Yale Bulletin and Calendar

January 18, 2008|Volume 36, Number 15















In his new book "Ayurveda," Dr. Frank Ninivaggi explains the ancient Indian medical tradition in terms Westerners can understand.

Yale Books in Brief

The following is a list of books recently or soon to be published by members of the Yale community. Descriptions are based on material provided by the publishers. Authors of new books can forward publishers’ book descriptions to Susan Gonzalez.

The Polemics of Possession in ­Spanish American Narrative
Rolena Adorno, the Reuben Post Halleck Professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese
(Yale University Press)

In this book on early Latin American narrative, Rolena Adorno argues that the core of the Spanish-American literary tradition consists of the writings in which the rights to Spanish domination in the Americas and the treatment of its natives were debated. She places the works of canonical Spanish and Amerindian writers of the 16th and 17th centuries within this larger polemic and shows how their works sought credibility within the narrative system itself, rather than in the historical events that lay outside it.

The Philosophy of Qi: The Record of Great Doubts
By Kaibara Ekken, translated and edited by Mary Evelyn Tucker, visiting professor in the Institution for Social and Policy Studies and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
(Columbia University Press)

Kaibara Ekken (1630-1714) was a prominent Japanese scholar who spread Neo-Confucian ideas and moral teachings throughout Japan. He was also known as the “Aristotle of Japan” for his studies of the natural world. “The Record of Great Doubts” is the culmination of a lifetime of seeking a unified view of humans and nature. Mary Evelyn Tucker’s translation makes this text available for the first time in English, and features an introduction that situates Ekken within the currents of his time and within the larger debates of Neo-Confucianism in East Asia. Ekken’s text represents one of the central reflections in East Asian thought on the significance of qi ch’i, the material force coursing through all life. “The Record of Great Doubts” emphasizes the role of qi in achieving a life of engagement with other humans, with the larger society and with nature as a whole. “The Philosophy of Qi” is also known, in its romanized form, as “The Philosophy of Ch’i.”

Ayurveda: A Comprehensive Guide to Traditional Indian Medicine for the West
Dr. Frank J. Ninivaggi, assistant clinical professor at the Child Study Center and in psychiatry
(Praeger Publishers)

Derived from prehistoric sages living in ancient India some 6,000 years ago, Ayurveda denotes life wisdom and is arguably the oldest medical tradition that exists. This book translates the Eastern wisdom into terms and concepts Westerners can understand. Dr. Frank Ninivaggi explains how Ayurveda can promote physical and mental health by targeting threats ranging from acute and chronic stress to pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, coronary artery disease and diabetes. Practical nutritional guidelines for maintaining health and addressing health imbalances are given. The center of attention in Ayurveda is the person. The meaningfulness of a quality of life in the world is central in this medical tradition. Living a quality life with others and in accord with nature — the environment at large — is emphasized. Ninivaggi points out the health strategies that are suggested for specific individual constitutional types to prevent emotional distress, treat illness and enhance optimal living.

A Scholar’s Tale: Intellectual Journey of a Displaced Child of Europe
Geoffrey Hartman, Sterling Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature and director of the Yale ­Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies
(Fordham University Press)

In his autobiography, “A Scholar’s Tale,” Geoffrey Hartman describes his early education and his development as a literary scholar and cultural critic. He reflects on how his career was influenced by his experience, at the age of nine, of being a refugee from Nazi Germany in the Kindertransport. He spent the next six years at school in England, where he developed his love of English literature and the English countryside, before leaving to join his mother in America. Hartman sets his experiences in the context of his gradual self-awareness of what scholarship implies and how his personal displacements strengthened his calling to mediate between European and American literary cultures. Hartman helped establish the study of Romanticism as key to the problems of modernity and was a pioneer in Jewish studies, trauma studies and studies of the Holocaust. In his new book, he covers major trends in literary criticism, presenting portraits of such noted critics as Harold Bloom, Paul de Man and Jacques Derrida.

Attachment & Sexuality
Edited by Sidney J. Blatt, professor of psychiatry and psychology and chief of the Psychology Section of the Department of Psychiatry, and Diana Diamond and Joseph D. Lichtenberg
(Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.)

This volume explores the different configurations of the relationship between attachment and sexuality. A unifying thread of the papers featured in the book is that the attachment system, particularly the degree of felt security in relation to early attachment figures, provides a paradigm of relatedness that forms a scaffold for the developmental unfoldng of sexuality in all of its manifestations. Also central to the papers is the idea that the development of secure attachment is predicated, in part, on the development of the capacity for mentalization — the ability to envision and interpret the behavior of oneself and others in terms of intentional mental states, including desires, feelings, beliefs and motivations.

The Origins of Reasonable Doubt: Theological Roots of the Criminal Trial
James Q. Whitman, the Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law
(Yale University Press)

To be convicted of a crime in the United States, a person must be proven guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In his new book, James Whitman examines the history of law and discovers that society has lost sight of the original purpose of “reasonable doubt.” He points out that it was not originally a legal rule at all, but a theological one. He traces the history of this concept through centuries of Christian theology and common-law history to reveal that the original concern was to protect the souls of jurors. In Christian tradition, a person who experienced doubt yet convicted an innocent defendant was guilty of a mortal sin. Jurors fearful for their own souls were reassured that they were safe, as long as their doubts were not “reasonable.” Today, the old rule of reasonable doubt survives, but it has been turned to different purposes. The result, Whitman maintains, is confusion for jurors and a serious moral challenge for the American system of justice.

Art of the Everyday: Dutch Painting and the Realist Novel
Ruth Bernard Yeazell, the Chace Family Professor of English and director of the Lewis Walpole Library
(Princeton University Press)

In “Art of the Everday,” Ruth Yeazell plumbs the realist novels of writers like Honoré de Balzac, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy and Marcel Proust to uncover their relationship with the Dutch painters of the 17th century. Yeazell writes that “at different stages of their careers, each of the principle writers I examine strove to create illusions of the real by reproducing in words some version of Dutch painting.” She notes that at the Louvre, Balzac presumably saw a picture of Gerrit Dou of which he made use in a tale of 1840; that at the National Gallery Thomas Hardy could admire a landscape by Meindert Hobbema whose emotional effect he specifically recorded in his notebook; and that Proust’s encounter with Vermeer’s “View of Delft” in The Hague was still a cherished memory when he composed the fifth volume of his masterwork nearly two decades later.


Yale cuts costs for families and students

Homebuyer benefit increased

Fossil solves mystery of extinct animal's origins

Team learns Abu Dhabi desert once lush habitat

Meeting the challenges of nursing care in Nicaragua

Foundation’s gift to the School of Drama establishes . . .


Study: Despite efforts, racial disparities in cancer care continue

Law School students argue case before the nation’s highest court

Sharp cited as ‘superb teacher of teachers’

Events commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

The color printmaking revolution is highlighted in new exhibition

Symposium to examine the university’s role as architectural patron

Forum will explore the use of neuroimaging in study of alcoholism

Memorial Service for George Hersey

Yale Books in Brief

Campus Notes

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