New Titles in Asian Studies

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Every year we look forward to connecting with scholars at the Association for Asian Studies conference. We will miss meeting with authors and editors and selling books at this year’s conference, which has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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 through May 1. In addition, if you spend $100 or more, we are offering free shipping to U.S. addresses. Journal subscriptions and society memberships don’t qualify for the 50% discount, but they do count toward the $100 threshold.

Here are some of the great titles in Asian Studies that we were planning to feature in our booth at AAS.

Experimental BeijingCongratulations to Sasha Su-Ling Welland, whose book Experimental Beijing: Gender and Globalization in Chinese Contemporary Art is the winner of the AAS’s 2020 Joseph Levenson Post-1900 Book Prize.

We also congratulate Juno Salazar Parreñas, whose book Decolonizing Extinction: The Work of Care in Orangutan Rehabilitation received honorable mention for the Harry J. Benda Prize, presented by the Southeast Asia Council (SEAC) of the AAS.

Margaret Hillenbrand’s Negative Exposures: Knowing What Not to Know in Contemporary China is new this month. She explores how artistic appropriations of historical images effectively articulate the openly unsayable and counter the public secrecy that erases traumatic episodes from China’s past.

Harry Harootunian is best known as a scholar of Japanese history, but recently he turned his pen to memoir, writing about his parents’ escape from the Armenian genocide in the early 20th century in The Unspoken as Heritage: The Armenian Genocide and Its Unaccounted Lives.

UnderglobalizationIn Underglobalization: Beijing’s Media Urbanism and the Chimera of Legitimacy, Joshua Neves examines the cultural politics of the “fake” and how frictions between legality and legitimacy propel dominant models of economic development and political life in contemporary China. See his recent blog post on the coronavirus.

In Invisibility by Design Women and Labor in Japan’s Digital Economy, Gabriella Lukács traces how young Japanese women’s unpaid labor as bloggers, net idols, “girly” photographers, online traders, and cell phone novelists was central to the development of Japan’s digital economy in the 1990s and 2000s.

Avian Reservoirs: Virus Hunters and Birdwatchers in Chinese Sentinel Posts by Frédéric Keck is unfortunately very timely right now. Keck Avian Reservoirstraces how the anticipation of bird flu pandemics has changed relations between birds and humans in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan, showing that humans’ reliance on birds is key to mitigating future pandemics. Check out his posts on the coronavirus’s impact in Wuhan in The Conversation and Somatosphere.

In his experimental work Ethnography #9, Alan Klima examines moneylending, gambling, funeral casinos, and the consultations of spirits and mediums to predict winning lottery numbers to illustrate the relationship between contemporary Thai spiritual and financial practices and global capitalism’s abstraction of monetary value.

Please check out all the titles we were planning on featuring in our program ad for the meeting. And see a complete list of our Asian Studies titles here.

EAS_new_prWe’re always excited to share our great Asian studies journals: Archives of Asian ArtComparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle EastEast Asian Science, Technology and Society, the Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture, the Journal of Korean Studies, positions: asia critique, and Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature. Special issues are included in our 50%-off sale, and subscriptions are always available.

We also offer an Asian Studies e-book collection, which moves beyond traditional area studies to include titles addressing individual Asian countries as well as regional and transnational issues. Ask your librarian to learn more.

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

Once again, we’re sorry to miss you in person but hope the 50% discount with free U.S. shipping on orders over $100 will make it possible for you to pick up some new books and journal issues. Use coupon SPRING50 at checkout and see the fine print on the sale here.

La Grippe à Paris: How Paris Responded to the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, A Guest Post by Eric Smoodin

Smoodin PhotoEric Smoodin is the author of Paris in the Dark: Going to the Movies in the City of Light, 1930–1950, just published this month. He is Professor of American Studies at the University of California, Davis, and author of Regarding Frank Capra: Audience, Celebrity, and American Film Studies, 1930–1960, and coeditor of Looking Past the Screen: Case Studies in American Film History and Method, both also published by Duke University Press. This guest post is reblogged from his own blog, The Paris Cinema Project.

On March 14th, 2020, the French government announced the closing of all restaurants, museums, theatres, and cinemas, a response to the novel coronavirus, possibly the worst global public health crisis since the flu epidemic of 1918-19. But as a comparison, what exactly was the government’s response just over 100 years ago to la grippe espagnole, which killed as many as a quarter of a million people in France? More to the point of my interests here, how did the flu affect the cinema in France, and especially in Paris?

Information can be difficult to come by, largely because the press in France covered the disease only very slowly, perhaps because the government insisted so as not to cause any alarm, or perhaps because journalists simply didn’t understand the severity of the outbreak. Françoise Bouron has provided the most exhaustive analysis of the general attitudes of the press at the time. While the flu seems to have come to France in April, 1918, most newspapers and journals at first avoided it altogether, then reported that France, unlike other European countries, seemed to have been spared, and then only began to cover the national outbreak in the late-summer and early-fall.

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Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announcing the closure of all non-essential public places in France, including cinemas, on March 14th, 2020

In any case, and far different from the response of 2020, the governmental actions in 1918-19 seem to have been regional rather than national, and might vary significantly from place to place, with Paris, apparently, always doing less rather than more. In mid-October, 1918, Le Figaro reported that 700 Parisians had died from the flu during the past week, an increase of 300 from the week before. The newspaper indicated that more hospital beds were coming to the city and that schools would be disinfected but would not close. Hinting at the dense Parisian bureaucracy that may have made any decisive action difficult, Le Figaro continued that, anyway, schools could only be closed in Paris by the local government, at the suggestion of the Seine Prefect and in consultation with the Hygiene Council.

That same report in Figaro, however, let readers know that Édouard Herriot, the mayor of Lyon, had acted more decisively. Herriot, of course, was the radical socialist who would later be in and out of office as Prime Minister during multiple revolving-door governments in France during the 1920’s and ‘30’s. In Lyon, Herriot insisted that all corpses be buried immediately, demanded the daily disinfection of post offices, banks, cafés, restaurants, and train stations, and completely closed all theatres and cinemas.

Other locations did the same thing. In Périgueux, in southwestern France, schools were closed and so too were all theatres and cinemas. The Communist newspaper L’Humanité reported on those closings, and added that the ongoing Parisian response involved, yet again, more hospital beds and, in addition, thirteen thousand gallons of rum to be distributed to the city’s pharmacies and sold as a partial cure for flu.

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Édouard Herriot, who as the mayor of Lyon closed all the cinemas there during the epidemic

Assertions of official Parisian inactivity went across ideological lines. In late-October 1918, the far-rightwing newspaper L’Intransigeant wrote, “One thinks…of closing the cinemas, the theatres and even churches, as has been done in Switzerland and some French cities.” Then L’Intransigeant added that, “rather than facing anything that extreme, Parisians have been told to refrain from going anywhere they might be exposed to influenza.”

At least according to the press, aggressive actions by Herriot and others worked. In early-November, Le Journal reported that closing theatres—and it’s unclear whether this included cinemas—in Limoges, Dijon, Cherbourg, Orléans, and elsewhere had stopped the spread of flu. Le Temps wrote that “the efforts in Lyon had had their effect,” and theatres and cinemas would now reopen.

But Paris still did nothing comparable, and there was even some debate in the city about the usefulness of closures and the severity of the epidemic. On November 11th, 1918, the day that World War One ended, La Presse, a Parisian daily, devoted its front page to the Armistice. On page two, however, La Presse ran two stories about the flu. One of them insisted that the illness had declined considerably in the Parisian population (La Grippe décroit). In the other, a reporter for the paper, Lucile Laurence, wrote that city officials had given some thought to closing all cinemas and other public places, including schools. She went on, though, that even if they did, “public health would still be menaced” because of all the men who spit on streets, their germs then going into the air and onto the food that Parisians ate. On the same page, La Presse announced the opening of one of the most anticipated films of the season, Bouclette, at the very fashionable Palace-Aubert cinema in the ninth arrondissement. Bouclette featured one of the great French stars of the era, Gaby Deslys, who would die of influenza in February, 1920.

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An undated publicity photograph of the great French star Gaby Deslys, the star of Bouclette and a victim of the flu epidemic

Deslys’ film, which had a scenario by Marcel L’Herbier, was one of the great cultural events in the city just after the war. But there were also many, many others, in cinemas and in the city’s theatres. Reporting on the flu on February 23rd, 1919, Le Matin put the grim numbers next to the masthead at the top of the front page. La grippe à Paris had claimed 900 lives in the last week, an increase of 350 from the week before. Le Matin never listed the movies in Paris, but it did offer information for plays, music halls, and café-concerts, and the list is astonishing, both in terms of how much was going on and how little the city’s entertainment industry seemed to have been touched by the epidemic. Had they wanted to, Parisians could have seen Les Noces de Figaro at the Opéra-Comique, where it alternated with Carmen, or Cyrano de Begerac at the Porte-St. Martin, or Sacha Guitry’s Pasteur at the Vaudeville. The Folies-Bergère featured a lion tamer for its family matinee and then more adult entertainment in the evening. The great music hall stars Mistinguett and Max Dearly appeared at the Casino de Paris, along with 200 Jolies Femmes, and Raimu, the stage actor soon to become a great movie star, performed in Le Cochon qui sommeille at the Théâtre Michel. There was also much, much more.

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On the upper right, on the masthead from February 23rd, 1919, Le Matin announces that week’s death toll of La Grippe à Paris

Parisian entertainment continued as usual for the duration of the epidemic, as the death toll mounted and city leaders kept all venues open while supplying pharmacies with more and more rum for the afflicted. A century later, French officials were slow to react to the coronavirus, as were governments in Italy, Spain, the United States, and elsewhere. They had, however, apparently learned something from the earlier public health crisis. Spitting on streets may still be a difficult problem and still a means of spreading disease. But Mayor Herriot’s example in Lyon, closing theatres, restaurants, and other public spaces, including cinemas, has now become the French model for containing the epidemic, even in Paris.

Read the introduction to Paris in the Dark free online, and now through May 1, save 50% on a print copy using coupon code SPRING50.

Duke University Press Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

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In order to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Duke University has restricted travel and suggested that most staff work from home for the next few weeks. Although the Press remains open for business at this writing, all of our spring travel to conferences has been canceled. 

Conferences where we will no longer have a physical presence

We have not yet made any decisions about several other conferences taking place in May and June. We will update our conference page as we do.

Online sale in lieu of conference booths: 50% off

We know that many people really look forward to picking up new books at discounted prices at these conferences. In light of that, we are pleased to offer 50% off all in-stock books and journal issues plus free domestic U.S. shipping on orders over $100. Note that while journal subscriptions and society memberships are not eligible for the 50% discount, they do count toward the $100 minimum, so go ahead and renew now. See our sale FAQ here. This special sale will run through May 1, 2020.

We’ll be posting special posts here on the blog about each of the above missed conferences. Please check back to see featured titles, links to online content from our authors, and recommendations from our editors.

Library support

Visit our COVID-19 response webpage to learn how we are supporting libraries during this time. As courses transition to online, we can provide 90 days of complimentary electronic access to course materials—contact orders@dukeupress.edu.

Radical Care

Care has re-entered the zeitgeist. Situating discussions of care within a historical trajectory of feminist, queer, and Black activism, contributors to “Radical Care,” a special issue of Social Text, consider how individuals and communities receive and provide care in order to survive in environments that challenge their very existence.

They explore how trans activists find resilience and vitality through coalitional labor; argue that social movements should expand mutual aid strategies, focusing on solidarity over charity; discuss a neoliberal university wellness culture that seeks to patch up structural care deficits with quick fixes like meditation apps and yoga classes; and more.

As the traditionally undervalued labor of caring becomes recognized as a key element of survival, contributors show how radical care provides a roadmap for not only enduring precarious worlds but also envisioning new futures. In the face of state-sanctioned violence, economic crisis, and impending ecological collapse, collective care offers a way forward.

Read the introduction by editors Hi‘ilei Julia Kawehipuaakahaopulani Hobart and Tamara Kneese, freely available, and check out the issue’s full contents.

“Cruise Ships, Containerships, and the COVID-19 Crisis: Harbinger of a Great Stillness on the Ocean?” A Guest Post by Eric Paul Roorda

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Visitors to San Francisco who arrive by sea experience a spectacle. Their ship approaches the Marin Headlands, glides through the narrow passage called the Golden Gate, passes beneath the iconic bridge, and enters San Francisco Bay. More than eighty cruise ships visit the Port of San Francisco annually, carrying upwards of 300,000 passengers and an untold number of crew members.

But cruise ship traffic into San Francisco—and for that matter, every U.S. port—may come to a halt, due to a single vessel, the Grand Princess. The ship arrived at the Golden Gate with the novel Coronavirus virus onboard, which causes the potentially lethal disease designated as COVID-19. The highly contagious pathogen had apparently gained a foothold on the ship during its previous voyage in Mexican waters, infecting a passenger who died of COVID-19 after returning home. The virus endured onboard the Grand Princess, only to re-emerge on the ship’s next voyage. Dozens of people exhibited symptoms as the ship neared the end of another voyage to Mexico.

First came the Diamond Princess, which introduced the disease to Japan on February 4, when it docked at the port of Yokohama, where it became a micro-cluster of contagion. After weeks of improvised, ineffective quarantine measures, the ship released about 3,600 passengers and crew back to their countries of origin, many of them potential carriers of Coronavirus, because few of them had been tested conclusively for the malady.

A month later came the Grand Princess, carrying 3,533 passengers—2,422 guests and 1,111 crewmembers—from 54 nations. News reached the ship on 2 March, that a prior passenger had tested positive for COVID-19 before dying. Princess Cruises canceled the remainder of the vessel’s itinerary, and ordered the Grand Princess to steam straight back to San Francisco, its port of embarkation. Along the way, on 5 March, Coast Guard helicopters dropped test kits to the ship’s deck. The following night, Vice President Mike Pence reported that 46 passengers who showed symptoms had been “swabbed,” and 21 of them had tested positive. That total included two “guests” (who stay in private suites), and nineteen members of the crew (who live, work and breathe, sometimes cough and sneeze, and occasionally vomit, in very close quarters, below the vessel’s waterline).

The positive tests halted the ship’s progress, just short of its destination. The Grand Princess bobbed around fifty miles outside the Golden Gate, awaiting its fate, suffering the claustrophobic inconveniences of belatedly instituted quarantine measures. After a public debate over the fate of the Grand Princess, which included the President expressing his preference that the ship stay at sea indefinitely, it was allowed to dock on 9 March.

But the Grand Princess did not end its ill-starred voyage at the historic Pier on San Francisco’s lovely waterfront adapted as a “cruise ship terminal,” with all of its amenities. Instead, it headed for a “container terminal” across the bay, on the barren industrial waterfront of Oakland/Alameda. The guests disembarked into quarantine at military bases in California, Texas, and Georgia, while Canadians were allowed to fly home for their 2-week period of preventative isolation. The crewmembers, however, must remain onboard.

The cable news networks followed the Grand Princess on its sunrise passage through the spectacular Golden Gate. The ship itself seemed riveted together from sheets of pure gold, illuminated in the low rays of eastern light. But then the scene became unusual, possibly unprecedented. The Grand Princess, a “mega-ship” of the new breed, symbolic of the spectacular rise of cruise travel, was mooring at a vast dockyard that utterly lacked the infrastructure to accommodate it. Weirder still, the dockyard itself, the sprawling Oakland/Alameda complex, one of the busiest in the hemisphere, was vacant!

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What next? There are 314 cruise ships loose upon the world’s waves, all of them bound for some port of call, each of them a potential vector of the invisible scourge of COVID-19. The potential carnage is akin to that of 1918, when 675,000 Americans succumbed to The Great Influenza—among 50 million worldwide, by conservative estimates. It seems possible that the imminent spread of the novel coronavirus will mothball the pleasure fleet for an indefinite period of time, while the world weathers the virus crisis. As I write, Princess Cruises and Viking Cruise Line have both announced that they are suspending operations. More are sure to follow…

And yet, the size of the global merchant marine dwarfs the number of cruise ships. There were 53,732 merchant vessels out there as of January 2018. About 5,500 of them are enormous containerships. The ratio is 171 merchant ships to every cruise ship.

As the rate of production of manufactured goods and extraction of raw materials in China declines, while the severity of the Coronavirus outbreak increases, there is less and less cargo for these hulls to carry around the world. Already, the docks of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland/Alameda, usually hyperactively busy with the disgorging of cargo from Asia, have become weirdly sleepy. Soon, there will be vast flotillas of empty ships—bulk carriers for wheat and ore, tankers, car carriers, containerships—anchored off the major ports of the world, riding high in the water, with nothing to haul, and nowhere to go.

All of this adds up to a rare occurrence in recorded history. The Ocean may be virtually free of human activity for a while, and there is no way of telling how long that could last. There is also little way to forecast what effects such a strange event might have. From the perspective of global capitalism, the damage could be devastating and enduring.

But other contrasting priorities could be well served by this ongoing twist of fate. In particular, the disruptions brought by Coronavirus could be a boon for the movements to buy locally made products, to eat regional food sources, and to reduce the giant, greasy carbon footprint of global trade and globe-trotting tourism. An empty Ocean could not only stall the pandemic, it could help humanity to hit the reset button on the dangerously unsustainable status quo of the international economy.

Eric Paul Roorda is the editor of The Ocean Reader: History, Culture, Politics. He is a Professor of History at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, where he specializes in the diplomatic and naval history of  the Caribbean Sea. During the summer, he directs the Munson Institute graduate program in Maritime Studies at Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut. He regularly lectures on cruises on the Regent Seven Seas Voyager. He is the author of The Dictator Next Door and co-editor of The Dominican Republic Reader, both also published by Duke University Press.

 Read the introduction to The Ocean Reader free online and save 30% on the paperback edition with coupon code E20RORDA.

Joshua Neves on the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Anti-Chinese Racism, and the Politics of Underglobalization

Neves, Joshua photoJoshua Neves, author of Underglobalization:
Beijing’s Media Urbanism and the Chimera of Legitimacy
, is Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair, Film Studies at Concordia University and coeditor of Asian Video Cultures, also published by Duke University Press. He wrote this post on February 21, 2020 and updated the statistics today, March 11.

In the 2018-19 flu season, the United States’ Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that 16.5 million Americans saw a health care provider for their illness, 490,600 people were hospitalized, and 34,200 people died from influenza. Such data helps us to temper recent panic about the coronavirus, contagion narratives, and the repressive Chinese state. 

To be sure, the strict management of information and party-state bureaucracy have plagued China’s response to the virus. My aim here is not to downplay what are very grave challenges to public health, but rather to turn attention to the ways the viral outbreak has also been swollen by frenzied news and social media around the world. Among the many responses in North America and Europe, for example, is a resurgent anti-Chinese racism. This includes suspicions about exotic animals and racialized ideas about sickness and disease, as well as alarm about surgical mask shortages, government cover ups, and entire cities under quarantine. As a recent US headline puts it, “First the media sold you overblown fears. Now it’s selling false comfort.”

But there is little new in this hysteria over China as a breeding ground for pandemics. From counterfeit medicine to authoritarian capitalism, China plays a complicated role in stories about the world system. On the one hand, it’s laboring population serves as factory to the world and has sustained the global economy through stagnation and crisis. It both produces the world’s best known things and is derided as a menial laborer or copycat—and not, that is, a designer. A major theme in recent news coverage centers on profits lost to factory closures. In many such stories, concerns about the well-being of migrant workers, among others, seems limited to their inability to get to work. On the other hand, even while China co-creates what we have come to know as globalization, its ambition and the challenges it poses to the Washington Consensus have led many to see the country as a global villain. Alongside Russia, Iran, etc., the PRC increasingly fills an imaginary void in post-Cold War geopolitics. It is the “other” that “we” organize our anger or fear around. 

What interests me about the tensions framing the COVID-19 outbreak is that China is at once understood to be inside and outside of the world or proper society of nations. It is both a prime mover and sickly underminer. This contradiction—including mistrust, intolerance, fear—must be tied to a history of anti-Chinese racism in North America and elsewhere. Not surprisingly, the current “yellow peril” is once again linked to the exploitation of Chinese workers, as well as a deep suspicion of these same people’s motives and lifeworlds. It highlights the inequality of global supply chains—a current logic of racialized capitalism—which seek to move things in specific directions and keep everyone in their place. It is this sense of global order that the virus ignores with its potential to spread where it should not. Contagion thus not only refers to the unruliness of new flu strains, but to the new mobilities of Chinese people, products, and technologies. The latter includes US attempts to block the Chinese company, Huawei, from building 5G infrastructure around the world. Officials claim that Chinese built networks will allow Beijing to infiltrate critical telecom infrastructure, making them insecure and threatening. These same reports rely on language that could just as well describe panic about the infectivity of influenza. Per Vice President Mike Pence, “We cannot ensure the defense of the West if our allies grow dependent on the East.”

The point of highlighting such tensions is not to bracket the very real problems posed by the People’s Republic of China or its vision of the future. But it is to refuse sweeping and prejudicial assessments of China and the Chinese, which inform insidious racisms by tethering ideas about counterfeits, censorship, exotic animals, the flu, and much more, to particular bodies. Put simply, these critiques are widespread, confused, epidemic—and demand more nuanced attention from journalists, scholars, and publics. What remains undigested by routine critiques of China, and is once again brought into relief by the recent outbreak of the outbreak narrative, is how smug dismissals buttress troubling ideas about the munificent “West” and the “free world.” This is one of the most menacing and normalized aspects of anti-Chinese racism in the North Atlantic. It locates viral contagion in Asian cities and populations, naming them as external threats, thereby consolidating a violent clash of civilization understanding of the earth. Here is safe; there is toxic.

It is important to add that, contrary to Euro-American assumptions about Chinese repression and citizen compliance, political dissent is endemic and visible across the PRC. For example, in Social Protests and Contentious Authoritarianism in China, political scientist Xi Chen describes both the dramatic rise and routinization of social protest in China and also how, “beneath the surface of noise and anxiety,” China’s political system remains stable. This is a complex political formation and no doubt differs from the imagination of protest in places like the US. But these differences notwithstanding, it is important to understand that protest and dissensus are frequent responses to life in contemporary China—and many Chinese citizens are “more than ready to blame the Communist Party for suppressing public health information and closing ranks against the people.” What is distinct, and marks an increasingly global condition, is that such protests are not made within formal civil society. Instead they are quasi- or il-legal, and suggest new modes of political society. Consider the January 2020 essay, “When Fury Becomes Fear,” from the outspoken former academic and critic, Xu Zhangrun. In searing prose, Xu argues that the current epidemic sounds a “viral alarm” and “has revealed the rotten core of Chinese governance.” See Geremie R. Barmé’s translation of Xu’s essay here, a Wuhan diary here, a typical report about netizen responses here, or the Sinophobia tracker here. What matters about such examples, is that they refuse the self-righteous politics of pity—where, for example, Americans are free and Chinese are controlled—and instead demands that we re-examine the workings of popular politics under globalization, which includes China and the so-called “West.”

Screen Shot 2020-02-21 at 12.42.46 PMAs I write, 4,379 people have died from the coronavirus and nearly 119,108 cases have been confirmed. Currently over 1000 deaths have been reported outside of China, with Wuhan, Hubei Province, still the most affected area. While details vary, reports indicate that lockdowns and curfews affect hundreds of millions Chinese citizens. The strictest rules, per the South China Morning Post, keep 60 million Hubei residents from leaving their homes. Further coverage suggests that the epidemic may now have peaked, as its spread slows in China, though others note that Japan is now a hotbed for the virus, with new cases also confirmed in the Philippines, South Korea, Iran, Egypt, and others. I linger on the current flu epidemic, stories about its (mis)management, and its Asian hosts and itineraries because they bring into relief a range of issues that are critical to what I call underglobalization

978-1-4780-0805-7When writing Underglobalization, I struggled to make sense of the contradictory and often racist understandings of China that co-exist in much official and popular discourse. As above, I was struck by the way that China is both dismissed as a fake, parasite or outlier nation and, at the same time, is critical to both the global economy and institutions, and to the everyday experience of the world. This paradox brings into relief deep structural conflicts over what constitutes political, economic, and social legitimacy in the present and future. Against such antagonisms, Underglobalization charts how a wide range of social actors underperform or refuse to implement the specific procedures and protocols required by globalization at different scales. Put differently, what international law (like the TRIPS Agreement) identifies as illegal must also be understood, in many contexts, to be locally valid. One important ramification of this claim is the recognition that contemporary global dynamics are shaped by increasing tensions between (il)legality and (il)legitimacy. Most simply the book asks: what happens when legal contracts around the world—including rights, civil society and citizenship—fail or become dangerous, and on what ground are political relationships reclaimed and sustained? 

Save 30% on the paperback edition of Joshua Neves’ Underglobalization using the coupon code E20NEVES and download the introduction here.

 

New Role for Ken Wissoker at Duke University Press

Wissoker, KenWe are pleased to announce that Ken Wissoker, who has been Editorial Director at Duke University Press since 2005, will now serve as our Senior Executive Editor.  As we announced recently, he will be succeeded in his former role by Gisela Fosado, who will now be leading our Book Acquisitions team. As Senior Executive Editor, Wissoker will be moving on from departmental management responsibilities to focus his full attention on continuing to build his interdisciplinary list of titles and working with new and returning authors.

“Ken Wissoker is among the leading scholarly editors in the world and his impact on academic  publishing has been profound and far-reaching,” said Dean Smith, Director of Duke University Press. “Over the last three decades, his editorial vision has been indispensable to the success of Duke University Press. He will continue to thrive in this new role.” 

“I’m excited for Gisela’s leadership and for the Press’s future.  After more than twenty years as department chair, I’m welcoming this change, and happy to have more time to focus on authors and manuscripts,” Wissoker commented.

Wissoker joined the Press as an Acquisition Editor in 1991; became Editor-in-Chief in 1997; and was named Editorial Director in 2005. In addition to his duties at the Press, he serves as Director of Intellectual Publics at The Graduate Center, CUNY, in New York City. He speaks regularly on publishing at universities in the US and around the world.

Wissoker has published over a thousand books that have won over 150 prizes. Among the authors whose books he has published are Stuart Hall, Donna Haraway, Achille Mbembe, Sara Ahmed, Lauren Berlant, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Jack Halberstam, Charles Taylor, Elizabeth Povinelli, Lisa Lowe, Brian Massumi, Fred Moten, Chandra Mohanty, Christina Sharpe, Greg Tate, Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Cherríe Moraga. In addition he has published the work of artists including Randy Weston, Horace Tapscott, Fred Wesley, Mira Schor, and Renée Green.

In the next year, Wissoker has new titles coming out by Jack Halberstam, Ian Baucom, Katherine McKittrick, artist Lorraine O’Grady, Lesley Stern, and a posthumous book by José Esteban Muñoz, among many others. He also contributes a chapter to the new edition of The Academic’s Handbook

Ken’s team includes Joshua Gutterman Tranen, who was recently promoted to Assistant Editor, and is now acquiring his own titles in  gender and sexuality studies, queer history, cultural studies, and anthropology. Wissoker is also assisted by Editorial Associate Kate Herman and by Editorial Associate Ryan Kendall, who started at the Press this winter.

Our esteemed Executive Editor Courtney Berger continues to acquire titles in disciplines ranging from political theory to American studies to native and indigenous studies. She is assisted by Assistant Editor Sandra Korn, who also acquires her own titles in Middle East studies and religion. Editor Elizabeth Ault acquires books in African Studies, Urban Studies, Middle East Studies, Geography, and Theory from the South, among other disciplines. Associate Editor Miriam Angress acquires books in religion, world history, women’s studies, and creative non-fiction and supervises the World and Latin America Reader series. Editorial Associate Alejandra Mejía will continue to work with Gisela Fosado in her new role. 

Together, the Books Acquisitions team brings in about 140 new titles per year that share the ideas of progressive thinkers and support emerging and vital fields of scholarship across the humanities and interpretive social sciences. 

(en)gendering: Chinese Women’s Art in the Making

“(en)gendering: Chinese Women’s Art in the Making,” the latest issue of positions: asia critique, edited by Shuqin Cui, is available now.

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While contemporary Chinese art has arrived as a critical subject in art history and found market success, current art criticism has yet to fully engage with art made by Chinese women, especially from the perspective of gender politics. In this special issue, contributors consider how the work of contemporary women artists has generated new approaches to and perspectives on the Chinese art canon.

The issue begins by laying a historical framework for the potentials and problems regarding the interpretation of Chinese women’s art, tracing its evolution throughout a century of Chinese history. Next, the issue addresses the spatial notion of boundary crossing, addressing how travel across national and theoretical boundaries affects the perception of artworks, and explores the misgivings of Chinese women artists about participating in a global exhibition system in which their artwork stands for “China” and “Women.” The issue concludes by looking at the idea of (en)gendering as a revision of women’s art prompting artists and the viewers of women’s artworks to challenge the conventional gaze that has dominated our ways of seeing.

Browse the issue’s contents and read the introduction, freely available.

Celebrating Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month where studying, observing, and celebrating the role women have had and continue to have in American history is encouraged. While recognizing the achievements, it’s also important to acknowledge the struggles women face and have overcome. We’re excited to share recent books and journals from Duke University Press that align with this mission and celebrate women around the world and throughout history.

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In Honeypot, E. Patrick Johnson combines magical realism, poetry, and performative writing to bear witness to the real-life stories of black southern queer women in ways that reveal the complexity of identity and the challenges these women face.

In Invisibility by Design, Gabriella Lukács traces how young Japanese women’s unpaid labor as bloggers, net idols, “girly” photographers, online traders, and cell phone novelists was central to the development of Japan’s digital economy in the 1990s and 2000s.

Lynn M. Thomas’ Beyond the Surface constructs a transnational history of skin lighteners in South Africa and beyond, theorizing skin and skin color as a site for antiracist struggle and lighteners as a technology of visibility that both challenges and entrenches racial and gender hierarchies.

978-1-4780-0645-9The concluding volume in a poetic triptych, Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s Dub: Finding Ceremony takes inspiration from theorist Sylvia Wynter, dub poetry, and ocean life to offer a catalog of possible methods for remembering, healing, listening, and living otherwise.

Laura E. Pérez analyzes Latina art to explore a new notion of decolonial thought and love based on the integration of body, mind, and spirit that offers a means to creating a more democratic and just present and future in Eros Ideologies.

From The Guiding Light to Passions, Elana Levine traces the history of daytime television soap operas as an innovative and highly gendered mass cultural form in Her Stories.

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In Mafalda: A Social and Political History of Latin America’s Global Comic, Isabella Cosse examines the history, political commentary, and influence of the world-famous comic character Mafalda from her Argentine origins in 1964 to her global reach in the 1990s.

In Naked Agency, Naminata Diabate explores how the deployment of defiant nakedness by mature women in Africa challenges longstanding assumptions about women’s political agency.

Radical Transnationalism,” a new issue of Meridians, looks at the expansive domains of transnational feminism, considering its relationship to different regions, historical periods, fields, and methodologies. The issue’s contributors, working in locations across the Global South and North, investigate settler colonialism, racialization, globalization, militarization, decoloniality, and anti-authoritarian movements as gendered political and economic projects.

Collected to honor the work of French women’s history scholar Rachel G. Fuchs, the essays in French Historical Studies issue “Patriarchy, Protection, and Women’s Agency in Modern France” touch on interrelated themes central to nineteenth- and early twentieth-century France, including evolving forms of male power expressed through paternity, the victimization of women and children resulting from industrial capitalism and male abuse of power, and the development of mechanisms to protect the abused through surveillance of potential victims.

Gisela Fosado Named Editorial Director of Duke University Press

Gisela FosadoGisela de la Concepción Fosado has been named Editorial Director of Duke University Press after a nationwide search. As Editorial Director she will establish the editorial vision for the Press and set the overall direction for the Books Acquisitions team to ensure excellence across all subject areas. She will also play a major role in moving the Press to become an industry leader in cultivating and sustaining an inclusive organizational culture.

Ed Balleisen, Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke University says, “As Duke University Press’s second century beckons, Gisela Fosado is exactly the right person to lead book acquisitions.  She brings distinctive talents, perspective, and expertise to the role—a remarkable intellectual curiosity about new directions in scholarship, wonderful instincts for publishing strategy, an impressive track record of national leadership on the issue of how academic presses can embrace diversity and inclusion, and the sort of vision and interpersonal skills to sustain excellence in career development throughout the book acquisitions team.”

Fosado has been with Duke University Press since 2010, acquiring books in a wide range of areas in the humanities and social sciences, including anthropology, sociology, American and Atlantic World history, gender and sexuality studies, race and ethnicity, African American and Africana studies, environmental studies, and Latin American and Latinx Studies. She has acquired both award-winning monographs and bestselling general interest titles for the Press, working with many prominent authors including Patricia Hill Collins, Renato Rosaldo, Arturo Escobar, Marisol de la Cadena, Walter Mignolo, Catherine Walsh, Enrique Dussel, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Barbara Weinstein, Gilbert M. Joseph, Laurent Dubois, Charles E. Cobb Jr., Margaret Randall, Lynn Stephen, Joanne Rappaport, and Ruth Behar.  She has also published posthumous books by Gloria Anzaldúa and C. L. R. James.

In the past several years, Fosado has co-led Duke University Press’s Equity and Inclusion Task Force, a staff-created effort that has encouraged press-wide training and conversation to help ensure all staff are valued and supported professionally at every level. She has also served on the AUPresses Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and facilitated AUPresses inclusion in the 2019 Lee and Low Diversity Survey. She will bring her strong commitment to inclusion and collaboration, and her skills in careful listening, supportive mentorship, and adaptive and responsive learning that she has built in that work to her role as Editorial Director.

Gisela Fosado says, “Being entrusted to lead books acquisitions at Duke University Press, and to build upon the bold and urgent work done by those before me, is the greatest honor of my life. Everything I know about publishing I learned through my brilliant, generous, and hard working colleagues at the Press.  I look forward to many more years of learning and collaboration.” 

Fosado holds an A.B. from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology and a Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan. She began her career at Duke University Press as Editorial Associate in 2010. Before coming to the Press, she served as the Associate Director for the Barnard Center for Research on Women. Once an undocumented immigrant, Fosado will be the first Latinx leader of Duke University Press’s Books Editorial program.

Dean Smith, Director of Duke University Press says, “Gisela Fosado is an extremely talented publisher and a transformative leader who is helping to change the face of scholarly publishing with an expansive editorial vision and a fierce  commitment to equity and inclusion. She practices equity in all of her interactions and embodies our mission to effect positive change in the world. I look forward to working with her and to building on our legacy of introducing bold and innovative scholarship to a global audience.” 

About Duke University Press: Each year Duke University Press publishes about 140 new books, almost 60 journals and multiple digital collections that share the ideas of progressive thinkers and support emerging and vital fields of scholarship across the humanities and interpretive social sciences. It is also well known for its mathematics journals, sophisticated graphic design and integration of technology platforms.