Excerpt: Choosing the Jesus Way, by Angela Tarango

Angela Tarango’s Choosing the Jesus Way: American Indian Pentecostals and the Fight for the Indiginous PrincipleChoosing the Jesus Way: American Indian Pentecostals and the Fight for the Indigenous Principle uncovers the history and religious experiences of the first American Indian converts to Pentecostalism. Focusing on the Assemblies of God denomination, the story begins in 1918, when white missionaries fanned out from the South and Midwest to convert Native Americans in the West and other parts of the country. Drawing on new approaches to the global history of Pentecostalism, Tarango shows how converted indigenous leaders eventually transformed a standard Pentecostal theology of missions in ways that reflected their own religious struggles and advanced their sovereignty within the denomination.

In the following excerpt (pp. 50-52), Tarango tells the story of Charlie Lee, an American Indian convert to Christianity who became a missionary and practiced Pentecostalism without losing his sense of identity as a Navajo.


Charlie Lee grew up herding sheep in the shadow of the Shiprock on the Navajo reservation in the Four Corners region of northwestern New Mexico. From a young age, Lee was a spiritual seeker—he wanted to know the meaning of life and, as a Navajo, turned to his elders for answers. According to Lee, “My wise old grandfather tried to draw from the resources of his own years of experience to bring some measure of satisfaction to my inquisitive mind, but still the searching went on.”[1] His grandfather and grandmother taught him about the Navajo gods and traditional beliefs, but it was not enough. At a government boarding school, Lee discovered that he was a talented artist. His talent attracted notice, and school officials sent him to the Santa Fe Indian School, a boarding school that specialized in the arts. His paintings, traditional renderings of Navajo life and animals, began selling remarkably well. By the time Lee graduated, he had exhibited his paintings at the Indian Ceremonial in Gallup, New Mexico, the State Art Museum in Santa Fe, the Philbrook Art Museum in Tulsa, the Heard Museum in Phoenix, and the de Young Art Memorial in San Francisco. He had also won two first prizes at the 1946 New Mexico State Fair, one for animal figures and one in the home life category.[2] Dealers all over the Southwest bought his paintings, and the Smithsonian Institution purchased one as an example of modern Navajo art.[3] Fame and fortune had unexpectedly smiled on the young Lee.

Lee realized that he was extraordinarily fortunate because his artistic ability had given him a viable way to make a living. Yet he was still seeking answers and felt a call to serve his people. Boarding school had introduced him to mainline Protestant Christianity. To him this was simply the “white man’s God,” an impersonal and detached deity who could not give him the answers he needed. The summer after graduation from high school, he visited an Apache friend at the San Carlos reservation in Arizona, where he encountered [Assemblies of God (AG)] missionaries and Pentecostal-style worship. Lee reported, “For the first time in my life I saw a group of Indians worshiping God with enthusiasm and sincerity. They not only testified to the saving grace of God, salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, but also emphasized the infilling of the Holy Spirit.”[4] Upon attending several services, Lee experienced a conversion that he explained as “a personal confrontation with a Being, not a religious process of being initiated into an organization. It was a confrontation with an individual personality—Jesus Christ.”[5]

When Lee converted, he moved beyond making a commitment to Jesus. Continue reading ‘Excerpt: Choosing the Jesus Way, by Angela Tarango’ »

  1. [1] Charlie Lee, “Charlie Lee’s Testimony,” Pentecostal Evangel, 17 August 1952, 10.
  2. [2] Turning Point with David Manse, The Charlie Lee Story, 1976, Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, Springfield, Mo., 4.
  3. [3] Ibid.
  4. [4] Lee, “Charlie Lee’s Testimony,” 10.
  5. [5] Manse, The Charlie Lee Story, 8.

Job Opening: Book Designer/Production Assistant/Associate at UNC Press

Book designer/Production Assistant/Associate at UNC Press

This is an entry- to mid-level position that includes but is not limited to the following: Designing book covers and dustjackets and designing or applying already existing templates to interior book designs. This is a small department that covers the production of both books and journals. Other duties include, but are not limited to: conversion of existing jackets to paperback covers, cast-off of manuscripts, distribution of proofs, evaluation of art, and assistance with other jobs as necessary.

Job requirements: Excellent knowledge of Indesign (version 5.5 or later) and Photoshop. Strong sense of good typographic design. Working knowledge of Illustrator.

Desired: at least 2 years of design experience and an ability to write composition specs. Knowledge of xml or epub creation a plus.

This is a permanent full-time position at the University of North Carolina Press. Benefits include paid vacation, paid holidays, sick leave, and health insurance. We are part of the NC Retirement system.

Compensation based on experience. Please send resume, salary requirements, design samples, and references to:

Heidi Perov

Marc Stein: Sotomayor v. Roberts: Race, Affirmative Action, and Impatience

Sexual Injustice: Supreme Court Decisions from Griswold to Roe, by Marc SteinWe welcome a guest post today from Marc Stein, author of Sexual Injustice: Supreme Court Decisions from Griswold to Roe. In the book, Stein focuses on six major Supreme Court cases, examining the more liberal rulings on birth control, abortion, interracial marriage, and obscenity in GriswoldFanny HillLovingEisenstadt, and Roe alongside a profoundly conservative ruling on homosexuality in Boutilier during the 1960s and 1970s.

In today’s post, Stein explores the recent opinions of Justices Roberts and Sotomayor regarding racial discrimination and affirmative action.


The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, which upheld the state of Michigan’s ban on race- and sex-based affirmative action in public employment, public education, and public contracting (except when required to maintain eligibility for federal funds), featured an unusually fierce exchange of words between Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Chief Justice John Roberts. Responding to an earlier affirmative action decision in which Roberts had declared, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race,” Sotomayor wrote that this was “a sentiment out of touch with reality.” She added, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination.” Roberts replied in Schuette, “People can disagree in good faith on this issue, but it . . . does more harm than good to question the openness and candor of those on either side of the debate.” Sotomayor apparently felt so strongly about the case that for the first time she read one of her opinions from the bench, an option that the justices rarely exercise.

Roberts’ earlier phrasing was deceptively simple, but it can usefully be deconstructed by suggesting that the chief justice really meant that “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race against people of color is to stop discriminating on the basis of race against white people.” For Roberts, discrimination is discrimination, and as a constitutional, legal, and policy matter, discrimination on the basis of race against white people is equivalent to discrimination on the basis of race against people of color. For Sotomayor, this belies “the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination” against people of color.

When I teach students about the history of constitutional law, I usually focus on the substantive legal arguments in Supreme Court decisions, but sometimes I encourage my students to focus on the tone, the emotion, the affect. I try to show my students that this can help us understand what is really going on in these decisions and it can help us consider the underlying issues and the political stakes. In thinking about how I might teach my students about the exchange between Roberts and Sotomayor in Schuette in the future, I find myself revisiting a Supreme Court case from the late nineteenth century, one that also featured more than just legal reasoning. The case, United States v. Stanley (1883), is well known to constitutional law experts.

Eight years earlier, in 1875, the U.S. Congress had passed the Civil Rights Act, which guaranteed that all persons within the United States, regardless of race or color, “shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement.” Several individuals, including Mr. Stanley, were indicted under the Civil Rights Act on charges of denying African Americans equal access to inns, hotels, theaters, and railroad cars. The legal reasoning of the Supreme Court’s decision, which struck down the relevant sections of the Civil Rights Act as unconstitutional, focused on the fact that Congress did not have the power to interfere with individual and private forms of racial discrimination; the recently ratified Fourteenth Amendment, according to the Court, prohibited racial discrimination by the states, but not racial discrimination by private businesses and individuals.

When I teach Stanley, I work with my students to understand the legal reasoning used by the Supreme Court in this case, but I also encourage them to think about the tone. Continue reading ‘Marc Stein: Sotomayor v. Roberts: Race, Affirmative Action, and Impatience’ »

Excerpt: The Making of a Southern Democracy by Tom Eamon

Making of a Southern Democracy: North Carolina Politics from Kerr Scott to Pat McCrory  by Tom EamonThe story of modern politics in North Carolina is very much one of American democracy, with all its grand ambitions, limitations, and pitfalls. So argues Tom Eamon in his probing narrative of the state’s political path since the 1940s. In The Making of a Southern Democracy: North Carolina Politics from Kerr Scott to Pat McCrory, Eamon charts the state’s political transformation into a modern democratic society to show that this change was more than an evolution—it was a revolution, one that largely came about through political means, driven by strong movements and individuals working for change.

In this excerpt (pp. 84-89), Eamon discusses the steps that North Carolina Governor Terry Sanford took to improve racial relations in his state as greater changes occurred on a national scale.


When Sanford took his oath of office in 1961, North Carolina’s racial order had changed little from 1910. Segregation remained entrenched. Despite the introduction of token integration in a few urban school systems and the state colleges, 99 percent of the state’s black public school students attended racially separate schools. The federal courts had ruled against the legality of segregation on buses and trains, but station facilities remained rigidly segregated, as did hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, public parks, and beaches. In the case of eating and sleeping establishments, “segregation” usually meant that blacks were banned outright except from places that served blacks only.

Though the black proportion of registered voters exceeded the low levels of pre–World War II days, whites still constituted 90 percent of the registered electorate. Nonwhites (a category that also included Native Americans and Asians) comprised nearly 25 percent of the population. A study by the federal-government-sponsored North Carolina Advisory Commission on Civil Rights estimated that in 1961, 90.2 percent of the potential white electorate was registered, compared to only 31.2 percent of the potential nonwhite voters. In the state’s major cities—Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem—black registration was heavy enough to influence some election outcomes. In rural and small-town counties, especially those of the coastal plain and the eastern piedmont, black voting was discouraged and remained low.[1]

Raleigh News and Observer editor Jonathan Daniels had counseled Sanford to make a bold statement on racial equality in his 1961 inaugural address, but Sanford incorporated only one sentence on the subject: “We are not going to forget as we move into the challenging years ahead, that no group of our citizens can be denied the right to participate in first class citizenship.”[2] Still, from a southern governor in 1961, such a statement signaled a break with tradition. In addition, Sanford’s daughter, Betsee, and son, Terry Jr., were enrolled in the “integrated” Murphy School (which had one black student) near the governor’s mansion rather than in a private school. North Carolina and national newspapers noted the symbolism of the decision.[3]
Continue reading ‘Excerpt: The Making of a Southern Democracy by Tom Eamon’ »

  1. [1] In the rural Black Belt counties, dramatic growth in African American voting would not occur until after the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
  2. [2] Sanford, “Inaugural Address,” 8.
  3. [3] Covington and Ellis, <em>Terry Sanford</em>, 250–51. Bill Campbell, the young African American who integrated the Murphy School, was elected mayor of Atlanta in 1993.

Minkah Makalani on Ghana, the World Cup, and the Ties That Bind

Amidst the thrills and heartbreaks of the World Cup, Minkah Makalani writes of his own heart’s ties to Ghana’s Black Stars:

I hop on the A at Utica Ave., in Brooklyn, and no sooner than I sit down does a short, heavy-set brother move to sit exceptionally close to me, smiling. He asks, “Did you see us annihilate them?” His accent throws me, though it is clearly African. “What?” I am confused, a bit defensive, until he says, “The match! Did you see us beat the U.S.?” And it hits me. He’s Ghanaian. The Black Stars had just eliminated the U.S. from the 2006 World Cup. I am still in my Black Stars jersey that I had purchased in Ghana the month before. I settle into the conversation. “You think we have a chance against Brazil?” My change in attitude does not mask my doubts about bringing down a giant. “We are not afraid of them,” he declares without pause, enunciating each word in a crisp, exacting manner. “We do not care who takes the pitch, we will slay them like we slayed the United States.” We talk football and Stephen Appiah and Michael Essien all the way into Manhattan.

My attraction to Ghana and support for the Black Stars grew out of a sense of connection that began when I read Kwame Nkrumah’s autobiography, Ghana, in an African history course. I adopted a Ghanaian first name in honor of the first sub-Saharan African country to kick out the British. I’ve often wondered whether a family genealogy would reveal ancestral ties to present-day Ghana, whether my mitochondrial DNA could help locate some distant relative there. I envy those who have made such connections, imagined the tangible, specific, locatable tie to the continent providing them some form of closure. After centuries of having your history systematically obscured and hidden, an empirical link is nothing short miraculous.

Read the full post, “You know who else is a Black Star? Who? Me.” at Makalani’s blog, Détour.

Minkah Makalani is assistant professor of African and African diaspora studies at the University of Texas at Austin. His book In the Cause of Freedom: Radical Black Internationalism from Harlem to London, 1917-1939, is now available in paperback. Follow him on Twitter @minkahm.

Corinne T. Field: “Boomerang Kids” and the Political History of Adulthood

The Struggle for Equal Adulthood, by Corinne T. FieldWe welcome a guest post today from Corinne T. Field, author of The Struggle for Equal Adulthood: Gender, Race, Age, and the Fight for Citizenship in Antebellum America. In the fight for equality, early feminists often cited the infantilization of women and men of color as a method used to keep them out of power. Field argues that attaining adulthood—and the associated political rights, economic opportunities, and sexual power that come with it—became a common goal for both white and African American feminists between the American Revolution and the Civil War. The idea that black men and all women were more like children than adult white men proved difficult to overcome, however, and continued to serve as a foundation for racial and sexual inequality for generations.

In the following post, Field addresses recent media attention on “boomerang kids” who return home to live with their parents after graduating from college (often with a lot of student debt).


Adam Davidson’s recent New York Times Magazine cover story about “Boomerang Kids” effectively chronicled the cultural anxieties generated by the rising number of young college graduates moving back in with their parents. The statistical trends, familiar from a decade of alarmist commentary, are stark: 20 percent of Americans in their twenties and early thirties are now living with parents; 60 percent rely on financial support from mom or dad. This in contrast to a generation ago when only one in ten young adults moved back home and few relied on parents’ money. Davidson correctly attributes this new phase of dependency to long-term economic changes that since the late 1970s have eroded wages and job security for all but the most skilled Americans. Given these marked shifts, Davidson uses young adults as a vehicle for exploring broader anxieties about job insecurity and economic inequality. Young adults become a mirror in which we can all contemplate our own economic fears whatever our particular ages.

If what we see makes us nervous about our future, however, I would like to suggest that this unsettled reaction involves more than simply economics. Concerns about adult independence cut to the very heart of what it means to be an American citizen, and indeed, to long-standing assumptions about the proper functioning of democracy itself. Anxieties about coming of age have a history, and this history is not just economic but political. To understand the political history of adulthood, we must abandon the idea of a generic young adult and focus more precisely on the intersections of age, gender, race, and class as measures of independent citizenship.

During the American Revolution, patriots established an enduring link between the transition to adult, white manhood and political independence. As Thomas Paine, the most influential pamphleteer in the colonies, persuasively claimed: “to know whether it be the interest of this continent to be independent, we need only to ask this easy, simple question: Is it in the interest of a man to be a boy all his life?” The answer was as obvious to Americans then as it is today—dependent boys should grow up to become independent men. Once freed from British rule, Americans would prove their transition to adulthood by establishing themselves as independent citizens rather than the dependent subjects of a distant King. As patriots drafted new state constitutions, however, they clarified that the majority of adults in the new nation—including most women, slaves, and men without property—would remain perpetually dependent, denied political rights and many civil rights as well.

By the first decades of the nineteenth century, white men without property successfully argued that they should be able to vote upon reaching the legal age of majority at twenty-one. As delegates to state constitutional conventions replaced property requirements for suffrage with age requirements, voting at age twenty-one became both a political right and a rite of passage, but only for white men.

For enslaved people, reaching the age of adulthood did not bring a transition to independence, but an increased valuation in a master’s account book. Frederick Douglass, who escaped slavery in Maryland to become the most prominent black abolitionist, recalled in his 1845 Narrative how as a child he befriended poor, white boys on the streets of Baltimore, and would compare his prospects to theirs: “I would sometimes say to them . . . ‘You will be free as soon as you are twenty-one, but I am a slave for life! Have not I as good a right to be free as you have?'” Douglass succeeded in freeing himself and joined black men in the North demanding equal recognition as adult male citizens.

White and black women’s rights activists, meanwhile, organized to fight for the right to vote at age twenty-one. Continue reading ‘Corinne T. Field: “Boomerang Kids” and the Political History of Adulthood’ »

UNC Press partners with NC LIVE for library ebook pilot program

nclive logoUNC Press is pleased to announce its partnership with NC LIVE, North Carolina’s statewide public and academic library consortium, as it experiments with new ebook purchasing and funding models that will give North Carolina library patrons unlimited access to more than 1000 ebook titles from North Carolina-based publishers.

In addition to UNC Press, the pilot program will feature works from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (an imprint of Workman Books), Crossroad Press, Gryphon House, Ingalls Publishing Group, John F. Blair Publishing, McFarland, and Press 53.

UNC Press director John Sherer said, “From a publisher’s perspective, this project was a unique opportunity for us to share our ebook content with North Carolinians in a way that we hadn’t been able to in the past. We’re very excited to be a part of this important new initiative.”

Read the full press release from NC LIVE to learn more.

Excerpt: Baptized in PCBs, by Ellen Griffith Spears

Baptized in PCBs: Race, Pollution, and Justice in an All-American TownIn the mid-1990s, residents of Anniston, Alabama, began a legal fight against the agrochemical company Monsanto over the dumping of PCBs in the city’s historically African American and white working-class west side. Simultaneously, Anniston environmentalists sought to safely eliminate chemical weaponry that had been secretly stockpiled near the city during the Cold War. In Baptized in PCBs: Race, Pollution, and Justice in an All-American Town , Ellen Griffith Spears offers a compelling narrative of Anniston’s battles for environmental justice, exposing how systemic racial and class inequalities reinforced during the Jim Crow era played out in these intense contemporary social movements. Spears focuses attention on key figures who shaped Anniston—from Monsanto’s founders, to white and African American activists, to the ordinary Anniston residents whose lives and health were deeply affected by the town’s military-industrial history and legacy of racism.

In the following excerpt from the book (pp. 119–121), Spears explains how Monsanto’s political and economic power in Anniston protected it from deeper scrutiny in the 1960s.


In late May 1961, while Anniston’s attention was riveted on the aftermath of the [Freedom Riders] bus attack out on Birmingham Highway, thick sludge from Monsanto’s Anniston plant overwhelmed the local water department’s treatment station downstream in Oxford and, for three or four days, heavy concentrations of untreated industrial waste poured directly into Choccolocco Creek. When approached by a local reporter, Monsanto’s representative attributed the discharge to a temporary malfunction in the plant’s waste treatment center—implying it was an isolated incident, not an inherent aspect of production. At the same time, the company pled ignorance of hazards associated with its chemical waste. “We thought it was harmless, and we have no evidence to change that opinion at this stage,” claimed plant production manager Carl Edelblut soon after the incident.[1]

Within days, the Alabama Water Improvement Commission (AWIC), the State Department of Conservation, and the U.S. Public Health Service opened a joint investigation into “an apparently extensive fish kill in the lower reaches of Choccolocco Creek.” This investigation, however ineffectual, marked the first regulatory attention to stream pollution flowing from the Anniston plant. Upon completion of its investigation, AWIC, the agency charged with enforcing regulations against stream pollution in the state, offered a brief exculpatory statement. “We do not have any criticism to offer in any way concerning the manner in which the problem was handled,” Joe L. Crockett, of AWIC, told the Anniston Star.[2] Crockett would prove a valuable ally of Monsanto in coming years.

Even after the massive fish kill in 1961, toxic discharges received little notice in the local press. In general, the Star reported accidents but did not treat pollution as an ongoing threat. Offensive odors and periodic small explosions at the plant were regarded as nuisances, the necessary consequence of having a leading division of one of the world’s most successful chemical corporations next door. In the early 1960s, with local unemployment pegged at 8 percent, city leaders were loath to criticize the pillars of the region’s industrial base. Despite the expansion of the chemical, biological, and radiological warfare training center at Fort McClellan in 1960, the local economy sagged. Seeking federal designation as a “depressed area” in hopes of improving opportunities for local businesses to bid competitively for federal contracts, city leaders featured the Monsanto plant prominently. Even with the sluggish economy, Monsanto had increased production in Anniston by 50 percent in 1960, prompting an Anniston Star editorial that called the plant “one of our best industrial advertisements.”[3]
Continue reading ‘Excerpt: Baptized in PCBs, by Ellen Griffith Spears’ »

  1. [1] “The Nature of the Poison,” in LKB Produkter, “Poison: KLB Helps to Make a Safer World,” press release, January 10, 1967, Owens Archive; Jim Lowrey, “U.S., State Are Investigating Choccolocco Creek Fish Deaths,” Anniston Star, May 20, 1961.
  2. [2] Jim Lowrey, “U.S., State Are Investigating Choccolocco Creek Fish Deaths,” Anniston Star, May 20, 1961.
  3. [3] “Monsanto Expanding,” Anniston Star, January 19, 1961; “Calhoun and Anniston: Depressed Area Designation Seen,” Anniston Star, February 2, 1961; “Monsanto Moves Up,” Anniston Star, February 25, 1961; Monsanto Chemical Company, Monsanto Annual Report 1960, 10; “Monsanto Optimistic Despite National Economy: Present Level to Stay Here,” Anniston Star, March 21, 1961.

Interview: Shabana Mir on College Experiences of Muslim American Women

Shabana Mir, author of Muslim American Women on Campus: Undergraduate Social Life and Identity, discusses the everyday lives of these women on campus and the challenges and choices they face.

Muslim American Women on Campus: Undergraduate Social Life and Identity, by Shabana MirQ: Your book focuses on women on two Washington, D.C., college campuses—Georgetown and George Washington University (GWU). Why did you choose these colleges, and do you think they are representative of average American college campuses?

A: Research is a messy endeavor. Like all human activity, research is shaped and colored by circumstances and context. It’s rare that researchers choose sites purely based on how representative they are of the populations or phenomena under study. Feasibility is a primary factor in site selection. Georgetown and GWU together offered me somewhat similar (yet different) research environments that were rich in potential for in-depth study of Muslim Americans’ post–9/11 identities in the United States. But they also offered me geographic locations that were relatively accessible by subway and bus—I had no car—and they were close enough to each other that I could spend time at each during the course of a single day. I could focus my physical and intellectual energies on ethnographic fieldwork. I was interested in the culture of the metropolitan university, which each of these universities offered but in a peculiarly distinct manner. Many Muslim American Georgetown students socialized with their counterparts at GWU and vice versa, and students at each school had some things to say about the other campus. Of course I could have selected a single campus, or a private and a public university, but the choice of two roughly similar institutions that had key differences in their religious-secular and cultural orientations, and that tended to enroll students of roughly similar class background, allowed for some fascinating comparative work. I enjoyed the research process immensely.

Q: Did you find that most of your subjects made a conscious choice to be “Muslim American” women?

A: Recently, I took (and passed) my citizenship test, and the interviewer asked me if I had a middle name. When I said no, she asked if I wanted to change my name. Hmm, I thought, am I supposed to, to become an American? For many Americans, including those born and raised here, there’s an assumption that they must prove just how American they are. My research participants felt that way much of the time, but those who practiced certain kinds of behaviors—drinking, dating, dressing in mainstream Western fashion—felt the pressure less. Diya was relatively indistinguishable from her White American friends in terms of lifestyle, but then she came under question for just how Muslim she was. If she didn’t wear hijab, was she a nominal Muslim? Amber, a hijabi, was on the other hand perpetually being required to speak up for Muslims in classroom discussions on Islam and terrorism, or Islam and gender. Almost all of my research participants felt that because of the pervasive nature of Muslim stereotypes, they were always or often having to prove that they were really American, normal, empowered, peaceful Muslims.

Q: Did the women in your book have a hard time combining their “Muslim” and “American” identities? Did they have to resolve conflicts between the two?

A: My participants knew that observers and others thought that their “Muslim” and “American” identities were in perpetual conflict. None of them said that they experienced this conflict. Where they saw conflict was in the way others saw what it means to be “American” and “Muslim.” In other words, if you think an “American” young person is a White, Christian person who drinks at college then, yes, there is conflict between being “American” and an observant Muslim. There are certainly plenty of Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Christians who do not participate in hedonistic youth culture, and plenty who do. When we assume that an “American” and/or a “Muslim” has an “essence” that is religious or irreligious, liberal or conservative, etc., that is when we engage with the problem of conflict between these incommensurable identities. Intisar (a Somali-American student), for instance, is personally comfortable with praying in the prayer-room as well as attending a dance show; Teresa, a White convert, is comfortable with being an observant Muslim as well as smoking; but neither of them is comfortable being seen doing these “conflicting” things. The problem is not in being this complicated person. The problem is that the observer just can’t take it all in. These real, complicated, mixed people simply do not compute.

Q: What makes the situation of being a young Muslim woman in America distinct from that of a young Muslim man? Continue reading ‘Interview: Shabana Mir on College Experiences of Muslim American Women’ »

Great Fall Books at Spring Sale Prices

Our great spring sale is drawing to a close in just a matter of days. You can save 40% on ALL our books until June 30. If you haven’t done your shopping yet, now’s the time.

Some extra good news? Our Fall 2014 books are all live on our website, and even though they haven’t been published yet, you can pre-order them at the sale price now, and we’ll ship the books as soon as they become available. You can’t beat that!

What’s coming along in the fall? Follow a trans-Atlantic journey of traditional music with Fiona Ritchie and Doug Orr. Explore genealogy with Henry Louis Gates Jr. Learn the hidden history of U.S.–Cuban diplomatic relations with William Leogrande and Peter Kornbluh. Tickle your palate with histories of alcohol from Rod Phillips and southern food from Marcie Cohen Ferris. All this and more, coming up this fall.

Take a look at our interactive catalog for the full rundown. Use discount code 01DAH40 at checkout on our website to save 40%! Plus, spend $75 or more, and shipping is FREE.