The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences recently celebrated the launch of six new publications across various subjects. Ranging from using indigenous knowledge in modern science to the concerns and consequences of counter-terrorism, the books present a range of research interests across the Faculty. Each author briefly explained the main themes of their book and their process of writing.
Mary Briggs’ Creative Teaching: Mathematics in the Primary Classroom (School of Education) enables teachers to see and teach in creative ways that will develop their pupil’s mathematical thinking potential. It encourages students, trainees and practicing teachers to envision and develop a classroom where children can take risks, enjoy and experiment with mathematical thinking, and discover and pursue their interests and talents in an imaginative yet purposeful way.
Science and Sustainability: Learning from Indigenous Wisdom (Social Sciences), by Joy Hendry, is a personal account of an anthropologist, originally trained as a scientist specialising in physics and astronomy, with extraordinary examples of long-standing scientific knowledge held by Indigenous peoples in several countries of the world. Although often ignored by settlers and national governments, this knowledge offers sustainable solutions to living within a range of local environments, and the book considers subjects such as fire, water, architecture, health, calendars and climate change, astronomy and navigation skills. It also reports on recent efforts of education systems in Australia, Canada and New Zealand to include this traditional knowledge within the regular curricula.
Constantine Sandis’ Cultural Heritage Ethics: Between Theory and Practice (History, Philosophy and Religion) provides cutting-edge arguments built on case studies of cultural heritage and its management in a range of geographical and cultural contexts. This intra-disciplinary book bridges the gap between theory and practice by bringing together a stellar cast of academics, activists, consultants, journalists, lawyers, and museum practitioners, each contributing their own expertise to the wider debate of what cultural heritage means in the twenty-first century.
The Commonwealth Caribbean comprises a group of countries (mainly islands) lying in an arc between Florida in the north and Venezuela in the south. Varying widely in terms of their size, population, ethnic composition and economic wealth, these countries are, nevertheless, linked by their shared experience of colonial rule under the British Empire and their decision, upon attaining independence, to adopt a constitutional system of government based on the so-called ‘Westminster model’. Derek O’Brien’s The Constitutional Systems of Commonwealth Caribbean (School of Law) examines the constitutional systems of these countries in their context and questioning how well the Westminster model of democracy has successfully adapted to its transplantation to the Commonwealth Caribbean.
Michael Lister’s Critical Perspectives on Counter-Terrorism (Social Sciences) examines the rationale, effectiveness and consequences of counter-terrorism practices from a range of perspectives and cases. Drawing on a range of timely and important case studies from around the world including the UK, Sri Lanka, Spain, Canada, Australia and the USA, it focuses on three questions of vital importance to any assessment of counter-terrorism. First, what do counter-terrorism strategies seek to achieve? Second, what are the consequences of different counter-terrorism campaigns, and how are these measured? And, third, how and why do changes to counter-terrorism occur?
Marius Turda’s Latin Eugenics in Comparative Perspective (History, Philosophy and Religion) offers a comparative approach to eugenics as a scientific programme as well as a cultural and political phenomenon. It examines the commonalities of eugenics in ‘Latin’ Europe and Latin America. As a program to achieve the social and political goals of modern welfare systems, Latin eugenics strongly influenced the complex relationship of the state to the individual. Drawing on a wide range of primary and secondary sources in many languages, this book offers the first history of Latin eugenics in Europe and the Americas.
In closing, Professor Gary Browning, Associate Dean (Research and Knowledge Exchange) noted:
“The range of books celebrated at the launch showcase the breadth of what we offer. Academics produce interesting things to read and we certainly do in this Faculty”.