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)

Lauren, Sex Work in Popular Culture (Toronto)

Manias, The Age of Mammals: International Paleontology in the Long Nineteenth Century (Pittsburgh)

McCabe, Why Sinéad O’Connor Matters (Texas)

Mendelson, Spoiled: The Myth of Milk as Superfood (Columbia)

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)

Rice, The Rhetoric of Outrage: Why Social Media Is Making Us Angry (South Carolina)

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)

Traverso, trans. by Schoene, Singular Pasts: The “I” in Historiography (Columbia)

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)

Barton, Writing and Rewriting the Reich: Women Journalists in the Nazi and Post-War Press (Toronto)

Bender and Cinotto, Food Mobilities: Making World Cuisines (Toronto)

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)

Chen, trans. by Hsu, et al., Puppet Flower: A Novel of 1867 Formosa (Columbia)

Clements, A Short History of Finland (Haus Publishing)

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

Collins, Newman, and Jun, Global White Supremacy: Anti-Blackness and the University as Colonizer (Rutgers)

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)

Eroshenk, trans. by Kuplowsky, The Narrow Cage and Other Modern Fairy Tales (Columbia)

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)

Guerra, Patriots and Traitors in Revolutionary Cuba, 1961–1981 (Pittsburgh)

Guha, Ecologies of Empire in South Asia, 1400-1900 (Washington)

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)

Kabat, trans., The River Imp and the Stinky Jewel and Other Tales: Monster Comics from Edo Japan (Columbia)

Lahiri, Searching for Ashoka: Questing for a Buddhist King from India to Thailand (SUNY)

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)

Rottmann, Queer Lives across the Wall: Desire and Danger in Divided Berlin, 1945–1970 (Toronto)

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)

Scholz, Redeeming Objects: A West German Mythology (Wisconsin)

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)

Simon, Truly Human: Indigeneity and Indigenous Resurgence on Formosa (Toronto)

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)

Yuan, Alimentary Orientalism: Britain’s Literary Imagination and the Edible East (Bucknell)

American Studies

Aldrich, Casseroles, Can Openers, and Jell-O: American Food and the Cold War, 1947–1959 (SUNY)

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)

Berlo, Not Native American Art: Fakes, Replicas, and Invented Traditions (Washington)

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)

Debies-Carl, If You Should Go at Midnight: Legends and Legend Tripping in America (Mississippi)

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)

Ingram, Imperiled Whiteness: How Hollywood and Media Make Race in “Postracial” America (Mississippi)

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)

Ling, Asian American History (Rutgers)

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)

Smith, Season to Taste: Rewriting Kitchen Space in Contemporary Women’s Food Memoirs (Mississippi)

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)

Holliday, Cro-Magnon: The Story of the Last Ice Age People of Europe (Columbia)

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)

Racette-Campbell, The Crisis of Masculinity in the Age of Augustus (Wisconsin)

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)

Sechen, trans. by Elverskog, The Precious Summary: A History of the Mongols from Chinggis Khan to the Qing Dynasty (Columbia)

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)

Bigelow, Menacing Environments: Ecohorror in Contemporary Nordic Cinema (Washington)

Brown, Super Bodies: Comic Book Illustration, Artistic Styles, and Narrative Impact (Texas)

Burke, Hero Me Not: The Containment of the Most Powerful Black, Female Superhero (Rutgers)

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

Geczy and McBurnie, Litcomix: Literary Theory and the Graphic Novel (Rutgers)

Gillota, Dead Funny: The Humor of American Horror (Rutgers)

Ginsburg, The Cyborg Caribbean: Techno-Dominance in Twenty-First-Century Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican Science Fiction (Rutgers)

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

Joslin, Afrofuturisms: Ecology, Humanity, and Francophone Cultural Expressions (Ohio)

Lechuga, Visions of Invasion: Alien Affects, Cinema, and Citizenship in Settler Colonies (Mississippi)

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

Passey, Cornish Gothic (Wales)

Peck, Digital Legend and Belief: The Slender Man, Folklore, and the Media (Wisconsin)

Plotz, Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea (Oxford)

Pugh, Queer Oz: L. Frank Baum’s Trans Tales and Other Astounding Adventures in Sex and Gender (Mississippi)

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

Telotte, Selling Science Fiction Cinema: Making and Marketing a Genre (Texas)


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