Books

New Books in May

Here in Durham, we’re in the middle of warm spring weather perfect for reading outside in the sunshine. Add some of these upcoming May reads to your own reading list, and don’t forget that you can save up to 50% on in-stock titles through May 10! (Read the fine print of our sale here.)

978-0-8223-6349-1In I Love My Selfie noted cultural critic Ilan Stavans explores the selfie’s historical and cultural roots by discussing everything from Greek mythology and Shakespeare to Andy Warhol, James Franco, and Pope Francis. This collaboration includes a portfolio of fifty autoportraits by the artist ADÁL; he and Stavans use them as a way to question the notion of the self and to engage with artists, celebrities, technology, identity, and politics.

Through essays analyzing the photography of luminaries such as Cindy Sherman, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Susan Meiselas, pioneering feminist art critic Abigail Solomon-Godeau, in Photography after Photography, extends her politically engaged and theoretically sophisticated inquiry into the historical and cultural circuits of power as they shape and inform the practice, criticism, and historiography of photography.

Solomon-Godeau_pbk_cover.inddIn The Power of the Steel-Tipped Pen Noenoe K. Silva creates a model indigenous intellectual history of a culture where—using Western standards—none is presumed to exist by examining the work of two lesser-known Hawaiian language writers from the nineteenth-century whose prolific output across many genres created a record of Native Hawaiian cultural history and thought.

Gabriel Rockhill, in Counter-History of the Present, examines the widespread understanding that we are living in an era of globalization that is bound by economic and technological networks and an unquestionable faith in democracy, replacing it with a counter-history that accounts for the diversity of lived experience and offers new ways to imagine the future.

978-0-8223-6368-2In Archives of Labor Lori Merish establishes working-class women as significant actors within nineteenth-century U.S. literary culture by analyzing previously unexplored archives of working-class women’s literature, showing how white, African American, and Mexican American factory workers, seamstresses, domestic workers, and prostitutes understood themselves while forging class identity.

Beyond Civil Society challenges current understandings of the politics of protest, activism, and participation by examining the ways in which social movements in late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century Latin America blur the boundaries between civil and uncivil activism and between activism carried out in state and the streets. The collection is edited by Sonia E. Alvarez, Jeffrey W. Rubin, Millie Thayer, Gianpaolo Baiocchi, and Agustín Laó-Montes.

978-0-8223-6901-1In Degrees of Mixture, Degrees of Freedom, Peter Wade draws on a multidisciplinary research study in Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia, arguing that genomics produces biologized versions of racialized difference within the nation and the region and that a comparative approach nuances the simple idea that highly racialized societies give rise to highly racialized genomics.

The contributors to Photography and the Optical Unconscious, edited by Shawn Michelle Smith and Sharon Sliwinski, use Walter Benjamin’s concept of the optical unconscious to investigate how photography has shaped history, modernity, perception, lived experience, politics, race, and human agency, thereby opening up new avenues for thinking about photography and the human psyche.

978-0-8223-6903-5Judith Casselberry’s The Labor of Faith examines the material and spiritual labor of the women of a Black Pentecostal church in Harlem, showing how their work keeps the church running while providing them with a spiritual authority that allows them to exercise power in the male-led church.

In The Economization of Life Michelle Murphy examines the ways in which efforts at population control since World War II have tied reproduction to neoliberal capitalism, showing how data collection practices have been used to quantify the value of a human life in terms of its ability to improve the nation-state’s gross domestic product.

Erin Beck, in How Development Projects Persist, examines microfinance NGOs working with poor, rural women in Guatemala to show how these women creatively and strategically use the NGOs to their own benefit in ways that do not necessarily match the goals of the NGOs, demonstrating that development projects are often transformed and persist in unexpected ways.

We’re also distributing three new exhibition catalogues this month:

TitleTreatment_FINALNina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush, a publication of the Nasher Musuem of Art at Duke University, accompanies the exhibition of the same name, a ten-year survey of one of the most provocative and iconoclastic artists working today. Royal Flush is on display at the Nasher until July 16, 2017.

A landmark exhibition on display at the Brooklyn Museum until September 17, 2017, We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85 examines the political, social, cultural, and aesthetic priorities of women of color during the emergence of second-wave feminism. The accompanying Sourcebook republishes an array of rare and little-known documents from the period by artists, writers, cultural critics, and art historians such as Gloria Anzaldúa, James Baldwin, bell hooks, Lucy R. Lippard, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Lowery Stokes Sims, Alice Walker, and Michelle Wallace. The exhibition will also be on display at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles from October 13, 2017, through January 14, 2018, and at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston from June 26, 2018, through September 30, 2018.

Julie Thomson’s Begin to See: The Photographers of Black Mountain College is the first in-depth exhibition and catalogue devoted to photography taken at the college and features over 100 photographs by more than forty artists as well as essays, photographer biographies, and a chronology of photography at Black Mountain College. The catalogue is published by the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, where the exhibition is on display until May 20, 2017.

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Remembering Craufurd Goodwin

goodwin-cropped.jpgWe are saddened to learn that Craufurd Goodwin, James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Economics and the founding editor of History of Political Economy, passed away last week.

He is remembered at Duke University Press for being an incredibly vibrant and larger-than-life person. Goodwin’s editorial term for the journal lasted from 1969 through 2010 and he was a great publishing partner with the Press for many years.

From Duke Today:

“Craufurd was one of a small group of people who started the field of the history of economic thought,” said Paul Dudenhefer, assistant director of the Duke EcoTeach writing program who worked with Goodwin for more than 15 years. “It used to be done as part of economics in general. Through the founding of the journal, he helped make it its own subfield. He institutionalized the subfield of the history of economics.”

Among colleagues, Goodwin made the environment interesting. Dudenhefer said Goodwin “was always eager to talk about the fascinating things he was reading and writing about. Working with him was extremely educational and entertaining. He made me laugh every day.”

A past president and distinguished fellow of the History of Economics Society, Goodwin was instrumental in the construction of the professional community of historians of economics.

Our sincerest condolences go out to Craufurd Goodwin’s family, friends, and colleagues, as well as the Duke community.

Association of Asian Studies, 2017

This past weekend, we enjoyed meeting authors and selling books and journals at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference in Toronto.

Congratulations to author Tania Murray Li, who won the George McT. Kahin Prize from the AAS Southeast Asia Council for her book Land’s End: Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier!

On Friday we had a reception celebrating the launch of Archives of Asian Art. The reception was a fun way to celebrate the first issue of the journal published by Duke University Press with editor Stanley Abe and readers of the journal. Learn more about the journal here.

We snapped a few photos during the conference:

Rebecca Karl

Rebecca Karl with her book The Magic of Concepts

Arnika Fuhrmann

Arnika Furhmann with her book Ghostly Desires

Maggie Clinton

Maggie Clinton, whose book Revolutionary Nativism was just published

Li award program

Congratulations, Tania Murray Li!

If you missed AAS this year or didn’t grab all the books you wanted, don’t worry! You can still take advantage of the conference discount. Just use coupon code AAS17 for 30% off your order through our website.

Open Access at Duke University Press: Blog Series Highlights

open-access-efforts-at-duke-university-pressOver the past week we have shared a series of four blog posts covering open access at Duke University Press. Topics in the series included Project Euclid, Knowledge Unlatched, Environmental Humanities, and The Carlyle Letters Online.

Leslie Eager, Director of Publishing Services for Project Euclid, shared information about the platform and the ways it supports open access in the mathematics and statistics world.

Steve Cohn, Director of Duke University Press, offered information about how we’ve participated with Knowledge Unlatched in the past and why we’ll continue in the future.

Brent Kinser, coordinating editor for The Carlyle Letters Online, shared his thoughts on the project and discussed his vision for its future.

We highlighted some of the exciting new content from the open-access journal Environmental Humanities, edited by Thom van Dooren and Elizabeth DeLoughrey, and the relationship between the journal and its five leading research university partners.

To learn more about these open-access initiatives at Duke University Press, read our previous blog posts.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

InternationalWomensDay-portraitToday is International Women’s Day (IWD), a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Since the early 1900s, this day has been a powerful platform that unifies tenacity and drives action for gender parity globally. IWD organizers are calling on supporters to help forge a better-working and more gender-inclusive world. In honor of this year’s International Women’s Day, we are pleased to share these recent books and journals from Duke University Press that support this year’s IWD theme: #BeBoldForChange.

Trans/Feminisms
a special issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly

tsq_new_prThis special double issue of TSQ goes beyond the simplistic dichotomy between an exclusionary transphobic feminism and an inclusive trans-affirming feminism. Exploring the ways in which trans issues are addressed within feminist and women’s organizations and social movements around the world, contributors ask how trans, genderqueer, and nonbinary issues are related to feminist movements today, what kind of work is currently undertaken in the name of trans/feminism, what new paradigms and visions are emerging, and what questions still need to be taken up. Central to this special issue is the recognition that trans/feminist politics cannot restrict itself to the domain of gender alone.

This issue features numerous shorter works that represent the diversity of trans/feminist practices and problematics and, in addition to original research articles, includes theory, reports, manifestos, opinion pieces, reviews, and creative/artistic productions, as well as republished key documents of trans/feminist history and international scholarship.

Living a Feminist Life

978-0-8223-6319-4In Living a Feminist Life Sara Ahmed shows how feminist theory is generated from everyday life and the ordinary experiences of being a feminist at home and at work. Building on legacies of feminist of color scholarship in particular, Ahmed offers a poetic and personal meditation on how feminists become estranged from worlds they critique—often by naming and calling attention to problems—and how feminists learn about worlds from their efforts to transform them. Ahmed also provides her most sustained commentary on the figure of the feminist killjoy introduced in her earlier work while showing how feminists create inventive solutions—such as forming support systems—to survive the shattering experiences of facing the walls of racism and sexism. The killjoy survival kit and killjoy manifesto, with which the book concludes, supply practical tools for how to live a feminist life, thereby strengthening the ties between the inventive creation of feminist theory and living a life that sustains it.

1970s Feminisms
a special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly

ddsaq_114_4For more than a decade, feminist historians and historiographers have engaged in challenging the “third wave” portrait of 1970s feminism as essentialist, white, middle-class, uninterested in racism, and theoretically naive. This task has involved setting the record straight about women’s liberation by interrogating how that image took hold in the public imagination and among academic feminists. This issue invites feminist theorists to return to women’s liberation—to the texts, genres, and cultural productions to which the movement gave rise—for a more nuanced look at its conceptual and political consequences. The essays in this issue explore such topics as the ambivalent legacies of women’s liberation; the production of feminist subjectivity in mass culture and abortion documentaries; the political effects of archiving Chicana feminism; and conceptual and generic innovations in the work of Gayle Rubin, Christine Delphy, and Shulamith Firestone.

The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland

978-0-8223-6286-9In The Revolution Has Come Robyn C. Spencer traces the Black Panther Party’s organizational evolution in Oakland, California, where hundreds of young people came to political awareness and journeyed to adulthood as members. Challenging the belief that the Panthers were a projection of the leadership, Spencer draws on interviews with rank-and-file members, FBI files, and archival materials to examine the impact the organization’s internal politics and COINTELPRO’s political repression had on its evolution and dissolution. She shows how the Panthers’ members interpreted, implemented, and influenced party ideology and programs; initiated dialogues about gender politics; highlighted ambiguities in the Panthers’ armed stance; and criticized organizational priorities. Spencer also centers gender politics and the experiences of women and their contributions to the Panthers and the Black Power movement as a whole. Providing a panoramic view of the party’s organization over its sixteen-year history, The Revolution Has Come shows how the Black Panthers embodied Black Power through the party’s international activism, interracial alliances, commitment to address state violence, and desire to foster self-determination in Oakland’s black communities.

Reconsidering Gender, Violence, and the State
a special issue of Radical History Review

ddrhr_126In bringing together a geographically and temporally broad range of interdisciplinary historical scholarship, this issue of Radical History Review offers an expansive examination of gender, violence, and the state. Through analyses of New York penitentiaries, anarchists in early twentieth-century Japan, and militarism in the 1990s, contributors reconsider how historical conceptions of masculinity and femininity inform the persistence of and punishments for gendered violence. The contributors to a section on violence and activism challenge the efficacy of state solutions to gendered violence in a contemporary US context, highlighting alternatives posited by radical feminist and queer activists. In five case studies drawn from South Africa, India, Ireland, East Asia, and Nigeria, contributors analyze the archive’s role in shaping current attitudes toward gender, violence, and the state, as well as its lasting imprint on future quests for restitution or reconciliation. This issue also features a visual essay on the “false positives” killings in Colombia and an exploration of Zanale Muholi’s postapartheid activist photography.

Color of Violence: The INCITE! Anthology

978-0-8223-6295-1The editors and contributors to Color of Violence ask: What would it take to end violence against women of color? Presenting the fierce and vital writing of INCITE!’s organizers, lawyers, scholars, poets, and policy makers, Color of Violence radically repositions the antiviolence movement by putting women of color at its center. The contributors shift the focus from domestic violence and sexual assault and map innovative strategies of movement building and resistance used by women of color around the world. The volume’s thirty pieces—which include poems, short essays, position papers, letters, and personal reflections—cover violence against women of color in its myriad forms, manifestations, and settings, while identifying the links between gender, militarism, reproductive and economic violence, prisons and policing, colonialism, and war. At a time of heightened state surveillance and repression of people of color, Color of Violence is an essential intervention.

World Policy Interrupted
a special issue of World Policy Journal

wpj33_4_23_frontcover_fppThis issue is penned entirely by female foreign policy experts and journalists and “imagines a world where we wouldn’t need to interpret to be heard at the table. In reconstructing a media landscape where the majority of foreign policy experts quoted, bylined, and miked are not men, we quickly gain deeper insight into a complex world, one historically narrated by only one segment of society,” co-editors Elmira Bayrasli and Lauren Bohn write. Bayrasli and Bohn lead Foreign Policy Interrupted, a program that mentors, develops, and amplifies the voices of women in the international policy field. Foreign Policy Interrupted combats the industry’s gender disparity through a visibility platform and a cohesive fellowship program, including media training and meaningful mentoring at partnering media institutions. The program helps women break both internal and external barriers.

Stay up to date on women’s studies scholarship with these journals on gender studies, feminist theory, queer theory, and gay and lesbian studies:

Camera Obscura
differences
GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies
Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies

 

Open Access: Duke University Press and the Knowledge Unlatched Initiative

We have created a series of five blog posts covering open access at Duke University Press. Today’s post features Knowledge Unlatched, an open-access initiative for humanities and social sciences books. We learned more about this initiative and the Press’s involvement through a conversation with Steve Cohn, Director of Duke University Press.

copy-of-ku_stacked_cmyk_green“The world is a better place when anyone can read what we’re publishing,” said Steve Cohn of Duke University Press’s 2013 decision to become one of the thirteen publisher participants in the original pilot collection for Knowledge Unlatched, an open-access initiative for humanities and social sciences books.

Through this pilot, libraries contributed funds to meet a target fee for a set of 28 books, covering the fees set by each publisher to “unlatch” a high-quality scholarly monograph. The “unlatched” titles were then made openly available on a Creative Commons license via OAPEN and HathiTrust as fully downloadable PDFs, while the publishers continued to sell their books in other formats. The pilot originally sought participation from 200 libraries, a target that was exceeded when close to 300 libraries from 24 countries joined Knowledge Unlatched.

Duke University Press participated with four books:

  • Biological Relatives: IVF, Stem Cells, and the Future of Kinship by Sarah Franklin
  • In Search of the Amazon: Brazil, the United States, and the Nature of a Region by Seth Garfield
  • My Voice Is My Weapon: Music, Nationalism, and the Poetics of Palestinian Resistance by David A. McDonald
  • Ever Faithful: Race, Loyalty, and the Ends of Empire in Spanish Cuba by David Sartorius

Authors have been very enthusiastic about the Knowledge Unlatched program. David Sartorius, author of Ever Faithful: Race, Loyalty, and the Ends of Empire in Spanish Cuba, credits Knowledge Unlatched with making it possible for Cuban scholars to find his work. He writes at the Knowledge Unlatched website: “As a scholar of Cuba, and Latin America more broadly, it’s important for me to share my research with the people whose past I study. Knowledge Unlatched makes that possible in ways that costly paper editions do not allow. Issues of price and distribution make much North Atlantic scholarship on Latin America out of reach in the region, and open access facilitates the kind of transnational exchange of ideas that needs to accompany the proliferation of other transnational phenomena in our present moment.”

A second collection for Knowledge Unlatched, “KU Round 2 Collection,” for 20152016 consists of 78 new titles from 26 publishers, available on both OAPEN and HathiTrust. Some publishers contributed individual books to be collected in disciplinary groups of ten; some publishers, like Duke and Michigan, offered a publisher package of ten books. Duke University Press contributed

  • Cold War Anthropology: The CIA, the Pentagon, and the Growth of Dual Use Anthropology by David H. Price
  • Dalit Studies by Ramnarayan S. Rawat and K. Satyanarayana
  • Diaspora and Trust: Cuba, Mexico, and the Rise of China by Adrian H. Hearn
  • Disciplinary Conquest: U.S. Scholars in South America, 1900–1945 by Ricardo D. Salvatore
  • Gesture and Power: Religion, Nationalism, and Everyday Performance in Congo by Yolanda Covington-Ward
  • Making Refuge: Somali Bantu Refugees and Lewiston, Maine by Catherine Besteman
  • Metroimperial Intimacies: Fantasy, Racial-Sexual Governance, and the Philippines in U.S. Imperialism, 18991913 by Victor Román Mendoza
  • Moral Economies of Corruption: State Formation and Political Culture in Nigeria by Steven Pierce
  • Negro Soy Yo: Hip Hop and Raced Citizenship in Neoliberal Cuba by Marc D. Perry
  • Sexual States: Governance and the Struggle over the Antisodomy Law in India by Jyoti Puri

The library pledging period for a third collection, “KU Select 2016,” closed January 31, 2017. This collection will feature 343 titles: 147 on the frontlist and 196 on the backlist. Currently, Duke University Press has 15 titles waiting to be made open access on the “KU Select 2016” frontlist and 11 titles on the backlist. To learn more about “KU Select 2016,” visit the Knowledge Unlatched Select 2016 Pledging Process.

Open Access: Project Euclid

We have created a series of five blog posts covering open access at Duke University Press. Today’s post features Project Euclid, a not-for-profit hosting and publishing platform for the mathematics and statistics communities, managed jointly by Cornell University Library and Duke University Press. Here Leslie Eager, Director of Publishing Services for Project Euclid, shares more about the platform and the ways it supports open access in the mathematics and statistics world.

peOur goal at Project Euclid is to make mathematics and statistics publications easy and affordable to find and read online. Supporting open-access publishing is a huge part of that mission. About 70% of Project Euclid is open access.

With Project Euclid the idea is to provide low-cost but feature-rich hosting services for journals, books, and conference proceedings so that publishers can keep the scholarship affordable and widely available to libraries and researchers while sustaining themselves financially. We partner with math and stats publishers around the world.

Some editors of open-access journals ask us why they should work with a formal publishing platform at all. It’s true that anyone can post articles on a web page at little or no cost, but it’s much harder for readers to discover those articles. Journals hosted on Euclid are fully indexed, compatible with library discovery systems, tagged with Mathematics Subject Classifications, search-engine-optimized, and linked directly to crucial mathematics resources like MathSciNet reviews, zbMATH, and arXiv.

We work with subscription-based publications as well as open access, but we offer special low pricing to publications with no access restrictions. We also encourage publishers to make their subscription-based content freely available after three to five years. The result is that across the 87 titles that we host, over 70% of the pages on Project Euclid are freely available to everyone.

Exciting opportunities

acta-mathematicaIt’s very exciting when long-standing, highly regarded journals find ways to open their content and become more easily available. Beginning in 2017, Acta Mathematica and Arkiv för Matematik will become open access and will be hosted on Project Euclid with issues going back to 1882. Both are high-quality journals (published by the Institut Mittag-Leffler and produced and distributed by International Press), and Acta is consistently ranked among the very top journals in the field, according to Impact Factor. We believe that making journals of their stature open access will bring new visibility to the open-access business model and to Euclid as a leading partner in open-access publishing.

We also offer partial open-access solutions to publishers that are unable to secure full funding for their publications. The Euclid Prime collection hybrid model allows 25% of its material to be open access in the first five years, and all the journal content becomes openly available to all after that time. Prime publishers pay no out-of-pocket hosting fees and earn royalties from Euclid’s sale of the collection to libraries. Through Euclid Prime, Project Euclid is able to help fund partially open publishing initiatives by charging a low fee for the most recent content. Visit the Project Euclid site for a full list of all open-access titles.

To learn more about Project Euclid and to browse our open-access content, visit projecteuclid.org.

The Black Panther Party and Black Anti-Fascism in the United States

The Revolution Has Come by Robyn C. SpencerToday’s guest post comes to us from Robyn C. Spencer, author of the new book The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland.

Fascism has been thrust into the mainstream political vocabulary of the United States after the election of President Donald Trump on a platform grounded in xenophobia, corporate dominance, and right wing white nationalism.  After the election, search engines and online dictionaries reported a dramatic increase in users seeking to define the term. News outlets from Al Jazeera (“The Foul Stench of Fascism in the Air”) to Forbes (“Yes, a Trump presidency would bring fascism to America”)  to the Washington Post  (“Donald Trump is actually a fascist”) published articles analyzing how Trump fits into fascist paradigms. Most recently, The Nation (“Anti-Fascists Will Fight Trump’s Fascism in the Streets”) chronicled the long history of anti-fascist organizing in Europe and the United States to inspire activists engaged in resistance at this political moment. Black history has been marginalized in this burgeoning contemporary discourse about fascism. Analyses of the US as fascist have a long history in the Black intellectual tradition. Black thinkers like Harry Hayward, Claudia Jones, George Jackson and Kuwasi Balagoon used fascism as an analytical framework to understand the rise of segregation in the South after Reconstruction; white populism at the turn of the 19th century; land and labor struggles in the Black Belt South, and the evolution of capitalism in the 1970s.

United Front Against Fascism by Georgi DimitroffThe Black Panther Party played a prominent role in the modern history of Black anti-fascism. Panther leaders were deeply influenced by “The United Front Against Fascism,” a report by Georgi Dimitroff delivered at the Seventh World Congress of the Communist International in July-August 1935.

By 1969, the Panthers began to use fascism as a theoretical framework to critique US political economy. They defined fascism as “the power of finance capital” which “manifests itself not only as banks, trusts and monopolies but also as the human property of FINANCE CAPITAL – the avaricious businessman, the demagogic politician, and the racist pig cop.” The Black Panther newspaper began to feature excerpts from Dimitroff’s writings and articles with titles such as “Fascist Pigs must withdraw their troops from our communities or face the wrath of the armed people,” “Students Struggle Against Fascism,” and “Medicine and Fascism.”  The Panthers advertised local showings of films like Z about fascism in Greece and used their iconic artwork as a cultural tool to visually demonstrate anti-fascist resistance.

In July 1969 close to 5,000 activists from organizations like the Black Students Union, Communist Party USA, Los Siete de la Raza, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Students for a Democratic Society, Third World Liberation Front, Young Lords, Young Patriots, Youth Against War and Fascism, and the Progressive Labor Party flocked to Oakland, California’s Municipal auditorium in response to the Black Panther Party’s call for allies to gather and strategize against fascist conditions in the United States.  This United Front Against Fascism (UFAF) conference was an important moment in the history of the Black Freedom movement and the New Left. The Panthers hoped to create a “national force” with a “common revolutionary ideology and political program which answers the basic desires and needs of all people in fascist, capitalist, racist America.” At the opening session, Seale called for unity of action arguing that “we will not be free until Brown, Red, Yellow, Black, and all other peoples of color are unchained.”

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Astor Piazzolla and Lalo Schifrin, New York, 1958

978-0-8223-6236-4We’re pleased to share a guest blog post from Matthew Karush, author of the new book Musicians in Transit: Argentina and the Globalization of Popular Music.

In Musicians in Transit, I explore the careers of seven Argentine musicians across the twentieth century. My focus is on how these artists navigated the economic and ideological structures of the global music business. Whether they played tango, folk, jazz, pop, or rock, all of these musicians recorded for multinational companies, performed for foreign audiences and critics, and engaged with foreign genres and musicians. These encounters imposed creative limits, but they also opened up opportunities. In response, Argentine musicians produced innovative music and achieved commercial success while generating new ways of conceptualizing their identities. Their aesthetic and commercial maneuvers both shifted global perceptions of Latin American music and enabled their Argentine fans to reimagine their own relationship to the rest of the world.

The North American travels of tango innovator Astor Piazzolla and jazz pianist and composer Lalo Schifrin provide revealing examples of how Argentine musicians responded to foreign expectations. Coincidentally, Piazzolla and Schifrin followed similar itineraries in the 1950s: both left Buenos Aires for Paris in 1954, returned shortly thereafter, and then moved to New York City in 1958. When they traveled in Europe and the United States, they were both perceived as “Latin,” a quasi-ethnic identity that implied a series of musical stereotypes. This perception exerted a profound impact on the kind of music they would go on to make, although that impact was very different in the two cases.

By the time he moved to New York (or returned there – Piazzolla actually grew up in New York City), Piazzolla was an accomplished tango composer and arranger as well as a performer on the bandoneón, the accordion-like instrument featured in tango bands. In the mid-fifties, he had developed an avant-garde version of the tango, which sounded like this:

This is “Lo que vendrá,” from 1956. It shows Piazzolla trying to infuse tango with the sophistication of both classical music and modern jazz.

Piazzolla was clearly enthusiastic about opening the tango up to foreign influences. In New York, he planned to create a new group that would attract a North American audience by performing a hybrid of jazz and tango. Yet as an Argentine in the United States, Piazzolla was seen as Latin, and musically, Latin meant Cuban drums and rhythms. As a result, Piazzolla’s big break in New York came from Tico Records, a local label that specialized in mambo and other Latin dance genres. Tico paired Piazzolla’s group with a Latin percussion section including Johnny Pacheco, the future salsa innovator.  Here they are playing the Duke Ellington standard, “Sophisticated Lady”:

The choice of material, the vibraphone, and the long bandoneón solo all reveal Piazzolla’s intention to borrow from jazz. But the inclusion of the bongos sets the music against a stereotypical Latin rhythm. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this funny-sounding hybrid failed to find an audience in the US.

Chastened, Piazzolla abandoned his attempt to win over a North American audience and returned to Buenos Aires in 1960. Interestingly, the music he made over the next few years, on the heels of his New York failure, represented his most impressive burst of creativity and innovation and would largely set the template for the rest of his career. His new band was called the Quinteto Nuevo Tango (pictured on the cover of my book). Here it is in 1963 performing Piazzolla’s composition, “Fracanapa”:

As I argue in the book, this music avoided the “fusion” strategy of his New York phase. He was now free of the need to appeal to North American listeners or to fit into the category of Latin music. Inspired by modern jazz, his music sounded like a cosmopolitan version of tango, or as he liked to describe it, “the contemporary music of Buenos Aires.” On the strength of this music, Piazzolla became an icon in Argentina, but he would not achieve a significant audience in the United States until the 1980s.

Lalo Schifrin’s response to the Latin label was very different. Eleven years younger than Piazzolla, Schifrin was a jazz wunderkind with a deep love of bebop and no interest in the tango or in any other Latin American musical genre. Nevertheless, by the mid-1950s, the idea of “Latin jazz,” conceived as a mixture of jazz improvisation with Cuban rhythms, was well established. This category, and the larger one of Latin music, created opportunities for someone like Schifrin, who combined impressive musical skills with Latin American ancestry. Shortly after moving to New York, Schifrin took a job as pianist and arranger for the Latin bandleader Xavier Cugat. Here he is performing with the Cugat band on US television:

The video demonstrates Schifrin’s showmanship, but it also reveals the way he was able to play the role of an authentic practitioner of what the television announcer calls “the modern Latin form.” Similarly, within a couple of years, Schifrin was helping to popularize bossa nova, the Brazilian samba-jazz hybrid, both as the pianist in Dizzy Gillespie’s quintet and as a solo artist:

In late 1963, Schifrin’s career took a definitive turn when he began composing music for movies and TV. His reputation as a Latin music master helped him get his first Hollywood jobs, and many of his early compositions bear the traces of this background. His most famous composition is no exception:

Not only do the bongos give “Mission Impossible” a Latin flavor, but as I argue in the book, the song’s dominant theme plays with listeners’ expectation of the clave, the basic rhythmic cell of Afro-Cuban music. Although Schifrin quickly jettisoned the Latin label and has enjoyed a long career composing in a wide variety of styles, his original reception as a Latin music specialist facilitated his access to US audiences and shaped some of his most influential work.

Piazzolla and Schifrin had opposite experiences in the US: Piazzolla failed to find an audience and quickly returned to Argentina, while Schifrin succeeded and stayed. Nevertheless, they both developed their musical personalities and innovations by grappling with the expectations imposed on them by North Americans.

Use coupon code E16KARUS to save 30% on Musicians in Transit when you order through our website.

Duke University Press Selects Silverchair for New Digital Products Platform

silverchairdup_pr_filled_k_pngSilverchair Information Systems (Silverchair) and Duke University Press announced today a new publishing technology partnership to redevelop and host Duke University Press’s extensive collection of scholarly journals, books, and electronic collections in the humanities and social sciences on Silverchair’s online publishing platform.

Duke University Press publishes more than 50 journals, offers five digital collections, and has well over 2,000 scholarly books available online. All humanities and social sciences journals and e-books will migrate to the Silverchair platform, providing scholars with a single reading and research experience across books and journals.

“We are enthusiastic to collaborate with another of the world’s most respected university presses,” said Thane Kerner, Silverchair CEO. “Duke University Press’s omni-format offerings will benefit greatly from our integrated, flexible delivery platform, enabling rapid ideation and experimentation in new ways to serve scholars and libraries. Supporting this deep and interconnected body of scholarship in the humanities and social sciences will drive Silverchair’s technology in new and exciting directions.”

“After long and careful assessment of platform technologies and service offerings, we believe Silverchair is the most capable of delivering the sort of integrated, responsive platform we have long envisioned for our books and journals—one that can showcase both the variety and the cohesion of our highly interdisciplinary scholarship,” said Steve Cohn, director of Duke University Press. “Silverchair offers us a modern, secure technology platform combined with the kind of creative and flexible approach necessary to match our innovative, dynamic publications and products.”

Duke University Press’s content will be available on the Silverchair platform in January 2018. Librarians and sales agents can consult our Platform Migration Resource Page for additional details.

To read the full press release, visit our Library Resource Center.