Block Reference
Red, Yellow, and Black cover with the text reading "Colonial, Racial, Capitalism." Edited by Susan Koshy, Lisa Marie Cacho, Jodi A. Byrd, and Brian Jordan Jefferson

The contributors to Colonial Racial Capitalism consider anti-Blackness, human commodification, and slave labor alongside the history of Indigenous dispossession and the uneven development of colonized lands across the globe. They demonstrate the co-constitution and entanglement of slavery and colonialism from the conquest of the New World through industrial capitalism to contemporary financial capitalism. Among other topics, the essays explore the historical suturing of Blackness and Black people to debt, the violence of uranium mining on Indigenous lands in Canada and the Belgian Congo, how municipal property assessment and waste management software encodes and produces racial difference, how Puerto Rican police crackdowns on protestors in 2010 and 2011 drew on decades of policing racially and economically marginalized people, and how historic sites in Los Angeles County narrate the Mexican-American War in ways that occlude the war’s imperialist groundings. The volume’s analytic of colonial racial capitalism opens new frameworks for understanding the persistence of violence, precarity, and inequality in modern society.

Contributors. Joanne Barker, Jodi A. Byrd, Lisa Marie Cacho, Michael Dawson, Iyko Day, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Alyosha Goldstein, Cheryl I. Harris, Kimberly Kay Hoang, Brian Jordan Jefferson, Susan Koshy, Marisol LeBrón, Jodi Melamed, Laura Pulido

PMLA Cover

"What follows brings together scholars, writers, and translators working in fields that are rarely in conversation to see what new insights and frameworks these exchanges might generate. In that spirit of experimentation, it also brings together writers habituated to a variety of genres, both cultural critics and producers—to enrich our explorations of how we count languages and what counts as a language. In every sense, then, this cluster is conceived of as a space to propose new approaches, to pursue unexpected openings, to test hypotheses, and to revise assumptions. Some essays explore hip hop, jargon, and Mesoamerican pictorial writing as monolingual phenomena that challenge how we define language and the range of media we take into account (Calderwood, Chow, Garcia). Several examine the monolingualizing pressures of language policy implemented at the imperial, continental, national, settler-colonial, disciplinary, and familial level, documenting their dispossessive force but also their unforeseen and incalculable consequences (Ben Amor, Choi, Dowling, Fleming, Sorensen, Walkowitz, Watson). A number of essays examine the claims of monolingualism outside European models and histories (Ben Amor, Calderwood, Choi, Dowling, Garcia, Mani). All these essays dwell with acuity and subtlety on the generative and destructive power of monolingualism, asking us to reflect on how our disciplinary expertise and investments, our theories and methodologies, and our pedagogies and institutional practices can better account for the vitality, beauty, and world-building power of the languages that are our inheritance and that will shape our futures. What does our propensity to count languages in whole numbers miss? Rebecca Walkowitz's rousing call to rethink teaching and research in the discipline and more broadly the university through the lens of English as an “additional language” is inspired by a civic hospitality toward “the languages that operate both within and across literary histories” and the conclusion that we simply must “read literatures that begin in languages beyond English.” Her essay, like all the others in this cluster, points the way to other monolingualisms, and to that which is other than monolingualism." - Introduction to Monolingualism and Its Discontents

Cover of  Germany from the Outside: Rethinking German Cultural History in an Age of Displacement

The nation-state is a European invention of the 18th and 19th centuries. In the case of the German nation in particular, this invention was tied closely to the idea of a homogeneous German culture with a strong normative function. As a consequence, histories of German culture and literature often are told from the inside-as the unfolding of a canon of works representing certain core values, with which every person who considers him or herself “German” necessarily must identify. But what happens if we describe German culture and its history from the outside? And as something heterogeneous, shaped by multiple and diverse sources, many of which are not obviously connected to things traditionally considered “German”?

Emphasizing current issues of migration, displacement, systemic injustice, and belonging, Germany from the Outside explores new opportunities for understanding and shaping community at a time when many are questioning the ability of cultural practices to effect structural change. Located at the nexus of cultural, political, historiographical, and philosophical discourses, the essays in this volume inform discussions about next directions for German Studies and for the Humanities in a fraught era.

Faith in Exposure Privacy and Secularism in the Nineteenth-Century United States

Recent legal history in the United States reveals a hardening tendency to treat religious freedom and sexual and reproductive freedom as competing, even opposing, claims on public life. They are united, though, by the fact that both are rooted in our culture’s understanding of privacy. Faith in Exposure shows how, over the course of the nineteenth century, privacy came to encompass such contradictions—both underpinning the right to sexual and reproductive rights but also undermining them in the name of religious freedom.

Drawing on the interdisciplinary field of secular studies, Faith in Exposure brings a postsecular orientation to the historical emergence of modern privacy. The book explains this emergence through two interlocking stories. The first examines the legal and cultural connection of religion with the private sphere, showing how privacy became a moral concept that informs how we debate the right to be shielded from state interference, as well as who will be afforded or denied this protection. This conflation of religion with privacy gave rise, the book argues, to a “secular sensibility” that was especially invested in authenticity and the exposure of hypocrisy in others.

The second story examines the development of this “secular sensibility” of privacy through nineteenth-century novels. The preoccupation of the novel form with private life, and especially its dependence on revelations of private desire and sexual secrets, made it the perfect vehicle for suggesting that exposure might be synonymous with morality itself. Each chapter places key authors into wider contexts of popular fiction and periodical press debates. From fears over religious infidelity to controversies over what constituted a modern marriage and conspiracy theories about abolitionists, these were the contests, Justine S. Murison argues, that helped privacy emerge as both a sensibility and a right in modern, secular America.

Rare Stuff

"Brett Ashley Kaplan’s novel, Rare Stuff, intertwines whale and human culture in a journey that highlights the need to protect whales and our shared planet. Her support of whale conservation with the proceeds of her novel will ensure the story of whales and our shared ecosystem does not end with her book." Regina Asmutis-Silvia, Executive Director, Whale and Dolphin Conservation

"Rare Stuff is a beautiful, bewitching novel built on interlocking stories: a cosmopolitan photographer named Sid, grieving the death of her father, finds an unfinished manuscript and a suitcase full of clues about the long-ago disappearance of her mother. We follow Sid on a breathless search for her mother, and we dive deep into her father’s unfinished adventure tale, in which Yiddish-speaking whales and a bold teenage girl set out to save the world. By the book’s close, I had become friends with its characters: I wanted to jump into fast-paced conversations about life and literature with Sid, Andre, Dorothy, Aaron, and Sol, and I wanted to take part in the extraordinary multi-generational (and multi-species) community they built together. Rare Stuff tells the story of the very best adventure: the quest we all undertake to understand and care for our parents, our children, and the world we share together." Jamie L. Jones, author of Rendered Obsolete:  The Afterlife of U.S. Whaling in the Petroleum Age


Book Cover The Empire of Effects: Industrial Light and Magic and the Rendering of Realism

Just about every major film now comes to us with an assist from digital effects. The results are obvious in superhero fantasies, yet dramas like Roma also rely on computer-generated imagery to enhance the verisimilitude of scenes. But the realism of digital effects is not actually true to life. It is a realism invented by Hollywood—by one company specifically: Industrial Light & Magic.

The Empire of Effects shows how the effects company known for the puppets and space battles of the original Star Wars went on to develop the dominant aesthetic of digital realism. Julie A. Turnock finds that ILM borrowed its technique from the New Hollywood of the 1970s, incorporating lens flares, wobbly camerawork, haphazard framing, and other cinematography that called attention to the person behind the camera. In the context of digital imagery, however, these aesthetic strategies had the opposite effect, heightening the sense of realism by calling on tropes suggesting the authenticity to which viewers were accustomed. ILM’s style, on display in the most successful films of the 1980s and beyond, was so convincing that other studios were forced to follow suit, and today, ILM is a victim of its own success, having fostered a cinematic monoculture in which it is but one player among many.


Hatred of Sex

Hatred of Sex links Jacques Rancière’s political philosophy of the constitutive disorder of democracy with Jean Laplanche’s identification of a fundamental perturbation at the heart of human sexuality. Sex is hated as well as desired, Oliver Davis and Tim Dean contend, because sexual intensity impedes coherent selfhood and undermines identity, rendering us all a little more deplorable than we might wish. Davis and Dean explore the consequences of this conflicted dynamic across a range of fields and institutions, including queer studies, attachment theory, the #MeToo movement, and “traumatology,” demonstrating how hatred of sex has been optimized and exploited by neoliberalism.

Advancing strong claims about sex, pleasure, power, intersectionality, therapy, and governance, Davis and Dean shed new light on enduring questions of equality at a historical moment when democracy appears ever more precarious.

Textual Identities in Early Medieval England: Essays in Honour of Katherine O'Brien O'Keeffe

Throughout her career, Professor Katherine O'Brien O'Keeffe has focused on the often-overlooked details of early medieval textual life, moving from the smallest punctum to a complete reframing of the humanities' biggest questions. In her hands, the traditional tools of medieval studies -- philology, paleography, and close reading - become a fulcrum to reveal the unspoken worldviews animating early medieval textual production. The essays collected here both honour and reflect her influence as a scholar and teacher. They cover Latin works, such as the writings of Prudentius and Bede, along with vernacular prose texts: the Pastoral Care, the OE Boethius, the law codes, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and Ælfric's Lives of Saints. The Old English poetic corpus is also considered, with a focus on less-studied works, including Genesis and Fortunes of Men. This diverse array of texts provides a foundation for the volume's analysis of agency, identity, and subjectivity in early medieval England; united in their methodology, the articles in this collection all question received wisdom and challenge critical consensus on key issues of humanistic inquiry, among them affect and embodied cognition, sovereignty and power, and community formation.

resisting medical tyranny fab

Starting with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American people have been continually subjected to an endless stream of totalitarian medical orders by the highest level officials of the United States government and state governments from both political parties; by federal, state, and local public health authorities; by life scientists; and by doctors. This book debunks the scientific basis for their edicts. This book proves that the COVID vaccines and their related mandates violate the Nuremberg Code on Medical Experimentation that the United States government used to prosecute, convict, and execute Nazi doctors at Nuremberg. The COVID vaccines and their related mandates are a Nuremberg Crime against Humanity under international criminal law. This book sets forth legal strategies and arguments for the American people and their lawyers to fight back against this medical tyranny that is being ruthlessly imposed upon us by these scientific and medical elites by using criminal law, constitutional law, and international law. This book is essential reading for any concerned citizen who wants to stop dead in its tracks this developing American medical police state and to hold legally accountable those responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic and its lethal consequences for now one million of their fellow Americans.

Asef's book cover: Black background with yellow text that says "Revolutionary Life"

From the standpoint of revolutionary politics, the Arab Spring can seem like a wasted effort. In Tunisia, where the wave of protest began, as well as in Egypt and the Gulf, regime change never fully took hold. Yet if the Arab Spring failed to disrupt the structures of governments, the movement was transformative in farms, families, and factories, souks and schools.

Seamlessly blending field research, on-the-ground interviews, and social theory, Asef Bayat shows how the practice of everyday life in Egypt and Tunisia was fundamentally altered by revolutionary activity. Women, young adults, the very poor, and members of the underground queer community can credit the Arab Spring with steps toward equality and freedom. There is also potential for further progress, as women’s rights in particular now occupy a firm place in public discourse, preventing retrenchment and ensuring that marginalized voices remain louder than in prerevolutionary days. In addition, the Arab Spring empowered workers: in Egypt alone, more than 700,000 farmers unionized during the years of protest. Labor activism brought about material improvements for a wide range of ordinary people and fostered new cultural and political norms that the forces of reaction cannot simply wish away.

In Bayat’s telling, the Arab Spring emerges as a paradigmatic case of “refolution”—revolution that engenders reform rather than radical change. Both a detailed study and a moving appeal, Revolutionary Life identifies the social gains that were won through resistance.