November books: Amaza Lee Meredith Imagines Herself Modern, Expanding Mindscapes, The Claims of Life, and more

Explore some of our most anticipated new releases for November

This month: the extraordinary life and work of architect Amaza Lee Meredith; a collection exploring the diverse and global history of psychedelics; the engaging memoir of a legendary president of Wellesley College; and more. Explore these books and a selection of our other new and soon-to-be-released titles below.

Amaza Lee Meredith Imagines Herself Modern: Architecture and the Black American Middle Class by Jacqueline Taylor

Amaza Lee Meredith Imagines Herself Modern tells the captivating story of Amaza Lee Meredith, a Black woman architect, artist, and educator born into the Jim Crow South, whose bold choices in both life and architecture expand our understanding of the Great Migration and the Harlem Renaissance, while revealing the importance of architecture as a force in Black middle-class identity. Through her charismatic protagonist, Jacqueline Taylor derives new insights into the experiences of Black women at the forefront of culture in early twentieth-century America, caught between expectation and ambition, responsibility and desire.

You might also like Architectures of Spatial Justice by Dana Cuff

Expanding Mindscapes: A Global History of Psychedelics edited by Erika Dyck and Chris Elcock

Expanding Mindscapes offers a fascinatingly fluid and diverse history of psychedelics that stretches around the globe. While much of the literature to date has focused on the history of these drugs in the United States and Canada, editors Erika Dyck and Chris Elcock deliberately move away from these places in this collection to reveal a longer and more global history of psychedelics, which chronicles their discovery, use, and cultural impact in the twentieth century. Breaking new ground by adopting perspectives that are currently lacking in the historiography of psychedelics, this collection adds to the burgeoning field by offering important discussions on underexplored topics such as gender, agriculture, parapsychology, anarchism, and technological innovations.

You might also like Cannabis: Global Histories edited by Lucas Richert and James H. Mills

The Claims of Life: A Memoir by Diana Chapman Walsh

The Claims of Life traces the emergence of a young woman who set out believing she wasn’t particularly smart but went on to meet multiple tests of leadership in the American academy—a place where everyone wants to be heard and no one wants a boss. Diana Chapman Walsh’s memoir offers readers an unusually intimate view of trustworthy leadership that begins and ends in self-knowledge. During a transformative fourteen-year Wellesley presidency, Walsh advanced women’s authority, compassionate governance, and self-reinvention. After Wellesley, Walsh’s interests took her to the boards of five national nonprofits galvanizing change. She kept counsel with Nobel laureates, feminist icons, and even the Dalai Lama, seeking solutions to the world’s climate crisis. With an ear tuned to social issues, The Claims of Life is an inspiring account of a life lived with humor, insight, and meaning that will surely leave a lasting impression on its readers.

“At once practical and poetic, inquisitive and deeply personal, Diana Chapman Walsh’s memoir invites us into the life of one of America’s great educators—and offers a field manual for effective leadership in an era of social division and institutional mistrust.” —Cullen Murphy, editor at large, The Atlantic

You might also like Notebooks of a Wandering Monk by Matthieu Ricard

The Hidden Factor: Mark and Gesture in Visual Design by Steven Skaggs

In The Hidden Factor, Steven Skaggs provides a beautifully illustrated and explained introduction to the mark—from those as physical as a scratch made by an animal, to those as accidental as a splatter of paint, to those as intentional as hand-drawn characters. Skaggs makes the case that, in the visual arts, gestures and mark-making operate on an equal level with image and word. While we might think of content as that which is communicated through text and images, Skaggs shows, through visual examples, that the gestural mark is often hidden within both images and the typographic forms that convey words.

“Skaggs explains the quotidian process of creating letters and images in the most enticing and inspiring ways. It is a must-read primer for neophyte and veteran mark makers.” —Steven Heller, co-chair New York University, School of Visual Arts MFA Designer as Entrepreneur

You might also like Annotation by Remi H. Kalir and Antero Garcia

Dare to Invent the Future: Knowledge in the Service of and through Problem-Solving by Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga

Academics are letting Africa down. With all that we know, what do we have to show for it? Whose lives have been changed for the better by it? What have we done for and with our communities lately? In this provocative book—the first in a trilogy—Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga argues that our critical thinkers must become actual thinker-doers. Taking its title from one of Thomas Sankara’s most inspirational speeches, Dare to Invent the Future looks for moments in Africa’s story where precedents of critical thought and knowledge in service of problem-solving are evident to inspire readers to dare to invent such a knowledge system.

“An invaluable reference for creating education for Africa’s empowerment.” —Paul Ndirangu Kioni, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology

You might also like Digital Entrepreneurship in Africa: How a Continent Is Escaping Silicon Valley’s Long Shadow by Nicolas Friederici, Michel Wahome and Mark Graham

The Perception Machine: Our Photographic Future between the Eye and AI by Joanna Zylinska

We are constantly photographing and being photographed while feeding machine learning databases with our data, which in turn is used to generate new images. Analyzing the transformation of photography by computation—and the transformation of human perception by algorithmically driven images, from CGI to AI—The Perception Machine investigates what it means for us to live surrounded by image flows and machine eyes. In an astute and engaging argument, Joanna Zylinska brings together media theory and neuroscience in a Vilém Flusser–Paul Virilio remix. Her “perception machine” names a technical universe of images and their infrastructures. But it also refers to a sociopolitical condition resulting from today’s automation of vision, imaging—and imagination.

“As a leading theorist of photography’s computational afterlife, Zylinska playfully illuminates how the future of humankind and the images we generate are intimately entwined.” —Katrina Sluis, Australian National University; coeditor of The Networked Image in Post-Digital Culture

You might also like Seeing Human Rights: Video Activism as a Proxy Profession by Sandra Ristovska

Design Strategy: Challenges in Wicked Problem Territory by Nancy C. Roberts

Conflicts over “the problem” and “the solution” plague the modern world and land problem solvers in what has been called “wicked problem territory”—a social space with high levels of conflict over problems and solutions. In Design Strategy, Nancy C. Roberts proposes design as a strategy of problem solving to close the gap between an existing state and a desired state. Utilizing this approach, designers and change agents are better able to minimize self-defeating conflicts over problems and solutions, break the logjam of opposition, and avoid the traps that lock problem solvers into a never-ending cycle of conflict.

“Read this book if you hope to make the world and its organizations better. You won’t be sorry!” —Sandra Waddock, Boston College; author of Catalyzing Transformation

You might also like Design for a Better World: Meaningful, Sustainable, Humanity Centered by Don Norman

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