Sunday, January 15, 2012

2011 Reading List

So here's the final list of books I read in 2011. You'll notice a lot of Lost Generation novels in the list. That's due to my course at SMU on Lost Generation writers in the post-World War One era. Also a few books from my SMU Silk Roads course are on there.

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
1919 by John Dos Passos
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Nightwood by Djuna Barnes
Verdun by Jules Romaine
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
Combray by Marcel Proust
The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland
The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson
Old World Encounters (Cross-Cultural Contacts and Exchanges in Pre-Modern Times) by Jerry H. Bentley
Confessions by St. Augustine of Hippo
Religions of the Silk Roads by Richard Foltz
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers
Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

Monday, January 09, 2012

Game of Shadows

Saw the new Sherlock Holmes (Game of Shadows) flick over the holidays. Really enjoyed it. A bit more action oriented than the books and stories but the movie successfully retained the vibe of Arthur Conan Doyle's world. My European History classes are beginning the second semester talking about this period (1870-1914) in Europe and I was glad to see mention of the anarchists. It's a nice reference point for the students who saw the movie.

I see very interesting parallels in this era of European Mass Politics and the protest movements of 2011. TIME magazine named "The Protester" as person of the year. 2011 will be remembered for protest movements throughout the world. From the Arab Spring to the Occupy Wall Street movement people who felt marginalized by the institutions of governments and economic systems rallied to affect change or at the very least have their voices heard.

This phenomenon bears eerie resemblence to the movements that arose in the late nineteenth century. Feminism, Anarchism, Zionism, Socialism and a host of movements became prominent challengers to the status quo in Europe. Each group experienced varying degrees of success in reaching their goals. All had in common the belief that they were marginalized and excluded from the decision making processes of society. Some of these movements failed miserably. Others were the catalyst for enormous change (i.e. women's suffrage).

Check out the movie. Good stuff.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Flickr Update

Finally got around to updating the Flickr site. More to come. Click HERE.