In the News

Q&A with Shaoling Ma, author of The Stone and the Wireless

Shaoling Ma is Assistant Professor of Humanities at Yale-NUS College, Singapore. In The Stone and the Wireless, she examines late Qing China’s political upheavals and modernizing energies through the problem of the dynamics between new media technologies such as the telegraph the discursive representations of them.

Is The Stone and the Wireless a history of the late Qing period, a work of media theory, or a media history? How are the concepts of media and history interrelated here?

It is all three, though interestingly, The Stone and the Wireless started out as none of them. The first version of the book, which was my Ph.D. dissertation, actually focused on utopia. I began with some seminal texts of early Chinese science fiction, and realized only quite late in my research process that what communicated the fantasies of national and individual rejuvenation in these writings were fantasies of communication themselves. So, then, communicative technologies came into the picture, but only by moving beyond fiction and finding a similar trajectory in the political and social histories of the period—that is, after diving into late Qing history proper—was I convinced that the interrelation between media, history, and theory is so integral to necessitate a thorough investigation.  

The history of media, perhaps even more so than other histories, directly concern who reported what, when, and through which specific medium. Scholars like Lisa Gitelman, Thomas Mullaney, and Andrew Jones, to name just a few, have admirably wrested global media history from the dominant perspective of inventors and established users. In learning from their work, I also became convinced that a retelling of media history is the incipient theorizing of what media do. The last piece of the puzzle came when I realized that precisely because the late Qing men and women were “recording,” “transmitting,” and attempting their versions of “connectivity” – to use the three key terms that structure my book—without a clear conception of what media are, they were media theorists before their time. 

Is translation a literal process or a metaphor in this book?

I see linguistic and cultural translations as one kind of mediation, which if used too generally to refer to the negotiation of differently opposing categories of thought, does risk becoming a metaphor. Of course there is nothing wrong with metaphors, unless we forget that concrete, historical processes also undergird the very distinction between the literal and the figurative. Keeping an eye on technological media serves as a way to remind someone like myself trained in comparative literary studies on this important distinction, which is really another way of saying that subtle difference between literal and metaphorical translations depends on the priority that an analysis gives to including actual communicative processes. 

In your conclusion you point to a dystopian turn in contemporary Chinese science-fiction, in contrast to the utopian period you describe in the late Qing Dynasty. Has the role of media changed alongside the tone of more contemporary Chinese fiction?

One period’s utopia easily becomes another century’s dystopia, but even within a single utopian work, the perfection of an all-powerful nation-state, for instance, can spell the end of a utopia for free, individual inquiry. Hence in Wu Jianren’s recognizably utopian New Story of the Stone (1905), which I discuss in Chapter 2, Jia Baoyu realizes there is nothing left for him to discover, let alone accomplish, in the perfected, Confucian technocracy, and departs. This gives the novel a slight, nuanced dystopian edge. The contemporary Chinese science-fiction writers who lambast social-economic inequality and disastrous environmental consequences of China’s post-socialist reforms can be seen as rejecting the utopia of national wealth and power bequeathed by their late Qing predecessors. But it may well be around the question of media where the contemporary dystopian turn converges with the earlier historical utopianism. By this, I mean that there is a risk when the dream of perfect communicability—as variously embraced by followers of design-thinking, innovation, disruption, and entrepreneurship—and its promise to do away with mediation altogether, become the substitute for collective action and the actual redress of injustice. This is my point in the conclusion: once the heroine of The Waste Tide, is construed as the disembodied, virtual consciousness—the literal, perfect medium—between the downtrodden e-waste workers and the privileged classes, the novel also reaches a too-easy resolution of the conflict that it otherwise carefully depicts. The tricky balance, as I see it, is always between the means-and-end relation. Can we have a satisfyingly dystopian critique without risking an utopian instrumentalizing, which in the case of The Waste Tide and its continuation of the turn-of-the-twentieth-century scientific and cultural imagination, manifest in the form of the female medium, who gets killed off in the end?   

There are many figures in this book. Why are the stone and the wireless the ones that made it into your title?

The stone refers to the mythological surface bearing the inscribed records of history, but also the lithographic process; the wireless figures in the late Qing period’s obsessions with interconnectivity through electricity and neuroanatomy. The stone and the wireless, more so than the other figures in the book, most vividly contest the supposed teleology of technological progress, and other related conceptual oppositions between the primitive and the modern, the visible and the invisible, and materiality and immateriality. The challenge of keeping all these terms in dynamic tension arose when I had to choose an image for my book cover: one finds plenty of appropriate stone figures, but the same can’t be said for the more abstract figure of the wireless. In the end, Wang Sishun’s “Apocalypse, 2015-19” came closest to capturing the abstractions of the concrete and the materiality of the abstract, which the book seeks to embody. I owe much to the artist and Duke’s art department for this, of course!

What can “Western” media theory learn from the Chinese media history you outline here?

I am glad that the question, too, puts “Western” in quotes without jettisoning the term altogether. We have tried to exorcise the “West” versus the “Rest” for so long, but the catch-all term remains useful when the historical materials one examines rely on them. A central argument of my book is that late Qing thinkers also attempted to negotiate the distinctions between China and the “West” through unhinging the same troubling associations these terms have with history and theory, respectively. And what effected such an unhinging but the communicative devices and processes of the time? To return to my answer for the first question above, I don’t believe it is possible to do a rigorous job of non-“Western” media history without also retheorizing media: this is both the challenge and bonus of working with cultural difference and within the still codified “area” studies. So, the first thing that “Western” media theory can learn from Chinese media history is that the active mediations of national, cultural, and epistemic distinctions, far from being some unintended consequences, are part and parcel of what media do. In other words, the history of early Chinese communicative processes consolidated the late Qing’s views of the “West,” as well as its theory of media. 

I am constantly aware that “China” and “Chinese” are equally problematic terms. It falls beyond the scope of my study to contribute to the rich field of scholarship that examines the complexities of ethnicity, race, and language policies of the period. I try to allude to some of these issues when I can, and I hope to do them better justice in my new project on contemporary China.

Read the introduction to The Stone and the Wireless and save 30% on the paperback edition using the code E21MASLG.

Q&A with Liz P. Y. Chee, author of Mao’s Bestiary

In Liz P. Y. Chee is Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute and Lecturer at Tembusu College, both at the National University of Singapore. In her new book, Mao’s Bestiary: Medicinal Animals and Modern China, she complicates understandings of Chinese medicine as timeless and unchanging by historicizing the expansion of animal-based medicines in the social and political environment of early Communist China. Chee is Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute and Lecturer at Tembusu College, both at the National University of Singapore.

In Mao’s Bestiary, your focus is on the production rather than the consumption of animal-based drugs. As a reader, it’s hard not to wonder about the efficacy of some of the therapies you describe. From the consumer’s perspective, do you have a sense as to why faunal medicalization remains popular?

I agree it’s hard to understand why demand continues in the present day despite the lack of science-based proofs of efficacy, and given the awareness that so many animal species are facing extinction, but let me provide two reasons. One is prestige. In China and elsewhere in Asia, rare animal parts and tissues have been highly valued within a gifting economy. I first became aware of this on a trip to Boten City, Laos in December 2009, where in the lobby of my hotel, which faced the entrance to a casino, venders were selling boxes of bear bile wrapped in neat red packaging. Jill Robinson, founder of Animals Asia Foundation, has discussed how such high-end animal medicinals are often never consumed, but permanently displayed as trophy objects. Others have written of how the gift of an expensive animal-based medicine to a sick relative is taken as a sign of caring, regardless of whether it is used.

A more general reason is the belief, deliberately cultivated during the period I write about, of the greater potency of animal tissue in preventing or curing diseases as compared to herbs. The Chinese medical belief of “like-cures-like” has always contributed to the use of animals parts as cures, though my book documents many cases of animals being given new medical powers in the modern period that have little or no sanction in classical texts. Contributing to the decimation of the rhino population, for example, has been a surge in Vietnamese demand for rhino horn, based on its claimed efficacy in curing cancer, or just hangovers. And in post-war Singapore, the horns of Saiga antelope were made into a cooling drink. I remember drinking this as a child and believing in its cooling effects. That Saiga horn is still openly sold here probably relates to this earlier marketing, which like all marketing need not be backed by scientific proofs. When such parts and tissues are officially banned, their trade goes underground, or operates through the internet. Only educating consumers has a chance of ending it.

Instead of using Eastern and Western medicine as analytic categories, you compare Chinese medicine with biomedicine. What do you think Western historians of science and medicine, or, perhaps, historians of Western science and medicine, can take away from this reframing of geography and tradition?

“Eastern” and “Western” are artefacts from the colonial period, so didn’t work for me in telling this story. Even “Chinese medicine” and “biomedicine”, the two broad-brush descriptors I settled on, needed to constantly be given more nuance in the text. It’s well-accepted now that “Chinese medicine” is a modernizing and heterogeneous set of practices and materials, hence full of innovation, and I’ve further documented that. But another reason the directional categories didn’t work in my manuscript is because Soviet or socialist medicine had a large influence in China from the 1950s, and its openness to herb-based and animal-based therapies—which were out of favour in “The West”—acted as a bridge to traditional Chinese drug culture. Russia is also in Asia, so its floral and faunal materia medica overlapped with that of China, as did its medicinal farming of deer. Other scholars have already documented the way that Japanese research influenced the whole range of medicines in China, including traditional pharmaceutics, and we can add North Korea in the case of bear bile farming. As a Singaporean, I was also very aware of the north-south axis; how what happens to the north of us effects the Southeast Asian rain forest where we live, and which has traditionally supplied so many animals for Chinese medicinal markets.

In your own life, you have been both a consumer of Chinese medicine and an activist for wildlife and biodiversity. How do these two things sit in tension for your generation? How do you imagine this tension might shape conversations about Chinese medicine moving forward?

I’m currently in my early 40s, and it’s not easy to generalize about my generation of Chinese-Singaporeans. While we’re more educated than our parents, we’re still quite immersed in inherited ways of thinking. My family origins are in Southern China, where animals were never treated humanely or with a view toward conservation. I was brought up eating shark fin soup and consuming Chinese medicine made with dried lizards, in addition to the antelope-horn drink I mentioned. I only became sensitized to ethical issues around animals in my late teens, but even then felt powerless to change anything. One turning point came when I saw (in the early 2000s) a BBC documentary on bear farming, and then witnessed it first-hand in Laos. While I think I’m still more the exception than the norm among my generation, an active minority of us have contributed to a strong and increasingly effective movement for the ethical treatment of animals here, as I mention in my book. We are ahead of China in that regard, though attitudes there are changing as well.

I’m more hopeful about the younger generations of Singaporeans and Chinese, who have been more outspoken in voicing their distaste for exploiting endangered species. The Guizhentang controversy of 2012, which I describe in my book, and which saw young mainland Chinese demonstrating against bear bile farming in front of the company’s outlets, was early evidence of a more dynamic and ethically-focused generation evolving. Celebrities like basketballer Yao Ming have also spoken up in challenge to conservative voices in the Chinese medical community. As an academic, my job is to contextualize and explain why and how animals came to be medicalized on such a scale. And my book rejects the claim that an unbroken Chinese tradition is the reason for the current industrial-scale exploitation, thereby skipping over the influence of nation-building in Mao’s China. But even without this historical evidence, I believe the younger generation prefers a Chinese medicine which does not endanger biodiversity, threaten the survival of species, harm individual animals, or harm us through the spread of zoonoses. They realize that continuing to medicalize animals is not essential to the survival of this healing tradition. It may rather threaten it.

You reference the COVID-19 pandemic several times in your introduction, and again in your conclusion. What impact, if any, do you think COVID-19 will have on future uses of medicinal animals? Do you think your book would have looked different if you had started it, and not finished it, in the middle of a pandemic?

As mentioned, one origin of this book was the trip I made to a bear bile farm in Boten City, Laos, a story I tell in the introduction. My team and I were there because the bears were diseased and dying, and I was struck that liquid extracted from sick bears was being sold locally as “medicine.” So zoonotic disease was a specter hovering about my project from the beginning. But I was more interested at that moment in the ethical question of how Chinese farmers could engage in such a cruel practice, and the historical question of where medicinal animal farming originated, and why. Going into the archives to understand faunal medicalization as an historical process, zoonoses faded from view because they were outside the consciousness of my actors and informants. Now of course they are front and center. But in some sense I’m glad I finished the book just before the pandemic, so as not to see the history of medicalizing animals solely through that contemporary lens. I’m hopeful, however, that the pre-history provided by the book will be useful to those working today to limit zoonotic disease by ending the global wildlife trade, so much of which is linked to medicalization. “Tradition” has always been a black box (or perhaps wall) limiting what people felt they could do to institute change. Understanding it as a process of constant re-invention and choice, and in this instance one that has become detrimental to both human and animal health, is an important step.

Read the introduction to Mao’s Bestiary and save 30% on the paperback edition using the code E21CHEMB

Amy Ruth Buchanan Named Director of Editing, Design and Production

Amy Ruth Buchanan has been named Duke University Press’s new Director of Editing, Design, and Production (EDP) after a national search.

Amy has positioned DUP as an industry leader in design and production for several decades. Under her leadership, the design team won an unprecedented thirteen Association of University Presses Book, Jacket, and Journal Show awards this past year.

Amy began her career at Duke University Press as a production assistant in 1995, and held several positions after that, from graphic designer to senior book designer, and, in 2016, Book Design Manager. Since 2018 she has served as Design Manager for Books and Journals. Her book designs have been honored by the Association of University Presses’ Book, Jacket and Journal Show many times and she has been an active participant in the AUPresses community, serving as a committee chair, workshop presenter, and annual meeting panelist.

During her tenure at the Press, Amy has played an instrumental role in developing an integrated and dynamic EDP environment. She has grown and adapted as workflows expanded, as requirements evolved, as lists grew, and as personnel changed. She understands the interconnectedness of design with editorial work—and how production and printing impact the online presentation of book and journal content. 

Director of Duke University Press Dean Smith says, “Amy leads with compassion and strives for excellence. She centers her leadership style on empathy, creativity, and flexibility. She is committed to the core values of equity and inclusion and to making things better—for people in EDP, her colleagues at the press, and for outside editors and authors. I look forward to witnessing the many great things that Amy will do for EDP and for the Press in this new role.”

Amy Ruth Buchanan will begin her new role as EDP Director on September 1, 2021.

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 platinum 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.

Q&A with GLQ editors C. Riley Snorton and Jennifer DeVere Brody

We’re more than pleased to welcome C. Riley Snorton, professor at the University of Chicago, as the newest coeditor of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. In today’s blog post, he and coeditor Jennifer DeVere Brody discuss their involvement with and vision for the journal. Learn more about GLQ or subscribe here.

What is your professional background, and how did you come to be involved with GLQ? What drew you to the journal?

CRS: I am a writer and professor with training in media and cultural studies and working broadly in the fields of Black studies, queer studies, and transgender studies. I am also involved in movements that work for the liberation of Black, queer and trans lives. I first encountered GLQ as an undergraduate women and gender studies major, and the journal has been a recurring touchpoint in my formal and political education. My first publication in GLQ underscores that point, as I was honored to write a short piece of reflection for the 25th anniversary of Cathy Cohen’s noted essay, “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics?” (GLQ, 1997). Cohen’s essay, to my mind, remains a key example of how queer studies has always had a deep relationship with queer activism.

There were many reasons I was drawn to the journal. It is an honor to serve the field in this capacity, and I feel fortunate to have served alongside Jennifer DeVere Brody and Marcia Ochoa. I greatly admired and am inspired by the editors and editorial team at GLQ and was eager to experience the sociality of queer scholarship through editorial and curatorial work. I also value the short form—the article—as a writing and thinking exercise.

JDB: The editorial team was eager to solidify intellectual connections between Black, queer, and trans studies and we looked to C. Riley Snorton’s scholarship as a model. His contribution for our 25th anniversary issue commented on the most cited essay by Cathy Cohen and we all knew him to be a superb collaborator. It is a joy to work with him and the editorial collective that now meets regularly on Zoom.

What is your vision for GLQ—how do you hope to shape the journal into the future?

CRS: I’ll start by expressing a shared sensibility among the members of the editorial team to highlight scholarship that extends beyond North American (settler colonial) understandings of sex and sexuality.

I have always thought that queer studies (and Black studies and trans studies, for that matter) can be useful for understanding any sort of phenomena, that is that it is a lens for thinking about power, geography, representation, race, feeling, gender, capital, etc., etc. I am also eager to explore the ways GLQ exists beyond print form, whether that’s by hosting incubators for early career scholars, contributing to or producing podcasts, or deepening our online presence.

JDB: Indeed, we hope to think more about other modes of scholarly engagement and incorporating even more visual, sonic, and interactive events.

What recent topics has the journal covered? Are there forthcoming topics or special issues you’re looking forward to?

CRS: I am proud that my time as coeditor coincides with the release of “Cuir/Queer Américas,” a multilingual conversation happening across multiple journals and multiple countries which represents a culmination of the vision of a collective of scholars (including former coeditor Marcia Ochoa) working on queerness and trans* among Latinx and in the Caribbean and across Latin America.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

CRS: It has been rewarding to work with every member of the editorial team—the State of the Field editors, Books-in-Brief editor, Moving Image, and the associate editors who all bring their vision and expertise to bear on the journal. I am also profoundly grateful to Liz Beasley, GLQ’s managing editor, who is key to keeping all systems running. I want to express respect for every previous editor at the journal and appreciation for the editorial board.

New Titles in Native and Indigenous Studies

This year we look forward to celebrating new books and journal issues in Native and Indigenous studies virtually. Through June 31, 2021, save 40% on all books and journal issues when you use coupon code NAISA21 at checkout.

For highlights of our newest titles in Native and Indigenous studies, check out our conference landing page. And browse all books and journals in Native and Indigenous studies here.

Attendees of the 2021 Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Conference can join Keith L. Camacho for Reppin’: Pacific Islander Youth and Native Justice, on June 15, 1pm EST, and Candace Fujikane for Kūkulu Ke Ea o Mauna Kea: Practices of Kilo (Observation and Forecasting) Against Climate Change, starting June 17 on-demand.

If you were hoping to connect with Courtney Berger or one of our other editors about your book project at the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Conference, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines and submission portal here.

World Oceans Day Reads

World Oceans Day affords us an opportunity to stop and reflect on the impact humans have on the ocean, and how central the ocean is to the sustaining of human life. A number of our recent titles offer new perspectives on our relationship to and responsibility for the ocean.

The contributors to Blue Legalities attend to the seas as a legally and politically conflicted space to analyze the conflicts that emerge where systems of governance interact with complex geophysical, ecological, economic, biological, and technological processes.

In Borderwaters, Brian Russell Roberts dispels continental-centric US national mythologies to advance an alternative image of the United States as an archipelagic nation to better reflect its claims to archipelagoes in the Pacific and Caribbean.

In Wild Blue Media, Melody Jue destabilizes terrestrial-based media theory frameworks and reorients the perception of the world by considering the ocean itself as a media environment—a place where the weight and opacity of seawater transforms how information is created, stored, transmitted, and perceived.

Elizabeth M. DeLoughrey traces how indigenous and postcolonial peoples in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands grapple with the enormity of colonialism and anthropogenic climate change through art, poetry, and literature by using allegorical narratives in Allegories of the Anthropocene.

Collecting texts from all corners of the world that span antiquity to the present, The Ocean Reader charts humans’ relationship to the ocean, treating it as a dynamic site of history, culture, and politics.

In Coral Empire, Ann Elias traces the history of two explorers whose photographs and films of tropical reefs in the 1920s cast corals and the sea as an unexplored territory to be exploited in ways that tied the tropics and reefs to colonialism, racism, and the human domination of nature.

Hester Blum examines the rich, offbeat collection of printed ephemera created by nineteenth- and early twentieth-century polar explorers in The News at the End of the Earth, showing how ship newspapers and other writing shows how explores wrestled with questions of time, space, and community while providing them with habits to survive the extreme polar climate.

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.

New Titles in Caribbean Studies

This Caribbean Heritage Month, we look forward to celebrating new books and journal issues in Caribbean studies virtually. Through June 15, 2021, save 40% on all books and journal issues when you use coupon code CRBNSA21 at checkout.

For highlights of our newest titles in Caribbean studies, check out our conference landing page. And browse all books and journals in Caribbean studies here.

Join DUP authors for these panels at the 2021 Caribbean Studies Association Conference:

Mimi Sheller, “Building a Caribbean Anthropocene Collaborative Commons,” June 2, 11:00am

Yanique Hume, “Imagining Spirit & Nation,” June 3, 10:30am

You can also celebrate the work of CLR James, Walter Rodney, and Sylvia Wynter in “Ideas of Impact: Rodney, James and Wynter,” June 2, at 9:30am.

If you were hoping to connect with one of our editors about your book project at the Caribbean Studies Association Conference, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines and submission portal here.