Journals

Welcoming Trans Asia Photography to Duke University Press

We are pleased to announce that “Photography,” the first issue of the open-access journal Trans Asia Photography published by Duke University Press, is now available. Start reading “Photography” here.

In this inaugural Duke University Press issue, contributors explore photography through the lens of Asia—variously defined as a geographic territory or cultural imaginary—in order to fundamentally rethink the history and nature of photo studies from a different perspective. Examining photography both as a material object and as a concept, the authors cover wide-ranging topics such as photography’s intermediality, transnationality, haptic/audible qualities, vernacular dimensions, and relationship to the “real.”

Trans Asia Photography, edited by Deepali Dewan, Yi Gu, and Thy Phu, is the first and only open-access internal journal devoted to the interdisciplinary exploration of historic and contemporary photography from Asia and across the Asian diaspora. Established more than a decade ago, the journal examines all aspects of photographic history, theory, and practice by centering images in or of Asia, conceived here as a territory, network, and cultural imaginary.

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Welcoming Agricultural History to Duke University Press

We are thrilled to announce that the first Duke University Press-published issue (vol. 96, issue 1–2) of Agricultural History, the official journal of the Agricultural History Society, is now available. Start reading this issue, made freely available through August, here.

This inaugural Duke University Press issue covers such topics as Australia’s entanglement in global cotton, weather observation in Argentina in 1872–1915, and the role of the Victory Farm Volunteers program during World War II. The issue also features a roundtable discussion, “Should Agricultural Historians Care about the New Materialism?;” Adrienne Monteith Petty’s presidential address from the 2021 meeting of the Agricultural History Society; and twenty reviews of recent books.

Agricultural History, edited by Albert G. Way, publishes articles that explore agriculture and rural life over time, in all geographies and among all people. Contributors to the journal use a wide range of methodologies to illuminate the history of farming, food, agricultural science and technology, the environment, rural life, and beyond. The articles include innovative research, timely book and film reviews, and special features that unite diverse historical approaches under agriculture-related themes.

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Revisiting our Asian/Pacific American Cultures and Histories Syllabus

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and in honor of this annual celebration, we’re revisiting our staff-curated Asian/Pacific American Cultures and Histories Syllabus, originally published in March 2021. The articles, issues, and books in this syllabus discuss not only complex histories and contemporary experiences of racism and imperialism, but also community formation, solidarity between marginalized groups, and worldmaking possibilities.

See the full syllabus here.

Three Questions with Jayna Brown and Neferti X. M. Tadiar, editors of “2020: Sociality at the End of the World”

Jayna Brown and Neferti X. M. Tadiar are editors of “2020: Sociality at the End of the World,” a new issue of Social Text. Buy a copy of the issue for only $7.50 during our Spring Sale using code SPRING22, or check out the table of contents here.

What makes “2020: Sociality at the End of the World” unique or essential? What does it do that no other collection has done before?

NT: This special issue brings together the diverse voices and experiences of people suffering, resisting, dreaming, and living the catastrophic consequences of the global pandemic shaped by fascist regimes of racial capitalism. Scholars, activists, and artists record vibrant moments of insurrectionary care and sociality, haunting historical memories and personal pain, fervent defiance and protest, and collective action and mutual aid, from India to Singapore, from the US to South Africa, from England to Peru. Diverse times and spaces, people and their concerns, are gathered to stay with the openings that a globally shared predicament made possible—to highlight and keep alive other globally shared connections at the end of the world, even as that world aggressively rushes to return to a normal that was for most the very crisis and catastrophe we were already living with.

What are some topics that readers can expect to find covered in the issue?

JB: It’s a deeply collaborative issue: each piece is written by what we’ve been calling a “pod”—a group of writers in conversation with one another, with each author contributing to a larger collaborative essay. The essay “Andolan Imaginaries,” edited by Anjali Arondekar, for instance, brings together work by artists, activists, and scholars based in India and the US, and reflecting on contemporary forms of resistance. And Ashley Dawson and Rashmi Varma edited the collaborative essay “Cities in Flux.” Many of the sections build on the authors’ existing scholarship on cities and political resistance; the sections also present daily life during the pandemic across a variety of locations, with contributors writing about their personal experiences of pandemic space in Singapore, Delhi, Kottayam, Johannesburg, London, Glasgow, Buenos Aires, and New York City. [Editor’s note: The section “Martial Law Now, as Then” is free to read through the end of July.]

“We hope that the issue can be, to some extent, a time-capsule in a quickly-changing situation.”

jayna brown

Contributors also write about specifics of their daily lives in other ways—Aimee Meredith Cox contributes a video and image of a choreographed dance to a pod edited by Jonathan Beller, with the focus on isolation and lack of touch during the initial months of the pandemic. Kaysha Corinealdi contributes a diary of in-person teaching during fall semester 2020. Sandy Grande writes about eldercare and family during the pandemic. Many contributors write about the protests of summer 2020. Everyone brings their scholarship and other work with them into these pieces, but this issue’s focus is daily life and resistance in the first year of the pandemic, and talking to one another across the distance and the isolation.

How do you imagine the issue could be used in courses or as a basis for future scholarship—or work outside the academic sphere?

JB: We hope that the issue can be, to some extent, a time-capsule in a quickly-changing situation. 

Poem of the Week

Our third weekly poem for National Poetry Month is an excerpt from “Bee Suit: Spring Chores with Grandfather” by James Lee, published in the minnesota review, issue 96. the minnesota review publishes contemporary poetry and fiction as well as reviews, critical commentary, and interviews of leading intellectual figures. Learn more about the journal.

He points out marble-sized holes in the ground. Cicadas
make holes like that.
Empty shells, brittle husks, cling to
the cherry blossom. I gather them in my hands,
I speak a whisper and hear in the same breath what I mean
speech for; knowledge waits—is waiting—only waiting is
substance and the promise of more. Something glistens
inside a narrow flesh cavity, something is there late
afternoons when I go to my room hunting silence.
What is it the body can’t take anymore of and leaves?
I pull down my curtains, turn off my desk lamp, and
get into bed. I put my left hand over my head so it
feels like another person’s hand over me.
Absence is a test of how to grow into another person.

Invisible Man Syllabus

In honor of the 70th anniversary of the publication of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (1952, Random House), we are pleased to offer our Invisible Man Syllabus. The books, journal articles, and special issues in this syllabus explore the significance of the novel in relation to art, music, modernism, Blackness, psychiatry, and more.

All included articles in the syllabus are freely available through July 14. Start reading here.

“In exploring the lived experience of a black man’s cultural ‘invisibility’ almost a hundred years ago, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man remains a crucial text for understanding Black Lives Matter in relation to an American history defined by racialized violence,” says Twentieth-Century Literature editor Lee Zimmerman. “At the same time, for all its own failures of vision, the novel points to how the structures of racial invisibility have shaped what, in an American context, ‘mattering’ might mean in the first place.”

Barbara Foley, author of Duke University Press-published Wrestling with the Left: The Making of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, echoes the sentiment of the novel’s critical importance. “At once an embodiment of Cold War ideology and a proclamation of universal humanism, a searing indictment of US racism and an imaginative projection of a world beyond race, Invisible Man is one of the most important novels of the twentieth century.”

National Poetry Month: Articles from Twentieth-Century Literature

In celebration of April as National Poetry Month, we’ve curated a list of insightful articles from our journal Twentieth-Century Literature that focus on poetry. View the full list here!

Articles include “Dadaism and Classicism in The Waste Land” by Patrick Eichholz, “Profile Epistemologies, Racializing Surveillance, and Affective Counterstrategies in Claudia Rankine’s Citizen” by Katherine D. Johnston, “Using the Rotted Names: Wallace Stevens’s Racial Ontology as Poetic Key” by Mark Mayer, “The Queer Afterlife of Gossip: James Merrill’s ‘Celestial Salon'” by Chad Bennett, and more.

Check out the article list here, and learn more about Twentieth-Century Literature.

Three Questions with Zeynep Korkman & Sherene Razack, Editors of “Transnational Feminist Approaches to Anti-Muslim Racism”

Zeynep Korkman and Sherene Razack are editors of “Transnational Feminist Approaches to Anti-Muslim Racism,” a new special issue of Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism that traces the global circuits and formations of power through which anti-Muslim racism travels, operates, and shapes local contexts. The full issue is free to read through the end of June; start reading here.

What makes “Transnational Feminist Approaches to Anti-Muslim Racism” unique or essential? What does it do that no other collection has done before?

Transnational feminists begin with the idea that gender is not an abstract system but rather one that emerges in and through global capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, and neo-colonialism. Attentive not only to the differences in women’s lives but also to the inequalities among women, transnational feminists have long had a preoccupation with global circuits of power. This collection of essays offers insight into how anti-Muslim racism travels along such global circuits. As racism travels and becomes attached to local conflicts, Muslims are installed as a pre-modern, barbaric, racial Other, a racial category that consolidates white supremacy and other civilizational discourses. The collection is the first to discuss how global white supremacy is upheld through anti-Muslim racism.

The transnational feminist analysis that this special issue embraces emphasizes that anti-Muslim racism is a gendered phenomenon. Muslim women are cast as singularly oppressed by Muslim men who in turn are cast as the universal enemy. Meriting extraordinary levels of violence, Muslims are imagined globally as threats to civilization who must be met with force. The global figures of the Muslim as “terrorist,” and the Muslim woman as oppressed and in need of saving, handily obscure the tremendous force that is directed at Muslim communities. Although the discourses of anti-Muslim racism travel globally, there is no singular overbearing structure of oppression. Likewise, Muslims are not any one thing. This special issue attends to the imbrication of the global with the local and to Muslims as complex and dynamically constituted social and political subjects.

What are some topics that readers can expect to find covered in the issue?

Readers of this special issue will be introduced to the interconnections between gendered anti-Muslim legal projects across the globe. In her article Natasha Bakht reveals how there have been attempts to ban Muslim women’s clothing across the globe, bans articulated as about saving Muslim women from the barbarism of their communities even as they impose a host of restrictions and punishments. Muslims meet these challenges in a host of ways. Readers will meet Bengali women who negotiated the transnational spaces opened up by US Cold War–era imperialist ambitions (Shehabuddin), Muslim women in Russia who draw on narratives of religious and cultural histories of strength to resist their racialization in contemporary Russia (Rabinovitch), and pious Pakistani women who draw on narratives of secularism to stake their rights claims (Jamal). The special issue offers a unique look into a revolutionary politics and resistance in the Muslim world through an exploration of the aesthetic practices of Muslim artists (Ali Bhutto) who ask whether a Muslim warrior drag queen can take us to a queer Muslim futurism.

How do you imagine the issue could be used in courses, or as a basis for future scholarship?

“The transnational terrain of anti-Muslim racism demands solidarities across regions.”

The special issue will be of interest to scholars who explore how class, gender, and sexuality are central to formations of racial dominance, how these discourses travel globally, and how to resist. Gender studies scholars will find a nuanced consideration of agency and feminist political organizing. All readers will be able to deepen their knowledge of how race, class, gender, and sexuality interlock in women’s lives, in national discourses, and in imperial and colonial systems.

The enduring contribution of the issue is the message that the transnational terrain of anti-Muslim racism demands solidarities across regions. As feminists, we must learn and unlearn as we trace the investments we each bring to a transnational feminist politics. Our scholarship has to bear the weight of these critical reflections on our own praxis.

Celebrating National Library Week

To celebrate the American Library Association’s National Library Week, we’re featuring the work our Library Relations team does to bring Duke University Press content to academic, public, and special libraries.

In addition to individual book sales and journal subscriptions, we offer complete packages of electronic content to libraries at significant discounts. The annual e-Duke Journals and e-Duke Books collections provide the subscribing library with perpetual, unlimited multiuser access to every journal issue and book title, respectively, published in that calendar year in the humanities and social sciences. These library sales allow any user—faculty, students, staff, or public library patron—affiliated with the subscribing institution to read DUP books and journals through their library.

We maintain a robust indexing and metadata program, sending metadata files regularly to major library technology vendors, to ensure that libraries can easily incorporate these records into their catalogs and user interfaces. These efforts help more users discover and access the content they are searching for on their library’s website.

We work with a 34-member Library Advisory Board, consisting of library staff in various roles at institutions around the world, whom we contact regularly for advice on how our products and services can work best for libraries and their patrons.

Our library sales team attends 10–15 library conferences each year, domestically and internationally. These events help us build relationships with our customers and learn from the many valuable sessions and panels about current topics in the library profession.

For more information about our library relations program, visit our Library Resource Center or the Library Products Catalog to see the range of products we offer to libraries. Reach out to our Library Relations team at libraryrelations@dukeupress.edu to see how we can work with your library.

Q&A with Badia Ahad and Habiba Ibrahim, editors of “Black Temporality in Times of Crisis”

Badia Ahad and Habiba Ibrahim are the editors of “Black Temporality in Times of Crisis,” a new issue of the South Atlantic Quarterly that uses crisis as a framework to explore historical and present-day Black temporalities. Contributors consider how moments of emergency shift and redefine one’s relationship to time and temporality—particularly in the material, psychic, and emotional lives of Black people. In today’s post, Ahad and Ibrahim discuss the making of this issue and what the issue can bring to academic courses and future scholarship, highlighting three articles that cover Black negotiations with specific forms of crisis. Preview the issue’s contents, including the Against the Day section, “Universities as New Battlegrounds,” available free for three months, and the editors’ introduction, made freely available; or pick up a copy.

DUP: What guided your interest in editing this special issue? What questions or problems shaped your study?

Badia Ahad, coeditor of "Black Temporality in Times of Crisis," a new issue of the South Atlantic Quarterly
Badia Ahad, coeditor of “Black Temporality in Times of Crisis,” a new issue of the South Atlantic Quarterly

A few developments led to the making of this special issue. One is directly related to our own interests in how contemporary blackness might be thought of in terms of historical, experiential, and subjective frameworks of time. Both of our most recent monographs, Black Age: Oceanic Lifespans and the Time of Black Life and Afro-Nostalgia: Feeling Good in Contemporary Black Culture, center temporality as an oft-overlooked yet critical aspect of Black being. Both works engage the historical past as a mode of transformation, reclamation, and an occasion to reconsider the predominance of what Aida Levy Hussen refers to as “traumatic time.” While we acknowledged that Black temporality was marked by ongoing and overlapping moments of crises in a negative sense, it was self-evident in the body of literature, visual art, and performance we mined in our respective works that “crises” in Black life also provided the capacity for creativity, renewal, and the imagining of liberation.

A second key development was the rise of social justice movements in the years leading up to and in 2020. The unbroken ongoingness of anti-Black brutality, along with the increasing explicitness of white nationalist sentiment, guided our interest in how to account for the temporality of the present. Broadly speaking, we were interested in how the present currently operates as a framework of analysis in Black studies. In a manner now commonplace, the present has been shaped via psychoanalytic concepts of trauma and melancholia. Repetition and incalculable loss, meanings derived from these conceptual frames, endow the present with historical density, and such temporal weightiness becomes figurative of blackness itself. The present of blackness—and blackness as the present—initiates a question: How has the formation of blackness as a modern social category relied on particular schemas of time? Is blackness still knowable as such when it isn’t mired in the ongoingness of time? Although these questions arise from the most recent years of crisis, we were especially interested in a related but different question: How do we tarry with the ongoingness of anti-Black brutality while making conceptual room for numerous other structures of time and feeling that also constitute the present? This special issue explores how the exigencies of recent years—structured through the “twin pandemics” of police brutality and COVID-19—make the mode of time conspicuous. As ongoing, quick, drawn-out, or ruptured, temporality’s conspicuousness reboots our collective attempts to theorize the past and present conditions of Black life.     

By toggling between big and small structures of time, long historical patterns, and specific, localized events, the essays in this special issue insist that history matters in the face of nationalized efforts to disavow it. For many, the present-day experience of the 2010s intensified the already-palpable sense that we were living in what Saidiya Hartman has called “the afterlife of slavery”—along with the sense that afterlives are interminably long. Nested within this broad-scale afterlife was post-civil-rights-era disillusionment. Liberatory promises of the 1960s gave way to a “colorblind” discourse that disavowed the historical and structural dimensions of late-twentieth century racism. And after three decades of neoconservatism and neoliberalism converging to disempower Black communities across the United States, the election of Barack Obama, the nation’s first Black president, announced the arrival of a so-called “postracial” era. From the 1970s into the second decade of the twenty-first century, colorblindness and postracialism were ideological technologies for making “history” inexpressible. In the context of such suppression, Black experiences of time—as interminable, stagnant, regressive—became a means to track specific social, cultural, political, and economic developments. Black time allows us to perceive how social processes work, along with the material, affective, and cultural influence such processes have on Black life. As the term “afterlife” suggests, Black experiences of time trouble linear and progressive schemas of historical formation. But in addition to this, Black time reveals ways of knowing that are eschewed through dominant discourse. The affective and social dimensions of time—stagnation and regression, but also the experience of counter-national temporalities—offer us a means of exploring how suppressed or disavowed aspects of life are experienced and expressed.

DUP: How do you imagine “Black Temporality in Times of Crisis” could be used in courses or as a basis for future scholarship?

Habiba Ibrahim, coeditor of "Black Temporality in Times of Crisis," a new issue of the South Atlantic Quarterly
Habiba Ibrahim, coeditor of “Black Temporality in Times of Crisis,” a new issue of the South Atlantic Quarterly

This special issue builds on a remarkable body of literature that exposes how Black life has always been in tension with normative conventions of Western (European) temporal constructs. The essays in this issue offer so many entry points for either seminars or for future scholarship. Our Introduction sets forth a provocative question (“How does crisis draw us toward the precarities, but also the possibilities, of Black life?”) that could be fruitfully explored across a range of disciplines/fields as the essays demonstrate (literary studies, media/cinema studies, visual and performance studies). This issue could be used in courses that focus on the conventions and historicity of Black cultural forms and genres—music, film, speculative fiction, the slave narrative, photographic images—and ask questions about methods for studying mass and popular culture. Across all of the essays, culture is the location of emergent experience that draws our attention toward the underlying logic and structure of time. Courses that frame Black culture through either a national or transnational lens could use this issue to consider how cultural forms are related to historical development.   

As we think of this issue’s contributions to Black literary and cultural studies, we are aware of what it offers to scholarship that intervenes in western philosophical concerns with human existence. In recent years, scholarship in Black studies has taken a turn toward questions of Black being, with examples ranging from Christina Sharpe’s In the Wake, Zakiyyah Iman Jackson’s Becoming Human, and Kevin Quashie’s Black Aliveness. Our issue draws attention to how temporality structures Black ontology. Conceptual frameworks such as “the afterlife of slavery” (Hartman), “the wake” (Sharpe), “ontological plasticity,” (Jackson), and “aliveness” (Quashie) each explore, in significantly different ways, the inextricability of temporality from conditions of embodiment, presence, reality, and various modes of social and non-social existence. Across these works, temporality is thought of as the longue durée of transatlantic slavery and colonialism, through the epistemic terms of hierarchically organized forms of life, or as the intersubjective here-and-now. Taken together, temporality is related to not just one but multitudinous registers in which to think of Black life. In this issue, Julius B. Fleming Jr.’s essay, “Anticipating Blackness: Nina Simone, Lorraine Hansberry, and the Time of Black Ontology,” speaks most directly to the relationship between Black time and Black being as it offers its own analytical framework, “the time of black ontology.”

DUP: What are some topics that readers can expect to find covered in the issue?

"Black Temporality in Times of Crisis," a new issue of the South Atlantic Quarterly

When we discussed the throughline of the essays in this issue, we decided to present the works in a quasi-chronological order because it evinces the narrative of Black negotiations with specific forms of crisis over historical time, across geographic spatialities, and into imagined futures. 

Sarah Stefana Smith’s “Keeping Time: Maroon Assemblages and Black Life in Crisis” weaves her personal navigation with the global pandemic and national racial unrest in 2020, petit-maroon communities in 19th century Virginia, the narrative of Harriet Jacobs, and somatic movement to form a meditation on the precarity of enslavement and emancipation through representations of flight and mobility. This essay produces a sense of warped time reflective of the warped social, political and economic conditions that structured black existence in the antebellum era and persist in our present moment. 

Similarly, Tao Leigh Goffe’s piece “Stolen Life, Stolen Time: Black Temporality, Speculation and Racial Capitalism” brings together a range of media (Chang-rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea, Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West, the HBO series Watchmen, Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, and Khalik Allah’s Black Mother) to highlight how Black temporality as “a refusal to labor within the limits of history” frustrates the constraints of Western logics of time even when Black characters are not at the center of the narrative and, in some cases, completely absent. Goffe also draws on “maroon time” as a kind of freedom that takes the form of anticipation, reclamation, and imagination.  

Margo Crawford’s “What Time Is It When You’re Black” extends the conversation around “anticipation” or the “not yet” of black life. In Crawford’s essay the black vernacular term finna signals the liminal space between the trauma of the historical past and the present by which it is shaped (“the afterlife of the afterlife”). Drawing upon the poetry of Nate Marshall, Toni Morrison’s 2015 novel God Help the Child, and Claudia Rankine’s Citizen (2014) and The White Card (2019), Crawford shows that “finna-tude” is not a state of black hope but a recognition of “a new kind of grammar” that signals the possibility of emancipatory black futures.