by Duke University Press

Ordinary Affects
Kathleen Stewart
Duke University Press - 25.00€ -  out of stock

Ordinary Affects is a singular argument for attention to the affective dimensions of everyday life and the potential that animates the ordinary. Known for her focus on the poetics and politics of language and landscape, the anthropologist Kathleen Stewart ponders how ordinary impacts create the subject as a capacity to affect and be affected. In a series of brief vignettes combining storytelling, close ethnographic detail, and critical analysis, Stewart relates the intensities and banalities of common experiences and strange encounters, half-spied scenes and the lingering resonance of passing events.

While most of the instances rendered are from Stewart’s own life, she writes in the third person in order to reflect on how intimate experiences of emotion, the body, other people, and time inextricably link us to the outside world.Stewart refrains from positing an overarching system—whether it’s called globalization or neoliberalism or capitalism—to describe the ways that economic, political, and social forces shape individual lives. Instead, she begins with the disparate, fragmented, and seemingly inconsequential experiences of everyday life to bring attention to the ordinary as an integral site of cultural politics. Ordinary affect, she insists, is registered in its particularities, yet it connects people and creates common experiences that shape public feeling.

Through this anecdotal history—one that poetically ponders the extremes of the ordinary and portrays the dense network of social and personal connections that constitute a life—Stewart asserts the necessity of attending to the fleeting and changeable aspects of existence in order to recognize the complex personal and social dynamics of the political world.

Meeting the Universe Halfway
Karen Barad
Duke University Press - 34.00€ -

Meeting the Universe Halfway is an ambitious book with far-reaching implications for numerous fields in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. In this volume, Karen Barad, theoretical physicist and feminist theorist, elaborates her theory of agential realism. Offering an account of the world as a whole rather than as composed of separate natural and social realms, agential realism is at once a new epistemology, ontology, and ethics. The starting point for Barad’s analysis is the philosophical framework of quantum physicist Niels Bohr. Barad extends and partially revises Bohr’s philosophical views in light of current scholarship in physics, science studies, and the philosophy of science as well as feminist, poststructuralist, and other critical social theories. In the process, she significantly reworks understandings of space, time, matter, causality, agency, subjectivity, and objectivity.

In an agential realist account, the world is made of entanglements of “social” and “natural” agencies, where the distinction between the two emerges out of specific intra-actions. Intra-activity is an inexhaustible dynamism that configures and reconfigures relations of space-time-matter. In explaining intra-activity, Barad reveals questions about how nature and culture interact and change over time to be fundamentally misguided. And she reframes understanding of the nature of scientific and political practices and their “interrelationship.” Thus she pays particular attention to the responsible practice of science, and she emphasizes changes in the understanding of political practices, critically reworking Judith Butler’s influential theory of performativity. Finally, Barad uses agential realism to produce a new interpretation of quantum physics, demonstrating that agential realism is more than a means of reflecting on science; it can be used to actually do science.

On the Inconvenience of Other People
Lauren Berlant
Duke University Press - 26.00€ -  out of stock

In On the Inconvenience of Other People Lauren Berlant continues to explore our affective engagement with the world. Berlant focuses on the encounter with and the desire for the bother of other people and objects, showing that to be driven toward attachment is to desire to be inconvenienced. Drawing on a range of sources, including Last Tango in Paris, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Claudia Rankine, Christopher Isherwood, Bhanu Kapil, the Occupy movement, and resistance to anti-Black state violence, Berlant poses inconvenience as an affective relation and considers how we might loosen our attachments in ways that allow us to build new forms of life. Collecting strategies for breaking apart a world in need of disturbing, the book's experiments in thought and writing cement Berlant's status as one of the most inventive and influential thinkers of our time.

Raving
McKenzie Wark
Duke University Press - 16.00€ -

McKenzie Wark takes readers into the undisclosed locations of New York's thriving queer rave scene, showing how raving to techno is an art and technique at which queer and trans bodies might be particularly adept, but which is for anyone who lets the beat seduce them.

Contents
1. Rave as Practice 
2. Xeno-euphoria 
3. Ketamine Femmunism 
4. Enlustment 
5. Resonant Abstraction 
6. Excessive Machine 

"How to write a book about raving as a practice that practices rave? From k-nights spent on Brooklyn's and Berlin's junkspace dance floors, McKenzie Wark abstracts a life practice of ressociation in a dance of autoconceptualization and allotheorization. In crossing toward the stranger's gift of 'letting go of ourselves as private property, ' Raving is nothing less than Wark's femmunist manifesto, her tractatus on techno's blackness, her treatise for a twenty-first-century trans ethics."—Kodwo Eshun

Bad Education: Why Queer Theory Teaches Us Nothing
Lee Edelman
Duke University Press - 40.00€ -  out of stock

Long awaited after No Future, and making queer theory controversial again, Lee Edelman’s Bad Education proposes a queerness without positive identity—a queerness understood as a figural name for the void, itself unnamable, around which the social order takes shape.

Like Blackness, woman, incest, and sex, queerness, as Edelman explains it, designates the antagonism, the structuring negativity, preventing that order from achieving coherence. But when certain types of persons get read as literalizing queerness, the negation of their negativity can seem to resolve the social antagonism and totalize community.

By translating the nothing of queerness into the something of “the queer,” the order of meaning defends against the senselessness that undoes it, thus mirroring, Edelman argues, education’s response to queerness: its sublimation of irony into the meaningfulness of a world. Putting queerness in relation to Lacan’s “ab-sens” and in dialogue with feminist and Afropessimist thought, Edelman reads works by Shakespeare, Jacobs, Almodóvar, Lemmons, and Haneke, among others, to show why queer theory’s engagement with queerness necessarily results in a bad education that is destined to teach us nothing.

Or, on Being the Other Woman
Simone White
Duke University Press - 18.00€ -

Throughout this book-length poem, Simone White considers the dynamics of contemporary black feminist life, attesting to the narrative complexities of writing and living as a black woman and artist.

In Or, on being the other woman, Simone White considers the dynamics of contemporary black feminist life. Throughout this book-length poem, White writes through a hybrid of poetry, essay, personal narrative, and critical theory, attesting to the narrative complexities of writing and living as a black woman and artist. She considers black social life—from art and motherhood to trap music and love—as unspeakably troubling and reflects on the degree to which it strands and punishes black women. She also explores what constitutes sexual freedom and the rewards and dangers that come with it. White meditates on trap music and the ways artists such as Future and Meek Mill and the sonic waves of the drum machine convey desire and the black experience. Charting the pressures of ordinary black womanhood, White pushes the limits of language, showing how those limits can be the basis for new modes of expression.

Nomenclature: New and Collected Poems
Dionne Brand
Duke University Press - 30.00€ -  out of stock

Nomenclature: New and Collected Poems collects eight volumes of Dionne Brand's poetry published between 1983 and 2010, as well as a new long poem, the titular Nomenclature for the time being.

Dionne Brand is the author of numerous volumes of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Her latest poetry collection, The Blue Clerk, also published by Duke University Press, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and won the Trillium Book Award. Her other poetry collections have won the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award, the Trillium Book Award, and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Brand's novel, Theory, won the 2019 OCM Bocas Prize for Fiction and the Toronto Book Award, and What We All Long For won the Toronto Book Award. Her works of nonfiction include Bread Out of Stone and A Map to the Door of No Return: Notes to Belonging. From 2009 to 2012 Brand served as Toronto's Poet Laureate. In 2021 Brand was awarded a Windham-Campbell Prize in Fiction. She lives in Toronto.

Information Activism: A Queer History of Lesbian Media Technologies
Cait McKinney
Duke University Press - 28.50€ -  out of stock

Cait McKinney traces how lesbian feminist activists in the United States and Canada between the 1970s and the present developed communication networks, databases, and digital archives to use as a foundation for their feminist, antiracist, and trans-inclusive work.

For decades, lesbian feminists across the United States and Canada have created information to build movements and survive in a world that doesn't want them.

In Information Activism Cait McKinney traces how these women developed communication networks, databases, and digital archives that formed the foundation for their work. Often learning on the fly and using everything from index cards to computers, these activists brought people and their visions of justice together to organize, store, and provide access to information.

Focusing on the transition from paper to digital-based archival techniques from the 1970s to the present, McKinney shows how media technologies animate the collective and unspectacular labor that sustains social movements, including their antiracist and trans-inclusive endeavors. By bringing sexuality studies to bear on media history, McKinney demonstrates how groups with precarious access to control over information create their own innovative and resourceful techniques for generating and sharing knowledge.

Lote
Shola von Reinhold
Duke University Press - 20.00€ -  out of stock

Shola von Reinhold's decadent queer literary debut immerses readers in the pursuit of aesthetics and beauty, while interrogating the removal and obscuring of Black figures from history.

Solitary Mathilda has long harbored a conflicted enchantment bordering on rapture with the "Bright Young Things," the Bloomsbury Group, and their contemporaries of the '20s and '30s, and throughout her life her attempts at reinvention have mirrored their extravagance and artfulness. After discovering a photograph of the forgotten Black modernist poet Hermia Druitt, who ran in the same circles as the Bright Young Things, Mathilda becomes transfixed and resolves to learn as much as she can about the mysterious figure. Her search brings her to a peculiar artists' residency in Dun, a small European town in which Hermia was known to have lived during the '30s. The artists' residency throws her deeper into a lattice of secrets and secret societies that takes hold of her aesthetic imagination. From champagne theft and Black Modernisms to art sabotage, alchemy, and a lotus-eating proto-luxury communist cult, Mathilda's "Escapes" through modes of aesthetic expression lead her to question the convoluted ways truth is made and obscured.

Shola von Reinhold is a Scottish socialite and writer. Shola has been published in the Cambridge Literary Review, The Stockholm Review, was Cove Park's Scottish Emerging Writer 2018 and recently won a Dewar Award for Literature. Shola is a recent graduate from the Creative Writing MLitt at Glasgow which was completed through the Jessica Yorke Writing Scholarship and has previously studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. Shola has also written for publications including i-D, AnOther Magazine.

Beyond the World's End
T. J. Demos
Duke University Press - 26.00€ -

In Beyond the World's End T. J. Demos explores cultural practices that provide radical propositions for living in a world beset by environmental and political crises.

Rethinking relationships between aesthetics and an expanded political ecology that foregrounds just futurity, Demos examines how contemporary artists are diversely addressing urgent themes, including John Akomfrah's cinematic entanglements of racial capitalism with current environmental threats, the visual politics of climate refugees in work by Forensic Architecture and Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman, and moving images of Afrofuturist climate justice in projects by Arthur Jafa and Martine Syms.

Demos considers video and mixed-media art that responds to resource extraction in works by Angela Melitopoulos, Allora & Calzadilla, and Ursula Biemann, as well as the multispecies ecologies of Terike Haapoja and Public Studio. Throughout Demos contends that contemporary intersections of aesthetics and politics, as exemplified in the Standing Rock #NoDAPL campaign and the Zad's autonomous zone in France, are creating the imaginaries that will be crucial to building a socially just and flourishing future.

Complaint!
Sara Ahmed
Duke University Press - 30.00€ -  out of stock

In Complaint! Sara Ahmed examines what we can learn about power from those who complain about abuses of power.

Drawing on oral and written testimonies from academics and students who have made complaints about harassment, bullying, and unequal working conditions at universities, Ahmed explores the gap between what is supposed to happen when complaints are made and what actually happens. To make complaints within institutions is to learn how they work and for whom they work: complaint as feminist pedagogy. Ahmed explores how complaints are made behind closed doors and how doors are often closed on those who complain. To open these doors—to get complaints through, keep them going, or keep them alive—Ahmed emphasizes, requires forming new kinds of collectives.

This book offers a systematic analysis of the methods used to stop complaints and a powerful and poetic meditation on what complaints can be used to do. Following a long lineage of Black feminist and feminist of color critiques of the university, Ahmed delivers a timely consideration of how institutional change becomes possible and why it is necessary.

Writing in Space, 1973–2019
Lorraine O'Grady
Duke University Press - 28.00€ -

Writing in Space, 1973-2019 gathers the writings of conceptual artist Lorraine O'Grady, who for over forty years has investigated the complicated relationship between text and image.

A firsthand account of O'Grady's wide-ranging practice, this volume contains statements, scripts, and previously unpublished notes charting the development of her performance work and conceptual photography; her art and music criticism that appeared in the Village Voice and Artforum; critical and theoretical essays on art and culture, including her classic "Olympia's Maid"; and interviews in which O'Grady maps, expands, and complicates the intellectual terrain of her work. She examines issues ranging from black female subjectivity to diaspora and race and representation in contemporary art, exploring both their personal and their institutional implications.

O'Grady's writings—introduced in this collection by critic and curator Aruna D'Souza—offer a unique window into her artistic and intellectual evolution while consistently plumbing the political possibilities of art.

Edited by Aruna D'Souza

Between Gaia and Ground
Elizabeth A. Povinelli
Duke University Press - 24.00€ -  out of stock

In Between Gaia and Ground Elizabeth A. Povinelli theorizes the climatic, environmental, viral, and social catastrophe present as an ancestral catastrophe through which that Indigenous and colonized peoples have been suffering for centuries. In this way, the violence and philosophies the West relies on now threaten the West itself.

Engaging with the work of Glissant, Deleuze and Guattari, Césaire, and Arendt, Povinelli highlights four axioms of existence—the entanglement of existence, the unequal distribution of power, the collapse of the event as essential to political thought, and the legacies of racial and colonial histories. She traces these axioms' inspiration in anticolonial struggles against the dispossession and extraction that have ruined the lived conditions for many on the planet. By examining the dynamic and unfolding forms of late liberal violence, Povinelli attends to a vital set of questions about changing environmental conditions, the legacies of violence, and the limits of inherited Western social theory.

Between Gaia and Ground also includes a glossary of the keywords and concepts that Povinelli has developed throughout her work.

Dear Science and Other Stories
Katherine McKittrick
Duke University Press - 24.00€ -  out of stock

In Dear Science and Other Stories Katherine McKittrick presents a creative and rigorous study of black and anticolonial methodologies. Drawing on black studies, studies of race, cultural geography, and black feminism as well as a mix of methods, citational practices, and theoretical frameworks, she positions black storytelling and stories as strategies of invention and collaboration.

She analyzes a number of texts from intellectuals and artists ranging from Sylvia Wynter to the electronica band Drexciya to explore how narratives of imprecision and relationality interrupt knowledge systems that seek to observe, index, know, and discipline blackness. Throughout, McKittrick offers curiosity, wonder, citations, numbers, playlists, friendship, poetry, inquiry, song, grooves, and anticolonial chronologies as interdisciplinary codes that entwine with the academic form.

Suggesting that black life and black livingness are, in themselves, rebellious methodologies, McKittrick imagines without totally disclosing the ways in which black intellectuals invent ways of living outside prevailing knowledge systems.

Cruel Optimism
Lauren Berlant
Duke University Press - 26.00€ -  out of stock

A relation of cruel optimism exists when something you desire is actually an obstacle to your flourishing. Offering bold new ways of conceiving the present, Lauren Berlant describes the cruel optimism that has prevailed since the 1980s, as the social-democratic promise of the postwar period in the United States and Europe has retracted. People have remained attached to unachievable fantasies of the good life—with its promises of upward mobility, job security, political and social equality, and durable intimacy—despite evidence that liberal-capitalist societies can no longer be counted on to provide opportunities for individuals to make their lives “add up to something.”

Arguing that the historical present is perceived affectively before it is understood in any other way, Berlant traces affective and aesthetic responses to the dramas of adjustment that unfold amid talk of precarity, contingency, and crisis. She suggests that our stretched-out present is characterized by new modes of temporality, and she explains why trauma theory—with its focus on reactions to the exceptional event that shatters the ordinary—is not useful for understanding the ways that people adjust over time, once crisis itself has become ordinary. Cruel Optimism is a remarkable affective history of the present.

The Queer Art of Failure
Judith Halberstam
Duke University Press - 27.00€ -

The Queer Art of Failure is about finding alternatives—to conventional understandings of success in a heteronormative, capitalist society; to academic disciplines that confirm what is already known according to approved methods of knowing; and to cultural criticism that claims to break new ground but cleaves to conventional archives.

Jack Halberstam proposes “low theory” as a mode of thinking and writing that operates at many different levels at once. Low theory is derived from eccentric archives. It runs the risk of not being taken seriously. It entails a willingness to fail and to lose one’s way, to pursue difficult questions about complicity, and to find counterintuitive forms of resistance.

Tacking back and forth between high theory and low theory, high culture and low culture, Halberstam looks for the unexpected and subversive in popular culture, avant-garde performance, and queer art. Halberstam pays particular attention to animated children’s films, revealing narratives filled with unexpected encounters between the childish, the transformative, and the queer. Failure sometimes offers more creative, cooperative, and surprising ways of being in the world, even as it forces us to face the dark side of life, love, and libido.

Margaret Mead Made Me Gay: Personal Essays, Public Ideas
Esther Newton
Duke University Press - 29.00€ -  out of stock

Margaret Mead Made Me Gay is the intellectual autobiography of cultural anthropologist Esther Newton, a pioneer in gay and lesbian studies. Chronicling the development of her ideas from the excitement of early feminism in the 1960s to friendly critiques of queer theory in the 1990s, this collection covers a range of topics such as why we need more precise sexual vocabularies, why there have been fewer women doing drag than men, and how academia can make itself more hospitable to queers. It brings together such classics as “The Mythic Mannish Lesbian” and “Dick(less) Tracy and the Homecoming Queen” with entirely new work such as “Theater: Gay Anti-Church.”

Newton’s provocative essays detail a queer academic career while offering a behind-the-scenes view of academic homophobia. In four sections that correspond to major periods and interests in her life—”Drag and Camp,” “Lesbian-Feminism,” “Butch,” and “Queer Anthropology”—the volume reflects her successful struggle to create a body of work that uses cultural anthropology to better understand gender oppression, early feminism, theatricality and performance, and the sexual and erotic dimensions of fieldwork. Combining personal, theoretical, and ethnographic perspectives, Margaret Mead Made Me Gay also includes photographs from Newton’s personal and professional life.

With wise and revealing discussions of the complex relations between experience and philosophy, the personal and the political, and identities and practices, Margaret Mead Made Me Gay is important for anyone interested in the birth and growth of gay and lesbian studies.

Living a Feminist Life
Sara Ahmed
Duke University Press - 28.00€ -  out of stock

In Living a Feminist Life Sara Ahmed shows how feminist theory is generated from everyday life and the ordinary experiences of being a feminist at home and at work.

Building on legacies of feminist of color scholarship in particular, Ahmed offers a poetic and personal meditation on how feminists become estranged from worlds they critique—often by naming and calling attention to problems—and how feminists learn about worlds from their efforts to transform them.

Ahmed also provides her most sustained commentary on the figure of the feminist killjoy introduced in her earlier work while showing how feminists create inventive solutions—such as forming support systems—to survive the shattering experiences of facing the walls of racism and sexism. The killjoy survival kit and killjoy manifesto, with which the book concludes, supply practical tools for how to live a feminist life, thereby strengthening the ties between the inventive creation of feminist theory and living a life that sustains it.

Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things
Jane Bennett
Duke University Press - 25.00€ -  out of stock

In Vibrant Matter the political theorist Jane Bennett, renowned for her work on nature, ethics, and affect, shifts her focus from the human experience of things to things themselves. Bennett argues that political theory needs to do a better job of recognizing the active participation of nonhuman forces in events. Toward that end, she theorizes a “vital materiality” that runs through and across bodies, both human and nonhuman. Bennett explores how political analyses of public events might change were we to acknowledge that agency always emerges as the effect of ad hoc configurations of human and nonhuman forces. She suggests that recognizing that agency is distributed this way, and is not solely the province of humans, might spur the cultivation of a more responsible, ecologically sound politics: a politics less devoted to blaming and condemning individuals than to discerning the web of forces affecting situations and events. 

Bennett examines the political and theoretical implications of vital materialism through extended discussions of commonplace things and physical phenomena including stem cells, fish oils, electricity, metal, and trash. She reflects on the vital power of material formations such as landfills, which generate lively streams of chemicals, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can transform brain chemistry and mood. Along the way, she engages with the concepts and claims of Spinoza, Nietzsche, Thoreau, Darwin, Adorno, and Deleuze, disclosing a long history of thinking about vibrant matter in Western philosophy, including attempts by Kant, Bergson, and the embryologist Hans Driesch to name the “vital force” inherent in material forms. Bennett concludes by sketching the contours of a “green materialist” ecophilosophy.

Social Choreography
Andrew Hewitt
Duke University Press - 27.00€ -  out of stock

Through the concept of “social choreography” Andrew Hewitt demonstrates how choreography has served not only as metaphor for modernity but also as a structuring blueprint for thinking about and shaping modern social organization. Bringing dance history and critical theory together, he shows that ideology needs to be understood as something embodied and practiced, not just as an abstract form of consciousness. Linking dance and the aesthetics of everyday movement—such as walking, stumbling, and laughter—to historical ideals of social order, he provides a powerful exposition of Marxist debates about the relation of ideology and aesthetics. 

Hewitt focuses on the period between the mid-nineteenth century and the early twentieth and considers dancers and social theorists in Germany, Britain, France, and the United States. Analyzing the arguments of writers including Friedrich Schiller, Theodor Adorno, Hans Brandenburg, Ernst Bloch, and Siegfried Kracauer, he reveals in their thinking about the movement of bodies a shift from an understanding of play as the condition of human freedom to one prioritizing labor as either the realization or alienation of embodied human potential. Whether considering understandings of the Charleston, Isadora Duncan, Nijinsky, or the famous British chorus line the Tiller Girls, Hewitt foregrounds gender as he uses dance and everyday movement to rethink the relationship of aesthetics and social order.

Philosophy for Spiders: On the Low Theory of Kathy Acker
Mckenzie Wark
Duke University Press - 23.00€ -  out of stock

McKenzie Wark combines an autobiographical account of her relationship with Kathy Acker with her transgender reading of Acker's writing to outline Acker's philosophy of embodiment and its importance for theorizing the trans experience.

Over the decades readers have found a punk Acker, a feminist Acker, a queer Acker, a kink Acker, and an avant-garde Acker. In Philosophy for Spiders, McKenzie Wark adds a trans Acker.

Wark recounts her memories of Acker (with whom she had a passionate affair) and gives a comprehensive reading of her published and archived works. Wark finds not just an inventive writer of fiction who pressed against the boundaries of gender but a theorist whose comprehensive philosophy of life brings a conceptual intelligence to the everyday life of those usually excluded from philosophy's purview.

As Wark shows, Acker's engagement with topics such as masturbation, sadism, body-building, and penetrative sex are central to her distinct phenomenology of the body that theorizes the body's relation to others, the city, and technology.

The Gloria Anzaldúa Reader
Gloria Anzaldúa, AnaLouise Keating (ed.)
Duke University Press - 29.00€ -

A collection of published and unpublished writings of the groundbreaking Chicana writer and self-described "chicana dyke-feminist, tejana patlache poet, writer and cultural theorist" Gloria Anzaldua.

Gloria Anzaldúa (1942-2004) was a visionary writer whose work was recognized with many honors, including the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, a Lambda literary award, the National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Award, and the Bode-Pearson Prize for Outstanding Contributions to American Studies. Her book Borderlands/La frontera was selected as one of the 100 Best Books of the Century by Hungry Mind Review and the Utne Reader. AnaLouise Keating, Professor of Women's Studies at Texas Woman's University, is the author of Women Reading, Women Writing: Self-Invention in Paula Gunn Allen, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Audre Lorde; editor of Anzaldúa's Interviews/Entrevistas and EntreMundos/AmongWorlds: New Perspectives on Gloria Anzaldúa; and co-editor, with Anzaldúa, of this bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation.

AnaLouise Keating, Professor of Women's Studies at Texas Woman's University, is the author of Women Reading, Women Writing: Self-Invention in Paula Gunn Allen, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Audre Lorde; editor of Anzaldúa's Interviews/Entrevistas and EntreMundos/AmongWorlds: New Perspectives on Gloria Anzaldúa; and co-editor, with Anzaldúa, of this bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation.

cart (0)