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Introducing Our Fall 2021 Catalog

We’re excited to unveil our Fall 2021 catalog. Check out some highlights below and then download a copy for a closer look. These titles will be published between July 2021 and January 2022.

The catalog cover is a detail from the cover of There’s a Disco Ball Between Us by Jafari S. Allen, a sweeping and lively ethnographic and intellectual history of what he calls “Black gay habits of mind.” The image is by artist Jim Chuchu from Pagans IX, 2014.

Complaint!, Sara Ahmed’s seventh book with us, opens the catalog. Drawing on oral and written testimonies from academics and students who have made complaints about harassment, bullying and unequal working conditions at universities, Ahmed explores the gap between what is supposed to happen when complaints are made and what does happen. Complaint! will be a must-read for everyone who works in higher education.

We’re excited to welcome McKenzie Wark to our list with Philosophy for Spiders: On the Low Theory of Kathy Acker. Wark recounts her memories of Acker (with whom she had a passionate affair) and gives a comprehensive reading of her published and archived works. Wark finds not just an inventive writer of fiction who pressed against the boundaries of gender, but a theorist whose comprehensive philosophy of life brings a conceptual intelligence to the everyday life of those usually excluded from philosophy’s purview. Fans of non-traditional academic writing may also want to check out the latest book in our Writing Matters! series, Magical Habits by Monica Huerta, which draws on her experiences growing up in her family’s Mexican restaurants and her life as a scholar of literature and culture to meditate on how relationships among self, place, race, and storytelling contend with both the afterlives of history and racial capitalism.

Since its publication twenty years ago, Brian Massumi’s pioneering Parables for the Virtual has become an essential text for interdisciplinary scholars across the humanities. We’re pleased to announce a twentieth-anniversary edition this fall, which includes a new preface in which Massumi situates the book in relation to developments since its publication and outlines the evolution of its main concepts. It also includes two short texts, “Keywords for Affect” and “Missed Conceptions about Affect,” where Massumi explicates his approach to affect in ways that emphasize the book’s political and philosophical stakes. We also offer a new book from Massumi, Couplets, that presents twenty-four essays that represent the full spectrum of his work during the past thirty years. Conceived as a companion volume to Parables for the Virtual, Couplets addresses the key concepts of Parables from different angles and contextualizes them, allowing their stakes to be more fully felt.

Birthing Black Mothers by Jennifer C. Nash is among many great new Black studies titles on the Fall list. She examines how the figure of the “Black mother” has become a powerful political category synonymous with crisis, showing how they are often rendered into one-dimensional symbols of tragic heroism and the ground zero of Black life. In “Beyond This Narrow Now” Nahum Dimitri Chandler shows that the premises of W. E. B. Du Bois’s thinking at the turn of the twentieth century stand as fundamental references for the whole itinerary of his thought.

Pioneering political scientist Martin Kilson’s memoir, A Black Intellectual’s Odyssey; Marcus Bell’s Whiteness Interrupted, a revealing portrait of white teachers in majority-black schools; Hawai’i Is My Haven by Nitasha Tamar Sharma, which maps the context and contours of Black life in the Hawaiian Islands; and Elizabeth McHenry’s To Make Negro Literature, which traces African American authorship in the decade following the 1896 legalization of segregation, will also all be of interest.

We have four new books in the Black Outdoors series as well. Black Gathering by Sarah Jane Cervenak engages with Black artists and writers who create alternative spaces for Black people to gather free from interruption or regulation. Maroon Choreography by fahima ife consists of three long-form poems and a lyrical essay that examine black fugitivity as an ongoing phenomenon we know little about beyond what history tells us. In Toward Camden, Mercy Romero writes a complex and vibrant story about the largely African American and Puerto Rican Cramer Hill neighborhood in New Jersey where she grew up. And Rachel Zolf’s No One’s Witness draws on Black studies, continental philosophy, queer theory, experimental poetics, and work by several writers and artists, asking what it means to witness from the excessive, incalculable position of No One.

The newest volume in our Stuart Hall: Selected Writings series is Writings on Media, edited by Charlotte Brunsdon. It collects twenty essays that reaffirm Hall’s stature as an innovative media theorist while demonstrating the continuing relevance of his methods of analysis. Other media studies titles to check out include Diminished Faculties by Jonathan Sterne, which offers a sweeping cultural study and theorization of impairment; and Media Hot and Cold by Nicole Starosielski, which examines the cultural dimensions of temperature to theorize the ways heat and cold can be used as a means of communication, subjugation, and control.

A trio of film studies books will also be of interest to media scholars. In Life-Destroying Diagrams, Eugenie Brinkema brings the insights of her radical formalism to bear on supremely risky terrain: the ethical extremes of horror and love. Mary Ann Doane’s Bigger than Life examines how the scalar operations of cinema, especially those of the close-up, disturb and reconfigure the spectator’s sense of place, space, and orientation. And in How Do We Look? Fatimah Tobing Rony draws on transnational images of Indonesian women as a way to theorize what she calls visual biopolitics–the ways visual representation determines which lives are made to matter more than others.

If you have fond memories of driving around aimlessly with friends late at night, listening to loud music, you may enjoy Joshua Clover’s Roadrunner, which examines Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers’ 1972 song “Roadrunner,” charting its place in rock & roll history and American culture.

We’ve also got some incredible special issues of journals coming up this season–here’s a small sampling. In “Sexology and Its Afterlives,” a Social Text issue edited by Joan Lubin and Jeanne Vaccaro, contributors theorize sexual labor as both work and a site of labor resistance and transformation, highlighting sex workers’ own production of knowledge for navigating racial capitalism, state violence, and economic precarity. “Transnational Feminist Approaches to Anti-Muslim Racism,” a Meridians issue edited by Sherene H. Razack and Zeynep K. Korkman, traces the global circuits and formations of power through which anti-Muslim racism travels, operates, and shapes local contexts. And contributors present empirical evidence for how the pandemic has had a disproportionately negative impact on people of color, incarcerated people, and people with disabilities in “COVID-19 Politics and Policy: Pandemic Inequity in the United States,” an issue of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law edited by Sarah E. Gollust and Julia Lynch.

There’s so much more in the fall catalog, including: new books from Elizabeth Povinelli, Kaushik Sunder Rajan, and Tania Murray Li; a reader of the works of Haitian anthropologist Michel-Rolph Trouillot; a translation of Malian writer Amadou Hampate Ba’s memoir Amkoullel, the Fula Boy; and great titles in anthropology, Latin American studies, Asian studies, queer theory, history, African studies, and so much more. Download the catalog now! And be sure to sign up for our email alerts so you’ll know when titles you’re interested in are available.

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