obituary

Farewell to Amy Kaplan

Kaplan croppedWe are sorry to learn of the recent death of Amy Kaplan, Edward W. Kane Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania and past president of the American Studies Association. Kaplan was co-editor, with Donald J. Pease, of Cultures of United States Imperialism (1994), a collection which marked a paradigm shift for the field of American Studies, forcing scholars to contend with the United States’s imperialist history. Kaplan also contributed to several edited collections we published: No More Separate Spheres! (2002), September 11 in History (2003), and The Futures of American Studies (2002).

Retired Executive Editor Reynolds Smith worked closely with Kaplan during his time at the Press. He shared these words

Trying to come to terms with the many emotions stirred by Amy’s death brings to mind her gift of quiet calm while the storm rages, her wry and reassuring grin in the midst of the disturbing facts on the ground. What a great loss for, first of all, the inhabitants of this nation, now engaged once again, and perhaps as never before, in trying to figure out how to rescue our country from the failures of its past that still linger, even seemingly proliferate, in the present. Cultures of United States Imperialism was one huge step forward in the struggle to recognize, understand, and accept these failures and move on from them to a greater good. For Amy it was an early step in the direction she followed in the rest of her brilliant career. I share some of the pain I know her friends and family feel, and I send them my deepest condolences at the loss of this very special person, who shined a light into the darkness we must negotiate for our survival and that of all the others who share our world.

Our condolences to Amy Kaplan’s family, friends and colleagues.

Farewell to Tony Allen

Tony_Allen_med_band_cropped_(231308)

Photo by  Tore Sætre

We are sorry to learn of the death of pioneering afrobeat drummer Tony Allen last week. We published Allen’s autobiography, a collaboration with Yale University’s Michael E. Veal, in 2013. Allen, who was 79, died at his home in Paris.

 

Allen was one of the creators of the afrobeat genre and was best known for his collaboration with Nigerian artist Fela Kuti in the 1960s and 70s. He then had a thriving solo career and was still releasing albums and playing gigs through 2019. His latest album, Rejoice, a collaboration with trumpeter Hugh Masekela, was just released in March.

978-0-8223-5591-5_prTony Allen: An Autobiography of the Master Drummer of Afrobeat is based on hundreds of hours of interviews with the musician and scholar Michael E. Veal. Veal says, “I’m so grateful for our friendship. We spent a lot of time hanging out together, and most of it was spent laughing. I just spoke with him by phone two weeks ago and it was just as usual—we laughed and talked for an hour. I can truly say I had some of the best times of my life playing, writing and hanging with Tony.” Of Allen’s music, Veal says, “His groove was spectacular—extraordinary pocket, but loose and jazzy at all times. Kept it moving so beautifully. Knew just when to nail it and just when to let it flow.”

Senior Executive Editor Ken Wissoker acquired the memoir. He says, “Tony Allen was an absolute giant of late twentieth-century popular music, from the time when he was the engine of Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 to his wide-ranging later collaborations. It was a complete honor to publish his memoir, a unique and indelible window into his life, afrobeat, and contemporary pop music.”

Tony Allen is remembered in obituaries in the New York Times, the Guardian, Rolling Stone, the BBC, NPR, Pitchfork, and many other prominent media outlets. We send our best to his friends and family and encourage everyone to seek out his music.

Farewell to Joanna Frueh

We were sorry to learn of the death of artist Joanna Frueh on February 20, 2020. We published Clairvoyance (For Those in the Desert): Performance Pieces, 1979–2004, a collection of  eighteen of her essential performance texts, in 2008. Her work also appears in M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists’ Writings, Theory, and Criticism.

Frueh’s work has been called trailblazing, inspiring, seductive, innovative, liberating, and playful. In 1976 The Feminist Art Journal published Frueh’s first piece of art criticism, and in 1979 she presented her first performance at the Deson Gallery in Chicago. In Chicago during the 1970s Frueh was the director of Artemesia Gallery, one of the first women’s galleries. As a professor of art history, contemporary art was her area of expertise, and she taught studio courses in performance art. Between 1997 and 2006 she was Professor of Art History, and then in 2007, Professor Emerita at the University of Nevada, Reno. Frueh received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women’s Caucus for Art in 2008.

978-0-8223-4040-9_prAlong with Clairvoyance (For Those in the Desert), her books include Erotic Faculties (1996), Monster/Beauty: Building the Body of Love (2001), Swooning Beauty: A Memoir of Pleasure (2006), The Glamour of Being Real (2011), A Short Story about a Big Healing (2013), and Unapologetic Beauty (2019). In 2005 the exhibition Joanna Frueh: A Retrospective, curated by Tanya Augsburg, was at Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV.

In a cover endorsment for Clairvoyance, (For Those in the Desert),  James Elkins of the Art Institute of Chicago wrote, “There is a lot of talk in academia about innovation and independence, but there is also a lot of what Nietzsche called ‘herd mentality.’ For those searching for an independent voice, here it is. Joanna is everything academic critics like: theoretically sophisticated, complex, ambiguous, experimental. She is also a lot of things academic critics don’t trust: openly sexual, oblivious of convention, dreamy, ecstatic, wild beyond classification.”

Joanna Frueh’s personal archives are at Stanford University. She is survived by her beloved spouse Kathleen Williamson of Tucson, Arizona, and her sister Renee Wood, of Willow Springs, Missouri. We at the Press send them our condolences.

 

 

Farewell to Annette Kolodny

Kolodny F12 Author Photo color Photograph by Susanna Corcoran

Photo by Susanna Corcoran

We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Annette Kolodny on September 11 after a long illness. Kolodny was College of Humanities Professor Emerita of American Literature and Culture at the University of Arizona. Kolodny published several books with us.

From 1988 to 1993, Kolodny served as Dean of the College of Humanities at the University of Arizona. Following her tenure, she wrote Failing the Future: A Dean Looks at Higher Education in the Twenty-first Century (1998). The book explored the changing structure of the American family and its impact on both curriculum and university benefits policies, offered recommendations for overhauling the culture of decision making on campus, explored the present state of higher education and offered a sobering view of what lies ahead.

Kolodny also edited a highly-praised edition of The Life and Traditions of the Red Man  (2007) by Joseph Nicolar. The Maine Sunday Telegram said the book’s publication was, “a cause for multicultural celebration and a benchmark event in local, regional and even North American scholarship.”

978-0-8223-5286-0_prIn 2012, Kolodny published the capstone to her long and distinguished career, In Search of First Contact: The Vikings of Vinland, the Peoples of the Dawnland, and the Anglo-American Anxiety of Discovery. The book offers a radically new interpretation of two medieval Icelandic tales, known as the Vinland sagas. Indian Country Today called it “groundbreaking,” and novelist Margaret Atwood shared her enthusiasm for the book on Twitter, calling it “fascinating.”

Read more about Annette Kolodny’s many achievements in her obituary.

We offer our condolences to Professor Kolodny’s colleagues, friends, and family.

 

Farewell to Immanuel Wallerstein

Immanuel_Wallerstein.2008We were saddened to learn of the recent death of esteemed sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein. We published his book World-Systems Analysis in 2004.

Wallerstein taught at Columbia University, Binghamton University (where he led the Fernand Braudel Center for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems and Civilization), and finally at Yale University, where he was a Senior Research Scholar until his death on August 31.

In World-Systems Analysis, Immanuel Wallerstein provided a concise and accessible introduction to the comprehensive approach that he pioneered forty years ago to understanding the history and development of the modern world. Since Wallerstein first developed world-systems analysis, it has become a widely utilized methodology within the historical social sciences and a common point of 978-0-8223-3442-2_prreference in discussions of globalization. Wallerstein explains the defining characteristics of world-systems analysis: its emphasis on world-systems rather than nation-states, on the need to consider historical processes as they unfold over long periods of time, and on combining within a single analytical framework bodies of knowledge usually viewed as distinct from one another—such as history, political science, economics, and sociology. He describes the world-system as a social reality comprised of interconnected nations, firms, households, classes, and identity groups of all kinds.

In 2011, we published a collection of essays about Wallerstein’s important work, Immanuel Wallerstein and the Problem of the World, edited by David Palumbo-Liu, Nirvana Tanoukhi,  and Bruce Robbins. Scholars of comparative literature, gender, geography, history, law, race, and sociology all consider what thinking on the world scale might mean for particular disciplinary practices, knowledge formations, and objects of study. The collection shows the impact of Wallerstein’s ideas throughout academe.

In his cover endorsement for World-Systems Analysis, Kai Erickson of Yale University said, “Immanuel Wallerstein’s mind can reach as far and encompass as much as anyone’s in our time.” He will be greatly missed.