Books

Freely Available Resources for #BlackLivesMatter Activists

Over the past several weeks, we’ve seen an outpouring of response from grieving communities against structural oppression and police brutality. As we balance political action and education about history and critical race theory, we encourage you to read and share the following resources with your community.

Syllabi

Our staff-curated syllabi offer journal articles and issues that are free for a limited time; please note that the books on these lists are not free but can be purchased via your local black-owned bookstore.

Syllabus topics include:

See the full list here.

Articles on racial inequity & COVID-19

The Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law has released pre-publication manuscripts about COVID-19 and health policy, which are free to read until late August. Several of these articles, such as “Racism and the Political Economy of COVID-19: Will We Continue to Resurrect the Past?” by Zinzi Bailey and J. Robin Moon, address the structural racism providing the foundation for significant racial inequity during this pandemic. See the full article list here.

Policing and state violence resources from Radical History Review

The Radical History Review has curated a list of articles on policing and state violence. These articles, along with RHR’s new issue “Policing, Justice, and the Radical Imagination,” are free to read online through the end of September. (This issue can be read alongside Public Culture‘s 2019 issue “Violence and Policing,” also free through September as part of our Police Violence Syllabus.)

Open-access books

Duke University Press has published many open-access books, all accessible here. Titles of interest include Ontological Terror: Blackness, Nihilism and Emancipation by Calvin L. Warren, Everything Man: The Form and Function of Paul Robeson by Shana L. Redmond, The Race of Sound: Listening, Timbre, and Vocality in African American Music by Nina Sun Eidsheim, and An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti by Marcus Rainsford.

Black art resources from Nka

In recognition of the importance of art and visual culture in the history of struggle against racism, the following issues of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art are free online through the end of September:

Spring Awards

We’d like to celebrate our many authors who have earned various awards and honors for their books this spring. Congratulations!

Suzanne Preston Blier’s book Picasso’s Demoiselles has won the Robert Motherwell Book Award from the Dedalus Foundation and was also selected as a finalist for the PROSE Awards from the Association of American Publishers.

Nina Sun Eidsheim’s book The Race of Sound was selected as a finalist for the Big Other Book Award for Nonfiction from Big Other magazine.

Sasha Su-Ling Welland’s book Experimental Beijing has won the Joseph Levenson Book Prize (Post-1900) from the Association for Asian Studies (AAS).

Juno Salazar Parreñas’s book Decolonizing Extinction has received an honorable mention for the Harry J. Benda Prize from the Southeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies (SEAC/AAS).

Renisa Mawani’s book Across Oceans of Law has won the AAAS History Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS).

The following books were selected as finalists for the Lambda Literary Awards from the Lambda Literary Foundation: Beside You in Time by Elizabeth Freeman, Bloodflowers by W. Ian Bourland, Honeypot by E. Patrick Johnson, Queering Black Atlantic Religions by Roberto Strongman, and Trans Exploits by Jian Neo Chen.

Kathleen M. Millar’s book Reclaiming the Discarded was selected as a finalist for the SEA Book Prize from the Society for Economic Anthropology (SEA).

Matt Brim’s book Poor Queer Studies was selected as a finalist for the O.L. Davis, Jr. Outstanding Book Award from the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum.

Elspeth H. Brown’s book Work! was selected as a finalist for the Mary Jurich Nickliss Prize in US Women’s and/or Gender History from the Organization of American Historians (OAH).

Aren Z. Aizura’s book Mobile Subjects has won the Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS).

Noémi Tousignant’s book Edges of Exposure has won the Ludwik Fleck Prize from the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S).

Sara Ann Wylie’s book Fractivism has won the Rachel Carson Prize from the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S).

Esther Gabara’s book Pop América, 1965–1975 has received an honorable mention for the Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award from the College Art Association (CAA).

We also congratulate our own Design Manager Amy Ruth Buchanan. She was honored by the Association of University Presses for her design of Susan Laxton’s book Surrealism at Play

Political Protests and Movements of Resistance Syllabus

politicalprotestsOur syllabi series highlights articles, books, and journal issues that encourage thoughtful discussion of today’s most pressing issues. The Political Protests and Movements of Resistance Syllabus, new today, lists titles that tackle topics of political protest, resistance, and activism. Subjects include transnational social movements, spatial reclamation, student occupation, protest literature, and more.

All journal articles and issues in this syllabus are freely available online until August 31, 2020. The books in this syllabus can be purchased from your local independent bookseller, from online booksellers, and at dukeupress.edu.

Start reading the Political Protests and Movements of Resistance Syllabus, or explore our full list of syllabi, many with free journals content.

New Books in June

Summer is just around the corner. As this new season begins, we’re releasing some exciting titles in history, art, anthropology, and more. Check out these brand new books arriving in June!

A Primer for Teaching Pacific Histories is a guide for college and high school teachers who are teaching Pacific histories for the first time or for experienced teachers who want to reinvigorate their courses. It can also serve those who are training future teachers to prepare their own syllabi, as well as teachers who want to incorporate Pacific histories into their world history courses.

In Disordering the Establishment, Lily Woodruff examines the development of artistic strategies of political resistance in France in the decades following World War II, showing how artists countered establishment ideology, challenged traditional art institutions, appealed to direct political engagement, and grappled with French intellectuals’ modeling of society.

Pointing out that presumptions of solidarity, antagonism, or incommensurability between Black and Native communities are insufficient to understand the relationships between both groups, the scholars, artists, and activists contributing to Otherwise Worlds investigate the complex relationships between settler colonialism and anti-Blackness to explore the political possibilities that emerge from such inquiries. This volume is edited by Tiffany Lethabo King, Jenell Navarro, and Andrea Smith.

In Trafficking, Hector Amaya examines how the dramatic escalation of drug violence in Mexico in 2008 transformed how people discussed violence and the rules of participation in the public sphere.

Sa’ed Atshan and Katharina Galor draw on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews in The Moral Triangle to explore the asymmetric relationships between Germans and Israeli and Palestinian immigrants in the context of official German policies, public discourse, and the impact of coming to terms with the past. You can watch Assistant Editor Sandra Korn interview Atshan and Galor here.

Never miss a new book! Sign up for our e-mail newsletters, and get notifications of new titles in your preferred disciplines as well as discounts and other news.

New Titles in Women’s and Gender Studies

We regret that in the ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we will be unable to meet with you during the Berkshire Conference of Women, Genders, and Sexualities, which has been cancelled. Check out the virtual conference to listen to pre-recorded plenaries.

We know that many of you look forward to stocking up on new books at special discounts at our conferences, so we are pleased to extend a 30% discount on all in-stock books and journal issues. Use coupon code BERKS20 to save 30% when ordering online. Journal subscriptions and society memberships don’t qualify for the 30% discount.

Check out some of the exciting titles we would have featured in our booth at the Berks. 

In I Never Left Home, poet and revolutionary Margaret Randall tells the moving, captivating, and astonishing story of her life, from her childhood in New York to joining the Sandanista movement in Nicaragua, from escaping political repression in Mexico to raising a family and teaching college. Watch a video of Margaret Randall discussing her memoir here.

In Second World, Second Sex, Kristen Ghodsee recuperates the lost history of feminist activism from the so-called Second World, showing how women from state socialist Bulgaria and socialist-leaning Zambia created networks and alliances that challenged American women’s leadership of the global women’s movement. Listen to an interview with Kristen Ghodsee here.

Jennifer C. Nash reframes black feminism’s engagement with intersectionality in Black Feminism Reimagined, contending that black feminists should let go of their possession and policing of the concept in order to better unleash black feminist theory’s visionary and world-making possibilities. Read an interview with Jennifer Nash here

Lynn M. Thomas constructs a transnational history of skin lighteners in South Africa and beyond in Beneath the Surface, theorizing skin and skin color as a site for antiracist struggle and lighteners as a technology of visibility that both challenges and entrenches racial and gender hierarchies. Watch an interview with Lynn Thomas on South African TV here.

From The Guiding Light to Passions, Elana Levine traces the history of daytime television soap operas as an innovative and highly gendered mass cultural form in Her Stories. Read an interview with Elana Levine in Jezebel here.

In Mafalda, Isabella Cosse examines the history, political commentary, and influence of the world-famous comic character Mafalda from her Argentine origins in 1964 to her global reach in the 1990s. Recently, the Argentinan goverment has been using Mafalda to educate citizens about wearing face masks during the pandemic. Read Cosse’s blog post on the campaign here.

The contributors to Spirit on the Move examine Pentecostalism’s appeal to black women worldwide and the ways it provides them with a source of community, access to power, and way to challenge social inequalities. This volume is edited by Judith Casselberry and Elizabeth A. Pritchard.

Ana María Reyes examines how the polarizing art of Beatriz González disrupted Cold War aesthetic discourses and the politics of class and modernization in 1960s Colombia in The Politics of Taste.

In Vexy Thing, Imani Perry recenters patriarchy to contemporary discussions of feminism through a social and literary analysis of cultural artifacts—ranging from nineteenth-century slavery court cases and historical vignettes to literature and contemporary art—from the Enlightenment to the present. Read an interview with Imani Perry here.

If you were hoping to connect with one of our editors about your book project at the Berks, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our submissions guidelines here. We are now accepting submissions online!

Our journal issues in women’s and gender studies are also included in our 30%-off sale.

In “(En)gendering: Chinese Women’s Art in the Making,” new from positions, contributors—including artists, art historians, critics, and curators—consider how the work of contemporary women artists has generated new approaches to and perspectives on the Chinese art canon.

Radical Transnationalism: Reimagining Solidarities, Violence, Empires,” an issue of Meridians, looks at the expansive domains of transnational feminism, considering its relationship to different regions, historical periods, fields, and methodologies.

As you prepare for your fall classes, be they virtual or in-person, we invite you to check out our Feminist Politics and Women’s Rights syllabus and our Revisiting Queer Studies syllabus. Both feature journal articles that are freely available until September 30, 2020 as well as suggested books you might want to teach. 

Once again, we’re sorry to miss you in person but hope the 30% discount will make it possible for you to pick up some new books and journal issues. Use coupon BERKS20 at checkout.

What We’ve Been Reading

Our staffers have largely been cooped up at home lately, and many of us have been turning to books for escape. Here’s what we’ve been reading lately—you can grab your own copies by ordering through your local bookstore or through bookshop.org.

splendidProject Editor Ellen Goldlust writes, “Erik Larsen’s new book, The Splendid and the Vile, is about Winston Churchill’s first year as British prime minister, which included the Blitz, when German planes bombed Britain every night between September 1940 and May 1941. In large part as a result of Churchill’s leadership, British public support for fighting the Nazis never wavered in spite of the stress (imagine having your sleep disrupted by bombs every night for eight months!) and horrific damage and loss of life that these sustained attacks caused. In addition, knowing that Britain could not survive without US support, Churchill helped American officials navigate public sentiment on this side of the Atlantic to provide the necessary aid. The book is a stunning story about what real leadership in a time of crisis looks like and highlights just how badly the current US government is failing during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

dutch“I recently finished Ann Patchett’s The Dutch House, which was a perfect antidote to all the scholarly material I read during the day,” writes Editorial Production Manager Jessica Ryan. “The main characters are siblings who are obsessed with their family home, which they were forced to leave after the death of their father during their adolescence. It is the story of a family, a house, and growing up. Having to sell our family home after owning it for more than fifty years and sharing the complicated, wonderful, and often conflicting memories that house held for me and my six siblings made the idea of obsessive nostalgia real. With that in mind and the stories we tell around our family table, I continue to be amazed at the powerful presence a house can be in one’s life—and how empty a house can be when you can’t let others in.”

moominLaura Sell, Publicity and Advertising Manager, writes, “When the stay-at-home orders were first issued, I thought, ‘I’ll have so much time to read!’ But it turned out that I’ve had a lot of trouble concentrating during this time. In an effort to get off my phone and back into a book, I went to a shelf of childhood favorites, Tove Jansson’s Moomins series. I grabbed one at random: Moominvalley in November. It turned out to be a perfect pandemic read. Winter is coming to Moominvalley and four misfits converge on the Moomins’ house, only to find they’ve gone away. There’s not much of a plot, just little vignettes about the characters as they settle down together in the house and await the return of its owners. It gets darker and colder and the Moomins don’t return, but Snufkin, the Fillyjonk, Mymble, Toft, the Hemulen, and Grandpa Grumble become friends of sorts. But the book retains a melancholy air throughout, pondering loneliness and the transition of seasons. The Moomins never come home! What an odd little children’s book. It did help me get my reading groove back.”

dustMetadata and Digital Systems Manager Lee Willoughby-Harris’s first pandemic read was Dust Bowl Girls: The Inspiring Story of the Team that Barnstormed Its Way to Basketball Glory by Lydia Reeder. “OK, I’ll admit it. I miss sport. And given that society began to shift as March Madness was about to begin, I needed something to help fill the void. Centering around the Oklahoma Presbyterian College Cardinals, the book is part social history (the ridiculous things people believed about athletic women in the early twentieth century is mind-boggling), part sports history, and thoroughly engaging. The story concludes with the 1932 AAU Women’s Basketball Championship in which the Cardinals face Babe Didrikson (Zaharias).”

9781480417168“I’ve read a lot of great books in the past weeks. But I’ve wanted to be comforted and read things that have definitive answers in this very uncertain time. So I’ve turned to the Lord Peter Wimsey novels by Dorothy L. Sayers,” writes Production Coordinator Erica Woods Tucker. “These books can be read in a day or two, and they’re just a fun read. I’d start with Whose Body? then maybe read Lord Peter Views the Body (a bunch of thriller and mystery short stories starring Wimsey that are just really fun and true to the genre.) [Please note these were written in between the world wars in Britain, so political correctness was not a thing. But I still enjoyed them.]”

irbyPre-Production Manager Lisa Savage’s recommendation is Wow, No Thank You, the latest collection of personal essays by Samantha Irby. “I was introduced to Irby’s writing by our colleague Erica Woods Tucker, and I’m so happy that she did! Irby’s writing is the perfect respite from the worries and anxieties of the state of the world—you can giggle at her wildly entertaining stories about her own worries and anxieties instead! She is candid, self-deprecating, and completely relatable. From her hilariously honest advice on love and marriage to her experience moving from a tiny apartment in Chicago to a house in Kalamazoo (‘what is that thing attached to the back of our house, a deck or a patio’) to her ‘Hollywood Summer’ as a writer on the Hulu show Shrill (she wrote the amazing ‘Pool Party’ episode), you’ll find lots to laugh about. Plus, all of her books have cute animals on the cover. Check out her Instagram, @bitchesgottaeat, too.”

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Revisiting Queer Studies Syllabus

RevisitingQueerOur syllabi series is full of great content on some of today’s most pressing issues, and we’re proud to add the new Revisiting Queer Studies Syllabus to this list.

The Revisiting Queer Studies Syllabus lists articles, books, and journal issues that examine queerness today. Topics include queerness in poor and working-class populations, the transformation of sexuality as bodies age, decolonizing queerness, the relationship between queerness and antinormativity, queer migration, contemporary coming-out stories, and more.

All journal articles and issues in this syllabus are freely available online until August 31, 2020. The books in this syllabus can be purchased from your local independent bookseller, from online booksellers, and at dukeupress.edu. All book introductions are freely available.

Start exploring the Revisiting Queer Studies Syllabus.

New Titles in Latin American Studies

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Our editors look forward to meeting their authors at conferences every year and are sad to be missing out on that this spring. The annual meeting of the Latin American Studies Association would have taken place May 13-16 in Guadalajara, Mexico this year. We know that many of you look forward to stocking up on new books at special discounts at our conferences, so we are pleased to extend a 50% discount on all in-stock books and journal issues through May 25.

Instead of greeting Editorial Director Gisela Concepción Fosado in person this year, check out her recommendations for new titles in the discipline and a great round up of other ways to learn about all the new scholarship that we planned to present at the conference.

¡Saludos afectuosos a todxs mis colegas de LASA!

I hope everyone is taking care of themselves and their communities as much as possible during these challenging times. I’m so sorry that we’ll all miss coming together in person this year. I’m particularly sad to miss the bustle of the book exhibit and all of the enthusiasm LASA members invariably extend towards our new releases. We can’t offer you our usual piles and piles of beautifully crafted books, but I can share with you a few highlights that represent a small slice of our newest Latin American studies books.

Kregg Hetherington’s thought-provoking new book, The Government of Beans: Regulating Life in the Age of Monocrops traces well-meaning attempts by Paraguay bureaucrats and activists to regulate the destructive force of monocrops. Although Paraguay’s massive new soy monocrop brought wealth, it also brought deforestation, biodiversity loss, rising inequality, and violence, all beyond the scope of the toolkit of the current government.

We’re thrilled to be publishing an English edition of Isabella Cosse’s award winning book, Mafalda: A Social and Political History of Latin America’s Global Comic. Winner of LASA’s Premio Americano, Mafalda represents transnational cultural history at its absolute best. Analyzing how the comic strip, Mafalda, reflects generational conflicts, gender, modernization, the Cold War, authoritarianism, neoliberalism, and much more, Cosse demonstrates the unexpected power of humor to shape revolution and resistance. Engagingly written, Mafalda is a great course book for graduate and undergraduate level courses.

Eric Zolov’s brand new book, The Last Good Neighbor: Mexico in the Global Sixties, presents a revisionist account of Mexican domestic politics and international relations during the long 1960s, tracing how Mexico emerged from the shadow of FDR’s Good Neighbor policy to become a geopolitical player in its own right during the Cold War. If you’re looking for an engaging and brilliant book on Mexican politics and foreign relations, written by one of the most talented historians around, this one is a must-read.

Pluriversal Politics: The Real and the Possible, by renowned anthropologist and social theorist Arturo Escobar, fits perfectly with LASA’s theme this year, “Améfrica Ladina: vinculando mundos y saberes, tejiendo esperanzas.” In the book, Escobar engages with the politics of the possible and shows how established notions of what is real and attainable prohibit the emergence of radically alternative visions of the future.

Like Escobar’s work, Kristina Lyons’s new book is also based on ethnographic fieldwork in Colombia. Vital Decomposition: Soil Practitioners and Life Politics tells us a timely story of human-soil relations. Lyons examines the practices and philosophies of rural farmers who value the decomposing layers of leaves, which make the soils that sustain life in the Amazon, and shows how the study and stewardship of the soil point to alternative frameworks for living and dying. Like Escobar’s work, Lyons beautifully centers local knowledge to open up new ways of collective living and knowing, “vinculando mundos y saberes.”

Two exceptional newly released art history books include Ana María Reyes’s The Politics of Taste: Beatriz González and Cold War Aesthetics and Mary Coffey’s Orozco′s American Epic: Myth, History, and the Melancholy of Race, which are both gorgeously illustrated in full color.  In The Politics of Taste, Ana María Reyes brilliantly examines the works of Colombian artist Beatriz González and Argentine-born art critic, Marta Traba, who championed González’s art during Colombia’s National Front coalition government (1958–74). Mary Coffey’s sophisticated and theoretically nuanced book looks at José Clemente Orozco’s twenty-four-panel mural cycle entitled The Epic of American Civilization. An artifact of Orozco’s migration from Mexico to the United States, the Epic stands as the only fresco in which he explores both American and Mexican narratives of national history, progress, and identity.

This truly represents a small slice of our new books in Latin American studies.  Please check out our two most recent catalogs to see our full list of new releases!  Cuidense mucho y nos vemos el proximo año.

If you were hoping to connect with Gisela or another of our editors about your book project at LASA, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our new online submissions guidelines here.

We’d also like to let you know about a few of our great new journal issues in Latin American studies. Contributors to Radical History Review’s “Revolutionary Positions: Gender and Sexuality in Cuba and Beyondexplore the impact of the Cuban Revolution through the lens of sexuality and gender, providing a social and cultural history that illuminates the Cuban-influenced global New Left. “Mesoamerican Experiences of Illness and Healing,” new from Ethnohistory, addresses how Mesoamericans experienced bodily health in the wake of the sixteenth-century encounter with the Europeans. And the Hispanic American Historical Review always publishes excellent scholarship in Latin American history and culture.

Once again, we’re sorry to miss you in person but hope the 50% discount will make it possible for you to pick up some new books and journal issues. Use coupon SPRING50 at checkout and see the fine print on the sale here.

Labor and Precarity Syllabus

The rise of precarious and contingent labor has been one of the major economic changes over the past few decades, especially in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2007–2009.

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That precarity impacts many roles within the economy—gig workers, warehouse workers, day laborers, sanitation workers, and beyond—that all share a similar set of uncertainties, such as limited or no permanent employee rights, work-based payment, and insecure/unprotected households.

These books, journal issues, and articles in our new Labor and Precarity Syllabus address the many faces of precarity around the world. All journal articles and issues in this syllabus are freely available online until July 31, 2020. The books in this syllabus can be purchased from your local independent bookseller, from online booksellers, and at dukeupress.edu. All book introductions are freely available online.

Explore the Labor and Precarity Syllabus.

New Books in May

SPRING50_SaleApril20_Blog_ExtendedMay25

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve extended our Spring Sale through  May 25, which will allow you to pick up some new titles at 50% off this month. Use coupon SPRING50 to save.

In the beautifully illustrated, full-color book  AFRICOBRA, painter, photographer, and cofounder of Chicago arts collective AFRICOBRA Wadsworth A. Jarrell tells the definitive history of the group’s creation, history, and artistic and political principles and the ways it captured the rhythmic dynamism of black culture and social life to create uplifting art for all black people.

Eric Zolov presents a revisionist account of Mexican domestic politics and international relations during the long 1960s in The Last Good Neighbor, tracing how Mexico emerged from the shadow of FDR’s Good Neighbor policy to become a geopolitical player in its own right during the Cold War. Look for a Q&A with Zolov on our blog later this month.

Through innovative readings of gay and lesbian films, Lee Wallace offers a provocative argument in Reattachment Theory that queer experiments in domesticity have profoundly reshaped heterosexual marriage to such an extent that now all marriage is gay marriage.

François Ewald’s The Birth of Solidarity—first published in French in 1986 and appearing here in English for the first time—is one of the most important historical and philosophical studies of the rise of the welfare state. This edition is edited by Melinda Cooper.

Louise Amoore examines how machine learning algorithms are transforming the ethics and politics of contemporary society in Cloud Ethics, proposing what she calls cloud ethics as a way to hold algorithms accountable by engaging with the social and technical conditions under which they emerge and operate.

In Re-enchanting Modernity, Mayfair Yang examines the reemergence of religious life and ritual after decades of enforced secularized life in the coastal city of Wenzhou, showing how local practices of popular religion, Daoism, and Buddhism influence economic development and the structure of civil society.

In Writing Anthropology, fifty-two anthropologists reflect on scholarly writing as both craft and commitment, offering insights into the myriad roles of anthropological writing, the beauty and the function of language, the joys and pains of writing, and encouragement to stay at it. This collection is edited by Carole McGranahan.

In Beijing from Below, Harriet Evans tells the history of the residents in Dashalar—now redeveloped and gentrified but once one of the Beijing’s poorest neighborhoods—to show how their experiences complicate official state narratives of Chinese economic development and progress. 

Alex Blanchette explores how the daily lives of a Midwestern town that is home to a massive pork complex were reorganized around the life and death cycles of pigs while using the factory farm as a way to detail the state of contemporary American industrial capitalism in Porkopolis. As the coronavirus tears through meatpacking plants around the U.S., Blanchette’s analysis is highly relevant. We’ll feature a Q&A with him on our blog later in the month.

Drawing on examples of things that happen to us but are nonetheless excluded from experience, as well as critical phenomenology, genealogy, and feminist theory, Cressida J. Heyes shows how and why experience has edges, and analyzes phenomena that press against them in Anaesthetics of Existence.

In The Government of Beans, Kregg Hetherington uses Paraguay’s turn of the twenty-first century adoption of massive soybean production and the regulatory attempts to mitigate the resulting environmental degradation as a way to show how the tools used to drive economic growth exacerbate the very environmental challenges they were designed to solve.

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