Spring 2023 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 2023 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.
  • 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


Albritton Jonsson and Wennerlind, Scarcity A History from the Origins of Capitalism to the Climate Crisis (Harvard)

Barton, The Word: How We Translate the Bible—and Why It Matters (Basic Books)

Boslund and Hamilton, The Official Cookbook of the Chile Pepper Institute (New Mexico)

Cabral, How to Clean a Fish and Other Adventures in Portugal (Alberta)

Conway, How to Read Like You Mean It (Athabasca)

Dolan, Breakfast Cereal: A Global History (Reaktion Books)

Ferguson, Letterpress Revolution: The Politics of Anarchist Print Culture (Duke)

Gerhardt, Sea Change: An Atlas of Islands in a Rising Ocean (California)

Hoffman, trans. by Zipes, The Wounded Storyteller: The Traumatic Tales of E. T. A. Hoffmann (Yale)

Jackson, An Introduction to Black Studies (Kentucky)

Kingdon, Origin Africa: A Natural History (Princeton)

Nanak, trans. by Singh, Poems from the Sikh Sacred Tradition (Harvard)

Oksala, Feminism, Capitalism, and Ecology (Northwestern)

Rees and Kilcoyne, Wales on this Day (Wales)

Robinson, Now that’s What I Call a History of the 1980s: Pop Culture and Politics in the Decade that Shaped Modern Britain (Manchester)

Steven, Class War: A Literary History (Verso)

Surdas, trans. by Hawley, Sur’s Ocean: Classic Hindi Poetry in Translation (Harvard)

Teter, Christian Supremacy: Reckoning with the Roots of Antisemitism and Racism (Princeton)

Witham, Popularizing the Past: Historians, Publishers, and Readers in Postwar America (Chicago)

Yeo, Behind the Search Box: Google and the Global Internet Industry (Illinois)

Zeide, US History in 15 Foods (Bloomsbury)

Zipes, Buried Treasures: The Power of Political Fairy Tales (Princeton)

World Cultural Studies


Alexander, Red Closet: The Hidden History of Gay Oppression in the USSR (Manchester)

Armstrong, Bury the Corpse of Colonialism: The Revolutionary Feminist Conference of 1949 (California)

Beydoun, The New Crusades: Islamophobia and the Global War on Muslims (California)

Blackwell, Kyiv as Regime City: The Return of Soviet Power after Nazi Occupation (Rochester)

Byrnes, God on the Western Front: Soldiers and Religion in World War I (Penn State)

Cha and Pacheco Pardo, Korea: A New History of South and North (Yale)

Clements, A Short History of Finland (Haus Publishing)

Clutario, Beauty Regimes: A History of Power and Modern Empire in the Philippines, 1898–1941 (Duke)

Cunliffe, Facing the Sea of Sand: The Sahara and the Peoples of Northern Africa (Oxford)

Enzensberger, Anarchy’s Brief Summer: The Life and Death of Buenaventura Durruti (Seagull Books)

Glajar, The Secret Police Dossier of Herta Müller: A “File Story” of Cold War Surveillance (Camden House)

Goodman, The Nonconformists: American and Czech Writers across the Iron Curtain (Harvard)

Harrison, Secret Leviathan: Secrecy and State Capacity under Soviet Communism (Stanford)

Isabella, Southern Europe in the Age of Revolutions (Princeton)

Jager, The Other Great Game: The Opening of Korea and the Birth of Modern East Asia (Harvard)

Joskiwicz, Rain of Ash: Roma, Jews, and the Holocaust (Princeton)

Matthiesen, The Caliph and the Imam: The Making of Sunnism and Shiism (Oxford)

Ober, Dust on the Throne: The Search for Buddhism in Modern India (Stanford)

Okoth, Red Africa: Reclaiming Revolutionary Black Politics (Verso)

Özyürek, Subcontractors of Guilt: Holocaust Memory and Muslim Belonging in Postwar Germany (Stanford)

Pantsov, trans. by Levine, Victorious in Defeat: The Life and Times of Chiang Kai-shek, China, 1887-1975 (Yale)

Parker, ed., Great Kingdoms of Africa (California)

Port, Never Again: Germans and Genocide after the Holocaust (Harvard)

Pravilova, The Ruble: A Political History (Oxford)

Rady, The Middle Kingdoms: A New History of Central Europe (Basic Books)

Reay and Attwood, Dirty Books: Erotic Fiction and the Avant-Garde in Mid-Century Paris and New York (Manchester)

Reid, Spain: The Trials and Triumphs of a Modern European Country (Yale)

Rexhepi, White Enclosures: Racial Capitalism and Coloniality along the Balkan Route (Duke)

Salazkina, World Socialist Cinema: Alliances, Affinities, and Solidarities in the Global Cold War (California) [OA]

Schlögel, The Soviet Century: Archaeology of a Lost World (Princeton)

Scott, Defectors: How the Illicit Flight of Soviet Citizens Built the Borders of the Cold War World (Oxford)

Semerdjian, Remnants: Embodied Archives of the Armenian Genocide (Stanford)

Stansky, The Socialist Patriot: George Orwell and War (Stanford)

Stern, Empire, Incorporated: The Corporations That Built British Colonialism (Harvard)

Tharoor, B.R. Ambedkar: The Man Who Gave Hope to India’s Dispossessed (Manchester)

Torres and Zimmer, eds., With Freedom in Our Ears: Histories of Jewish Anarchism (Illinois)

Ward, Untied Kingdom: A Global History of the End of Britain (Cambridge)

Wilson, Iron and Blood: A Military History of the German-Speaking Peoples since 1500 (Harvard)

Winchester, Common Land in Britain: A History from the Middle Ages to the Present Day (Boydell)

Wolff, The Shadow of the Empress: Fairy-Tale Opera and the End of the Habsburg Monarchy (Stanford)

American Studies


Arnbjörnsdóttir, et al., eds., Icelandic Heritage in North America (Manitoba)

Bailey, An Army Afire: How the US Army Confronted Its Racial Crisis in the Vietnam Era (North Carolina)

Blackhawk, The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History (Yale)

Chapman, Remaking the World: Decolonization and the Cold War (Kentucky)

Costaguta, Workers of All Colors Unite: Race and the Origins of American Socialism (Illinois)

Darity, et al., The Black Reparations Project: A Handbook for Racial Justice (California)

Dennis, American Relics and the Politics of Public Memory (Massachusetts)

Diaz, Postcolonial Configurations: Dictatorship, the Racial Cold War, and Filipino America (Duke)

Elmore, Country Capitalism: How Corporations from the American South Remade Our Economy and the Planet (North Carolina)

Eschmann, When the Hood Comes Off: Racism and Resistance in the Digital Age (California)

Goodman, Everyone against Us: Public Defenders and the Making of American Justice (Chicago)

Griffler, The Freedom Movement’s Lost Legacy: Black Abolitionism since Emancipation (Kentucky)

Hargraves, Uncomfortable Television (Duke)

Hobart, Cooling the Tropics: Ice, Indigeneity, and Hawaiian Refreshment (Duke)

Holloway, African American History: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford)

Holt, The Civil Rights Movement: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford)

Jacobson, On Nixon’s Madness: An Emotional History (Johns Hopkins)

Johnson, The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government, enlarged edition (Chicago)

Johnson, Seattle in Coalition: Multiracial Alliances, Labor Politics, and Transnational Activism in the Pacific Northwest, 1970–1999 (North Carolina)

Kantrowitz, Citizens of a Stolen Land: A Ho-Chunk History of the Nineteenth-Century United States (North Carolina)

Kaus, Fighting Over There: U.S. War Making and Contemporary Refugee Literature (Massachusetts)

Langlois, The Corporation and the Twentieth Century: The History of American Business Enterprise (Princeton)

Nkowcha, Vodou en Vogue: Fashioning Black Divinities in Haiti and the United States (North Carolina)

Ostler, The United States of English: The American Language from Colonial Times to the Twenty-First Century (Oxford)

Parker and Walker-McWilliams, eds., The New Civil Rights Movement Reader: Resistance, Resilience, and Justice (Massachusetts)

Reyna, Deadly Contradictions: The New American Empire and Global Warring (Berghahn) [OA]

Rivaya-Martínez, Indigenous Borderlands Native Agency, Resilience, and Power in the Americas (Oklahoma)

Skilton, Tempest: Hurricane Naming and American Culture (Louisiana State)

Strasser, Half-Life of a Secret: Reckoning with a Hidden History (Kentucky)

Szalay, Second Lives: Black-Market Melodramas and the Reinvention of Television (California)

Thompson, A Laughable Empire: The US Imagines the Pacific World, 1840-1890 (Penn State)

Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern Studies


Adler and Strohm, Alle Thyng Hath Tyme: Time and Medieval Life (Reaktion Books)

Almond, Mary Magdalene: A Cultural History (Cambridge)

Anderson and Ivanova, eds., Is Byzantine Studies a Colonialist Discipline? Toward a Critical Historiography (Penn State)

Boudaeva, trans., Jangar: The Heroic Epic of the Kalmyk Nomads (California)

Bowen, Early Modern Wales, c.1536–1689: Ambiguous Nationhood (Wales)

Cooper, Queens of a Fallen World: The Lost Women of Augustine’s Confessions (Basic Books)

Crook, Robin Hood: Legend and Reality (Boydell)

Drake, Cornwall, Connectivity and Identity in the Fourteenth Century (Boydell)

Ehret, Ancient Africa: A Global History, to 300 CE (Princeton)

Enheduana, trans. by Helle, Enheduana: The Complete Poems of the World’s First Author (Yale)

Feldman, trans., The Consuming Fire: The Complete Priestly Source, from Creation to the Promised Land (California)

Frahm, Assyria: The Rise and Fall of the World’s First Empire (Basic Books)

Gibson, The Witches of St Osyth: Persecution, Betrayal, and Murder in Elizabethan England (Cambridge)

Gruffydd, trans. by Ford, Tales of Merlin, Arthur, and the Magic Arts: From the Welsh Chronicle of the Six Ages of the World (California)

Hindley, Textual Magic: Charms and Written Amulets in Medieval England (California)

Newitt, Navigations: The Portuguese Discoveries and the Renaissance (Reaktion Books)

Ottewill-Soulsby, The Emperor and the Elephant: Christians and Muslims in the Age of Charlemagne (Princeton)

Pegg, Beatrice’s Last Smile: A New History of the Middle Ages (Oxford)

Raffensperger and Ostrowski, The Ruling Families of Rus: Clan, Family and Kingdom (Reaktion Books)

Rastall with Taylor, Minstrels and Minstrelsy in Late Medieval England (Boydell)

Rice, The Medieval Hospital: Literary Culture and Community in England, 1350-1550 (Notre Dame)

Rinke, Conquistadors and Aztecs: A History of the Fall of Tenochtitlan (Oxford)

Simon, The Pirates’ Code: Laws and Life Aboard Ship (Reaktion Books)

Smith, Fragments of a World: William of Auvergne and His Medieval Life (California)

Spawforth, What the Greeks Did for Us (Yale)

Starr, The Genius of their Age: Ibn Sina, Biruni, and the Lost Enlightenment (Oxford)

Stone, The Hittites: Lost Civilizations (Reaktion Books)

Stothard, Palatine: An Alternative History of the Caesars (Oxford)

Sullivan, Eleanor of Aquitaine, as It Was Said: Truth and Tales about the Medieval Queen (California)

Taub, Ancient Greek and Roman Science: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford)

Wackers, Introducing the Medieval Fox (Wales)

Wilkinson, Ramesses the Great: Egypt’s King of Kings (Yale)

Wollenberg, The Closed Book: How the Rabbis Taught the Jews (Not) to Read the Bible (Princeton)

SF / Fantasy / Horror Studies


Bevan, Gothic Literary Travel and Tourism (Wales)

Dalton, Robo Sacer: Necroliberalism and Cyborg Resistance in Mexican and Chicanx Dystopias (Vanderbilt)

Grumberg, ed., Middle Eastern Gothics: Literature, Spectral Modernities and the Restless Past (Wales)

Mustafa, The Blaxploitation Horror Film: Adaptation, Appropriation and the Gothic (Wales)

Passey, Cornish Gothic (Wales)

Plotz, Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea (Oxford)

Shindell, For the Love of Mars: A Human History of the Red Planet (Chicago)

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