Our Spring Sale is underway! Have you shopped yet? If you’re overwhelmed by all your great choices, our editors have some suggestions. Today we offer some ideas from Senior Executive Editor Ken Wissoker and Assistant Editor Sandra Korn.
If you are still spending your evenings in quarantine watching Catfish, this is a perfect time to pick up Amanda Ann Klein’s brand-new book Millennials Killed the Video Star. Klein traces gender, race, and class through the history of MTV’s reality TV series, and the book includes some incredible interviews with producers and cast members.
For religion scholars, Todne Thomas’s Kincraft just came out, and will be a vitally important book for those interested in black evangelicals and the kinship networks of religious social life.
Evren Savci’s new book Queer in Translation turns to queer organizing in Turkey – in particular, looking at how Western LGBT discourses are taken up by queer activists – to consider how queerness, Islam, and neoliberalism interact in a Muslim-majority context. Finally, don’t forget that the 50% off sale also applies to journals – I have really enjoyed reading the newest issue of GLQ, on “Queer Political Theologies.”
Sandra Y. L. Korn is an Assistant Editor who acquires books in religion and works with the Political Theology Undisciplined Series.
This is the perfect time for the sale. There is a fantastic set of brand new books that need to be in everyone’s hands. At the top of this stack are the two new volumes from the Stuart Hall series, collecting his writings on race and on Marxism. The two volumes of Essential Essays are just that, but I’ve been looking forward to these books since we first thought of the series. Stuart Hall, Selected writings on Race and Difference is edited by Paul Gilroy and Ruthie Gilmore, who have been talking about the need for such a book for decades. Stuart Hall, Selected Writings on Marxism is edited by Gregor McLennan, similarly in dialogue with Hall over many years. In both books Hall’s thinking opens out unexpected theoretical and political possibilities in ways that are absolutely crucial today.
Opening conceptual and political possibilities is central to Katherine McKittrick’s brilliant new Dear Science and Other Stories, where finding Black methodologies is simultaneously a going back and naming what they have been and an opening widely to what they might become. It’s an astonishing and inspiring book, as creative in form as it is in thinking.
Lorraine O’Grady has spent almost fifty years creating in form and thinking. Her long-awaited retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum is a must see. Whether one can make it in person or not, the collection of her thinking in Writing in Space, 1973-2019, edited by Aruna D’Souza, is a revelation. Studio Museum Director Thelma Golden calls her “one of the foremost conceptual artists of the last century” and the range of that thinking is amply and brilliantly displayed in the pages of the book.
Beth Povinelli has written some of the most crucial social theory of the past decades. She has also painted and made films with the Karrabing Film Collective. The Inheritance takes her work in a completely unexpected direction. A graphic memoir that tells the story of her figuring out her family growing up. She draws out their attachments to land, race, and identity along with the myths and traumas produced around them. Beth did all the art, and the story is compelling and beautiful. Also smart, as you might guess.
Finally, just out are two books I have been waiting for all spring. Rinaldo Walcott’s The Long Emancipation, a brilliant and compelling essay on how emancipation doesn’t produce Black freedom, only the return to the scene of emancipation, again and again. This is going to be one of those books that changes the conversation; one that will be thought with for a long time to come.
Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu’s Experiments in Skin links the production of modern cosmetics to the skin destroying chemicals of the Vietnam War. Race, beauty, colonialism, and biomedicine turn out to be inseparable historically and into the present. This is an incredible work that engages sp many topics of aesthetics, science, and imperialism, while telling the most unexpected historical story.
There are lots more books I could mention, but let these be a start to your cart!
Ken Wissoker is Senior Executive Editor, acquiring books in anthropology, cultural studies, and social theory; globalization and postcolonial studies; Asian, African, and American studies; music, film and television; race, gender and sexuality; science studies; and other areas in the humanities, social sciences, media, and the arts.