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05/30/2018: Cosmopolitan Ambassadors: Touring Exhibitions, Cultural Diplomacy and the Intercultural Museum [Hardback] by Lee Davidson, Leticia Pérez-Castellanos

Cosmopolitan Ambassadors: Touring Exhibitions, Cultural Diplomacy and the Intercultural Museum [Hardback] Cosmopolitan Ambassadors: Touring Exhibitions, Cultural Diplomacy and the Intercultural Museum critically examines international exhibitions, looking at both theoretical and practical implications. How are museums working internationally through exhibitions? What motivates this work? What are the benefits and challenges? What factors contribute to success? What impact does this work have for audiences and other stakeholders? What contributions are they making to cultural diplomacy, intercultural dialogue and understanding? In seeking answers to these questions, the book first provides an overview of the current state of knowledge about international touring exhibitions: their history, current practice, debates and issues. It then proposes an interdisciplinary analytical framework, encompassing museum studies, visitor studies, cultural diplomacy and international relations, intercultural communication/education, and theories of cosmopolitanism. Having laid the theoretical groundwork, it presents a comprehensive empirical analysis of an exhibition exchange involving two exhibitions that crossed five countries and three continents, connecting six high profile cultural institutions and spanning almost a decade from initial conception to completion. A detailed comparison of both the intercultural production of touring exhibitions by museum partnerships and by the interpretive acts and meaning-making of visitors, reveals the many complexities, challenges, tensions and rewards of international museum exhibitions and their intersection with cultural diplomacy. Key themes include the realities of international collaboration, its purposes, processes and challenges, including communication and relationship building; the politics of cultural (self-)representation and Indigenous museology; implications for exhibition design, interpretation, and marketing; intercultural competency and museum practice; audience reception and meaning-making; cultural diplomacy in practice and perceptions of its value. This first-ever detailed, empirically-grounded, theoretical analysis provides the basis of a critical theory of international touring exhibitions and guidelines for practice, including recommendations for successful international museum partnerships and exhibitions aimed at facilitating intercultural understanding for audiences and enhancing intercultural practices among museum professionals, and maximizing the potential contribution cultural diplomacy.
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10/31/2017: Better to Reign in Hell, Than Serve In Heaven [Hardback] by Allan Wright

Better to Reign in Hell, Than Serve In Heaven [Hardback] In this monograph, I argue that Satan was not perceived as a universal malevolent deity, the embodiment of evil, or the “ruler of Pandaemonium” within first century Christian literature or even within second and third century Christian discourses as some scholars have insisted. Instead, for early “Christian” authors, Satan represented a pejorative term used to describe terrestrial, tangible, and concrete social realities, perceived of as adversaries. To reach this conclusion, I explore the narrative character of Satan selectively within the Hebrew Bible, intertestamental literature, Mark, Matthew, Luke, Q, the Book of Revelation, the Nag Hammadi texts, and the Ante-Nicene fathers. I argue that certain scholars’ such as Jeffrey Burton Russell, Miguel A. De La Torre, Albert Hernandez, Peter Stanford, Paul Carus, and Gerd Theissen, homogenized reconstructions of the “New Testament Satan” as the universalized incarnation of evil and that God’s absolute cosmic enemy is absent from early Christian orthodox literature, such as Mark, Matthew, Luke, Q, the Book of Revelation, and certain writings from the Ante-Nicene Fathers. Using Jonathan Z. Smith’s essay Here, There, and Anywhere, I suggest that the cosmic dualist approach to Satan as God’s absolute cosmic enemy resulted from the changing social topography of the early fourth century where Christian “insider” and “outsider” adversaries were diminishing. With these threats fading, early Christians universalized a perceived chaotic cosmic enemy, namely Satan, being influenced by the Gnostic demiurge, who disrupts God’s terrestrial and cosmic order. Therefore, Satan transitioned from a “here,” “insider,” and “there,” “outsider,” threat to a universal “anywhere” threat. This study could be employed as a characterization study, New Testament theory and application for classroom references or research purposes.
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09/15/2017: Mersey Built: The Role of Merseyside in the American Civil War [Hardback, Premium Color] by Robert Thorp

Mersey Built: The Role of Merseyside in the American Civil War [Hardback, Premium Color] ‘Mersey Built’ chronicles the little-known commercial battle that raged between North and South during the American Civil War. The South relied on Europe for its military supplies, which the North tried to stop with a naval blockade of all Southern ports. The South retaliated by destroying Northern merchant ships on the high seas, using war ships, secretly procured from British shipyards and smuggled out of Britain by sympathetic British captains using British crews. The Charleston-based business empire headed by George Trenholm provided a conduit for Confederate finance with its Liverpool branch acting as bankers for the Confederacy’s procurement agents. Merseyside, with its extensive docks and numerous shipyards quickly became the epicenter of Confederate operations in Europe. Several British businessmen bought ships specifically to run supplies through the Union blockade, leaving relationships between the United States and Britain strained, close to breaking point. The book relates the history of Trenholm’s commercial empire, its pre-war expansion into Liverpool and the pivotal role it played in supporting the Confederate war effort. The involvement of other Liverpool-based entrepreneurs and their successes and failures in blockade-running is described. Background histories of the Merseyside ship builders who constructed warships and blockade runners for the Confederacy are included as well as several mini-biographies of the Liverpool-based captains who smuggled out warships and braved the Union blockade. Details of each ship built on Merseyside for involvement in the Civil War are listed. The role of the United States consular service and its extensive, Liverpool-based, spy ring is described, as are the efforts of the United States ambassador in London to influence British government policy on neutrality. The author, a direct descendant of a Liverpool ship builder, and a blockade-running captain, brings new insights and previously unpublished facts to light in this fascinating chapter of history.
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09/15/2017: Mersey Built: The Role of Merseyside in the American Civil War [Hardback, B&W Edition] by Robert Thorp

Mersey Built: The Role of Merseyside in the American Civil War [Hardback, B&W Edition] ‘Mersey Built’ chronicles the little-known commercial battle that raged between North and South during the American Civil War. The South relied on Europe for its military supplies, which the North tried to stop with a naval blockade of all Southern ports. The South retaliated by destroying Northern merchant ships on the high seas, using war ships, secretly procured from British shipyards and smuggled out of Britain by sympathetic British captains using British crews. The Charleston-based business empire headed by George Trenholm provided a conduit for Confederate finance with its Liverpool branch acting as bankers for the Confederacy’s procurement agents. Merseyside, with its extensive docks and numerous shipyards quickly became the epicenter of Confederate operations in Europe. Several British businessmen bought ships specifically to run supplies through the Union blockade, leaving relationships between the United States and Britain strained, close to breaking point. The book relates the history of Trenholm’s commercial empire, its pre-war expansion into Liverpool and the pivotal role it played in supporting the Confederate war effort. The involvement of other Liverpool-based entrepreneurs and their successes and failures in blockade-running is described. Background histories of the Merseyside ship builders who constructed warships and blockade runners for the Confederacy are included as well as several mini-biographies of the Liverpool-based captains who smuggled out warships and braved the Union blockade. Details of each ship built on Merseyside for involvement in the Civil War are listed. The role of the United States consular service and its extensive, Liverpool-based, spy ring is described, as are the efforts of the United States ambassador in London to influence British government policy on neutrality. The author, a direct descendant of a Liverpool ship builder, and a blockade-running captain, brings new insights and previously unpublished facts to light in this fascinating chapter of history.
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08/31/2017: Canada before Confederation: Maps at the Exhibition [Hardback] by Lauren Beck, Chet Van Duzer

Canada before Confederation: Maps at the Exhibition [Hardback] Each of the maps featured in this book was showcased in the exhibition “Canada before Confederation: Early Exploration and Mapping,” which took place in several locations, both in Canada and abroad, in Fall of 2017. The authors provide a scholarly study highlighting the importance and unique features of each of these jewels of cartographic history, with particular attention paid to how they demonstrate the development of Canadian identity at the same time that they reveal Indigenous knowledge of the lands now known as Canada.
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