A Reading List for the Next Presidential Era

Today we officially enter a new world ripe for change—both good and bad—as well as unprecedented conflict and inequality. Read on to discover some of our new and forthcoming titles that will help you make sense of the next four years.

Exceptional America: What Divides Americans from the World and from Each Other by Mugambi Jouet

Why does a country built on the concept of liberty have 9780520293298the highest incarceration rate in the world? How could the first Western nation to elect a person of color as its leader suffer from institutional racism? How does Christian fundamentalism coexist with gay marriage in the American imagination? In essence, what makes the United States exceptional? In this provocative exploration of American exceptionalism, Mugambi Jouet examines why Americans are far more divided than other Westerners over basic issues—including wealth inequality, health care, climate change, evolution, the literal truth of the Bible, abortion, gay rights, gun control, mass incarceration, and war.

 

Borderwall as Architecture: A Manifesto for the US-Mexico Boundary by Ronald Rael

Borderwall as Architecture is an artistic and intellectual hand 9780520283947-1grenade of a book, and a timely re-examination of what the physical barrier that divides the United States of America from the United Mexican States is and could be. It is both a protest against the wall and a projection about its future. Through a series of propositions suggesting that the nearly seven hundred miles of wall is an opportunity for economic and social development along the border that encourages its conceptual and physical dismantling, the book takes readers on a journey along a wall that cuts through a “third nation”—the Divided States of America.

 

 

La Nueva California: Latinos from Pioneers to Post-Millenials by David Hayes-Bautista

9780520292536Since late 2001 more than fifty percent of the babies born in California have been Latino. When these babies reach adulthood, they will, by sheer force of numbers, influence the course of the Golden State. Spanning one hundred years, this complex, fascinating analysis suggests that the future of Latinos in California will be neither complete assimilation nor unyielding separatism. Instead, the development of a distinctive regional identity will be based on Latino definitions of what it means to be American.

 

 

 

The FBI and Religion: Faith and National Security before and after 9/11 edited by Sylvester A. Johnson and Steven Weitzman

9780520287280The Federal Bureau of Investigation has had a long and tortuous relationship with religion over almost the entirety of its existence. The FBI and Religion recounts this fraught and fascinating history, focusing on key moments in the Bureau’s history. Starting from the beginnings of the FBI before World War I, moving through the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War, up to 9/11 and today, this book tackles questions essential to understanding not only the history of law enforcement and religion, but also the future of religious liberty in America.

 

 

Prophets and Patriots: Faith in Democracy Across the Political Divide by Ruth Braunstein

9780520293656In the wake of the Great Recession and rising discontent with government responsiveness to ordinary citizens, participants in two very different groups—a progressive faith-based community organization and a conservative Tea Party group—worked together to become active and informed citizens, put their faith in action, and hold government accountable. Prophets and Patriots offers a fresh look at two active grassroots movements and highlights cultural convergences and contradictions at the heart of American political culture.

 

 

 

How May I Help You? An Immigrant’s Journey from MBA to Minimum Wage by Deepak Singh

9780520293311In this moving and insightful work, Deepak Singh chronicles his downward mobility as an immigrant to a small town in Virginia. Armed with an MBA from India, Singh can get only a minimum-wage job in an electronics store. Every day he confronts unfamiliar American mores, from strange idioms to deeply entrenched racism. How May I Help You? is an incisive take on life in the United States and a reminder that the stories of low-wage employees can bring candor and humanity to debates about work, race, and immigration.


Anti-Discrimination Legislation: A Report from France

by Marie Mercat-Bruns, author of Discrimination at Work: Comparing European, French, and American Law

9780520283800_mercat-brunsSince the publication of Discrimination at Work, a comparative study and critique of European, French and American anti-discrimination law, France has been the focus of continuous debates on discrimination in and outside of the workplace. In 2016, despite new terrorist attacks and the rising popularity of Marine Le Pen’s nationalist movement, both the burkini ban on Riviera beaches and racial profiling were declared illegal by the French supreme courts (civil and administrative high courts). An important national report came out this past September on the high cost of discriminating in employment in France (Le coût économique des discriminations, Rapport France Stratégie, Sept. 2016). It brought to the forefront a different justification to combat inequality beyond the human rights argument too often ignored: the glass ceiling and the gender wage gap for women and unemployment and wage disparities affecting workers with a sub-Saharan or North African background.

What is in store for the new year? A significant piece of legislation passed in November sets up a class action suit to combat discrimination. Will civil society seize this opportunity to engage in strategic litigation to eradicate systemic discrimination in housing, health care, employment, goods and services, or education ? Probably not right away.

The sources of resistance are twofold. First, the class action à la française has been carefully tailored in employment to avoid significant action by specialized NGOs in the field. Only unions are entitled to introduce a claim against discrimination in employment. Few labor representatives have played a very proactive role in the past to fight against racial and sex discrimination. NGOs can only bring a suit for discrimination in hiring, the hardest to prove. Second, even if the discrimination is proven, the new law requires workers to seek individual remedies for personal harm by engaging subsequent claims in labor courts. Under these circumstances, what is the use of a collective mode of action ? The only redeeming feature of this group action, as it is coined in France, is the possibility for the judge to deliver an injunction to cease discrimination in the future. This allows strategic litigation to have a broader impact and target the structural causes of the discrimination in the company.

The most optimistic civil rights defenders see the new French class action suit, despite its narrow scope, as a first step in raising awareness about systemic discrimination at work. “Incremental change is better than no change at all,” some contend. The next French presidential election will certainly determine in part whether public enforcement of discrimination law is high on the political agenda in a context where “religious neutrality” (which could allow for the banning of religious garments in the workplace, for example) has recently been officially recognized as a legitimate business practice in the new French labor law reform of August 8, 2016.

Discrimination at Work is a Luminos Open Access e-book and available for free download.

 

mercat-bruns_au-photoMarie Mercat-Bruns is Affiliated Professor at Sciences Po Law School and Associate Professor in Labor and Employment Law at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris. She is a member of the Research Institute LISE CNRS (Codirector of the program Gender, Categories and Policy) and also of the scientific committee of PRESAGE (Sciences Po/OFCE Research and Academic Program on Gender Thinking).

 

 

 


Living Out Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dream

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed – we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963

MLK Jr.As we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., one cannot help but wonder what he would think of the world as it is today. Many believe his legacy and dream for racial equality and civil rights comes under fire with the upcoming presidency of Donald Trump. From the government’s previous racial bias case against Trump and his father, to Trump’s current treatment of civil rights activist John Lewis, and to his nomination of Jeff Sessions as attorney general—a man that Coretta Scott King says could “irreparably damage the work of my husband”—, many believe Trump has shown a willingness to both circumvent and prevent justice.

How do we learn from lessons of the past to avoid an unjust future? And how do we continue to step forward instead of taking steps back?

In an effort to support civil rights and maintain King’s legacy, UC Press continues it’s ongoing partnership to publish the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project, currently in it’s seventh volume.

Martin Berger’s Freedom Now! presents a collection of photographs that illustrate the action, heroism, and strength of African American activists in driving social and legislative change.

Aldon Morris, author of The Scholar Denied, will be this year’s keynote speaker at Colby College, discussing “Du Bois at the Center: From Science to Martin Luther King to Black Lives Matter.”

And for those who plan to attend rallies, marches, or protests, Randy Shaw’s The Activist’s Handbook proves to be an indispensable guide not only for activists, but for anyone interested in the future of progressive politics in America.

“The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.”

— Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963


Integrating Current Events in Your Courses: Labor and Work

The working class has been seen as a forgotten and misunderstood group. Many claim that working class people—and white workers, in particular—tend to choose and vote against their own interests.

Recent discussions have centered on president-elect Donald Trump’s choices for his Cabinet and how they may not serve the needs of the working class. In preparation for the impending Trump presidency, how can you integrate discussions on labor and work into your classes?

Help your students understand the effects of today’s political climate. Find new titles for your courses on labor and work below and click on each title to quickly and easily request an exam copy. Review our exam copy policy. And feel free to email us with questions–we’re here to help!

Select Titles for Your Courses on Labor and Work

Viscelli.BigRigThe Big Rig: Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream by Steve Viscelli.

“[The Big Rig] generates powerful insights into two of the most fundamental questions about the nature of inequality in the United States today: Where do so many bad jobs come from, and why do people put up with them?”—Erik Olin Wright, author of Envisioning Real Utopias

“This riveting account shows how truck drivers—seeking the American dream—end up being harmed by changes in government policy and business practices. Excellent for a wide range of courses, including Introduction to Sociology.”—Annette Lareau, author of Unequal Childhoods

Read Penn Current’s interview and learn more from Steve Viscelli’s own words.

chen-cutlooseCut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy by Victor Tan Chen

Cut Loose is the most powerful and poignant study of the effects of prolonged joblessness in today’s economy that I have read. Chen’s illuminating and accessible study, which serves as a call to action, is a must-read.”—William Julius Wilson, Harvard University

Cut Loose is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the costs of globalization on the ground and the efficacy of social policy for protecting citizens caught in the grip of profound economic change.”—Katherine Newman, co-author of Learning to Labor in the 21st Century

Read Victor Tan Chen’s piece in The Atlantic. And learn more in his own words.

crain-invisiblelaborInvisible Labor: Hidden Work in the Contemporary World edited by Marion Crain, Winifred Poster, and Miriam Cherry

“This goes beyond previous works on invisible labor by providing a more nuanced conceptualization, examining a wide range of workplace contexts both domestic and transnational, and exploring the legal ramifications of hidden workers. All these elements will be incredibly useful for graduates and undergraduates.“—Jennifer Pierce, author of Racing for Innocence

“The emphasis on race and ethnicity with respect to the service sector in the U.S. is particularly welcome. Resonating with our everyday experiences of life, this is a lively and thought-provoking volume.”—Miriam Glucksmann, Emerita, University of Essex

HighCreatives_ads_rev22 Higher Education


Integrating Current Events in Your Courses: Immigration and Latino Studies

Latinos have been integral in the shaping of the U.S. yet their identity is constantly brought into question.

In the wake of the November presidential election and the impending inauguration of Donald Trump, how can you integrate discussions on immigration—particularly from Latin American countries—into your classes?

Help your students understand the effects of today’s political climate. Find new titles for your courses on Immigration or Latino Studies below and click on each title to quickly and easily request an exam copy. Review our exam copy policy. And feel free to email us with questions–we’re here to help!

Select Titles for Your Courses on Immigration and Latino Studies

Almaguer.NewLatinoStudiesReader

The New Latino Studies Reader: A Twenty-First Century Perspective edited by Ramon A. Gutierrez & Tomas Almaguer

“[This reader] brings together the most innovative scholarship being generated within history and the social sciences and is surely to become a standard within Latina/o studies courses.” —Raúl Coronado, inaugural President of the Latina/o Studies Association

“They integrate historical, social scientific and cultural studies approaches, which is rarely done in readers.”—Patricia Zavella, UC Santa Cruz

 

Gonzales.LivesInLimbo

Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America by Roberto G. Gonzales

“Superb. . . . An important examination of the devastating consequences of ‘illegality’ on our young people.”—Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and This is How You Lose Her

“It will stand as the definitive study of the undocumented coming of age in our midst. It is a book every teacher, every policymaker, indeed every concerned citizen should read and ponder.”—Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco, coeditor of Latinos: Remaking America

 

GutmannLesser.GlobalLatinAmericaGlobal Latin America: Into the Twenty-First Century edited by Matthew C. Gutmann and Jeffrey Lesser

“A superb sampling of the cutting edge in connecting approaches across subfields, such as gender studies, Latin American Studies, ethnic studies, and area studies.”—Jerry Dávila, University of Illinois

“The volume is the perfect book for class use in a variety of settings.”—Miguel Angel Centeno, author of State Making in the Developing World

 

 

Boehm.Returned

Returned: Going and Coming in an Age of Deportation by Deborah Boehm

“[Deborah Boehm] challenges sterile depictions of deportations in the media and political debates. This urgent book is a must read.”—Cecilia Menjívar, author of Immigrant Families

“A stellar and nuanced ethnographic exploration of the impact of deportation on Mexican families on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. It is a critical addition to existing work on transnationalism and migration, and required reading for academics and policy makers.”—Susan J. Terrio, author of Judging Mohammed

HighCreatives_ads_rev22 Higher Education


The Vote is Still Out on the Electoral College

Electors.ElectoralCollege.Jouet.ExceptionalAmericaDespite many concerns about how the Electoral College will vote, as of right now, Donald Trump continues to close in on the 270 votes needed to win the Electoral College. No Trump defections have been seen just yet, even though some “faithless electors” have shown their willingness to provide a different vote than expected by their state.

The usefulness of the Electoral College has been discussed for quite some time—in 1969 due to American Independent Party’s George Wallace and his support of segregation to most recently (before this November’s presidential election, that is) for the presidential election of 2000.

Mugambi Jouet, author of Exceptional America: What Divides Americans from the World and from Each Other (forthcoming April 2017), writes:

Jouet.ExceptionalAmericaThe Electoral College further hinders democracy. Like Hillary Clinton, Al Gore won the popular vote in a crucial election but never became presi­dent, since he lost the Electoral College. The outcome of the 2000 presiden­tial contest might have been different if the Supreme Court had not seem­ingly handed the election to George W. Bush by halting the Florida ballot recount. It would not have come down to that in nearly all other democra­cies, because they lack electoral colleges. America’s unusual voting system is a vestige of an oppressive era. Back in the eighteenth century, Southern states feared that a direct presidential election would lead them to be outvoted, as they had fewer eligible white voters than Northern states. The resulting com­promise was an electoral college under which Southern states received votes proportional to three-fifths of their sizable slave populations, in addition to those for their free populations. The fact that America still employs an anachronistic electoral system largely created to accommodate slavery exem­plifies a broader issue. It is often said that America is a young nation, but it is also an old democracy. It has the oldest written national constitution in use anywhere in the world, which has been a mixed blessing by fostering both stability and immobilism.

What are your thoughts on the Electoral College? Should it be abolished or not? If so, how do you think voting should occur? Share your comments below.


Human Rights Day: A Focus on Prison Reform

Today is Human Rights Day, which commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We felt moved to turn this year’s focus on prisoner’s rights after the African American Intellectual History Society just released their Prison Abolition Syllabus, which highlights prison organizing and prison abolitionist efforts, from the 13th Amendment’s rearticulation of slavery to current resistance to mass incarceration, solitary confinement, and prison labor exploitation. Several UC Press titles are featured on the syllabus, which you can browse below:

The United States has the highest incarceration rates in the world. Just yesterday TIME released an incarceration report stating that 39% of prisoners should not be in prison. In the book Incarcerating the Crisis, which is included in the syllabus, and in a recent post on our blog, author Jordan Camp argues that the roots of the carceral crisis to the rise of neoliberal capitalism.

And overcrowding, violence, sexual abuse, and other conditions pose grave risks to prisoner health and safety, coupled with the mistreatment of prisoners based on race, sex, gender identity, or disability. Terry Kupers, author of the forthcoming UC Press book Solitary (publishing Fall 2017), discussed ADX-Florence, the “supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado known for its use of solitary confinement as a way to manage mental illness, with WNYC this week while law expert Hadar Aviram, whose book Cheap on Crime is also included in the syllabus, recently spoke with the Los Angeles Times about how California’s promises to speed up the death penalty are impossible to meet.

Tens of thousands of prisoners are held in long-term isolated confinement in “supermax” prisons and similar facilities. The devastating effects of such treatment, particularly on people with mental illness, are well known.

In addition to the above listed titles, we recommend the following titles to round out your reading:


Measuring the Bangkok Rules

This post is published prior to Human Rights Day (December 10) and after the American Society of Criminology conference (November 16 – 19). #ASC2016 #HumanRightsDay

by Barbara Owen, co-author of In Search of Safety: Confronting Inequality in Women’s Imprisonment

The United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders or the Bangkok Rules outlines a human rights approach to the management of women in prison. In the United States, most prison operational practice is based on a version of civil rights; the Bangkok Rules and other international instruments are based on human rights- a very different approach. While few US prison system rely on a human rights perspective, the rest of the world has been more open to the human rights approach with its emphasis on the respect and dignity of all persons, regardless of their legal status.

As researchers who study women in conflict with the law know, women in prison require a separate approach than those designed for men. Despite their small share in prison population, the number of women prisoners worldwide has significantly increased at faster rate than men over the past decade. Across the globe, women prisoners share common background which shapes their pathways to prison. Many have similar histories of abuse and trauma, limited opportunity to education and work. Some have substance abuse, mental and physical health problems. Without appropriate support and gender sensitive treatment, women prisoners are at risk of re-victimization in prison settings and reoffending.

Author Barbara Owen (bottom row, 3rd from right) with Thailand Institute of Justice and program attendees.
Author Barbara Owen (bottom row, 3rd from right) with Thailand Institute of Justice and program attendees.

Since 2008, I have had the enormous pleasure of working with the Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ) in developing, implementing and measuring human rights through in women’s prisons. This post outlines the work I was privileged to develop in August of this year. The Bangkok Rules also requires UN member states (which are mostly countries) to collect survey and profile data on women in prison. To date, surveys that I developed with my colleagues at TIJ have been administered in almost all the Southeast Asian countries.

Author Barbara Owen speaking in front of Thailand Institute of Justice program attendees on Bangkok Rules.
Author Barbara Owen speaking in front of Thailand Institute of Justice program attendees on Bangkok Rules.

Based on the Bangkok Rules and my on-going research on imprisoned women, I was part of a team that designed a two-week program training program that aimed to provide guidance and practical knowledge on translating the Bangkok Rules and other human rights instruments into practice. The program was delivered to team form 12 different countries, most were from Southeast Asia, with additional participants from Kenya and Sri Lanka. Using polling software, I developed a Self-Assessment process that provided immediate feedback and spurred discussion among the 20 participants. In addition to rating their compliance and progress toward implementing the Bangkok Rules and other relevant human rights instruments, the self-assessment process structured discussions of challenges and solutions of gender-sensitive prison management, sets priorities, and helps to develop a preliminary Action Plan.

The Self-Assessment process and the overall training was an enormous success. These pictures provide a glimpse into this program. Cambodia has invited us to a follow-up conference next year. I have long been discouraged about the progress of US prison systems to implement a gender-responsive approach to managing women’s prisons. My work with the Thailand Institute of Justice has given me new hope that prison systems can incorporate both human rights standards and gender-sensitive management practices.

Owen.InSearchOfSafetyMy ASC presentation, “Measuring the Bangkok Rules” will describe the survey research and the Self-Assessment process. Come on by Wednesday morning and hear about this very exciting work. I also invite readers to look at additional work around the Bangkok Rules conducted by the TIJ and another partner in this work at Penal Reform International.


Barbara Owen is Professor Emerita at California State University, Fresno and co-author of In Search of Safety: Confronting Inequality in Women’s Imprisonment alongside James Wells and Joycelyn Pollock.


Editor Spotlight: Maura Roessner, Senior Editor for Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Law and Society

MR_headshot_112414_2. Maura RoessnerIn this Q&A with Senior Editor Maura Roessner, we learn about what brought her to publishing and her plans for Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Law and Society. 

Why did you become an acquisitions editor? 

It’s the perfect mix of intellectual, creative, and personal work. Back in college I worked at both the library and the university press, so I was clearly destined for one book direction or another. I did everything at that press from writing catalog copy to driving the forklift in the warehouse, but for me, there’s nothing more satisfying than working directly with authors to turn a good idea into a great product.

What projects are you working on now to develop the Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Law and Society list at UC Press? 

I’ve been at UC Press for five years, developing projects not only for scholars but also for students, general readers, and practitioners. So, we have an impressive catalog of recent publications from a terrific lineup of authors, but here’s a sneak peek at a few upcoming projects:

You’re developing new textbooks and course books. Why is new content intended for use in courses important to you? 

I believe that the pursuit of justice begins in the classroom. If students learn to think critically about our systems of law and justice, they gain the tools they need to act as catalysts for change when they go on to work for, against, or near the criminal justice system.

Join Us 

Interested in publishing your work with Maura and UC Press? Contact Maura at mroessner@ucpress.edu.

And learn more about Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Law and Society as well as the Higher Education Program.

HighCreatives_ads_rev22


Editor Spotlight: Seth Dobrin, Senior Editor for Sociology and Social Science Methods

photo-seth.dobrinIn this Q&A with Senior Editor Seth Dobrin, we learn about what brought him to publishing and his plans for Sociology and Social Science Methods. 

Why did you become an acquisitions editor? 

I’ve always liked how being an editor is half humanities and half problem solving. I think it’s a good fit for who I am. As an example, when I was a sophomore in college I decided to major in English and when I was a junior I became an EMT. It sounds naïve but I wanted to help people when they needed it. These days my authors and I aren’t riding an ambulance together – although sometimes hitting a deadline can feel that way – but we’re creating something that solves a real problem for real people. Being an editor means I get to work with authors and educators who improve their students’ lives by explaining something, or telling an important story. Hopefully, we make the world a little better.

What projects are you working on now to develop the Sociology and Social Science Methods list at UC Press? 

It’s been two years since I joined UC Press and I’m really excited about the books we’re producing. One that’s high on my list is Deviance: Social Constructions and Blurred Boundaries by Leon Anderson at Utah State University. We just finished our peer review and the manuscript is coming together nicely. I’m also thrilled to be publishing books that will help social scientists do research, like two books by John Hoffmann at Brigham Young UniversityPrinciples of Data Management and Presentation (publishing Fall 2017) and Regression Models for Categorical, Count, and Related Variables. These books strengthen data literacy, which fits well with the educational mission of the Press. And no, I have not been spending too much time in Utah. Great national parks!

You’re developing new textbooks and course books. Why is new content intended for use in courses important to you? 

Sociology is a hugely important discipline because it reveals things that we don’t always see or recognize about our society or ourselves. It does that through its unique perspective and rigorous research. Personally, I think that’s more important now than ever. Our world needs critical thinkers. We need people who can see, study, and critique social systems so that we can make progress.

Are there other particular courses where you’re looking to develop new content?

What’s exciting about the Press is that our Higher Education program allows us to help faculty in areas where big college publishers aren’t focused—on mid- and upper-level courses on social institutions and social change. I’m also looking to sign in courses like qualitative and quantitative methods—places where the rubber meets the road for would-be scholars. I want to find educators who teach these courses and who see the same needs and opportunities I do. It’s a new venture with a lot of support from the Press. We, alongside our authors and faculty, have the capacity to do something great with it.

Join Us 

Interested in publishing your work with Seth and UC Press? Contact Seth at sdobrin@ucpress.edu.

And learn more about Sociology and the Higher Education Program.

HighCreatives_ads_rev22