Author: bmktchristinastephens

New Books in June

Hello, Summer! We have a bunch of new titles for you to enjoy while traveling, relaxing, or working on the next big thing. Check them out:

978-0-8223-6257-9_pr w strokeIn Rwandan Women Rising, Swanee Hunt shares the stories of over ninety women, who in the wake of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, overcame unfathomable brutality, suffering, loss, and seemingly unending challenges to rebuild Rwandan society by addressing common problems ranging from health care, rape, and housing to poverty, education, and mental health.

Rielle Navitski, in Public Spectacles of Violence, examines the proliferation of cinematic and photographic images of violence in in early-twentieth-century Mexico and Brazil, showing how sensational media helped audiences make sense of the political instability, crime, violence, and change in daily life that accompanied modernization.

978-0-8223-6366-8_prVinyl Freak sees music writer, curator, and collector John Corbett burrow deep inside the record collector’s mind, documenting and reflecting on his decades-long love affair with vinyl. Discussing more than 200 rare and out-of-print LPs, Corbett combines memoir and criticism to explain what makes vinyl special and what drives collectors everywhere.

Pooja Rangan’s Immediations interrogates participatory documentary’s humanitarian ethos of “giving a voice to the voiceless” in documentaries featuring marginalized subjects, showing how it reinforces the films’ subjects as the “other” and reproduces definitions of the human that exclude non-normative modes of thinking, being, and doing.

978-0-8223-6977-6_prThe contributors to If Truth Be Told explore the difficulties, dangers, and stakes of having ethnographic research made available, debated, and appropriated by the public.

In Migrant Returns, Eric J. Pido examines the complicated relationship between the Philippine economy, Manila’s urban development, and Filipino migrants visiting or returning to their homeland, showing migration to be a multidirectional, layered, and continuous process with varied and often fraught outcomes.

Departing from conventional narratives of the United States and the Americas as fundamentally continental spaces, the contributors to Archipelagic American Studies theorize America as constituted by and accountable to a global assemblage of interconnected islands, archipelagos, shorelines, continents, seas, and oceans.

978-0-8223-6981-3_pr w strokeJessica L. Horton, in Art for an Undivided Earth, explores how the artists of the American Indian Movement (AIM) generation remapped the spatial, temporal, and material coordinates of modernity by placing colonialism’s displacement of indigenous people, objects, and worldviews at the center of their work.

In Watering the Revolution, Mikael D. Wolfe expands our understanding of the Mexican revolution and agrarian reform by interrogating the environmental and technological history of water management in the Laguna region, showing how the contested modernization of the region’s irrigation network unintentionally contaminated the water supply, deepened social inequality, and undermined reform efforts.

Never miss a new book! Sign up for Subject Matters, our e-mail newsletter, and get notifications of new titles in your preferred disciplines as well as discounts and other news.

New Books in April

We have lots of great books coming out in April. Check them out…

978-0-8223-6387-3_pr w strokeFans of memoir and the iconic Stuart Hall will enjoy Familiar Stranger. With great insight, compassion, and wit Hall (1932–2014) tells how his experiences—from growing up in colonial Jamaica and attending Oxford to participating in the thorny politics of 1950s and 1960s Britain—shaped his intellectual and political work to become one of his age’s brightest intellectual lights.

Another Stuart Hall-related title, Stuart Hall’s Voice, is a series of letters—that David Scott wrote to Stuart Hall following his death—in which Scott characterizes Hall’s voice and his practice of speaking, listening, and generosity as the foundational elements of Hall’s intellectual work.

In The Space of Boredom, Bruce O’Neill shows how the Bucharest, Romania’s homeless are unable to fully participate in a society that is increasingly organized around practices of consumption, leaving them mired in an unshakeable boredom and the slow deterioration of their lives that are symptomatic of the alienation brought on by globalization.

Containing essays by some of the most prominent names in contemporary political and cultural theory, Sovereignty in Ruins develops a political vocabulary capable of transforming contemporary political frameworks by advancing a politics of crisis that collapses the false dichotomies between sovereignty and governmentality and between critique and crisis.

978-0-8223-6164-0_pr w strokeIn her latest, South of Pico, Kellie Jones traces how the artists in L.A.’s black communities during the 1960s and 70s created a vibrant, productive, and engaged activist arts scene in the face of structural racism through the production of art works that spoke to African American migration and L.A.’s racial politics.

As President of Duke University, Richard H. Brodhead spoke at numerous commencement ceremonies, community forums, and faculty meetings, and even appeared on the Colbert Report. Speaking of Duke collects dozens of these speeches, in which Brodhead speaks to issues central to Duke University and to higher education more generally.

In Exporting Revolution, Margaret Randall explores the Cuban Revolution’s impact on the outside world, tracing Cuba’s international outreach in healthcare, disaster relief, education, literature, art, liberation struggles, and sports to show how this outreach is a fundamental characteristic of the Revolution and of Cuban society.

978-0-8223-6348-4_prNew in our Latin America Readers series, and covering more than 500 years of history, culture, and politics, The Lima Reader seeks to capture the many worlds and many peoples of Peru’s capital city, featuring a selection of primary sources that consider the social tensions and cultural heritages of the “City of Kings.”

Using a range of historical, literary, and legal texts, the contributors to Critically Sovereign trace the ways in which gender is inextricably linked to Indigenous politics and U.S. and Canadian colonialism, showing how gender, sexuality, and feminism work as co-productive forces of Native American and Indigenous sovereignty, self-determination, and epistemology.

978-0-8223-6372-9_pr w strokeCultures Without Culturalism models a new path where historicized and cultural accounts of scientific practice retain their specificity and complexity without falling into the traps of cultural essentialism, examining issues that range from the history of quadratic equations in China to the studying of employment discrimination in the social sciences.

In the Name of Women’s Rights sees Sara R. Farris examine the calls for gender equality from an unlikely collection of European right-wing nationalist political parties, neoliberals, and some feminist theorists and policymakers, showing how their exploitation of feminist ideals justifies anti-Islam and anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies.

Never miss a new book! Sign up for Subject Matters, our  e-mail newsletter and get notifications of new titles in your preferred disciplines as well as discounts and other news.

New Books in March

Welcome the beginning of Spring by ditching the heavy coats and checking out some new books. March is a big month for us here at the Press, and we have a plethora of new titles coming out:

978-0-8223-6343-9Eminent critic Achille Mbembe reevaluates history and racism, offering a capacious genealogy of the category of Blackness—from the Atlantic slave trade to the present—to show how the conjoining of the biological fiction of race with definitions of Blackness have been and continue to be used to uphold oppression in his latest, Critique of Black Reason.

In Illegible Will, Hershini Bhana Young engages with the archive of South African and black diasporic performance to examine the absence of black women’s will from that archive, showing that alternative critical imaginings juxtaposed against traditional historical research can help to locate where agency and will may reside.

listening-to-imagesTina Campt’s Listening to Images explores a way of listening to photography by engaging with lost archives of state identification photographs of Afro-diasporan people taken between the late 1800s and the present, showing how to hear the quiet refusal emanating from these photos originally intended to dehumanize and police their subjects.

Lalaie Ameeriar, in Downwardly Global, follows the experiences of immigrant Pakistani women in Toronto who—despite being skilled, white-collar workers—suffer high levels of unemployment and poverty and who are advised by government-sanctioned worker programs to conform to an embodied form of multiculturalism that privileges whiteness and erases difference.

Energy without Conscience sees David McDermott Hughes investigate why978-0-8223-6298-2 climate change is not yet a moral issue by examining the history of energy use in Trinidad and Tobago. Drawing parallels between Trinidad’s history of slavery and its oil industry, Hughes shows how treating oil as “ordinary” prevents us from making the moral choice to abandon it.

In Hydraulic City, Nikhil Anand explores the politics of Mumbai’s water infrastructure to demonstrate how citizenship and the rights through which to make demands on the state for public services emerges through the relations between residents, plumbers, politicians, engineers, and the 3000 miles of pipe that bind them.

Providing an overview of Japanese media theory from the 1910s to the present, Media Theory in Japan introduces English-language readers to Japan’s rich body of theoretical and conceptual work on media for the first time, challenging media theory’s Eurocentric formation and perspective and redefining its location and practice.

978-0-8223-6347-7In Mothering Through Precarity, Julie A. Wilson and Emily Chivers Yochim explore how working- and middle-class mothers of young children negotiate difficulties of holding a family together during difficulties such as job loss, health scares, and weakening social services through their everyday engagement with digital media.

In Afro-Atlantic Flight, Michelle D. Commander traces how black American artists, intellectuals, and travelers envision literal and figurative flight back to Africa through speculative literature and film and travel to cultural heritage sites as means to create a sense of homecoming, belonging, and connection with their ancestors, spiritual realm, and Africa.

Attiya Ahmad, in Everyday Conversions, examines the practice of conversion to Islam by South Asian migrant domestic workers in the Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf region and how these women’s conversions stem from an ongoing process rooted in their everyday experiences as migrant workers rather than a clean break from their preexisting lives.

Addressing a diverse set of improvised art and music forms—from jazz and cinema to dance and literature—Improvisation and Social Aesthetics traces how the social, political, and the aesthetic relate within the context of improvisation.

The War on Sex‘s contributors outline the current war on sex, in which—despite the978-0-8223-6367-5 expansion of sexual liberties in the United States—sex has become the target of ever-expanding regulation and control, from sex offender registries to the criminalization of HIV.

The edited collection Crumpled Paper Boat is an exploration of the possibilities and limits of a literary anthropology that bends the conventions of ethnographic voice and form to engage with writing as a material practice rather than a transparent representational medium.

978-0-8223-6349-1Noted cultural critic Ilan Stavans and artist ADÁL analyze the selfie and its role in contemporary life by exploring it in the context of the history of Western self-portraiture, mythology, literature, art, and philosophy, in I Love My Selfie.

With a mix of ethnography and social theory, the contributors to Competing Responsibilities challenge contemporary understandings of responsibility in political, social, and ethical life by showing how neoliberalism’s reification of the “responsible subject” masks the myriad forms of individual and collective responsibility that people engage with in their everyday lives.

The contributors to Critique and Postcritique evaluate literary critique’s structural,978-0-8223-6376-7 methodological, and political potentials and limitations while assessing the merits of the post-critical turn and exploring a range of alternate methods of literary criticism that may be better suited to the intellectual and political challenges of the present.

In Revolutionary Nativism, Maggie Clinton traces the history and cultural politics of the fascist organizations operating under the umbrella of the Chinese Nationalist Party (GMD) in the 1920s and 1930s, showing how the GMD’s rightward shift was based on a nativist discourse that emphasized Confucianism’s compatibility with industrial modernism.

Never miss a new book! Sign up for Subject Matters, our  e-mail newsletter and get notifications of new titles in your preferred disciplines as well as discounts and other news.

 

 

Upcoming Events: Tim Lawrence

Life and Death on the New York Dance FloorIn his book  Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983, Tim Lawrence examines the city’s party, dance, music, and art culture between 1980 and 1983, tracing the rise, apex, and fall of this inventive, vibrant, and tumultuous scene. This Spring, Lawrence has a number of upcoming events throughout the US and Europe including readings, lectures, and even some DJ sets & dance parties.

Lecture, Q&A, and DJ Set
Lawrence will lecture on his book, participate in a Q&A, and spin some records to kick off Downtownsounds DISCO-VERSARY.
3 March, 7:00pm
Teachers Club
36 Parnell Square West
Dublin, Ireland

Lecture and Q&A
Tim Lawrence in conversation with Paul Tarpey.
18 March, 5:00pm
Mother Macs
10 High Street
Limerick, Ireland

Lecture and Party
Join Lawrence for a lecture at Carnegie Mellon University and after-party at VIA, where he will be selecting some music.
19 April
Studio for Creative Inquiry
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA

Conference Presentation and Panel Discussion
Lawrence will present a paper on the “Sounds from the Underground” panel.
22 April, 4:15pm
Pop Conference – EMP Museum
JBL Theater
325 5th Ave N.
Seattle, WA
Panel Participants: J. Jack Halberstam, Josh Kun, and Gala Porras-Kim

Book Talk
Join Lawrence for a book talk at Alley Cat Books.
23 April, 7:00pm
Alley Cat Books
3036 24th St
San Francisco, CA

Talk, Q&A, and Music
Inaugural event of the VDSF speaker series–join Lawrence for a fireside chat with Christopher Orr.
24 April
, 6:00pm
Vinyl Dreams
593 Haight St
San Francisco, CA

Lecture
25 April
, 3:00pm
University of California – Riverside
Riverside, CA

Reading and Q&A
26 April
, 7:00pm
Mount Analog
5906 1/2 N. Figueroa Ave
Los Angeles, CA

Lecture
27 April, 7:00pm
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA

Symposium
Join Tim Lawrence for the Arthur Russell “Planting a Thought” symposium–a month-long multi-city celebration of musician and composer Arthur Russell.
28 April

Legion Arts
1103 Third St SE
Cedar Rapids, IA

Book Talk
1 May
Jersey City Free Public Library
472 Jersey Ave.
Jersey City, NJ

Lecture
2 May
, 3:00pm
UMass Boston Campus Center 3540
100 Morrissey Blvd
Boston, MA

We hope you can catch Tim at one of these great events. If not, you can order his book from us and save 30% using coupon code E16LAWRE.

World Anthropology Day

anthrodayToday is World Anthropology Day! Sponsored by the American Anthropological Association, it’s a day for anthropologists to celebrate the discipline while sharing it with the world around them. Join us in celebrating this invaluable field of study and the work that sustains it. We have many incisive anthropology titles to check out here. Some of our most recent and forthcoming include:

animate-planet-coverIn Animate Planet, Kath Weston addresses the emergence of a new animism in the context of food, energy, water, and climate to trace how new intimacies between humans, animals, and the environment are emerging as people attempt to understand how the high-tech ecologically damaged world they have made is remaking them. This title is also the most recent in our ANIMA series, edited by Mel Y. Chen and Jasbir K. Puar.

Shane Greene’s Punk and Revolution radically uproots punk from its place in Western culture to situate it as a crucial element in Peru’s culture of subversive militancy and political violence. Experimenting with form and content, Greene redefines how we think about punk subculture and revolutionary politics.

Aihwa Ong, in Fungible Life, traces the revolutionary scientific developments in Asia by investigating how biomedical centers in Biopolis, Singapore and China mobilize ethnicized “Asian” bodies and health data for genomic research.978-0-8223-6273-9

Alexander Laban Hinton’s Man or Monster? gives a detailed analysis of a former Khmer Rouge security center commandant who was convicted for overseeing the interrogation, torture, and execution of nearly 20,000 Cambodians. Interested in how someone becomes an executioner, Hinton provides numerous ways to consider justice, genocide, memory, truth, and humanity.

Finding biopolitics unable to adequately reveal the mechanisms of power that govern contemporary life, Elizabeth A. Povinelli offers “geontopower” as a new theory of power that operates through the regulation of clear distinctions between life and nonlife in her book Geontologies.

In Duress, Ann Laura Stoler maps how imperial formations and colonialism’s presence shape current inequities around the globe by examining Israel’s colonial practices, the United State’s imperial practices, the recent rise of the French right wing, and affect’s importance to governance.

978-0-8223-6203-6In Placing Outer Space, Lisa Messeri traces how planetary scientists—whether working in the Utah desert, a Chilean observatory, or the labs of MIT—transform celestial bodies into places in order to understand the universe as densely inhabited by planets, in turn telling us more about Earth, ourselves, and our place in the cosmos. Bonus: check out this and other titles in our Experimental Futures series.

In Encoding Race, Encoding Class, Sareeta Amrute explores the lives of Indian IT coders temporarily working in Berlin, showing how their cognitive labor reimagines race and class and how their acceptance and resistance to their work offers new potentials for alternative visions of living and working in neoliberal economies.

David McDermott Hughes, in Energy Without Conscience, investigates why climate change is not yet a moral issue by examining the history of energy use in Trinidad and Tobago. Drawing parallels between Trinidad’s history of slavery and its oil industry, Hughes shows how treating oil as “ordinary” prevents us from making the moral choice to abandreal pigson it.

Real Pigs, by Brad Weiss, traces the desire for creating “authentic” local foods in the Piedmont region of central North Carolina as he follows farmers, butchers, and chefs as they breed, raise, butcher, market, sell, and prepare their pasture-raised hogs for consumption.

Nikhil Anand’s Hydraulic City explores the politics of Mumbai’s water infrastructure to demonstrate how citizenship and the rights through which to make demands on the state for public services emerges through the relations between residents, plumbers, politicians, engineers, and the 3000 miles of pipe that bind them.

Check out the World Anthropology Day Facebook page to see if there are any events scheduled on your own campus. And don’t miss any of our new anthropology titles! Sign up here to be notified of new books, special discounts, and more.

New Books in February

Can you believe it’s already February? Our Spring 2017 season is in full swing. Check out these new books dropping this month:

misinterpellated-subject-coverIn The Misinterpellated SubjectJames R. Martel complicates Louis Althusser’s theory of interpellation, using historical and literary analyses ranging from the Haitian Revolution to Ta-Nehisi Coates to examine the political and revolutionary potential inherent in the instances when people heed the state’s call that was not meant for them.

Fans of literature and iconic literary theorist Slavoj Žižek shouldzizek-cover enjoy Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Literature but Were Afraid to Ask ŽižekThis volume demonstrates the importance of Slavoj Žižek’s work to literary criticism and theory by showing how his practice of reading theory and literature can be used in numerous theoretical frameworks and applied to literature across historical periods, nationalities, and genres, creating new interpretations of familiar works.

dying-in-full-detail-coverIn analyses of digital death footage—from victims of police brutality to those who jump from the Golden Gate Bridge—Jennifer Malkowski’s Dying in Full Detail considers the immense changes digital technologies have introduced in the ability to record and display actual deaths—one of documentary’s most taboo and politically volatile subjects.

Mark Rifkin’s Beyond Settler Time disrupts settler temporalbeyond-settler-time-cover frameworks. Rifkin explores how Indigenous experiences with time and the dominance of settler colonial conceptions of temporality have affected Native peoplehood and sovereignty, thereby rethinking the very terms by which history is created and organized around time by.

magic-of-concepts-coverIn The Magic of ConceptsRebecca E. Karl interrogates the concept and practice of “the economic” as it was understood in China in the 1930s and the 1980s and 90s, showing how the use of Eurocentric philosophies, narratives, and conceptions of the economic that exist outside lived experiences fail to capture modern China’s complex history.

Kaushik Sunder Rajan, in his latest book Pharmocracyworks atpharmocracy-cover the confluence of politics and racial capitalism. He traces the structure and operation of what he calls pharmocracy—a concept explaining the global hegemony of the multinational pharmaceutical industry. He outlines pharmocracy’s logic in two case studies from contemporary India to demonstrate the stakes of its intersection with health, politics, democracy, and global capital.

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New Books in January

Celebrate the beginning of 2017 with these new titles out in January:

animate-planet-coverKath Weston’s Animate Planet addresses the emergence of a new animism in the context of food, energy, water, and climate to trace how new intimacies between humans, animals, and the environment are emerging as people attempt to understand how the high-tech ecologically damaged world they have made is remaking them.

In Collecting, Ordering, Governing, a diverse team of international scholars explore the relationships between anthropological fieldwork, museum collecting and display, and practices of social governance of metropolitan, settler, and colonized populations in the early twentieth-century in Australia, Britain, France, New Zealand, and the United States.

selected-political-writings-coverSelected Political Writings is the latest in our Stuart Hall: Selected Writings Series. Written between 1957 and 2011 and appearing in publications such as New Left Review and Marxism Today, these twenty essays are Stuart Hall’s best known and most important writings that directly engage with political issues.

INCITE!’s The Revolution Will Not Be Funded gathers essays by radical activists, educators, and non-profit staff from around the globe who critically rethink the long-term consequences of what they call the “non-profit industrial complex,” which works against the efforts of social justice organizations.

living-a-feminist-life-coverIn Living a Feminist Life, Sara Ahmed shows how feminist theory is generated from everyday life and the ordinary experiences of being a feminist. Ahmed highlights the ties between feminist theory and living a life that sustains it by building on legacies of feminist of color scholarship and discussing the figure of the feminist killjoy.

Providing heterogeneous accounts of the intersections between the fine art world with literature, jazz, film, and theater in New York, Paris, Milan, Brazil, and Cuba between 1959 and 1960, the contributors to Breathless Days, 1959-1960 show this period to be pivotal in the culture and politics of Western Europe and the Americas.

decolonizing-dialectics-coverIn Decolonizing DialecticsGeorge Ciccariello-Maher brings the work of Georges Sorel, Frantz Fanon, and Enrique Dussel together with contemporary Venezuelan politics to formulate a decolonized dialectics that is suited to the struggle against the legacies of slavery and colonialism while also breaking the impasse between dialectics and postcolonial theory.

Of Gardens and Graves combines personal reflection, political analysis, and literary criticism with memoir and journalistic observation. Suvir Kaul examines the textures of everyday life in Kashmir in the years following the region’s pervasive militarization in 1990. Of Gardens and Graves also includes contemporary Kashmiri poetry and a photo-essay by Javed Dar.

Licia Fiol-Matta’s Great Woman Singer uses a theoretical framework built on Lacan and Foucault to trace the careers of four iconic female Puerto Rican singers to explore how their voices, performance style, physical appearance, and subject matter of their songs challenged social and cultural norms.

brilliant-imperfection-coverDrawing on memoir, history, and theory, Eli Clare’s Brilliant Imperfection complicates the understanding of cure, seeing it as an ideology that serves contradictory purposes—from saving lives to social control—while critiquing cure rhetoric and the drive to cure disabled people through an insistence of the value of disability.

Facing the Planetary sees William E. Connolly expand his influential work on democratic pluralism to confront the perils of climate change by calling on us to deepen our attachment to the planet and to create a worldwide coalition of people from all demographics to contest the forces that prevent us from addressing climate change.

Best Books of the Year

It is almost the end of the year, which means it’s time for best books lists. We’re pleased to share the accolades our authors and their books have amassed from a variety of outlets this year:

Life and Death on the New York Dance FloorTim Lawrence’s Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983 has received praise from some big names in the music industry. Life and Death marbles 1980s dance culture with politics, funk, and liberation. The Village Voice named it one of their Ten Notable Books of 2016 calling it “scrupulously researched” and a “marvelously detailed history.” Over at Music Is My Sanctuary, they named Lawrence’s book one of the Top 10 Music Books of 2016. David Cantin writes, “This eagerly awaited follow-up to Lawrence’s classic Love Saves The Day is by far my favourite book of the year. A brilliantly documented and written piece that ventures into the New York party scene with great depth.”

sharpe_wake

In the Wake: On Blackness and Being by Christina Sharpe received high praise from The Guardian as one of its Best Books of 2016. Madeleine Thien says, “The book that will live on in me from this year is Christina Sharpe’s In the Wake: On Blackness and Being (Duke), on living in the wake of the catastrophic violence of legal chattel slavery. In the Wake speaks in so many multiple ways (poetry, memory, theory, images) and does so in language that is never still. It is, in part, about keeping watch, not unseeing the violence that has become normative, being in the hold, holding on and still living.” Additionally, and in light of the political and social upheavals this year, Flavorwire has named In the Wake one of its 15 Nonfiction Books from 2016 to Bolster the Resistance.

mounting-frustration-cover

Double congratulations are also in order for Susan E. Cahan’s book Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power. Culture Type chose it as one of the 12 Best Black Art Books of 2016a list that includes works that are “in various ways reframing art history.” Vulture included Mounting Frustration in their 10 best Art Books of 2016 category claiming, “Protest histories like this feel more vital than ever as we prepare to set forth into the long winter of unrest ahead.”


Rolling Stone
has named Greg Tate’s Flyboy 2: The Greg Tate Reader one of its 10 Best Music Books of 2016. Michaelangelo Matos says, “Greg Tate’s ferocious, slang-tinged salvos and flyboydeep-rooted historical analysis have inspired readers and intimidated colleagues for decades.”

making-refuge-coverCatherine Besteman’s book recounting the experiences of Somali migrants—Making Refuge: Somali Bantu Refugees and Lewiston, Mainehas been included in Foreign Affairs‘s Best Books of 2016. Arguing for the importance and timelessness of Besteman’s work, reviewer Nicolas van de Walle writes, “Besteman eschews social science jargon to tell her story with great insight and empathy. Her book should be required reading for policymakers currently debating what to do with refugees from Syria.”

978-0-8223-6224-1_borderDonna Haraway’s latest, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, was chosen by POSTmatter as one of their Top 10 Books of 2016. They say, “Through a combination of science fact, science fiction, speculative feminism and speculative fabulation, Staying with The Trouble maps out new ways to reconfigure our relationship with the planet, and makes a case for its future.”

Over at T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Tim Lawrence’s biography of Arthur RussellHold On to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973-1992has made it on to musician Devonté “Dev” Hynes’s 10 Favorite Books list. Hynes calls it “an inspiring yet tragic read” that he’s read “cover to cover three times.”

Only the Road

And finally, World Literature Today cited Margaret Randall’s anthology of Cuban poetry, Only the Road / Solo el Camino: Eight Decades of Cuban Poetry, as one of its 75 Notable Translations of 2016. Only the Road / Solo el Camino provides an English-speaking audience with an expansive bilingual collection of work from Cuba and its diaspora.

The Best Books We Read in 2016

From novels to biography, sci-fi to political theory, at Duke University Press, reading is our jam. Here our staff members share their favorite reads from the past year. We hope you enjoy their suggestions, and perhaps find a few gift ideas in the mixjerusalem.

Kristen Twardowski, Sales and Marketing Research Coordinator, recommends Alan Moore’s epic novel, Jerusalem: “It is a glorious, dark fairy tale that beautifully marries the grime of modern England with mystical and historical stories. Though it is a lengthy read—I might even describe it as an epic—the book captures the complexity and fragility of humanity extraordinarily well. Reading Jerusalem is a great way to close out 2016 and welcome in the new year.”

Chris Robinson, Copywriter extraordinaire, read a ton of sci-fi this year. He says, “My favorite was Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven, whstation-elevenich takes place in the near future after a virus wipes out most of the world’s population and follows an intertwining group of characters both before and after the epidemic. I loved how she was able to create a post-apocalyptic/dystopian future and make it so real and believable.”

Our Publicist and Exhibits Coordinator, Katie Smart, thoroughly enjoyed the modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice—Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield. “Sittenfeld does a great job of presenting a well-known story in a new, exciting, and diverse way that holds the reader’s attention, even if you know Darcy and Elizabeth will end up together in the end. First impressions, we’re reminded, are never quite what they seem. I recently discovered that this book is part of a series of Austen retellings, so if you’re not an Austen traditionalist and can stand some changes to the original nhere-i-amovels, check out the other books in the series.”

Jonathan Safran Foer’s first novel in over a decade made it onto Publicity Assistant Jessica Castro-Rappl’s favorites list. She says, “Here I Am follows a Jewish American family as both their personal world and the real world fall apart. It’s a story of love, loneliness, and longing; of the meaning and meaninglessness of life. It’s beautifully written and deeply affecting—it totally destroyed msigns-preceeding-end-of-worlde emotionally, but it’s absolutely worth reading.”

Editorial Associate Sandra Korn suggests Yuri Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World: “It’s such a beautiful short book, telling the story of Makina, who travels from Mexico to the US to retrieve her brother. Herrera uses lyrical, otherworldly language and nearly-magic descriptions and his book has totally reshaped how I think about border crossing and migration.”

Liz Beasley, Coordinating Editor, gets political with The Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik: “Words cannot express how much I love Ruth Bader Ginsberg, or how much I am absolutely SURE that you should read this book. Although it is in some ways a coffee table book—with illustrations of RBG’s daily workout, recipes from her late husband, Marty, and numerous photographs (including photos of young girls dressed like her in pearls, large glasses, and “dissent collars”)—there is nothing light or shallow about it. Her annotated notes on her decisions and dissents reveal an incredibly razor-sharp mind as well as the nuances involved in making judgments, and they give us an important sense of how women’s rights have both picked up and lost steam at various points in US history. You learn about the serious discrimination RBG faced in her long career, as well as her surprising friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia. I hope you will be charmed and moved, as I was. I read The Notorious RBG before the election, and I suspect reading it now might be heartbreaking, but I still recommend this book wholeheartedly. May she, and all women in politics, live long and prosper.”

The editors feternity-streetor our humanities and social science journals offer up the following recommendations. Charles Brower, Senior Managing Editor, says, “The most satisfying book I read this year was Eternity Street: Violence and Justice in Frontier Los Angeles by John Mack Faragher. It takes LA noir all the way back to its dusty beginnings, the incredibly violent decades before and after California became a state in 1850. The murder rate in Los Angeles was fifty times higher than in New York City, and Mexican Californios and Anglo settlers both resorted to ‘justice’ via posses and lynching as a way to make up for the incompetent, corrupt, or nonexistent legal system. Faragher’s book is filled with frequently hair-raising stories of villainy, retribution, and mob rule; in his account, from its earliest days as part of the US, California has been the nation’s Eden but also its bleeding edge.”

Joel T. Luber, Assistant Managing Editor, writes: “The book that struck me most this year was something older that I read for the first time. The Bus by Paul Kirchner reprints a series of one-page comic strips about municipal buses. In the strip highlighted below, the most common protagonist—an unnamed businessman—sits in jail and is able to escape by summoning a bus with a drawing of a bus stop sign. This points out the reader’s assumptions about the depicted reality (e.g., that there’s a fourth wall to the cell that’s not pictured) and also inverts on the normal cause an effect of the bus stop to great comedic effect. The book features almost one hundred similarly clever strips that use this most quotidian of subjects to subvert the conventions of representation, particular in comics, and the normal rules of the real world.”

the-bus-in-jail

Thanks to our staff for another year of great reads and recommendations. We look forward to expanding our collective literary minds in 2017.

New Books in December

Winter has arrived, and the holidays are upon us—stay warm and sharp with these incisive new titles in December:

978-0-8223-6228-9Containing over one hundred selections ranging from songs, artwork, and poetry, to journalism, oral history, and scholarship—most of which published in English for the first time—The Colombia Reader presents a rich and multi-layered account of this complex nation from the colonial era to the present.

In An Aqueous Territory: Sailor Geographies and New Granada’s Transimperial Greater Caribbean World, Ernesto Bassi examines the lives of those who resided in the Caribbean between 1760 and 1860 to trace the configuration of a dynamic geographic space he calls the transimperial Greater Caribbean, where residents made their own geographies and futures while trade, information, and people circulated freely across borders.978-0-8223-6292-0

In Finite Media: Environmental Implications of Digital Technologies, Sean Cubitt offers a  large scale rethinking of theories of mediation by describing the ecological footprint of media. He investigates the energy, material, and space needed to create, operate, and dispose of electronic devices, and shows that changing how we use media is the only solution to planetary devastation.

Matthew B. Karush’s  Musicians in Transit  examines the careers of seven major twentieth-century Argentine popular musicians in the transnational context to show how their engagement with foreign genres, ideologies, and audiences helped them create innovative new music and shape new Ar978-0-8223-6201-2gentine cultural and national identities.

Containing a wealth of new scholarship and rare primary documents, The Black Jacobins Reader provides a comprehensive analysis of C. L. R. James’s classic history of the Haitian Revolution.

The contributors to Citizenship in Question demonstrate that the line separating citizenship and noncitizenship is ambiguous and inconsistent. In case studies analyzing the legal barriers to citizenship rights in over twenty countries, the contributors show how states use citizenship requirements to police racial, ethnic, class, and religious difference.smith_one-and-five-ideas-cover

Taking disability theory out of a Western context, Eunjung Kim’s Curative Violence questions the assumptions that treating disabilities with cure represents a universal good by examining the manifestations of violence that accompany medical and nonmedical cures in twentieth- and early twenty-first-century Korea.

One and Five Ideas sees the eminent critic, historian, and former member of the Art & Language collective Terry Smith explore the artistic, philosophical, political, and geographical dimensions of conceptual art and conceptualism while offering a theory of contemporary art.

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