New and Forthcoming Publications

Black Lives Under Nazism: Making History Visible in Literature and Art

Columbia UP, 2024.

Sarah Casteel

In a little-known chapter of World War II, Black people living in Nazi Germany and occupied Europe were subjected to ostracization, forced sterilization, and incarceration in internment and concentration camps. In the absence of public commemoration, African diaspora writers and artists have preserved the stories of these forgotten victims of the Third Reich. Their works illuminate the relationship between creative expression and wartime survival and the role of art in the formation of collective memory.

This groundbreaking book explores a range of largely overlooked literary and artistic works that challenge the invisibility of Black wartime history. Emphasizing Black agency, Sarah Phillips Casteel examines both testimonial art by victims of the Nazi regime and creative works that imaginatively reconstruct the wartime period. Among these are the internment art of Caribbean painter Josef Nassy, the survivor memoir of Black German journalist Hans J. Massaquoi, the jazz fiction of African American novelist John A. Williams and Black Canadian novelist Esi Edugyan, and the photomontages of Scottish Ghanaian visual artist Maud Sulter. Bridging Black and Jewish studies, this book identifies the significance of African diaspora experiences and artistic expression for Holocaust history, memory, and representation.

The Eye of the Master: Figures of the Québécois Colonial Imaginary

McGill-Queen’s UP, 2023

Dalie Giroux

Jennifer Henderson (trans.)

In the Québécois political vision of the twentieth century, sovereignty became synonymous with mastery. French Canadians sometimes claimed solidarity with racialized and Indigenous peoples, yet they saw their liberation as a matter of taking their rightful place in the seat of the oppressors. The idea of mastery has prevented the Québécois from seeing that their liberation is bound up with that of other groups oppressed by colonial powers.

The Eye of the Master confronts the missed opportunities for a decolonial version of indépendance in Quebec by examining the quest for mastery that has been at the root of every version of independence offered to the people of Quebec since the mid-twentieth century. Exploring political discourse, popular culture, and the family photo album, Dalie Giroux revisits the mythology of being “masters in our own house” and identifies the obstacles blocking a more comprehensive version of liberation based on solidarity. Drawing from the living forces of Indigenous thought and anti-racist, ecological, and feminist movements, Giroux envisions life without conquest, domination, exploitation, and surveillance. Making the case for a different future, beginning in the here and now, The Eye of the Master offers a major new intervention in contemporary political thought to Canadian readers and all those who imagine a different North America.

Climate Change, Interrupted
Representation and the Remaking of Time

Stanford University Press, 2022

Barbara Leckie

In this moment of climate precarity, Victorian studies scholar Barbara Leckie considers the climate crisis as a problem of time. Spanning the long nineteenth century through our current moment, her interdisciplinary treatment of climate change at once rethinks time and illustrates that the time for climate action is now. Climate Change, Interrupted argues that linear, progress-inflected temporalities are not adequate to a crisis that defies their terms. Instead, this book advances a theory and practice of interruption to rethink prevailing temporal frameworks. At the same time, it models the anachronistic, time-blending, and time-layering temporality it advances. In a series of experimental chapters informed by the unlikely trio of Walter Benjamin, Donna Haraway, and Virginia Woolf, Leckie reinflects and cowrites the traditions and knowledges of the long nineteenth century and the current period in the spirit of climate action collaboration. The current moment demands as many approaches as possible, invites us to take risks, and asks scholars and activists adept at storytelling to participate in the conversation. Climate Change, Interrupted, accordingly, invests in interruption to tell a different story of the climate crisis.

The Living and the Dead: Disaffirming Biopolitics

Penn State UP, 2022

Stuart Murray

Arguing that biopower can be fully exposed only through an analysis of those whom society has “let die,” Stuart J. Murray employs a series of transdisciplinary case studies to uncover the structural and rhetorical conditions through which biopower works. These case studies include the concept of “sacrifice” in the “war” against COVID-19, where emergent cultures of pandemic “resistance” are explored alongside suicide bombings and military suicides; the California mass hunger strikes of 2013; legal cases involving “preventable” and “untimely” childhood deaths, exposing the irreconcilable claims of anti-vaxxers and Indigenous peoples; and the videorecording of the death of a disabled Black man. Murray demonstrates that active resistance to biopower inevitably reproduces tropes of “making live” and “letting die.” His counter to this fact is a critical stance of disaffirmation, one in which death disrupts the politics politics of life itself.

The Origins of the Bible and Early Modern Political Thought

Cambridge University Press, 2021

Travis DeCook

In this book, Travis DeCook explores the theological and political innovations found in early modern accounts of the Bible’s origins. In the charged climate produced by the Reformation and humanist historicism, writers grappled with the tension between the Bible’s divine and human aspects, and they produced innovative narratives regarding the agencies and processes through which the Bible came into existence and was transmitted. DeCook investigates how these accounts of Scripture’s production were taken up beyond the expected boundaries of biblical study, and were redeployed as the theological basis for wide-reaching arguments about the proper ordering of human life. DeCook provides a new, critical perspective on ideas regarding secularity, secularization, and modernity, challenging the dominant narratives regarding the Bible’s role in these processes. He shows how these engagements with the Bible’s origins prompt a rethinking of formulations of secularity and secularization in our own time.

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