In the News

Deindustrial Heritage

"(De-)Industrial Heritage"The newest special issue of Labor: Studies in Working-Class History, “Deindustrial Heritage,” edited by Stefan Berger and Steven High, is now available.

Contributors to this issue explore the politics of industrial heritage in the aftermath of ongoing deindustrialization. By widening the interpretative frame beyond the confines of the heritage site, the authors move away from the physical remains of lost industry and narrow issues of representation to consider the socioeconomic legacies, consequences, and inheritances of lost industry for those left behind.

Topics covered in this issue include industrial and political activism in Australia’s industrial heritage, symbolic violence and working-class erasure in postindustrial landscapes, and the emotional fallout of deindustrialization in Detroit.

Browse the table of contents and read the introduction, freely available.

The Archive of LossYou may also find The Archive of Loss by Maura Finkelstein interesting. She examines what it means for textile mill workers in Mumbai—who are assumed to not exist—to live during a period of deindustrialization, showing how mills and workers’ bodies constitute an archive of Mumbai’s history that challenge common thinking about the city’s past, present, and future.

Exploring African American Language in the Nation’s Capital

asp_94_1_coverThe most recent issue of American Speech, “Exploring African American Language in the Nation’s Capital,” edited by Tyler Kendall and Charlie Farrington, is now available.

This special issue brings together a wide range of scholars of African American Language (AAL) who explore aspects of the new, openly accessible Corpus of Regional African American Language (CORAAL). Each examining the same data from different perspectives, contributors offer new insights on AAL and offer initial thoughts on what CORAAL can offer for both the studies of AAL and for sociolinguistic research more generally.

Browse the table of contents and read the introduction, made freely available.

Dean Smith to be Next Director of Duke University Press

Dean SmithDean Smith, the director of Cornell University Press, will be the new director of Duke University Press, school officials announced Thursday.

Smith succeeds Steve Cohn, who is retiring at the end of June. Cohn has been at Duke University Press since 1984, and has served as director since 1993. Smith will start his new job on July 1.

“The Duke University Press is one of Duke’s great assets. It is a world-renowned press with a stellar reputation,” said Duke Provost Sally Kornbluth. “With his business acumen, deep knowledge of the publishing world, interest in new technologies and wide-ranging intellectual interests, Dean will be a wonderful new leader for the press.”

Kornbluth also thanked Cohn for his quarter-century of leadership at Duke Press. “Steve has built the press into a national powerhouse that’s held in high esteem throughout the academic world,” Kornbluth said. “Steve has worked tirelessly to ensure the highest possible standards for the press.”

Each year Duke University Press publishes about 140 new books, almost 60 journals and multiple digital collections that share the ideas of progressive thinkers and support emerging and vital fields of scholarship across the humanities and interpretive social sciences. It is also well known for its mathematics journals, sophisticated graphic design and integration of technology platforms. The press, located in Durham’s Brightleaf Square, was founded in 1921.

“I am honored and thrilled to be selected as director of Duke University Press,” Smith said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues at the press and across the university to publish high-quality scholarship and advance the frontiers of knowledge in new and exciting ways.”

Since Smith became director of Cornell University Press in 2015, the press has expanded its title output from 100 to 150 titles per year, increased its digital publishing footprint from 350 to more than 3,000 eBooks, and published 150 open access texts on the Cornell Open website.

During his 30-year publishing career, Smith has helped lead all aspects of the transition from print-based publications to more easily accessible web-based digital editions; this includes a key role in reimagining Project Muse, a pivotal digital platform for humanities scholarship, to include eBooks and journals together. He has a wealth of experience in book and journal acquisitions, digital platform development, financial management, global business development and strategic planning, and held such roles as journal publisher, director of electronic publishing, vice president of sales and marketing as well as press director.

“Duke University Press has developed incredible talent throughout the organization and has cultivated strong relationships with many Duke faculty,” noted Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies Ed Balleisen. “Dean Smith has the background and creativity to build on the press’s many strengths, whether by deepening partnerships across campus, furthering our goals for diversity and inclusion, or successfully navigating the rapidly evolving terrain of academic publishing.”

Smith is the author of American Boy, a book that won the 2000 Washington Writer’s Prize and the Maryland Prize for Literature in 2001. He is also a contributor of poetry to such publications as Poetry East, Open City, The Virginia Literary Review, Gulf Stream and the anthology D.C. Poets Against the War.

Though no relation to the late legendary UNC basketball coach of the same name, Smith is an avid sports fan who has previously worked as a sportswriter and freelance journalist; in 2013, Temple University Press published his book about the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, Never Easy, Never Pretty: A Fan, A City, A Championship Season.

Orin Starn on Tiger Woods’s Masters Victory

978-0-8223-5210-5_prOrin Starn, Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University, watched the Masters Tournament along with the rest of the world on April 14 and offers his thoughts on Tiger’s victory here. His 2011 book The Passion of Tiger Woods brought an anthropologist’s perspective to the scandals and struggles that made yesterday’s victory such a triumph.

It was an amazing moment in America sports history yesterday.  Tiger Woods won the Masters Tournament, one of golf’s four major championships, capping a remarkable comeback from deep troubles on and off the course.  Most pundits had written off the great champion after an ugly divorce, four back surgeries, and, less than two years ago, an arrest for driving under the influence of pain-killers.  His vacant mug shot eyes were those of a man who seemed to have lost his way altogether.

That Woods would rise again felt almost foreordained and even biblical in its way.  He’d once been acclaimed as golf’s black messiah, redeeming the sport from its whites-only past, and becoming its greatest player with an astonishing knack for drama and the clutch shot.  Then, after self-destructive serial cheating destroyed his marriage, Woods was crucified to the cross of public opinion and media frenzy.   He resurrected his career with a public apology and double fusion back operation.   Now, with his Masters win, Woods has been transubstantiated, rising into celestial new heights of fan adoration at least among the golfing public.  At 43, balding, having sinned and suffered so much, Woods is more human than he had been as an invincible young superstar.   His powers of concentration and genius skill remain altogether otherworldly beyond even the imagination of us mortal weekend players.

I could not help shedding a few tears as Woods raised his arms in triumph on the 18th green yesterday.  Anyone of a certain age who has learned how hard life can be could identify with his struggle and take pleasure in his victory. There is always new drama in the Woods story, and perhaps he will now go on to reach his childhood goal of overtaking Jack Nicklaus for the most major tournament titles.  It felt yesterday, as the thunderstorms rolled across Georgia, that this Masters victory will remain as the greatest moment of all in his extraordinary story.

Poem of the Week

Bomb ChildrenIt’s currently National Poetry Month, so we are offering a poem each Monday throughout April. Today’s poem is from Leah Zani’s forthcoming book, Bomb Children. Joshua O. Reno, author of Waste Away: Working and Living with a North American Landfill says “Bomb Children is nothing short of breathtaking. Leah Zani presents little-known and incredibly important material on the everyday aftermath of the Secret War for the people of Laos. Her topic is not only ethnographically underexplored, but has been deliberately concealed by the U.S. government for decades. In Zani’s hands, fieldwork becomes a flexible toolkit, selectively and strategically deployed to grasp the object of military wasting in a revealing and ethically responsible way.”

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Leah Zani is a Junior Fellow in the Social Science Research Network at University of California, Irvine. Bomb Children will be published in August.

Our other highlighted poems can be read here.

Hydro-criticism

The newest issue of English Language Notes, “Hydro-criticism,” edited by Laura Winkiel, is available now.

coverimageAs sea levels rise, ice caps melt, and the ocean acidifies, the twin forces of globalization and global warming have irrevocably braided human-centered history with the geologic force of the ocean. This reality has broadly challenged those working in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences to fundamentally alter the ways in which they produce knowledge.

Contributors to this issue interrogate the methods of humanities’ recent oceanic turn—grouped here under the rubric of “ocean studies”—by reimagining human histories, aesthetics, and ontologies as entangled with the temporal and spatial scales, geographies, and agencies of the ocean.

Topics include the representations of the sea and related technologies in 1950s films; multiple accounts of the ocean’s role as a mediator of power, colonization, and censorship; queer eroticism and the ocean; literature’s shifting account of seafaring in the modernist period and today; and the strange conundrum of T. S. Eliot’s “The Dry Salvages” as an inspiration for modern radical Caribbean scholars.

Browse the table of contents and read the introduction, freely available.

New Books in April

We’ve got great new reads in April in anthropology, religious studies, sociology, feminism and women’s studies, and much more.

978-1-4780-0390-8_prIn Deported Americans legal scholar and former public defender Beth C. Caldwell tells the story of dozens of immigrants who were deported from the United States—the only country they have ever known—to Mexico, tracking the harmful consequences of deportation for those on both sides of the border.

In Makers of Democracy A. Ricardo López-Pedreros traces the ways in which a thriving middle class was understood to be a foundational marker of democracy in Colombia in the second half of the twentieth century, showing democracy to be a historically unstable and contentious practice.

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Maura Finkelstein examines what it means for textile mill workers in Mumbai—who are assumed to not exist—to live during a period of deindustrialization, showing in The Archive of Loss how mills and workers’ bodies constitute an archive of Mumbai’s history that challenge common thinking about the city’s past, present, and future.

Hester Blum examines the rich, offbeat collection of printed ephemera created by nineteenth- and early twentieth-century polar explorers, showing in The News at the Ends of the Earth 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.

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In Autonomy Nicholas Brown theorizes the historical and theoretical conditions for the persistence of art’s autonomy from the realm of the commodity by showing how an artist’s commitment to form and by demanding interpretive attention elude the logic of capital.

In a revised and expanded edition of Medicine Stories, Aurora Levins Morales weaves together the insights and lessons learned over a lifetime of activism to offer a new theory of social justice, bringing clarity and hope to tangled, emotionally charged social issues in beautiful and accessible language.

Exploring a wide range of sonic practices, from birdsong in the Marshall Islands to Zulu ululation, the contributors to Remapping Sound Studies, edited by Gavin Steingo and Jim Sykes, reorient the field of sound studies toward the global South in order to rethink and decolonize modes of understanding and listening to sound.

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In Dance for Me When I Die—first published in Argentina in 2004 and appearing here in English for the first time—Cristian Alarcón tells the story and legacy of seventeen year old Víctor Manuel Vital, aka Frente, who was killed by police in the slums of Buenos Aires.

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

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Author Events in April

April showers bring . . . author signings? Hope you can get out this spring and see some of our authors in person at these great events.

978-1-4780-0094-5April 4: East Bay Booksellers welcomes Elisabeth Jay Friedman to discuss her book Seeking Rights From the Left.
7:00pm, 5433 College Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618

April 4: Dorinne Kondo has a book signing at the University of Southern California for her latest book Worldmaking.
4:00pm, 3620 South Vermont Ave., Suite 352, Los Angeles, CA 90089

April 8: Arturo Escobar, author of Designs for the Pluriverse, gives the International Comparative Studies Keynote Lecture at Duke University.
4:30-6:30pm, Pink Parlor, East Duke Building, Durham, NC 27708

April 10: Harvard University‘s Houghton Library hosts a reading honoring the work of Black and Blur author Fred Moten.
6:00pm, Edison Newman Room, 11 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

April 10: Catch Brilliant Imperfection author Eli Clare in a talk and Q&A at Fordham University.
6:00pm, Lowenstein Building 12th flr, 113 West 60th Street, New York, NY 10023

April 12: Coca Yes, Cocaine No author Thomas Grisaffi presents his book at University of Amsterdam’s Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation.
TBD, Roetersstraat 33, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands

April 21: Sarah Banet-Weiser discusses her book Empowered at Bluestockings.
7:00pm, 172 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002

April 22: Research on U.S. Health and Healthcare hosts an online Q&A with The Look of the Woman author Eric Plemons.
12:00pm

978-1-4780-0386-1April 25: See Surrogate Humanity coauthors Neda Atanasoski and Kalindi Vora discuss their book at City Lights.
7:00pm, 261 Columbus Avenue at Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

April 27: Amit Rai launches his new book Jugaad Time at Furtherfield Commons.
2:00pm, 269-271 Seven Sisters Rd, Finsbury Park, London N4 2DE, UK

April 27: The Smart Museum of Art hosts an event with Rebecca Zorach on her book Art for People’s Sake.
4:00pm, The University of Chicago, 5550 S Greenwood Ave, Chicago, IL 60637

April 28: McNally Jackson Books hosts a book talk for David Eng and Shinhee Han’s Racial Melancholia, Racial Dissociation.
6:00pm, 52 Prince St, New York, New York 10012

April 29: Book Reports author Robert Christgau discusses his new book at McNally Jackson Books.
7:00pm, 52 Prince St, New York, NY 10012

Trans Day of Visibility

Today we’re honoring Trans Day of Visibility, an international holiday dedicated both to celebrating trans and gender-nonconforming people and to raising awareness of the discrimination they face.

We’re pleased to share the important work of trans studies scholars by highlighting these recent special issues of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly. The introductions to each issue are freely available.

tsq_5_4_coverTrans*historicities

Leah DeVun and Zeb Tortorici, issue editors

This issue offers a theoretical and methodological imagining of what constitutes trans* before the advent of the terms that scholars generally look to for the formation of modern conceptions of gender, sex, and sexuality. What might we find if we look for trans* before trans*? While some historians have rejected the category of transgender to speak of experiences before the mid-twentieth century, others have laid claim to those living gender-non-conforming lives before our contemporary era. By using the concept of trans*historicity, this volume draws together trans* studies, historical inquiry, and queer temporality while also emphasizing the historical specificity and variability of gendered systems of embodiment in different time periods.

TSQ_5_3_coverTrans-in-Asia, Asia-in-Trans

Howard H. Chiang, Todd A. Henry, and Helen Hok-Sze Leung, issue editors

Since the late twentieth century, scholars and activists have begun to take stock of the deep histories and politically engaged nature of trans* cultures across the diverse societies of “Asia.” Much of this groundbreaking work has cautioned against immediate assumptions about the universality of transgender experiences, while heeding the significant influence of colonial histories, cultural imperialism, Cold War dynamics, economic integration, and migration practices in shaping local categories of queerness, discourses of rights, as well as the political, social, and medical management of gender variance and non-normative sexualities. This growing body of work on Asia joins trans* scholarship and activism across the world that has similarly sought to de-universalize and decolonize the category of “trans.”

TSQ_5_2_coverThe Surgery Issue

Eric Plemons and Chris Straayer, issue editors

Trans* surgery has been an object of fantasy, derision, refusal, and triumph. Contributors to this issue explore the vital and contested place of surgical intervention in the making of trans* bodies, theories, and practices. For decades, clinicians considered a desire for reconstructive genital surgery to be the linchpin of the transsexual diagnosis. In the 1990s, new histories of trans* clinical practice challenged the institutional claim that transsexuals all wanted genital surgery, and trans* authors began to argue for their surgically altered bodies as sites of power rather than capitulation. Subsequent contestations of the medico-surgical framework helped mark the emergence of “transgender” as an alternative, more inclusive term for gender-nonconforming subjects who were sometimes less concerned with surgical intervention.

Contributors move beyond medical issue to engage “the surgical” in its many forms, exploring how trans* surgery has been construed and presented across different discursive forms and how these representations of trans* surgeries have helped and/or limited understanding of trans* identities and bodies and shaped the evolution of trans* politics.

Subscribe to TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly or sign up for email alerts so you can stay up to date on the latest issues.

On Chantal Akerman: Camera Obscura’s 100th Issue

cob_34_1_100_coverCongratulations to Camera Obscura, which just published its 100th issue, “On Chantal Akerman”!

This special issue recognizes the work and legacy of Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman (1950–2015), among the world’s most influential filmmakers. Akerman and her film Jeanne Dielman were covered in the first issues of Camera Obscura.

Contributors to this issue include Camera Obscura‘s founding editors Janet Bergstrom and Sandy Flitterman-Lewis, Jeanne Dielman cinematographer Babette Mangolte, leading Akerman scholars Maureen Turim and Ivone Margulies, film editor Claire Atherton, and composer and cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton, among many others.

Browse the table of contents and read the introduction, freely available.