May 26, 2022
We have another amazing season ahead of us at the University of Arizona Press. Here’s a preview of our upcoming fall 2022 season with the best the Press has to offer, from Indigenous lit, Latinx poetry, to Indigenous studies, anthropology, borderlands, as well as the return of a classic you love. You know the drill. Tuck in.
Detective Monique Blue Hawk returns in Devon A. Mihesuah new novel, Dance of the Returned. The disappearance of a young Choctaw leads Detective Blue Hawk to investigate a little-known ceremonial dance. As she traces the steps of the missing man, she discovers that the seemingly innocuous Renewal Dance is not what it appears to be. After Monique embarks on a journey that she never thought possible, she learns that the past and future can converge to offer endless possibilities for the present. She must also accept her own destiny of violence and peacekeeping.
In Raven’s Echo, Tlingit artist and poet Robert Davis Hoffmann calls on readers to nurture material as well as spiritual life, asking beautiful and brutal questions about our individual positions within the universe and within history. The poems in this collection are brimming with an imaginative array of characters, including the playful yet sometimes disturbing trickster Raven, and offer insights into both traditional and contemporary Native life in southeast Alaska.
Cenizas offers an arresting portrait of a Salvadoran family whose lives have been shaped by the upheavals of global politics. The speaker of these poems—the daughter of Salvadoran immigrants—questions the meaning of homeland as she navigates life in the United States while remaining tethered to El Salvador by the long shadows cast by personal and public history. Cynthia Guardado’s poems give voice to the grief of family trauma, while capturing moments of beauty and tenderness. Maternal figures preside over the verses, guiding the speaker as she searches the ashes of history to tell her family’s story. The spare, narrative style of the poems are filled with depth as the family’s layers come to light.
Published more than forty years ago, The Desert Smells Like Rain: A Naturalist in O’odham Country by Gary Paul Nabhan remains a classic work about nature, how to respect it, and what transplants can learn from the longtime residents of the Sonoran Desert, the Tohono O’odham people. This edition includes a new preface written by the author, in which he reflects on his gratitude for the O’odham people who shared their knowledge with him.
This special rerelease also includes a beautiful new cover by Tohono O’odham artist Michael Chiago, who happens to have a book coming out this spring 2022 season with Press on his work depicting O’odham life and traditions, Michael Chiago: O’odham Lifeways Through Art.
In Sonoran Desert Journeys: Ecology and Evolution of Its Iconic Species ecologist Theodore H. Fleming discusses two remarkable journeys. First, Fleming offers a brief history of our intellectual and technical journey over the past three centuries to understand the evolution of life on Earth. Next, he applies those techniques on a journey of discovery about the evolution and natural history of some of the Sonoran Desert’s most iconic animals and plants. Fleming details the daily lives of a variety of reptiles, birds, mammals, and plants, describing their basic natural and evolutionary histories and addressing intriguing issues associated with their lifestyles and how they cope with a changing climate. Finally, Fleming discusses the complexity of Sonoran Desert conservation.
Animated by this remarkable confluence of events, Cornerstone at the Confluence: Navigating the Colorado River Compact’s Next Century, edited by Jason A. Robison, leverages the centennial year to reflect on the compact and broader “Law of the River” to envision the future. It is a volume inviting dialogue about how the Colorado River system’s flows should be apportioned given climate change, what should be done about environmental issues such as ecosystem restoration and biodiversity protection, and how long-standing issues of water justice facing Native American communities should be addressed. In one form or another, all these topics touch on the concept of “equity” embedded within the compact—a concept that tees up what is perhaps the foundational question confronted by Cornerstone at the Confluence: Who should have a seat at the table of Colorado River governance?
Bountiful Deserts: Sustaining Indigenous Worlds in Northern New Spain foregrounds the knowledge of Indigenous peoples in the arid lands of northwestern Mexico, for whom the desert was anything but barren or empty. Instead, they nurtured and harvested the desert as a bountiful and sacred space. Drawing together historical texts and oral testimonies, archaeology, and natural history, author Cynthia Radding develops the relationships between people and plants and the ways that Indigenous people sustained their worlds before European contact through the changes set in motion by Spanish encounters, highlighting the long process of colonial conflicts and adaptations over more than two centuries. This work reveals the spiritual power of deserts by weaving together the cultural practices of historical peoples and contemporary living communities, centered especially on the Yaqui/Yoeme and Mayo/Yoreme.
What does “development” mean for Indigenous peoples? Indigenous Economics: Sustaining Peoples and Their Lands lays out an alternative path showing that conscious attention to relationships among humans and the natural world creates flourishing social-ecological economies. Economist Ronald L. Trosper draws on examples from North and South America, Aotearoa/New Zealand, and Australia to argue that Indigenous worldviews centering care and good relationships provide critical and sustainable economic models in a world under increasing pressure from biodiversity loss and climate change. He explains the structure of relational Indigenous economic theory, providing principles based on his own and others’ work with tribal nations and Indigenous communities. Trosper explains how sustainability is created at every level when relational Indigenous economic theory is applied—micro, meso, and macro.
Visualizing Genocide: Indigenous Interventions in Art, Archives, and Museums, edited by Yve Chavez and Nancy Marie Mithlo, examines how creative arts and memory institutions selectively commemorate or often outright ignore stark histories of colonialism. The essays confront outdated narratives and institutional methods by investigating contemporary artistic and scholarly interventions documenting settler colonialisms including land theft, incarceration, intergenerational trauma, and genocide. Interdisciplinary approaches, including oral histories, exhibition practices, artistic critiques, archival investigations, and public arts, are among the many decolonizing methods incorporated in contemporary curatorial practices.
Contrary to previous works that suppress Nuevomexicana/o presence throughout U.S. nuclear history, Nuclear Nuevo México: Colonialism and the Effects of the Nuclear Industrial Complex on Nuevomexicanos focuses on recovering the voices and stories that have been lost or ignored in the telling of this history. By recuperating these narratives, Myrriah Gómez tells a new story of New Mexico, one in which the nuclear history is not separate from the collective colonial history of Nuevo México but instead demonstrates how earlier eras of settler colonialism laid the foundation for nuclear colonialism in New Mexico.
World of Our Mothers: Mexican Revolution–Era Immigrants and Their Stories by Miguel Montiel and Yvonne de la Torre Montiel, captures the largely forgotten history of courage and heartbreak of forty-five women who immigrated to the United States during the era of the 1910 Mexican Revolution. The book reveals how these women in the early twentieth century reconciled their lives with their circumstances—enduring the violence of the Revolution, experiencing forced labor and lost childhoods, encountering enganchadores (labor contractors), and living in barrios, mining towns, and industrial areas of the Midwest, and what they saw as their primary task: caring for their families.
Edited by Natalia Deeb-Sossa and Jennifer Bickham Mendez, Latinx Belonging: Community Building and Resilience in the United States is anchored in the claim that Latinx people are not defined by their marginalization but should instead be understood as active participants in their communities and contributors to U.S. society. The volume’s overarching analytical approach recognizes the differences, identities, and divisions among people of Latin American origin in the United States, while also attending to the power of mainstream institutions to shape their lives and identities. Contributors to this volume view “belonging” as actively produced through struggle, survival, agency, resilience, and engagement.
Lavender Fields: Black Women Experiencing Fear, Agency, and Hope in the Time of COVID-19, edited by Julia S. Jordan-Zachery, uses autoethnography to explore how Black girls and women are living with and through COVID-19. It centers their pain, joys, and imaginations for a more just future as we confront all the inequalities that COVID-19 exposes. The essays center Black girls and women and their testimonies in hopes of moving them from the margin to the center. With a diversity of voices and ages, this volume taps into the Black feminine interior, that place where Audre Lorde tells us that feelings lie, to access knowledge—generational, past, and contemporary—to explore how Black women navigate COVID-19. Using womanism and spirituality, among other modalities, the authors explore deep feelings, advancing Black feminist theorizing on Black feminist praxis and methodology.
Gardening at the Margins: Convivial Labor, Community, and Resistance tells the remarkable story of a diverse group of neighbors working together to grow food and community in the Santa Clara Valley in California. Based on four years of deeply engaged ethnographic field research via a Participatory Action Research project with the people and ecosystems of La Mesa Verde home garden program, Gabriel R. Valle develops a theory of convivial labor to describe how the acts of care among the diverse gardeners—through growing, preparing, and eating food in one of the most income unequal places in the country—are powerful, complex acts of resistance.
The Americas are witnessing an era of unprecedented human mobility. With their families or unaccompanied, children are part of this immense movement of people. Edited by Alejandra J Josiowicz and Irasema Coronado, Children Crossing Borders: Latin American Migrant Childhoods explores the different meanings of the lives of borderland children in the Americas. It addresses migrant children’s struggle to build a sense of belonging while they confront racism and estrangement on a daily basis. This volume draws much-needed attention to the plight of migrant children and their families, illuminating the human and emotional toll that children experience as they crisscross the Americas. Exploring the connections between education, policy, cultural studies, and anthropology, the essays in this volume navigate a space of transnational children’s rights central to Latin American life in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Author Sarah Milne spent more than a decade working for and observing global conservation projects in Cambodia. During this time, she saw how big environmental NGOs can operate rather like corporations. Their core practice involves rolling out appealing and deceptively simple policy ideas, like Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES). Yet, as policy ideas prove hard to implement, NGOs must also carefully curate evidence from the field to give the impression of success and effectiveness. In her new book, Corporate Nature: An Insider’s Ethnography of Global Conservation, Milne delves inside the black box of mainstream global conservation. She reveals how big international NGOs struggle in the face of complexity—especially in settings where corruption and political violence prevail. She uses the case of Conservation International’s work in Cambodia to illustrate how apparently powerful NGOs can stumble in practice: policy ideas are transformed on the ground, while perverse side effects arise, like augmented authoritarian power, illegal logging, and Indigenous dispossession.
In communities in and around Cobán, Guatemala, a small but steadily growing number of members of the Q’eqchi’ Maya Roman Catholic parish of San Felipe began self-identifying as members of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Their communities dramatically split as mainstream and charismatic Catholic parishioners who had been co-congregants came to view each other as religiously distinct and problematic “others.” In Guarded by Two Jaguars: A Catholic Parish Divided by Language and Faith, Eric Hoenes del Pinal tells the story of this dramatic split and in so doing addresses the role that language and gesture have played in the construction of religious identity. Drawing on a range of methods from linguistic and cultural anthropology, the author examines how the introduction of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement in the parish produced a series of debates between parishioners that illustrate the fundamentally polyvocal nature of Catholic Christianity.
Reading the Illegible: Indigenous Writing and the Limits of Colonial Hegemony in the Andes examines the history of alphabetic writing in early colonial Peru, deconstructing the conventional notion of literacy as a weapon of the colonizer. This book develops the concept of legibility, which allows for an in-depth analysis of coexisting Andean and non-Native media. The book discusses the stories surrounding the creation of the Huarochirí Manuscript (c. 1598–1608), the only surviving book-length text written by Indigenous people in Quechua in the early colonial period. The manuscript has been deemed “untranslatable in all the usual senses,” but scholar Laura Leon Llerena argues that it offers an important window into the meaning of legibility.
In Translation and Epistemicide: Racialization of Languages in the Americas author Joshua Martin Price tracks how through the centuries translation practices have enabled colonialism and resulted in epistemicide, or the destruction of Indigenous and subaltern knowledge. The book gives an account of translation-as-epistemicide in the Americas, drawing on a range of examples from the early colonial period to the War on Terror. The first chapters demonstrate four distinct operations of epistemicide: the commensuration of worlds, the epistemic marginalization of subaltern translators and the knowledge they produce, the criminalization of translators and interpreters, and translation as piracy or extractivism. The second part of the book outlines decolonial translation strategies, including an epistemic posture the author calls “bewilderment.”