Exploring African American Language in the Nation’s Capital

asp_94_1_coverThe most recent issue of American Speech, “Exploring African American Language in the Nation’s Capital,” edited by Tyler Kendall and Charlie Farrington, is now available.

This special issue brings together a wide range of scholars of African American Language (AAL) who explore aspects of the new, openly accessible Corpus of Regional African American Language (CORAAL). Each examining the same data from different perspectives, contributors offer new insights on AAL and offer initial thoughts on what CORAAL can offer for both the studies of AAL and for sociolinguistic research more generally.

Browse the table of contents and read the introduction, made freely available.

Dean Smith to be Next Director of Duke University Press

Dean SmithDean Smith, the director of Cornell University Press, will be the new director of Duke University Press, school officials announced Thursday.

Smith succeeds Steve Cohn, who is retiring at the end of June. Cohn has been at Duke University Press since 1984, and has served as director since 1993. Smith will start his new job on July 1.

“The Duke University Press is one of Duke’s great assets. It is a world-renowned press with a stellar reputation,” said Duke Provost Sally Kornbluth. “With his business acumen, deep knowledge of the publishing world, interest in new technologies and wide-ranging intellectual interests, Dean will be a wonderful new leader for the press.”

Kornbluth also thanked Cohn for his quarter-century of leadership at Duke Press. “Steve has built the press into a national powerhouse that’s held in high esteem throughout the academic world,” Kornbluth said. “Steve has worked tirelessly to ensure the highest possible standards for the press.”

Each year Duke University Press publishes about 140 new books, almost 60 journals and multiple digital collections that share the ideas of progressive thinkers and support emerging and vital fields of scholarship across the humanities and interpretive social sciences. It is also well known for its mathematics journals, sophisticated graphic design and integration of technology platforms. The press, located in Durham’s Brightleaf Square, was founded in 1921.

“I am honored and thrilled to be selected as director of Duke University Press,” Smith said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues at the press and across the university to publish high-quality scholarship and advance the frontiers of knowledge in new and exciting ways.”

Since Smith became director of Cornell University Press in 2015, the press has expanded its title output from 100 to 150 titles per year, increased its digital publishing footprint from 350 to more than 3,000 eBooks, and published 150 open access texts on the Cornell Open website.

During his 30-year publishing career, Smith has helped lead all aspects of the transition from print-based publications to more easily accessible web-based digital editions; this includes a key role in reimagining Project Muse, a pivotal digital platform for humanities scholarship, to include eBooks and journals together. He has a wealth of experience in book and journal acquisitions, digital platform development, financial management, global business development and strategic planning, and held such roles as journal publisher, director of electronic publishing, vice president of sales and marketing as well as press director.

“Duke University Press has developed incredible talent throughout the organization and has cultivated strong relationships with many Duke faculty,” noted Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies Ed Balleisen. “Dean Smith has the background and creativity to build on the press’s many strengths, whether by deepening partnerships across campus, furthering our goals for diversity and inclusion, or successfully navigating the rapidly evolving terrain of academic publishing.”

Smith is the author of American Boy, a book that won the 2000 Washington Writer’s Prize and the Maryland Prize for Literature in 2001. He is also a contributor of poetry to such publications as Poetry East, Open City, The Virginia Literary Review, Gulf Stream and the anthology D.C. Poets Against the War.

Though no relation to the late legendary UNC basketball coach of the same name, Smith is an avid sports fan who has previously worked as a sportswriter and freelance journalist; in 2013, Temple University Press published his book about the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, Never Easy, Never Pretty: A Fan, A City, A Championship Season.

Q&A with Beth C. Caldwell, Author of Deported Americans

Beth Caldwell PhotoBeth C. Caldwell is Professor of Legal Analysis, Writing, and Skills at Southwestern Law School and was formerly an attorney in the Los Angeles County Office of the Public Defender. Caldwell’s experiences as a public defender led her to her new book, Deported Americans, in which she tells the story of dozens of immigrants who were deported from the United States—the only country they have ever known—to Mexico, tracking the harmful consequences of deportation for those on both sides of the border.

Who are the deported Americans about whom you write? What are the most common problems they face that result in their deportation?

I use the term deported Americans primarily to refer to people who migrated to the United States when they were children (often at a very young age), who have now been deported. These are people who were primarily socialized in the United States, who grew up attending American schools, and who are more comfortable speaking English than Spanish. They’re not U.S. citizens, but they identify as Americans culturally, and others perceive them as Americans too.

The term is also broad enough to encompass U.S. citizen family members of people who have been deported—particularly the children and spouses of deportees. Although not technically deported under the law, they often feel like they too have been deported because the only option to keep their families together is to leave the United States.

Both groups refer to their experiences as “banishment” or “exile” from their homes, and they experience a range of problems that are not surprising if you imagine how it would feel to be uprooted from all that is familiar to you—from your home, your career, your family and friends. This can trigger a sense of hopelessness that can fuel mental health issues, most often depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and thoughts of suicide. It can also push some to turn to drugs to numb their pain. Family relationships often erode in the years following deportation, which contributes to these problems.

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In Mexico, deported Americans are stigmatized and are not accepted by the dominant culture. They report feeling marginalized by their American accents and ties to the United States. This can trigger profound questions about one’s identity because people feel a sense of double rejection, by both the United States and Mexico.

You mention in your introduction that you did not set out deliberately to write this book, but rather stumbled upon it through your work and informal conversations with deported people living in Mexico. Can you speak more to how these experiences and relationships shaped your approach?

Since I didn’t deliberately set out to research this issue, I didn’t set out with any preconceived notions or expectations as a researcher who is testing a hypothesis might do. Instead, the project was shaped by listening to people and, in some cases, by observing people’s day-to-day interactions as they adjusted to the reality of being deported. Common themes emerged in people’s narratives. When I would speak with people in the U.S. about what I was hearing, people were often surprised. And I realized that it was important to document and share the other side of deportation, so that people in the U.S. would have to confront, or at least be more aware of, the very real harms that flow from the country’s deportation policies.

How does activism—yours and others’—shape the narrative in Deported Americans?

I consider the negative rhetoric that depicts immigrants as others—as invaders or as dangerous—to be the biggest obstacle to creating more humane immigration policies in the U.S. No amount of activism can bring about just immigration reforms as long as some immigrants are characterized as “good” and “deserving” while others are cast aside as “bad” or “criminal,” and therefore disposable.

One of the primary goals of the narrative in Deported Americans is to highlight the nuances and complexities in people’s lives in order to help readers to see that even people who would commonly be depicted as “bad” or “undeserving” have compelling stories and are deserving of humane treatment under the law. By telling people’s stories, I try to strip away the dehumanizing labels that are often applied to immigrants with criminal convictions in order to help readers to see people more holistically.

What do you think is the most surprising aspect of immigration law as it affects deported Americans?

Often, stories about immigrants focus on recent arrivals to the U.S., but many deportees are members of American families. The U.S. deported over 250,000 parents of U.S. citizen children between 2011 and 2017, in addition to many spouses of U.S. citizens. People are always surprised when I talk about U.S. citizens whose spouses have been deported. There seems to be a pervasive belief that marriage to a U.S. citizen protects people from deportation, but this is not the case. I’ve interviewed many U.S. citizens who now live in Mexico because their spouses have been deported, and others who are struggling with family separation because they have stayed in the U.S. after a spouse’s deportation.

People are also surprised by the lack of proportionality in these cases. There is a major disconnect between sentences in criminal court and the sanctions people experience in the immigration system, even though both systems are often imposing penalties on the basis of the same conduct. For example, a lawful permanent resident (otherwise known as a green card holder) could be convicted of a crime for which they are sentenced with minimal jail time and probation in the criminal justice system. But in immigration court, they could face virtually automatic, permanent deportation—with no realistic hope of ever lawfully returning to the U.S.—because of the same conviction.

Many news stories paint pictures of immigrants and deportees. What is the most important way that you think Deported Americans changes or contradicts these narratives?

I deliberately focus on sharing the stories of immigrants with criminal convictions to disrupt the pervasive representation of some immigrants as “good” and others as “bad.” A lot of people are framed as “dangerous” due to criminal convictions that really have nothing to do with whether they are in fact dangerous. And in many cases, it seems more dangerous to deport them—to separate them from their families, or to force their U.S. citizen family members to leave the United States if they want to stay together.

Harsh immigration policies that apply to immigrants with criminal convictions emerged alongside the tough-on-crime movement of the 1980s and 1990s. In many cases, the same laws that created drug sentencing policies that are now widely criticized also created draconian immigration policies. Although there is an emerging consensus that the War on Drugs was problematic, and there has been some progress to roll back some of its policies, very little attention has focused on the parallel problems in the immigration system. I hope to draw people’s attention to this issue.

In the context of arguments over the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and the news about the child detention centers, how do you see conversations about deportation changing? Staying the same?

People are certainly more interested in the topic of deportation now than in the recent past. This is an interesting shift because numerically, more people were actually being deported a few years ago. I think that the more that the consequences of U.S. immigration policy come to light, the more the average American is concerned about the issues, especially when it comes to family separation. Although more attention has focused on family separation affecting people upon their entry to the United States, family separation brought about by deportation fits into the overall problem that the U.S. immigration system regularly separates children from their parents.

The issue of family separation is also directly tied to the wall. When I was first starting out my research in Tijuana, I interviewed a social worker who runs a shelter for women and children. Her shelter houses a lot of recent deportees. She was convinced that no barrier—no fence, no wall, no punishments—would stop mothers from trying to return to the United States because the instinct to reunite with their children was stronger than anything. It’s a primal instinct. Due to a long history of migration from Mexico to the U.S., which the U.S. has welcomed at many times because of a desire for Mexican labor, families are deeply interconnected across the border, and across immigration statuses. The rhetoric framing migration as an “invasion” by foreigners misses this important reality.

What do you hope readers will take away from Deported Americans?

Deportation causes a lot of harm—to both the deportees and their families, who are often U.S. citizens. It has become a normalized aspect of our society, but we should really think about whether it should be. Deportation has always been used as a tool for excluding and removing marginalized people from societies, so its roots are suspect. I hope readers will walk away from the book with lingering questions about how we might better approach the social problems deportation is currently used to address, but in a more humane way.

Read the introduction to Deported Americans free online and purchase the paperback for 30% off using coupon code E19CALDW.

 

Orin Starn on Tiger Woods’s Masters Victory

978-0-8223-5210-5_prOrin Starn, Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University, watched the Masters Tournament along with the rest of the world on April 14 and offers his thoughts on Tiger’s victory here. His 2011 book The Passion of Tiger Woods brought an anthropologist’s perspective to the scandals and struggles that made yesterday’s victory such a triumph.

It was an amazing moment in America sports history yesterday.  Tiger Woods won the Masters Tournament, one of golf’s four major championships, capping a remarkable comeback from deep troubles on and off the course.  Most pundits had written off the great champion after an ugly divorce, four back surgeries, and, less than two years ago, an arrest for driving under the influence of pain-killers.  His vacant mug shot eyes were those of a man who seemed to have lost his way altogether.

That Woods would rise again felt almost foreordained and even biblical in its way.  He’d once been acclaimed as golf’s black messiah, redeeming the sport from its whites-only past, and becoming its greatest player with an astonishing knack for drama and the clutch shot.  Then, after self-destructive serial cheating destroyed his marriage, Woods was crucified to the cross of public opinion and media frenzy.   He resurrected his career with a public apology and double fusion back operation.   Now, with his Masters win, Woods has been transubstantiated, rising into celestial new heights of fan adoration at least among the golfing public.  At 43, balding, having sinned and suffered so much, Woods is more human than he had been as an invincible young superstar.   His powers of concentration and genius skill remain altogether otherworldly beyond even the imagination of us mortal weekend players.

I could not help shedding a few tears as Woods raised his arms in triumph on the 18th green yesterday.  Anyone of a certain age who has learned how hard life can be could identify with his struggle and take pleasure in his victory. There is always new drama in the Woods story, and perhaps he will now go on to reach his childhood goal of overtaking Jack Nicklaus for the most major tournament titles.  It felt yesterday, as the thunderstorms rolled across Georgia, that this Masters victory will remain as the greatest moment of all in his extraordinary story.

Poem of the Week

Bomb ChildrenIt’s currently National Poetry Month, so we are offering a poem each Monday throughout April. Today’s poem is from Leah Zani’s forthcoming book, Bomb Children. Joshua O. Reno, author of Waste Away: Working and Living with a North American Landfill says “Bomb Children is nothing short of breathtaking. Leah Zani presents little-known and incredibly important material on the everyday aftermath of the Secret War for the people of Laos. Her topic is not only ethnographically underexplored, but has been deliberately concealed by the U.S. government for decades. In Zani’s hands, fieldwork becomes a flexible toolkit, selectively and strategically deployed to grasp the object of military wasting in a revealing and ethically responsible way.”

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Leah Zani is a Junior Fellow in the Social Science Research Network at University of California, Irvine. Bomb Children will be published in August.

Our other highlighted poems can be read here.

Hydro-criticism

The newest issue of English Language Notes, “Hydro-criticism,” edited by Laura Winkiel, is available now.

coverimageAs sea levels rise, ice caps melt, and the ocean acidifies, the twin forces of globalization and global warming have irrevocably braided human-centered history with the geologic force of the ocean. This reality has broadly challenged those working in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences to fundamentally alter the ways in which they produce knowledge.

Contributors to this issue interrogate the methods of humanities’ recent oceanic turn—grouped here under the rubric of “ocean studies”—by reimagining human histories, aesthetics, and ontologies as entangled with the temporal and spatial scales, geographies, and agencies of the ocean.

Topics include the representations of the sea and related technologies in 1950s films; multiple accounts of the ocean’s role as a mediator of power, colonization, and censorship; queer eroticism and the ocean; literature’s shifting account of seafaring in the modernist period and today; and the strange conundrum of T. S. Eliot’s “The Dry Salvages” as an inspiration for modern radical Caribbean scholars.

Browse the table of contents and read the introduction, freely available.

Poem of the Week

Comfort Measures OnlyApril is National Poetry Month, so we are offering a poem each Monday for the next four weeks. Today’s poem is from Rafael Campo’s latest book, Comfort Measures Only: New and Selected Poems, 1994-2016. Campo, a physician, writes from his work and life experience with great empathy. Martin Espada says, “The luminous language and the luminous vision offer proof that poetry, too, is a healing art, that storytelling is medicinal. In these times, we need poets of eloquent empathy more than ever, and there is no poet more eloquent or empathetic than Rafael Campo.”

As We Die

My parents gripe about their health. I think
about when I was young, and tried to force
from them an explanation of — what else
could it have been, but death? Back then, the ink

that clotted in my mother’s brush was black
as my ungrateful, doubting soul; my father’s
huge plush armchair, tilted slightly back, offered
what seemed eternal rest. Their talk is bleak,

their diverticulosis like a pit
that swallows them, their heart disease an ache
these old emotions only aggravate.
I guess I look to them as giants yet,

immortals who know secrets I cannot.
My father, hard of hearing now, reclines
a little farther back; her face now lined
with years of pain, my mother jabs at knots

of garish sunflowers, pretending we
might yet avoid the conversations that
have made their marks on us. Not what I thought —
past death, at last, dreams keep us perfectly.

Rafael Campo is the author of six books of poetry with Duke University Press. He is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Happy 150th Birthday to Durham!

durham150_cobrand_example_3-300x3002019 marks the sesquicentennial of Durham, North Carolina, which Duke University Press calls home. We’re excited to celebrate along with Durham by showcasing some of our local history titles.

978-0-8223-4983-9_pr.jpgWe’re especially proud to publish the definitive history of Durham, Durham County by Jean Bradley Anderson. Revised and expanded in 2011, it is a sweeping history of Durham from the seventeenth century to the end of the twentieth. Moving beyond traditional local histories, which tend to focus on powerful families, Anderson integrates the stories of well-known figures with those of ordinary men and women, blacks and whites, to create a complex and fascinating portrait of Durham’s economic, political, social, and labor history. Drawing on extensive primary research, she examines the origins of the town of Durham and recounts the growth of communities around mills, stores, taverns, and churches in the century before the rise of tobacco manufacturing. She writes about the coming of the railroad; the connection between the Civil War and the rise of the tobacco industry; the Confederate surrender at Bennett Place; the relocation of Trinity College to Durham and, later, its renaming as Duke University; and the growth of health-service and high-technology industries in the decades after the development of Research Triangle Park.

Lending PowerIn Lending Power, Howard E. Covington Jr. examines the history of a Durham institution, the Self-Help Credit Union. First established to assist workers displaced by closed furniture and textile mills, Self-Help created a credit union that expanded into providing home loans for those on the margins of the financial market, especially people of color and single mothers. Using its own lending record, Self-Help convinced commercial banks to follow suit, extending its influence well beyond North Carolina. In 1999 its efforts led to the first state law against predatory lending. A decade later, as the Great Recession ravaged the nation’s economy, its legislative victories helped influence the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Covington is also the author of Terry Sanford: Politics, Progress, and Outrageous Ambitions. Sanford was a U.S. Senator, Governor of North Carolina, and then President of Duke University.

978-0-8223-0743-3_prThe Dukes of Durham, 1865-1929 by Robert F. Durden looks at the history of several towering Durham figures: industrialist and philanthropist Washington Duke and two of his sons, Benjamin Newton Duke and James Buchanan Duke. Lasting Legacy to the Carolinas, also by Durden, tells about the James B. Duke’s founding of the Duke Endowment, which funded Trinity College in Durham and led it to change its name to Duke University in 1924. Robert F. Durden was an important Durham figure in his own right; when he died in 2016, Duke lowered their flags to half-mast in honor of his contributions chronicling the history of the university and the region.

To celebrate Durham’s birthday, we are offering all these titles for 50% off throughout 2019. Use the coupon code DURHAM when ordering from our site.

Learn more about Durham’s history and all the celebrations this year at the Durham 150 site. Visit the Museum of Durham History for special exhibitions all year. And check out Preservation Durham for fascinating pictures of historic locations around the city as well as schedules for their great walking tours. Happy Birthday, Durham!

 

 

New Books in April

We’ve got great new reads in April in anthropology, religious studies, sociology, feminism and women’s studies, and much more.

978-1-4780-0390-8_prIn Deported Americans legal scholar and former public defender Beth C. Caldwell tells the story of dozens of immigrants who were deported from the United States—the only country they have ever known—to Mexico, tracking the harmful consequences of deportation for those on both sides of the border.

In Makers of Democracy A. Ricardo López-Pedreros traces the ways in which a thriving middle class was understood to be a foundational marker of democracy in Colombia in the second half of the twentieth century, showing democracy to be a historically unstable and contentious practice.

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Maura Finkelstein examines what it means for textile mill workers in Mumbai—who are assumed to not exist—to live during a period of deindustrialization, showing in The Archive of Loss how mills and workers’ bodies constitute an archive of Mumbai’s history that challenge common thinking about the city’s past, present, and future.

Hester Blum examines the rich, offbeat collection of printed ephemera created by nineteenth- and early twentieth-century polar explorers, showing in The News at the Ends of the Earth how ship newspapers and other writing shows how explores wrestled with questions of time, space, and community while providing them with habits to survive the extreme polar climate.

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In Autonomy Nicholas Brown theorizes the historical and theoretical conditions for the persistence of art’s autonomy from the realm of the commodity by showing how an artist’s commitment to form and by demanding interpretive attention elude the logic of capital.

In a revised and expanded edition of Medicine Stories, Aurora Levins Morales weaves together the insights and lessons learned over a lifetime of activism to offer a new theory of social justice, bringing clarity and hope to tangled, emotionally charged social issues in beautiful and accessible language.

Exploring a wide range of sonic practices, from birdsong in the Marshall Islands to Zulu ululation, the contributors to Remapping Sound Studies, edited by Gavin Steingo and Jim Sykes, reorient the field of sound studies toward the global South in order to rethink and decolonize modes of understanding and listening to sound.

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In Dance for Me When I Die—first published in Argentina in 2004 and appearing here in English for the first time—Cristian Alarcón tells the story and legacy of seventeen year old Víctor Manuel Vital, aka Frente, who was killed by police in the slums of Buenos Aires.

The contributors to Spirit on the Move, edited by Judith Casselberry and Elizabeth A. Pritchard, examine Pentecostalism’s appeal to black women worldwide and the ways it provides them with a source of community, access to power, and way to challenge social inequalities.

Never miss a new book! Sign up for our e-mail newsletters, and get notifications of new titles in your preferred disciplines as well as discounts and other news.

Author Events in April

April showers bring . . . author signings? Hope you can get out this spring and see some of our authors in person at these great events.

978-1-4780-0094-5April 4: East Bay Booksellers welcomes Elisabeth Jay Friedman to discuss her book Seeking Rights From the Left.
7:00pm, 5433 College Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618

April 4: Dorinne Kondo has a book signing at the University of Southern California for her latest book Worldmaking.
4:00pm, 3620 South Vermont Ave., Suite 352, Los Angeles, CA 90089

April 8: Arturo Escobar, author of Designs for the Pluriverse, gives the International Comparative Studies Keynote Lecture at Duke University.
4:30-6:30pm, Pink Parlor, East Duke Building, Durham, NC 27708

April 10: Harvard University‘s Houghton Library hosts a reading honoring the work of Black and Blur author Fred Moten.
6:00pm, Edison Newman Room, 11 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

April 10: Catch Brilliant Imperfection author Eli Clare in a talk and Q&A at Fordham University.
6:00pm, Lowenstein Building 12th flr, 113 West 60th Street, New York, NY 10023

April 12: Coca Yes, Cocaine No author Thomas Grisaffi presents his book at University of Amsterdam’s Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation.
TBD, Roetersstraat 33, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands

April 21: Sarah Banet-Weiser discusses her book Empowered at Bluestockings.
7:00pm, 172 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002

April 22: Research on U.S. Health and Healthcare hosts an online Q&A with The Look of the Woman author Eric Plemons.
12:00pm

978-1-4780-0386-1April 25: See Surrogate Humanity coauthors Neda Atanasoski and Kalindi Vora discuss their book at City Lights.
7:00pm, 261 Columbus Avenue at Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

April 27: Amit Rai launches his new book Jugaad Time at Furtherfield Commons.
2:00pm, 269-271 Seven Sisters Rd, Finsbury Park, London N4 2DE, UK

April 27: The Smart Museum of Art hosts an event with Rebecca Zorach on her book Art for People’s Sake.
4:00pm, The University of Chicago, 5550 S Greenwood Ave, Chicago, IL 60637

April 28: McNally Jackson Books hosts a book talk for David Eng and Shinhee Han’s Racial Melancholia, Racial Dissociation.
6:00pm, 52 Prince St, New York, New York 10012

April 29: Book Reports author Robert Christgau discusses his new book at McNally Jackson Books.
7:00pm, 52 Prince St, New York, NY 10012