Alice Elizabeth Malavasic: What’s in a Name?

The F Street Mess by Alice Elizabeth MalavasicToday we welcome a guest blog post from Alice Elizabeth Malavasic, author of The F Street Mess:  How Southern Senators Rewrote the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

Pushing back against the idea that the Slave Power conspiracy was merely an ideological construction, The F Street Mess argues that some southern politicians in the 1850s did indeed hold an inordinate amount of power in the antebellum Congress and used it to foster the interests of slavery. Malavasic focuses her argument on Senators David Rice Atchison of Missouri, Andrew Pickens Butler of South Carolina, and Robert M. T. Hunter and James Murray Mason of Virginia, known by their contemporaries as the “F Street Mess” for the location of the house they shared. Unlike the earlier and better-known triumvirate of John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, and Daniel Webster, the F Street Mess was a functioning oligarchy within the U.S. Senate whose power was based on shared ideology, institutional seniority, and personal friendship.

The F Street Mess is available now in both print and e-book editions.

###

What’s in a Name? That which we call Repeal by any other name would smell as foul

Despite Republican control of the White House and both chambers of Congress the party’s effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act continues to struggle. Seven years ago Republican opposition to the ACA was unanimous. Now the ability to get the necessary votes to repeal is beyond reach because Republican congressmen and senators are waking up to the fact that what they have opposed all these years, the right to health care, has become sacrosanct to their constituents. Republicans need to take a lesson from history. Repealing a measure that is sacrosanct to a large portion of the American public never bodes well for politicians or the public as a whole.Continue Reading Alice Elizabeth Malavasic: What’s in a Name?

Happy Thanksgiving: A roundup of holiday recipes from UNC Press cookbooks

Happy Thanksgiving!

As we enter this week of food, family and fun, here’s a run-down of our favorite Thanksgiving holiday recipe posts from UNC Press cookbook authors. We hope you’ll find a recipe or two that you can add to your holiday table.

Remember, you can order all of these books and save 40 percent right now, during our Holiday Gift Books sale.  Just use promo code 01HOLIDAY at checkout.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at UNC Press.

Enjoy!

###

DeMent: The Farmhouse ChefCane Syrup Pecan Pie, from Jamie DeMent’s The Farmhouse Chef

 

 

 

 

Southern Holidays by Debbie MooseThanksgiving Relish Tray, from Debbie Moose’s Southern Holidays:  A Savor the South Cookbook

 

 

 

 

Cornbread, Apple, and Sausage DressingFred Thompson's 250 Sides, from Fred Thompson’s Southern Sides

 

 

 

 

The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers' Markets, Roadside Stands, and CSA Farm Boxes, by Sheri CastleWinter Fruit Couscous Salad, from Sheri Castle’s The New Southern Garden Cookbook

 

 

 

 

Dining with the Washingtons: Historic Recipes, Entertaining, and Hospitality from Mount Vernon, edited by Stephen A. McLeodMount Vernon’s Cherry Pie, from Dining with the Washingtons

 

 

 

 

The Happy Table of Eugene WalterThanksgiving Turkey, from The Happy Table of Eugene Walter

 

 

 

 

###

M.J. Rymsza-Pawlowska : New Museums and New (Kinds of) Histories

Rymsza-Pawlowska, History Comes AliveToday, we welcome a guest post from M.J. Rymsza-Pawlowska, author of History Comes Alive:  Public History and Popular Culture in the 1970s, on our changing ideas about museums.

During the 1976 Bicentennial celebration, millions of Americans engaged with the past in brand-new ways. They became absorbed by historical miniseries like Roots, visited museums with new exhibits that immersed them in the past, propelled works of historical fiction onto the bestseller list, and participated in living history events across the nation. While many of these activities were sparked by the Bicentennial, M. J. Rymsza-Pawlowska shows that, in fact, they were symptomatic of a fundamental shift in Americans’ relationship to history during the 1960s and 1970s.

History Comes Alive is available now in both print and e-book editions.

###

New Museums and New (Kinds of) Histories

In the past few years, several new history museums have opened in the United States and around the world, including the Museum of the American Revolution, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the renovated Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and the POLIN Museum of the history of Polish Jews. Part of the reason that these have gained such wide attention is because of their innovative uses of new media and interactive elements in forming engaging, immersive interpretive experiences for museum visitors. These new museums have often presented a departure from their more traditional precedents, which historically have been artifact heavy, and fairly straightforward in the topics they address and the stories they tell.

I study and write about an earlier moment in this long history of museum exhibition: my book traces a moment when museum experiences, alongside a host of other kinds of historical cultural production, turned for the first time to the immersive and interactive as a way of making meaning. And even though I focus on the United States in the 1970s, I argue that these kinds of experiences are commonplace in museums now. I’m still an avid museum-goer, and I relish the opportunity to view interesting or innovative exhibitions, particularly in a context outside of the American one that I write about.

This June, I was visiting family in Poland, and had a chance to visit the Pan Tadeusz Museum in Wroclaw, which opened in May of 2016. Pan Tadeusz is one of the best-known Polish works of literature, an epic poem written by Adam Mickiewicz and published in 1834. The Museum is part of the Ossolineum, a historical publishing house and print archive that holds Mickiewicz’s original manuscript. It is this manuscript that is at both the material and ideological center of the show.

Continue Reading M.J. Rymsza-Pawlowska : New Museums and New (Kinds of) Histories

Irfan Ahmad: Beyond Trump’s Notion of the “Pathetic Critic”

Ahmad, Religion as CritiqueToday we welcome a guest post from Irfan Ahmad, author of Religion as Critique:  Islamic Critical Thinking from Mecca to the Marketplace.  Professor Ahmad is an anthropologist and senior research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Studies in Göttingen, Germany.

In Religion as Critique, Irfan Ahmad makes the far-reaching argument that potent systems and modes for self-critique as well as critique of others are inherent in Islam–indeed, critique is integral to its fundamental tenets and practices. Challenging common views of Islam as hostile to critical thinking, Ahmad delineates thriving traditions of critique in Islamic culture, focusing in large part on South Asian traditions. Ahmad contemplates and interrogates Greek and Enlightenment notions of reason and critique, and he notes how they are invoked in relation to “others,” including Muslims. Drafting an alternative genealogy of critique in Islam, Ahmad reads religious teachings and texts, drawing on sources in Hindi, Urdu, Farsi, and English, and demonstrates how they serve as expressions of critique. Throughout, he depicts Islam as an agent, not an object, of critique.

Religion as Critique is available now in both print and e-book editions.

###

Beyond Trump’s Notion of the “Pathetic Critic”

In May 2017, Mr. Donald Trump delivered the first commencement address as the US President at Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia – founded by the Baptist pastor and televangelist Jerry Falwell, and led currently by his son. Falwell was one of the first to back Trump for his Presidential bid by mobilizing his evangelical support base. Wearing a suit rather than the customary academic gown, Trump spoke to a gathering of over fifty thousand people.

To Critique Is To (Dis)assemble

Falwell Jr. applauded Trump’s rule for stacking, according to the National Public Radio, “his Cabinet with religious conservatives and what Falwell described as bombing ‘those in the Middle East who are persecuting and killing Christians.’” He continued: “I do not believe that any president in our lifetimes has done so much that has benefited the Christian community in such a short time span than Donald Trump.”

Having briefly spoken about the “barbarity” of terrorists (read Muslim), Trump focused more on attacking his opponents: “Nothing is easier or more pathetic than being a critic because they’re people that can’t get the job done (italics author’s).” Since Trump presented himself, The Guardian reported, as “a man of God”, he probably implied his own role as prophetic.

The opposition between the “pathetic critics” and the prophetic role of Trump and his supporters is at the heart of (populist) democracy, itself dualistic.  Furthermore, Trump’s quote echoed the popular notion of critique as criticism: some sort of fiery exchange of claims and counter claims, or, to invoke Raymond Williams, “fault-finding.”

Restoring it to its true meaning and outlining its comprehensive horizon, Religion as Critique: Islamic Critical Thinking from Mecca to the Marketplace instead shows that far from being easy, the task of a critic and the work of critique are indeed difficult. Ethnographically focused on Muslims in South Asia, the book’s larger premise is that critique is important to religious traditions in general.  And when properly pursued, critique is simultaneously a creative work of assemblage and dis-assemblage – assemblage in that a critic assembles things and ideas kept separated for a specific goal, and, s/he dis-assemblage in that things and ideas rendered congruent and naturalized require acts of separation-cum-differentiation.

Continue Reading Irfan Ahmad: Beyond Trump’s Notion of the “Pathetic Critic”

Megan Raby: Ecology and U.S. Empire in the Caribbean

Megan Raby: American TropicsToday we welcome a guest blog post from Megan Raby, author of American Tropics:  The Caribbean Roots of Biodiversity Science.

Biodiversity has been a key concept in international conservation since the 1980s, yet historians have paid little attention to its origins. Uncovering its roots in tropical fieldwork and the southward expansion of U.S. empire at the turn of the twentieth century, Megan Raby in American Tropics details how ecologists took advantage of growing U.S. landholdings in the circum-Caribbean by establishing permanent field stations for long-term, basic tropical research. From these outposts of U.S. science, a growing community of American “tropical biologists” developed both the key scientific concepts and the values embedded in the modern discourse of biodiversity.

American Tropics is available now in both print and e-book editions.

###

Ecology and U.S. Empire in the Caribbean

Today, tropical ecology is closely associated with conservation. It seems obvious that we should set the scientists who study the diversity of tropical life in opposition to those forces destroying it––the corporate and government interests that drive the transformation of the world’s tropical rainforests into monoculture palm oil plantations and cattle ranches. Yet, a more complex picture has emerged from my research on the history of ecological fieldwork in the circum-Caribbean. In fact, historically, research in tropical ecology developed in tandem with the exploitation of tropical environments and the southward expansion of U.S. empire.

As the science of ecology emerged in the late 19th century, its European founders emphasized the importance of studying living organisms within their natural environments––particularly in the tropics where many unique species and adaptations could be found. With the 1898 Spanish American War, members of the U.S. scientific community saw their chance to take part in this cutting-edge new science. They took advantage of expanding U.S. landholdings and transportation networks to establish field stations where they could pursue long-term, basic research in the tropics. These stations––in Cuba, Jamaica, Guyana, and Panama––acted as colonial outposts of U.S. science, enabling biologists from the North to access living tropical organisms in their natural habitats, while themselves living in comfort, health, and safety.

Continue Reading Megan Raby: Ecology and U.S. Empire in the Caribbean

Mary Elizabeth Basile Chopas: The Lessons of World War II Selective Internment

Searching for Subversives Today, we welcome a guest post from Mary Elizabeth Basile Chopas, author of Searching for Subversives:  The Story of Italian Internment in Wartime America.

When the United States entered World War II, Italian nationals living in this country were declared enemy aliens and faced with legal restrictions. Several thousand aliens and a few U.S. citizens were arrested and underwent flawed hearings, and hundreds were interned. Shedding new light on an injustice often overshadowed by the mass confinement of Japanese Americans, Mary Elizabeth Basile Chopas traces how government and military leaders constructed wartime policies affecting Italian residents. Based on new archival research into the alien enemy hearings, this in-depth legal analysis illuminates a process not widely understood. From presumptive guilt in the arrest and internment based on membership in social and political organizations, to hurdles in attaining American citizenship, Chopas uncovers many layers of repression not heretofore revealed in scholarship about the World War II home front.

Searching for Subversives is available now in both print and e-book editions.

###

The Lessons of World War II Selective Internment

When the United States entered World War II, Italian nationals (as well as Japanese and German nationals) living in this country who had not become American citizens were declared enemy aliens and subject to restrictions. Several thousand were arrested and detained for hearings, and hundreds were interned. The story of Italian families affected by internment orders and various government policies, such as nighttime searches of homes for shortwave radios and signaling devices and restrictive curfews, illuminates how the executive branch and the military in the 1940s responded to perceived threats to national security. There were multiple layers of repression—presumptive guilt in the arrest, internment based on membership in social and political organizations and expression of undemocratic ideas, and bars to citizenship.

The story of the internment of Italians during World War II raises the same questions that we ask today about how liberal democracies may wage war and remain true to democratic values. The debate over the constitutionality and implementation of the travel ban affecting foreign nationals from predominantly Muslim countries wishing to enter the United States poses the issue of whether persons may be barred from entry without having undergone an individualized determination of security threat based on specific intelligence.[1] What “extreme vetting” means in practice remains unclear. The historical precedent of World War II selective internment provides a relevant exploration of how the government might strike the proper balance between ensuring the nation’s safety and guaranteeing the protection of civil liberties in times of crisis.

Continue Reading Mary Elizabeth Basile Chopas: The Lessons of World War II Selective Internment

University Press Week 2017: Blog Tour Day 5

University Press Week 2017

University Press Week wraps up today with the blog tour day 5’s theme of Libraries and Librarians helping us all #LookItUP. Today’s posts:

Friday, November 10, 2017: Libraries and Librarians helping us all #LookItUP

University of Georgia Press

University of Missouri Press

University of Nebraska Press

University Press of Florida

 

Be sure to read up on this week’s earlier themes:

Day 1: Scholarship Making a Difference

Day 2: Selling the Facts

Day 3: Producing the Books that Matter

Day 4:  #TwitterStorm

###

And, check out the series of videos (submitted by presses and compiled by Ingram Academic Services) highlighting this week’s themes:

A Conversation with Joo Ok Kim: On the Korean War and the Global Gothic of U.S. Empire

Joo Ok Kim In the Fall 2016 issue of south: a scholarly journal, Joo Ok Kim published a piece entitled, “Declining Misery: Rural Florida’s Hmong and Korean Farmers.” She is an Assistant Professor of American Studies and Latino/a Studies at the University of Kansas. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Asian American Studies and Verge: Studies in Global Asians. Her book project, Warring Genealogies: Race, Kinship, and the Korean War, examines the racial legacies of the Korean War through Chicano cultural production and U.S. archives of white supremacy.

Below is an excerpt from Kim’s interview with south editor, Sharon P. Holland about her piece and its relationship to her research project. You can see the full interview on the journal’s website, https://southjournal.org.

###

Sharon P. Holland: Speak to that deep gothic in the piece. Because it’s definitely there; when I got to the photos of the scarecrow figures, there’s this one line “the walking dead,” right? And that gothic narrative is so so embedded in southern fiction and southern narrative. And in what ways do you hope, not just the piece that you placed with south, but its part in your larger project, in what ways do you hope it kind of pushes that narrative?

Joo Ok Kim: The gothic . . . thinking about the southern writers, and thinkers who have theorized this. I am thinking of Toni Morrison, Saidiya Hartman, to a certain extent Avery Gordon, Dennis Childs, and perhaps scholars such as Grace Cho, the idea of haunting, the true terror and the true gothic of the south has everything to do with settler colonialism, racial slavery and its aftermaths, the on-going hauntings of U.S. empire overseas.

In terms of my larger project . . .  it’s about the Korean War and the subterranean histories of the Korean War, but I had not thought of [until now] my own larger project as a narrative of the gothic, does that make sense?

SPH: Yes, yes.

JK: I had thought about hauntings, but I wasn’t thinking about the [southern] gothic, particularly. And so this is very exciting. All of a sudden there’s an aperture to think about the Korean War as taking part in the global gothic formation of U.S. empire.

SPH: It’s often thought of as the shadow U.S. imperialist war of the 20th century. One seldom hears about subjects, not only . . . I believe that my father served in that war.

JK: Wow.Continue Reading A Conversation with Joo Ok Kim: On the Korean War and the Global Gothic of U.S. Empire

University Press Week 2017: Blog Tour Day 4

University Press Week 2017

University Press Week continues with the blog tour day 4’s theme of #TwitterStorm. Today’s posts:

Thursday, November 9, 2017: #TwitterStorm

Athabasca University Press

Beacon Press

Harvard University Press

Johns Hopkins University Press

 

Be sure to read up on this week’s earlier themes:

Day 1:  Scholarship Making a Difference

Day 2:  Selling the Facts

Day 3:  Producing the Books that Matter

 

 

UNC Press’s Office of Scholarly Publishing Services Partners with the UNC School of Government Publications

On October 1, 2017, tUNC Press OSPS logohe University of North Carolina Press’s Office of Scholarly Publishing Services (OSPS) launched a partnership with the UNC–Chapel Hill School of Government to provide distribution and other publishing services for its publications. The School of Government is publisher of more than 125 books, bulletins, and reports for North Carolina public officials and citizens. It also publishes widely used textbooks in areas including law enforcement and public administration. As the largest university-based local government training, advisory, and research organization in the country, the School of Government offers up to 200 courses, webinars, and specialized conferences for more than 12,000 public officials each year.

“A growing pUNC School of Governmentart of our mandate at the Press is to support publishing efforts throughout the university system,” said John Sherer, director of UNC Press. “This partnership allows us to leverage our publishing expertise and scaled tools to help a key campus institution expand access to, lower costs for, and enhance its focus on publications.”Continue Reading UNC Press’s Office of Scholarly Publishing Services Partners with the UNC School of Government Publications

University Press Week 2017: Blog Tour Day 3

University Press Week 2017

University Press Week continues with the blog tour day 3’s theme of Producing the Books that Matter. Today’s posts:

Wednesday, November 8, 2017: Producing the Books that Matter

Fordham University Press

Georgetown University Press

University of British Columbia Press

University of California Press

University of Kansas Press

University of Michigan Press

University of Washington Press

Yale University Press

Be sure to read up on yesterday’s posts on the themes from Day 1 and Day 2:  Scholarship Making a Difference and Selling the Facts.

 

 

Elaine Maisner: Announcing a Multimedia Collaboration between UNC Press and Mavcor on Material Religion

Elaine Maisner is Executive Editor at UNC Press.  A Communion of Shadows: Religion and Photography in Nineteenth-Century America, is available now in both print and e-book editions.

###

Rachel Lindsey, Communion of ShadowsAs the UNC Press editor responsible for our list in religious studies, I am delighted to announce that Rachel McBride Lindsey’s book, A Communion of Shadows: Religion and Photography in Nineteenth-Century America, has just been published.

I am also delighted to announce that Rachel’s compelling book is the inaugural book in a multimedia collaboration with MAVCOR—Center for the Study of Material & Visual Cultures of Religion—at Yale University.

MAVCOR is directed by Yale professor Sally M. Promey, a pioneering scholar in the study of what has come to be known as material religion. Working closely with Sally and UNC Press in this collaboration is Emily C. Floyd, MAVCOR site editor and curator, as well as a Ph.D. candidate in the joint program in Latin American Studies and Art History at Tulane University.

The study of material religion recognizes that religious practice is inherently as sensory and material as it is textual. It is intimately engaged with “stuff.” It encourages consideration of the everyday sensory, material, and aesthetic practices of religions as well as of the world’s prominent art and architecture.

In A Communion of Shadows, Rachel takes readers inside the world of everyday nineteenth-century U.S. religious life right at the moment when the revolutionary technology of photography erupted as a vernacular practice in American culture and took its place as marvel and mania for people of all types and classes. 

Continue Reading Elaine Maisner: Announcing a Multimedia Collaboration between UNC Press and Mavcor on Material Religion

University Press Week 2017: Blog Tour Day 2

University Press Week 2017

University Press Week continues with the blog tour day 2’s theme of Selling the Facts. Today’s posts:

Tuesday, November 7, 2017:  Selling the Facts

Duke University Press

Columbia University Press

Johns Hopkins University Press

University of Hawaii Press

University Press of Kentucky

University of Minnesota Press

University of Texas Press

University of Toronto Press

Be sure to read up on yesterday’s posts on Day 1’s theme:  Scholarship Making a Difference.

 

 

Joan Marie Johnson: November 6, 1917 — Women Win the Right to Vote in New York State

Joan Marie Johnson, Funding FeminismToday we welcome a guest post from Joan Marie Johnson, author of Funding Feminism: Monied Women, Philanthropy, and the Women’s Movement, 1870–1967, on how women won the right to vote in New York State.

In Funding Feminism, Joan Marie Johnson examines an understudied dimension of women’s history in the United States: how a group of affluent white women from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries advanced the status of all women through acts of philanthropy. This cadre of activists included Phoebe Hearst, the mother of William Randolph Hearst; Grace Dodge, granddaughter of Wall Street “Merchant Prince” William Earle Dodge; and Ava Belmont, who married into the Vanderbilt family fortune. Motivated by their own experiences with sexism, and focusing on women’s need for economic independence, these benefactors sought to expand women’s access to higher education, promote suffrage, and champion reproductive rights, as well as to provide assistance to working-class women.

Funding Feminism is available now in both print and ebook editions.

###

November 6, 1917 — Women Win the Right to Vote in New York State

One hundred years ago, on November 6, 1917, men across New York state went to the polls to decide whether women should have the right to vote. The New York state referendum passed by a vote of 703,129 to 600,776, a key state victory for women’s suffrage before the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1920, finally granting women the right to vote across the entire nation.

The New York state referendum was also notable for the enormous amount of money required for its passage. While this year we saw the most expensive legislative race in Georgia, where more than 27 million dollars were spent in the contest between Karen Handler and Jon Ossoff, in 1917 women in the New York state Suffrage Party also raised what was then an incredible sum: more than $400,000 (the equivalent of much more than 7.5 million dollars today) for the referendum. Even more remarkable, this was at a time when the entire budget for the National American Woman Suffrage Association, just a few years earlier had been only $38,000. How did suffragists do it?

New York’s most notable fund raisers were Vira Whitehouse and Helen Reid. Vira, married to banker Norman de R. Whitehouse, was born in Virginia and educated at Newcomb College in New Orleans. When an earlier referendum in the state failed in 1915, Whitehouse argued that women did not work hard enough. She exhorted her co-workers not to be distracted by pleasures or by other duties in order to be victorious in 1917. Vira Whitehouse herself donated over $8,000 to the New York state Suffrage Party.

The treasurer of the New York state campaign, Helen Reid, was originally from Wisconsin. She took a job working as a personal secretary to Elisabeth Mills Reid, wife of the New York Tribune publisher Whitelaw Reid, after graduation from Barnard College. Helen married their son, Ogden Mills Reid. She eventually became president and chairman of the board of the newspaper after his death. But in 1917 she was occupied with the suffrage movement; the vote, she thought, was necessary for women’s “spiritual and intellectual development.” Having worked her way through college, she understood the need for economic independence and political equality for women. She gave over $13,000 to the New York state campaign.

Together Whitehouse, Reid, and other suffragists solicited donations from approximately 550 people, including donations ranging from one dollar to $17,000, with large contributions from New York’s wealthiest families. How did they raise so much money?

First, they got big donations from some very wealthy families. They raised nearly 75 percent of the money from only 38 people. These included Dorothy Payne Whitney Straight, who had inherited nearly seven million dollars (worth well over 150 million dollars today) as a young woman. Straight supported many progressive causes that benefitted women, including access to birth control, the Junior League, and women’s suffrage. She gave $17,000 to the 1917 New York state campaign. Narcissa and Frank Vanderlip, National City Bank president, together also gave $17,000. Intelligent and highly organized, Narcissa traveled to Washington, D.C. to see President Woodrow Wilson in support of suffrage.

Second, they convinced women to fund their own equality. Women outnumbered men in donations of $1000-$2499 to the New York State Woman Suffrage Party for the 1917 referendum campaign. The top 38 donors consisted of 17 women, 18 men, and 3 couples. This was key. While some male allies gave generously, it took women’ s contributions to achieve success.

At the national level, the National Woman’s Party (originally known as the Congressional Union) also depended on the generosity of women to support their work. Two women, Alva Vanderbilt Belmont and Mary Burnham, together gave twenty percent of the money raised from the organization’s inception in 1913 to ratification in 1920: they donated approximately $115,000 out of the just more than $560,000 the National Woman’s Party collected. Women dominated the list of major donors even more than in New York: 38 women, 10 couples, and 7 men gave gifts over $1000 to the organization.

Today, women are widely underrepresented in politics: 84 of 435 members of the House of Representatives, 21 senators, and 6 governors are women, and of course, there still has not been a woman president. With the ease of social media and on-line donations, the outsized donations by wealthy women may be less necessary alongside grassroots small donations. The Women’s March on Washington, for example, raised more than $2 million online from over 38,000 individuals– although we don’t know what percentage of these donors were women. In order to finally break that highest glass ceiling, women will need to continue to raise money from other women, convincing women to give donations, whether larger or small, to women’s political campaigns and organizations supporting gender equality.

###

Joan Marie Johnson is a historian and faculty coordinator for the Office of the Provost at Northwestern University.

University Press Week 2017: Blog Tour Day 1

University Press Week 2017

Scholarly Publishers Select Theme Resonating in Time of Fake News —
#LookItUP: Knowledge Matters is Theme of University Press Week, November 6-11

In a time when the public’s trust in facts and knowledge is waning, the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) has chosen “#LookItUP: Knowledge Matters” as the theme for this year’s University Press Week. University Press Week (UP Week) runs from November 6 through November 11.

We celebrate #UPweek 2017 with the annual blog tour, where each day several UPs post about a particular theme. All week we’ll be sharing our colleagues’ posts. #LookItUP!

Monday, November 6, 2017: Scholarship Making a Difference

Cambridge University Press

George Mason University Press

Oregon State University Press

Princeton University Press

Temple University Press

University Press of Colorado

University of Toronto Press

Wayne State University Press

Wilfrid Laurier University Press

###

And, check out the series of videos (submitted by presses and compiled by Ingram Academic Services) highlighting this week’s themes:

 

 

 

Happening this week: An online roundtable on Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution by Devyn Spence Benson

Black Perspectives, the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), is hosting an online roundtable on Devyn Spence Benson’s Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution, published in 2016 by UNC Press.

Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution, by Devyn Spence BensonThe roundtable begins on Monday, November 6, 2017, and concludes on Saturday, November 11, 2017.

The roundtable will feature responses from

Yesenia Barragan (Dartmouth College)

Aisha K. Finch (UCLA; author of the UNC Press book Rethinking Slave Rebellion in Cuba:  La Escalera and the Insurgencies of 1841-1844)

Nancy Raquel Mirabal (University of Maryland)

Melina Pappademos (University of Connecticut Storrs; author of the UNC Press book Black Political Activism and the Cuban Republic)

Sandy Placido (Oberlin College).

On the final day, Devyn Spence Benson (Davidson College) will offer concluding remarks.

During the week of the online roundtable, Black Perspectives will publish new blog posts every day at 5:30AM EST. You can follow Black Perspectives (@BlkPerspectives) and AAIHS (@AAIHSon Twitter; like AAIHS on Facebook; or subscribe to their blog for updates. By subscribing to Black Perspectives, each new post will automatically be delivered to your inbox during the week of the roundtable.

For more info, visit AAHIS here.

###

Recipe: Cane Syrup Pecan Pie, from Jamie DeMent

The Farmhouse Chef: Recipes and Stories from My Carolina Farm, by Jamie DeMentJamie DeMent farms and cooks on Coon Rock Farm in Hillsborough, North Carolina. A well-known cooking teacher, she also owns, with her partner, Richard Holcomb, Piedmont Restaurant in Durham, North Carolina, and Bella Bean Organics.

Jamie DeMent opens a bright kitchen window onto the newest kind of North Carolina farming life. On fifty-five acres of beautiful Piedmont farmland in Hillsborough, North Carolina, DeMent and her family raise sustainably nurtured and sought-after heirloom varieties of produce and livestock. Every day on Coon Rock Farm, DeMent cooks robust, flavorful, satisfying meals for family, crew, and farm interns—and now you are invited to share the bounty. The Farmhouse Chef offers 150 recipes for every occasion, from down home to downright elegant, inspired by the farm’s yield through the four seasons.

From fall’s Sage- and Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash to Pear and Bacon Salad, to summer’s Sugarcane Barbecue Chicken and Watermelon Mojitos, DeMent’s cooking style highlights no-nonsense approaches using great ingredients combined with easy preparations for supercharged flavor. Accompanying the recipes are DeMent’s deliciously observant stories illuminating what life is really like on a working farm. A native North Carolinian committed to the development of sustainable farming in her state, DeMent will inspire those of us who may not have a lot of time to cook, let alone farm, but who care about seasonal, healthfully grown food.

For more delicious recipes, grab a copy of Jamie’s The Farmhouse Chef.

Infographic: Goat Castle Timeline

Goat Castle: A True Story of Murder, Race, and the Gothic South, by Karen L. Cox

Historian Karen L. Cox and UNC Press offer an overview and timeline of Cox’s gripping account of murder, media, and racial injustice in Depression-era Mississippi.

Eighty-five years ago, in August 1932, the investigation into the murder of 68 year-old Jennie Merrill of Natchez, Mississippi, made national headlines. That she was born into the southern planter aristocracy and her father was once U.S. Ambassador to Belgium were enough to garner attention. Yet the story that emerged focused on those charged—her eccentric neighbors, Dick Dana, 61, and Octavia Dockery, 68, also born into elite southern families except that by 1932, they lived in squalor in a crumbling down antebellum mansion with all variety of animals, including goats. Their home was nicknamed “Goat Castle” and the pair became known as the “Wild Man” and the “Goat Woman.” Journalists compared their story to those of Edgar Allan Poe and William Faulkner—a southern gothic narrative come to life. And despite the collection of their fingerprints from inside Merrill’s home, the case never went to trial. Instead, as was typical of the Jim Crow era, the black community was targeted. In the end, the only person to be punished was an innocent African American woman named Emily Burns. She was convicted as an accessory to murder and sentenced to life in prison in the state penitentiary—Parchman—while Dana and Dockery profited from their notoriety. Burns’ sentence was eventually suspended in 1940, and she returned to Natchez. Previous accounts of the case are terribly brief, and focus exclusively on the white principals. This book offers the first extensively researched account of this Depression-era crime, including the national media coverage, while also recovering the story of racial injustice.

You can read an excerpt from Goat Castle at the book’s UNC Press webpage. Follow author Karen L. Cox on Facebook (@karenlcoxauthor) or Twitter (@SassyProf) for updates on events and more.

[Click to open image viewer. Click again in the new window to magnify image to full size. Plain text of image content is also available.]

infographic chronicling the timeline of events in the book Goat Castle: A True Story of Murder, Race, and the Gothic South, by Karen L. Cox

Eve E. Buckley: The Power and Paucity of Primary Documents for Latin American Historians

Technocrats and the Politics of Drought and Development in Twentieth-Century Brazil by Eve E. BuckleyToday we welcome a guest blog post from Eve E. Buckley, author of Technocrats and the Politics of Drought and Development in Twentieth-Century Brazil, on drought and regional development in Brazil.

Eve E. Buckley’s study of twentieth-century Brazil examines the nation’s hard social realities through the history of science, focusing on the use of technology and engineering as vexed instruments of reform and economic development. Nowhere was the tension between technocratic optimism and entrenched inequality more evident than in the drought-ridden Northeast sertão, plagued by chronic poverty, recurrent famine, and mass migrations. Buckley reveals how the physicians, engineers, agronomists, and mid-level technocrats working for federal agencies to combat drought were pressured by politicians to seek out a technological magic bullet that would both end poverty and obviate the need for land redistribution to redress long-standing injustices.

Technocrats and the Politics of Drought and Development in Twentieth-Century Brazil is available for now in both print and e-book editions

###

The Power and Paucity of Primary Documents for Latin American Historians

When I begin conducting research for Technocrats and the Politics of Drought and Development in Twentieth-century Brazil, I assumed that the national archive in Rio de Janeiro would be an important repository for records of the federal agency that oversaw drought works in the semi-arid northeast sertão. Upon arriving there, I discovered that the archive does hold thousands of documents from that agency’s supervising ministry, responsible for all of Brazil’s federally funded infrastructure, but these are in unprocessed boxes. In a game of archival roulette (with the pending arrival of twins constraining my time in the country), I spent a week randomly requesting boxes in hopes of hitting the drought-works archival jackpot—to no avail.

Over that initial research year I had located a range of primary and secondary materials in libraries, archives, and academic institutions in several cities. These enabled me to outline a history of Brazil’s vexed program to ameliorate drought and famine in the sertão, yet they were on the whole unsatisfying. I knew how the government and its agency managers had tried to diminish the calamitous impact of periodic drought, but it was impossible to substantiate what that work had been like when it was undertaken—both for drought agency employees sent to oversee emergency drought relief and for the vulnerable sertanejos that they aimed to help.

Continue Reading Eve E. Buckley: The Power and Paucity of Primary Documents for Latin American Historians

M.J. Rymsza-Pawlowska: Consuming History

Rymsza-Pawlowska, History Comes AliveToday, we welcome a guest post from M.J. Rymsza-Pawlowska, author of History Comes Alive:  Public History and Popular Culture in the 1970s, on throwback jerseys and limited edition cereal boxes.

During the 1976 Bicentennial celebration, millions of Americans engaged with the past in brand-new ways. They became absorbed by historical miniseries like Roots, visited museums with new exhibits that immersed them in the past, propelled works of historical fiction onto the bestseller list, and participated in living history events across the nation. While many of these activities were sparked by the Bicentennial, M. J. Rymsza-Pawlowska shows that, in fact, they were symptomatic of a fundamental shift in Americans’ relationship to history during the 1960s and 1970s.

History Comes Alive is available now in both print and e-book editions.

###

Consuming History

In the last several years, I’ve been struck by the relatively new phenomenon of what can be loosely described as “historicized consumer experiences.” Whether this means watching your favorite team play during a “throwback night,” buying commercial products with limited edition retro packaging, or riding a vintage subway train, it is clear that consumer culture is both reflecting and perhaps even helping to extend a cultural desire to engage with historical goods and experiences.

What drives this popularity? What does it mean that our most potent and vivid memories are now at least partially articulated through engagement with commercial goods and environments? Does it have something to do with the new availability of images of consumer goods of the past (for example the countless Buzzfeed lists)? Or is it another extension of capitalist culture, something that a thinker like Naomi Klein would view as the final bastion of the domination of brands (not only our present and our future, but also our past?)

Continue Reading M.J. Rymsza-Pawlowska: Consuming History