UC Press is proud to publish award-winning authors and books across many disciplines. Below are some of our recent award winners from May & June 2022. Please join us in celebrating these scholars by sharing the news!
Grace Abbott Book Prize Shortlist 2022
Society for the History of Childhood and Youth
RHS Whitfield Book Prize Shortlist 2022
Royal Historical Society
Emily Baughan is Lecturer in Modern British History at the University of Sheffield
Saving the Children analyzes the intersection of liberal internationalism and imperialism through the history of the humanitarian organization Save the Children, from its formation during the First World War through the era of decolonization. Whereas Save the Children claimed that it was “saving children to save the world,” the vision of the world it sought to save was strictly delimited, characterized by international capitalism and colonial rule. Emily Baughan’s groundbreaking analysis, across fifty years and eighteen countries, shows that Britain’s desire to create an international order favorable to its imperial rule shaped international humanitarianism. In revealing that modern humanitarianism and its conception of childhood are products of the early twentieth-century imperial economy, Saving the Children argues that the contemporary aid sector must reckon with its past if it is to forge a new future.
Chris A. Barcelos
2022 Distinguished Book Award
ASA Section of the Sociology of Sexualities
Chris A. Barcelos is Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Distributing Condoms and Hope is a feminist ethnographic account of how youth sexual health programs in the racially and economically stratified city of “Millerston” reproduce harm in the marginalized communities they are meant to serve.
Chris A. Barcelos makes space for the stories of young mothers, who often recognize the narrow ways that public health professionals respond to pregnancies. Barcelos’s findings show that teachers, social workers, and nurses ignore systemic issues of race, class, and gender and instead advocate for individual-level solutions such as distributing condoms and promoting “hope.” Through a lens of reproductive justice, Distributing Condoms and Hope imagines a different approach to serving marginalized youth—a support system that neither uses their lives as a basis for disciplinary public policies nor romanticizes their struggles.
2022 NASSH Book Award, Finalist
North American Society for Sport History
Bruce Berglund taught history at Calvin College and the University of Kansas. He is author of Castle and Cathedral in Modern Prague.
The untold story of hockey’s deep roots from different regions of the world, and its global, cultural impact.
Played on frozen ponds in cold northern lands, hockey seemed an especially unlikely game to gain a global following. But from its beginnings in the nineteenth century, the sport has drawn from different cultures and crossed boundaries––between Canada and the United States, across the Atlantic, and among different regions of Europe. It has been a political flashpoint within countries and internationally. And it has given rise to far-reaching cultural changes and firmly held traditions.
The Fastest Game in the World is a global history of a global sport, drawing upon research conducted around the world in a variety of languages. From Canadian prairies to Swiss mountain resorts, Soviet housing blocks to American suburbs, Bruce Berglund takes readers on an international tour, seamlessly weaving in hockey’s local, national, and international trends. Written in a lively style with wide-ranging breadth and attention to telling detail, The Fastest Game in the World will thrill both the lifelong fan and anyone who is curious about how games intertwine with politics, economics, and culture.
2022 Best Source Edition, Book Translation, of Essay Collection
Mediterranean Seminar/CU Mediterranean Studies Group
Giancarlo Casale is Chair of Early Modern Mediterranean History at the European University Institute and Associate Professor of History at the University of Minnesota.
Victor Hugo meets Papillon in this effervescent memoir of war, slavery, and self-discovery, told with aplomb and humor in its first English translation.
A pioneering work of Ottoman Turkish literature, Prisoner of the Infidels brings the seventeenth-century memoir of Osman Agha of Timişoara—slave, adventurer, and diplomat—into English for the first time. The sweeping story of Osman’s life begins upon his capture and subsequent enslavement during the Ottoman–Habsburg Wars. Adrift in a landscape far from his home and traded from one master to another, Osman tells a tale of indignation and betrayal but also of wonder and resilience, punctuated with queer trysts, back-alley knife fights, and elaborate ruses to regain his freedom.
Throughout his adventures, Osman is forced to come to terms with his personhood and sense of belonging: What does it mean to be alone in a foreign realm and treated as subhuman chattel, yet surrounded by those who see him as an object of exotic desire or even genuine affection? Through his eyes, we are treated to an intimate view of seventeenth-century Europe from the singular perspective of an insider/outsider, who by the end his account can no longer reckon the boundary between Islam and Christendom, between the land of his capture and the land of his birth, or even between slavery and redemption.
Emine Fidan Elcioglu
2022 Thomas and Znaniecki Best Book Award, Honorable Mention
ASA Section of International Migration Section
Emine Fidan Elcioglu is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto.
The construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border—whether to build it or not—has become a hot-button issue in contemporary America. A recent impasse over funding a wall caused the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, sharpening partisan divisions across the nation. In the Arizona borderlands, groups of predominantly white American citizens have been mobilizing for decades—some help undocumented immigrants bypass governmental detection, while others help law enforcement agents to apprehend immigrants. Activists on both the left and the right mobilize without an immediate personal connection to the issue at hand, many doubting that their actions can bring about the long-term change they desire. Why, then, do they engage in immigration and border politics so passionately?
Divided by the Wall offers a one-of-a-kind comparative study of progressive pro-immigrant activists and their conservative immigration-restrictionist opponents. Using twenty months of ethnographic research with five grassroots organizations, Emine Fidan Elcioglu shows how immigration politics has become a substitute for struggles around class inequality among white Americans. She demonstrates how activists mobilized not only to change the rules of immigration but also to experience a change in themselves. Elcioglu finds that the variation in social class and intersectional identity across the two sides mapped onto disparate concerns about state power. As activists strategized ways to transform the scope of the state’s power, they also tried to carve out self-transformative roles for themselves. Provocative and even-handed, Divided by the Wall challenges our understanding of immigration politics in times of growing inequality and insecurity.
2022 British Association for American Studies Book prize
Martin Halliwell is Professor of American Studies at the University of Leicester. He has authored and edited fourteen books, including Therapeutic Revolutions: Medicine, Psychiatry, and American Culture, 1945–1970; Voices of Mental Health: Medicine, Politics, and American Culture, 1970–2000; and The Edinburgh Companion to the Politics of American Health.
A history of U.S. public health emergencies and how we can turn the tide.
Despite enormous advances in medical science and public health education over the last century, access to health care remains a dominant issue in American life. U.S. health care is often hailed as the best in the world, yet the public health emergencies of today often echo the public health emergencies of yesterday: consider the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918–19 and COVID-19, the displacement of the Dust Bowl and the havoc of Hurricane Maria, the Reagan administration’s antipathy toward the AIDS epidemic and the lack of accountability during the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
Spanning the period from the presidency of Woodrow Wilson to that of Donald Trump, American Health Crisis illuminates how—despite the elevation of health care as a human right throughout the world—vulnerable communities in the United States continue to be victimized by structural inequalities across disparate geographies, income levels, and ethnic groups. Martin Halliwell views contemporary public health crises through the lens of historical and cultural revisionings, suturing individual events together into a narrative of calamity that has brought us to our current crisis in health politics. American Health Crisis considers the future of public health in the United States and, presenting a reinvigorated concept of health citizenship, argues that now is the moment to act for lasting change.
2022 LASA Mexico Prize for Best Book (Social Sciences), Honorable Mention
Latin American Studies Association
Gema Kloppe-Santamaría is Assistant Professor of Latin American History at Loyola University Chicago. She is the lead editor of Violence and Crime in Latin America: Representations and Politics and Human Security and Chronic Violence in Mexico: New Perspectives and Proposals from Below.
In the Vortex of Violence examines the uncharted history of lynching in post-revolutionary Mexico. Based on a collection of previously untapped sources, the book examines why lynching became a persistent practice during a period otherwise characterized by political stability and decreasing levels of violence. It explores how state formation processes, as well as religion, perceptions of crime, and mythical beliefs, contributed to shaping people’s understanding of lynching as a legitimate form of justice. Extending the history of lynching beyond the United States, this book offers key insights into the cultural, historical, and political reasons behind the violent phenomenon and its continued practice in Latin America today.
Kenneth H. Kolb
2022 Scholarly Publication Award, Honorable Mention
ASA Section of Consumers and Consumption
Kenneth H. Kolb is Professor of Sociology at Furman University. He is the author of Moral Wages: The Emotional Dilemmas of Victim Advocacy and Counseling.
Retail Inequality examines the failure of recent efforts to improve Americans’ diets by increasing access to healthy food. Based on exhaustive research, this book by Kenneth H. Kolb documents the struggles of two Black neighborhoods in Greenville, South Carolina. For decades, outsiders ignored residents’ complaints about the unsavory retail options on their side of town—until the well-intentioned but flawed “food desert” concept took hold in popular discourse. Soon after, new allies arrived to help, believing that grocery stores and healthier options were the key to better health. These efforts, however, did not change neighborhood residents’ food consumption practices. Retail Inequality explains why and also outlines the history of deindustrialization, urban public policy, and racism that are the cause of unequal access to food today. Kolb identifies retail inequality as the crucial concept to understanding today’s debates over gentrification and community development. As this book makes clear, the battle over food deserts was never about food—it was about equality.
Krystale E. Littlejohn
William J. Goode Book Award Honorable Mention 2022
American Sociological Association Family Section
Krystale E. Littlejohn is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Oregon. Her work has been published in Demography, Gender & Society, and Journal of Health and Social Behavior, among other outlets.
Understanding the social history and urgent social implications of gendered compulsory birth control, an unbalanced and unjust approach to pregnancy prevention.
The average person concerned about becoming pregnant spends approximately thirty years trying to prevent conception. People largely do so alone using prescription birth control, a situation often taken for granted in the United States as natural and beneficial. In Just Get on the Pill, a keenly researched and incisive examination, Krystale Littlejohn investigates how birth control becomes a fundamentally unbalanced and gendered responsibility. She uncovers how parents, peers, partners, and providers draw on narratives of male and female birth control methods to socialize cisgender women into sex and ultimately into shouldering the burden for preventing pregnancy.
Littlejohn draws on extensive interviews to document this gendered compulsory birth control—a phenomenon in which people who give birth are held accountable for preventing and resolving pregnancies in gender-constrained ways. She shows how this gendered approach encroaches on reproductive autonomy and poses obstacles for preventing disease. While diverse cisgender women are the focus, Littlejohn shows that they are not the only ones harmed by this dynamic. Indeed, gendered approaches to birth control also negatively impact trans, intersex, and gender nonconforming people in overlooked ways. In tracing the divisive politics of pregnancy prevention, Littlejohn demonstrates that the gendered division of labor in birth control is not natural. It is unjust.
2022 Airey Neave Memorial Prize, Longlist
Airey Neave Trust
Alex Lubin is Professor of African American Studies at Penn State University, where he studies the transnational history of the African Diaspora in the Middle East/North Africa. He is the author of Geographies of Liberation: The Making of an Afro-Arab Political Imaginary.
A concise primer to the political, cultural, and social consequences of the perpetual US global war on terror.
An entire generation of young adults has never known an America without the War on Terror. This book contends with the pervasive effects of post-9/11 policy and myth-making in every corner of American life. Never-Ending War on Terror is organized around five keywords that have come to define the cultural and political moment: homeland, security, privacy, torture, and drone. Alex Lubin synthesizes nearly two decades of United States war-making against terrorism by asking how the War on Terror has changed American politics and society, and how the War on Terror draws on historical myths about American national and imperial identity. From the PATRIOT Act to the hit show Homeland, from Edward Snowden to Guantanamo Bay, and from 9/11 memorials to Trumpism, this succinct book connects America’s political economy and international relations to our contemporary culture at every turn.
2022 Palestine Book Award, Shortlist
Middle East Monitor
Saree Makdisi is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UCLA. His previous books include Making England Western: Occidentalism, Race and Imperial Culture; Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation; and Reading William Blake.
How denial sustains the liberal imagination of a progressive and democratic Israel.
The question that this book aims to answer might seem simple: how can a violent project of dispossession and discrimination be imagined, felt, and profoundly believed in as though it were the exact opposite––an embodiment of sustainability, multicultural tolerance, and democratic idealism? Despite well-documented evidence of racism and human rights abuse, Israel has long been embraced by the most liberal sectors of European and American society as a manifestation of the progressive values of tolerance, plurality, inclusivity, and democracy, and hence a project that can be passionately defended for its lofty ideals.
Tolerance Is a Wasteland argues that the key to this miraculous act of political alchemy is a very specific form of denial. Here the Palestinian presence in, and claim to, Palestine is not simply refused or covered up, but negated in such a way that the act of denial is itself denied. The effects of destruction and repression are reframed, inverted into affirmations of liberal virtues that can be passionately championed. In Tolerance Is a Wasteland, Saree Makdisi explores many such acts of affirmation and denial in a range of venues: from the haunted landscape of thickly planted forests covering the ruins of Palestinian villages forcibly depopulated in 1948; to the theater of “pinkwashing” as Israel presents itself to the world as a gay-friendly haven of cultural inclusion; to the so-called Museum of Tolerance being built on top of the ruins of a Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem, which was methodically desecrated in order to clear the space for this monument to “human dignity.” Tolerance Is a Wasteland reveals the system of emotional investments and curated perceptions that makes this massive project of cognitive dissonance possible.
2022 Behrman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities
Simon Morrison teaches music history at Princeton University.
A stunning musical biography of Stevie Nicks that paints a portrait of an artist, not a caricature of a superstar.
Reflective and expansive, Mirror in the Sky situates Stevie Nicks as one of the finest songwriters of the twentieth century.
This biography from distinguished music historian Simon Morrison examines Nicks as a singer and songwriter before and beyond her career with Fleetwood Mac, from the Arizona landscape of her childhood to the strobe-lit Night of 1000 Stevies celebrations.
The book uniquely:
- Analyzes Nicks’s craft—the grain of her voice, the poetry of her lyrics, the melodic and harmonic syntax of her songs.
- Identifies the American folk and country influences on her musical imagination that place her within a distinctly American tradition of women songwriters.
- Draws from oral histories and surprising archival discoveries to connect Nicks’s story to those of California’s above- and underground music industries, innovations in recording technology, and gendered restrictions.
Acclaimed for treading new ground in operatic studies of the period, Simon Morrison’s influential and now-classic text explores music and the occult during the Russian Symbolist movement. Including previously unavailable archival materials about Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky, this wholly revised edition is both up to date and revelatory. Topics range from decadence to pantheism, musical devilry to narcotic-infused evocations of heaven, the influence of Wagner, and the significance of contemporaneous Russian literature. Symbolism tested boundaries and reached for extremes so as to imagine art uniting people, facilitating communion with nature, and ultimately transcending reality. Within this framework, Morrison examines four lesser-known works by canonical composers—Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Alexander Scriabin, and Sergey Prokofiev—and in this new edition also considers Alexandre Gretchaninoff’s Sister Beatrice and Alexander Kastalsky’s Klara Milich, while also making the case for reviving Vladimir Rebikov’s The Christmas Tree.
Catalina M. De Onís
Rhetoric Society of America Book Award 2022
Rhetoric Society of America
Catalina M. de Onís is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado Denver. She coauthored of the book “¡Ustedes tienen que limpiar las cenizas e irse de Puerto Rico para siempre!”: La lucha por la justicia ambiental, climática y energética como trasfondo del verano de Revolución Boricua 2019.
Energy Islands provides an urgent and nuanced portrait of collective action that resists racial capitalism, colonialism, and climate disruption. Weaving together historical and ethnographic research, this story challenges the master narratives of Puerto Rico as a tourist destination and site of “natural” disasters to demonstrate how fossil fuel economies are inextricably entwined with colonial practices and how local community groups in Puerto Rico have struggled against energy coloniality to mobilize and transform power from the ground up.
Catalina M. de Onís documents how these groups work to decenter continental contexts and deconstruct damaging hierarchies that devalue and exploit rural coastal communities. She highlights and collaborates with individuals who refuse the cruel logics of empire by imagining and implementing energy justice and other interconnected radical power transformations. Diving deeply into energy, islands, and power, this book engages various metaphors for alternative world-making.
2022 William J. Goode Book Award
American Sociological Association Family Section
Leslie Paik is Professor of Sociology at Arizona State University. She is the author of Discretionary Justice: Looking inside a Juvenile Drug Court.
Trapped in a Maze provides a window into families’ lived experiences in poverty by looking at their complex interactions with institutions such as welfare, hospitals, courts, housing, and schools. Families are more intertwined with institutions than ever as they struggle to maintain their eligibility for services and face the possibility that involvement with one institution could trigger other types of institutional oversight. Many poor families find themselves trapped in a multi-institutional maze, stuck in between several systems with no clear path to resolution. Tracing the complex and often unpredictable journeys of families in this maze, this book reveals how the formal rationality by which these institutions ostensibly operate undercuts what they can actually achieve. And worse, it demonstrates how involvement with multiple institutions can perpetuate the conditions of poverty that these families are fighting to escape.
Miriam J. Petty
2022 SCMS Distinguished Service Award
Society of Cinema and Media Studies
Miriam J. Petty is Associate Professor and Screen Cultures Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Film, Radio, and Television at Northwestern University.
Stealing the Show is a study of African American actors in Hollywood during the 1930s, a decade that saw the consolidation of stardom as a potent cultural and industrial force. Petty focuses on five performers whose Hollywood film careers flourished during this period—Louise Beavers, Fredi Washington, Lincoln “Stepin Fetchit” Perry, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, and Hattie McDaniel—to reveal the “problematic stardom” and the enduring, interdependent patterns of performance and spectatorship for performers and audiences of color. She maps how these actors—though regularly cast in stereotyped and marginalized roles—employed various strategies of cinematic and extracinematic performance to negotiate their complex positions in Hollywood and to ultimately “steal the show.” Drawing on a variety of source materials, Petty explores these stars’ reception among Black audiences and theorizes African American viewership in the early twentieth century. Her book is an important and welcome contribution to the literature on the movies.
Joachim J. Savelsberg
2022 Barrington Moore Book Award
ASA Comparative and Historical Sociology Section
2022 Gordon Hirabayashi Best Book Award
ASA Section of Human Rights
Joachim J. Savelsberg is Professor of Sociology and Law and holder of the Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Chair at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Representing Mass Violence: Conflicting Responses to Human Rights Violations in Darfur.
A free open access ebook is available upon publication. Learn more at www.luminosoa.org.
This book is freely available in an open access edition thanks to TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem)—a collaboration of the Association of American Universities, the Association of University Presses, and the Association of Research Libraries—and the generous support of the University of Minnesota. Learn more at the TOME website, available at openmonographs.org.
How do victims and perpetrators generate conflicting knowledge about genocide? Using a sociology of knowledge approach, Savelsberg answers this question for the Armenian genocide committed in the context of the First World War. Focusing on Armenians and Turks, he examines strategies of silencing, denial, and acknowledgment in everyday interaction, public rituals, law, and politics. Drawing on interviews, ethnographic accounts, documents, and eyewitness testimony, Savelsberg illuminates the social processes that drive dueling versions of history. He reveals counterproductive consequences of denial in an age of human rights hegemony, with implications for populist disinformation campaigns against overwhelming evidence.
2022 California Book Award, Nonfiction Finalist
Commonwealth Club of California
Gabrielle Selz is the award-winning author of Unstill Life: A Daughter’s Memoir of Art and Love in the Age of Abstraction. Her articles have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times.
The first in-depth biography of Sam Francis, the legendary American abstract painter who broke all the rules in his personal and artistic life.
Light on Fire is the first comprehensive biography of Sam Francis, one of the most important American abstract artists of the twentieth century. Based on Gabrielle Selz’s unprecedented access to Francis’s files, as well as private correspondence and hundreds of interviews, this book traces the extraordinary and ultimately tragic journey of a complex and charismatic artist who first learned to paint as a former air-corps pilot encased for three years in a full-body cast. While still a young man, Francis saw his color-saturated paintings fetch the highest prices of any living artist. His restless desire resulted in five marriages and homes on three continents; his entrepreneurial spirit led to founding a museum, a publishing company, a reforestation program and several nonprofits. Light on Fire captures the art, life, personality, and talent of a man whom the art historian and museum director William C. Agee described as a rare artist participating in the “visionary reconstruction of art history,” defying creative boundaries among the likes of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning. With settings from World War II San Francisco to postwar Paris, New York, Tokyo, and Los Angeles, Selz crafts an intimate portrait of a man who sought to resolve in art the contradictions he couldn’t resolve in life.
2022 Distinguished Book Award
ASA Section of Sex and Gender
Paige L. Sweet is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan.
For women who have experienced domestic violence, proving that you are a “good victim” is no longer enough. Victims must also show that they are recovering, as if domestic violence were a disease: they must transform from “victims” into “survivors.” Women’s access to life-saving resources may even hinge on “good” performances of survivorhood. Through archival and ethnographic research, Paige L. Sweet reveals how trauma discourses and coerced therapy play central roles in women’s lives as they navigate state programs for assistance. Sweet uses an intersectional lens to uncover how “resilience” and “survivorhood” can become coercive and exclusionary forces in women’s lives. With nuance and compassion, The Politics of Surviving wrestles with questions about the gendered nature of the welfare state, the unintended consequences of feminist mobilizations for anti-violence programs, and the women who are left behind by the limited forms of citizenship we offer them.
2022 Katherine Singer Kovàcs Book Award
Society of Cinema and Media Studies
Haidee Wasson is Professor of Film and Media at Concordia University, Montreal. She is author of the award-winning Museum Movies and coeditor of several books, including Useful Cinema and Cinema’s Military Industrial Complex.
Everyday Movies documents the twentieth-century rise of portable film projectors. It demonstrates that since World War II, the vast majority of movie-watching did not happen in the glow of the large screen but rather took place alongside the glitches, distortions, and clickety-clack of small machines that transformed home, classroom, museum, community, government, industrial, and military venues into sites of moving-image display. Reorienting the history of cinema away from the magic of the movie theater, Haidee Wasson illustrates the remarkable persistence and proliferation of devices that fundamentally rejected the sleek, highly professionalized film show. She foregrounds instead another kind of apparatus, one that was accessible, affordable, adaptable, easy to use, and crucially, programmable. Revealing rich archival discoveries, this book charts a compelling and original history of film that brings to light new technologies and diverse forms of media engagement that continue to shape contemporary life.
2022 Palestine Book Award
Middle East Monitor
Lynn Welchman is Professor of Law in the Middle East and North Africa at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She worked in different capacities with al-Haq from the early 1980s.
A free open access ebook is available upon publication. Learn more at www.luminosoa.org.
The leadership and legacy of al-Haq, from its origins in Palestine to its international impact
Established in Ramallah in 1979, al-Haq was the first Palestinian human rights organization and one of the first such organizations in the Arab world. This inside history explores how al-Haq initiated methodologies in law and practice that were ahead of its time and that proved foundational for many strands of today’s human rights work in Palestine and elsewhere. Lynn Welchman looks at both al-Haq’s history and legacy to explore such questions as: Why would one set up a human rights organization under military occupation? How would one go about promoting the rule of law in a Palestinian society deleteriously served by the law and with every reason to distrust those charged with implementing its protections? How would one work to educate overseas allies and activate international law in defense of Palestinian rights? This revelatory story speaks to the practice of local human rights organizations and their impact on international groups.
2022 Oustanding Book Award
SSSP Social Problems Theory Division
Laurel Westbrook is Associate Professor of Sociology at Grand Valley State University and cofounder of Sociologists for Trans Justice.
Anti-violence movements rooted in identity politics are commonplace, including those to stop violence against people of color, women, and LGBT people. Unlivable Lives reveals the unintended consequences of this approach within the transgender rights movement in the United States. It illustrates how this form of activism obscures the causes of and lasting solutions to violence and exacerbates fear among members of the identity group, running counter to the goal of making lives more livable. Analyzing over a thousand documents produced by thirteen national organizations, Westbrook charts both a history of the movement and a path forward that relies less on identity-based tactics and more on intersectionality and coalition building. Provocative and galvanizing, this book envisions new strategies for anti-violence and social justice movements and will revolutionize the way we think about this form of activism.
SCMS Best First Book Award 2022
Society of Cinema and Media Studies
Chenshu Zhou is Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
At a time when what it means to watch movies keeps changing, this book offers a case study that rethinks the institutional, ideological, and cultural role of film exhibition, demonstrating that film exhibition can produce meaning in itself apart from the films being shown. Cinema Off Screen advances the idea that cinema takes place off screen as much as on screen by exploring film exhibition in China from the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949 to the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s. Drawing on original archival research, interviews, and audience recollections, Cinema Off Screen decenters the filmic text and offers a study of institutional operations and lived experiences. Chenshu Zhou details how the screening space, media technology, and the human body mediate encounters with cinema in ways that have not been fully recognized, opening new conceptual avenues for rethinking the ever-changing institution of cinema.