#CharlottesvilleCurriculum, #CharlottesvilleSyllabus: UC Press Edition

Over the past few days, we received an influx of requests from faculty for books that provide context around the tragic events in Charlottesville. We’ve curated the list of titles below. Our hope is that this list serves as a resource for instructors preparing for fall courses, and that the books offer a foundation of understanding for students and readers.

Relevant Forthcoming Titles

Easily and quickly request exam and desk copies online by visiting any of the books’ pages above. If you need assistance in choosing the right texts for your course, we’d be glad to help, contact us here.

For other relevant resources, follow #CharlottesvilleCurriculum and #CharlottesvilleSyllabus, and read the Charlottesville Curriculum.

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

The events in Charlottesville this past weekend drew international attention to the increasing number of hate groups in the United States, and left many wondering: what draws people into white extremist groups? What ideologies motivate these recruits? And finally, is there hope that people will leave these groups?

Michael Kimmel, the SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University, is one of the world’s leading experts on men and masculinities. In his forthcoming book, Healing from Hate: How Young Men Get Into—and Out of—Violent Extremism, Dr. Kimmel examines young recruits of violent extremist groups, and unveils how white extremist groups wield masculinity to recruit and retain members—and also prevent members from exiting the movement. Watch an interview with Dr. Kimmel  and hear his response to the tragic events in Virginia.

Based on in-depth interviews with ex-white nationalists and neo-Nazis in the United States, as well as ex-skinhead and neo-Nazis in Germany and Sweden, Kimmel sheds light on these young white men’s feelings—yet clearly make no excuses for their actions. Healing From Hate reminds us of their efforts to exit the movement and reintegrate themselves into society, and is a call to action to help others to turn around and to do the same. 

Learn more about Dr. Michael Kimmel on his website or on Twitter @MichaelS_Kimmel. 

And for resources to discuss this issue with students or others in your community, follow #CharlottesvilleCurriculum and read the Charlottesville Curriculum.




This guest post is published as part of a series related to the American Sociological Association conference, which occurred from August 12 – 15 in Montreal, Quebec. #ASA17

By Cynthia Enloe, author of The Big Push: Exposing and Challenging the Persistence of Patriarchy

I grew up a Yankees fan. My mother, who couldn’t tell a home run from a quarterback sneak, gamely took 10 year old me and my pals to Yankee Stadium. Now I’m a Red Sox fan. I still love major league baseball. Today, though, I’m far more conscious of the insinuation of militarized patriotism into the game, and, more discomforting, the likelihood that as a fan, I am complicit in that risky process.

Last week I was among the 36,000 fans soaking up Fenway Park’s special beauty on a glorious July afternoon. The stands were full, the grass green, and the bases white. Red Sox fans are a boisterously friendly lot, so I felt I had to stand up with everyone else when a teenage girl sang the national anthem. I cringed when a mammoth stars and stripes was unfurled in the outfield down the beloved Green Monster wall. I kept my cringes to myself.

Around the 6th inning, during a lull in the action, the Fenway announcer drew our attention to the Jumbotron, where we saw a giant version of a middle-aged white man who, in human proportions, was with us in the stands. He was identified as a veteran of recent U.S. wars. Invited to give him a hero’s welcome, a wave of grateful applause erupted. I sat stingily on my hands, still saying nothing.

I love singing at Fenway. Joining thousands of other fans in “Take Me out to the Ball Game” and Boston’s own “Sweet Caroline” is to experience sheer joy. But when at the bottom of the 8th came “America the Beautiful” and everyone around me stood, I sat quietly. My friends smiled down at me sympathetically.

Patriotism, especially militarized, masculinity-heroicizing patriotism, is escalating at American sporting events. It may be most prominent at NFL games and NASCAR races, but it is in full bloom at most major league baseball games—not just the national anthem, but also the ubiquitous lauding of military personnel, and additional patriotic songs in the middle of the game.

Complicity. I have become more interested in complicity, and aware of its subtleties, but I’m not sure how to research it. Feminists in other countries might be our tutors. Japanese feminists today track the singing of their nation’s anthem and displays of the national flag. Bosnian feminists chart ethnicized patriotic symbols as they dominate masculinized soccer games in all parts of the now-rival states of the former Yugoslavia.

I think we need to explore how exactly ordinary women and men—and girls and boys—get personally drawn into militarized masculinized patriotism. To do that, we need to investigate the gendered responses of individuals to both pressures and the allures. I suspect that complicity in militarized masculinized patriotism is camouflaged as mere entertainment or sentimentalism, as well as collective appreciation and gratitude. Gratitude is so often feminized. It becomes an extension of dependency. Women, therefore, are popularly expected to be grateful to men and to the masculinized state for offering them militarized protection. In a militarized society, a woman who refuses to express that gratitude (staying seated when the male veteran is being cheered) risks being deemed unfeminine.

Appreciation can be either masculinized or feminized. In its militarized masculinized form, appreciation is imagined by many men to be an expression of their own special understanding of what it takes to be a manly soldier. By contrast, when feminized, that militarized appreciation is an expression of recognizing that an ordinary woman would be unable to perform these soldiering feats.

Sentimentality, entertainment, appreciation and gratitude—each are routinely gendered. To the extent that all four can be mobilized to serve masculinized militarized patriotism, patriarchy will be perpetuated. It will take researchers and analysts with patience, imagination, stamina and feminist curiosity to understand the myriad deep social processes being entrenched today at a baseball game on a sunny summertime afternoon.

Why did I sit during “God Bless America,” but say nothing?

Other titles from Cynthia Enloe:

Cynthia Enloe

Cynthia Enloe is Research Professor at Clark University specializing in critical studies of militarism and transnational feminism. She has appeared on the BBC, Al Jazeera, and NPR and has written for Ms. and the Village Voice. She is the author of more than fifteen books and was awarded the Howard Zinn Lifetime Achievement in Peace Studies Award from the Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA).

Smart Girls: Success, School, and the Myth of Post-Feminism

by Shauna Pomerantz, author of Smart Girls: Success, School, and the Myth of Post-Feminism with Rebecca Raby 

This guest post is published in advance of the American Sociological Association conference in Seattle. Check back every week for new posts through the end of the conference on August 23rd.

Over the last decade we have seen a lot of hand-wringing about girls thriving in school while boys fail, and consequent policy recommendations to shift classroom materials to better meet boys’ needs.  Various scholars have been critical of these generalizations and policy proposals. Given the extent of these debates, what does your book, Smart Girls, add to this conversation?

Various researchers and commentators have rebuffed the universalizing arguments that we have seen over the past ten years, arguments that point to ‘successful girls’ and ‘failing boys’ as evidence that we now live in a post-feminist era where girls thrive and we should worry about boys’ achievements. However, despite widespread critiques that complicate and contextualize the idea that girls are ‘taking over the world’, we continue to see news headlines and popularized books pitting girls and boys against each other, as if gender is a stand alone category disconnected from many other social issues. At the policy level, these concerns are shape school curricula and lead many to assume that we no longer need to worry about girls in school.

In the face of these generalized arguments, we wanted to talk more deeply and contextually about the lives of smart girls in schools today. We wanted rich data that got at the everyday challenges that diverse smart girls, and boys, negotiate in school. We wanted a book that was based in the North American context, and that would be accessible to many readers so that a wide range of teachers, parents and young people themselves could engage with our participants’ stories and reflect on the challenges that girls still face in spite of claims that feminism – and girls – have ‘won’. If girls are doing so well, we asked: why do some girls dumb down? And how do dynamics of gender and smartness continue to play out within peer cultures, especially when smartness does not always sit easily with popular forms of femininity, and in a context where gender inequality is certainly not over. We wanted to talk to smart girls about how they handle being labeled ‘nerd’ or ‘loner’, how they deal with the ‘Supergirl’ drive for perfection and how their negotiations of academic success and peer culture are shaped by ‘race’ and class. We also wanted to learn from smart boys about their experiences in school – and how their challenges are similar to, and different from, those of girls.

The end result is a book that foregrounds young people’s stories about different smart girls’ lives. We hope that these stories and our reflections on them will further shatter common and troubling generalizations about girls’ success that continue to inform educational policy.

In talking to many smart girls and boys, you suggest that it can be hard to be smart while also fitting into popular masculinity and femininity.  Why is it difficult to be both smart and popular?  And how is it different for girls than for boys?

With shows like The Big Bang Theory, it can feel like ‘geek chic’ is in and that popular peer culture has expanded to make room for bookishness. And for some of the young people we talked to, being smart was indeed ‘in’, particularly if they were certain kinds of girls, with supportive groups of friends and going to inclusive schools. But we also heard many stories that indicated a continuing tension between popularity and academics.

Across a variety of schools, girls carefully negotiated their academic identities and many felt that often they had to choose: play down their smartness in order to be attractive (especially to boys) and popular, or sacrifice popularity in order to thrive academically. Girls sometimes found they could also balance out their smartness by being conventionally pretty and nice. Boys also faced challenges: while girls would downplay their smartness, boys did not want to be seen as trying too hard and would counter their studiousness by being funny and athletic. We noticed that girls were often rewarded for how they looked, and for being passive and demure, while boys were more likely to be rewarded for being active subjects who were extroverted, athletic and funny, patterns that reflect and reproduce gender inequality.

While post-feminism posits that we are now beyond sexism, numerous forces, statistics and incidents tell us otherwise. Dominant and hierarchical gender practices endure across society and in the school, which is reflected in much of our data. At the same time, post-feminism thrives as a discourse: in many of the interviews where young people talked about experiencing or noticing gender inequality, they also stated that gender inequality did not exist.

Other scholars have argued that a focus on ‘successful girls’ versus ‘failing boys’ neglects to consider other important social divisions around things like class and ‘race’. Is this something that you found too?

Yes, many researchers have suggested that there is far greater academic diversity within gender categories than across them and that this diversity is linked to significant class and ‘race’ inequalities that permeate North American society. In our book we highlight how class and ‘race’ were powerful forces in the lives of our participants. Class was a significant source of advantage for many of the young people we talked to, often in ways that they did not acknowledge. It shaped the school they were going to, the resources that supported their academic success, and the resources to help them negotiate gendered peer cultures. Class was also used to bolster privilege and exclude others, a pattern that was particularly evident to our working-class participants.

Similarly, ‘race’ emerged as a central feature in definitions of academic success, particularly in relation to the problematic stereotype of the ‘smart Asian’. This stereotype was used to reproduce the narrow idea that being ‘too smart’ is not only anti-social, but also the mark of a cultural outsider.

Shauna Pomerantz is Associate Professor of Child and Youth Studies at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. She is the author of Girls, Style and School Identities: Dressing the Part and the coauthor of Girl Power: Girls Reinventing Girlhood.

Love, Money, and HIV: winner of the 2015 ASA Sex and Gender Section Distinguished Book Award

We’re pleased to announce that Sanyu Mojola’s book, Love, Money, and HIV: Becoming a Modern African Woman in the Age of AIDS, is the winner of the 2015 American Sociological Association Sex and Gender Section Distinguished Book Award.


The Distinguished Book Award recognizes books that are “on the cutting edge of sociological inquiry” within their contributions to the field of sex and gender studies. Love, Money, and HIV elucidates and complicates questions of love and sexuality in the lives of modern women living in developing countries, seen through the lens of the sub-Saharan AIDS epidemic. Engaging as well as compassionate, Sanyu Mojola’s work sheds new light on gender, sexuality, and health in Africa.

This award will be officially presented at ASA’s annual meeting, which will be held in Chicago, Illinois this August.

Congratulations, Sanyu!

Good Catholics wins the 2015 IPPY Awards


We’re pleased to announce that Patricia Miller’s book, Good Catholics: The Battle over Abortion in the Catholic Church, is a Gold Medalist in the 2015 IPPY Awards for Women’s Issues. The IPPY Awards are presented by the Independent Publishers Book Association to recognize excellence in independent book publishing.

Patricia Miller is a Washington, D.C.–based journalist and editor who has written extensively about the intersection of politics, sex, and religion. She was the editor of Conscience magazine, the leading journal of pro-choice Catholic thought, and was the editor in chief of the daily health care briefings for National Journal.
Patricia Miller is a Washington, D.C.–based journalist and editor who has written extensively about the intersection of politics, sex, and religion.

Good Catholics recounts the dramatic but largely untold history of protest and persecution in the pro-choice debate within the Catholic Church. The book follows the nearly fifty-year struggle to establish the moral legitimacy of pro-choice Catholics, also illustrating the profound influence that the conflict has had on the church itself as well as upon the very fabric of U.S. politics.

Our congratulations to Patti!

From Pink and Blue to Brown: Gendering the Garden

by Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, author of Paradise Transplanted

Cross-posted from Girl w/ Pen

Are flowers feminine and lawn masculine? Or are gardens, with their domestic allure and food provisioning, feminine altogether?   Thinking about gender as a duality of flowery femininity and masculine mowing doesn’t get us very far. It’s like trying to squish bio-diversity into a binary code.   We know gender is shaped by intersections of race, class and nation, by myriad subcultural groups and by everyday acts of gender bending and deliberate non-compliance.  So what do we see when we look at the residential garden as a project of gender?

The lawn is the obvious place to start. The American suburban lawn once received derisive commentary from urbanites and novelists but now, as the entire western portion of the United States fries after years of drought, anti-lawnism is catching on with many sensible people. But who insisted on front yards of lawn in the first place? Suburban homes set back from the street, with ornamental plants around the foundation of the house and lawn stretching out to the street is a style attributed to Andrew Jackson Downing (1815-52), the nation’s first popular garden designer, merchant and Martha Stewart-like tastemaker. He loved the lawn. In his 1841 book, he instructed Americans on how to have a garden in good taste: men should tend the lawn, walkways, vegetables and fruit trees, and women, the flowers. Jane Loudon’s Gardening for Ladies, published in England around the same time and widely read in the U.S., cautioned women not to over-exert themselves in the garden. Meanwhile, lawn as a symbol of masculine status and power, was marketed to men by lawn mower companies as early as the 1850s. … Read the rest of the post at Girl w/ Pen!

Doing Public Sociology During Hard Times for Immigrant Women

Guest post by Cecilia Menjívar

Enduring ViolenceThe prison is in the middle of nowhere, in the desert, about 45 minutes from Phoenix. To enter it, I had to go through a gate with barb wire and two additional fences before reaching the building where this privately-run prison is located. Once inside the building, I went through a metal detector and then had to leave everything I was carrying at the reception desk, even a pencil and a small water bottle. I was then escorted to the courtroom inside the prison, where I would testify in the case of a Guatemalan woman facing deportation. After three additional doors that opened with a code that my escort punched, I entered the air-conditioned courtroom, where the woman and her pro bono lawyer, the court recorder and the government lawyer were waiting. The judge, a short man of few words, finally arrived to hear the case of the Guatemalan woman who was asking for protection from deportation on the grounds of the domestic violence that she escaped back home. On the advice of the lawyer, I was not supposed to make eye contact with the woman while testifying so as to not provoke suspicion that I might know her, which could have tainted my testimony (I had never seen her and never saw her again). Out of the corner of my eye I could see tears running down the woman’s face and the lawyer giving her a tissue. My testimony ended and the government lawyer cross-examined me, the hearing was adjourned and we left the courtroom. As we left, the woman and I made eye contact for a few seconds; I nodded faintly to convey a greeting. The woman was escorted back to her cell, where she had been held for two and a half years after being caught in a raid near Boston; often these immigrants are moved around the system and not housed where they are apprehended.  In an email later that day, the lawyer told me that the woman had been crying in the courtroom because she had been very moved by my testimony and that what I said was all true of her own experience, and had asked the lawyer to thank me for my research.  A few months later the lawyer informed me that the judge had denied the petition, even though he agreed that my testimony and the evidence presented were strong. They would appeal, she said, but she had expected as much; after all, this was Arizona.

Little did I think that writing a book about violence against Ladina women in Guatemala would give me the chance to engage in public sociology. In Enduring Violence: Ladina Women’s Lives in Guatemala, I argue that normalized violence in the lives of women can create conditions for horrific crimes in the form of feminicide to take place. To understand the killings of women because they are women one needs to take a step back and examine how various forms of violence—structural, symbolic, political, gender, and gendered—coalesce in their daily lives in the form of “private terrors.” I lay out this argument in court documents to sustain the narratives of violence that immigrant women present as part of their petitions for asylum.

Because of Enduring Violence, I have been asked to serve as an expert witness in cases of Central American women seeking asylum in the U.S. on domestic violence grounds. I have worked on cases in Arizona, California, New York, Tennessee, Texas, North Carolina, and Virginia, and they follow closely the patterns of violence I depict in the book. On my end this work entails providing an affidavit based on my expert knowledge, then testifying telephonically or in person, though sometimes my affidavit is enough. I only work on cases pro bono, mostly with law clinics, because this is how I can reach with my work the lives of the women who have nothing, those whose cases only pro bono lawyers will take. Serving as pro bono expert gives me the opportunity to not just practice sociology, but to put into practice what I have produced through the application of systematic research methods and rigorous theory, to improve the lives of women one case at a time, and to take a political stance against gender injustices and new regimes of inequality.


Cecilia Menjívar is Cowden Distinguished Professor of Sociology in the School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. She is the author of Fragmented Ties: Salvadoran Immigrant Networks in America (UC Press), among other books. Menjivar won the Julian Samora Distinguished Career Award from the Latino/a Sociology section of the American Sociological Association.

Soccer, Dance, or Chess: How After-School Activities Shape Gender Roles

Playing to WinToday in The Atlantic, Hilary Levey Friedman writes about the gendered notions that influence parents’ choice of after-school activities for their girls. If you’ve ever wondered about how your daughter’s extracurriculars can shape her path later in life, take a look at the study.

The article is adapted from Friedman’s new book, Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture. In offering a behind-the-scenes look at how “Tiger Moms” evolve, Playing to Win introduces concepts like competitive kid capital, the carving up of honor, and pink warrior girls.

Hilary Levey Friedman is about to go on a cross-country tour to discuss the findings of her book. Check the tour schedule at her website, hilaryleveyfriedman.com.


Nature and Art in the Renaissance: A Counter-Narrative

Guest Post by Mary D. Garrard

Brunelleschi’s Egg cover imageRenaissance art is a much-celebrated subject and its heroes loom large, as the numerous biographies and histories of the ‘masters’ Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Titian attest.  Art history textbooks continue to venerate the achievements of the major artists, whose ranks have been only slightly expanded to include a few women, such as Sofonisba Anguissola and Artemisia Gentileschi.  Yet the feminine gender played a much larger creative role in Renaissance imaginations, in the female personification of the entity that artists both depicted and challenged – Nature.

In my new UC Press book, Brunelleschi’s Egg: Nature, Art, and Gender in Renaissance Italy, I examine the competition with Nature that was staged by male Renaissance artists, who loudly proclaimed that their own creative powers were greater than “hers.”  The artists’ challenge to the goddess Natura and her Renaissance avatars, Venus, Diana of Ephesus, and the Virgin Mary, was posed in both word and image, and formed a recognizable subtext in such artworks as Brunelleschi’s Florentine dome, Botticelli’s Primavera, Michelangelo’s Sistine Ceiling, Giorgione’s Tempest, and Cellini’s Perseus Slaying Medusa. From the fresh perspective of art’s competition with nature, these and other familiar monuments of Renaissance art can yield new dimensions of meaning.

In just this period, Nature’s philosophical status was undergoing downward revision; she descended from a divine creative and generative power into a lowly aggregate of rocks, twigs and clouds.  The incipient scientific revolution would demote natura naturans to natura naturata, from active creative agent to the inert product of creation, and it is part of my argument that Renaissance art assisted this transition by visually modeling nature’s demise, in advance of science itself.

What did gender have to do with it?  Everything.  Renaissance male artists variously imagined nature as mother, bride, or mistress, positioning themselves as sons, husbands, and masters; they claimed to revere her, or to have defeated her.  Artists’ competition with nature fed on gender roles in the social world, and would make little sense without that underpinning.  The notion of art as something distinct from and superior to craft was born in this period, and art’s status was elevated in part on the grounds of male artists’ hegemony over an imagined feminine Other.  The idea that art and culture are masculine spheres, which was the dominant view from the Renaissance to the 20th century, depended on the feminizing of nearly everything else.

This book is a history of Italian Renaissance art told from the viewpoint of the allegedly vanquished Other, a counter-narrative that challenges an art history that has tended to repeat the masculinist biases of the period under study.

Mary D. Garrard is Professor Emerita of Art History at American University, Washington, DC, and a specialist in Italian Renaissance art. Her landmark works of feminist scholarship include Artemisia Gentileschi: The Image of the Female Hero in Italian Baroque Art (1989) and Artemisia Gentileschi around 1622: The Shaping and Reshaping of an Artistic Identity (UC Press, 2001). With Norma Broude, she edited Reclaiming Female Agency: Feminist Art History after Postmodernism (UC Press, 2005), the fourth of their influential collaborative texts on feminist art history.