To celebrate World Book Day 2022, we’ve pulled together a list of five reads authored by University of Kent academics giving an insight into their innovative research.
For political activists – Captialism on Edge
Dr Albena Azmanova, Reader of Political and Social Thought in the School of Politics
With expertise in justice and judgement, democracy, rule of law and the critique of capitalism, Albena has been working as a policy advisor to a number of international institutions such as the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the European Commission, and Transparency International.
Her book, which won the International Studies Association’s Best Book Prize 2021, is a new critique of capitalism which focuses on the competitive pursuit of profit rather than on forms of ownership and patterns of wealth distribution.
For policy makers – COVID-19 and Risk: Policy Making in a Global Pandemic
Professor Andy Alaszewski, Emeritus Professor of Studies at the University’s Centre for Health Services Studies
Professor Andy Alaszewski is an applied social scientist who has been engaged in health services research since 1972. His research interests include organisation, delivery and evaluation of health and welfare services; the analysis and management of risk in health and welfare agencies; and the development of services for vulnerable individuals.
His short, rapid response book examines how and why policy makers in countries with sophisticated health care systems, such as the UK and US, and who had ample warnings, failed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
For aspiring architects – Rebuilding the Houses of Parliament
Henrik Schoenefeldt, Professor of Sustainable Architecture in the School of Architecture and Planning
Professor Henrik Schoenefeldt has a particular research interest in the history of environmental design in architecture and his current research investigates how a critical understanding of past environmental principles could inform contemporary sustainable practice in the context of building conservation.
His book, Rebuilding the Houses of Parliament, retraces and critically examines the evolution of the environmental principles underlying the design of the Houses of Parliament, engaging with fundamental questions about air quality, energy efficiency and thermal comfort.
For the rom-com lover – Sex and Desire in British Films of the 2000s: Love in a Damp Climate
Dr Nigel Mathers is an Honorary Researcher in the University of Kent’s School of Arts. He has worked for many years as an Associate Lecturer for the Film department at Kent and has convened undergraduate modules on courses examining issues of form and style in film-making, British and American cinema, film and television adaptations and the life and films of Alfred Hitchcock.
His book, Sex and desire in British films of the 2000s: Love in a damp climate explores how film-makers in Britain during the 2000s engaged with the themes of love, sex and desire in a generically diverse series of compelling and contentious narratives. Examining the treatment of such pervasive subjects and emotions within contemporary forms of film-making also opens up possibilities for an enhanced understanding and appreciation of how we, as film spectators and viewers, currently live out our hopes, fears and aspirations in relation to sexual matters and affairs of the heart.
For the sociologist – 100 Years of Identity Crisis. Culture War Over Socialisation
Frank Furedi, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR),
Since 1995, Professor Furedi’s work has explored the different manifestations of the way that contemporary western culture attempts to give meaning to social experience. The current problems that society has in engaging with uncertainty have focused his interest on the workings of contemporary risk consciousness and loss aversion.
His recent book reinterprets the current culture wars as an outcome of conflicting orientations towards socialisation. Identity has become a main preoccupation of our time, and 100 Years of Identity Crisis. Culture War Over Socialisation unveils the historical origins of our current crisis of identity and its politicisation in cultural conflicts.
For the climate activist – Stories and Organization in the Anthropocene: A Critical Look at the Impossibility of Sustainability
Dr Sideeq Mohammed is a Lecturer in HRM-Organisational Behaviour at Kent Business School
Dr Sideeq Mohammed’s research is broadly concerned with issues around the moral defensibility and ecological sustainability of the dominant paradigms of business and management practice. He penned this book with view to evaluate the stories being told in the period of time in Earth’s history when human activity started to have a significant impact on the planet’s climate and ecosystems, The Anthropocene.
For the artist – Kunst of Pornografie? (Art of Pornography?)
Dr Hans Maes, Senior Lecturer in Art History
The popular media will often choose this heading when reviewing the latest sexually explicit novel, film, or art exhibition. The underlying assumption seems to be that the work under discussion has to be one or the other, and cannot be both. Dr Hans Maes and Petra van Brabandt think this is a false dilemma. In their new book, “Kunst of Pornografie?”, they argue that pornography and art are not mutually exclusive and that the phrase “pornographic art,” far from being an oxymoron, actually designates a legitimate artistic category.
And finally… something for the light-hearted
Okay, so this isn’t written by one of our academic members of staff, but rather Malcolm Dixon, Head of our Quality Assurance and Compliance Office. His first book, written for young adults and released on 4 February 2022 has been awarded the inaugural Acheven Book Prize for Young Adult Fiction.
The Little House on Everywhere Street centres on a family who live in an unusual house, where they can step out into London, New York or Paris through different doors. Unknown to the three adventurous children at first, they can also travel in time – and so the adventures begin!