Muddy Thinking in the Mississippi River Delta uses the story of mud to answer a deceptively simple question: How can a place uniquely vulnerable to sea level rise be one of the nation’s most promiscuous producers and consumers of fossil fuels? Organized around New Orleans and South Louisiana as a case study, this book examines how the unruly Mississippi River and its muddy delta shaped the people, culture, and governance of the region. It proposes a framework of “muddy thinking” to gum the wheels of extractive capitalism and pollution that have brought us to the precipice of planetary collapse. Muddy Thinking calls upon our dirty, shared histories to address urgent questions of mutual survival and care in a rapidly changing world.
“Ned Randolph urges us to pivot our attention to the profound complexity (and deep historicity) of mud. This is a brilliant book, ingeniously conceived, deftly argued, and beautifully written.” — Patrick Anderson, author of Autobiography of a Disease
“Muddy Thinking in the Mississippi River Delta describes looping patterns of multivalent extractivism, while witnessing and calling forth righteous resistance, tender coexistence, and hope amid the messy petro-delta-apocalyptic.” — Rebecca Snedeker, coauthor of Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas
“Randolph’s embrace of muddy alternatives to the capitalist and technopolitical vectors of the Anthropocene exemplifies beautifully how Energy Humanities can stay with the troubles of these times.” — Dominic Boyer, author of No More Fossils
“Mud is Randolph’s point of departure for understanding the region’s past and future—a vehicle of disruption and constraint, certainly, but also, in Randolph’s deft reading, the very condition of possibility for sustaining life amid ecological ruin.” — Valerie Hartouni, Professor Emerita, UC San Diego
NED RANDOLPH holds a PhD in Communication from the University of California, San Diego. He lives in New Orleans, where he teaches, consults, and writes about environmental and social issues facing the Gulf South.
In Ways of Seeking, Emily Drumsta traces the influence of detective fiction on the twentieth-century Arabic novel. Theorizing a “poetics of investigation,” she shows how these novels, far from staging awe-inspiring feats of logical deduction, mock the truth-seeking practices on which modern exercises of colonial and national power are often premised. Their narratives return to the archives of Arabic folklore, Islamic piety, and mysticism to explore less coercive ways of knowing, seeing, and seeking. Drumsta argues that scholars of the Middle East neglect the literary at their peril, overlooking key critiques of colonialism from the intellectuals who shaped and responded through fiction to the transformations of modernity. This book ultimately tells a different story about the novelʼs place in the constellation of Arab modernism, modeling an innovative method of open-ended inquiry based on the literary texts themselves.
“A beautiful bahth that sheds a new light on Arabic detective fiction in the twentieth century. Emily Drumstaʼs original approach makes us rethink genres and epistemologies, juridical and metaphysical quests, and the role of literature in bringing them together.” — TAREK EL-ARISS, James Wright Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Dartmouth College
“Drumstaʼs perceptive consideration of detection in modern Arabic fiction will stimulate readers to consider anew the centrality of the detective figure for writers and intellectuals in the grip of a rapacious and erratic modernization. Starting from the details of the Arabic context, this study ultimately provokes the problem of knowledge itself.” — HOSAM ABOUL-ELA, author of Domestications: American Empire, Literary Culture, and the Postcolonial Lens
EMILY DRUMSTA is Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. She is editor and translator of Revolt Against the Sun: Selected Poetry of Nazik al-Malaʼika.
Golden Ages is an ethnographic study of young singers in the contemporary Brooklyn Hasidic community who base their aesthetic explorations of the culturally intimate space of prayer on the gramophone-era cantorial golden age. Jeremiah Lockwood proposes a view of their work as a nonconforming social practice that calls upon the sounds and structures of Jewish sacred musical heritage to disrupt the aesthetics and power hierarchies of their conservative community, defying institutional authority and pushing at normative boundaries of sacred and secular. Beyond its role as a desirable art form, golden age cantorial music offers aspiring Hasidic singers a form of Jewish cultural productivity in which artistic excellence, maverick outsider status, and sacred authority are aligned.
“In Golden Ages, Jeremiah Lockwood opens a window into the closed circle of Orthodox cantors seeking personal fulfillment and communal connection through a sometimes tense revival of classic cantorial recordings. His deep involvement with his collaborators enriches a study that has implications beyond Jewish life to broader issues of contemporary American spiritual expression and the ethnomusicology of religion.” — Mark Slobin, author of Chosen Voices: The Story of the American Cantorate
“Lockwood has an unparalleled ear for the intermingled dynamics of loss, creativity, and continuity. His special domain is Jews and their music, but his study speaks clearly to larger processes of cultural rescue and their limits.” — Jonathan Boyarin, author of Yeshiva Days: Learning on the Lower East Side
Jeremiah Lockwood is an independent scholar and a musician.
Higher Powers draws on four years of collaborative fieldwork carried out with Ugandans working to reconstruct their lives after attempting to leave behind problematic alcohol use. Given the relatively recent introduction of biomedical ideas of alcoholism and addiction in Uganda, most of these people have used other therapeutic resources, including herbal aversion therapies, engagements with balubaale spirits, and forms of deliverance and spiritual warfare practiced in Pentecostal churches. While these methods are at times severe, they contain within them understandings of the self and practices of sociality that point away from models of addiction as a chronic relapsing brain disease and towards the possibility of release. Higher Powers offers a reconceptualization of addiction and recovery that may prove relevant well beyond Uganda.
“Higher Powers brings into view novel social technologies to treat addiction. China Scherz, George Mpanga, and Sarah Namirembe’s captivating narrative offers insights that translate well beyond Uganda, as overdoses and toxic drug markets ravage disrupted communities across the globe.” — Helena Hansen, author of Addicted to Christ: Remaking Men in Puerto Rican Pentecostal Drug Ministries
“A brilliant, innovative, and significant contribution. Through evocative ethnographic writing and profound theorizing, the authors illuminate a rich and nuanced assemblage of overlapping worlds that come to life on the pages as one reads. This unique and compelling work will deeply resonate within anthropology and far beyond.” — Lauren Coyle Rosen, author of Fires of Gold: Law, Spirit, and Sacrificial Labor in Ghana
“Carefully observed and lucidly theorized, Higher Powers is an engaging ethnography of alcohol, alcoholism, and recovery in Uganda that offers a detailed portrayal of distinctive ways of thinking about and acting on addiction.” — Jacob Doherty, author of Waste Worlds: Inhabiting Kampala’s Infrastructures of Disposability
China Scherz is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Virginia and author of Having People, Having Heart. George Mpanga and Sarah Namirembe are independent researchers living in Kampala, Uganda.
Contemporary film and television production is extraordinarily mobile. Filming large-scale studio productions in Atlanta, Budapest, London, Prague, or Australia’s Gold Coast makes Hollywood jobs available to people and places far removed from Southern California—but it also requires individuals to uproot their lives as they travel around the world in pursuit of work. Drawing on interviews with a global contingent of film and television workers, Kevin Sanson weaves an analysis of the sheer scale and complexity of mobile production into a compelling account of the impact that mobility has had on job functions, working conditions, and personal lives. Mobile Hollywood captures how an expanded geography of production not only intensifies the often-invisible pressures that production workers now face but also stretches the parameters of screen-media labor far beyond craftwork and creativity.
“Engagingly written and sharply observed, Kevin Sanson’s latest book—firmly grounded in the experiences of film workers themselves—is an invaluable contribution to the field.” — JADE L. MILLER, author of Nollywood Central: The Nigerian Videofilm Industry
“Every course in global media, media industries, and production studies should adopt this book.” — TIMOTHY HAVENS, author of Black Television Travels: African American Media around the Globe
“Persuasively encourages a major rethinking of how we understand the dynamics of transnational film and television production.” — PAUL MCDONALD, coeditor of Hollywood and the Law
Kevin Sanson is Professor of Media Studies at Queensland University of Technology and a coeditor of Voices of Labor: Creativity, Craft, and Conflict in Global Hollywood and Precarious Creativity: Global Media, Local Labor. He is a cofounder and the editor of the academic journal Media Industries.
Risible explores the forgotten history of laughter, from ancient Greece to the sitcom stages of Hollywood. Delia Casadei approaches laughter not as a phenomenon that can be accounted for by studies of humor and theories of comedy but rather as a technique of the human body, knowable by its repetitive, clipped, and proliferating sound and its enduring links to the capacity for language and reproduction. This buried genealogy of laughter re-emerges with explosive force thanks to the binding of laughter to sound reproduction technology in the late nineteenth century. Analyzing case studies ranging from the early global market for phonographic laughing songs to the McCarthy-era rise of prerecorded laugh tracks, Casadei convincingly demonstrates how laughter was central to the twentieth century’s development of the very category of sound as not-quite-human, unintelligible, reproductive, reproducible, and contagious.
“A virtuoso meditation on laughter, music, and sound reproduction, moving from transfixing insights to a bold vision of laughter as a sonorous force that troubles our conceptions of humanity and rationality. How sounds acquire meaning, how they make sense or nonsense or lie somewhere between the two: Delia Casadei’s Risible considers these fundamental issues in startling and thought-provoking ways.” — CAROLYN ABBATE, coauthor of A History of Opera
“A thrillingly unclassifiable and profound work of cultural theory. Casadei reveals how laughter holds relevance for every dimension of life and its biopolitical regulation via gender, race, labor, and reproduction. She also reminds us that there is much genealogical work yet to be done on mediatized, electrified soundworlds of the twentieth century and offers a powerful, welcoming push in new directions.” — AMY CIMINI, author of Wild Sound: Maryanne Amacher and the Tenses of Audible Life
Delia Casadei is a scholar, writer, and translator based in Italy and the UK.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, working-class people across northern India found themselves negotiating rapid industrial change, emerging technologies, and class hierarchies. In response to these changes, Indian Muslim artisans began publicly asserting the deep relation between their religion and their labor, using the increasingly accessible popular press to redefine Islamic traditions “from below.” Centering the stories and experiences of metalsmiths, stonemasons, tailors, press workers, and carpenters, Pious Labor examines colonial-era social and technological changes through the perspectives of the workers themselves. As Amanda Lanzillo shows, the colonial marginalization of these artisans is intimately linked with the continued exclusion of laboring voices today. By drawing on previously unstudied Urdu-language technical manuals and community histories, Lanzillo highlights not only the materiality of artisanal production but also the cultural agency of artisanal producers, filling in a major gap in South Asian history.
“The history of technology in South Asia has mostly been devoted to the ‘temples of modernity,’ accenting the monumental, the secular, and the modern. Amanda Lanzillo introduces us to a very different history, where technology, religion, and tradition domesticate modernity within intimate laboring cultures.” — Projit Bihari Mukharji, Professor of History, Ashoka University
“Lanzillo explores entirely new vistas of the intertwined history of religion and labor in colonial South Asia, making a fascinating case for the flourishing of an ‘artisan Islam’ in the industrializing cities of the subcontinent.” — Nile Green, Ibn Khaldun Endowed Chair in World History, University of California, Los Angeles
“Pious Labor opens up vital new conversations between scholars of Islam, vernacular print culture, labor, and technology studies. This work will have a major impact on the fields of South Asian history, Islamic studies, and beyond.” — Julia Stephens, Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University
Amanda Lanzillo is Lecturer in South Asian History at Brunel University London.
Ground Truths shows how community-engaged research contributes to environmental justice for Black, Indigenous, people of color, and low-income communities by centering local knowledge, building truth from the ground up, producing data that can influence decisions, and transforming researchers’ relationships to communities for equity and mutual benefit.
The book outlines the main steps in conducting community-engaged research, evaluates the major research methods used, and addresses institutional barriers to this kind of scholarship in academia. A critical synthesis of research in many fields, Ground Truths provides an original framework for aligning community-engaged research and environmental justice, and applies the framework in chapters on public health, urban planning, conservation, law and policy, community economic development, and food justice and sovereignty.
“If you’re looking for a primer on how to do community-engaged research in environmental justice, look no further.” — MANUEL PASTOR, JR., Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California
“Ground Truths offers a powerful journey into how the pursuit of knowledge can empower true change!” — KYLE WHYTE, George Willis Pack Professor of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan
“Ground Truths demonstrates that mutually beneficial partnerships for research yield rich and sophisticated practices and outcomes.” — TERESA CÓRDOVA, Professor of Urban Planning and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago
CHAD RAPHAEL is Professor of Communication at Santa Clara University.
MARTHA MATSUOKA is Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy at Occidental College.
Since the end of the Cold War, globalization—the process and the idea—has been reshaping the world. Global studies scholarship has emerged to make sense of the transnational manifestations of globalization: economic, social, cultural, ideological, technological, environmental, and postcolonial. But a series of crises in the first two decades of the twenty-first century has put the neoliberal globalization system of the 1990s under severe strain.
Are we witnessing a turn toward “deglobalization,” intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine or a moment of “reglobalization,” spearheaded by digital technology? The contributors to this book employ transdisciplinary research to assess past developments, the current state, and future trajectories of globalization in light of today’s dynamics of insecurity, volatility, and geopolitical tensions.
“Globalization offers a long overdue framework for understanding the continuities and discontinuities of global dynamics, with scholarship from every corner of the globe. For the first time, we have a volume that brings the local into conversation with the global across domains of economics, politics, culture, and technology, while attending to the through lines from past to present. A must-read for scholars and students of globalization.” — SARA R. CURRAN, Associate Vice Provost for Research at the University of Washington and section editor of Global Perspectives
MANFRED B. STEGER is Professor of Sociology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and author of Globalization: A Very Short Introduction.
ROLAND BENEDIKTER is Co-Head of the Center for Advanced Studies at Eurac Research in Bolzano, Italy and UNESCO Chair in Interdisciplinary Anticipation and Global-Local Transformation. He is author of Religion in the Age of Re-Globalization and coeditor of Re-Globalization: New Frontiers of Political, Economic and Social Globalization.
HARALD PECHLANER is Head of the Center for Advanced Studies at Eurac Research. He is also Professor, Chair of Tourism, and Head of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany.
INGRID KOFLER is Research Fellow and Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy.
Shedding light on how we might end mass incarceration, The Price of Freedom compares the histories and goals of the US and German justice systems. Drawing on in-depth interviews with incarcerated young men in the United States and Germany, Michaela Soyer argues that the apparent lenience of the German criminal justice system is founded on the violent enforcement of cultural homogeneity at the hands of the German welfare state. Demonstrating how both societies have constructed a racialized underclass of outsiders, this book emphasizes that criminal justice reformers in the United States need to move beyond European models in order to build a truly just, diverse society.
“A provocative and deeply humane book.” — FRANÇOIS BONNET, author of The Upper Limit: How Low-Wage Work Defines Punishment and Welfare
“Drawing on sensitive interviews and nuanced comparative ethnography, Soyer points to what the German and American justice systems might learn from each other.” — PHILIP KASINITZ, coeditor of Growing Up Muslim in Europe and the United States
“This innovative book invites us to view both US and German criminal justice systems with fresh eyes.” — JAN DOERING, author of Us versus Them: Race, Crime, and Gentrification in Chicago Neighborhoods
“Soyer’s unique comparative analysis provides important insights into processes of racial and ethnic marginalization and criminalization.” — DANIELLE RAUDENBUSH, author of Health Care Off the Books: Poverty, Illness, and Strategies for Survival in Urban America
“This rare comparative work has much to offer prison scholars as well as those interested in poverty, social marginalization, and comparative social theory.” — SARA WAKEFIELD, coauthor of Children of the Prison Boom: Mass Incarceration and the Future of American Inequality
MICHAELA SOYER is Associate Professor of Sociology at Hunter College. She is author of A Dream Denied: Incarceration, Recidivism, and Young Minority Men in America and Lost Childhoods: Poverty, Trauma, and Violent Crime in the Post-Welfare Era.
Feminist Cyberlaw reimagines the field of cyberlaw through a feminist lens. Essays crafted for this volume by emerging and established scholars and practitioners explore how gender, race, sexuality, disability, class, and the intersections of these identities affect cyberspace and the laws that govern it. This vibrant and visionary volume promises to build a movement of scholars whose work charts a near future where cyberlaw is informed by feminism.
Meg Leta Jones is the Provost's Distinguished Associate Professor in the Communication, Culture, and Technology program at Georgetown University. She is the author of Ctrl+Z: The Right to Be Forgotten and The Character of Consent: The History of Cookies and Future of Technology Policy.
Amanda Levendowski is Associate Professor of Law and Founding Director of the Intellectual Property and Information Policy Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center. She is also the founder of the Cyberspace and Technology (CAT) Lab.
Between 1919 and 1961, pioneering Chinese American actress Anna May Wong established an enduring legacy that encompassed cinema, theater, radio, and American television. Born in Los Angeles, yet with her US citizenship scrutinized due to the Chinese Exclusion Act, Wong—a defiant misfit—innovated nuanced performances to subvert the racism and sexism that beset her life and career. In this critical study of Wong’s cross-media and transnational career, Yiman Wang marshals extraordinary archival research and a multifocal approach to illuminate a lifelong labor of performance. Viewing Wong as a performer and worker, not just a star, To Be an Actress adopts a feminist decolonial perspective to speculatively meet her as an interlocutor while inviting a reconsideration of racialized, gendered, and migratory labor as the bedrock of the entertainment industries.
Almost Futures looks to the people who pay the heaviest price for progress throughout war and capitalist globalization—particularly Vietnamese citizens and refugees—for glimpses of ways to exist at the end of our future's promise. In order to learn from the lives destroyed (and lived) amid our inheritance of modern humanism and its uses of time, Almost Futures asks us to recognize new spectrums of feeling: the poetic, in the grief of protesters dispossessed by land speculation; the allegorical, in assembly line workers' laughter and sorrow; the iterant and intimate, in the visual witnessing of revolutionary and state killing; the haunting, in refugee writing on the death of their nation; and the irreconcilable, in refugees' inhabitation of history.
Indonesia is the world's second-largest cigarette market: two out of three men smoke, and clove-laced tobacco cigarettes called kretek make up 95 percent of the market. Each year, more than 250,000 Indonesians die of tobacco-related diseases. To account for the staggering success of this lethal industry, Kretek Capitalism examines how kretek manufacturers have adopted global tobacco technologies and enlisted Indonesians to labor on their behalf in fields and factories, at retail outlets and social gatherings, and online. The book charts how Sampoerna, a Philip Morris International subsidiary, uses contracts, competitions, and gender, age, and class hierarchies to extract labor from workers, influencers, artists, students, retailers, and consumers. Critically engaging nationalist claims about the commodity's cultural heritage and the jobs it supports, Marina Welker shows how global capitalism has transformed both kretek and the labor required to make and promote it.
One of the most hotly debated issues in contemporary Muslim ethics is the status of women in Islamic law. While Muslim conservatives argue that gender-differentiated legal rulings reflect complementary gender roles, Muslim feminists argue that Islamic law has subordinated women and is thus in need of reform. The shared assumption on both sides, however, is that gender fundamentally shapes an individual's legal status. Beyond the Binary explores an expansive cross section of topics in ninth- to twelfth-century Hanafi legal thought—from sexual crimes to consent to marriage—to show that early Muslim jurists imagined a world built not on a binary distinction between male and female but on multiple intersecting hierarchies of gender, age, enslavement, lineage, class, and other social roles. Saadia Yacoob offers a restorative reading of Islamic law, arguing that its intersectional and relational understanding of legal personhood offers a productive space for Muslim feminists to move beyond critique and instead to think with and through the Islamic legal tradition.
In this deeply archival work, Jennifer S. Clark explores the multiple ways in which women's labor in the American television industry of the 1970s furthered feminist ends. Carefully crafted around an impressive assemblage of interviews and primary sources (from television network memos to programming schedules, production notes to executive meeting agendas), Clark tells the story of how women organized in the workplace to form collectives, affect production labor, and develop reform-oriented policies and philosophies that reshaped television behind the screen. She urges us to consider how interventions, often at localized levels, can collectively shift the dynamics of a workplace and the cultural products created there.
In Ritual Boundaries, Joseph E. Sanzo transforms our understanding of how early Christians experienced religion in lived practice through the study of magical objects, such as amulets and grimoires. Against the prevailing view of late antiquity as a time when only so-called elites were interested in religious and ritual differentiation, the magical evidence reveals that the desire to distinguish between religious and ritual insiders and outsiders cut across diverse social strata. The magical evidence also offers unique insight into early biblical reception, exposing a textual world in which scriptural reading was multisensory and multitraditional. As they addressed sickness, demonic struggle, and interpersonal conflicts, Mediterranean people thus acted in ways that challenge our conceptual boundaries between the Christian and non-Christian; elites and non-elites; and words, materials, and images. Sanzo helps us rethink how early Christians imagined similarity and difference among texts, traditions, groups, and rituals as they went about their daily lives.
What happens to the colonized after colonial industries leave? Set in the cinchona plantations of India's Darjeeling Hills, Quinine's Remains chronicles the history and aftermath of quinine. Harvested from cinchona bark, quinine was malaria's only remedy until the twentieth-century advent of synthetic drugs, and it was vital to the expansion of the British Empire. Today, the cinchona plantations—and the fifty thousand people who call them home—remain, and their futures are unclear. The Indian government has threatened to privatize or shut down this seemingly obsolete and crumbling industry, but local communities, led by strident trade unions, have successfully resisted. Overgrown cinchona fields and shuttered quinine factories may appear the stuff of postcolonial and postindustrial ruination, but quinine's remains are not dead. Rather, they have become the birthplace of urgent political efforts to redefine land and life for the twenty-first century. Quinine's Remains offers a vivid historical and ethnographic portrait of what it means to forge life after empire.
When was the last time you participated in an election for a Facebook group, or sat on a jury for a dispute in a subreddit? Platforms nudge users to tolerate nearly all-powerful admins, moderators, and “benevolent dictators for life.” In Governable Spaces, Nathan Schneider argues that the internet has been plagued by a phenomenon he calls “implicit feudalism”: a bias, both cultural and technical, for building communities as fiefdoms. The consequences of this arrangement matter far beyond online spaces themselves, as feudal defaults train us to give up on our communities’ democratic potential, inclining us to be more tolerant of autocratic tech CEOs and authoritarian tendencies among politicians. But online spaces could be sites of a creative, radical, and democratic renaissance. Using media archaeology, political theory, and participant observation, Schneider shows how the internet can learn from governance legacies of the past to become a more democratic medium, responsive and inventive unlike anything that has come before.
In the late fifth century, a nameless girl was born at the edge of the Chinese empire. By the time of her death, she had transformed herself into Empress Dowager Ling, one of the most powerful politicians of her age and one of the first of many Buddhist women to wield incredible influence in dynastic East Asia. In this book, Stephanie Balkwill documents the Empress Dowager’s rise to power and life on the throne against the broader social world of imperial China under the rule of the Northern Wei dynasty, a foreign people from Inner Asia who built their capital deep in the Chinese heartland.
Building on largely untapped Buddhist materials, Balkwill shows that the life and rule of the Empress Dowager is a much larger story of the reinvention of religious, ethnic, and gender norms in a rapidly changing, multicultural society. The Women Who Ruled China recovers the voices of those left out of the mainstream historical record and, through the life of the Empress Dowager, paints a compelling portrait of medieval Chinese society reinventing itself under her leadership.
In the 1990s, India's mediascape saw the efflorescence of edgy soft-porn films in the Malayalam-speaking state of Kerala. In Rated A, Darshana Sreedhar Mini examines the local and transnational influences that shaped Malayalam soft-porn cinema—such as vernacular pulp fiction, illustrated erotic tales, and American exploitation cinema—and maps the genre's circulation among blue-collar workers of the Indian diaspora in the Middle East, where pirated versions circulate alongside low-budget Bangladeshi films and Pakistani mujra dance films as South Asian pornography. Through a mix of archival and ethnographic research, Mini also explores the soft-porn industry's utilization of gendered labor and trust-based arrangements, as well as how actresses and production personnel negotiate their social lives when marked by their involvement with a taboo form. By locating the tense negotiations between sexuality, import policy, and censorship in contemporary India, this study offers a model for understanding film genres outside of screen space, emphasizing that they constitute not just industrial formations but entire fields of social relations and gendered imaginaries.
Conflicts about space and access to resources have shaped queer histories from at least 1965 to the present. As spaces associated with middle-class homosexuality enter mainstream urbanity in the United States, cultural assimilation increasingly erases insurgent aspects of these social movements. This gentrification itself leads to queer displacement. Combining urban history, architectural critique, and queer and trans theories, Queering Urbanism traces these phenomena through the history of a network of sites in the San Francisco Bay Area. Within that urban landscape, Stathis Yeros investigates how queer people appropriated existing spaces, how they expressed their distinct identities through aesthetic forms, and why they mobilized the language of citizenship to shape place and secure space. Here the legacies of LGBTQ+ rights activism meet contemporary debates about the right to housing and urban life.
For years the Catholic Church, Catholic Charities, and the Haitian Multi-Service Center in Boston have helped Haitian refugees and immigrants attain economic independence, health, security, and citizenship in the United States. In Life at the Center, Erica Caple James traces this aid work and discovers at its heart a fundamental paradox, arising from what she calls "corporate Catholicism": social assistance produces and reproduces structural inequalities between providers and recipients, which can deepen aid recipients' dependence and lead to resistance to organized benevolence. James documents how institutional financial deficits harmed clients and providers, yet also how modes of philanthropy that previously caused harm can be redeployed to repair damage and rebuild "charitable brands." The culmination of over a decade of advocacy and research on behalf of the Haitians of Boston, this groundbreaking work exposes how Catholic corporations strengthened—but also eroded—Haitians' civic power.
For more than four decades, socially disadvantaged Israeli Mizrahim—descendants of Jews from Middle Eastern communities—have continuously supported right-wing political parties. Sociologists, NGOs, and left-wing politicians tend to view Mizrahim as acting against their own interests, but Nissim Mizrachi locates the problem within the limitations of the liberal grammar by which their behavior is read. In Beyond Suspicion, Mizrachi turns the direction of inquiry on itself, contrasting liberal grammar—which values autonomy, equality, and universal reason and morality—with the grammar of Mizrahi rootedness, in which the self is experienced through a web of relational commitments, temporal ties, and codes of collective identity. Recognizing rootedness as a fundamental need for belonging is necessary to understand both scholarly and political rifts in Israel and throughout the world.
Making Sense explores the experiential, ethical, and intellectual stakes of living in, and thinking with, worlds wherein language cannot be taken for granted. In Nepal, many deaf signers use Nepali Sign Language (NSL), a young, conventional signed language. The majority of deaf Nepalis, however, use what NSL signers call natural sign. Natural sign involves conventional and improvisatory signs, many of which recruit semiotic relations immanent in the social and material world. These features make conversation in natural sign both possible and precarious. Sense-making in natural sign depends on signers’ skillful use of resources and on addressees’ willingness to engage. Natural sign reveals the labor of sense-making that in more conventional language is carried by shared grammar. Ultimately, this highly original book shows that emergent language is an ethical endeavor, challenging readers to consider what it means, and what it takes, to understand and to be understood.