Author: Laura Sell

Publicity and Advertising Manager, Duke University Press

Farewell to Lauren Berlant

berlant1We are deeply sorry to learn of the death of theorist Lauren Berlant following a long illness. Berlant was the author or editor of six books with us. They were also a founding editor of the series Writing Matters! and Theory Q and a contributor to many edited collections and journal issues. 

Berlant was George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago, where they taught since 1984. Their first title with us was The Queen of American Goes to Washington City (1997), which Judith Butler called “a keen and disarming book.” They followed it up with The Female Complaint (2008) and then with Cruel Optimism (2011), which became their most popular book, reaching outside the academy and inspiring art and even a punk song. Writing in The Progressive, queer humorist Kate Clinton said, “If you are looking for some new language to use to describe the current crisis of hope, read Cruel Optimism. . . . It is a wild, deeply witty examination of our attachments to food, love, politics, family, and pop culture.” Berlant’s most recent book was Reading Sedgwick (2019), an edited collection on the work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick.

978-0-8223-5111-5_prCruel Optimism was the winner of the American Comparative Literature Association 2012 Rene Wellek Award. In 2019, Berlant received the  Hubbell Medal for Lifetime Achievement from the American Literature Section of Modern Language Association. They were also a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Berlant contributed to a number of our journals, including Social Text, SAQ, the minnesota review, and Public Culture. We have made their 2012 interview in Qui Parle freely available until September 2021.

Berlant especially liked working collaboratively and published two co-written books with us, Sex, or the Unbearable (2013), with Lee Edelman, and The Hundreds (2019), with Kathleen Stewart. In an interview with UChicago News, Berlant said, “Other people’s minds are amazing. Collaboration is like a super-intensified version of teaching, where you and somebody else are working something out, and you’re building on each other—but you’re also just missing each other. There’s the complete joy of the ‘not me.’ Seeing somebody else at work, seeing somebody else’s generativity and seeing how, together, you can compose things that neither of you could have done by yourself.” Stewart says of Berlant, “Lauren held a door in the world open for so many of us. Now we shoulder on, in gratitude. The outpouring of love from everywhere is the biggest testimony to Lauren’s beauty and impact.”

The HundredsNot long after the publication of The Hundreds, Berlant was profiled by Hua Hsu in The New Yorker, an unusual honor for an academic, and a testament to the huge reach of Berlant’s work. Writing about The Hundreds, Hsu says, “In Berlant and Stewart’s hands, affect theory provides a way of understanding the sensations and resignations of the present, the normalized exhaustion that comes with life in the new economy. It is a way of framing uniquely modern questions.” 

Around the Press, those who worked with Berlant are deeply mourning the loss. Senior Executive Editor Ken Wissoker said, “I’ve known Lauren since shortly after they arrived at the University of Chicago in the mid-1980s. Lauren had a singularly brilliant mind, questioning their own thoughts mid-sentence in pursuit of a better account.  In book after book Lauren advanced a fully connected project, one with deep political commitments, but one that could never be fully known in advance. One of the greatest theorists of their generation— someone always generously reaching out to smart younger scholars—it was the greatest privilege to be their publisher and friend.”

Design Manager Amy Ruth Buchanan designed many of Berlant’s books, including the now iconic cover for Cruel Optimism. She says, “Lauren Berlant was one of the kindest, smartest, and most appreciative and generous authors a publisher could hope to work with. I am so sad to learn of their passing.”

Executive Editor Courtney Berger says, “Lauren was a fierce intellectual who relentlessly challenged our assumptions about gender, sex, nation, and feeling. Lauren was also an incredibly generous collaborator who sought out opportunities to think alongside and in conversation with others. Even as they dwelled on the structural violence and difficulties of thriving in a world dominated by capitalism, racism, and sexism, Lauren saw the potential for us to radically transform our relationship to the world and to ourselves. Lauren was a wit, who liked to share and hear new jokes. They loved cats, silly cat photos, and elaborate cat furniture. And they could always direct you to the best vegan food in town. Above all, Lauren was a friend and a comrade, and I will miss them terribly.”

Berger has been working with Berlant on their final book, On the Inconvenience of Other People. Berlant turned the manuscript in just a few weeks before their death and we expect to publish it in Fall 2022. In the new book Berlant considers how we might “loosen” our relations to the objects and situations that we are unhappily attached to in a way that might transform our political conditions and create new life worlds.

For three decades, we have been honored to publish the groundbreaking work of Lauren Berlant. We will miss them as a scholar, a collaborator, and a friend. Our condolences go out to all of Lauren’s friends, family, and colleagues, and especially to their partner Ian Horswill.

Amy Ruth Buchanan Named Director of Editing, Design and Production

Amy Ruth Buchanan has been named Duke University Press’s new Director of Editing, Design, and Production (EDP) after a national search.

Amy has positioned DUP as an industry leader in design and production for several decades. Under her leadership, the design team won an unprecedented thirteen Association of University Presses Book, Jacket, and Journal Show awards this past year.

Amy began her career at Duke University Press as a production assistant in 1995, and held several positions after that, from graphic designer to senior book designer, and, in 2016, Book Design Manager. Since 2018 she has served as Design Manager for Books and Journals. Her book designs have been honored by the Association of University Presses’ Book, Jacket and Journal Show many times and she has been an active participant in the AUPresses community, serving as a committee chair, workshop presenter, and annual meeting panelist.

During her tenure at the Press, Amy has played an instrumental role in developing an integrated and dynamic EDP environment. She has grown and adapted as workflows expanded, as requirements evolved, as lists grew, and as personnel changed. She understands the interconnectedness of design with editorial work—and how production and printing impact the online presentation of book and journal content. 

Director of Duke University Press Dean Smith says, “Amy leads with compassion and strives for excellence. She centers her leadership style on empathy, creativity, and flexibility. She is committed to the core values of equity and inclusion and to making things better—for people in EDP, her colleagues at the press, and for outside editors and authors. I look forward to witnessing the many great things that Amy will do for EDP and for the Press in this new role.”

Amy Ruth Buchanan will begin her new role as EDP Director on September 1, 2021.

Virtual Events in June

We hope you get a chance to catch some of our authors at these great virtual events in June. Please note the local time zone for each event.

June 3, 6:30 pm EDT: The Virginia Museum of Fine Art is hosting a series of talks in conjunction with the special exhibition The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse. We are distributing the catalog for this great show. This evening’s event is entitled “Southern Hip-Hop and the Academy” and features Mark Anthony Neal, Anthony Pinn, Erik Nielson, and VMFA and editor of the catalog, Valerie Cassel Oliver.

June 9, 3:00 pm BST: Therí Alyce Pickens, author of Black Madness :: Mad Blackness, gives a talk on Blackness and disability, followed by a Q&A, sponsored by Birkbeck University of London.

June 10, 6:30 pm EDT: In an event sponsored by The Phillips Collection, Arlene Dávila, author of Latinx Art, will be in conversation with Vesela Sretenović, Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

June 11, 3:00 pm PDT: Kalindi Vora and Neda Atanasoski, authors of Surrogate Humanity, speak at reVisions, a week-long festival exploring how technological bias shapes our cultural realities. It is sponsored by City Lights bookstore, the Goethe-Institut San Francisco, and Gray Area.

June 15, 5:00 pm EDT: In an event sponsored by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture and the Center for Black Visual Culture & Institute of African American Affairs at New York University, Jessica Marie Johnson speaks with Jennifer Morgan, author of Reckoning with Slavery.

June 15, 6:00 pm EDT: Rofhiwa Book Cafe sponsors a conversation with La Marr Jurelle Bruce about his new book How to Go Mad without Losing Your Mind. He will be joined by liberation theologian J. Kameron Carter, performance philosopher Sarah Jane Cervenak, critical race theorist Patricia J. Williams, and poet Phillip B. Williams. 

June 17, 11:00 am EDT: Katherine McKittrick, author of Dear Science and Other Stories gives a talk entitled “Dear April: The Aesthetics of Black Miscellanea,” part of the Black Studies Summer Seminar.

June 17, 6:30 pm EDT: The Virginia Museum of Fine Art’s second speaker series for the exhibition The Dirty South is entitled “Literature and Lyricism in Southern Hip-Hop,” featuring poet Roger Reeves and poet, playwright, and journalist Charlie Braxton.

June 18, 10:00 am EDT: Alexander Weheliye, author of Habeas Viscus, gives a talk entitled “‘Scream my name like a protest’: R&B Music as BlackFem Technology of Humanity in the Age of #blacklivesmatter,” also part of the Black Studies Summer Seminar.

June 24, 5:00 pm BST: Xine Yao, author of the forthcoming book Disaffected, inaugurates a new lecture series sponsored by the Centre for the Americas at Queen’s University Belfast and the Irish Association for American Studies with a talk entitled “The Cultural Politics of Unfeeling: The Disaffections and Counter-intimacies of Unsympathetic Blackness and Oriental Inscrutability.” 

June 30, 6:00 pm BST: The Stuart Hall Foundation hosts a roundtable discussion of Stuart Hall’s Selected Writings on Marxism. The participants are editor Gregor McLennan, Angela McRobbie, Bruce, Robbins, and Brett St Louis. Catherine Hall will lead the discussion.

Editorial Director Gisela Fosado on Andrea Smith

Ever since my September statement on Jessica Krug, I have received calls from Native scholars who have asked me to consider what it means for Duke University Press to continue to publish books by Andrea Smith, despite the overwhelming evidence that she has committed ethnic fraud for decades, as noted in this week’s New York Times Magazine article. Some of these calls have come from scholars who have worked for years to hold Smith accountable and to obtain transparency and honesty from her. These scholars have emphasized the harm that Smith’s deception has caused, and how it has added “to the vulnerability of the communities and constituents she purports to represent.”

For months now, we at Duke University Press have engaged in difficult conversations about how we can do a better job of considering ethical concerns as we make our publishing decisions. In the past, our considerations of works to be published did not always include serious engagement with questions of ethics outside of those raised in the peer review process. That has changed. 

Lies matter. Silence also matters. Silence by those who have done wrong and by those who have enabled harm is itself an abdication of responsibility. Our publication of Smith’s most recent work did further harm by undermining the brave calls by Native scholars and others asking for accountability, transparency, and honesty. Our publication of her work continued to provide her with a platform, and became a legitimation in itself, allowing others to ignore the damage she caused. We are sorry.

We will not publish Andrea Smith’s future books. In addition, we are in conversations with Native scholars to find ways to better support Native scholarship and to publish more work that supports Native communities. Proceeds from Smith’s two recent books will be transferred to our Scholars of Color First Book Fund which supports the publication of first books with exceptional promise. 

Our work to align our publishing practices with feminist, anti-racist, decolonial approaches will continue. 

Congratulations to Our Award-Winning Designers

Once again our talented designers have been honored by the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) in the annual 2021 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show. The awardees were chosen from 523 submissions of books and journals published in 2020.

In the scholarly typographic category, Matthew Tauch was honored for three of his book designs: Animalia: An Anti-Imperial Bestiary for Our Times, edited by Antoinette Burton and Renisa Mawani, Sentient Flesh: Thinking in Disorder, Poiēsis in Black by R.A. Judy, and for Manufacturing Celebrity: Latino Paparazzi and Women Reporters in Hollywood by Vanessa Díaz. Aimee Harrison was also featured in the same category, for her design of The Lonely Letters by Ashon Crawley. Courtney Leigh Richardson’s design for Negative Exposures: Knowing What Not to Know in Contemporary China by Margaret Hillenbrand also received kudos in the scholarly typographic category. And Drew Sisk was honored for his design of Voluminous States: Sovereignty, Materiality, and the Territorial Imagination edited by Franck Billé.

In the scholarly illustrated category, Courtney Leigh Richardson and Aimee Harrison were honored for their collaborative design of Aesthetics of Excess: The Art and Politics of Black and Latina Embodiment by Jillian Hernandez. And Matthew Tauch’s design of Journeys through the Russian Empire: The Photographic Legacy of Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky by William Craft Brumfield was also selected for praise.

In the poetry and literature category, the jury honored Aimee C. Harrison’s design of Dub: Finding Ceremony by Alexis Pauline Gumbs.

A number of book covers were also selected by the jury as particularly praiseworthy:

The 2021 Show jurors are all experienced, award-winning designers: Matthew Monk, Andrew Shurtz, Gail Anderson, and Janet Hansen. The chair of the committee was Duke University Press’s own marketing designer Dan Ruccia.

Congratulations to all our designers for the amazing work they did over the past year!

Introducing Our Fall 2021 Catalog

F21 Catalog Cover

We’re excited to unveil our Fall 2021 catalog. Check out some highlights below and then download a copy for a closer look. These titles will be published between July 2021 and January 2022.

The catalog cover is a detail from the cover of There’s a Disco Ball Between Us by Jafari S. Allen, a sweeping and lively ethnographic and intellectual history of what he calls “Black gay habits of mind.” The image is by artist Jim Chuchu from Pagans IX, 2014.

Complaint!, Sara Ahmed’s seventh book with us, opens the catalog. Drawing on oral and written testimonies from academics and students who have made complaints about harassment, bullying and unequal working conditions at universities, Ahmed explores the gap between what is supposed to happen when complaints are made and what does happen. Complaint! will be a must-read for everyone who works in higher education.

We’re excited to welcome McKenzie Wark to our list with Philosophy for Spiders: On the Low Theory of Kathy Acker. Wark recounts her memories of Acker (with whom she had a passionate affair) and gives a comprehensive reading of her published and archived works. Wark finds not just an inventive writer of fiction who pressed against the boundaries of gender, but a theorist whose comprehensive philosophy of life brings a conceptual intelligence to the everyday life of those usually excluded from philosophy’s purview. Fans of non-traditional academic writing may also want to check out the latest book in our Writing Matters! series, Magical Habits by Monica Huerta, which draws on her experiences growing up in her family’s Mexican restaurants and her life as a scholar of literature and culture to meditate on how relationships among self, place, race, and storytelling contend with both the afterlives of history and racial capitalism.

CoupletsSince its publication twenty years ago, Brian Massumi’s pioneering Parables for the Virtual has become an essential text for interdisciplinary scholars across the humanities. We’re pleased to announce a twentieth-anniversary edition this fall, which includes a new preface in which Massumi situates the book in relation to developments since its publication and outlines the evolution of its main concepts. It also includes two short texts, “Keywords for Affect” and “Missed Conceptions about Affect,” where Massumi explicates his approach to affect in ways that emphasize the book’s political and philosophical stakes. We also offer a new book from Massumi, Couplets, that presents twenty-four essays that represent the full spectrum of his work during the past thirty years. Conceived as a companion volume to Parables for the Virtual, Couplets addresses the key concepts of Parables from different angles and contextualizes them, allowing their stakes to be more fully felt.

Birthing Black Mothers by Jennifer C. Nash is among many great new Black studies titles on the Fall list. She examines how the figure of the “Black mother” has become a powerful political category synonymous with crisis, showing how they are often rendered into one-dimensional symbols of tragic heroism and the ground zero of Black life. In “Beyond This Narrow Now” Nahum Dimitri Chandler shows that the premises of W. E. B. Du Bois’s thinking at the turn of the twentieth century stand as fundamental references for the whole itinerary of his thought.

Pioneering political scientist Martin Kilson’s memoir, A Black Intellectual’s Odyssey; Marcus Bell’s Whiteness Interrupted, a revealing portrait of white teachers in majority-black schools; Hawai‘i Is My Haven by Nitasha Tamar Sharma, which maps the context and contours of Black life in the Hawaiian Islands; and Elizabeth McHenry’s To Make Negro Literature, which traces African American authorship in the decade following the 1896 legalization of segregation, will also all be of interest. 

Black GatheringWe have four new books in the Black Outdoors series as well. Black Gathering by Sarah Jane Cervenak engages with Black artists and writers who create alternative spaces for Black people to gather free from interruption or regulation. Maroon Choreography by fahima ife consists of three long-form poems and a lyrical essay that examine black fugitivity as an ongoing phenomenon we know little about beyond what history tells us. In Toward Camden, Mercy Romero writes a complex and vibrant story about the largely African American and Puerto Rican Cramer Hill neighborhood in New Jersey where she grew up. And Rachel Zolf’s No One’s Witness draws on Black studies, continental philosophy, queer theory, experimental poetics, and work by several writers and artists, asking what it means to witness from the excessive, incalculable position of No One.

The newest volume in our Stuart Hall: Selected Writings series is Writings on Media, edited by Charlotte Brunsdon. It collects twenty essays that reaffirm Hall’s stature as an innovative media theorist while demonstrating the continuing relevance of his methods of analysis. Other media studies titles to check out include Diminished Faculties by Jonathan Sterne, which offers a sweeping cultural study and theorization of impairment; and Media Hot and Cold by Nicole Starosielski, which examines the cultural dimensions of temperature to theorize the ways heat and cold can be used as a means of communication, subjugation, and control.

A trio of film studies books will also be of interest to media scholars. In Life-Destroying Diagrams, Eugenie Brinkema brings the insights of her radical formalism to bear on supremely risky terrain: the ethical extremes of horror and love. Mary Ann Doane’s Bigger than Life examines how the scalar operations of cinema, especially those of the close-up, disturb and reconfigure the spectator’s sense of place, space, and orientation. And in How Do We Look? Fatimah Tobing Rony draws on transnational images of Indonesian women as a way to theorize what she calls visual biopolitics—the ways visual representation determines which lives are made to matter more than others.

If you have fond memories of driving around aimlessly with friends late at night, listening to loud music, you may enjoy Joshua Clover’s Roadrunner,  which examines Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers’ 1972 song “Roadrunner,” charting its place in rock & roll history and American culture.

Social TextWe’ve also got some incredible special issues of journals coming up this season—here’s a small sampling. In “Sexology and Its Afterlives,” a Social Text issue edited by Joan Lubin and Jeanne Vaccaro, contributors theorize sexual labor as both work and a site of labor resistance and transformation, highlighting sex workers’ own production of knowledge for navigating racial capitalism, state violence, and economic precarity. “Transnational Feminist Approaches to Anti-Muslim Racism,” a Meridians issue edited by Sherene H. Razack and Zeynep K. Korkman, traces the global circuits and formations of power through which anti-Muslim racism travels, operates, and shapes local contexts. And contributors present empirical evidence for how the pandemic has had a disproportionately negative impact on people of color, incarcerated people, and people with disabilities in “COVID-19 Politics and Policy: Pandemic Inequity in the United States,” an issue of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law edited by Sarah E. Gollust and Julia Lynch. 

There’s so much more in the fall catalog, including: new books from Elizabeth Povinelli, Kaushik Sunder Rajan, and Tania Murray Li; a reader of the works of Haitian anthropologist Michel-Rolph Trouillot; a translation of Malian writer Amadou Hampâté Bâ’s memoir Amkoullel, the Fula Boy; and great titles in anthropology, Latin American studies, Asian studies, queer theory,  history, African studies, and so much more. Download the catalog now! And be sure to sign up for our email alerts so you’ll know when titles you’re interested in are available.

Final Day of our Spring Sale

Spring Sale thru May 7. 50% off all in-stock books and journal issues

Today is the final day to save 50% on in-stock books and journal issues during our Fall Sale. Use coupon SPRING21 and be sure to shop before 11:59 pm EDT.

Customers outside North and South America can use the SPRING21 coupon through today at our UK-based distributor Combined Academic Publishers to save on shipping, particularly in Europe.

Can’t decide what to buy? Check out recommendations from our editors Ken Wissoker, Courtney Berger, Elizabeth Ault, and Sandra Korn. And if you’ve already shopped at the start of the sale, make sure you haven’t missed titles that have been published since then, such as Palestine Is Throwing a Party and the Whole World is Invited by Kareem Rabie, Right Here, Right Now, edited by Lynden Harris, Pollution Is Colonialism by Max Liboiron, Mao’s Bestiary by Liz P. Y. Chee, and Black Bodies, White Gold by Anna Arabindan-Kesson.

See the fine print and FAQs here.

Sale Recommendations from Courtney Berger and Elizabeth Ault

Spring Sale thru May 7. 50% off all in-stock books and journal issues

There are only three more days to shop during our Spring Sale! If you’ve been procrastinating because you aren’t sure what to buy, here are some recommendations from editors Elizabeth Ault and Courtney Berger. Use coupon SPRING21 to save fifty percent on all of them.

A handful of new books you might have missed! 

In African studies, Luise White’s revisitation of the Zimbabwean war for independence and Rhodesia’s place in the global white supremacist imagination, Fighting and Writing.

Three fun and surprising new books in media studies: City of Screens, considers the complex ecosystem of film culture in Manila; Experts in Action, centers stunt performers and provides a new way to understand action movies; Media Crossroads rethink the importance of intersectional identities and screen spaces.

Finally, two books that rethink settler economies of dispossession: Rosaura Sanchez and Beatrice Pita’s new book brings together indigenous studies, Chicanx studies, American studies, and geography in innovative ways to tell a new story about the US Southwest. And deeply rooted in Hawaii, Candace Fujikane’s Mapping Abundance for a Planetary Future centers Native Hawaiian cartographies and relations to land and provides an important model for settlers who want to resist settler capitalism and its ideas about what counts as “useful.”

Editor Elizabeth Ault acquires books in African and Middle East studies, Black and Latinx studies, trans studies, disability studies, and Sociology and critical studies of prisons and policing. 

At the top of my list is Kevin Quashie’s Black Aliveness, or A Poetics of Being, the latest installment in the Black Outdoors series edited by J. Kameron Carter and Sarah Cervenak. 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.

 A must-read for folks in queer studies: Evren Savci’s Queer in Translation: Sexual Politics under Neoliberal Islam. In considering how Western LGBT terminology has been taken up by queer activists in neoliberal Turkey, Savci pushes back against the “homolingualism” that has shaped queer studies and dislodges Western presumptions about the kinds of political strategies that might benefit marginalized groups outside the West.

 For those of you interested in media ecologies and infrastructural studies, check out Rafico Ruiz’s Slow Disturbance: Infrastructural Mediation on the Settler Colonial Resource Frontier. Ruiz takes us to Newfoundland and Labrador in the easternmost part of Canada to help understand the forms of infrastructural mediation that enable and sustain settler colonialism and extractive capitalism as a settler project.

 For those working on minoritarian aesthetics, I recommend Hentyle Yapp’s Minor China: Method, Materialisms, and Aesthetics. Through a study of the rise of contemporary Chinese art in the global art market, Yapp develops a theory of the minor as a “hesitant method” that highlights the assumptions of the major, forcing us to pause and consider how liberal humanism has endured and has rendered so many lives and perspectives unimportant or imperceptible in major frameworks.

 Finally, carnivores and vegans alike will appreciate Meat!: A Transnational Analysis, edited by Sushmita Chatterjee and Banu Subramanian. The contributors to this volume ask: What counts as meat? How and when do objects or animals become meat? And what are the geopolitical terms through which we understand the importance of meat as environmentally harmful, as a sexual or racial signifier, as a technological wonder, or as a point of ethical or religious conflict? A perfect volume for teaching. 

Executive Editor Courtney Berger seeks out books that are theoretically and politically engaged and that speak to a wide, interdisciplinary audience.

Save 50% on all these titles and many more with coupon code SPRING21 through Friday, May 7. Want more suggestions? Check out editors Ken Wissoker’s and Sandra Korn’s recommendations.

Virtual Events in May

Our authors are online this month for book launches, conversations, and talks. We hope you can join some of them, and pick up their books for 50% off through May 7 with coupon SPRING21. Note the local time zone for each event. Follow us on Twitter to learn of additional events throughout the month.

May 6, 10:00 am CET: Joseph Pugliese, author of Biopolitics of the More Than Human, discusses his book with Marina De Chiara and Marilena Parlati, in an event sponsored by AISCLI.

May 6, 12:00 pm CDT: Sara Ahmed, author of the forthcoming book Complaint!, gives a lecture entitled “Knocking on the Door: Complaints and Other Stories About Institutions,” followed by a discussion. It is sponsored by the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory at the University of Illinois.

May 6, 6:30 pm EDT: Shana Redmond, author of Everything Man, joins Hanif Abdurraqib and Ricky Vincent for a conversation about the history and politics of Black popular music, sponsored the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

May 10, 4:30 pm EDT: Join Max Liboiron (@MaxLiboiron) for a Twitter launch of their book Pollution is Colonialism with hosts Candis Callison, Shannon Mattern, & Desi Rodriguez-Lonebear.

May 12, 7:30 pm EDT: Brian Russell Roberts, author of Borderwaters, launches his book with a fundraiser hosted by Susan Harris for Beyond Home Borders.

May 13, 3:00 pm CET: Theory from the Margins presents a discussion featuring Paul Gilroy and Ruth Wilson Gilmore, co-editors of the latest collection in our Stuart Hall: Selected Writings series, Selected Writings on Race and Difference.


May 13, 1:00 pm EDT: The Department of Anthropology at the Graduate Center, CUNY and Left East sponsor a conversation between Kareem Rabie, author of Palestine Is Throwing a Party and the Whole World is Invited, and Mezna Qato. It is moderated by David Harvey.

May 13, 7:00 pm EDT: Max Fox, editor of Sexual Hegemony, is in conversation with Hannah Black and Kay Gabriel in an event sponsored by Bureau of General Services, Queer Division.

May 14, 4:00 pm EDT:  Laura Hyun Yi Kang, author of Traffic in Asian Women, and Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu, author of Experiments in Skin, join moderator Kandice Chuh, author of The Difference Aesthetics Makes, for a conversation about their new books. It is sponsored by several CUNY departments.

May 15, 3:00 pm EDT: Taller PR sponsors a “Meet the Author on Zoom” event with Arlene Dávila, author of Latinx Art.

May 19, 4:00 pm PDT: Editor Max Fox discusses Christopher Chitty’s Sexual Hegemony with Christopher Nealon, in an event sponsored by UCI Critical Theory and Culture & Capital.
May 25, 7:00 pm EDT: Lynden Harris, editor of Right Here, Right Now, joins Lisa Armstrong for a conversation sponsored by the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library.

Don’t forget, you can buy all these books for 50% off with coupon SPRING21!

Sale Recommendations from Ken Wissoker and Sandra Korn

Spring Sale thru May 7. 50% off all in-stock books and journal issuesOur Spring Sale is underway! Have you shopped yet? If you’re overwhelmed by all your great choices, our editors have some suggestions. Today we offer some ideas from Senior Executive Editor Ken Wissoker and Assistant Editor Sandra Korn.
Sandra_headshot-1If you are still spending your evenings in quarantine watching Catfish, this is a perfect time to pick up Amanda Ann Klein’s brand-new book Millennials Killed the Video StarKlein traces gender, race, and class through the history of MTV’s reality TV series, and the book includes some incredible interviews with producers and cast members.
For religion scholars, Todne Thomas’s Kincraft just came out, and will be a vitally important book for those interested in black evangelicals and the kinship networks of religious social life.
Evren Savci’s new book Queer in Translation turns to queer organizing in Turkey – in particular, looking at how Western LGBT discourses are taken up by queer activists – to consider how queerness, Islam, and neoliberalism interact in a Muslim-majority context. Finally, don’t forget that the 50% off sale also applies to journals – I have really enjoyed reading the newest issue of GLQ, on “Queer Political Theologies.”
Sandra Y. L. Korn is an Assistant Editor who acquires books in religion and works with the Political Theology Undisciplined Series.
KWissoker_webThis is the perfect time for the sale. There is a fantastic set of brand new books that need to be in everyone’s hands. At the top of this stack are the two new volumes from the Stuart Hall series, collecting his writings on race and on Marxism. The two volumes of Essential Essays are just that, but I’ve been looking forward to these books since we first thought of the series.  Stuart Hall, Selected writings on Race and Difference is edited by Paul Gilroy and Ruthie Gilmore, who have been talking about the need for such a book for decades. Stuart Hall, Selected Writings on Marxism is edited by Gregor McLennan, similarly in dialogue with Hall over many years. In both books Hall’s thinking opens out unexpected theoretical and political possibilities in ways that are absolutely crucial today.
Opening conceptual and political possibilities is central to Katherine McKittrick’s brilliant new Dear Science and Other Stories, where finding Black methodologies is simultaneously a going back and naming what they have been and an opening widely to what they might become. It’s an astonishing and inspiring book, as creative in form as it is in thinking.
Lorraine O’Grady has spent almost fifty years creating in form and thinking. Her long-awaited retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum is a must see. Whether one can make it in person or not, the collection of her thinking in Writing in Space, 1973-2019, edited by Aruna D’Souza, is a revelation. Studio Museum Director Thelma Golden calls her “one of the foremost conceptual artists of the last century” and the range of that thinking is amply and brilliantly displayed in the pages of the book.
Beth Povinelli has written some of the most crucial social theory of the past decades. She has also painted and made films with the Karrabing Film Collective. The Inheritance takes her work in a completely unexpected direction. A graphic memoir that tells the story of her figuring out her family growing up. She draws out their attachments to land, race, and identity along with the myths and traumas produced around them. Beth did all the art, and the story is compelling and beautiful. Also smart, as you might guess.
Finally, just out are two books I have been waiting for all spring. Rinaldo Walcott’s The Long Emancipation, a brilliant and compelling essay on how emancipation doesn’t produce Black freedom, only the return to the scene of emancipation, again and again. This is going to be one of those books that changes the conversation; one that will be thought with for a long time to come.
Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu’s Experiments in Skin links the production of modern cosmetics to the skin destroying chemicals of the Vietnam War. Race, beauty, colonialism, and biomedicine turn out to be inseparable historically and into the present. This is an incredible work that engages sp many topics of aesthetics, science, and imperialism, while telling the most unexpected historical story.
There are lots more books I could mention, but let these be a start to your cart!
Ken Wissoker is Senior Executive Editor, acquiring books in anthropology, cultural studies, and social theory; globalization and postcolonial studies; Asian, African, and American studies; music, film and television; race, gender and sexuality; science studies; and other areas in the humanities, social sciences, media, and the arts.
Pick up all these titles and more for 50% off using coupon code SPRING21. Check back here next week for recommendations from editors Courtney Berger and Elizabeth Ault.