The University Record, June 25, 1996

HOT OFF THE PRESS

Watercolors of Italy, by Mignonette Yin Cheng, professor of art.

An exquisitely illustrated book of watercolor paintings by the author, locales of the works include Tuscany (Florence, and Siena), landscape panoramas from the region of Umbria, and intimate vignettes of Venice and other cities. More than 60 works of extraordinary quality chosen from several hundred "etudes" executed during the last seven years demonstrate Cheng's mastery of the demanding techniques of fresh-air painting.

This book includes two interpretive essays by Graham Smith and Marvin Eisenberg, authorities on culture and art of the late Medieval and Renaissance Italy. Mignonette Yin Cheng has been recognized with extensive regional, national and international awards and exhibitions. Her work is represented in numerous public and private collections. There will be an exhibition of the paintings at the School of Art and Design through June.

 

Diagnosing America: Anthropology and Public Engagement, edited by Shepard Forman, former professor of anthropology, University of Michigan.

For years anthropology has brought the lives and beliefs of other peoples, often exotic tribes, to academic and popular audiences in the West. In this book, standard anthropological methods are brought to bear on social, economic and political problems in the contemporary United States. It is a clarion call to anthropologists to help address these critical problems that tear at the fabric of our society.

Individual essays in this volume investigate topics ranging from community politics and workplace culture to the psychophysiological effects of stress on African Americans. Diagnosing America and the challenging statement to the profession that concludes it call for anthropologists to reach beyond the parochialism of their own discipline and to engage history, economics and the policy sciences.

 

Capitalism and Confrontation in Sumatra's Plantation Belt, 1870--1979, Second Edition with a new preface, by Ann Laura Stoler, professor of anthropology, of history and of women's studies, University of Michigan.

Over the last century, North Sumatra has been the site of one of the most intensive and successful pursuits of foreign agricultural enterprise of any developing country. This book is a fascinating ethnographic history that analyzes how popular resistance to colonial expansion actively molded both the form of colonialism and the social, economic and political experiences of the Javanese laboring communities on Sumatra's plantation borders. In a new preface to this edition, Stoler reflects on her book as a historical document, exploring its timing at the cusp of a more general shift in the anthropology of political economy and colonial studies.

"A well-crafted and expertly researched history . . . exhibits the brand of intellectual integrity that is rare in a work so critical and this makes it a major contribution to the literature on the impact of imperialism and capitalism on the traditional populations of the Third World." ---Peasant Studies