Author: Laura Sell

Publicity and Advertising Manager, Duke University Press

How Partnerships with Museums Help Build a Strong Art List


Welcome to the University Press Week blog tour! This year’s theme is #TurnItUP, offering posts that show how the university press community amplifies voices, disciplines, and communities. We’re pleased to be a part of Arts & Culture day with a post about how our partnerships with art museums amplify their work and help us build a strong art list. See the other great posts on the tour at the end of this post.

978-0-938989-42-4Duke University Press has long has a strong list in art and art history, and since the mid-2000s, that list has included a number of museum catalogs. Our earliest museum partner is the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Since they opened in 2005, we have distributed many catalogs for them, including Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool (2008), The Record (2010), Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey (2013), Southern Accent (2016), and most recently, Pop América, 1965–1975 (2018). The Nasher Museum’s mission to collect and display works by diverse artists who have been historically underrepresented, or even excluded, by mainstream arts institutions also fits with our own acquisition editors’ focus.

Modern Art in the Arab WorldWorking with the Nasher Museum helped us build a reputation as a strong distributor of museum catalogs. In 2010 we began a partnership with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to distribute their Primary Documents series. Although sometimes associated with an exhibition, these titles are not catalogs but instead teaching and researching tools featuring primary documents associated with a particular artist or region, that often have never been available in English. The first volume we distributed was Contemporary Chinese Art (2010), and more recently we have distributed Modern Art in the Arab World (2018) and Art and Theory of Post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe (2018). These titles are a good fit with our area studies lists as well as our art list, and we can use our expertise in course adoption marketing to help MoMA reach a wider teaching audience.

Michael McCullough, Senior Manager for Books Marketing and Sales, says, “Marketing, selling, and distributing books from major museums is very helpful in raising our profile with museum shops and art buyers. We only distribute books that complement our own books and journals publishing programs; so whether a distributed title came from MoMA or the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, it will look at home in the Duke University Press catalog.”

We Wanted a Revolution 2Recently we have undertaken collaborations with the Museum of Latin American Art  and the Chinese American Museum, with catalogs that were part of the Pacific Standard Time LA/LA collaboration. We were also excited to partner with the Brooklyn Museum on their exhibition We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85. We distributed a Sourcebook for the exhibition that features an array of rare and little-known documents from the period by artists, writers, cultural critics, and art historians as well as a second volume of New Perspectives, containing original essays and perspectives that place the exhibition’s works in both historical and contemporary contexts.

Begin to SeeCurator Julie J. Thomson, author of Begin to See: The Photographers of Black Mountain College, a catalog for her exhibition at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center says, “After spending years researching an exhibition which is up for a limited time, the exhibition catalog reaches beyond who could visit the museum, and is what remains. Duke University Press’s distribution of the catalog for Begin to See allowed museum bookstores and art libraries to know about it and order it. It’s reassuring to know that future scholars will be able to access my research and writing through the catalog held in library collections throughout the world.”

Editorial Director Ken Wissoker agrees that publishing catalogs is useful for acquisitions. “Whether it is the Black feminist show We Wanted a Revolution from the Brooklyn Museum or The Record from the Nasher Museum, museum catalogs are a crucial part of our list, even beyond the areas in the arts where one expects them to contribute.  We have authors writing for the catalogs and others bringing their books to us because they loved the catalogs on our list. This is a great crossover moment between art and critical thinking, and the catalogs could not play a more important role in that exchange.”

Please continue on the University Press Week blog tour by visiting these other great university press offerings: Athabasca University Press offers a playlist by author Mark A. McCutcheon of all the songs featured in his book The Medium Is the Monster: Canadian Adaptations of Frankenstein and the Discourse of Technology. Rutgers University Press dedicates a post to our their book Junctures in Women’s Leadership: The Arts by Judith Brodsky and Ferris Olin. Over at Yale University Press, check out a post by author Dominic Bradbury about how immigrants enrich a country’s art and architecture. University of Minnesota Press is running a post about their author Adrienne Kennedy, who will be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame on Nov. 12th. Hope you enjoy all these great #TurnItUP posts! 

Preview our Spring 2019 Catalog

S19-catalog-front-coverOur Spring 2019 catalog is here! Check out some highlights below and download the complete catalog for a more in-depth look. These titles will be published between January and June 2019.

The cover of the catalog is a photograph by Rotimi Fani-Kayode, the subject of the book Bloodflowers: Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Photography, and the 1980s (March) by W. Ian Bourland. Bloodflowers launches a new series, The Visual Arts of Africa and its Diasporas, edited by Kellie Jones and Steven Nelson. And it’s just one of many great new art titles in this catalog. You’ll also want to check out Suzanne Preston Blier’s Picasso’s Demoiselles (June), an examination of the previously unknown origins of a well-known painting. And in Surrealism at Play (February) Susan Laxton writes a new history of Surrealism in which she traces the centrality of play to the movement and its ongoing legacy. We’re especially excited about The Romare Bearden Reader (May) edited by Robert G. O’Meally. It brings together a collection of new essays and canonical writings by novelists, poets, historians, critics, and playwrights. The contributors include Toni Morrison, Ralph Ellison, August Wilson, Farah Jasmine Griffin, and Kobena Mercer. We’ve also got Rebecca Zorach’s Art for People’s Sake (March), which looks at the Black Arts Movement in Chicago; and Chicano and Chicana Art: A Critical Anthology  (February), which provides an overview of the history and theory of Chicano/a art from the 1960s to the present.

Deported AmericansTimely books on immigration will definitely add context to current debates. In Deported Americans (April), legal scholar and former public defender Beth C. Caldwell tells the story of dozens of immigrants who were deported from the United States—the only country they have ever known—to Mexico, tracking the harmful consequences of deportation for those on both sides of the border. And in The Fixer (June), Charles Piot follows a visa broker—known as a “fixer”—in the West African nation of Togo as he helps his clients apply for the U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery program. For a look at the immigrant experience through poetry, check out The Chasers (May), in which Renato Rosaldo shares his experiences and those of his group of twelve Mexican-American Tucson High School friends known as the Chasers as they grew up, graduated, and fell out of touch. Rosaldo’s poems present a chorus of distinct voices and perspectives that convey the realities of Chicano life on the borderlands from the 1950s to the present.

The Hundreds by Lauren Berlant and Kathleen Stewart will delight fans of theory, ethnography, and experimental writing alike. The book, composed of pieces one hundred or multiples of one hundred words long—is their collaborative experimental writing project in which they strive toward sensing and capturing the resonances that operate at the ordinary level of everyday experience.

Activists will be excited to learn that we are bringing out a new, revised and expanded edition of Aurora Levins Morales’s Medicine Stories (April). She weaves together the insights and lessons learned over a lifetime of activism to offer a new theory of social justice, bringing clarity and hope to tangled, emotionally charged social issues in beautiful and accessible language.

Book ReportsIf you enjoy critic Robert Christgau’s writing on music (his collection Is It Still Good to Ya? came out this fall), you’ll definitely want to check out his book reviews, collected together in Book Reports (April). Christgau shows readers a different side to his esteemed career with reviews of books ranging from musical autobiographies, criticism, and histories to novels, literary memoirs, and cultural theory.

We’re also pleased to present new books from returning authors Jane Gallop, Elspeth Brown, Jennifer C. Nash, and Kandice Chuh, among others, as well as a new edition of The Cuba Reader, long a bestseller for courses and travelers.

These are just a few of the great titles coming out next spring. We have over seventy titles in cultural studies, art, sound studies, Latin American studies, history, Asian studies, African studies, religion, American studies, and more. You’ll want to read and download the whole thing to see all the great new books and journals. To be notified of new books in your chosen disciplines, sign up for our email alerts, too.



Join Us for an Open House on November 15


To celebrate University Press Week, we are delighted to invite friends, fans, and colleagues to join us at our first-ever Open House on November 15 from 3-5 p.m.

Explore the Duke University Press library as you enjoy book displays and refreshments, meet staff, and enter a raffle featuring a tote bag full of new books and journals.


Win this tote bag full of books, journals, and swag!

University Press Week highlights the extraordinary work of nonprofit scholarly publishers and their many contributions to culture, the academy, and an informed society. In addition to our Open House, look for displays of our books and journals around campus and read special posts on our blog that week.

Duke students, faculty, staff, and members of the community are welcome!

We are located in Brightleaf Square’s North Building at 905 West Main Street. Enter from the courtyard at the door between the empty restaurant and the craft store. Head up the stairs and turn left. The library is down the hall on the left.

Free parking is available at the Brightleaf Square gated lot at Gregson and Main Streets, on the side of Morgan Imports. Bring your parking ticket to the open house for validation. We look forward to meeting you!



Congratulations to MacArthur Fellow Lisa Parks

Parks_2018_hi-res-download_smallCongratulations to MIT media scholar Lisa Parks on winning a 2018 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship! Parks is the co-editor (with Caren Kaplan) of the recent book Life in the Age of Drone Warfare and co-editor (with Elana Levine) of the 2007 collection Undead TV: Essays on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She has also contributed essays to several other collections we have published.

Parks is the author of the 2005 book Cultures in Orbit: Satellites and the Televisual. The MacArthur Foundation calls it “a groundbreaking analysis of satellite use, including live international transmissions, 978-0-8223-3497-2_pr
archeological excavations via remote sensing, and satellite images documenting mass graves in Srebrenica during the Bosnian conflict.”

The MacArthur Foundation praises Parks for “extending the parameters of media studies and revealing the ways in which media technologies have come increasingly to define our everyday lives, politics, and culture.”

Watch a video of Parks discussing her work:

Our 50% Off Sale Ends Today


Attention all procrastinators: our 50% off sale ends tonight at 11:59 eastern time. If you’ve been putting off placing your order, now is the time. Use coupon code FALL50 when you place your order online.

Can’t decide what to buy? Check out our editors recommendations.

If you have any difficulty ordering via our website, you can call our customer service department at 888-651-0122 today until 5:00 p.m.

Here’s the usual fine print: The discount does not apply to apparel, journals subscriptions, or society memberships. You can’t order out-of-stock or not yet published titles at the discount. Regular shipping applies and all sales are final.



Our Editors’ Sale Recommendations

Our Fall Sale continues through Monday, October 1. Still thinking about what you want to buy for 50% off? Check out some of our editors’ recommendations.

Courtney Berger,  Senior Editor & Editorial Department Manager

The Pursuit of HappinessBianca Williams’s The Pursuit of Happiness is a beautifully written ethnography of African American women who travel to Jamaica in search of the love, friendship, happiness, and spiritual connection that they isn’t readily available to them in the U.S. She traces the complex transnational affective ties that these women develop through their connections to Jamaica and to one another.

In Atmospheric Things Derek McCormack uses a commonplace object—the balloon—to think about how atmospheres are rendered knowable, both in their material and affective forms.  Moving from hot air balloons to Disney Pixar’s Up to Google’s Project Loon, McCormack considers the balloon as a technology of captivation and as means for giving shape to feelings, experiences, and conditions that often just at the edges of our perception.

978-0-8223-7035-2Moving from air to sea, Across Oceans of Law traces the saga of the Komagata Maru, a ship carrying Punjabi migrants that was refused entry to Vancouver Harbour in 1914. Renisa Mawani deftly uses the story of the ship, of the enigmatic anticolonialist Gurdit Singh who chartered the ship, and of the legal battles that ensued to illustrate the ways that imperial power—and the forms of racism and anti-immigration policy it engenders—is formulated and enacted in the juridical space of the sea.

And, finally, back to land, Brenna Bhandar’s Colonial Lives of Property discloses the ways that property law has served as a foundation for colonial appropriation of land. Bhandar shows how modern formulations of private property have been mobilized to legitimate indigenous dispossession, to install racialized regimes of ownership in settler colonies, and to promote ongoing forms of racial capitalism.

Gisela Fosado, Editor

Murder on Shades MountainMurder on Shades Mountain by Melanie S. Morrison is a gripping must-read for anyone who wants to understand the perversity of white Southern racial culture and resistance to Jim Crow injustices. The story is a testament to the courageous predecessors of present-day movements for Black lives.

Arturo Escobar’s new path-breaking book Designs for the Pluriverse presents a new vision of design theory and practice aimed at channeling design’s world-making and life-changing capacity toward ways of existing that are in line with grass-roots social movements towards justice.

Reclaiming the Discarded by Kathleen Millar is a beautifully written ethnography of Jardim Gramacho, a sprawling garbage dump on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, where roughly two thousand self-employed workers known as catadores collect recyclable materials. Millar shows how the way of life of these catadores calls into question normative assumptions of wage labor and what it means to live a good life.  This prize-winning book is super accessible and great for teaching.

Sandra Korn, Assistant Editor

In these times of political turmoil, I’ve been feeling how important it is to turn to our ancestors for inspiration and guidance. Jane Lazarre’s memoir The Communist and the Communist’s Daughter resonates with my own family history. She writes of her father, born Itzrael Lazarovitz in the Yiddish-speaking old country, who spent his adult life in the US as a Communist Party activist. Even while Lazarre grapples with her father’s radical ideology, she honors his principled internationalism—he fought fascists in the Spanish Civil War—and his tireless anti-racist and pro-labor union activism.

Fugitive LifeStephen Dillon’s Fugitive Life: The Queer Politics of the Prison State brings into view some other inspirational ancestors: queer activists in the 1970s who challenged the rising wave of incarceration. Dillon looks at cultural work by Assata Shakur, Angela Davis, the Weather Underground, and other groups of women and queers, often while they were in prison themselves. These activists used writing, art, and films to understand and resist the neoliberal-carceral state.

I am also drawn to two new books that consider emergent conservative religious communities, both now defunct due to leadership scandals. In Desire Work, Melissa Hackman presents an ethnography of an ex-gay Pentecostal ministry in Capetown, South Africa, where men labored to discipline themselves into heterosexual masculinity in an effort to confirm to Christian values. And Jessica Johnson’s Biblical Porn interrogates how evangelical pastor Mark Driscoll used the affective power of his teachings on biblical sexuality and gender roles to build up a mass following for the Mars Hill Church.

Ken Wissoker, Editorial Director

If one hasn’t already, this is the perfect time to pick up Fred Moten’s brilliant and capacious “consent not to be a single being” trilogy, most recently hailed by New York magazine (and Vulture) as one of 100 books in a “A Premature Attempt at the 21st Century Canon” – a list otherwise centered on literary fiction.  If you only picked up Black and Blur, then you need the complementary but differently focused Stolen Life and The Universal Machine.

978-1-4780-0081-5Imani Perry has just published a trifecta of her own (from three different publishers) and I’m very excited about our contribution, Vexy Thing, a feminist rethinking of the persistence and forms of patriarchy as it persists through so many different intersectional moments of modernity.

I’m also thrilled about the long-awaited publication of Dionne Brand’s The Blue Clerk, at once an embodied conversation of author and self-editor, and a reflection of Black Atlantic and colonial histories.

One of those Black and colonial histories is portrayed in complex and gorgeous fashion in Victorian Jamaica, edited by Tim Barringer and Wayne Modest. The story of Jamaica from the moment of emancipation through to the early 20th century told in pieces by contributors including Catherine Hall and Krista Thompson with 270 full color illustrations.

Decolonizing ExtinctionFinally, I wanted to mention Juno Salazar Parreñas’s Decolonizing Extinction: The Work of Care in Orangutan Rehabilitation.  I think of this brilliant book as a model for future studies the way it seamlessly brings together colonial histories, histories of science, interspecies relations, gender, and possible planetary futures in one engaging study.


Now that you have all these great recommendations, get shopping! Enter coupon code FALL50 at checkout. All in-stock books and journal issues are on sale, but journal subscriptions, t-shirts, and society memberships are not. The sale ends Monday, October 1 at 11:59 pm Eastern time.

Save 50% During Our Fall Sale


It’s that wonderful time of year again: our Fall sale! Now’s the time to grab all those titles you’ve been adding to your to-read pile, or that you need for your comps, or even to get a head start on your holiday gift lists. Head to our website and save 50% on all in-stock books and journal issues by entering coupon code FALL50.

Here’s the usual fine print: The discount does not apply to apparel, journals subscriptions, or society memberships. You can’t order out-of-stock or not yet published titles at the discount. And you can’t combine multiple orders to maximize the discount. Regular shipping applies and all sales are final.

If you have any difficulty ordering via our website, you can call our customer service department at 888-651-0122 during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 8-5 Eastern Time).

The sale ends in one week, on Monday, October 1 at 11:59 Eastern Time. Start shopping now!

Remembering Former Director Larry Malley

We were sad to learn of the death of former Duke University Press director Larry Malley on September 13, 2018.

malleyMalley worked at Duke University Press from 1988 to 1993, first serving as Editorial and Associate Director and then taking over the directorship from Dick Rowson. Following his tenure here he served as the director of the University of Arkansas Press. His obituary details his long career in publishing.

Editorial Director Ken Wissoker says, “Larry Malley took a chance in hiring me to Duke and brought in Emily Young as Marketing Director, thus even in a short tenure setting the stage for what would come after.  He was a warm, outgoing colleague and a discerning editor. Like many of his era he started as a salesperson and scout for textbooks, going office to office at colleges for McGraw Hill.  The ease that job requires in striking up conversation and then honing in on a good book idea served him well his whole career.”

Lee Willoughby-Harris, our Books Marketing Metadata and Digital Systems Manager, remembers working with Malley: “Larry was a tireless advocate for university presses and their role in both academic life and the public sphere. He was also our mooring in a time of great transition at Duke University Press. The staff he brought to Durham during the late 1980s and early 1990s became the foundation for the success and influence that Duke enjoys today.” She adds, “On a personal level, I found Larry’s knowledge of and appreciation for college basketball along Tobacco Road to be unmatched among university press directors.”

We send our condolences to Larry Malley’s family, including his wife Maggie and his children and grandchildren.


New Poetry from Rafael Campo

978-1-4780-0021-1After publishing five of Rafael Campo’s previous books, we are delighted to be releasing his first collection this month: Comfort Measures Only: New and Selected Poems, 1994–2016. Gathered from his long career as a poet-physician, these eighty-eight poems—thirty of which have never been previously published in a collection—pull back the curtain in the ER, laying bare our pain and joining us all in spellbinding moments of pathos. Here we share one of his new poems from the collection.



She says that back in Mexico the map
of the United States that hung above
the teacher’s desk was like a floating island
impossible to reach, impossible

for any girl like her to even dream
might welcome her. She gazes now instead
above my desk, her flattened breasts a map
no more accessible, no more forgiving,

the spreading cancer numinous, one could
say even beautiful, deceptive as
that distant promise. Here just one short year,
she tells me of the landlord calling them

“invaders,” six of them who shared a room,
the only toilet down the hall. She says
she cried alone beneath the Virgin Mary,
the church the only place she knew to go,

the flickering of candles casting shadows
in shapes above her everywhere like maps
to other worlds; she says she prayed for this
to be a better world. The clinic throbs

in pain outside my door, so many dreams
deferred, so many hearts invaded by
resentment or remorse, so many seas traversed
and borders crossed. So many journeys done.

To order a copy of Comfort Measures Only for 30% off, please use coupon code E18CAMPO at checkout.


How a Culture of Inclusion Can Improve Peer Review: Guest Post by Sandra Korn and Alejandra Mejía

It’s Peer Review Week, an annual event that brings together individuals, institutions, and organizations committed to sharing the central message that good peer review, whatever shape or form it might take, is critical to scholarly communications. We are pleased to share a guest post by Assistant Editor Sandra Korn and Editorial Associate Alejandra Mejía to kick off the week.

Last year for peer review week, our Editorial Director Ken Wissoker wrote about why he loves peer review. This year, we have a different sort of take: we want to look at how mentoring and developing students from diverse backgrounds can strengthen the work of book acquisitions.

bedit field trip

Staff and interns from our Books Acquisitions department on a field trip to the Museum of Durham History, including post authors Sandra Korn (back left) and Alejandra Mejía (front, second from right).

The two of us work together to coordinate the student internship program in the Books Acquisitions department at Duke University Press. Our department relies on our students to carry out some of the administrative work that is essential to our workflow, but we also draw them into conversations about projects in their field of interest, and provide professional development experience for them in acquisitions and across the press.

How do diversity and inclusion, the academic peer review process, and student internships overlap? We believe that listening to voices that have been traditionally underrepresented in the publishing industry can make our editorial work, and our author’s books, more thoughtful and responsive. This is especially vital because our industry remains majority white — a recent study found that 91% of employees in scholarly publishing identify as white. Valuing insights from our student interns can aid the process of upholding socially conscientious scholarship as well as promote a more inclusive culture within academic publishing.

Duke Press hires three to five undergraduate and graduate students during the summer and school year, and we are able to pay all of our student interns. Many other university presses, especially those at public universities with constrained budgets, still have unpaid internships — but important conversations questioning that common practice are finally happening across the publishing industry. Paid internships make interning here a viable option for students from low-income backgrounds: after all, many low-income students work in order to finance their studies, maintain themselves, and send money home. We are grateful to provide students from low-income backgrounds the opportunity to learn about an industry which they may have not ever thought about as a feasible career path.

And, we have made the conscious decision to review student intern applications using a holistic rubric. The many different experiences and skills that diverse applicants bring to the table will undoubtedly influence their work and the direction of the Press as a whole. We take care to hire acquisitions interns who come from the many colleges and universities across our region, including historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). (If you’re a student nearby, you can apply right now to work in our department this year!)

As coordinators of the internship program, we recognize our role in training future scholars and publishing professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds, from academic to socioeconomic. Part of this work is recognizing the daily support that we can provide our students via training, relationship-building, and upholding their voices.

It is exactly by valuing the opinions of student interns and colleagues that we can begin to expand the scope of scholarly publishing and create a culture of inclusion in the publishing industry. For instance, we’ve already seen how fruitful it can be for junior-level staff to express opinions, thoughts, and knowledge about processes and projects. One of our editors is acquiring a book that analyzes racism in the American public school system. Our summer intern, who recently graduated from a local arts high school, was able to speak to the editor about her own experience as a person of color in a predominantly white school. And we have heard student interns contribute important insights into who might be an appropriate peer reviewer or cover artist. Moreover, these students are our future acquisition editors, authors, and peer reviewers: truly including them in editorial conversations now will strengthen the scholarly publishing industry in the long term.

It is vital to the intellectual work of publishing to have queer students, students of color, students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and student activists engaging with the literature that is oftentimes theorizing the experiences of their communities. We are excited to think about what the future of academic publishing could look like with a wide array of voices and skills coming together.