a distinctively fascist ‘theater for twenty thousand spectators.’”

Publisher: Stanford University
Paperback: 234 pages