Books

Revisiting our Asian/Pacific American Cultures and Histories Syllabus

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and in honor of this annual celebration, we’re revisiting our staff-curated Asian/Pacific American Cultures and Histories Syllabus, originally published in March 2021. The articles, issues, and books in this syllabus discuss not only complex histories and contemporary experiences of racism and imperialism, but also community formation, solidarity between marginalized groups, and worldmaking possibilities.

See the full syllabus here.

Invisible Man Syllabus

In honor of the 70th anniversary of the publication of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (1952, Random House), we are pleased to offer our Invisible Man Syllabus. The books, journal articles, and special issues in this syllabus explore the significance of the novel in relation to art, music, modernism, Blackness, psychiatry, and more.

All included articles in the syllabus are freely available through July 14. Start reading here.

“In exploring the lived experience of a black man’s cultural ‘invisibility’ almost a hundred years ago, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man remains a crucial text for understanding Black Lives Matter in relation to an American history defined by racialized violence,” says Twentieth-Century Literature editor Lee Zimmerman. “At the same time, for all its own failures of vision, the novel points to how the structures of racial invisibility have shaped what, in an American context, ‘mattering’ might mean in the first place.”

Barbara Foley, author of Duke University Press-published Wrestling with the Left: The Making of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, echoes the sentiment of the novel’s critical importance. “At once an embodiment of Cold War ideology and a proclamation of universal humanism, a searing indictment of US racism and an imaginative projection of a world beyond race, Invisible Man is one of the most important novels of the twentieth century.”

Celebrating National Library Week

To celebrate the American Library Association’s National Library Week, we’re featuring the work our Library Relations team does to bring Duke University Press content to academic, public, and special libraries.

In addition to individual book sales and journal subscriptions, we offer complete packages of electronic content to libraries at significant discounts. The annual e-Duke Journals and e-Duke Books collections provide the subscribing library with perpetual, unlimited multiuser access to every journal issue and book title, respectively, published in that calendar year in the humanities and social sciences. These library sales allow any user—faculty, students, staff, or public library patron—affiliated with the subscribing institution to read DUP books and journals through their library.

We maintain a robust indexing and metadata program, sending metadata files regularly to major library technology vendors, to ensure that libraries can easily incorporate these records into their catalogs and user interfaces. These efforts help more users discover and access the content they are searching for on their library’s website.

We work with a 34-member Library Advisory Board, consisting of library staff in various roles at institutions around the world, whom we contact regularly for advice on how our products and services can work best for libraries and their patrons.

Our library sales team attends 10–15 library conferences each year, domestically and internationally. These events help us build relationships with our customers and learn from the many valuable sessions and panels about current topics in the library profession.

For more information about our library relations program, visit our Library Resource Center or the Library Products Catalog to see the range of products we offer to libraries. Reach out to our Library Relations team at libraryrelations@dukeupress.edu to see how we can work with your library.

Critical University Studies Syllabus

Today we are pleased to publish our Critical University Studies Syllabus, which evolved from a Duke University Press reader’s suggestion. The articles, special issues, and books collected in this syllabus provide insight into critical inquiries of the university system and its histories, and reflect on directions for future frameworks for higher education. Topics include structural racism, gender, the uneven distribution of resources, coloniality, academic labor, and the effects of university financialization.

All journal articles, sections, and issues in this syllabus are freely available through March 31, 2022. Book introductions are always free.

The Critical University Studies Syllabus is one of our many staff–curated syllabi, which cover topics ranging from queer studies to labor and precarity to election history. Check out our full syllabi series here.

Support Duke University Press on Giving Tuesday

This Giving Tuesday, please consider supporting the innovative, interdisciplinary scholarship we publish here at Duke University Press! Over the years, our publications have developed new areas of study that transform current thinking and open up new avenues to effect positive change in our world. Our mission-driven publishing work relies on individual and institutional contributions. We are grateful to the many authors who donate their royalties each year to sustain our publications and to the authors, readers, librarians, and other supporters who help make our work possible. Consider supporting our work through one of the six funds listed below.

Translation Fund
Our Translation Fund supports the translation of crucial intellectual work originally published in languages other than English. To date, this fund has supported eight translations of important works, including Achille Mbembe’s Necropolitics (2019) and Françoise Vergès’s The Wombs of Women (2020). Donate to the Translation Fund.

Scholars of Color First Book Fund
This fund supports books authored by scholars of color which show extraordinary promise as important scholarly interventions. This fund helps us maintain our commitment to publish works by rising stars and to celebrate books by scholars of color, especially those who might otherwise not receive recognition and support from their institutions. The fund supports production expenses, including the cost of indexing, which is ordinarily paid for by authors. Donate to the Scholars of Color First Book Fund.

Editorial Director Gisela Fosado says, “Every first book we publish is usually tied to a happy tenure story. Supporting first books by scholars of color is therefore essential to fundamental changes we need in higher education.” Read our blog post about the first cohort of award recipients.

The Lauren Berlant Fund for Utopian Thought
This fund celebrates the life and work of long-time author Lauren Berlant. The fund supports critical-creative and interdisciplinary books that take intellectual risks with both the conception and form of scholarly work, in order to discover how problems look different, and solutions look possible, when we show up to them differently—and together. Awards will be given annually by Duke University Press editors to titles that are distinguished by their creativity in thought and/or attentiveness to the challenges of working within their chosen form. The funds will be used to help cover production costs for the book and will help support the author’s costs as well. Donate to the Lauren Berlant Fund for Utopian Thought.

World Readers Fund
Our World Readers Fund supports the publication of our Latin America Readers and World Readers series—two series that involve extensive translation and permissions costs. Books in these series provide vivid, thought-provoking introductions to the history, culture, and politics of countries, cities, and regions around the world. Each volume features dozens of original documents, most of which have been translated into English for the first time. Donate to the World Readers Fund.

Demography Journal Fund
Publishing the data of disparity and inequality on a regular basis, Demography is a quintessential Duke University Press publication in that it disseminates peer-reviewed research designed to make the world a better and more equitable place for all. The flagship journal of the Population Association of America (PAA), Demography became open access in 2021 as it joined the Duke University Press journals publishing program. Demography’s open-access funding model relies entirely on financial support from individuals, libraries, and other institutions. The 2020 Journal Citation Reports ranked Demography as #1 in citations and #2 in impact factor in its field. Donate to the Demography Journal Fund.

“We were excited to see the announcement that Demography had switched to a fully open-access model with Duke University Press. OA models like this do not charge fees to readers and are instead supported by institutions, societies, and individuals. … Efforts like this one move the needle towards a more sustainable publishing system that prioritizes the advancement of human knowledge,” shared Colleen Lyons, Head of Scholarly Communications at the University of Texas at Austin Libraries.

Duke University Press General Publication Fund
As a nonprofit publisher, our donors are critical to our continued success. Your gift will support the publication of cutting-edge new books and journals. Donate to the Duke University Press General Publication Fund.

Summer reading recommendations from our staff

It’s officially summer in the northern hemisphere! Looking for a good vacation read? Our staff have you covered with a bunch of great recommendations. We hope you’ll pick up one of these books (or a few!) from your local indie bookstore.

Kristen Twardowski, Library Sales Manager, recommends Made for Love by Alissa Nutting, a “hysterical summer read about technology, surveillance, and escaping your megalomaniac billionaire husband who may or may not want to upload your brain to a computer chip. You’ll laugh, you’ll gasp, you’ll throw your iPhone into the sea, and you’ll wonder if you should move into a senior living community before age 40. Just the prescription for 2021.”

“An underground cabal of white men (and some women) secretly controlling events at and around a university in North Carolina?! Obviously this is the premise for a work of fantasy: Tracy Deonn’s Legendborn, about a Black girl who comes to an early college program at UNC only to get swept up into a history of magic and secret societies,” says Editor Elizabeth Ault. “Deonn weaves together a wonderful sense of place—the book begins at one of my favorite Durham summer spots, the Eno River Quarry—and braids together Arthurian and Black Southern magical traditions in a moving and absorbing way that manages to be genuinely surprising. The worst part about this book is that it’s clearly the setup for a series; book 2 can’t come fast enough!”

Chris Robinson, Senior Copywriter, recommends Greg Bear’s The Forge of God. “It’s a first contact with aliens book that is unlike all the others I’ve read (any more will spoil the ending) where the alien visitors send all kinds of mixed messages upon arrival. There are a lot of strands running through it: religion, politics, physics, and more developed characters (geologists, oceanographers, White House officials, everyday regular folks who just get caught up in it) than a lot of sci-fi books.”

The Silence of Bones by June Hur is Exhibits Manager Jes Malitoris’s pick: a “murder mystery set in 19th-century Korea, from the perspective of a young woman who serves as an indentured servant to the capital city police; a great page-turner with an ending that surprised me. It is a young adult book (and you can definitely feel it at times in the characterization), but even as an adult reader this was a really enjoyable, complex mystery.”

Project Editor Annie Lubinsky endorses Jeeves and the King of Clubs by Ben Schott. “The author, a lifelong fan of P. G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster stories, has created a new adventure for the two characters. Jeeves has been called upon to help the British secret service, and the organization pulls in Bertie Wooster as well. The world will be very familiar to Wodehouse fans, and the antics Bertie gets up to are laugh-out-loud funny. (The book is fully authorized by the Wodehouse Estate, and it’s easy to see why!)”

“Mick Herron’s Slough House series of novels are my idea of perfect vacation reads,” says Charles Brower, Senior Project Editor. “There are seven so far, starting with Slow Horses and including this year’s Slough House, about a group of British intelligence agents stuck in a dead-end London posting because they screwed up or have addiction or anger issues or got on the wrong side of powerful people. Their struggles with their demons mirror Britain’s struggles with Brexit and the ghosts of colonialism and the Cold War. The novels are cleverly plotted and hilarious, and I’ve developed great affection for these very flawed heroes.”

“I love steampunk, fantasy, and magic, so A Master of Djinn was a great book for me,” says Erica Woods Tucker, Production Coordinator. “P. Djèlí Clark does a great job intertwining lots of elements into a book that you can’t put down. The main character, Fatma el-Sha’arawi, is a badass. She knows martial arts, is brilliant, and can do the impossible; her partners are women who are also badass and could have several books of their own. I sailed through this book in a few days. I can’t wait until the next book comes out (there are two small prequels you can check out that are in the same universe). It feels like Fatma has a lot more stories.”

“My favorite vacation read is always a sprawling historical novel, and Elizabeth Gilbert’s City of Girls fits that description,” says Laura Sell, Publicity and Advertising Manager. “It’s the story of Vivian Morris, who drops out of Vassar in 1940 and moves to New York City to live above a crumbling vaudeville theater that her eccentric aunt owns. Over 500 pages we follow Vivian as she immerses herself in the world of theater and nightlife, makes friends and mistakes, and ultimately learns what she wants from life and love. The book is so richly imagined you can smell the greasepaint, taste the martinis, and hear the jazz as you read.”

“My brother sent me a copy of singer Rickie Lee Jones’s memoir Last Chance Texaco: Chronicles of an American Troubadour. Jones spent her formative years in the same part of Phoenix that my brother and I grew up in, and she knew some people we knew, so the section about her youth was particularly poignant for me. This memoir is honest and compelling; Jones’s writing, like her singing voice, is quirky, distinctive, and insightful,” says Patty Chase, Digital Content Manager.

Lastly, Project Editor Lisa Lawley recommends two nonfiction books: The Agitators: Three Friends Who Fought for Abolition and Women’s Rights by Dorothy Wickenden and Covered with Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America by Nicole Eustace. “I like when my reads have synergy and both of these books have a lot to say about community. The Agitators follows a group of friends who, despite different temperaments and priorities, pull mostly together to effect abolition in the U.S. and eventually win the vote for women. Insights into the wartime activities of Harriet Tubman, the dynamics of upper-class marriage in the nineteenth century, and a fraught political climate discomfitingly like our own are a bonus. Covered with Night juxtaposes the Five Nations of the Haudenosaunee’s concept of reparative justice and the harsh punitive system of colonial America that continues today as members of both communities work to resolve the 1722 murder in Pennsylvania of a Seneca man, Sawantaeny, by two fur traders disgruntled about a trade. The resulting Treaty of 1722, the oldest continuously operating agreement still in our country’s history, was constructed through dialogue between Taquatarensaely—‘Captain Civility’—and other Native leaders with frightened representatives of the colony, who expected harsh reprisal instead of an invitation and path to forgiveness alongside continued inclusion in the Nations’ circles of community.”

2022 Pricing Updates from Duke University Press

In continued recognition of the financial changes that many libraries face as a result of COVID-19, for the second year in a row, Duke University Press will maintain existing prices for the 2022 calendar year for our journals and select electronic collection products.

Pricing will remain unchanged for the e-Duke Books and e-Duke Journals collections, DMJ 100, Euclid Prime, and direct journal subscriptions (with the exception of Prism, which will increase in frequency in 2022). Detailed information is available at dukeupress.edu/libraries. If your library has a custom deal, the library relations team will be in touch in August to confirm your renewal pricing.

Journal Updates

Duke University Press is pleased to announce the addition of Agricultural History to its 2022 list. Agricultural History, founded in 1927, is the journal of record in its field, publishing articles on all aspects of the history of agriculture and rural life with no geographical or temporal limits. It is published quarterly on behalf of the Agricultural History Society. Agricultural History will be included in the e-Duke Journals Expanded collection.

Demography, the flagship journal of the Population Association of America, joined Duke University Press earlier this year and is now available open access. Demography’s fully open-access funding model relies entirely on financial support from libraries and research centers. Learn how your institution can contribute.

Beginning in 2022, Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature will publish an annual monographic supplement, in addition to its biannual issues, increasing the journal frequency from two to three issues per volume.

Open Access Community Investment Program launches to support OA publishing

Duke University Press is pleased to partner with LYRASIS and Transitioning Society Publications to Open Access (TSPOA) to launch the Open Access Community Investment Program, a project that matches libraries, consortia, and other prospective scholarly publishing funders with nonprofit publishers and journals seeking financial investments to support open-access publishing. Environmental Humanities, an open-access journal published by Duke University Press, is participating in the project’s pilot phase. Learn more about funding through TSPOA.

Annals of Mathematics joins Project Euclid

The Annals of Mathematics, one of the world’s leading mathematics journals, will be hosted on the Project Euclid platform beginning with the 2022 publication year. The Annals is published by the Department of Mathematics at Princeton University with the cooperation of the Institute for Advanced Study. Duke University Press will manage subscription fulfillment and hosting in coordination with Project Euclid.

Scholarly Publishing Collective

Beginning in 2022, Duke University Press will provide journal services including subscription management, fulfillment, hosting, and institutional marketing and sales in a collaboration called the Scholarly Publishing Collective. Partner publishers include Longleaf Services, Michigan State University Press, Penn State University Press, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the University of Illinois Press. Pricing for titles that are part of the Scholarly Publishing Collective will be announced in July 2021.

For more information about 2022 pricing, please contact libraryrelations@dukeupress.edu.

Pride Month Reads

June is Pride Month, and we’re proud to take this opportunity to revisit recent books and journal issues that center on queer studies, trans studies, and LGBTQ+ histories.

The contributors to “Left of Queer,” an issue of Social Text edited by David L. Eng and Jasbir K. Puar, offer a detailed examination of queerness and its nearly three-decade academic institutionalization, exploring how emergent debates in three key areas—debility, indigeneity, and trans—connect queer studies to a host of urgent sociopolitical issues. Taking a position that is politically left of the current academic and political mainstreaming of queerness, the essays in this issue examine what is left of queer—what remains outside of the political, economic, and cultural mandates of the state and the liberal individual as its prized subject.

In Wild Things Jack Halberstam offers an alternative history of sexuality by tracing the ways in which the wild—a space located beyond normative borders of sexuality—offers sources of opposition to knowing and being that transgress Euro-American notions of the modern subject.

The HIV/AIDS crisis is often imagined as over, yet it remains in ongoing relevance to trans life and trans death. Contributors to “Trans in a Time of HIV/AIDS,” an issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly edited by Eva Hayward and Che Gossett, examine the intersection of HIV/AIDS and trans studies, theory, and politics. Topics include differences between past and present conjuncture of trans and the virus; how HIV/AIDS matters for present-day trans studies scholarship, especially in our purportedly post-AIDS-crisis moment; and the relationship between the virus and “trans visibility.”

Queer Political Theologies,” an issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies edited by Ricky Varghese, David K. Seitz, and Fan Wu, brings together queer studies and political theology in order to explore the relationship between the self and politics, theism, and queerness. Going beyond previous work in queer political theology that has focused primarily on Christianity, contributors to this issue consider how queer sexualities appear in other theological contexts, including articles on astrological, Blackpentecostal, Thirunangai, hijra, and sarimbavy ways of life, recentering marginalized and underrepresented minorities, beliefs, and practices.

Drawing from ethnographic work with queer activist groups in contemporary Turkey, in Queer in Translation Evren Savcı explores how Western LGBT politics are translated and reworked there in ways that generate new spaces for resistance and solidarity.

In “The AIDS Crisis Is Not Over,” a Radical History Review issue edited by Emily K. Hobson and Dan Royles, contributors trace histories from around the globe and examine how HIV/AIDS has been shaped by the political economies of neoliberalism and state violence. They expand understandings of the AIDS crisis to include issues of labor, housing, and carcerality and consider ways to teach the global history of AIDS and examine key questions in writing, preserving, and remembering histories of AIDS activism.

In Sexual Hegemony Christopher Chitty traces the 500 year history of capitalist sexual relations, showing how sexuality became a crucial dimension of the accumulation of capital and a technique of bourgeois rule. The book, published posthumously, is edited by Max Fox.

The Sense of Brown, which he was completing at the time of his death, is José Esteban Muñoz’s treatise on brownness and being as well as his most direct address to queer Latinx studies. The book is edited and introduced by Joshua Chambers-Letson and Tavia Nyong′o.

In The Small Book of Hip Checks Erica Rand uses multiple meanings of hip check—an athlete using their hip to throw an opponent off balance and the inspection of racialized gender—to consider the workings of queer gender, race, and writing.

In Information Activism Cait McKinney traces how lesbian feminist activists in the United States and Canada between the 1970s and the present developed communication networks, databases, and digital archives to use as a foundation for their feminist, antiracist, and trans-inclusive work.

Ricardo Montez traces the drawn and painted line that was at the center of Keith Haring’s artistic practice, engaging with Haring’s messy relationships to race-making and racial imaginaries in Keith Haring’s Line.

And finally, congratulations to Ashon Crawley, whose book The Lonely Letters was awarded the Lambda Literary Award in Nonfiction earlier this week.

Asian/Pacific American Cultures and Histories Syllabus

In response to recent acts of violence against Asian Americans stemming from a long history of anti-Asian sentiment in the United States, we wish to offer resources to contextualize the experiences of Asian and Pacific Americans. The articles, issues, and books in our Asian/Pacific American Cultures and Histories Syllabus discuss not only complex histories and contemporary experiences of racism and imperialism, but also community formation, solidarity between marginalized groups, and worldmaking possibilities.

All journal articles and issues in the syllabus are free to read until August 31, 2021. The introduction to each book is free, and books may be purchased at dukeupress.edu.

The Asian/Pacific American Cultures and Histories Syllabus is one of several staff-curated syllabi, with topics ranging from global immigration to racial justice to trans rights.

The Best Books We Read in 2020

Amid the many challenges of 2020, the Duke University Press staff took solace in—what else?—reading. Here are some of our staffers’ favorite books they read over the past year. We hope you’ll find a few picks for yourself to enjoy in the coming months.

Copywriter Chris Robinson recommends The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition by Ursula K. Le Guin. “I started this massive illustrated collection of all of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea novels and stories at the start of October, when I needed some good escapism from the election. It did the trick. Her language is comforting, like a warm blanket. Wizards and dragons? Yes please.”

Dan Ruccia, Marketing Designer, enjoyed the first two books in Tamsyn Muir’s Locked Tomb Trilogy. Her debut, Gideon the Ninth, “was the first book I was able to successfully read during the panicked early days of the pandemic, devouring it in a matter of days,” he writes. “Muir’s tale of necromancers is equal parts gothic fantasy, space opera, and whodunnit, all cast in nacreous, sepulchral tones with more words for ‘bones’ than you can shake a gnarled, ossified pile of knucklebones at. It’s also absurdly hilarious. The second volume (Harrow the Ninth) takes everything you learn in the first book, rips it apart, and reassembles it into some horrifying skeletal construct that is totally befuddling and somehow even more satisfying. I’ve read them both twice already, and I’m sad that I have to wait until 2022 for the series’ concluding volume (Alecto the Ninth) to be released.”

Michael McCullough, Senior Manager for Books Sales and Marketing, recommends The Summer House by Alice Thomas Ellis. “Three very different women—the bride-to-be, her mother’s old friend, and her prospective mother-in-law—tell the story of an ill-advised wedding. If I kept a commonplace book, it would be filled with quotations from The Summer House, because the writing is brilliant.”

Digital Content Manager Patty Chase writes, “The most enchanting book I read this year was Piranesi, by Susanna Clarke. I was drawn into its surreal landscape immediately, and I let the uncertainty of what was happening wash over me. The unwinding of the story was entirely satisfying all the way through. This book was a welcome escape during these trying times.”

Book Designer Aimee Harrison’s favorite book this year was Masande Ntshanga’s Triangulum. “A blend of near-apocalypse science fiction and post-apartheid South African coming-of-age novel, Triangulum propelled me into history books and debates about whether change comes from destroying the machine or manipulating it, while I was still sitting beside the ghosts of the very real characters Ntshanga has created. This is Ntshanga’s second novel, and draws on elements of research and triptych friendships developed in The Reactive, but pushes language and genre even further to tie together disparate conspiracies and revolutions, environmental and governmental catastrophes, and histories of friendships and families.”

Charles Brower, Senior Project Editor, writes, “I think it’s fitting for 2020 to pick a horror novel as my read of the year: Stephen Graham Jones’s The Only Good Indians, which is tragic, funny, blood-curdling, and illuminating and sharp in its portrayal of contemporary Indigenous life on and off the reservation. And it climaxes with the most suspenseful basketball game between a Native teenage girl and a vengeful elk demon that you’ll ever read.”

Journals Marketing Manager Jocelyn Dawson’s pick is The Housekeeper by Natalie Barelli, a psychological thriller that she listened to as an audiobook. “It’s definitely better to read in print, because the last third of the book is impossible to put down and there’s only so much time that you can politely spend walking around with headphones in when you live with other people. If you like suspense, this is one to add to your list.”

And lastly, Editor Elizabeth Ault writes, “Two books that hit my quarantine sweet spot of exceptional writing, settings and characters I hadn’t seen a million times before, and just sheer joy in reading were Kawai Strong Washburn’s Sharks in the Time of Saviors and Quan Barry’s We Ride Upon Sticks. Both told deeply emplaced stories (Washburn on Hawaiʻi and Oahu, Barry on the North Shore of Massachusetts) about places very unlike Durham, NC, so that certainly helped!”