Celebrating #AcBookWeek from Across the Pond

This week is #AcBookWeek in the United Kingdom, a week long celebration of the diversity, innovation, and influence of academic books. Follow the conversation on Twitter or on our blog via the #ACBook Week tag.

The influence of academic discourse on policy-makers and other influencers is well established, and we are happy to continue to publish scholarship that is both innovative and influential. As part of the UK’s Academic Book Week, we wanted to highlight some of our recent UK/EU-focused titles that we feel showcase the diversity, innovation, and influence of scholarly publishing.

Healing from Hate: How Young Men Get Into—and Out of—Violent Extremism
Michael Kimmel

What draws young men into violent extremist groups? What are the ideologies that inspire them to join? And what are the emotional bonds forged that make it difficult to leave, even when they want to? Having conducted in-depth interviews with ex–white nationalists and neo-Nazis in the United States, as well as ex-skinheads and ex-neo-Nazis in Germany and Sweden, renowned sociologist Michael Kimmel demonstrates the pernicious effects that constructions of masculinity have on these young recruits.

 

Constructions of Terrorism: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Research and Policy
edited by Michael Stohl, Richard Burchill, and Scott Howard Englund

Discussions about the meaning of terrorism are enduring in everyday language, government policy, news reporting, and international politics. And disagreements about both the definition and the class of violent events that constitute terrorism contribute to the difficulty of formulating effective responses aimed at the prevention and management of the threat of terrorism and the development of counterterrorism policies. Constructions of Terrorism collects works from the leading scholars on terrorism from an array of disciplines—including communication, political science, sociology, global studies, and public policy—to establish appropriate research frameworks for understanding how we construct our understanding of terrorism.

 

The Odyssey: A New Translation by Peter Green
Homer, translated by Peter Green

The Odyssey is vividly captured and beautifully paced in this swift and lucid new translation by acclaimed scholar and translator Peter Green. Accompanied by an illuminating introduction, maps, chapter summaries, a glossary, and explanatory notes, this is the ideal translation for both general readers and students to experience The Odyssey in all its glory. Green’s version, with its lyrical mastery and superb command of Greek, offers readers the opportunity to enjoy Homer’s epic tale of survival, temptation, betrayal, and vengeance with all of the verve and pathos of the original oral tradition.

 

Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom
Norman Finkelstein

Based on scores of human rights reports, Norman G. Finkelstein’s new book presents a meticulously researched inquest into Gaza’s martyrdom. He shows that although Israel has justified its assaults in the name of self-defense, in fact these actions constituted flagrant violations of international law. Finkelstein’s magnum opus is both a monument to Gaza’s martyrs and an act of resistance against the forgetfulness of history.

 

 

Brian O’Doherty: Collected Essays
Brian O’Doherty, edited by Liam Kelly

This long-awaited volume brings together much of Brian O’Doherty’s most influential writing, including essays on major figures such as Edward Hopper, Mark Rothko, and Andy Warhol, and a substantial follow-up to his iconic Inside the White Cube. New pieces specifically authored for this collection include a meditation on O’Doherty’s various alternate personae—most notably Patrick Ireland—and a reflection on his seminal “Highway to Las Vegas” from 1972, penned after a return visit in 2012.

 

The Doctor Faustus Dossier: Arnold Schoenberg, Thomas Mann, and Their Contemporaries, 1930-1951
edited by E. Randol Schoenberg

This complete edition of letters and documents between Arnold Schoenberg and Thomas Mann brings together two towering figures of twentieth-century music and literature, both of whom found refuge in Los Angeles during the Nazi era. Culminating in the famous dispute over Mann’s novel Doctor Faustus, the correspondence, diary entries, and related articles provide a glimpse inside the private and public lives of these two great artists, the outstanding figures of the German-exile community in California.

 

A History of Cookbooks: From Kitchen to Page over Seven Centuries
Henry Notaker

A History of Cookbooks provides a sweeping literary and historical overview of the cookbook genre, exploring its development as a part of food culture beginning in the Late Middle Ages. Studying cookbooks from various Western cultures and languages, Henry Notaker traces the transformation of recipes from brief notes with ingredients into detailed recipes with a specific structure, grammar, and vocabulary. In addition, he reveals that cookbooks go far beyond offering recipes: they tell us a great deal about nutrition, morals, manners, history, and menus while often providing entertaining reflections and commentaries.

 

Food and Power: A Culinary Ethnography of Israel
Nir Avieli

Drawing on ethnography conducted in Israel since the late 1990s, Food and Power considers how power is produced, reproduced, negotiated, and subverted in the contemporary Israeli culinary sphere. Nir Avieli explores issues such as the definition of Israeli cuisine, the ownership of hummus, the privatization of communal Kibbutz dining rooms, and food at a military prison for Palestinian detainees to show how cooking and eating create ambivalence concerning questions of strength and weakness and how power and victimization are mixed into a sense of self-justification that maintains internal cohesion among Israeli Jews.

 


Listen to “The Border Trilogy” featuring Jason De Leon on Radiolab

In the late 1990s, the death toll for border-crossing migrants shot up dramatically. This statistic has remained consistent, held firm through a Border Patrol policy known as “Prevention Through Deterrence.”

Jason De León explores the tragic, gruesome consequences of this policy in harrowing detail in his book The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant TrailIn The Border Trilogy podcast series, WNYC’s Radiolab follows De León’s research, continuing the interrogation of Prevention Through Deterrence, its origins, and its human cost.

Listen to the podcast below, or on Radiolab’s website here.

Border Trilogy Part 1: Hole in the Fence

Border Trilogy Part 2: Hold the Line

Jason De León is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan and Director of the Undocumented Migration Project, a long-term anthropological study of clandestine border crossings between Mexico and the United States. His academic work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including National Public Radio, the New York Times Magazine, Al Jazeera magazine, The Huffington Post, and Vice magazine. In 2013, De León was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer.

His book The Land of Open Graves is the recipient of the 2016 Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology.

 


Visit Our Booth at ISA Conference

Attending the International Studies Association conference (ends April 7th) in San Francisco? Visit Booth #703 to see new and notable titles and get a 40% discount on titles with discount code 17E2435. You can request exam copies of books for your classroom use too. And peruse some of our journals in international, transnational, and global affairs. #ISA2018

Learn more about playing the “democratic game”, the role of gender and family in recruiting in Neo-Nazi groups, complicity in a patriarchal society, and more.

 


When Women Don’t Count: Pregnant People Behind Bars

As part of Women History Month, we share issues that affect women in all walks of life, including pregnant women in prison. #WHM #WomensHistoryMonth

By Carolyn Sufrin, author of Jailcare: Finding the Safety Net for Women behind Bars

In recent months, NPR and Propublica, along with advocacy organizations like the Black Mamas Matter Alliance and the National Birth Equity Collaborative, have drawn attention to the alarmingly high rates of and profound racial disparities in maternal mortality in the U.S. Among some of the actions being demanded in response is legislation to require collection and review of maternal mortality data across local and state jurisdictions across the country. These overdue calls to recognize and intervene on the racially grounded maternal mortality crisis in this country are part of that classic feminist project of ‘consciousness raising,’ and infused with the structural indictment provided by the reproductive justice framework.

But even within this essential project, there is one group whose pregnancy needs and experiences have been elided: pregnant people behind bars in the U.S. They do not count. While no comprehensive or updated data on how many pregnant this is or what happens to these pregnancies exist, we know that most incarcerated women in the U.S. are of childbearing age, have had limited access to contraception pre-incarceration and are already mothers; some of them will enter jail or prison pregnant. I describe the experiences of some of these pregnant incarcerated people in my book, Jailcare, and the contradictory everyday realities of motherhood and health care behind bars in the age of mass incarceration.

When pregnant incarcerated people don’t count, when there is no data about them, when there is minimal attention to the ways jails and prisons control their access to safe motherhood, then anything can happen. They can be denied their legal right to abortion, deprived of access to appropriate prenatal care, forced to detox from opiates despite known medical risks, and forced to give birth in chains. These degradations and unsafe conditions are a sign for how our society neglects our most vulnerable members—who, in this case, are disproportionately women of color. They are a bellwether for the systematic disregard of the reproductive well-being of all women.

Read more from Carolyn regarding why jail can become a safety net for pregnant women and practical strategies that we can employ to shift the role of jails in addressing this social concern. 


Carolyn Sufrin is a medical anthropologist and an obstetrician-gynecologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


China Needs Babies!

This guest post is published around the Association for Asian Studies conference in Washington D.C., occurring March 22-25, 2018. #AAS2018

by Ayo Wahlberg, author of Good Quality: The Routinization of Sperm Banking in China

It is almost 40 years to the day since the world’s first so-called ‘test tube baby’ was born in the United Kingdom in July 1978. A few months later, in 1979, China’s one child policy was conceived. In the intervening years an estimated 6 million IVF babies have been born throughout the world while it is said that the one-child policy has prevented some 140 million births in China. In the last 40 years, contraception, sterilisation and abortion—at times forcibly realized—have been the most important means of state-stipulated family planning in China. The consequences are well known: a sex-ratio skewed generation of singletons who are alternately described as spoiled ‘little emperors’ and burdened sons and daughters living under enormous competition and pressure.

Today, when it comes to family planning in China, it would appear the tables have turned. China needs babies, and they need them now if they are to look after a rapidly ageing population. In 2015, the government famously tweaked its one-child policy into its current two-child policy which for the first time since the 1980s allows all married couples to have two children if they so wish. The problem is that, if early indications are anything to go by, it doesn’t seem that married couples are interested.

Much like elsewhere in the world, young people in China are deferring marriage and reproduction (the average age at first birth is approaching 30 in larger cities), concentrating instead on their education and careers. Once they do decide to have children, they quickly find out how exorbitantly expensive it is to have a child as pregnancy, child birth, childcare, school, and college costs stack up. There are intense pressures to give birth to and raise ‘high quality’ children. Moreover, many grew up as singletons themselves and are thereby used to small families. In short, China has become what demographers refer to as a ‘low fertility culture’. While there is nothing surprising about China’s fertility transition (these always follow in the wake of economic development), it is its compressed nature that is unprecedented.

So how will China get more babies? If the experience of other low fertility cultures is anything to go by, it won’t be easy. But one thing is for sure. Assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) are now poised to replace sterilisation and abortion as the most important family planning means. In my book Good Quality, based on 7 years of episodic fieldwork at the world’s largest fertility clinic and associated sperm bank in Changsha, Hunan province, I document the difficult birth and routinization of ARTs in China. The CITIC-Xiangya Reproductive and Genetic Hospital now carries out over 40,000 IVF cycles annually – which is about ¼ of annual cycles carried out in the entire USA – while also screening up to 6,000 potential sperm donors. While these are astounding figures, they are but a dent in a growing market for ARTs in China. With more and more couples deferring reproduction it is inevitable that more people will require assistance when trying to conceive.


Ayo Wahlberg is Professor MSO in the Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen. He is coeditor of Selective Reproduction in the Twenty-First Century and Southern Medicine for Southern People: Vietnamese Medicine in the Making.


Engaging Science for Inclusive Water Governance: A Q&A with environmental anthropologist Heather O’Leary

In recognition of World Water Day 2018, in this post, we speak with Dr. Heather O’Leary, an environmental anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis, about citizen science and how water researchers can engage with marginalized communities to improve water quality. Her article “Engaging Science for Inclusive Water Governance: An engaged ethnographic approach to WaSH data collection in Delhi, India” publishes soon in UC Press’s journal Case Studies in the Environment.

UC Press: Tell us a little about the informal settlements, or “slums,” of Delhi, India where you conducted your water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) research.

Heather O’Leary: My research shows how we can use water as a lens to demonstrate core challenges and opportunities to sustainable urban development. One of my research questions has always been: How do different development patterns challenge people’s relationship to critical life-giving natural resources, like water? In Asia’s booming megacities, like many cities worldwide, people make deeply ingrained cultural assumptions about who belongs and what they are entitled to—and this is evident through measurable, material contexts, like water quantities and qualities.

Women share a hose at a community standpipe.

In Delhi, I examined three interstitial sites—places “in-between”—where the answers to questions about water are presumed to be known without any formal scientific verification. Of these sites, rapidly transforming demographic and infrastructures of informal “slum” communities showed dynamic transformations between people by using water as a sign of upward mobility.

Many people who in-migrate to cities are seeking a better life, or are being pushed into cities from areas with lesser access to opportunities and resources. New trajectories of upward mobility can be both indicated by new access to water and new practices of water use. But a lot of the water acquired in informal settlement communities is either not legal or hard to come by, since deliveries to squatter residents are not well supported by the larger urban community. Typically, residents of legal homes get a few hours of water pressure through municipal pipes each day. In some communities, wells and public standpipes are also sources of water. The Delhi Jal Board (the municipal water organization) also sends tanker-trucks of water to roadside pickup points. Tankers are sent to informal communities that the city does not want to legitimize with civic infrastructure and also in relief situations—for wealthy communities in times of scarcity or to poor, informal neighborhoods with a population spike. Access to water is precious and signals a lot about where and how a person fits into the narrative of the city.

So, as you can imagine, people are hesitant to talk about even the most mundane aspects of water collection and storage. Essentially, they risk losing a precious leg-up they have in a city not entirely hospitable to them. This is one reason why, in my WaSH research, I collaborate with residents to discover, in their own words, how do they determine who belongs to a city.

For instance, by what magical transformation do recent in-migrants demonstrate they are now city-folk, and how does water sourced from the countryside and deep wells become the most salient symbol of urban contemporary life? Because this question is hard to measure through words alone, residents use water access as a proxy for deeper, ineffable cultural issues that mediate millions of peoples’ relationship to the people and resources around them. The research presented in my CSE article gives a snapshot of one way to improve research techniques in informal communities. It was collected over 18 continuous months of fieldwork in Delhi as part of my decades-long research in the cultural dimensions of human-environment interactions.

UC Press: What are some of the dangers of imposing research on marginalized communities, rather than engaging and empowering them in the research process?

Heather O’Leary: When researchers impose their projects on marginalized communities not only do they risk reproducing the inaccuracies of past research, but they also perpetuate a long history of extractivist epistemic violence. That is to say, many research traditions treat marginalized communities as case studies and the people within them as objects of study. This harmfully reduces populations of human beings into repositories of data ready to be analyzed by clever folks trained in scientific research traditions. But this privileges only certain ways of knowing, or epistemologies. In other words, this is a system that downplays the critical diversity of the ways in which we can understand problems and solutions.

By dehumanizing experts in other knowledge traditions and other knowledge areas (for example, experts in navigating slum life), it makes it seem more ok to treat other humans not as peers but as objects of study. This has perpetuated stratified systems of who is considered an expert and what knowledge traditions are considered legitimate. Yet, research in situ, with boots-on-the-ground, does not typically require the objective distance and non-disruption of blind experiments conducted in a lab. In fact, subjectivity is a strength of field research that only grows when researchers openly acknowledge their situatedness—or how their identities have affected their research. Instead of ignoring privilege and vast histories of hierarchy perpetuated by the supposedly objective gaze, when working in the field researchers should actively engage and empower partners in marginalized communities. Through collaboration and seeing the world through the eyes of other capable experts, empowering marginalized populations by treating them as citizen-scientists can be a powerful engine to generating new insight and better research, not to mention taking a step toward more ethical science.

UC Press: Research projects leveraging data from citizen-scientists have become increasingly common in recent decades, but oftentimes, underprivileged communities are under-represented in these projects. What are some of the benefits of better democratizing citizen science?

Heather O’Leary: Researchers take a step in the right direction when they try to broaden the representation of their samples to include traditionally underrepresented populations. Not only does this help close the critical gaps in sampling representation, but it also recognizes these populations as stakeholders who participate in systems—from being affected by dangers, to coping through creative solutions.

However, I join a critical community of scholars who argue that many inclusion tactics treat people in underprivileged communities as objects, rather than subjects. Essentially, this means that researchers observe and collect data on populations without forming essential partnerships that recognize the agency and talents of everyday people. By approaching members of underrepresented populations as legitimate, credible experts who collect untapped data and form complex theories governing their everyday experiences, researchers glean a whole lot more than diverse participation in data collection.

Democratizing citizen-science means including everyday people as partners in every step along the way: framing research projects, troubleshooting methods, interpreting resulting data, and determining next steps towards broader impact. By democratizing citizen-science, researchers issue a powerful invitation to participate in creating more nuanced hypotheses, higher-quality data collection, and holistic systemic solutions. My article demonstrates one of many instances where training and partnering with people in the local community generated even better research frameworks and how these partnerships mobilized a community of citizen-scientists to improve WaSH according to their specific, local needs.

This could mark an exciting new juncture in how we approach the “wicked problem” of urban WaSH and human-environmental interactions more broadly. Consider that as a global community we’ve made laudable, marked progress towards eradicating and reducing waterborne and vector disease. We have also worked toward reducing the barriers to clean, adequate levels of water at multi-scalar levels: from transnational rivers and aquifers, to balanced uses shared in regions, to democratizing access in communities and homes. Yet, change may not be rapid enough. This may be because we’re working with models and solutions that either do not address the vast collective human knowledge on water management and, alarmingly, we systematically repress the expertise of the most hydraulically and socially marginalized. What new models of water management could be possible if we learned to work together, as partnered equals? Which existing knowledge tradition could unlock a sustainable water future for all? Rather than looking for solutions solely in the future of science, what if we also listened to the citizen experts among us just a little more closely?

 

Dr. O’Leary’s article is part of a forthcoming Case Studies in the Environment “special issue” on water science and collaborative governance for addressing water quality. For more on this special issue, see our call for papers here (submissions close May 1, 2018).

Case Studies in the Environment is a journal of peer-reviewed case-study articles, case-study pedagogy articles, and a repository for editor-reviewed case-study slides. The journal informs faculty, students, educators, professionals, and policymakers on case studies and best practices in the environmental sciences and studies.


A Specter is Haunting Asia – The Specter of Authoritarianism

This guest post is published around the Association for Asian Studies conference in Washington D.C., occurring March 22-25, 2018. #AAS2018

by Claudio Sopranzetti, author of Owners of the Map: Motorcycle Taxi Drivers, Mobility, and Politics in Bangkok

In 1848, Karl Marx opened his manifesto with an eloquent sentence: “A specter is haunting Europe—the specter of communism.” One hundred and seventy years later, Laos and Vietnam are among the fastest growing economies of twenty-first century capitalism and the Chinese Communist Party plans to abandon the post-Mao doctrine of putting its assembly above any individual leader. Communism, which once materialized so prominently in East Asia, is little more than a faded ghost, haunting no one. Yet another specter has taken its place in Asia- the specter of authoritarianism.

Whether in terms of China’s attempts to establish a life-long chairmanship, Philippine’s systematic dismissal of habeas corpus or— as my work Owners of the Map analyzes—Thailand’s new forms of constitutional dictatorship, a new wind of authoritarianism is blowing over East Asia. Contrary to existing theories of the “end of history” or of “democratic transition” this wind does not waft against the wish of the middle classes, but rather with their support, and it is not a temporary breeze, destined to died out, but rather a stable wind, one that carries forward an alternative system of governance.

Much has been written on this trend as the result of geo-political, military, and economic push and pull between the patronage of the United States and that of China. These explanations, while important, miss a central element evident to anyone who spends time with office managers, business executives, and traditional elites in Thailand: the growing popularity of authoritarian ideology among local middle class, a popularity that finds its roots in the shifting local meaning of words like corruption, good governance, and rule of law.

During the last decade, the understanding of corruption among Thai middle classes underwent a radical transformation. Corruption today does no longer refer to someone misusing public office for private gain. The word’s semantic universe has expanded to include three major components. Firstly, a traditional understanding of corruption as taking advantage of your position to steal money or gain. Secondly, an idea of moral corruption, related to the intrinsic immoral nature of one’s personality. And, thirdly, a vision of electoral corruption that reframes any redistributive policy favoring the working masses as a form of vote-buying. Under these new meanings, elections themselves become a corrupt practice, one that favors populist leaders who, through policies, gain popular support without necessarily producing “good governance.”

The discourse of good governance itself has become central to Thai middle-classes ideological flirtations with authoritarianism. This mantra entered the country after the 1997 economic crisis, pushed by the IMF and the World Bank. These institutions understood the concept as a technocratic category, one that mostly meant efficient and transparent governance. In Thailand, however, the concept was translated by conservative political ideologues as thammarat, the governance of Dhamma, transforming good governance into righteous governance, a governance that does not rely on electoral support but rather on alignment with the monarch, the thammaraja.

While these semantic shifts in ideological categories may take local forms, they do not occur in an international vacuum. Previous authoritarian phases in Thailand—particularly the period between 1945 and 1992—had been supported, both economically and ideologically, by the United States and its anti-communist rhetoric. Since the 2014 coup, the junta has been looking to China for similar patronage. The alignment between the two governments has not just been the result of real politic and shifting international alliances but also rooted in parallel claims about the rule of law and corruption. In 2002, the 16th Chinese Communist Party Congress endorsed a new rhetoric of legalism, as a more efficient system to deal with equal and fair participation. Political scientist Pan Wei, in a famous article that took the shape of a political manifesto for legalism stated that “rule of law directly answers the most urgent need of Chinese society—curbing corruption in times of market economy. Electoral competition for government offices is not an effective way of curbing corruption; it could well lead to the concentration of power in the hands of elected leaders.” While not as sophisticated as Professor Pan, and not with the same ability to govern as the Chinese Communist Party, the system emerging in Thailand since the 2014 coup looks quite similar: a legalistic system in which non-elected officers create and enforce the law, above and beyond the electoral will of their population. The Thai transition from a polity in which people make the rules through elected parliamentarians to one in which the rules are imposed from above for the people and parliament to follow, has been legitimized on a basic principle: the superiority of unelected “good people” over elected politicians in preventing corruption and establishing good governance.

It would be easy to dismiss these changes has temporary pushbacks. Yet, my work argues, something deeper is changing around Southeast Asia, something that we will not see or understand unless we stop working under preset theories of democratic transition and we engage ethnographically with the shifting landscapes of class alliances, everyday ideologies, and forms of governance. These transformations, in fact, are particularly resistant to quantitative analysis and questionnaires. Often they do not imply the emergence of new terminologies or ideological concepts but rather the re-signification of words like corruption, good governance or rule of law. It is only when we spend long stretch of time with people and participates to their lives that these new meanings emerge. The risk of failing to see these transformations is a familiar one to people in the US: becoming aware of the emergence of a new political and social order when is too late to do anything about it.


Claudio Sopranzetti is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at All Souls College at the University of Oxford. He is the author of Red Journeys: Inside the Thai Red Shirt Movement.


Leaving No One Behind – Rural Women and Girls Included

By Tara Patricia Cookson, author of Unjust Conditions:Women’s Work and the Hidden Cost of Cash Transfer Programs

For the sixty-second year in a row, feminists from all over the world will gather in New York this week to review global progress on gender equality at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. This year’s meeting is dedicated to the empowerment of rural women and girls. Given the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s commitment to ‘leave no one behind,’ this intersectional focus makes a lot of sense. In addition to gender discrimination, rural women and girls are more likely than people who live in cities to confront barriers to healthcare, education, and social protection.

In this context, ‘leaving no one behind’ requires a number of new investments. As a programmatic development and humanitarian priority, gender equality is grossly under-funded, despite that gender injustice negatively impacts over half of the world’s population.

In what is hopefully a turning tide, this month the Gates Foundation and my own government of Canada announced significant investments in women’s economic empowerment. Globally, women earn less than men for the same work, tend to occupy the most under-valued and poorly paid professions, such as domestic and care work, and do far more unpaid work than men, a disparity that is most stark in rural places. Women’s unequal access to economic resources constrains their independence, access to leisure, and capacity to participate politically.

Given this, at a practical level, what does rural women’s economic empowerment entail?

A common yet misguided assumption is that women’s empowerment is a simple matter of increasing their access to money. Feminist research has challenged this assumption in a variety of contexts. For instance, the wildly popular micro-credit schemes of the 1990s were not always experienced as empowering by the women who participated in them–this depended on other factors including experience of gender-based violence, ethnic discrimination, level of poverty, and the health of the broader economy. Today, popular belief is that women’s participation in conditional cash transfer programs is empowering because women, rather than men, are given cash when their children use health and education services. But feminist research has shown that while the cash helps women meet some material needs, CCTs perpetuate sexist social norms and increase women’s unpaid work burden, especially when basic services and infrastructure are poor. My own research in Peru illustrates the coercive power of cash incentives, as more powerful local authorities use threats of program suspension to get women to comply with ‘shadow conditions.’

In addition to putting cash in women’s hands, interventions to achieve women’s economic empowerment need to take a broad view of the ‘economic’. When states underinvest in vital public services they disempower women. Given that services are almost always unevenly geographically distributed, underinvestment is especially likely to push rural women behind. A truly transformative approach will assess and take action on how the economy is structured in ways that disadvantage women and girls and people who live in rural places. This can and should include what feminist economist Diane Elson calls the ‘three R’s of unpaid care work’: recognition, reduction, and redistribution, investments in quality, accessible public services, and a strong social safety net that protects women from an unjust market economy. Finally, a transformative approach will involve women at all stages throughout the process – from research and the design of interventions, to implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

Raising the status of rural women and girls is no small task. But feminist activists have achieved great things over the past sixty-two years, and this year promises to be no different.

A free ebook version of this title will be available through Luminos, University of California Press’s Open Access publishing program. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more.


Tara Patricia Cookson is a Gates Cambridge Scholar and the founder of Ladysmith, a women’s equality venture. Her research on gender, international development, and social justice has been published in a variety of public and policy outlets as well as in academic journals such as Antipode.


Jason De Leon Wins the 2018 J.I. Staley Book Prize

We’re pleased to announce that Jason De Leon, author of The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail is the winner of the 2018 J.I. Staley Book Prize presented by the School of Advanced Research.

The J.I. Staley Book Prize carries a cash award of $7,500 and seeks to recognize groundbreaking works and authors in the field of anthropology.

“Through an examination of the experience of undocumented migrants moving across the U.S.-Mexican border, Jason De León’s The Land of Open Graves integrates archaeological and ethnographic techniques to expose a central tragedy of border-protection policies that turn the harsh Sonoran desert environment into a zone of death. His prose, by turns clinical and intimate, draws readers into a politicized landscape and offers the vivid testimony of people who have survived their desert crossing.  Using forensic techniques and the photographs of Michael Wells and others, De León also reconstructs the stories of those who perished, in the process inventing an experimental archaeology of the present.  A powerful work of witnessing, The Land of Open Graves has profound relevance in an era of vast social displacement and global migration.” – 2018 J.I. Staley Prize Committee

Learn more about Jason and his work with The Undocumented Migration Project here.

Many congratulations to Prof. De Leon!


Dive Deep into the Story of Jane Goodall in The Ghosts of Gombe

This brilliant narrative will haunt you. Dale Peterson has brought to life the Gombe of the late 1960’s, describing the entwined lives of the chimpanzees and the people studying them. It’s a true story of adventure, danger, and sudden death that makes compelling reading.”—Jane Goodall

Flying over the East African Rift and landing at the airstrip at Kigoma, Tanzania, you arrive in the thick of the Gombe forest. The forest has remained largely unaltered by human presence by its remoteness as well as its cutural traditions. The local people regard the forest as the “sacred lair of their formidable earth spirits.”

However, when Jane Goodall landed in the Gombe forest in 1960, the area was primarily labeled as a British mandate and Chimpanzee reserve. Over the next several decades, Goodall would establish her Gombe research camp and begin her groundbreaking chimpanzee research that would eventually win her numerous accolades and drastically alter the way that humans view the natural world.

The first decade was largely without incident until one day in July 1969. A week prior, Ruth Davis, a young American woman working as a volunteer at Goodall’s research site, wandered away from the camp to follow a chimpanzee and never returned. Several days later, her body was found in a pool at the base of a nearby high waterfall.

Rewinding several months, The Ghosts of Gombe follows the day-to-day experiences of those living in Goodall’s wilderness research camp in the months leading up to this tragic death. Dale Peterson explores the social dynamics and human-chimpanzee friendships and complex emotions flowing through the camp, while also posing questions about Ruth’s death. Was it an accident? Was she pushed, or did she fall to her death? Regardless of the specifics, it would go on to haunt two of the survivors for the rest of their lives.

Click through to the UC Press website to learn more about this unique glimpse into the everyday of the Gombe Stream National Park research camp, and save 30% on all pre-orders with promo code 17W7196.

Dale Peterson is the author or editor of twenty books, including Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined ManDemonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence (coauthored with Richard Wrangham), The Moral Lives of Animals, and Eating Apes. Learn more about Dale at his website.