New Titles in Religious Studies

We are sad to miss out on meeting authors in person at the AAR/SBL Joint Annual Meeting this year. We know that many of you look forward to stocking up on new titles at special discounts at our conferences, so we are pleased to offer a 40% discount on all in-stock books and journal issues with coupon code AAR20 until January 15, 2020. View our Religious Studies catalog below for a complete list of all our newest titles in Religious Studies and across disciplines. You can also explore all of our books and journals in the field on

Editors Miriam Angress and Sandra Korn both offer welcome messages to AAR/SBL participant, along with their highlights of the latest books and a special invitation!

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Associate Editor Miriam Angress

Dear AAR/SBL community,
Hello!  We invite you to a gathering to celebrate the Duke University Press series The Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People. The date and time are below, along with a list of the current and forthcoming series titles. This party will include readings by series authors Yolanda Covington-Ward, Roberto Strongman, Todne Thomas, and Joseph Winters, as well as a panel discussion facilitated by the series editors. Please join us…

Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People Series Party 2020: Reading, Panel, and Q&A
Hosted by Terrence L. Johnson, Dianne M. Stewart, and Jacob K. Olupona
Friday, December 4, 4pm EST
Four covers are featured: Queering Black Atlantic Religions, Hope Draped in Black, Kincraft, Gesture and Power
Come party with the editors of the Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People book series on Friday, December 4 at 4:00pm EST. RSVP on the event page.

I also want to highlight a few other Duke books, beyond the series, that I’m excited about (published this year or imminent):
The Bruce B. Lawrence ReaderIslam Beyond Borders, edited by Ali Altaf Mian (forthcoming, December 2021).  In this Reader, editor Ali Altaf Mian gathers over four decades of scholarship by Bruce Lawrence, an esteemed Islamicist and scholar of religious studies, with selections analyzing aspects of Islam (both pre-modern and modern Islamic discourses) and investigating method and theory in the study of religion.

The Aesthetics of Resistance, volume 2, by Peter Weiss (2020). Regarded by many as one of the leading works of the 20th century, this novel documents the resistance to fascism in Europe (and within Germany) during World War II. The Aesthetics of Resistance is the three-volume magnum opus of Peter Weiss (1916-1982), a German-born novelist, painter, film director, and playwright best known in this country as the author of the play Marat/Sade. The novel has never, until now, been translated into English and this is the second volume of three.  Duke University Press published the first volume of The Aesthetics of Resistance in 2005.

You can find all of the books in the The Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People series on our website, or click on the covers below for specific titles.

Assistant Editor Sandra Y. L. Korn, smiling, holding a pile of books.
Assistant Editor Sandra Y. L. Korn, with books! Sima Shakhsari’s Politics of Rightful Killing, Margaret Randall’s I Never Left Home, Ashon T. Crawley’s The Lonely Letters, Anustup Basu’s Hindutva as Political Monotheism, Katherina Galor and Sa’ed Atshan‘s The Moral Triangle, and an edited collection from Tiffany Lethabo King, Jenell Navarro, Andrea Smith, Otherwise Worlds.

Good morning, AAR/SBL community! This will be my fifth year at the AAR/SBL conference and I’m grateful that this fall we’ll be able to connect with each other and attend panels from the safety of our own living rooms. I can’t hand you books from the booth so I hope you’ll read through for some of my recommendations, and please feel free to reach out if you’d like to schedule a virtual coffee or phone call!

This year in particular I’ve been really thankful for books that have helped me to expand what I consider spiritual, to better understand issues of injustice and oppression, and to imagine a future that looks different than the present.

Image of four books (clockwise from top left): Otherwise Worlds, Politics of Rightful Killing, The Lonely Letters, and The Moral Triangle.
Sandra’s recommendations include beautiful cover art from (clockwise from top left): Kimberly Tobertson and Jenell Navarro (“Postcard from an Otherwise World”), Kree Arvanitas (“Twitter Revolution in Heaven”), Robert Sniderman (“Counter-Ruin”), and Ashon Crawley (“Dancing in one spot number 13”).

We have a collection of beautiful new books that bring forth visions of alternative futures—in a variety of forms. For those who turn to poetry, Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s Dub: Finding Ceremony takes inspiration from Sylvia Wynter and ocean life to offer possibilities for new worlds and a new planet. Ashon Crawley’s The Lonely Letters is a creative nonfiction work that meditates on the interrelation of blackqueer life, sounds of the Black church, theology, mysticism, and love. R. A. Judy’s theoretically-driven work Sentient Flesh shows that the long tradition of black radical critique gives us the material on which to re-imagine the world. And Otherwise Worlds: Against Settler Colonialism and Anti-Blackness, a collection in our Black Outdoors series, looks at how Black and Indigenous relationships can help imagine worlds beyond the constraints of violence and settler colonialism.

While the results of the US Presidential election are a huge relief, we know that this change in regime will not upend the structures of Islamophobic surveillance and repression in the US and globally. A few new books take up these pressing issues. Hindutva as Political Monotheism by Anustup Basu considers the role of Western political theology in rise of right-wing and anti-Muslim nationalism in India. Sima Shakhsari’s Politics of Rightful Killing: Civil Society, Gender, and Sexuality in Weblogistan looks at the transnational network of Iranian bloggers as simultaneously a site for queer and feminist politics and US government surveillance. (This book has the most gorgeous cover art, a piece called “Twitter Revolution from Heaven” by Kree Arvanitas!)

The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians also has a striking cover—performance artist Robert Sniderman walking through the Berlin Holocaust Memorial with a shirt that reads “Gaza” in English, Arabic, and Hebrew. This book, co-authored by Katherina Galor and Sa’ed Atshan, looks at Berlin, where artists and activists grapple with how to account for multiple forms of historical trauma: antisemitism and Islamophobia, Holocaust and Nakba.

For those in anthropology and Jewish studies, I also wanted to highlight Genetic Afterlives by Noah Tamarkin, which looks at how the black Jewish Lemba community of South Africa navigates competing claims to Jewish genealogy and African indigeneity.

Anyone who knows me will know that I love both memoir and revolutionary Jewish lesbians so you’d better believe that I’m thrilled about Margaret Randall’s new memoir I Never Left Home!

Finally, there are a few incredible titles coming out in the next couple of months! Please keep an eye out for Queer Political Theologies, a special issue of GLQ that drops in January. The Bruce B. Lawrence Readeredited by Ali Altaf Mian, also comes out in January, and collects some of Lawrence’s most brilliant writings about Islam and the Divine. And I’m really excited for Beyond Man: Race, Coloniality, and Philosophy of Religion, a collection of work that seeks to decolonize the philosophy of religion, which comes out in the spring. Perhaps next year at this time we’ll get to celebrate these new texts in person.

Queer Political Theologies

I hope to see you at 4pm on December 4th at the virtual party to celebrate and toast new books in the Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People Series!

Don’t forget to check out the latest special issues on religion, theology, and spirituality from our journals Poetics Today , GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and the Journal of Korean Studies: Postsecularisms,” “Queer Political Theologies,” and “The Sacred and the Secular: Protestant Christianity as Lived Experience in Modern Korea.” All special issues are eligible for the 40% discount using code AAR20.

You can join DUP authors for several panels online, through the AAR/SBL conference portal:

  • N. Fadeke Castor, panelist, “Experiments with Power: Obeah and the Remaking of Religion,” Wednesday, Dec 2, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM EST
  • Judith Casselberry, panelist, “From Sun Ra to Grace Jones: A Roundtable on AfricanAmerican Performers and Religious Identity” Wednesday, Dec 2, 4:00 PM–5:30 PM EST
  • Laura E. Pérez, responder, “Decolonial Practices of Naming, Thinking, and Being,” Thursday, Dec 3, 11:00AM-1:00PM EST
  • Mayfair Yang, responder, “Renegotiating Unseen Realms: Studies on the Ritual Reinvention Among Late-Imperial and Contemporary Daoists,” Wed, Dec 9, 9:00AM-10:30AM EST 
  • Andrea Smith, panelist,  “Black Theology Post-Cone: Interrogating Value, MisReligion, and the Theological Legacies of Settler Colonialism” Wednesday, December 9, 4:00PM-5:30PM EST

If you were hoping to connect with Sandra Korn, Miriam Angress, or another of our editors about your book project at AAR/SBL, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines here.

Happy 80th Birthday to Esther Newton

Join us today in wishing pioneering anthropologist Esther Newton a happy eightieth birthday. We are proud to have published three titles by Newton and invite you to revisit them in her honor today.

Newton’s editor, Ken Wissoker, shares, “For as long as I can remember, Esther Newton has been a guiding presence in queer anthropology. When I started as an editor, I would sometimes sit with her and Elizabeth Kennedy at talks, watching what she had helped birth in the legendary Mother Camp grow into a major part of the field. Our collaborations on Margaret Mead Made Me Gay and on her memoir My Butch Career are highlights of my time at the Press, books that will carry her work for queer generations to come.

My Butch CareerIn her memoir My Butch Career (2018), Newton tells the compelling, disarming, and at times sexy story of her struggle to write, teach, and find love, all while coming to terms with her identity during a particularly intense time of homophobic persecution in the twentieth century. Despite having written the now-classic text Mother Camp (1972), she was denied tenure twice. But by age forty, where My Butch Career‘s narrative ends, she began to achieve personal and scholarly stability in the company of the first politicized generation of out lesbian and gay scholars with whom she helped create gender and sexuality studies.

978-0-8223-2612-0_prWhile My Butch Career mingles personal reflection on her upbringing, her parents, and her love affairs with her struggle to be recognized professionally, Margaret Mead Made Me Gay (2000) is more of an intellectual memoir that chronicles the development of her ideas from the excitement of early feminism in the 1960s to friendly critiques of queer theory in the 1990s.

978-0-8223-5553-3_prIn 2014, we brought Newton’s book Cherry Grove, Fire Island, originally published in in 1993, back into print in a teachable paperback edition. The book is a cultural history of the gay and lesbian vacation town near New York City, where she herself vacationed for many years. Her ethnography was deeply personal. In an interview with Cultural Anthropology, she recounts, “I gave a book party in the Grove to sell books, but also to do a slideshow, to give something back to the community. What people really were interested in, though, was to go to the index and look for their own names.”

A movie about Newton is in the works. One scene was filmed at the Duke University Press booth at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, where we launched My Butch Career. We can’t wait to see it!

These days Esther Newton is retired and splits her time between Michigan, where she was previously a professor of American Culture and Women’s and Gender Studies, and Florida. She enjoys spending time with family and doing agility training with her dogs. When interviewed for Queer Forty a few years ago, she said, “The second half of life does hold pleasures. We are not as hot as we once were, but we can know the pleasures of long term life partner relationships and friendships. . . . Some of the uncertainty and anxiety of the earlier years do abate. And I have found that there is such a thing as wisdom.”

Esther Newton on motorcycle

Esther Newton, 1967. Photograph by Nancy Rae Smith.

Thank you, Esther, for all the wisdom you have shared through your scholarship, and Happy Birthday!

In Conversation: Bo Ruberg

Watch our newest “In Conversation” video in which Bo Ruberg, author of The Queer Games Avant-Garde, talks with contributors and game designers Jess Marcotte and Dietrich “Squinky” Squinkifer about how they got into video game design, access and multimedia game design, and labor rights in gaming.

Final Day of our Fall Sale

Fall-sale-2020-BlogToday is the final day to save 50% on in-stock books and journal issues during our Fall Sale. Use coupon FALL2020 and be sure to shop before 11:59 pm EST.

Customers outside North and South America can use the FALL2020 coupon through today at our UK-based distributor Combined Academic Publishers to save on shipping, particularly in Europe.

Can’t decide what to buy? Check out recommendations from our editors for recent books in Gender Studies, American Studies, African Studies, and Anthropology. And if you’ve already shopped early in October, make sure you haven’t missed titles that have been published since then.

See the fine print and FAQs here.

Final Weekend of Our Fall Sale

Fall-sale-2020-BlogOur Fall Sale ends Monday, November 23 at 11:59 pm EST so this is your final weekend to shop. Customers in North and South America can shop our website, and those in the rest of the world may find shipping costs and times to be less if you shop at our UK-based distributor Combined Academic Publishers. At both locations, the coupon code is FALL2020.

If you shopped in early October, you may be missing some great titles that have only just come out in the past few weeks.

writing in spaceWriting in Space, 1973-2019 by Lorraine O’Grady and edited by Aruna D’Souza. Hyperallergic says the book “establishes O’Grady’s literary brilliance that shines through her multifaceted creative practice.”

Liquor Store Theatre by Maya Stovall uses the artist’s well-known project as a point of departure for understanding everyday life in Detroit and the possibilities for ethnographic research, art, and knowledge creation.

Militarized Global ApartheidMilitarized Global Apartheid by Catherine Besteman is a major theoretical work that will be applicable in a wide range of disciplines.

Animalia: An Anti-Imperial Bestiary for Our Times, edited by Antoinette Burton and Renisa Mawani, is a unique collection featuring short chapters on 26 animals that  have played central roles in the history of British imperial control.

For a Pragmatics of the Useless by Erin Manning shows how neurotypicality and whiteness combine to form a normative baseline for existence.

Building Socialism: The Afterlife of East German Architecture in Urban Vietnam by Christina Schwenkel analyzes the collaboration between East German and Vietnamese architects and urban planners as they attempted to transform the bombed-out industrial city of Vinh into a model socialist city.

Aesthetics of ExcessAesthetics of Excess: The Art and Politics of Black and Latina Embodiment by Jillian Hernandez analyzes the personal clothing, makeup, and hairstyles of working-class Black and Latina girls, to examines how cultural discourses of aesthetic value racialize the bodies of women and girls of color.

Biopolitics of the More-Than-Human by Joseph Pugliese examines the concept of the biopolitical through a nonanthropocentric lens, arguing that more-than-human entities—from soil and orchards to animals and water—are actors and agents in their own right with legitimate claims to justice.

Island Futures: Caribbean Survival in the Anthropocene by Mimi Sheller elves into the ecological crises and reconstruction challenges affecting the entire Caribbean region, showing how vulnerability to ecological collapse and the quest for a “just recovery” in the Caribbean emerge from specific transnational political, economic, and cultural dynamics.

stx_38_1_142_coverWe’ve also loved to see which journal issues are topping our bestseller list for the sale. Some are discounted as low as $6, so don’t miss out! “The Ideology Issue” from South Atlantic Quarterly and “Radical Care” from Social Text are heading up the list, and TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly’s recent issues “Trans Pornography,” “Trans Futures,” and “Trans* Studies Now” are popular choices.

Radical History Review’s “Fascism and Anti-fascism since 1945” and “Policing, Justice, and the Radical Imagination” are also selling well, as is “Method as Method” from Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature.

Pick up these new titles and all in-stock books and journal issues for 50%, but only if you shop now with coupon FALL2020! This special offer ends Monday night. See the fine print here.

New Titles in African Studies

Every year we look forward to meeting authors, editors, and readers in person at the ASA Annual Meeting, and we are sad to be missing out this year, although the meeting has gone virtual. We know that many of you look forward to stocking up on new titles at special discounts at our conferences, so we are pleased to extend a discount on all in-stock books and journal issues with coupon code AFSA20 until December 31, 2020.

View our African Studies catalog below for a complete list of all our newest titles in African Studies and across disciplines. You can also explore all of our African Studies books and journals on

Editor Elizabeth Ault has a welcome message for participants in this year’s African Studies Association Annual Meeting. See below, as well, for a brief written message.

Closed captioning is available.
Editor Elizabeth Ault

Hello African studies! I’m super looking forward to joining in the virtual panels over the next few days–something I rarely get to do at the in-person conference, so a real luxury. Since we won’t be able to celebrate the release of the new books I mention in my video above in person, I’m particularly excited for the panels devoted to three recent books: Monica Popescu’s At Penpoint, Xavier Livermon’s Kwaito Bodies, and Lynn Thomas’s Beneath the Surface. I’ll be the one with the champagne flute! And of course, as the Association continues to think about the racial politics of the field and the university more broadly, following an extraordinarily painful (if occasionally hopeful!) summer of pandemic and protests, I’m looking forward to President Ato Quayson’s address on Friday evening. 

But of course I’ll miss our in-person conversations and all the generosity that y’all have shown me since I started attending the conference back in 2014. I’m really excited to be in conversation about projects that think from the continent, that consider the relationship between African studies and Black studies, that center queer and trans lives, and that work to reach across disciplinary, regional, and linguistic barriers. Please sign up for office hours to discuss your work with me here

Elizabeth mentions a number of books and series in her video, including Hannah Appel’s The Licit Life of Capitalism, Catherine Besteman’s Militarized Global Apartheid, Leslie Green’s Rock |Water | Life, Stephanie Newell’s Histories of Dirt, and Jennifer Bajorek’s Unfixed. The Theory in Forms series features multiple new books: Naked Agency by Naminata Diabate, The Wombs of Women by Françoise Vergès, Beneath the Surface by Lynn Thomas, Genetic Afterlives by Noah Tamarkin, Revolution and Disenchantment by Fadi A. Bardawil, and At Penpoint by Monica Popescu.

And don’t forget about our outstanding journals in African studies, including Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. All special issues, such as “Rethinking Cosmopolitanism: Africa in Europe ⁄ Europe in Africa,” “Black British Art Histories,” and “Time out of Joint: The Queer and the Customary in Africa,” are eligible for the 50% discount using code AFSA20.

Ian Baucom’s launch event for History 4° Celsius was hosted by Ranjana Khanna and Achille Mbembe and the Forum for Scholar’s and Publics. Check out new titles in the Visual Arts of Africa and Its Diasporas series and the Religious Cultures of Africa and the African Diaspora People series. And look out for a video conversation with Delinda Collier, author of Media Primitivism, very soon!

ASA President Ato Quayson will deliver the ASA Presidential Lecture Friday, November 20, 4:00pm-5:45pm EST.

Join DUP authors for author-meets-critics sessions:
Monica Popescu, At Penpoint, Saturday, November 21, 8:00am-9:45am EST
Xavier Livermon, Kwaito Bodies, Saturday, November 21, 12:00pm-1:45pm EST
Lynn Thomas, Beneath the Surface, Saturday, November 21, 4:00pm-5:45pm EST

The ASA will commemorate the work of the late Tejumola Olaniyan with four sessions on Thursday and Friday:
Thursday, November 19, 8:00am-9:45am EST | Thursday, November 19, 10:00am-11:45am EST | Thursday, November 19, 12:00pm-1:45pm EST | Friday, November 20, 10:00am-11:45am EST

In Conversation: Anna Watkins Fisher and Elizabeth Ault

Check out our newest “In Conversation” video, in which Editor Elizabeth Ault talks with Anna Watkins Fisher about her new book, The Play in the System: The Art of Parasitical Resistance. Fisher talks about what “parasitical resistance” is, about the ways in which the Trump Era has built on the Obama administration, and about thinking with Bong Joon-Ho’s film Parasite.

What is the Future of Bolivia after the 2020 MAS Victory?

Last November, Bolivia experienced a right-wing military coup d’état ousting Evo Morales and the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party based on alleged electoral fraud, with the support of the US-backed Organization of American States (OAS). Overturning the official election results, Jeanine Añez of the right-wing Democrat Social Movement party was declared interim president, and the nation burst into civil uprisings decrying the coup government and calling for the restoration of democracy through the electoral process (though mostly MAS opponents had taken to the streets previously to protest the elections). Pro-MAS protesters, many of them Indigenous, were met with violence, and Morales fled to exile in Mexico and then Argentina. Almost a year later and after much social unrest, general elections were held in Bolivia on October 18, 2020, resulting in a landslide victory for Luis Arce and David Choquehuanca of the MAS party. Shortly thereafter, Morales triumphantly returned to Bolivia in early November.
What does the MAS victory mean for the future of Bolivia? In this roundtable, Duke University Press authors and Bolivia experts Mark Goodale, Thomas Grisaffi, and Bret Gustafson share their thoughts on the future of Bolivia, particularly as it pertains to the industrialization of lithium, the production of coca, and the future of the natural gas industry, respectively.

Lithium Industrialization in Bolivia after the Coup – Mark Goodale

978-1-4780-0652-7_prWith the return to power of the MAS in Bolivia, one of the only things I’m confident in saying is that we will need many more months, perhaps even years, and the commitment of research dedicated to the question, to fully understand the contours of the last year. This past year began with a rightwing coup d’état and ended with the resounding electoral triumph of MAS at both the executive and legislative levels (yes, I analyze the mobilizations and eventual Camba takeover of October and November 2019 as a coup, even though it is a strange coup that ends with the golpistas, or coup plotters, allowing a democratic process to play out that leads to their ouster and coup leaders facing likely prison sentences).

But what concerns me here is something more specific: the likelihood that the new MAS government will re-start what was among the most important initiatives right up until the October 2019 election. This is the state project, managed by Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB), to industrialize the country’s lithium resources through an ambitious plan of vertical integration. This process that would oversee the commodity chain in Bolivia from the production of lithium carbonate and hydroxide to its refinement into “battery grade” salt to the development of lithium-ion battery cathodes and, finally, to the production—at an industrial scale—of fully functional lithium-ion batteries targeted for the booming global electronic vehicle (EV) market. 

In the months and years to come, the four-year research project I direct (now at the beginning of its second year) will be focusing on three main developments and possibilities. First: how quickly will the new MAS government resume production and construction activities at the main site in the Uyuni Salt Flat, which have been effectively paused for a year, a stoppage that took place even before the Covid-19 crisis struck Bolivia? Although a skeleton crew has been maintaining the evaporation pools, there is real concern that neglect and degradation over this period have set the process back.

Second, will the new MAS government revisit the decision taken by Evo Morales’ administration—as a late-breaking act of desperation during the social unrest in the days after the 2019 election—to annul the contract with the private German company ACI Systems? ACI Systems was acting as a proxy for Germany, which was acting as a proxy for the European Union, which is rushing to ramp up the transition to EVs and, apropos of the annulled contract, rapidly and exponentially increase the capacity to produce lithium-ion batteries within the EU. The contract with ACI Systems gave the German company the right to manage the later stages in the vertical integration process, but this contract was used by a largely Potosí-based anti-MAS civic movement to oppose the alliance and justify the threat of action against production at the facilities in the Salt Flat. Will the new MAS government reconsider the annulled contract with ACI Systems, and, if not, will the government require the state-owned company Yacimientos de Litio Boliviano (YLB), to take charge of the entire process from extraction to the production and distribution of lithium-ion batteries?

 And finally, will the new MAS government continue to structure economic policy, including lithium industrialization, based on the radical blueprint set out in the “Patriotic Agenda 2025,” a plan for national development that purports to respond to many of the critiques of the state’s reliance on traditional resource extraction, especially around gas and oil? In particular, will the lithium industrialization process remain the centerpiece of the Agenda’s concept of “productive sovereignty,” which imagines the state’s commitment to more sustainable development (although lithium is also a non-renewable resource) as the expression of both economic independence and decolonization?

The future of drug policy in Bolivia – Thomas Grisaffi

978-1-4780-0297-0_prOver the past fifteen years, Bolivia has emerged as a world leader in formulating a participatory, non-violent model in confronting the cocaine trade. The MAS victory in the October 2020 elections ensures that this innovative strategy will continue, but the Luis Arce administration will face challenges to implement it.

Bolivia is the world’s third largest producer of cocaine, a drug manufactured from coca leaf – which is central to Andean culture. Under the Evo Morales administration (2006-2019) farmers in specific zones were permitted to cultivate a small (between 1,600 – 2,500 square metre) plot of coca and were encouraged to self-police to respect these limits. 

This community-based model has proven more effective in reducing coca acreage than militarized forced eradication. Government investment has encouraged economic diversification away from coca. In Bolivia, 23,100 hectares were under coca cultivation in 2018, less than half that in Peru.

The policy has been lauded by the United Nations Development Programme as a less violent and efficient way to reduce coca cultivation, and has served as an inspiration to coca farmers in Peru and Colombia.

The relative success of the model does not mean it comes easy. There are debates over enforcement at every local union meeting, and some farmers complain that the upper limit on coca production is too low to meet their basic needs. Some farmers play the system and grow more coca than they are legally permitted.

Morales’s forced resignation in November 2019 threatened the future of the program. Despite being an interim government, the Jeanine Añez administration drafted its own five year drug strategy, which presented a hard-line stance to drug control and threatened a return to forced eradication.

Coca growers can breathe a sigh of relief. The incoming MAS government will surely continue with the community coca control model– but there will be challenges to its implementation.

Many growers supported the program out of deep-seated loyalty to Morales, who as President also headed the federation of growers. By contrast, incoming president Luis Arce, a UK-trained economist, lacks any history in the country’s social movements. He will find it difficult to convince farmers to make the sacrifices necessary for the policy to work.

The community control model relies on high levels of trust between the local coca growers’ organizations and the state, but the violence enacted by the police and military following last year’s coup – including the massacre of eleven coca growers – destroyed these foundations. Luis Arce will have to work hard to rebuild faith in the state, so that going forward coca growers are able to collaborate with the police, military and other official actors to restrict coca and curtail drug trafficking. 

The End of Gas and What’s Next for Eastern Bolivia – Bret Gustafson 

Bolivia in the Age of GaThe amazing victory of Luis Arce and David Choquehuanca of Bolivia’s MAS party comes amidst a public health tragedy and challenging economic conditions.  During the government of Evo Morales (2006-2019), the country benefited from high natural gas prices and the expansion of the public sector, policies in part overseen by Arce himself, who was Morales’s Minister of the Economy.  

As I explore in Bolivia in the Age of Gas, the period of the MAS government was nonetheless marked by contradictions. On the one hand, Indigenous and other social movements expanded their presence in government and made significant gains, especially in occupying new political spaces and state institutions long characterized by racial exclusion. On the other hand, the dependence on gas revenues led to compromises with foreign capital – and with more conservative sectors of the Bolivian society – that ran against what many hoped would be a more radical political transformation.  

In the case of the Guaraní of southeastern Bolivia, the impacts were significant. The gas industry transformed daily life in many communities, bringing new forms of labor and some material benefits, but also new forms of social and ecological violence. Many Guaraní benefited from access to jobs working with the government. Others were forced to deal with huge gas plants, large camps of male workers, disruptive seismic exploration (blasting with explosives to chart the underground), and endless efforts to eke out some compensation for damages.  

The right-wing forces that ousted Evo Morales in November of 2019 hoped to bring the MAS era to an end, and would have surely intensified these violences had they stayed in power. Yet the victory of Luis Arce has confirmed that despite the contradictions of the era of Evo Morales, Bolivians overwhelmingly wanted the MAS to return. 

Arce confronts a challenging scenario. Gas reserves are not growing, prices are low, and Brazil and Argentina – Bolivia’s main customers – may soon stop buying so much gas. Many Bolivians see lithium as the new boom, yet its prospects are complicated by national politics and global markets. If Bolivia can find a way to industrialize lithium – making batteries and electric cars, perhaps – there might be some hope there. Yet given what we know about the limits of extractivism, and the particular problems of fossil fuels, one might also hope Bolivia’s new government will deepen its turn to renewables, pursue more economic diversification, and slowly work to free itself from a longer history of being what I call “extractive subjects,” those whose own desires, for better and for worse, paradoxically align with the forces of extractive capitalism.

Through November 23, 2020, you can save 50% on books by all three authors using coupon code FALL2020.

New Titles in Women’s Studies

Every year we look forward to meeting authors in person at the NWSA Annual Meeting, and we are sad to be missing out on that this year. We know that many of you look forward to stocking up on new books at special discounts at our conferences, so we are pleased to extend a 50% discount on all in-stock books and journal issues with coupon code NWSA20 until November 23, 2020.

View our Women’s Studies catalog below for a complete list of all our newest titles in women, gender, and sexuality studies and across disciplines. You can also explore all of our books and journals in the field on And although you cannot join us in the booth this year, you can listen to a number of our authors discuss their books through our In Conversation series on our YouTube channel.

Editor Elizabeth Ault has a message for everyone who would have attended NWSA this year, with her recommendations of the latest books in women, gender, and sexuality studies.

Editor Elizabeth Ault

Dear NWSA,

I was so looking forward to gathering with you all in the greatest city in the world, Minneapolis, this fall, but it’s not to be. I’m sending solidarity to all the folks who have been doing incredible organizing work there for years before the murder of George Floyd (#justiceforfonglee, #justiceforjamarclarke, #ceceisfree, #cecetaughtme #justiceforphilandocastile) and continue to provide networks of care and support every dang day. 

I am so excited to be in conversation with y’all about the feminist work in Black studies, disability studies, geography, trans studies, queer theory, history, and more that has its home at NWSA. Please sign up for office hours to discuss your work with me here

In the meantime, I know many of you are shopping the sale. Here are some crucial feminist texts that would never have made it to 50% off day in the booth–and you can get them shipped directly to you for 50% off from our website!!!  You’ll see important strands of Black feminist thought and queer theory throughout these books, so I’ve tried to organize them more by method and topic to help you find what you’re looking for. 

I’m writing this in late October and you’ll be reading it on the other side of whatever happens on November 3. Regardless, I’m confident these books have important wisdom to offer us as we move through this extraordinarily painful year, fortified by the work of organizers in Minneapolis and around the world, and by these thinkers and writers. They’re all helping us to imagine the world we want to live in and work to make it possible.

Jih-Fei Cheng, Alex Juhasz, and Nishant Shahani’s AIDS and the Distribution of Crises comes directly out of that scholarly/activist nexus, bringing together insights from a range of fields and positions about the ongoing viral crises that COVID-19 cratered into this winter. Sima Shakhsari’s book The Politics of Rightful Killing looks at transnational online networks of writers and activists to consider how Iranians in the diaspora and Iran itself thought about reconstituting democracy. Jillian Hernandez’s Aesthetics of Excess is right there too, drawing on her work with Black and Latina girls in Women on The Rise in Miami.

Writing in Space

Alongside the amazing art Jillian and her interlocutors at WOTR created, much of which is included in full color in the book, we have some really amazing feminist art books out right now. Lorraine O’Grady’s work was at the center of the mind-blowing, pathbreaking We Wanted a Revolution show at the Brooklyn Museum a few years back, and now she has her own solo show there, accompanied by this new book of her writings about art practice and her vision for a Black feminist art world, Writing in Space. Maya Stovall has been performing and showing Liquor Store Theatre, a Detroit-based art and performance project for several years; her book by the same name considers the project as an ethnographic one reimagining what dispossessed neighborhoods in Detroit might still play host to. Bakirathi Mani’s new book, Unseeing Empire, centers work by South Asian women artists Annu Matthew, Seher Shah, and Gauri Gill to consider how empire continues to haunt South Asian desires for representation and representability.

978-1-4780-0663-3But it’s not just visual arts that are important – feminist approaches to music also play a big role on this list, with books by Maureen Mahon, Shana Redmond, Ren Ellis Neyra, and Xavier Livermon centering the sonic.

And Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s Dub is a work of art–no less than an oracle for our times. 

Another oracular work newly available is Jose Munoz’s posthumous Sense of Brown. This book is deep and lasting and Jose’s influence and importance is so clear and undeniable. More theoretical work on this list alongside Jose’s is Cressida Heyes’s book Anaesthetics of Existence, which is really speaking to me as this year continues to take and take. It’s a feminist phenomenology for this moment. Other books theorizing embodiment here include Neetu Khanna’s Visceral Logics of Decolonization, and Naked Agency, in which author Naminata Diabate considers women’s naked protests across Africa and the diaspora as a weighty, powerful form of vulnerable resistance.

naked agency

Diabate’s work is embedded in a long history of such protests–new feminist history work from Brandi Brimmer, Francoise Verges, and Lynn Thomas provides important tools for understanding how we got here, and how things could be different. 

And feminist ethnography has a strong presence on this list too, with nuanced and sensitive accounts of relationality and care in everyday life from Abigail Dumes, Saiba Varma, and Marilyn Strathern

information activism
Click cover image for In Conversation talk with McKinney!

Relations, the topic of Strathern’s capacious theorization, are also at the foundation of Brigitte Fielder’s rethinking of kinship and race. Her book is part of a strong list in queer and feminist cultural and literary studies that includes new books from Jack Halberstam (important queer theory, yes, but also important Kate Bush content!), Bo Ruberg (whose new book series is accepting proposals), Gillian Harkins (why are you still watching To Catch a Predator? I mean, you won’t after reading this book), Cait McKinney (the book we fondly refer to as “how lesbians invented the internet”), Erica Fretwell (She’ll make you care about The Yellow Wallpaper again, through centering the role of SMELL of all things), and Sam Pinto (the definitive take on Sarah Baartman and Sally Hemings that you have been waiting for!!).

That’s a lot of books! There’s so much richness and brilliance here. I’m excited to hear what you think about these books and how they’re informing your own work on twitter and in my office hours. In the meantime, keep well.

If you were hoping to connect with Elizabeth Ault or another of our editors about your book project at NWSA, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines here.

And don’t forget about our great journals in gender studies, like Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism; the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies; Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies; differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies; GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly. If you don’t have access through your library, ask them to subscribe, pick up a personal subscription, or add a special issue to your sale order!

New Titles in American Studies

We are sad to miss out on meeting authors in person at the ASA Annual Meeting this year. We know that many of you look forward to stocking up on new books at special discounts at our conferences, so we are pleased to extend a 50% discount on all in-stock books and journal issues with coupon code ASA20 until November 23, 2020. View our American Studies catalog below for a complete list of all our newest titles in the field and across disciplines. You can also explore all of our books and journals in American Studies on Since we cannot take photos of authors with their new books in our booth, this year, we instead offer an album of book selfies they have taken from home.

We hope you’ll also watch the ASA Freedom Courses event series along with us, especially this Saturday, November 14 at 2:00PM EST as we celebrate the one year publication anniversary of Ronak Kapadia’s Insurgent Aesthetics. Panelists include Keith P. Feldman, Kareem Khubchandani, Jodi Kim, and Sara Mameni. You can register on the event website.

Editors Elizabeth Ault, Courtney Berger, and Ken Wissoker offer their virtual welcome and their recommendations for the latest books in American Studies.

Editor Elizabeth Ault

Each fall I so look forward to gathering at ASA with mentors and colleagues across my intellectual, professional, and personal genealogies–from graduate and undergraduate degrees in American studies to my last 8 years here at Duke Press. It’s particularly hard to not be together this year because there are so many wonderful new books that we should be celebrating in person.

 I’m sure Courtney and Ken will have a lot more to say about the landmark new books on their lists from Jack Halberstam, R.A. Judy, Jane Bennett, Chris Freeburg, Samantha Pinto, and more. And, of course, the long-awaited new work from José Esteban Muñoz!! I can’t wait until we can celebrate this book, and the rest, together. Here are some of the books I’m raising a virtual glass to:

First, speaking of celebrating in person, if you are missing going OUT, I can’t recommend Xavier Livermon’s Kwaito Bodies highly enough. Livermon puts Africa and the diaspora in close conversation, vividly recreating nights out in Johannesburg, soundtracked by kwaito, the music that ushered in the post-apartheid era and the role of femininity, conspicuous consumption, and more often-derided forms in envisioning new kinds of freedoms. Hannah Appel’s The Licit Life of Capitalism also draws attention to connections between the U.S. and Africa, here exploring how a U.S.-based oil company creates and recreates the apparent seamlessness of resource extraction and capital flows in its Equatorial Guinea outpost. If you saw Hannah and Karen Ho together last year in Hawai’i, you know how important her analysis is for rethinking global political economy and US imperialism.

Pivoting to the online world we’ve all been inhabiting recently, Anna Watkins Fisher’s The Play in the System allows us to think through what happens when we all become users invited onto platforms by supposedly generous hosts. Applying this logic from Amazon to performance art to the academy itself, Fisher develops an important model of parasitism that involves leveraging one’s access/privilege into a limited but VERY EFFECTIVE tactic for resisting totalizing logics. She also doesn’t shy away from what happens when these engagements get messy.

Erica Fretwell’s Sensory Experiments is a beautiful new book that’s part of a vibrant cohort of C19 books on this fall season. Fretwell centers the 19th-century science of psychophysics as a crucial part of the transition from sentiment–knowing through feeling–to perception–knowing through bodily experience. Each of the five senses became its own genre of feeling through which the meanings of human difference could be calibrated. The book’s chapters interweave sense specific chapters with synaesthetic intervals, revisiting canonical works by James Weldon Johnson and Kate Chopin as well as introducing readers to some wonderfully bizarre ephemera including Japanese-German artist Sadakichi Hartmann’s attempt to take Carnegie Hall audiences on a perfume tour of Japan. Fretwell attends carefully to how these distinctions in sense perception came to shape ideas about race, gender, and ability.

I have a couple of books about disease that seem particularly important right now, too. There have been lots of conversations about Jih-Fei Cheng, Alex Juhasz, and Nishant Shahani’s AIDS and the Distribution of Crises, which came out just as the reality of COVID was setting in and people were beginning to draw comparisons to the ongoing HIV epidemic. Don’t miss the conversations the editors and contributors had about the relevance of their book in this moment, linked on our website. The book itself explores how HIV/AIDS continues to be a reality shaping so many communities’ narratives, cultural production, and lives. Too, as debates about vaccines, prevention, and treatments continue to baffle some of us, Abigail Dumes’s new book about Lyme disease, Divided Bodies, shows how norms of “evidence-based medicine” have opened up new realms for debate and what counts as evidence. 

Next year in San Juan, friends!

Executive Editor Courtney Berger

Four years ago, I was reluctantly boarding a plane to Denver to attend ASA. Reluctant, not because I don’t love ASA. I do. It’s almost always the highlight of the fall conference season for me. But I felt downtrodden after the election, and I wasn’t eager to see people and to be social. But as soon as I arrived at the conference hotel I realized my mistake. There was the usual line up of provocative scholarly panels and book celebrations, of course.  But there was also community. People hugged (when will we get to do that again?). They organized. They cried. And they danced. That’s what I am missing this year, fellow ASA-ers: the chance to be with you as a community. So, while we won’t be together in person. We won’t be setting up a book exhibit (and unpacking a lot of boxes). And we won’t be talking and laughing in the hotel bar and in the corridors outside panels. I will still find community with you. I will be attending your Zoom talks, following your social media posts, and raising a virtual glass to all of the authors who had books come out during the past year. And I will be alongside you working for a more just and equitable world.

Here are a few of the books that I’d be eagerly recommending to you in the exhibit hall. (Bonus, you don’t have to wait for the last day of the conference to get the 50% discount.)

Samantha Pinto, Infamous Bodies: Early Black Women’s Celebrity and the Afterlives of Rights. Check out this conversation between Samantha Pinto and Jennifer Nash that will be held on November 12th.

Soyica Diggs Colbert, Douglas A. Jones, and Shane Vogel, Race and Performance After Repetition. You can also listen to a conversation among the volume editors and contributors Joshua Chambers-Letson, Tavia Nyong’o, and Elizabeth Son.

978-1-4780-0828-6Cait McKinney, Information Activism: A Queer History of Lesbian Media Technologies. Check out my interview with Cait.

Robert Nichols, Theft Is Property!: Dispossession and Critical Theory. Here is the author discussing his book along with a great discussion of the book hosted by University of Alberta.

Bo Ruberg, The Queer Games Avant-Garde: How LGBTQ Game Makers are Reimagining the Medium of Video Games. (Look for a conversation between Bo and some of the game makers coming soon!)

Jane Bennett, Influx and Efflux: Writing up with Walt Whitman. Did you see the fabulous conversation between Jane Bennett and Jack Halberstam on their new books (hosted by Intellectual Publics)? So inspiring. The recording isn’t yet available, but well worth watching when it is. And we hosted a great event last week with the author in conversation with Peter Coviello, Derek McCormack, Kathy Ferguson, and others (link forthcoming on the DUP blog).

Louise Amoore, Cloud Ethics: Algorithms and the Attributes of Ourselves and Others

And hot off the presses, the latest book in the ANIMA series: Joseph Pugliese, Biopolitics of the More-Than-Human: Forensic Ecologies of Violence.

Stay well and safe, friends. I look forward to seeing you next fall.

Senior Executive Editor
Ken Wissoker

It’s sad looking at my calendar and seeing that I was going to be on the way to Baltimore for ASA yesterday.  I have great memories of the last time ASA was there, and powerful ones of last year’s meeting in Honolulu, such an important political moment in many ways. I’m grateful to my marketing colleagues for arranging the 50% off sale to happen at this time. It’s not the same as raving about the many, many great new books in person – no less getting to dance in celebration of them – but it’s still fabulous.

It’s really been a blockbuster season, needed brilliance at a tough political and pandemic moment.  There are a lot of new books just out including Maureen Mahon’s fabulous Black Diamond Queens, Maya Stovall’s Liquor Store Theatre, and genius artist Lorraine O’Grady’s Writing in Space, all released last week!  My fall highlights have been the long-awaited publication of José Esteban Muñoz’s The Sense of Brown, written alongside Cruising Utopia, and just as essential, Jack Halberstam’s Wild Things.  Ricardo Montez’s Keith Haring’s Line is right there with them.

I’m also excited about Emily Lordi’s beautiful The Meaning of Soul and the start of the Writing Matters! series edited by Lauren Berlant, Saidiya Hartman, Erica Rand, and Katie Stewart, which begins with Lesley Stern’s moving Diary of a Detour.

Over the fall I’ve spent a lot of time thinking with Arlene Dávila’s much-needed Latinx Art and Diana Taylor’s ¡Presente!: The Politics of Presence. I recommend both along with the amazing Aesthetics of Excess by Jillian Hernandez on Black and Latinx girls in Miami and Vanessa Díaz’s Manufacturing Celebrity on Latinx paparazzi and white women reporters as necessary but disposable parts of the Hollywood star system.

You also will not want to miss R.A. Judy’s profound and important Sentient Flesh, Erin Manning’s For a Pragmatics of the Useless – working with Black theory and neurodiversity – and Ian Baucom’s History 4° Celsius, thinking the Black Atlantic, colonialism, and the Anthropocene.  Along the same lines I would recommend Laura Hyun Yi Kang’s Traffic in Asian Women, and Brigitte Fielder’s Relative Races.

Most of you probably already have seen Ashon Crawley’s The Lonely Letters, Shana Redmond’s Everything Man, Savannah Shange’s Progressive Dystopia, Alexis Gumbs’s Dub, Wadsworth Jarrell’s Africobra, Matt Brim’s Poor Queer Studies, John Szwed’s Space is the Place, but if not, please pick them up!

If you’re still missing the action of the in-person ASA conference, you can find conversations with our authors about their books in our In Conversation series on YouTube.

If you were hoping to connect with Elizabeth Ault, Courtney Berger, Ken Wissoker, or another of our editors about your book project at ASA, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines here.