In the News

New Titles in Religious Studies

We are sad to miss out on meeting authors in person at the AAR/SBL Joint Annual Meeting this year. We know that many of you look forward to stocking up on new titles at special discounts at our conferences, so we are pleased to offer a 40% discount on all in-stock books and journal issues with coupon code AAR20 until January 15, 2020. View our Religious Studies catalog below for a complete list of all our newest titles in Religious Studies and across disciplines. You can also explore all of our books and journals in the field on dukeupress.edu.

Editors Miriam Angress and Sandra Korn both offer welcome messages to AAR/SBL participant, along with their highlights of the latest books and a special invitation!

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Associate Editor Miriam Angress

Dear AAR/SBL community,
Hello!  We invite you to a gathering to celebrate the Duke University Press series The Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People. The date and time are below, along with a list of the current and forthcoming series titles. This party will include readings by series authors Yolanda Covington-Ward, Roberto Strongman, Todne Thomas, and Joseph Winters, as well as a panel discussion facilitated by the series editors. Please join us…

Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People Series Party 2020: Reading, Panel, and Q&A
Hosted by Terrence L. Johnson, Dianne M. Stewart, and Jacob K. Olupona
Friday, December 4, 4pm EST
Four covers are featured: Queering Black Atlantic Religions, Hope Draped in Black, Kincraft, Gesture and Power
Come party with the editors of the Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People book series on Friday, December 4 at 4:00pm EST. RSVP on the event page.

I also want to highlight a few other Duke books, beyond the series, that I’m excited about (published this year or imminent):
The Bruce B. Lawrence ReaderIslam Beyond Borders, edited by Ali Altaf Mian (forthcoming, December 2021).  In this Reader, editor Ali Altaf Mian gathers over four decades of scholarship by Bruce Lawrence, an esteemed Islamicist and scholar of religious studies, with selections analyzing aspects of Islam (both pre-modern and modern Islamic discourses) and investigating method and theory in the study of religion.


The Aesthetics of Resistance, volume 2, by Peter Weiss (2020). Regarded by many as one of the leading works of the 20th century, this novel documents the resistance to fascism in Europe (and within Germany) during World War II. The Aesthetics of Resistance is the three-volume magnum opus of Peter Weiss (1916-1982), a German-born novelist, painter, film director, and playwright best known in this country as the author of the play Marat/Sade. The novel has never, until now, been translated into English and this is the second volume of three.  Duke University Press published the first volume of The Aesthetics of Resistance in 2005.

You can find all of the books in the The Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People series on our website, or click on the covers below for specific titles.

Assistant Editor Sandra Y. L. Korn, smiling, holding a pile of books.
Assistant Editor Sandra Y. L. Korn, with books! Sima Shakhsari’s Politics of Rightful Killing, Margaret Randall’s I Never Left Home, Ashon T. Crawley’s The Lonely Letters, Anustup Basu’s Hindutva as Political Monotheism, Katherina Galor and Sa’ed Atshan‘s The Moral Triangle, and an edited collection from Tiffany Lethabo King, Jenell Navarro, Andrea Smith, Otherwise Worlds.

Good morning, AAR/SBL community! This will be my fifth year at the AAR/SBL conference and I’m grateful that this fall we’ll be able to connect with each other and attend panels from the safety of our own living rooms. I can’t hand you books from the booth so I hope you’ll read through for some of my recommendations, and please feel free to reach out if you’d like to schedule a virtual coffee or phone call!

This year in particular I’ve been really thankful for books that have helped me to expand what I consider spiritual, to better understand issues of injustice and oppression, and to imagine a future that looks different than the present.

Image of four books (clockwise from top left): Otherwise Worlds, Politics of Rightful Killing, The Lonely Letters, and The Moral Triangle.
Sandra’s recommendations include beautiful cover art from (clockwise from top left): Kimberly Tobertson and Jenell Navarro (“Postcard from an Otherwise World”), Kree Arvanitas (“Twitter Revolution in Heaven”), Robert Sniderman (“Counter-Ruin”), and Ashon Crawley (“Dancing in one spot number 13”).

We have a collection of beautiful new books that bring forth visions of alternative futures—in a variety of forms. For those who turn to poetry, Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s Dub: Finding Ceremony takes inspiration from Sylvia Wynter and ocean life to offer possibilities for new worlds and a new planet. Ashon Crawley’s The Lonely Letters is a creative nonfiction work that meditates on the interrelation of blackqueer life, sounds of the Black church, theology, mysticism, and love. R. A. Judy’s theoretically-driven work Sentient Flesh shows that the long tradition of black radical critique gives us the material on which to re-imagine the world. And Otherwise Worlds: Against Settler Colonialism and Anti-Blackness, a collection in our Black Outdoors series, looks at how Black and Indigenous relationships can help imagine worlds beyond the constraints of violence and settler colonialism.

While the results of the US Presidential election are a huge relief, we know that this change in regime will not upend the structures of Islamophobic surveillance and repression in the US and globally. A few new books take up these pressing issues. Hindutva as Political Monotheism by Anustup Basu considers the role of Western political theology in rise of right-wing and anti-Muslim nationalism in India. Sima Shakhsari’s Politics of Rightful Killing: Civil Society, Gender, and Sexuality in Weblogistan looks at the transnational network of Iranian bloggers as simultaneously a site for queer and feminist politics and US government surveillance. (This book has the most gorgeous cover art, a piece called “Twitter Revolution from Heaven” by Kree Arvanitas!)

The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians also has a striking cover—performance artist Robert Sniderman walking through the Berlin Holocaust Memorial with a shirt that reads “Gaza” in English, Arabic, and Hebrew. This book, co-authored by Katherina Galor and Sa’ed Atshan, looks at Berlin, where artists and activists grapple with how to account for multiple forms of historical trauma: antisemitism and Islamophobia, Holocaust and Nakba.

For those in anthropology and Jewish studies, I also wanted to highlight Genetic Afterlives by Noah Tamarkin, which looks at how the black Jewish Lemba community of South Africa navigates competing claims to Jewish genealogy and African indigeneity.

Anyone who knows me will know that I love both memoir and revolutionary Jewish lesbians so you’d better believe that I’m thrilled about Margaret Randall’s new memoir I Never Left Home!

Finally, there are a few incredible titles coming out in the next couple of months! Please keep an eye out for Queer Political Theologies, a special issue of GLQ that drops in January. The Bruce B. Lawrence Readeredited by Ali Altaf Mian, also comes out in January, and collects some of Lawrence’s most brilliant writings about Islam and the Divine. And I’m really excited for Beyond Man: Race, Coloniality, and Philosophy of Religion, a collection of work that seeks to decolonize the philosophy of religion, which comes out in the spring. Perhaps next year at this time we’ll get to celebrate these new texts in person.

Queer Political Theologies

I hope to see you at 4pm on December 4th at the virtual party to celebrate and toast new books in the Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People Series!

Don’t forget to check out the latest special issues on religion, theology, and spirituality from our journals Poetics Today , GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and the Journal of Korean Studies: Postsecularisms,” “Queer Political Theologies,” and “The Sacred and the Secular: Protestant Christianity as Lived Experience in Modern Korea.” All special issues are eligible for the 40% discount using code AAR20.

You can join DUP authors for several panels online, through the AAR/SBL conference portal:

  • N. Fadeke Castor, panelist, “Experiments with Power: Obeah and the Remaking of Religion,” Wednesday, Dec 2, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM EST
  • Judith Casselberry, panelist, “From Sun Ra to Grace Jones: A Roundtable on AfricanAmerican Performers and Religious Identity” Wednesday, Dec 2, 4:00 PM–5:30 PM EST
  • Laura E. Pérez, responder, “Decolonial Practices of Naming, Thinking, and Being,” Thursday, Dec 3, 11:00AM-1:00PM EST
  • Mayfair Yang, responder, “Renegotiating Unseen Realms: Studies on the Ritual Reinvention Among Late-Imperial and Contemporary Daoists,” Wed, Dec 9, 9:00AM-10:30AM EST 
  • Andrea Smith, panelist,  “Black Theology Post-Cone: Interrogating Value, MisReligion, and the Theological Legacies of Settler Colonialism” Wednesday, December 9, 4:00PM-5:30PM EST

If you were hoping to connect with Sandra Korn, Miriam Angress, or another of our editors about your book project at AAR/SBL, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines here.

Final Day of our Fall Sale

Fall-sale-2020-BlogToday is the final day to save 50% on in-stock books and journal issues during our Fall Sale. Use coupon FALL2020 and be sure to shop before 11:59 pm EST.

Customers outside North and South America can use the FALL2020 coupon through today at our UK-based distributor Combined Academic Publishers to save on shipping, particularly in Europe.

Can’t decide what to buy? Check out recommendations from our editors for recent books in Gender Studies, American Studies, African Studies, and Anthropology. And if you’ve already shopped early in October, make sure you haven’t missed titles that have been published since then.

See the fine print and FAQs here.

Final Weekend of Our Fall Sale

Fall-sale-2020-BlogOur Fall Sale ends Monday, November 23 at 11:59 pm EST so this is your final weekend to shop. 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 FALL2020.

If you shopped in early October, you may be missing some great titles that have only just come out in the past few weeks.

writing in spaceWriting in Space, 1973-2019 by Lorraine O’Grady and edited by Aruna D’Souza. Hyperallergic says the book “establishes O’Grady’s literary brilliance that shines through her multifaceted creative practice.”

Liquor Store Theatre by Maya Stovall uses the artist’s well-known project as a point of departure for understanding everyday life in Detroit and the possibilities for ethnographic research, art, and knowledge creation.

Militarized Global ApartheidMilitarized Global Apartheid by Catherine Besteman is a major theoretical work that will be applicable in a wide range of disciplines.

Animalia: An Anti-Imperial Bestiary for Our Times, edited by Antoinette Burton and Renisa Mawani, is a unique collection featuring short chapters on 26 animals that  have played central roles in the history of British imperial control.

For a Pragmatics of the Useless by Erin Manning shows how neurotypicality and whiteness combine to form a normative baseline for existence.

Building Socialism: The Afterlife of East German Architecture in Urban Vietnam by Christina Schwenkel analyzes the collaboration between East German and Vietnamese architects and urban planners as they attempted to transform the bombed-out industrial city of Vinh into a model socialist city.

Aesthetics of ExcessAesthetics of Excess: The Art and Politics of Black and Latina Embodiment by Jillian Hernandez analyzes the personal clothing, makeup, and hairstyles of working-class Black and Latina girls, to examines how cultural discourses of aesthetic value racialize the bodies of women and girls of color.

Biopolitics of the More-Than-Human by Joseph Pugliese examines the concept of the biopolitical through a nonanthropocentric lens, arguing that more-than-human entities—from soil and orchards to animals and water—are actors and agents in their own right with legitimate claims to justice.

Island Futures: Caribbean Survival in the Anthropocene by Mimi Sheller elves into the ecological crises and reconstruction challenges affecting the entire Caribbean region, showing how vulnerability to ecological collapse and the quest for a “just recovery” in the Caribbean emerge from specific transnational political, economic, and cultural dynamics.

stx_38_1_142_coverWe’ve also loved to see which journal issues are topping our bestseller list for the sale. Some are discounted as low as $6, so don’t miss out! “The Ideology Issue” from South Atlantic Quarterly and “Radical Care” from Social Text are heading up the list, and TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly’s recent issues “Trans Pornography,” “Trans Futures,” and “Trans* Studies Now” are popular choices.

Radical History Review’s “Fascism and Anti-fascism since 1945” and “Policing, Justice, and the Radical Imagination” are also selling well, as is “Method as Method” from Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature.

Pick up these new titles and all in-stock books and journal issues for 50%, but only if you shop now with coupon FALL2020! This special offer ends Monday night. See the fine print here.

New Titles in American Studies

We are sad to miss out on meeting authors in person at the ASA Annual Meeting this year. We know that many of you look forward to stocking up on new books at special discounts at our conferences, so we are pleased to extend a 50% discount on all in-stock books and journal issues with coupon code ASA20 until November 23, 2020. View our American Studies catalog below for a complete list of all our newest titles in the field and across disciplines. You can also explore all of our books and journals in American Studies on dukeupress.edu. Since we cannot take photos of authors with their new books in our booth, this year, we instead offer an album of book selfies they have taken from home.

We hope you’ll also watch the ASA Freedom Courses event series along with us, especially this Saturday, November 14 at 2:00PM EST as we celebrate the one year publication anniversary of Ronak Kapadia’s Insurgent Aesthetics. Panelists include Keith P. Feldman, Kareem Khubchandani, Jodi Kim, and Sara Mameni. You can register on the event website.

Editors Elizabeth Ault, Courtney Berger, and Ken Wissoker offer their virtual welcome and their recommendations for the latest books in American Studies.

Editor Elizabeth Ault

Each fall I so look forward to gathering at ASA with mentors and colleagues across my intellectual, professional, and personal genealogies–from graduate and undergraduate degrees in American studies to my last 8 years here at Duke Press. It’s particularly hard to not be together this year because there are so many wonderful new books that we should be celebrating in person.

 I’m sure Courtney and Ken will have a lot more to say about the landmark new books on their lists from Jack Halberstam, R.A. Judy, Jane Bennett, Chris Freeburg, Samantha Pinto, and more. And, of course, the long-awaited new work from José Esteban Muñoz!! I can’t wait until we can celebrate this book, and the rest, together. Here are some of the books I’m raising a virtual glass to:

First, speaking of celebrating in person, if you are missing going OUT, I can’t recommend Xavier Livermon’s Kwaito Bodies highly enough. Livermon puts Africa and the diaspora in close conversation, vividly recreating nights out in Johannesburg, soundtracked by kwaito, the music that ushered in the post-apartheid era and the role of femininity, conspicuous consumption, and more often-derided forms in envisioning new kinds of freedoms. Hannah Appel’s The Licit Life of Capitalism also draws attention to connections between the U.S. and Africa, here exploring how a U.S.-based oil company creates and recreates the apparent seamlessness of resource extraction and capital flows in its Equatorial Guinea outpost. If you saw Hannah and Karen Ho together last year in Hawai’i, you know how important her analysis is for rethinking global political economy and US imperialism.

Pivoting to the online world we’ve all been inhabiting recently, Anna Watkins Fisher’s The Play in the System allows us to think through what happens when we all become users invited onto platforms by supposedly generous hosts. Applying this logic from Amazon to performance art to the academy itself, Fisher develops an important model of parasitism that involves leveraging one’s access/privilege into a limited but VERY EFFECTIVE tactic for resisting totalizing logics. She also doesn’t shy away from what happens when these engagements get messy.

Erica Fretwell’s Sensory Experiments is a beautiful new book that’s part of a vibrant cohort of C19 books on this fall season. Fretwell centers the 19th-century science of psychophysics as a crucial part of the transition from sentiment–knowing through feeling–to perception–knowing through bodily experience. Each of the five senses became its own genre of feeling through which the meanings of human difference could be calibrated. The book’s chapters interweave sense specific chapters with synaesthetic intervals, revisiting canonical works by James Weldon Johnson and Kate Chopin as well as introducing readers to some wonderfully bizarre ephemera including Japanese-German artist Sadakichi Hartmann’s attempt to take Carnegie Hall audiences on a perfume tour of Japan. Fretwell attends carefully to how these distinctions in sense perception came to shape ideas about race, gender, and ability.

I have a couple of books about disease that seem particularly important right now, too. There have been lots of conversations about Jih-Fei Cheng, Alex Juhasz, and Nishant Shahani’s AIDS and the Distribution of Crises, which came out just as the reality of COVID was setting in and people were beginning to draw comparisons to the ongoing HIV epidemic. Don’t miss the conversations the editors and contributors had about the relevance of their book in this moment, linked on our website. The book itself explores how HIV/AIDS continues to be a reality shaping so many communities’ narratives, cultural production, and lives. Too, as debates about vaccines, prevention, and treatments continue to baffle some of us, Abigail Dumes’s new book about Lyme disease, Divided Bodies, shows how norms of “evidence-based medicine” have opened up new realms for debate and what counts as evidence. 

Next year in San Juan, friends!


Executive Editor Courtney Berger

Four years ago, I was reluctantly boarding a plane to Denver to attend ASA. Reluctant, not because I don’t love ASA. I do. It’s almost always the highlight of the fall conference season for me. But I felt downtrodden after the election, and I wasn’t eager to see people and to be social. But as soon as I arrived at the conference hotel I realized my mistake. There was the usual line up of provocative scholarly panels and book celebrations, of course.  But there was also community. People hugged (when will we get to do that again?). They organized. They cried. And they danced. That’s what I am missing this year, fellow ASA-ers: the chance to be with you as a community. So, while we won’t be together in person. We won’t be setting up a book exhibit (and unpacking a lot of boxes). And we won’t be talking and laughing in the hotel bar and in the corridors outside panels. I will still find community with you. I will be attending your Zoom talks, following your social media posts, and raising a virtual glass to all of the authors who had books come out during the past year. And I will be alongside you working for a more just and equitable world.

Here are a few of the books that I’d be eagerly recommending to you in the exhibit hall. (Bonus, you don’t have to wait for the last day of the conference to get the 50% discount.)

Samantha Pinto, Infamous Bodies: Early Black Women’s Celebrity and the Afterlives of Rights. Check out this conversation between Samantha Pinto and Jennifer Nash that will be held on November 12th.

Soyica Diggs Colbert, Douglas A. Jones, and Shane Vogel, Race and Performance After Repetition. You can also listen to a conversation among the volume editors and contributors Joshua Chambers-Letson, Tavia Nyong’o, and Elizabeth Son.

978-1-4780-0828-6Cait McKinney, Information Activism: A Queer History of Lesbian Media Technologies. Check out my interview with Cait.

Robert Nichols, Theft Is Property!: Dispossession and Critical Theory. Here is the author discussing his book along with a great discussion of the book hosted by University of Alberta.

Bo Ruberg, The Queer Games Avant-Garde: How LGBTQ Game Makers are Reimagining the Medium of Video Games. (Look for a conversation between Bo and some of the game makers coming soon!)

Jane Bennett, Influx and Efflux: Writing up with Walt Whitman. Did you see the fabulous conversation between Jane Bennett and Jack Halberstam on their new books (hosted by Intellectual Publics)? So inspiring. The recording isn’t yet available, but well worth watching when it is. And we hosted a great event last week with the author in conversation with Peter Coviello, Derek McCormack, Kathy Ferguson, and others (link forthcoming on the DUP blog).

Louise Amoore, Cloud Ethics: Algorithms and the Attributes of Ourselves and Others

And hot off the presses, the latest book in the ANIMA series: Joseph Pugliese, Biopolitics of the More-Than-Human: Forensic Ecologies of Violence.

Stay well and safe, friends. I look forward to seeing you next fall.


Senior Executive Editor
Ken Wissoker

It’s sad looking at my calendar and seeing that I was going to be on the way to Baltimore for ASA yesterday.  I have great memories of the last time ASA was there, and powerful ones of last year’s meeting in Honolulu, such an important political moment in many ways. I’m grateful to my marketing colleagues for arranging the 50% off sale to happen at this time. It’s not the same as raving about the many, many great new books in person – no less getting to dance in celebration of them – but it’s still fabulous.

It’s really been a blockbuster season, needed brilliance at a tough political and pandemic moment.  There are a lot of new books just out including Maureen Mahon’s fabulous Black Diamond Queens, Maya Stovall’s Liquor Store Theatre, and genius artist Lorraine O’Grady’s Writing in Space, all released last week!  My fall highlights have been the long-awaited publication of José Esteban Muñoz’s The Sense of Brown, written alongside Cruising Utopia, and just as essential, Jack Halberstam’s Wild Things.  Ricardo Montez’s Keith Haring’s Line is right there with them.

I’m also excited about Emily Lordi’s beautiful The Meaning of Soul and the start of the Writing Matters! series edited by Lauren Berlant, Saidiya Hartman, Erica Rand, and Katie Stewart, which begins with Lesley Stern’s moving Diary of a Detour.

Over the fall I’ve spent a lot of time thinking with Arlene Dávila’s much-needed Latinx Art and Diana Taylor’s ¡Presente!: The Politics of Presence. I recommend both along with the amazing Aesthetics of Excess by Jillian Hernandez on Black and Latinx girls in Miami and Vanessa Díaz’s Manufacturing Celebrity on Latinx paparazzi and white women reporters as necessary but disposable parts of the Hollywood star system.

You also will not want to miss R.A. Judy’s profound and important Sentient Flesh, Erin Manning’s For a Pragmatics of the Useless – working with Black theory and neurodiversity – and Ian Baucom’s History 4° Celsius, thinking the Black Atlantic, colonialism, and the Anthropocene.  Along the same lines I would recommend Laura Hyun Yi Kang’s Traffic in Asian Women, and Brigitte Fielder’s Relative Races.

Most of you probably already have seen Ashon Crawley’s The Lonely Letters, Shana Redmond’s Everything Man, Savannah Shange’s Progressive Dystopia, Alexis Gumbs’s Dub, Wadsworth Jarrell’s Africobra, Matt Brim’s Poor Queer Studies, John Szwed’s Space is the Place, but if not, please pick them up!

If you’re still missing the action of the in-person ASA conference, you can find conversations with our authors about their books in our In Conversation series on YouTube.

If you were hoping to connect with Elizabeth Ault, Courtney Berger, Ken Wissoker, or another of our editors about your book project at ASA, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines here.

Interview with liquid blackness Editors Alessandra Raengo and Lauren McLeod Cramer

In keeping with the “Raise UP” theme of University Press Week, we’re excited to spotlight the addition of liquid blackness: journal of aesthetics and black studies, an open-access journal, to our publishing program starting with its special issue “Liquidity” this spring. The journal seeks to carve out a place for aesthetic theory and the most radical agenda of Black studies to come together in productive ways. Founding editors Alessandra Raengo and Lauren McLeod Cramer recently discussed with us the creation of liquid blackness, the importance of the journal being open access, and the journal’s relationship with our current climate.

DUP: How did liquid blackness come to be?

Alessandra Raengo, founding coeditor of liquid blackness

The liquid blackness journal began informally; it emerged from the liquid blackness research group, which Alessandra began in Fall 2013 with the support and assistance of graduate students and alumni of the doctoral program in Moving Image Studies at Georgia State University. Without an institutional mandate, the group came together in response to a curatorial project we inherited: “The LA Rebellion: Creating a New Black American Cinema tour” curated from the UCLA Film and Television archive. In the summer 2013, Matthew Bernstein, chair of Film and Media Studies at Emory University, asked Alessandra if she would co-host the tour with him. The question immediately became: how does one create the right environment for this material? Beyond gathering an audience for these films, creating an “environment” meant organizing a community experience because this collection of films constitutes a type of radical cinema made with, and from, communities of color in Los Angeles. Along with free screenings and artist talks, we hosted a series of teach-ins and community conversations in historically significant sites of political gathering in Atlanta. 

At the end of the tour, Alessandra asked the students involved in this project to write about it. That first journal issue is really an expression of our commitment to two archives. First, we were thinking about giving back and giving thanks to the UCLA archival project, from which we had just benefited, by accounting for our experience of watching these works that were previously very difficult to see. At the same time, that inaugural issue was a way to begin to reflect on, and therefore assemble, a record of our own collective processes and emerging praxis. The first editorial board—Lauren McLeod Cramer, Kristin Juarez, Michele Prettyman, and Cameron Kunzelman—formed around the production of this issue. And this has been the praxis since.

From this initial gesture of “giving back” to an existing archive of Black expressive culture, while reflecting on liquid blackness as a potential emerging archive, the journal became profoundly intertwined with the group’s activities: each research project would culminate in a public event featuring a practicing artist and a call for papers. For example, the research project on Larry Clark’s Passing Through inspired a journal issue on “The Arts and Politics of the Jazz Ensemble,” the research on Arthur Jafa’s Dreams are Colder than Death prompted an issue on “Black Ontology and the Love of Blackness,” and our approach to Kahlil Joseph’s aesthetics was channeled in an issue focused on “Holding Blackness: Aesthetics of Suspension.”

Over time and through this organic approach, the journal grew into a forum for the exploration of Blackness in contemporary visual and sonic arts and popular culture at the intersection between the politics and ethics of aesthetics. “Liquidity” thus designates, among other things, a commitment to generative entanglements and to follow processes of intellectual production that are inspired by the experimental style of the jazz ensemble, which is what Fred Moten and Stefano Harney identified as a productive model for their idea of “Black study.”

DUP: How does the journal fit into our current climate?

Lauren McLeod Cramer, founding coeditor of liquid blackness

liquid blackness became a nonprofit in 2019, so over the last year we’ve had the opportunity to make explicit some of the core values that have inspired our praxis since the beginning. Our goal is to mentor the next generation of scholars of color and other scholars fully committed to the agenda of Black studies, while creating a vibrant, extended, and sustainable community. This journal is entirely committed to the aim and scope of Black studies: centering on Blackness—Black people and Black art—and critiquing Western civilization’s attachment to the project of whiteness. As we condemn the atmospheric reach of anti-Blackness, we also make the rejection of white supremacy and privilege the goal of our scholarly pursuits. 

While we are devastated by this summer’s most blatant episodes of anti-Black violence, we understand these tragedies in the context of pervasive white supremacy. Further, we refrain from expressing shock as a way to dismiss the totality of anti-Blackness. Instead, we remain focused on interrogating the political stakes of representation, to think critically about the efficacy of public statements, performances of solidarity, and analytical language that rely on the tools of oppression.

Our unwavering solidarity with voices raised in protest in the US and all over the world is inextricable from our condemnation of other expressions of violence, including the political and social neglect that caused COVID-19’s devastating effects on communities of color and academia’s persistent disregard for the true needs of these same oppressed communities. We call out white supremacy as the most denied pandemic of the modern era and insist that the work of eradicating it cannot rely on the emotional labor of the communities it has already victimized. So, at the same time we recognize these violent continuities, the journal is committed to creating space for the expression of art and scholarship that is not exclusively tethered to, and indeed may de-link from, anti-Black terror. We envision it as a place that supports art and scholarship that makes pressing historical claims for justice, recognition, and rights into new, and newly expansive, futural registers.

(more…)

Preview our Spring 2021 Catalog

S21-catalog-frontcoverWe’re excited to unveil our Spring 2021 catalog. Check out some highlights from the season below and then download a copy for a closer read. These titles will be published between January 2021 and July 2021.

On the cover we feature an image by Cerron Hooks entitled “Consider the Source,” which is on the cover of our lead title, edited by Lynden Harris. Right Here, Right Now: Life Stories from America’s Death Row collects the powerful first-person stories of dozens of men on death rows across the country. 

Universal TonalityWe have several excellent music books in the catalog. Jazz lovers will definitely want to read the first biography of bassist William Parker, Universal Tonality by Cisco Bradley. The publication of the biography coincides with the release of retrospective box set of Parker’s work. Jazz fans will also want to check out Soundworks: Race, Sound, and Poetry in Production by Anthony Reed, which takes the recorded collaborations between African American poets and musicians such as Amiri Baraka, Jayne Cortez, Cecil Taylor, and Charles Mingus to trace the overlaps between experimental music and poetry. Eric Weisbard’s Songbooks offers a critical guide to American popular music writing, from William Billings’s 1770 New-England-Psalm-Singer to Jay-Z’s 2010 memoir Decoded. Music scholars will also be interested in Sound Alignments: Popular Music in Asia’s Cold Wars, edited by Michael K. Bourdaghs, Paola Iovene, and Kaley Mason.

Spring brings more Black studies and African American history titles as well. We’re thrilled to be adding to our collection of Stuart Hall’s work with two new compilations of his work, Selected Writings on Marxism, edited by Gregor McLennan, and Selected Writings on Race and Difference, edited by Paul Gilroy and Ruth Wilson Gilmore. Both volumes will be great for teaching.

Point of ReckoningPoint of Reckoning: The Fight for Racial Justice at Duke University by Theodore D. Segal provides crucial historical context for today’s campus discussions of equity and inclusion. Additional titles in African American history include Thomas Aiello’s biography of controversial Black journalist Louis Lomax and Reckoning with Slavery by Jennifer L. Morgan, a groundbreaking work of history that demonstrates that the development of Western notions of value and race occurred simultaneously.

Other great new Black studies works include The Long Emancipation by Rinaldo Walcott; Black Aliveness, or A Poetics of Being by Kevin Quashie; Black Utopias by Jayna Brown; The Powers of Dignity by Nick Bromell; Counterlife by Christopher Freeburg; Black Bodies, White Gold by Anna Arabindan-Kesson; and Emancipation′s Daughters by Riché Richardson.

The InheritanceThe Inheritance by Elizabeth Povinelli is something new for us: a graphic memoir in which she explores her family’s history and the events, traumas, and social structures that define our individual and collective pasts and futures. We also have a gorgeous book of photos by William Gedney.  In A Time of Youth: San Francisco, 1966–1967, editor Lisa McCarty brings together eighty-seven of the more than two thousand photographs Gedney took in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood between October 1966 and January 1967. The design follows the specifications that Gedney laid out before his death.

Planning a post-pandemic vacation to Jamaica? If so, you can read up on your destination in The Jamaica Reader before you go. Edited by Diana Paton and Matthew J. Smith, the reader collects more than one hundred classic and lesser-known texts that include journalism, lyrics, memoir, and poetry that illuminate the complexities of Jamaica’s past. It will also be a great resource for teaching.

Other books in Caribbean studies coming this spring include A Regarded Self by Kaiama L. Glover, which analyzes Francophone and Anglophone Caribbean literature with female protagonists, and Tropical Aesthetics of Black Modernism by Samantha A. Noël, which investigates how Black Caribbean and American artists of the early twentieth century responded to and challenged colonial and other white-dominant regimes through tropicalist representation. Colonial Debts: The Case of Puerto Rico by Rocío Zambrana develops the concept of neoliberal coloniality in light of Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.

Eating in TheoryAs always, our anthropology list is strong this spring. Annemarie Mol returns to the Press with Eating in Theory, which reassess notions of human being and becoming by thinking through the activity of eating, showing how eating is a lively practice bound up with our identities, actions, politics, and senses of belonging in the world. Another author with a long history at Duke University Press, Michael Jackson, also returns with a new book, The Genealogical Imagination: Two Studies of Life over Time, which juxtaposes his fieldwork in Sierra Leone and his own family history in Northeast Australia to explore intergenerational trauma and temporality. We also have a couple of great collections for anthropologists: Experimenting with Ethnography: A Companion to Analysis, edited by Andrea Ballestero and Brit Ross Winthereik; and Words and Worlds: A Lexicon for Dark Times, edited by Veena Das and Didier Fassin. Other new anthropology titles include Atmospheric Noise by Marina Peterson; Kincraft by Todne Thomas; Bombay Brokers by Lisa Björkman; and The Charismatic Gymnasium by Maria José de Abreu.

Queer in TranslationOur Middle East studies list continues to grow. We’re looking forward to Palestine Is Throwing a Party and the Whole World Is Invited by Kareem Rabie, which examines how Palestine’s desire to fully integrate its economy into global markets through large-scale investment projects represented a shift away from political state building with the hope that a thriving economy would lead to a free and functioning Palestinian state. In Queer in Translation, Evren Savci explores how Western LGBT politics are translated and reworked in Turkey in ways that generate new spaces for resistance and solidarity. Also forthcoming are Visions of Beirut by Hatim El-Hibri and Decolonizing Memory by Jill Jarvis.

Experiments in SkinOur Asian studies titles range cover art, film, history, and theory.  In Return Engagements:, Việt Lê examines contemporary art in Cambodia and Viet Nam to rethink the entwinement of militarization, trauma, diaspora, and modernity in Southeast Asian art. In Experiments in Skin, Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu examines the ongoing influence of the Vietnam War on contemporary ideas about race and beauty. Kajri Jain returns with her second book for the Press, Gods in the Time of Democracy, examining how monumental icons emerged as a religious and political form in contemporary India. Empire′s Mistress, Starring Isabel Rosario Cooper by Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez follows the life of Filipina vaudeville and film actress Isabel Rosario Cooper, who was the mistress of General Douglas MacArthur. Other Asian studies titles include Minor China by Hentyle Yapp, Coed Revolution by Chelsea Szendi Schieder, and Mao’s Bestiary by Liz P. Y. Chee.

Also look for The Politics of Decolonial Investigations, a new book by Walter Mignolo; Operation Valhalla: Writings on War, Weapons, and Media by Friedrich Kittler; Pollution is Colonialism by Max Liboiron; and many more titles in political theory, geography, art, queer studies, and more.

We’ve also got some great upcoming journal issues—here’s a sampling. In “Crip Temporalities,” an issue of the South Atlantic Quarterly, contributors explore the ways disability shapes the experience of time. “Solarity,” also from SAQ, features essays on the social implications of the emergence of solar energy. And “Queer Political Theologies,” an issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, brings together queer studies and political theology to explore the relationship between the self and politics, theism, and queerness.

We invite you to download the entire catalog and check out all the great books and journals inside. And be sure to sign up for our email alerts so you’ll know when titles you’re interested in are available.

AAA Welcome Message from Gisela Fosado and Ken Wissoker

Gisela Fosado
Editorial Director Gisela Fosado

The annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association: Raising Our Voices has gone virtual. Editorial Director Gisela Fosado presents recommendations in pictures of the latest books in anthropology, and Senior Executive Editor Ken Wissoker has a message for virtual attendees at this year’s event.

On Friday, November 6, 2:30-3:30 PM EST, Raising Our Voices participants can join them and Anand PandianCarole McGranahan, Hugh Raffles, and Angela Garcia to discuss the opening of new forms and practices of ethnographic writing in their panel, “On Writing Otherwise: Rethinking the Genre and Forms of Ethnography”.

Gisela offers thematic recommendations of the latest DUP books in anthropology. First, a new title on celebrity culture: Vanessa Díaz’s Manufacturing Celebrity.
Gisela suggests two books on writing: Carole McGranahan’s Writing Anthropology and Amitava Kumar’s Every Day I Write the Book.
Here are three books to help decolonize anthropology: Arturo Escobar’s Pluriversal Politics, Leisy J. Abrego and Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales’s edited collection We Are Not Dreamers, and Joanne Rappaport’s Cowards Don’t Make History.
Four books on militarization and empire: Sarah B. Horton and Josiah Heyman’s edited collection Paper Trails, Saiba Varma’s The Occupied Clinic, Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas’s Parenting Empires, and D. Asher Ghertner, Hudson McFann, and Daniel M. Goldstein’s edited volume, Futureproof.
Next are five must-read multispecies ethnographies: Rosemary-Claire Collard’s Animal Traffic, Alex Blanchette’s Porkopolis, Lyle Fearnley’s Virulent Zones, Kregg Hetherington’s The Government of Beans, and Amalia Leguizamón’s Seeds of Power (not pictured).

And finally, six essential environmental studies ethnographies: Mimi Sheller’s Island Futures, Micha Rahder’s An Ecology of Knowledges, Kristina M. Lyons’s Vital Decomposition, Lesley Green’s Rock | Water | Life, and Hannah Knox’s Thinking Like a Climate.
Senior Executive Editor Ken Wissoker

I have strong memories of arriving in Minneapolis for AAA the week after the last election. The week before – the day after the election – I had gone to Washington DC for the Society for Ethnomusicology conference. The people I talked to there were in shock, and still at a ‘how could this happen?’ level of processing, while oddly trying to go on with business as usual.  As soon as I got to Minneapolis and AAA, my whole frame about the election shifted.  People were talking about global interconnections, neoliberalisms and populisms, Erdogan, Duterte, Modi and more. The discussions gave me a sense of context and shared political commitment that was – and is – desperately needed. 

That need is high on my list, but I am very sorry in many ways that we aren’t gathering in person this year. I like seeing everyone. It is also a thinking highlight of my year.  I’m still quoting things people said last year in Vancouver (thank you, Candis Callison and Christina Sharpe).  This year will be strange. And spread out. Gisela Fosado and I are on a panel Friday November 6 with our fabulous authors Anand Pandian and Carole McGranahan, along with the brilliant writers Hugh Raffles and Angela Garcia. Then December 4 – a month later – I’ll be participating in a AES Workshop organized by Naveeda Khan with Tom Lay from Fordham University Press and Jodi Lewchuck from University of Toronto Press.

Through all this, I will miss the chance to champion new books and to meet authors, new and old. I’ve been thrilled with our Marketing Department’s 50% off sale on all books and journal issues in stock and I hope you have already taken advantage of it (use coupon code AAA20). The sale doesn’t go all the way to December 4 like AAA – we aren’t that crazy—but it’s longer than the usual last day of AAA. It ends November 23.

Here are some of my favorite titles of interest to anthropologists, ones I might have been pointing out in the booth.

Our two crucial and needed lead titles are from Arturo Escobar and Marilyn Strathern. Escobar’s Pluriversal Politics is a guide to changing what is considered possible by opening out to indigenous and decolonial ontologies. Strathern’s Relations, considers exactly that, the forms of “relatives” and “relations” we currently employ and how we might think kin differently.

During the pandemic the Press has tried to bring some of the immediacy of author talks to the flat screen. I was lucky enough to have conversations with Vanessa Díaz, Carole McGranahan, and Alex Blanchette, each of whom has a fabulous new book. Vanessa’s Manufacturing Celebrity is an ethnography of two groups that make the Hollywood star system function: paparazzi, who are mostly Latinx men and young white women reporters, both necessary but disposable forms of labor. Alex Blanchette’s ethnography of a town totally arranged around pig processing, Porkopolis, is equally timely and compelling and shows that taylorized capititalism not only persists, but has reached unimagined levels. Carole McGranahan has put together 52 short essays by anthropologists, thinking about their writing, craft, and style in Writing Anthropology, a wonderful book that will be an inspiration to all of us.

Arlene Dávila’s necessary book, Latinx Art asks why US galleries and museums are so quick to engage with Latin American artists and elite curators but overlook the Latinx artists and curators in their own cities.  Karen Strassler has a great new book about the evolving deployment and recirculation of images in the politics of Indonesia, Demanding Images. Christine Schwenkel’s Building Socialism, on the attempts of East German architects to design for post-war Vietnam, a form of solidarity, and the buildings and their inhabitant’s afterlives. 

As always, there is a lot of great STS ethnography, including Noah Tamarkin’s Genetic Afterlives, on genetic testing and the claims of Black Jewish indigeneity by the Lembe people in South Africa; Dwai Banerjee’s compelling Enduring Cancer, on Dehli’s urban poor, where a cancer diagnosis is usually too late, one in a series of infrastructure failures for the patient.  There are also two books that are all-too-needed aids for thinking about the pandemic.  Lyle Fearnley’s Virulent Zones, a study of lab scientists seeking the sources for influenza working in China lakeside among waterfowl and duck farms; and Frédéric Keck’s Avian Reservoirs, on the different methods of tracking of cross-species disease in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan  Also, check out Also, Andrew Alan Johnson’s Mekong Dreaming about the changing lives of humans, animals, and spirits along the river.

The esteemed China anthropologist Mayfair Yang has an important rethinking of religion, secularity and modernity in Wezhou, Re-enchanting Modernity; and Gabriella Lukács has a smart study of women in the Japanese digital economy, Invisibility by Design.

Maya Stovall is an artist and anthropologist I first saw in the Whitney Biennial, where she presented videos that documented her dancing in liquor store parking lots in her Detroit neighborhood.  It turned out her dancing was a form of ethnographic engagement, part of an art and anthropology project now told in her new book, Liquor Store Theatre. Maureen Mahon’s new book, Black Diamond Queens, retells the story of rock and roll centering Black women from Laverne Baker to Tina Turner and Brittany Howard. Ethiraj Gabriel Dattatreyan looks at the way hip hop masculinities form and shift among participants from many locales meeting in Dehli in The Globally Familiar. Also, in a transnational flow I’d recommend Farzaneh Hemassi’s Tehrangeles Dreaming, about the international reach of Iranian music from Los Angeles, its production and its fantasy world, and its reception back in Iran.

Finally, I should mention that we are now the publisher of the paperback of John Szwed’s Space is the Place, the classic book on Sun Ra. I first met John at AAA, introduced by editor colleague Peter Agree, when this book was still being written. I’m thrilled to have It on our list now.

We always like to feature the big books from beyond the discipline that would be of interest to many at AAA.  There are some can’t miss books this year, including Ian Baucom’s History 4° Celsius, where he thinks the Anthropocene, the Black Atlantic, and colonial histories together; Jane Bennett’s follow-up to Vibrant Matter, Influx & Efflux; brilliant queer theory in Jack Halberstam’s Wild Things and José Esteban Munoz’s long-awaited last major work – sadly posthumous – The Sense of Brown.  Also, Erin Manning’s latest, For a Pragmatics of the Useless, which uses Black thought to think about neurotypicality; and Diana Taylor, ¡Presente!: The Politics of Presence, the latest in her stunning series on politics and performance. Finally I would recommend Nandita Sharma’s Home Rule, which traces how the right of a people to be on their land is also a legacy of colonial administration and control.

Of course, if you don’t have Achille Mbembe’s Necropolitics, the (MacArthur genius) Fred Moten’s trilogy, Christina Sharpe’s In the Wake, they are on sale too.  As are the big hits from AAA last year by Savannah Shange, Julie Livingston, Anand Pandian, Hannah Appel, Deborah Thomas, Bianca Williams, and others,  along with Tiffany Lethbo King’s necessary The Black Shoals.

Keep an eye out for Joseph Masco’s big new book, The Future of Fallout, and Other Episodes in Radioactive World-Making and Katherine McKittrick’s Dear Science and Other Stories, where she models what Black methodologies could be.

I hope that these suggestions are helpful and I hope to see all of you next year in person!

View our anthropology catalog below for a complete list of all our newest titles in anthropology and across disciplines. You can also explore all of our anthropology books and journals on dukeupress.edu. Since we cannot take photos of authors with their new books in our booth, this year, we instead offer an album of book selfies they have taken from home.

For further reading, Editor Elizabeth Ault presents her recommendations for new titles in the discipline in our previous blog post. If you were hoping to connect with Elizabeth, Gisela, Ken, or another of our editors about your book project at AAA, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines here.

New Titles in Anthropology

AAA20_BlogEvery year we look forward to meeting authors in person at the AAA Annual Meeting, and we are sad to be missing out on that this year. The annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association: Raising Our Voices has gone virtual. We know that many of you look forward to stocking up on new books at special discounts at our conferences, so we are pleased to extend a 50% discount on all in-stock books and journal issues with coupon code AAA20 until November 23, 2020.

View our anthropology catalog below for a complete list of all our newest titles in anthropology and across disciplines. You can also explore all of our anthropology books and journals on dukeupress.edu. Since we cannot take photos of authors with their new books in our booth, this year, we instead offer an album of book selfies they have taken from home.

EAult_webEditor Elizabeth Ault presents her recommendations for new titles in the discipline. Be sure to check out more highlights from Editorial Director Gisela Fosado and Senior Executive Editor Ken Wissoker in their post this afternoon.

As usual, our anthropology list is home to some of the richest work highlighting many ways of seeking justice and creating a new world through spotlighting everyday practices and ways of knowing. I’d like to highlight a few of the most exciting new books:

First, Hannah Appel’s long-awaited Licit Life of Capitalism is a must-read for anthropologists curious about global flows of energy, capital, and infrastructure. People who’ve been following any of these conversations need to read Hannah’s take on the many strategies that US oil companies deploy to maintain the façade of capitalism’s smooth functioning.

Revolution and DisenchantmentFadi Bardawil’s Revolution and Disenchantment also offers an important methodological intervention through history of the Arab New Left in Beirut. Bardawil’s use of both historical and ethnographic methods – a fieldwork in theory – centers the production and circulation of social theory outside the metropole and revisits the relationship between theory and practice.

What does it mean to decolonize science? Lesley Green’s Rock | Water | Life is such an important book in thinking about how to live with (and maybe even to heal) our damaged planet–while also acknowledging and healing the ongoing realities of science’s collusion with colonialism, racism, and environmental exploitation.

Abby Dumes’s Divided Bodies similarly raises important questions about what counts as expertise and as evidence. Her book is a wonderful example of what ethnography can do, spending deep and compassionate time with people involved in debates over Lyme disease and the production of “evidence-based medicine.”

978-1-4780-0843-9_prFinally, Matthew Watson’s Afterlives of Affect is a super-readable and deeply innovative book. Watson forgoes easy answers in reconsidering the life of Mayanist Linda Schele and her circle as the basis for what he calls “an excitable anthropology” suffused with wonder and open to being moved.

Registered ROV participants can join us for these online events featuring Duke University Press authors:

On Friday, November 6, 2:30-3:30 PM EST Editors Gisela Fosado and Ken Wissoker join Anand PandianCarole McGranahan, Hugh Raffles, and Angela Garcia to discuss the opening of new forms and practices of ethnographic writing in their panel, “On Writing Otherwise: Rethinking the Genre and Forms of Ethnography”

On Thursday, November 12, 5:00-6:00 PM EST, join Ruha Benjamin for the 2020 Joint ABA/CASTAC Invited Lecture, “Racial Violence & Technology: A Conversation with Ruha Benjamin.” 

Savannah Shange joins other authors to discuss “Abolition, Activism, and Decolonization: New Books Challenging Settler Colonialism and Anti-Black Racism in North America” on Saturday, November 7, 2:30-3:30 PM EST.

If you were hoping to connect with Elizabeth, Gisela, Ken, or another of our editors about your book project at AAA, please reach out to them by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines here.

In Conversation: Vanessa Díaz and Ken Wissoker

Check out our latest In Conversation video featuring Senior Executive Editor Ken Wissoker talking with Vanessa Díaz about her new book, Manufacturing Celebrity: Latino Paparazzi and Women Reporters in Hollywood. Díaz talks about her own experiences as a celebrity journalist, the impact of #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite, and the lives of paparazzo.

Manufacturing Celebrity, and all our in-stock titles, are 50% off during our Fall Sale using coupon code FALL2020. Shop now; the sale ends November 23.

Elections in Global History Syllabus

Our Elections in Global History Syllabus, new today, features scholarship on historical elections. Topics include the study of past election events, voting inequity, election quotas, media politics, protests during election times, and more.

All journal articles in this syllabus are freely available through January 31, 2021. Book introductions are always free.

The Elections in Global History Syllabus is one of our many staff-curated syllabi, with topics ranging from global immigration to racial justice to trans rights. Check out all the syllabi here.