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  • The Battle Nearer to Home: The Persistence of School Segregation in New York City
    - Christopher Bonastia
    on June 25, 2022 at 4:57 pm

    Despite its image as an epicenter of progressive social policy, New York City continues to have one of the nation's most segregated school systems. Tracing the quest for integration in education from the mid-1950s to the present, The Battle Nearer to Home follows the tireless efforts by educational activists to dismantle the deep racial and socioeconomic inequalities that segregation reinforces. The fight for integration has shifted significantly over time, not least in terms of the way "integration" is conceived, from transfers of students and redrawing school attendance zones, to more recent demands of community control of segregated schools. In all cases, the Board eventually pulled the plug in the face of resistance from more powerful stakeholders, and, starting in the 1970s, integration receded as a possible solution to educational inequality. In excavating the history of New York City school integration politics, in the halls of power and on the ground, Christopher Bonastia unearths the enduring white resistance to integration and the severe costs paid by Black and Latino students. This last decade has seen activists renew the fight for integration, but the war is still far from won.

  • Wartime North Africa: A Documentary History, 1934–1950
    - Edited by Aomar Boum and Sarah Abrevaya Stein
    on June 25, 2022 at 4:57 pm

    This book, the first-ever collection of primary documents on North African history and the Holocaust, gives voice to the diversity of those involved—Muslims, Christians, and Jews; women, men, and children; black, brown, and white; the unknown and the notable; locals, refugees, the displaced, and the interned; soldiers, officers, bureaucrats, volunteer fighters, and the forcibly recruited. At times their calls are lofty, full of spiritual lamentation and political outrage. At others, they are humble, yearning for medicine, a cigarette, or a pair of shoes. Translated from French, Arabic, North African Judeo-Arabic, Spanish, Hebrew, Moroccan Darija, Tamazight (Berber), Italian, and Yiddish, or transcribed from their original English, these writings shed light on how war, occupation, race laws, internment, and Vichy French, Italian fascist, and German Nazi rule were experienced day by day across North Africa. Though some selections are drawn from published books, including memoirs, diaries, and collections of poetry, most have never been published before, nor previously translated into English. These human experiences, combined, make up the history of wartime North Africa.

  • Academic Outsider: Stories of Exclusion and Hope
    - Victoria Reyes
    on June 25, 2022 at 4:57 pm

    Many enter the academy with dreams of doing good; this is a book about how the institution fails them, especially if they are considered "outsiders." Tenure-track, published author, recipient of prestigious fellowships and awards—these credentials mark Victoria Reyes as somebody who has achieved the status of insider in the academy. Woman of color, family history of sexual violence, first generation, mother—these qualities place Reyes on the margins of the academy; a person who does not see herself reflected in its models of excellence. This contradiction allows Reyes to theorize the conditional citizenship of academic life—a liminal status occupied by a rapidly growing proportion of the academy, as the majority white, male, and affluent space simultaneously transforms and resists transformation. Reyes blends her own personal experiences with the tools of sociology to lay bare the ways in which the structures of the university and the people working within it continue to keep their traditionally marginalized members relegated to symbolic status, somewhere outside the center. Reyes confronts the impossibility of success in the midst of competing and contradictory needs—from navigating coded language, to balancing professional expectations with care-taking responsibilities, to combating the literal exclusions of outmoded and hierarchical rules. Her searing commentary takes on, with sensitivity and fury, the urgent call for academic justice.

  • Recording History: Jews, Muslims, and Music across Twentieth-Century North Africa
    - Christopher Silver
    on June 25, 2022 at 4:57 pm

    A new history of twentieth-century North Africa, that gives voice to the musicians who defined an era and the vibrant recording industry that carried their popular sounds from the colonial period through decolonization. If twentieth-century stories of Jews and Muslims in North Africa are usually told separately, Recording History demonstrates that we have not been listening to what brought these communities together: Arab music. For decades, thousands of phonograph records flowed across North African borders. The sounds embedded in their grooves were shaped in large part by Jewish musicians, who gave voice to a changing world around them. Their popular songs broadcast on radio, performed in concert, and circulated on disc carried with them the power to delight audiences, stir national sentiments, and frustrate French colonial authorities. With this book, Christopher Silver provides the first history of the music scene and recording industry across Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, and offers striking insights into Jewish-Muslim relations through the rhythms that animated them. He traces the path of hit-makers and their hit records, illuminating regional and transnational connections. In asking what North Africa once sounded like, Silver recovers a world of many voices—of pioneering impresarios, daring female stars, cantors turned composers, witnesses and survivors of war, and national and nationalist icons—whose music still resonates well into our present.

  • Poetic Form and Romantic Provocation
    - Carmen Faye Mathes
    on June 25, 2022 at 4:57 pm

    Critics have long understood the development of Romantic aesthetics as a turning point in the history of literary theory, a turn that is responsible for theories of mind and body that continue to inform our understandings of subjectivity and embodiment today. Yet the question of what aesthetic experience can "do" grates against the fact that much Romantic writing represents subjects as not actually in charge of the feelings they feel, the dreams they dream, or the actions they take. In response to this dilemma, Poetic Form and Romantic Provocation argues that being moved contrary to one's will is itself an aesthetic phenomenon explored by Romantic poets whose experiments with poetic form and genre provoke unanticipated feelings through verse. By analyzing how Romantic poets intervene, affectively and aesthetically, in readerly expectations of form and genre, Mathes shows how provocations disrupt and invite, disturb and compel—interrupting or suspending or retreating in ways that ask readers to orient themselves, materially and socially, in relation to literary experiences that are at once virtual and embodied. Examining the formal tactics of Charlotte Smith, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, and Percy Bysshe Shelley, alongside their reactions to historical events such as Toussaint Louverture's revolt and the Peterloo Massacre, Mathes reveals that an aesthetics of radical openness is central to the development of literary theory and criticism in Romantic Britain.

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