Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mini-Reviews: College Reading Part 2

More brief reviews of the nonfiction works I've read for class.
See also: Mini-Reviews: College Reading Part 1.

The Sambia: Ritual, Sexuality, and Change in Papua New Guinea by Gilbert Herdt
2006; read for General Anthropology
Overall, this was an excellent description of male initiation rituals in a traditional highland New Guinean society. Occasionally, it was written more informally than what I'm used to, and I know the content (a lot of fellatio) would offend some people. Just remember cultural relativism. The last couple of chapters seemed repetitive, but in general, this was a good ethnographic read.

African Perspectives on Colonialism by A. Adu Boahen
1989; read for Survey of African Civilizations
Best book read so far for this class? For a short book, it's completely packed with great information, some of which has been heard before in general history classes, most of which has not. The information is presented in a very nuanced fashion, including both sides of any arguments. The author's writing is fairly easy to read and absorb, and I'm hoping this text is widely used in courses on African history.

The Classic Fairy Tales ed. by Maria Tatar
1998; read for Intro to Critical Reading and Writing
This anthology of fairy tales and criticism started off strong with "Little Red Riding Hood" tales from around the world and including innovative modern variations. After that, though, the selections were largely dominated by Perrault, the Grimms, and Joseph Jacobs; most of the other stories were also taken from European collectors and included very few modern adaptations. The criticism was mostly hit-or-miss for me.

1 comment:

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