New Books in August

Summer may sadly be coming to a close, but there is still time to get in a few more summer reads. Don’t miss the great new titles we have coming out this August!

Cover of or, on being the other woman by Simone White. The cover features a black and white image of the author, a Black woman, in profile, with her hair in a bun. She is wearing glasses and a hoop earring and a dark shirt with a scoop neck.

Simone White combines poetry, essay, personal narrative, and critical theory in the book-length poem or, on being the other woman, which considers the dynamics of contemporary black feminist life and attests to the narrative complexities of writing and living as a black woman and artist. If you’re in Los Angeles, you can catch the launch for White’s book at the Poetic Research Bureau on August 13.

In Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, editors Laura E. Pérez and Ann Marie Leimer bring works from numerous contributors together to examine the artistic practices of Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, whose innovative art and urgent engagement with a range of pressing contemporary issues mark her as one of the most vital artists of our time.

The Politics of Vibration by Marcus Boon may appeal to music lovers in its exploration of music as a material practice of vibration that emerges from a politics of vibration, and which constructs a vibrational space of individual and collective transformation.

Cover of TV Snapshots: An Archive of Everyday Life by Lynn Spigel. Cover is of a blue wallpaper pattern, with a square picture at the center of a woman in 1962, dressed nicely and posed for a picture in her living room, next to a box tv set that is turned on to the news.

For those interested in reading about other forms of art like photography, Lynn Spigel’s TV Snapshots studies historical snapshots of people posing in front of their television sets in the 1950s through the early 1970s to show how TV snapshots were a popular photographic practice through which people visualized their lives in an increasingly mediated culture. Read the recent great review of TV Snapshots in the New York Review of Books and catch Lynn Spigel’s virtual talk on August 25.

In Work Requirements Todd Carmody explores how the nineteenth-century American idea that work is inherently meaningful was reinforced and tasked to those who lived on the margins and needed assistance.

In Queer Kinship, editors Tyler Bradway and Elizabeth Freeman, along with numerous other contributors, assert the importance of queer kinship to queer and trans theory and to kinship theory by attending to the centrality of indigeneity, race, and colonialism in kinship.

Cover of Cistem Failure: Essays on Blackness and Cisgender by Marquis Bey. Cover shows the title of the book broken into different syllables and arranged across a pattern of blue, black, and white shapes.

Marquis Bey weaves trans studies, African American studies, and American studies together in Cistem Failure by mediating on the antagonistic relationship between blackness and cisgender and showing that cisgender as a category cannot capture how people depart from gender alignment and its coding as white.

Rage and Carnage in the Name of God by Abiodun Alao examines the emergence of a culture of religious violence in post-independence Nigeria, locating it in the forced coming together of disparate ethnic groups under colonial rule.

Expanding the scope to West Africa, author Robyn d’Avignon recounts the region’s centuries-old indigenous gold mining industries and its shared practices, prohibitions, and cosmological engagements in A Ritual Geology.

Cover of Our Veterans: Winners, Losers, Friends, and Enemies on the New Terrain of Veterans Affairs by Suzanne Gordon, Steve Early, & Jasper Craven. Cover features an image of a man and two women in uniform, holding the edge of a very large United States flag, while walking in a parade.

Suzanne Gordon, Steve Early, and Jasper Craven’s Our Veterans offer a glimpse into the physical, emotional, social, economic, and psychological impact of military service and the problems that veterans face when they return to civilian life. The editors will be participating in numerous events on both the east and west coasts throughout the fall. Check their website for all the details.

Unsettled Borders by Felicity Amaya Schaeffer brings readers across time and space to trace the scientific and technological development of militarized surveillance at the US-Mexico border, while also examining the efforts of Native peoples in continuing ancestral practices in the face of ecological and social violence.

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