Middle East Studies

New Books in May

As we approach the end of the semester, kick off your summer reading with some of our great new titles! Here’s what we have coming out in May.

Shannen Dee Williams provides a comprehensive history of Black Catholic nuns in the United States in Subversive Habits, tracing how Black sisters’ struggles were central to the long African American freedom movement.

The contributors to Re-Understanding Media, edited by Sarah Sharma and Rianka Singh, advance a feminist version of Marshall McLuhan’s key text, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, repurposing his insight that “the medium is the message” for feminist ends.

In Queer Companions, Omar Kasmani theorizes the construction of queer social relations at Pakistan’s most important Sufi site by examining the affective and intimate relationship between the site’s pilgrims and its patron saint.

In The Impasse of the Latin American Left, Franck Gaudichaud, Massimo Modonesi, and Jeffery R. Webber explore the Latin American Pink Tide as a political, economic, and cultural phenomenon, showing how it failed to transform the underlying class structures of their societies or challenge the imperial strategies of the United States and China.

In Passionate Work, Renyi Hong theorizes the notion of being “passionate about your work” as an affective project that encourages people to endure economically trying situations like unemployment, job change, repetitive and menial labor, and freelancing.

Allan E. S. Lumba explores how the United States used monetary policy and banking systems to justify racial and class hierarchies, enforce capitalist exploitation, and counter movements for decolonization in the American colonial Philippines in Monetary Authorities.

In The Lives of Jessie Sampter, Sarah Imhoff tells the story of the queer, disabled, Zionist writer Jessie Sampter (1883–1938), whose body and life did not match typical Zionist ideals and serves as an example of the complex relationships between the body, queerness, disability, religion, and nationalism.

Jodi Kim examines how the United States extends its sovereignty across Asia and the Pacific in the post-World War II era through a militarist settler imperialism that is leveraged on debt in Settler Garrison.

In Legal Spectatorship, Kelli Moore traces the political origins of the concept of domestic violence through visual culture in the United States, showing how it is rooted in the archive of slavery.

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New Books in December

The year’s wrapping up: grab our last books of 2021! 

Trouillot RemixedTrouillot Remixed gathers work from Haitian anthropologist Michel-Rolph Trouillot, including his most famous, lesser known, and hard to find writings. Together, they demonstrate Trouillot’s enduring importance to Caribbean studies, anthropology, history, postcolonial studies, and politically engaged scholarship more broadly. The volume is edited by Yarimar Bonilla, Greg Beckett, and Mayanthi L. Fernando.

In Multisituated, Kaushik Sunder Rajan proposes a reconceptualization of ethnography as a multisituated practice that speaks to the myriad communities of accountability and the demands of doing and teaching anthropology in the twenty-first century.

In Plantation Life, Tania Murray Li and Pujo Semedi examine the structure and governance of contemporary palm oil plantations in Indonesia, showing how massive forms of capitalist production and control over the palm oil industry replicate colonial-style relations that undermine citizenship.


Media Hot and ColdIn Media Hot and Cold, Nicole Starosielski examines the cultural dimensions of temperature and the history of thermal media such as thermostats and infrared cameras to theorize the ways heat and cold can be used as a means of communication, subjugation, and control.

In African Ecomedia, Cajetan Iheka examines the ecological footprint of media in Africa alongside the representation of environmental issues in visual culture; in doing so, he shows how African visual media such as film, photography, and sculpture deliver a unique perspective on the socio-ecological costs of media production.

In On Living with Television, Amy Holdsworth recounts her life with television to trace how the medium shapes everyday activities, our relationships with others, and our sense of time.

Toward Camden


In Toward Camden, Mercy Romero writes a complex and vibrant story about the largely African American and Puerto Rican Cramer Hill neighborhood in New Jersey where she grew up.

In Becoming Palestine, Gil Z. Hochberg examines how contemporary Palestinian artists, filmmakers, dancers, and activists use the archive in order to radically imagine Palestine’s future.

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Events in September

Several of our authors are giving talks online and even in person this month. Hope you can catch them! Please note the local time zone in each listing.

September 10, 1:00 pm EDT: Brown University Center for Middle East Studies sponsors a talk by Hagar Kotef, author of The Colonizing Self.

September 10, 3 pm EDT: Join the authors and editors of Meridians’ new issue, Transnational Feminist Approaches to Anti-Muslim Racism, for a conversation.

September 16, 6:30 pm EDT and September 17, 11 am EDT: The journal liquid blackness celebrates their first three issues with an online event, Atonal Symphonies: Conversations on Blackness and Liquidity at the Threshold of Thinking and Making.

September 20, 6:00 pm PDT: Joshua Clover, author of Roadrunner, will be in conversation with Justin Desmangles in an event sponsored by City Lights Bookstore.

September 23, 1:00 pm EDT: The CUNY Center for Place, Culture, and Politics sponsors a conversation between Kareem Rabie, author of Palestine Is Throwing a Party and the Whole World Is Invited and Mezna Qato and David Harvey. 

September 25, 2:45 pm EDT: Amitava Kumar appears in person at the Albany Book Festival, in conversation with Ayad Akhtar and Joe Donahue. Kumar is the author of several books, including A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb, and, most recently, Every Day I Write the Book.

September 28, 6:15 pm EDT:  The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University sponsors a talk by Kevin Fellezs, author of Listen But Don’t Ask Question

New Books in May

As you finish up the semester, considering rewarding yourself with new books! Here’s what we have coming out in May.

songbooks In Songbooks, veteran music critic and popular music scholar Eric Weisbard 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.

In Black Bodies, White Gold, Anna Arabindan-Kesson examines how cotton became a subject for nineteenth-century art by tracing the symbolic and material correlations between cotton and Black people in British and American visual culture.

Pollution is Colonialism Max Liboiron models an anticolonial scientific practice in Pollution Is Colonialism, aligned with Indigenous concepts of land, ethics, and relations to outline the entanglements of capitalism, colonialism, and environmental science.

The Genealogical Imagination by Michael Jackson juxtaposes ethnographic and imaginative writing to explore intergenerational trauma and temporality, showing how genealogy becomes a powerful model for understanding our experience of being in the world.

Editor Lisa Björkman and contributors to Bombay Brokers provide thirty-six character profiles of men and women whose knowledge and labor—which is often seen as morally suspect—are essential for navigating everyday life in Bombay, one of the world’s most complex, dynamic, and populous cities.

Christopher Tounsel investigates the centrality of Christian worldviews to the ideological construction of South Sudan from the early twentieth century to the present in Chosen Peoples.

Brian Russell Roberts dispels continental-centric US national mythologies in Borderwaters to advance an alternative image of the United States as an archipelagic nation to better reflect its claims to archipelagoes in the Pacific and Caribbean.

Palestine is throwing a party Palestine Is Throwing a Party and the Whole World Is Invited by Kareem Rabie 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.

Liz P. Y. Chee complicates understandings of Chinese medicine as timeless and unchanging in Mao’s Bestiary by historicizing the expansion of animal-based medicines in the social and political environment of early Communist China.

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New Books in January

If you made a New Year’s resolution to read more, this month we have some great new books to help achieve your goals. Happy New Year!

The future of FalloutJoseph Masco examines the psychosocial, material, and affective consequences of the advent of nuclear weapons, the Cold War security state, climate change on contemporary US democratic practices and public imaginaries in The Future of Fallout, and Other Episodes in Radioactive World-Making.

Andrew Bickford analyzes the US military’s attempts to design performance enhancement technologies and create pharmacological “supersoldiers” capable of becoming ever more lethal while withstanding various forms of extreme trauma in Chemical Heroes.

Drawing on ethnographic research in the Palestinian city of Ramallah, Christopher Harker in Spacing Debt examines how Israel’s use of debt to keep Palestinians economically unstable is a form of slow colonial violence embedded into the everyday lives of citizens.

Whites are the Enemies of Heaven With The Whites are the Enemies of Heaven, Mark W. Driscoll examines Western imperialism in East Asia throughout the nineteenth century and the devastating effects of what he calls climate caucasianism—the West’s racialized pursuit of capital at the expense of people of color, women, and the environment.

In Dear Science and Other Stories Katherine McKittrick presents a creative and rigorous study of black and anticolonial methodologies, exploring how narratives of imprecision and relationality interrupt knowledge systems that seek to observe, index, know, and discipline blackness.

Christopher Freeburg’s Counterlife challenges the imperative to study black social life and slavery and its aftereffects through the lenses of freedom, agency, and domination and instead examines how enslaved Africans created meaning through spirituality, thought, and artistic creativity separate and alongside concerns about freedom.

emancipations daughtersRiché Richardson in Emancipation’s Daughters examines how five iconic black women—Mary McLeod Bethune, Rosa Parks, Condoleezza Rice, Michelle Obama, and Beyoncé—defy racial stereotypes and construct new national narratives of black womanhood in the United States.

Lingzhen Wang examines the work of Chinese women filmmakers of the Mao and post-Mao eras in Revisiting Women’s Cinema to theorize socialist and postsocialist feminism, mainstream culture, and women’s cinema in modern China.

Kaiama L. Glover examines Francophone and Anglophone Caribbean literature whose female protagonists enact practices of freedom that privilege the self, challenge the prioritization of the community over the individual, and refuse masculinist discourses of postcolonial nation building in A Regarded Self.

The Small Book of Hip ChecksErica Rand uses multiple meanings of hip check—an athlete using their hip to throw an opponent off balance and the inspection of racialized gender—to consider the workings of queer gender, race, and writing in the The Small Book of Hip Checks.

Drawing from ethnographic work with queer activist groups in contemporary Turkey, Evren Savcı’s Queer in Translation explores how Western LGBT politics are translated and reworked there in ways that generate new spaces for resistance and solidarity.

Anthony Reed 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 and the ways in which intellectuals, poets, and musicians define black sound as a radical aesthetic practice in Soundworks.

The Bruce B. Lawrence Reader assembles over two dozen selections of writing by leading scholar of Islam Bruce B. Lawrence which range from analyses of premodern and modern Islamic discourses, practices, and institutions to methodological and theoretical reflections on the study of religion.

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New Books in December

As we close out 2020, check out our new December titles.

interimperialityWeaving together feminist, decolonial, and dialectical theory, Laura Doyle theorizes the co-emergence of empires, institutions, language regimes, stratified economies, and literary cultures over the longue durée in Inter-imperiality.

Prathama Banerjee moves beyond postcolonial and decolonial critiques of European political philosophy in Elementary Aspects of the Political to rethink modern conceptions of “the political” from the perspective of Indian and Bengali practices and philosophies from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

the colonizing self

Hagar Kotef in The Colonizing Self explores the cultural, political, spatial, and theoretical mechanisms that enable people and nations to settle on the ruins of other people’s homes, showing how settler-colonial violence becomes inseparable from one’s sense of self.

Bakirathi Mani examines the visual and affective relationships between South Asian diasporic viewers, artists, and photographic representations of immigrant subjects in Unseeing Empire, showing how empire continues to haunt South Asian American visual cultures.

Claiming Union WidowhoodBrandi Clay Brimmer analyzes the US pension system from the perspective of poor black women in the period before, during, and after the Civil War in Claiming Union Widowhood; outlining the struggles of mothers, wives, and widows of black Union soldiers to claim rights in the face of unjust legislation.

Weaving together the black radical tradition with Caribbean and Latinx performance, cinema, music, and literature, Ren Ellis Neyra in The Cry of the Senses highlights the ways Latinx and Caribbean sonic practices challenge antiblack, colonial, post-Enlightenment, and humanist epistemologies.

In Utopian Ruins, Jie Li traces the creation, preservation, and elision of memories about China’s Mao era by envisioning a virtual museum that reckons with both its utopian yearnings and cataclysmic reverberations.

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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.

New Books in November

November is here, and even though we may have the US election and the end of the semester on our minds, there are still new books to celebrate. Check out our November releases. They should all be out before the end of our 50% off sale on November 23, so be sure to check the website frequently. Use coupon code FALL2020 to save.

AnimaliaAnimalia: An Anti-Imperial Bestiary for Our Times is a unique new collection edited by Antoinette Burton and Renisa Mawani. The contributors analyze twenty-six animals—domestic, feral, predatory, and mythical—whose relationship to imperial authorities and settler colonists reveals how the presumed racial supremacy of Europeans underwrote the history of Western imperialism.

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

Liquor Store TheatreIn Liquor Store Theatre, artist and anthropologist Maya Stovall uses her Liquor Store Theatre conceptual art project—in which she danced near her Detroit neighborhood’s liquor stores as a way to start conversations with her neighbors—as a point of departure for understanding everyday life in Detroit and the possibilities for ethnographic research, art, and knowledge creation.

Mimi Sheller’s Island Futures: Caribbean Survival in the Anthropocene delves 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.

Militarized Global ApartheidCatherine Besteman offers a sweeping theorization of the ways in which countries from the global North are reproducing South Africa’s apartheid system on a worldwide scale to control the mobility and labor of people from the global South in her new book Militarized Global Apartheid.

In Biopolitics of the More-Than-Human: Forensic Ecologies of Violence, 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.

For a Pragmatics of the UselessFor a Pragmatics of the Useless by Erin Manning draws on the radical black tradition, process philosophy, and Felix Guattari’s schizoanalysis to explore the links between neurotypicality, whiteness, and black life.

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Elizabeth Ault and Sandra Korn on Our New Titles in Middle East Studies

SocialMediaforConferences_Blog_MESA (3)Our editors look forward to meeting their authors at conferences every year and are sad to be missing out on that this year. The annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association has gone virtual 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 MESA20.

EAult_webInstead of greeting Editor Elizabeth Ault in person this year, check out her recommendations for new titles in the discipline and a great round up of other ways to learn about all the new scholarship that was to be presented at the conference.

Greetings, MESA-goers!! While I can’t say I’m sad to be missing another conference at the Wardman Park Marriott, I am definitely going to struggle to recreate the delightful and spirited encounters that have been the norm at MESA in my first few years of joining with youall. Not to mention the dance party! I’m so impressed by the work the planning committee has done to move panels (…and maybe the dance party??) online and look forward to seeing you there! We definitely need the politically astute, historically rigorous, and deeply engaged scholarship that I’ve been grateful to find centered in my experience of MESA so far. In particular, I’m looking forward to panels that reflect on the recent disaster in Beirut, and that continue to find creative conversations about race, gender, and sexuality in the region.

While we won’t have the impromptu encounters on the dance floor or in the book room, we still have lots of new books and journal issues to share with you this year. You can check out the full slate of new books and journals, including special issues of Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies and Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East here.

But as always, there are some books I’d like to highlight. Two new books from the Theory in Forms series, edited by Achille Mbembe and Nancy Rose Hunt, speak powerfully to the current political moment. Fadi Bardawil’s Revolution and Disenchantment revisits the debates about revolutionary theory, revolutionary practice, and the limits of nationalism that animated the Arab New Left in Lebanon and beyond. 

In The Colonizing Self (out in December), Hagar Kotef centers the role of indigenous displacement and settler violence to the Israeli sense of self, Kotef offers an important reflection on the possibilities of living amid destruction. As Laleh Khalili says, the book shows how “homes, relics and ruins, organic farming, and even convivial hospitality become…the very sites through which the settler colonial force of the Israeli state expands and consolidates its power.”

Another great book on Palestine, Christopher Harker’s Spacing Debt, also out in December, retheorizes debt as a form of slow violence enacted against Palestinians, and traces their strategies of resistance and endurance.

We also have a couple of new books that consider contemporary Persian culture across Iran and the diaspora: Sima Shakhsari’s Politics of Rightful Killing is a digital ethnography that looks back to “Weblogistan,” the imagined community of tens of thousands of transnational Iranian bloggers (mostly outside of Iran) that took shape post-9/11. Shakhsari’s work shows how Weblogistan became a window for both surveillance on Iranian society and dissemination of neoliberal discourses about democracy. With its focus on how national and neoliberal gendered subjectivities are produced, it’s an important reminder about the limits of cyber-optimism. 

Like Shaksari’s bloggers, the L.A.-based musicians of Farzaneh Hemmasi’s Tehrangeles Dreaming are able to express modes of Iranian-ness not possible in Iran. (This is definitely a winner of one of my personal design awards for its amazing ‘80s cassette aesthetic and Matt Tauch’s rad new DUP logo).

And my wonderful colleague Sandra Korn, Assistant Editor acquiring in Religion, has this to add:

I’m excited to recommend two important new books that focus on the global rise of Islamophobia. First, The Moral Triangle by Sa’ed Atshan and Katherina Galor considers how Germans, Israelis, and Palestinians living in Berlin navigate politicized conversations around Israel-Palestine. The co-authors call for a politics of solidarity that can reckon with multiple forms of trauma: Holocaust and Nakba, antisemitism and Islamophobia. Next, Hindutva as Political Monotheism by Anustup Basu considers how Western political theology inspired and shaped the right-wing Hindu nationalism that dominates Narendra Modi’s anti-Muslim government today.

Sandra and I send our best to all of you and look forward to connecting online. Stay safe and take good care in the meantime.

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