Wildness

The most recent special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly, “Wildness,” edited by Jack Halberstam and Tavia Nyong’o, is now available.

m_saq_117_3_coverThe concept of wildness within queer studies has generated new vocabularies for historicizing and theorizing modes of embodiment and categories of experience that lie beyond the conventional, institutionally produced, and modern classifications used to describe and explain gender and sexual variance. Wildness can refer to profusions of plant life, to animal worlds, crazed and unscripted human behaviors, and the unknown and the uncharted, as well as to wandering and wayward sensibilities, alternative understandings of freedom and power, and intense moods and unstable environments. Wildness has functioned as the Other to civilization and plays a distinct role in the racialized fantasies of violence and chaos that underpin white settler colonial imaginaries. It has also named a realm of activity that lies beyond the domestic and institutional, a realm that confronts medical, legal, and governmental efforts to order, catalog, and know various forms of life.

Contributors to this issue explore the meaning, function, and challenges presented by the wild and wildness now and in the past, focusing on how wildness relates to new directions in queer studies, animal studies, and the study of embodied difference.

Browse the table of contents and read the introduction now, freely available.

Taiwan: The Land Colonialisms Made

ddbou_45_3_coverThe most recent special issue of boundary 2, “Taiwan: The Land Colonialisms Made,” edited by Arif Dirlik, Ping-hui Liao, & Ya-Chung Chuang, is now available.

The contributors to this special issue examine the role successive colonialisms played in forging a distinct Taiwanese identity and the theoretical implications the Taiwanese experience of colonialism raises regarding the making of modern national identities. In addition to its indigenous culture, a long succession of colonial rulers—variously the Netherlands, Spain, the kingdom of Tungning, the Ming and Qing dynasties, Japan, and Kuomintang China—has forged a distinctive Taiwanese national identity. The Taiwan case suggests that it is misleading to approach colonialism as an obstacle to national identity without also accounting for the ways in which colonialism has historically factored into the constitution of national identities. The contributors address the ways in which the colonizer’s culture transformed the colonized, setting them in new historical directions, even if those directions were not what the colonizers expected.

Read the introduction, freely available.

978-0-8223-3367-8Looking for further reading on Taiwan? Consider Envisioning Taiwan by June Yip, which sorts through the complexities of globalization and Taiwan’s history of colonization, weaving together history and cultural analysis to provide a picture of Taiwanese identity and a lesson on the usefulness and the limits of contemporary cultural theory. Another great choice is Writing Taiwan, edited by David Der-wei Wang and Carlos Rojas, the first volume in English to examine the entire span of modern Taiwan literature—from the first decades of the twentieth century to the present.

Here and Now (Under Erasure)

The most recent issue of Social Text, “Here and Now (Under Erasure),” co-written by the After Globalism Writing group, is now available.

m_stx_36_1_coverIn both traditional and experimental prose, this special issue interrogates and reflects on the here and now—our present and new political moment. Collective thinking and writing is one method through which leftist intellectuals have operated in reactionary times and the issue uses such methodology to explore extraction, privatization, data-mining, and other workings of global capital. Turning experimentally away from the authorial and agential subject of modernity, and towards a poly-vocal exposition of water as a protagonist, this issue develops a heuristic for writing the deep history of the global present without centering either capitalism or the developmentalist state.

Browse the table of contents and read the introduction now, freely available.

Summer Reading Recommendations from our Staff

Heading on vacation soon? Or just retreating inside to read on these hot days? Our staff love to read and we’re happy to offer some of their suggestions for your summer reading list.

WordsonBathroomWallsCustomer Relations Representative Camille Wright recommends Julia Walton’s Words on Bathroom Walls. “This is a young adult novel bringing awareness to mental illnesses and warming hearts with an interracial love story. Adam’s journey sheds light on what it might be like to deal with the diagnosis and symptoms of schizophrenia as a teenager in high school. As he begins his junior year at a new school, St. Agatha’s Catholic School, he attempts to keep his schizophrenia a secret from his classmates and friends. A clinical trial medication helps him determine if people, objects, and voices are real or hallucinations but the secret becomes harder to keep once the medication begins to fail. Adam’s story is told through his coping mechanism – extremely honest, sarcastic, and funny journal entries to psychiatrist.”

TrulyMadlyGuiltyJournals Marketing Manager Jocelyn Dawson says, “If you enjoyed the television series Big Little Lies, check out Truly Madly Guilty, also written by Liane Moriarty. Moriarty is an Australian author with a gift for compelling plots (crucial for summer reading) and realistic characters. I found myself still thinking about the people in the book days after I finished it.”

WhatItMeansEditor Elizabeth Ault’s summer reading is Lesley Nneka Arimah’s What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky. She says, “I’d slept on the collection, which came out last spring and is now out in paperback, because I’m not normally a fan of short stories, but hearing a couple of the pieces from this book on LeVar Burton’s podcast intrigued me. I’m finding a lot of literary fiction novels too heavy right now and Arimah’s stories, blending Nigeria, Minneapolis, family, work, romance, and an occasional dose of magical realism, all framed with a wry sense of humor are hitting the spot. The stories are deep and wise, but also super YouThinkItIllSayItfunny and just the right length (which means they sometimes feel too short).”

Journals Publicist and Exhibits Coordinator Katie Smart also recommends a story collection: You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld. “Much like everything else that Sittenfeld has written—I couldn’t put it down. Each short story in this book is linked to a game that two characters play in ​a  story in the collection. The “You Think It, I’ll Say It” game is all about passing judgement on people from observation only, not from actual interactions. Time and again we see the main characters of each short story building false narratives and limiting beliefs in their mind (and in many cases becoming consumed by them) before discovering that all along things weren’t as they had initially seemed. Sittenfeld is an excellent storyteller, and each set of characters and situations is unique and refreshing. I appreciated her attempts at humanizing her characters while also unapologetically displaying their flaws.​ This collection was so good that I found myself quickly starting the next story, even when I intended to set the book down for the day.”

FlashSenior Project Editor Charles Brower is looking forward to reading: Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous, by Christopher Bonanos, the first full-length biography of the great noir photographer (“If I can hold off a month before digging into it, he says.) “Probably my most eagerly anticipated novel of the year, Rachel Kushner’s The Mars Room, in which the main character is serving two consecutive life sentences in a California women’s prison for killing a man that was stalking her. Perfect for the beach!”

Publicity and Advertising Manager Laura Sell HighSeasonsuggests a beach read that actually takes place at the beach: The High Season by Judy Blundell. She says, “This is a gossipy book poking fun at the super-rich who head for the Hamptons every summer and a fun skewering of the art world and its rich board members whom many nonprofit toilers will recognize. Suspenseful and well-written, I breezed through it in two days.”

FireontheMountainEditorial Associate Sandra Korn says, “I’ve been listening to Autumn Brown and adrienne maree brown’s podcast about apocalypse called How to Survive the End of the World (my summer listening recommendation!) and thinking a lot about the role of science fiction in imagining different futures. So I’m reading Terry Bisson’s 1988 utopian novel Fire on the MountainPM Press published a new edition in 2009 with a powerful introduction from Mumia Abu-JamalThe story is set in 1959 in Nova Africa, the independent socialist country that was founded after John Brown and Harriet Tubman led a successful raid on Harper’s Ferry. Nova Africa is about to make its second Mars landing and one of the main characters, a teenager named Harriet Odinga, has incredible space-age ‘living shoes’ from Africa that conform to her feet as she wears Venusiathem.”

Copywriter Chris Robinson also suggests some speculative fiction, but leans toward the dystopian: “Venusia by Mark von Schlegell is one of the most absolutely bonkers books I’ve read. Imagine China Mieville and Jean Baudrillard getting really stoned and co-writing a postmodern dystopian sci-fi pulp novel: set in a 23rd century totalitarian colony on Venus where the residents only eat hallucinogenic flowers, sentient plants are telepathic, and a junk dealer, psychiatrist, and secret agent explore the meanings of reality, perception, and consciousness. At least that’s what I think is going on.”

PalisadesParkProject Editor Sara Leone says she read Palisades Park by Alan Brennert a few years ago and loved it so much she recently re-read it. “The author evokes Dickens in his detailed descriptions of daily life and dreams from the 1920s through the 1970s. The novel has a broad range of characters, including wanderers willing to take on any job to survive the Depression, women dreaming of daring careers like high diving, courageous citizens battling to end segregation in swimming pools, and of course the workers in the park whose lives connect and change with each new summer season. Salt water, New York/New Jersey culture, and the evolving perception of amusements in America are the backdrop. Plus it’s a fun read if, like me, you were a kid hearing the Palisades Park jingle on the radio every summer on the NY stations!”

Stay cool and happy reading!

 

 

The Global South: Histories, Politics, Maps

m_rhr_18_131_coverThe Global South: Histories, Politics, Maps,” a special issue of Radical History Review, offers a range of perspectives on the intellectual formation of the global South. Spanning time periods and objects of study across the global South, the essays develop new theoretical frameworks for thinking about geography, inequality, and subjectivity. Contributors investigate the construction of gender and racial formation in the global South and explore what is politically and theoretically at stake in considering under-studied places like Guyana or peripheries like Melanesia. One essay considers how encounters between spaces in the global South, specifically between Lebanon and West Africa, help to redirect attention from the northern nations’ preoccupations with their former colonies to the frictions of decolonization. Several articles focus on the role of popular culture in regard to the geopolitical formation of the global South, with topics ranging from film to music to the career of Muhammad Ali. Read the introduction to the issue, freely available now.

978-0-8223-6991-2Contributors to this Radical History Review issue include Emily Callaci, whose recent book Street Archives and City Life maps a new terrain of political and cultural production in mid- to late twentieth-century Tanzanian urban landscapes. While the postcolonial Tanzanian ruling party (TANU) adopted a policy of rural socialism known as Ujamaa, an influx of youth migrants to the city of Dar es Salaam generated innovative forms of urbanism through the circulation of what Callaci calls street archives: popular texts including women’s Christian advice literature, newspaper columns, self-published pulp fiction novellas, and song lyrics. Through these textual networks, Callaci shows how youth migrants and urban intellectuals fashioned a collective ethos of postcolonial African citizenship, ushering in an urban revolution in spite of the nation-state’s pro-rural ideology.

Queers Read This! LGBTQ Literature Now

The most recent special issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, “Queers Read This! LGBTQ Literature Now,” edited by Ramzi Fawaz and Shanté Paradigm Smalls, is now available.

m_ddglq_24_2-3_coverThis issue asks how LGBTQ literary production has evolved in response to the dramatic transformations in queer life that have taken place since the early 1990s. Taking inspiration from “QUEERS READ THIS!”—a leaflet distributed at the 1990 New York Pride March by activist group Queer Nation—the contributors to this issue theorize what such an impassioned command would look like today: in light of our current social and political realities, what should queers read now and how are they reading and writing texts? The contributors offer innovative and timely approaches to the place, function, and political possibilities of LGBTQ literature in the wake of AIDS, gay marriage, the rise of institutional queer theory, the ascendancy of transgender rights, the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and the 2016 election. The authors reconsider camp aesthetics in the Trump era, uncover long-ignored histories of lesbian literary labor, reconceptualize contemporary black queer literary responses to institutional violence and racism, and query the methods by which we might forge a queer-of-color literary canon. This issue frames LGBTQ literature as not only a growing list of texts but also a vast range of reading attitudes, affects, contexts, and archives that support queer ways of life.

Browse the table of contents and read the introduction, freely available now.

On “Theses on Theory and History”

Capture2We’re pleased to share a post from the Wild On Collective, which comprises Ethan Kleinberg, Joan Wallach Scott, and Gary Wilder, about their new project “Theses on Theory and History.” Scott and Wilder are both Duke University Press authors; Scott is editor of Women’s Studies on the Edge and author of The Fantasy of Feminist History, and Wilder is author of Freedom Time and co-editor of The Struggle for Life is the Matter, forthcoming in 2019.

Linked here is a programmatic intervention entitled “Theses on Theory and History” co-written by the three academic historians who currently compose the Wild On Collective. This first publication, which is freely available for web viewing or as a downloadable PDF, emerged from a series of conversations among the three of us that began in fall 2018. Despite our different theoretical investments and analytic orientations, we were each struck by how deeply entrenched realist epistemology and empiricist methodology remains in the field of disciplinary history. This, notwithstanding repeated attempts by successive generations of critics to free historical thinking and knowledge from the fetishes of archival evidence, chronological narrative, and reified boundaries between past and present. We discussed the perverse mechanism whereby the epistemological challenges to conventional history that developed between the 1970s and 1990s were superficially embraced, only in order to be domesticated as new themes or topics to be explored in familiar ways. We concurred that circumscribed assumptions about what counts as historical evidence, argument, and truth are systemically produced by the disciplinary guild.

“Theses on Theory and History” is divided into three sections: one on the assumptions of disciplinary history, another on the strategies through which the field resists “theory” as somehow foreign to real history, and a third which calls programmatically for a theoretically informed practice of critical history. Our aim is to provoke a debate among and beyond professional historians about the intellectual implications of this unstated but regularly enforced disciplinary commonsense concerning descriptive realism and archival empiricism. Specifically, we hope to challenge any artificial separation of empirical research and theoretical reflection; to invite historians to be more conceptually self-aware and critically self-reflexive; to push the field to recognize non-realist and non-empiricist modes of analysis as legitimate ways to know the past; and to remind scholars in other fields that professional history does not possess a monopoly on modes of historical thinking or means of historical insight.

Because these domesticating and disciplining processes are systemic, our theses address all aspects of professional history—training, research, writing, publishing, hiring. Likewise, we believe that any attempt to redress such problems must do so holistically. This intervention is not in any way meant to be a comprehensive inventory of all that is wrong, even theoretically, with the field and the guild (e.g., the persistent Eurocentrism of its frameworks). Even less is it meant to be theoretically prescriptive; we make no claims about which theories historians should engage, how they might be employed, how they might go about theorizing their own work, or to what end. But we do believe that any attempt to change a specific aspect of the field that brackets questions about what counts as evidence and how we produce knowledge is likely to be limited at best. We hope that this initial intervention is only a first step in opening a broader debate about these issues within the field of history. We also hope to create a community of like-minded scholars, within and beyond the field of history, to share concerns about and strategies for doing history otherwise.

Duke University Press Sponsors ACRL awards for librarians working in Women’s and Gender Studies

acrl_1Duke University Press is pleased to announce its sponsorship of two achievement awards through the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), Women and Gender Studies Section (WGSS). The Significant Achievement Award and the Career Achievement Award will be presented at the 2018 American Library Association (ALA) annual meeting this week.

Significant Achievement Award

Shirley Lew, dean of library, teaching, and learning services at Vancouver Community College and Baharak Yousefi, head of library communications at Simon Fraser University, are the winners of the 2018 ACRL WGSS Award for Significant Achievement in Women and Gender Studies Librarianship.

This award, honoring a significant or one-time contribution to women and gender studies librarianship, was presented to Lew and Yousefi for their book, Feminists Among Us: Resistance and Advocacy in Library Leadership. Feminists Among Us makes explicit the ways in which a grounding in feminist theory and practice impacts the work of library administrators who identify as feminists. Award chair Dolores Fidishun lauds the book as “a seminal review of the intersection of feminism, power, and leadership in our profession.”

Career Achievement Award

Diedre Conkling, director of the Lincoln County Library District, is the winner of the 2018 ACRL WGSS Award for Career Achievement.

This award, honoring significant long-standing contributions to women and gender studies in the field of librarianship over the course of a career, was presented to Conkling for her work as a longtime member of the WGSS, Feminist Task force, the Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship, and the Library Leadership and Management Association Women’s Administrator’s Discussion Group.

“Conkling has continuously brought women’s issues to the forefront of our organization,” Fidishun states, “and has served as an inspiration and mentor to many of us in the association. Through her activism she has demonstrated the power of women’s voices in ALA and in the world, always asking the important questions and looking for ways to move women’s agendas forward in ALA.”

Congratulations to all winners!

About ACRL

The Association of College and Research Libraries is the higher education association for librarians. Representing nearly 10,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products, and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community.

About Duke University Press’s commitment to emerging fields

Duke University Press is committed to advancing the frontiers of knowledge and contributing boldly to the international community of scholarship, promoting a sincere spirit of tolerance and a commitment to learning, freedom, and truth. An early establisher of scholarship in queer theory, gender studies, and sexuality studies, Duke University Press is dedicated to supporting others who contribute to these fields.

Readings for World Refugee Day

The United Nations World Refugee Day, marked every year on June 20, commemorates the strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of refugees. With thousands of families displaced around the world and with the current humanitarian crisis at the US border, it seems especially crucial to understand what is behind these issues. We’ve compiled recent scholarship from our journals and books on the refugee crisis and migration studies. 

ddsaq_117_2_coverThe most recent issue of South Atlantic Quarterly, “Rethinking Migration and Autonomy from within the ‘Crises’,” edited by Martina Tazzioli, Glenda Garelli, and Nicholas De Genova, focuses on the “autonomy of migration” in light of the economic crisis. It brings together the most cutting-edge approaches to migration, such as migration and logistics, with reappraisals of categories of political theory, such as “autonomy” and migrant “subjectivity.” Read the introduction to the issue, “Autonomy of Asylum?: The Autonomy of Migration Undoing the Refugee Crisis Script,” made freely available.

978-0-8223-6916-5Nicholas De Genova is also editor of the recent book The Borders of “Europe”, which features Martina Tazzioli and Glenda Garelli as contributors, as well as Stephan Scheel, who is a contributor to the SAQ issue. Addressing the new technologies and technical forms European states use to curb, control, and constrain the autonomy of migration, the contributors show how the continent’s amorphous borders present a premier site for the enactment and disputation of the very idea of Europe. Attending to migrant and refugee supporters as well as those who stoke nativist fears, this timely volume demonstrates how the enforcement of Europe’s borders is an important element of the worldwide regulation of human mobility.

Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson, contributors to “Rethinking Migration and Autonomy from within the ‘Crises,'” are also authors of Border as Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor, which charts the proliferation of borders generated by contemporary globalization, investigating their implications for migratory movements, capitalist transformations, and political life. Fellow contributor Verónica Gago is author of the new book Neoliberalism from Below, which examines how Latin American neoliberalism is propelled not just from above by international finance, corporations, and government, but also by the activities of migrant workers, vendors, sweatshop workers, and other marginalized groups.

R2R final logoOur Migration Studies reading list, part of our “Read to Respond” series, encourages thoughtful, educated debate on this pressing issue. Read, reflect, and share these resources in and out of the classroom to keep these important conversations going.

Research Misconduct in East Asia

The most recent special issue of East Asian Science, Technology and Society (EASTS), “Research Misconduct in East Asia,” edited by Hee-Je Bak, is now available.

m_coverimageInstead of attributing research misconduct to an individual researcher’s lack of ethical integrity, recent scholarship in Science and Technology Studies has tended to link scientific fraud closely with the characteristics of specific fields, institutional and cultural systems of science (including the reward structure), and national politics concerning science. By analyzing the Hwang scandal in South Korea, the Obokata scandal in Japan, and the BMC retraction scandal in China, this issue also highlights aspects of the unique social and cultural environment of scientific research in East Asia, such as the strong state power over academic research, the weak culture of self-regulation in research organizations, and the emphasis on international journal articles in research evaluation. In this way, each article demonstrates that research misconduct can be a valuable window for understanding the characteristics of institutional and cultural systems of science in each society. This issue also suggests that we should not only focus on traditional misconduct, which concerns fraudulent ways of producing scholarly publications, but also address new types of research misconduct: those that involve the rapid commercialization of science and/or target the publication system itself.

Read the introduction to the issue, made freely available.