We’re pleased to announce the latest books in the American Studies Now series coming out this fall. A series of short books covering major political and cultural moments and movements at the center of public conversation—from Black Lives Matter to climate change, indigenous politics to queer and trans issues—the books in American Studies Now provide timely, provocative analysis for teaching, for activism, and for engagement today.
Tackling questions of inclusion, gender and sexuality, and environmental justice, here’s a preview of what’s coming up next in the series.
Being Brown: Sonia Sotomayor and the Latino Question
by Lázaro Lima
Forthcoming November 2019
Being Brown: Sonia Sotomayor and the Latino Question tells the story of the country’s first Latina Supreme Court Associate Justice’s rise to the pinnacle of American public life at a moment of profound demographic and political transformation. While Sotomayor’s confirmation appeared to signal the greater acceptance and inclusion of Latinos—the nation’s largest “minority majority”—the uncritical embrace of her status as a “possibility model” and icon paradoxically erased the fact that her success was due to civil rights policies and safeguards that no longer existed.
Being Brown analyzes Sotomayor’s story of success and accomplishment, despite seemingly insurmountable odds, in order to ask: What do we lose in democratic practice when we allow symbolic inclusion to supplant the work of meaningful political enfranchisement? In a historical moment of resurgent racism, unrelenting Latino bashing, and previously unimaginable “blood and soil” Nazism, Being Brown explains what we stand to lose when we allow democratic values to be trampled for the sake of political expediency, and demonstrates how understanding “the Latino question” can fortify democratic practice.
“Being Brown is necessary reading for anyone interested in questions of race, representation, and the future of Latinx democratic practice.”—Cristina Beltrán, author of The Trouble with Unity: Latino Politics and the Creation of Identity
A Dirty South Manifesto: Sexual Resistance and Imagination in the New South
by L.H. Stallings
Forthcoming December 2019
From the shutdown of Planned Parenthood clinics and rising rates of HIV to opposition to marriage equality and bathroom bills, the New South is the epicenter of the new sex wars. Antagonism toward reproductive freedom, partner rights, and transgender rights has revealed a new and unacknowledged era of southern reconstruction centered on gender and sexuality.
In A Dirty South Manifesto, L. H. Stallings celebrates the roots of radical sexual resistance in the New South—a movement that is antiracist, decolonial, and transnational. For people within economically disenfranchised segments of society, those in sexually marginalized communities, and the racially oppressed, the South has been a sexual dystopia. Throughout this book, Stallings delivers hard-hitting manifestos for the new sex wars. With her focus on contemporary Black southern life, Stallings offers an invitation to anyone who has ever imagined a way of living beyond white supremacist heteropatriarchy.
“In this brilliant, imaginative, and defiant manifesto, Stallings entices the reader into reimagining and rereading the South, specifically the Dirty South. Her unflinching and creative look at the Dirty South challenges our current understandings of moral authority while unveiling a new vision of liberation and freedom.”—Cathy J. Cohen, author of Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics?
Environmental Justice in a Moment of Danger
by Julie Sze
Forthcoming January 2020
We are living in a precarious environmental and political moment. In the United States and in the world, environmental injustices have manifested across racial and class divides in devastatingly disproportionate ways. What does this moment of danger mean for the environment and for justice? What can we learn from environmental justice struggles?
Environmental Justice in a Moment of Danger examines mobilizations and movements, from protests at Standing Rock to activism in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Environmental justice movements fight, survive, love, and create in the face of violence that challenges the conditions of life itself. Exploring dispossession, deregulation, privatization, and inequality, this book is the essential primer on environmental justice, packed with cautiously hopeful stories for the future.
“Local, front-line struggles like the ones profiled here have long embodied—and continue to propel—our collective fight for a better society. If you want to understand how, let this book immerse you in the many worlds of environmental justice.”—Naomi Klein, author of On Fire and This Changes Everything