Latin American Studies

Series Launch: On Decoloniality

We’re excited to announce the launch of a new book series, On Decoloniality, edited by Walter D. Mignolo and Catherine E. Walsh. Two books are available now, and we look forward to watching the series grow.

On Decoloniality interconnects a diverse array of perspectives from the lived experiences of coloniality and decolonial thought/praxis in different local histories from across the globe. The series identifies and examines decolonial engagements in Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, the Americas, South Asia, South Africa, and beyond from standpoints of feminisms, erotic sovereignty, Fanonian thought, post-Soviet analyses, global indigeneity, and ongoing efforts to delink, relink, and rebuild a radically distinct praxis of living. Aimed at a broad audience, from scholars, students, and artists to journalists, activists, and socially engaged intellectuals, On Decoloniality invites a wide range of participants to join one of the fastest growing debates in the humanities and social sciences that attends to the lived concerns of dignity, life, and the survival of the planet.

Cover of On Decoloniality by Walter D. Mignolo and Catherine E. WalshOn Decoloniality: Concepts, Analytics, Praxis, authored by the series editors, is the first book in the series. Mignolo and Walsh explore the hidden forces of the colonial matrix of power, its origination, transformation, and current presence, while asking the crucial questions of decoloniality’s how, what, why, with whom, and what for. It is ava

The second book, What Does It Mean to Be Post-Soviet? by Madina Tlostanova, traces how contemporary post-Soviet art mediates this human condition. Observing how the concept of the happy future—which was at the core of the project of Soviet modernity—has lapsed from the post-Soviet imagination, Tlostanova shows how the possible way out of such a sense of futurelessness lies in the engagement with activist art.

New Books in June

We wrap up our Spring 2018 season with some great books this month.

978-0-8223-7152-6.jpgFrom Andean antiquity and Spanish colonialism to the present, the latest addition to our Latin America Readers series, The Bolivia Reader provides a panoramic view of Bolivia’s history, culture, and politics through a wide ranging collection of sources, most of which appear here in English for the first time.

Derek P. McCormack’s Atmospheric Things analyzes artistic, political, and technological uses of the balloon to show how its properties and capacities are central to understanding how we sense, perceive, and modify meteorological and affective atmospheres as well as the force of the atmosphere in modern life.

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First appearing in 1964, and long since out of print, Stuart Hall and Paddy Whannel’s landmark book The Popular Arts takes seriously the importance of studying popular culture, thereby opening up an almost unprecedented field of analysis of everything from film, pulp crime novels, and jazz to television and advertising. This edition also includes a new introduction by Richard Dyer, who contextualizes The Popular Arts within the history of cultural studies and outlines its impact and enduring legacy.

In What Does It Mean to Be Post-Soviet Madina Tlostanova traces how contemporary post-Soviet art mediates the post-Soviet human condition through analyses of art and through interviews with artists and writers, showing the important role that radical art plays in building new modes of thought and a decolonial future.

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Featuring 270 full color images, Victorian Jamaica, edited by Tim Barringer and Wayne Modest, explores the extraordinary archive of visual representation and material objects to provide a comprehensive and pluralistic account of Jamaican society during Queen Victoria’s reign, thereby expanding our understanding of the wider history of the British Empire and Atlantic world during this period.

In Posthumous Images Chad Elias analyzes a generation of artists working in Lebanon who interrogate Lebanon’s civil war (1975–1990), showing how their appropriation and creation of images challenge divisive political discourse, give a voice to those silenced and forgotten, and provide the means to reimagine Lebanon’s future.

 

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Jason Borge’s Latin American Jazz Playlist

978-0-8223-6990-5Today we’re pleased to share a playlist and commentary by Jason Borge, author of the new book Tropical Riffs: Latin America and the Politics of Jazz. In the book, Borge traces how jazz helped forge modern identities and national imaginaries in Latin America during the mid-twentieth century. Borge is Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Texas, Austin.

Tropical Riffs is not meant to be a survey or formal analysis of Latin jazz or Latin American jazz per se. Rather, it is a cultural and intellectual history of jazz’s singular impact in the region from the 1920s until the 1980s, with a focus on Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, and Mexico. My book’s central aim is to explain why jazz—or what passed for jazz—resonated so deeply and for so long with such a wide range of Latin American fans, critics, intellectuals, and musicians. It is inevitable that Tropical Riffs would deal with individual artists and recordings, given the region’s prominent though somewhat misunderstood place in the complex transnational circuitry of jazz and 20th century popular music generally. The following playlist gives a sampling of the performers and performances that speak to the main issues covered in the book’s five chapters.

Chapter 1: La civilizada selva: Latin America and the Jazz Age

Adolfo Aviles Jazz Band, “Blue Skies” (Odeon Nacional, 1927)

Ovaldo Viana e Orquestra Romeu Silva, “O Teu Sapateado” (from the film O Jovem Tataravô, dir. Luiz de Barros, 1936)

Like many other Latin American orchestras of the time, the Adolfo Aviles Jazz Band was basically a multi-purpose dance band, adept at interpreting different musical styles to accompany different dances foxtrots and tangos. “Blue Skies” is a popular Tin Pan Alley tune of the 1920s recorded by, among others, Josephine Baker, a huge star in Latin America in the late 1920s. For many, Baker symbolized the Jazz Age not only in terms of her stylized nègre spectacle and performative derring-do but also by bringing a sense of cosmopolitan danger to local audiences. Baker’s fame only increased after she toured several South American cities in 1929. In “O Teu Sapateado,” Ovaldo Viana and the Orquestra Romeu Silva perform in front of a screen filled with images of Baker. Romeu, by the way, was quite familiar with both jazz and Baker, having played with Baker in the early 1930s as well as the clarinetist and soprano saxophonist Booker Pittman, who began his decades-long tenure in Brazil and Argentina as a part of Silva’s orchestra.

Chapter 2: Dark Pursuits: Argentina, Race, and Jazz

Oscar Alemán, “Blues del Adios” [Bye Bye Blues] (Odeon Argentina, 1942)

Gato Barbieri, from Jazz is Alive and Well in New York (documentary, 1973)

Astor Piazzolla with Conjunto Electrónico, “Libertango” (French television: Les rendez-vous du dimanche, March 20, 1977)

In the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, nowhere in Latin America did the passion for jazz rage stronger than in Argentina. Part of the same Parisian milieu as Silva and Baker in the 1930s, the Afro-Argentine guitarist Oscar Alemán was, after Django Reinhardt, probably the most prominent swing guitarist in Europe. Alemán was also a consummate showman and a highly adaptable singer who returned to Buenos Aires as a conquering, semi-authentic, jazz icon—which for most porteño critics and fans normally meant being Black and estadounidense. Gato Barbieri and Astor Piazzolla, like Alemán, achieved fame abroad while wrestling with charged and ambivalent conceptions of jazz (and tango) back home. Barbieri apprenticed as a free jazz player with Don Cherry, then reinvented himself in the late 1960s as a mestizo revolutionary drawing from an assortment of Andean, Brazilian, and other musical sources, as this clip from a French documentary shows. Piazzolla, meanwhile, focused on “swingifying” tango in stints in Europe, the US, and in Argentina. This recording of “Libertango” shows him in his short-lived fusion format, at a time when he was eager to update himself in ways that would resonate with international audiences in the 1970s and 1980s.

Chapter 3: The Anxiety of Americanization: Jazz, Samba, and Bossa Nova

Orquesta Típica Pixinguinha-Donga, “Gavião Calçudo” (Parlophone, 1929)

Carlos Lyra, “Influência do Jazz,” from Depois do Carnaval: O Sambalanço de Carlos Lyra (Philips, 1963)

Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz, “The Girl from Ipanema” (The Hollywood Palace, ABC TV, 1964)

The history of Brazilian popular music of the early to mid-20th century is haunted by the spectre of perceived cultural impurities, often considered synonymous with americanização [Americanization] and jazz in particular. Such fears first came to the fore in the late 1920s with the publication of a series of articles decrying the audible jazz influence of the Orquesta Típica Pixinguinha-Donga, particularly in the Parlophone recordings of the samba-maxixe “Gavião Calçudo” (included here) and Pixinguinha [Alfredo da Rocha Viana Jr.]’s famous composition “Carinhoso.” The anxiety of americanização simmered for several decades, coming to a boil again in the early 1960s with the rise of bossa nova. Tellingly, one of the movement’s early hits—Carlos Lyra’s “Influência do Jazz”—gave explicit if ambivalent expression to samba’s supposed contamination at the hands of jazz. By contrast, US jazz artists like Stan Getz were only too eager to capitalize on bossa’s jazz “problem,” often upstaging the bossanovistas in the process, as this television clip reveals.

Chapter 4: The Hazards of Hybridity: Afro-Cuban Jazz, Mambo, and Revolution

Dizzy Gillespie and His Orchestra, with Chano Pozo, “Manteca” (RCA Victor, 1947)

Pérez Prado and His Orchestra on The Spike Jones Show, May 1, 1954

Irakere, Live in Concert, March 23, 1979, Capitol Theatre (Passaic, NJ)

When Dizzy Gillespie and the Cuban-born percussionist Luciano “Chano” Pozo made music together shortly after the end of the Second World War, New York City became ground zero both for bebop and “Cubop,” or Afro-Cuban jazz. Most jazz critics and historians now generally acknowledge that the Gillespie-Machito-Pozo sessions (such as this recording of Pozo’s composition “Manteca”) signalled the birth of what today is known as Latin jazz. Meanwhile, another jazz-informed, circum-Caribbean hybrid was being born in the nightclubs of Havana and the soundstages of Mexico City. Epitomized (if not created) by the bandleader Dámaso Pérez Prado, mambo was often reduced to caricature in US film and television appearances of the 1950s. In the 1960s, while critics and industry insiders in the United States struggled to come to terms with Afro-Caribbean contributions to transnational popular music, Cuban revolutionary orthodoxy made “jazz” a bad word, in spite of the jazz-like music that continued to be performed on the island.  The jazz prohibition would be blown wide open in the 1970s with the rise of the Cuban jazz-fusion supergroup Irakere.

Chapter 5: Liberation, Disenchantment, and the Afterlives of Jazz

Bix Beiderbecke, “Jazz Me Blues” (Matrix, 1927), one of many jazz recordings mentioned in Rayuela (Hopscotch) by Julio Cortázar

Dave Brubeck, “Nostalgia de Mexico,” from Bravo! Brubeck! (Columbia, 1967)

Tino Contreras, “Santo,” from Misa en jazz (Musart, 1966)

Even after the international popularity of jazz went into slow decline beginning in the 1950s, the music, aggressively promoted abroad by the US State Department, continued to captivate Latin American audiences. This was especially true of writers and intellectuals like the Argentine Julio Cortázar, whose landmark novel Rayuela [Hopscotch, 1963] is chock-full of references to jazz and blues, from Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong to Bix Beiderbecke (included here) and Art Tatum. There were countless musical tributes and quotations as well. In 1966, the Mexican jazz drummer and composer Tino Contreras recorded “Santo,” an unusual homage to Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” and part of Contreras’s conceptually ambitious project, Misa en Jazz [Jazz Mass]. As if to return the favor, Brubeck, one of the main jazz ambassadors of the 1960s and 1970s (along with Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and others), recorded Bravo! Brubeck! live in Mexico in 1967.

Want to learn more about Latin American jazz? Pick up the paperback of Tropical Riffs for 30% off using coupon code E18BORGE on our website.

Hispanic American Historical Review Commemorates 100th Anniversary

ddhahr_98_2_coverHispanic American Historical Review (HAHR) observes its 100th anniversary in 2018 and has marked the occasion with a celebratory video highlighting the history and the future of the journal.

HAHR pioneered the study of Latin American history and culture in the United States and remains a widely respected journal in the field. Today, the journal publishes rigorous scholarship on every facet of Latin American history and culture across thematic, chronological, regional, and methodological specializations.

“It has become the flagship journal of the field, and I think that’s one of the reasons why the field of Latin American history is so much more dynamic than many others,” former HAHR coeditor Jocelyn Olcott states.

Founded in 1918 by University of California professor Charles E. Chapman and University of Illinois professor William S. Robertson, the journal’s first issue featured a letter from sitting President Woodrow Wilson. “I learn with a great deal of interest of the plans for an Ibero-American Historical Review and beg that you will express to all those interested my very sincere approval of the project,” Wilson wrote. “It is a most interesting one and ought to lead to very important results both for scholarship and for the increase of cordial feelings throughout the Americas.”

ddhahr_96_4Hispanic American Historical Review is the oldest journal that focuses on Latin America as a whole in the history field. It was one of the earliest journals dealing with any type of history other than United States history. It really is a pioneer. It has been the major point of reference for people in the field,” said former HAHR coeditor John D. French.

The journal fell into financial crisis in 1922 and ceased publication for four years, when Duke University Press offered a subsidy to support the journal. With publishing and institutional support, the journal has continued publication with Duke University Press since 1926.

HAHR has published over 400 issues and periodically publishes special features, such as forums and special issues. Topics include environmental history, science and medicine, drug history, reproduction, and slavery and race. Online content can be found at read.dukeupress.edu/hahr. The journal also features online resources at hahr-online.com and @HAHR21 on Twitter and @HispanicAmericanHistoricalReview on Facebook.

Since 2017, the HAHR editorial office is based at Pennsylvania State University under the direction of editors Martha Few, Zachary Morgan, Matthew Restall, and Amara Solari, and managing editor Sean Mannion.

“Though we have a long history, this is not a traditional or staid journal and we hope that we’ll have exciting, progressive, and participatory research coming out of the five years that it’s in our hands,” said current coeditor Zachary Morgan.

Commemorate the 100th anniversary of the journal with the video, “Celebrating 100 Years of the Hispanic American Historical Review.”

LASA2018: Find Our Titles in Barcelona

The XXXVI International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association meets later this week in Barcelona. We’re pleased to announce that our books and journals will be available for purchase in the book exhibit at the Combined Academic Publishers booth, #I02. Editor Gisela Fosado will also be attending the conference.

Sins against NatureWe have some terrific new titles in Latin American studies that you can pick up at the conference. Historians will want to check out The FBI in Latin America: The Ecuador Files by Marc Becker. There will be a panel on his book on Saturday, May 26. A City on a Lake by Matthew Vitz tracks the environmental and political history of Mexico City and explains its transformation from a forested, water-rich environment into a smog-infested megacity. Another great history title to pick up is Sins against Nature by Zeb Tortorici, which explores the prosecution of sex acts in colonial New Spain.

If theory is your style, pick up a copy of The Extractive Zone Designs for the Pluriverseby Macarena Gómez-Barris, which traces the political, aesthetic, and performative practices that emerge in opposition to the ruinous effects of extractive capital. Gómez-Barris will be on a panel at LASA called “Extractive Wars” on Friday, May 25.  You should also take a look at Designs for the Pluriverse by Arturo Escobar, which presents a new vision of design theory and practice aimed at channeling design’s world-making capacity toward ways of being and doing that are deeply attuned to justice and the Earth. Escobar appears on a panel about the possibility of cooperation between Latin America and Europe on Wednesday, May 23.

Reclaiming the DiscardedIf your interests lie in anthropology, be sure to check out Reclaiming the Discarded by Kathleen M. Millar, an evocative ethnography of Jardim Gramacho, a sprawling garbage dump on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.

If you’re not able to attend the conference, or if you prefer to order your books rather than carry them in your luggage, we are offering a 30% conference discount. For delivery in North or South America, order from us at dukeupress.edu and use coupon code LASA18 when checking out. For delivery in the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa, or Australia, order from Combined Academic Publishers (CAP) at combinedacademic.co.uk and use coupon code CSF18LASA .

978-0-8223-7109-0The conference discount is good for thirty days, so you’ll be able to order a couple of great titles that we won’t have available in time for LASA as well. Check our website or CAP’s in June to order On Decoloniality: Concepts, Analytics, Praxis by Walter Mignolo and Catherine E. Walsh. It launches their new series of the same name. And also coming in June is the next volume in our popular Latin America Readers series: The Bolivia Reader. Get it for upcoming travel or consider requesting an exam copy and teaching it in your classes next year.

If you’re headed to Barcelona, we wish you a fun and productive meeting. Do stop by the CAP booth and check out our titles. If you aren’t able to attend LASA, we hope you’ll still take advantage of our 30% discount.

Earth Day Reads

Happy Earth Day! We’re pleased to share our latest scholarship in environmental studies—we hope it helps to educate and inspire action around some of the most pressing problems facing our planet today. Learn more about this year’s Earth Day campaign: ending plastic pollution.

978-0-8223-6902-8In Fractivism, Sara Ann Wylie traces the history of fracking and the ways scientists and everyday people are coming together to hold accountable an industry that has managed to evade regulation. A call to action, Fractivism outlines a way forward for not just the fifteen million Americans who live within a mile of an unconventional oil or gas well, but for the planet as a whole.

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Environmental Humanities is a peer-reviewed, international, open-access journal. The journal publishes outstanding interdisciplinary scholarship that draws humanities disciplines into conversation with each other, and with the natural and social sciences, around significant environmental issues. Environmental Humanities has a specific focus on publishing the best interdisciplinary scholarship; as such, the journal has a particular mandate to publish interdisciplinary papers that do not fit comfortably within the established environmental subdisciplines and to publish high-quality submissions from within any of these fields that are accessible and seeking to reach a broader readership. Read the journal here.

In A Primer for Teaching Environmental History, Emily Wakild and Michelle K. Berry offer design principles for creating syllabi that will help students navigate a wide range of topics, from food, environmental justice, and natural resources to animal-human relations, senses of place, and climate change.

ddsaq_116_2_coverAutonomia in the Anthropocene,” a special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly, explores challenges posed to radical politics by an era of anthropogenic global change. Informed by new sites of struggle around extraction, waste, rising seas and toxic landscapes, and by new indigenous and worker movements, the issue rethinks key concepts in the autonomist lexicon — species being, the common, multitude, potentia, the production of subjectivity — in an effort to generate powerful analytical and political resources for confronting the social and ecological relations of informationalized capitalism.

978-0-8223-7040-6Matthew Vitz’s new book A City on a Lake tracks the environmental and political history of Mexico City and explains its transformation from a forested, water-rich environment into a smog-infested megacity plagued by environmental problems and social inequality.

In Landscapes of Power, Dana E. Powell examines the rise and fall of the controversial Desert Rock Power Plant initiative in New Mexico to trace the political conflicts surrounding native sovereignty and contemporary energy development on Navajo (Diné) Nation land. Powell’s historical and ethnographic account shows how the coal-fired power plant project’s defeat provided the basis for redefining the legacies of colonialism, mineral extraction, and environmentalism.

978-0-8223-6374-3Mikael D. Wolfe’s Watering the Revolution transforms our understanding of Mexican agrarian reform through an environmental and technological history of water management in the emblematic Laguna region. By uncovering the varied motivations behind the Mexican government’s decision to use invasive and damaging technologies despite knowing they were ecologically unsustainable, Wolfe tells a cautionary tale of the long-term consequences of short-sighted development policies.

saq_116_1Though the causes and effects of climate change pervade our everyday lives—the air we breathe, the food we eat, the objects we use—the way the discourse of climate change influences how we make meaning of ourselves and our world is still unexplored. Contributors to “Climate Change and the Production of Knowledge,” a special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly, bring diverse perspectives to the ways that climate change science and discourse have reshaped the contemporary architecture of knowledge itself: reconstituting intellectual disciplines and artistic practices, redrawing and dissolving boundaries, and reframing how knowledge is represented and disseminated. The contributors address the emergence of global warming discourse in fields like history, journalism, anthropology, and the visual arts; the collaborative study of climate change between the human and material sciences; and the impact of climate change on forms of representation and dissemination in this new interdisciplinary landscape.

In Energy without Conscience David McDermott Hughes investigates why climate change has yet to be seen as a moral issue, examining the forces that render the use of fossil fuels ordinary and therefore exempt from ethical evaluation. He passionately argues that like slavery, producing oil is a moral choice and that oil is at its most dangerous when it is accepted as an ordinary part of everyday life.

ddpcult_28_2We live in the age of extremes, a period punctuated by significant disasters that have changed the way we understand risk, vulnerability, and the future of communities. Violent ecological events such as Superstorm Sandy attest to the urgent need to analyze what cities around the world are doing to reduce carbon emissions, develop new energy systems, and build structures to enhance preparedness for catastrophe. The essays in “Climate Change and the Future of Cities: Mitigation, Adaptation, and Social Change on an Urban Planet,” a special issue of Public Culture, illustrate that the best techniques for safeguarding cities and critical infrastructure systems from threats related to climate change have multiple benefits, strengthening networks that promote health and prosperity during ordinary times as well as mitigating damage during disasters. The contributors provide a truly global perspective on topics such as the toxic effects of fracking, water rights in the Los Angeles region, wind energy in southern Mexico, and water scarcity from Brazil to the Arabian Peninsula.

New Books in April

 April brings a fresh crop of great new books. Check out what we’re releasing this month.

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In Biblical Porn Jessica Johnson draws on a decade of fieldwork at Pastor Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church in Seattle to show how congregants became entangled in a process of religious conviction through which they embodied Driscoll’s teaching on gender and sexuality in ways that supported the church’s growth.

In Abject Performances Leticia Alvarado explores how Latino artists and cultural producers have developed and deployed an irreverent aesthetics of abjection to resist assimilation and disrupt respectability politics.

Matthew Vitz’s A City on a Lake outlines the environmental history and politics of Mexico City as it transformed its original forested, water-rich environment into a smog-infested megacity, showing how the scientific and political disputes over water policy, housing, forestry, and sanitary engineering led to the city’s unequal urbanization and environmental decline.

In Domesticating Democracy Susan Helen Ellison offers an ethnography of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) organizations in El Alto, Bolivia, showing that by helping residents cope with their interpersonal disputes and economic troubles how they change the ways Bolivians interact with the state and global capitalism, making them into self-reliant citizens.

978-0-8223-7081-9.jpgKatherine Verdery’s My Life as a Spy analyzes the 2,781 page surveillance file the Romanian secret police compiled on her during her research trips to Transylvania in the 1970s and 1980s. Reading it led her to question her identity and also revealed how deeply the secret police was embedded in everyday life.

 In Edges of Exposure, following Senegalese toxicologists as they struggle to keep equipment, labs, and projects operating, Noémi Tousignant explores the impact of insufficient investments in scientific capacity in postcolonial Africa.

 

Examining human rights discourse from the French Revolution to the present, in Human Rights and the Care of the Self Alexandre Lefebvre turns common assumptions about human rights—that its main purpose is to enable, protect, and care for those in need—on their heads, showing how the value of human rights lies in its support of ethical self-care.

Gay PrioriLibby Adler’s Gay Priori offers a comprehensive critique of the mainstream LGBT legal agenda in the United States, showing how LGBT equal rights discourse drives legal advocates toward a narrow array of reform objectives that do little to help the lives of the most marginalized members of the LGBT community.

In From the Tricontinental to the Global South Anne Garland Mahler traces the history and intellectual legacy of the understudied global justice movement called the Tricontinental and calls for a revival of the Tricontinental’s politics as a means to strengthen racial justice and anti-neoliberal struggles in the twenty-first-century.

Aimee Bahng’s Migrant Futures traces the cultural production of futurity by juxtaposing the practices of speculative finance against those of speculative fiction, showing how speculative novels, films, and narratives create alternative futures that envision the potential for new political economies, social structures, and subjectivities that exceed the framework of capitalism.

A Primer for Teaching Environmental History, by Emily Wakild and Michelle K. Berry, is a guide for college and high school teachers who are teaching environmental history for the first time, for experienced teachers who want to reinvigorate their courses, for those who are training future teachers to prepare their own syllabi, and for teachers who want to incorporate environmental history into their world history courses. The book is part of a new series, Design Principles for Teaching History.

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New Books in February

How to get through the cold, dark days of February? With a great new book, of course! Check out what’s releasing this month.

978-0-8223-7084-0Fans of 2016’s Spill are eagerly awaiting the next book in Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s experimental triptych, M ArchiveEngaging with the work of M. Jacqui Alexander and Black feminist thought more generally,  M Archive is a series of prose poems that speculatively documents the survival of Black people following a worldwide cataclysm while examining the possibilities of being that exceed the human.

Ari Larissa Heinrich’s Chinese Surplus examines transnational Chinese aesthetic production—from the earliest appearance of Frankenstein in China to the more recent phenomenon of “cadaver art”— to demonstrate how representations of the medically commodified body can illuminate the effects of biopolitical violence and postcolonialism in contemporary life.

Conditions of the Present collects essays by the late Lindon Barrett that theorize race and liberation in the United States, confront critical blind spots within both academic and popular discourse, and speak across institutional divides and the gulf between academia and the street.

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Arturo Escobar’s Designs for the Pluriverse presents a new vision of design theory by arguing for the creation of what he calls “autonomous design”—a design practice aimed at channeling design’s world-making capacity toward ways of being and doing that are deeply attuned to justice and the Earth.

In The Political Sublime Michael J. Shapiro formulates a new politics of aesthetics by analyzing the experience of the sublime as rendered by a number of artistic and cultural texts that deal with race, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and industrialism, showing how the sublime’s disruptive effects provides the opportunity for a new oppositional politics.

Trevor Getz’s A Primer for Teaching African History is a guide for college and high school teachers who are teaching African history for the first time, for experienced teachers who want to reinvigorate their courses, and for those who are training future teachers to prepare their own African history syllabi. It’s part of a new series, Design Principles for Teaching History, which will also feature books on teaching Environmental History and Gender History.

978-0-8223-7086-4.jpgAssembling a range of interviews, essays, and conversations, Sisters in the Life, edited by Yvonne Welbon and Alexandra Juhasz, narrates the history of African American lesbian media-making during the past thirty years, thereby documenting the important and influential work of this group of understudied and underappreciated artists.

Jason Borge’s Tropical Riffs traces how jazz helped forge modern identities and national imaginaries in Latin America during the mid-twentieth century, showing how throughout the region, jazz functioned as a conduit through which debates about race, sexuality, nation, technology, and modernity raged in newspapers, magazines, literature, and film.

978-0-8223-7070-3.jpgMartin Duberman’s The Rest of It is the untold and revealing story of how Duberman—a major historian and a founding figure in the history of gay and lesbian studies—managed to survive and be productive during a difficult twelve year period in which he was beset by drug addiction, health problems, and personal loss.

In Diaspora’s Homeland Shelly Chan provides a broad historical study of how the mass migration of more than twenty million Chinese overseas influenced China’s politics, economics, and culture and helped establish China as a nation-state within a global system.

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Groundbreaking Study on Incan Khipus Published in Ethnohistory

ddeh_65_1Toward the Decipherment of a Set of Mid-Colonial Khipus from the Santa Valley, Coastal Peru,” by Manuel Medrano and Gary Urton is a groundbreaking study recently published in Ethnohistory.

Khipus, a method of record-keeping used by the Inca, were used to record data using knotted strings. In the past, khipus have proven nearly impossible to decipher and there was a very limited understanding of what they represented. In this article, Harvard junior Manuel Medrano shares what he discovered—the khipus were used to represent names of villagers in a census.

Gary Urton, co-writer and Harvard professor tells the Harvard Gazette:

It’s giving the Incas their own voice. I could never figure out the hidden meanings in these devices. Manny figured them out, focusing on their color, and on their recto or verso (right-hand and left-hand) construction. This was the only case we have discovered so far in which one or more (in this case six) khipus and a census record matches.

Recently featured on All Things Considered, Medrano states:

The khipus are incredible because they compel us to interpret history in multiple dimensions. South America’s the only continent besides Antarctica on which no civilization invented a system of graphical writing for over 10,000 years after the first people arrived. And what that means in the course of history is that the Incas are often defined by what they lack and with a despite clause. In other words, this civilization who never invented the wheel, never invented markets and lacked a system of graphical writing are often defined as never having stumbled upon the wonders of civilization. And this project is aimed at reversing that incorrect narrative.

Read the article, made freely available.

Top Latin American Studies Titles Adopted for Course Use

cuba readerOur Latin American Studies authors are well known for their work in anthropology, art, cultural studies, Caribbean studies, Chicanx and Latinx studies, history, literature, film and media, and politics.

Our Latin American studies e-book collection includes over 500 titles in these subject areas. Many of our journals also cover Latin America. If you’re interested in gaining access to these resources, have your librarian contact our Library Relations team to get more information.

Here are the top 8 Latin American studies titles adopted for course use:

View the title list for the Latin American Studies collection, which features more than 500 e-books.