Herstory: Women’s Studies

This weekend marks the one year anniversary of the largest single day protest in US history—the Women’s March—when on January 21, 2017, 4.2 million people marched across the US in more than 600 US cities, and from Antarctica to Zimbabwe, at least 261 more sister marches cropped up worldwide. To celebrate this pivotal protest, UC Press is highlighting titles across subjects as part of our Herstory series, with today’s focus on Women’s Studies titles that continue the discussions on feminism, past and present. While just a preview of our publishing “herstory,” these titles will engage your intellect and inspire your activism today, tomorrow, and for future tomorrows.


How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics:
From Welfare Reform to Foreclosure to Trump

By Laura Briggs

Today all politics are reproductive politics, argues esteemed feminist critic Laura Briggs. From longer work hours to the election of Donald Trump, our current political crisis is above all about reproduction. Briggs brilliantly outlines how politicians’ racist accounts of reproduction were the leading wedge in the government and business disinvestment in families, leading to the rigorous demands of the American workplace. These demands are stressful for all women, but for women of color and their children, women with fewer resources and power, the ramifications could be deadly.

 

The Big Push: Exposing and Challenging the Persistence of Patriarchy
By Cynthia Enloe

The Big Push exposes how patriarchal ideas and relationships continue to be modernized to this day. Through contemporary cases and reports, renowned political scientist Cynthia Enloe exposes the workings of everyday patriarchy—in how Syrian women civil society activists have been excluded from international peace negotiations; how sexual harassment became institutionally accepted within major news organizations; or in how the UN Secretary General’s post has remained a masculine domain.
Timely, globally conscious, and ever-relevant in the wake of today’s #MeToo movement, The Big Push is a call for feminist self-reflection and strategic action with a belief that exposure complements resistance.

 

Smart Girls: Success, School, and the Myth of Post-Feminism
By Shauna Pomerantz and Rebecca Raby

Girls are said to outperform boys in high school exams, university entrance and graduation rates, and professional certification. As a result, many in Western society assume that girls no longer need support. But the reality is far more complicated. Smart Girls investigates how academically successful girls deal with stress, the “supergirl” drive for perfection, race and class issues, and the sexism that is still present in schools. Describing girls’ varied everyday experiences, including negotiations of traditional gender norms, Shauna Pomerantz and Rebecca Raby show how teachers, administrators, parents, and media commentators can help smart girls thrive while working toward straight As and a bright future.

 

The Diva Nation: Female Icons from Japanese Cultural History
Edited By Laura Miller and Rebecca Copeland 

Diva Nation explores the constructed nature of female iconicity in Japan. From ancient goddesses and queens to modern singers and writers, this edited volume critically reconsiders the female icon, tracing how she has been offered up for emulation, debate or censure. The research in this book culminates from curiosity over the insistent presence of Japanese female figures who have refused to sit quietly on the sidelines of history. The diva is ripe for expansion, fantasy, eroticization, and playful reinvention, while simultaneously presenting a challenge to patriarchal culture. Diva Nation asks how the diva disrupts or bolsters ideas about nationhood, morality, and aesthetics.

 

Provocations: A Transnational Reader in the History of Feminist Thought
By Edited By Susan Bordo, M. Cristina Alcalde, and Ellen Rosenman

The first collection of its kind, Provocations: A Transnational Reader in the History of Feminist Thought is historically organized and transnational in scope, highlighting key ideas, transformative moments, and feminist conversations across national and cultural borders. Emphasizing feminist cross-talk, transnational collaborations and influences, and cultural differences in context, this anthology heralds a new approach to studying feminist history.

 

Gender in the Twenty-First Century: The Stalled Revolution and the Road to Equality
Edited By Shannon N. Davis, Sarah Winslow, and David J. Maume

This engaging and accessible work, aimed at students studying gender and social inequality, provides new insight into the uneven and stalled nature of the gender revolution in the twenty-first century. Honing in on the family, higher education, the workplace, religion, the military, and sports, key scholars look at why gender inequality persists. The volume explores how to address current inequities through political action, research initiatives, social mobilization, and policy changes. Conceived of as a book for gender and society classes with a mix of exciting, accessible, pointed pieces, Gender in the Twenty-First Century is an ideal book for students and scholars alike.

 

Abusive Endings: Separation and Divorce Violence against Women
By Walter S. DeKeseredy, Molly Dragiewicz, and Martin D. Schwartz

Abusive Endings offers a thorough analysis of the social-science literature on one of the most significant threats to the health and well-being of women today—abuse at the hands of their male partners. The authors provide a moving description of why and how men abuse women in myriad ways during and after a separation or divorce. The material is punctuated with the stories and voices of both perpetrators and survivors of abuse, as told to the authors over many years of fieldwork. Written in a highly readable fashion, this book will be a useful resource for researchers, practitioners, activists, and policy makers.

The Gender Effect: Capitalism, Feminism, and the Corporate Politics of Development
By Kathryn Moeller

Drawing on more than a decade of research in the U.S. and Brazil, this book focuses on how the philanthropic, social responsibility, and business practices of various corporations use a logic of development that positions girls and women as instruments of poverty alleviation and new frontiers for capitalist accumulation. Using the Girl Effect, the philanthropic brand of Nike, Inc., as a central case study, the book examines how these corporations seek to address the problems of gendered poverty and inequality, yet do so using an instrumental logic that shifts the burden of development onto girls and women without transforming the structural conditions that produce poverty. With a keen eye towards justice, author Kathryn Moeller concludes that these corporatized development practices de-politicize girls’ and women’s demands for fair labor practices and a just global economy.


In the comments section, tell us your favorite herstory book from UC Press. Were there books in the Herstory Series that you would’ve included?