Environment

New Books in September

Summer’s almost over, which means it’s time to start to replenishing your reading list! Celebrate the start of a new academic year with us by checking out this diverse array of books arriving in September.

Acknowledging the impending worldwide catastrophe of rising seas in the twenty-first century, Orrin H. Pilkey and Keith C. Pilkey outline the impacts on the United States’ shoreline and argue that the only feasible response along much of the U.S. shoreline is an immediate and managed retreat in Sea Level Rise.

Brenda R. Weber’s Latter-day Screens examines the ways in which the mediation of Mormonism through film, TV, blogs, YouTube videos, and memoirs functions as a means through which to understand conversations surrounding gender, sexuality, spirituality, capitalism, justice, and individualism in the United States.

Self-Devouring Growth by Julie Livingston shows how the global pursuit of economic and resource-driven growth comes at the expense of catastrophic destruction, thereby upending popular notions that economic growth and development is necessary for improving a community’s wellbeing.

In Under Construction, Daniel Mains explores the intersection of infrastructural development and governance in contemporary Ethiopia by examining the conflicts surrounding the construction of specific infrastructural technologies and how that construction impacts the daily lives of Ethiopians.

Elizabeth Freeman’s Beside You in Time expands bipolitical and queer theory by outlining a temporal view of the long nineteenth century and showing how time became a social and sensory means by which people resisted disciplinary regimes and assembled into groups in ways that created new forms of sociality.

Terry Smith—who is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading historians and theorists of contemporary art—traces the emergence of contemporary art and further develops his concept of contemporaneity in Art to Come through analyses of topics ranging from Chinese and Australian Indigenous art to architecture.

Henry Cow by Benjamin Piekut tells the story of the English experimental rock band Henry Cow and how it linked its improvisational musical aesthetic with a collectivist, progressive politics.

Davina Cooper’s Feeling Like a State explores the unexpected contribution a legal drama of withdrawal—as exemplified by some conservative Christians who deny people inclusion, goods, and services to LGBTQ individuals—might make to conceptualizing a more socially just, participative state.

In Making The Black Jacobins, Rachel Douglas traces the genesis, transformation, and afterlives of the different versions of C. L. R. James’s landmark The Black Jacobins across the decades from the 1930s onwards, showing how James revised it in light of his evolving politics.

William E. Connolly links climate change, fascism, and the nature of truth to demonstrate the profound implications of the deep imbrication between planetary nonhuman processes and cultural developments in Climate Machines, Fascist Drives, and Truth.

Cara New Daggett’s The Birth of Energy traces the genealogy of the idea of energy from the Industrial Revolution to the present, showing how it has informed fossil fuel imperialism, the governance of work, and our relationship to the Earth.

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New Books in August

Our Fall 2019 season is off to a phenomenal start with a diverse range of titles in Theory and Philosophy, African American Studies, Native and Indigenous Studies, and more. Take a look at all of these great new books coming in August!

Intersectionality as Critical Social Theory by Patricia Hill Collins

Intersectionality as Critical Social Theory by Patricia Hill Collins offers a set of analytical tools for those wishing to develop intersectionality’s capability to theorize social inequality in ways that would facilitate social change.

In Animate Literacies, Nathan Snaza proposes a new theory of literature and literacy in which he outlines how literacy operates at the interface of humans, nonhuman animals, and objects and has been used as a means to define the human in ways that marginalize others.

Fictions of Land and Flesh by Mark Rifkin

Mark Rifkin’s Fictions of Land and Flesh turns to black and indigenous speculative fiction to show how it offers a site to better understand black and indigenous political movements’ differing orientations in ways that can foster forms of mutual engagement and cooperation without subsuming them into a single political framework in the name of solidarity.

In The Black Shoals Tiffany Lethabo King uses the shoal—an offshore geologic formation that is neither land nor sea—as metaphor, mode of critique, and methodology to theorize the encounter between Black studies and Native studies and its potential to create new epistemologies, forms of practice, and lines of critical inquiry.

Savage Ecology by Jairus Victor Grove

Jairus Victor Grove’s Savage Ecology offers an ecological theorization of geopolitics in which he contends that contemporary global crises are better understood when considered within the larger history of geopolitical practice, showing how political violence is the principal force behind climate change, mass extinction, slavery, genocide, extractive capitalism, and other catastrophes. Watch the trailer for the book here.

In How to Make Art at the End of the World Natalie Loveless examines the institutionalization of artistic research-creation—a scholarly activity that considers art practices as research methods in their own right—and its significance to North American higher education.

Wages Against Artwork Leigh Claire La Berge’s Wages Against Artwork shows how socially engaged art responds to and critiques what she calls decommodified labor—the slow diminishment of wages alongside an increase of demands of work—as a way to work toward social justice and economic equality.

In Sounds of Vacation, edited by Jocelyne Guilbault and Timothy Rommen, the contributors examine the commodification of music and sound at popular vacation destinations throughout the Caribbean in order to tease out the relationships between political economy, hospitality, and the legacies of slavery and colonialism. 

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 Books in July

Our Spring 2019 season may be drawing to a close, but we’ve got some exciting new titles this month to help keep your summer reading in full swing. Check out our new releases for July!

HoweBoyerTogetherCymene Howe and Dominic Boyer have written a duograph subtitled “Wind and Power in the Anthropocene.” In Ecologics, Cymene Howe traces the complex relationships between humans, nonhuman beings and objects, and geophysical forces that shaped the Mareña Renovables project in Oaxaca, Mexico, which had it been completed, would have been Latin America’s largest wind power installation. In Energopolitics, Dominic Boyer examines the politics of wind power and how it is shaped by myriad factors—from the legacies of settler colonialism and indigenous resistance to state bureaucracy and corporate investment—while outlining the fundamental impact of energy and fuel on political power. The two books can be read together or separately and are available for purchase as a set at a special price.

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In Blood Work, Janet Carsten traces the multiple meanings of blood as it moves from donors to labs, hospitals, and patients in Penang, Malaysia, showing how those meanings provide a gateway to understanding the social, political, and cultural dynamics of modern life.

Leah Zani considers how the people and landscape of Laos have been shaped and haunted by the physical remains of unexploded ordnance from the CIA’s Secret War in Bomb Children.

Florence Bernault retells the colonial and postcolonial history of present-day Gabon from the late nineteenth century to the present in Colonial Transactions, showing how colonialism shaped French and Gabonese obsessions about fetish, witchcraft, and organ trafficking for ritual murders.

978-1-4780-0467-7_prIn The Uncaring, Intricate Worldedited by Todd Meyers, anthropologist Pamela Reynolds shares her fieldwork diary from her time spent in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi valley during the 1980s, in which she recounts the difficulties, pleasures, and contradictions of studying the daily lives of the Tonga people three decades after their forced displacement.

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.

 

 

Out to Sea: A Guest Post by Hester Blum

IMG_5866.JPGHester Blum, Associate Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University, reflects on detritus, ocean-bound ephemera, and being swept out to sea by a rogue wave. Her new book, The News at the Ends of the Earth, examines the rich, offbeat collection of printed ephemera created by nineteenth- and early twentieth-century polar explorers as they wrestled with questions of time, space, and community.

I was swept to sea by a rogue wave the day after I first held a copy of my new book. Both incidents were unexpected.

I was in California for an event on women and the polar regions, speaking along with a poet/polar naturalist, an artist/deep sea researcher, and a full-time polar explorer. I didn’t expect to receive copies of my new book for another couple of weeks. As my talk slides were being loaded in the auditorium on UC Davis’s Polar Day I saw with surprise that a university bookstore representative was setting up stacks of my book next to the poet’s and the explorer’s latest volumes. The copies had been shipped directly from the printer—the press did not even have their own copies yet, the bookstore rep told me. I was beside myself with delight and surprise, and asked the explorer take a picture of me hoisting it, smiling so broadly my eyes crinkled nearly shut.

The News at the Ends of the Earth: The Print Culture of Polar Exploration studies the newspapers and other printed ephemera that polar-voyaging sailors produced in environmental extremity, in oceanic circulation, at the margins of the terraqueous world. All of my academic writing and a good portion of my day-to-day thinking is about the ocean, even though I am no sailor. After the polar event I unexpectedly found myself with free time, and rented a car to drive to the Sonoma coast north of Marin County. What better way, I thought, to reflect on the years the polar book had taken me to research and write than to commune with the sea and the nonhuman world on a rocky coast. I took my binoculars (I am new to birding, with the zeal of the convert) and a change of clothes in case it rained on me.

I drove out of the flat, rectilinear agriscape of the Central Valley and through electric green hills topped with tors and resembling the English moors. When I reached Highway 1, the storied California coastal road, I stopped for a lunch of fries and oysters, briny and bracing. After Bodega Bay the highway hits the sea, and I saw breakers for the first time on the drive. I planned to spend the day driving slowly north, stopping at beaches along the way to look at birds, walk, possibly write a little, maybe even see seals. I stopped first at North Salmon Creek Beach to try to spot the snowy plovers that nest on the beach. I took off my sneakers at the bottom of the steps leading down from the parking lot on the cliff, and tucked them behind some driftwood on dry sand.

IMG_5913.jpegThe Sonoma State Beaches are rocky and variable. The estuary at the mouth of Salmon Creek was alternately calm and afroth. Down the beach, visitors had built driftwood structures on wider spits of sand. Where the coastal cliffs jutted farther out the sand was only a few feet wide. My head was down, beachcoming above the waterline, when an unseen tidal surge drenched my leggings, which I didn’t want to get wet. Eyes on the water, I told myself, you know better than to turn your back on the sea. I picked up a palm-sized bit of driftwood, shaped marvelously like a sand dune in its ridges, whorls, and shifting peaks.

IMG_0022.JPGThe surf was rough, insistent, foaming. I walked back toward the estuary and the parking lot so I could continue my drive up the coast—I’d only really just begun, and could see that farther north the rocks and surf were even larger and more dramatic. At the base of the stairs to the lot, near where I had stashed my sneakers, I stopped to look at the birds settling on the estuary’s sand banks. There were a number of different kinds of gulls, and I wasn’t sure if I was observing the snowy plover as well. I walked a few feet down the beach, amid more rocks, and stood with my binoculars to my eyes, a dorsal turn away from the sea, on a stretch of sand well above the waterline.

Without warning the sea was suddenly up to my thighs, my waist, my chest. Later a man told me that he was screaming at me to look out, but I did not hear him. I struggled to keep my feet but the water churned and rose and was soon well over my head, maybe ten feet high, carrying me away down the beach and smashing into the rocks at a terrible pace. I tried to keep feet first, not let my head tip forward. Again and again I hit jagged rocks, no smooth edges of erosion, no driftwood softness. The water roiled with debris, brown and dirty and filled with wood and oceanic detritus. It carried me down the beach and started pulling me into the mouth of Salmon Creek. Only later did I realize how lucky it was to be pulled in (even if against rocks) rather than out, as by a riptide. I swallowed sand and kept clutching for the binoculars that were harnessed to my back. After what felt like a very long time I was able to touch the bottom again, even though the sea kept me from getting a foothold. I could see a number of men scrambling down the cliffside toward me, waving their arms.

I staggered out of the water, finally, as the surge started to recede. I was 50, maybe 100 yards down the beach from where I had stood. Three men met me and held me up, kept asking if I was okay. “That was so stupid, that was so stupid, that was so scary, I should know better” I kept repeating at them. I was embarrassed to have been swept away. “Can you walk?” one asked me and I looked down and saw that my feet were lacerated and bleeding from a number of places. Yes, I could walk. I felt numb, no pain. I felt for my pockets, made sure my keys were still there. I moved toward where I had left my sneakers and did not see them. My ears were packed with sand. I could not open a passage. Where were my shoes? One shoe was down the beach against the cliff face. No sign of the other. I sat on a log, then stood. I spotted my other sneaker hooked on a piece of driftwood. I wanted to get off the beach before another surge found me.

I started a slow, dripping pace up the railroad tie steps. People just arriving looked at me with concern. A man at the top of the steps offered me water to rinse my cuts and I told him that I had some. He said he was a surfer and had been watching the water to see if it was too rough to go out—that the waves were 10 to 16 feet that day, and that the surge when the outer waves met the estuary was very unpredictable. He was the one that had screamed out to me when the rogue wave came in. Later I read that the spot is known for attracting distant groundswells and for its “meaty beachbreak.”

I wanted to get to the car and put on the dry jeans and t-shirt I had brought. I was astonished by the amount of sand on me, in my clothes. The wave that swept me away must have consisted of more sand than water. It was as if I had poured buckets full of wet sand down my shirt, my pants. I stripped to the skin standing in the parking lot. I couldn’t get the sand off. I shuffled into my pants and rolled them high above my battered feet. I still didn’t feel the cuts or the bruises already purpling my ankles and toes. I poured water on my cuts and drove barefoot to a convenience store to get first aid supplies. I hobbled across a parking lot of sharp gravel without my shoes. Looking down at the blood I was treading on the store floor, a woman told me to go to the fire department and see a paramedic. At the fire department I was confused and instead of ringing the bell I used the emergency call box, which called 911 and routed me to the dispatcher. I had a hard time explaining that I was standing outside a fire department and just wanted to be let in.

My phone was dead, of course, cracked and flush with salt and sand. It is very hard to be in a strange place without a smartphone. I thought about driving straight back to Davis, over two hours away. I was compelled instead to go a little farther up Highway 1 to find a café or a place to sit and recover. Ten miles north of the beach that beached me I saw hundreds of baby harbor seals on a long spit of black sand, rolling and slapping and raising their heads and tails while lying sideways, as if they were gray-speckled croissants. The surf rolled over them without incident. I watched the seals for a while through my binoculars, now blurry impossible to adjust, its moving parts packed with sand. I then drove back toward Davis, navigating blind, until I hit a familiar highway.


The book I newly held in my hand the day before being taken up by the sea is about ephemera, detritus, the forms of communicative media that polar explorers created for their own amusement and in order to document the inner lives of their expeditions. These materials, which I call polar ecomedia, also document the inner life of climate extremity. Polar ecomedia includes comic shipboard newspapers, playbills, and mock-formal menus, printed and passed around by fellow shipmates trapped in the ice of Arctic and Antarctic winters. These bits of expeditionary social media haven’t registered within popular histories of polar exploration in part because of their transitory nature—they are rare, fragmentary, satirical. Polar sailors used them as ways to pass and mark time and entertain themselves. And as I argue in The News at the Ends of the Earth, polar ecomedia also are means to reckon with the ephemerality of human life in climate extremity.

Polar exploration is no joke, whether in the nineteenth century or today. Arctic travel is scarcely more safe now than in Sir John Franklin’s time. I know this, and not just from my research on the new book—an Arctic expedition I’m slated to join in July has been postponed two summers in a row for reasons that echo historic expeditionary challenges. (Last year’s ship ran aground in the Gulf of Boothia; you may have also read the news recently about a Norwegian cruise ship that had to be evacuated in stormy seas.) And the ocean, above all, is no joke—I know this too. How could I have washed out so easily? I thought vaguely that this was a punishment for the luxury of a day all to myself on the coast. Or the inevitable letdown after the rush of seeing my book in print and spending the afternoon with ego-ideal polar women.

image1.jpegMy phone is now trash, although I still have the piece of driftwood I picked up in Sonoma, seaside detritus. It was only a few days after a windstorm in central Pennsylvania (where I live) had brought a very large branch down in our backyard. The branch fell perpendicularly to the ground, and the force of its impact drove a six-foot length of wood into the yard, erect as a hurled lightning bolt. My husband wanted to cut it up with the other downed branches for firewood, but I asked him to leave it in place, embedded, as a plinth. Itself storm detritus, the branch lance spared our family, safely inside as it fell.

Not until the next day, writing this, did I realize I had lost my hat to the sea, an orange hat with a whale on it. It was from Channel Islands National Park, where I had traveled last year—for research, alone, to commune with the sea, and to think and write about “female Robinson Crusoes,” women who are castaway.

Save 30% on Hester Blum’s The News at the Ends of the Earth with coupon code E19BLUM.

 

Poem of the Week

Of Gardens and GravesDuring National Poetry Month, we are offering a poem each Monday. In celebration of Earth Day, today’s poem describes the beauty of the earth and questions the reasons people do not learn from the nature blossoming and roaming in peace around them. This poem is from Suvir Kaul’s Of Gardens and Graves: Kashmir, Poetry, Politics. David Ludden, Professor of History, New York University, says “Reading Of Gardens and Graves is a treat beyond description. I have visited Kashmir several times during the period this book covers, and while reading it I felt magically transported into the invisible heart and soul of a world where much of what Suvir Kaul described had been only vaguely visible to me before. The work he has done here is brave and powerful.”

 

Moti Lal “Saqi”
Question

He too is a man
You too are a man
I too am a man

No one sprung up from rock, no one dropped from the sky
No one climbed up from the underworld either
All are as clay, are born to mothers
Then who amongst us is separate, who torn apart by distance
Let’s then think consciously all of us—

I seem to have burst the kernels of my thought
Flowers many-colored, the garden bloomed Velvet, blue, red, golden
No one needed to slit the poppy

The rose did not become arrogant about its perfume
The pomegranate did not shame the marigold
The pussy willow did not boast though it blossomed first
The narcissus comes, who will drag it down
The iris has no fear of walking alone
The saffron flower never spoke its value
The violet knows no enemy in the lily
The shy thaniwal grew, back-tracked, and eased away
How sweet their little world
Peaceful world, there is no quarrel

Flocks of sheep run up the hillside
Crystal-colored how many, how many cream
How many white, blackish how many
Wandering in valleys, bounding about

All together they go out to graze
All together they slake their thirst
No harm comes to the underfed ram
The creamy one will not squeeze the black’s neck
The crystal does not frighten the mottled one

Then just ask a question of yourselves
Why do we humans have bad thoughts?

Suvir Kaul is A. M. Rosenthal Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania and the author, most recently, of Eighteenth-Century British Literature and Postcolonial Studies.
Our other highlighted poems can be read here.

New Books in February

Got the winter blues? Cheer yourself up with one of the great new titles we have coming out in February.

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Chicano and Chicana Artan anthology edited by Jennifer Gonzalez, C. Ondine Chavoya, Chon Noriega, and Terezita Romowhich, includes essays from artists, curators, and critics who provide an overview of the history and theory of Chicano/a art from the 1960s to the present, emphasizing the debates and vocabularies that have played key roles in its conceptualization.

Bloodflowers by W. Ian Bourland is the first book-length examination the photography of  Rotimi Fani-Kayode (1955–1989), whose art is a touchstone for cultural debates surrounding questions of gender and queerness, race and diaspora, aesthetics and politics, and the enduring legacy of slavery and colonialism.

Jeffrey Sconce’s The Technical Delusion traces the history and continuing proliferation of psychological delusions that center on suspicions that electronic media seek to control us from the Enlightenment to the present, showing how such delusions illuminate the historical and intrinsic relationship between electronics, power, modernity, and insanity. Read an excerpt from The Technical Delusion in Bookforum.

Thomas Grisaffi’s Coca Yes, Cocaine No traces the political ascent and transformation of the Movement toward Socialism (MAS) from an agricultural union of coca growers into Bolivia’s ruling party, showing how the realities of international politics hindered MAS leader Evo Morales from scaling up the party’s form of grassroots democracy to the national level.

978-1-4780-0181-2In 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.

The contributors to Infrastructure, Environment, and Life in the Anthropocene, edited by Kregg Hetherington, chart the shifting conceptions of environment, infrastructure, and both human and nonhuman life in the face of widespread uncertainty about the planet’s future.

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In Jugaad Time Amit S. Rai shows how urban South Asians employ low-cost technological workarounds and hacks known as jugaad to solve problems, navigate, and resist India’s neoliberal ecologies.

In Surrealism at Play Susan Laxton writes a new history of surrealism in which she traces the centrality of play to the movement and its ongoing legacy, showing how its emphasis on chance provided the means to refashion artistic practice and everyday experience.

Jinah Kim’s Postcolonial Grief explores Asian and Asian American texts from 1945 to the present that mourn the loss of those killed by U.S. empire building and militarism in the Pacific, showing how the refusal to heal from imperial violence may help generate a transformative antiracist and decolonial politics.

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In Racial Melancholia, Racial Dissociation David L. Eng and Shinhee Han draw on psychoanalytic case histories from the mid-1990s to the present to explore how first- and second-generation Asian American young adults deal with difficulties such as depression, suicide, and coming out within the larger social context of race, immigration, and sexuality.

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New in August

The summer is almost over, but August brings lots of great books to read while you prepare for the new semester. Check out what’s coming this month!

978-1-4780-0004-4.jpgNow available for the first time in nearly forty years, James Baldwin’s only children’s book Little Man, Little Man follows the day to day life of the four year old protagonist TJ and his friends in their 1970s Harlem neighborhood as they encounter the social realities of being black in America. Highly praised in Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal, this exciting new edition is a must-buy for Baldwin fans.

In Decolonizing Extinction Juno Salazar Parreñas traces the ways in which colonialism and decolonization shape relations between humans and nonhumans at a Malaysian orangutan rehabilitation center, contending that considering rehabilitation from an orangutan perspective will shift conservation biology from ultimately violent investments in population growth and toward a feminist sense of welfare.978-1-4780-0015-0

Boaventura de Sousa Santos’s The End of the Cognitive Empire further develops his concept of the “epistemologies of the South,” in which he outlines a theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical framework for challenging the dominance of Eurocentric thought while showing how an embrace of the forms of knowledge of marginalized groups can lead to global justice.

Attending to the everyday lives of infrastructure across four continents, the contributors to The Promise of Infrastructure, edited by Nikhil Anand and Akhil Gupta, demonstrate how infrastructure such as roads, power lines, and water pipes offer a productive site for generating new ways to theorize time, politics, and promise.

978-1-4780-0006-8In The Blue Clerk award-winning poet Dionne Brand explores memory, language, culture, and the nature of writing through a series of haunting prose poems that contain dialogues between the figure of the poet and the Blue Clerk, who is tasked with managing the poet’s discarded attempts at writing.

Radhika Mongia’s Indian Migration and Empire outlines the colonial genealogy of the modern nation-state by tracing how the British Empire monopolized control over migration, showing how between its abolition of slavery in 1834 and World War One, the regulation of Indians moving throughout the Commonwealth linked migration with nationality and state sovereignty.

In Experimental Practice Dimitris Papadopoulos explores the potential for building new forms of political and social movements through the reconfiguration of the material conditions of existence.

Melissa Hackman’s Desire Work traces the experiences of Pentecostal “ex-gay” men in Cape Town, South Africa, as they attempted to cure their homosexuality, forge a heterosexual masculinity, and enter into heterosexual marriage through various forms emotional, bodily, and religious work.

In Double Negative Racquel J. Gates examines the potential of so-called negative representations of African Americans in film and TV, from Coming to America to Basketball Wives and Empire, showing how such representations can strategically pose questions about blackness, black culture, and American society in ways that more respectable ones cannot.

978-1-4780-0025-9.jpgIn her impassioned, analytical, playful, and irreverent book Laughing at the Devil, theologian Amy Laura Hall takes up Julian of Norwich’s call to laugh at the Devil as a means to transform a setting of dread and fear into the means to create hope, solidarity, and resistance.

The contributors to Ethnographies of U.S. Empire, edited by Carole McGranahan and John Collins, examine how people live in and with empire, presenting ethnographic scholarship from across U.S. imperial formations, from the Mohawk Nation, Korea, and the Philippines to Guantánamo and the hills of New Jersey.

In Across Oceans of Law Renisa Mawani charts the story of the Komagata Maru—a steamship that left Hong Kong for Vancouver in 1914 carrying 376 Punjabi immigrants who were denied entry into Canada—to illustrate imperialism’s racial, legal, spatial, and temporal dynamics and how oceans operate as sites of jurisdictional and colonial contest.

Micol Seigel’s Violence Work redefines policing as “violence work,” showing how it is shaped by its role of channeling state violence and how its status as a civilian institution obscures its ties to militarization.

The contributors to Constructing the Pluriverse, a volume edited by Bernd Reiter, explore how non-Western, pluriversal approaches to core questions in the social sciences and humanities can help to dramatically rethink the relationship between knowledge and power.

978-1-4780-0024-2.jpgStraight A’s features personal narratives of Asian American undergraduate students at Harvard University in which they reflect on their shared experiences with discrimination, stereotypes, immigrant communities, their relationship to their Asian heritage, and the difficulties that come with being expected to reach high levels of achievement. This timely new book edited by Christine Yano and Neal Adolph Akatsuka will help inform current debates about Asian American students in elite educational institutions.

In Migrants and City-Making Ayşe Çağlar and Nina Glick Schiller trace the lived experiences of migrants in three cities struggling to regain their former standing, showing how they live and work in their new cities in ways that require them to negotiate the unequal networks of power that connect their lives to regional, national, and global institutions.

In 1968 Mexico Susana Draper puts the events and aftermath of 1968 Mexico into a global picture and counters the dominant cultural narratives of 1968 by giving voice to the Mexican Marxist philosophers, political prisoners, and women who participated in the movement and inspired alternative forms of political participation.

Art and Theory of Post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe, the latest volume of MoMA’s Primary Documents edited by Ana Janevski, Roxana Marcoci, and Ksenia Nouril, reflects on the effects that communism’s disintegration across Central and Eastern Europe—including the Soviet Union’s fifteen republics—had on the art practices, criticism, and cultural production of the following decades.

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Familiarizing the Extraterrestrial / Making Our Planet Alien

The most recent issue of Environmental Humanities featuring the special section, “Familiarizing the Extraterrestrial / Making Our Planet Alien,” edited by Istvan Praet Juan Francisco Salazar, is now available.

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This special section brings together research on outer space by means of ethnographic explorations of astrobiology, planetary science, and physical cosmology. A growing number of researchers in the social sciences and the environmental humanities have begun to focus on the wider universe and how it is apprehended by modern cosmology. Today the extraterrestrial has become part of the remit of anthropologists, philosophers, historians, geographers, scholars in science and technology studies, and artistic researchers, among others.

This section also explores how Earth is being transformed into a “natural laboratory” of sorts, allowing scientists to experiment with and theorize about alien life. There is an emerging consensus that astronomers and other natural scientists—contrary to a common prejudice—are never simply depicting or describing the cosmos “just as it is.”  Scientific knowledge of the universe is based on skilled judgments rather than on direct, unmediated perception. It is science, but it is also an art.

Explore the table-of-contents and read the introduction, freely available.

Read to Respond: Articles for Student Activists

R2R final logoOur “Read to Respond” series addresses the current climate of misinformation by highlighting articles and books that encourage thoughtful, educated debate on today’s most pressing issues. Read, reflect, and share these resources in and out of the classroom to keep these important conversations going.

Articles for Student Activists:

These articles are freely available until August 15, 2017. Follow along with the series over the next several months and share your thoughts with #ReadtoRespond.

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.