Looking for a Great Summer Read? Check Out CISS Affiliates’ Latest Books!

This article was written by  Anne Joseph (CAS’25), the Summer Writing Intern Program social science intern.

CISS affiliates have published books as we near the halfway point of 2024 and we are excited to feature a few of those professors and their latest books for your summer reading list!

Ana Villarreal

The Two Faces of Fear: Violence and Inequality in the Mexican Metropolis

After more than 10 years of data collection and analysis, Professor Ana Villarreal (CAS/Sociology, & CISS Affiliate) published the long-awaited The Two Faces of Fear in April 2024. This book examines the social functions of fear and violence in the Monterrey, Mexico community amidst a major turf war in the city. Villarreal, herself a native of Monterrey,  highlights to readers that her new book provides “a rare insider ethnography of what the privileged do when they are in peril and how their strategies matter for broader inequalities.” The author conducted two years of qualitative fieldwork during the stages of conflict in the area. She aims to understand “how fear both isolates and regroups people and resources deepening socio-spatial divides.” If you are looking for a summer read that “offers a new approach to the study of emotion and evidence of how fear worsens inequality beyond Mexico and the ‘war on drugs,” then look no further than Professor Villarreal’s new work published by the Oxford University Press.

David M. Carballo

Collective Action and the Reframing of Early Mesoamerica

At the very beginning of 2024, Professor David M. Carballo (CAS/Anthropology, Archaeology, andLatin American Studies, & CISS Affiliate) published the latest work in his academic repertoire, Collective Action and the Reframing of Early Mesoamerica. This book, co-authored with Gary M. Feinman (University of Chicago-Illinois) uses archaeological and historical records centering on prehispanic Mesoamerica to illuminate how collective-action theory explains social dynamics from the past. According to Professor Carballo, this book “provides a corrective to popular notions of most past societies having been organized despotically and instead presents a spectrum of types of systems of governance, resource management regimes, and interactions between social groups and institutions.” To readers particularly fond of a reference to Boston, Carballo highlights that the book “begins and ends in Boston Common as an example of resource dilemmas and collective endeavors only partially fulfilled in our city’s history.” Carballo is currently teaching as a faculty member at the BU Madrid Program and would like to recommend The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain by Maria Rosa Menocal to the CISS community as it offers “a more humanistic take on an issue of interest to social scientists: how religious tolerance and multiculturalism can be fostered and also how it can unravel.”

Robert W. Hefner

Islam and Citizenship in Indonesia: Democracy and the Quest for an Inclusive Public Ethics

Published in December of 2023, Professor Robert W. Hefner’s new book Islam and Citizenship in Indonesia: Democracy and the Quest for an Inclusive Public Ethics draws on thirty five years of research on the phenomenon of an effective and sustainable democratic system in Indonesia. As the highest populated Muslim-majority country, “Indonesia’s vast Muslim mass organizations were actually critical to the country’s democratic achievement” in contrast to broader assumptions supporting the opposite perspective, according to CISS affiliate and CAS/Anthropology professor,Hefner. Hefner hopes that readers “appreciate that the history of democracy and citizenship in Indonesia offers insights into the question of how people of diverse ethnic and religious traditions can live together in equality and dignity, not just in Indonesia, but in all countries of the world.”

Check out any of these books and the authors’ recommendations this summer and look out for more publications throughout 2024!