We wish we could be meeting authors and readers in-person at the CAA Annual Conference. 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 CAA21 until March 31, 2021. Don’t forget to check out our booth in the Virtual CAA exhibit hall, which includes interviews with authors Delinda Collier, Bakirathi Mani, Anna Watkins Fisher, and Ricardo Montez. 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.
View our art and art history 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 art and visual culture on dukeupress.edu.
Join Duke University Press authors for panels at CAA:
If you were hoping to connect with Ken Wissoker, Elizabeth Ault, or another of our editors about your book project at MLA, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines here.
We wish we could be meeting authors and readers in-person at the AHA annual convention.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 30% discount on all in-stock books and journal issues with coupon code AHA21 until February 15, 2021. View our History 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 history on dukeupress.edu.And don’t forget to check out our booth in the Virtual AHA exhibit hall, which includes interviews with authors Cait McKinney and Vanessa Freije.
Editorial Director Gisela Fosado has a message for fellow Virtual AHA attendees, and recommendations for the latest titles.
Happy New Year, Wonderful AHA Historians!
I hope the winter holiday break was a restful one and that everyone is staying safe. In lieu of being able to share my new favorite history books in person at the AHA, I wanted to recommend a few books briefly here.
First off, I hope everyone will check out two new Southern history books, one that is hot off the press, Brandi Brimmer’s Claiming Union Widowhood: Race, Respectability, and Poverty in the Post-Emancipation South and a second, Theodore Segal’s Point of Reckoning: The Fight for Racial Justice at Duke University, which will be released next week. Brimmer’s book tells the story of how poor black women during and after the Civil War asserted their rights as citizens individually and collectively to make claims on the State and to define themselves and their community with the dignity and respect they knew they deserved. Segal’s book chronicles the struggles faced by the first Black undergraduates to enroll at Duke in 1963 and narrates the challenges they faced and the movements they led for change in the years that followed.
Continuing on the theme of social movements for change, I hope you’ll take a look at Elizabeth Sine’s and Joanne Rappaport’s new books. Elizabeth Sine’sRebel Imaginaries: Labor, Culture, and Politics in Depression-Era California, weaves together the stories of the multiracial workers who formed the basis of California’s economy and who gave rise to an oppositional culture that challenged the modes of racialism, nationalism, and rationalism in the decades following the Great Depression. Joanne Rappaport’s Cowards Don′t Make History: Orlando Fals Borda and the Origins of Participatory Action Research examines a group of Colombian intellectuals, led by the pioneering sociologist Orlando Fals Borda, who collaborated with indigenous and rural organizations to in the early 1970s to create Participatory Action Research, a form of research aimed to be used as a political organizing tool.
Another great book for Latin Americanists (as well as historians of the Cold War) is Eric Zolov’s new book, The Last Good Neighbor: Mexico in the Global Sixties. Revising previous accounts of this period, Zolov offers a new take on Mexican domestic politics and international relations during the long 1960s, tracing how Mexico emerged from the shadow of FDR’s Good Neighbor policy to become a geopolitical player in its own right during the Cold War. Not only does The Last Good Neighbor unearth much new archival material in international diplomacy, left politics, and the workings of the PRI regime, but its transnational approach to understanding the evolving left in Mexico is important and innovative.
I’ll close my recommendations with a book for animal enthusiasts and highlight Animalia: An Anti-Imperial Bestiary for Our Times, edited by Antoinette Burton and Renisa Mawani. Featuring twenty-six animals (including yaks, tigers, vultures, whales, mosquitos and platypuses, the book shows how animals have played central roles in the history of British imperial control. Unconventional and innovative, Animalia shows how the politics of empire—in its racial, gendered, and sexualized forms—played out in multispecies relations across the British Empire.
Looking forward to seeing you all at next year’s AHA!
If you were hoping to connect with Gisela Fosado, Joshua Gutterman Tranen, or another of our editors about your book project at MLA, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines here.
We wish we could be meeting authors and readers at the MLA 2021 Annual Convention.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 30% discount on all in-stock books and journal issues with coupon code MLA21 until February 15, 2021. View our Literature and Literary 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 literature and literary studies on dukeupress.edu.
Executive Editor Courtney Berger and Senior Executive Editor Ken Wissoker each have a welcome message for fellow MLA attendees, and their recommendations for the latest titles.
Most Januarys I end up with a new piece of winter weather gear—lined boots, a long down coat, thicker socks–prompted by the almost inevitable polar vortex or winter storm that accompanies the MLA conference. This year, I won’t be acquiring any new gear (except for maybe some new headphones). Instead, like many of you, I’ll be attending MLA from the warmth of my home in my reliable work-from-home uniform of sweatpants and cardigan. It has been a year since I’ve traveled to an academic conference, and I miss it. I miss meeting you all in person and getting updates on your writing and on your lives. I miss hearing about exciting new projects. And I especially miss showing off our new books and talking with folks in the book exhibit.
Nonetheless, I am excited for this year’s MLA program, which is truly stellar, and for all of the new books that we will be bringing to you in our virtual exhibit, also stellar. You will be seeing me at a lot of panels (a luxury that I’m not usually afforded during in-person conferences). Some of the ones on my list include: Black Feminist Poethics; Dissident Black Feminisms, Black Feminist Dissidence; Editing and Inclusivity; Quare Souths; and Scaling Trans Studies. (My Friday schedule is booked from morning ‘til night. How about yours?)
And now for some of my top picks from this year’s new books:
Riché Richardson’s Emancipation’s Daughters: Reimagining Black Femininity and the National Body is a book for our moment. Richardson focuses on the ways that black women leaders in the U.S.—including Rosa Parks, Mary McLeod Bethune, Condoleezza Rice, and Michelle Obama–have expanded and challenged exclusionary and white-centered notions of the “national body” and political subjectivity. The book also features some of Richardson’s own quilts created as homage to the Black women leaders she discusses in the book.
In Infamous Bodies: Early Black Women’s Celebrity and the Afterlives of Rights, Samantha Pinto also focuses on iconic Black women, in this case women from the 18th and 19th centuries, such as Sally Hemings, Sarah Baartman, and Sarah Forbes Bonetta. Through her provocative and engaging reading of these women’s lives and continued legacies, Pinto reveals how the forms of pleasure, risk, violence, desire, and ambition that these women experienced can offer powerful models of political embodiment and vulnerability that remain relevant today.
In Counterlife: Slavery after Resistance and Social Death Christopher Freeburg asks: how can we think about the lives and artwork created by and about slaves outside of a framework of resistance and freedom? Taking up a diverse set of texts—from Black spirituals to “The Boondocks”—Counterlife is a rich and provocative book that shows how enslaved Africans created meaning through artistic creativity, religious practice, and historical awareness both separate from and alongside concerns about freedom.
Race and Performance After Repetition, edited by Soyica Diggs Colbert, Douglas A. Jones, and Shane Vogel, brings together an impressive set of contributors to focus on the relationship between race and temporality in performance, pushing past the trope of “repetition” to consider pauses, rests, gaps, afterlives, and other forms of temporal interruption. There will also be a panel featuring some of the contributors on Sunday morning.
Sexual Hegemony: Statecraft, Sodomy, and Capital in the Rise of the World System is Christopher Chitty’s posthumous first book, and it’s an incredibly expansive project, taking on 500 years of the history of capitalism and male-male sexual relations in Europe and the U.S. Revising Foucault’s account of the production of modern sexuality, Chitty offers a Marxist history of male homosexuality, focusing on the policing of male-male sexual relations as integral to the consolidation of capital and private property under the bourgeoisie. A must read for folks working in queer studies.
Influx & Efflux: Writing Up with Walt Whitman–Jane Bennett’s long-awaited follow up to Vibrant Matter–will be of special interest to folks in literary studies. Bennett turns to Whitman to help answer the question: What kind of “I” inhabits a world of vibrant matter? In Whitman she finds a model for what she calls a “processual self” – a self constantly in formation, susceptible to influence but also exerting an influence of its own. Bennett’s thinking is expansive and generous; it’s a pleasure to read this book.
Finally, even though it’s not out yet, I can’t resist pointing you towards Kevin Quashie’s Black Aliveness, or A Poetics of Being, the latest installment in the Black Outdoors series edited by Sarah Cervenak and J. Kameron Carter. Quashie builds his book on a seemingly simple prompt: “Imagine a black world.” Not a world where the racial logics of antiblackness are inverted, but rather a world where blackness is totality, where black being and the rightness of black being is assumed rather than justified. It’s a beautiful book that draws upon a wealth of Black feminist writing and poetry, from Audre Lorde to Nicky Finney. Quashie’s writing is magnetic. This one makes my must-read list for 2021.
There are plenty more books for you to browse at our virtual exhibit and on our website. Make sure to use the code MLA21 to receive a 30% discount (through March 31st).
If you would like to contact me about a project, you can send me an email, or you can submit your proposal through our online portal. I look forward to seeing folks in person next January (and perhaps sporting a new bit of winter weather gear as well).
I share with Courtney the sense of loss of our meeting in person. I’ve been attending MLA every year for many years, back to the last millennium. I was the rare person attached to the old conference schedule, when it met between Christmas and New Year’s. I loved arriving in a city in that liminal time, seeing chosen family, and finding a moment for a little sale shopping, a restaurant I had only read about. But even after the meeting moved to the start of January, I still love it. The chance to see so many people in such a short time. Panels that even now can crystalize a political or theoretical moment. I can remember lots of less-than-great things too – the hidden book display in Boston a mile away from everything – but overall, I’m missing all of you and the event.
So here we are with MLA, the play-at-home game. A consolation prize. Are we consoled? This is my fourth or fifth online conference and I’m here to say it’s not the same. Entering a room for a panel and finding a friend and joining them beats seeing a person on the same Zoom session every time. Still, we can sit where we want and get coffee without waiting in a twenty-minute line. We can actually see the speaker up close. Hang on to their words — or slip out to another session without being too conspicuous.
Like seeing people in person, seeing books in person is hard to replace. I’m in this business, so generally arrive at MLA thinking I’m up on things, but when I go around the book exhibit, there are always great books I hadn’t heard about. I love being in the booth and showing people the new titles – my old bookseller self — that will interest them. So here are a few exciting recommendations from our list. There are many – that’s why we have two booths – but here are some highlights!
Sara Ahmed’s next book Complaint! will be out in the fall, but if you haven’t read its companion, What’s the Use? it is a must. Like all of Sara’s book’s it is filled with perfectly described scenes and with clarifying sentences one recalls over and over again in meetings and in everyday life.
Speaking of meetings, Katina Rogers’ Putting the Humanities to Work asks what we need to do to rethink the literature PhD process from curriculum to department websites to hiring, that would make a program work better for all involved. Matt Brim’s Poor Queer Studies talks about the difference in teaching and theorizing in rich institutions and poor ones and asks how queer theory would have been different if it had developed in and for poorer students and communities of color.
Two books that would be headliners on any list came out this past fall. Jack Halberstam’s Wild Things and José Estaban Munoz’s long-awaited final book, The Sense of Brown. Both books are events. Halberstam is thinking through more wild and open relations to nature and sexuality. The book takes up more literature than his recent books, so will be especially good to think with for readers at MLA. José Munoz’s book has been in process for two decades. The thinking and writing runs parallel to Cruising Utopia and the book contains his important work on Brown feeling and the sense of Brown, Latinx performance, and much more.
It’s a particularly strong season for Latinx and Americas work in general. I’m very excited about former MLA President Diana Taylor’s ¡Presente! bringing her thinking about performance and politics together in some sparkling new ways. Also Arlene Dávila’s Latinx Art which made several end-of-year best lists, Ren Ellis Neyra, The Cry of the Senses, – just out – and the fabulous Keith Haring’s Line by Ricardo Montez. Finally, don’t miss Jillian Hernandez’s Aesthetics of Excess.
Equally important have been a series of books in Black Studies. R.A. Judy’s long-awaited Sentient Flesh, Ashon Crawley’s moving and beautiful The Lonely Letters, Shana Redmond’s capacious and necessary Everything Man, each brilliant thinking and creative critical writing. Don’t neglect Brigitte Fielder’s acclaimed Relative Races. And just out, Anthony Reed’s beautiful Soundworks on the interplay of Black poetry and experimental musics.
Amitava Kumar’s challenge to academic writers, Every Day I Write the Book, is perfect for thinking about opening up one’s own writing. And if one wanted an example of someone who did this with wonderful skill and ease, read Emily Lordi’s transformative, The Meaning of Soul – both a fabulous book on soul music and an exemplary book of prose style.
One thing I love about our list and this moment – perhaps similar to the combination of theory and writing — is when thinkers take two conversations and think them together. Erin Mannings’s For a Pragmatics of the Useless, thinks Black theory in relation to neurodiversity, while Ian Baucom’s History 4° Celsius puts the history of the Black Atlantic with the Anthropocene.
And flip to page 29 of our literature & literary studies catalog to peruse exciting new issues from journals such as Comparative Literature, English Language Notes, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Modern Language Quarterly, Transgender Studies Quarterly, and many more. Don’t forget that journal issues are eligible for the 30% conference discount with code MLA21!
If you were hoping to connect with Courtney Berger, Ken Wissoker, or another of our editors about your book project at MLA, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines here.
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.
EditorsMiriam Angress and Sandra Korn both offer welcome messages to AAR/SBL participant, along with their highlights of the latest books and a special invitation!
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 Reader: Islam 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.
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.
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 Lettersis 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 Fleshshows 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 Weblogistanlooks 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 Afterlivesby 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 Reader, edited 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.
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!
You can join DUP authors for several panelsonline, 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.)
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).
Stay well and safe, friends. I look forward to seeing you next fall.
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.
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.
On Friday, November 6, 2:30-3:30 PM EST, Raising Our Voices participants can join them and Anand Pandian, Carole 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”.
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.
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.
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.
Editor 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 Capitalismis 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.
Fadi 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.”
Finally, 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 Pandian, Carole 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.