Editorial Advisory Board’s ‘Recommended Read’ - October 2019
26 September 2019
Michele Filippo Fontefrancesco is a social anthropologist specialising in the field of economic anthropology. Currently, he is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy, having studied at the University of Eastern Piedmont (Italy), Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland), and Durham University (UK).
Michele published the monograph The End of the City of Gold? with Cambridge Scholars in 2013 and has written several books in Italian, as well as numerous articles in journals such as Social Analysis, Progress in Development Studies, and Anthropological Notebooks.
His research analyses local development in rural and urban communities, with a particular interest in the relationship between the global economy and local areas. This specialism positions him perfectly as an authority on this month’s ‘Recommended Read’: Encountering Entrepreneurs. An Ethnography of the Construction Business in the North of Italy.
Encountering Entrepreneurs. An Ethnography of the Construction Business in the North of Italy
The book, by Elena Sischarenco (Lancaster University, UK), shows the daily life of businessmen in Lombardy, providing insights into their entrepreneurialism and revealing their plans, ideas, hopes, and failures during a time of economic recession. In Michele’s words, the work “explores what entrepreneurship means in terms of lived experience” and makes “a novel contribution to a complex debate that has animated the social sciences since the nineteenth century.”
We are offering all of our readers a 50% discount on Michele’s choice. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code EABOCT19 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 31st October 2019.
Read Michele’s review below:
“The book is based on Sischarenco's fieldwork in Lombardy, carried out among entrepreneurs in the building sector between 2013 and 2014. The ethnography challenges the idea, rooted in social sciences, of the entrepreneurs as rational market actors committed to finding the best use of the means of production. The ethnography shows how entrepreneurial activity is shaped by feelings, social relationships, personal knowledge, and fortuitous circumstances.
The narration and ethnographic analysis focus on the inevitable contradictions experienced in everyday life by Lombard entrepreneurs. In so doing, the book cracks the fulgid image of the entrepreneur as a post-modern hero of security and determination, showing the profound human nature of the work and role.
The volume is a good starting point for better understanding entrepreneurship in its complexity and opens questions concerning the role of gender, class and the impact of socio-economic change in how the profession is embodied and enacted. In particular, it contributes to a better understanding of the impact of the 2009 global economic crisis, and how it affected the very way in which entrepreneurship is understood by society in post-Credit Europe.”
For further information on Michele, please click here. Click here to purchase Encountering Entrepreneurs.
Editorial Advisory Board’s ‘Recommended Read’ - September 2019
16 September 2019
For September, our Editorial Advisory Board’s ‘Recommended Read’ comes from Dr Julia Fischer, Assistant Professor of Art History at Lamar University (USA). Julia is an art historian who specialises in Greek and Roman art; currently, her research focuses on the iconography, reception, and propaganda of Roman Imperial cameos.
Julia is the author of the introductory art appreciation textbook How to Speak Art: Understanding Its Language, Issues, and Themes. She is also the editor of More Than Mere Playthings: The Minor Arts of Italy and Breaking with Convention in Italian Art, which were published by Cambridge Scholars in 2016 and 2017 respectively. She contributed chapters to both books, most notably "A Woman's Weapon: Private Propaganda in the Imperial Cameos of the Early Roman Empire" in More Than Mere Playthings and “Establishing an Augustan Date and Interpretation for the Tazza Farnese” in Breaking with Convention in Italian Art.
In 2016, Julia was named Lamar University's Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, one of the highest honours that can be bestowed upon a Lamar University faculty member and one that is reserved for outstanding teachers and scholars.
We are offering all of our readers a 50% discount on Julia’s choices. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code EABSEP19 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 16th October 2019.
Dr Julia Fischer’s ‘Recommended Reads’:
Patterns in the Production of Apulian Red-Figure Painting by Edward Herring
Most of the previous scholarship on Apulian red-figure pottery has focused on the cataloguing of collections and stylistic matters. Herring takes a different approach by identifying patterns in the decoration of Apulian vases that cast light on the choices made by vase-producers.
Dr Fischer notes how this approach separates the book from its predecessors:
“Previous scholarship of Apulian vase-painting tends to concentrate on cataloguing, attribution to specific painters and potters, iconography, or the study of the shapes of the vessels. Having no provenance or archaeological context for these Apulian red-figure vases has made it difficult to do more than these types of studies, though most of the vessels were discovered in tombs. But Herring utilizes a different methodology in his new book, in which he first creates a database of over 13,500 South Italian vases. By doing so, his goal is ‘to examine certain issues around the production, design and use of the Apulian red-figure across its entire history.’ Consequently, Herring arrives at a more nuanced understanding of the ways in which the ancient people of South Italy commemorated their dead.
Herring’s book is a valuable resource for scholars of Greek art, especially those who specialize in vase-painting. Using a holistic methodology and approach, Herring tracks the patterns of production of Apulian red-figure vases and is able to cite the changes that occur in the iconography, which leads to a better understanding of the tastes of the South Italian consumers of these vases and the ways in which they utilized these vessels in a funerary context.”
Political Religions in the Greco-Roman World: Discourses, Practices, and Images edited by Elias Koulakiotis and Charlotte Dunn
As with Edward Herring’s volume, the aspects which distinguish this collection from previous scholarship are also significant.
“Koulakiotis and Dunn are doing something different here: they and the contributors are trying to ‘diversify our understanding of political religions by assembling new, original research that investigates the political conceptualizations and implementations of religious practice.’
The volume, which has the work of fourteen leading scholars in various areas, from linguistics to political science to art history, investigates the intimate connection between religion and politics in Greece and Rome from the 7th century BCE to the 4th century CE.
The book is a valuable contribution to the study of religion, politics, and the ancient world. Unlike other recent compendia like The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Mediterranean Religions and The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion, Political Religions in the Greco-Roman World encompasses both Greece and Rome and focuses exclusively on expanding the scholarship of political religions.”
For further information on Dr Fischer, please click here.