African Studies

New Titles in African Studies

Decorative African Studies Association conference banner

We will be celebrating the African Studies Association conference virtually this year. Until December 31, 2021, save 40% on books and journal issues with coupon code AFSA21 when you order on our website. Customers in the UK and Europe can order books with this code from our UK partner, Combined Academic Publishers.

Registered attendees can find us in the official virtual exhibit hall. For highlights of our newest titles in African studies, check out our conference landing page. And browse all books and journals in African studies here.

Join Julie Livingston for an author-meets-critics session about her book Self-Devouring Growth: A Planetary Parable as Told from Southern Africa, Thursday, November 18 at 12:00pm EST.

There is also an author-meets-critics session for Naminata Diabate’s Naked Agency: Genital Cursing and Biopolitics in Africa, Thursday, November 18 at 4:00pm EST.

And join Achille Mbembe, Naminata Diabate, Noah Tamarkin, Monica Popescu, and Lynn Thomas for a discussion on “Theory in Forms: Politics meets New Writing” Wednesday, November 17, 10:00am EST.

You can find many other DUP authors on panels throughout to conference, including Christopher Tounsel, Jennifer Bajorek, Xavier Livermon, Cajetan Iheka, Kwasi Konadu, and Matthew H. Brown.

If you were hoping to connect with Elizabeth Ault or one of our other editors about your book project at the African Studies Association conference, please reach out by email. See our editors’ specialties and contact information here and our online submissions guidelines and submission portal here.

New Titles in Religious Studies

We are sad to miss out on meeting authors in person at the AAR/SBL Joint Annual Meeting this year. We know that many of you look forward to stocking up on new titles at special discounts at our conferences, so we are pleased to offer a 40% discount on all in-stock books and journal issues with coupon code AAR20 until January 15, 2020. View our Religious Studies catalog below for a complete list of all our newest titles in Religious Studies and across disciplines. You can also explore all of our books and journals in the field on dukeupress.edu.

Editors Miriam Angress and Sandra Korn both offer welcome messages to AAR/SBL participant, along with their highlights of the latest books and a special invitation!

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Associate Editor Miriam Angress

Dear AAR/SBL community,
Hello!  We invite you to a gathering to celebrate the Duke University Press series The Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People. The date and time are below, along with a list of the current and forthcoming series titles. This party will include readings by series authors Yolanda Covington-Ward, Roberto Strongman, Todne Thomas, and Joseph Winters, as well as a panel discussion facilitated by the series editors. Please join us…

Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People Series Party 2020: Reading, Panel, and Q&A
Hosted by Terrence L. Johnson, Dianne M. Stewart, and Jacob K. Olupona
Friday, December 4, 4pm EST
Four covers are featured: Queering Black Atlantic Religions, Hope Draped in Black, Kincraft, Gesture and Power
Come party with the editors of the Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People book series on Friday, December 4 at 4:00pm EST. RSVP on the event page.

I also want to highlight a few other Duke books, beyond the series, that I’m excited about (published this year or imminent):
The Bruce B. Lawrence ReaderIslam Beyond Borders, edited by Ali Altaf Mian (forthcoming, December 2021).  In this Reader, editor Ali Altaf Mian gathers over four decades of scholarship by Bruce Lawrence, an esteemed Islamicist and scholar of religious studies, with selections analyzing aspects of Islam (both pre-modern and modern Islamic discourses) and investigating method and theory in the study of religion.


The Aesthetics of Resistance, volume 2, by Peter Weiss (2020). Regarded by many as one of the leading works of the 20th century, this novel documents the resistance to fascism in Europe (and within Germany) during World War II. The Aesthetics of Resistance is the three-volume magnum opus of Peter Weiss (1916-1982), a German-born novelist, painter, film director, and playwright best known in this country as the author of the play Marat/Sade. The novel has never, until now, been translated into English and this is the second volume of three.  Duke University Press published the first volume of The Aesthetics of Resistance in 2005.

You can find all of the books in the The Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People series on our website, or click on the covers below for specific titles.

Assistant Editor Sandra Y. L. Korn, smiling, holding a pile of books.
Assistant Editor Sandra Y. L. Korn, with books! Sima Shakhsari’s Politics of Rightful Killing, Margaret Randall’s I Never Left Home, Ashon T. Crawley’s The Lonely Letters, Anustup Basu’s Hindutva as Political Monotheism, Katherina Galor and Sa’ed Atshan‘s The Moral Triangle, and an edited collection from Tiffany Lethabo King, Jenell Navarro, Andrea Smith, Otherwise Worlds.

Good morning, AAR/SBL community! This will be my fifth year at the AAR/SBL conference and I’m grateful that this fall we’ll be able to connect with each other and attend panels from the safety of our own living rooms. I can’t hand you books from the booth so I hope you’ll read through for some of my recommendations, and please feel free to reach out if you’d like to schedule a virtual coffee or phone call!

This year in particular I’ve been really thankful for books that have helped me to expand what I consider spiritual, to better understand issues of injustice and oppression, and to imagine a future that looks different than the present.

Image of four books (clockwise from top left): Otherwise Worlds, Politics of Rightful Killing, The Lonely Letters, and The Moral Triangle.
Sandra’s recommendations include beautiful cover art from (clockwise from top left): Kimberly Tobertson and Jenell Navarro (“Postcard from an Otherwise World”), Kree Arvanitas (“Twitter Revolution in Heaven”), Robert Sniderman (“Counter-Ruin”), and Ashon Crawley (“Dancing in one spot number 13”).

We have a collection of beautiful new books that bring forth visions of alternative futures—in a variety of forms. For those who turn to poetry, Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s Dub: Finding Ceremony takes inspiration from Sylvia Wynter and ocean life to offer possibilities for new worlds and a new planet. Ashon Crawley’s The Lonely Letters is a creative nonfiction work that meditates on the interrelation of blackqueer life, sounds of the Black church, theology, mysticism, and love. R. A. Judy’s theoretically-driven work Sentient Flesh shows that the long tradition of black radical critique gives us the material on which to re-imagine the world. And Otherwise Worlds: Against Settler Colonialism and Anti-Blackness, a collection in our Black Outdoors series, looks at how Black and Indigenous relationships can help imagine worlds beyond the constraints of violence and settler colonialism.

While the results of the US Presidential election are a huge relief, we know that this change in regime will not upend the structures of Islamophobic surveillance and repression in the US and globally. A few new books take up these pressing issues. Hindutva as Political Monotheism by Anustup Basu considers the role of Western political theology in rise of right-wing and anti-Muslim nationalism in India. Sima Shakhsari’s Politics of Rightful Killing: Civil Society, Gender, and Sexuality in Weblogistan looks at the transnational network of Iranian bloggers as simultaneously a site for queer and feminist politics and US government surveillance. (This book has the most gorgeous cover art, a piece called “Twitter Revolution from Heaven” by Kree Arvanitas!)

The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians also has a striking cover—performance artist Robert Sniderman walking through the Berlin Holocaust Memorial with a shirt that reads “Gaza” in English, Arabic, and Hebrew. This book, co-authored by Katherina Galor and Sa’ed Atshan, looks at Berlin, where artists and activists grapple with how to account for multiple forms of historical trauma: antisemitism and Islamophobia, Holocaust and Nakba.

For those in anthropology and Jewish studies, I also wanted to highlight Genetic Afterlives by Noah Tamarkin, which looks at how the black Jewish Lemba community of South Africa navigates competing claims to Jewish genealogy and African indigeneity.

Anyone who knows me will know that I love both memoir and revolutionary Jewish lesbians so you’d better believe that I’m thrilled about Margaret Randall’s new memoir I Never Left Home!

Finally, there are a few incredible titles coming out in the next couple of months! Please keep an eye out for Queer Political Theologies, a special issue of GLQ that drops in January. The Bruce B. Lawrence Readeredited by Ali Altaf Mian, also comes out in January, and collects some of Lawrence’s most brilliant writings about Islam and the Divine. And I’m really excited for Beyond Man: Race, Coloniality, and Philosophy of Religion, a collection of work that seeks to decolonize the philosophy of religion, which comes out in the spring. Perhaps next year at this time we’ll get to celebrate these new texts in person.

Queer Political Theologies

I hope to see you at 4pm on December 4th at the virtual party to celebrate and toast new books in the Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People Series!

Don’t forget to check out the latest special issues on religion, theology, and spirituality from our journals Poetics Today, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and the Journal of Korean Studies: Postsecularisms,” “Queer Political Theologies,” and “The Sacred and the Secular: Protestant Christianity as Lived Experience in Modern Korea.” All special issues are eligible for the 40% discount using code AAR20.

You can join DUP authors for several panels online, through the AAR/SBL conference portal:

  • N. Fadeke Castor, panelist, “Experiments with Power: Obeah and the Remaking of Religion,” Wednesday, Dec 2, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM EST
  • Judith Casselberry, panelist, “From Sun Ra to Grace Jones: A Roundtable on AfricanAmerican Performers and Religious Identity” Wednesday, Dec 2, 4:00 PM–5:30 PM EST
  • Laura E. Pérez, responder, “Decolonial Practices of Naming, Thinking, and Being,” Thursday, Dec 3, 11:00AM-1:00PM EST
  • Mayfair Yang, responder, “Renegotiating Unseen Realms: Studies on the Ritual Reinvention Among Late-Imperial and Contemporary Daoists,” Wed, Dec 9, 9:00AM-10:30AM EST 
  • Andrea Smith, panelist,  “Black Theology Post-Cone: Interrogating Value, MisReligion, and the Theological Legacies of Settler Colonialism” Wednesday, December 9, 4:00PM-5:30PM EST

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

Duke University Press in Uganda

Last fall, we were thrilled to publish the first book of our new Critical Global Health series, Second Chances: Surviving Aids in Uganda, edited by Susan Reynolds Whyte. The book was celebrated at a launch in Uganda in February, at Makerere University in Kampala. Four prominent Ugandans discussed the book. All have been and continue to be major players in shaping the response to AIDS in the country.

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In their remarks they touched on three themes:

As clinicians, they found that the book gave them understanding of their patients as people.

Peter Mugyenyi, Director, Joint Clinical Research Centre, a leading authority on the treatment of AIDS in Africa:

“As a person who was involved in access to ARV drugs in this country, I found this story very moving. Any health care provider who reads this book, and listens—it is like listening to people talking to you, that’s how well it is written—your practice will never be the same…I looked at this book and I started reflecting on what sort of services we provide to patients. When you read this book your vision of such issues will never quite be the same.

Through the stories that these patients told, I could see you the interviewers. I saw how you felt for the study participants you looked after and followed up. I saw how you got involved, and then in the end you told a moving story.”

Harriet Mayanja, Dean, School of Medicine, and former Head of the Department of Internal Medicine, treating AIDS patients at Mulago, the national referral hospital:

“This book is not only second chances for the people they write about. It is also second chances for us to look at disease and people who are unwell as individual human beings with families, with homes, with worries, with fears as opposed to cases and statistics.”

(more…)

NATIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY DAY

Today is National Anthropology Day! The American Association of Anthropologists states that “anthropologists are innovators and creative thinkers who contribute to every sector of society,” and we couldn’t agree more. To celebrate, AAA has teamed up with universities and other institutions nationwide, to share and celebrate the many ways in which anthropology affects our lives, both big and small. Check here to see if an event will be hosted near you!

Anthropology can cover a wide variety of topics– from climate change and our disappearing beaches, to indigenous exploitation around the world; to the use and availability of pharmaceuticals and hospitals from Africa to Papua New Guinea. Anthropology can inform the theoretical, the concrete, and even poetry; it can be used to understand the past and be applied to our understanding of the future.

Is your interest piqued? We have lots of great anthropology titles to check out here. Some of our most recent titles include:

Ferguson cover image, 5886-2In Give a Man a Fish: Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution, James Ferguson examines the rise of social welfare programs in southern Africa in which states give cash payments to their low income citizens. These programs, Ferguson argues, offer new opportunities for political mobilization and inspire new ways to think about issues of production, distribution, markets, labor and unemployment.

Callison cover image, 5787-2How Climate Change Comes to Matter: The Communal Life of Facts, by Candis Callison, is a rich ethnographic account describing the processes by which climate change comes to matter collectively and individually, and how vernacular explanations of climate change reflect diverse ways of knowing and caring about the world.

Starn cover image, 5873-2Using the influential and controversial Writing Culture as a point of departure, the thirteen essays in Writing Culture and the Life of Anthropology, edited by Orin Starn, consider anthropology’s past, document the current state of the field, and outline its future possibilities.

Kulick cover image, 5833-6In Loneliness and Its Opposite: Sex, Disability, and the Ethics of Engagement, Don Kulick and Jens Rydström argue that for people with disabilities, being able to explore their sexuality is an issue of fundamental social justice. The authors analyze how Sweden and Denmark engage with the sexuality of people with disabilities; whereas Sweden hinders sexuality, Denmark supports it through the work of third-party sexual helpers.

Mankekar cover image, 5836-7Purnima Mankekar offers a new understanding of the affective and temporal dimensions of how India and “Indianness,” as objects of knowledge production and mediation, circulate through transnational public cultures in Unsettling India: Affect, Temporality, Transnationality.

Freeman cover image, 5803-9Steeped in more than a decade of ethnography on the emergent middle class of Barbados, Entrepreneurial Selves: Neoliberal Respectability and the Making of a Caribbean Middle Class, by Carla Freeman, turns a spotlight on the entrepreneur, a figure saluted across the globe as the very embodiment of neoliberalism.

To learn more, check out our extensive list of anthropology titles, and read their introductions on Scribd.