Author: Duke University Press

The Biopolitics of Plasticity

The newest issue of Social Text, “The Biopolitics of Plasticity,” edited by Kyla Schuller and Jules Gill-Peterson, is now available.

Contributors to this special issue argue that plasticity—the capacity of living systems to generate and take on new forms—is a central feature of biopolitics. Moving away from celebrating plasticity’s disorganizing and disruptive features in relation to normalizing and dominating systems of power, the authors investigate how race and state power actually depend on plasticity and enlist its malleability and formlessness to govern living populations and individuals.

In these four essays, the contributors propose a critical reckoning with the racial politics of this important concept to ask new questions about how to understand the organic malleability of the body and categories like race, sex, gender, and sexuality.

Check out the table of contents and read the introduction, made freely available.

Pride Month Reads

This month we approach Pride with mixed feelings—it is difficult to celebrate amid so much injustice, but the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that protects LGBTQ workers from job discrimination is heartening as a step forward.

We’d like to take this moment to lift up our latest scholarship in queer and trans studies.

Our Revisiting Queer Studies Syllabus highlights articles, books, and journal issues on topics such as queerness in poor and working-class populations, decolonizing queerness, antinormativity, queer migration, and contemporary coming-out stories. Our Trans Rights Syllabus addresses trans rights and politics globally, exploring coalitional models of social justice, black trans feminisms, surgery, disability, surveillance, and more. Both syllabi offer free journal content for a limited time, and books can be purchased from your local bookseller or online at dukeupress.edu.

978-1-4780-0820-0Poor Queer Studies by Matt Brim shifts queer studies away from sites of elite education toward poor and working-class students and locations, showing how the field is driven by those flagship institutions that perpetuate class and race inequity in higher education. In a recent op-ed, Brim linked his research to cuts in higher education due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Many people have seen parallels between today’s pandemic and the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. In AIDS and the Distribution of Crises, contributors outline the myriad ways that the AIDS pandemic exists within a network of varied historical, overlapping, and ongoing crises borne of global capitalism and colonial, racialized, and gendered violence.

The Lonely Letters is an epistolary blackqueer critique of the normative world in which Ashon T. Crawley meditates on the interrelation of blackqueer life, sounds of the black church, theology, mysticism, and the potential for platonic and erotic connection in a world that conspires against blackqueer life. These letters may especially speak to people isolating alone in the pandemic. In an interview with New City Arts, Crawley talked a bit about being alone at home and in nature during this time.

The Queer Games Avant GardeSome people may be spending more time playing video games while socially isolating. To learn about some queer game makers and their projects, check out The Queer Games Avant-Garde: How LGBTQ Game Makers Are Reimagining the Medium of Video Games by Bonnie Ruberg. The book presents twenty interviews with twenty-two queer video game developers whose radical, experimental, vibrant, and deeply queer work is driving a momentous shift in the medium of video games.

In Honeypot: Black Southern Women Who Love Women, E. Patrick Johnson combines magical realism, poetry, and performative writing to bear witness to the real-life stories of black southern queer women in ways that reveal the complexity of identity and the challenges these women face.

Pride is celebrated worldwide, including in Korea. Check out Queer Korea, a collection edited by Todd A. Henry. The contributors offer interdisciplinary analyses of non-normative sexuality and gender nonconformity in Korea, extending individualized notions of queer neoliberalism beyond those set in Western queer theory.

GLQ_26_3_prWe publish two journals that focus exclusively on queer and trans studies: TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly and GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. Both journals offer individual subscriptions.

Recent special issues of TSQ center on trans futures, pornographyreligion, and Latin American trans and travesti studies.

GLQ’s recent special issues consider queer theory in relation to Africa, the ontology of the couple, and the impact of GLQ itself over the past 25 years.

Care in Uncertain Times Syllabus

As we collectively deal with the implications of social distancing, stay-at-home orders, and a global pandemic, questions of care and self-care have become ever more important.

Free to read online through June 30, the books, journal issues, and articles in our new Care in Uncertain Times Syllabus investigate different ways that care can bind together individuals and communities where larger institutions or governments fail to intervene. They show how radical care is essential to enduring precarity and to laying the groundwork for new futures.

Start reading here.

The Return of Economic Planning

“The Return of Economic Planning,” the latest issue of South Atlantic Quarterly, edited by Campbell Jones, is available now.

Contributors to this special issue propose placing economic planning firmly back on the agenda of Left politics. Today, capital and the capitalist state are fully planned, yet economic planning remains a key site of political struggle, and it exists in diverse places and forms—in algorithms, in sites of dispute, in communes, in music, and coming from above or below.

The authors explore new ways of seeing and thinking about economic planning, arguing that the question is no longer whether or not to plan but rather what kind of economic planning is taking place, what purpose it is serving, and who is included in making and executing plans.

Check out authors Matteo Mandarini and Alberto Toscano’s article, “Planning for Conflict,” freely available for three months.

The issue’s Against the Day section, “Mediterranea: Sea Rescue as Political Action,” brings together researchers and activists to discuss migrant projects of freedom. All articles in this section are freely available for six months.

Browse the issue’s contents and read the introduction, freely available.

Legacies of ’68: Histories, Geographies, Epistemologies

In the newest issue of Cultural Politics, contributors discuss the historical significance and cultural legacies of 1968 from the vantage point of contemporary politics. “Legacies of ’68: Histories, Geographies, Epistemologies,” edited by Morgan Adamson and Sarah Hamblin, maps out the transnational connections between the various 1968 movements and traces the legacies of these ideas to see how the year continues to shape political, cultural, and social discourse today.

Topics covered include the Third World student strike at San Francisco State College, the decade-long revolution known as May ’68 and its connection to anticolonial struggle and the emergence of “the world university system,” and radical feminist author Shulamith Firestone’s Dialectic of Sex.

Check out author Quinn Slobodian’s article, “Anti-’68ers and the Racist-Libertarian Alliance: How a Schism among Austrian School Neoliberals Helped Spawn the Alt Right,” made freely available for three months.

Browse the issue’s contents and read the introduction, freely available. Be sure to sign up to receive email alerts about new issues of Cultural Politics!

Archives, Archival Practices, and the Writing of History in Premodern Korea

In premodern Korea, archives were gathered and housed not only in official or state storerooms but also in unofficial sites such as libraries of lineage associations and local academies. Contributors to the newest Journal of Korean Studies, “Archives, Archival Practices, and the Writing of History in Premodern Korea,” edited by Jungwon Kim, take these archives beyond their usual definition as collections of historical documents of the past by revealing how these archives cast light on what and who were left out of the conventional historiography of premodern Korea.

Topics addressed include how premodern Korean record-keeping was used to shape contemporary historiographical knowledge of Chosŏn Buddhism, the role of the Catholic Archives in documenting life in Chosŏn Korea, and whether the term “archive,” as used in European traditions, is relevant to premodern Korean traditions.

Browse the issue’s contents; and read the editorial note and the introduction, both freely available. Be sure to sign up to receive email alerts about new issues of the Journal of Korean Studies!

Memory, Amnesia, Commemoration

In the newest issue of English Language Notes, “Memory, Amnesia, Commemoration,” edited by Ramesh Mallipeddi and Cristobal Silva, contributors explore the interrelationship between history (the study of past events) and memory (the ways in which the past is remembered and accessed). Specifically, they investigate how catastrophes—colonization, slavery, war, genocide, and disease pandemics—impact memory; how traumatic events are remembered by victims, survivors, and descendants; and the collective forgetting of traumatic pasts.

Topics include traces of trauma and resilience in Native and Colonial North America, the contemporary new diaspora of African Americans fleeing the Gulf after Hurricane Katrina, the memorialization of black southern experience, dementia in Holocaust literature, and a major blind spot in comparative memory studies.

Browse the issue’s contents and read the introduction, freely available. Be sure to sign up to receive email alerts about new issues of English Language Notes!

Literary History after the Nation?

The current field of literary history is rapidly expanding, presenting an exciting but also bewildering time for historians of literature. Designations of literary periods have become progressively more flexible while some scholars have simply abandoned the idea of distinct literary periods and geographically limited literary histories altogether. In the newest issue of Modern Language Quarterly, “Literary History after the Nation?” edited by Peter Kalliney, contributors consider the status of modern literary history in this moment of flux. They pose the question: now that the unspoken national and regional assumptions of literary studies are being challenged, how should we write literary history?

Topics include the works and theories of Russian poet Keti Chukhrov, an examination of the term “world poetry,” arguments for and against linear periodization, and a 1930s Soviet project to found a “world literature.”

Browse the issue’s contents and read the introduction, freely available. Be sure to sign up to receive email alerts about new issues of Modern Language Quarterly!

Violence and Policing

We’re pleased to announce that “Violence and Policing,” a new issue of Public Culture, edited by Shamus Khan and Madiha Tahir, is freely available until September 30, 2020. Read the full issue here.

By identifying parallels between police and military power, contributors argue that policing is more than merely the practice of the institution of the police but is the violence work of maintaining a specific social order.

Topics covered in the essays include “speculative policing,” which attempts to control not only the present but also uncertain futures; the inextricable relation between anti-Blackness and the violence of the law; the role of police in US politics; and the relationship between police bodycams and gender equity.

Mesoamerican Experiences of Illness and Healing

The sixteenth-century encounter between Mesoamericans and Europeans resulted in a tremendous loss of life in indigenous communities and significantly impacted their health and healing strategies. In “Mesoamerican Experiences of Illness and Healing,” new from Ethnohistory, contributors explore archival indigenous and Spanish-language documents to address how indigeneous people experienced bodily health in the wake of the European encounter and uncover transformations of health discourses and experiences of illness.

They also investigate healing practices and medical chants; changing notions of the causes of illnesses; and the language of cleansing ceremonies, bone-setting, midwifery, and maternal medicine.

Browse the issue’s contents and read the first article by editor Rebecca Dufendach, freely available. Be sure to sign up to receive email alerts about new issues of Ethnohistory!