July books: Design in Motion, Sex Sounds, Notes from Another Los Angeles, and more

Explore a selection of our most anticipated new releases for July

This month: a history of film at the Bauhaus; an investigation of sexual themes in electronic music; a paperback focusing on California architect Gregory Ain’s housing projects; and more. Explore these and a selection of our other new and soon-to-be-published titles below.

Bounded Rationality: Heuristics, Judgment, and Public Policy by Sanjit Dhami and Cass R. Sunstein

Bounded rationality recognizes that human behavior departs from the perfect rationality assumed by neoclassical economics. In this book, Sanjit Dhami and Cass R. Sunstein explore the foundations of bounded rationality and consider the implications of this approach for public policy and law, in particular for questions about choice, welfare, and freedom. The authors, both recognized as experts in the field, cover a wide range of empirical findings and assess theoretical work that attempts to explain those findings.

Bounded Rationality is simply the best book on this topic. Encompassing, empirically grounded, analytically sophisticated, and intuitively compelling.” —Ernst Fehr, University of Zurich

You might also like Uncertainty by Sheila Jasanoff

Design in Motion: Film Experiments at the Bauhaus by Laura A. Frahm

With Design in Motion, Laura Frahm proposes an alternate history of the Bauhaus—one in which visual media, and film in particular, are crucial to the Bauhaus’s visionary pursuit of integrating art and technology. In the first comprehensive examination in English of film at the Bauhaus, Frahm shows that experimentation with film spanned a range of Bauhaus practices, from textiles and typography to stage and exhibition design. Indeed, Bauhausler deployed film as an adaptable, elastic “polymedium,” malleable in shape and form, unfolding and refracting into multiple material, aesthetic, and philosophical directions.

“This beautifully imaginative, fresh take on modernism’s signal art school establishes film as the Bauhaus’s most inspired medium, one fit for the machine age, as well as its most powerful metaphor, which encapsulated the school’s emphasis on movement, process, and flexible design.” —Elizabeth Otto, SUNY Buffalo

You might also like Haunted Bauhaus: Occult Spirituality, Gender Fluidity, Queer Identities, and Radical Politics by Elizabeth Otto

The Squares: US Physical and Engineering Scientists in the Long 1970s by Cyrus C. M. Mody

In The Squares, Cyrus Mody shows how, between the late 1960s and the early 1980s, some scientists and engineers who did not consider themselves activists, New Leftists, or members of the counterculture accommodated their work to the rapidly changing social and political landscape of the time. These “square scientists,” Mody shows, began to do many of the things that the counterculture urged: turn away from military-industrial funding, become more interdisciplinary, and focus their research on solving problems of civil society. During the period Mody calls “the long 1970s,” ungroovy scientists were doing groovy science.

The Squares sheds new light on the subtle politics of engineers and scientists in the ‘long’ 1970s. Informative, entertaining, and inspiring.” —Andrew L. Russell, SUNY Polytechnic Institute; coauthor of The Innovation Delusion

You might also like Hidden in Plain Sight: The History, Science, and Engineering of Microfluidic Technology by Albert Folch

Notes from Another Los Angeles: Gregory Ain and the Construction of a Social Landscape edited by Anthony Fontenot

The Southern California architect Gregory Ain (1908–1988) collaborated with some of the most important figures of midcentury design, including Rudolph Schindler, Richard Neutra, and Charles and Ray Eames, and yet remains relatively unknown. Perhaps one reason for this anonymity is that although he designed private homes for wealthy liberals, Ain was more interested in finding ways to produce high-quality, low-cost houses in well-designed neighborhood settings for working-class families. This is the first book to examine the innovative housing projects that synthesized Ain’s architectural and political ideals.

You might also like Sandfuture by Justin Beal

Sex Sounds: Vectors of Difference in Electronic Music by Danielle Shlomit Sofer

In Sex Sounds, Danielle Shlomit Sofer investigates the repeated focus on sexual themes in electronic music since the 1950s. Debunking electronic music’s origin myth—that it emerged in France and Germany, invented by Pierre Schaeffer and Karlheinz Stockhausen, respectively—Sofer defines electronic music more inclusively to mean any music with an electronic component, drawing connections between academic institutions, radio studios, experimental music practice, hip-hop production, and histories of independent and commercial popular music. Through a broad array of detailed case studies—examining music that ranges from Schaeffer’s musique concrète to a video workshop by Annie Sprinkle—Sofer offers a groundbreaking look at the social and cultural impact sex has had on audible creative practices.

“Compulsively readable, Sex Sounds deftly explores what we’ve always taken for granted but never paused to consider in so much historical and technological richness: why exactly is music sexy? It’s a tremendous achievement.” —Karen Tongson, author of Why Karen Carpenter Matters and Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries

You might also like Of Sound Mind: How Our Brain Constructs a Meaningful Sonic World by Nina Kraus

In case you missed it, explore our June releases:

Virtually Amish: Preserving Community at the Internet’s Margins by Lindsay Ems

The Amish are famous for their disconnection from the modern world and all its devices. But, as Lindsay Ems shows in Virtually Amish, Old Order Amish today are selectively engaging with digital technology. The Amish need digital tools to participate in the economy—websites for ecommerce, for example, and cell phones for communication on the road—but they have developed strategies for making limited use of these tools while still living and working according to the values of their community. The way they do this, Ems suggests, holds lessons for all of us about resisting the negative forces of what has been called “high-tech capitalism.”

“This compelling account of Amish resistance to digitization provides a surprising model for the rest of us.” —Adam Fish, University of New South Wales

You might also like The Good Drone: How Social Movements Democratize Surveillance by Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick

Northern Sparks: Innovation, Technology Policy, and the Arts in Canada from Expo 67 to the Internet Age by Michael Century

Understanding how experimental art catalyzes technological innovation is often prized yet typically reduced to the magic formula of “creativity.” In Northern Sparks, Michael Century emphasizes the role of policy and institutions by showing how novel art forms and media technologies in Canada emerged during a period of political and social reinvention, starting in the 1960s with the energies unleashed by Expo 67. Debunking conventional wisdom, Century reclaims innovation from both its present-day devotees and detractors by revealing how experimental artists critically challenge as well as discover and extend the capacities of new technologies.

Northern Sparks is a must-read for those who wonder how artists can still participate in such a contested space.” —Thierry Bardini, Université de Montréal

You might also like Art, Science, and the Politics of Knowledge by Hannah Star Rogers

Sex Dolls at Sea: Imagined Histories of Sexual Technologies by Bo Ruberg

The sex doll and its high-tech counterpart the sex robot have gone mainstream, as both the object of consumer desire and the subject of academic study. But sex dolls, and sexual technology in general, are nothing new. Sex dolls have been around for centuries. In Sex Dolls at Sea, Bo Ruberg explores the origin story of the sex doll, investigating its cultural implications and considering who has been marginalized and who has been privileged in the narrative.

“Brilliantly researched and eminently readable, Bo Ruberg’s Sex Dolls at Sea will fundamentally change the way you think about histories of sexuality and technology.” —Lynn Comella, author of Vibrator Nation

You might also like Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications edited by John Danaher and Neil McArthur

Transforming Nuclear Safeguards Culture: The IAEA, Iraq, and the Future of Non-Proliferation by Trevor Findlay

In Transforming Nuclear Safeguards Culture, Trevor Findlay investigates the role that organizational culture may play in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, examining particularly how it affects the nuclear safeguards system of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the paramount global organization in the non-proliferation field. Findlay seeks to identify how organizational culture may have contributed to the IAEA’s failure to detect Iraq’s attempts to acquire illicit nuclear capabilities in the decade prior to the 1990 Gulf War and how the agency has sought to change safeguards culture since then. In doing so, he addresses an important piece of the nuclear nonproliferation puzzle: how to ensure that a robust international safeguards system, in perpetuity, might keep non-nuclear states from acquiring such weapons.

You might also like Nuclear Weapons by Mark Wolverton

Explore more of the MIT Press’s new and upcoming releases