Three really interesting looking books from Routledge – but three completely obscene prices.
Karen Morin, Carceral Space, Prisoners and Animals – £105 or £76.50 e-book
Carceral Space, Prisoners and Animals explores resonances across human and nonhuman carceral geographies. The work proposes an analysis of the carceral from a broader vantage point than has yet been done, developing a ‘trans-species carceral geography’ that includes spaces of nonhuman captivity, confinement, and enclosure alongside that of the human. The linkages across prisoner and animal carcerality that are placed into conversation draw from a number of institutional domains, based on their form, operation, and effect. These include: the prison death row/ execution chamber and the animal slaughterhouse; sites of laboratory testing of pharmaceutical and other products on incarcerated humans and captive animals; sites of exploited prisoner and animal labor; and the prison solitary confinement cell and the zoo cage. The relationships to which I draw attention across these sites are at once structural, operational, technological, legal, and experiential / embodied. The forms of violence that span species boundaries at these sites are all a part of ordinary, everyday, industrialized violence in the United States and elsewhere, and thus this ‘carceral comparison’ amongst them is appropriate and timely.
Mark Welford, Geographies of Plague Pandemics – £105 or £35.99 e-book
Geographies of Plague Pandemics synthesizes our current understanding of the spatial and temporal dynamics of plague, Yersinia pestis. The environmental, political, economic, and social impacts of the plague from Ancient Greece to the modern day are examined. Chapters explore the identity of plague DNA, its human mortality, and the source of ancient and modern plagues. This book also discusses the role plague has played in shifting power from Mediterranean Europe to north-western Europe during the 500 years that plague has raged across the continent. The book demonstrates how recent colonial structures influenced the spread and mortality of plague while changing colonial histories. In addition, this book provides critical insight into how plague has shaped modern medicine, public health, and disease monitoring, and what role, if any, it might play as a terror weapon.
Robert Shaw, The Nocturnal City – £105 (no e-book listed)
Night is a foundational element of human and animal life on earth, but its interaction with the social world has undergone significant transformations during the era of globalization. As the economic activity of the ‘daytime’ city has advanced into the night, other uses of the night as a time for play, for sleep or for escaping oppression have come increasingly under threat.
This book looks at the relationship between night and society in contemporary cities. It identifies that while theories of ‘planetary urbanization’ have traced the spatial spread of urban forms, the temporal expansion of urban capitalism has been less well mapped. It argues that, as a key part of planetary being, understanding what goes on at night in cities can add nuance to debates on planetary urbanization.
A series of practices and spaces that we encounter in the night-time city are explored. These include: the maintenance and repair of infrastructure; the aesthetics of the urban night; nightlife and the night-time economy; the home at night; and the ecologies of the urban night. Taking these forward the book will ask whether the night can reveal some of the boundaries to what we call ‘the urban’ in a world of cities, and will call for a revitalized and enhanced ‘nightology’ to study these limits.
Now I don’t want to just single out Routledge, since there are other offenders, but these prices are just ridiculous. The books are short too – 176, 156 and 126 pages. What a terrible shame for these authors to have worked so hard on these books, each of which deserves a much wider audience than these prices will allow.