Copious Free Time: UCL, Chicago, NYU, Melville House, Harvard kinda

Where to start?

Dulam Bumochir’s book from UCL Press, The State, Popular Mobilisation and Gold Mining in Mongolia looks promising. Not familiar w/the author, but love the press and the topic! 

Chicago has a monthly free e-book deal (‘free’ in the sense of ‘harvest your email’ free). This month’s offer, Pictures from an Institution looks interesting. They are also offering their top novels for just a few bucks, including UH emeritus prof Lee Siegel’s Love in a Dead Language.

I love NYU’s monthly specials. Their press hits some weird sweet spot with me where they have titles on topics I care about but never have time to read. This month they have an Earth Day theme, and are offering titles which tend to focus on environmental justice. I highly recommend them if you study that are, or are even just curious. The price is perfect for exploratory reading. Just check to make sure your library doesn’t have it online for you already!

Melville House is doing ’round 2′ of its academic books give-away, offering Malik’s The Quest for a Moral Compass, Molander’s The Anatomy of Inequality, and White’s The Science Delusion for free download. You need an academic email address and the code (moral, inequality, and delusion respectively).

Also, if I can take a moment for a slightly critical note, let me provide an example of a less-than-ideal response to COVID-19: Harvard University Press’s Loeb Classical Library has made its online books free to schools and universities. You just need to email them for more details. I appreciate the impulse to help, and I recognise the high quality of Loeb editions and of the website more generally, but I think Harvard should have just opened up the collection to anyone who wanted to read it. Most of the texts are already thousands of years old and there are open access translations of them already. I know Loeb’s editors add value to these texts in a real way but asking schools to go through a process to get access to these is putting your light under a bushel, in my opinion. Most of these free offers are really attempts to build marketing lists already, and I doubt there are hordes of Seneca heads who are going to bulk download your work in some unethical way. And if there are then… isn’t that success for an imprint whose goal is to get these ancient authors into modern hands?

Ok there have been some scholarly publications which I want to highlight which have come out soon but I’ll take a break for now and come back with more later.

Copious Free Time: Rutgers and Melville House

More ebooks for your Copious Free Time! Rutgers is offering free ebooks related to COVID-19 and, unlike some offers, these books are actually tightly related to this topic, not surprising given Rutgers’s strength in medical anthropology.

Melville House also has some cheap ebook options. These include two buck ebooks of their ten top selling novels (they look great but I probably am too much of a nonfiction reader to ever get to them) as well as free download of Utopia of Rules, Culture as Weapon, and Trainwreck: The Women We Love To Hate. To get the discount you have to enter a secret code which is simply the first word of each book’s title (Utopia, Culture, and Trainwreck). Graeber’s book will be especially relevant to anthropologists.

I will not lie, though — today the deeply-discounted time-killer I splurged on was Endless Space II.

Copious Free Time: History of Anthropology Addition

The joke is that we are supposed to have more free time because we are stuck indoors. But in my case — and I’m sure I’m not alone in this — taking my normal load and then adding child care and moving my classes online is not exactly what I’d call creating free time. Just. The. Opposite.

Of course, I’m very fortunate: I’ll still getting paid, and I’m shut in with other people, not unemployed and trapped alone in my studio apartment, or worse. I recognize that. But there is something tantalizing (as in Tantalus) about the current situation: More and more people in higher education and other realms are ungating more and more content during COVID-2019.

Case in point: Project Muse is ungating huge amounts of content. They’ve always been a good organization with good values who publish good stuff, so the list is long. But I’m particularly interested to see that Oklahoma University Press’s Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology series is now open access. Holy cow — that’s a lot of great work. Long-overdue biographies of groundbreaking female anthropologists like Ruth Landes and Cora Du Bois, the new (and only) biography of Franz Boas, the collected essays of Stephen O. Murray, who passed away not too long ago — the list goes on and on.

So if you have all that Copious Free Time that I wish I had, go take a gander at these and all the other great offerings at Project Muse. You’ll see the history of anthropology is far more complicated than just evil dead white men, although to be fair there are a few of those featured in the book as well! It’s a great resource that spans hundreds of years and most of the continents. Go check it out. And… thank you, Project Muse and Oklahoma!