In the News

Final Day of our Fall Sale

Today is the final day to save 50% on in-stock books and journal issues during our Fall Sale. Use coupon FALL21 and be sure to shop before 11:59 pm EDT.

Customers outside North and South America can use the FALL21 coupon through today at our UK-based distributor Combined Academic Publishers to save on shipping, particularly in Europe.

If you shopped early in the sale, check out our post on new books that came out in early October. And also consider our latest releases, Saturation, a collection edited by Melanie Jue and Rafico Ruiz; The Work of Rape by Rana M. Jaleel; Decay, a collection edited by Ghassan Hage; See How We Roll by Melinda Hinkson; Indirect Subjects by Matthew H. Brown; and The Deconstruction of Sex, the late philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy’s final book, a collaboration with Irving Goh.

See the fine print and FAQs here. Don’t delay, shop now!

New Titles in American Studies

We look forward to celebrating new books and journal issues in American studies at the virtual American Studies Association conference. During our fall sale, save 50% on all books and special issues when you use coupon code FALL21 at checkout. Customers in the UK and Europe can order books with this code from our UK partner, Combined Academic Publishers.

Registered attendees can find us in the official virtual exhibit hall. For highlights of our newest titles in American studies, check out our conference landing page. And browse all books and journals in American studies here.

Since we can’t take pictures of our authors in our exhibit hall booth, we’ve collected an album of their book selfies! Find them on Facebook.

On Tuesday, October 12, join author Kandice Chuh for an roundtable session about her book The Difference Aesthetics Makes, at12:00pm EST, accompanied by Lisa Lowe and Laura Hyun Yi Kang.

Soyica Colbert will be discussing Race and Performance After Repetition on a panel with many of the volume’s contributors, Wedneday, October 13 at 4:00pm EST.

Thursday, October 14 at 10:00am EST, join Xavier Livermon for “Kwaito Bodies: Black (Queer) Creativity in Transnational Context,” on his most recent book.

Tiffany Lethabo King and Savannah Shange will both participate in the Critical Ethnic Studies Committee roundtable on The Black Shoals Wednesday, October 13 at 4:00pm EST, and on the panel “Black Feminist Ecologies/Ethnographies of Experimentation and Revolt in The Black Shoals (2019) and Progressive Dystopia (2019),” Thursday, October 14, 12:00pm EST.

If you were hoping to connect with Courtney Berger, Ken Wissoker, Elizabeth Ault, or one of our other editors about your book project at the American 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.

New Titles in Science Studies

We look forward to celebrating new books and journal issues in science and technology studies at the virtual Society for Social Studies of Science conference! During our fall sale, save 50% on all books and special issues when you use coupon code FALL21 at checkout. Customers in the UK and Europe can order books with this code from our UK partner, Combined Academic Publishers.

Cover of Anaesthetics of Existence by Cressida J. Heyes. Black text over fine art installation "mé," Roppongi Crossing 2019: Connexions, featuring a white room full of stationary ocean waves.

Registered attendees can find us in the official virtual exhibit hall. For highlights of our newest titles in science studies, check out our conference landing page. And browse all books and journals in science and technology studies here.

On Saturday, October 9, join author Cressida J. Heyes for an author-meets-critics session about her book Anaesthetics of Existence, 3:00pm EST.

Cover of Dear Science and Other Stories by Katherine McKittrick. Against a black background, a photograph in triplet of an empty window, viewed through an archway, in the ruined colonial mansion at Farley Hill National Park, Barbados.

And later that afternoon, at 5:00pm EST, join Katherine McKittrick and others for a panel on “Thinking with Katherine McKittrick’s Dear Science and Other Stories.”

Other DUP authors and editors have panels throughout the weekend!:

Courtney Berger will be attending the Society for Social Studies of Science conference virtually, and would be happy to hear from potential authors and receive book proposals. Watch Courtney’s twitter for any additional announcements.

If you were hoping to connect with one of our other editors about your book project at 4S, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines and submission portal here.

Our Fall Sale Continues

fall-sale21-blog

Our Fall Sale continues through October 15. Customers in North and South America can shop our website, and those in the rest of the world may find shipping costs and times to be less if you shop at our UK-based distributor Combined Academic Publishers. At both locations, the coupon code is FALL21.

If you shopped during the first week of our sale, we have some new releases that have just become available. Check them out and save 50%!

CoupletsBrian Massumi’s Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation, has become a classic text in cultural studies and affect theory. We’ve just released a twentieth-anniversary edition featuring a new preface and a gorgeous new design. If you’ve been meaning to pick up this important text, now’s the time! Massumi also has a brand new book out, Couplets, which presents twenty-four essays that represent the full spectrum of his work during the past thirty years. Conceived as a companion volume to Parables for the Virtual, Couplets addresses the key concepts of Parables from different angles and contextualizes them, allowing their stakes to be more fully felt.

In To Make Negro Literature, Elizabeth McHenry recovers a hidden genealogy of Black literature by examining African American authorship in the understudied decade following the 1896 legalization of segregation. By prioritizing overlooked archives, McHenry reveals a radically different literary landscape.

Moving HomeMoving Home by Sandra Gunning also draws on lesser-known African diasporic texts, in this case travel narratives, to explore the conditions and possibilities of race, gender, sex, and class that early black Atlantic travel enabled.

Celeste Day Moore’s Soundscapes of Liberation traces the popularity of African American music in postwar France to outline how it came to signify both state power and liberation for Francophone audiences throughout the world.

natures-wildNature’s Wild by Andil Gosine revises understandings of queer desire in the Caribbean, showing how the very concept of homosexuality in the Caribbean (and in the Americas more broadly) has been overdetermined by a colonially-influenced human/animal divide. You have several chances to catch Gosine at events in October!

And don’t forget to add some of our quickest selling journal issues to your order. “Radical Care” and “Sexology and Its Afterlives” from Social Text, “Crip Temporalities” from South Atlantic Quarterly, “The Infrastructure of Emergency” from American Literature, and “Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory at Fifty” from New German Critique are topping our lists right now!

Pick up these new titles and all in-stock books and journal issues for 50% off, but only if you shop now with coupon FALL21! This special offer October 15. See the fine print here.

New Titles in Political Science

Black text on a white, transparent box over assorted book and journal covers arranged in columns. "American Political Science Association, 2021 Virtual Conference Exhibit, Use code FALL21 for 50% off during our fall sale!"

We are sad to miss you in-person at the American Political Science Association conference this year, but we look forward to celebrating new books and journal issues in political science virtually. During our fall sale, save 50% on all books and special issues when you use coupon code FALL21 at checkout. Customers in the UK and Europe can order books with this code from our UK partner, Combined Academic Publishers.

The Colonizing Self, by Hagar Kotef. Dark maroon background with a photograph of art installation by Marjan Teeuwen of a destroyed house in Gaza, with each of its crumbling walls visible like a grid.

Registered attendees can find us in the official virtual exhibit hall! For highlights of our newest titles in political science, check out our conference landing page. And browse all books and journals in political science here.

On Saturday, October 2, join author Hagar Kotef for an author-meets-critics session about her book The Colonizing Self, 7:00pm EST.

Other DUP authors and editors have panels throughout the weekend!:


Enrique Desmond Arias, “Criminal Politics in Brazil,” in person panel, Saturday, Oct 2, 11:00am EST; “The Politics of Illicit Economies, Organized Crime, and Extra-Legal Actors Mini-Conference Roundtable,” in person panel, Thursday, Sept 30, 11:00am EST

Isaac A. Kamola, “Creating Minimum Standards for Employing Contingent Faculty in the Profession,” virtual panel, Thursday, Sept 30, 5:00pm EST; “Transnational Political Thought,” virtual panel, Saturday, Oct 2, 9:00am EST

Robert Nichols, “From Captivity to Abolition: Incarceration and Political Theory,” in-person panel, Saturday, Oct 2, 11:00am EST

James R. Martel, “Political Theologies and New forms of Critique,” virtual panel, Saturday, Oct 2, 1:00pm EST; “Insurgent Imaginaries,” in-person panel, Sunday, Oct 3, 8:00am EST

If you were hoping to connect with Courtney Berger or one of our other editors about your book project at the American 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.

Conceptualizing COVID Syllabus

Today, Duke University Press publishes our Conceptualizing COVID Syllabus. The articles, special sections, and special issues collected in this syllabus represent some early attempts to conceptualize how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the discourse in the humanities and social sciences in 2021.

All included articles are freely available through the end of the year. Start reading here.

The Conceptualizing COVID Syllabus joins a long list of staff-curated syllabi addressing some of today’s most pressing social issues, including racial justice, prison and the carceral state, global immigration, and more. Find the full list of syllabi here.

Remembering David Kline Jones

We were deeply saddened to learn that David Kline Jones, a board member of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law and a beloved professor who dedicated his work to health justice, died on September 11, 2021, at age 40. Here, JHPPL’s editor Jonathan Oberlander offers a remembrance of David. David’s obituary is available here, and all of his articles published in JHPPL are temporarily free to read in his honor.

I have known David Jones since 2007. The very first email he sent me ended with the confession that he had never before worked for a Boston Red Sox fan (for what it’s worth, I’m not sure I had ever employed a New York Yankees fan).

David was my student and research assistant at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill during his Master’s program (following in the footsteps of his mother, Debra, who I also had the pleasure of teaching during her DrPH studies). He was a collaborator on articles we published together, both during and after graduate school (David earned his PhD at the University of Michigan). He was a member of Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law’s editorial board. He was a friend. And he was always a delight to be around (except when the Yankees were winning).

I was shocked and devastated to hear the news that David had died in a tragic accident. David was so full of life that it is impossible to absorb the reality of something so seemingly unreal. Anyone who knew David knew that he was a loving partner to his wife, Sarah, and amazing father to his children. I cannot imagine their pain and loss, and my heart breaks for David’s family, friends, and his many colleagues at Boston University and beyond.

I will remember David as an exceptional scholar who cared deeply about health care access, justice, and equity. In his brief career, David produced a remarkable amount of compelling work illuminating the dynamics of American health care politics, federalism, the intersections between politics and the social drivers of health, and much more. David had a knack for asking important research questions—and then answering them in eloquent, persuasive ways.

I will remember the joy and exhaustion on David’s face when he came to take a final exam—straight from the hospital, where Sarah had given birth to their first child. I will remember years later the beaming smile on his face when I asked him to sign a copy of his first book (David recently finished writing a second book). And I will remember his bemusement when I tried to convince him to name a child after Tom Brady, then the quarterback of the New England Patriots, another Boston-area team David rooted against (actually, my wish sort of came true on that one).

I will remember David as having an inherent optimism and a wonderful, contagious spirit, as someone who was generous, decent, and kind. And I’m not alone in that sentiment. In the aftermath of David’s death, there has been an extraordinary outpouring of grief, reflections, and memories from his friends, students, and colleagues. It is not a surprise given who David was to see how many lives he touched. Yet it is nonetheless remarkable to see the sheer magnitude of the testaments, especially from those he taught and mentored. They give me hope that we can in our own work and lives carry forward some of David’s spirit and light.

And that’s the best way to remember David.

New Titles in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Black text in a white, transparent box: "National Women's Studies Association, 2021 Virtual Conference Exhibit, Use code FALL21 for 50% off during our fall sale!

This year we look forward to celebrating new books and journal issues in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies virtually. During our fall sale, save 50% on all books and special issues when you use coupon code FALL21 at checkout. Customers in the UK and Europe can order books with this code from our UK partner, Combined Academic Publishers.

Registered attendees can find us in the official exhibit hall! For highlights of our newest titles in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, check out our conference landing page. And browse all books and journals in gender and sexuality studies here.

On Saturday, September 18, join editor Elizabeth Ault for the exhibitor hour from 3:00 to 4:00pm EST. Access the chat with the “Video Chat” button in our official booth.

DUP authors and editors have panels throughout the three NWSA weekends! Join them for online panels:

September

  • Sima Shakhsari, “Introducing AGITATE!: Lessons, challenges, and limitations of unsettling knowledges in the academy and beyond,” Fri, Sep 17, 2:00pm EST

October

  • Sami Schalk, “Disability Studies Approaches to Race, Gender and Health,” Fri, Oct 15, 12:30pm EST
  • Nicole Charles, “Troubling health and healthcare,” Fri, Oct 15, 5:00pm EST
  • Ginetta E. B. Candelario, Kum-Kum Bhavnani, Myriam J. A. Chancy, and Paula J. Giddings, Meridians Plenary, Sat, Oct 16, 11:00am EST

November

  • Sushmita Chatterjee, “Transnational Feminisms and the Politics of Development,” Fri, Nov 19, 11:00am EST
  • Banu Subramaniam, Ashwini Tambe, “Holy Science: The Biopolitics of Hindu Nationalism,” Fri, Nov 19, 11:00am EST
  • Sushmita Chatterjee, Banu Subramaniam, and Angela Willey, “Transnational Biologies: Genealogy, Epistemology, Method,” Fri, Nov 19, 2:00pm EST
  • Kalindi Vora, “Circulations of Care: Conviviality, Sociality, and Ethnography,” Fri, Nov 19, 3:30pm EST
  • Sima Shakhsari, “Part Two: Empire at Home is Empire Abroad: Transnational Feminist and Queer Resistance,” Fri, Nov 19, 3:30pm EST

If you were hoping to connect with Elizabeth Ault, Courtney Berger, or one of our other editors about your book project at the National Women’s 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.

Q&A with Anna Arabindan-Kesson

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Anna Arabindan-Kesson is Assistant Professor of Black Diaspora Art at Princeton University. Her new book is Black Bodies, White Gold: Art, Cotton, and Commerce in the Atlantic World, and it traces the symbolic and material correlations between cotton and Black people in British and American visual culture. 

What can visual art, and the study of art history, teach us about the history of Blackness?

What I try to show in my book is how art and material culture have fundamentally shaped the meanings of Blackness, its commodification, and its value in this country. But I also want to stress that while the historical artworks I discuss helped to delimit how Black communities could live, they do not adequately express the experience of Black people. They are not the whole story. That is why I use the work of contemporary Black artists from Britain and the United States to “look back” at the historical artworks and materials I work with in each chapter. These artists interrupt historical narratives – to paraphrase CLR James – and reorient their constructions of what Blackness is or could be. Their work charts the transformative possibilities of Blackness that exist in spite of, and beyond, the proscriptions of race, place, and nation. 

How might you describe the relationship between the visual and the discursive? That is, how do images affect the way we think and speak about race?

978-1-4780-1406-5I think my understanding of this relationship is collaged from both personal and academic experiences. Growing up as part of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka and then as an immigrant in Australia and New Zealand, it was pretty clear how everyday perceptions of difference – how you were seen – had a direct impact on how people treated you. This was only amplified when I became a nurse and began to learn from Maori and Pacific Island women about critical race theory. The ways we think and speak about race, both in terms of our own experiences and others, are very much framed by how we see and what we see, a relationship that Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass both took seriously in their image-making and lecturing. I think it was reading Stuart Hall, that really crystallized a lot of this for me, by giving me the theory to make sense of my personal experiences. Representations, images, are a form of ideological reconstruction and they provide a language – a discourse – for explaining and understanding our reality. Just think about a book like Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, which taught me about how whiteness functions in shaping how Blackness (and Brownness) is perceived. I also think of Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place, which describes how colonial landscaping – architecturally and in images – frames our relationship to place and meanings about belonging. Being able to deconstruct these visual narratives is important because, as Gloria Anzaldüa says in her essay “La Conciencia de la Mestiza:  Towards a New Consciousness,” “nothing happens in the real world unless it first happens in the images in our heads.”

The title of your book plays on the title of Hank Willis Thomas’ ​​photograph Black Hands, White Cotton. This image is featured on the cover of your book, and you return to it throughout your chapters. What first brought you to this image, and what led you to focus your project around it?

For an art historian like me, who is always looking at archival imagery and trying to find ways of writing about it without re-inscribing histories of violence, Hank’s work is both inspiring and a model. So, I was already thinking about his archival interventions, the ways he was animating history, and his engagement with the relationship between vision and value when I started writing this book. I first saw this piece when I was visiting Dr. Kalia Brooks, Hank’s frequent collaborator and cousin. It seemed to encapsulate everything I was trying to say about the relationship between Blackness and cotton, between labor and landscape, between visuality and materiality, and between ways of seeing and forms of extraction.

You use the term “speculative vision” to describe the ways in which both cotton and Black bodies came to be seen primarily “through the lens of profit.” How does this economic vision correlate with visual representations?

An enslaved person’s market value was often contingent on the price of cotton, and the amount of cotton they might pick. What I suggest is that this economic value influenced the social meanings and value attached to Blackness and Black people during and after slavery (and still today). Black people still had to prove themselves in certain ways, demonstrate their “usefulness” and their productivity as potential citizens. So, I try to explain how this way of seeing and understanding Blackness that was extractive – that show people and places as resources, essentially – influence meanings about human value (social and otherwise). And what I try to really drive home is that this way of seeing is embedded in art history.  So, on the one hand, this economic vision is demonstrated in the subject of the images I describe – plantations, cotton fields, scenes of labor and economic gain (such as markets and the auctioning of enslaved people). We see it in the ways that art production was based on the profits of slavery. But I also think we can see this economic vision in how we think about value in art history. We ascertain the value of an artwork through visual assessment. So, for example, I make a correlation between this form of assessment and the way enslaved people were visually assessed.  My point really is that we have to rethink art history’s reliance on the ocular to produce meaning, and address its relationship to the ways Blackness has been constructed and valued.

Resisting this cotton-driven speculative vision, you pose “another kind of speculative vision,” which is a “speculative approach to archives themselves” in your study of art history. What does this approach entail?

For me, this approach is inspired by artists like Lubaina Himid, Hank Willis Thompson, Yinka Shonibare, and Leonardo Drew, all of whom work with archival materials to construct alternative narratives about the past and imagine alternative futures for us. It involves addressing what isn’t in the archive, as much as what is, and starting with and working from these spaces of erasure rather than attempting to necessarily “fill” them. As art historians we often want to be able to present a clear view into the past, to know and see what happened. But this is not what I want to do here: I am also inspired by scholars like Saidiya Hartman and Tina Campt, who work with the silences and losses of the archive. They are particularly attentive to the harm that can be caused by trying to recoup what is lost, while also narrating beautiful stories of what might have been. Like Deborah Thomas has also said, rather than attempting to be an eyewitness, we need to approach the archives as a witness. And so, one way I try to do that is by addressing the multi-sensorial dimensions of archival objects. I think about, for example, the ways we can use cloth to talk about the experience of working with, being clothed by, and resisting the effects of cotton. In many ways these scholars and artists are interested in our viewing positions now and make us aware of where we are looking from, and why. These approaches to the past are historically grounded and emphasize the radical nature of Black (and Brown, and Indigenous) acts of survivance, forms of freedom, and modes of aesthetic production. These approaches to the past take full account of how these histories shape our present, but work to dismantle them so we can imagine and build different futures.

In your introduction, you write about the relevance of your project to the systemic, racialized violence highlighted through last summer’s protests for George Floyd and the ongoing COVID pandemic. On another level, how might your book speak to a nation wherein cotton is still a prominent aesthetic, particularly at plantation weddings and as a decoration in many Southern homes?

Cotton is a commodity, a material, that has become everyday; it’s something we’ve seen and see so much. And this ubiquity is part of what makes it such a prominent aesthetic – as if its hypervisibility can empty it of its meanings. I’ve seen cotton used as decoration in bars back home in Australia, which is ironic given that some southern cotton planters moved to the northeast of Australia after the Civil War to set up plantations there, and Australia’s sugar plantations were also supported by US plantation money and worked by enslaved South Sea Island people. But to me, cotton is saturated with associations of race and slavery, exploitation, and terror, and it also saturates our view of the past and the meanings we have made about whose lives matter. And so, what my book tries to do is trace how these meanings and associations have become embedded in cotton and show how they still form part of the “look, the feel, the touch” of cotton. I hope that after reading this book, people won’t be able to look at cotton in the same way, but I also hope they’ll better understand how things – materials, artworks, objects – influence the way we see, perceive and care for each other. It’s only once we understand the histories behind how we see, that we can start to see differently.   

Read the introduction to Black Bodies, White Gold for free and save 30% on the paperback with coupon code E21ARKES.

Farewell to Jean-Luc Nancy

We were sorry to learn of the death of philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy on August 23. Nancy, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Strasbourg was the author of numerous books, most recently, Sexistence. He was 81 years old when he passed Monday evening.

Nancy studied with Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jacques Derrida, both of whom influenced his scholarship. In their obituary, Le Monde said that one way to characterize his work was its abundance. He wrote about many topics, from literature to politics, to the history of philosophy, psychoanalysis, art, religion, sexuality and even the Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition to writing many successful books, Nancy was Program Director at the International College of Philosophy between 1985 and 1989.

In October, we will publish Nancy’s final book The Deconstruction of Sex, co-written with Irving Goh. They discuss how a deconstructive approach to sex helps us negotiate discourses about sex and reconsider our relations to ourselves and others through sex. Nancy also contributed to Jacques Rancière (2009).

Goh said, “I had the immense fortune to have worked rather closely with Jean-Luc, from my doctoral dissertation to several translations of his papers, journal special issues and edited volumes dedicated to his work, and finally to The Deconstruction of Sex. There can be not enough words to say how generous he was both intellectually and as a person, and of course, his generosity extended not only to me but also to a bunch of other younger scholars and more. I have said/written lately that he possessed an indefatigable force: a force that seemed to fuel that generosity, a force that perhaps also accounted for his incredible prolificacy and unrivaled energy in engaging in philosophical dialogues whenever asked, a force that also no doubt enabled to live on for many, many years after a heart transplant. Naively, I thought that force inextinguishable in him (and stupidly, I chided him for not speaking enough about weak/waning forces…). But he was clearly the wiser, way much wiser, to respond by saying that if there were such a force, it was one that he had no control in summoning, of which he had no way of knowing either. He knew that that force was beyond human determination, one with its own momentum, rhythm, duration, etc. That force has now decided to leave Jean-Luc. But that does not mean that I’ll miss him any less. In fact, it makes me miss him even more.”

Claire Colebrook, author of the afterword to The Deconstruction of Sex, said, “You didn’t have to work closely with Jen-Luc to experience a generosity of spirit and intellect that was singular and remarkable for someone whose writing possessed such range and originality. Unlike many of the European great names of his generation, Jean-Luc was genuinely self-effacing, less interested in his own ideas than he was in the next generation of thinkers. He was less concerned with maintaining legacies (and certainly not his own) than he was with forms of collaboration that would open a future. His specific use of the term ‘deconstruction’ was not to mark a brand, but to mark a dissolution and dispersal of the present for the sake of something other than the tradition that he knew so well.”