Press News

Support Duke University Press on Giving Tuesday

This Giving Tuesday, please consider supporting the innovative, interdisciplinary scholarship we publish here at Duke University Press! Over the years, our publications have developed new areas of study that transform current thinking and open up new avenues to effect positive change in our world. Our mission-driven publishing work relies on individual and institutional contributions. We are grateful to the many authors who donate their royalties each year to sustain our publications and to the authors, readers, librarians, and other supporters who help make our work possible. Consider supporting our work through one of the six funds listed below.

Translation Fund
Our Translation Fund supports the translation of crucial intellectual work originally published in languages other than English. To date, this fund has supported eight translations of important works, including Achille Mbembe’s Necropolitics (2019) and Françoise Vergès’s The Wombs of Women (2020). Donate to the Translation Fund.

Scholars of Color First Book Fund
This fund supports books authored by scholars of color which show extraordinary promise as important scholarly interventions. This fund helps us maintain our commitment to publish works by rising stars and to celebrate books by scholars of color, especially those who might otherwise not receive recognition and support from their institutions. The fund supports production expenses, including the cost of indexing, which is ordinarily paid for by authors. Donate to the Scholars of Color First Book Fund.

Editorial Director Gisela Fosado says, “Every first book we publish is usually tied to a happy tenure story. Supporting first books by scholars of color is therefore essential to fundamental changes we need in higher education.” Read our blog post about the first cohort of award recipients.

The Lauren Berlant Fund for Utopian Thought
This fund celebrates the life and work of long-time author Lauren Berlant. The fund supports critical-creative and interdisciplinary books that take intellectual risks with both the conception and form of scholarly work, in order to discover how problems look different, and solutions look possible, when we show up to them differently—and together. Awards will be given annually by Duke University Press editors to titles that are distinguished by their creativity in thought and/or attentiveness to the challenges of working within their chosen form. The funds will be used to help cover production costs for the book and will help support the author’s costs as well. Donate to the Lauren Berlant Fund for Utopian Thought.

World Readers Fund
Our World Readers Fund supports the publication of our Latin America Readers and World Readers series—two series that involve extensive translation and permissions costs. Books in these series provide vivid, thought-provoking introductions to the history, culture, and politics of countries, cities, and regions around the world. Each volume features dozens of original documents, most of which have been translated into English for the first time. Donate to the World Readers Fund.

Demography Journal Fund
Publishing the data of disparity and inequality on a regular basis, Demography is a quintessential Duke University Press publication in that it disseminates peer-reviewed research designed to make the world a better and more equitable place for all. The flagship journal of the Population Association of America (PAA), Demography became open access in 2021 as it joined the Duke University Press journals publishing program. Demography’s open-access funding model relies entirely on financial support from individuals, libraries, and other institutions. The 2020 Journal Citation Reports ranked Demography as #1 in citations and #2 in impact factor in its field. Donate to the Demography Journal Fund.

“We were excited to see the announcement that Demography had switched to a fully open-access model with Duke University Press. OA models like this do not charge fees to readers and are instead supported by institutions, societies, and individuals. … Efforts like this one move the needle towards a more sustainable publishing system that prioritizes the advancement of human knowledge,” shared Colleen Lyons, Head of Scholarly Communications at the University of Texas at Austin Libraries.

Duke University Press General Publication Fund
As a nonprofit publisher, our donors are critical to our continued success. Your gift will support the publication of cutting-edge new books and journals. Donate to the Duke University Press General Publication Fund.

Introducing Our Spring 2022 Catalog

We’re excited to unveil our Spring 2022 catalog. Check out some highlights below and then download a copy for a closer look. These titles will be published between January 2022 and August 2022. Publication dates are subject to change.

The cover of the catalog features a painting by Zhong Biao that will appear on the cover of Yan Lianke’s book Discovering Fiction. Yan is best known as an award-winning novelist, but we are honored to now publish his first work of literary criticism in English. Yan offers insights into his views on literature and realism, the major works that inspired him, and his theories of writing. The book is translated by Carlos Rojas.

Opening the catalog is The Emancipation Circuit by Thulani Davis. A poet and longtime writer for theater, film, and journalism, this is Davis’s first academic book, an interdisciplinary history that provides a sweeping rethinking of Reconstruction by tracing how the four million people newly freed from bondage created political organizations and connections that mobilized communities across the South.

We also have history from Penny M. Von Eschen, whose Paradoxes of Nostalgia examines the Cold War’s afterlife and the lingering shadows it casts over geopolitics, journalism, and popular culture; and The Doctor Who Would Be King, by Guillaume Lachenal, which tells the extraordinary story of Dr. Jean Joseph David, a French colonial army doctor who governed an entire region of French Cameroon during World War II. You’ll also want to check out Shannen Dee Wiliams’s book on the history of Black Catholic nuns, Subversive Habits. And teachers of history will be pleased to see the latest title in our Design Principles for Teaching History series, A Primer for Teaching Digital History by Jennifer Guiliano.


For poetry fans, we are publishing poet Nathaniel Tarn’s memoir, Atlantis, as well as the final book in David Grubbs’s trilogy about performing, Good night the pleasure was ours. We are also bringing Dionne Brand’s highly praised book The Blue Clerk into paperback.

We are excited to feature a novel in this season, LOTE by Shola von Reinhold, which was published in the UK in 2020. It won the 2021 Republic of Consciousness Prize and the 2021 James Tait Black Prize. It’s a decadent queer literary debut that immerses readers in the pursuit of aesthetics and beauty, while interrogating the removal and obscuring of Black figures from history. 

Those interested in queer theory and gay, lesbian, and transgender studies will want to check out Black Trans Feminism by Marquis Bey, which offers a meditation on blackness and gender nonnormativity in ways that recalibrate traditional understandings of each, conceiving of black trans feminism as a politics grounded in fugitivity and the subversion of power. In Sissy Insurgencies, Marlon B. Ross explores the figure of the sissy as central to how Americans have imagined, articulated, and negotiated black masculinity from the 1880s to the present. We’re also excited to be publishing the first English translation of Guy Hocquenghem’s Gay Liberation after May ′68, which situates his theories of homosexual desire in the realm of revolutionary practice. “The t4t Issue,” forthcoming from TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, investigates the multiple meanings associated with t4t, and “Queer Fire: Liberation and Abolition” from GLQ considers prison abolition as a project of queer liberation and vice versa. Also check out Selfie Aesthetics by Nicole Erin Morse, The Lives of Jessie Sampter by Sarah Imhoff, and Lesbian Potentiality and Feminist Media in the 1970s by Rox Samer.

The Mexico Reader, originally published in 2003, is one of our bestselling books of all time, and we’re thrilled to announce a new edition, fully revised and updated. This edition features new selections that address twenty-first century developments, including the rise of narcopolitics, the economic and personal costs of the United States’ mass deportation programs, the political activism of indigenous healers and manufacturing workers, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s edited by Gilbert M. Joseph and Timothy J. Henderson. Other Latin American studies offerings include The Small Matter of Suing Chevron by Suzana Sawyer, Workers Like All the Rest of Them by Elizabeth Quay Hutchison and The Impasse of the Latin American Left by Franck Gaudichaud, Massimo Modonesi, and Jeffery R. Webber.

Several new books and journals explore issues of climate change and the anthropocene. Climate Lyricism by Min Hyoung Song shows how literature, poetry, and essays by a variety of contemporary authors help us to better grapple with our everyday encounters with climate change and its disastrous effects, which are inextricably linked to the legacies of racism, colonialism, and extraction. Yuriko Furuhata’s Climatic Media traces climate engineering from the early twentieth century to the present, emphasizing the legacies of Japan’s empire-building and its Cold War alliance with the United States. In Plastic Matter, Heather Davis traces plastic’s relations to geology, media, biology, and race to show how matter itself has come to be understood as pliable, disposable, and consumable. Tracing colonialism alongside the history of anticolonial struggles in the Americas, in Planetary Longings, Mary Louise Pratt shows how the turn of the twenty-first century marks a catastrophic turning point in the human and planetary condition. The contributors to Kin, edited by Thom van Dooren and Matthew Chrulew, draw on the work of anthropologist Deborah Bird Rose (1946–2018), a foundational voice in environmental humanities, to examine the relationships of interdependence and obligation between human and nonhuman lives. And “The Urban Climate Insurgency,” an issue of Social Text, explores grassroots movements that advocate for radical climate change politics and justice in cities.

Also look for social and cultural theory from AbdouMaliq Simone, Elisabeth R. Anker, and Neferti X. M. Tadiar; media studies titles from Lynn Spigel, Shani Orgad and Rosalind Gill, Mila Zuo, Jennifer Petersen, Henning Schmidgen, Kelli Moore and Eldritch Priest; anthropology from Todd Meyers, Thomas Hendriks, Omar Kasmani, Sarah E. Vaughn, Kimberly Theidon, and Stefan Ecks; and Asian studies from Vicente L. Rafael, Eleana J. Kim, Sophie Chao, Fran Martin, Naoki Sakai, Ban Wang, and Charlie Yi Zhang.

There’s so much more in this great new catalog, so download it now! And be sure to sign up for our email alerts so you’ll know when titles you’re interested in are available.

University Press Week: Q&A on the Scholarly Publishing Collective

We’re celebrating University Press Week by participating in a blog tour! Today, we’re joining several presses in describing how we #KeepUP by innovating and collaborating. After reading our post, visit the Temple University Press blog to learn about North Broad Press, check out the University of North Georgia Press’s post about their collaboration with Affordable Learning Georgia, and read the University of Cincinnati Press’s post on when a book is more than the printed word. Syracuse University Press writes about audiobooks today, Texas Tech University Press spotlights collaborations with organizations dedicated to publishing early-career writers, and the University of Notre Dame Press highlights its new grant-funded projects. Oregon State University Press describes local collaborations addressing climate change, Leuven University Press posts about the KU Leuven Fund for Open Access, Princeton University Press discusses its Supporting Diverse Voices Grants, and Athabasca University Press presents a collaboration with the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning. Finally, Clemson University Press launches a new imprint with a local library consortium, Bucknell University Press discusses partnerships between small and large university presses, the University of Toronto Press covers the relationship between editors and marketers, and Columbia University Press presents a Q&A about changes in book publishing and design. We hope you’ll take some time to check out a few of these great projects!

In 2021, Duke University Press partnered with Longleaf Services to provide journal fulfillment services to Cornell University Press, Texas Tech University Press, and UNC Press. In January 2022, Duke University Press will debut an expanded set of services with the full launch of the Scholarly Publishing Collective (“the Collective”). The Collective will provide journal services including subscription management, fulfillment, hosting, and institutional marketing and sales and will welcome four new partners: Michigan State University Press, Penn State University Press, SBL Press, and the University of Illinois Press. For University Press Week, we spoke with Allison Belan, Director for Strategic Innovation and Services at Duke University Press, about what the Collective is, what it hopes to do, and what it means for the future of university press publishing.

What is the Scholarly Publishing Collective?

The Scholarly Publishing Collective is an initiative from Duke University Press, begun in response to needs we were hearing from fellow university press journal publishers (“UPs”). UPs face a dearth of options for infrastructure, sales, and hosting. The Scholarly Publishing Collective affords these publishers, especially those who don’t have the resources that we have built over the last fifteen years, a vibrant and sustainable option. 

Essentially, the Collective offers the nonprofit scholarly publishing community—largely UPs or society publishers—some core services: subscription and fulfillment management for print and/or electronic subscriptions; direct collection sales to the institutional and consortium market; and digital content hosting and access fulfillment.

What is Duke University Press’s role in the Collective?

Duke University Press has developed infrastructure for our own publishing program that we can share with our fellow UP journal publishers and society publishers, to support them at a time when sustaining their journals program is critical to sustaining their overall mission. Our technology toolkit lets us scale our hosting infrastructure to support 150 additional journals on top of our sixty and more in the future. More than fifteen years of investment and experience and skill-building have gone into being able to do this, and we want to leverage our experience for our Collective partners. 

Part of the theme for this year’s University Press Week, “Keep UP,” is a celebration of how UP publishing has changed over the past decade. Do you think something like the Collective would have been possible ten years ago?

Another way to think about the question might be “Was it needed ten years ago?” And the answer is probably “No.” There were a greater number of providers in these different service spaces then. In addition, there were ways other than direct subscriptions for UP journal programs to basically generate the revenue they needed and make the scholarship available in the formats that librarians wanted, such as by licensing the journal content to aggregators and earning royalties on it. 

In the last ten years, though, both the services marketplace and the institutional marketplace have changed significantly. There are many fewer options available to nonprofit journal publishers to offer and fulfill institutional subscriptions to electronic journals, and revenues from aggregation royalties have leveled off or are not as easy to access for new journals. Several UPs eliminated their subscription sales and content platform management capabilities between 2010 and 2015, turning to JSTOR’s hosting and direct subscription services and the Project MUSE aggregation, as well as others, to generate revenue. When JSTOR announced the sunset of its Journal Hosting Program at the end of 2021, it left a lot of nonprofit publishers without institutional order management and digital hosting capabilities. In addition, consolidation means we’re down to just a handful of commercial platform service providers and a handful of journal subscription and fulfillment management services.

But the piece of the puzzle that’s really been missing in recent years is marketing and sales to international institutions and to consortia. These markets have become so much more critical in the last decade as sales to North American institutions have slowed. And when you move into the international market, you’re often trying to get the attention of consortia who can only engage if the publisher brings a certain bulk to the table. They cannot manage deals with a multitude of smaller publishers. It’s more important than ever to reach these markets to grow and sustain the overall mission, and UPs and societies don’t necessarily have the in-house marketing and sales expertise necessary to navigate this really specific context.

The other part of the University Press Week theme focuses on how UPs produce “forward-thinking work,” making them “a force to keep up with.” How does the Collective contribute to that?

I see “Keep UP” as an imperative, one that then requires “forward-thinking work.” The Collective is happening now because several UP journal publishers saw the need to keep up at the same time that they were losing the capacity to do so, as the services market consolidated and the consortium market changed. That drove the group to have conversations that weren’t possible in the past. I remember times—2007, 2010, 2014—when folks in the UP journal world tried to explore collaborations, saying “We have a shared set of interests. Could we combine our resources? Could we cooperate more?” Those conversations typically faltered at “But we’re competitors, and we’re doing okay on our own. Maybe we don’t need to.” 

Clearly, we’ve reached a point where we need to collaborate. That’s especially true given that so many services out there are geared toward marketing and presenting STEM content. The Collective is a recognition that university presses know humanities and social science journals the best and understand the market for them the best. 

Do you see the Scholarly Publishing Collective as a way for university presses to demonstrate to their journal editors and societies that, yes, UPs are the right place to be?

Absolutely. Very few UPs on their own can offer what the commercial publishers can in terms of raw resources and income. But through the Collective, the partners expand their ability to disseminate, promote, and increase the impact of scholarship.  

The Collective’s online platform provider is Silverchair. In addition to hosting Duke University Press’s e-book and digital journal collections, Silverchair is home to publications from the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Wolters Kluwer. The Collective publishers can say to their editors and members, “You are getting the best digital publishing platform technology there is, while also benefiting from the responsive and individualized care that a university press provides.” 

Through the Collective, the publishers can also offer journals sales representation to the global library market, including large consortia that wouldn’t otherwise be able to engage with a single publisher. The Duke University Press sales team has long-standing relationships in that market. Our team is known and respected and appreciated by consortia representatives and sales agents, and we can tap into that to bring attention to the publishers’ collections and journals.

Do you see increased collaboration along these lines as the future of UP publishing?

I do. It’s my hope that we, the scholarly journals community, will continue to find ways to leverage our knowledge, expertise, and skill to enrich the entire community. Journal publishing is a complex business and it’s challenging to do it well. We see the Collective as a space in which current and future partners can all get a closer look at what each is doing particularly well and then share that knowledge and these strategies and tactics, as well as cultivate new collaborations. The UP community is noted for its generosity; as our publishers gain insights that could benefit the whole, we can share them through all the channels that AUPresses makes available to us, like UP Commons, webinars, and annual meeting sessions.

Open Access Week: Trans Asia Photography joins Duke University Press

To kick off Open Access Week this year, we’re proud to announce that Trans Asia Photography, an open-access journal, is joining the Duke University Press publishing program beginning with its 2022 volume. We’re thrilled to have TAP on board!

TAP, a biannual journal edited by Deepali Dewan, Yi Gu, and Thy Phu, is the first and only open-access international peer-reviewed journal devoted to the interdisciplinary exploration of historic and contemporary photography from Asia and across the Asian diaspora. 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. Bridging photography and area studies, the journal rethinks transnational and transcultural approaches and methodologies. The journal brings together the perspectives of scholars, critics, and creatives across the humanities and social sciences to advance original and innovative research on photography and Asia, and to reflect and encourage quality, depth, and breadth in the field’s development. 

“The editorial team of Trans Asia Photography is thrilled to join Duke University Press,” wrote the editors. “Since its founding more than a decade ago, TAP has maintained its commitment to be at the forefront of scholarship on Asia and photography, both nurturing and reflecting this emerging field. Central to its success has been a commitment to open-access publication, which has allowed us to move beyond a western academic audience to scholars, curators, artists, and professionals in Asia and beyond. We are excited that Duke University Press shares our commitment to open-access principles. Indeed, we can think of no better home than Duke for carrying out the journal’s vision for transforming the history of photography by centering Asia and for re-thinking Asia through the study of photography.”

From the beginning, the journal was conceived as an online resource where readers from anywhere could read about previously unknown histories of photography, engage with new ways of thinking about past and present photographic work, see photographs that otherwise would be unavailable to them, and learn about relevant books, archives, exhibitions, and symposia. By centering photographic practices of Asia and its diasporas, the journal foregrounds multiple ways of seeing, knowing, and being, which are distinct yet inseparable from other regional formations.

“The addition of TAP adds another exciting publication to DUP’s growing list of outstanding open-access titles,” wrote Erich Staib, Associate Journals Director. “We are delighted to be working together with the editors to further develop the journal and increase its global profile. TAP joins DUP’s broad presence in Asian studies and will be a strong complement to the publishing we do across the field and beyond it.”

Recent issues of the journal have centered on the title’s keywords “trans” and “Asia,” and readers can look forward to TAP’s spring issue examining “photography” to close out this series. Future issues of the journal will focus on themes of amateurism, photobooks, and digitalities.

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How Global Supply Chain Issues Are Affecting Duke University Press

Wherever you turn these days, people are talking about global supply chains. Shortages of everything from toilet paper to appliances to automobiles are vexing consumers and retailers alike. Unfortunately, publishing and bookselling are no different. The New York Times and Vox have both reported on how paper shortages, ink shortages, the closure of printing plants, and snarls in the global shipping industry have affected the publishing industry. 

Here at Duke University Press we are feeling the effects of these issues as well. For the past few months, we have experienced delays at our printers that have led us to lengthen production schedules on all our Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 titles, adding four weeks on average to each schedule. We are also finding that it takes longer for books to ship from the printer to our warehouse, causing further delays. Reprints ordered when a book sells out of its initial printing are also delayed along with new books.

Global shipping delays are causing orders placed on our website to take longer to reach our customers. The US Postal Service has experienced delays and is officially lengthening their expected service times this month. Carriers like UPS and Federal Express also have driver shortages that increase domestic shipping times. International shipping is especially slow due to pile-ups at US ports and a decreased reliance on air shipments for packages. CBS Sunday Morning covered these issues earlier this month and the New York Times recently wrote about the backlog at ports. 

We initially set schedules for books about 11-12 months from publication. Some authors and customers who have been tracking the schedule of a Fall 2021 or Spring 2022 title may have seen one publication date a few months ago, and a new one this fall. We know this change is frustrating. It’s frustrating to the media as well, who count on knowing a pub date at least six months out to plan their coverage. And it’s frustrating for our staff, planning their work. 

Director of Editing, Design, and Production Amy Ruth Buchanan says, “In my 26 years in publishing, this supply chain crisis is one of the worst disruptions we have ever had to navigate. Understaffed printing plants, paper shortages, and freight challenges are converging to make this season extraordinarily difficult to manage. Every time an advance arrives in my mailbox I celebrate!”

E-book links on our website

One side effect of the delays has been that our e-books are now available several weeks before our print books. Customers who are especially eager to read a book that has been delayed can purchase the e-book or get it through their library while they wait for the print. We hope this will be helpful if a book has already been scheduled for a syllabus or an event was planned months ago. If the e-book is available for a title, you’ll see a list of links to the various retailers beneath the price on our website. 

As we navigate these delays, we ask for your patience. If you would like to order books for the holidays, we suggest you shop now. If you wish to have a book shipped outside of North and South America, we encourage you to order from our UK-based distributor, Combined Academic Publishers. They will often honor our coupon codes. Canadian customers can consider ordering from their favorite local bookstore, who may be able to get stock directly from our Canadian distributor and avoid border delays.

If you are serving on an awards committee and a book you’re expecting to be submitted hasn’t arrived, please reach out to us and ask about it. It may be stuck in transit. Similarly, let us know if a review copy hasn’t reached you.

We’re doing our best to keep our authors updated as soon as we know of any schedule delay. We suggest that authors not schedule any events or book launches until at least six weeks after your project editor tells you your book will be in our warehouse. If you have questions about your book’s schedule you can contact either your project editor or your publicist. 

We see these disruptions lasting at least through fall 2022 and again ask for your patience as an author, customer, bookseller, or reviewer. 

Save 50% During Our Fall Sale

We’re excited to announce the start of our Fall Sale. Today through October 15, you can save 50% on all in-stock books and journal issues with coupon code FALL21.

Everyone interested in making change in academe will want a copy of Sara Ahmed’s Complaint! Other hot new titles include Birthing Black Mothers by Jennifer C. Nash, Philosophy for Spiders by McKenzie Wark, Magical Habits by Monica Huerta, and Reckoning with Slavery by Jennifer L. Morgan.

Our distributor in the UK, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Pacific, Combined Academic Publishers, is pleased to extend the same 50% off discount to our customers there. Since overseas shipping is very slow these days, we highly encourage everyone in their territory to order directly from them using the same FALL21 coupon code.

Here’s the usual fine print: The discount does not apply to apparel, journals subscriptions, or society memberships. You can’t order out-of-stock or not yet published titles at the discount. And you can’t combine multiple orders to maximize the discount. Regular shipping applies and all sales are final.

If you have any difficulty ordering via our website, you can call our customer service department at 888-651-0122 during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 8-5 Eastern Time).

The sale ends Friday, October 15 at 11:59 pm Eastern Time. A number of new titles will be released between now and then so shop now and be sure to check back later as well!

Scholars of Color First Book Award

We are excited to congratulate the first cohort of books receiving the new Scholars of Color First Book Award. The award supports innovative and important books authored by scholars of color, as indicated through the review process. This fund supports and exemplifies our commitment to publish works by rising stars and to celebrate books with exceptional promise by scholars of color who might otherwise not receive recognition and support from their institutions. On average, we publish 36 first books each year, many of which are written by scholars of color, and we select several per season for the award.

Duke University Press Director Dean Smith says, “The Scholars of Color First Book Award enables us to support innovative and emergent voices at the beginning of their careers and create open spaces for experimentation and risk-taking—and it further reinforces our commitment to the centering of marginalized perspectives from scholars at every stage in their careers.”

The Scholars of Color First Book award is made possible by Duke University Press authors who donate their book royalties to help support innovative work by junior scholars of color. Many reviewers have also donated their honoraria. As part of this award, the Press covers the costs of indexing. 

Editorial Director Gisela Fosado says, “Every first book we publish is usually tied to a happy tenure story.  Supporting first books by scholars of color is therefore essential to fundamental changes we need in higher education. It’s been heartening to see the wave of support for this initiative both by folks who have donated to the fund and also by the award recipients and our many dedicated book readers.” 

Like most scholarly book publishers, our books program is not self-supporting. You can now donate to the award, as well as to other Press funds, on our website.

Check out the inaugural award winners below. A few of them are out now and the rest will be published over the next few months.

Farewell to Lauren Berlant

berlant1We are deeply sorry to learn of the death of theorist Lauren Berlant following a long illness. Berlant was the author or editor of six books with us. They were also a founding editor of the series Writing Matters! and Theory Q and a contributor to many edited collections and journal issues. 

Berlant was George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago, where they taught since 1984. Their first title with us was The Queen of American Goes to Washington City (1997), which Judith Butler called “a keen and disarming book.” They followed it up with The Female Complaint (2008) and then with Cruel Optimism (2011), which became their most popular book, reaching outside the academy and inspiring art and even a punk song. Writing in The Progressive, queer humorist Kate Clinton said, “If you are looking for some new language to use to describe the current crisis of hope, read Cruel Optimism. . . . It is a wild, deeply witty examination of our attachments to food, love, politics, family, and pop culture.” Berlant’s most recent book was Reading Sedgwick (2019), an edited collection on the work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick.

978-0-8223-5111-5_prCruel Optimism was the winner of the American Comparative Literature Association 2012 Rene Wellek Award. In 2019, Berlant received the  Hubbell Medal for Lifetime Achievement from the American Literature Section of Modern Language Association. They were also a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Berlant contributed to a number of our journals, including Social Text, SAQ, the minnesota review, and Public Culture. We have made their 2012 interview in Qui Parle freely available until September 2021.

Berlant especially liked working collaboratively and published two co-written books with us, Sex, or the Unbearable (2013), with Lee Edelman, and The Hundreds (2019), with Kathleen Stewart. In an interview with UChicago News, Berlant said, “Other people’s minds are amazing. Collaboration is like a super-intensified version of teaching, where you and somebody else are working something out, and you’re building on each other—but you’re also just missing each other. There’s the complete joy of the ‘not me.’ Seeing somebody else at work, seeing somebody else’s generativity and seeing how, together, you can compose things that neither of you could have done by yourself.” Stewart says of Berlant, “Lauren held a door in the world open for so many of us. Now we shoulder on, in gratitude. The outpouring of love from everywhere is the biggest testimony to Lauren’s beauty and impact.”

The HundredsNot long after the publication of The Hundreds, Berlant was profiled by Hua Hsu in The New Yorker, an unusual honor for an academic, and a testament to the huge reach of Berlant’s work. Writing about The Hundreds, Hsu says, “In Berlant and Stewart’s hands, affect theory provides a way of understanding the sensations and resignations of the present, the normalized exhaustion that comes with life in the new economy. It is a way of framing uniquely modern questions.” 

Around the Press, those who worked with Berlant are deeply mourning the loss. Senior Executive Editor Ken Wissoker said, “I’ve known Lauren since shortly after they arrived at the University of Chicago in the mid-1980s. Lauren had a singularly brilliant mind, questioning their own thoughts mid-sentence in pursuit of a better account.  In book after book Lauren advanced a fully connected project, one with deep political commitments, but one that could never be fully known in advance. One of the greatest theorists of their generation— someone always generously reaching out to smart younger scholars—it was the greatest privilege to be their publisher and friend.”

Design Manager Amy Ruth Buchanan designed many of Berlant’s books, including the now iconic cover for Cruel Optimism. She says, “Lauren Berlant was one of the kindest, smartest, and most appreciative and generous authors a publisher could hope to work with. I am so sad to learn of their passing.”

Executive Editor Courtney Berger says, “Lauren was a fierce intellectual who relentlessly challenged our assumptions about gender, sex, nation, and feeling. Lauren was also an incredibly generous collaborator who sought out opportunities to think alongside and in conversation with others. Even as they dwelled on the structural violence and difficulties of thriving in a world dominated by capitalism, racism, and sexism, Lauren saw the potential for us to radically transform our relationship to the world and to ourselves. Lauren was a wit, who liked to share and hear new jokes. They loved cats, silly cat photos, and elaborate cat furniture. And they could always direct you to the best vegan food in town. Above all, Lauren was a friend and a comrade, and I will miss them terribly.”

Berger has been working with Berlant on their final book, On the Inconvenience of Other People. Berlant turned the manuscript in just a few weeks before their death and we expect to publish it in Fall 2022. In the new book Berlant considers how we might “loosen” our relations to the objects and situations that we are unhappily attached to in a way that might transform our political conditions and create new life worlds.

For three decades, we have been honored to publish the groundbreaking work of Lauren Berlant. We will miss them as a scholar, a collaborator, and a friend. Our condolences go out to all of Lauren’s friends, family, and colleagues, and especially to their partner Ian Horswill.

2022 Pricing Updates from Duke University Press

In continued recognition of the financial changes that many libraries face as a result of COVID-19, for the second year in a row, Duke University Press will maintain existing prices for the 2022 calendar year for our journals and select electronic collection products.

Pricing will remain unchanged for the e-Duke Books and e-Duke Journals collections, DMJ 100, Euclid Prime, and direct journal subscriptions (with the exception of Prism, which will increase in frequency in 2022). Detailed information is available at dukeupress.edu/libraries. If your library has a custom deal, the library relations team will be in touch in August to confirm your renewal pricing.

Journal Updates

Duke University Press is pleased to announce the addition of Agricultural History to its 2022 list. Agricultural History, founded in 1927, is the journal of record in its field, publishing articles on all aspects of the history of agriculture and rural life with no geographical or temporal limits. It is published quarterly on behalf of the Agricultural History Society. Agricultural History will be included in the e-Duke Journals Expanded collection.

Demography, the flagship journal of the Population Association of America, joined Duke University Press earlier this year and is now available open access. Demography’s fully open-access funding model relies entirely on financial support from libraries and research centers. Learn how your institution can contribute.

Beginning in 2022, Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature will publish an annual monographic supplement, in addition to its biannual issues, increasing the journal frequency from two to three issues per volume.

Open Access Community Investment Program launches to support OA publishing

Duke University Press is pleased to partner with LYRASIS and Transitioning Society Publications to Open Access (TSPOA) to launch the Open Access Community Investment Program, a project that matches libraries, consortia, and other prospective scholarly publishing funders with nonprofit publishers and journals seeking financial investments to support open-access publishing. Environmental Humanities, an open-access journal published by Duke University Press, is participating in the project’s pilot phase. Learn more about funding through TSPOA.

Annals of Mathematics joins Project Euclid

The Annals of Mathematics, one of the world’s leading mathematics journals, will be hosted on the Project Euclid platform beginning with the 2022 publication year. The Annals is published by the Department of Mathematics at Princeton University with the cooperation of the Institute for Advanced Study. Duke University Press will manage subscription fulfillment and hosting in coordination with Project Euclid.

Scholarly Publishing Collective

Beginning in 2022, Duke University Press will provide journal services including subscription management, fulfillment, hosting, and institutional marketing and sales in a collaboration called the Scholarly Publishing Collective. Partner publishers include Longleaf Services, Michigan State University Press, Penn State University Press, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the University of Illinois Press. Pricing for titles that are part of the Scholarly Publishing Collective will be announced in July 2021.

For more information about 2022 pricing, please contact libraryrelations@dukeupress.edu.

New OA Journals in 2021: Demography, liquid blackness, Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies

This spring, we are thrilled to welcome three journals to our publishing program, all of which are open access: Demography, liquid blackness: journal of aesthetics and black studies, and the Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies.

Demography, the flagship journal of the Population Association of America, will become fully open access in 2021 as it joins Duke University Press. Since its founding in 1964, Demography has mirrored the vitality, diversity, high intellectual standard, and wide impact of population studies. It is the most cited journal in its field and reaches the membership of one of the largest professional demographic associations in the world. Libraries and institutions, learn how you can support Demography’s conversion to open access.

“In moving Demography from a traditional paid subscription model to open access, we’re thrilled that the worldwide community of population researchers will have access to its content, especially at this moment when access to reliable, peer-reviewed information is critically important,” said Dean Smith, Director of Duke University Press.

liquid blackness: journal of aesthetics and black studies carves out a place for aesthetic theory and the most radical agenda of Black studies to come together in productive ways, with the goal of attending to the aesthetic work of blackness and the political work of form. In this way, the journal develops innovative approaches to address points of convergence between the exigencies of black life and the many slippery ways in which blackness is encountered in contemporary sonic and visual culture. The journal showcases a variety of scholarly modes, including audio-visual work and experimental and traditional essays. Read an interview with founding editors Alessandra Raengo and Lauren McLeod Cramer.

The Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies is an international, multidisciplinary publication dedicated to research on pre-1945 East Asian humanities. The journal presents new research related to the Sinographic Cosmopolis/Sphere of pre-1945 East Asia, publishing both articles that stay within traditional disciplinary or regional boundaries and works that explore the commonalities and contrasts found in countries of the Sinographic Sphere. SJEAS joins our rich list of Asian studies journals, which include Archives of Asian Art, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, the Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture, the Journal of Korean Studies, Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature, and positions: asia critique.

Check out our full list of journals here.