Final Day of our Fall Sale

Today is the final day to save 50% on in-stock books and journal issues during our Fall Sale. Use coupon FALL21 and be sure to shop before 11:59 pm EDT.

Customers outside North and South America can use the FALL21 coupon through today at our UK-based distributor Combined Academic Publishers to save on shipping, particularly in Europe.

If you shopped early in the sale, check out our post on new books that came out in early October. And also consider our latest releases, Saturation, a collection edited by Melanie Jue and Rafico Ruiz; The Work of Rape by Rana M. Jaleel; Decay, a collection edited by Ghassan Hage; See How We Roll by Melinda Hinkson; Indirect Subjects by Matthew H. Brown; and The Deconstruction of Sex, the late philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy’s final book, a collaboration with Irving Goh.

See the fine print and FAQs here. Don’t delay, shop now!

New Titles in American Studies

We look forward to celebrating new books and journal issues in American studies at the virtual American Studies Association conference. During our fall sale, save 50% on all books and special issues when you use coupon code FALL21 at checkout. Customers in the UK and Europe can order books with this code from our UK partner, Combined Academic Publishers.

Registered attendees can find us in the official virtual exhibit hall. For highlights of our newest titles in American studies, check out our conference landing page. And browse all books and journals in American studies here.

Since we can’t take pictures of our authors in our exhibit hall booth, we’ve collected an album of their book selfies! Find them on Facebook.

On Tuesday, October 12, join author Kandice Chuh for an roundtable session about her book The Difference Aesthetics Makes, at12:00pm EST, accompanied by Lisa Lowe and Laura Hyun Yi Kang.

Soyica Colbert will be discussing Race and Performance After Repetition on a panel with many of the volume’s contributors, Wedneday, October 13 at 4:00pm EST.

Thursday, October 14 at 10:00am EST, join Xavier Livermon for “Kwaito Bodies: Black (Queer) Creativity in Transnational Context,” on his most recent book.

Tiffany Lethabo King and Savannah Shange will both participate in the Critical Ethnic Studies Committee roundtable on The Black Shoals Wednesday, October 13 at 4:00pm EST, and on the panel “Black Feminist Ecologies/Ethnographies of Experimentation and Revolt in The Black Shoals (2019) and Progressive Dystopia (2019),” Thursday, October 14, 12:00pm EST.

If you were hoping to connect with Courtney Berger, Ken Wissoker, Elizabeth Ault, or one of our other editors about your book project at the American Studies Association conference, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines and submission portal here.

New Titles in Science Studies

We look forward to celebrating new books and journal issues in science and technology studies at the virtual Society for Social Studies of Science conference! During our fall sale, save 50% on all books and special issues when you use coupon code FALL21 at checkout. Customers in the UK and Europe can order books with this code from our UK partner, Combined Academic Publishers.

Cover of Anaesthetics of Existence by Cressida J. Heyes. Black text over fine art installation "mé," Roppongi Crossing 2019: Connexions, featuring a white room full of stationary ocean waves.

Registered attendees can find us in the official virtual exhibit hall. For highlights of our newest titles in science studies, check out our conference landing page. And browse all books and journals in science and technology studies here.

On Saturday, October 9, join author Cressida J. Heyes for an author-meets-critics session about her book Anaesthetics of Existence, 3:00pm EST.

Cover of Dear Science and Other Stories by Katherine McKittrick. Against a black background, a photograph in triplet of an empty window, viewed through an archway, in the ruined colonial mansion at Farley Hill National Park, Barbados.

And later that afternoon, at 5:00pm EST, join Katherine McKittrick and others for a panel on “Thinking with Katherine McKittrick’s Dear Science and Other Stories.”

Other DUP authors and editors have panels throughout the weekend!:

Courtney Berger will be attending the Society for Social Studies of Science conference virtually, and would be happy to hear from potential authors and receive book proposals. Watch Courtney’s twitter for any additional announcements.

If you were hoping to connect with one of our other editors about your book project at 4S, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines and submission portal here.

Our Fall Sale Continues


Our Fall Sale continues through October 15. 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 FALL21.

If you shopped during the first week of our sale, we have some new releases that have just become available. Check them out and save 50%!

CoupletsBrian Massumi’s Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation, has become a classic text in cultural studies and affect theory. We’ve just released a twentieth-anniversary edition featuring a new preface and a gorgeous new design. If you’ve been meaning to pick up this important text, now’s the time! Massumi also has a brand new book out, Couplets, which presents twenty-four essays that represent the full spectrum of his work during the past thirty years. Conceived as a companion volume to Parables for the Virtual, Couplets addresses the key concepts of Parables from different angles and contextualizes them, allowing their stakes to be more fully felt.

In To Make Negro Literature, Elizabeth McHenry recovers a hidden genealogy of Black literature by examining African American authorship in the understudied decade following the 1896 legalization of segregation. By prioritizing overlooked archives, McHenry reveals a radically different literary landscape.

Moving HomeMoving Home by Sandra Gunning also draws on lesser-known African diasporic texts, in this case travel narratives, to explore the conditions and possibilities of race, gender, sex, and class that early black Atlantic travel enabled.

Celeste Day Moore’s Soundscapes of Liberation traces the popularity of African American music in postwar France to outline how it came to signify both state power and liberation for Francophone audiences throughout the world.

natures-wildNature’s Wild by Andil Gosine revises understandings of queer desire in the Caribbean, showing how the very concept of homosexuality in the Caribbean (and in the Americas more broadly) has been overdetermined by a colonially-influenced human/animal divide. You have several chances to catch Gosine at events in October!

And don’t forget to add some of our quickest selling journal issues to your order. “Radical Care” and “Sexology and Its Afterlives” from Social Text, “Crip Temporalities” from South Atlantic Quarterly, “The Infrastructure of Emergency” from American Literature, and “Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory at Fifty” from New German Critique are topping our lists right now!

Pick up these new titles and all in-stock books and journal issues for 50% off, but only if you shop now with coupon FALL21! This special offer October 15. See the fine print here.

New Books in October

Couplets_coverOur October releases are not to be missed!

Couplets: Travels in Speculative Pragmatism is a collection of twenty-four essential essays written by Brian Massumi over the past thirty years and is both a primer for those new to his work and a supplemental resource for those already engaged with his thought.

A new twentieth anniversary edition of Brian Massumi’s pioneering and highly influential Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation includes a significant new preface that situates the book in relation to developments since its first publication and outlines the evolution of its main concepts.

McHenry_coverIn To Make Negro Literature: Writing, Literary Practice, and African American Authorship Elizabeth McHenry locates a hidden chapter in the history of Black literature at the turn of the twentieth century, revising concepts of Black authorship and offering a fresh account of the development of “Negro literature” focused on the never published, the barely read, and the unconventional.

Celeste Day Moore’s Soundscapes of Liberation: African American Music in Postwar France turns to African American music and its popularization in post-war France, showing how various genres (from gospel and spirituals to blues and jazz) accrued new meanings and political power as it traveled globally.

In Moving Home: Gender, Place, and Travel Writing in the Early Black Atlantic, Sandra Gunning complicates understandings of the Black Atlantic through an exploration of 19th-century travel writing. Analyzing accounts from missionaries, abolitionists, entrepreneurs, and explorers, Gunning sheds light on African diasporic mobility even amidst the constraints of imperialism.


Saturation: An Elemental Politics, a collection edited by Melody Jue and Rafico Ruiz, brings a scientific concept to media studies, showing how elements in the natural world affect and are affected by human culture and politics.

In Atmospheres of Violence: Structuring Antagonism and the Trans/Queer Ungovernable, Eric A. Stanley casts doubt on liberal, State-driven bids for “inclusion” and “recognition” for LGBTQ folks, which, they argue, have done nothing to diminish violence against trans, queer and/or gender-nonconforming people of color. Stanley calls for abolitionist forms of organizing to achieve a better future.

Rana M. Jaleel’s The Work of Rape links international law’s redefinition of mass rape as a crime against humanity to the expansion of US imperialism and its effacement of racialized violence and dispossession.

In The Deconstruction of Sex, Irving Goh conducts a series of conversations with the late philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, in which they deconstruct sex in the age of #MeToo, searching for the “senses of sex” and advocating for a critical awareness of the role sex plays in our relationships with ourselves and others.

Author Events in October

Catch our authors at a variety of book talks, keynotes, and conversations both in-person and online this month.

September 30, 12:00 pm CDT: Ronak Kapadia, author of Insurgent Aesthetics, joins Nicole Fleetwood for a conversation about research on carcerality, U.S. imperialism, and visual culture, sponsored by Northwestern Buffett Institute’s New Frontiers in Global Research Initiative.

September 30, 6:00 pm EDT: Rachel Zolf, author of No One’s Witness, gives an online book talk sponsored by Concordia University’s Centre for Expanded Poetics.

October 1, 12:00 pm EDT: Andil Gosine, author of Nature’s Wild, appears in conversation with Faith Smith at a virtual event sponsored by Harvard Bookstore.

October 1, 5:00 pm CEST: Yv E. Nay and Eliza Steinbock host a launch event for their coedited issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, “The Europa Issue.” Email for a Zoom link.

October 2, 1:00 pm EDT: Christina Schwenkel, author of Building Socialism, participates in an Urban History Association forum entitled “Afterlives of Public Housing: A Comparative Conversation.”

October 7, 12:15 pm EDT: Anna Arabindan-Kesson, author of Black Bodies, White Gold presents a talk entitled “Art Hx: Digital Archiving and Forms of Care” at the Digital Humanities/Exhibitions Seminar.

October 8, 11:00 am EDT: Join us for the first of several virtual events celebrating the Black Outdoors series. Editors Sarah Jane Cervenak and J Kameron Carter host a virtual reading with authors La Marr Jurelle Bruce, Chris Finley, R.A. Judy, Kevin Quashie, and Maya Stovall, concluding with a brief Q&A.

October 8, 7:00 pm EDT: Andil Gosine, author of Nature’s Wild, appears in person at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Art.

October 13, 10:00 am PDT: micha cárdenas, author of the forthcoming book Poetic Operations (January 2022), speaks at the Augmented Senses virtual symposium.

October 13, 5:30 pm EDT: Monica Huerta, author of Magical Habits, begins Personal Limits, a virtual conversation series about contemporary experiments in personal writing. Her first conversation with Sarah Chihaya and Merve Emre is sponsored by Labyrinth Books.

October 15, 10:00 am EDT: Max Liboiron, author of Pollution is Colonialism, gives the keynote address at the Expanding Communities of Sustainable Practice symposium, sponsored by Leeds Arts University.

October 20, 10:00am PDT: Join an online book launch for Sara Ahmed’s Complaint! featuring panelists Sirma Bilge, Heidi Mirza, Tiffany Page and Leila Whitley, and chaired by Chandra Frank. The event is hosted by UC San Diego’s Critical Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies

October 25, 3pm EDT: William Craft Brumfield, author of Journeys through the Russian Empire and Architecture at the End of the Earth, begins a five-lecture series sponsored by the 92nd Street Y. The series is entitled “20th Century Russia: The Land and History of the Empire and Soviet Union Through Photography,” and continues weekly through November 22.

October 25, 5:30pm HST: Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez and Hōkūlani K. Aikau, editors of Detours: A Decolonial Guide to Hawai’i, speak at the Hawai’i Book and Music Festival.

October 25: Dana E. Powell, author of Landscapes of Power, will be a keynote speaker at the Energy Ethics conference

New Titles in Political Science

Black text on a white, transparent box over assorted book and journal covers arranged in columns. "American Political Science Association, 2021 Virtual Conference Exhibit, Use code FALL21 for 50% off during our fall sale!"

We are sad to miss you in-person at the American Political Science Association conference this year, but we look forward to celebrating new books and journal issues in political science virtually. During our fall sale, save 50% on all books and special issues when you use coupon code FALL21 at checkout. Customers in the UK and Europe can order books with this code from our UK partner, Combined Academic Publishers.

The Colonizing Self, by Hagar Kotef. Dark maroon background with a photograph of art installation by Marjan Teeuwen of a destroyed house in Gaza, with each of its crumbling walls visible like a grid.

Registered attendees can find us in the official virtual exhibit hall! For highlights of our newest titles in political science, check out our conference landing page. And browse all books and journals in political science here.

On Saturday, October 2, join author Hagar Kotef for an author-meets-critics session about her book The Colonizing Self, 7:00pm EST.

Other DUP authors and editors have panels throughout the weekend!:

Enrique Desmond Arias, “Criminal Politics in Brazil,” in person panel, Saturday, Oct 2, 11:00am EST; “The Politics of Illicit Economies, Organized Crime, and Extra-Legal Actors Mini-Conference Roundtable,” in person panel, Thursday, Sept 30, 11:00am EST

Isaac A. Kamola, “Creating Minimum Standards for Employing Contingent Faculty in the Profession,” virtual panel, Thursday, Sept 30, 5:00pm EST; “Transnational Political Thought,” virtual panel, Saturday, Oct 2, 9:00am EST

Robert Nichols, “From Captivity to Abolition: Incarceration and Political Theory,” in-person panel, Saturday, Oct 2, 11:00am EST

James R. Martel, “Political Theologies and New forms of Critique,” virtual panel, Saturday, Oct 2, 1:00pm EST; “Insurgent Imaginaries,” in-person panel, Sunday, Oct 3, 8:00am EST

If you were hoping to connect with Courtney Berger or one of our other editors about your book project at the American conference, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines and submission portal here.

Conceptualizing COVID Syllabus

Today, Duke University Press publishes our Conceptualizing COVID Syllabus. The articles, special sections, and special issues collected in this syllabus represent some early attempts to conceptualize how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the discourse in the humanities and social sciences in 2021.

All included articles are freely available through the end of the year. Start reading here.

The Conceptualizing COVID Syllabus joins a long list of staff-curated syllabi addressing some of today’s most pressing social issues, including racial justice, prison and the carceral state, global immigration, and more. Find the full list of syllabi here.

Introducing Black Outdoors, a New Series

In 2020 we launched Black Outdoors: Innovations in the Poetics of Study, a new series edited by Sarah Jane Cervenak and J. Kameron Carter. Now that nine books are available in the series and two are shortly forthcoming, we invite you to learn more about the series and perhaps submit your own project.

Black Outdoors is dedicated to the study of alternative ecologies and socialities beyond logics of property, sovereignty, and propertied self-possession. It points to forms of social life exceeding the racial, sexual, gendered, economic, and neurological protocols of self- and civic administration and of the normatively human. Indeed, Black Outdoors attends to figurations of the outdoors as “black,” where blackness exceeds regulation.

Senior Executive Editor Ken Wissoker says, “I love when a series reconfigures our landscape in a profound way, putting work in relation that might have previously seemed disparate. From the beginning Black Outdoors has been just that kind of series, offering a home that expands what kind of writing is possible, calling more of it into being. Jay and Sarah have a genius for identifying brilliant writers and theorists who may not have previously met but are producing the conversation we all need.”

The series editors are seeking new projects for the series. It envisions books that imagine form itself as an occasion of reimagining language and relation without the enclosures dividing people from each other and from the earth and the universe. Black Outdoors invites a range of approaches to blackness and out(doors)ness, to what black outdoors as potential and possibility could mean to imaginations of being and relationality.

Sarah Jane Cervenak is Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and of African American and African Diaspora Studies at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. J. Cameron Carter is Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. Potential authors can contact the series editors directly.

Cervenak says, “We’re so excited about how the series has reached people, how different thinkers have engaged Black Outdoors as a way to think about relationality, about symbolic and actual places, about unenclosed Black living. Every book is a beautiful offering and we’re thankful to be part of the conversations they engender together.”

The published books in the series are all 50% off during our Fall Sale. Pick them up using coupon FALL21 through October 15, 2021.

Beyond Man: Race, Coloniality, and Philosophy of Religion, edited by An Yountae and Eleanor Craig (2021)

How to Go Mad without Losing Your Mind: Madness and Black Radical Creativity, by La Marr Jurelle Bruce

Black Gathering: Art, Ecology, Ungiven Life, by Sarah Jane Cervenak

Maroon Choreography, by fahima ife

Sentient Flesh: Thinking in Disorder, Poiesis in Black, by R. A. Judy

Otherwise Worlds: Against Settler Colonialism and Anti-Blackness, edited by Tiffany Lethabo King, Jenell Navarro, Andrea Smith

Black Aliveness, or A Poetics of Being, by Kevin Quashie

Liquor Store Theatre, by Maya Stovall

No One′s Witness: A Monstrous Poetics, by Rachel Zolf

Forthcoming titles include Toward Camden by Mercy Romero (December 2021) and Black Trans Feminism by Marquis Bey (January 2022). 

A “Roadrunner” Playlist: Guest Post by Joshua Clover

RoadrunnerThis is a blog post to accompany a playlist to accompany a book, Roadrunner. The book is about the song “Roadrunner” but about never gets it right. I’ll try to say something more useful in a minute but before I forget, some notes on the playlist. There are in truth two. Faster Miles an Hour is the bare bones version featuring songs central to the book’s ideas. Faster and Then Some  includes all those songs and numerous others that come up over the course of the book, more or less in the order they appear, not every single title mentioned, but every song that gets a gloss, even if it is just a sentence. Well, almost every song. Some songs are missing from Spotify and some are misnamed. There is a track correctly labeled “Roadrunner (Twice)” but the track called “Roadrunner” should rightly be titled “Roadrunner (Once)”; this distinction is at the heart of Chapter 2. A live version released as a B side in 1977, discussed at the outset of Chapter 3, cannot be found on Spotify but here it is: “Roadrunner (Thrice).” That chapter concludes by revisiting “Johnny B. Goode” and mentions in passing the Sex Pistols cover, which as many will recall, they assay as part of a catastrophic two-song medley with the book’s title song: “Johnny B Goode/Road Runner.” Chapter 4, oriented by a Cornershop song secretly recasting “Roadrunner” from the Global South, culminates with discussion of an extended mix; the playlist has the radio edit, but not the miraculous “Brimful of Asha (Norman Cook Remix Extended Version).” Finally, the last chapter returns to the title song via a later Jonathan Richman track of profound sweetness, also absent: “Chewing Gum Wrapper.

modern loversThis book is not about any of these songs. And if it is about “Roadrunner” that is because “Roadrunner” is about much more than it lets on. It can’t help it, that is how songs work, drawing some portion of the everything into themselves whether they mean to or not. The book claims early on, “it is the greatest rock song of all time, or the greatest American rock song of all time, or the greatest American rock song of that era.” But it continues, “I offer those specifications not to diminish the claim but because ‘American’ and ‘rock’ matter to the song and to this book, and ‘that era’ matters.” If the book is about the song, this is because it is trying to understand what America is, and where it is going, and it approaches this by trying to think about the world that the song makes available, that thing of which it cannot help but be a trace — trying to think about the situation in the United States in and around 1972 when the song was recorded. Or some fraction of that situation. I am especially interested in that relatively recent phenomenon that has transformed the life of pretty much everyone on the planet: capitalism, a disaster that, across the globe and the centuries, took its most pure form with the industrial boom in the United States after World War II, during the exact years that would mark the rise & peak of rock & roll. These two things are, I think, inseparable, and that inseparability is the book’s topic, and how that allows for a revised history of the genre. Or maybe it is about the largely unremarked story that rock & roll can’t stop telling from the very start, what I call the ur-story, which contains a great paradox and yet is made of simple pieces that snap together into that astounding and finally awful thing called rock music, a story which will never be told more magically than in “Roadrunner.” Or maybe it is just about driving around.

But now I am at risk of summarizing a book that is already itself a summary, of explaining a book that is an effort at explanation, of revising a book that is already a revision. So I will turn away, which is ironic, since if you are driving along a ring road, as the song does and as the book does, the ring road outside the Boston metropolitan area, the ring road of global history, then you are always turning away, just as you are always turning toward. I will turn for a minute toward a personal story. This is the inaugural title in Singles, a series which I co-edit, each book about a single song. We made a few agreements when we were just starting out, my co-editor Emily J. Lordi and I. For example, we agreed that we would limit the number of classic rock titles in the series, though I was granted an exception as a founding editor. As a corollary we decided to avoid Bob Dylan books, not because there were no good ones left out there but because there were surely quite a few, and yet it was not clear that the world needed our help in churning them into the open air. We agreed to leave them in the ground. And we also agreed that the books should be very limited in their autobiographical scope. There can be little doubt that there is something deeply personal in how we come to love songs, but that is not the same as what is interesting about a song, what a song can know about the world, and that finally is where our commitments lie. So I have tried to leave almost all of that out, save the fact that I happened to be a kid in Boston during the period when the song was recorded and released and recorded and released and recorded and released — it kept happening, in very confusing ways — and that no doubt shapes my attachment.

But the personal story I want to sneak into this note happens in Berkeley in 1981. It goes like this. One afternoon I was walking across campus, something I did quite often as someone who was neither enrolled nor employed and was mostly on acid. It was a good walk and it stood between some friends on northside and the bookstores on southside. So I was walking across campus high on acid and looking for street performers to help kill some of the time I was trying so relentlessly to annihilate. I had a few regulars I visited with, if they were around: the extremely delightful “Hate Man,” an interesting poet known as the “Bubble Lady,” numerous religious ranters, a rather dull political comic named Stoney Burke. If things broke right it could take me a couple hours to make my way from north to south, a journey of some 800 yards. Even longer if someone tried to induct me into a cult. I never wanted it to end because I never wanted to arrive anywhere. But on this particular day I was perilously close to reaching the southern edge of campus, having already passed through Sather Gate into the holy land of Upper Sproul Plaza, when I saw a few people standing around in a circle, no more than ten, and I heard from within that small circle what might have been the sound of singing. It was hard to tell, as I was at a bit of a distance, there was no singer in sight, and I was pretty high.

As I approached over the course of what seemed like a very long and distended time, it must have been about 120 feet, the mystery abated only slightly. There was definitely singing — sweet, labored, cheerful — but still no singer. When I drew pretty near I saw that one person was holding an acoustic guitar but really just holding it, like hold this for me for a minute, his hand on the headstock, its end pin resting on the dirty ground. The singing seemed to be coming from the ground as well? And indeed this turned out to be the case. There was some guy, he looked to be a teenager or maybe 40ish, and within this small circle of onlookers he was crawling on the dirty plaza just a few feet and a few years from Mario Savio and that police car and he was giving it his all.

Berkeley in 1981 not yet having fallen to the Buddhist billionaires and still being stocked with zanies just then showing their age, this was certainly within the range of local customs. But still, this is one of the moments where you check in with yourself to see if you can figure out how high you are really, and I believe I mentioned I was pretty high but I was pretty sure that this was really happening, an incredibly happy busker was crawling around on all fours, frolicking really, periodically looking up and singing in a pretty adorable a cappella, “I’m a little dinosaur.” It’s a song about an entire category of animal and how they have to go away and the children are sad and plead for the dinosaur to return and it does. And that was the first time I saw Jonathan Richman live, more than a decade after he wrote the greatest American rock song of the era, nearly a decade after he recorded it, about the same amount of time after he very carefully, very thoughtfully, utterly implausibly threw it all away. This is a book most of all about why someone might do such a thing.

Joshua Clover is the author of Roadrunner, the first book in the new series Singles. He is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Davis. Read the introduction to Roadrunner for free and save 50% on the book with coupon code FALL21.