The New Imperialism is the title of an annual seminar which I offer at Concordia University to advanced undergraduates. It is an unusual course, and given the content of past student evaluations, one that is extremely popular with participants who unanimously rated it as excellent on all levels. Part of the reason might be that there are no lectures, no tests, and no exams–and the other part is that the course is deeply engaging, dealing with central issues in world politics and international affairs and matters of critical public debate, about which anthropologists and sociologists ought to be fully familiar since they cannot and do not remain unaffected. What is required is participation in seminar discussions (which easily took us over our allotted time on several occasions), writing three short Op-Ed articles on issues related to the course content, and then one large research paper which participants work on for the duration of the semester, going through different stages of review and reconstruction. Having seen, from early on, that I would be receiving a batch of excellent papers, I asked the seminar participants if they would not want to put their output on the record, to publish their work. One option was to have all the papers online, on the seminar website. The other was to publish it like my Department also publishes an annual volume of student research, Stories from Montreal. They opted for the latter and I got busy creating something I had never planned to establish: a publishing entity, Alert Press (amazingly, the name was not taken). That was just the start–then came getting an ISBN, arranging for the National Library of Canada to do Cataloguing-in-Publication, getting a copyright certificate, and formally registering the Press. The printing would be done on demand, which is where the services of Lulu come in. Then there was the index–no proper book can go without one. That is, as some know, a particularly large expense which had to be out of pocket. Each of the papers had to be revised, edited, proof read, and re-corrected, references checked, formatting done for the book, providing images that are free under a Creative Commons License (up to the front and back covers of the book), and then indexed. Only the very best papers were included, which in this case means that only 14 of the initial 25 papers made the final cut. One or two opted out of the publication idea from the start–it is entirely voluntary, and not a course requirement. But it will be an annual feature. The work went months beyond the actual end date of the seminar. The result is what you see here, our first installment: The New Imperialism, Volume I: Militarism, Humanism, and Occupation.
I am extremely proud of all of the seminar participants, the great work they did, and the fantastic semester that they made, and I look forward to the next group coming in January. I am very happy to say that the majority of students I have worked with at Concordia are a delight: very committed, engaged, and bright.
About Volume 1:
Describing and theorizing “the new imperialism” in international relations, this volume presents anthropological and sociological viewpoints on the topics of militarism and militarization; humanitarian interventionism; the responsibility to protect; Canada’s role in the occupation of Afghanistan, and the establishment of what is effectively a protectorate in Haiti; the role of NGOs in the formation and management of a new global imperium; and, soft power. Specific case studies are also devoted to the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System; the U.S. Army’s Africa Command (AFRICOM); torture and international law; Coca Cola in Colombia; the NATO war in Kosovo; cultural militarization and “militainment;” and, the rising militarism in Canadian public discourse.
The geographic scope of the volume includes Algeria, Afghanistan, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Iran, Kosovo, Kuwait, and the United States.
The work as a whole covers global events since the end of the Cold War.
The contributors to the volume, drawn from the research participants in the inaugural seminar on the New Imperialism at Concordia University in 2010, are: Corey Anhorn, Ricky Curotte, Justin De Genova, Zoe Dominiak, Cameron Fenton, Lesley Foster, Thomas Prince, Kate Roland, Mark Shapiro, Nageen Siddiqui, Miles Smart, Katelyn Spidle, Rosalia Stillitano, and Elizabeth Vezina.
More about the Book and How to Order:
The book comprises 242 pages, including 34 illustrations, a Preface and Introduction plus 14 chapters, and an Index.
The front cover, table of contents, preface, introduction, and index can be downloaded as one file (PDF, 5mb).
The paperback version can be purchased for $10.11 (US), not including shipping and handling (circa $6.99 US).
You can also obtain a free eBook version, if you prefer reading on a computer, and if you prefer free and immediate.
For libraries, a hardcover version is also available for $18.82 (US), not including shipping and handling.
The next volume will be out in less than a year’s time.