Douglas Flowe: The Conundrum of Writing About Race and Crime

Today we welcome a guest post from Douglas Flowe, author of Uncontrollable Blackness: African American Men and Criminality in Jim Crow New York, out now from UNC Press. In the wake of emancipation, black men in northern urban centers like New York faced economic isolation, marginalization, and racial violence. In response, some of those men… Continue Reading Douglas Flowe: The Conundrum of Writing About Race and Crime

Tony Tian-Ren Lin: Make America Dream Again

Today we welcome a guest post from Tony Tian-Ren Lin, author of Prosperity Gospel Latinos and Their American Dream, out now from UNC Press. In this immersive ethnography, Tony Tian-Ren Lin explores the reasons that Latin American immigrants across the United States are increasingly drawn to Prosperity Gospel Pentecostalism, a strand of Protestantism gaining popularity around… Continue Reading Tony Tian-Ren Lin: Make America Dream Again

Tony Tian-Ren Lin: The Faithful Shall Not be Deterred

Today we welcome a guest post from Tony Tian-Ren Lin, author of Prosperity Gospel Latinos and Their American Dream, out now from UNC Press. In this immersive ethnography, Tony Tian-Ren Lin explores the reasons that Latin American immigrants across the United States are increasingly drawn to Prosperity Gospel Pentecostalism, a strand of Protestantism gaining popularity… Continue Reading Tony Tian-Ren Lin: The Faithful Shall Not be Deterred

Siobhan Barco: New Talking Legal History Interview with Robert Chase

The final episode in the yearlong Talking Legal History podcast series featuring UNC Press is online. In this timely episode, I interview Robert Chase about his book We Are Not Slaves: State Violence, Coerced Labor, and Prisoners’ Rights in Postwar America (University of North Carolina Press, 2020). Our conversation underscores the important role academic presses play… Continue Reading Siobhan Barco: New Talking Legal History Interview with Robert Chase

Claire Whitlinger–The Money in Memory: Commodifying Civil Rights Memory

Today we welcome a guest post from Claire Whitlinger, author of Between Remembrance and Repair: Commemorating Racial Violence in Philadelphia, Mississippi, out now from UNC Press. Few places are more notorious for civil rights–era violence than Philadelphia, Mississippi, the site of the 1964 “Mississippi Burning” murders. Yet in a striking turn of events, Philadelphia has… Continue Reading Claire Whitlinger–The Money in Memory: Commodifying Civil Rights Memory

Douglas J. Flowe: “Uncontrollable Blackness” in Context

Today we welcome a guest post from Douglas J. Flowe, author of Uncontrollable Blackness: African American Men and Criminality in Jim Crow New York, out now from UNC Press. In the wake of emancipation, black men in northern urban centers like New York faced economic isolation, marginalization, and racial violence. In response, some of those men… Continue Reading Douglas J. Flowe: “Uncontrollable Blackness” in Context

Author Interview: Cynthia Kierner on Inventing Disaster

In this Q&A, Cynthia Kierner discusses her book Inventing Disaster: The Culture of Calamity from the Jamestown Colony to the Johnstown Flood, out now from UNC Press. When hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, and other disasters strike, we count our losses, search for causes, commiserate with victims, and initiate relief efforts. Amply illustrated and expansively researched, Inventing Disaster explains the… Continue Reading Author Interview: Cynthia Kierner on Inventing Disaster

Author Interview: Lana Dee Povitz on Stirrings: How Activist New Yorkers Ignited a Movement for Food Justice

In this Q&A, Siobhan Barco (@SiobhanBarco) speaks with author Lana Dee Povitz about her new book Stirrings: How Activist New Yorkers Ignited a Movement for Food Justice, out this week from UNC Press. In the last three decades of the twentieth century, government cutbacks, stagnating wages, AIDS, and gentrification pushed ever more people into poverty,… Continue Reading Author Interview: Lana Dee Povitz on Stirrings: How Activist New Yorkers Ignited a Movement for Food Justice

Author Interview: Karen L. Cox, Goat Castle

“From the time I learned about Goat Castle and the real-life characters that inhabited it, I could see it as a film. Every person I’ve ever talked to about this book project has said, without fail, ‘This needs to be a movie.’” Continue Reading Author Interview: Karen L. Cox, Goat Castle

Stephanie Hinnershitz: Before Loving: How the Naim v. Naim Case Challenges Civil Rights Narratives

Today we welcome a guest blog post from Stephanie Hinnershitz, author of A Different Shade of Justice: Asian American Civil Rights in the South, on the global nature of struggles over civil rights. From the formation of Chinese and Japanese communities in the early twentieth century through Indian hotel owners’ battles against business discrimination in… Continue Reading Stephanie Hinnershitz: Before Loving: How the Naim v. Naim Case Challenges Civil Rights Narratives

Lindsey A. Freeman: The Uncanny Bohemia in Black Mountain

When the Black Mountain School began last summer, many folks were skeptical of this new school growing up in the ghostly space of the old. The site had what Michel de Certeau calls “an uncanniness of the already there,” a feeling of the past that is so familiar in a space that it overpowers the present, making unknown places feel known. Ragan and Void have since changed the name of their experiment in education to School of the Alternative. Even with the name switch, the inspiration of the original BMC shines through. A pedagogical sensibility clearly exists between the old avant-garde school and the new one. This can be seen in classes such as: Lose Your Mind and Come to Your Senses, which promises instruction in Fluxus methodologies, mindfulness, and chance operations; Giant Loom Weaving, which is just what it sounds like and takes place outdoors; and Tablows Vivant, which, according to the course description, is “a series of posed scenes to communicate a story or idea. In between each scene is a mini dance party. At night, with dramatic lighting! With some bodies involved.” Continue Reading Lindsey A. Freeman: The Uncanny Bohemia in Black Mountain

Book Trailer: City of Inmates by Kelly Lytle Hernández

Marshaling more than two centuries of evidence, historian Kelly Lytle Hernández unmasks how histories of native elimination, immigrant exclusion, and black disappearance drove the rise of incarceration in Los Angeles. In this telling, which spans from the Spanish colonial era to the outbreak of the 1965 Watts Rebellion, Hernández documents the persistent historical bond between the racial fantasies of conquest, namely its settler colonial form, and the eliminatory capacities of incarceration. Continue Reading Book Trailer: City of Inmates by Kelly Lytle Hernández

Brian Tochterman: Mailer for Mayor of the 51st State

Norman Mailer and Jimmy Breslin are part of a sometimes roving band of supporting characters that populate The Dying City. Mailer plays the role of the contrarian provocateur who challenges the dying city narrative, whether it’s holding up the risky brotherhood of New York City’s various youth gangs as an antidote to the “national disease” of boredom within the pages of Dissent or publishing a large format book on the cultural significance of the 1970s’ most otherwise reviled contemporary art form, spray-paint writing. Breslin, the longtime voice of New York within the pages of various dailies, is perhaps most famously known outside of the city as the epistolary confidant of David Berkowitz, a.k.a. Son of Sam, who addressed a cryptic letter to Breslin, then at the Daily News, during his 1977 killing spree. He also co-authored The Lonely Crimes, “or the crimes you don’t hear about,” series from October 1965 that is examined in my book. Continue Reading Brian Tochterman: Mailer for Mayor of the 51st State

Christopher A. Cooper and H. Gibbs Knotts: Reflections on John Shelton Reed

In our new book, The Resilience of Southern Identity: Why the South Still Matters in the Minds of Its People, we revisit and update a few of Reed’s key findings about the South. We focus particularly on the question of southern identity, exploring the powerful connection between southerners and their region. Continue Reading Christopher A. Cooper and H. Gibbs Knotts: Reflections on John Shelton Reed

Off the Page: Roundtable 1: Immigration

UNC Press is proud to host this first in a series of week-long virtual roundtables, featuring Press authors drawing on their work to address issues of contemporary concern. This week we share five short essays by leading scholars of immigration, including Elliott Young, Deirdre M. Moloney, Mireya Loza, Julie M. Weise, and Erika Lee. Continue Reading Off the Page: Roundtable 1: Immigration

Katrinell M. Davis: Hoodwinked, Bamboozled, and Led Astray: Adjunct Professors’ Struggle for Job Security in the United States

While education might be the key to success, it doesn’t provide the boost it once provided to American workers. Continue Reading Katrinell M. Davis: Hoodwinked, Bamboozled, and Led Astray: Adjunct Professors’ Struggle for Job Security in the United States

Toby L. Parcel: School Assignment and the Emotional Investment of Mothers

We used our survey data to study who favored diverse schools, who favored neighborhood schools, and who worried about school reassignments. Continue Reading Toby L. Parcel: School Assignment and the Emotional Investment of Mothers

Excerpt: The Wilmington Ten, by Kenneth Robert Janken

The case of the Wilmington Ten emerged out of the events of February 1971. In an effort to lay blame for the violence and remove the effective and popular organizer Benjamin Chavis, the Wilmington police and state prosecutor—assisted by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF)—concocted a case against Chavis, eight other black men (five of them high school students), and one white woman. Arrested more than a year after the disturbances, they were charged with conspiracy, burning Mike’s Grocery, and shooting at the firefighters and police who responded to the fire. (Ann Shepard was charged only with conspiracy.) The prosecutor, with the assent of the presiding judge, illegally excluded blacks from the jury. He solicited perjured testimony from his main witnesses to convict the Ten, who were sentenced to a total of 282 years in prison. Their convictions sparked a campaign across North Carolina, the nation, and the world to free them. Continue Reading Excerpt: The Wilmington Ten, by Kenneth Robert Janken

Excerpt: The Trials of Laura Fair: Sex, Murder, and Insanity in the Victorian West, by Carole Haber

In arguing that the jury had to find Laura “not guilty by reason of insanity,” Quint and Cook hoped to focus their attention around four central issues. At the heart of their case, they argued, was the notion that Laura was unconscious and irrational at the time of the murder. In contrast to the prosecution, which had relied on gossip and rumor to condemn Laura’s character, they would base their case on the latest scientific findings and medical expertise. By calling to the stand doctors with advanced knowledge and training, they would prove that Laura—much like Mary Harris before her—was a victim herself, captive to the effects of severe organic disease. Especially when her menstrual cycle approached, she experienced recurring bouts of hysterical mania that left her without control of her actions or awareness of events. Thus, no matter how heinous the act appeared, she was not responsible for its commission. Continue Reading Excerpt: The Trials of Laura Fair: Sex, Murder, and Insanity in the Victorian West, by Carole Haber

Toby L. Parcel: Exploring Attitudes toward Public School Desegregation Over Time

Why have some school districts sustained school desegregation over many years while others have resegregated by race and income? Can we tie these differing histories to the attitudes and values of residents in these areas? Have attitudes and values in Wake County, North Carolina, regarding school desegregation changed over the last few years?

These are some of the questions I am investigating following the 2015 publication of my book with Andy Taylor, The End of Consensus: Diversity, Neighborhoods, and the Politics of Public School Assignments. In that work Andy and I reported the results of a mixed-methods study that used interviews, focus groups, archival data, case studies, and a 2011 representative survey of Wake County adults to understand school assignment policy change in the county. Continue Reading Toby L. Parcel: Exploring Attitudes toward Public School Desegregation Over Time