Author: Jessica Malitoris

New Titles in Religious Studies

We are sad to miss out on meeting authors in person at the AAR/SBL Joint Annual Meeting this year. We know that many of you look forward to stocking up on new titles at special discounts at our conferences, so we are pleased to offer a 40% discount on all in-stock books and journal issues with coupon code AAR20 until January 15, 2020. View our Religious Studies catalog below for a complete list of all our newest titles in Religious Studies and across disciplines. You can also explore all of our books and journals in the field on dukeupress.edu.

Editors Miriam Angress and Sandra Korn both offer welcome messages to AAR/SBL participant, along with their highlights of the latest books and a special invitation!

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Associate Editor Miriam Angress

Dear AAR/SBL community,
Hello!  We invite you to a gathering to celebrate the Duke University Press series The Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People. The date and time are below, along with a list of the current and forthcoming series titles. This party will include readings by series authors Yolanda Covington-Ward, Roberto Strongman, Todne Thomas, and Joseph Winters, as well as a panel discussion facilitated by the series editors. Please join us…

Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People Series Party 2020: Reading, Panel, and Q&A
Hosted by Terrence L. Johnson, Dianne M. Stewart, and Jacob K. Olupona
Friday, December 4, 4pm EST
Four covers are featured: Queering Black Atlantic Religions, Hope Draped in Black, Kincraft, Gesture and Power
Come party with the editors of the Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People book series on Friday, December 4 at 4:00pm EST. RSVP on the event page.

I also want to highlight a few other Duke books, beyond the series, that I’m excited about (published this year or imminent):
The Bruce B. Lawrence ReaderIslam Beyond Borders, edited by Ali Altaf Mian (forthcoming, December 2021).  In this Reader, editor Ali Altaf Mian gathers over four decades of scholarship by Bruce Lawrence, an esteemed Islamicist and scholar of religious studies, with selections analyzing aspects of Islam (both pre-modern and modern Islamic discourses) and investigating method and theory in the study of religion.


The Aesthetics of Resistance, volume 2, by Peter Weiss (2020). Regarded by many as one of the leading works of the 20th century, this novel documents the resistance to fascism in Europe (and within Germany) during World War II. The Aesthetics of Resistance is the three-volume magnum opus of Peter Weiss (1916-1982), a German-born novelist, painter, film director, and playwright best known in this country as the author of the play Marat/Sade. The novel has never, until now, been translated into English and this is the second volume of three.  Duke University Press published the first volume of The Aesthetics of Resistance in 2005.

You can find all of the books in the The Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People series on our website, or click on the covers below for specific titles.

Assistant Editor Sandra Y. L. Korn, smiling, holding a pile of books.
Assistant Editor Sandra Y. L. Korn, with books! Sima Shakhsari’s Politics of Rightful Killing, Margaret Randall’s I Never Left Home, Ashon T. Crawley’s The Lonely Letters, Anustup Basu’s Hindutva as Political Monotheism, Katherina Galor and Sa’ed Atshan‘s The Moral Triangle, and an edited collection from Tiffany Lethabo King, Jenell Navarro, Andrea Smith, Otherwise Worlds.

Good morning, AAR/SBL community! This will be my fifth year at the AAR/SBL conference and I’m grateful that this fall we’ll be able to connect with each other and attend panels from the safety of our own living rooms. I can’t hand you books from the booth so I hope you’ll read through for some of my recommendations, and please feel free to reach out if you’d like to schedule a virtual coffee or phone call!

This year in particular I’ve been really thankful for books that have helped me to expand what I consider spiritual, to better understand issues of injustice and oppression, and to imagine a future that looks different than the present.

Image of four books (clockwise from top left): Otherwise Worlds, Politics of Rightful Killing, The Lonely Letters, and The Moral Triangle.
Sandra’s recommendations include beautiful cover art from (clockwise from top left): Kimberly Tobertson and Jenell Navarro (“Postcard from an Otherwise World”), Kree Arvanitas (“Twitter Revolution in Heaven”), Robert Sniderman (“Counter-Ruin”), and Ashon Crawley (“Dancing in one spot number 13”).

We have a collection of beautiful new books that bring forth visions of alternative futures—in a variety of forms. For those who turn to poetry, Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s Dub: Finding Ceremony takes inspiration from Sylvia Wynter and ocean life to offer possibilities for new worlds and a new planet. Ashon Crawley’s The Lonely Letters is a creative nonfiction work that meditates on the interrelation of blackqueer life, sounds of the Black church, theology, mysticism, and love. R. A. Judy’s theoretically-driven work Sentient Flesh shows that the long tradition of black radical critique gives us the material on which to re-imagine the world. And Otherwise Worlds: Against Settler Colonialism and Anti-Blackness, a collection in our Black Outdoors series, looks at how Black and Indigenous relationships can help imagine worlds beyond the constraints of violence and settler colonialism.

While the results of the US Presidential election are a huge relief, we know that this change in regime will not upend the structures of Islamophobic surveillance and repression in the US and globally. A few new books take up these pressing issues. Hindutva as Political Monotheism by Anustup Basu considers the role of Western political theology in rise of right-wing and anti-Muslim nationalism in India. Sima Shakhsari’s Politics of Rightful Killing: Civil Society, Gender, and Sexuality in Weblogistan looks at the transnational network of Iranian bloggers as simultaneously a site for queer and feminist politics and US government surveillance. (This book has the most gorgeous cover art, a piece called “Twitter Revolution from Heaven” by Kree Arvanitas!)

The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians also has a striking cover—performance artist Robert Sniderman walking through the Berlin Holocaust Memorial with a shirt that reads “Gaza” in English, Arabic, and Hebrew. This book, co-authored by Katherina Galor and Sa’ed Atshan, looks at Berlin, where artists and activists grapple with how to account for multiple forms of historical trauma: antisemitism and Islamophobia, Holocaust and Nakba.

For those in anthropology and Jewish studies, I also wanted to highlight Genetic Afterlives by Noah Tamarkin, which looks at how the black Jewish Lemba community of South Africa navigates competing claims to Jewish genealogy and African indigeneity.

Anyone who knows me will know that I love both memoir and revolutionary Jewish lesbians so you’d better believe that I’m thrilled about Margaret Randall’s new memoir I Never Left Home!

Finally, there are a few incredible titles coming out in the next couple of months! Please keep an eye out for Queer Political Theologies, a special issue of GLQ that drops in January. The Bruce B. Lawrence Readeredited by Ali Altaf Mian, also comes out in January, and collects some of Lawrence’s most brilliant writings about Islam and the Divine. And I’m really excited for Beyond Man: Race, Coloniality, and Philosophy of Religion, a collection of work that seeks to decolonize the philosophy of religion, which comes out in the spring. Perhaps next year at this time we’ll get to celebrate these new texts in person.

Queer Political Theologies

I hope to see you at 4pm on December 4th at the virtual party to celebrate and toast new books in the Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People Series!

Don’t forget to check out the latest special issues on religion, theology, and spirituality from our journals Poetics Today , GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and the Journal of Korean Studies: Postsecularisms,” “Queer Political Theologies,” and “The Sacred and the Secular: Protestant Christianity as Lived Experience in Modern Korea.” All special issues are eligible for the 40% discount using code AAR20.

You can join DUP authors for several panels online, through the AAR/SBL conference portal:

  • N. Fadeke Castor, panelist, “Experiments with Power: Obeah and the Remaking of Religion,” Wednesday, Dec 2, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM EST
  • Judith Casselberry, panelist, “From Sun Ra to Grace Jones: A Roundtable on AfricanAmerican Performers and Religious Identity” Wednesday, Dec 2, 4:00 PM–5:30 PM EST
  • Laura E. Pérez, responder, “Decolonial Practices of Naming, Thinking, and Being,” Thursday, Dec 3, 11:00AM-1:00PM EST
  • Mayfair Yang, responder, “Renegotiating Unseen Realms: Studies on the Ritual Reinvention Among Late-Imperial and Contemporary Daoists,” Wed, Dec 9, 9:00AM-10:30AM EST 
  • Andrea Smith, panelist,  “Black Theology Post-Cone: Interrogating Value, MisReligion, and the Theological Legacies of Settler Colonialism” Wednesday, December 9, 4:00PM-5:30PM EST

If you were hoping to connect with Sandra Korn, Miriam Angress, or another of our editors about your book project at AAR/SBL, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines here.

New Titles in African Studies

Every year we look forward to meeting authors, editors, and readers in person at the ASA Annual Meeting, and we are sad to be missing out this year, although the meeting has gone virtual. We know that many of you look forward to stocking up on new titles at special discounts at our conferences, so we are pleased to extend a discount on all in-stock books and journal issues with coupon code AFSA20 until December 31, 2020.

View our African Studies catalog below for a complete list of all our newest titles in African Studies and across disciplines. You can also explore all of our African Studies books and journals on dukeupress.edu.

Editor Elizabeth Ault has a welcome message for participants in this year’s African Studies Association Annual Meeting. See below, as well, for a brief written message.

Closed captioning is available.
Editor Elizabeth Ault

Hello African studies! I’m super looking forward to joining in the virtual panels over the next few days–something I rarely get to do at the in-person conference, so a real luxury. Since we won’t be able to celebrate the release of the new books I mention in my video above in person, I’m particularly excited for the panels devoted to three recent books: Monica Popescu’s At Penpoint, Xavier Livermon’s Kwaito Bodies, and Lynn Thomas’s Beneath the Surface. I’ll be the one with the champagne flute! And of course, as the Association continues to think about the racial politics of the field and the university more broadly, following an extraordinarily painful (if occasionally hopeful!) summer of pandemic and protests, I’m looking forward to President Ato Quayson’s address on Friday evening. 

But of course I’ll miss our in-person conversations and all the generosity that y’all have shown me since I started attending the conference back in 2014. I’m really excited to be in conversation about projects that think from the continent, that consider the relationship between African studies and Black studies, that center queer and trans lives, and that work to reach across disciplinary, regional, and linguistic barriers. Please sign up for office hours to discuss your work with me here

Elizabeth mentions a number of books and series in her video, including Hannah Appel’s The Licit Life of Capitalism, Catherine Besteman’s Militarized Global Apartheid, Leslie Green’s Rock |Water | Life, Stephanie Newell’s Histories of Dirt, and Jennifer Bajorek’s Unfixed. The Theory in Forms series features multiple new books: Naked Agency by Naminata Diabate, The Wombs of Women by Françoise Vergès, Beneath the Surface by Lynn Thomas, Genetic Afterlives by Noah Tamarkin, Revolution and Disenchantment by Fadi A. Bardawil, and At Penpoint by Monica Popescu.

And don’t forget about our outstanding journals in African studies, including Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. All special issues, such as “Rethinking Cosmopolitanism: Africa in Europe ⁄ Europe in Africa,” “Black British Art Histories,” and “Time out of Joint: The Queer and the Customary in Africa,” are eligible for the 50% discount using code AFSA20.

Ian Baucom’s launch event for History 4° Celsius was hosted by Ranjana Khanna and Achille Mbembe and the Forum for Scholar’s and Publics. Check out new titles in the Visual Arts of Africa and Its Diasporas series and the Religious Cultures of Africa and the African Diaspora People series. And look out for a video conversation with Delinda Collier, author of Media Primitivism, very soon!

ASA President Ato Quayson will deliver the ASA Presidential Lecture Friday, November 20, 4:00pm-5:45pm EST.

Join DUP authors for author-meets-critics sessions:
Monica Popescu, At Penpoint, Saturday, November 21, 8:00am-9:45am EST
Xavier Livermon, Kwaito Bodies, Saturday, November 21, 12:00pm-1:45pm EST
Lynn Thomas, Beneath the Surface, Saturday, November 21, 4:00pm-5:45pm EST

The ASA will commemorate the work of the late Tejumola Olaniyan with four sessions on Thursday and Friday:
Thursday, November 19, 8:00am-9:45am EST | Thursday, November 19, 10:00am-11:45am EST | Thursday, November 19, 12:00pm-1:45pm EST | Friday, November 20, 10:00am-11:45am EST

New Titles in Women’s Studies

Every year we look forward to meeting authors in person at the NWSA Annual Meeting, and we are sad to be missing out on that this year. We know that many of you look forward to stocking up on new books at special discounts at our conferences, so we are pleased to extend a 50% discount on all in-stock books and journal issues with coupon code NWSA20 until November 23, 2020.

View our Women’s Studies catalog below for a complete list of all our newest titles in women, gender, and sexuality studies and across disciplines. You can also explore all of our books and journals in the field on dukeupress.edu. And although you cannot join us in the booth this year, you can listen to a number of our authors discuss their books through our In Conversation series on our YouTube channel.

Editor Elizabeth Ault has a message for everyone who would have attended NWSA this year, with her recommendations of the latest books in women, gender, and sexuality studies.

Editor Elizabeth Ault

Dear NWSA,

I was so looking forward to gathering with you all in the greatest city in the world, Minneapolis, this fall, but it’s not to be. I’m sending solidarity to all the folks who have been doing incredible organizing work there for years before the murder of George Floyd (#justiceforfonglee, #justiceforjamarclarke, #ceceisfree, #cecetaughtme #justiceforphilandocastile) and continue to provide networks of care and support every dang day. 

I am so excited to be in conversation with y’all about the feminist work in Black studies, disability studies, geography, trans studies, queer theory, history, and more that has its home at NWSA. Please sign up for office hours to discuss your work with me here

In the meantime, I know many of you are shopping the sale. Here are some crucial feminist texts that would never have made it to 50% off day in the booth–and you can get them shipped directly to you for 50% off from our website!!!  You’ll see important strands of Black feminist thought and queer theory throughout these books, so I’ve tried to organize them more by method and topic to help you find what you’re looking for. 

I’m writing this in late October and you’ll be reading it on the other side of whatever happens on November 3. Regardless, I’m confident these books have important wisdom to offer us as we move through this extraordinarily painful year, fortified by the work of organizers in Minneapolis and around the world, and by these thinkers and writers. They’re all helping us to imagine the world we want to live in and work to make it possible.

Jih-Fei Cheng, Alex Juhasz, and Nishant Shahani’s AIDS and the Distribution of Crises comes directly out of that scholarly/activist nexus, bringing together insights from a range of fields and positions about the ongoing viral crises that COVID-19 cratered into this winter. Sima Shakhsari’s book The Politics of Rightful Killing looks at transnational online networks of writers and activists to consider how Iranians in the diaspora and Iran itself thought about reconstituting democracy. Jillian Hernandez’s Aesthetics of Excess is right there too, drawing on her work with Black and Latina girls in Women on The Rise in Miami.

Writing in Space

Alongside the amazing art Jillian and her interlocutors at WOTR created, much of which is included in full color in the book, we have some really amazing feminist art books out right now. Lorraine O’Grady’s work was at the center of the mind-blowing, pathbreaking We Wanted a Revolution show at the Brooklyn Museum a few years back, and now she has her own solo show there, accompanied by this new book of her writings about art practice and her vision for a Black feminist art world, Writing in Space. Maya Stovall has been performing and showing Liquor Store Theatre, a Detroit-based art and performance project for several years; her book by the same name considers the project as an ethnographic one reimagining what dispossessed neighborhoods in Detroit might still play host to. Bakirathi Mani’s new book, Unseeing Empire, centers work by South Asian women artists Annu Matthew, Seher Shah, and Gauri Gill to consider how empire continues to haunt South Asian desires for representation and representability.

978-1-4780-0663-3But it’s not just visual arts that are important – feminist approaches to music also play a big role on this list, with books by Maureen Mahon, Shana Redmond, Ren Ellis Neyra, and Xavier Livermon centering the sonic.

And Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s Dub is a work of art–no less than an oracle for our times. 

Another oracular work newly available is Jose Munoz’s posthumous Sense of Brown. This book is deep and lasting and Jose’s influence and importance is so clear and undeniable. More theoretical work on this list alongside Jose’s is Cressida Heyes’s book Anaesthetics of Existence, which is really speaking to me as this year continues to take and take. It’s a feminist phenomenology for this moment. Other books theorizing embodiment here include Neetu Khanna’s Visceral Logics of Decolonization, and Naked Agency, in which author Naminata Diabate considers women’s naked protests across Africa and the diaspora as a weighty, powerful form of vulnerable resistance.

naked agency

Diabate’s work is embedded in a long history of such protests–new feminist history work from Brandi Brimmer, Francoise Verges, and Lynn Thomas provides important tools for understanding how we got here, and how things could be different. 

And feminist ethnography has a strong presence on this list too, with nuanced and sensitive accounts of relationality and care in everyday life from Abigail Dumes, Saiba Varma, and Marilyn Strathern

information activism
Click cover image for In Conversation talk with McKinney!

Relations, the topic of Strathern’s capacious theorization, are also at the foundation of Brigitte Fielder’s rethinking of kinship and race. Her book is part of a strong list in queer and feminist cultural and literary studies that includes new books from Jack Halberstam (important queer theory, yes, but also important Kate Bush content!), Bo Ruberg (whose new book series is accepting proposals), Gillian Harkins (why are you still watching To Catch a Predator? I mean, you won’t after reading this book), Cait McKinney (the book we fondly refer to as “how lesbians invented the internet”), Erica Fretwell (She’ll make you care about The Yellow Wallpaper again, through centering the role of SMELL of all things), and Sam Pinto (the definitive take on Sarah Baartman and Sally Hemings that you have been waiting for!!).

That’s a lot of books! There’s so much richness and brilliance here. I’m excited to hear what you think about these books and how they’re informing your own work on twitter and in my office hours. In the meantime, keep well.

If you were hoping to connect with Elizabeth Ault or another of our editors about your book project at NWSA, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines here.

And don’t forget about our great journals in gender studies, like Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism; the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies; Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies; differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies; GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly. If you don’t have access through your library, ask them to subscribe, pick up a personal subscription, or add a special issue to your sale order!

New Titles in American Studies

We are sad to miss out on meeting authors in person at the ASA Annual Meeting this year. We know that many of you look forward to stocking up on new books at special discounts at our conferences, so we are pleased to extend a 50% discount on all in-stock books and journal issues with coupon code ASA20 until November 23, 2020. View our American Studies catalog below for a complete list of all our newest titles in the field and across disciplines. You can also explore all of our books and journals in American Studies on dukeupress.edu. Since we cannot take photos of authors with their new books in our booth, this year, we instead offer an album of book selfies they have taken from home.

We hope you’ll also watch the ASA Freedom Courses event series along with us, especially this Saturday, November 14 at 2:00PM EST as we celebrate the one year publication anniversary of Ronak Kapadia’s Insurgent Aesthetics. Panelists include Keith P. Feldman, Kareem Khubchandani, Jodi Kim, and Sara Mameni. You can register on the event website.

Editors Elizabeth Ault, Courtney Berger, and Ken Wissoker offer their virtual welcome and their recommendations for the latest books in American Studies.

Editor Elizabeth Ault

Each fall I so look forward to gathering at ASA with mentors and colleagues across my intellectual, professional, and personal genealogies–from graduate and undergraduate degrees in American studies to my last 8 years here at Duke Press. It’s particularly hard to not be together this year because there are so many wonderful new books that we should be celebrating in person.

 I’m sure Courtney and Ken will have a lot more to say about the landmark new books on their lists from Jack Halberstam, R.A. Judy, Jane Bennett, Chris Freeburg, Samantha Pinto, and more. And, of course, the long-awaited new work from José Esteban Muñoz!! I can’t wait until we can celebrate this book, and the rest, together. Here are some of the books I’m raising a virtual glass to:

First, speaking of celebrating in person, if you are missing going OUT, I can’t recommend Xavier Livermon’s Kwaito Bodies highly enough. Livermon puts Africa and the diaspora in close conversation, vividly recreating nights out in Johannesburg, soundtracked by kwaito, the music that ushered in the post-apartheid era and the role of femininity, conspicuous consumption, and more often-derided forms in envisioning new kinds of freedoms. Hannah Appel’s The Licit Life of Capitalism also draws attention to connections between the U.S. and Africa, here exploring how a U.S.-based oil company creates and recreates the apparent seamlessness of resource extraction and capital flows in its Equatorial Guinea outpost. If you saw Hannah and Karen Ho together last year in Hawai’i, you know how important her analysis is for rethinking global political economy and US imperialism.

Pivoting to the online world we’ve all been inhabiting recently, Anna Watkins Fisher’s The Play in the System allows us to think through what happens when we all become users invited onto platforms by supposedly generous hosts. Applying this logic from Amazon to performance art to the academy itself, Fisher develops an important model of parasitism that involves leveraging one’s access/privilege into a limited but VERY EFFECTIVE tactic for resisting totalizing logics. She also doesn’t shy away from what happens when these engagements get messy.

Erica Fretwell’s Sensory Experiments is a beautiful new book that’s part of a vibrant cohort of C19 books on this fall season. Fretwell centers the 19th-century science of psychophysics as a crucial part of the transition from sentiment–knowing through feeling–to perception–knowing through bodily experience. Each of the five senses became its own genre of feeling through which the meanings of human difference could be calibrated. The book’s chapters interweave sense specific chapters with synaesthetic intervals, revisiting canonical works by James Weldon Johnson and Kate Chopin as well as introducing readers to some wonderfully bizarre ephemera including Japanese-German artist Sadakichi Hartmann’s attempt to take Carnegie Hall audiences on a perfume tour of Japan. Fretwell attends carefully to how these distinctions in sense perception came to shape ideas about race, gender, and ability.

I have a couple of books about disease that seem particularly important right now, too. There have been lots of conversations about Jih-Fei Cheng, Alex Juhasz, and Nishant Shahani’s AIDS and the Distribution of Crises, which came out just as the reality of COVID was setting in and people were beginning to draw comparisons to the ongoing HIV epidemic. Don’t miss the conversations the editors and contributors had about the relevance of their book in this moment, linked on our website. The book itself explores how HIV/AIDS continues to be a reality shaping so many communities’ narratives, cultural production, and lives. Too, as debates about vaccines, prevention, and treatments continue to baffle some of us, Abigail Dumes’s new book about Lyme disease, Divided Bodies, shows how norms of “evidence-based medicine” have opened up new realms for debate and what counts as evidence. 

Next year in San Juan, friends!


Executive Editor Courtney Berger

Four years ago, I was reluctantly boarding a plane to Denver to attend ASA. Reluctant, not because I don’t love ASA. I do. It’s almost always the highlight of the fall conference season for me. But I felt downtrodden after the election, and I wasn’t eager to see people and to be social. But as soon as I arrived at the conference hotel I realized my mistake. There was the usual line up of provocative scholarly panels and book celebrations, of course.  But there was also community. People hugged (when will we get to do that again?). They organized. They cried. And they danced. That’s what I am missing this year, fellow ASA-ers: the chance to be with you as a community. So, while we won’t be together in person. We won’t be setting up a book exhibit (and unpacking a lot of boxes). And we won’t be talking and laughing in the hotel bar and in the corridors outside panels. I will still find community with you. I will be attending your Zoom talks, following your social media posts, and raising a virtual glass to all of the authors who had books come out during the past year. And I will be alongside you working for a more just and equitable world.

Here are a few of the books that I’d be eagerly recommending to you in the exhibit hall. (Bonus, you don’t have to wait for the last day of the conference to get the 50% discount.)

Samantha Pinto, Infamous Bodies: Early Black Women’s Celebrity and the Afterlives of Rights. Check out this conversation between Samantha Pinto and Jennifer Nash that will be held on November 12th.

Soyica Diggs Colbert, Douglas A. Jones, and Shane Vogel, Race and Performance After Repetition. You can also listen to a conversation among the volume editors and contributors Joshua Chambers-Letson, Tavia Nyong’o, and Elizabeth Son.

978-1-4780-0828-6Cait McKinney, Information Activism: A Queer History of Lesbian Media Technologies. Check out my interview with Cait.

Robert Nichols, Theft Is Property!: Dispossession and Critical Theory. Here is the author discussing his book along with a great discussion of the book hosted by University of Alberta.

Bo Ruberg, The Queer Games Avant-Garde: How LGBTQ Game Makers are Reimagining the Medium of Video Games. (Look for a conversation between Bo and some of the game makers coming soon!)

Jane Bennett, Influx and Efflux: Writing up with Walt Whitman. Did you see the fabulous conversation between Jane Bennett and Jack Halberstam on their new books (hosted by Intellectual Publics)? So inspiring. The recording isn’t yet available, but well worth watching when it is. And we hosted a great event last week with the author in conversation with Peter Coviello, Derek McCormack, Kathy Ferguson, and others (link forthcoming on the DUP blog).

Louise Amoore, Cloud Ethics: Algorithms and the Attributes of Ourselves and Others

And hot off the presses, the latest book in the ANIMA series: Joseph Pugliese, Biopolitics of the More-Than-Human: Forensic Ecologies of Violence.

Stay well and safe, friends. I look forward to seeing you next fall.


Senior Executive Editor
Ken Wissoker

It’s sad looking at my calendar and seeing that I was going to be on the way to Baltimore for ASA yesterday.  I have great memories of the last time ASA was there, and powerful ones of last year’s meeting in Honolulu, such an important political moment in many ways. I’m grateful to my marketing colleagues for arranging the 50% off sale to happen at this time. It’s not the same as raving about the many, many great new books in person – no less getting to dance in celebration of them – but it’s still fabulous.

It’s really been a blockbuster season, needed brilliance at a tough political and pandemic moment.  There are a lot of new books just out including Maureen Mahon’s fabulous Black Diamond Queens, Maya Stovall’s Liquor Store Theatre, and genius artist Lorraine O’Grady’s Writing in Space, all released last week!  My fall highlights have been the long-awaited publication of José Esteban Muñoz’s The Sense of Brown, written alongside Cruising Utopia, and just as essential, Jack Halberstam’s Wild Things.  Ricardo Montez’s Keith Haring’s Line is right there with them.

I’m also excited about Emily Lordi’s beautiful The Meaning of Soul and the start of the Writing Matters! series edited by Lauren Berlant, Saidiya Hartman, Erica Rand, and Katie Stewart, which begins with Lesley Stern’s moving Diary of a Detour.

Over the fall I’ve spent a lot of time thinking with Arlene Dávila’s much-needed Latinx Art and Diana Taylor’s ¡Presente!: The Politics of Presence. I recommend both along with the amazing Aesthetics of Excess by Jillian Hernandez on Black and Latinx girls in Miami and Vanessa Díaz’s Manufacturing Celebrity on Latinx paparazzi and white women reporters as necessary but disposable parts of the Hollywood star system.

You also will not want to miss R.A. Judy’s profound and important Sentient Flesh, Erin Manning’s For a Pragmatics of the Useless – working with Black theory and neurodiversity – and Ian Baucom’s History 4° Celsius, thinking the Black Atlantic, colonialism, and the Anthropocene.  Along the same lines I would recommend Laura Hyun Yi Kang’s Traffic in Asian Women, and Brigitte Fielder’s Relative Races.

Most of you probably already have seen Ashon Crawley’s The Lonely Letters, Shana Redmond’s Everything Man, Savannah Shange’s Progressive Dystopia, Alexis Gumbs’s Dub, Wadsworth Jarrell’s Africobra, Matt Brim’s Poor Queer Studies, John Szwed’s Space is the Place, but if not, please pick them up!

If you’re still missing the action of the in-person ASA conference, you can find conversations with our authors about their books in our In Conversation series on YouTube.

If you were hoping to connect with Elizabeth Ault, Courtney Berger, Ken Wissoker, or another of our editors about your book project at ASA, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines here.

AAA Welcome Message from Gisela Fosado and Ken Wissoker

Gisela Fosado
Editorial Director Gisela Fosado

The annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association: Raising Our Voices has gone virtual. Editorial Director Gisela Fosado presents recommendations in pictures of the latest books in anthropology, and Senior Executive Editor Ken Wissoker has a message for virtual attendees at this year’s event.

On Friday, November 6, 2:30-3:30 PM EST, Raising Our Voices participants can join them and Anand PandianCarole McGranahan, Hugh Raffles, and Angela Garcia to discuss the opening of new forms and practices of ethnographic writing in their panel, “On Writing Otherwise: Rethinking the Genre and Forms of Ethnography”.

Gisela offers thematic recommendations of the latest DUP books in anthropology. First, a new title on celebrity culture: Vanessa Díaz’s Manufacturing Celebrity.
Gisela suggests two books on writing: Carole McGranahan’s Writing Anthropology and Amitava Kumar’s Every Day I Write the Book.
Here are three books to help decolonize anthropology: Arturo Escobar’s Pluriversal Politics, Leisy J. Abrego and Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales’s edited collection We Are Not Dreamers, and Joanne Rappaport’s Cowards Don’t Make History.
Four books on militarization and empire: Sarah B. Horton and Josiah Heyman’s edited collection Paper Trails, Saiba Varma’s The Occupied Clinic, Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas’s Parenting Empires, and D. Asher Ghertner, Hudson McFann, and Daniel M. Goldstein’s edited volume, Futureproof.
Next are five must-read multispecies ethnographies: Rosemary-Claire Collard’s Animal Traffic, Alex Blanchette’s Porkopolis, Lyle Fearnley’s Virulent Zones, Kregg Hetherington’s The Government of Beans, and Amalia Leguizamón’s Seeds of Power (not pictured).

And finally, six essential environmental studies ethnographies: Mimi Sheller’s Island Futures, Micha Rahder’s An Ecology of Knowledges, Kristina M. Lyons’s Vital Decomposition, Lesley Green’s Rock | Water | Life, and Hannah Knox’s Thinking Like a Climate.
Senior Executive Editor Ken Wissoker

I have strong memories of arriving in Minneapolis for AAA the week after the last election. The week before – the day after the election – I had gone to Washington DC for the Society for Ethnomusicology conference. The people I talked to there were in shock, and still at a ‘how could this happen?’ level of processing, while oddly trying to go on with business as usual.  As soon as I got to Minneapolis and AAA, my whole frame about the election shifted.  People were talking about global interconnections, neoliberalisms and populisms, Erdogan, Duterte, Modi and more. The discussions gave me a sense of context and shared political commitment that was – and is – desperately needed. 

That need is high on my list, but I am very sorry in many ways that we aren’t gathering in person this year. I like seeing everyone. It is also a thinking highlight of my year.  I’m still quoting things people said last year in Vancouver (thank you, Candis Callison and Christina Sharpe).  This year will be strange. And spread out. Gisela Fosado and I are on a panel Friday November 6 with our fabulous authors Anand Pandian and Carole McGranahan, along with the brilliant writers Hugh Raffles and Angela Garcia. Then December 4 – a month later – I’ll be participating in a AES Workshop organized by Naveeda Khan with Tom Lay from Fordham University Press and Jodi Lewchuck from University of Toronto Press.

Through all this, I will miss the chance to champion new books and to meet authors, new and old. I’ve been thrilled with our Marketing Department’s 50% off sale on all books and journal issues in stock and I hope you have already taken advantage of it (use coupon code AAA20). The sale doesn’t go all the way to December 4 like AAA – we aren’t that crazy—but it’s longer than the usual last day of AAA. It ends November 23.

Here are some of my favorite titles of interest to anthropologists, ones I might have been pointing out in the booth.

Our two crucial and needed lead titles are from Arturo Escobar and Marilyn Strathern. Escobar’s Pluriversal Politics is a guide to changing what is considered possible by opening out to indigenous and decolonial ontologies. Strathern’s Relations, considers exactly that, the forms of “relatives” and “relations” we currently employ and how we might think kin differently.

During the pandemic the Press has tried to bring some of the immediacy of author talks to the flat screen. I was lucky enough to have conversations with Vanessa Díaz, Carole McGranahan, and Alex Blanchette, each of whom has a fabulous new book. Vanessa’s Manufacturing Celebrity is an ethnography of two groups that make the Hollywood star system function: paparazzi, who are mostly Latinx men and young white women reporters, both necessary but disposable forms of labor. Alex Blanchette’s ethnography of a town totally arranged around pig processing, Porkopolis, is equally timely and compelling and shows that taylorized capititalism not only persists, but has reached unimagined levels. Carole McGranahan has put together 52 short essays by anthropologists, thinking about their writing, craft, and style in Writing Anthropology, a wonderful book that will be an inspiration to all of us.

Arlene Dávila’s necessary book, Latinx Art asks why US galleries and museums are so quick to engage with Latin American artists and elite curators but overlook the Latinx artists and curators in their own cities.  Karen Strassler has a great new book about the evolving deployment and recirculation of images in the politics of Indonesia, Demanding Images. Christine Schwenkel’s Building Socialism, on the attempts of East German architects to design for post-war Vietnam, a form of solidarity, and the buildings and their inhabitant’s afterlives. 

As always, there is a lot of great STS ethnography, including Noah Tamarkin’s Genetic Afterlives, on genetic testing and the claims of Black Jewish indigeneity by the Lembe people in South Africa; Dwai Banerjee’s compelling Enduring Cancer, on Dehli’s urban poor, where a cancer diagnosis is usually too late, one in a series of infrastructure failures for the patient.  There are also two books that are all-too-needed aids for thinking about the pandemic.  Lyle Fearnley’s Virulent Zones, a study of lab scientists seeking the sources for influenza working in China lakeside among waterfowl and duck farms; and Frédéric Keck’s Avian Reservoirs, on the different methods of tracking of cross-species disease in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan  Also, check out Also, Andrew Alan Johnson’s Mekong Dreaming about the changing lives of humans, animals, and spirits along the river.

The esteemed China anthropologist Mayfair Yang has an important rethinking of religion, secularity and modernity in Wezhou, Re-enchanting Modernity; and Gabriella Lukács has a smart study of women in the Japanese digital economy, Invisibility by Design.

Maya Stovall is an artist and anthropologist I first saw in the Whitney Biennial, where she presented videos that documented her dancing in liquor store parking lots in her Detroit neighborhood.  It turned out her dancing was a form of ethnographic engagement, part of an art and anthropology project now told in her new book, Liquor Store Theatre. Maureen Mahon’s new book, Black Diamond Queens, retells the story of rock and roll centering Black women from Laverne Baker to Tina Turner and Brittany Howard. Ethiraj Gabriel Dattatreyan looks at the way hip hop masculinities form and shift among participants from many locales meeting in Dehli in The Globally Familiar. Also, in a transnational flow I’d recommend Farzaneh Hemassi’s Tehrangeles Dreaming, about the international reach of Iranian music from Los Angeles, its production and its fantasy world, and its reception back in Iran.

Finally, I should mention that we are now the publisher of the paperback of John Szwed’s Space is the Place, the classic book on Sun Ra. I first met John at AAA, introduced by editor colleague Peter Agree, when this book was still being written. I’m thrilled to have It on our list now.

We always like to feature the big books from beyond the discipline that would be of interest to many at AAA.  There are some can’t miss books this year, including Ian Baucom’s History 4° Celsius, where he thinks the Anthropocene, the Black Atlantic, and colonial histories together; Jane Bennett’s follow-up to Vibrant Matter, Influx & Efflux; brilliant queer theory in Jack Halberstam’s Wild Things and José Esteban Munoz’s long-awaited last major work – sadly posthumous – The Sense of Brown.  Also, Erin Manning’s latest, For a Pragmatics of the Useless, which uses Black thought to think about neurotypicality; and Diana Taylor, ¡Presente!: The Politics of Presence, the latest in her stunning series on politics and performance. Finally I would recommend Nandita Sharma’s Home Rule, which traces how the right of a people to be on their land is also a legacy of colonial administration and control.

Of course, if you don’t have Achille Mbembe’s Necropolitics, the (MacArthur genius) Fred Moten’s trilogy, Christina Sharpe’s In the Wake, they are on sale too.  As are the big hits from AAA last year by Savannah Shange, Julie Livingston, Anand Pandian, Hannah Appel, Deborah Thomas, Bianca Williams, and others,  along with Tiffany Lethbo King’s necessary The Black Shoals.

Keep an eye out for Joseph Masco’s big new book, The Future of Fallout, and Other Episodes in Radioactive World-Making and Katherine McKittrick’s Dear Science and Other Stories, where she models what Black methodologies could be.

I hope that these suggestions are helpful and I hope to see all of you next year in person!

View our anthropology catalog below for a complete list of all our newest titles in anthropology and across disciplines. You can also explore all of our anthropology books and journals on dukeupress.edu. Since we cannot take photos of authors with their new books in our booth, this year, we instead offer an album of book selfies they have taken from home.

For further reading, Editor Elizabeth Ault presents her recommendations for new titles in the discipline in our previous blog post. If you were hoping to connect with Elizabeth, Gisela, Ken, or another of our editors about your book project at AAA, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines here.

New Titles in Anthropology

AAA20_BlogEvery year we look forward to meeting authors in person at the AAA Annual Meeting, and we are sad to be missing out on that this year. The annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association: Raising Our Voices has gone virtual. We know that many of you look forward to stocking up on new books at special discounts at our conferences, so we are pleased to extend a 50% discount on all in-stock books and journal issues with coupon code AAA20 until November 23, 2020.

View our anthropology catalog below for a complete list of all our newest titles in anthropology and across disciplines. You can also explore all of our anthropology books and journals on dukeupress.edu. Since we cannot take photos of authors with their new books in our booth, this year, we instead offer an album of book selfies they have taken from home.

EAult_webEditor Elizabeth Ault presents her recommendations for new titles in the discipline. Be sure to check out more highlights from Editorial Director Gisela Fosado and Senior Executive Editor Ken Wissoker in their post this afternoon.

As usual, our anthropology list is home to some of the richest work highlighting many ways of seeking justice and creating a new world through spotlighting everyday practices and ways of knowing. I’d like to highlight a few of the most exciting new books:

First, Hannah Appel’s long-awaited Licit Life of Capitalism is a must-read for anthropologists curious about global flows of energy, capital, and infrastructure. People who’ve been following any of these conversations need to read Hannah’s take on the many strategies that US oil companies deploy to maintain the façade of capitalism’s smooth functioning.

Revolution and DisenchantmentFadi Bardawil’s Revolution and Disenchantment also offers an important methodological intervention through history of the Arab New Left in Beirut. Bardawil’s use of both historical and ethnographic methods – a fieldwork in theory – centers the production and circulation of social theory outside the metropole and revisits the relationship between theory and practice.

What does it mean to decolonize science? Lesley Green’s Rock | Water | Life is such an important book in thinking about how to live with (and maybe even to heal) our damaged planet–while also acknowledging and healing the ongoing realities of science’s collusion with colonialism, racism, and environmental exploitation.

Abby Dumes’s Divided Bodies similarly raises important questions about what counts as expertise and as evidence. Her book is a wonderful example of what ethnography can do, spending deep and compassionate time with people involved in debates over Lyme disease and the production of “evidence-based medicine.”

978-1-4780-0843-9_prFinally, Matthew Watson’s Afterlives of Affect is a super-readable and deeply innovative book. Watson forgoes easy answers in reconsidering the life of Mayanist Linda Schele and her circle as the basis for what he calls “an excitable anthropology” suffused with wonder and open to being moved.

Registered ROV participants can join us for these online events featuring Duke University Press authors:

On Friday, November 6, 2:30-3:30 PM EST Editors Gisela Fosado and Ken Wissoker join Anand PandianCarole McGranahan, Hugh Raffles, and Angela Garcia to discuss the opening of new forms and practices of ethnographic writing in their panel, “On Writing Otherwise: Rethinking the Genre and Forms of Ethnography”

On Thursday, November 12, 5:00-6:00 PM EST, join Ruha Benjamin for the 2020 Joint ABA/CASTAC Invited Lecture, “Racial Violence & Technology: A Conversation with Ruha Benjamin.” 

Savannah Shange joins other authors to discuss “Abolition, Activism, and Decolonization: New Books Challenging Settler Colonialism and Anti-Black Racism in North America” on Saturday, November 7, 2:30-3:30 PM EST.

If you were hoping to connect with Elizabeth, Gisela, Ken, or another of our editors about your book project at AAA, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines here.