Author: Laura Sell

Publicity and Advertising Manager, Duke University Press

The Chasers Reunite for Book Launch

Recently a group of friends who attended Tucson High School in the 1950s gathered to launch the book of prose poetry inspired by their experiences, Renato Rosaldo’s The Chasers. Rosaldo writes about the gathering in this guest post.

On May 11, 2019, I went to Tucson with my son, Sam, and his son, Micah. I handed books to the Chasers as they arrived at the party. After a short while the Chasers slowly opened their books, They took their time. It was a lot to absorb, their joy and the realization that this was their/our book.  Once all had arrived, Louie then asked me to sign his copy. I did so slowly, keeping the ceremonial rhythm. It gave me time to find a personal dedication for each one. I followed suit for each of the others as they asked me to sign.

RenatoSigning

Renato Rosaldo signing a copy of The Chasers. Photo by Daniel Chavez.

The afternoon was cool for Tucson in May. The moment we finished eating a thunderstorm, with heavy wind and lightening abruptly came up. A door slammed loudly. We laughed and said Rocha must have slammed the door because he was pissed that we didn’t invite him. He passed away a couple of months ago.

ThreeChasers

L-R, Rich Koenig, Louie Dancil, and Dickie Delahanty. Photo by Daniel Chavez.

We went indoors and Angie, then Patti asked me to read from the book. Bobby was on speaker phone and he punctuated the reading with his moments of recognition, bellowing, “Oh, my God.” We laughed and kept a silence and sense of awe. The book and the evening left me with a feeling of having experienced deep meaning. Thank you Chasers. Thank you book-makers. I am still in awe.

TheChasers2018

The Chasers at a reunion in 2018. Photo by Daniel Chavez.

You can save 40% on The Chasers during our Spring Sale with coupon code SPRING40. Read an excerpt here and watch the trailer here.

Save 40% During our Spring Sale

SPRING40_SaleMay2019_Blog

It’s time to stock up on summer reading. Head to our website and save 40% on all in-stock books and journal issues by entering coupon code SPRING40.

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

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

The sale ends Tuesday, May 28 at 11:59 Eastern Time. Start shopping now!

Reflections on Motherhood by Jane Lazarre

Mother’s Day was yesterday in the United States. Jane Lazarre originally wrote The Mother Knot, now a feminist classic, in 1976 and we republished it in 1997. The book has recently been translated into Spanish and is enjoying a resurgence in Spain. It remains highly relevant today and we hope you enjoy this excerpt from the preface.

978-0-8223-2039-5_prWhen I began to write seriously – that is in a disciplined way – when I was born, in other words, into being a writer, I also had just had a child. It was 1969. I thought I had nothing to write about because motherhood represented only something personal, not potentially transformative or transcendent, certainly not literary. It was a revelation to read writers such as Tillie Olsen who was using her experience of motherhood as metaphoric, enabling her to write of many layers of human experience. I have written many different stories since that revelation, but being a mother continued to be a central passion of my life, and so it was one of the experiences I most wanted to write about, for the same reasons any writer wants to write about her passions – to name them more accurately, to understand them, to convey meaning to others, to use one’s own life to think about life itself.

When I reread The Mother Knot today, I hear that voice, the young woman trying to learn how to be a mother while she is longing for a mother herself. She can be righteous, full of conviction, but she shouts for recognition of desire and the need for love.

I am a grandmother now. I have written about being a mother in fiction and memoir, about the ways motherhood and being a writer contradict each other in one life and the ways in which they enrich. I have written about sons being born, leaving home, becoming men, about being the white mother of Black sons – an education and transformation as profound as any I have experienced. I am a grandmother now, and still, the mother knot tightens and loosens for me. Protecting and constraining, it remains a source of my own reawakening.

Lazarre, Jane author photoJane Lazarre is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction including The Communist and the Communist’s Daughter, Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons, and Wet Earth and Dreams: A Narrative of Grief and Recovery, all also published by Duke University Press, as well as the novels Inheritance and Some Place Quite Unknown. She has won awards for her fiction from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Lazarre founded and directed the undergraduate writing program at Eugene Lang College at the New School for ten years and taught creative writing and literature there for twenty years. She has also taught at the City College of New York and Yale University. Lazarre lives in New York City.

Congratulations to our 2019 AUPresses Book, Jacket, and Journal Show Honorees

The selections for the 2019 AUPresses Book, Jacket, and Journal Show have been announced and as usual, our talented designers have been honored.

In the scholarly typographic category, Heather Hensley and Julienne Alexander have been selected for their design of Laughing at the Devil by Amy Laura Hall.

 

Amy Ruth Buchanan was also honored in the scholarly typographic category for her unified design of Fred Moten’s trilogy consent not to be a single being, which includes Black and Blur, Stolen Life, and The Universal Machine.

This year’s jury was Matt Avery, Nicole Caputo, Sara T. Sauers, and Na Kim. Congratulations to our honorees and thanks to all our designers for creating such beautiful books.

Poem of the Week

The ChasersOur final poem of the week for National Poetry Month 2019 is from the forthcoming book The Chasers by Renato Rosaldo. This prose poetry collection shares his experiences and those of his group of twelve Mexican-American Tucson High School friends known as the Chasers as they grew up, graduated, and fell out of touch, conveying the realities of Chicano life on the borderlands from the 1950s to the present. The Chasers comes out in May.

 

 

The Chaser Mystique

Most said we’d turn out badly.

Our name signified wild guy, partier, fighter. We thrived on reputation. Whether
they admired or hated us, everyone knew who we were, our jackets, our spot in the stairwell.

We played the cat, built a mystique, but we were just Mexican kids out for fun, nothing profound.

One dad in moving and storage, Chico’s dad a professor, another selling beer at ball games, another a cop, and yet another, head of a rotating credit association, the Alianza
Hispanoamericana.

We were in shape, every summer our arms threw baseballs, our backs strained under
bulky furniture. One worked as a lifeguard.

We hadn’t seen each other for fifty years, gathered at the Tucson High School reunion, told ourselves stories about ourselves, laughed as if we’d been together the day before.

At our reunion, people still talked about us, still gave a shit after fifty years.

Bobby Shoumaker and Richard Rocha

 

Watch the trailer for The Chasers here.

Renato Rosaldo is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at New York University and the author of several books, including The Day of Shelly’s Death, also published by Duke University Press.

Preview Our Fall 2019 Catalog

We’re very excited to unveil our Fall 2019 catalog. Check out a preview of some of the exciting titles below and then download the complete catalog or view a hyperlinked version online. These titles will be published between July 2019 and February 2020.

F19CatalogFrontCoverOn the cover we’re featuring a detail from an epic mural cycle by José Clemente Orozco, from Mary Coffey’s new book Orozco’s American Epic, which analyzes the work. That’s just one of a number of new art books coming out. In The Politics of Taste, Ana María Reyes examines the works of the Colombian artist Beatriz González and the Argentine-born art critic Marta Traba who championed her art during Colombia’s National Front coalition government (1958–1974). Ronak K. Kapadia’s Insurgent Aesthetics theorizes the world-making power of contemporary art responses to US militarism in the Greater Middle East. In A Fragile Inheritance, Saloni Mathur investigates the work of two seminal figures from the global South: the New Delhi-based critic and curator Geeta Kapur and the contemporary multi-media artist Vivan Sundaram. And a number of titles address issues of how art intersects with activism and labor, including Wages Against Artwork by Leigh Claire La Berge, How to Make Art at the End of the World by Natalie Loveless, and The Creative Underclass by Tyler Denmead. We’re also distributing catalogs for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and The New School.

HoneypotFronting the catalog this season is Honeypot: Black Southern Women Who Love Women by E. Patrick Johnson. Johnson, who has published several books with us before, combines magical realism, poetry, and performative writing to bear witness to the real-life stories of black southern queer women in ways that reveal the complexity of identity and the challenges these women face.

Also returning to Duke University Press is geologist Orrin H. Pilkey, with Sea Level Rise. Written with his son, Keith C. Pilkey, this latest book is an urgent call to immediately begin a managed retreat from our coastlines before rising seas make it too late. The Ocean Reader, edited by Eric Paul Roorda is the latest edition to The World Readers series. It also aims to call attention to our oceans at a time when they are changing rapidly.

The Haiti ReaderBoth The World Readers and The Latin America Readers series offer travelers more than just a guidebook, but rather an in-depth look at a history’s history, culture, and politics through primary sources. The newest Latin America Reader is The Haiti Reader, edited by Laurent Dubois, Kaiama L. Glover, Nadève Ménard, Millery Polyné, and Chantalle F Verna. And for travelers to Hawai‘i, we’re excited to offer Detours: A Decolonial Guide to Hawai‘i, edited by Hokulani K. Aikau and Vernadette Vicuna Gonzalez. The essays, stories, artworks, maps, and tour itineraries in Detours create decolonial narratives in ways that will forever change how readers think about and move throughout the islands.

Whats the UseSeveral of our favorite theorists return with new books in Fall 2019. Sara Ahmed follows up her bestselling Living a Feminist Life with What’s the Use, continues the work she began in The Promise of Happiness and Willful Subjects by taking up a single word—in this case, use—and following it around. We’re also excited to welcome back Achille Mbembe with his new book Necropolitics, which theorizes the genealogy of the contemporary world—one plagued by inequality, militarization, enmity, and a resurgence of racist, fascist, and nationalist forces—and calls for a radical revision of humanism a the means to create a more just society. Anthropologist Deborah Thomas returns to the press with Political Life in the Wake of the Plantation, which traces the long-term legacies of the plantation system and how its governing logics continue to shape and replicate forms of violence. MacArthur Fellow Julie Livingston follow up her 2012 book Improvising Medicine with a parable on capitalism and economic growth, Self-Devouring Growth. And political theorist William Connolly returns with his seventh book with us, Climate Machines, Fascist Drives, and Truth, which examines entanglements between volatile earth processes and emerging cultural practices.

We’re also pleased to announce several special issues of journals, including an American Literature issue that tracks plantation slavery’s modern-day legacies, an exploration of sanctuary as a resistance tool from Radical History Review, a Public Culture issue on the violence work of policing, an expansive look at transnational feminism from Meridians, and more.

There’s so much more in our Fall 2019 catalog including feminist theory from Patricia Hill Collins, a collection on reading the work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, an in-depth history of the 1960s alternative rock band Henry Cow, and a social and political history of Latin America’s most popular cartoon, Mafalda. Download or view an online version of the catalog now to see all eighty books and special issues. And to be the first to learn about our next catalog and to be notified of new books in your chosen disciplines, sign up for our email alerts, too.

Dean Smith to be Next Director of Duke University Press

Dean SmithDean Smith, the director of Cornell University Press, will be the new director of Duke University Press, school officials announced Thursday.

Smith succeeds Steve Cohn, who is retiring at the end of June. Cohn has been at Duke University Press since 1984, and has served as director since 1993. Smith will start his new job on July 1.

“The Duke University Press is one of Duke’s great assets. It is a world-renowned press with a stellar reputation,” said Duke Provost Sally Kornbluth. “With his business acumen, deep knowledge of the publishing world, interest in new technologies and wide-ranging intellectual interests, Dean will be a wonderful new leader for the press.”

Kornbluth also thanked Cohn for his quarter-century of leadership at Duke Press. “Steve has built the press into a national powerhouse that’s held in high esteem throughout the academic world,” Kornbluth said. “Steve has worked tirelessly to ensure the highest possible standards for the press.”

Each year Duke University Press publishes about 140 new books, almost 60 journals and multiple digital collections that share the ideas of progressive thinkers and support emerging and vital fields of scholarship across the humanities and interpretive social sciences. It is also well known for its mathematics journals, sophisticated graphic design and integration of technology platforms. The press, located in Durham’s Brightleaf Square, was founded in 1921.

“I am honored and thrilled to be selected as director of Duke University Press,” Smith said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues at the press and across the university to publish high-quality scholarship and advance the frontiers of knowledge in new and exciting ways.”

Since Smith became director of Cornell University Press in 2015, the press has expanded its title output from 100 to 150 titles per year, increased its digital publishing footprint from 350 to more than 3,000 eBooks, and published 150 open access texts on the Cornell Open website.

During his 30-year publishing career, Smith has helped lead all aspects of the transition from print-based publications to more easily accessible web-based digital editions; this includes a key role in reimagining Project Muse, a pivotal digital platform for humanities scholarship, to include eBooks and journals together. He has a wealth of experience in book and journal acquisitions, digital platform development, financial management, global business development and strategic planning, and held such roles as journal publisher, director of electronic publishing, vice president of sales and marketing as well as press director.

“Duke University Press has developed incredible talent throughout the organization and has cultivated strong relationships with many Duke faculty,” noted Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies Ed Balleisen. “Dean Smith has the background and creativity to build on the press’s many strengths, whether by deepening partnerships across campus, furthering our goals for diversity and inclusion, or successfully navigating the rapidly evolving terrain of academic publishing.”

Smith is the author of American Boy, a book that won the 2000 Washington Writer’s Prize and the Maryland Prize for Literature in 2001. He is also a contributor of poetry to such publications as Poetry East, Open City, The Virginia Literary Review, Gulf Stream and the anthology D.C. Poets Against the War.

Though no relation to the late legendary UNC basketball coach of the same name, Smith is an avid sports fan who has previously worked as a sportswriter and freelance journalist; in 2013, Temple University Press published his book about the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, Never Easy, Never Pretty: A Fan, A City, A Championship Season.

Orin Starn on Tiger Woods’s Masters Victory

978-0-8223-5210-5_prOrin Starn, Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University, watched the Masters Tournament along with the rest of the world on April 14 and offers his thoughts on Tiger’s victory here. His 2011 book The Passion of Tiger Woods brought an anthropologist’s perspective to the scandals and struggles that made yesterday’s victory such a triumph.

It was an amazing moment in America sports history yesterday.  Tiger Woods won the Masters Tournament, one of golf’s four major championships, capping a remarkable comeback from deep troubles on and off the course.  Most pundits had written off the great champion after an ugly divorce, four back surgeries, and, less than two years ago, an arrest for driving under the influence of pain-killers.  His vacant mug shot eyes were those of a man who seemed to have lost his way altogether.

That Woods would rise again felt almost foreordained and even biblical in its way.  He’d once been acclaimed as golf’s black messiah, redeeming the sport from its whites-only past, and becoming its greatest player with an astonishing knack for drama and the clutch shot.  Then, after self-destructive serial cheating destroyed his marriage, Woods was crucified to the cross of public opinion and media frenzy.   He resurrected his career with a public apology and double fusion back operation.   Now, with his Masters win, Woods has been transubstantiated, rising into celestial new heights of fan adoration at least among the golfing public.  At 43, balding, having sinned and suffered so much, Woods is more human than he had been as an invincible young superstar.   His powers of concentration and genius skill remain altogether otherworldly beyond even the imagination of us mortal weekend players.

I could not help shedding a few tears as Woods raised his arms in triumph on the 18th green yesterday.  Anyone of a certain age who has learned how hard life can be could identify with his struggle and take pleasure in his victory. There is always new drama in the Woods story, and perhaps he will now go on to reach his childhood goal of overtaking Jack Nicklaus for the most major tournament titles.  It felt yesterday, as the thunderstorms rolled across Georgia, that this Masters victory will remain as the greatest moment of all in his extraordinary story.

Poem of the Week

Comfort Measures OnlyApril is National Poetry Month, so we are offering a poem each Monday for the next four weeks. Today’s poem is from Rafael Campo’s latest book, Comfort Measures Only: New and Selected Poems, 1994-2016. Campo, a physician, writes from his work and life experience with great empathy. Martin Espada says, “The luminous language and the luminous vision offer proof that poetry, too, is a healing art, that storytelling is medicinal. In these times, we need poets of eloquent empathy more than ever, and there is no poet more eloquent or empathetic than Rafael Campo.”

As We Die

My parents gripe about their health. I think
about when I was young, and tried to force
from them an explanation of — what else
could it have been, but death? Back then, the ink

that clotted in my mother’s brush was black
as my ungrateful, doubting soul; my father’s
huge plush armchair, tilted slightly back, offered
what seemed eternal rest. Their talk is bleak,

their diverticulosis like a pit
that swallows them, their heart disease an ache
these old emotions only aggravate.
I guess I look to them as giants yet,

immortals who know secrets I cannot.
My father, hard of hearing now, reclines
a little farther back; her face now lined
with years of pain, my mother jabs at knots

of garish sunflowers, pretending we
might yet avoid the conversations that
have made their marks on us. Not what I thought —
past death, at last, dreams keep us perfectly.

Rafael Campo is the author of six books of poetry with Duke University Press. He is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Happy 150th Birthday to Durham!

durham150_cobrand_example_3-300x3002019 marks the sesquicentennial of Durham, North Carolina, which Duke University Press calls home. We’re excited to celebrate along with Durham by showcasing some of our local history titles.

978-0-8223-4983-9_pr.jpgWe’re especially proud to publish the definitive history of Durham, Durham County by Jean Bradley Anderson. Revised and expanded in 2011, it is a sweeping history of Durham from the seventeenth century to the end of the twentieth. Moving beyond traditional local histories, which tend to focus on powerful families, Anderson integrates the stories of well-known figures with those of ordinary men and women, blacks and whites, to create a complex and fascinating portrait of Durham’s economic, political, social, and labor history. Drawing on extensive primary research, she examines the origins of the town of Durham and recounts the growth of communities around mills, stores, taverns, and churches in the century before the rise of tobacco manufacturing. She writes about the coming of the railroad; the connection between the Civil War and the rise of the tobacco industry; the Confederate surrender at Bennett Place; the relocation of Trinity College to Durham and, later, its renaming as Duke University; and the growth of health-service and high-technology industries in the decades after the development of Research Triangle Park.

Lending PowerIn Lending Power, Howard E. Covington Jr. examines the history of a Durham institution, the Self-Help Credit Union. First established to assist workers displaced by closed furniture and textile mills, Self-Help created a credit union that expanded into providing home loans for those on the margins of the financial market, especially people of color and single mothers. Using its own lending record, Self-Help convinced commercial banks to follow suit, extending its influence well beyond North Carolina. In 1999 its efforts led to the first state law against predatory lending. A decade later, as the Great Recession ravaged the nation’s economy, its legislative victories helped influence the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Covington is also the author of Terry Sanford: Politics, Progress, and Outrageous Ambitions. Sanford was a U.S. Senator, Governor of North Carolina, and then President of Duke University.

978-0-8223-0743-3_prThe Dukes of Durham, 1865-1929 by Robert F. Durden looks at the history of several towering Durham figures: industrialist and philanthropist Washington Duke and two of his sons, Benjamin Newton Duke and James Buchanan Duke. Lasting Legacy to the Carolinas, also by Durden, tells about the James B. Duke’s founding of the Duke Endowment, which funded Trinity College in Durham and led it to change its name to Duke University in 1924. Robert F. Durden was an important Durham figure in his own right; when he died in 2016, Duke lowered their flags to half-mast in honor of his contributions chronicling the history of the university and the region.

To celebrate Durham’s birthday, we are offering all these titles for 50% off throughout 2019. Use the coupon code DURHAM when ordering from our site.

Learn more about Durham’s history and all the celebrations this year at the Durham 150 site. Visit the Museum of Durham History for special exhibitions all year. And check out Preservation Durham for fascinating pictures of historic locations around the city as well as schedules for their great walking tours. Happy Birthday, Durham!