Kitty Calavita wins the LSA Kalven Award

Kitty Calavita, co-author of Appealing to Justice: Prisoner Grievances, Rights, and Carceral Logic, will receive the Law and Society Association’s Harry J. Kalven, Jr. Award at next week’s LSA Annual Meeting. The LSA recognizes a scholar’s body of work with The Harry J. Kalven, Jr. Award, based upon “empirical scholarship that has contributed most effectively to the advancement of research in law and society.”

Quoting extensively from their interviews with prisoners and officials, the authors give voice to those who are almost never heard from.
“Quoting extensively from their interviews with prisoners and officials, the authors give voice to those who are almost never heard from.”

Kitty Calavita primarily receives this honor for her outstanding scholarship on immigration policy across multiple countries and time periods. The Kalven Award also recognizes her “subtle and valuable form of sociolegal exploration” in the pages of her latest book:

Appealing to Justice is a rich account of prisoner appeals that shows how inmates make extensive use of their right to appeal even though they rarely achieve the outcomes they seek. Through creative analysis of the narratives of grievances, Calavita and Jenness give voice to prisoners and challenge much conventional wisdom on disputing.”

“As Calavita shows through a fine body of work, law as it is enforced on the ground is often the result of agents, agitators and structures that pull in conflicting directions – teaching us all that law marks conflict with contradiction.”

Visit the LSA’s website to read the official award announcement. This award will be presented at the LSA Annual Meeting Association Luncheon and Award Ceremony in Seattle on Saturday, May 30 at noon.

We’re honored to have published with Kitty Calavita, and we offer her our congratulations for an award well-deserved!

UC Press at the Oakland Book Festival

Oakland Book Festival LogoUC Press is proud to be sponsoring the first Oakland Book Festival, where 90 novelists, poets, historians, philosophers, journalists, and activists will engage event goers in panels, interviews, and open debate. Stop in for conversations about gentrification, multiculturalism, whistle-blowing, city life, and the future of American literature. While you’re there, come by the UC Press table to say hello and browse the great books we’ll have for sale.

The festival will be held on May 31, from 11:00am to 6:00pm, at Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA. It is free and open to the public. A full list of activities and speakers can be found at

Be sure to stop by the panels and interviews featuring UC Press authors.


Leslie Bell
Leslie C. Bell

Leslie C. Bell, author of Hard to Get, will be participating on the “Writing Sex” panel alongside Melanie Abrams, Tracy Clark-Flory, and Maria Dahvana Headly. Her book draws on her years of experience as a researcher and a psychotherapist taking us directly into the lives of young women who struggle to negotiate the complexities of sexual desire and pleasure, and to make sense of their historically unique but contradictory constellation of opportunities and challenges. In candid interviews, Bell’s subjects reveal that, despite having more choices than ever, they face great uncertainty about desire, sexuality, and relationships. Leslie C. Bell is a sociologist and psychotherapist who specializes in women’s development and sexuality. She maintains a private practice in Berkeley, California.

“Writing Sex” will be held at the Laurel Bookstore from 2:30-3:30.



Kiera Butler, author of Raise, will be participating on a panel presented by UC Press titled “Building a Food Literate Society” alongside Kim O’Donnel and Naomi Starkman. In Raise, she sets off on a search for a “real” 4-H’er, a hypothetical wholesome youth whom she imagines wearing cowboy boots and living on a ranch. Along the way, she meets five teenage 4-H’ers from diverse backgrounds and gets to know them as they prepare to compete at the fair. Butler’s on-the-ground account of the is interwoven with a fascinating history of the century-old 4-H club as it solicits corporate donations from top agribusiness firms such as DuPont, Monsanto, and Cargill. Kiera Butler, an award-winning writer and senior editor at Mother Jones magazine, has written extensively about the environment. Her work has appeared in Orion, Audubon, and Columbia Journalism Review.

“Building a Food Literate Society” will be held in Hearing Room 3 at Oakland City Hall from 2:30-3:15.


Ben Fong-Torres
Ben Fong-Torres

Ben Fong-Torres will be in conversation with Derek Richardson. Ben’s book, The Rice Room, tells the story of growing up with a double identity—Chinese and American. Ben Fong-Torres was torn between an alluring American lifestyle—including Elvis and rock ‘n’ roll—and the traditional cultural heritage his proud immigrant parents struggled to instill in their five children. Illustrated with personal family photographs as well as photos of the author with various celebrities, Fong-Torres rounds out his life story with a new final chapter. Ben Fong-Torres is the author of many books, including Becoming Almost Famous: My Back Pages in Music, Writing and Life, Not Fade Away: A Backstage Pass to 20 Years of Rock &’ Roll and The Hits Just Keep on Coming: The History of Top 40 Radio.

Ben Fong-Torres will be in conversation with Derek Richardson in Council Chambers at Oakland City Hall from 12:45-1:30.


Julie Guthman

Julie Guthman, author of Agrarian Dreams and Weighing In, will be appearing on a panel titled “The Labor of Food” presented by UC Press alongside fellow UC Press author Seth Holmes as well as Esperanza Pallana and Dana Perls. Agrarian Dreams challenges accepted wisdom about organic food and agriculture in California. Many continue to believe that small-scale organic farming is the answer to our environmental and health problems, but Guthman refutes popular portrayals that pit “small organic” against “big organic” and offers an alternative analysis that underscores the limits of an organic label as a pathway to transforming agriculture. Weighing In takes on the “obesity epidemic,” challenging many widely held assumptions about its causes and consequences. Guthman examines fatness and its relationship to health outcomes to ask if our efforts to prevent “obesity” are sensible, efficacious, or ethical. She also focuses the lens of obesity on the broader food system to understand why we produce cheap, over-processed food, as well as why we eat it. Julie Guthman is Professor of Social Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

“The Labor of Food” will be held in Hearing Room 2 at Oakland City Hall from 12:15-1:15.


Seth Holmes

Seth Holmes will be appearing with fellow UC Press author Julie Guthman on the “The Labor of Food” panel presented by UC Press. Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies provides an intimate examination of the everyday lives and suffering of Mexican migrants in our contemporary food system. An anthropologist and MD in the mold of Paul Farmer and Didier Fassin, Holmes shows how market forces, anti-immigrant sentiment, and racism undermine health and health care. Holmes’s material is visceral and powerful. Seth Holmes is an anthropologist and physician. He received his PhD in Medical Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco, and his M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco. He is Martin Sisters Endowed Chair Assistant Professor of Public Health and Medical Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.

“The Labor of Food” will be held in Hearing Room 2 at Oakland City Hall from 12:15-1:15.


Gordon Young

Gordon Young will be appearing on the “What is Gentrification?” panel with Lance Freeman, Malo André Hutson, and Dashka Slater. Gordon Young’s book, Teardown, blends personal memoir, historical inquiry, and interviews with Flint, Michigan residents. Young constructs a vibrant tale of a once-thriving city still fighting—despite overwhelming odds—to rise from the ashes. He befriends a rag-tag collection of urban homesteaders and die-hard locals who refuse to give up as they try to transform Flint into a smaller, greener town that offers lessons for cities all over the world. Hard-hitting, insightful, and often painfully funny, Teardown reminds us that cities are ultimately defined by people, not politics or economics. Gordon Young grew up in Flint, Michigan. After reaching an uneasy truce with the nuns in the local Catholic school system, he went on to study journalism at the University of Missouri and English literature at the University of Nottingham. His work has appeared in the New York TimesSlateUtne Reader, and numerous other publications. Young has published Flint Expatriates, a blog for the long-lost residents of the Vehicle City, since 2007. He is a senior lecturer in the Communication Department at Santa Clara University and lives in San Francisco.

“What is Gentrification?” will be held in Hearing Room 3 at Oakland City Hall from 3:30-4:30.




Despite expanding marriage rights, protection from employment discrimination continues to elude most LGBT Americans

This guest post by author Catherine Connell, School’s Out: Gay and Lesbian Teachers in the Classroom, considers recent developments protecting LGBT employees from discrimination.

Connell_SchoolsOut_Author Photo
Catherine Connell

With all the exciting recent news regarding changes to the legality of same-sex marriage, it can be easy to forget about other legal rights lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans are still struggling to secure, including the right to employment. Since 1974, legislators and LGBT policy advocates have tried—and thus far, failed—to pass federal nondiscrimination protections on the basis of sexual identity and gender expression[1]. In April 2013, the reality of employment safeguards for LGBTs seemed just within grasp, when a transgender-inclusive version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) passed the US Senate. Unfortunately, the Republican House Majority leadership prevented the bill from coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives. Even worse, recent changes regarding religious exemptions for enforcing LGBT rights ordinances further threaten the patchwork of employment protections that do exist.

Now, two years later, legislators are expected to introduce a new version of ENDA sometime this month. This will be the eleventh time this bill has been introduced into Congress; until it is passed, it’s up to states and local government to provide nondiscrimination protections for their LGBT workers. At the time of this writing, one can be legally fired on the basis of sexual identity and/or gender expression in more than half of the United States.

In 2008, I interviewed gay and lesbian teachers in California, a state with strong nondiscrimination policies for LGBT workers, and in Texas, a state with only a handful of county or municipal laws that protect them. I focused my research on teachers because they are among the most vulnerable of LGBT workers. While this research focused specifically on gays and lesbians, its findings are also relevant for bisexual and especially transgender workers, who face similar—if not markedly more hostile—working conditions.

school's out
School’s Out: Gay and Lesbian Teachers in the Classroom

As I discuss in my book, School’s Out: Gay and Lesbian Teachers in the Classroom, the policy environment was a crucial factor in gay and lesbian teachers’ decision-making processes about whether and how to come out on the job. Also important were the levels of gay-friendliness in their individual schools—some schools in California could be incredibly hostile environments for gay and lesbian teachers despite a supportive policy context, just as some schools in Texas could be remarkably welcoming. Gender and race mattered, too—gender nonconforming teachers and teachers of color had to contend with more difficult coming out environments than others. That said, the differences between gay and lesbian teachers who do have sexuality nondiscrimination protections and those who don’t are striking. One teacher told me he moved to California specifically for its protections for LGBT teachers, while a Texas teacher recounted how the very public firings of an unmarried pregnant teacher and a gay teacher in her district convinced her not to disclose her sexuality to even her closest colleagues. Clearly, federal legislation like ENDA is sorely needed to help teachers feel safe at work.

Still, passing the legislation is only the first step. I also found that many teachers in both states were unaware of the protections (or lack thereof) available to them. Several teachers in California did not know about the statewide policies that prohibited their employers and coworkers from sexual identity discrimination. In Texas, more than half the teachers I interviewed were unclear on the local and statewide policy environment regarding LGBT employment. Very few knew about the existence of county or municipal protections in cities like Austin, Houston, and Forth Worth, including the teachers who worked in those areas. For example, when I asked one teacher if she knew about her local level protections, she replied, “No, I haven’t got a clue. I haven’t got a clue. I have no idea whether or not I could be fired outright by the school district for being gay.” She was not alone in her lack of awareness: more than half of the teachers who were covered at the city, county, and/or district level in Texas didn’t know about it. More visible and expansive legislation is crucial to the protection of LGBT workers—until they are informed about their legal rights, any such protections are virtually useless.

Of course, even teachers who worked in gay-friendly legal contexts and who knew their rights could be wary of disclosing their sexual identity at school. As one teacher put it, “Even in the hiring paperwork that I signed, it says they don’t discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. But it’s just one of those things that—just because it says it, doesn’t mean they wouldn’t find other reasons, you know? So I still watch it.” Another agreed, “[the nondiscrimination law] could be overturned…or [they could] look the other way. I think principals wouldn’t support you, the administration wouldn’t support you.” While nondiscrimination policy can empower some teachers, it’s clear that more work must be done to help gay and lesbian teachers and by extension, LGBT workers more generally, feel truly protected. Still, extending employment nondiscrimination policy to include all LGBTs across the US is a crucial first step toward creating more safe and secure working conditions for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens.


Catherine Connell is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boston University.


[1] Only some of the many employment nondiscrimination bills introduced since 1974 have included protection on the basis of gender expression, which protects transgender and gender nonconforming employees.

James Robinson panel at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club

Celebrate the release of Purchasing Medical Innovation: The Right Technology, for the Right Patient, at the Right Price with author James C. Robinson in San Francisco!

James C Robinson

James Robinson is Professor of Health Economics and Chair of the UC Berkeley Center for Health Technology. His book is a timely analysis of the rising costs of medical technologies, as well as what this entails for the health care industry as a whole. Touching upon private healthcare as well as the Food and Drug Administration and Medicare, Purchasing Medical Innovation evaluates both the strengths and weaknesses of the current system of purchasing and highlights opportunities to improve the value and availability of better medical technology.

Purchasing Medical Innovation: The Right Technology, for the Right Patient, at the Right Price
Purchasing Medical Innovation: The Right Technology, for the Right Patient, at the Right Price

James will be holding a panel session at the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco on Thursday, June 4, beginning at 12 PM and concluding with a book signing beginning at 1 PM. Additional details and tickets are available at the Commonwealth Club website.

Únase a la reunión de la asociación de estudios latinoamericanos 2015!

Make University of California Press part of your tropical escape to the 2015 Latin American Studies Association Annual Meeting. The meeting convenes 27-30 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Please visit us at booth 213 in the Caribe Hilton’s Grand Salon Los Rosales to purchase our latest Latin American publications for the following offers:

  • 30% conference discount and free worldwide shipping
  • Submit exam copy requests for course adoption for your upcoming classes
  • Win $100 worth of books! Join our eNews subscription

Our Latin American Studies studies list is comprised of a broad selection of titles ideal for research and courses. Our groundbreaking authors and award winning titles explore topics within history, immigration, labor, and sociology.

Please see our conference program ad for our latest offerings. Acquisitions and marketing staff will be available for your publishing questions.

Follow @LASACONGRESS and #lasa2015 for current meeting news.

2015 Law and Society Association (LSA) Annual Meeting

Visiting Seattle later this month? Stop by the 2015 Law and Society Annual Meeting at the Westin Seattle from May 28 – 31!

The University of California Press is pleased to give LSA 2015 attendees the following offers:

  • Take a 30% conference discount and free shipping with discount code 15E4671.
  • Submit exam copy requests for course adoption for your upcoming classes.

The theme for this year’s meeting is “Law’s Promise and Law’s Pathos in the Global North and Global South.” UC Press’ groundbreaking criminology list is home to a selection of titles ideal for research and courses. Our award winning titles explore the latest developments in global law, ranging from prison and poverty, investigative histories of prisons around the world, and the psychology of killers.

Be sure to check out LSA’s website, as well as @law_soc and #LSAWA2015 on Twitter for current meeting news.

Rednecks, Queers, and Indiana

This guest post by author Nadine Hubbs, Rednecks, Queers, and Country Music, considers the recent response to Indiana’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

On March 31 NASCAR issued a statement denouncing Indiana’s new “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” The racing organization, whose name often serves as a synonym for “redneck,” announced its rejection of intolerance and intention to welcome all racers and fans. Its statement came amid international media coverage of Indiana businesses that, under presumed protection of the law, had begun denying service to same-sex couples.

Similar protests surfaced on various fronts. The previous day had witnessed the first withdrawal of a convention. Pulling their national meeting and their money out of the Hoosier state, the municipal workers’ union AFSCME expressed “disgust and disappointment” at this “un-American” law allowing unequal treatment of certain people “simply because they are gay or lesbian.” Further declarations followed, including the first anti-RFRA concert cancellation, by the band Wilco.

For those concerned with LGBTQ civil rights and social justice, the best news in all this was the swift, widespread opposition to the law’s signing. Indeed, the public response marked a watershed. In past instances, framing LGBTQ rights as special rights was effective political strategy. Now, GOP legislators and Governor Mike Pence found themselves on the wrong side of a new perception of fairness and justice, which saw them singling out LGBTQ individuals for special discrimination.

As a Midwestern “fly-over” state known for small towns and blue-collar lives, Indiana aligns with images of homo- and transphobia that have become etched, lethally, over a quarter-century: Brandon Teena in Nebraska, Matthew Shepard in Wyoming, Brokeback Mountain’s Ennis and Jack in Wyoming and Texas. Perhaps passage of a bigoted, homophobic law is simply to be expected here. But when we note the prominence among RFRA protesters of NASCAR rednecks, union labor, and an alternative country band, the picture appears less simple.

This unexpected constituency mirrors a forgotten history, at odds with present notions casting the working class as specially homophobic. In fact, the stereotype of the working-class homophobe is of recent vintage. For a hundred years, from the 1870s birth of the homosexual until the 1970s birth of the homophobe, working-class people were faulted not as homo haters but as homo lovers.

It’s time to recall this history, now obscured by four decades of what I’ve called “the middle-classing of the queer.” It can serve as key to unlocking the radical coalition-building potential of queer politics, and to recognizing the middle and working classes’ shared stakes in the current crisis of inequality.


Rednecks, Queers, and Country Music


Nadine Hubbs is professor of Women’s Studies and Music and director of the Lesbian-Gay-Queer Research Initiative at the University of Michigan and author most recently of Rednecks, Queers, and Country Music.

Bring Picasso home for less than $179 million

The New York Times reported “a medley of whoops, hollers and gasps” when the gavel came down on Pablo Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O, 1955) at Christie’s Monday evening. At a final price of $179.4 million, the Picasso edged above (to the tune of $37 million) the previous art-auction record, Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud.


Clearly there were many factors in play during last night’s sale, but what is certain is that Picasso’s art-historical significance endures and there is room for plentiful new scholarship on this artist to come. A quick survey of UC Press’s list yields a bevy of fascinating books on Picasso—the most expensive of which can be added to your own shelves for a mere 0.00000033 percent of the price of Les Femmes d’Alger.

Be sure to check out:

If you’re inclined to purchase any of these titles, add 30% off to your savings with code 15W2142 at checkout.


Paul Farmer speaks at 2015 Duke University graduation

Hundreds of thousands of students are graduating across the country, and we’d like to offer some inspiration from author and activist Paul Farmer. Dr. Farmer recently delivered the commencement speech to the 2015 graduates at Duke University. Drawing from his own personal experiences, Dr. Farmer offered examples of how we can all make an impact on the world.

For more inspiring stories for the graduate, check out Dr. Farmer’s To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation. In this collection of short speeches, Farmer offers engaging, and often humorous, stories around social justice and global health equity.

Paul Farmer is co-founder of Partners In Health and Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His most recent book is Reimagining Global Health. Other titles include Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor; Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues; and AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame.

Join Us at the 2015 Society for Freshwater Science Meeting!

Join University of California Press this spring at the 2015 Society for Freshwater Science Annual Meeting. The meeting is May 17-22 in Milwaukee, WI.

Please visit us at the Wisconsin Center for the following offers:

  • 30% conference discount and free worldwide shipping
  • Request exam copy requests for course adoption for your upcoming classes
  • Win $100 worth of books! Join our eNews subscription

Our booth will feature our latest titles in freshwater science and oceanography. Acquisitions and marketing staff will be available for your publishing questions.