Anthropology News from UC Press

Kate Marshall, our new Anthropology editor!

For more than 50 years, UC Press has been one of the leading publishers in the field of anthropology. We are delighted to share the news that our longtime colleague Kate Marshall is assuming leadership of the program. Kate is preceded by Reed Malcolm, who will now manage our open access initiative Luminos.

Reed Malcolm joined UC Press in 1995 and served as executive editor for anthropology and Asian studies for nearly a decade. While Reed made a significant mark on the anthropology program, he is passionate about open access and eager to expand Luminos, a program created to enhance the global distribution of specialized scholarship by making it freely available to all. Reed will continue to acquire books in Asian studies.

Kate Marshall joined UC Press in 2008 and soon took on our interdisciplinary programs in food studies and Latin American studies. Publishing books by anthropologists has always been a significant part of Kate’s work and she’s excited to devote more attention to the field. Some of her noted publications in anthropology include Jason De León’s The Land of Open GravesHeather Paxson’s The Life of CheeseArlene Dávila’s El Malland Sarah Besky’s The Darjeeling Distinction. Kate will continue to acquire on food and Latin America across disciplines.

Kate or Reed may be contacted through our website. Kate and our marketing colleagues look forward to seeing you at the American Anthropological Association meetings in Washington, DC in a few weeks!


O.J. Simpson and the Verdicts in 1995

by W. Joseph Campbell, author of 1995: The Year the Future Began

O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing in Nevada today may have been much-anticipated and widely watched. But it was no “flashbulb moment,” not an occasion so rare and powerful that it will be remembered for years by many thousands of people.

Indeed the hearing’s outcome — Simpson won parole — was more expected than memorable, and more subdued than dramatic.

It was only faintly reminiscent of the “flashbulb moment” on October 3, 1995, when verdicts were read at the close of Simpson’s double-murder trial in Los Angeles.

On that occasion, as I discussed in my 2015 book, 1995: The Year the Future Began, the United States stood still in a rare moment of nationwide anticipation.

Simpson that day in 1995 was acquitted of the vicious slashing deaths of his former wife, Nicole, and of her friend, Ronald Goldman, and Americans by the millions stopped what they were doing to follow the reading of the verdicts on television and radio.

Simpson’s parole hearing today was televised live and streamed online. While it allowed the country an up-close look at Simpson after his nearly nine years behind bars, it was not a moment fated to be long remembered or often recalled.

Simpson, now 70, is stooped and slow afoot. But he is still voluble and self-absorbed. He went before the parole board seeking release from a prison term for armed robbery, kidnaping, and other offenses stemming from an encounter in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2007. Simpson essentially had a small posse to retrieve memorabilia he said had been stolen from him.

For those crimes, he was sentenced to 9 to 33 years in prison. The outcome of today’s hearing means he will be released as soon as October 1.

Simpson often apologized during the hearing for participating in the Las Vegas robbery, saying he wished it had never happened.

He also he revealed flashes of ego and self-absorption that characterized his high-flying celebrity lifestyle before 1995. He told parole board members he was “a good guy” and insisted, without smirking, “I’ve basically spent a conflict-free life, you know?”

He blamed other participants for the encounter in Las Vegas having spun out of control. He was unaware, he said, that handguns had been drawn.

But he made no reference to the killings of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman; their deaths were not germane to today’s hearing.

But a question that was relevant in 1995 lingers after today’s hearing. It’s a question sure to arise again when Simpson is set free from Lovelock Correctional Center in northwest Nevada. The question is:

What accounts for the seemingly endless media and popular-culture fascination with O.J. Simpson?

Some of the Simpson-fixation can be connected to the nostalgia that embraces the 1990s these days. CNN, for example, has begun a seven-part documentary series that revisits the decade. Simpson’s trial in 1995 has to rank among the top 10 events of the decade, at least in America.

It was, after all, commonly referred to as the “Trial of the Century.” While it wasn’t as consequential as the rise of the Internet, the fall of the Soviet Union, the impeachment of Bill Clinton, or the genocide in Rwanda, it was one of the decade’s “flashbulb moments.”

Simpson-fascination also can be attributed to perverse interest in how he won acquittal in 1995 despite the considerable evidence — notably, forensic DNA evidence — that was arrayed against him.

In the face of that evidence, and of the intense pressures he faced, Simpson kept his composure during the months-long trial. He didn’t testify, as he said he would. But his lawyers found ways for Simpson to declare, in the courtroom, that he was innocent.

Polls said most Americans didn’t buy it. But interest endures as to how he beat the rap.

A broader explanation for the continuing fascination lies in Simpson’s stunning fall from grace — from rich and admired celebrity to convicted felon who has spent years of his dotage behind bars. Simpson once seemed to have it all: He was a professional football star who made it to the sport’s Hall of Fame. He was a TV sports commentator, a movie actor, a pitchman. He was well-liked, even esteemed. And all that, he lost. How could he have allowed that to happen?

And then there’s race: The verdicts in 1995 exposed fault lines in how white and black Americans regard and respond to the U.S. criminal justice system. The “flashbulb moment” at the close of the trial was marked by what I described in 1995 as “stark and contrasting reactions”: Many African Americans cheered Simpson’s acquittal while many whites were shocked and dismayed.

The disparate reactions, I noted, “prompted much anguished commentary that America’s racial divide was more profound than had been understood.”

The outcome of today’s hearing precipitated no such clash of reactions.


W. Joseph Campbell is the author of 1995: The Year the Future Began and Getting It Wrong: Debunking the Greatest Myths in American Journalism.


The 10 Most Adopted Titles for Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Are you looking for new titles for your Introduction to Cultural Anthropology courses? Let us help you choose. Scroll down to read more about our top 10 most adopted books, and click on each title to quickly and easily request an exam copy. You can review our exam copy policy here.

We are here to help! If you have any questions about these or other titles, feel free to email us.

 

9780520275140Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States by Seth Holmes

Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies provides an intimate examination of the everyday lives and suffering of Mexican migrants in our contemporary food system. An anthropologist and MD in the mold of Paul Farmer and Didier Fassin, Holmes shows how market forces, anti-immigrant sentiment, and racism undermine health and health care. This “embodied anthropology” deepens our theoretical understanding of the ways in which social inequalities and suffering come to be perceived as normal and natural in society and in health care.

Continue reading “The 10 Most Adopted Titles for Introduction to Cultural Anthropology”


The Political Spirituality of Cesar Chavez: Crossing Religious Borders

by Luis D. León, author of The Political Spirituality of Cesar Chavez: Crossing Religious Borders

As part of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize Hispanic and Latino Americans’ current contributions–and current struggles–in the United States. Learn more at #HispanicHeritage Month.

This post was originally published on November 12th, 2014.

I grew up in California’s East Bay Area, in San Lorenzo. Even while my family was suburban, and not involved in farm work (my paternal grandmother and grandfather were farm laborers), Cesar Chavez loomed large in my cultural and political ecology. He once spoke at my high school. He seemed to be speaking for us, the Latina/os, at a time when I was aware of only negative and stereotypical media images of brown bodies. When I took a Chicano history course as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley I learned that Chavez was primarily a labor leader. As a doctoral student conducting primary source research in the Chicano archives at UCSB I discovered another Chavez—a distinctly spiritual and religious leader. I knew then that I wanted to uncover and tell that part of his story.

My hope is that scholars will discover a different Chavez, one who defies conventional classification, and encounter also a fresh way of narrating his work—one not insistent upon modernist notions of truth and subjectivity. The book is neither a history or biography, the focus is on the mythology—that is the myths he created about himself and those that were manufactured around him. I recognize that it is important to be factual about the research, but really I am writing about the record itself, rather than his actual life. In the words of Ruth Behar: “There is no true story of a life, after all. There are only stories told about and around a life.” Story telling is a political act, and Chavez was adept at telling very effective stories.

One of the turning points in the research was learning that Chavez was active in the struggle for LGBT civil rights. In 1987 he was one of the Grand Marshalls for the second annual march on Washington D.C. for Lesbian and Gay Rights. At the ceremony culminating the protest, he addressed a crowd of 200,000 people, claiming that his movement had been supporting gay rights for over 20 years. His activism on behalf of the LGBT community has been elided from the historiography; I came upon it through research in newspapers.

I consider my book as a contribution to an ongoing conversation. There is much remaining to be told about the late labor leader.

Luis D. León is Associate Professor in the department of Religious Studies at the University of Denver and author of La Llorona’s Children: Religion, Life, and Death in the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands.


UC Press Online Summer Sale Starts Today

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Stock up for your summer reading needs and take 40% off all titles on ucpress.edu from June 14th-June 21st, including upcoming Fall ’16 new release pre-orders.

(Sale excludes e-books and journals, and some restrictions apply; please see below). 

Use discount code 15W4890 at checkout.

Happy summer shopping and reading!

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Discount cannot be applied to e-books, journals, and Sam Francis: Catalog Raisonneé of Canvas and Panel Paintings, 1946-1994. Discount is taken from original list price. Standard shipping rates apply. This offer is not applicable to previous orders, nor can it be combined with any other promotional offers. Online ordering is currently available in the U.S. and Canada only. For customers in the UK and Europe, call John Wiley & Sons +44 (0) 1243 843291. For all other territories, visit:http://www.ucpress.edu/go/ordering.


Serendipity and Sea Otters

It’s International Otter Awareness Day! In honor of our semiaquatic, aquatic, and marine friends, we’ve posted a particularly otter-centric excerpt from Serendipity: An Ecologist’s Quest to Understand Nature. The book chronicles acclaimed ecologist Jim Estes’ otterly important early research of sea otters and kelp forests off the coast of Alaska, and how that research would eventually inform his entire career. Read more below, and click here to learn about IOAD events happening today around the world.

 

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“Not the end of the world but you can see it from here” were the first words I saw as I exited the DC 6 aircraft at Shemya and entered a small building with my colleagues and a few other travelers, most of whom were in transit back to Anchorage. After the plane and passengers had departed, a surprised-looking airman asked why we hadn’t left with them. When I told him we were the biologists from Amchitka, he went on high alert. We were taken to a small, windowless room and put under armed guard while the Air Force tried to sort out what was going on and what to do with us. My colleagues and I thought it was funny but the guards didn’t share our humor. Eventually we were taken to see the base commander, a serious-looking full-bird colonel who was clearly put out by our presence and not someone to be trifled with. The colonel glared at us from across his desk, telling us that while he had confirmed our authorization to visit Shemya, he also considered us a risk to military security and a threat to morale. But after this initial bluster he warmed and seemed to soften, expressing interest in what we were studying and offering to show us around the island.

Finally, at the end of the day, we walked to the shore for a brief look around. In the fading light I was struck by two observations—the numerous tests of beach-cast sea urchins that were much larger than anything I had ever seen dead or alive at Amchitka, and a green hue to the beach sand. These were the first hints that sea otters mattered, and that I was on the track of something exciting.

The next day we were up early. John and Charlie prepared for a visit to the rocky shore while Phil and I geared up for a dive. We had to assemble and inflate the skiff, find some gasoline for the outboard motor, fill the scuba tanks, and locate a safe place to launch. The wind and sea were calm and so on this first dive we decided to simply swim out from shore. Although the water was clear, I couldn’t see the sea floor until I slipped into the water and dropped below the surface. When I looked down at the sea floor, I was stunned by the vast numbers of urchins and absence of kelp. I looked at Phil and saw what struck me as an incredulous, impish grin. I swam out into deeper water and then a short distance up and down the shore, trying to get a sense of whether what I was seeing was unusual or typical of the area. Every place I looked was the same—large and abundant sea urchins over a seafloor of crustose coralline algae with little or no kelp. After almost a year of diving at Amchitka, I immediately understood why Shemya was so different. In the absence of sea otter predation, sea urchins had increased in size and numbers, and the larger and more abundant sea urchins had eaten the kelp. This was my “aha” moment, a profound realization that would set a path for the remainder of my life. I sat up most of the night, thinking and jotting down notes about what I had seen and what it meant.

My mind was buzzing with ideas but the immediate problem was to document what I had seen at Shemya in an objective and rigorous manner. I had 5 days left to work at Shemya and the notoriously unpredictable Aleutian Islands weather might turn for the worst at any time. My plan was to measure the density and size structure of the sea urchin population and the percent cover and species composition of fleshy macroalgae at 3 depths—10, 30 and 60 ft. I would do this at several sites, time and weather permitting.


Spring 2016 New Releases Preview

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(pictured above: a view of our office’s Editorial Dept. area)

Spring 2016’s new release review galleys and advance copies are beginning to hit our desks here at UC Press HQ in beautiful Oakland, California. We’re planning and finalizing outreach strategies so that the word gets out regarding these deeply researched and important works within their respective disciplines.

America’s Social Arsonist: Fred Ross and Grassroots Organizing in the Twentieth Century by Gabriel Thompson 

America Social Arsonist

Until now there has been no biography of Fred Ross, a man who believed a good organizer was supposed to fade into the crowd as others stepped forward. Raised by conservative parents who hoped he would “stay with his own kind,” Fred Ross instead became one of the most influential community organizers in American history. His activism began alongside Dust Bowl migrants, where he managed the same labor camp that inspired John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. During World War II, Ross worked for the release of interned Japanese Americans, and after the war, he dedicated his life to building the political power of Latinos across California. Labor organizing in this country was forever changed when Ross knocked on the door of a young Cesar Chavez and encouraged him to become an organizer.

Crossing the Kingdom: Portraits of Saudi Arabia by Loring M. Danforth (available March 2016)

Crossing the Kingdom

With vivid descriptions and moving personal narratives, Danforth takes us across the Kingdom, from the headquarters of Saudi Aramco, the country’s national oil company on the Persian Gulf, to the centuries-old city of Jeddah on the Red Sea coast with its population of undocumented immigrants from all over the Muslim world. He presents detailed portraits of a young woman jailed for protesting the ban on women driving, a Sufi scholar encouraging Muslims and Christians to struggle together with love to know God, and an artist citing the Quran and using metal gears and chains to celebrate the diversity of the pilgrims who come to Mecca.

Better Git It in Your Soul: An Interpretive Biography of Charles Mingus by Krin Gabbard (available now)

Better Git

Krin Gabbard takes a careful look at Mingus as a writer as well as a composer and musician. He digs into how and why Mingus chose to do so much self-analysis, how he worked to craft his racial identity in a world that saw him simply as “black,” and how his mental and physical health problems shaped his career. Gabbard sets aside the myth-making and convincingly argues that Charles Mingus created a unique language of emotions—and not just in music. Capturing many essential moments in jazz history anew, Better Git It in Your Soul will fascinate anyone who cares about jazz, African American history, and the artist’s life.

Rembrandt: The Painter Thinking by Ernst van de Wetering (available now)

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Rembrandt never stopped searching for solutions to the pictorial problems that confronted him; this led over time to radical changes in course that can’t simply be attributed to stylistic evolution or natural development. In a quest as rigorous and novel as the artist’s, van de Wetering reveals how Rembrandt became the best painter the world had ever seen. Gorgeously illustrated throughout, this groundbreaking exploration reconstructs Rembrandt’s closely guarded theories and methods, shedding new light both on the artist’s exceptional accomplishments and on the practice of painting in the Dutch Golden Age.

The Principia The Authoritative Translation and Guide by Isaac Newton (available now)

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In his monumental 1687 work, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, known familiarly as the Principia, Isaac Newton laid out in mathematical terms the principles of time, force, and motion that have guided the development of modern physical science. Even after more than three centuries and the revolutions of Einsteinian relativity and quantum mechanics, Newtonian physics continues to account for many of the phenomena of the observed world, and Newtonian celestial dynamics is used to determine the orbits of our space vehicles. This beautifully packaged new edition is available in both hardcover and paperback.

Riesling Rediscovered: Bold, Bright, and Dry by John Winthrop Haeger (available now)

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Riesling Rediscovered looks at the present state of dry Riesling across the Northern Hemisphere: where it is grown and made, what models and objectives vintners have in mind, and what parameters of grape growing and winemaking are essential when the goal is a delicious dry wine. John Winthrop Haeger explores the history of Riesling to illuminate how this variety emerged from a crowded field of grape varieties grown widely across northern Europe, offering a comprehensive, current, and accessible overview of what many consider to be the world’s finest and most versatile white wine.

Be on the lookout for more upcoming release preview roundups to be featured here over the next few months.


Wall of Fame: UCP Designers Curate Even the Walls

Wall of Fame: UCP Designers Curate Even the Walls

Anyone entering the UC Press office immediately notices the display wall in the reception area where books are arranged to form a mosaic-like piece of art. Claudia Smelser explains the process (part homage to now-retired senior design colleague, Sandy Drooker), and fellow designer Lia Tjandra’s photographs convey the effect.

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(from left) Claudia Smelser, Sandy Drooker,
and Lia Tjandra

In our old building, the book display was the first thing you’d see upon entering. Someone evidently paid attention to it, since new books appeared intermittently, but the area looked a bit forlorn.

I don’t remember which of us in Design decided we should put ourselves in charge and do our best to show off the covers we had created. If they looked beautiful singly, why shouldn’t they look beautiful together?

So my coworker Sandy Drooker and I would stay late from time to time to “curate” the book display.

We chose different themes and a mix of old and new titles: all jazz, all snakes, books with black and red covers, books featuring faces, books designed with circles.

Sandy would stand at a distance staring for long periods of time, using author names as a shorthand as she suggested particular placements. “Trade Rabinowitz for Alvarez. No. Try Ingram. Move Ingram up and Montgomery down.” And so on, until we got it right, which could take a very long time.

Sandy is an artist. She created the orange display you can see now opposite reception in our new building, and I haven’t had the heart to change it since she retired.
 

Reception Area Wall of Fame


 

Kitchen Wall of Fame

 

Art Wall of Fame

 


University of California Press Announces Plans to Roll Out Two Open Access Products

Oakland – University of California Press is entering into the Open Access space with the launch of two new products: a mega journal focused on three core disciplines (life and biomedical sciences, ecology and environmental science, and social and behavioral sciences) and a monograph program designed to take advantage of rich, digital formats.

This move is part of University of California Press’s mission to bring progressive scholarship forward in ways that continue to meet the academic community’s needs for greater discoverability, accessibility, and audience reach. Rollout for both products is planned for 2015.

“We’ve long known that Open Access would be a part of our future, but wanted to consider all aspects of how we delivered on its promise,” said Alison Mudditt, Director, University of California Press. “We spent a lot of time during our strategic planning phase involving the academic community we serve—researchers, faculty, and librarians—and hearing their ideas on what we anticipate will be seen as different and innovative approaches.”

As part of rollout previews, Mudditt will discuss UC Press’s OA monograph publishing program at a panel discussion co-hosted by the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and the Authors Alliance, Thursday, October 30 at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.This discussion, “Authorship in a Digital World: How to Make It Thrive,” will address challenges and opportunities facing authors in the digital age.

Dan Morgan, UC Press Digital Science Publisher, will be presenting a three-minute “lightning talk” during International Open Access Week. The event will part of the “Bay Area Open Access Week Event for Generation Open,” Thursday, October 23 at Berkeley Skydeck, Berkeley, CA.

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University of California Press is one of the most forward-thinking scholarly publishers in the nation. For more than 100 years, it has championed work that influences public discourse and challenges the status quo in multiple fields of study. At a time of dramatic change for publishing and scholarship, we collaborate with scholars, librarians, authors, and students to stay ahead of today’s knowledge demands and shape the future of publishing. Each year, UC Press publishes approximately 175 new books and 32 multi-issue journals in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.  www.ucpress.edu

 

Contact: Lorraine Weston, Associate Director of Publicity | lweston@ucpress.edu

 


Honoring 3 Award-Winning Titles on Agriculture, Labor and Justice from UC Press

UC Press is home to one of the oldest and most prestigious lists in Food Studies, an interdisciplinary field that brings together scholars from diverse backgrounds to examine the role and impact of food consumption and production. Many of our authors, like Marion Nestle and Janet Poppendieck, highlight and challenge the food industry’s negative impact on health and the environment.

Today, the conversation about what constitutes “just food” has moved beyond talking solely about eating organic and local. Building on Julie Guthman’s seminal work Agrarian Dreams: The Paradox of Organic Farming in Californiaa new generation of scholars is turning its attention to labor justice in the agricultural sector. Three new UC Press books from Sarah Besky, Margaret Gray, and Seth Holmes take on the issue of agricultural labor and all have received major society awards in recognition for their important work.

Sarah Besky’s The Darjeeling Distinction: Labor and Justice on Fair-Trade Tea Plantations in India is the first book to explore how fair trade operates on large plantations. The global demand for fair trade and organic tea is increasing, yet workers on plantations experience justice in uneven and contradictory ways. For her rigorous ethnography, Besky will be awarded the Society for Economic Anthropology Book Prize at the annual American Anthropological Association meeting.

Margaret Gray, author of Labor and the Locavore: Building a Comprehensive Food Ethic offers a revealing look at labor practices in Hudson Valley, New York. Despite Hudson Valley’s reputation as the bucolic landscape from which much of New York City’s local food is grown, it’s a region rife with labor conflict and abuse. The author challenges us to bring labor justice into the food justice movement. Labor and the Locavore won the annual Association for the Study of Food and Society 2014 Book Prize. It was also named co-winner of the Best Book Award from Labor Project from the American Political Science Association.

In his gripping book Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States, anthropologist Seth Holmes exposes the violence experienced by migrant laborers today. Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies was honored with the Association for Humanist Sociology Book Award, the New Millennium Book Award from the Society for Medical Anthropology, and the Anthropology of Work Book Award from the Society for the Anthropology of Work, among other awards.

Congratulations Sarah Besky, Margaret Gray, and Seth Holmes!