Writing, travel, digital creators, artificial intelligence and the Restoration are the topics covered in this month's selection alumni authored books.
|Degree||English Literature, Creative Writing (MSc & PhD)|
Novelista: Anyone can write a novel. Yes, even you.
A friendly, straight-talking writing guide for people who want to write a novel but don't know how to begin. It asks all the important questions and gives a host of reassuring answers that demonstrate that anyone can write a novel - even you!
And listen to Claire tell us about her Rolling Stones t-shirt and much more when she was our guest for episode 3.4 of Sharing things, the podcast.
The Camel's Neighbour: Travel and Travellers in Yemen
Both a personal travelogue and a thought-provoking study of past travellers in Yemen, The Camel's Neighbour offers a unique window into the country. Importantly, it delivers a context and a valuable corrective to the dehumanising stories of conflict and crisis that have characterised this corner of Arabia in recent years. Evocative descriptions of Sanaa and its unique cityscape, as well as empathetic portrayals of people encountered and events experienced, all create a narrative by turns contemplative and unexpected. The author finds himself caught up in the fallout of the Danish Cartoon Crisis, is involved in an outbreak of polio, and witnesses close-up the distinctly undemocratic re-election of Yemen's President. Meanwhile, his sense of humour is tested when he gatecrashes the Queen's birthday party at the British Embassy and is urinated upon by a goat during a hair-raising car journey. Examining the impressions of earlier visitors, Moscrop explores how Yemen has been seen and understood by foreigners from Europe and America. These past visitors include blundering missionaries, avaricious merchants, aristocratic Englishmen, and unlikely spies such as Norman Lewis and Freya Stark. Moscrop delivers an intriguing and original perspective on Western encounters with the Islamic world, examining the imagery and clichés by which Yemen has been represented from the sixteenth century to the present. Ultimately, he unravels a story of how Yemen became an 'unknown country' with a 'forgotten war'.
|Degree||History, English Literature PhD|
Scholarly Book Collecting in Restoration Scotland: the Library of the Revd James Nairn (1629-1678)
The wide scholarly interests of Scots in the Restoration period are analysed through this in-depth study of the library of James Nairn (1629-1678), a Scottish parish minister. The books, given by Nairn to Edinburgh University Library and largely still there, demonstrate a remarkable receptivity to new intellectual ideas. At some two thousand titles Nairn’s is the biggest library formed in this period for which we have detailed and accurate records. The collection is analysed subject by subject; in addition, there is a biographical study, and chapters investigating aspects of the Scottish book market and comparing other contemporary Scottish clerical libraries. A short-title catalogue of the collection, giving references to relevant online bibliographies and catalogues, a select provenance index, and a subject index complete the work.
|Degree||Sociology and Politics|
The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain
Based on interviews and archival research, this book explores how media is implicated in Black women’s lives in Britain. From accounts of twentieth-century activism and television representations, to experiences of YouTube and Twitter, Sobande's analysis traverses tensions between digital culture’s communal, counter-cultural and commercial qualities.
Francesca also explores this topic on our Sharing things blog.
|Degree||Artificial Intelligence (MSc and PhD)|
Rise of the Self-Replicators: Early Visions of Machines, AI and Robots That Can Reproduce and Evolve
Is it possible to design robots and other machines that can reproduce and evolve? And, if so, what are the implications: for the machines, for ourselves, for our environment, and for the future of life on Earth and elsewhere? In this book the authors provide a chronological survey and comprehensive archive of the early history of thought about machine self-reproduction and evolution. They discuss contributions from philosophy, science fiction, science and engineering, and uncover many examples that have never been discussed in the Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life literature before now. In the final chapter they provide a synthesis of the concepts discussed, offer their views on the field’s future directions, and call for a broad community discussion about the significant implications of intelligent evolving machines. The book will be of interest to general readers, and a valuable resource for researchers, practitioners, and historians engaged with ideas in artificial intelligence, artificial life, robotics, and evolutionary computing.
Co-authored with Alan Dorin.
Submit your book
If you are a member of the alumni community and have recently published a book, we would be delighted to include it in the Alumni Bookshelf. Email the editor, Brian Campbell, with the following information:
- your name
- degree details
- book details, including a link for further information
Books are added to the bookshelf in order of submission. All of the further information links listed are the external websites of the book publisher, the author, or the bookseller. The University of Edinburgh is not responsible for the content and functionality of these sites. We reserve the right to not publish all submissions we receive.