Libraries and Publishers Working Together: an Interview with Project Euclid’s Leslie Eager

Project Euclid is a not-for-profit hosting and publishing platform for the mathematics and statistics communities, administered jointly by Cornell University Library and Duke University Press. We recently chatted with Leslie Eager, Director of Publishing Services for Project Euclid at Duke University Press about the project and her position. 

Tell us a bit about yourself and your position.

LeslieEagerI became the director of publishing services for Project Euclid just over a year ago and before that worked in marketing and sales for about five years, focusing on the academic library market. Project Euclid provides online hosting services for mathematics and statistics scholarship. I was attracted to the job because I believe in the mission, and I love that it’s a small shop where one person gets to operate in many sectors of the scholarly publishing business. I studied literature and did actually minor in math and physics without expecting it to ever come up again. But here we are! Not that my college background remotely equips me to understand new mathematical research–sadly, it doesn’t, and I don’t!–but I deeply admire the field and am glad to support it.

Euclid is a quite interesting project that is jointly managed by Cornell University Library and Duke University Press. It was started at Cornell in the early 2000s when journals just started going online. Folks at the library recognized the growing demand for online publishing suddenly required small publishers to confront a whole new set of technical skills and requirements. For math journals specifically, the need to get online prompted many formerly independent and inexpensive journals to sign up with the big commercial presses like Elsevier and Springer. The journals went online, but subscription prices rose dramatically. The Library, which has long been very innovative, had a great idea that they would provide an alternative way for small, non-profit, or society publishers to get their literature online while remaining independent. The solution was Project Euclid, an online content platform for mathematics and statistics scholarship that is easy-to-use and affordable but powerful enough to be competitive.

Duke University Press joined Cornell in running Euclid in 2008, and now the folks at the Library handle the technical side of the site, and the team at the Press handles the business: publisher relations, acquisitions, marketing and sales, customer relations, finances. It means my team, that works exclusively on Euclid, also collaborates with people in the marketing and sales department, the IT department, and other staff at the Press to make the program work. We partner with about 30 publishers located all over the world, and we host about 60 active titles. Some of the titles are subscription based, some of them are open access titles, and some of them are part of collections we sell to libraries. Every publisher controls their own business model and we try to provide the most functional and affordable hosting services possible.

What is the new direction for Project Euclid?

PE

Over the last few years, our new partnerships have been more and more focused on open access models. I think mathematics is an especially idealistic and activist community, and mathematicians are speaking out forcefully against those publishing practices that tend to be very expensive and throw the entire ecosystem of library subscriptions out of whack. As a result, more and more journals are trying to cast off all those old subscription costs and operate as open access publications. Euclid tries to support this effort by providing low cost but still truly excellent hosting services to those journals. We also think it’s beneficial to be a part of the Euclid publishing community, even if you’re independent. Associating your publication with similar titles makes your open access journal more discoverable, and our specialization in mathematics and statistics allows us to make your content as compatible with other math research tools or library systems as possible. We are also trying to garner our resources to make as much material on the platform openly available as possible. Most subscription-based content on the site is governed by some kind of moving access wall determined by the publishers that makes the literature freely available after three, four, or five years. The Euclid Prime collection we sell to libraries is composed of 28 titles and after five years all of that journal content becomes open access. All told, over 70% of the articles on the site are freely available to anyone with internet access.

What are your top priorities for Project Euclid?

One of my top priorities is to communicate as effectively as possible what value Project Euclid can bring to the publishing ecosystem. Publishers have a lot of options these days. If they want it to be open access, there could be a strong temptation to sign up for a WordPress site and start throwing articles up there. This is quick and really inexpensive, but at the end of the day, they’re losing out on the kind of functionality that will actually make their journal influential and competitive with all the other big publishers that have tons of resources. So I want to communicate the practical value Euclid is providing in disseminating scholarship. I want us to be affordable but still realistic about what it means to operate a sustainable project in the current market.

Another one of my top priorities was acquiring new content for the platform, and it’s been incredibly encouraging and rewarding because we were able to add 11 new journals to the platform in 2017. That’s a combination of open access, subscription-based, and collection-based content. It feels really energizing that what I thought was going to be the most challenging piece of my job—forming new partnerships—is actually the thing that has been by far the biggest success in the very first year. It suggests there are still a lot of journals out there that could benefit from Euclid’s services.

How is the project financially structured?

PE HOST OR SALESPublishers join Project Euclid under a couple of different publishing hosting models. If they want to control all of their own marketing and sales, and they only want Euclid for hosting services, they just pay us a straight set of hosting fees based on the amount of content they publish and whether they’re open access or subscription based.

On the other hand if you’re a publisher that wants hosting services but also wants support in marketing and sales, then they can join our Euclid Prime collection. This is the collection we sell to libraries on behalf of publishers. At the end of the year, the revenue we generate from those sales is divided, and part of the money supports Euclid’s operations, and part of the money is paid out to publishers as royalties. We’re really happy the revenue from Euclid Prime sales is part of what makes it possible for us to offer these really affordable hosting fee prices to open access titles. Overall we like to think there’s balance: we hope the collections we’re selling to libraries provide good value for the library but also contribute to our mission to make as much as much of the content freely available as possible.

What are the goals you have for Project Euclid?

One of our projects for the next year is to do an exploratory audit of what is available out in the world when it comes to hosting platforms. Right now our platform is entirely homegrown and based at Cornell, but we always want to make sure we’re offering the most relevant and affordable functionality we can so we’re planning a request for information process to see what other kinds of technical solutions there are in the market and whether they would serve our customers any better.

PEPI continue to be really focused on building new partnerships, especially trying to bring new partners into the Euclid Prime collection. We think this is a really, really good way for publishers to generate sustainable revenue streams while still being really good citizens of the mathematics community and not over burdening libraries with excessive costs. I’m always in talks with new partner publishers and trying to help them make a decision to join our collection.

Our biggest new product for 2018 is our new joint partnership with MSP and Duke University Press to offer MSP on Euclid, a collection of seven journals available to libraries. MSP is a fine organization with a similar size and mission, and we hope that cooperating in a competitive marketplace will generate new opportunities for all three partners.  

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The most rewarding part of being on the Project Euclid team is that we are a truly mission-driven operation, and our only goal is to provide services that can help make content as available and excellent and discoverable as possible. There’s a really committed group of librarians and scholars and publishing professionals who are invested in that mission, and they come up with lots of creative ideas to push it forward. I’ve enjoyed learning from them and developing new strategies for being the best possible citizen of the scholarly publishing community.

Black Poetry Day

In honor of Black Poetry Day, we’re more than pleased to share a few poems from Black poets on our list.

978-0-8223-6272-2  978-0-8223-4696-8-frontcover  978-0-8223-9620-8-frontcover

 

try to silence the loud. the overly proud. the preacher. the
shroud. the sprung and the plowed. try to leaven the low so
the children can grow but the neighbors won’t know, unbossed
but still bowed. try to open the hope with braids and with
rope and with water and soap try to truss out the truth. try to
piecemeal the peace stitch together some sleep and relax for the
reap for the road for the real stuff. try to sap out the stay and
partition the play it is better that way someone whispered once.
try to grow out the grout, groan when you should shout, you
know what it’s about, you know you know you know you know
you know you know but you don’t hear me though.

-Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Spill

 

b jenkins

just so you know, no one could have told me you didn’t want to go
outside. this exercises phonograph to take the receiver and call you
for something we hear together, some of the same stories, some of the
same things. to stretch repeat so thin it fades to various is the aim of
the phone call. the phonograph is also a photograph of movement and
what it bears. you found dances waiting for dancers. your silhouette is
patient form. I know you can cant. I know you can make it if you try.

I’m getting along alright. I say a little prayer. mama’s baby sadie mae
ms. davis’ blue and red. at the duck inn mighty lions roar. you and
bobby bradford run away together. this earth tone air is b.c. marks’s
pine bluff arkansas, asleep in new pajamas at the desert inn, to walk
joe williams pieceway home to waycross, you and me against the world,
every time we say goodbye. I’ll be seeing you in all the unfamiliar places
where they till our long advance. this is the cluster song of our romance.

-Fred Moten, b jenkins

 

And When I Write the Muscles in My Chest Move as if in Flight

Sometimes the eye of the bird
is a sky that is moving
among the molecules and over
twenty different landscapes
someone has crossed, even lived in,
perhaps longing for the soil of at least
one to wear in her pinions in those
high-necked altitudes that see
the endless couplings of man and
woman and woman and man and
man and woman like a garland
circling the broken globe.

-Yvette Christiansë, Castaway

 

Be sure to check out civil rights poetry collection Words of Protest, Words of Freedom as well, and keep an eye out for consent not to be a single being, an upcoming trilogy by Fred Moten, and M Archive, coming in March from Alexis Pauline Gumbs.

Q&A with Karlyn Forner, Author of Why the Vote Wasn’t Enough for Selma

Forner, Karlyn author photoKarlyn Forner is Project Manager of the SNCC Digital Gateway at Duke University Libraries. In her new book Why the Vote Wasn’t Enough for Selma, she rewrites the heralded story of Selma to show why gaining the right to vote did not lead to economic justice for African Americans in the Alabama Black Belt.

978-0-8223-7005-5Towards the beginning of the book, you mention a civil rights bus trip that sparked your love for Selma. What in particular about Selma, versus another important civil rights locations like Birmingham, spoke to you? 

Ms. Joanne Bland is the reason that Selma spoke to me. At the time, she was the director of the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute and the embodiment of its mission to put forward the stories of the local men and women who made the Movement. She had been on the bridge on Bloody Sunday as a child and shared her own personal story and that of her neighbors with such power that I was blown away. We spent the next week organizing the archives of this grassroots-oriented museum. It was the first time that I began to understand that change comes from courageous people working together to better their own lives. That first bus trip to Selma fundamentally changed my perspective, not only of history but of the world we live in today.

In the book’s introduction, you explain: “In the collective memory of the nation, Selma represents the triumphal moment of black nonviolent protest and the fulfillment of the promises of American democracy.” However, your book depicts a different version of Selma, one where voting rights could not make up for the city’s disenfranchisement of its black citizens. Could you describe how these “two Selmas” differ?

The triumphal story of Selma assumes that the vote, in and of itself, is all that’s needed to redress the injustices of the past and ensure full citizenship for all Americans. It’s a story that ignores the deep economic legacy of slavery, where white people unfairly reaped the benefits of black people’s labor for decade upon decade. This legacy of inequality and poverty was apparent in Selma in 1965 and continues to be glaringly visible in the Black Belt today, fifty years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act. While securing the vote was essential for black people to gain better schools, housing, jobs, and livelihoods, it alone could not undo the entrenched economic inequality and poverty of the city’s black residents. The actual Selma is a stark reminder of how the vote, alone, was not sufficient.

In the book’s second chapter, you describe the effects of flooding on Selma’s workers and its crop yields. What other sorts of geographical or natural obstacles would field laborers have had to contend with?

White plantation owners and black tenants alike had to deal with the poor, spent soil that was a legacy of the Black Belt’s one-crop system of agriculture. Years of cotton production had depleted the soil, especially in the first quarter of the twentieth century. This was something that the Extension Service attempted to address, promoting fertilization, crop rotation, cover crops, and other methods of what they called “scientific agriculture.” However, like everything in the Black Belt, extension agents’ work was governed by the order of white supremacy. While white owners of large plantations could invest in methods to improve the soil, black tenants were forced to grow cotton year after year on the same depleted land without even being able to afford fertilizer. Tenant contracts required payment in the Black Belt’s one cash crop, leaving nothing left over for cover crops, gardens, or more sustainable agricultural methods. One observer noted that cotton grew all the way up to the door of tenant houses.

You mention that in 1955, 29 black residents petitioned for the integration of Selma’s schools, and that within a week, these petitioners lost their jobs and subsequently retracted their signatures. What other types of intimidation tactics were used against black residents who were fighting segregation? 

Black residents who challenged the Black Belt’s racial order faced a combination of economic intimidation and physical violence. Sultan Moore, a black store owner, was first threatened and then put out of business after local white people discovered that his son had participated in demonstrations in Montgomery. Moore drove off a group of white vigilantes who attempted to burn down his house and store by arming his children and wife and standing guard. After that the white suppliers stopped delivering products to his store, putting him out of business. Around the same time, white men shot into the house of John Smitherman, another black store owner, after he was accused of making inappropriate comments to a white woman. They also mistakenly kidnapped another black man they thought was Smitherman before releasing him. Smitherman was eventually forced to close his store and move his family to Detroit. The local black extension agent and race man, S.W. Boynton, was nearly caned by a white man who entered his office. Bernard Lafayette, the first field secretary with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was beaten bloody outside of his house within his first six months in town. Challenges to Selma’s racial order were not taken lightly. While the white Citizens’ Council preferred economic threats, their intimidation worked hand in hand with the vigilante violence of the Klan or Sheriff Clark’s posse to keep black residents in their place.

Given the city’s history of racism, inequality, and poverty, what do you think the future holds for Selma? 

Historians aren’t in the business of predicting the future, so any answer of mine is no more than a guess. A few things hold true from Selma’s past. As for the city’s history of racism, it’s a legacy shared by the entire country, north and south. In many ways, Selma’s place in the triumphal narrative of American democracy forces the city to acknowledge this history more openly than other places, as well as represent it for the nation. The Selmians I know don’t need more outsiders telling them how they should best redress the wrongs of the past. If anything, the people who are already working to remedy the city’s history of racism inequality need resources to be able to enact their visions. Dismantling racism and addressing poverty and inequality are one in the same.

For the past fifty years, Selma—along with the entire Black Belt South and much of rural America—has been on the losing end of both economic development and federal investment. As high-tech companies flock to metropolitan areas with educated, middle class workforces, the Black Belt’s history of segregation, its low wages, and its poor education are now an enormous liability. Globalization effectively upended old industrial recruitment strategies that promised cheap labor and an anti-union climate.

Meanwhile, the presence of the federal government in Selma now comes mainly in the form of welfare and transfer payments. After Craig Air Force Base’s closing in 1977, Selma was never able to make up for the well-paying federal jobs and defense dollars that it lost. During this same period, federal funding for programs and local development all but dried up. Grants like those that supported SWAFCA (Southwest Alabama Farmers Cooperative Association), a black run cooperative of small farmers trying to make a living on the land, no longer exist.

So Selma’s future (like that of much of rural American) hangs on a combination of local and national factors. Economic opportunity is essential to addressing poverty and inequality in places like Selma. But as companies increasingly choose to locate in large cities over rural, poorer areas, a major question is how much is the federal government willing to invest in the places that have been left behind. There’s no interstate that runs through the Black Belt. Rural hospitals in the Black Belt are fighting to stay open, and public school systems struggle with shrinking tax bases.

Creating quality jobs, dismantling segregated school systems, repairing the damage done by the War on Drugs, and bringing long divided communities together require resources beyond those that can be found in the Black Belt alone. Meaningful economic opportunities for all of Selma’s residents will depend on government and corporate investment. However, the people who call Selma home, black and white, should be the shapers of the solutions for their city. They know the challenges they are facing and how to best address them.

You can order Why the Vote Wasn’t Enough for Selma from your favorite local or online bookstore (print and e-editions available) or save 30% when you order directly from Duke University Press. Use coupon code E17SELMA at check out to save.

National Coming Out Day: New Books in LGBTQ Studies

Today is the 29th annual National Coming Out Day, a celebration of the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. We’re happy to contribute to the occasion by sharing our newest scholarship in LGBTQ and sexuality studies.

978-0-8223-6914-1Developed in the United States in the 1980s, facial feminization surgery (FFS) is a set of bone and soft tissue reconstructive surgical procedures intended to feminize the faces of trans- women. In The Look of a Woman Eric Plemons foregrounds the narratives of FFS patients and their surgeons as they move from consultation and the operating room to postsurgery recovery. He shows how the increasing popularity of FFS represents a shift away from genital-based conceptions of trans- selfhood in ways that mirror the evolving views of what is considered to be good trans- medicine.

art1In the 1970s a group of pioneering feminist and queer entrepreneurs launched a movement that ultimately changed the way sex was talked about, had, and enjoyed. In Vibrator Nation Lynn Comella tells the fascinating history of how feminist sex-toy stores raised sexual consciousness, redefined the adult industry, and changed women’s lives. Comella describes a world where sex-positive retailers double as social activists, where products are framed as tools of liberation, and where consumers are willing to pay for the promise of better living—one conversation, vibrator, and orgasm at a time.

978-0-8223-6367-5The contributors to The War on Sex, edited by David M. Halperin and Trevor Hoppe, document how government and civil society are waging a war on stigmatized sex by means of law, surveillance, and social control—from sex offender registries to the criminalization of HIV to highly punitive measures against sex work. By examining how the ever-intensifying war on sex affects both privileged and marginalized communities, the essays collected here show why sexual liberation is indispensable to social justice and human rights.

In Disturbing Attachments Kadji Amin challenges the idealization of Jean Genet as a paradigmatic figure within queer studies to illuminate the methodological dilemmas at the heart of queer theory. Pederasty, which was central to Genet’s sexuality and to his passionate cross-racial and transnational political activism late in life, is among a series of problematic and outmoded queer attachments that Amin uses to deidealize and historicize queer theory.

978-0-8223-6365-1Critically Sovereign, a collection edited by Joanne Barker, traces the ways in which gender is inextricably a part of Indigenous politics and U.S. and Canadian imperialism and colonialism. The contributors show how gender, sexuality, and feminism work as co-productive forces of Native American and Indigenous sovereignty, self-determination, and epistemology.

The most recent “In Practice” section of Camera Obscura, “Queerness and Games,” seeks to expand the relationship between feminist film theory and practice and feminist and queer video game culture and criticism. It features essays exploring topics such as Adrienne Shaw’s LGBTQ Video Game Archive, the Queerness and Games Conference (QGCon), and queer performativity in mobile device–assisted interactive play.

ddsaq_116_3The essays in South Atlantic Quarterly’sAgainst the Day” section, “Unrecognizable: On Trans Recognition in 2017,” confront urgent questions regarding transgender recognition in the current political moment. Since Trump was elected, the trans communities in the United States have expressed fear and outrage at the possibility that the “transgender tipping point” might be about to tip back. However, contributors to these essays explore the complicated relationship of the trans community to the “transgender tipping point” and express that even if recognition is inevitable, trans people may not always want to be identified. These essays invent new terms to describe the impossibility and violence of recognition and speculatively suggest an entirely different relation to visibility. In relation to the backlash, too, they argue that we cannot do trans politics without an analysis of political economy, without an analysis of the history of racialization and the violence of liberalism, as well as of hetero and gender normativity.

Q&A with Howard E. Covington Jr., Author of Lending Power

Covington, Howard photo cred Joe Rodriguez.

Photo by Joe Rodriguez

Howard E. Covington Jr. is a freelance historian and biographer and the author or coauthor of several books, including Terry Sanford: Politics, Progress, and Outrageous Ambitions, also published by Duke University Press; The Story of Nationsbank: Changing the Face of American BankingHenry Frye: North Carolina’s First African American Chief Justice; and Favored by Fortune: George W. Watts and the Hills of Durham. An award-winning newspaper reporter and editor, Covington received the Ragan Old North State Award for nonfiction in 2004. His latest book is Lending Power: How Self-Help Credit Union Turned Small-Time Loans into Big-Time Change, the compelling story of the nonprofit Center for Community Self-Help, a community-oriented and civil rights-based financial institution that has helped provide loans to those who lacked access to traditional financing while fighting for consumer protection for all Americans.

Lending PowerWhat drew you to write about Self-Help? How did you become involved in this story?

This is an unusual story that doesn’t follow the normal theme of the life and times of an up-and-coming NGO. I was drawn to the improbable. How did a credit union initially funded by the proceeds of a bake sale become the largest lender for low- and moderate-income home borrowers in the nation?

Martin Eakes and Bonnie Wright founded the Center for Community Self-Help to assist displaced factory workers in North Carolina become worker-owners in the plants where they once worked. They were savvy enough to learn from the experience, which did not work, and shifted their strategy. They didn’t change the mission—to assist those trying to make it on the margins of the economy—but they found a new way to give folk a hand up. Home ownership replaced worker-owned business as the way out.

Most NGO founders fail to learn as they work and eventually come to a dead end. Self-Help adjusted to meet reality. That’s a good story with lessons for many in public service work.

Eakes and others at Self-Help cooperated with me on this project, but not all met it with enthusiasm. Eakes rebuffed my first attempt to do this book. He later agreed to my work on the condition that it not become his biography. That was hard to manage, but I believe I honored the spirit of that request.

 Who does the Center for Community Self-Help serve in North Carolina? What impact has it had not just for individuals, but for communities?

Self-Help now provides financial services for large segments of the nation’s unbanked population from California to Florida. Those who benefit most are African Americans, single mothers, Latinos, and underemployed workers who have not had ready access to home loans or other financial services at a cost they can afford.

Communities have benefited from Self-Help’s partnership with larger institutions, such as Duke University, in the rehabilitation of entire neighborhoods. Self-Help has helped neighbors work with neighbors since the mid-1980s. It continues to provide technical support and funding for neighborhoods across the state.

In Chicago, Self-Help saved a community bank that had long served the city’s large Latino community. Borrowers facing foreclosure were assisted with loan modifications that allowed them to stay in their homes. Likewise, the financial strength of a local financial institution was restored and today continues to serve its customers.

 What made Self-Help so successful?

It was nimble and willing to adapt. It also developed sources of income independent of foundations or government agencies. It has been able to dance to its own tune, not that called by someone else.

It was creative and willing to take risks, moving into segments of financial services that traditional banks had either ignored or disregarded. Opportunity lay in the space between the feet of the big elephants in the marketplace. It then took what it learned and shared it with others.

Throughout the years, it remained true to its mission and recruited a staff, willing to work for low wages, that believed the organization could make a difference in the lives of those it served.

What are some of the biggest challenges that Self-Help has faced? How did it overcome those challenges?

Five to eight years on, Martin Eakes and the Self-Help staff wrestled with Self-Help’s future and determined that there were multiple ways to serve. This willingness to adapt to lessons learned allowed Self-Help to expand into other areas of work. It also resulted in growing confidence of the ability of Self-Help staff members to deal with multiple opportunities and move beyond a narrow range of options.

What relevance does your book hold for readers who might not be familiar with Self-Help? What lessons can readers take away?

The principles that have guided Self-Help can be applied to any NGO. Focus of mission, sustainability, adaptability, resilience, and adherence to fundamental business practices are tenets that will aid any organization. They do not have to limit the mission or dampen the passions of those called to serve.

The book also provides a broader understanding of the causes of the Great Recession, a financial catastrophe that was driven by the greed and arrogance of Wall Street, not the low-to-moderate income borrowers who got caught up in the tidal wave.

How do you see the role of Self-Help moving forward, especially in the current political climate?

Self-Help continues to use its creative lending to restore historic properties and revitalize communities. Financial services—loans at reasonable rates, savings accounts, small loans—are part of a portfolio at credit unions in California, Illinois, North Carolina, and Florida. The network will continue to grow, especially in the Southeast.

Self-Help has avoided partisanship, but has not avoided dealing in areas rife with controversy. It has one of the largest lending programs for charter schools in the nation. Its clients are carefully selected to insure soundness of the program and relevance to the communities served.

Over the years, Self-Help worked with Republicans and Democrats in the state legislature to pass North Carolina predatory lending law, which helped the state avoid the worst of the Great Recession. It does draw heaps of criticism from segments of the financial industry—payday lenders, title lenders—for its work at the Center for Responsible Lending, its advocacy and policy development shop.

You can order Lending Power from your favorite local or online bookstore (print and e-editions available) or save 30% when you order directly from Duke University Press. Use coupon code E17LEND at check out to save.

The Militarization of Knowledge

ddbou_44_4.coverThe Militarization of Knowledge,” the latest special issue of boundary 2, edited by Paul A. Bové, is now available.

The growth of the military and its role in producing and controlling knowledge has reordered the entire system of knowledge production and reproduction in advanced societies. The military has had a profound influence on what is thought, on the style of thinking, and the topics developed. This issue addresses the implications of these facts and how one might best think critically about this process.

Articles in this issue address the expanse of militarization and the positive and negative results of state action on knowledge.

The issue concludes with deep reflection on the consequences of such militarization to the exploration of thought problems within the social order and wonders about the results of centering the power over truth so much within the desiring apparatus of the war machine.

Read the introduction, made freely available.

New Books in October

October is upon us, and we have a number of new books to introduce to you this month. Be on the lookout for these exciting titles at bookstores, online, or at academic meetings later this fall.

978-0-8223-6918-9In The Right to Maim, Jasbir K. Puar continues her pathbreaking work on the liberal state, sexuality, and biopolitics to theorize the production of disability, using Israel’s occupation of Palestine as an example of how settler colonial states rely on liberal frameworks of disability to maintain control of bodies and populations.

Jennifer Terry, in Attachments to War, traces how biomedical logics entangle Americans in a perpetual state of war, in which new forms of wounding necessitate the continual development of treatment and prosthetic technologies while the military justifies violence and military occupation as necessary conditions for advancing medical knowledge.

978-0-8223-6973-8Life in the Age of Drone Warfare, edited by Lisa Parks and Caren Kaplan, explores the historical, juridical, geopolitical, and cultural dimensions of drone technology and warfare, showing how drones generate ways of understanding the world, shape the ways lives are lived and ended on the ground, and operate within numerous mechanisms of militarized state power.

 

Tracing the college experiences of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans in her new book Grateful Nation, Ellen Moore challenges the popular narratives that explain student veterans’ academic difficulties while showing how these narratives and institutional support for the military lead to suppression of campus debate about the wars, discourage anti-war activism, and encourage a growing militarization.

978-0-8223-6941-7.jpg

The Extractive Zone by Macarena Gómez-Barris extends decolonial theory into greater conversation with race, sexuality, and Indigenous studies; and traces the political, aesthetic, and performative practices of South American indigenous activists, intellectuals, and artists that emerge in opposition to the ruinous effects of extractive capital.

Essays, interviews, and artist statements in Collective Situations —many of which are appearing in English for the first time—present a range of socially engaged art practices in Latin America between 1995 and 2010 that rethink the boundaries between art and activism. The collection is edited by Bill Kelley Jr. and Grant H. Kester.

In Never Alone, Except for Now, juxtaposing contemporary art against familiar features of the Web such as emoticons, Kris Cohen explores how one can be connected to people and places online while simultaneously being alone and isolated. This phenomenon lies in the space between populations built through data collection, and publics created by interacting with others.

Originally published in 1939, Aimé Césaire’s Cahier d’un Retour au Pays Natal is a landmark of modern French poetry and a founding text of the Négritude movement. Journal of a Homecoming, a bilingual edition, features a new authoritative translation, revised introduction, and extensive commentary, making it a magisterial edition of Césaire’s surrealist masterpiece.

978-0-8223-6949-3In Neoliberalism from Below, Verónica Gago provides a new theory of neoliberalism by examining how Latin American neoliberalism is propelled not just from above by international finance, corporations, and government, but by the activities of migrant workers, vendors, sweatshop workers, and other marginalized groups in and around the La Salada market in Buenos Aires.

Kristen Ghodsee, in Red Hangover, examines the legacies of twentieth-century communism on the contemporary political landscape twenty-five years after the Berlin Wall fell, reflecting on the lived experience of postsocialism and how many ordinary men and women across Eastern Europe suffered from the massive social and economic upheavals in their lives after 1989.

978-0-8223-5884-8Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and his experience trading derivatives, in The Social Life of Financial Derivatives, Edward LiPuma theorizes the profound social dimensions of derivatives markets and the processes, rituals, mentalities, and belief systems that drive them.

In Monrovia Modern, Danny Hoffman uses the ruins of four iconic modernist buildings in Monrovia, Liberia as a way to explore the relationship between the built environment and political imagination, showing how these former symbols of modernist nation building transformed into representations of the challenges that Monrovia’s residents face.

Steeped in Heritage, by Sarah Ives, explores the racial and environmental politics behind South Africa’s rooibos tea industry to examine heritage-based claims to the indigenous plant by two groups of contested indigeneity: white Afrikaners and “coloured” South Africans.

In Tropical Freedom, Ikuko Asaka examines emancipation’s intersection with settler colonialism in North America, showing how emancipation efforts in the United States and present-day Canada were accompanied by attempts to relocate freed blacks to tropical regions, thereby conceiving freedom as a racially segregated condition based upon geography and climate.

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Author Events Coming Up in October

From London to San Francisco, October is packed with great author events, including several California appearances by Lynn Comella, author of Vibrator Nation. Not on the West Coast? Check out her other upcoming tour dates.

Lending PowerOctober 4: Howard Covington is joined by Self-Help Credit Union founder Martin Eakes at Durham’s The Regulator Bookshop for a discussion of Covington’s new book Lending Power: How Self-Help Credit Union Turned Small-Time Loans into Big-Time Change.
7:00 pm, 720 Ninth Street, Durham, NC 27705

October 5: Catch Lynn Comella discussing her book Vibrator Nation with sex educator Tristan Taormino at The Pleasure Chest.
8:00 pm, 7733 Santa Monica Blvd.,West Hollywood, CA 90046

October 7: Too Young for What? Celebrate the creativity of Jean-Michel Basquiat at London’s Barbican along with with Tim Lawrence, author of Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983. He’ll curate a program of short films evocative of the fertile, renegade spirit of New York culture in the late 70s and early 80s.
Barbican Centre, Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS

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October 8: The San Francisco Litquake Festival will host a discussion of Vibrator Nation with author Lynn Comella and Dr. Carol Queen.
6:00 pm, The Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission, San Francisco, CA 94103

October 12: Catch Howard Covington, author of Lending Power, at Greensboro’s Scuppernong Books.
7:00 pm, 304 S. Elm St., GreensboroNC 27401

October 13: See South of Pico author, Kellie Jones, at the Tate Modern for day-long conference on Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power exhibition.
10:30 am, Starr Cinema, Bankside, London SE1 9TG

October 14: Reina Lewis will discuss “Modest Fashion in a Modern World” and her book, Muslim Fashion, at The Nook for the Cheltenham Literature Festival.
1:00 pm, Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham, GL50 1UL

October 17: I Love My Selfie author Ilan Stavans will host a screening of Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2 at Amherst Cinema.
7:00 pm, 28 Amity St., Amherst, MA

October 17: With the The Click! Photography Festival happening this month, The Regulator Bookshop will host Julie J. Thomson, editor of Begin to See, discussing the photographers of Black Mountain College.
7:00pm, 720 Ninth Street, Durham, NC 27705

October 18: Living a Feminist Life author Sara Ahmed will give a talk at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.978-0-8223-6319-4
4:30 pm, EUC Maple Room, 1400 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro, NC 27402

October 19: Michael Gillespie will introduce a screening of Deep Cover at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, a film he discusses in his book Film Blackness.
7:00 pm, 30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

October 21: Another chance to see lively discussion with Lynn Comella on her book, Vibrator Nation, at Babeland Seattle.
7:00pm, 707 E. Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98122

October 26: Get your copy of Vibrator Nation signed at Lynn Comella’s talk at The Gallery Bookshop.
6:30 pm, 319 Kasten Street, Mendocino, CA 95460

October 28: Good Vibrations in Palo Alto will host Lynn Comella where she’ll talk about her book Vibrator Nation.
4:00 pm, 534 Ramona Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301

October 29: Oakland fans have a chance to see Lynn Comella discuss Vibrator Nation at their Good Vibrations location.
3:00 pm, 3219 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

Final Day of our Fall Sale

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Today is the final day of our Fall sale! Head over to our website right now to save 40% on all in-stock books and journal issues. Just enter coupon code FALL40 at checkout.

Please note that journal subscriptions and society memberships are not included in this sale. See all the fine print here. Don’t delay, the sale ends at 11:59 pm Eastern time tonight, October 2.

 

 

What Should You Buy During Our Sale? Our Editors Offer Suggestions

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Our Fall Sale continues through Monday, October 2. Still thinking about what you want to buy for 40% off? Check out some of our editors’ recommendations.

Courtney Berger, Editor

Economization of LifeI highly recommend Michelle Murphy’s The Economization of Life. This is a short and incisive critique of the mechanisms by which populations have been economized and the value of lives have been calculated—logics that allow certain lives to thrive while others are devalued, contained, or destroyed. Murphy helps us to see the connection between forms of large-scale economization—such as the invention of the Gross Domestic Product in the 1940s and 50s—and initiatives like recent “invest in a girl” programs that link financial investment in and control over marginalized girls’ and women’s reproductive abilities to global economic prosperity.

For folks in American studies, take a look at Brian Russell Roberts and Michelle Ann Stephens, Archipelagic American Studies. The editors and contributors to this volume seek to “decontinentalize” American studies by shifting our perspective away from the continental space of the Americas to the islands, oceans, and shorelines that have frequently been regarded as its periphery, but which have been central to the ways that empire has been formulated, consolidated, and resisted.Critical Surf Studies Reader

And, speaking of oceans. I can’t surf, but nevertheless I was absorbed by the essays in The Critical Surf Studies Reader, edited by Dexter Zavalza Hough-Snee and Alexander Sotelo Eastman. The collection looks at surfing, not just as a sport, but as a practice shaped by racial, colonial, gendered, and indigenous histories.  For academically minded surf enthusiasts and scholars alike.

Gisela Fosado, Editor

978-0-8223-6992-9Keith Gilyard’s Louise Thompson Patterson: A Life of Struggle for Justice is a beautifully written biography of an extraordinary woman who was a central cultural and political figure of the black Left.  Adding to other recent biographies of important African-American activists, that book underscores the centrality of Black women within the most powerful social revolutions of the twentieth century.

Susan Coutin’s Exiled Home: Salvadoran Transnational Youth in the Aftermath of Violence builds on Coutin’s decades-long work with undocumented immigrants from Latin America.  Exiled Home centers the experiences of youth from El Salvador, including many DACA recipients, and others who were eventually deported after living most of their lives in the United States.

FBI in Latin AmericaMark Becker’s The FBI in Latin America: The Ecuador Case Files offers a fascinating view into the FBI’s surveillance in Latin America during the Second Word War, offering unique documentation of local leftist movements that otherwise left little documentation of their clandestine activities and opening a window to the nature of US imperial ambitions in the area.

Ken Wissoker, Editorial Director

Everyone should know by now that they need the books by Christina Sharpe, Stuart Hall, Ann Stoler, Donna Haraway, and Achille Mbembe.  And Greg Tate, John Corbett, Kellie Jones, and Tim Lawrence. Here are some new books you might have missed:The Look of a Woman

Eric Plemons’s The Look of a Woman: Facial Feminization Surgery and the Aims of Trans- Medicine is a smart book that changes how we think about trans and gender, by bringing theory out of a practice.

Listening to Images by Tina Campt is a beautiful short book Power of the Steel-Tipped Penthat teases theory, politics, and futurities out of lost and buried photographs.

In The Power of the Steel-tipped Pen: Reconstructing Native Hawaiian Intellectual History, the brilliant Hawaiian theorist Noenoe Silva asks what might intellectual history look like, if thought from an indigenous point of view?

Elizabeth Ault, Associate Editor

Competing ResponsibilitiesCompeting Responsibilities, edited by Susanna Trnka and Catherine Trundle, represents a new turn in the conversation about self-governance sparked by Foucault’s understanding of neoliberalism and biopolitics. This set of essays, mostly ethnographic, help us think about how we can be responsible to and for each other. It’s an important critique of neoliberalism that moves beyond nostalgia for the welfare state to imagine care and accountability together.

Louise Meintjes knows how to listen. In her beautiful book Dust of the Zulu, full of pictures by South African photographer T.J. Lemon, she provides a full sensory Dust of the Zuluaccount of Zulu men (and women!) making community through the competitive dance/performance of ngoma. Meintjes traces how performers and audiences reimagine post-apartheid masculinity through sound and performance.

Michelle Commander’s Afro-Atlantic Flight moves through film, literature, and ethnographic accounts of tourism to show the many ways that members of the Black diaspora have imagined and enacted freedom through literal and figurative flights back to Africa. While the book shows how individual returns have often been unsatisfying, it also shows the revolutionary possibilities of pan-diasporic speculation.

Now that you have all these great recommendations, get shopping! Enter coupon code FALL17 at checkout. All in-stock books and journal issues are on sale, but journal subscriptions and society memberships are not. The sale ends Monday, October 2 at 11:59 pm Eastern time.