University Press Week: What’s #NextUp in Journals?

We’re celebrating University Press Week by participating in a blog tour! Today, we’re joining several presses in describing what’s #NextUp for our journals. This coming year, we’re thrilled to welcome two start-up journals to our publishing program: Critical AI and Monsoon: Journal of the Indian Ocean Rim. Both journals will begin publication with Duke University Press in spring 2023.

Critical AI, edited by Lauren M.E. Goodlad, is an interdisciplinary journal based at Rutgers University’s Center for Cultural Analysis and is affiliated with the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science. Open to ideas born of new interdisciplinary alliances; design justice principles; antiracist, decolonial, and democratic political practices; community-centered collaborations; experimental pedagogies; and public outreach, the journal functions as a space for the production of knowledge, research endeavors, and teaching ideas that focus on the ongoing history of machine technologies and their place in the world.

Critical AI is legible to scholars across disciplines as well as to interested readers outside the academy. At the broadest level, the journal’s mission is to widen circles of scholarship across disciplines and national borders, encourage informed citizens, and activate a democratic culture through which the research, implementation, and evaluation of digital technologies is undertaken in dialogue with scholars, students, citizens, communities, policy makers, and the public at large.

Monsoon, edited by Rogaia Mustafa Abusharaf and Jeremy Prestholdt, is an initiative of The Africa Institute. The journal seeks to offer a new forum for presenting research, debating critical themes, and highlighting emerging trends in Indian Ocean studies—with an emphasis on Africa and the Western Indian Ocean. Likewise, it will fill a gap in the extant literature on the region, which has consistently sidelined African and Gulf societies.

The name of the journal—Monsoon—is inspired by seasonal rains and winds for interregional sojourns that have facilitated the integration of the Indian Ocean rim over thousands of years. The journal aims to interrogate these multitudinous forces, examining overlapping forms of cosmopolitanism, circulation, inequality, and exploitation.

Please continue on the blog tour by visiting the other university presses participating today. University of Chicago Press features what’s new with their journals. Medieval Institute Publications introduces their newest journal, Medieval Ecocriticisms. Johns Hopkins University Press highlights their new journal, Cusp. University of Pennsylvania Press shares an interview with Jacob Remes, co-editor of the Journal of Disaster Studies. University of Toronto Press has a post by a member of their journals team. The University of the West Indies Press highlights the Caribbean Conjunctures: The Caribbean Studies Association (CSA) Journal. And Catholic University of America Press introduces their three new journals.

Duke Books and Journals Available Open-Access

It’s Open Access Week! Did you know that you can read many of our books and journals for free? Duke University Press is committed to offering many of our titles in an open-access format. We participate in multiple OA programs, including Knowledge Unlatched, TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem), and SHMP (the Sustainable History Monograph Pilot). Each year we release about a dozen books that are open access. You may be able to read these books online via your own library. You can also find some of them on Project MUSE, OAPEN, and on our own website.

Recent open-access books that you can read for free thanks to our partnership with Knowledge Unlatched include Cocaine, edited by Enrique Desmond Arias and Thomas Grisaffi; Claiming Union Womanhood by Brandi Clay Brimmer; Virulent Zones by Lyle Fearnley; and Embodying Black Religions in Africa and Its Diasporas, edited by Yolanda Covington-Ward and Jeanette S. Jouili.

Our second project with the Sustainable History Monograph Project (SHMP) is Workers Like All the Rest of Them by Elizabeth Quay Hutchison.

Recent books freely available via our partnership with TOME include The Small Matter of Suing Chevron by Suzana Sawyer, Scales of Captivity by Mary Pat Brady, The Florida Room by Alexandra T. Vazquez, and Architecture and Development by Ayala Levin.

Authors and their institutions also help us to make their books available via open access. Many readers are very excited about the open access version of Black Disability Politics by Sami Schalk, which you can read for free now on our website. You can also read Paradoxes of Nostalgia by Penny Von Eschen and Obeah, Orisa, and Religious Identity in Trinidad volumes one and two by Tracey E. Hucks and Dianne M. Stewart for free.

Our open-access journals are Critical Times, Demography, Environmental Humanities, liquid blackness, the Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies, and our newest open-access journal Trans Asia Photography, which joined the Press in 2022. Twentieth-century volumes (1918–1999) of the Hispanic American Historical Review are also available open access.

Many thanks to the libraries and institutions that support all these open-access efforts. Read more about open access at Duke University Press here.

Keywords in Caribbean Studies: A Small Axe Project

We are pleased to share a new annual special section from Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism: “Keywords in Caribbean Studies: A Small Axe Project”, a collaborative effort to examine the genealogy and contemporary lexicon of Caribbean cultural-political terms. The featured section will be published in each July issue of Small Axe, beginning with volume 26, no. 2 (68), which covers the multiplicity of meaning and fraught history of Caribbean discourse terms zwart, negro/a/x, négre, and Black.

“Our keywords project is an exercise in critical vocabulary that is less preoccupied with the production of a singular, authoritative definition for a term than it is with a genealogy of that term’s history and usage,” write the editors about the new special section. “In an effort to synthesize the historical meanings and enduring significance of terms that define our region and guide our study, we seek to trace histories of concepts and speculate imaginatively about their future uses and directions.”

Through this annual published conversation, Small Axe provides a space for readers and scholars to remain attentive to the tension, depth, and complexity of language while invigorating creative new thinking on contemporary and future studies in the Caribbean. Read the introduction to the inaugural collection of essays, made freely available.

2022 Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Award Winner Announced

We’re pleased to announce the winner of the 2022 Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Award, given by the Research Centre for Translation to original research in Chinese Translation Studies: “Chinese Folklore for the English Public: Herbert A. Giles’s 1880 Translation of Pu Songling’s Classical Tales” by Shengyu Wang, published in Comparative Literature volume 73, issue 4. Read the essay, freely available for three months, here.

“Stephen C. Soong (1919–1996) was a prolific writer and translator, as well as an active figure in the promotion of translation education and research,” writes the RCT on their website. “To commemorate his contributions in this field, the Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards were set up in 1997 by RCT, with a generous donation from the Soong family. It gives recognition to academics who have made contributions to original research in Chinese Translation Studies, particularly in the use of first-hand sources for historical and cultural investigations.”

Congratulations to Shengyu Wang!

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.

Sign up to receive email alerts when a new issue of Trans Asia Photography is published.

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.

Sign up to receive email alerts when a new issue of Agricultural History is published.

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.”