Fall 2021 University Press Recommendations

The master list of university presses, catalogs, and Twitter accounts can be found here (this list will help you get a sense of the shorthands I use for Press names). All past and future seasonal recommendation lists can be found here.

Fall 2021 Book Recommendations by . . .

Some notes about my recommendations:

  1. The lists below are organized alphabetically by the author surname.
  2. I have outlined, in purple font, works of particular interest to me—the highlights of the catalog season, if you will.
  3. These recommendations reflect my personal interests as well as my scholarly ones, and as such cannot wholly capture all the many hundreds of interesting, worthwhile, and significant books put out by university presses this season.

General Interest

Black, The Short History of War (Yale)

Burger, Reading History (Toronto)

Cole, The Folk: Music, Modernity, and the Political Imagination (Stanford)

Crain, Profit over Privacy: How Surveillance Advertising Conquered the Internet (Minnesota)

Dodds and Woodward, The Arctic: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford)

Finn, Debating Anarchism: A History of Action, Ideas and Movements (Bloomsbury)

Frey, Netflix Recommends: Algorithms, Film Choice, and the History of Taste (Stanford)

Green, Gloves: An Intimate History (Reaktion)

Higham, The World Before Us: The New Science Behind Our Human Origins (Yale)

Hunter, Edible Insects: A Global History (Reaktion)

Jones, The Fall of Robespierre: 24 Hours in Revolutionary Paris (Oxford)

Langston, Climate Ghosts: Migratory Species in the Anthropocene (Brandeis)

Levin, Soda and Fizzy Drinks: A Global History (Reaktion)

Lucassen, The Story of Work: A New History of Humankind (Yale)

McGurl, Everything and Less: The Novel in the Age of Amazon (Verso)

Morrissey, A Short History of Islamic Thought (Oxford)

Nunn, Worlds in Shadow: Submerged Lands in Science, Memory and Myth (Bloomsbury)

Nussbaum, Hummus: A Global History (Reaktion)

O’Sullivan, Cloneliness: On the Reproduction of Loneliness (Bloomsbury)

Payne, I, Warbot: The Dawn of Artificially Intelligent Conflict (Oxford)

Pettegree and der Weduwen, The Library: A Fragile History (Basic Books)

Pirie, The Rule of Laws: A 4,000-Year Quest to Order the World (Basic Books)

Pyne, Postcards: The Rise and Fall of the World’s First Social Network (Reaktion)

Redman, Prophets and Ghosts: The Story of Salvage Anthropology (Harvard)

Roberts, Jungle: How Tropical Forests Shaped the World—and Us (Basic Books)

Sabin, In the Blink of an Eye: A Cultural History of Spectacles (Reaktion)

Sarasohn, Getting Under Our Skin: The Cultural and Social History of Vermin (Johns Hopkins)

Schmid and Schröter, The Making of the Bible: From the First Fragments to Sacred Scripture (Harvard)

Shermer, Indentured Students: How Government-Guaranteed Loans Left Generations Drowning in College Debt (Harvard)

Shipman, Our Oldest Companions: The Story of the First Dogs (Harvard)

Smith, Making Monsters: The Uncanny Power of Dehumanization (Harvard)

Stackhouse, Evangelicalism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford)

Traverso, Revolution: An Intellectual History (Verso)

Tvedt, The Nile: History’s Greatest River (Bloomsbury)

Zitcer, Practicing Cooperation: Mutual Aid beyond Capitalism (Minnesota)


Amber, et al., Indigenous Women and Street Gangs: Survivance Narratives (Alberta)

Anderson, Black in White Space: The Enduring Impact of Color in Everyday Life (Chicago)

Aziz, The Racial Muslim: When Racism Quashes Religious Freedom (California)

Barker, Making and Breaking Settler Space: Five Centuries of Colonization in North America (British Columbia)

Belew and Gutiérrez, eds., A Field Guide to White Supremacy (California)

Bruyneel, Settler Memory: The Disavowal of Indigeneity and the Politics of Race in the United States (North Carolina)

Byman, Spreading Hate: The Global Rise of White Supremacist Terrorism (Oxford)

Chávez, The Sound of Exclusion: NPR and the Latinx Public (Arizona)

Cherry, The Case for Rage: Why Anger Is Essential to Anti-Racist Struggle (Oxford)

Dussart and Poirier, eds., Contemporary Indigenous Cosmologies and Pragmatics (Alberta)

HoSang, A Wider Type of Freedom: How Struggles for Racial Justice Liberate Everyone (California)

Hutchins and Smith, eds., The Earliest African American Literatures: A Critical Reader (North Carolina)

Irons, White Men’s Law: The Roots of Systemic Racism (Oxford)

Johnson and Aladejebi, eds., Unsettling the Great White North: Black Canadian History (Toronto)

Justice and O’Brien, eds., Allotment Stories: Indigenous Land Relations under Settler Siege (Minnesota)

Keyes and Aguiar, eds., White Space: Race, Privilege, and Cultural Economies of the Okanagan Valley (British Columbia)

King, et al., Returning Home: Diné Creative Works from the Intermountain Indian School (Arizona)

Leeming, Tales of the Earth: Native North American Creation Mythology (Reaktion)

Levell, Mischief Making: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Art, and the Seriousness of Play (British Columbia)

Leza, Divided Peoples: Policy, Activism, and Indigenous Identities on the U.S.-Mexico Border (Arizona)

Forde and Bedingfield, eds., Journalism and Jim Crow: White Supremacy and the Black Struggle for a New America (Illinois)

Lien and Nielssen, eds., Adjusting the Lens: Indigenous Activism, Colonial Legacies, and Photographic Heritage (British Columbia)

Lowery, The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggle (North Carolina)

Maguire, Africans in East Anglia, 1467-1833 (Boydell Press)

Mayberry, The Critical Life of Toni Morrison (Camden House)

Moreton-Robinson, Talkin’ Up to the White Woman: Indigenous Women and Feminism (20th anniversary edition; Minnesota)

Morey, White Philanthropy: Carnegie Corporation’s An American Dilemma and the Making of a White World Order (North Carolina)

Osorio, Remembering Our Intimacies: Moʻolelo, Aloha ʻĀina, and Ea (Minnesota)

Pegler-Gordon, Closing the Golden Door: Asian Migration and the Hidden History of Exclusion at Ellis Island (North Carolina)

Perez, Navigating CHamoru Poetry: Indigeneity, Aesthetics, and Decolonization (Arizona)

Pérez, Diversity’s Child: People of Color and the Politics of Identity (Chicago)

Pollock, Sickening: Anti-Black Racism and Health Disparities in the United States (Minnesota)

Rastegar, Tolerance and Risk: How U.S. Liberalism Racializes Muslims (Minnesota)

Rhodehamel, America’s Original Sin: White Supremacy, John Wilkes Booth, and the Lincoln Assassination (Johns Hopkins)

Rück, The Laws and the Land: The Settler Colonial Invasion of Kahnawà:ke in Nineteenth-Century Canada (British Columbia)

Schneider, The Archaeology of Refuge and Recourse: Coast Miwok Resilience and Indigenous Hinterlands in Colonial California (Arizona)

Tatonetti, Written by the Body: Gender Expansiveness and Indigenous Non-Cis Masculinities (Minnesota)

Thurman, Singing Like Germans: Black Musicians in the Land of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms (Cornell)

Witgen, Seeing Red: Indigenous Land, American Expansion, and the Political Economy of Plunder in North America (North Carolina)

Womack, The Matter of Black Living: The Aesthetic Experiment of Racial Data, 1880-1930 (Chicago)

World Cultural Studies

Breslauer, The Rise and Demise of World Communism (Oxford)

Doleshal, In the Kingdom of Shoes: Bata, Zlín, Globalization, 1894–1945 (Toronto)

Ellis, Bibliophiles, Murderous Bookmen, and Mad Librarians: The Story of Books in Modern Spain (Toronto)

Garvin, Feeding Fascism: The Politics of Women’s Food Work (Toronto)

Gribben, The Rise and Fall of Christian Ireland (Oxford)

Kay, Empire of Destruction: A History of Nazi Mass Killing (Yale)

Leopold, Idi Amin: The Story of Africa’s Icon of Evil (Yale)

López, José Martí: A Revolutionary Life (Texas)

Veracini, The World Turned Inside Out: Settler Colonialism as a Political Idea (Verso)

American Studies

Barker, The Red Scare: The State’s Indigenous Terrorist (California)

Blue, The Deportation Express: A History of America through Forced Removal (California)

Chard, Nixon’s War at Home: The FBI, Leftist Guerrillas, and the Origins of Counterterrorism (North Carolina)

Cohen, Pure Adulteration: Cheating on Nature in the Age of Manufactured Food (Chicago)

Cummings, A Saint of Our Own: How the Quest for a Holy Hero Helped Catholics Become American (North Carolina)

Davis, Public Confessions: The Religious Conversions That Changed American Politics (North Carolina)

Davis, The Search for the First Americans: Science, Power, Politics (Oklahoma)

Dougherty, Lost Tribes Found: Israelite Indians and Religious Nationalism in Early America (Oklahoma)

Ehrlich, Dangerous Ideas on Campus: Sex, Conspiracy, and Academic Freedom in the Age of JFK (Illinois)

Foley, The Editor Function: Literary Publishing in Postwar America (Minnesota)

Foley, Citizen Cash: The Political Life and Times of Johnny Cash (Basic Books)

Gleason, Woman Walk the Line: How the Women in Country Music Changed Our Lives (Texas)

Hagelin and Silverman, The New Female Anti-Hero: The Disruptive Women of Twenty-First-Century US Television (Chicago)

Horn, A Brave and Cunning Prince: The Great Chief Opechancanough and the War for America (Basic Books)

Hunt and Miles, eds., The Reagan Moment: America and the World in the 1980s (Cornell)

Jin, Citizens, Immigrants, and the Stateless: A Japanese American Diaspora in the Pacific (Stanford)

Johnson, Lying in the Middle: Musical Theater and Belief at the Heart of America (Illinois)

Kuhn, The Hardhat Riot: Nixon, New York City, and the Dawn of the White Working-Class Revolution (Oxford)

Laughlin, Redeem All: How Digital Life Is Changing Evangelical Culture (California)

Lebovic, A Righteous Smokescreen: Postwar American and the Politics of Cultural Globalization (Chicago)

McClure, Winter in America: A Cultural History of Neoliberalism, from the Sixties to the Reagan Revolution (North Carolina)

McGregor, Communion of Radicals: The Literary Christian Left in Twentieth-Century America (LSU)

Meriweather, Tears, Fire, and Blood: The United States and the Decolonization of Africa (North Carolina)

Morgan, A Nation of Descendants: Politics and the Practice of Genealogy in U.S. History (North Carolina)

Pearson, The Birth Certificate: An American History (North Carolina)

Pöhlmann, Vote with a Bullet: Assassination in American Fiction (Camden House)

Polak, FDR in American Memory: Roosevelt and the Making of an Icon (Johns Hopkins)

Pollans, Resisting Garbage: The Politics of Waste Management in American Cities (Texas)

Rabinovitch-Fox, Dressed for Freedom: The Fashionable Politics of American Feminism (Illinois)

Ratner-Rosenhagen, American Intellectual History: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford)

Reagin, Re-living the American Frontier: Western Fandoms, Reenactment, and Historical Hobbyists in Germany and America Since 1900 (Iowa)

Richardson, How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America (Oxford)

Richland, Cooperation without Submissions: Indigenous Jurisdictions in Native Nations-US Engagements (Chicago)

Roland, Delta of Power: The Military-Industrial Complex (Johns Hopkins)

Roth, Her Cold War: Women in the U.S. Military, 1945–1980 (North Carolina)

Rusczcycky, Vulgar Genres: Gay Pornographic Writing and Contemporary Fiction (Chicago)

Tillet, In Search of the Color Purple: The Story of an American Masterpiece (Abrams)

Vider, The Queerness of Home: Gender, Sexuality, and the Politics of Domesticity after World War II (Chicago)

Weidman, Killer Instinct: The Popular Science of Human Nature in Twentieth-Century America (Harvard)

Weinberg, Red Dynamite: Creationism, Culture Wars, and Anticommunism in America (Cornell)

Wiegand, American Public School Librarianship: A History (Johns Hopkins)

Ancient and Medieval Studies

Airlie, Making and Unmaking the Carolingians, 751-888 (Bloomsbury)

Aldana, Calculating Brilliance: An Intellectual History of Mayan Astronomy at Chich’en Itza (Arizona)

Anhalt, Embattled: How Ancient Greek Myths Empower Us to Resist Tyranny (Stanford)

Bale, Margery Kempe: A Mixed Life (Reaktion)

Beaton, The Greeks: A Global History (Basic Books)

Browne, et al., eds., English Medieval Embroidery: Opus Anglicanum (Yale)

Bryan, Discourse in Old Norse Literature (D.S. Brewer)

Caner, The Rich and the Pure: Philanthropy and the Making of Christian Society in Early Byzantium (California)

Clark, The Dissolution of the Monasteries: A New History (Yale)

Cole, The Bronze Lie: Shattering the Myth of Spartan Warrior Supremacy (Osprey)

Cooper, Christine de Pizan: Life, Work, Legacy (Reaktion)

de la Bédoyère, Domina: The Women Who Made Imperial Rome (Yale)

Flight, Basilisks and Beowulf: Monsters in the Anglo-Saxon World (Reaktion)

Franklin, Everyday Cosmopolitanisms: Living the Silk Road in Medieval Armenia (California)

Gribit, Henry of Lancaster’s Expedition to Aquitaine, 1345-1346: Military Service and Professionalism in the Hundred Years War (Boydell Press)

Harvey, The Fires of Lust: Sex in the Middle Ages (Reaktion)

Hingley, Conquering the Ocean: The Roman Invasion of Britain (Oxford)

Hollway, The Last Viking: The True Story of King Harald Hardrada (Osprey)

Irby, Conceptions of the Watery World in Greco-Roman Antiquity (Bloomsbury)

Jigoulov, The Phoenicians (Reaktion)

Karateke and Anetshofer, eds., The Ottoman World: A Cultural History Reader, 1450–1700 (California)

López-Ruiz, Phoenicians and the Making of the Mediterranean (Harvard)

Mallette, Lives of the Great Languages: Arabic and Latin in the Medieval Mediterranean (Chicago)

Marder, Green Mass: The Ecological Theology of St. Hildegard of Bingen (Stanford)

Meserve, Papal Bull: Print, Politics, and Propaganda in Renaissance Rome (Johns Hopkins)

Moshenska, Making Darkness Light: A Life of John Milton (Basic Books)

Moyle, The King’s Painter: The Life of Hans Holbein (Abrams Press)

Orme, Going to Church in Medieval England (Yale)

Papalexandrou, Bronze Monsters and the Cultures of Wonder: Griffin Cauldrons in the Preclassical Mediterranean (Texas)

Patterson, Making the Bible French: The Bible historiale and the Medieval Lay Reader (Toronto)

Porter, Homer: The Very Idea (Chicago)

Salter, Saints, Cure-Seekers and Miraculous Healing in Twelfth-Century England (York Medieval Press)

Sigurdsson, Scandinavia in the Age of Vikings (Cornell)

Star, Apocalypse and Golden Age: The End of the World in Greek and Roman Thought (Johns Hopkins)

Stephenson, New Rome: The Empire in the East (Harvard)

Vuille, Holy Harlots in Medieval English Religious Literature: Authority, Exemplarity and Femininity (D.S. Brewer)

Warner, The Agincourt Campaign of 1415: The Retinues of the Dukes of Clarence and Gloucester (Boydell Press)

Weeda, Ethnicity in Medieval Europe, 950-1250: Medicine, Power and Religion (York Medieval Press)

Wellesley, The Gilded Page: The Secret Lives of Medieval Manuscripts (Basic Books)

Wilson, Dictator: The Evolution of the Roman Dictatorship (Michigan)

SF / Fantasy / Horror Studies

Booth and Williams, eds., Fan Studies Primer: Method, Research, Ethics (Iowa)

Chapman, Fashioning James Bond: Costume, Gender and Identity in the World of 007 (Bloomsbury)

Clare, Ancient Greece and Rome in Videogames: Representation, Play, Transmedia (Bloomsbury)

Clasen, A Very Nervous Person’s Guide to Horror Movies (Oxford)

Cordasco, Out of This World: Speculative Fiction in Translation from the Cold War to the New Millennium (Illinois)

Delany, Of Solids and Surds (Yale)

Favreau, Janelle Monáe’s The ArchAndroid (Bloomsbury)

Hefner, Black Pulp: Genre Fiction in the Shadow of Jim Crow (Minnesota)

Higgins, Reverse Colonization: Science Fiction, Imperial Fantasy, and Alt-Victimhood (Iowa)

Jones, Horror: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford)

Montgomery, The Postapocalyptic Black Female Imagination (Bloomsbury)

Morton, Spacecraft (Bloomsbury)

Newton, The Mad Max Effect: Road Warriors in International Exploitation Cinema (Bloomsbury)

Peterson, Game Wizards: The Epic Battle for Dungeons & Dragons (MIT)

Roston, The Writer’s Crusade: Kurt Vonnegut and the Many Lives of Slaughterhouse-Five (Abrams)

Ruston, The Science of Life and Death in Frankenstein (Bodleian Library Publishing)

Scharmen, Space Forces: A Critical History of Life in Outer Space (Verso)

Spiers, Encountering the Sovereign Other: Indigenous Science Fiction (Michigan State)

One thought on “Fall 2021 University Press Recommendations

  1. Thank you for the resource. Everyday Cosmopolitanisms: Living the Silk Road in Medieval Armenia looks fascinating. Straight onto my massive medieval history “to acquire” list.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s