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Keywords in Caribbean Studies: A Small Axe Project

We are pleased to share a new annual special section from Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism: “Keywords in Caribbean Studies: A Small Axe Project”, a collaborative effort to examine the genealogy and contemporary lexicon of Caribbean cultural-political terms. The featured section will be published in each July issue of Small Axe, beginning with volume 26, no. 2 (68), which covers the multiplicity of meaning and fraught history of Caribbean discourse terms zwart, negro/a/x, négre, and Black.

“Our keywords project is an exercise in critical vocabulary that is less preoccupied with the production of a singular, authoritative definition for a term than it is with a genealogy of that term’s history and usage,” write the editors about the new special section. “In an effort to synthesize the historical meanings and enduring significance of terms that define our region and guide our study, we seek to trace histories of concepts and speculate imaginatively about their future uses and directions.”

Through this annual published conversation, Small Axe provides a space for readers and scholars to remain attentive to the tension, depth, and complexity of language while invigorating creative new thinking on contemporary and future studies in the Caribbean. Read the introduction to the inaugural collection of essays, made freely available.

2023 Pricing Updates from Scholarly Publishing Collective, Duke University Press

Scholarly Publishing Collective launches 2023 journal pricing and new publisher collections

Durham, North Carolina—2023 pricing for single journal titles (xlsx) that are part of the Scholarly Publishing Collective (the Collective), managed by Duke University Press, is now available. This includes titles from Cornell University Press, Michigan State University Press, Penn State University Press, SBL Press, Texas Tech University Press, University of Illinois Press, University of North Carolina Press, and West Virginia University Press.

We are also pleased to announce the launch of new publisher-specific journal collections from Scholarly Publishing Collective partners Michigan State University Press (MSUP), Penn State University Press (PSUP), and the University of Illinois Press (UIP). 2023 pricing for the collections is now available online. 

Title updates

  • PSUP:
    • The Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters has ceased publication. Volumes 1 to 10 are available for purchase on a year-by-year basis.
  • UIP:
    • The Journal of Civil and Human Rights is ceasing publication.
    • Italian Americana and the Journal of Finnish Studies are both new to UIP in 2022. The Journal of Finnish Studies is now available online; Italian Americana is forthcoming.

New publisher collections

  • Illinois Journals Collection. Provides online access to all 40 UIP journals for 2023. This collection offers a long-standing list of established titles in a wide range of disciplines, including philosophy and religion, ethnic and regional European studies, American studies, and music and visual culture, as well as the publications of several state historical societies.
  • Michigan State Journals Collection. Provides online access to 10 MSUP journals for 2023. This collection has strong focus areas in African studies, rhetoric, literary nonfiction, and history, including some multilingual content. Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management, Real Analysis Exchange, and Rhetoric, Politics & Culture are not included in the collection.
  • Penn State Journals Collection. Provides online access to 80 PSUP journals for 2023. The collection’s strengths include literary studies, history, cultural studies, theater, education, and religious studies.

Features of Collections

  • Search within each publisher’s collection and across all content hosted at
  • Perpetual access to current content plus term access to all available back issues
  • COUNTER-compliant usage statistics
  • No ongoing maintenance fees

2023 Pricing Updates from Duke University Press

Duke University Press (DUP) 2023 pricing (xlsx) for individual journal titles and book and journal collections is now available online at

Duke University Press Journal Updates
We are pleased to announce the addition of the Journal of Asian Studies to our journal program. The Journal of Asian Studies (JAS) is the flagship journal of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) and publishes the preeminent scholarship on Asia, spanning the arts, history, literature, the social sciences, and cultural studies.

The new journal Critical AI will also join DUP in 2023. This online-only journal, editorially based at Rutgers University’s Center for Cultural Analysis, will address the ongoing history of machine technologies and their place in the world. Critical AI will provide a space for artificial intelligence (AI) topics such as the ethics of data curation; design justice principles; antiracist, decolonial, and democratic political practices; experimental pedagogies; and public outreach.

The Journal of Asian Studies and Critical AI will be included in the e-Duke Journals Expanded collection. In 2022, DUP became the publisher of Agricultural History and Trans Asia Photography, both also included in e-Duke Journals Expanded.

Ceasing Publication
American Literary Scholarship, an annual review of scholarship in American literature, will cease publication with its 2022 volume. The 2022 volume of the Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle (an annual) will conclude this comprehensive literary archive of the nineteenth century. Free online access to the Carlyle Letters Online is available at

The MSP on Euclid product will no longer be available through Duke University Press starting in 2023. Project Euclid will host this content through March 2023. Perpetual access to purchased content will be fulfilled at

For more information about 2023 pricing, please contact libraryrelations [at] dukeupress [dot] edu.

The Journal of Asian Studies Moves to Duke University Press

The Journal of Asian Studies (JAS), the flagship journal of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS), will join the Duke University Press journals program in 2023.

Journal of Asian Studies issue cover

“There are many reasons we have decided to partner with Duke, but one of the most important is Duke’s prioritizing of the academic contributions of its journals. Duke’s academic credentials are stellar, with a global reputation for publishing top scholarly work in the arts, sciences, and humanities. Duke’s prioritizing of the academic market and readership melds with the association’s and journal’s mission of service to the field,” said Hilary Finchum-Sung, Executive Director of the AAS.

Since its founding in 1941, the Journal of Asian Studies has been recognized as the most authoritative and prestigious publication in the field of Asian studies. The journal publishes the very best empirical and multidisciplinary work on Asia, spanning the arts, history, literature, the social sciences, and cultural studies. Experts around the world turn to the journal for the latest in-depth scholarship on Asia’s past and present, for its extensive book reviews, and for its state-of-the-field essays on established and emerging topics. With coverage reaching from South and Southeast Asia to China, Inner Asia, and Northeast Asia, the Journal of Asian Studies welcomes broad comparative and transnational studies as well as essays emanating from fine-grained historical, cultural, political, or literary research and interpretation.

The journal is edited by Joseph Alter (University of Pittsburgh, USA), who said, “Asia’s ever increasing economic and political significance in the twenty-first century highlights the growing importance of Asian studies as a field of critical research. Globalization and rapid change, involving new cultural formations and the creative interconnectedness of people, places, and things, continues to stimulate incredibly innovative scholarship. I look forward to building on a legacy of excellence combined with Duke’s outstanding reputation to position the Journal of Asian Studies on the cutting edge of research that will redefine how we understand Asia’s past, present and future.”

“The Journal of Asian Studies has long been a critically important resource for those working in the field of Asian studies and is an exciting addition to our journals program. We are pleased to partner with the AAS to advance the journal’s mission and bring its scholarship to readers around the globe,” said Dean Smith, Director of Duke University Press.

The Journal of Asian Studies joins Duke University Press’s list of Asian studies journals, which includes Archives of Asian Art; Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East; the Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture; the Journal of Korean Studies; positions: asia critique; Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature; Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies; and Trans Asia Photography. The journal will be included in the e-Duke Journals Expanded Collection and will also be available as a single-title subscription.


Logo for the Association for Asian Studies

The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) is a scholarly, nonpolitical, nonprofit professional association open to anyone interested in Asia and the study of Asia. With approximately 5,500 members worldwide, representing all the regions and countries of Asia and all academic disciplines, the AAS is the largest organization of its kind.

Duke University Press is a nonprofit scholarly publisher with a focus on the humanities, the social sciences, and mathematics. The Press publishes approximately 140 books annually and around 60 journals, as well as offering several electronic collections and open-access publishing initiatives.

Celebrating National Library Week

To celebrate the American Library Association’s National Library Week, we’re featuring the work our Library Relations team does to bring Duke University Press content to academic, public, and special libraries.

In addition to individual book sales and journal subscriptions, we offer complete packages of electronic content to libraries at significant discounts. The annual e-Duke Journals and e-Duke Books collections provide the subscribing library with perpetual, unlimited multiuser access to every journal issue and book title, respectively, published in that calendar year in the humanities and social sciences. These library sales allow any user—faculty, students, staff, or public library patron—affiliated with the subscribing institution to read DUP books and journals through their library.

We maintain a robust indexing and metadata program, sending metadata files regularly to major library technology vendors, to ensure that libraries can easily incorporate these records into their catalogs and user interfaces. These efforts help more users discover and access the content they are searching for on their library’s website.

We work with a 34-member Library Advisory Board, consisting of library staff in various roles at institutions around the world, whom we contact regularly for advice on how our products and services can work best for libraries and their patrons.

Our library sales team attends 10–15 library conferences each year, domestically and internationally. These events help us build relationships with our customers and learn from the many valuable sessions and panels about current topics in the library profession.

For more information about our library relations program, visit our Library Resource Center or the Library Products Catalog to see the range of products we offer to libraries. Reach out to our Library Relations team at to see how we can work with your library.

2021 Foerster Prize Winner Announced

We’re pleased to announce the winner of the 2021 Norman Foerster Prize, awarded to the best essay of the year in American Literature: “Colonial Relations in Miniature: Affective Networks, Race, and the Portrait in Victor Séjour’s ‘Le Mulâtre’” by Madeline Zehnder, published in volume 93, issue 2. Read the essay, freely available through the end of April, here.

The prize committee offered this praise for the winning essay: “Zehnder’s ‘Colonial Relations in Miniature: Affective Networks, Race, and the Portrait in Victor Séjour’s “Le Mulâtre”’ sheds new light on Séjour’s 1837 sketch by placing it in conversation with the material world of the era. Discussing the circulation of ivory, magazines, miniatures, and gris-gris, Zehnder’s attention to both the smallest literary detail and to the broadest historical sweep demonstrates how Séjour’s short story skewers white colonial family formations that rely on affective and material violence against, especially, enslaved Black people. Methodically researched and compellingly written, this essay offers a view of American literature that is expansively global, imaginatively critical, and intensely focused on the nuances of literary form.”

The honorable mention for this year’s Foerster Prize was Michelle N. Huang’s “Racial Disintegration: Biomedical Futurity at the Environmental Limit” (vol. 93, no. 3; find the essay here). The committee had this to say about the honorable mention: “Huang’s ‘Racial Disintegration: Biomedical Futurity at the Environmental Limit’ innovatively places Asian American literary studies in conversation with discussions about antiblackness. It does so by focusing on Chang-rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea (2014) and other Asian American dystopian narratives and their deracialized visions of public health. Huang calls for a reading strategy that sees through the ostensible erasure of race to the reading practices, and their underlying conditions, that abet the ‘offloading’ of racism onto infrastructures of public health. In so doing, this impressive essay shows how Asian American literature can be a window into discussions of the so-called postracial promise.”

Congratulations to Madeline Zehnder and Michelle N. Huang!

Support Duke University Press on Giving Tuesday

This Giving Tuesday, please consider supporting the innovative, interdisciplinary scholarship we publish here at Duke University Press! Over the years, our publications have developed new areas of study that transform current thinking and open up new avenues to effect positive change in our world. Our mission-driven publishing work relies on individual and institutional contributions. We are grateful to the many authors who donate their royalties each year to sustain our publications and to the authors, readers, librarians, and other supporters who help make our work possible. Consider supporting our work through one of the six funds listed below.

Translation Fund
Our Translation Fund supports the translation of crucial intellectual work originally published in languages other than English. To date, this fund has supported eight translations of important works, including Achille Mbembe’s Necropolitics (2019) and Françoise Vergès’s The Wombs of Women (2020). Donate to the Translation Fund.

Scholars of Color First Book Fund
This fund supports books authored by scholars of color which show extraordinary promise as important scholarly interventions. This fund helps us maintain our commitment to publish works by rising stars and to celebrate books by scholars of color, especially those who might otherwise not receive recognition and support from their institutions. The fund supports production expenses, including the cost of indexing, which is ordinarily paid for by authors. Donate to the Scholars of Color First Book Fund.

Editorial Director Gisela Fosado says, “Every first book we publish is usually tied to a happy tenure story. Supporting first books by scholars of color is therefore essential to fundamental changes we need in higher education.” Read our blog post about the first cohort of award recipients.

The Lauren Berlant Fund for Utopian Thought
This fund celebrates the life and work of long-time author Lauren Berlant. The fund supports critical-creative and interdisciplinary books that take intellectual risks with both the conception and form of scholarly work, in order to discover how problems look different, and solutions look possible, when we show up to them differently—and together. Awards will be given annually by Duke University Press editors to titles that are distinguished by their creativity in thought and/or attentiveness to the challenges of working within their chosen form. The funds will be used to help cover production costs for the book and will help support the author’s costs as well. Donate to the Lauren Berlant Fund for Utopian Thought.

World Readers Fund
Our World Readers Fund supports the publication of our Latin America Readers and World Readers series—two series that involve extensive translation and permissions costs. Books in these series provide vivid, thought-provoking introductions to the history, culture, and politics of countries, cities, and regions around the world. Each volume features dozens of original documents, most of which have been translated into English for the first time. Donate to the World Readers Fund.

Demography Journal Fund
Publishing the data of disparity and inequality on a regular basis, Demography is a quintessential Duke University Press publication in that it disseminates peer-reviewed research designed to make the world a better and more equitable place for all. The flagship journal of the Population Association of America (PAA), Demography became open access in 2021 as it joined the Duke University Press journals publishing program. Demography’s open-access funding model relies entirely on financial support from individuals, libraries, and other institutions. The 2020 Journal Citation Reports ranked Demography as #1 in citations and #2 in impact factor in its field. Donate to the Demography Journal Fund.

“We were excited to see the announcement that Demography had switched to a fully open-access model with Duke University Press. OA models like this do not charge fees to readers and are instead supported by institutions, societies, and individuals. … Efforts like this one move the needle towards a more sustainable publishing system that prioritizes the advancement of human knowledge,” shared Colleen Lyons, Head of Scholarly Communications at the University of Texas at Austin Libraries.

Duke University Press General Publication Fund
As a nonprofit publisher, our donors are critical to our continued success. Your gift will support the publication of cutting-edge new books and journals. Donate to the Duke University Press General Publication Fund.

Remembering David Kline Jones

We were deeply saddened to learn that David Kline Jones, a board member of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law and a beloved professor who dedicated his work to health justice, died on September 11, 2021, at age 40. Here, JHPPL’s editor Jonathan Oberlander offers a remembrance of David. David’s obituary is available here, and all of his articles published in JHPPL are temporarily free to read in his honor.

I have known David Jones since 2007. The very first email he sent me ended with the confession that he had never before worked for a Boston Red Sox fan (for what it’s worth, I’m not sure I had ever employed a New York Yankees fan).

David was my student and research assistant at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill during his Master’s program (following in the footsteps of his mother, Debra, who I also had the pleasure of teaching during her DrPH studies). He was a collaborator on articles we published together, both during and after graduate school (David earned his PhD at the University of Michigan). He was a member of Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law’s editorial board. He was a friend. And he was always a delight to be around (except when the Yankees were winning).

I was shocked and devastated to hear the news that David had died in a tragic accident. David was so full of life that it is impossible to absorb the reality of something so seemingly unreal. Anyone who knew David knew that he was a loving partner to his wife, Sarah, and amazing father to his children. I cannot imagine their pain and loss, and my heart breaks for David’s family, friends, and his many colleagues at Boston University and beyond.

I will remember David as an exceptional scholar who cared deeply about health care access, justice, and equity. In his brief career, David produced a remarkable amount of compelling work illuminating the dynamics of American health care politics, federalism, the intersections between politics and the social drivers of health, and much more. David had a knack for asking important research questions—and then answering them in eloquent, persuasive ways.

I will remember the joy and exhaustion on David’s face when he came to take a final exam—straight from the hospital, where Sarah had given birth to their first child. I will remember years later the beaming smile on his face when I asked him to sign a copy of his first book (David recently finished writing a second book). And I will remember his bemusement when I tried to convince him to name a child after Tom Brady, then the quarterback of the New England Patriots, another Boston-area team David rooted against (actually, my wish sort of came true on that one).

I will remember David as having an inherent optimism and a wonderful, contagious spirit, as someone who was generous, decent, and kind. And I’m not alone in that sentiment. In the aftermath of David’s death, there has been an extraordinary outpouring of grief, reflections, and memories from his friends, students, and colleagues. It is not a surprise given who David was to see how many lives he touched. Yet it is nonetheless remarkable to see the sheer magnitude of the testaments, especially from those he taught and mentored. They give me hope that we can in our own work and lives carry forward some of David’s spirit and light.

And that’s the best way to remember David.

Pride Month Reads

June is Pride Month, and we’re proud to take this opportunity to revisit recent books and journal issues that center on queer studies, trans studies, and LGBTQ+ histories.

The contributors to “Left of Queer,” an issue of Social Text edited by David L. Eng and Jasbir K. Puar, offer a detailed examination of queerness and its nearly three-decade academic institutionalization, exploring how emergent debates in three key areas—debility, indigeneity, and trans—connect queer studies to a host of urgent sociopolitical issues. Taking a position that is politically left of the current academic and political mainstreaming of queerness, the essays in this issue examine what is left of queer—what remains outside of the political, economic, and cultural mandates of the state and the liberal individual as its prized subject.

In Wild Things Jack Halberstam offers an alternative history of sexuality by tracing the ways in which the wild—a space located beyond normative borders of sexuality—offers sources of opposition to knowing and being that transgress Euro-American notions of the modern subject.

The HIV/AIDS crisis is often imagined as over, yet it remains in ongoing relevance to trans life and trans death. Contributors to “Trans in a Time of HIV/AIDS,” an issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly edited by Eva Hayward and Che Gossett, examine the intersection of HIV/AIDS and trans studies, theory, and politics. Topics include differences between past and present conjuncture of trans and the virus; how HIV/AIDS matters for present-day trans studies scholarship, especially in our purportedly post-AIDS-crisis moment; and the relationship between the virus and “trans visibility.”

Queer Political Theologies,” an issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies edited by Ricky Varghese, David K. Seitz, and Fan Wu, brings together queer studies and political theology in order to explore the relationship between the self and politics, theism, and queerness. Going beyond previous work in queer political theology that has focused primarily on Christianity, contributors to this issue consider how queer sexualities appear in other theological contexts, including articles on astrological, Blackpentecostal, Thirunangai, hijra, and sarimbavy ways of life, recentering marginalized and underrepresented minorities, beliefs, and practices.

Drawing from ethnographic work with queer activist groups in contemporary Turkey, in Queer in Translation Evren Savcı explores how Western LGBT politics are translated and reworked there in ways that generate new spaces for resistance and solidarity.

In “The AIDS Crisis Is Not Over,” a Radical History Review issue edited by Emily K. Hobson and Dan Royles, contributors trace histories from around the globe and examine how HIV/AIDS has been shaped by the political economies of neoliberalism and state violence. They expand understandings of the AIDS crisis to include issues of labor, housing, and carcerality and consider ways to teach the global history of AIDS and examine key questions in writing, preserving, and remembering histories of AIDS activism.

In Sexual Hegemony Christopher Chitty traces the 500 year history of capitalist sexual relations, showing how sexuality became a crucial dimension of the accumulation of capital and a technique of bourgeois rule. The book, published posthumously, is edited by Max Fox.

The Sense of Brown, which he was completing at the time of his death, is José Esteban Muñoz’s treatise on brownness and being as well as his most direct address to queer Latinx studies. The book is edited and introduced by Joshua Chambers-Letson and Tavia Nyong′o.

In The Small Book of Hip Checks Erica Rand uses multiple meanings of hip check—an athlete using their hip to throw an opponent off balance and the inspection of racialized gender—to consider the workings of queer gender, race, and writing.

In Information Activism Cait McKinney traces how lesbian feminist activists in the United States and Canada between the 1970s and the present developed communication networks, databases, and digital archives to use as a foundation for their feminist, antiracist, and trans-inclusive work.

Ricardo Montez traces the drawn and painted line that was at the center of Keith Haring’s artistic practice, engaging with Haring’s messy relationships to race-making and racial imaginaries in Keith Haring’s Line.

And finally, congratulations to Ashon Crawley, whose book The Lonely Letters was awarded the Lambda Literary Award in Nonfiction earlier this week.

Exploring “Viral Culture”

Today’s guest post is authored by Mark Featherstone and John Armitage, editors of the new Cultural Politics issue “Viral Culture.” Learn more about “Viral Culture” or purchase the issue here.

In this blog post we want to explain the originality and relevance of the idea of ‘viral culture’, which we explore in the special issue of Cultural Politics devoted to the idea. However, before we talk about originality, it is important to note that it is possible to find precursors to what we are calling ‘viral culture’ in the work of a number of writers who understood what was happening with processes of globalisation and informationalisation from the 1960s onwards. It is important to acknowledge their influence upon our theory of ‘viral culture’ because in a sense what we have done is picked up the debates they started and explored them in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In looking for these influences we might track back as far as the 1960s and think about Jacques Derrida’s early work. In his early works, such as Of Grammatology, Derrida was interested in the informationalisation of biology through the discovery of DNA and communication processes filtered through computers that translated meaningful language into mathematical symbols. In his view this transformed everything, what he spoke about in terms of ‘the living’, into a kind of text that was endlessly on the move and fundamentally unfinished and unfinishable. In much the same way that one never finishes writing, Derrida saw that reproduction is endless and really represents the transmission or communication of DNA code to a new generation through sexual contact. This final point about sexual contact and the combination of DNA in the formation of a new person or animal was very important for Derrida because it represented communication and the emergence of new life, new meaning, and new possibilities. As the new is born, so the old must die out. This is why in his later works he writes about auto-immunity, which really means maintaining openness to the other through opposition to processes immunity that seek to shut down communication.

Now, of course, the problem we are facing today in the world of Covid-19 is that auto-immunity has become a serious problem. We need immunity and cannot afford the immune system to attack itself or become confused, which is precisely what happens in the case of the ‘cytokline storm’ that seems to be a major cause of death in cases of Covid-19. In straightforward terms what this means is that a lack of immunity and an excess of openness to otherness has now become a serious threat. The virus itself is clear evidence of this problem. Unlike complex organisms that reproduce through sexual contact, the virus simply replicates, and in this respect represents the strange form of life Freud wrote about in his famous essay Beyond the Pleasure Principle, which was coincidentally written in the teeth of the Spanish flu epidemic that killed his daughter Sophie one hundred years ago in 1920. While complex organisms, humans and animals, live, reproduce, and die, the virus represents endless life that simply repeats itself and therefore never dies. It does not need otherness. Having said that, the catch is that the virus needs a host to replicate, which is precisely why we need immunity to save ourselves from infection.

If this concern for immunity is what is missing from Derrida’s work, precisely because he is always looking to defend the principle of difference and communication, another French writer Jean Baudrillard clearly understood the problem of virulence in his book, The Transparency of Evil, translated into English in 1993. For Baudrillard, the Derridean universe of difference and communication, a universe of intertextuality, is a universe of virulence and contagion. In other words, Baudrillard saw that we cannot live in a world of globalised communication and information exchange without tipping over into excess and the production of what he calls evil and we might talk about in terms of diseases such as Covid-19 that represent the dark side of what happens when processes of globalisation enter a kind of terminal phase. What we mean by this idea of ‘a terminal phase’ is that everything that once represented communication and freedom, such as long-distance travel and meeting people from distant places, now threatens our very existence and causes us to look for ways to immunise ourselves from the outside. We know all about the forms this tendency to immunisation takes today—vaccine nationalism, the closure of borders, endless testing, masks, and interminable lockdowns—and we can learn more about the long-range impacts of this shift to suspicion of the other when we read Michel Foucault’s works, such as Madness and Civilization, which contains a discussion of ‘the great confinement’ and the emergence of disciplinary attitudes towards difference.

This is the tradition of thought that our concept of ‘viral culture’ draws upon in the context of the current global pandemic. ‘Viral culture’ represents the situation we find ourselves in somewhere between Derrida’s concern to recognise difference and accept the other and Baudrillard’s understanding of virulence and the emergence of a globalisation of evil symptoms that infect every aspect of life, which is precisely what we seek to address in our collection.

While the biological impact of the pandemic is clear because we are all susceptible to disease, Covid-19 has also transformed the political sphere that is now caught between a defence of liberal values and harsh authoritarian measures designed to protect us from the other. The same problem impacts economy and economics. The choice is between liberalisation and a model of state centralisation that now looks increasingly realistic. Similarly, the social world is torn between sociability and a need to maintain distance and sever the connection between self and other with the result that many fall into loneliness and suffer related mental health issues. Finally, the cultural sphere, the place where meaning itself is negotiated, is, we think, the privileged space where these decisions are thought through, worked out, and negotiated. Now we must recognise that every one of these decisions is political, and it is a mistake, as Bernard-Henri Levy notes, to simply let techno-science tell us that they are only about biological health, because we cannot remain immune, immunised, from the other for ever more. This is why this issue of Cultural Politics is not simply about Covid-19 in a narrow sense, but rather ‘viral culture’ and the range of problems that living under Covid has forced us to have to confront. In this respect the originality of our collection resides in the way we explore the cultural politics, and the politics of meaning, around the Covid pandemic from a range of perspectives making use of a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives. What, then, is the wider relevance of the concept of ‘viral culture’ for understanding the contemporary moment?


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.