Remembering Duke President Emeritus Keith Brodie

Today we were saddened to learn of the death of H. Keith H. Brodie, President Emeritus of Duke University. Keith Brodie served as president from 1985 to 1993. Prior to his presidency, he served as chair of the Department of Psychiatry, director of Psychiatric Services, and chancellor of the university. Outside of his positions at Duke, he served as the president of the American Psychiatric Association. He also authored Keeping An Open Door: Passages in a University Presidency (1996).

“The initiatives Keith championed became signature qualities of Duke and remain part of our university’s values today, including an emphasis on interdisciplinary scholarship, investments in medical research, and a commitment to a diverse and inclusive faculty and student body,” wrote President Richard Brodhead in an email to Duke staff today.

Our sincerest condolences go out to Keith Brodie’s family, friends, and colleagues, as well as the Duke community.

New Books in December

Winter has arrived, and the holidays are upon us—stay warm and sharp with these incisive new titles in December:

978-0-8223-6228-9Containing over one hundred selections ranging from songs, artwork, and poetry, to journalism, oral history, and scholarship—most of which published in English for the first time—The Colombia Reader presents a rich and multi-layered account of this complex nation from the colonial era to the present.

In An Aqueous Territory: Sailor Geographies and New Granada’s Transimperial Greater Caribbean World, Ernesto Bassi examines the lives of those who resided in the Caribbean between 1760 and 1860 to trace the configuration of a dynamic geographic space he calls the transimperial Greater Caribbean, where residents made their own geographies and futures while trade, information, and people circulated freely across borders.978-0-8223-6292-0

In Finite Media: Environmental Implications of Digital Technologies, Sean Cubitt offers a  large scale rethinking of theories of mediation by describing the ecological footprint of media. He investigates the energy, material, and space needed to create, operate, and dispose of electronic devices, and shows that changing how we use media is the only solution to planetary devastation.

Matthew B. Karush’s  Musicians in Transit  examines the careers of seven major twentieth-century Argentine popular musicians in the transnational context to show how their engagement with foreign genres, ideologies, and audiences helped them create innovative new music and shape new Ar978-0-8223-6201-2gentine cultural and national identities.

Containing a wealth of new scholarship and rare primary documents, The Black Jacobins Reader provides a comprehensive analysis of C. L. R. James’s classic history of the Haitian Revolution.

The contributors to Citizenship in Question demonstrate that the line separating citizenship and noncitizenship is ambiguous and inconsistent. In case studies analyzing the legal barriers to citizenship rights in over twenty countries, the contributors show how states use citizenship requirements to police racial, ethnic, class, and religious difference.smith_one-and-five-ideas-cover

Taking disability theory out of a Western context, Eunjung Kim’s Curative Violence questions the assumptions that treating disabilities with cure represents a universal good by examining the manifestations of violence that accompany medical and nonmedical cures in twentieth- and early twenty-first-century Korea.

One and Five Ideas sees the eminent critic, historian, and former member of the Art & Language collective Terry Smith explore the artistic, philosophical, political, and geographical dimensions of conceptual art and conceptualism while offering a theory of contemporary art.

Want to make sure you don’t ever miss a new book? Sign up for Subject Matters, our e-mail newsletter.

Half-Mast in Havana

The death of Fidel Castro has brought a somber mood to Havana as Cubans there and around the country reflect on the life and impact of El Comandante. Today’s guest post by Adrian Hearn, first published November 29 in Australian Outlook, examines the state of Havana and the political and economic changes Cuba now faces. Hearn is the author of Diaspora and Trust: Cuba, Mexico, and the Rise of China and Cuba: Religion, Social Capital, and Development.

Weekends in Havana are usually festive. Families bustle through the crowded street markets to the backdrop of animated negotiations and the latest salsa tracks. But this weekend, the streets were calm and downcast. Television and radio stations were maintaining a sombre stream of news about the life and times of El Comandante. Even the tourist restaurants stopped serving alcohol and sent their bands home.

I heard the news of Fidel’s passing at 8:30am on Saturday from my neighbour as we passed on the staircase of the five-storey building where I stay. The 35-year-old manicurist is usually ready to joke about the trials of daily life despite being unable to find stable employment for the 15 years I’ve known her. When I asked how she felt, she forced a few words through strained lips: “Sad…We all knew he was sick, but…”. She had to stop to fight back tears.

Some of my friends are affected in less emotional but more practical ways. They make their living from music and ritual drumming for the Afro-Cuban religion Santería. To their dismay, the Council of State decreed that, “all public activities and performances will be suspended for nine days of national mourning.” Miki, the owner of the sacred batá drums, had to cancel his rumba show, and his religious ceremonies are all suspended because they involve drumming. He has taken the initiative: “I’ve sent Jorge to the police station to ask for a permit because for us this is the only way to make a living.” At the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum, Miki and his community are not afraid to complain: “The cartoons have all been cancelled to show this political stuff …What’s my daughter supposed to watch?”

Today marks four days since Fidel’s passing, and it is safe to say that feelings are mixed. At 9am 21 cannon shots boomed across the city, cutting through the Monday morning traffic as a reminder that life has not returned to normal. Many have been given the day off work to venerate Fidel’s ashes in Revolution Plaza. And at more than a thousand schools and clinics across Havana citizens have been urged to sign a “book of condolences”.


At one of these locations, a primary school in the lower-class neighbourhood of Arroyo Naranjo, I asked an elderly Afro-Cuban woman what the book of condolences meant to her. “I always tell people that I am not Communist,” she asserted with a raised finder, “but that I am Fidel-ist. Before the Revolution I worked for a wealthy white family, who made me carry buckets of water from 7am to 7pm and scrub their bathrooms nonstop. I wasn’t allowed to go to the beach with them because of my skin. It’s indisputable that Fidel put an end to that!” A young man joined the conversation with a quiet but intense tone: “I was born in the 1980s but my father told me how things were, and I’ll always defend Fidel for raising up people of colour.”

After the nationalisation of foreign businesses in the 1960s and mass mobilisations to educate the population, Fidel did not drive major changes in Cuban politics. But since his brother Raúl took over as president in 2008, the island has implemented a range of reforms that even the conservative US think tank Freedom House admits are “driving genuine change”. Consequently, more than 450,000 Cubans are now self-employed (up from 150,000 in 2010), and chic privately operated cafés and restaurants are popping up around the city. The growth of tourism to 3.5 million visitors in 2015, from just 300,000 in 1990, has brought new opportunities for many of Cuba’s 11 million citizens.

Change is also underway in the political system. At the last Communist Party Congress in mid-2016, rules were implemented to bring new blood into the elite Central Committee. Previously staffed by Fidel’s ageing comrades, the committee will henceforth only accept new members who are younger than 60, and will force those older than 70 to retire. Furthermore, three of the 2016 intakes come from scientific and industrial backgrounds instead of more traditional political careers.

Cuba’s international profile is evolving too. In 2015, the United States and Cuba reinstated diplomatic ties after 54 years of estrangement, and in March 2016 Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to visit the island in 88 years. European and Asian delegations are now a common sight in Havana, and this year former Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb led the first Australian trade mission to Cuba. As part of his delegation I was struck by the enthusiasm of Cuban officials—absent during Fidel’s reign—to develop commercial ties in everything from renewable energy to food security.

Watching these changes from Canberra, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is now funding Cuban engagement projects in areas as diverse as street art, restoration of historical archives, and organic food production. These initiatives show that Cuba’s priorities are changing: from tireless advocacy of social justice under Fidel to internationally engaged economic pragmatism under Raúl.

The music will inevitably return to Havana, but life after Fidel may usher in a period of emotional ambivalence. The nine-day mourning period is exposing deeply contrasting feelings about the balance of political allegiance with daily economic survival. And yet, for now at least, my neighbour will go back to her precarious job with a smile.

Announcing our Instagram Account

We’re so excited to announce that Duke University Press now has an Instagram account! Our team has been working on this secret project for a while, and we’re delighted to finally share it with our followers.

Follow us at @dukeuniversitypress for beautiful book bentos, quotes, event photos, and the inside scoop on Press life. Here’s a sampler:

"Love, H reveals the struggles and contradictions of being an aspiring female artist, a wife, and a mother during the tumultuous sixties. Here are two cool 'chicks'—in this case writer Hettie Jones and painter Helene Dorn—running in the highly competitive, male-dominated, bohemian circles of New York/San Francisco/& Beyond. It’s a gritty and seductive world, referred to by Jones as 'Boyland,' where smart, creative women are expected to be seen but not heard. These candid letters—framed by Hettie Jones’s own eloquent and insightful recollections—are a deeply moving ode to friendship, as well as a window to an incredible time of conflict, social change, and artistic flourishing in America." –Jessica Hagedorn ⠀ ⠀ #sixties #beatgeneration #feminism #letters #writing #bookstagram

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Recommended Reading on the Affordable Care Act from the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law

ddjhppl_41_1As the Affordable Care Act comes under scrutiny following the presidential election, we asked Eric M. Patashnik and the contributors of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law (JHPPL) to provide a list of recommended readings that approaches the policies, impact, and perceptions of the ACA from multiple perspectives. JHPPL has published case studies and articles regarding the ACA since 2010 and also publishes a section dedicated solely to the policy and politics of health care reform. The section provides information for practitioners, stakeholders, and academics involved in both national- and state-level health care reform legislation, regulation, implementation, and policy evaluation in the United States.

1. Media Messages and Perceptions of the Affordable Care Act during the Early Phase of Implementation 

Erika Franklin Fowler, Laura Baum, Colleen Barry, Jeff Niederdeppe, and Sarah E. Gollust
Vol. 42, No. 1, February 2017

2. Why States Expand Medicaid: Party, Resources, and History

Lawrence R. Jacobs and Timothy Callaghan
Vol. 38, No. 5, October 2013

3. You Can’t Make Me Do It, but I Could Be Persuaded: A Federalism Perspective on the Affordable Care Act

Simon F. Haeder and David L. Weimer
Vol. 40, No. 2, April 2015

4. What Health Care Reform Means for Immigrants: Comparing the Affordable Care Act and Massachusetts Health Reforms

Tiffany D. Joseph
Vol. 41, No. 1, February 2016

5. Business Associations, Conservative Networks, and the Ongoing Republican War over Medicaid Expansion

Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Theda Skocpol, and Daniel Lynch
Vol. 41, No. 2, April 2016

6. Implementing the Affordable Care Act: The Promise and Limits of Health Care Reform

Jonathan Oberlander
Vol. 41, No. 4, August 2016

7. Partisanship, Dysfunction, and Racial Fears: The New Normal in Health Care Policy?

James A. Morone
Vol. 41, No. 4, August 2016

Save 40% on Gift Books Today Only


Just getting started on your holiday shopping? Got one or two gifts left to get? Today is the final day of our special Cyber Monday sale, so get those gifts now at 40% off. We’ve got lots of general interest titles for all your friends and family.

978-0-8223-6272-2For poetry lovers on your list, we suggest several recent titles. Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity by Alexis Pauline Gumbs is an urgent but lyrical collection of poems depicting scenes of fugitive Black women and girls seeking freedom from gendered violence and racism. Following the death of Fidel Castro, Cuba is in the news, and poet Margaret Randall says, “Anyone who wants to know what Cubans are thinking and doing should read Cuban poetry.” Sample a wide variety of Cuban poems in her new bilingual collection Only the Road/Solo el camino: Eight Decades of Cuban Poetry. For readers who want to know about the lives behind the poetry, Love, H: The Letters of Helene Dorn and Hettie Jones offers an intimate look at the lifelong friendship between two artists.

Shopping for music lovers? We suggest two essay collections: Chuck Eddy’s flyboyTerminated for Reasons of Taste: Other Ways to Hear Essential and Inessential Music will appeal to your contrarian friend who champions the music everyone else hates. Greg Tate’s Flyboy 2: The Greg Tate Reader collects the work of the premier hip-hop writer of his generation and features essays about everything from Miles Davis to Ice Cube. Got someone in your life who loves to share stories about dancing at Studio 54 or The Saint back in the day? Get them Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983 by Tim Lawrence.

978-0-8223-6235-7For the foodies in your life, get a copy of Real Pigs: Shifting Values in the Field of Local Pork. Anthropologist Brad Weiss traces the desire for “authentic” local foods in our own Piedmont region of North Carolina. He interviews chefs, farmers, and butchers and explores the history and culture of local pork. Prefer fish to bacon? Elspeth Probyn’s Eating the Ocean takes an ethnographic journey around the world’s oceans and fisheries and forces us to consider the ocean as much as the land in our food politics.

Finally, if you want to give beautiful coffee table books this year, we’ve got some of those, too. Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art, a catalog from the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, features the work of sixty artists including Romare Beardon, Theaster Gates, Kara Walker, Barkley L. Hendricks, and Ebony G. Patterson. 978-0-8223-5582-3_prPhotography lovers will enjoy any of the CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography winners. The most recent are Aunties by Nadia Sablin, featuring pictures of her Russian aunts’ surprisingly colorful and dreamlike days, and Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene by Gerard H. Gaskin, a fabulous peek into the world of house balls. Another gorgeous photography book perfect for giving is Bill Brumfield’s Architecture at the End of the Earth: Photographing the Russian North, at once an art book, a travel guide, and a personal document about the discovery of a bleak but beautiful region of Russia that most readers will see here for the first time.

We hope you’ll find something for everyone on your list at our sale, but shop fast! The 40% off sale ends at 11:59 pm on November 29. Use coupon CYBER40 at checkout to save.

Save 40% During our Cyber Monday Sale


It’s the most wonderful time of the year … sale time at Duke University Press! For two days only, save 40% on all in-stock books and journal issues.

To get the discount, shop our website and enter the coupon code CYBER40 when you check out. Please note that the discount does not apply to journal subscriptions or society memberships. See all the fine print here.

Stock up on books for next semester’s courses or get your holiday shopping done. But act fast, because this sale is over tomorrow.

Fidel Castro, ¡presente!

On the occasion of the death of Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro, we offer a guest post by Margaret Randall.

1024px-fidel_castro_-_mats_terminal_washington_1959Fidel Castro, longtime leader of the Cuban Revolution, died on November 25th at the age of 90. He withdrew from public office in 2008, when his younger brother Raul took over. Raul has said he will step down in 2018. At the Cuban Communist Party congress in April of this year, Fidel voiced an awareness of his impending death: “Our turn comes to us all,” he told the assembled delegates, “but the ideas of Cuban communism will endure.”

It is unclear how much of Fidel’s vision for his nation will endure in the face of a rapidly changing world with neo-fascist forces gaining ground in so many countries, including our own United States. What cannot be denied is that 57 years ago Fidel led a small group of revolutionaries to victory in Cuba, and against enormous odds established the “first free territory in America.” The Cuban Revolution stood up to a world power many times its size and strength, put basic human needs on its agenda, all but eradicated illiteracy and soon achieved a ninth-grade education for all adults, guaranteed universal healthcare and good free public education from kindergarten through the post-graduate level, worked to provide adequate housing and made full employment a reality. Progress was made against racism and sexism. People discussed and passed new laws. Book publishing was subsidized. Culture and sports events were free. Despite a multiplicity of problems from outside and within, for half a century Cuba stood as a beacon for other countries suffering poverty and neocolonial domination. With almost half a century of U.S. economic blockade, the implosion of the European socialist bloc and other impediments, some of these accomplishments no longer shine as brightly as they once did. Still, Cuba gave the world a new idea of what justice might look like.

I lived in Cuba for eleven years in the 1970s, but only met Fidel once, very briefly in 1968. We were at a large reception with many hundreds of guests. A friend who knew the man took me to where he stood surrounded by other visitors. The year before, in Mexico, I had published an anthology of new Cuban poetry and visual art in the bilingual journal I edited, El Corno Emplumado / The Plumed Horn. To my astonishment, Fidel brought up that publication, referring to several of the included works by name. I tried to imagine what it might be like to have such a conversation with any high level political leader in the United States.

Fidel Castro the man has drawn resounding praise and pervasive insult. Whatever one’s opinion, he was a uniquely brilliant strategist and great leader, whose ideas merit our respect and gratitude. Today I weep with the Cuban people. As they say throughout Latin America, Fidel Castro, ¡presente!

Margaret Randall is the author of dozens of books of poetry and prose, including Haydée Santamaría, Cuban Revolutionary: She Led by Transgression and Che on My Mind, and the editor of Only the Road / Solo el Camino: Eight Decades of Cuban Poetry, all also published by Duke University Press. Her next book Exporting Revolution: Cuba’s Global Solidarity, comes out in the spring.

Black Portraiture[s]

nka38-39Contributors to the most recent issue of Nka, “Black Portraiture[s]: The Black Body in the West,” offer cutting-edge perspectives on the production and skill of black self-representation, desire, and the exchange of the gaze from the nineteenth century to the present day in fashion, film, art, and the archive. This collection of essays is critical and exciting because of its broad focus on the black portrait and the important aesthetic and ideological issues it continues to engage.

“By featuring some of the most extraordinary writers, historians, artists, and theorists working today we hope this special issue of Nka… enables readers to see that the image remains ever powerful in an age where black lives matter,” editors Cheryl Finley and Deborah Willis write in the introduction to the issue.

Topics in this issue include the impact of slavery on paintings at the Louvre, paintings of black artists and unfinished self-portraits, the uses of portraiture by artists Barkley L. Hendricks and Elizabeth Colomba, black women’s representations in pornography, James Barnor’s career, and photographing the ways in which black bodies exist in Paris and the world. Read the introduction, made freely available, and browse the table-of-contents for more.

ddcsa_36_2The most recent issue of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East features an interview with Nomusa Makhubu, a South African photographer.

From the introduction: “Collages of landscape, current occupants, and their ghosts, Nomusa Makhubu’s photographs capture the themes of this special section on apartheid with uncanny precision, and they articulate the possibility of a visual rhetoric to mark South Africa’s haunted present. In three separate photographic series, Makhubu deploys and destabilizes the supposed documentary capacity of photography and its ability to capture a static moment in order to insist on the interleaving of past and present and their inescapable conjunction.” Read the full interview.

978-0-8223-5074-3In Image Matters, Tina M. Campt traces the emergence of a black European subject by examining how specific black European communities used family photography to create forms of identification and community. At the heart of Campt’s study are two photographic archives, one composed primarily of snapshots of black German families taken between 1900 and 1945, and the other assembled from studio portraits of West Indian migrants to Birmingham, England, taken between 1948 and 1960. Campt’s next book, Listening to Images, will be published in May 2017.

978-0-8223-5085-9Pictures and Progress, edited by Maurice O. Wallace and Shawn Michelle Smith, explores how, during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, prominent African American intellectuals and activists understood photography’s power to shape perceptions about race and employed the new medium in their quest for social and political justice.

Smith is also the author of At the Edge of Sight, which engages the dynamics of seeing and not seeing, focusing attention as much on the invisible as the visible. Exploring the limits of photography and vision, she asks: What fails to register photographically, and what remains beyond the frame? What is hidden by design, and what is obscured by cultural blindness?

978-0-8223-5541-0_rSmith’s Photography on the Color Line provides a rich interpretation of the remarkable photographs W. E. B. Du Bois compiled for the American Negro Exhibit at the 1900 Paris Exposition, revealing the visual dimension of the color line that Du Bois famously called “the problem of the twentieth century.” Photography and the Optical Unconscious, edited by Smith and Sharon Sliwinski, will be published in May 2017.

Feeling Photography, edited by Elspeth H. Brown and Thy Phu, demonstrates the profound effects of feeling on our experiences and understanding of photography. The relationship between race and photography takes center stage in chapter 4, “Skin, Flesh, and the Affective Wrinkles of Civil Rights Photography” by Elizabeth Abel, and chapter 5, “Looking Pleasant, Feeling White: The Social Politics of the Photographic Smile” by Tanya Sheehan.

American Studies Association 2016

1We had such a wonderful time selling books and journals at the American Studies Association last week in Denver, Colorado.

On Friday we had a reception celebrating Small Axe‘s fiftieth issue and twentieth anniversary. The wine and cheese were great, but the Small Axe swag was an even bigger hit!

The reception was fun way to celebrate with editor David Scott, managing editor Vanessa Pérez-Rosario, editorial board members, and readers of the journal. Keep the celebration going by reading Small Axe #50.

Friday night also included a reception for GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. It was great to see so many scholars and contributors to the journal, as well as co-editors Beth Freeman and Marcia Ochoa, celebrating the journal.

Several of our authors won awards for their books. Simone Browne won the 2016 Lora Romero Prize for her book, Dark Matters, and Lisa Lowe’s Intimacies of Four Continents was a finalist for the 2016 John Hope Franklin Prize, both from ASA.

It was wonderful to see so many authors and editors stop by our booth. We loved seeing them with their books, and especially enjoyed E. Patrick Johnson and Kai Green’s reenactment of the No Tea, No Shade cover!

Not able to make it out this year? Are there a few more books or journal issues you wish you would have grabbed? Don’t worry—you can use the coupon code ASA16 on our website through the end of the year to stock up on our great American studies titles for 30% off.