Author: Laura Sell

Publicity and Advertising Manager, Duke University Press

December Events

As we wrap up the year, you still have a few chances to catch out authors at in-person and online events.

December 1, 2 pm EST: Ethiraj Gabriel Dattatreyan, author of The Globally Familiar, speaks at the Mortara Center for International Studies. 3600 N St NW Washington, DC 20007

December 1, 6 pm EST: Manijeh Moradian joins Nadine Naber and Mae Ngai to discuss her new book, This Flame Within in an in-person event sponsored by the Barnard Center for Research on Women. Denise Jackson Lewis ’66 Conference Room 614 Milstein Center, Barnard College, 3009 Broadway, New York City

December 2, 11 am EST: Michael Degani, author of The City Electric, gives a hybrid talk about his book at Johns Hopkins University.

December 4, 2 pm EST, Michael Degani gives an in-person talk about his book The City Electric at Johns Hopkins University. RSVP to receive the address.

December 8, 6:30pm EST: Thomas Beller and Alexander Wolff discuss their books Lost in the Game and Big Game, Small World in-person at Letters Bookshop. 116 W Main St, Durham, NC

December 10: Alexandra Juhasz and Theodore Kerr, authors of We Are Having This Conversation Now, participate in an in-person event hosted by the William Way Community Center with guests and authors. 1315 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA

Cover of Climate Change and the New Polar Aesthetic: Artists Reimagine the Arctic and Antarctic by Lisa E. Bloom. Cover shows a glacial landscape that focuses on a cave shaped like a grimacing face.

December 12, 10 am EST:  Lisa Bloom, author of Climate Change and the New Polar Aesthetics, joins Dolly Jorgensen for an online conversation that is part of the Environmental Humanities Book Talk series at the Greenhouse at the University of Stavenger.

December 11, 2pm PST: Lisa Uperesa speaks in-person about her book Gridiron Capital at Eastwind Books in Berkeley. 2066 University Ave, Berkeley, CA

December 15, 6 pm MST: ecoartspace hosts an online event with Lisa Bloom, author of Climate Change and the New Polar Aesthetics. There is a $10 charge for non-members.

December 21, 6:30 pm IST: Srila Roy, author of Changing the Subject, discusses her book in-person with Arvind Narrain, Atreyee Majumder and Swethaa Ballakrishnen. Bangalore International Centre7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage, Bangalore, Karnataka

Gift Books On Sale

Our Cyber Monday sale continues today and tomorrow. Are you looking for some books that would make great gifts? Here are some suggestions. Use coupon CYBER22 to save 50% on these and all in-stock and pre-order titles.

Looking for gifts for sports fans? We have two new books about basketball. Capturing the magnificence and mastery of today’s most accomplished NBA players while paying homage to the devotion of the countless congregants in the global church of pickup basketball, in Lost in the Game Thomas Beller charts the game’s inexorable gravitational hold on those who love it. And in Big Game, Small World, Alexander Wolff travels the globe in search of what basketball can tell us about the world, and what the world can tell us about the game.

How about a memoir? Give your gay uncle Memories of a Gay Catholic Boyhood by John D’Emilio, in which the historian takes readers from his working-class Bronx neighborhood and Columbia University to New York’s hidden gay male subculture and the political and social upheavals of the late 1960s. Perhaps you also have a tía or two; they might enjoy Magical Habits by Monica Huerta, in which she draws on her experiences growing up in her family’s Mexican restaurants and her life as an academic to sketch out habits of living that allow us to consider what it means to live with history as we are caught up in it and how those histories bear on our capacities to make sense of our lives. Have a friend who is a graphic novel fan? Give them The Inheritance, a graphic memoir by theorist and filmmaker Elizabeth A. Povinelli, which explores the events, traumas, and powers that divide and define our individual and collective pasts and futures. Another recent memoir is Atlantis, an Autoanthropology, a literary memoir and autoethnography by poet Nathaniel Tarn which captures this multiplicity and reaches for the uncertainties of a life lived in a dizzying array of times, cultures, and environments. 

For poetry fans, we have many excellent gift ideas. Nomenclature collects eight volumes of Dionne Brand’s poetry published between 1983 and 2010, as well as a new long poem, the titular Nomenclature for the time being. In or, on being the other woman, Simone White considers the dynamics of contemporary black feminist life through a book-length poem. When the Smoke Cleared contains poetry written by incarcerated poets in Attica Prison and journal entries and poetry by Celes Tisdale, who led poetry workshops following the uprising there in 1971. In Maroon Choreography fahima ife speculates on the long (im)material, ecological, and aesthetic afterlives of black fugitivity. In three long-form poems and a lyrical essay, they examine black fugitivity as an ongoing phenomenon we know little about beyond what history tells us. And in Good night the pleasure was ours musician and poet David Grubbs melts down and recasts three decades of playing music on tour into a book-length poem, bringing to a close the trilogy that includes Now that the audience is assembled and The Voice in the Headphones. Get the whole set!

Got a musician or music fan in your life? Here are some recent gift-worthy music titles. Jazz fans will enjoy Ain’t But a Few of Us, a collection of essays by and interviews with Black Jazz writers, edited by Willard Jenkins. Or give Cisco Bradley’s Universal Tonality, a highly-praised biography of jazz bassist William Parker. Perhaps their taste runs to New Wave music instead? Check out No Machos or Pop Stars by Gavin Butt, which tells the fascinating story of the post-punk scene in Leeds, and A Kiss across the Ocean by Richard T. Rodríguez, which  examines the relationship between British post-punk musicians and their Latinx audiences in the United States since the 1980s. Rap and hip hop fans will appreciate Breaks in the Air, in which John Klaess tells the story of rap’s emergence on New York City’s airwaves by examining how artists and broadcasters adapted hip hop’s performance culture to radio.

For the activists in your life, we suggest Black Disability Politics by Sami Schalk, which demonstrates that the work of Black disability politics not only exists but is essential to the future of Black liberation movements. And for those interested in advocating for veterans, we suggest Our Veterans by Suzanne Gordon, Steve Early, and Jasper Craven,

And finally, since we’re Duke University Press, after all, we bet you have some theory fans on your gift list. Make sure they have a copy of Lauren Berlant’s On the Inconvenience of Other People, which Judith Butler calls “magisterial” and “brilliant.”

Books ordered this week will arrive in time for Hanukkah and Christmas if shipped to a US address. We cannot guarantee holiday arrival for international shipments. See all the fine print here. Pre-order titles will not arrive in time for the holidays.

We’re pleased that our distributors Combined Academic Publishers and University of Toronto Press are also participating in the sale. Customers outside North and South America should order from CAP using the same CYBER22 coupon code for faster and cheaper shipping. Customers in Canada should head to the UTP site where the prices will reflect the 50% discount, no coupon needed.

Shop now because the sale ends tomorrow, November 30, at 11:59 pm Eastern time.

Shop Our Cyber Monday Sale

Text in black, white, blue & green: Duke University Press. Flash Sale. 50% off. Use code CYBER 22.All in-stock books & journal issues. November 28th-30th.

Did you miss our Fall Sale? Have some books you need for holiday gifts or next semester’s classes? You’re in luck! Today through Wednesday, November 30, you can save 50% on all in-stock and pre-order books and journal issues during our special Cyber Monday sale.

To get the discount, shop our website and enter the coupon code CYBER22 when you check out. Please note that the discount does not apply to journal subscriptions or society memberships. See all the fine print here.

We’re pleased that our international distributors Combined Academic Publishers and University of Toronto Press are also participating in the sale. Customers outside North and South America should order from CAP using the same CYBER22 coupon code for faster and cheaper shipping. Customers in Canada should head to the UTP site where the prices will reflect the 50% discount, no coupon needed.

Books ordered this week will arrive in time for Hanukkah and Christmas if shipped to a U.S. address. We cannot guarantee holiday arrival for international shipments.

Act fast, because this sale is over at 11:59 PM Eastern time on Wednesday, November 30.

A Playlist for Marcus Boon’s The Politics of Vibration

Marcus Boon is Professor of English at York University, author of In Praise of Copying and The Road of Excess: A History of Writers on Drugs, and coauthor of Nothing: Three Inquiries in Buddhism. His new book The Politics of Vibration: Music as a Cosmopolitical Practice explores music as a material practice of vibration in which different historical and geographical scenes, negotiating the political limits of the worlds they inhabit, attempt to creat a vibrational space of individual and collective transformation.

The Politics of Vibration sets out new ways of thinking about what music is. It proposes that music should be thought of as the generation of particular types of vibrational space. The book focuses on the work of three musicians who produce such vibrational spaces—they might seem to belong to very different worlds: Hindustani raga singer Pandit Pran Nath, Swedish drone composer and mathematician Catherine Christer Hennix, and Houston based hip hop originator of the chopped and screwed sound, DJ Screw. What these musicians have in common is an interest in slowing music—and therefore time—down. When you slow music and time down, you start to become aware of space, vibrational space. You also start to exit the dominant time regime—which is where, perhaps surprisingly, the politics of vibration comes in. Following Isabelle Stengers I use the word “cosmopolitics” to describe the kinds of political disputes that ensue concerning the ontology of music. And following my mentor, Catherine Christer Hennix, I consider what kinds of music, sound and vibration are permissible in a society? In other words, what music is allowed to be.

If you are exposed to the richness of vibrational space via music, your sense of ontology changes—vibrational space gathers scenes, musical scenes around it, the way a flower gathers bees in the summertime. These scenes can tell us something about how to live, how we might live, according to what is most valuable, what transforms us. That’s the wager of my book. I’m not sure to capture all of that in a video clip, but it’s all there in probably my favorite film about music, Mani Kaul’s 1983 Dhrupad, an experimental documentary about the Indian Dhrupad masters, the Dagar Brothers:

Composing a playlist for my book is a challenging thing to do because the vibrational spaces in which music’s power unfolds cannot be reduced to recordings or YouTube clips (although those things may play a role!). Nonetheless, recordings can point us in important directions — and as with DJ Screw or the Jamaican dancehall scene that Julian Henriques explored in wonderful detail in his book Sonic Bodies—powerful vibrational spaces can be created around recordings. This is captured wonderfully in John Akomfrah’s 1986 documentary Handsworth Songs about the Black community in Handsworth, UK, for example in this clip of the mighty Jah Shaka sound system:

I didn’t set out to write a book about slow music, but Pandit Pran Nath, Catherine Christer Hennix and DJ Screw all make music that is slow: Pran Nath’s focus on the alaap section of the raga, Hennix’s drones and Screw’s chopped and screwed mixtapes are all concerned with slowing time down and what happens when you do this, something psychotropic, something in which a new kind of space—vibrational space—opens up to perception. That space is not there only for slow music—but slowing things down can help us attune ourselves to its existence.

In terms of a slowed down sound, it’s worth listening to Pandit Pran Nath’s teacher/guru, master of the Kirana gharana, Abdul Wahid Khan. Waheed Khan was a reclusive man and not many recordings by him exist. One of the recordings he made for All India Radio is here:

Singer Salamat Ali Khan said of him that “he would begin to improvise in Lahore, and you could travel to Delhi and back, and he would still be improvising.” According to master sarod-player Ali Akbar Khan, when most singers went to the radio station, they would sing their ragas and go home. Abdul Wahid Khan would continue for another 20 hours or so. Once, a disciple asked Abdul Wahid Khan why he only sang two ragas, Todi, a morning raga, and Darbari, an evening raga. Abdul Wahid Khan responded that he would have dropped the latter, if the morning would last forever.

You can hear Wahid Khan’s style if you listen to maybe his most famous student Hirabai Barodekar — and you can hear it when you listen to Pandit Pran Nath — for example his remarkable version of Raga Malkauns, as recorded by minimalist OG La Monte Young in 1976 in New York:

Note the rich and dense sound of the tamburas—recorded in such a way that minimalism and rock are somehow there even as the recording stays true to tradition. For Pandit Pran Nath music’s core was a matter of practice, of taking care of the voice and of attunement to the raga’s unfolding in the contingency and necessity of the moment. Probably the best way to start understanding Pran Nath’s approach to music is via William Farley’s beautiful short 1986 documentary In Between the Notes: A Portrait of Pandit Pran Nath, with its scenes of Pran Nath practicing in various places outdoors.

Swedish composer and mathematician Catherine Christer Hennix, whose work is discussed in chapter 2 of the book, was instructed by Pran Nath to continue her research into the mathematical and other possibilities of vibrational space, as her musical contribution. Her most famous recording, The Electric Harpsichord, made in 1976 at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm during her ten day festival of sounds, is apparently built around the scale for Raga Multani—but it exists in a very different sound world to traditional Indian music:

In my years of conversations with Hennix, I gradually came to understand an entirely new kind of philosophy of music that she was setting out—and I try to track that in my book in both the chapter on her sound works, and the chapter entitled “Music and the Continuum.” I can’t really unpack it all here, but fundamental to the book is the idea of target states, something that Hennix discusses: music can aspire to states of elevation, spiritual transformation that are both individual and collective. While many musicians and listeners might agree with that, Hennix has pursued the question of whether there are particular kinds of logic, practice or musical procedure that can generate these states – in fact that for her is a meaningful definition of composition, a “Deontic Miracle” to use the name of one of her bands from the 1970s … “deontic” … a set of logical rules governing an ethics of permission and/or prohibition … “miracle” … something that happens despite its impossibility … “deontic miracle” … a set of logical rules that generate a miracle. You can hear this at work in this 2014 live recording of Hennix’s Chora(s)san Time-Court Mirage performing Blues Alif Lam Mim—but you have to listen through and allow the sound to open up and engage you:

While Hennix insists that it is only perhaps a very limited number of musics that actually pursue these ideas with complete rigor—my own feeling is that all music worth the name pursues this kind of “deontic miracle” to varying degrees. It doesn’t necessarily require knowledge of advanced mathematics—it requires the ability to improvise a sonic or vibrational pattern out of the social, political and environmental possibilities of the moment in such a way that it moves people. The idea that there are mathematical aspects to such improvisation is an intriguing one—and in the chapter “Music and the Continuum” I pursue the idea by comparing Hennix’s ideas with those of Guerino Mazzola, whose epic book The Topos of Music presents an expansive and nuanced take on music and mathematics—and through thinking about Julian Henriques aforementioned work in Sonic Bodies, in which he explores the various vibrational bandwidths involved in a successful Jamaican sound system session. From this I develop the mathematical/philosophical idea of a topos as a model for vibrational space—a space in which transformations can happen. I look at different musics, from Philip Corner’s metallophone experiments, to waterfalls, Keiji Haino’s sound experiments, Sri Karunamayee’s impossible singing scales, to raga folk guitarist Peter Walker’s recent performances and the Toronto based Prince cover band Snow in April.

I love this footage of Walker from 2009—a music that is all improvisational nuance and a beautiful example of what Mazzola means when he talks about music as involving a gestural topos, the music not just the notes, but the gestures which are the necessary condition of the sounds that emerge. Indeed: emerges, in the sense that Walker himself looks surprised and delighted when certainly note sequences occur, and sometimes looks towards the audience to see if they heard it too. For listening is gestural too.

Juxtaposing Houston based DJ Screw with Pandit Pran Nath and Catherine Christer Hennix might seem like a strange thing to do. Honestly, these were the sounds that I found myself listening to again and again over the last decade—and it is only when I started to write about Screw that I started to feel the connections and commonalities in terms of a slowed down sound, a radical experiment with time and vibration, and a very underappreciated one, thus also one with its own politics. Screw was a hip hop DJ, and used the variable speed controller on his turntables and cassette recorder to slow the music he played down. Screw created vibrational spaces … they appear like a miracle when he slows things down — listen for example to the stunning mix he made of Erykah Badu’s “Otherside of the Game:”

It might seem like for Screw, whose almost entire oeuvre consists of a series of 300 plus mixtapes, music was “nothing but the recordings,” yet the gatherings of MCs nightly in the “wood room” of his house in south side Houston in the 1990s also generated a powerful vibrational space that was then transmitted to the massed car stereos of Texas, slowing down time under the most hostile and racialized conditions. In terms of long form slowed music, Screw’s most famous track the 37 minute collective freestyle often just known as “June 27th” on the mixtape Screw made for Demo Sherman on his birthday in 1996 has a powerful sense of social space as vibrational space:

These are all tracks about time, about time that gets suspended, stretched, or compressed, as Fred Moten says in his essay “Black Topological Existence,” into a “topological existence” based on “a mechanics of distress”. That’s particularly the case with Screw’s version of UGK’s “One Day”—especially the 14 minute version to be found on Chapter 70, Endonesia, with its reciting of many friends and family deceased, doing time or elsewhere.

Those who want to know more should read Lance Scott Walker’s excellent new biography of Screw, or his oral history of Houston hip hop, Houston Rap Tapes.

There’s maybe no easy exit to space the way the white avant gardes tried to imagine it. But that then is the politics of vibration as someone like Sun Ra meant when he said “space is the place”. In fact, I don’t think there’s an easy exit to space for anyone — powerful though variable chains, mental and otherwise, block this for all of us today, and thus we have music in the reified and packaged state that we mostly experience it as. But music can be and often is a project for undoing this, and that is what the musicians in my book do. In my book, I conclude with some lessons learnt by talking with and listening to Canadian indigenous hiphop crew until recently named A Tribe Called Red, now known as The Halluci Nation. Listen to their synthesis of electronics, sound system culture and traditional indigenous pow wow music, as on “Electric Pow Wow Drum” with its Cree war cry and pow wow rhythms from their first record:

Bear Witness, a member of the crew, reminds us that music sound and vibration emerge from the land, from our own living heartbeats no matter how this is obscured in settler colonial cultures. That is what we mean by cosmopolitics and music as a cosmopolitical practice. We all come to music from different positionalities, and in a sense all human societies improvise the object/event called music out of the environment’s possibilities. This is true of traditional musics—but it is also prospectively true, in the sense that new arrangements, new articulations can and will happen, and our work (and joy) is to amplify and deepen the possibility of those new sounds and the forms of life that gather around them.

You can order The Politics of Vibration for 30% off with coupon E22BOON.

Introducing our Spring 2023 Catalog

Cover of Duke University Press Spring Summer 2023 catalog. It features art by Berna Reale, an image of a person dressed in black tactical gear, wearing a muzzle, on a red horse.

We are thrilled to unveil our Spring 2023 catalog, which is packed with fantastic new books and journal issues that will be published between December 2022 and August 2023. 

The cover features artwork by Berna Reale, from Dissident Practices: Brazilian Women Artists, 1960s–2020s by Claudia Calirman examines sixty years of visual art by prominent and emerging Brazilian women artists from the 1960s to the present. Other art titles include Spirit in the Land, the catalog for a Nasher Museum of Art exhibition curated by Trevor Schoonmaker; and Don′t Look Away: Art, Nonviolence, and Preventive Publics in Contemporary Europe by  Brianne Cohen, which considers the role of contemporary art in developing a public commitment to ending structural violence in Europe. 

We are excited to launch Practices, a new series edited by Margret Grebowicz, with four books this spring. The series features short, thoughtful, yet playful books on various hobbies and pursuits. In Fly-Fishing, Christopher Schaberg, who grew up fly-fishing in Northern Michigan and now casts his rod in Louisiana’s bayous, ponders his lifetime pursuit of the widely mythologized art of fly fishing. Stewart Lawrence Sinclair—who learned to juggle as a child and paid his way through college by busking—shares his experiences of taking up juggling after an episode of suicidal ideation, his time juggling on the streets and, ultimately, finding comfort in juggling during the COVID-19 pandemic in Juggling. In Raving, McKenzie Wark takes readers into the undisclosed locations of New York’s thriving queer rave scene, showing how raving to techno is an art and technique at which queer and trans bodies might be particularly adept, but which is for anyone who lets the beat seduce them. And in Running by Lindsey A. Freeman, a former college track athlete, presents a feminist and queer handbook of running in which she considers what it means to run as a visibly queer person while exploring how running puts us in contact with ourselves and others.

Mendings by Megan Sweeney tells an intimate story about family, selfhood, and love and loss, showing how her lifetime practice of sewing and mending clothes becomes a way of living.

The Williamsburg Avant-Garde: Experimental Music and Sound on the Brooklyn Waterfront by Cisco Bradley chronicles the rise and fall of the underground music and art scene in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn between the late 1980s and early 2010s. Also of interest to music scholars will be Working Musicians: Labor and Creativity in Film and Television Production by Timothy D. Taylor.

Cover of The Latinx Guide to Graduate School by Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales and Magdalena L. Barrera. Cover is blue green, with cartoon depictions of the backs of 7 students in graduation outfits. Each graduation cap is decorated, some having flags, others having phrases in Spanish, and one depicting the word dreamer.

We have two great new books on higher education coming out. In The Autocratic Academy: Reenvisioning Rule within America’s Universities, Timothy V. Kaufman-Osborn outlines the history of American higher education’s formal organization as an incorporated autocracy that is tied to capitalism, arguing that the academy must reconstitute itself in accordance with the principles of democratic republicanism in which members choose who govern and can hold them accountable. And in The Latinx Guide to Graduate School by Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales and Magdalena L. Barrera provide prospective and current Latinx graduate students in the humanities and social sciences fields with a roadmap for surviving and thriving in advanced degree programs. 

Also of interest in Latinx studies is Puta Life: Seeing Latinas, Working Sex by Juana María Rodríguez, which probes the ways that sexual labor and Latina sexuality become visual phenomena. In The Force of Witness: Contra Feminicide, Rosa-Linda Fregoso examines the contra feminicide movement in Mexico and other feminist efforts to eradicate gender violence, theorizing the notion of witness as a force of collectivity and a constellation of multiple social locations and intersectional practices that work together to abolish feminicidal violence. In Disappearing Rooms: The Hidden Theaters of Immigration Law, Michelle Castañeda  lays bare the criminalization of race enacted every day in U.S. immigration courts and detention centers in order to reimagine alternatives to the deportation regimes. The book features  original illustrations by artist-journalist, Molly Crabapple. Drawing on memoir, creative writing, theoretical analysis, and ethnography in Santo Domingo, Havana, and New Jersey, in Circuits of the Sacred: A Faggotology in the Black Latinx Caribbean, Carlos Ulises Decena examines transnational black Caribbean immigrant queer life and spirit.

Other titles in queer theory and LGBTQ studies include Kids on the Street: Queer Kinship and Religion in San Francisco’s Tenderloin by Joseph Plaster, The Queer Art of History: Queer Kinship after Fascism by Jennifer V. Evans, The Specter of Materialism: Queer Theory and Marxism in the Age of the Beijing Consensus by Petrus Liu, Envisioning African Intersex: Challenging Colonial and Racist Legacies in South African Medicine by Amanda Lock Swarr and Sexuality and the Rise of China: The Post-1990s Gay Generation in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China by Travis S. K. Kong.

We have a number of excellent titles in disability studies coming out. In Activist Affordances: How Disabled People Improvise More Habitable Worlds, Arseli Dokumaci draws on ethnographic work with differently disabled people whose ingenuity, labor, and artfulness allows them to achieve seemingly daily tasks like lifting a glass of water or taking clothes off. In Crip Colony: Mestizaje, US Imperialism, and the Queer Politics of Disability in the Philippines, Sony Coráñez Bolton examines the racial politics of disability, mestizaje, and sexuality in the Philippines. The contributors to Crip Genealogies, edited by Mel Y. Chen, Alison Kafer, Eunjung Kim, and Julie Avril Minich, reorient the field of disability studies by centering the work of transnational feminism, queer of color critique, and trans scholarship and activism. And in On Learning to Heal,or, What Medicine Doesn’t Know, Ed Cohen draws on fifty years of living with Crohn’s disease to consider how Western medicine’s turn from an “art of healing” toward a “science of medicine” deeply affects both medical practitioners and their patients.

We continue to offer cutting-edge Black studies titles, including Riotous Deathscapes by Hugo ka Canham, Death′s Futurity: The Visual Life of Black Power by Sampada Aranke, Hidden Histories: Faith and Black Lesbian Leadership by Monique Moultrie, Trafficking in Antiblackness: Modern-Day Slavery, White Indemnity, and Racial Justice by Lyndsey P. Beutin, and To Be Nsala′s Daughter: Decomposing the Colonial Gaze by Chérie N. Rivers. 

You’ll definitely want to check out new anthropology titles like Screening Social Justice: Brave New Films and Documentary Activism by Sherry Ortner, Glyphosate and the Swirl: An Agroindustrial Chemical on the Move by Vincanne Adams, Being Dead Otherwise by Anne Allison, Hard Luck and Heavy Rain: The Ecology of Stories in Southeast Texas by Joseph C. Russo and many more. 

Preview forthcoming special issues of our many journals, including The Science of Sex Itself an issue of GLQ, Queer and Trans Dialectology: Exploring the Intersectionality of Regionality an issue of American Speech, The Sports Issue an issue of Transgender Studies Quarterly, Crisis to Catastrophe an issue of boundary 2, Multispecies Justice an issue of Cultural Politics, and Critical AI: A Field in Formation an issue of American Literature.

There’s so much more on our great Spring list, including new books in Asian studies, African studies, American studies, literary and cultural studies, media studies, and more. We invite you to download the catalog and bookmark all your favorites. And be sure to sign up for our email alerts so you’ll know when titles you’re interested in are available.

A Teachable Book: Integrating Climate Change and the New Polar Aesthetics into your Syllabus

In this guest post, Lisa E. Bloom shares a teaching guide for her new book Climate Change and the New Polar Aesthetics. We hope you’ll consider adding it to your 2023 syllabus!

Climate Change and the New Polar Aesthetics: Artists Reimagine the Arctic and Antarctic is a teachable book, clear enough for undergraduates and challenging enough to use with graduate students. The book engages feminist, Black, Indigenous, and non-Western perspectives to address the exigencies of the experience of the Anthropocene and its attendant ecosystem failures brought on by the burning of oil, gas, and coal that has led to polar ice and glacial melt, rising sea levels, deadly floods, fires, and climate-led migrations. The book addresses the way contemporary artists, activists, and filmmakers are devising a new polar aesthetics that challenges the dominant narrative of mainstream media, which equates climate change with apocalyptic spectacles of melting ice and desperate polar bears, and green capitalism with masculinist imagery of sublime wilderness and imperial heroics.

In what follows I present many different threads that you can use to connect the book to an already existing syllabi in a diverse range of courses. For those who have already taught my earlier books or articles but especially Gender on Ice: American Ideologies of Polar Expeditions (1993), you might also be interested in teaching this one as some of the artists were influenced by my earlier writings.

For feminist art history, visual culture or design classes, teachers might be interested in teaching Chapters 1 and 2. Though at first glance climate art and film on the polar region and the Circumpolar North might seem gender and race neutral, the feminist intersectional analysis of representation of the Arctic and Antarctic in these chapters suggests that this welcome reemergence of interest in polar narratives and art often comes wrapped in a colonial nostalgia for white male heroism.  Chapter 1 on Antarctica focuses on four contemporary women artists — Anne Noble, Judit Hersko, Connie Samaras, and Joyce Campbell — whose work collectively creates a specifically feminist critical aesthetics that counters such an approach, since their art  addresses the historic exclusion of women altogether from the continent until the 1960s and 1970s and the way the visual tropes of Antarctica as the last great wilderness on earth contribute to maintaining the perception that Antarctica is still an all-male continent or a living memorial to this earlier moment when only men could populate the continent.

Chapter 2 might also be of interest since it  complicates official polar exploration art by creating plausible, yet fictional, accounts based on the historical record to address the climate crisis. Isaac Julien’s reformulation of the African American polar explorer Matthew Henson (1866 – 1955) not only makes Henson’s accomplishments part of northern polar exploration but creates a new fictional persona for him that challenges mainstream homophobic narratives of imperial heroics. Swedish artist Katja Aglert, in her conceptual project Winter Event — Antifreeze, uses a variety of media and aesthetic techniques to unsettle colonialist and nationalist masculinist history as the major mode of engagement in the Arctic till this day.

In Chapter 3 there is work on the new polar aesthetics that addresses questions of memory and what it means to make art and film about a warming Arctic without sentimentalizing or spectacularizing Indigenous suffering. Film and media studies scholars might be interested in my discussion of three innovative short films on the Arctic that call forth new representations of the climate crisis that focus on a world beset by uncertainty. An online documentary by Zacharias Kunuk and Ian Munro, titled Qapirangajuq: Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change (2010), takes the perspective of an Igloolik community highly affected by climate change. It puts front and center communities from Canada’s Circumpolar North, who craft a decolonial method of knowledge production through filmmaking.

Chapters 4 and 5, cowritten with Elena Glasberg, suggests that the category of art continues to change as artists create new aesthetic arrangements of visibility capable of comprehending the material and representational aspects of climate breakdown (Roni Horn, Amy Balkin, Lillian Ball, Andrea Bowers and Annie Pootoogook). Artists and art historians might be interested in teaching these chapters as artists discussed in this section focus on some of these new aesthetic practices and the way they sensitize us to the unfolding process of climate breakdown. They also might be adopted in more general classes that include the iconic photography of Yosemite by Ansel Adams and Carleton Watkins and coverage of the pieces of land art or environmental art from the 1960s or 1970s. Teachers could juxtapose these earlier works with those emerging from Indigenous, feminist and non-western contexts in the Circumpolar North (Subhankar Banerjee, Andrea Bowers, Amy Balkin, amongst others) to consider a wider range of new directions in art, photography, and conceptual art that engages landscape, environment and ecology. Such approaches contest older romantic views of pristine nature in the Arctic that continues to be used to justify Indigenous absence rather than presence.

Again scholars of visual culture, film and media studies might be interested in Chapter 6  that focuses on innovative new-media films that take into account increased development by the oil industry, local knowledge, and the resilience of Indigenous communities. Combining strategies from documentary and speculative fiction genres, while incorporating scientific fact, these films demonstrate the challenges of representing the built-in invisibilities of climate change as well as the corporate obfuscations of the damage caused by extractivism. The chapter discusses experimental projects by the Swiss video artist Ursula Biemann and the Canadian filmmaker Brenda Longfellow to bring awareness to what is not otherwise fully visible by creating new forms of perception and representational framings that capture the intricacies of visibility.

Chapter 7 focuses on more collaborative and participatory forms of art and film  to move students past the psychic numbing of being overwhelmed by climate change while demonstrating their own political agency as central to imagining and constructing a better world. Activist artists such as Liberate Tate, the British Platform collective, Not an Alternative, and the Yes Men express a desire for change within the museum system of sponsorship, governance, and finance. Their work aims at holding Western art, natural history, and science museums to account for their complicity through the solicitation and acceptance of corporate sponsorship, in enabling climate change and perpetuating the colonial narratives that underlie it.

The later chapters might be taught in a wider range of courses since they show how historically under-represented groups are also pioneering new forms of environmental justice work in their resistance, and this, too, applies to Arctic Inuit women activists discussed in this book, such as Sheila Watt-Cloutier who movingly demanded “the right to be cold.” Watt-Cloutier has been instrumental in shaping an environmental justice campaign and has been widely recognized for suggesting that climate change is a matter of both Indigenous and multispecies survival (chapters 6, 7 and epilogue). For her “if we don’t have our environment, we cannot survive. “ Artists, writers, activists, and filmmakers in Climate Change and the New Polar Aesthetics share her vision in creating an alternative voice for the future, one opposed to the seemingly inevitable colonial imaginary for which the environment is a means that supports the ends of unregulated capitalism and hyperextractivism.

Lisa E. Bloom is Scholar-in-Residence at the Beatrice Bain Research Group in the Department of Gender and Women’s studies, University of California, Berkeley, and author of Gender On Ice: American Ideologies of Polar Expeditions. We invite you to request an exam copy on our website, and your students can save 30% on Climate Change and the New Polar Aesthetics with coupon E22BLOOM.

Author Events in November

Our authors are busy at virtual, hybrid, and in-person events around the world in November. We hope you can make it to some of them! And November is also a busy month for conferences. We will have in-person booths at the American Studies Association, American Anthropological Association, National Women’s Studies Association, African Studies Association, and American Academy of Religion. Stop by our booths and visit with us.

Cover of A Time of One′s Own: Histories of Feminism in Contemporary Art by Catherine Grant. The cover is black with type in orange and white and features a black and white photo of women linking arms at a protest.

November 1, 12-1:30 pm EDT: Eric A. Stanley, author of Atmospheres of Violence, has an in-person book talk at Yale University, in WLH 309. A light lunch will be provided.

November 1, 5 pm GMT: Catherine Grant will have an in-person conversation with James Boaden about her new book A Time of One’s Own at the University of York, in the Treehouse of the Berrick Saul Building.

November 1, 4:30 pm EDT: Katina Rogers, author of Putting the Humanities PhD to Work, gives an in-person talk and leads a student workshop at Georgia State University. 223, 25 Park Place, Atlanta, Georgia.

November 1, 6 pm EDT: John D’Emilio, author of Memories of a Gay Catholic Boyhood, joins Claire Potter for a hybrid online and in-person Q&A and book signing at The New School. Starr Foundation Hall, 63 Fifth Avenue, New York City.

November 2, 5 pm GMT: Catherine Grant, author of A Time of One’s Own, has an in-person book talk at Northumbria University, Newcastle, in the Lipman Building.

November 2, 6 pm CET: Muriam Davis, author of Markets of Civilization, is joined by Giulia Fabbiano and Thierry Fabre for an in-person discussion at Aix Marseille University. 2 place Leverrier, 13004 Marseille, France

November 4, 4-5:30 pm EDT: The UNC Department of Communication hosts an in-person book-launch event for Torin Monahan, author of Crisis Vision. Hill Hall 103, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

November 5, 1 pm CST: Ann Marie Leimer, co-editor of Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, speaks in-person at Underwood’s exhibition at Ruiz-Healy Art, 201-A East Olmos Drive, San Antonio, Texas

Cover of Paradoxes of Nostalgia: Cold War Triumphalism and Global Disorder since 1989 by Penny M. Von Eschen. Text is in red, blue and black above a photo of a box of plates featuring images of Lenin and Gorbachev and parts of a nesting doll with the faces of Putin and former Soviet leaders.

November 7, 4:45 pm EST: Penny Von Eschen, author of Paradoxes of Nostalgia, speaks in-person  at Cornell University. Kaufmann Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall, Ithaca, NY

November 7, 5 pm EST: Robert Bliwise, author of The Pivot, joins Duke faculty members Tom Ferraro, Kristin Goss, and Omid Safi for an in-person discussion about lessons learned from teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. Perkins Library 217, Duke University, Durham, NC.

November 9, 4:00 pm EST: Jodi Kim, author of Settler Garrison, joins Amanda C. Demmer and  Daniel Y. Kim for a virtual panel discussion at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU.

November 9, 4:30 pm EST: Penny Von Eschen, author of Paradoxes of Nostalgia, gives an in-person talk at Yale University.

November 10, 11:30 am AEDT: The Environmental and Media Research Program at Monash University hosts a virtual talk by Jean-Thomas Tremblay, author of Breathing Aesthetics.

November 10, 7 pm GMT, Gavin Butt, author of No Machos or Pop Stars, talks with the band Gang of Four’s Jon King about the story of post-punk in Leeds at the Walthamstow Rock ‘N’ Roll Book Club. The event will be held at The Barrel Store, Wildcard Brewery, Shernhall Street, London, E17 9HQ.

November 10, 6 pm EST: Rinaldo Walcott, author of The Long Emancipation, participates in Borders, Human Itineraries and All Our Relation, an in-person event at York University. It also features Dele Adeyemo, Natalie Diaz, and Nadia Yala Kisukidi. Sandra Faire and Ivan Fecan Theatre Ian Macdonald Boulevard Toronto, ON 

November 11, 12 pm GMT: Srila Roy, author of Changing the Subject, will give a virtual talk at the University of the Witwatersrand as part of their social reproduction seminar series. 

November 12, 6:30 pm CET,  Marcus Boon, author of The Politics of Vibration, launches his book at the Minor Cosmpolitan Assembly conference in Berlin. University of Potsdam, Am Neuen Palais 10, 14469 Potsdam

November 12, 1:30 pm EST: Katina Rogers, author of Putting the Humanities PhD to Work, appears on a panel at the hybrid University of Virginia conference, 30 Years of Digital Humanities at UVA.

November 13, 3:00 pm EST: Alexandra Juhasz and Theodore Kerr, authors of We Are Having This Conversation Now, have an online event with the Bureau of General Services, Queer Division in New York City.

November 13, 6:00 pm EST: Alexandra Juhasz and Theodore Kerr, authors of We Are Having This Conversation Now, have an in-person launch party held by Parkside Lounge. 317 E Houston St, New York City

November 14, 1 pm EST: The American Prospect hosts an in-person discussion with the authors of Our Veterans. Economic Policy Institute, 1225 I Street Northwest #600 Washington, DC

November 15, 6:15 pm EST: Heather Davis, author of Plastic Matter, will give a virtual talk called “Explorations in Medical Humanities” sponsored by Columbia University.

November 15, 3:00 pm CET: Lisa Bloom, author of Climate Change and the New Polar Aesthetics, speaks in person at the Department of Art History, Södertörn University, Stockholm.

November 15, 5 pm EST: Harvard University’s Mahindra Humanities Center hosts an online conversation with Breathing Aesthetics author Jean-Thomas Tremblay and Annabel L. Kim.

November 15, 3 pm PST: Lisa Uperesa speaks in person about her book Gridiron Capital at UCLA. Royce Hall room 306, Dickson Plaza, Los Angeles, CA

November 15, 7 pm EST: Harper’s Magazine and Duke University Press present an in-person writerly discussion of basketball featuring Alexander Wolff, author of Big Game, Small World,  and Thomas Beller, author of Lost in the Game. W83 Ministry Center 150 West 83rd Street 4th Floor New York

November 15th, 7:00 pm CST: John D’Emilio, author of Memories of a Gay Catholic Boyhood participates in an in-person event at the Chicago Theological Union in partnership with Seminary Co-op Bookstores

November 16, : Lisa Bloom, author of Climate Change and the New Polar Aesthetics, gives an in-person talk at Konst/ig bookstore. Åsögatan 124, 116 24, Stockholm, Sweden

November 16, 4:30 pm EST: Penny Von Eschen speaks about her book Paradoxes of Nostalgia at Temple University. The event is both in-person and online. Welgley 914, Gladfelter Hall, 1115 W. Berks Street Philadelphia.

November 16, 1 pm PST, Katina Rogers, author of Putting the Humanities PhD to Work, gives an online talk at UC Merced entitled “Career Pathways for Humanities Graduate Students.”

November 17, 4:30 pm: Penny Von Eschen, author of Paradoxes of Nostalgia, gives the Distinguished Lecture in European History in-person at Rutgers University.

November 17, 7 pm EST: Elisabeth Anker, author of Ugly Freedoms, speaks in-person at Muhlenberg College as part of the Center for Ethics Speculative Futures series. Moyer Hall, 2400 W Chew St, Allentown, PA.

November 17, 7 pm EST: In celebration of University Press Week, Book Culture hosts an in-person poetry reading featuring Simone White, author of or, on being the other woman, along with Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, Ellen Hagan, and Brionne Janae. Gabriel Cleveland will moderate. 536 West 112th St, New York City

November 17, 4:15 pm PST: Lisa Uperesa discusses her book Gridiron Capital in person at the Claremont Colleges. 108 Hahn Hall, 420 Harvard Ave N, Claremont, CA

Cover of Breathing Aesthetics by Jean-Thomas Tremblay. Cover features smooth yellow plumes of smoke against a golden-yellow backdrop.

November 18, 12 pm EST: Jean-Thomas Tremblay, author of Breathing Aesthetics, is joined by Jules Gill-Peterson and Brad Harmon for an in-person conversation at Johns Hopkins University.

November 19, 7:30 pm EST: Alexandra Juhasz and Theodore Kerr, authors of We Are Having This Conversation Now, will participate in an online event with CHARIS books in Atlanta. 

November 22, 2 pm EST, Jean-Thomas Tremblay discusses his new book Breathing Aesthetics in-person with Sarah Dowling at the University of Toronto.

November 24, 7 pm GMT: Gavin Butt holds a South Coast launch for his new book No Machos or Pop Stars at The Rose Hill in Brighton. Gavin will be reading from his book and playing rare and unreleased sounds by bands from the West Yorkshire scene of the 1970s and 1980s.

November 24, 4:40 pm EST: La Marr Jurelle Bruce, author of How to Go Mad without Losing Your Mind, gives the Lynch Distinguished Lecture in-person at the University of Toronto. Claude T. Bissell Building, 140 St George St, Toronto, Ontario

November 25: Jean-Thomas Tremblay, author of Breathing Aesthetics, gives a seminar at Concordia University

November 29, Thomas Beller, author of Lost in the Game, appears in-person at Octavia Books. 513 Octavia St, New Orleans, Louisiana

Final Day of Fall Sale

Today is the final day to save 50% on books and journal issues during our Fall Sale. Use coupon FL22 and be sure to shop before 11:59 pm EDT.

Customers outside North and South America can use the FL22 coupon through today at our UK-based distributor Combined Academic Publishers to save on shipping, particularly in Europe. Customers in Canada may now order directly from the University of Toronto Press. UTP is our distribution partner in Canada and can offer significantly improved shipping times. No coupon code is needed on the UTP site (sale applies to Duke titles only).

And don’t forget that you can now pre-order titles up to five months before publication date with the 50% off coupon as well! Those titles will ship when they become available.

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).

See the fine print and FAQs here. Don’t delay, shop now!

Duke Books and Journals Available Open-Access

It’s Open Access Week! Did you know that you can read many of our books and journals for free? Duke University Press is committed to offering many of our titles in an open-access format. We participate in multiple OA programs, including Knowledge Unlatched, TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem), and SHMP (the Sustainable History Monograph Pilot). Each year we release about a dozen books that are open access. You may be able to read these books online via your own library. You can also find some of them on Project MUSE, OAPEN, and on our own website.

Recent open-access books that you can read for free thanks to our partnership with Knowledge Unlatched include Cocaine, edited by Enrique Desmond Arias and Thomas Grisaffi; Claiming Union Womanhood by Brandi Clay Brimmer; Virulent Zones by Lyle Fearnley; and Embodying Black Religions in Africa and Its Diasporas, edited by Yolanda Covington-Ward and Jeanette S. Jouili.

Our second project with the Sustainable History Monograph Project (SHMP) is Workers Like All the Rest of Them by Elizabeth Quay Hutchison.

Recent books freely available via our partnership with TOME include The Small Matter of Suing Chevron by Suzana Sawyer, Scales of Captivity by Mary Pat Brady, The Florida Room by Alexandra T. Vazquez, and Architecture and Development by Ayala Levin.

Authors and their institutions also help us to make their books available via open access. Many readers are very excited about the open access version of Black Disability Politics by Sami Schalk, which you can read for free now on our website. You can also read Paradoxes of Nostalgia by Penny Von Eschen and Obeah, Orisa, and Religious Identity in Trinidad volumes one and two by Tracey E. Hucks and Dianne M. Stewart for free.

Our open-access journals are Critical Times, Demography, Environmental Humanities, liquid blackness, the Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies, and our newest open-access journal Trans Asia Photography, which joined the Press in 2022. Twentieth-century volumes (1918–1999) of the Hispanic American Historical Review are also available open access.

Many thanks to the libraries and institutions that support all these open-access efforts. Read more about open access at Duke University Press here.

Fall Sale Continues for One More Week

Have you shopped our Fall sale yet? You have only one more week; the sale ends Friday, October 28. Use coupon code FL22 to save 50% on all in-stock and pre-order books and journal issues.

Cover of On the Inconvenience of Other People by Lauren Berlant. Bright pink cover features a painted picture of the face of a black cat with one green eye open.

Bestsellers in the sale so far are Lauren Berlant’s On the Inconvenience of Other People, Black Disability Politics by Sami Schalk, and Obeah, Orisa, and Religious Identity in Trinidad, volumes one and two, by Tracey E. Hucks and Diane M. Stewart. Also selling well is The Latinx Guide to Graduate School by Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales and Magdalena L. Barrera. It won’t be out until March but you can pre-order it now at the discount and receive it in the spring.

Our distributor in the UK, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Pacific, Combined Academic Publishers, is pleased to extend the same 50% off discount to our customers there. Since overseas shipping can be slow and expensive, we highly encourage everyone in their territory to order directly from them using the same FL22 coupon code.

Cover of The Latinx Guide to Graduate School by Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales and Magdalena L. Barrera. Cover is blue green, with cartoon depictions of the backs of 7 students in graduation outfits. Each graduation cap is decorated, some having flags, others having phrases in Spanish, and one depicting the word dreamer.

Customers in Canada may now order directly from the University of Toronto Press. UTP is our distribution partner in Canada and can offer significantly improved shipping times. No coupon code is needed on the UTP site (sale applies to Duke titles only).

Here’s the usual fine print: The discount does not apply to apparel, journals subscriptions, or society memberships. Regular shipping rates apply.

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).