March is Women’s History Month, and we at UC Press are proud to share our rich record of publishing stories of women from throughout history, between disciplines, and across borders.
Please enjoy these collections which highlight the work, research, and activism of women authors from throughout our list. From the coral shores of the Caribbean to the front lines of student protests, from medieval reliquary vaults to California’s strawberry fields and beyond, our authors showcase the vibrancy of today’s woman-authored scholarship.
Passion Relics and the Medieval Imagination
Art, Architecture, and Society
by Cynthia Hahn
“Her book provides an expert synthesis of current scholarship, a welcome introduction for students desiring a toehold in recent literature. . . . a useful summary of recent research on how the instruments of Christ’s Passion were displayed and venerated in the Middle Ages.”
—Times Higher Education
Although objects associated with the Passion and suffering of Christ are among the most important and sacred relics venerated by the Catholic Church, this is the first study that considers how they were presented to the faithful. Cynthia Hahn adopts an accessible, informative, and holistic approach to the important history of Passion relics—first the True Cross, and then the collective group of Passion relics—examining their display in reliquaries, their presentation in church environments, their purposeful collection as centerpieces in royal and imperial collections, and finally their veneration in pictorial form as Arma Christi. Tracing the ways that Passion relics appear and disappear in response to Christian devotion and to historical phenomena, ranging from pilgrimage and the Crusades to the promotion of imperial power, this groundbreaking investigation presents a compelling picture of a very important aspect of late medieval and early modern devotion.
Art and Design in Latin America
(forthcoming April 2020)
by Karen Benezra
“Highly insightful and theoretically sophisticated, Dematerialization presents an original perspective on how artists, designers, and critics working in Latin America sparked a far-reaching transformation in twentieth-century art.”
—Pedro Erber, author of Breaching the Frame: The Rise of Contemporary Art in Brazil and Japan
Dematerialization examines the intertwined experimental practices and critical discourses of art and industrial design in Argentina, Mexico, and Chile in the 1960s and 1970s. Provocative in nature, this book investigates the way that artists, critics, and designers considered the relationship between the crisis of the modernist concept of artistic medium and the radical social transformation brought about by the accelerated capitalist development of the preceding decades. Beginning with Oscar Masotta’s sui generis definition of the term, Karen Benezra proposes dematerialization as a concept that allows us to see how disputes over the materiality of the art and design object functioned in order to address questions concerning the role of appearance, myth, and ideology in the dynamic logic structuring social relations in contemporary discussions of aesthetics, artistic collectivism, and industrial design. Dematerialization brings new insights to the fields of contemporary art history, critical theory, and Latin American cultural studies.
Glitch, Noise, and Aesthetic Failure
by Carolyn L. Kane
“Kane profiles art practices and media discourses that exploit and celebrate, rather than filter or suppress, all kinds of errors and noises. A welcome intervention in a number of discursive fields.”
––Peter Krapp, author of Noise Channels: Glitch and Error in Digital Culture
High-Tech Trash analyzes creative strategies in glitch, noise, and error to chart the development of an aesthetic paradigm rooted in failure. Carolyn L. Kane explores how technologically influenced creative practices, primarily from the second half of the twentieth and first quarter of the twenty-first centuries, critically offset a broader culture of pervasive risk and discontent. In so doing, she questions how we continue onward, striving to do better and acquire more, despite inevitable disappointment. High-Tech Trash speaks to a paradox in contemporary society in which failure is disavowed yet necessary for technological innovation.