Author: Laura Sell

Publicity and Advertising Manager, Duke University Press

Melanie S. Morrison’s Spring Tour for Murder on Shades Mountain

978-0-8223-7117-5In Murder on Shades Mountain: The Legal Lynching of Willie Peterson and the Struggle for Justice in Jim Crow Birmingham,  social justice educator and activist Melanie S. Morrison tells the tragic story of the murder and attempted murder of three young women in 1930s Birmingham, Alabama, and the aftermath, which saw a reign of terror unleashed on the town’s black community, the wrongful conviction and death sentencing of Willie Peterson, and a black-led effort to free Peterson.

Publishers Weekly gave Murder on Shades Mountain a Starred Review and Foreword Reviews said readers will be “enthralled” by the gripping story. You can catch Melanie S. Morrison at one of the stops on her national tour, which begins next week.

Meet the Speakers and Book Signing Reception
April 5, 7:00 pm
White Privilege Conference
Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
187 Monroe Avenue NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Public Lecture and Book Signing
April 9, 4:30 pm
Vanderbilt University
Buttrick Hall, Room 102, 390 24th Avenue S., Nashville, TN 37212

Book Talk & Signing
April 12, 6:00 pm
East Lansing Public Library
950 Abbot Road, East Lansing, MI 48823

Book Talk & Signing
April 15, 1:30 pm
Salus Center, in partnership with Everybody Reads
624 E Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI 48912

Presentation and Book Signing
April 24, 6:00 pm
Avondale Library
509 40th Street, Birmingham, AL 35222

Book Talk and Signing
April 26, 11:00 am
Birmingham-Southern College
Harbert Building Auditorium, 900 Arkadelphia Road, Birmingham, AL 35254

Sermon and Book Signing
April 29, 5:00 pm
Circle of Mercy
15 Overbrook Place, Asheville, NC 28805

Book Talk & Signing
May 3, 7:00 pm
Hayti Heritage Center
804 Old Fayetteville Street, Durham, NC 27701

Book Talk & Signing
May 8, 7:00 pm
Scuppernong Books
304 South Elm St., Greensboro, NC 27401

Book Talk & Signing
May 14, 7:00 pm
Busboys and Poets – 14th and V
2021 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

Book Talk & Signing
May 16, 6:30 pm
Center for Diversity and Innovation, Battle Creek, Michigan
Location: TBA

Book Talk & Signing
May 31, 7:00 pm
Books Inc
1491 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704

Book Talk & Signing
June 13, 7:00 pm
SpringHouse Ministry Center
610 W 28th Street, Minneapolis, MN

Society for Cinema and Media Studies 2018 Conference

We had a great time in Toronto at the annual conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies last week, selling books and journals and meeting authors and editors.

Queer Cinema in the WorldCongratulations to Karl Schoonover and Rosalind Galt, whose book Queer Cinema in the World won the Katherine Singer Kovacs award for outstanding scholarship in cinema and media studies.

We enjoyed a wine and cheese party celebrating the relaunch of our Camera Obscura book series (which is associated with our journal of the same name. Archiveology by Catherine Russell and Sisters in the Life edited by Yvonne Welbon and Alexandra Juhasz are the most recent books in the series.

Pamela Wojcik served as president of SCMS this year. She stopped by our booth to pose with her 2010 book The Apartment Plot. Her new edited collection, The Apartment Complex, is out in October.


It’s always great to welcome authors and editors to the booth. Here are Lynn Comella, Rielle Navitski, Catherine Russell, and Yvonne Welbon and Alexandra Juhasz.

If you missed the meeting, you don’t have to miss the sale! Shop all our great media studies titles now and save 30% using coupon code SCMS18.

End of an Era at The Regulator Bookshop


Local heroes Tom Campbell and John Valentine, who have carried the torch for independent bookselling in Durham for the past 40 years, are retiring today, March 1, and turning The Regulator Bookshop over to new owners.


The Regulator Bookshop in 1976

Founded in 1976, The Regulator has been a vital part of Durham’s cultural life, hosting events for too many Duke University Press authors for us to count. Just in the past couple of years, John and Tom have provided a platform for Charles Cobb, Alexis Gumbs, Ambassador James Joseph, Howard Covington, Brad Weiss, Orrin Pilkey, and many others. Tom and John let us turn their downstairs into a pop-up university press bookshop for University Press Week. They have served as sounding-boards for our ideas and given us insight into the community of booksellers.


Tom Campbell, Helen Whiting, and John Valentine in the early 1980s.

We know The Regulator will be in good hands with new owners and longtime employees Wander Lorentz de Haas and Elliot Berger, and we wish Tom and John well as they move on to well-earned retirement. We promise not to call you at home to ask for advice.

Q&A with Martin Duberman, Author of The Rest of It


Photo by Alan Barnett

Martin Duberman is Distinguished Professor of History, Emeritus, at City University of New York, where he founded and directed the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies. He is the author of numerous award-winning histories, biographies, memoirs, essays, plays, and novels, which include Cures: A Gay Man’s OdysseyPaul RobesonStonewallMidlife Queer: Autobiography of a Decade, 1971–1981;Black Mountain: An Exploration in CommunityThe Worlds of Lincoln KirsteinJews/Queers/Germans; and more than a dozen others. His latest book, The Rest of It: Hustlers, Cocaine, Depression, and Then Some, 1976–1988 is the untold and revealing story of how he managed to survive and be productive during a difficult twelve year period in which he was beset by drug addiction, health problems, and personal loss.

You’ve written two other memoirs (Cures, 1991 and Midlife Queer, 1996) but until now you’ve rarely written about this period in your life. Why tell the story of these difficult years now?

The Rest of ItI’m at the point in my life when I can “come clean” without fear of repercussions. And that means telling the FULL truth about some of its less “seemly” aspects—which, I believe, is important to do. Many people seem to view me as someone who’s had a charmed, problem-free life. There is no such thing. That I was blessed with many privileges and advantages is unquestionably true, but I grew up gay in the 1950s, probably the most repressive decade in history for those who were “different.” Enforced secrecy and harassment take their toll. I think it’s important for the new generation to realize that such conditions can return—and to be prepared.

While your personal life was extremely difficult during this time, your professional life was very successful. How did your personal challenges impact your writing and activism?

Being gay, I believe, sensitized me to all forms of injustice. Before coming out I devoted a fair amount of my time to the black struggle—my play In White America, for example, ran for a year and a half off-Broadway and toured Mississippi during Freedom Summer—and much of my writing throughout my life has addressed issues relating to the history of “outsiders.”

How did being openly gay—at a time when that was not very common in academia—affect your career and your professional life during these years?

I already had tenure as a full professor when I came out and could only have been fired for “moral turpitude.” At the time many would have included homosexuality under that rubric; some still do. Fortunately, the universities I taught at did not. Also protecting me was my record of publications. However, there were consequences. Before coming out I’d been widely asked to contribute essays and reviews to various national publications. Those invitations ceased almost completely.

How did you come to write Paul Robeson’s biography? What were the best and worst aspects of working on that book?

Paul Robeson’s son invited me to do the biography and was willing to open the vast and previously closed Robeson Family Papers to me, as well as to cede all control over what I ultimately chose to write. Since Paul Robeson was one of my heroes, I accepted with alacrity. Nonetheless, the seven year long process proved difficult on many counts. Sons and scholars tend to have quite different agendas and what started as a cordial relationship didn’t end that way. All this is recounted at length in The Rest of It.

You were active in the nascent gay civil rights movement during this time and also working to raise awareness about AIDS. How has your activist work grown and changed since then?

In the immediate post-Stonewall period, the gay liberation movement was radical in its tactics and scope. It was not a single issue movement but rather one that spoke out against other oppressions based on race, class, and gender. It also sought alliances with movements speaking in the name of those oppressions—such as the Black Panthers and the feminist movements. Since the mid-seventies, however, the gay movement has gradually moved towards the center and to single issue politics. Basically national LGBTQ organizations like the Human Rights Campaign argue that we’re “just folks” (except for this insignificant matter of sexual orientation)—in other words that we share mainstream values and believe in the structural soundness of our institutions. In my view, this view denies the reality of gay cultural values AND the important contribution our different perspective has to make on issues relating to gender, sexuality, the nature of “coupledom,” and the “family.” All the studies have shown, for example, that gay men are far more sexually and emotionally expressive than straight men and far less bound by traditional strictures regarding monogamy and the closed unit of the family.

In the years following those covered in The Rest of It I continued to do “activist” work, but of a different sort than earlier. For ten years (1986-1996) I served as the founding executive director of The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, and in my writing, I turned primarily to recounting the lives and politics of RADICAL LGBTQ people—for example, in my books Left Out, Radical ActsA Saving RemnantHold Tight GentlyThe Emperor Has No Clothes, and Jews/Queers/Germans.

What do you consider your most important achievement during the decade covered by The Rest of It (1976-1988)?

I have to go for two rather than one: (a) completing my biography of Paul Robeson and (b) starting up what became the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies.

What is your greatest regret from the period?

My inability to express the love and gratitude I felt towards my mother before her death.

Want to read a bit of The Rest of It? Check out an excerpt in The Advocate. You can order The Rest of It from your favorite local or online bookstore (print and e-editions available) or save 30% when you order directly from Duke University Press. Use coupon code E18REST at checkout to save.

Congratulations to our Award-Winning Designers


Once again our book and journal designers have been honored by the Association of University Presses in the annual Book, Jacket, and Journal Show.

978-0-8223-6366-8_prCongratulations to Amy Ruth Buchanan, whose interior design of Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium by John Corbett was honored in the Scholarly Typographic category. The cover design is by Matt Tauch.

ddaaa_67_1In the Journals category, we congratulate Sue Hall. The committee singled out her overall design for Archives of Asian Art and  in particular her design for Volume 67. They also honored her design for Public Culture Volume 29.

The annual Book, Jacket, & Journal Show celebrates the design and production excellence demonstrated by university presses. The Show was founded in 1965 to “honor and instruct,” focusing on the principles of high-quality publication design, and how such design can serve readers and ideas. Through the annual catalog and the traveling show, the Association provides an inspiring hands-on look at this area of professional skill and artistry.m_pcult_29_3_83_cover

The 2018 Book, Jacket, & Journal Show Committee was chaired by Marianne Jankowski (Northwestern University Press), and the jurors were: Robert Bringhurst, author of The Elements of Typographic Style; Linda Secondari, principal at Studiolo Secondari; Sunra Thompson, Art Director at McSweeney’s; and Dan Wagstaff of Publishers Group Canada.

Congratulations, Amy and Sue, and thanks to all our designers for their wonderful work on our books and journals.



New Acquistions Editor Elizabeth Ault

The book publishing program at Duke University Press is growing!

Elizabeth AultThis month we add a new acquisitions editor—Elizabeth Ault—to our team. Elizabeth started at the Press in 2012, and she has been working with our editorial director, Ken Wissoker, on his book projects. In 2014 Elizabeth was promoted to assistant editor as she began to acquire projects of her own, and in 2016 she was promoted to associate editor. She has steadily built a list in African studies and has been regularly attending the African Studies Association conference on behalf of the Press. She has also acquired titles in film and media studies and American studies and has worked with the editors of our journal Camera Obscura to restart their book series.

Most recently, Elizabeth launched a new books series “Theory in Forms”—edited by Achille Mbembe, Nancy Hunt, and Juan Obarrio–which will focus on theory from the Global South. The series builds upon Duke’s commitment to innovative, interdisciplinary, and international scholarship and also points to some of the new directions that Elizabeth’s list will take.

Elizabeth plans to acquire titles in African studies, urban studies, Middle East studies, geography, theory from the South, Black and Latinx studies, disability studies, trans studies, and critical prison studies. As is characteristic of our list, these areas overlap and intersect with other editors’ areas of acquisitions. We take pride in the intellectual synergy that comes from the intersections between our editors’ lists (as well as between our book and journal publications), and we hope that adding another editor to our team will allow Duke UP to expand the intellectual breadth of our list even further.

Elizabeth says, “It’s an exciting time for me – and for the Press! I’m looking forward to finding surprising turns in established fields of inquiry as well as supporting emerging conversations, particularly those between activists and academics. I’m so thrilled that I’ll be able to more fully support the authors and series editors I’ve already been working with, and also that I’ll get to learn fields that will be new to me and to DUP, expanding our spirit of interdisciplinary inquiry.”

Prior to joining Duke UP, Elizabeth earned an A.B. in American Studies from Brown University and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. She has published her research in Television & New Media, among other places. While in graduate school, Elizabeth worked at the Minnesota Historical Society Press, where she helped to write the catalog for The 1968 Exhibit. In addition to her editorial work, Elizabeth is an active participant in Durham community organizations like Southerners on New Ground and the Durham Prison Books Collective.

To submit your book project to Duke University Press, contact Elizabeth or another of our acquisitions editors by email. See the requirements here.

Best of 2017

We’re always thrilled when our books are included on various Best of the Year lists. 2017 brought this honor to a number of great titles.

TitleTreatment_FINALThe New York Times named two of our books to their Best Art Books of 2017 list. Art critic Holland Cotter selected Kellie Jones’s South of Pico as one of his favorites. And critic Roberta Smith chose Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush, the catalog for Abney’s first solo museum exhibition at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

South of Pico was also chosen as one of the year’s best booksSouth of Pico by Artforum. Gary Dauphin said the book was “a timely reminder that the United States has seen massive internal displacement within living memory and could again. But, more important, it’s also a credible affirmation that from such sudden, painful movements something new and whole might yet be made.” And in his list of 2017’s top ten moments of “reckoning and light,” Okwui Enwezor selected Stuart Hall’s Cultural Studies 1983. “Argumentative, diagnostic, witty, and learned,” he writes, “the series of scintillating lectures contained in this volume presents Hall at the height of his fearless and generous scholarly powers, offering not only a history of cultural studies but a theoretical and politically engaged reading of our unequal centuries.”

Culture Type also selected South of Pico as one of it’s Best Black Art Books of the year, calling it “both a scholarly triumph and a fascinating read.” Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush made their list, too, as did We Wanted a Revolution: A Sourcebook. A publication of the Brooklyn Museum, the Sourcebook accompanies their groundbreaking exhibition of the same name. Culture Type calls it “an invaluable reference.” Look for the second volume, We Wanted a Revolution: New Perspectives, next month.

Living a Feminist LifeLiving a Feminist Life by Sara Ahmed was named a best nonfiction book of 2017 by Entropy, and Autostraddle said it was one of the top ten queer feminist books of 2017. If you loved this book too, don’t forget to order your Feminist Killjoy t-shirt!

The Seminary Co-op bookstore named a number of Duke University Press titles to its Notable Books of 2017 list. Critique of Black Reason by Achille Mbembe made their Top 12 list as did We Wanted a Revolution, a sourcebook from the landmark exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. Other books on their list include Vinyl Freak by John Corbett and Isonomia and the Origins of Philosophy by Kojin Karatani.

Louise Thompson PattersonBitch Magazine included Louise Thompson Patterson: A Life of Struggle for Justice in their list of the best black women’s history books of the year. They write that author Keith Gilyard “offers a look at one of the most dynamic Black women who’s ever walked the Earth.”

Hunter College’s Center for Puerto Rican Studies puts Licia Fiol-Matta’s The Great Woman Singer on their Essential Boricua Reading List for the 2017 Holiday Season.

Just as we do at the end of every year, publisher Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux asked their staff to pick their favorite books of the year. Maya Binyam, who is also a Senior Editor at The New Inquiry, chose In the Wake by Christina Sharpe.

Congratulations to all these authors and thanks so much to those who spent time compiling the lists. You can save 30% on any of these titles by using coupon code SAVE30 at checkout on our website. Or buy them from your favorite local or online bookstore.

Flash Sale: Save 50% on all Art & Photography Books

FLASH50_SaleDec2017_200x300_72dpiWe’re excited to announce a special three-day Flash Sale on all of our in-stock art, art history, and photography books and journal issues. To claim the discount, enter the coupon code FLASH50 when checking out.

What are some of the great gift-worthy titles you can get during this sale? All of the the Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize winners are included. Check out the latest winner, Test of Faith by Lauren Pond,  a deeply nuanced, personal look at serpent handling in Appalachia.

Or perhaps you’d like to order a gorgeous special issue of NKA_38_prour journal Nka, such as “Black Portraiture[s]: The Black Body in the West.” Edited by Cheryl Finley and Deborah Willis, it’s full of fascinating essays and artwork. Or grab a catalog from a recent Nasher Museum of Art show, such as Miranda Lash’s and Trevor Schoonmaker’s Southern Accent, which investigates the many realities, fantasies, and myths of the South that have long captured the public’s imagination, while presenting a wide range of perspectives that create a composite portrait of southern identity through contemporary art.

If art history is more your style, check out Collective Situations, edited by Bill Kelley Jr. and Grant H. Kester, or try Jessica Horton’s Art for an Undivided Earth, about the American Indian Movement generation, or MacArthur “genius grant” awardee Kellie Jones’s most recent book, South of Pico.

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.

Hurry and shop now on because this sale ends at 11:59 pm on Friday, December 8.

Now Available from Duke University Press: T-Shirts!

We are excited to announce that in addition to all our great books and journals, you can now purchase two new t-shirts from Duke University Press.

Show the world your support for transgender rights and our journal TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly by wearing a shirt featuring artwork from the journal’s very first issue cover.

TSQ Group

You can also show the world that you know that to expose a problem is to pose a problem by wearing a Feminist Killjoy t-shirt inspired by Sara Ahmed’s book Living a Feminist Life.

Feminist Killjoy Group

We even have limited numbers of Feminist Killjoy shirts in kids’ sizes.

kids front and back

The shirts come in sizes Small through 2-XL. They are a soft cotton-polyester blend. They are $20 each for adult sizes and $15 for kids. They make a great gift, but be sure to order in the next week to ensure Christmas delivery. We regret that we are currently unable to ship t-shirts outside of the United States. The shirts will also be available at many of the academic meetings we attend including AAA, MLA, and AHA.

A Busy Conference Weekend

This weekend our staff were busy attending three different academic conferences: the National Women’s Studies Association, the African Studies Association, and the American Academy of Religion. We enjoyed selling books and meeting authors and editors at all three.

Borders of DominicanidadAt the National Women’s Studies Association, a number of our authors were honored with book awards. Congratulations to Lorgia García-Peña, whose The Borders of Dominicanidad: Race, Nation, and Archives of Contradiction won the Gloria Anzaldua Prize for groundbreaking monographs in women’s studies that makes significant multicultural feminist contributions to women of color/transnational scholarship. Sara Ahmed’s Living a Feminist Life and Lalaie Ameeriar’s Downwardly Global: Women, Work, and Citizenship in the Pakistani Diaspora were both finalists for that prize. Congratulations also to Eunjung Kim, whose book Curative Violence: Rehabilitating Disability, Gender, and Sexuality in Modern KoreaCurative Violence won the new Alison Piepmeier Book Award for a groundbreaking monograph in women, gender, and sexuality studies that makes significant contributions to feminist disability studies scholarship. And we also celebrated Attiya Ahmad’s Everyday Conversions: Islam, Domestic Work, and South Asian Migrant Women in Kuwait which received Honorable Mention for the Sara A. Whaley Prize.

McKay at AfSA

Ramah McKay at the African Studies Association meeting with the proofs for her book Medicine in the Meantime, out in January.

Miller Young at NWSA

Mireille Miller-Young at the National Women’s Studies Association meeting with her book A Taste of Brown Sugar, winner of the 2015 Sara A. Whaley Prize

Red Emmas at NWSA

While at NWSA, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, author of Spill and the forthcoming M Archive, and Robyn C. Spencer, author of The Revolution Has Come, participated in Black Feminist Friday, an event at Red Emma’s bookstore in Baltimore.

Schmidt at AAR

Jalane Schmidt in the booth at the American Academy of Religion meeting, with her book Cachita’s Streets.

Casselberry at AAR

Judith Casselberry at AAR with her book The Labor of Faith. Judith also made an apperance at our NWSA booth a few days earlier!

If you missed any of these conferences, or if a book you really wanted sold out before you could get it, you can still save 30% when ordering from our website. Use coupon codes NWSA17, AFSA17, or AAR17.