Poem of the Week

978-0-8223-6229-6To celebrate National Poetry Month, we’re sharing a poem a week throughout April. Today’s poem, by Roberto Fernández Retamar, can be found in Only the Road / Solo el Camino: Eight Decades of Cuban Poetry, edited and translated by Margaret Randall. Read on for the English translation.

Felices los normales

A Antonia Eiriz

Felices los normales, esos seres extraños.
Los que no tuvieron una madre loca, un padre borracho, un hijo delincuente,
Una casa en ninguna parte, una enfermedad desconocida,
Los que no han sido calcinados por un amor devorante,
Los que vivieron los diecisiete rostros de la sonrisa y un poco más,
Los llenos de zapatos, los arcángeles con sombreros,
Los satisfechos, los gordos, los lindos,
Los rintintín y sus secuaces, los que cómo no, por aquí,
Los que ganan, los que son queridos hasta la empuñadura,
Los flautistas acompañados por ratones,
Los vendedores y sus compradores,
Los caballeros ligeramente sobrehumanos,
Los hombres vestidos de truenos y las mujeres de relámpagos,
Los delicados, los sensatos, los finos,
Los amables, los dulces, los comestibles y los bebestibles.
Felices las aves, el estiércol, las piedras.

Pero que den paso a los que hacen los mundos y los sueños,
Las ilusiones, las sinfonías, las palabras que nos desbaratan
Y nos construyen, los más locos que sus madres, los más borrachos
Que sus padres y más delincuentes que sus hijos
Y más devorados por amores calcinantes.
Que les dejen su sitio en el infierno, y basta.

Happy Are the Normal Ones

To Antonia Eiriz

Happy are the normal ones, those strange beings,
Who didn’t have a crazy mother, drunken father, delinquent child,
A nowhere house, an unknown disease,
Who were never burnt to a crisp by an all-consuming love,
Who lived seventeen smiling faces and a little bit more,
Full of shoes, archangels with hats,
The satisfied, the fat, the beautiful,
Rintintín and his minions, who naturally, right here,
Who earn, who are loved to the hilt,
flautists accompanied by mice,
Salesmen and those who buy from them,
Slightly superhuman gentlemen,
Men dressed in thunder and women in lightning,
The delicate ones, the sensible, the refined,
The lovable, the sweet, the edible and drinkable.
Happy are the birds, the manure, the stones.

But let them make way for those who create worlds and dreams,
Illusions, symphonies, words that break us in two
And put us back together, those crazier than their mothers, drunker
Than their fathers, more delinquent than their children
And more devoured by all-consuming loves.
Leave them their place in hell, that’s all.

Learn more about Only the Road / Solo el Camino or read last week’s poem.

Stuart Hall’s First Encounter with London

In this excerpt from Stuart Hall’s new memoir, Familiar Stranger: A Life between Two Islands, he describes his trip with his mother, Jessie, from Jamaica to the United Kingdom. Hall had earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University and the two traveled there together in 1951. Enjoy the excerpt and then buy the book for 30% off with coupon E17FAMST.

978-0-8223-6387-3_pr w strokeIt is uncannily disconcerting to look back at my younger self, arriving in the port of Avonmouth in 1951, ready for a new life but absolutely unsure how it would happen, or what it would look like if it did. I was indeed elsewhere! I can say, however, that the colonial experience prepared me for England. Far from being an untroubled, innocent opportunity for me to step out into something new, this was an encounter which was mightily overdetermined.

My arrival preceded by some three months the general election in October in which the Conservatives ousted Labour and Winston Churchill regained the office of Prime Minister. After a short while I headed for Oxford University, into the very cultural heartland of England.

But this was an encounter which has not yet come to an end. It continues. It was, as Donald Hinds termed it a long while ago, ‘a journey to an illusion’ – or rather, a journey to the shattering of illusions, inaugurating a process of protracted disenchantment. I didn’t really know what I would find or what I would do with ‘it’ if I found ‘it’. I knew I didn’t want to be ‘it’, whatever that was. But I did want to encounter in the flesh, as it were, this phantasm of ‘other worlds’, swollen with – as it happened – false promise. What I really knew about Britain turned out to be a bewildering farrago of reality and fantasy. However, such illusions as I may have taken with me were unrealized because, fortunately, they were unrealizable. The episode was painful as well as exciting. It changed me irrevocably, almost none of it in ways I had remotely anticipated.

The whole experience was eerily familiar and disconcertingly strange at the same time. One can attribute this to the sense of déjà‑vu which assails colonial travellers on first encountering face-to-face the imperial metropole, which they actually know only in its translated form through a colonial haze, but which has always functioned as their ‘constitutive outside’: constituting them, or us, by its absence, because it is what they – we – are not. This is a manner of being defined from the beyond!

On the boat train to London, I kept feeling I’d seen this place somewhere before, as in a screen memory. It provoked a deep psychic recognition, an illusory after-effect. Had I been here before? Yes and no. I hadn’t anticipated what the English countryside would look like but, once I saw it whizzing past the train windows, I knew that this was how it should look: those proper, well-fed, black-and-white cows munching away contentedly in their neatly divided, hedgerowed fields surrounded by enormous, spreading sycamore trees. Everything I had read had prepared me for that. I knew, after all, the novels of Thomas Hardy. On the other hand, nothing had prepared me for the stark contrast between the sombre brick-and-cement hues and the well-disciplined dark, monotone character of London streets and the chaotic bustle of Kingston street life, with people shoving past one another on the crowded pavements, the handcarts and ice barrows with their rows of syrup bottles, the raucous hubbub and teeming vitality, provincial as it was.

London, when we got there, felt unwelcoming and forbidding. I guess my memories must have been infiltrated by what happened later, for what immediately comes to mind is the heavy, leaden autumn sky, the light permanently stuck halfway to dusk, the constant fine drizzle (where was the proper rain, the tropical downpour?), the blank windows of the square black cabs, the anonymity of the faces in the red double-decker buses, the yellow headlights glistening off the wet tarmac along the Bayswater Road. A dark, shuttered, anonymous city; high blocks of mansion flats,
turning up their noses at the life of the streets below. Everyone was buttoned up in dark suits, overcoats and hats, many carrying the proverbial umbrellas, scurrying with downcast eyes through the gathering gloom to unknown destinations. This was post-war austerity London, with its bombed-out sites, rubble and gaping spaces like missing teeth. A faint mist permanently shrouded Hyde Park, where ladies in jodhpurs and hard riding hats cantered their horses in the early mornings; the lights blazed in the Oxford Street department stores by three in the afternoon. There must have been bright and sunny days, for it was only the end of summer. But I don’t remember them.

(more…)

Poem of the Week

978-0-8223-6272-2_prHappy National Poetry Month! Each Thursday in April, we’ll share a poem from our collection of poetry books. Today’s poem, by Alexis Pauline Gumbs, is from her new book Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity.

 

her fingerprints rewritten rivers of coconut oil and shea. strands the geological memories punctuating the groove and hands god herself who moves and moves and moves. some would say she is slick. some would say she is thick. most would not say she is soaked in the universe. most would not compare the tiny ridges on her fingertips to the oldest forms of script. most would not connect the floorboards of her porch to the roots that they remember when she sits. most would not observe her face looking for patterns that are visible from space. her clients keep their backs to her. they have no eyes for what she sees. and the sea? well. they forget the ocean. themselves. but the desert. they remember enough to long for moisture. and to trust.

her eyelids know streambeds are pathways. know water from sky. know there is a spiritual reason why your scalp is dry. know cornrows from ricefields know laurels from crowns know most hieroglyphics are nouns. but her fingers speak present tense like weather and how. and her works of art feel pain but know better than to howl. they don’t understand the tapestry on their shoulders is a towel. but they know enough to sit up tall. they sure know not to scream. and when she’s finished they recognize themselves as a forgotten black dream.

even air becomes a ribbon even silence has a scent even laughter gets braided even split ends repent. and the pattern in her breathing settles sweetly on their pores and the unlocked locks of tangle get unnetted from the shore. and all the elders know to say is: she has been here before.

it looks like whirlwind. it feels like your head is shrinking. it smells like heaven. it tastes like salt. it sounds slightly like a waterfall. it goes like this:

massage out monday massage in more massage through mandate awaken the core. part practice from patience part what they say from what you know part partness from wholeness part being from show. braid fear over faith under throughline walking home. twist and repeat. braid faith over fear underneath speech. add in one perfect day with delicious food and plenty of sleep. coil coolness up and through sheen spray with sunbaked heat. and repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat. some only come out of the sense that they should sit down. but she makes sure they stand up. crowned.

Learn more about Spill.

April Events

978-0-8223-6272-2This month you can check out some of our authors at these upcoming events.

April 5: Spill author Alexis Pauline Gumbs will be giving a talk at the University of Denver.
4:00pm, Sturm Hall, 457, 2000 E. Asbury Ave., Denver, CO 80208

April 6-9: Randy Weston (whose autobiography African Rhythms was published in 2010) celebrates his 91st birthday this month with a series of events at Jazz Standard in New York City. He’ll take the stage with his band, the African Rhythms Quartet, for two sets nightly with special guests each evening.
7:30 and 9:30pm, Jazz Standard, 116 E 27th St. New York, NY 10016

brilliant-imperfection-coverApril 8: See Eli Clare give the keynote address at Rice University’s Critical Care: Disability Interventions and Medical Humanities Symposium.
8:00am, Farnsworth Pavillion, Rice University, 6100 S Main St, Houston, TX 77005

April 13: SUNY New Paltz will host a talk with Lorgia García-Peña on her book The Borders of Dominicanidad.
5:30pm, Honors Center, College Hall, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, NY 12561

April 14: Alexis Pauline Gumbs keynotes the Northwestern University conference Engendering Change.
5:15pm, University Hall 102, 1897 Sheridan Rd, Evanston, IL 60208

LawrenceApril 18: Duke University President Richard Brodhead, who is stepping down this spring, participates in the Faculty Bookwatch sponsored by Duke’s Franklin Humanities Institute and the Duke University Libraries. His new book is Speaking of Duke: Leading the Twenty-First-Century University.
5:30pm, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, 2001 Campus Dr, Durham, NC 27705

April 28: Catch Brilliant Imperfection author Eli Clare read from his latest book at Access Living.
6:30pm, 115 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60654

Tim Lawrence, author of Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983, returns to the U.S. for his second tour this month. Catch him in Pittsburgh, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Riverside, Iowa City, and Cedar Rapids. See more details here.

New Books in April

We have lots of great books coming out in April. Check them out…

978-0-8223-6387-3_pr w strokeFans of memoir and the iconic Stuart Hall will enjoy Familiar Stranger. With great insight, compassion, and wit Hall (1932–2014) tells how his experiences—from growing up in colonial Jamaica and attending Oxford to participating in the thorny politics of 1950s and 1960s Britain—shaped his intellectual and political work to become one of his age’s brightest intellectual lights.

Another Stuart Hall-related title, Stuart Hall’s Voice, is a series of letters—that David Scott wrote to Stuart Hall following his death—in which Scott characterizes Hall’s voice and his practice of speaking, listening, and generosity as the foundational elements of Hall’s intellectual work.

In The Space of Boredom, Bruce O’Neill shows how the Bucharest, Romania’s homeless are unable to fully participate in a society that is increasingly organized around practices of consumption, leaving them mired in an unshakeable boredom and the slow deterioration of their lives that are symptomatic of the alienation brought on by globalization.

Containing essays by some of the most prominent names in contemporary political and cultural theory, Sovereignty in Ruins develops a political vocabulary capable of transforming contemporary political frameworks by advancing a politics of crisis that collapses the false dichotomies between sovereignty and governmentality and between critique and crisis.

978-0-8223-6164-0_pr w strokeIn her latest, South of Pico, Kellie Jones traces how the artists in L.A.’s black communities during the 1960s and 70s created a vibrant, productive, and engaged activist arts scene in the face of structural racism through the production of art works that spoke to African American migration and L.A.’s racial politics.

As President of Duke University, Richard H. Brodhead spoke at numerous commencement ceremonies, community forums, and faculty meetings, and even appeared on the Colbert Report. Speaking of Duke collects dozens of these speeches, in which Brodhead speaks to issues central to Duke University and to higher education more generally.

In Exporting Revolution, Margaret Randall explores the Cuban Revolution’s impact on the outside world, tracing Cuba’s international outreach in healthcare, disaster relief, education, literature, art, liberation struggles, and sports to show how this outreach is a fundamental characteristic of the Revolution and of Cuban society.

978-0-8223-6348-4_prNew in our Latin America Readers series, and covering more than 500 years of history, culture, and politics, The Lima Reader seeks to capture the many worlds and many peoples of Peru’s capital city, featuring a selection of primary sources that consider the social tensions and cultural heritages of the “City of Kings.”

Using a range of historical, literary, and legal texts, the contributors to Critically Sovereign trace the ways in which gender is inextricably linked to Indigenous politics and U.S. and Canadian colonialism, showing how gender, sexuality, and feminism work as co-productive forces of Native American and Indigenous sovereignty, self-determination, and epistemology.

978-0-8223-6372-9_pr w strokeCultures Without Culturalism models a new path where historicized and cultural accounts of scientific practice retain their specificity and complexity without falling into the traps of cultural essentialism, examining issues that range from the history of quadratic equations in China to the studying of employment discrimination in the social sciences.

In the Name of Women’s Rights sees Sara R. Farris examine the calls for gender equality from an unlikely collection of European right-wing nationalist political parties, neoliberals, and some feminist theorists and policymakers, showing how their exploitation of feminist ideals justifies anti-Islam and anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies.

Never miss a new book! Sign up for Subject Matters, our  e-mail newsletter and get notifications of new titles in your preferred disciplines as well as discounts and other news.

TSQ 101 for International Transgender Day of Visibility

In honor of the ninth annual International Transgender Day of Visibility, a celebration of transgender people that raises awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, we selected nine articles from issues of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly that provide essential insights into terms, conversations, and challenges within the field of trans* studies.

  1. “Introduction”
    Susan Stryker and Paisley Currah
    Volume 1, Number 1-2

    This introduction to the first issue of TSQ provides an outline of the history and scope of the field of transgender studies.

  2. “Introduction: Trans/Feminisms”
    Susan Stryker and Talia M. Bettcher
    Volume 3, Number 1-2

    This introduction to the issue “Trans/Feminisms” counters forms of feminist transphobia within the feminist community by highlighting inspiring work currently being undertaken around the world under the banner of transfeminism.

  3. “Microaggressions”
    Sonny Nordmarken
    Volume 1, Number 1-2
    Transgender studies keyword essay

    This essay explores the term “microaggressions,” or commonplace, interpersonally communicated “othering” messages related to a person’s perceived marginalized status.

  4. “Radical Inclusion: Recounting the Trans Inclusive History of Radical Feminism”
    Cristan Williams
    Volume 3, Number 1-2

    This article reviews the ways in which radical feminism has been and continues to be trans inclusive. Trans inclusive radical feminist opinion leaders, groups, and events are reviewed and contrasted against a popular media narrative that asserts that radical feminism takes issue with trans people. Reviewed are historical instances in which radical feminists braved violence to ensure their feminism was trans inclusive.

  5. “Decolonizing Transgender: A Roundtable Discussion”
    Tom Boellstorff, Mauro Cabral, Micha Cardenas, Trystan Cotten, Eric A. Stanley, Kalaniopua Young, Aren Z. Aizura
    Volume 1, Number 3

    Participants in this roundtable discussion wrestled with definitions of decolonization, how decolonization has affected them personally and politically, and how trans* studies can offer strategies to demarginalize the community.

  6. “Transgender”
    Cristan Williams
    Volume 1, Number 1-2
    Transgender studies keyword essay

    This essay explores the term “transgender” and how it gained widespread use as the umbrella term for describing a range of gender-variant identities and communities within the United States in the early 1990s.

  7. “Cisgender”
    B. Aultman
    Volume 1, Number 1-2
    Transgender studies keyword essay

    This essay explores the term “cisgender,” which describes individuals who possess, from birth and into adulthood, the male or female reproductive organs (sex) typical of the social category of man or woman (gender) to which that individual was assigned at birth. The essay tracks the term’s emergence from trans* activist discourses in the 1990s.

  8. “Cultural Competency”
    Willy Wilkinson
    Volume 1, Number 1-2
    Transgender studies keyword essay

    This essay explores the term “cultural competency,” or the ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with diverse populations, measured by awareness, attitude, knowledge, skills, behaviors, policies, procedures, and organizational systems.

  9. “Transition”
    Julian Carter
    Volume 1, Number 1-2
    Transgender studies keyword essay

    This essay explores the term “transition,” the vernacular term of choice in North America for describing the process or experience of changing gender.

 

Celebrate International Transgender Visibility Day with us by downloading free coloring pages of a few of TSQ’s most memorable journal covers below. Share your colored-in sheet on Instagram or Twitter for a chance to win a TSQ gift bag! Tag @DukePress on Twitter or @dukeuniversitypress on Instagram with the hashtag #ColorMyTSQ!

TSQ Gift Bag

Enter for a chance to win issues of the journal, a signed TSQ book plate, and Duke University Press swag!

TSQ_3_3-4_Coloring-sheet-page-001TSQ_1_3_coloring-sheet-page-001

 

Archives in French History

ddfhs_40_2In the most recent issue of French Historical Studies, “Archives in French History,” editors Sarah A. Curtis and Stephen L. Harp examine the role of the archive in the study of French history. “Archives are a subject as well as an object of study, not simple depots for boxes containing unambiguous evidence of the past waiting to be discovered by historians,” they write in the introduction. “This issue reveals not only the breadth of archives now used to write French history but also the depth of thinking about the relationship between archives and history and between archives and historians.”

Contributors to this issue question the nature, origin, or history of the archive in French history to examine its dynamic relationship to the history that is written, rather than treating the archive as static or inert. The archives, therefore, are the historical subjects themselves. They answer questions like what constitutes an archive, what is the role of the state in the archival collection, what is no longer in the archive, who controls access to the archive, and what historians owe to their sources.

From the introduction:

Despite these new questions, our contention is that historians of France, like historians in many other fields today, use a wider array of archives, and we use them more broadly, more deeply, and more self-consciously than ever before. One special issue cannot fully capture that depth or that breadth, but the essays here offer a taste of the richness that characterizes current work on France while also providing thoughtful understandings of the structure and context of archives. We hope they encourage you to reflect—critically or not—on your own archive stories.

Topics in this issue include the ownership of history, sex in the archives, discovering an accidental archive, and the destruction and salvation of the archive. Browse the full table-of-contents.

Read the introduction to the issue, made freely available.

Society for Cinema and Media Studies, 2017

We spent last weekend in Chicago for the 2017 Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference—it was wonderful to see authors, sell books and journals, and celebrate prize-winning books!

Allison McCracken’s Real Men Don’t Sing was a co-winner of the Best First Book Award. Birth of an Industry by Nicholas Sammond received the 2017 Award of Distinction for the Katherine Singer Kovács Book Award, and Homay King’s Virtual Memory received the 2017 Award of Distinction for the Anne Friedberg Innovative Scholarship Award. Congratulations to these outstanding authors!

In case you missed seeing our authors at the conference, we snapped a few photos:

Nicholas Sammond and Michael Boyce Gillespie

Birth of an Industry author Nicholas Sammond with Film Blackness author Michael Boyce Gillespie

Rosalind Galt and Karl Schoonover

Queer Cinema in the World authors Rosalind Galt and Karl Schoonover

Homay King

Award-winning author Homay King with Virtual Memory

Nicholas Sammond

Nicholas Sammond with his award-winning book Birth of an Industry

You can still order books from our website using the conference discount—just use coupon code SCMS17 at checkout for 30% off your order!

Now Available: First Issue of Archives of Asian Art published by Duke University Press

ddaaa_67_1We are pleased to announce the first issue of Archives of Asian Art published by Duke University Press, volume 67, issue 1, is now available at asianart.dukejournals.org.

Archives of Asian Art, edited by Stanley K. Abe, is devoted to publishing new scholarship on the art and architecture of South, Southeast, Central, and East Asia. Articles discuss premodern and contemporary visual arts, archaeology, architecture, and the history of collecting. Submissions are encouraged in all areas of study related to Asian art and architecture to maintain a balanced representation of regions and types of art, and to present a variety of scholarly perspectives. Every issue is fully illustrated (with color plates in the online version), and each fall issue includes an illustrated compendium of recent acquisitions of Asian art by leading museums and collections.

Browse the table-of-contents for the current issue and read back content from 2001 to the present.

Collateral Afterworlds: Sociality Besides Redemption

ddstx_130The most recent issue of Social Text, “Collateral Afterworlds: Sociality Besides Redemption,” moves beyond the binary of life and death to explore how the gray areas in between—precarious life, slow death—call into question assumptions about the social in social theory. In these “collateral afterworlds,” where the line between life and death is blurred, the presumed attachments of sociality to life and solitude to death are no longer reliable.

The contributors focus on the daily experiences of enduring a difficult present unhinged from any redeeming future, addressing topics such as drug treatment centers in Mexico City, solitary death in Japan, Inuit colonial violence, human regard for animal life in India, and intimacies forged between grievously wounded soldiers. Engaging history, film, ethics, and poetics, the contributors explore the modes of intimacy, obligation, and ethical investment that arise in these spaces.

Read the introduction to the issue, made freely available.