In the News

Pedagogy: Critical Practices for a Changing World

ddal_89_2_coverWhy we teach what we teach is just as important as why we study what we study but is seldom discussed as a field-defining issue. American Literature’s most recent special issue, “Pedagogy: Critical Practices for a Changing World,” edited by Carol Batker, Eden Osucha, and Augusta Rohrbach, integrates discipline-specific knowledge more fully into a critical discussion of pedagogy. By leveraging the location of pedagogy as developing out of specific scholarly concerns, articles within this issue illustrate the intersection of theory and pedagogical practice while highlighting the diverse disciplinary, institutional, and political contributions of American literature to higher education and community-based teaching and learning.

In turning their attention to pedagogy, the editors of this special issue ask both how scholarly engagement with American literature has produced a distinct set of pedagogical practices and how pedagogical practices raise new questions about the relevance and role of American literature. Rather than focusing on a particular teaching strategy or text, these essays approach the topic from larger philosophical and disciplinary perspectives.

Read the special editors’ introduction to the issue, made freely available now through August 26, 2017.

Recent Issue of Tikkun Addresses the 50th Anniversary of the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank

btn_header_tikkun_logoIn the most recent issue of Tikkun, editor Rabbi Michael Lerner and contributors address the Israeli occupation of the West Bank as it reaches its 50th year. “The Occupation At 50” includes an editorial by Rabbi Lerner calling for momentum in the One Person/One Vote movement.

From the editorial:

With sufficient sensitivity, empathy and generosity of spirit, we could accomplish a powerful change of consciousness!

This is the real challenge—not headline grabbing, but the day-to-day, neighborhood and community group organizing around a vision of the world we want, not just what we are against. We at Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives can play our part, but this will take the participation and support of all those who really want to achieve the kind of liberation from Occupation that will benefit the Israelis, the Palestinians, the Jews, and all others on this planet.

In this issue of Tikkun we invited a broad swath of people, including many who disagree with us to our left and to our right, to comment on what the Occupation has meant to them and/or their ideas about how to end it.

The issue includes articles on topics such as:

Browse the table-of-contents to the issue and read Rabbi Lerner’s editorial, made freely available.

Read To Respond: Bathroom Politics

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. This post focuses on bathroom politics, and how we make bathrooms accessible to people of different gender, ability, or class. Read, reflect, and share these resources in and out of the classroom to keep these important conversations going.

Bathroom Politics

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

Win a Copy of I Love My Selfie

978-0-8223-6349-1To make your Monday a little brighter, we’re excited to announce a giveaway of the new book I Love My Selfie, with writing by cultural critic Ilan Stavans and a portfolio of autoportraits by artist ADÁL.

What explains our current obsession with selfies? Stavans explores the selfie’s historical and cultural roots by discussing everything from Greek mythology and Shakespeare to Andy Warhol, James Franco, and Pope Francis. He sees selfies as tools people use to disguise or present themselves as spontaneous and casual. ADÁL’s fifty autoportraits question the notion of the self and engage with artists, celebrities, technology, identity, and politics.

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Acquiring editor Miriam Angress’s selfie with an advance copy of the book

To enter to win one of three copies of I Love My Selfie, show us your own selfie with your favorite Duke University Press book or journal! Tag us on Instagram at @dukeuniversitypress or Twitter at @DukePress and use the hashtag #ilovemyselfie. Winners will be chosen randomly. There’s a limit of one entry per person per method, and the contest closes next Monday, May 29, at 11:59pm EST—so go ahead and get snapping!

And if you want to read more about selfies, check out “Instafame: Luxury Selfies in the Attention Economy,” an article by Alice E. Marwick in Public Culture number 75, made freely available for the rest of the year.

French Historical Studies Authors Win Two Prizes

The Society for French Historical Studies has awarded two prizes to articles featured in French Historical Studies!

ddfhs_39_4The 2016 William Koren, Jr. Prize is awarded by the Society for French Historical Studies to the most outstanding article on any period of French history published the previous year by a scholar appointed at a college or university in the United States or Canada. The prize committee seeks out contenders from American, Canadian, and European journals and may decide whether articles that have appeared as part of a book or in the published proceedings of a scholarly conference are eligible for consideration. This year’s award goes to Nguyễn Thị Điểu, author of “Ritual, Power, and Pageantry: French Ritual Politics in Monarchical Vietnam.” This article is featured in French Historical Studies, volume 39, issue 4 (October 2016).

ddfhs_39_2The runner up for the 2016 Malcolm Bowie Prize was Dónal Hassett, whose article, “Pupilles de l’Empire: Debating the Provision for Child Victims of the Great War in the French Empire,” was featured in French Historical Studies volume 39, issue 2 (April 2016). The Malcolm Bowie Prize, given by the Society for French Historical Studies, is awarded each year for the best article published in the preceding year by an early-career researcher in the broader discipline of French Studies.

Congratulations to both winners! Read these award-winning articles, made freely available.

International Museum Day

Today is International Museum Day, which raises awareness of museums as “an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” We’re happy to contribute to the cause by sharing some of our scholarship that celebrates and critically examines museums and their work.

978-0-8223-5897-8Prior to 1967 fewer than a dozen museum exhibitions had featured the work of African American artists. And by the time the civil rights movement reached the American art museum, it had already crested: the first public demonstrations to integrate museums occurred in late 1968, twenty years after the desegregation of the military and fourteen years after the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. In Mounting Frustration Susan E. Cahan investigates the strategies African American artists and museum professionals employed as they wrangled over access to and the direction of New York City’s elite museums.

Bennett_pbk_cover.inddThe coauthors of the theoretically innovative Collecting, Ordering, Governing explore the relationships among anthropological fieldwork, museum collecting and display, and social governance in the early twentieth century in Australia, Britain, France, New Zealand, and the United States. With case studies ranging from the Musée de l’Homme’s 1930s fieldwork missions in French Indo-China to the influence of Franz Boas’s culture concept on the development of American museums, the authors illuminate recent debates about postwar forms of multicultural governance, cultural conceptions of difference, and postcolonial policy and practice in museums.

ddaaa_67_1Archives of Asian Art is a journal devoted to publishing new scholarship on the art and architecture of South, Southeast, Central, and East Asia. Articles discuss premodern and contemporary visual arts, archaeology, architecture, and the history of collecting.  Every issue is fully illustrated (with color plates in the online version), and each fall issue includes an illustrated compendium of recent acquisitions of Asian art by leading museums and collections.

Museum Frictions is a lavishly illustrated examination of the significant and varied effects of the increasingly globalized world on contemporary museum, heritage, and exhibition practice. The contributors—scholars, artists, and curators—present case studies drawn from Africa, Australia, North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Together they offer a multifaceted analysis of the complex roles that national and community museums, museums of art and history, monuments, heritage sites, and theme parks play in creating public cultures.

In Museum Skepticism, art historian David Carrier traces the birth, evolution, and decline of the public art museum as an institution meant to spark democratic debate and discussion. Carrier contends that since the inception of the public art museum during the French Revolution, its development has depended on growth: on the expansion of collections, particularly to include works representing non-European cultures, and on the proliferation of art museums around the globe. Arguing that this expansionist project has peaked, he asserts that art museums must now find new ways of making high art relevant to contemporary lives.

978-0-8223-5429-1In the late nineteenth century, Japan’s new Meiji government established museums to showcase a national aesthetic heritage, spur industrialization and self-disciplined public behavior, and cultivate an “imperial public” loyal to the emperor. By the mid-1930s, the Japanese museum system had established or absorbed institutions in Taiwan, Korea, Sakhalin, and Manchuria. Unsurprisingly, colonial subjects’ views of Japanese imperialism differed from those promulgated by the Japanese state. In Public Properties Noriko Aso describes how museums in Japan and its empire contributed to the reimagining of state and society during the imperial era despite vigorous disagreements about what was to be displayed, how, and by whom it was to be seen.

 The New History in an Old Museum is an exploration of “historical truth” as presented at Colonial Williamsburg. More than a detailed history of a museum and tourist attraction, it examines the packaging of American history, and consumerism and the manufacturing of cultural beliefs. Through extensive fieldwork, Richard Handler and Eric Gable illustrate how corporate sensibility blends with pedagogical principle in Colonial Williamsburg to blur the lines between education and entertainment, patriotism and revisionism.

ddnka_31 Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art focuses on publishing critical work that examines contemporary African and African Diaspora art within the modernist and postmodernist experience and includes scholarly articles, reviews (exhibits and books), interviews, and roundtable discussions. In “Nka Roundtable III: Contemporary African Art and the Museum,” contributors examine the role of museums in bringing the work of African artists to the consciousness of the contemporary world. The topics covered include the participants’ first meaningful encounters with contemporary African art, the role of the curator of contemporary African art in the museum, and the age-old question about presenting contemporary African art in art and/or ethnology museums.

Read to Respond: Trans Rights

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. This post focuses on trans rights in light of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, a day dedicated to drawing the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public, and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTQIA+ people internationally. Read, reflect, and share these resources in and out of the classroom to keep these important conversations going.

Trans Rights

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

Introducing Our Fall 2017 Catalog

Our Fall 2017 catalog is here! We’re excited to give you a preview of all the great books that will be available in the next few months.

Test of FaithEvery two years we publish the winner of the Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize. The 2017 winner is Lauren Pond and her photos of Pentecostal serpent handlers in Appalachia. Test of Faith: Signs, Serpents, Salvation features 100 color photographs and provides a deeply nuanced, personal look at serpent handling that invites greater understanding of a religious practice that has long faced derision and criticism. It will be available in November.

Louise Thompson PattersonWe have a great cluster of general interest titles on the struggle for social and racial justice. Keith Gilyard has written the first biography of Louise Thompson Patterson, a leading and transformative figure in the radical African American politics of the twentieth century. In Why the Vote Wasn’t Enough for Selma, Karlyn Forner rewrites the heralded history of Selma to show why gaining the right to vote did not lead to economic justice for African Americans in the Alabama Black Belt. Jane Lazarre tells the story of her father Bill Lazarre in The Communist and the Communist’s Daughter. He was a radical activist who, as part of his tireless efforts to create a better world for his family, held leadership positions in the American Communist Party, fought in the Spanish Civil War, and organized labor unions. And bringing the story of activism into the twenty-first century, Howard E. Covington Jr.’s Lending Power looks at the compelling story of the nonprofit Center for Community Self-Help, a community-oriented and civil rights-based financial institution that has helped provide loans to those who lacked access to traditional financing while fighting for consumer protection for all Americans.

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Fred Moten

We’re excited to feature a number of returning authors with major new theoretical interventions into contemporary politics and cultural studies. Black and Blur is the first book in Fred Moten’s trilogy consent not to be a single being. Moten engages in a capacious consideration of the place and force of blackness in African diaspora arts, politics, and life. Jasbir Puar returns to our list both with a tenth-anniversary edition of her classic Terrorist Assemblages and with The Right to Maim, which continues her pathbreaking work on the liberal state, sexuality, and biopolitics to theorize the production of disability, using Israel’s occupation of Palestine as an example of how settler colonial states rely on liberal frameworks of disability to maintain control of bodies and populations.

In Saving the Security State, Inderpal Grewal traces the changing relations between the US state and its citizens in an era she calls advanced neoliberalism, under which everyday life is militarized, humanitarianism serves imperial aims, and white Christian men become exceptional citizens tasked with protecting the nation from racialized others. Also looking at life in the modern security state is the collection Life in the Age of Drone Warfare, edited by Lisa Parks and Caren Kaplan. We are also publishing Kaplan’s book Aerial Aftermaths, which looks at the cultural history of aerial imagery—from the first vistas provided by balloons in the eighteenth century to the sensing operations of military drones. In Attachments to War, Jennifer Terry traces how biomedical logics entangle Americans in a perpetual state of war, in which new forms of wounding necessitate the continual development of treatment and prosthetic technologies while the military justifies violence and military occupation as necessary conditions for advancing medical knowledge. And reckoning with one’s role in perpetuating systematic inequality is the theme of Bruce Robbins’s The Beneficiary, in which he examines the implications of a humanitarianism in which the prosperous are the both the cause and the beneficiaries of the abhorrent conditions they seek to remedy.

art1New books in gender studies and queer studies include Lynn Comella’s Vibrator Nation, which tells the fascinating history of how feminist sex-toy stores such as Eve’s Garden, Good Vibrations and Babeland raised sexual consciousness, redefined the adult industry, provided educational and community resources, and changed the way sex was talked about, had, and enjoyed. We’ve also got Eric Plemons’s ethnography of trans-medicine; Melanie Yergeau’s Authoring Autism, which shows how autistics both embrace and reject the rhetorical, thereby queering the lines of rhetoric, humanity, agency, and the very essence of rhetoric itself; and Lori Jo Marso’s Politics with Beauvoir, which treats Simone de Beauvoir’s feminist theory and practice as part of her political theory.

We’ve got many terrific anthropology titles, including Richard Price and Sally Price Saamaka Dreamingrevisiting their early careers in Suriname in Saamaka Dreaming; Kristen Ghodsee continuing her reflections on the legacies of communism in Eastern Europe; Edward LiPuma’s The Social Life of Financial Derivatives; Paul Rabinow thinking about Gerhard Richter and the idea of the contemporary; Dana Powell‘s look at the politics of energy in the Navajo Nation; and many more.

We also have titles in music, political theory, Asian Studies, religious studies, Latin American studies, history, science studies, and literary studies. We are also pleased to welcome Qui Parle to our collection of journals. Check out the full catalog to see all the new titles, preview special issues, and learn about all our journals. And sign up for our email alerts so you’ll know when all these great new books are published this fall.

Exhibitions and Spring Art Books

This spring, we’re distributing three gorgeous art books that correspond with exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, and the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center. We’re happy to extend the reach of these important and beautifully designed catalogues, published by each respective museum, and we hope you can make it out to an exhibition or two.

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Faith Ringgold (American, born 1930). For the Women’s House, 1971. Oil on canvas, 96 x 96 in. (243.8 x 243.8 cm). Courtesy of Rose M. Singer Center, Rikers Island Correctional Center. © 2017 Faith Ringgold / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

A landmark exhibition on display at the Brooklyn Museum through September 17, We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85 examines the political, social, cultural, and aesthetic priorities of women of color during the emergence of second-wave feminism. It showcases the work of black women artists such as Emma Amos, Maren Hassinger, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O’Grady, Howardena Pindell, Faith Ringgold, and Betye Saar, making it one of the first major exhibitions to highlight the voices and experiences of women of color. In so doing, it reorients conversations around race, feminism, political action, art production, and art history in this significant historical period.

The accompanying Sourcebook republishes an array of rare and little-known documents from the period by artists, writers, cultural critics, and art historians such as Gloria Anzaldúa, James Baldwin, bell hooks, Lucy R. Lippard, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Lowery Stokes Sims, Alice Walker, and Michelle Wallace. These documents include articles, manifestos, and letters from significant publications as well as interviews, some of which are reproduced in facsimile form. The Sourcebook also includes archival materials, rare ephemera, and an art-historical overview essay. Helping readers to move beyond standard narratives of art history and feminism, this volume will ignite further scholarship while showing the true breadth and diversity of black women’s engagement with art, the art world, and politics from the 1960s to the 1980s.

We Wanted a Revolution is curated by Catherine Morris and Rujeko Hockley. In addition to the Brooklyn Museum, it will also be on display at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles from October 13, 2017, through January 14, 2018; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, from February 17, 2018, through May 27, 2018; and the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston from June 26, 2018, through September 30, 2018. Find more details about the exhibition or purchase the Sourcebook.

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Nina Chanel Abney, Incite (COM), 2015. Unique ultrachrome pigmented print, acrylic, and spray paint on canvas; 48 x 36 inches (121.92 x 91.44 cm). Collection of Isis Heslin and Jacqueline T. Martin. Image courtesy of Kravets | Wehby Gallery, New York, New York. © Nina Chanel Abney.

Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush, an exhibition at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, is a ten-year survey of one of the most provocative and iconoclastic artists working today. Abney is at the forefront of a generation of artists that is unapologetically revitalizing narrative figurative painting, and as a skillful story-teller, she visually articulates the complex social dynamics of contemporary urban life. Her works are informed as much by mainstream news media as they are by animated cartoons, video games, hip-hop culture, celebrity websites, and tabloid magazines. She draws on these sources to make paintings replete with figures, numbers, and words that appear to have tumbled onto the canvas with the stream-of-consciousness immediacy of text messages, pop-up windows, a Twitter feed, or the scrolling headlines of an incessant twenty-four-hour news cycle. By engaging loaded topics and controversial issues with irreverence, humor, and lampooning satire, Abney’s works are both pointed contemporary genre scenes as well as scathing commentaries on social attitudes and inequities.

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Abney poses with her work First and Last, part of the Nasher Museum’s collection and featured in the exhibition Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush. Photo by J Caldwell.

Abney’s first solo museum exhibition, Royal Flush comprises the artist’s large-scale paintings, along with smaller collages and watercolors. While her work has strong ties to important modernist forebears such as Robert Colescott, Stuart Davis, Romare Bearden, and Faith Ringgold, among others, its distinct and arresting visual articulation of the human condition is inherently suited to the rapid-fire and unceasing quality of the Digital Age. Her dense and colorful iconography, a skillful engagement with serious issues, and the provocative way in which she addresses them has brought this young artist increasing critical acclaim in the contemporary art world.

Royal Flush is on display at the Nasher Museum through July 16. The exhibition will travel to the Chicago Cultural Center (February 10–May 6, 2018) and then to Los Angeles, where it will be jointly presented by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the California African American Museum (September 23, 2018–January 20, 2019). The final venue for the exhibition is the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York (April 7–August 4, 2019).  Learn more about the exhibition or buy the catalogue.

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Jonathan Williams, Beauty and the Beast: Joel Oppenheimer and Francine du Plessix Gray, Black Mountain College, 1951, gelatin silver print. Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center Collection. Gift of the Artist. Courtesy of Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscript Collection. Permission to reproduce courtesy of Thomas Meyer.

During its relatively brief existence (1933–1957), Black Mountain College was an experimental liberal arts college that placed the arts at the center of its curriculum. Its faculty included leading members of the American avant-garde such as Josef and Anni Albers, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Buckminster Fuller, Charles Olson, and Robert Creeley. While Black Mountain College is best known for its contributions to the visual arts, literature, music, and dance, Begin to See: The Photographers of Black Mountain College, curated by Julie J. Thomson, shows how photography was also an important part of the curriculum. Photography began as an informal workshop in the 1930s and was taught through 1953. Josef Albers and Hazel Larsen Archer played important roles in this, including inviting many notable photographers to teach during the college’s summer sessions.

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Nancy Newhall and Anni Albers, Untitled (Photogram), 1948, vintage gelatin silver print. ©1948, Nancy Newhall, ©2017, the Estate of Beaumont and Nancy Newhall. Permission to reproduce courtesy of Scheinbaum and Russek Ltd., Santa Fe, New Mexico. Courtesy of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.

While thousands of photographs were made at Black Mountain College, there has not been a detailed examination of photography at the college. Begin to See is the first in-depth exhibition and catalog devoted to this topic. Organized around the themes of Available Light, Bearing Witness, Performing for the Camera, Experimentation, and Place, this catalog includes essays, photographer biographies, and a chronology about photography at Black Mountain College. It features over 100 photographs by more than forty artists including Josef Albers, Hazel Larsen Archer, Harry Callahan, Robert Haas, Barbara Morgan, Beaumont Newhall, Nancy Newhall, Andy Oates, Robert Rauschenberg, Aaron Siskind, Cy Twombly, Stan VanDerBeek, Susan Weil, and Jonathan Williams.

Read more about the exhibition, on display through May 20 at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, or purchase the catalog.

Final Days of the Spring Sale

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We are down to the final two days of our big Spring Sale. It ends at 11:59 pm Eastern time tomorrow, Wednesday, May 11. So head to our website now to stock up and save on all in-stock books and journal issues.

During this sale, the more you buy, the more you save. Buy one or two titles and save 30%, buy three or four titles and save 40%, and buy five or more and get the best discount of 50%. Please note that journal subscriptions and society memberships are not included in the sale. See all the fine print here.

978-0-8223-6224-1_borderWe regret that one of our most popular titles, Staying with the Trouble by Donna Haraway, went out of stock at the beginning of the sale. A reprint is at the printer now and we hope to have it in stock again the week of May 15th. For those who were unable to order the book, we are pleased to offer a special 50% discount code on Staying with the Trouble once it is back in stock. Please return to the site next week and use coupon code STAY50 to take advantage of it. This special offer will expire May 31, 2017.

Okay, now get shopping. Only two days left!