In the News

The Journal of Asian Studies is now available

We are pleased to present the first issue of the Journal of Asian Studies published by Duke University Press!

Volume 82, Number 1 is now online and paywall free, for a limited time, along with ALL back content since 1941!

Since its founding in 1941, the Journal of Asian Studies has been recognized as the most authoritative and prestigious publication in the field of Asian studies. The journal publishes the very best empirical and multidisciplinary work on Asia, spanning the arts, history, literature, the social sciences, and cultural studies. Experts around the world turn to the journal for the latest in-depth scholarship on Asia’s past and present, for its extensive book reviews, and for its state-of-the-field essays on established and emerging topics. With coverage reaching from South and Southeast Asia to China, Inner Asia, and Northeast Asia, the Journal of Asian Studies welcomes broad comparative and transnational studies as well as essays emanating from fine-grained historical, cultural, political, or literary research and interpretation.

The journal is edited by Joseph Alter (University of Pittsburgh, USA), who shares in the issue’s Editorial Foreword, “Changing publishers is an opportunity to reflect on the past, take critical stock of the present, and anticipate future directions in the field. I look forward to the many ways in which this new partnership will allow the journal to build creatively and imaginatively on the foundation of academic excellence established over the preceding seventy years by a community of scholars dedicated to the mission of the Association for Asian Studies.”

A New Look

“To commemorate the journal’s transition to DUP, I worked closely with the editorial office to create a new cover that would convey that this is a journal anchored in a tradition of scholarship but also oriented toward the future,” said Heather Hensley, Duke University Press Journals Designer. “The newly designed Journal of Asian Studies cover incorporates bold typography and colors supported by four rotating background textures. These textures each represent the four area groupings of the book reviews: China and Inner Asia, Northeast Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.”

“We are excited to collaborate with the Association for Asian Studies to publish the Journal of Asian Studies, which is an excellent addition to our strong list of books and journals in Asian studies. The Press will provide strong publishing services, partnership management, and a history of growing and sustaining journals. Our partnership with AAS will benefit both the Association and the Press—two mission-driven organizations,” said Rob Dilworth, Duke University Press Journals Director.

The Journal of Asian Studies joins Duke University Press’s list of Asian studies journals, which includes Archives of Asian ArtComparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East; the Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture; the Journal of Korean Studiespositions: asia critiquePrism: Theory and Modern Chinese LiteratureSungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies; and Trans Asia Photography.

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The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) offers membership to individuals (students, professors, independent scholars, and anyone interested in the study of Asia). Memberships are managed by the AAS and include subscriptions to the Journal of Asian StudiesJoin or renew at


Logo for the Association for Asian Studies

The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) is a scholarly, nonpolitical, nonprofit professional association open to anyone interested in Asia and the study of Asia. With approximately 5,500 members worldwide, representing all the regions and countries of Asia and all academic disciplines, the AAS is the largest organization of its kind.

Duke University Press is a nonprofit scholarly publisher with a focus on the humanities, the social sciences, and mathematics. The Press publishes approximately 140 books annually and around 60 journals, as well as offering several electronic collections and open-access publishing initiatives.

2022 Foerster Prize Winner Announced

We’re pleased to announce the winner of the 2022 Norman Foerster Prize, awarded to the best essay of the year in American Literature: “Imperative Reading: Brothertown and Sister Fowler” by Ana Schwartz, published in volume 94, issue 4. Read the essay, freely available through the end of May, here.

The prize committee offered this praise for the winning essay: “Ana Schwartz’s superb essay, ‘Imperative Reading: Brothertown and Sister Fowler’ articulates a strikingly original and generative method of literary analysis that she names imperative reading. In a nuanced and careful reading of the correspondence between Samson Occom and his sister-in-law, Sister Fowler, Schwartz explores key debates at stake in the field of literary criticism today, including those concerning postcritical and affective reading, historicism, and archival studies. Her essay is distinguished by its elegant and nimble prose and thoughtful engagements with both the texts at hand and the larger fields of Indigenous studies, early American studies, and literary studies. Schwartz’s concept of imperative reading—the ‘experience of reading within a dense network of obligations’—is rooted in and extends theorizations of refusal in contemporary Indigenous and decolonial studies in compelling terms.”

The honorable mention for this year’s Foerster Prize was “The Diversity Requirement; or, The Ambivalent Contingency of the Asian American Student Teacher” by Douglas S. Ishii (vol. 94, no. 4). The committee had this to say about the honorable mention: “Douglas Ishii’s impressive essay, ‘The Diversity Requirement; or, The Ambivalent Contingency of the Asian American Student Teacher’ takes on both the practice of literary analysis and the nature of that work in the academy today. Ishii’s focus on crucial issues that inform the work of literary scholars today—the precarity of employment and the vicissitudes of institutional ‘DEI’ practices—is particularly astute and insightful. He moves deftly between an analysis of Asian American campus novels and the place of contingent Asian American faculty (including, at one time, himself) charged with teaching courses that fulfill diversity requirements. The essay is a tour-de-force in analyzing the institutions that shape our work and the work we do within the neoliberal academy today.”

Congratulations to Ana Schwartz and Douglas S. Ishii!

The Weekly Read

It’s New York Fashion Week, so what better time to explore Fashion’s Borders, a recent special issue of English Language Notes edited by Jane Garrity and Celia Marshik.

“Fashion, we assert, is the cultural medium through which borders shift and move—in which place can be understood as a state of mind or a geographic location.”

Jane Garrity and Celia Marshik

Fashion’s Borders: An Introduction is The Weekly Read for February 11, 2023.

Introduction Abstract

The introduction traces the long history of fashion’s movement across cultural, national, and political borders. After brief case studies of early twentieth-century French and Spanish styles imagining fashion as an engine of transnational amity, the introduction highlights how fashion navigates some of the most troubled borders of recent years, including the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and racial violence. Fashion forces viewers and consumers to choose sides, whether through national identification or through recognition of the long history of black and brown bodies producing fashionable objects. To advance the global history of fashion, the introduction briefly discusses the work of designers Rawan Maki (Bahrain), Laurence Leenaert (Belgium), and Kim Jones (Great Britain), examining how each upends gender, race, class, or fashion binaries, and analyzes how LVMH and Uniqlo, brands at opposite ends of the contemporary style spectrum, underline the very different ways in which fashion traverses the globe in the twenty-first century. The introduction concludes with the hope that this issue will raise questions about fashion’s articulation of the relation among the local, the national, and the global, as well as about the human experience of interacting with the fashion industry in one national context while living in a globalized world.

Buy this issue and use coupon code SAVE30 at checkout for a 30% discount!

The Weekly Read is a weekly feature in which we highlight articles, books, and chapters that are freely available online. You’ll be able to find a link to the selection here on the blog as well as on our social media channels. Enjoy The Weekly Read, and check back next week for something new to read for free.

The Weekly Read

The Weekly Read for Saturday, January 28, 2023 is “The Politics of Abortion 50 Years after Roe,” a special issue of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, edited by Katrina Kimport and Rebecca Kreitzer. The introduction, and all articles, are freely available as advance publication articles.

Introduction Abstract

“Abortion is central to the Amerian political landscape and a common pregnancy outcome, yet research on abortion has been siloed and marginalized in the social sciences: in an empirical analysis, we find only 22 articles published in this century in the top economics, political science, and sociology journals. This special issue aims to bring abortion research into a more generalist space, challenging what we term the “abortion research paradox” wherein abortion research is largely absent from prominent disciplinary social science journals but flourishes in interdisciplinary and specialized journals. After discussing the misconceptions that likely contribute to abortion research siloization and the implications of this siloization on abortion research as well as social science knowledge more generally, this essay introduces the articles in this special issue. Then, in a call for continued and expanded research on abortion, this essay closes by offering three guiding practices for abortion scholars—both those new to the topic and those already deeply familiar—in the hopes of building an ever-richer body of literature on abortion politics, policy, and law. The need for such a robust literature is especially acute following the United States Supreme Court’s June 2022 overturning of the constitutional right to abortion.”

Katrina Kimport and Rebecca Kreitzer

Available articles:

Introduction: The Politics of Abortion 50 Years after Roe,” by issue editors Katrina Kimport and Rebecca Kreitzer

Undue Burdens: State Abortion Laws in the U.S., 1994–2022,” by Louise Marie Roth and Jennifer Hyunkyung Lee

Unlimited Discretion: How Unchecked Bureaucratic Discretion Can Threaten Abortion Availability,” by Orlaith Heymann, Danielle Bessett, Alison Norris, Jessie Hill, Danielle Czarnecki, Hillary J. Gyuras, Meredith Pensak, and Michelle L. McGowan

A Mixed Methods Approach to Understanding the Disconnection between Perceptions of Abortion Acceptability and Support for Roe v. Wade Among US Adults,” by Beyza E. Buyuker, Kathryn J. LaRoche, Xiana Bueno, Kristen N. Jozkowski, Brandon L. Crawford, Ronna C. Turner, and Wen-Juo Lo

Self-Sourced Medication Abortion, Physician Authority, and the Contradictions of Abortion Care,” by Jennifer Karlin and Carole Joffe

 “History and Politics of Medication Abortion in the United States and the Rise of Telemedicine and Self-Managed Abortion,” by Carrie N. Baker

Activism for Abortion Rights and Access Is Global: What the United States Can Learn from the Rest of the World,” by Anu Kumar

State Courts, State Legislatures, and Setting Abortion Policy,” by Jeong Hyun Kim, Anna Gunderson, Elizabeth Lane, and Nichole M. Bauer 

Abortion as a Public Health Risk in Covid-19 Anti-Abortion Legislation,” by Saphronia Carson and Shannon K. Carter 

 Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law

A leading journal in its field, and the primary source of communication across the many disciplines it serves, the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law focuses on the initiation, formulation, and implementation of health policy and analyzes the relations between government and health—past, present, and future.
Jonathan Oberlander, editor

The Weekly Read is a weekly feature in which we highlight articles, books, and chapters that are freely available online. You’ll be able to find a link to the selection here on the blog as well as on our social media channels. Enjoy The Weekly Read, and check back next week for something new to read for free.

The Weekly Read

The Weekly Read for Saturday, January 21, 2023 is The Curious Case of Oscar Lorick: Race, Markets, and Militancy during the Farm Crisis, by Rebecca Shimoni-Stoil. The article appears in The 1980s Farm Crisis Reconsidered, a recent special issue of Agricultural History.


“In 1985 Oscar Lorick—an aging and illiterate Black farmer clinging to seventy-nine acres of land and burdened with massive debts—turned to local farm activist Tommy Kersey to help stave off foreclosure. The ensuing mobilization tied together the NAACP, Black church networks, white supremacist militants, corporate sponsors, a millionaire benefactor, and even the Atlanta Falcons in the ultimately successful attempt to save his farm. Lorick’s story serves as a point of departure to assert that the Farm Crisis facilitated the convergence of anti-federal and federal-skeptic ideologies, both radical and conventional, in the fertile ground of rural America. Relying on court records, news reports, and organizational documents, this article reconstructs a story that grabbed national attention during the Farm Crisis to demonstrate the importance of free-market narratives, racial discrimination, and the legacy of civil rights mobilization in understanding the complexity of agrarian activism in the crisis-era South.”

Oscar Lorick’s story remains inscribed in the countryside outside of Cochran, Georgia, today. The faded inscriptions read “Live Free or Die,” and “FED RES SYS” with superimposed prohibition sign. (Photograph by Bert Way, April 17, 2022.)

The Weekly Read is a new weekly feature in which we highlight articles, books, and chapters that are freely available online. You’ll be able to find a link to the selection here on the blog as well as on our social media channels. Enjoy The Weekly Read, and check back next week for something new to read for free.

Priscilla Wald on the Outbreak Narrative

The news that the first case of ebola in the United States has been diagnosed has the media in a frenzy and some people in Dallas panicking: taking their children out of school, calling for border closures and general quarantines. Priscilla Wald, Professor of English and Women’s Studies at Duke University, is not surprised by the reaction, which follows a narrative very similar to past epidemics, and she counsels in this story that it is important to try to quell people’s fears. In light of the epidemic, and the predictable reactions to it, we offer an excerpt from Wald’s 2008 book Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative in which she explains her concept of “the outbreak narrative.”

978-0-8223-4153-6_prContagion is more than an epidemiological fact. It is also a foundational concept in the study of religion and of society, with a long history of explaining how beliefs circulate in social interactions. The concept of contagion evolved throughout the twentieth century through the commingling of theories about microbes and attitudes about social change. Communicable disease compels attention—for scientists and the lay public alike—not only because of the devastation it can cause but also because the circulation of microbes materializes the transmission of ideas. The interactions that make us sick also constitute us as a community. Disease emergence dramatizes the dilemma that inspires the most basic human narratives: the necessity and danger of human contact.

The outbreak narrative—in its scientific, journalistic, and fictional incarnations—follows a formulaic plot that begins with the identification of an emerging infection, includes discussion of the global networks throughout which it travels, and chronicles the epidemiological work that ends with its containment. As epidemiologists trace the routes of the microbes, they catalog the spaces and interactions of global modernity. Microbes, spaces, and interactions blend together as they animate the landscape and motivate the plot of the outbreak narrative: a contradictory but compelling story of the perils of human interdependence and the triumph of human connection and cooperation, scientific authority and the evolutionary advantages of the microbe, ecological balance and impending disaster.

The conventions of the paradigmatic story about newly emerging infections have evolved out of earlier accounts of epidemiological efforts to address widespread threats of communicable disease. While I use “the outbreak narrative” to refer to that paradigmatic story, which followed the identification of HIV, I use “outbreak narratives” broadly to designate those epidemiological stories. I return to the early years of bacteriology and public health in the United States to trace the impact of the discovery of the microbe on attitudes toward social interactions and collective identity that characterize the outbreak narrative of disease emergence.

Outbreak narratives and the outbreak narrative have consequences. As they disseminate information, they affect survival rates and contagion routes. They promote or mitigate the stigmatizing of individuals, groups, populations, locales (regional and global), behaviors, and lifestyles, and they change economies. They also influence how both scientists and the lay public understand the nature and consequences of infection, how they imagine the threat, and why they react so fearfully to some disease outbreaks and not others at least as dangerous and pressing. It is therefore important to understand the appeal and persistence of the outbreak narrative and to consider how it shapes accounts of disease emergence across genres and media.

Read the entire introduction here.

Copyright Duke University Press, 2008.