New Books in Critical Theory

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Few figures stand as prominently in Marxist theory and history as V.I. Lenin. The revolutionary who played a pivotal role in one of the most important events in world history has received reverence, damnation, and everything in between, but muc
Minna Salami's book Sensuous Knowledge: A Black Feminist Approach for Everyone (Amistad/HarperCollins, 2021) is a collection of thought provoking essays that explore questions central to how we see ourselves, our history, and our world. -What d
Welcome to The Academic Life. You are smart and capable, but you aren’t an island and neither are we. So we are reaching across our mentor network to bring you podcasts on everything from how to finish that project, to how to take care of your
How can ideas from sociology help us understand history and economics? In Trade and Nation: How Companies and Politics Reshaped Economic Thought (Columbia UP, 2021), Emily Erikson, Associate Professor of Sociology at Yale and Academic Director
In this episode, I interview Rachel Zolf—a poet whose “interdisciplinary practice explores questions about history, knowledge, subjectivity, responsibility, and the limits of language, meaning, and the human”—about their new book, No One’s Witn
Until the recent political shift pushed workers back into the media spotlight, the mainstream media had largely ignored this significant part of American society in favor of the moneyed upscale consumer for more than four decades. Christopher R
In Between Subjects: A Critical Genealogy of Queer Performance (Routledge, 2021) is a study of the connected ideas of "queer" and "gender performance" or "performativity" over the past several decades, providing an ambitious history and crucial
We live in strange times. Politics around the world seem to be transforming into something new and often frightening. But this process has a history. In 1989, the bi-polar certainties of the Cold War gave way to a neo-liberal consensus, what Fr
In Queering Femininity: Sexuality, Feminism and the Politics of Presentation (Routledge, 2019), Hannah McCann asks, “how can we consider femininity in a way that best attends to people’s experiences of, and attachment to, feminine styles?” McCa
Can new language reshape our understanding of the past and expand the possibilities of the future? The Crime Without a Name: Combatting Ethnocide and the Erasure of Culture in America (Counterpoint, 2021) follows Pitner’s journey to identify an
Stanley Mirvis' The Jews of Eighteenth-Century Jamaica: A Testamentary History of a Diaspora in Transition (Yale University Press, 2020) offers an in-depth look at the Portuguese Jews of Jamaica and their connections to broader European and Atl
Lynne Huffer, the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Womens and Gender Studies at Emory University to speaks widely about the body of her work, including her her new book, Foucault’s Strange Eros, out in 2020 with Columbia University Press.  Wha
How can we think together multiplicity and agency? How can we resist oppression and build transformative political coalitions while attending to the ambivalences and incommensurabilities born of the collective conditions for action, meaning mak
It is a familiar story: A recipient of public assistance funds is caught buying expensive steaks, seafood, or other luxury foods with food stamps at the grocery store. Or they wear designer clothes and drive extravagant cars, belying the need f
Throughout American history to the twenty-first century, regardless of the laws, court decisions, and changing political environment, the Second Amendment has consistently meant this: That the second a Black person exercises this right, the sec
One of the most fundamental aspects of modern life is that much of it is lived on and through social media. We create profiles, post pictures, update stories, and even find new careers and lovers on various sites and apps. But is all this good
As ongoing controversies over commercial sex attest, the relationship between capitalism and sexuality is deeply contentious. Economic and sexual practices are assumed to be not only separable but antithetical, hence why paid sex is so often cr
What is creativity? While our traditional view of creative work might lead us to think of artists as solitary visionaries, the creative process is profoundly influenced by social interactions even when artists work alone. Hannah Wohl speaks wit
Crisis? What Crisis? At a time where there are repeated claims of the impending demise of art criticism, The Ends of Art Criticism (Lund Humphries Publishers, 2021) dispel these myths by arguing that the lack of a single dominant voice in criti
Worlding Postcolonial Sexualities: Publics, Counterpublics, Human Rights (Routledge, 2021) demonstrates how late twentieth century postcolonial print cultures initiated a public discourse on sexual activism and contends that postcolonial femini
Art as an Interface of Law and Justice: Affirmation, Disturbance, Disruption (Hart Publishing, 2021) looks at the way in which the 'call for justice' is portrayed through art and presents a wide range of texts from film to theatre to essays and
How can music change the world? In Sonic Intimacy: Reggae Sound Systems, Jungle Pirate Radio and Grime YouTube Music Videos (Bloomsbury, 2020), Malcolm James, Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex, introduces
As we taste, chew, swallow, digest, and excrete, our foods transform us, while our eating, in its turn, affects the wider earthly environment. In Eating in Theory (Duke UP, 2021), Annemarie Mol takes inspiration from these transformative entang
The Marxist philosopher Theodor Adorno once quipped that much of his work was written without practical applications in mind, and that the constant demand for immediate practical relevance felt like being asked by occupied forces to present one
Elite white women have branded feminism, promising an apolitical individual empowerment along with sexual liberation and satisfaction, LGBTQ inclusion, and racial solidarity. As Rafia Zakaria expertly argues in Against White Feminism: Notes on
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