The President and The Populace: On Gender and Violent Extremism

“It is always difficult to approach an historical event in hindsight.” —Michael Kimmel in Healing from Hate: How Young Men Get Into—and Out of—Violent Extremism

On this President’s Day, we look at the relationship between U.S. presidents and the people they work to serve. From immigration, to health care, to taxation, and many other issues, each sitting president’s viewpoint on various cultural and economic issues helped to shape social and public policy—as well as shape a president’s place in U.S. history.

One such issue of the day is violent extremism and the role that gender plays in its evolution. In Healing from Hate: How Young Men Get Into—and Out of—Violent Extremism, Michael Kimmel, sociologist and founder of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook, shares how gender is inherently omitted from the lexicon of violent extremism:

When then-president Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry convened a three-day conference titled “Combating Violent Extremism” at the White House in February 2015, hundreds of experts from the diverse fields of law enforcement, security personnel, psychology, international relations, and criminology discussed how young people are recruited into these extremist groups, including scrutiny of recruits’ backgrounds, mental health statuses, and religious beliefs. Legal and penal experts discussed court proceedings and incarceration issues.

During the entire conference, participants heard not one word about “masculinity.” (Indeed, the big controversy was whether President Obama sufficiently and specifically addressed Islamic terrorists.)

“We have to confront squarely and honestly the twisted ideologies that these terrorist groups use to incite people to violence,” Mr. Obama told the audience. A year earlier, Secretary Kerry had argued that countering terrorism should involve “better alternatives for a whole bunch of young people” and greater “opportunity for marginalized youth.” “People.” “Youth.”

But which “people” exactly? What “youth?” If we close our eyes and imagine those people, those young people, whom do we see? And what is their gender?

Kimmel sheds light on the basic—and most crucial—question: why do we ignore the impact of gender expectations when discussing violent extremism? He asks: “Who are these young men? What draws them to violent extremism? What are the ideologies that inspire them, the psychological predispositions that lead some and not others to sign up? What emotional bonds are forged and sustained through membership in violent extremist groups?”

The Obama administration may have overlooked the role of gender on violent extremism. The current Trump administration seemingly does the same, focusing on race over gender rather than recognizing their interplay:

According to a report from the New America Foundation, “Since the attacks on September 11, 2001, nearly twice as many Americans have been killed by non-Muslim extremists than by jihadists.” The Trump administration’s response was to insist that all references to “terrorism” have the words “radical Islamist” in front of it, and that all programs and projects designed to address domestic terrorism be scrapped.

Sadly, one of the organizations I discuss in this book was actually defunded by this new administration. Life After Hate, a North American organization dedicated to helping violent right-wing extremists get out of the movement, had been awarded a substantial grant over two years to develop a deradicalization program in the United States modeled on EXIT in Sweden. In late June, the Trump administration approved the funding of all the successful grant recipients—except those that addressed rightwing extremism or worked in Muslim communities. …

All across the landscape of what President Donald Trump has insisted be collectively called “radical Islamic terrorism,” there are significant differences in tactics and ideology, distinctions that may be too subtle for a blanket nationalist condemnation. But on gender issues, these disparate groups appear pretty similar: global economic conditions produce a “crisis” of masculinity, a new anxiety among men about their ability to claim their entitlement to be productive and respected workers in public and unquestioned patriarchs at home. With employment more precarious, their children gradually escaping complete parental control in schools, and their wives entering the marketplace, where they develop alternative poles around which their social lives might revolve, a sense of “aggrieved entitlement” grows within them, a sense of humiliation at not being enough of a “real man.”

As history continues to unfold on the role of gender on violent extremism in our world today, we remind ourselves that a president’s viewpoint is but one of many markers that influence the cultural discourse and social policy around this issue. And only history will tell which side we will land—on the side of intolerance or on the side of understanding.

Read more from Healing from Hate. And learn more about the upcoming documentary, Healing from Hate: Angry White Men and the Alt-Right, which was inspired by the book.


Criminologists Answer the Question, “So What?”

This guest post is published around the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences conference in New Orleans, occurring February 13-17, 2018. #ACJS2018 #ACJS18

By Claire M. Renzetti, series editor for Gender and Justice Series

As criminologists are gathering in New Orleans, LA, this week for the 55th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justices Sciences (ACJS), they will be addressing the proverbial “So what” question that is not infrequently raised by the media, the general public, and certainly, by politicians, when presented with findings from empirical research. The choice of this theme, with the subtheme “What it all means,” by ACJS President Nicole Leeper Piquero (University of Texas at Dallas) is especially timely given, on one hand, opinion polls showing tremendous mistrust of academics by a swath of the public and conservative politicians, and on the other hand, the groundswell of voices documenting hate crimes and sexual abuse in this country. In the current social and political climate, with the country’s President labeling any story that contradicts his personal or political agenda “fake news,” it behooves us to answer the so what question more clearly and vehemently than ever before.

Indeed, criminological research has much to offer in response to the so what question. Consider, for example, the books in the UC Press Gender and Justice Series, which focus explicitly on how the experiences of offending, victimization, and justice are profoundly affected by the intersection of gender inequality with other social inequalities such as race, ethnicity, and social class. Jerry Flores (University of Toronto), in his monograph, Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance, and Wraparound Incarceration, examines the lives of incarcerated young women, particularly Latinas, in southern California. Through painstaking ethnographic research at a detention center, Flores shows the circumstances that led to girls’ arrests, what they experience during incarceration, and what typically happens when they are released. So what? Flores’ study demonstrates how the juvenile justice system, and in particular, the school-to-prison pipeline, are simultaneously gendered, raced and classed, such that both schools and detention centers, rather than cultivating avenues of success and safety for young women, largely ensure instead that they will plunge deeper into the labyrinthian criminal legal system.

Similarly, Barbara Owen (California State University, Fresno), James Wells (Eastern Kentucky University), and Joycelyn Pollock (Texas State University), in their book, In Search of Safety: Confronting Inequality in Women’s Imprisonment, take readers inside an adult women’s correctional facility to show how gendered power relationships, including those with correctional staff, result in violent victimization for incarcerated women for whom such victimization, throughout their lives, has constructed one of the pathways to offending that originally resulted in their arrest. So what? Owen, Wells, and Pollock remind us of the feminist slogan, “Women’s rights are human rights,” and their rigorous research raises policy recommendations for breaking the relationship between victimization and offending for women, which would reduce crime and eventually bring U.S. prisons into compliance with international human rights standards.

These are just two examples of how series authors, through their timely research and authentic writing, are answering the so what question. Their work offers blueprints for social action that fosters equity and refocuses national attention on the foundational elements of justice in our criminal legal system.

See the rest of the Gender and Justice Series titles:


Claire M. Renzetti, Ph.D., is the Judi Conway Patton Endowed Chair for Studies of Violence Against Women, and Professor and Chair of Sociology, at the University of Kentucky.


Divorce as Freedom on Valentine’s Day and Singles Awareness Day

During this time of the year, some may make the assumption that those who are single—and especially those who are divorced—are depressed, lonely, or jealous of those in relationships. Though that may be true for some singles . . . but others may feel entirely the opposite.

In her new book, Gray Divorce: What We Lose and Gain from Mid-Life Splits, author Jocelyn Elise Crowley shares the reasons for why some people over the age of 50 years old divorce after multiple decades of marriage, becoming single late in life. Though men and women experience different penalties after their divorce, they’re new non-married status bring about new life benefits.

During her interviews with over 40 men and 40 women, Crowley asked them, “What good do they find in their lives now, after the divorce?”

Divorced Men

One man shared that one of the benefits include a chance to start over and reinvent themselves:

Many factors entered into the decision made to divorce—a decision made primarily by Kenneth’s wife. They had raised three children together, one girl and two boys, while working in the same construction business. When the Great Recession of 2008 hit, they lost everything that they had built financially as a couple. As the stress between them mounted, his wife had an affair and told Kenneth that she wanted out of the marriage.

At first, Kenneth remained in a state of shock, saying, “It was worse than a death. I mean I can’t describe [it] . . . It was devastating.” But as he gradually recovered from his own personal wreckage, he began to notice that with the divorce, he received a certain amount of freedom to control his destiny going forward. He optimistically declared “[the best part of being divorced right now is that] I can do what I want to when I want to do it. If I want to go skydiving tomorrow, I could. Anything that is financially feasible, I can literally do now. I’m training for a triathlon right now.”

Kenneth remarked that when he was married, he was often tied to social obligations with his wife, like going out to dinners or other family functions. For Kenneth, then, the most important aspect of being divorced was “freedom of time.”

Divorced Women

One woman shared her love of her newfound freedom and simply feeling happier:

When the economy worsened, he lost his job. He expressed some interest in starting his own e-commerce business at home, but never seemed to get around to doing much about it. Instead, he spent more and more time at his best friend’s house, where he was able to interact with the true subject of his desire: his best friend’s wife. Eventually, they had an affair, and Patricia’s marriage was over.

But all was not lost in Patricia’s case. She had the support of her two adult daughters, and although she was tremendously sad about her situation, she recognized that she had a long life ahead of her. She expressed an interest in paying off her debts and remaining out of the dating scene for a while until she could process the entirety of what had happened to her throughout both the marriage and the divorce. When she did become ready to date again at some point in the future, she said, she would look for some­one to help her “take care of business,” meaning that she was no longer looking for the love of her life, but a more practical partner to help her with the eventual physical and financial demands of the aging process.

Although the demise of her marriage was disheartening, Patricia noted that there were still many benefits to being divorced at this stage in her life, most notably independence and freedom. Describing these advantages she declared, “There’s an actual lot of good stuff there … I don’t have to up with the mess. I get up in the morning, my house is my house, my stuff is my stuff, and my money is my money.”

Read more of Gray Divorce. And hear more from Jocelyn during her interview with Cyma Shapiro on For Women Over Forty.

 


#MeToo and #TimesUp: Women in Prison Require a Movement Too

This guest post is published around the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences conference in New Orleans, occurring February 13-17, 2018. #ACJS2018 #ACJS18

By Barbara Owen, co-author of In Search of Safety: Confronting Inequality in Women’s Imprisonment

The #MeToo movement is drawing increasing attention to the range of sexual harassment and abuse across multiple industries. Women (and it is mostly women) are coming forward with allegations against men (and yes, it is mostly men) in the entertainment, media, sports, politics and other high-profile worlds. Each week, more news hits the airwaves about particularly egregious assaults perpetrated by marquee names, many showing a pattern of repeated harassment and assaults over long periods of time. One group of women unlikely to get much media attention are those incarcerated in jails and prisons. Their experiences with predatory staff are unlikely to get the public attention of those with more social and personal capital. These concerns are amplified in a population of imprisoned women who are often labeled as underserving and unsympathetic victims, suggesting that some are not worthy of the same level of attention and support given to those on the outside.

There are disquieting similarities as women inside and out report experiences with sexual harassment and assault: women are afraid to come forward and make claims against the more powerful people who harm them; they fear not being believed and suffering the consequences for such claims; and there is often little evidence of the event, further throwing their reports into disrepute.

As Lovisa Stannow, my friend and colleague from Just Detention International, a human rights organization focused on ending such assaults within custodial environments, stated in an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times:

But in this moment of heightened awareness of sexual violence and women’s safety, we need to remember those survivors who cannot tell their stories. Social media campaigns are now being used to rebuke sexism and have sent powerful ripples across the media and entertainment industries. But incarcerated women live in a world without hashtags and Facebook.

Most troubling to me is the ways in which industries and prison systems can be complicit in allowing such assaults to occur in these shadows. We echo the claims of the #TimesUp movement in calling for increased attention to the experiences of women in chains. While the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act provides a framework for protecting women (and men) who have been assaulted by staff while serving time, there is a renewed need to address how the severe consequence of gendered inequality within correctional environments can result in sexualized punishment. Time is up for the unnecessary suffering brought upon by all forms of sexual harassment and abuse against imprisoned women and girls.

Along with her colleagues from the Thailand Institute of Justice, Barbara Owen will be presenting at ACJS in New Orleans this Saturday, February 17 at 8:00am on Research and Hunan Rights: Foreign National Women’s Experience of Imprisonment in Cambodia. 


Barbara Owen is Professor Emerita at California State University, Fresno. She is co-author of In Search of Safety, with James Wells, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice in the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University, and Joycelyn Pollock, Distinguished Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Texas State University.


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?


Herstory: Women’s Health and Self-Help

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 health and self-help. While just a preview of our publishing “herstory,” these titles showcase the inspiring stories for the continuing fight towards reproductive justice and access to safe healthcare.


Women’s Empowerment and Global Health: A Twenty-First-Century Agenda
Edited by Shari Dworkin, Monica Gandhi,Paige Passano 

Despite the rise of a human rights–based approach to health and increasing awareness of the synergies between women’s health and empowerment, a lack of consensus remains as to how to operationalize empowerment in ways that improve health. This volume presents thirteen multidisciplinary case studies that demonstrate how science and advocacy can be creatively merged to enhance the agency and status of girls and women.

 

 

Better Safe Than Sorry: How Consumers Navigate Exposure to Everyday Toxics
By Norah MacKendrick (Forthcoming May 2018; preorder today)

Through an innovative analysis of environmental regulation, the advocacy work of environmental health groups, the expansion of the health-food chain Whole Foods Market, and interviews with consumers, Norah MacKendrick ponders why the problem of toxics in the U.S. retail landscape has been left to individual shoppers—and to mothers in particular. She reveals how precautionary consumption, or “green shopping,” is a costly and time-intensive practice, one that is connected to cultural ideas of femininity and good motherhood but is also most available to upper- and middle-class households. Better Safe Than Sorry powerfully argues that precautionary consumption places a heavy and unfair burden of labor on women and does little to advance environmental justice or mitigate risk.

Reproductive Justice: An Introduction
By Loretta J. Ross and Rickie Solinger

Written by two legendary scholar-activists, Reproductive Justice introduces students to an intersectional analysis of race, class, and gender politics. Loretta J. Ross and Rickie Solinger put the lives and lived experience of women of color at the center of the book and use a human rights analysis to show how the discussion around reproductive justice differs significantly from the pro-choice/anti-abortion debates that have long dominated the headlines and mainstream political conflict. In a period in which women’s reproductive lives are imperiled, this book is an essential guide to understanding and mobilizing around women’s human rights in the twenty-first century.

 

The Zero Trimester: Pre-Pregnancy Care and the Politics of Reproductive Risk
By Miranda R. Waggoner

Public health messages encourage women of reproductive age to anticipate motherhood and prepare their bodies for healthy reproduction—even when pregnancy is not on the horizon. Some experts believe a pre-pregnancy care model reduces risk and ensures better birth outcomes than the prenatal care model. Others believe it represents yet another attempt to control women’s bodies. Waggoner shows how the zero trimester rose alongside shifts in medical and public health priorities, contentious reproductive politics, and the changing realities of women’s lives. Waggoner argues that the zero trimester is not simply related to medical and health concerns; it also reflects the power of culture and social ideologies to shape both population health imperatives and women’s bodily experiences.

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

In this time when the public safety net is frayed, incarceration has become a central and racialized strategy for managing the poor. Using her ethnographic fieldwork and clinical work as an ob-gyn in a women’s jail, Carolyn Sufrin explores how jail has, paradoxically, become a place where women can find care. Focusing on the experiences of incarcerated pregnant women and the practices of the jail guards and health providers, Jailcare describes the contradictory ways that care and maternal identity emerge within a punitive space presumed to be devoid of care. Sufrin argues that when understood in the context of the poverty, addiction, violence, and racial oppression that characterize these women’s lives and their reproduction, jail can become a safety net for women on the margins of society.

Taking Baby Steps: How Patients and Fertility Clinics Collaborate in Conception
By Jody Lyneé Madeira

In Taking Baby Steps, Jody Lyneé Madeira takes readers inside the infertility experience, from dealing with infertility-related emotions to forming treatment relationships with medical professionals and confronting difficult medical decisions. Based on hundreds of interviews, this book investigates how women, men, and medical professionals negotiate infertility’s rocky terrain to create life and build families—a journey across personal, medical, legal, and ethical minefields that can test mental and physical health, friendships and marriages, spirituality, and financial security.

 

Gray Divorce: What We Lose and Gain from Mid-Life Splits
By Jocelyn Elise Crowley

Gray Divorce is a provocative look at the rising rate of marital splits after the age of 50. From the outside, many may ask why couples in mid-life and readying for retirement choose to make a drastic change in their marital status. Yet, nearly one out of every four divorces in the U.S. is “gray.” Renowned author and researcher Jocelyn Elise Crowley uncovers the reasons why men and women divorce—and the penalties and benefits they receive for their choices. She analyzes the differing experiences of women and men in this transition—the seismic shift in individual priorities, the role of increased life expectancy, and how women are affected economically while men are affected socially. With a realistic yet passionate voice, Crowley shares the personal positive outlooks and the necessary supportive public policies that must be enacted to best help the newly divorced.


Herstory: Cookbooks by Women Authors

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 cookbooks by women authors. While just a preview of our publishing “herstory,” these titles showcase how women have shaped the culinary sphere all around the world.


Inside the California Food Revolution: Thirty Years That Changed Our Culinary Consciousness
By Joyce Goldstein with Dore Brown

In this authoritative and immensely readable insider’s account, celebrated cookbook author and former chef Joyce Goldstein traces the development of California cuisine from its formative years in the 1970s to 2000, when farm-to-table, foraging, and fusion cooking had become part of the national vocabulary. Interviews with almost two hundred chefs, purveyors, artisans, winemakers, and food writers bring to life an approach to cooking grounded in passion, bold innovation, and a dedication to “flavor first.”

 

The New Mediterranean Jewish Table: Old World Recipes for the Modern Home
By Joyce Goldstein

For thousands of years, the people of the Jewish Diaspora have carried their culinary traditions and kosher laws throughout the world. In the United States, this has resulted primarily in an Ashkenazi table of matzo ball soup and knishes, brisket and gefilte fish. But Joyce Goldstein is now expanding that menu with this comprehensive collection of over four hundred recipes from the kitchens of three Mediterranean Jewish cultures: the Sephardic, the Maghrebi, and the Mizrahi.

 

The Hakka Cookbook: Chinese Soul Food from around the World
By Linda Lau Anusasananan

Veteran food writer Linda Lau Anusasananan opens the world of Hakka cooking to Western audiences in this fascinating chronicle that traces the rustic cuisine to its roots in a history of multiple migrations. Beginning in her grandmother’s kitchen in California, Anusasananan travels to her family’s home in China, and from there fans out to embrace Hakka cooking across the globe—including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, Peru, and beyond.

 

La Cocina Mexicana: Many Cultures, One Cuisine
By Marilyn Tausend

After thirty years of leading culinary tours throughout Mexico, Marilyn Tausend teams up with Mexican chef and regional cooking authority Ricardo Muñoz Zurita to describe how the cultures of many profoundly different peoples combined to produce the unmistakable flavors of Mexican food. Weaving engrossing personal narrative with a broad selection of recipes, the authors show how the culinary heritage of indigenous groups, Europeans, and Africans coalesced into one of the world’s most celebrated cuisines.

 

The Georgian Feast: The Vibrant Culture and Savory Food of the Republic of Georgia
By Darra Goldstein

Nestled in the Caucasus mountain range between the Black and Caspian seas, the Republic of Georgia is as beautiful as it is bountiful. The unique geography of the land, which includes both alpine and subtropical zones, has created an enviable culinary tradition. In The Georgian Feast, Darra Goldstein explores the rich and robust culture of Georgia and offers a variety of tempting recipes.

 

 

Popes, Peasants, and Shepherds: Recipes and Lore from Rome to Lazio
By Oretta Zanini De Vita

The food of Rome and its region, Lazio, is redolent of herbs, olive oil, ricotta, lamb, and pork. It is the food of ordinary, frugal people, yet it is a very modern cuisine in that it gives pride of place to the essential flavors of its ingredients. In this only English-language book to encompass the entire region, the award-winning author of Encyclopedia of Pasta, Oretta Zanini De Vita, offers a substantial and complex social history of Rome and Lazio through the story of its food.

 

 

Breaking Bread: Recipes from Immigrant Kitchens
By Lynne C. Anderson

Through stories of hand-rolled pasta and homemade chutney, local markets and backyard gardens, and wild mushrooms and foraged grape leaves—this book recounts in loving detail the memories, recipes, and culinary traditions of people who have come to the United States from around the world. Chef and teacher Lynne Anderson has gone into immigrant kitchens and discovered the power of food to recall a lost world for those who have left much behind.

 

 

M. F. K. Fisher among Pots and Pans: Celebrating Her Kitchens
By Joan Reardon

From her very first book, Serve It Forth, M.F.K. Fisher wrote about her ideal kitchen. In her subsequent publications, she revisited the many kitchens she had known and the foods she savored in them to express her ideas about the art of eating. M.F.K. Fisher among the Pots and Pansinterspersed with recipes and richly illustrated with original watercolors, is a retrospective of Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher’s life as it unfolded in those homey settings—from Fisher’s childhood in Whittier, California, to the kitchens of Dijon, where she developed her taste for French foods and wines; from the idyllic kitchen at Le Paquis to the isolation of her home in Hemet, California; and finally to her last days in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys.


Herstory: Women’s Histories, Memoirs, and Biographies

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 Histories, Memoirs, and Biographies recognizing the lives of incredible visionaries and rabble-rousers who shaped history. While just a preview of our publishing “herstory,” these titles will engage your intellect and inspire your activism today, tomorrow, and for future tomorrows.


Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom Struggles (Forthcoming June 2018; preorder today)
By Imaobong D. Umoren

Race Women Internationalists explores how a group of Caribbean and African American women in the early and mid-twentieth century traveled the world to fight colonialism, fascism, sexism, and racism. Bringing together the entangled lives of three notable but overlooked women: Eslanda Robeson, Paulette Nardal, and Una Marson, it explores how, between the 1920s and the 1960s, the trio participated in global freedom struggles by traveling; building networks in feminist, student, black-led, anticolonial, and antifascist organizations; and forging alliances with key leaders to challenge various forms of inequality facing people of African descent across the diaspora and the continent.

Ronnie Gilbert: A Radical Life in Song
By Ronnie Gilbert

Ronnie Gilbert was an American folk singer, songwriter, actress and political activist whose lifelong work for political and social change was central to her role as a performer. Best known as a member of the Weavers, the quartet of the 1950s and ’60s that survived the Cold War blacklist and helped popularize folk music in America, Gilbert continued to tour, play music, and protest well into her 70s and 80s. Covering sixty years of her remarkable life, her memoir is an engaging historical document for readers interested in music, theater, American politics, the women’s movement, and left-wing activism.

 

Lavender and Red: Liberation and Solidarity in the Gay and Lesbian Left
By Emily K. Hobson

A primer for social justice activists today, Lavender and Red tells the political and intellectual history of the lesbian feminist and gay liberation movements that linked sexual liberation to radical solidarity against imperialism, war, and racism. With archival research, oral histories, and vibrant images, Emily K. Hobson intertwines the history of political struggles of the 1970s through the 1990s.

 

 

My Name Is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize
By Jody Williams  

Jody Williams is an American political activist known for her work toward the banning and clearing of anti-personnel mines—for which she became the tenth woman and third American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She’s also well-known for her defense of human rights, especially women’s rights, and in 2006, she helped to launch the Nobel Women’s Initiative to spotlight and promote efforts of women’s rights activists, researchers and organizations working to advance peace, justice and equality for women. Her memoir offers a candid look at her lifelong dedication to global activism.

 

The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century
By Grace Lee Boggs & Scott Kurashige 

“Activism can be the journey rather than the arrival.”—Grace Lee Boggs

Grace Lee Boggs was a lifelong revolutionary, a legendary figure in the struggle for justice in America. The Next American Revolution is a powerful retrospective to Boggs’s participation in some of the greatest struggles of the last century, from anti-capitalist labor movements of the 1940s and 1950s to the Black Power Movement to contemporary urban environmental activism. It is a manifesto for creating alternative modes of work, politics, and human interaction that will collectively constitute the next American Revolution.

 

Finding Women in the State: A Socialist Feminist Revolution in the People’s Republic of China, 1949-1964
By Zheng Wang

These socialist state feminists—who maneuvered behind the scenes of the Chinese Communist Party—worked to advance gender and class equality in the early People’s Republic of China and fought to transform sexist norms and practices, all while facing fierce opposition from a male-dominated CCP leadership. Illuminating not only the different visions of revolutionary transformation but also the causes for failure of China’s socialist revolution, Finding Women in the State raises fundamental questions about male dominance in social movements that aim to pursue social justice and equality.

 

A Poet’s Revolution: The Life of Denise Levertov
By Donna Hollenberg

Denise Levertov was a poet, essayist, and political activist whose work focused on social and political issues. She was outspoken in her opposition to the Vietnam War, and helped form the Artists and Writers Protest Against the War in Vietnam. Additionally, she worked as a poetry editor for The Nation in the ’60s and for Mother Jones in the ’70s, and in 1963, she received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. This authoritative biography captures the complexity of Levertov as both woman an artist, and the dynamic world she inhabited.

 

 


The Contemporary Afterlives of Sexual Science

By Veronika Fuechtner, co-editor, with Douglas E. Haynes and Ryan M. Jones, of A Global History of Sexual Science, 1880–1960

This guest post is part of our AHA blog series published in conjunction with the meeting of the American Historical Association in Washington, DC, Jan. 4-7. #AHA18


Currently laws and practices relating to sex, gender and sexuality are experiencing momentous shifts on a global scale – be it in the upcoming referendum on abortion in Ireland, the recent recognition of a “third sex” in Germany, last year’s ruling of India’s supreme court that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation, or the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia a month ago.  These shifts are usually presented as shifts based on changed social experiences, but they also are based in significant shifts in scientific understandings of sexuality.

Investigating the history of the global traffic of scientific ideas on sexuality has shown us how deeply entrenched particular scientific assumptions about masculinity and femininity still are, e.g., the connection of homosexuality with effeminacy, the hunt for bodily signs for what were considered deviant sexualities, the assumption that monogamy was natural, or the notion that a woman was not to be in charge of her own sexual and/or reproductive life.

Our book A Global History of Sexual Science emerged out of the recognition that these assumptions did not simply migrate from the “West” to the “rest,” but that they were the result of complex, mutually constitutive interactions and global networks.  The field of sexual science emerged not just in Europe and North America but in a variety of global locations, such as India, Chile, or China.  Its proponents in different parts of the world were intensely aware of each other and interacted through publications, conferences, or travel. Moreover, proponents of sexual science in Europe and North America adopted notions forged in exchange with actors in Asia, Latin America and Africa, e.g., the US practice of gender reassignment surgery was heavily influenced by earlier Mexican cases or the German legal understanding of homosexuality was tested and contested in its colonial African courts.  Our book draws attention to many figures who have been forgotten in contemporary work on sexuality or sexual science.  Some of these figures drew from the repressive legal, social and cultural discourses that limited sexual expression and gave the ideological grounds to discrimination and persecution.  But others – and they were at times the very same figures – connected to the liberating discourses, the power of which we are experiencing today.


Veronika Fuechtner is Associate Professor of German at Dartmouth College and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine. She is the author of Berlin Psychoanalytic and coeditor of Imagining Germany Imagining Asia. 

Douglas E. Haynes is Professor of History at Dartmouth College. He is the author of Rhetoric and Ritual in Colonial India and Small Town Capitalism in Western India and coeditor of Contesting Power and Towards a History of Consumption in South Asia.

Ryan M. Jones is Assistant Professor of History at SUNY Geneseo and the author of a forthcoming book on Mexican sexuality entitled Erotic Revolutions.


Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism in Global Reproductive Perspective

By Laura Briggs, author of How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics: From Welfare Reform to Foreclosure to Trump

This guest post is part of our AHA blog series published in conjunction with the meeting of the American Historical Association in Washington, DC, Jan. 4-7. #AHA18


As these years of an acute sense of crisis on the left roll on, I find myself wondering if reproductive politics—at least as encapsulated in my recent book, How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics—is the right subject for these times. From Cornel West’s takedown of Ta-Nehisi Coates to the soul-searching among my Leftbook crew about the failures of the Bernie Sanders campaign, surely the silence we most urgently need to disrupt is about empire, US and otherwise. As Naomi Klein and Opal Tometi recently wrote in The Intercept (in a piece you must read if you haven’t, reframing the rather silly West vs. Coates fight into something much more urgent and important):

“There is no radicalism — Black or otherwise — that ends at the national boundaries of our countries, especially the wealthiest and most heavily armed nation on earth. From the worldwide reach of the financial sector to the rapidly expanding battlefield of U.S. Special Operations to the fact that carbon pollution respects no borders, the forces we are all up against are global. So, too, are the crises we face, from the rise of white supremacy, ethno-chauvinism, and authoritarian strongmen to the fact that more people are being forced from their homes than at any point since World War II. If our movements are to succeed, we will need both analysis and strategies that reflect these truths about our world.”

Empire is my natural first language (as I wrote in books here and here), so why am I carrying around the first book I have written exclusively about the United States at a time when we so urgently need to talk about empire?

Nevertheless, it strikes me that reproductive politics might actually be a powerful way to talk about US empire, most obviously in how it relies on the work of race, nationalism, and the expansion of free market fundamentalism within the borders of the US—and hence, beyond them. I use reproductive politics in the older, socialist feminist sense in which the domain of the “reproductive” is that which is not “productive” in the capitalist sense. Another layer of meaning comes from Black and other women of color feminists in the US like Loretta Ross who speak of “reproductive justice” as not just the politics of whether or not to have children, but also the means to raise them—housing, jobs, food systems, freedom from police brutality, high-quality schools, and the like.

In the War-on-Poverty sixties, government and political movements alike agreed that it was a shared, collective responsibility to make sure that these things were available to all. That was never a promise that was kept, but the power of mid-century social movements was that they could appeal to a shared sense that government and business, alongside religious institutions and neighbors, owed this to the people of a nation. That optimistic sense of what it meant to belong to a society was taken up even more robustly by decolonization and socialist movements outside the US, with their calls for land reform, price controls for staple goods, collective child care, and state-run health care and social security. In the book, I show how the libertarian wind that blew across the country with Reagan (and Thatcher) relied centrally on a racism that was about moral disapproval of others’ families to persuade a majority of people that they not only would accept a smaller social safety net and reduced real wages for all but the top 1%, but wanted such a thing—from associating government transfer payments with (implicitly Black, explicitly immoral) “welfare mothers” to the waves of immigrant deportations that followed Clinton’s “Nannygate,” to lenders who targeted Black and immigrant women in particular for subprime mortgages, and the launching of the Tea Party movement as a claim that the Obama administration was going to bail out “losers’ mortgages” (it didn’t, but that’s another story). The foreclosure crisis was a kind of welfare reform redux, but it unabashedly took down great swathes of the middle class, not just poor folks.

But of course, as the book shows, the place where the US government learned all these moves was in the Third World, where it used debt as a club to undue the kinds of expansive ways that people had imagined the relationship of its people, as structural adjustment programs that operated principally in the realm of relations of reproductive labor–closing hospitals and schools, ending food subsidies, reducing the number of government jobs, and drastically contracting the role of the state in deeply libertarian ways. These were the “reforms” that drove migrants to the US to do nanny work in the first place. They too were accomplished through racism, through a set of claims about the lazy, spendthrift Third World, and could only be secured by closing borders so that those allegedly indolent workers didn’t cross borders to get new jobs as their home economies contracted brutally. These deeply unpopular economic changes, not surprisingly, brought authoritarian rulers to power.

The second conversation that the book is, I hope, contributing to, is about the work of whiteness and evangelical Christianity in producing a certain kind of highly exportable reactionary formation. Thanks to Margaret Atwood and the television series The Handmaids Tale, we can call it Gilead—an authoritarian regime that centers a white/ethno-chauvinist reproduction in nuclear families at the expense of women’s rights, queers, transgender folk, Although Phyllis Schlafly and the rise of right-wing “family values” women caught our attention in the 1980s, many commentators seem to have forgotten about them, and are mystified by the fact that a majority of US white women voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and Roy Moore in 2017. Meanwhile, these folks have never been closer to power, from Jeff Sessions campaign for “religious freedom” from his perch as attorney general, a campaign to ensure that US law “will never demand that sincere [Christian] beliefs be abandoned,” even or especially if that means denying the right to contraception, birth control, non-heterosexual marriage, or, god forbid, for trans people to use the bathroom. Mike Pence has campaigned for “conversion therapy” for gay folks, an end to abortion rights for women, and has worked to eliminate maternity and prenatal care for poor folks through the failed Republican American Health Care Act and his work to stop Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood. Betsy DeVos has begun the systematic transfer of education dollars from public schools to private and charter schools. A host of people at the Department of Health and Human Services have mounted campaigns insisting that birth control doesn’t work and most women who say they are raped are lying.

This political formation, which was launched as anti-feminist and anti-gay, has deep alliances with racist ethno-nationalisms and free market fundamentalism. It is also a profoundly transnational project, traveling first with evangelical Christian missionaries in the Reagan and Bush ersa from Africa to Latin America, and subsequently through Catholic circles. Most famously, the person most associated with the Guatemalan genocide, Efrían Ríos Montt, was a pastor in the Church of the Word from Reagan’s California. The Ugandan “kill the gays bill,” the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014 was engineered by Massachusetts pastor Scott Lively of Abiding Truth Ministries, who has also been active in Latvia and Russia. These kinds of conservative Christian political formations followed the opposite trajectory as structural adjustment programs: from the United States to the region we used to call the third world. But in both instances, reproductive and kinship politics become economics and state policy. In a phrase, they’ve all become reproductive politics.


Laura Briggs is Professor and Chair of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the author of several books on gender and empire, including Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science, and U.S. Imperialism in Puerto Rico and, most recently, Somebody’s Children: The Politics of Transracial and Transnational Adoption. She also serves as an editor for the University of California Press American Crossroads series.

Read her previous UC Press blog posts on the defunding of Planned Parenthood and debates over DACA.