New Books in Language

Interviews with Scholars of Language about their New Books



      Karmen MacKendrick, “The Matter of Voice: Sensual Soundings” (Fordham UP, 2016)

      Philosophers have long tried to silence the physical musicality of voice in favor of the purity of ideas without matter, souls without bodies. But voices resonate among bodies and texts; they are singular, as unique as fingerprints, but irreducibly collective…



      Kees van Deemter, “Computational Models of Referring: A Study in Cognitive Science” (MIT Press, 2016)

      Sometimes we have to depend on philosophy to explain to us why something apparently simple is in fact extremely complicated. The way we use referring expressions – things that pick out the entities we want to talk about, such as…



      Sarah Ruden, “The Face of Water: A Translator on Beauty and Meaning in the Bible” (Pantheon, 2017)

      On this program, we talk to Sarah Ruden about her new book, The Face of Water: A Translator on Beauty and Meaning in the Bible (Pantheon, 2017). Novelist J. M. Coetzee praised the book, saying, “If you seriously want to…



      Lewis Glinert, “The Story of Hebrew” (Princeton UP, 2017)

      For this episode, New Books in Jewish Studies interviews Lewis Glinert, Professor of Hebrew Studies at Dartmouth College, where he is also affiliated with the Program in Linguistics. His book, The Story of Hebrew (Princeton University Press, 2017), can…



      Audrey Truschke, “Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court” (Columbia UP, 2016)

      Contemporary scholarship on the Mughal empire has generally ignored the role Sanskrit played in imperial political and literary projects. However, in Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court (Columbia University Press, 2016), Audrey Truschke, Assistant Professor of South…



      Telesphore Ngarambe, “Practical Challenges in Customary Law Translation: The Case of Rwanda’s Gacaca Law” (OSSREA, 2015)

      The unprecedented crime of the 1994 Rwandan genocide demanded an unconventional legal response. After failed attempts by the international legal system to efficiently handle legal cases stemming from the genocide, Rwandans decided to take matters into their own hands and…



      Dovid Katz, “Yiddish and Power” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)

      As described by Dovid Katz, Yiddish is an extraordinarily multifaceted language: a language that is at once acclaimed as sacred and dismissed as deficient, profoundly connected to centuries of religious and cultural history yet marketed superficially, held to be…



      Matthew Pauly, “Breaking the Tongue: Language, Education, and Power in Soviet Ukraine, 1923-1934” (U. of Toronto Press, 2014)

      Matthew Pauly’s Breaking the Tongue: Language, Education, and Power in Soviet Ukraine, 1923-1934 (University of Toronto Press, 2014) offers a detailed investigation of the language policy–officially termed Ukrainization–that was introduced in Ukraine during the formative years of the Soviet Union.…



      Jennifer Glaser, “Borrowed Voices: Writing and Racial Ventriloquism in the Jewish American Imagination” (Rutgers UP, 2016)

      In Borrowed Voices: Writing and Racial Ventriloquism in the Jewish American Imagination (Rutgers University Press, 2016), Jennifer Glaser, Associate Professor of English and comparative literature and an affiliate faculty member in Judaic studies and womens, gender, and sexuality studies…



      Sali Tagliamonte, “Teen Talk: The Language of Adolescents” (Cambridge UP, 2016)

      Teenagers get a lot of bad press. Whether it’s how they look, how they dress, the things they say, the way they say it – it sometimes seems as if they can’t get anything right. And when it comes to…