Spring 2022 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.


Spring 2022 Book Recommendations by . . .

General Interest
World Cultural Studies
American Studies
Ancient and Medieval Studies
SF / Fantasy / Horror Studies

Some notes about my recommendations:

  • The lists below are organized alphabetically by the author surname.
  • I have outlined, in purple font, works of particular interest to me—the highlights of the catalog season, if you will.
  • 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


Ali, Winston Churchill: His Times, His Crimes (Verso)

Anker, Ugly Freedoms (Duke)

Bainbridge, Paleontology: An Illustrated History (Princeton)

Bérubé and Ruth, It’s Not Free Speech: Race, Democracy, and the Future of Academic Freedom (Johns Hopkins)

Blayney, Health and Efficiency: Fatigue, the Science of Work, and the Making of the Working-Class Body (Massachusetts)

Bod, World of Patterns: A Global History of Knowledge (Johns Hopkins)

Bottici, Anarchafeminism (Bloomsbury)

Brooks, Mistress Ethics: On the Virtues of Sexual Kindness (Bloomsbury)

Bruckman, Should You Believe Wikipedia? Online Communities and the Construction of Knowledge (Cambridge)

Bui, Model Machines: A History of the Asian as Automaton (Temple)

Buller, The Value of a Whale: On the Delusions of Green Capitalism (Manchester)

Capper, Roaming Free Like a Deer: Buddhism and the Natural World (Cornell)

Caute, Red List: MI5 and British Intellectuals in the Twentieth Century (Verso)

Chryssides, Jehovah’s Witnesses: A New Introduction (Bloomsbury)

Church, Turntables and Tropes: A Rhetoric Remix (Michigan State)

Coppa, Vidding: A History (Michigan)

Darnell, History of Theory and Method in Anthropology (Nebraska)

Davis, Plastic Matter (Duke)

Deutsch, In Praise of Good Bookstores (Princeton)

DeWitt and Marmolejo, The Mexican Chile Pepper Cookbook: The Soul of Mexican Home Cooking (New Mexico)

Drucker, Inventing the Alphabet: The Origins of Letters from Antiquity to the Present (Chicago)

Fitzpatrick, The Shortest History of the Soviet Union (Columbia)

Flinders, Cult of a Dark Hero: Nicholson of Delhi (Bloomsbury)

Gates and Curran, eds., Who’s Black and Why? A Hidden Chapter from the Eighteenth-Century Invention of Race (Harvard)

Goldstein, The Kingdom of Rye: A Brief History of Russian Food (California)

Goodall, The Castle: A History (Yale)

Hannem and Schneider, Defining Sexual Misconduct: Power, Media, and #MeToo (Regina)

Haynie and Spong, Teaching Matters: A Guide for Graduate Students (West Virginia)

Howes, The Sensory Studies Manifesto: Tracking the Sensorial Revolution in the Arts and Human Sciences (Toronto)

Hutton, Queens of the Wild: Pagan Goddesses in Christian Europe: An Investigation (Yale)

Kempf, Craft Class: The Writing Workshop in American Culture (Johns Hopkins)

Lahiri, Translating Myself and Others (Princeton)

Lehman, The Mysterious Romance of Murder: Crime, Detection, and the Spirit of Noir (Cornell)

Lemmey and Miller, Bad Gays: A Homosexual History (Verso)

Linnemann, The Horror of Police (Minnesota)

MacCash, Mardi Gras Beads (Louisiana State)

Mandair, Sikh Philosophy: Exploring gurmat Concepts in a Decolonizing World (Bloomsbury)

Marhoefer, Racism and the Making of Gay Rights: A Sexologist, His Student, and the Empire of Queer Love (Toronto)

Morina, The Invention of Marxism: How an Idea Changed Everything (Oxford)

Murray, Combating Hate: A Framework for Direct Action (Penn State)

Newman and Kirker, Coconut: A Global History (Reaktion)

Nimr, Thunderbird, Book One (Texas)

Orgad and Gill, Confidence Culture (Duke)

Pearlstine, Scent: A Natural History of Fragrance (Yale)

Peña-Guzmán, When Animals Dream: The Hidden World of Animal Consciousness (Princeton)

Phelan and Burnham, The Secret Syllabus: A Guide to the Unwritten Rules of College Success (Princeton)

Picketty, A Brief History of Equality (Harvard)

Rodney, Decolonial Marxism: Essays from the Pan-African Revolution (Verso)

Sahlins, The New Science of the Enchanted Universe: An Anthropology of Most of Humanity (Princeton)

Schaberg, Pedagogy of the Depressed (Bloomsbury)

Sharpless, Grain and Fire: A History of Baking in the American South (North Carolina)

Sienkiewicz and Marx, That’s Not Funny: How the Right Makes Comedy Work for Them (California)

Stienne, Mummified: The Stories behind Egyptian Mummies in Museums (Manchester)

Thomas, Representation Matters: How to Be an Anti-Racist Educator (Bloomsbury)

Tyler, Game: Animals, Videogames, and Humanity (Minnesota)

Warren, Holy Digital Grail: A Medieval Book on the Internet (Stanford)

White, Fighting without Fighting: Kung Fu Cinema’s Journey to the West (Chicago)

Williams-Forson, Eating While Black: Food Shaming and Race in America (North Carolina)

Yeoman, Exactly What I Said: Translating Words and Worlds (Manitoba)

Zhang, ed., The Dragon Daughter and Other Lin Lan Fairy Tales (Princeton)

World Cultural Studies


Acabado and Martin, Indigenous Archaeology in the Philippines: Decolonizing Ifugao History (Arizona)

Arndt, Divided by the Word: Colonial Encounters and the Remaking of Zulu and Xhosa Identities (Virginia)

Barickman, From Sea-Bathing to Beach-Going: A Social History of the Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (New Mexico)

Beck, Hidden Paradigms: Comparing Epic Themes, Characters, and Plot Structures (Toronto)

Békés, Hungary’s Cold War: International Relations from the End of World War II to the Fall of the Soviet Union (North Carolina)

Bray, The Anarchist Inquisition: Assassins, Activists, and Martyrs in Spain and France (Cornell)

Carroll, The Politics of Imperial Memory in France, 1850–1900 (Cornell)

Cheung, Innovate to Dominate: The Rise of the Chinese Techno-Security State (Cornell)

Der Matossian, The Horrors of Adana: Revolution and Violence in the Early Twentieth Century (Stanford)

Dussart, In the Service of Empire: Domestic Service and Mastery in Metropole and Colony (Bloomsbury)

Edgar, Intermarriage and the Friendship of Peoples: Ethnic Mixing in Soviet Central Asia (Cornell)

Eichner, Feminism’s Empire (Cornell)

Ely, Russian Populism: A History (Bloomsbury)

Galway, The Emergence of Global Maoism: China’s Red Evangelism and the Cambodian Communist Movement, 1949–1979 (Cornell)

Graham, Voices from the Underworld: Chinese Hell Deity Worship in Contemporary Singapore and Malaysia (Manchester)

Grant, Soviet Nightingales: Care under Communism (Cornell)

Gratien, The Unsettled Plain: An Environmental History of the Late Ottoman Frontier (Stanford)

Hathaway, What a Mushroom Lives For: Matsutake and the Worlds They Make (Princeton)

Jacobs, Nuclear Bodies: The Global Hibakusha (Yale)

Johannes, Nourishing the Nation: Food as National Identity in Catalonia (Berghahn)

Jones, Red Leviathan: The Secret History of Soviet Whaling (Chicago)

Kampwirth, LGBTQ Politics in Nicaragua: Revolution, Dictatorship, and Social Movements (Arizona)

Kim, Warring Genealogies: Race, Kinship, and the Korean War (Temple)

Kittelsen, Troll Magic: Hidden Folk from the Mountains and Forests of Norway (Minnesota)

Koo, Privilege and Anxiety: The Korean Middle Class in the Global Era (Cornell)

Knight, Bandits and Liberals, Rebels and Saints: Latin America since Independence (Nebraska)

Kung, Diasporic Cold Warriors: Nationalist China, Anticommunism, and the Philippine Chinese, 1930s–1970s (Cornell)

Lapper, Beef, Bible and Bullets: Brazil in the Age of Bolsonaro (Manchester)

Leake, Afghan Crucible: The Soviet Invasion and the Making of Modern Afghanistan (Oxford)

Lettman, The Slave Sublime: The Language of Violence in Caribbean Literature and Music (North Carolina)

Lieberman, Until We Have Won Our Liberty: South Africa after Apartheid (Princeton)

Maddy-Weitzman, Amazigh Politics in the Wake of the Arab Spring (Texas)

Mann, Rude Citizenship: Jamaican Popular Music, Copyright, and the Reverberations of Colonial Power (North Carolina)

Mellor, The Northern Silence: Journeys in Nordic Music and Culture (Yale)

Morales-Franceschini, The Epic of Cuba Libre: The Mambí, Mythopoetics, and Liberation (Virginia)

Nesbitt, The Price of Slavery: Capitalism and Revolution in the Caribbean (Virginia)

Pellegrino, Greek Language, Italian Landscape: Griko and the Re-Storying of a Linguistic Minority (Harvard)

Ramírez, In Praise of the Ancestors: Names, Identity, and Memory in Africa and the Americas (Nebraska)

Sakai, The End of Pax Americana: The Loss of Empire and Hikikomori Nationalism (Duke)

Saussy, The Making of Barbarians: Chinese Literature and Multilingual Asia (Princeton)

Savoy, Africa’s Struggle for Its Art: History of a Postcolonial Defeat (Princeton)

Saramo, Building that Bright Future: Soviet Karelia in the Life Writing of Finnish North Americans (Toronto)

Sarkar, Ploughshares and Swords: India’s Nuclear Program in the Global Cold War (Cornell)

Saxena, Vernacular English: Reading the Anglophone in Postcolonial India (Princeton)

Scaldaferri, ed., Wild Songs, Sweet Songs: The Albanian Epic in the Collections of Milman Parry and Albert B. Lord (Harvard)

Scottie, et al., I Will Live for Both of Us: A History of Colonialism, Uranium Mining, and Inuit Resistance (Manitoba)

Seiff, Troubling the Water: A Dying Lake and a Vanishing World in Cambodia (Potomac Books)

Skabelund, Inglorious, Illegal Bastards: Japan’s Self-Defense Force during the Cold War (Cornell)

Smith, Spanish Lessons: Cinema and Television in Contemporary Spain (Berghahn)

Tagliacozzo, In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama (Princeton)

Tansman, Japanese Literature: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford)

Todorova, The Lost World of Socialists at Europe’s Margins: Imagining Utopia, 1870s – 1920s (Bloomsbury)

Velásquez, Pachamama Politics: Campesino Water Defenders and the Anti-Mining Movement in Andean Ecuador (Arizona)

Von Eschen, Paradoxes of Nostalgia: Cold War Triumphalism and Global Disorder since 1989 (Duke)

Wang, China in the World: Culture, Politics, and World Vision (Duke)

Yan, World Heritage Craze in China: Universal Discourse, National Culture, and Local Memory (Berghahn)

American Studies


Amenta and Caren, Rough Draft of History: A Century of US Social Movements in the News (Princeton)

Benson and Singsen, Bandits, Misfits, and Superheroes: Whiteness and Its Borderlands in American Comics and Graphic Novels (Mississippi)

Boffone and Herrera, Latinx Teens: U.S. Popular Culture on the Page, Stage, and Screen (Arizona)

Bon Tempo and Diner, Immigration: An American History (Yale)

Bow, Racist Love: Asian Abstraction and the Pleasures of Fantasy (Duke)

Brady, Scales of Captivity: Racial Capitalism and the Latinx Child (Duke)

Brooks, Class Interruptions: Inequality and Division in African Diasporic Women’s Fiction (North Carolina)

Brown and Dennis, eds., A Movement in Every Direction: A Great Migration Critical Reader (Yale)

Burge, A Failed Vision of Empire: The Collapse of Manifest Destiny, 1845–1872 (Nebraska)

Burnett and Miller, eds., The Tacky South (Louisiana State)

Clampitt, Lost Causes: Confederate Demobilization and the Making of Veteran Identity (Louisiana State)

Cucuz, Winning Women’s Hearts and Minds: Selling Cold War Culture in the US and the USSR (Toronto)

Davis, The Emancipation Circuit: Black Activism Forging a Culture of Freedom (Duke)

Doenecke, More Precious than Peace: A New History of America in World War I (Notre Dame)

Engelman and Shenkman, A Century of Repression: The Espionage Act and Freedom of the Press (Illinois)

Faragher, California: An American History (Yale)

Fernández, The Young Lords: A Radical History (North Carolina)

Fitzpatrick, True Story: How a Pulp Empire Remade Mass Media (Harvard)

Fleming, Living the Dream: The Contested History of Martin Luther King Jr. Day (North Carolina)

Geiger, Converging Empires: Citizens and Subjects in the North Pacific Borderlands, 1867–1945 (North Carolina)

Gin Lum, Heathen: Religion and Race in American History (Harvard)

Gorski and Perry, The Flag and the Cross: White Christian Nationalism and the Threat to American Democracy (Oxford)

Gray, et al., eds., Black Radical Tradition: A Reader (Verso)

Gruesz, Cotton Mather’s Spanish Lessons: A Story of Language, Race, and Belonging in the Early Americas (Harvard)

Halliday, Buy Black: How Black Women Transformed US Pop Culture (Illinois)

Halvorson and Reno, Imagining the Heartland: White Supremacy and the American Midwest (California)

Hernández, Border Bodies: Racialized Sexuality, Sexual Capital, and Violence in the Nineteenth-Century Borderlands (North Carolina)

Hirsch, Powering American Farms: The Overlooked Origins of Rural Electrification (Johns Hopkins)

Hirshberg, Suburban Empire: Cold War Militarization in the US Pacific (California)

Hochman, The Listeners: A History of Wiretapping in the United States (Harvard)

Iannini, Fatal Revolutions: Natural History, West Indian Slavery, and the Routes of American Literature (North Carolina)

Ignatiev, Treason to Whiteness is Loyalty to Humanity (Verso)

Johnson, The Middle Kingdom under the Big Sky: A History of the Chinese Experience in Montana (Nebraska)

Jung, Menace to Empire: Anticolonial Solidarities and the Transpacific Origins of the US Security State (California)

Khor, Transpacific Convergences: Race, Migration, and Japanese American Film Culture before World War II (North Carolina)

Lambert, The Literary Mafia: Jews, Publishing, and Postwar American Literature (Yale)

Lindsey, America, Goddam: Violence, Black Women, and the Struggle for Justice (California)

Malton, A Man among Other Men: The Crisis of Black Masculinity in Racial Capitalism (Cornell)

Manzullo-Thomas, Exhibiting Evangelicalism: Commemoration and Religion’s Presence of the Past (Massachusetts)

Mather, ed. by Smolinski and Minkema, A Cotton Mather Reader (Yale)

Mayar, Citizens and Rulers of the World: The American Child and the Cartographic Pedagogies of Empire (North Carolina)

McCrary, Sincerely Held: American Secularism and Its Believers (Chicago)

McDowell, We the Miners: Self-Government in the California Gold Rush (Harvard)

McEwan, Cinema’s Original Sin: D.W. Griffith, American Racism, and the Rise of Film Culture (Texas)

Mohrman, Exceptionally Queer: Mormon Peculiarity and U.S. Nationalism (Minnesota)

Montaño and Postma-Montaño, Tactics of Hope in Latinx Children’s and Young Adult Literature (New Mexico)

Morris, Dismal Freedom: A History of the Maroons of the Great Dismal Swamp (North Carolina)

Murphy, We the Dead: Preserving Data at the End of the World (North Carolina)

Nielsen and Heather, Finding Right Relations: Quakers, Native Americans, and Settler Colonialism (Arizona)

Oskison, Unconquerable: The Story of John Ross, Chief of the Cherokees, 1828–1866 (Nebraska)

Paligutan, Lured by the American Dream: Filipino Servants in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, 1952-1970 (Illinois)

Payne, Gin, Jesus, and Jim Crow: Prohibition and the Transformation of Racial and Religious Politics in the South (Louisiana State)

Rampell, Genres of Privacy in Postwar America (Stanford)

Schaeffer, Unsettled Borders: The Militarized Science of Surveillance on Sacred Indigenous Land (Duke)

Shragai, Cold War Paradise: Settlement, Culture, and Identity-Making among U.S. Americans in Costa Rica, 1945–1980 (Nebraska)

Smalley, with Reeves, The Market in Birds: Commercial Hunting, Conservation, and the Origins of Wildlife Consumerism, 1850–1920 (Johns Hopkins)

Song, Climate Lyricism (Duke)

Stevenson, Feeling the Future at Christian End-Time Performances (Michigan)

Temin, Never Together: The Economic History of a Segregated America (Cambridge)

Verney, A Great and Rising Nation: Naval Exploration and Global Empire in the Early US Republic (Chicago)

Wallach, Every Nation Has Its Dish: Black Bodies and Black Food in Twentieth-Century America (North Carolina)

Walvin, A World Transformed: Slavery in the Americas and the Origins of Global Power (California)

Wolcott, Living in the Future: Utopianism and the Long Civil Rights Movement (Chicago)

Zacharias, Reading Mennonite Writing: A Study in Minor Transnationalism (Penn State)

Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern Studies


Ackerman, Women and the Religion of Ancient Israel (Yale)

Ager, The Scent of Ancient Magic (Michigan)

Akhtar, 1368: China and the Making of the Modern World (Stanford)

Almqvist, Chaos, Cosmos and Creation in Early Greek Theogonies: An Ontological Exploration (Bloomsbury)

Bayliss, The Spartans: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford)

Belich, The World the Plague Made: The Black Death and the Rise of Europe (Princeton)

Bellwood, The Five-Million-Year Odyssey: The Human Journey from Ape to Agriculture (Princeton)

Brakke, The Gospel of Judas: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Yale)

Corbally and Sullivan, The Early Modern World, 1450-1750: Seeds of Modernity (Bloomsbury)

DeJean, Mutinous Women: How French Convicts Became Founding Mothers of the Gulf Coast (Basic Books)

Derbew, Untangling Blackness in Greek Antiquity (Cambridge)

D’Etcheverry, Celebrating Sorrow: Medieval Tributes to “The Tale of Sagoromo” (Cornell)

Donnan, La Mina: A Royal Moche Tomb (New Mexico)

Ehrman, Journeys to Heaven and Hell: Tours of the Afterlife in the Early Christian Tradition (Yale)

Fletcher, Classical Greek Tragedy (Bloomsbury)

Fonzo, Retrospective Prophecy and Medieval English Authorship (Toronto)

Frank, The Etiquette of Early Northern Verse (Notre Dame)

Green, The Normans: Power, Conquest and Culture in 11th Century Europe (Yale)

Hackett, The Elizabethan Mind (Yale)

Harwood, Medieval Women and War: Female Roles in the Old French Tradition (Bloomsbury)

Hedeman, Visual Translation: Illuminated Manuscripts and the First French Humanists (Notre Dame)

Homza, Village Infernos and Witches’ Advocates: Witch-Hunting in Navarre, 1608–1614 (Penn State)

Karnes, Medieval Marvels and Fictions in the Latin West and Islamic World (Chicago)

Kay, Medieval Song from Aristotle to Opera (Cornell)

King, Dynasties Intertwined: The Zirids of Ifriqiya and the Normans of Sicily (Cornell)

König, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (Princeton)

Konstan, The Origin of Sin: Greece and Rome, Early Judaism and Christianity (Bloomsbury)

Krummel, The Medieval Postcolonial Jew, In and Out of Time (Michigan)

Lacey, Rome: Strategy of Empire (Oxford)

Lane, The Inca (Reaktion)

Llewellyn-Jones, Persians: The Age of the Great Kings (Basic Books)

Lygo, The Emperors of Byzantium (Thames & Hudson)

Lykophron, The Alexandra of Lykophron (Oxford)

Mackey, Belief and Cult: Rethinking Roman Religion (Princeton)

Marshall, Reformation England, 1480-1642 (Bloomsbury)

O’Neil, The Maya (Reaktion)

Pitts, How to Build Stonehenge (Thames & Hudson)

Podany, Weavers, Scribes, and Kings: A New History of the Ancient Near East (Oxford)

Silver, The Purpled World: Marketing Haute Couture in the Aegean Bronze Age (Harvard)

Stater, Hoax: The Catholic Plot that Never Was (Yale)

Stavrinaki, Transfixed by Prehistory: An Inquiry into Modern Art and Time (Zone Books)

Strassfeld, Trans Talmud: Androgynes and Eunuchs in Rabbinic Literature (California)

Tallet and Lehner, The Red Sea Scrolls: How Ancient Papyri Reveal the Secrets of the Pyramids (Thames & Hudson)

Videen, The Wordhord: Daily Life in Old English (Princeton)

Watenpaugh, The Missing Pages: The Modern Life of a Medieval Manuscript, from Genocide to Justice (Stanford)

Waters, King of the World: The Life of Cyrus the Great (Oxford)

Williams, ed. and trans., Elegies of Chu: An Anthology of Early Chinese Poetry (Oxford)

Zimbalist, Translating Christ in the Middle Ages: Gender, Authorship, and the Visionary Text (Notre Dame)

SF / Fantasy / Horror Studies


Albrecht, The Machine Anxieties of Steampunk: Contemporary Philosophy, Victorian Aesthetics, and the Future (Bloomsbury)

Bohn, The Vampire: Origins of a European Myth (Berghahn)

Bukatman, Black Panther (Texas)

Driggers, Queering Faith in Fantasy Literature: Fantastic Incarnations and the Deconstruction of Theology (Bloomsbury)

Driscoll, et al., Genre Worlds: Popular Fiction and Twenty-First-Century Book Culture (Massachusetts)

Edwards, et al., eds., Dark Scenes from Damaged Earth: The Gothic Anthropocene (Minnesota)

Gerhards, Postfeminism and Contemporary Vampire Romance: Representations of Gender and Sexuality in Film and Television (Bloomsbury)

Gordon, Mary Shelley: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford)

Kincaid, Brian W. Aldiss (Illinois)

Lawrence, Ghost Channels: Paranormal Reality Television and the Haunting of Twenty-First-Century America (Mississippi)

Lowenstein, Horror Film and Otherness (Columbia)

Midkiff, Equipping Space Cadets: Primary Science Fiction for Young Children (Mississippi)

Miller, The Transformative Potential of LGBTQ+ Children’s Picture Books (Mississippi)

Oziewicz, Fantasy and Myth in the Anthropocene: Imagining Futures and Dreaming Hope in Literature and Media (Bloomsbury)

Suvin, ed. by O’Connell, Disputing the Deluge: Collected 21st-Century Writings on Utopia, Narration, and Survival (Bloomsbury)

Turnock, The Empire of Effects: Industrial Light & Magic and the Rendering of Realism (Texas)

Wynter, Critical Race Theory and Jordan Peele’s Get Out (Bloomsbury)

Young, Magic in Merlin’s Realm: A History of Occult Politics in Britain (Cambridge)

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