Field Notes: Excavations of Paquimé’s Site 204

October 22, 2020

By Paul Minnis and Michael Whalen

Our research in northwestern Chihuahua focused on the area around the famous and important site of Paquimé (or Casas Grandes), which was most influential during the Medio Period, AD 1200–1450 (give or take a few decades either way). Over the past two decades, we directed multiple field projects in the region. At first, we conducted surveys, systematically walking over an area to record whatever archaeological remains were observable. Then we transitioned to the excavation of a range of sites in an attempt to understand how the Paquimé-dominated society was organized and when it dated to, among other questions.

One of the most important sites we studied—Site 204—is located west of Paquimé in a tributary drainage. We selected this site because it was one of the two largest Medio Period sites near Paquimé, so we could compare it with the small villages we studied at one end of a continuum of size and the premier and largest site, Paquimé, at the other extreme.

1a. before excavation

Image 1a: Site 204 is located in a small valley that also has a large number of Medio Period villages. The atalaya is a feature on a hilltop that probably was a shrine and communication point visible from Cerro Moctezuma, which is just west of Paquimé. Cerro Moctezuma was probably one of the major shrines in the local area.

1b. before excavation

Image 1b: Site 204 has three “mounds” that are the remains of adobe room blocks that have decayed over the centuries into piles of dirt. There are three mounds for a total of about two hundred rooms. In addition, this site has two large ritual roasting pits and a ball court. Like nearly all Medio Period sites, the room blocks have been severely looted.

2 first day

Image 2: The first day of excavation is always exciting and, in a way, terrifying. Questions go through your mind: What is below the ground, what will you find, or did you start in the best place to excavate?

3a. excavated rooms
3b. excavated rooms

Image 3a & 3b: Excavating using a precise grid system, you slowly find walls and outline rooms. Then you remove the fill in the room in layers, carefully screening the dirt so as not to miss small artifacts. Unfortunately, much of each room has been looted, which mixes the artifacts. Finally, there’s the reward: the excavation of the floor and its features such as hearths and pits. You are not actually done after excavating, mapping, and photographing the rooms: the area below the room is excavated to look for evidence of earlier occupation.

3c. ball court trench

Image 3c: Ball courts were important locations of community events. Site 204 has one ball court that had been dug into the ground forming an I-shape. We also excavated a trench across the ball court.

3d. hillside fields

Image 3d: Not all archaeological features are visually interesting or obvious. The faint lines of rocks are rock walls (trincheras) that form small farming plots. The hillside above Site 204 is filled with these features, as are many hillslopes in the Casas Grandes region. While most were farmed by small families, a few seem to have been cacique or chief fields, controlled by leaders and worked by the populous.

4a. stairs

Image 4a: Although not common, we excavated several stairs at the six sites we studied.

4b. closed T-door

Image 4b: T-shaped doorways are common and likely had important ritual significance. This example is of a T-shaped doorway that was filled to block it off as part of the room’s renovation.

4c. ritual room

Image 4c: Most rooms at sites in the Casas Grandes region appear to have been used as domestic space where people lived their daily lives. We did excavate some that appear to have had ritual use. This room originally had two columns, and some are artifacts. As you can see, the open space between the columns were closed with a later wall. Also present is a T-shaped door at the far end of the room. The many asymmetrical holes in the floor are the bottom of looters’ holes, an ever-present factor in studying Medio Period sites.

4d corn cobs

Image 4d: The value of archaeological remains are not determined by their aesthetic appeal or rarity. These charred corn cobs are not especially beautiful, but they help tell us about how the people lived. There is evidence that important community events that drew people from throughout the Casas Grandes area required massive amount of food for feasts.

4e. stone face

Image 4e: Figures and effigies are common from the Casas Grandes region. While this artifact obviously is a human head, we don’t know what it meant to the ancient peoples of the region.

4f. parrot burial

Image 4f: One of the most remarkable activities was the raising of macaws. This is the only macaw skeleton we found in our excavations. It was in a subfloor pit, probably an offering dedicating the room.

4g. pendant
4h. turquoise

Image 4 G: This pendant may be of a macaw, a parrot, or another bird.

Image 4h: Turquoise is quite rare in Casas Grandes sites, compared to other sites in the U.S. Southwest and northwestern Mexico.

4i. plain ware vessel

Image 4i: This is a reconstructed pot. Although most attention is on the beautiful and iconic Ramos Polychrome ceramic, most clay vessels were plain like this one.

5 lab work

Image 5: Survey and excavation are the best known parts of archaeological research, but at least an equal amount of time is spent in the laboratory analyzing the materials removed during fieldwork.

6 crew friendships

Image 6: One wonderful outcome of being on an archaeological project is that you often develop friendships that last a lifetime . . . literally. This is especially delightful among crews from different countries or regions within a country. Here, one of our crews with members from Mexico, the Unites States, and Canada enjoy a day off visiting the famous cliff dwelling site, Cueva de la Olla, with it enormous granary located in the mountains west of Paquimé.

The Prehispanic Ethnobotany of Paquimé and Its Neighbors is the first large-scale investigation of the prehispanic ethnobotany of this important ancient site and its neighbors. Paul Minnis and Michael Whalen examine ethnobotanical relationships during Medio Period, AD 1200–1450, when Paquimé was at its most influential. Based on two decades of archaeological research, this book examines uses of plants for food, farming strategies, wood use, and anthropogenic ecology. The authors show that the relationships between plants and people are complex, interdependent, and reciprocal. This volume documents ethnobotanical relationships and shows their importance to the development of the Paquimé polity.

Paul E. Minnis is a professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author or editor of twelve books and numerous articles. He has been president of the Society of Ethnobiology and treasurer and press editor for the Society for American Archaeology, and he is co-founder of the Southwest Symposium.

Michael E. Whalen is a professor emeritus in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Tulsa. He has published a series of books, monographs, chapters, and journal articles on Oaxaca, western Texas, and northwestern Chihuahua. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society.


All images in the post are copyright the authors.

University Press Week: Read. Think. Act.

October 7, 2019

According to Publisher’s Weekly, this year’s theme for University Press Week is, Read. Think. Act.

From Sunday, November 3 through Saturday, November 9, the Association of University Presses encourages readers to dive into publications about the issues that affect our present and future.

The theme, the AUPresses said in its statement, is timely in that “many citizens around the globe continue to engage in important debates that will influence vital decision-making in the months ahead; in fact, this year’s UP Week will begin exactly one year to the day before the 2020 Election Day in the U.S.” The organization added: “AUPresses members worldwide seek to encourage people to read the latest peer-reviewed publications about issues that affect our present and future—from politics to economics to climate change to race relations and more—and to better understand academic presses’ important contribution to these vital areas of concern.”

UA Press Director Kathryn Conrad, who currently serves as president of the Association of University Presses, said this in the same statement:

“Many of us choose to work for university presses because we believe in the UP mission of bringing the latest research and ideas to diverse audiences of readers, [and] the success of recent university press books such as White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo (Beacon Press) and Cyberwar by Kathleen Hall Jamieson (Oxford University Press) make it clear that there is a hunger for these books,” Kathryn Conrad, AUPresses president and director of the University of Arizona Press, said in a statement “In the last few years many people have found it difficult to have effective conversations about the most serious and important issues facing our communities, nations, and world. We hope that by encouraging readers to explore university press works on topics that affect everyone—and to reflect on their reading—our publications might help stimulate positive conversations and actions.”

To kick off your celebration, AUPresses put together a reading list from all of its membership that you can download and share. Recommended from the UA Press is a new book edited by Thomas E. Sheridan and Randal H. McGuire, The Border and Its Bodies.

The Border and Its Bodies examines the impact of migration from Central America and México to the United States on the most basic social unit possible: the human body. It explores the terrible toll migration takes on the bodies of migrants—those who cross the border and those who die along the way—and discusses the treatment of those bodies after their remains are discovered in the desert.

Read. Think. Act.

Kathryn Conrad Begins Term as President of AUPresses

June 26, 2019

Kathryn Conrad, director of the University of Arizona Press, assumed the presidency of the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) on June 12, 2019, during the Association’s Annual Meeting. Conrad was preceded by Jennifer Crewe, associate provost and director of Columbia University Press.

In her inaugural address, Conrad commended university presses for working “to advance scholarship, to preserve cultural heritage, and to build the scholarly record.” Read Conrad’s full remarks.

Conrad began her publishing career as an editorial assistant for both Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill and Houghton-Mifflin’s Best American Short Stories, an editor for River Styx—a literary magazine based in St. Louis—and a typesetter. She joined the marketing department of the University of Missouri Press in 1989, where she worked as advertising manager, promotion manager, and finally assistant marketing manager. She moved to Tucson in 1995 as the marketing and sales manager of the University of Arizona Press and served as its interim director, while continuing in her marketing and sales duties, for four years before her appointment as director in 2012.

The leader of a university press that reports to its university’s library—as do 20 percent of the Association’s member presses—Conrad speaks and writes frequently on the synergies that academic libraries and scholarly presses share. In addition, she earned a master’s degree in information and library sciences (MALIS) from the University of Arizona last year.

Conrad has advanced the work of the AUPresses community in many volunteer capacities. She served on the Association’s Board of Directors from 2002-2005 and also for three, multi-year terms on the Marketing Committee, including a stint as its chair. She has been a member and chair of the Library Relations Committee and has served on the Nominating and Program Committees and the University Press Week Task Force.

As a longtime leader within the Association, President Conrad offered her special thanks at the Detroit conference to all volunteers who will lead and serve AUPresses committees this year, including a new Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Committee.

She also welcomed all newcomers to the conference and profession. “The university press of the future may not look like the university press of today, but it will keep quality and expertise at its core,” she concluded. “I have a lot left to learn about publishing, and I expect to learn it from you. You are the future of AUPresses.”

About the 2019-2020 AUPresses Board of Directors

Other AUPresses leadership changes for 2019-2020 include:

  • Treasurer Jean Kim, Stanford University, took office, as Robbie Dircks, University of North Carolina Press, wrapped up his 2018-2019 term.
  • Niko Pfund, president of Oxford University Press USA, was chosen as President-Elect.
  • Alice Ennis, chief financial officer of University of Illinois Press, was named Treasurer-Elect.
  • New board members began three-year terms: Mary C. Francis, editorial director of the University of Michigan Press/Michigan Publishing, and Lara Mainville, director of the University of Ottawa Press.
  • Past president Nicole Mitchell, director of the University of Washington Press; past treasurer Nadine Buckland, finance manager of University of West Indies Press; John Donatich, director of Yale University Press; and Donna Shear, director of the University of Nebraska Press concluded their terms on the board as the Association thanked them for their dedicated service.

About the Association

The Association of University Presses is an organization of 150+ international nonprofit scholarly publishers. Since 1937, the Association of University Presses has advanced the essential role of a global community of publishers whose mission is to ensure academic excellence and cultivate knowledge. The Association holds integrity, diversity, stewardship, and intellectual freedom as core values. AUPresses members are active across many scholarly disciplines, including the humanities, arts, and sciences, publish significant regional and literary work, and are innovators in the world of digital publishing.

Watch: Gloria Muñoz Read from New Poetry Collection

April 16, 2021

The Academy of American Poets and the University of Arizona Press presented a reading and book release celebration with Gloria Muñoz on Wednesday, April 14.

Winner of the Ambroggio Prize, Muñoz read from Danzirly, a striking bilingual poetry collection that fiercely examines the nuances of the American Dream for Latinx people in the United States. The evening included the poet’s father Al Muñoz, who read several of the Spanish versions of the English translations his daughter read.

To say this was a special event is understated, but thrilled to offer this opportunity to watch the poetry magic as often as possible.

Andrew Flachs Receives Honorable Mention for the ISA Global Development Section Book Award

April 15, 2021

We are thrilled to announce that Andrew Flachs received an honorable mention for the International Studies Association Global Development Section Book Award for his recent University of Arizona Press title, Cultivating Knowledge!

“This research addresses key issues in global development: genetic modification, agribusiness, environment destruction, etc.; but it does so from a particular vantage point: how people live global change on the level of the farm field, and how we might assess “rural well-being” from that perspective. The methodology is a political economy of knowledge and thick ethnographic work, examining the role of knowledge in people’s lived experiences and how that knowledge is utilized.”—ISA Global Development Section

Congratulations, Andrew!

Aída Hurtado Wins AAHHE Distinguished Author Award

April 15, 2021

We are thrilled to announce that Aída Hurtado won a 2021 AAHHE Distinguished Author Award for her recent University of Arizona Press book, Intersectional Chicana Feminisms!

“AAHHE is honored to extend to Aída Hurtado our inaugural Distinguished Author Award. AAHHE does so in recognition of your exceptional academic and scholarly contributions to the advancement of Latinos and Latinos in higher education, a set of contributions made exceedingly richer by Intersectional Chicana Feminisms. This ground-breaking work provides in elegant and eloquent fashion an informative discussion of a very important subject, one that you have been addressing over the course of your extraordinary academic career. We are delighted to be able to add our modest recognition and kudos to the host of awards and honors of which you have been a recipient.”—Patricia Arredondo, Chair, AAHHE Board of Directors

Congratulations, Aída!

SAA 2021: Learn About Our New and Recent Archaeology Titles

April 15, 2021

We are thrilled to be participating in the first virtual SAA meeting! We have an incredible selection of new and recent titles that we hope you will enjoy. Use the code AZSAA21 at checkout here on our website to receive 40% off all titles, plus free U.S. shipping.

If you have any questions about our publishing program, please read our guidelines here, and feel free to contact our Senior Editor Allyson Carter at ACarter@uapress.arizona.edu.

We put together a video of a few of our recent authors highlighting their new archaeology books. We hope you enjoy the video, and we are looking forward to seeing you all again in the future.

Becoming Hopi is a comprehensive look at the history of the people of the Hopi Mesas as it has never been told before. The product of more than fifteen years of collaboration between tribal and academic scholars, this volume presents groundbreaking research demonstrating that the Hopi Mesas are among the great centers of the Pueblo world.

“How did Hopi farmers sustain large, stable communities in an area that previous scientific models predicted could not support a substantial population? How did waves of migration shape Hopi social organization and ritual calendars? Archaeologists, ethnographers, and Hopi cultural specialists worked collaboratively to answer these and other compelling questions.”—Kelley Hays-Gilpin, co-editor of Color in the Ancestral Pueblo Southwest

From the day he was born, Federico Jiménez Caballero was predicted to be a successful man. As a child growing up in a small rural town in southern Mexico, Federico Jiménez Caballero faced challenges that most of us cannot imagine, let alone overcome. So, how exactly did a young boy from Tututepec, Oaxaca, become a famous Indigenous jewelry artist and philanthropist in Los Angeles? Federico tells the remarkable story of willpower, curiosity, hard work, and passion coming together to change one man’s life forever.

Watch a book release event for Federico here, in which author Federico Jiménez Caballero tells the story of his life alongside editor Shelby Tisdale, and answers questions from the audience.

Decolonizing “Prehistory” critically examines and challenges the paradoxical role that modern historical-archaeological scholarship plays in adding legitimacy to, but also delegitimizing, contemporary colonialist practices. Bringing together experts from American studies, archaeology, anthropology, legal studies, history, and literary studies, this interdisciplinary volume offers essential information about the complexity and ambivalence of colonial encounters with Indigenous peoples in North America, and their impact on American scientific discourse.

Discover more books in, and information about, the Archaeology of Indigenous-Colonial Interactions in the Americas series here.

Flower Worlds reaches into multisensory realms that extend back at least 2,500 years, offering many different disciplines, perspectives, and collaborations to understand these domains. Today, Flower Worlds are expressed in everyday work and lived experiences, embedded in sacred geographies, and ritually practiced both individually and in communities. This volume stresses the importance of contemporary perspectives and experiences by opening with living traditions before delving into the historical trajectories of Flower Worlds, creating a book that melds scientific and humanistic research and emphasizes Indigenous voices.

This book is part of the Amerind Studies in Anthropology series. Amerind Studies in Anthropology is a series that publishes the results of the Amerind Seminars, annual professional symposia hosted by the Amerind Foundation in Dragoon, Arizona, and cosponsored by the Society for American Archaeology.

How people eat today is a record of food use through the ages—and not just the decadent, delicious foods but the less glamorous and often life-saving foods from periods of famine as well. In Famine Foods, Paul E. Minnis focuses on the myriad plants that have sustained human populations throughout the course of history, unveiling the those that people have consumed, and often still consume, to avoid starvation. For the first time, this book offers a fascinating overview of famine foods—how they are used, who uses them, and, perhaps most importantly, why they may be critical to sustain human life in the future.

Join our book release celebration and discussion with Paul Minnis on his new book, Famine Foods: Plants We Eat to Survive on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. This event is free, but requires registration. Register here!

Alluvium and Empire by Parker VanValkenburgh examines the archaeology of Indigenous communities and landscapes that were subject to Spanish colonial forced resettlement during the sixteenth century. Written at the intersections of history and archaeology, the book critiques previous approaches to the study of empire and models a genealogical approach that attends to the open-ended—and often unpredictable—ways in which empires take shape.

“This book represents a much-welcome approach to the archaeology of empire. It combines a sophisticated theoretical framework with rigorous archival and archaeological methods to shed valuable new light on the history of Spanish empire building in Peru.”—Craig Cipolla, author of Foreign Objects: Rethinking Indigenous Consumption in American Archaeology

Oysters in the Land of Cacao delivers a long-overdue presentation of the archaeology, material culture, and regional synthesis on the Formative to Late Classic period societies of the western Chontalpa region (Tabasco, Mexico) through contemporary theory. It offers a significant new understanding of the Mesoamerican Gulf Coast.

This book is part of our Anthropological Papers of the University of Arizona series. The Anthropological Papers of the University of Arizona is a peer-reviewed monograph series sponsored by the School of Anthropology. Learn more here.

The Prehispanic Ethnobotany of Paquimé and its Neighbors is the first large-scale investigation of the prehispanic ethnobotany of this important ancient site and its neighbors. The authors examine ethnobotanical relationships during Medio Period, AD 1200–1450, when Paquimé was at its most influential. Based on two decades of archaeological research, this book examines uses of plants for food, farming strategies, wood use, and anthropogenic ecology. The authors show that the relationships between plants and people are complex, interdependent, and reciprocal. This volume documents ethnobotanical relationships and shows their importance to the development of the Paquimé polity.

Explore photographs and field notes from editors Paul Minnis and Michael Whalen‘s excavations of Paquimé’s Site 204 here.

A Marriage Out West is an intimate biographical account of two fascinating figures of twentieth-century archaeology. Frances Theresa Peet Russell, an educator, married Harvard anthropologist Frank Russell in June 1900. They left immediately on a busman’s honeymoon to the Southwest. Their goal was twofold: to travel to an arid environment to quiet Frank’s tuberculosis and to find archaeological sites to support his research.

A Marriage Out West provides a detailed insight into the intrigue of the early scramble by federal, state, and private organizations for access to Indigenous archaeological sites (almost universally lacking tribal input or consent) as well an exceptional woman’s personal account of her experiences as a neophyte frontiersperson.”—Thatcher A. Rogers, Albuquerque Archaeological Society Newsletter

Read an excerpt from the book here.

The Global Spanish Empire tackles broad questions about indigenous cultural persistence, pluralism, and place making using a global comparative perspective grounded in the shared experience of Spanish colonialism. Through an expansive range of essays that look at Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific, this volume brings often-neglected regions into conversation.

“The volume maps the haphazard development of the colonial Spanish Empire, focusing on how indigenous and enslaved populations carved and crafted their own spaces through persistence and imaginative place-making strategies.”—Mariah F. Wade, author of Missions, Missionaries, and Native Americans: Long-Term Processes and Daily Practices

Watch a conversation about the book with editors Christine Beaule and John Douglass here, then read an interview with the editors here.

Tewa Worlds offers an archaeological history of eight centuries of Tewa Pueblo history in the Rio Chama Valley through the lens of contemporary Pueblo philosophical and historical discourse. The result gives weight to the deep past, colonial encounters, and modern experiences. It challenges archaeologists to both critically reframe interpretation and to acknowledge the Tewa’s deep but ongoing connection with the land.

… Tewa Worlds … stands out as exemplary in its investigative scope, rich and thought-provoking interpretations, and focus on establishing a deep history from the archaeological and ethnographic record.”—Thatcher A. Rogers, New Mexico Archeological Council

More than a history of coveted commodities, the unique story that unfolds in John R. Gust and Jennifer P. Mathews’s new history Sugarcane and Rum is told through the lens of Maya laborers who worked under brutal conditions on small haciendas to harvest sugarcane and produce rum in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

“This book is an exciting and innovative contribution to the history of Yucatán. It challenges us to think carefully about the role of commodities in the production of social relations.”—Elizabeth Terese Newman, author of Biography of a Hacienda: Work and Revolution in Rural Mexico

Read an excerpt from the book here.

Narratives of Persistence charts the remarkable persistence of California’s Ohlone and Paipai people over the past five centuries. Lee M. Panich draws connections between the events and processes of the deeper past and the way the Ohlone and Paipai today understand their own histories and identities.

“Panich draws connections between the events and processes of the deeper past and the way the Ohlone and Paipai today understand their own histories and identities, offering a model for how scholars of Indigenous histories should think about the connections between the past and the present.”—Ashley Riley Sousa, Middle Tennessee State University

Read an interview with author Lee M. Panich about the book here.

The second of a two-volume series, Moquis and Kastiilam tells the story of the encounter between the Hopis, who the Spaniards called Moquis, and the Spaniards, who the Hopis called Kastiilam, from the Pueblo Revolt through 1781. Balancing historical documents with oral histories, it creates a fresh perspective on the interface of Spanish and Hopi peoples in the period of missionization.

“The editors have offered a fascinating study that will change the way scholars plan and execute community-based research with tribes and tribal people. This volume is a good read and a triumph, offering a model for future research on American Indian people.”—Clifford Trafzer, author of American Indian Medicine Ways

A Diné History of Navajoland brings much-needed attention to Navajo perspectives on the past and present. It is the culmination of a lifelong commitment from the authors, and it is an exemplary work of Diné history through the lens of ceremonial knowledge and oral history. Kelley and Francis present an in-depth look at how scholars apply Diné ceremonial knowledge and oral history to present-day concerns of Navajo Nation leaders and community members. All readers are invited to come along on this exploration of Diné oral traditions.

Read an excerpt from the book here.

How “Indians” Think shines light on Indigenous perspectives of Spanish colonialism through a novel interpretation of the works of the two most important Amerindian intellectuals in the Andes, Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala and Garcilaso de la Vega, el Inca. Departing from the predominant scholarly position that views Indigenous-Spanish relations as the clash of two distinct cultures, Gonzalo Lamana argues that Guaman Poma and Garcilaso were the first Indigenous activist intellectuals and that they developed post-racial imaginaries four hundred years ago.

Author Gonzalo Lamana was featured on the New Books Network podcast. Listen to it here.

The Border and Its Bodies examines the impact of migration from Central America and México to the United States on the most basic social unit possible: the human body. The increasingly militarized U.S.-México border is an intensely physical place, affecting the bodies of all who encounter it. The essays in this volume explore how crossing becomes embodied in individuals, how that embodiment transcends the crossing of the line, and how it varies depending on subject positions and identity categories, especially race, class, and citizenship.

Read an excerpt from the book here.

Watch: Federico Jiménez Caballero and Shelby Tisdale Discuss New Memoir

April 13, 2021

Author Federico Jiménez Caballero and editor Shelby Tisdale discussed Jiménez Caballero’s new book, Federico: One Man’s Remarkable Journey from Tututepec to L.A., a memoir that documents his intriguing life.

From the day he was born, Jiménez Caballero was predicted to be a successful man. So, how exactly did a young boy from Tututepec, Oaxaca, become a famous Indigenous jewelry artist and philanthropist in Los Angeles? Federico tells the remarkable story of willpower, curiosity, hard work, and passion coming together to change one man’s life forever.

Watch: John-Michael Rivera Read from UNDOCUMENTS

April 12, 2021

Frederick Luis Aldama, University of Arizona Press author and co-editor of the Latinx Pop Culture series, welcomed John-Michael Rivera at a book launch and celebration for his new book, UNDOCUMENTS on Wednesday, March 31.

Rivera, director of the Program for Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Colorado Boulder, read from UNDOCUMENTS, which documents and scrutinizes what it means to seek opportunities in America. With a focus on the poetics of Latinx documentality itself, this book is concerned with the complicated and at times contradictory ways peoples of Greater Mexico have been documented and undocumented within systems of colonial knowledges, and how these peoples have been rendered as specters of the bureaucratic state.

UNDOCUMENTS is from the University of Arizona Press’s Latinx Pop Culture series that aims to shed light on all aspects of Latinx cultural production and consumption as well as the Latinx presence globally in popular cultural phenomena in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

NACCS 2021: Explore Our New and Recent Chicana/o/x Studies Titles

April 8, 2021

We are excited to participate in the first virtual NACCS meeting! We have an incredible selection of new and recent titles that we hope you will enjoy. Use the code AZNACCS21 at checkout here on our website to receive 40% off all titles, plus free U.S. shipping.

If you have questions about our publishing program, please view our guidelines here, and don’t hesitate to reach out to our Editor-in-Chief, Kristen Buckles. She can be reached at kbuckles@uapress.arizona.edu.

Congratulations to Josie Méndez-Negrete, 2021 NACCS Scholar!

Challenging stereotypes, Activist Leaders of San José unearths and makes visible lived experiences of Chicana and Latino activists from San José, California, who made contributions to the cultural and civic life of the city. Through oral histories, we see a portrait of grassroots leadership in the twentieth century.

We are thrilled to announce that Josie Méndez-Negrete was chosen as the 2021 NACCS Scholar! “The NACCS Scholar Award is a recognition of work – publications, pedagogical, leadership praxis, and personal commitment, Dr. Méndez-Negrete exemplifies this quality among the professoriate of NACCS.” Read more here.

Watch Josie Méndez-Negrete and Lorena V. Márquez discuss California Chicana/o/x community histories here.

Rewriting the Chicano Movement is an insightful new history of the Chicano Movement that expands the meaning and understanding of this seminal historical period in Chicano history. The essays introduce new individuals and struggles previously omitted from Chicano Movement history.

Watch a book release event with editors Mario T. García and Ellen McCracken here, then read five questions with the editors here. Read an interview about the book from University of California Santa Barbara’s news site, The Current here, then read an excerpt from the book here.

From the day he was born, Federico Jiménez Caballero was predicted to be a successful man. So, how exactly did a young boy from Tututepec, Oaxaca, become a famous Indigenous jewelry artist and philanthropist in Los Angeles? Federico tells the remarkable story of willpower, curiosity, hard work, and passion coming together to change one man’s life forever.

“A remarkable narrative telling of Indigenous origins, transformation in the city, and eventual migration to the United States, Federico by Federico Jiménez Caballero brings life to a unique story beginning in rural Oaxaca and ending in Los Angeles.”—Anna M. Nogar, author of Quill and Cross in the Borderlands: Sor María de Ágreda and the Lady in Blue, 1628 to the Present

Empowered! examines Arizona’s recent political history and how it has been shaped and propelled by Latinos. This book shows how Latinos are mobilizing to counter proposals for Draconian immigration laws with new and innovative approaches.

Watch authors Lisa Magaña and César S. Silva discuss the book and answer questions here, then read an interview with Lisa Magaña here.

“This book is a fascinating historical account of how Latinos in Arizona have faced political disenfranchisement and outright hostility to their rights and even their very presence in the state and their recent mobilization to push back. It is a book that comes to add substantially to our understanding of how the largest minority in the United States, Latinos, is helping to realign politics—in Arizona, the Southwest, and beyond. This book is a text that shows the reader a microcosm of how minorities have had to struggle to expand political rights through history—first African Americans in the South and now Latinos in the Southwest.”—Tony Payan, author of The Three U.S.-Mexico Border Wars: Drugs, Immigration, and Homeland Security

Danzirly is a stunning bilingual poetry collection that considers multigenerational Latinx identities in the rapidly changing United States. Winner of the Academy of American Poets’ Ambroggio Prize, Gloria Muñoz’s collection is an unforgettable reckoning of the grief and beauty that pulses through twenty-first-century America.

Watch a recording of a Tucson Festival of Books virtual book panel with poets Gloria Muñoz and Felicia Zamora here. Sign up for our virtual book release event for Danzirly on April 14 here!

UNDOCUMENTS is an expansive multi-genre exploration of Greater Mexican documentality that reveals the complicated ways all Latinx peoples, including the author, become objectified within cultures. John-Michael Rivera remixes the Florentine Codex and other documents as he takes an intense look at the anxieties and physical detriments tied to immigration.

We are thrilled to announce that UNDOCUMENTS won a 2021 Kayden Book Award! Read more about the award here. Read an excerpt from the book here, then watch a recording of a virtual book release event with John-Michael Rivera and Latinx Pop Culture series editor Frederick Luis Aldama here.

With unity of heart and mind, the creative and the scholarly, Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities opens wide its arms to all non-binary, decolonial masculinities today to grow a stronger, resilient, and more compassionate new generation of Latinxs tomorrow.

Read an interview with the editors, Arturo J. Aldama and Frederick Luis Aldama, here. Then, listen to a New Books Network podcast with Frederick here, and watch a video about Latinx streaming during lockdown here.

Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities bristles with original insights and illuminating takes on an impressive array of expressive culture. A refreshing and pathfinding collection that leaves behind exhausted considerations of Latinx masculinity, the essays collected here focus our attention on the ever-shifting terms of debate concerning racialized genders and sexualities.”—Richard T. Rodríguez, author of Next of Kin: The Family in Chicano/a Cultural Politics

Teaching Gloria E. Anzaldúa provides pedagogical applications of Anzaldúa’s noted theories, including la facultad, the path of conocimiento, and autohistoria, among others. This text provides examples, lesson plans, and activities for scholars, professors, teachers, and community members in various disciplines—such as history, composition, literature, speech and debate, and more—and for those interested in teaching the theories of Gloria Anzaldúa.

Watch a recording of a book release event with the editors of this volume here, then listen to a 1991 recording of Gloria Anzaldúa reading uncollected and unpublished poems here.

Colonial Legacies in Chicana/o Literature and Culture traces the development of Chicana/o literature and cultural production from the Spanish colonial period to the present. In doing so, it challenges us to look critically at how we simultaneously embody colonial constructs and challenge their legacies.

Read an excerpt from the book here, then listen to author Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez talk about the book on NPR here.

Colonial Legacies in Chicana/o Literature and Culture does the difficult work of placing pre-Chicano texts such as Jovita González’s Dew on the Thorn in dialogue with later Chicanx, Indigenous, and Chicana texts. Doing so allows Fonseca-Chávez to directly address the politics and power of memory, representation, and canon. Fonseca-Chávez argues that by addressing literary heritages with eyes wide open, we can produce honest critiques of the canon. Only by doing so will we be able to account for the very diverse body that is Chicanx literature. In relation, only by doing so will we be able to form the critical coalitions we need as we move into the twenty-first century.”—Linda Heidenreich, author of “This Land Was Mexican Once”: Histories of Resistance from Northern California

Cultura y Corazón is a cultural approach to research that requires a long-term commitment to community-based and engaged research methodologies. This book presents case studies in the fields of education and health that recognize and integrate communities’ values, culture, and funds of knowledge in the research process.

Cultura y Corazón is a book we have all been waiting for. Deliberate in its descriptions of how to do ethical community engaged participatory research, the authors provide an excellent model for anyone serious about changing the way we work WITH communities of color. This is mandatory reading for researchers who are invested in providing a symbiotic relationship with communities of color and who no longer abide by helicopter culture-vulture approaches in research relationships.”—Sujey Vega, author of Latino Heartland: Of Borders and Belonging in the Midwest

La Gente traces the rise of the Chicana/o Movement in Sacramento and the role of everyday people in galvanizing a collective to seek lasting and transformative change during the 1960s and 1970s. In their efforts to be self-determined, la gente contested multiple forms of oppression at school, at work sites, and in their communities.

Watch a recording of Josie Méndez-Negrete and Lorena V. Márquez discussing California Chicana/o/x community histories here. Watch a recording of an Educators for Anti-Racism interview La Gente author Lorena V. Márquez here. Read an interview with Lorena about the book with the Center for Sacramento History here.

In Alberto Ríos’s new picaresque novel, momentous adventure and quiet connection bring twenty people to life in a small town in northern Mexico. A Good Map of All Things is home to characters whose lives are interwoven but whose stories are their own. Whether your heart belongs to a small town in Mexico or a bustling metropolis, Alberto Ríos has crafted a book overflowing with comfort, humor, warmth, and the familiar embrace of a tightly woven community.

Watch a recording of a Tucson Festival of Books virtual book panel with Lydia Otero and Alberto Álvaro Ríos here, then read an interview with Alberto for High Country News here. We’re thrilled to announce that A Good Map of All Things was chosen as a Southwest Book of the Year!

La Raza Cosmética examines postrevolutionary identity construction as a project of settler colonialism that at once appropriated and erased indigeneity. In its critique of Indigenous representation, it also shows how Indigenous women strategically engaged with and resisted these projects as they played out in beauty pageants, films, tourism, art, and other realms of popular culture.

Natasha Varner’s book insightfully traces how nationalists used the female Indigenous body to construct settler colonialism in postrevolutionary Mexico. In the process, it creatively bridges Indigenous studies in the United States and Latin America.”—Rick A. López, author of Crafting Mexico: Intellectuals, Artisans and the State After the Revolution

Reflections of a Transborder Anthropologist shows how both Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez and anthropology have changed and formed over a fifty-year period. Throughout, he has worked to understand how people survive and thrive against all odds. Vélez-Ibáñez has been guided by the burning desire to understand inequality, exploitation, and legitimacy, and, most importantly, to provide platforms for the voiceless to narrate their own histories.

We are thrilled that Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez was awarded the inaugural AAHHE Distinguished Author Award! Watch Carlos and his colleagues discuss the book at a virtual book release event here, then read an excerpt from the book here.

Chicana feminisms are living theory deriving value and purpose by affecting social change. Advocating for and demonstrating the importance of an intersectional, multidisciplinary, activist understanding of Chicanas, Intersectional Chicana Feminisms provides a much-needed overview of the key theories, thinkers, and activists that have contributed to Chicana feminist thought.

Aída Hurtado, a leading Chicana feminist and scholar, traces the origins of Chicanas’ efforts to bring attention to the effects of gender in Chicana and Chicano studies. Highlighting the innovative and pathbreaking methodologies developed within the field of Chicana feminisms—such as testimonio, conocimiento, and autohistoria—this book offers an accessible introduction to Chicana theory, methodology, art, and activism. Hurtado also looks at the newest developments in the field and the future of Chicana feminisms.

We’re thrilled that Aída Hurtado won an AAHHE Distinguished Author Award, and received an honorable mention for the 2020 NWSA Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize!

Land Uprising reframes Indigenous land reclamation as a horizon to decolonize the settler colonial conditions of literary, intellectual, and activist labor. Simón Ventura Trujillo argues that land provides grounding for rethinking the connection between Native storytelling practices and Latinx racialization across overlapping colonial and nation-state forms.

“Trujillo explores the ongoing process of insurgent history making by examining an ever-widening array of relevant texts that in their origin and topic spiral out from the New Mexican heartland of the Alianza to encompass kindred indigenous insurgencies as far afield as the Zapatistas of Chiapas in southern Mexico. This is an insightful, complex, and sometimes whimsical musing on land, race, indigeneity, and storytelling.”—P. R. Sullivan, Choice

Watch Simón Trujillo and Vick Quezada Discuss the borderlands of Latinx Indigeneity here.

This timeless volume is a significant analysis of the burgeoning field of Latinx filmmaking. Editor Frederick Luis Aldama has gathered together some of the best writing on Latinx ciné in the twenty-first century. Today’s filmmakers show the world a rich Latinidad informed by a complexly layered culture replete with history, biography, and everyday experiences.

“(Latinx Ciné in the twenty-first century) is a tour-de-force in Latinx-Brown film studies, unswervingly challenging, countering, deconstructing, irrupting and disrupting the conscious and contrived Latinx xenophobic and maligned racism, sexism, classism, and cultural invisibility promoted in the Trump era of political expediency and moral despondency.”—Theodoric Manley, Ethnic and Racial Studies

In Reel Latinxs, experts in Latinx pop culture Frederick Luis Aldama and Christopher González explain the real implications of Latinx representation in mainstream TV and film. They also provide a roadmap through a history of mediatized Latinxs that rupture stereotypes and reveal nuanced reconstructions of Latinx subjectivities and experiences.

Reel Latinxs is an invitation to re-think the problematic history of misrepresentations, to evaluate contemporary texts, and to imagine possible future in which Latinx are represented in yet more complex and nuanced ways.”—Manuel G. Aviles-Santiago, The Journal of Arizona History

We’re thrilled to announce that Reel Latinxs won an International Latino Book Award! Watch a video on Latinx streaming during lockdown with author Frederick Luis Aldama here.

Meditación Fronteriza is a beautifully crafted exploration of life in the Texas-Mexico borderlands. Written by award-winning author Norma Elia Cantú, the poems flow from Spanish to English gracefully as they explore culture, traditions, and solidarity.

“Norma Cantú offers us a prescient and poignant sweep of la fronteriza. These are poems celebrating border life in song, hushed ruminations, elegant verse. Cantú’s offering is one that gives us hope and strength in the midst of difficult times.”—Amelia M. L. Montes  

We’re thrilled that Meditación Fronteriza received an honorable mention for an International Latino Book Award! Watch a reading and discussion with poet Norma Elia Cantú here, and read an interview with Norma here.

Reclaiming and reconstructing one’s spirituality based on non-Western epistemologies is central to the process of decolonization. Voices from the Ancestors brings together reflective writings and spiritual practices by Chicanx, Latinx, and Afro-Latinx womxn and male allies in the United States who seek to heal from the historical traumas of colonization by returning to ancestral traditions and knowledge.

“This is an innovative and powerful collection that crosses the border between ­academic and artistic styles. Each contribution works to decolonize the mind and the soul. It is necessary reading for all who are interested in the anti-imperial project.”—Luis D. León, author of The Political Spirituality of Cesar Chavez: Crossing Religious Borders

Latinx Talk interviewed co-editor Lara Medina, you can read it here. Ofrenda Magazine also featured Voices from the Ancestors here.

Yolqui is a testimonio, a historia profoundo of the culture of extralegal violence against the Red-Black-Brown communities in the United States that operates with impunity. Framed by Roberto Cintli Rodríguez’s personal testimony of police violence, this book is a clarion call to end that violence and those philosophies that permit such violence to flourish.

Yolqui is at once a book of mourning and an ultimatum written against the great silencing, against misleading statistics, and against outright lies designed to keep centuries of genocide in place. This book was written for the white supremacist witching hour: an unholy ritual guided by racist doctrine, blood-drenched law, and police executions. This book is written against corruption and coverups, conquest and canon, the past five hundred years recurring every next day.”—Matt Sedillo, Public Intellectuals

Remember the days of in-person events? Read about the great book release event we planned for Yolqui here, then read an excerpt from the book here.

New in Paperback!

Chicano Communists and the Struggle for Social Justice traces the early roots of the Chicano Movement. It follows the thread of radical activism of the 1930s and 1940s to today, showing the depth of its influence on Mexican Americans struggling to achieve social justice and equality. 

“This well-researched study contributes to the fields of California history, Mexican American history, labor history, and race and ethnic studies. The exploration of radical activism by a Mexican American leader is especially significant.” —Ricardo Romo, author of East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio

Based on more than twenty years of border activism in San Diego–Tijuana and El Paso–Ciudad Juárez, this book is an interdisciplinary examination that considers the 1984 McDonald’s massacre, Minutemen vigilantism, border urbanism, the ongoing murder of women in Ciudad Juárez, and anti-border music. It is a theoretical and pragmatic analysis of the future of violence at—and because of—national territorial borders, and it offers a call for epistemic and cartographic disobedience.

Hernández has produced a stunningly brilliant call to action and an intellectually vibrant interdisciplinary interrogation of the origins, nature, and extent of borderlands violence.”—Choice

Calling the Soul Back considers how Chicanx literary narrative creatively maps vital connections between mind, body, spirit, and soul. Christina Garcia Lopez reveals the healing potential of narratives, showing how they can reposition one’s conscious ways of knowing and how spirituality can incite radical transformation.

“In this important new work, Garcia Lopez unpacks the significance of Chicanx narratives that center embodied knowledge as a route toward understanding the interrelationships among humans and between humans and earth, shedding light on the shape of ‘environmental consciousness’ in contemporary Chicanx narratives.” —Theresa Delgadillo, Latina/o Studies, Ohio State University

Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona expands our understanding of the critical role played by Mexican and Mexican American laborers in making Arizona a prominent and influential state in the Southwest and beyond.

Read about the Great Copper Strike here.

Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona presents the paradoxical history where Mexicana and Mexicano workers are recruited and desired as laborers who contribute to the wealth and well-being of key sectors in Arizona’s economy, yet simultaneously are racialized as invaders who negatively impact society. The anthology features the work of women contributors and beautifully illustrates the stories of Mexicans’ resilience and resistance.”—Patricia Zavella, Professor Emerita, Latin American and Latino Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz

In Pasadena Before the Roses, historian Yvette J. Saavedra shows how Indigenous, Spanish, Mexican, and American groups each have redefined the meanings of land use to build their homes and their lives. This social and cultural history illustrates the interconnectedness of power, ideas of land use, and the negotiation of identity within multiple colonial moments.

“Yvette J. Saavedra shows how issues of race and class and gender made and remade local society in Southern California, and how power and politics shaped this region across the long nineteenth century.”—Stephen Pitti, Department of History, Yale University

We are so thrilled that Yvette Saavedra was awarded the WHA-Huntington Library Martin Ridge Fellowship!

The Diné Reader: An Excerpt

April 8, 2021

The Diné Reader: An Anthology of Navajo Literature is unprecedented. It showcases the breadth, depth, and diversity of Diné creative artists and their poetry, fiction, and nonfiction prose. This wide-ranging anthology brings together writers who offer perspectives that span generations and perspectives on life and Diné history. The collected works display a rich variety of and creativity in themes: home and history; contemporary concerns about identity, historical trauma, and loss of language; and economic and environmental inequalities.

Below, read an excerpt from Sherwin Bitsui‘s foreword to The Diné Reader.

“I’ve met young Navajo college students attending universities throughout the United States who are surprised to discover that Navajos have been writing books for decades—Blackhorse Mitchell’s Miracle Hill was published decades ago, in 1967. The students, excited about stories and poems that reflect their own experiences, ask for the names of Navajo authors and their book titles with hopes of finding them in their local bookstores and libraries. Such works invoke memories of their families, reservation life, and cultural concerns. They also capture the red rock panoramas of their homeland, where stories and everyday life are perpetually intertwined. Each book contains an entire world and gives voice to Navajo thought and worldview with the utmost care and respect for language and ancestral knowledge.

Navajo poets and writers often refer to Diné bizaad as the source for their written work. Navajo Nation Poet Laureate Laura Tohe writes, “Diné bizaad is medicine for healing, was used as a secret code during World War II by the Navajo Code Talkers, and has blessed me in writing poetry, stories, essays, and now writing librettos for operas. It has grounded me to Navajo spirituality and community.”

Whether Diné bizaad was forcibly repressed at boarding schools, or because a generation of traumatized parents were convinced not to teach their children, these writers rediscover it in their written work. The layers of each line, image, or word carry not only personal story but the entirety of a people’s history and worldview. These stories restore memory and reconnect a people, some of whom have moved beyond the sacred mountains to work and live in distant cities. These stories are doorways opening inward, back into the world that is always home.

This anthology will aid in making known to readers the incredible diversity Navajo literature offers. These poems and stories are as vast and dynamic as the land on which they were imagined and created. The editors of this anthology have presented the works in a format that honors culture. They have provided interviews with the authors and resources for teachers to aid in the teaching of these works, elucidating the cultural context to bring greater depth to the reader’s understanding. Elizabeth Woody, in her interview, gracefully sums up the thesis of this collection: “I write from the core belief the word of our ancestors still reverberates in our present. It is a whisper in the grasses moving in all directions.” With the publication of this book, the whisper has grown louder and cannot be ignored any longer. The songs and memories of our ancestors continue to reverberate in these contemporary stories and poems; they bridge worlds and restore beauty within all things.”

Sherwin Bitsui

Watch: Authors Discuss How Latinos in Arizona Have Transformed Politics

March 26, 2021

Authors Lisa Magaña and César S. Silva discussed their new book, Empowered!: Latinos Transforming Arizona Politics, taking an online audience on a tour of Arizona’s Latino immigrant, political, and organizing history.

The online event on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, further explained how that history eventually transformed Arizona into a more inclusive and progressive state then ever before. During the book launch, past students of Magaña’s shared in-depth details of the organizing work taking place in Maricopa County that especially helped increase registered voters in record-breaking numbers this past election season—turning Arizona from a red to a blue state.

Steve Pyne on Persevering to Mars

March 25, 2021

In a new essay published this week on the History News Network, Steve Pyne explains the link between last months Mars landing by Perseverance and the Great Ages of Discovery, which he details in his new book. Here’s a brief excerpt from the essay:

“There is a lot to marvel at Perseverance’s February 18 landing on Mars, beyond robotic exploration as an extreme sport.  Only half of attempted missions to Mars have succeeded, and the sheer technical audacity that stuck Perseverance’s landing is guaranteed to dazzle. But America’s latest endeavor joins two other missions from civilizations re-emerging as global actors after centuries of exploring quietude. Perhaps more deeply, Perseverance’s first-contact photo, a shadow selfie, raises questions about the very nature of discovery and the character of an explorer.”

Read more

Watch: Urayoán Noel Read From New Poetry Collection Transversal

March 22, 2021

Celebrated poet Urayoán Noel read from his new poetry collection, Transversal, joined by Camino del Sol series editor Rigoberto González in an online event on Wednesday, March 17.

Transversal is part of the critically acclaimed Camino del Sol series, a literary series published by the University of Arizona Press to spotlight poetry, fiction, and essays from both emerging and established voices in Latinx literature.

Noel’s reading took the whole pandemic-era online-reading to a new level. He was powerful, head-spinning, and took the audience on a rollercoaster of translation, politics, and poetics.

TransversalUrayoán Noel’s newest poetry collection, seeks to disrupt standard English and Spanish, and it celebrates the nonequivalence between languages. Inspired by Caribbean poet and philosopher Édouard Glissant, the collection celebrates Caribbean practices of creolization as maximalist, people-centered, affect-loaded responses to the top-down violence of austerity politics. This groundbreaking, modular approach to poetic translation opens up alternative ways of reading in any language.

Society for Applied Anthropology 2021: Discover Recent Titles, Discounts, and More

March 18, 2021

We are excited to be participating in the first ever virtual Society for Applied Anthropology meeting! The SfAA Annual Meeting provides an invaluable opportunity for scholars, practicing social scientists, and students from a variety of disciplines and organizations to discuss their work and brainstorm for the future. It is more than just a conference: it’s a rich place to trade ideas, methods, and practical solutions, as well as enter the lifeworld of other professionals. SfAA members come from a variety of disciplines — anthropology, sociology, economics, business, planning, medicine, nursing, law, and other related social/behavioral sciences.

If you have any questions about our publishing program, please contact ACarter@uapress.arizona.edu, and visit here to learn more. Use the code AZSFAA21 for 40% off all titles, plus free continental U.S. shipping. Check out our most recent applied anthropology titles below!

From the day he was born, Federico Jiménez Caballero was predicted to be a successful man. So, how exactly did a young boy from Tututepec, Oaxaca, become a famous Indigenous jewelry artist and philanthropist in Los Angeles? Federico tells the remarkable story of willpower, curiosity, hard work, and passion coming together to change one man’s life forever.

On Wednesday, April 7, learn about Federico Jiménez Caballero’s remarkable life and work during this online book release celebration and discussion with author Federico Jiménez Caballero and editor Shelby Tisdale. Register here.

How people eat today is a record of food use through the ages, and Famine Foods offers the first ever overview of the use of alternative foods during food shortages. Paul E. Minnis explores the unusual plants that have helped humanity survive throughout history.

Preorder your copy today!

On Wednesday, May 5, Join our book release celebration and discussion with Paul Minnis on his new book, Famine Foods: Plants We Eat to Survive. Register here.

In Tourism Geopolitics, contributors show enacted processes such as labor migration, conservation, securitization, nation building, territorial disputes, ethnic cleansing, heritage revitalization, and global health crisis management, among others. These contended societal processes are deployed through tourism development initiatives that mobilize deeply uneven symbolic and material landscapes. The chapters reveal how a range of experiences are implicated in this process: museum visits, walking tours, architectonical evocations of the past, road construction, militarized island imaginations, gendered cultural texts, and official silences. Collectively, the chapters offer ethnographically rich illustrations from around the world that demonstrate the critical nature of tourism in formal geopolitical practices, as well as the geopolitical nature of everyday tourism encounters. This volume is a vital read for critical geographers, anthropologists, and political scientists, as well as scholars of tourism and cultural studies.

Preorder your copy today!

Moveable Gardens explores the ways people make sanctuaries with plants and other traveling companions in the midst of ongoing displacement in today’s world. This volume addresses how the destruction of homelands, fragmentation of habitats, and post-capitalist conditions of modernity are countered by the remembrance of tradition and the migration of seeds, which are embodied in gardening, cooking, and community building.

Indigenous Women and Violence , edited by Lynn Stephen & Shannon Speed, offers an intimate view of how settler colonialism and other structural forms of power and inequality created accumulated violences in the lives of Indigenous women. The chapters in this book are engaged, feminist, collaborative, and activism focused, conveying powerful messages about the resilience of Indigenous women in the face of violence and systemic oppression.

Revitalization Lexicography by Patricia M. Anderson is a unique look under the hood of lexicography in a small community, highlighting how the creation of the Tunica dictionary was intentionally leveraged to shape the revitalization of the Tunica language. Revitalization Lexicography details both the theoretical and the practical aspects that contributed to the Tunica dictionary in manner compelling to readers from all walks of life.

David Barton Bray has spent more than thirty years researching and studying Mexican community forest enterprises (CFEs). In Mexico’s Community Forest Enterprises he shares the scientific evidence for Mexico’s social and environmental achievements and how, in its most successful manifestations, it became a global model for common-property forest management, sustainable social-ecological systems, and climate change mitigation in developing countries.

Narrating Nature by Mara J. Goldman opens up dialogue that counters traditional conservation narratives by providing space for local Maasai inhabitants to share their ways of knowing and being with nature. It moves beyond standard community conservation narratives that see local people as beneficiaries or contributors to conservation, to demonstrate how they are essential knowledgeable members of the conservation landscape itself.

Cultura y Corazón is a research approach and practice that is rooted in the work of Latinx and Chicanx scholars and intellectuals. The book documents best practices for Community Based and Participatory Action Research (CBPAR), which is both culturally attuned and scientifically demonstrated. This methodology takes a decolonial approach to engaging community members in the research process and integrates critical feminist and indigenous epistemologies.

A Marriage Out West is an intimate biographical account of two fascinating figures of twentieth-century archaeology. Frances Theresa Peet Russell, an educator, married Harvard anthropologist Frank Russell in June 1900. They left immediately on a busman’s honeymoon to the Southwest. Their goal was twofold: to travel to an arid environment to quiet Frank’s tuberculosis and to find archaeological sites to support his research.

Read an excerpt from the book here.

What is a beautiful garden to southern Ethiopian farmers? Anchored in the author’s perceptual approach to the people, plants, land, and food, The Edible Gardens of Ethiopia opens a window into the simple beauty and ecological vitality of an ensete garden. Based on prolonged engagement with this “virtuous” plant of southwestern Ethiopia, this book provides a nuanced reading of the ensete ventricosum (avant-)garden and explores how the life in tiny, diverse, and womanly plots may indeed offers alternative visions of nature, food policy, and conservation efforts.

Chie Sakakibara shows how knots of connection came into being between humans and nonhuman others and how such intimate and intense relations will help humans survive the Anthropocene. Whale Snow offers an important and thought-provoking look at global climate change as it manifests in the everyday life of the Iñupiat in Arctic Alaska.

Read an interview with Chie here.

Taking us on a journey of remembering and rediscovery, anthropologist Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez shares important insights into his development as a scholar and in so doing the development of the interdisciplinary field of transborder anthropology.

Read an excerpt from Reflections of a Transborder Anthropologist here. We are thrilled that Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez was honored with the inaugural AAHHE Distinguished Author Award, as well as the 2020 Franz Boas Award. Recently, we hosted a book release event for Reflections of a Transborder Anthropologist. You can watch a recording of the event here.

The Sovereign Street offers a rare look at political revolution as it happens, showing how mass street protest can change national political life.  It documents a critical period in twenty-first century Bolivia, when small-town protests made headlines worldwide, where a generation of pro-globalization policies were called into question, and where the indigenous majority stepped into government power for the first time in five centuries.

Listen to author Carwil Bjork-James talk about the book here.

Tewa Worlds by Samuel Duwe offers an archaeological history of eight centuries of Tewa Pueblo history in the Rio Chama Valley through the lens of contemporary Pueblo philosophical and historical discourse. The result gives weight to the deep past, colonial encounters, and modern experiences. It challenges archaeologists to both critically reframe interpretation and to acknowledge the Tewa’s deep but ongoing connection with the land.

Language, Coffee, and Migration on an Andean-Amazonian Frontier takes us to remote Amazonian villages, dusty frontier towns, roadside bargaining sessions, and coffee traders’ homes to offer a new view of settlement frontiers as they are negotiated in linguistic interactions and social relationships. The book brings together a fine-grained analysis of multilingualism with urgent issues in Latin America today. It is a timely on-the-ground perspective on the agricultural colonization of the Amazon, which has triggered an environmental emergency threatening the future of the planet.

Mexico and Peru are widely regarded as two great centers of Latin American civilization. In State Formation in the Liberal Era, a diverse group of historians and anthropologists from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Latin America compare how the two countries advanced claims of statehood from the dawning of the age of global liberal capitalism to the onset of the Cold War. Chapters cover themes ranging from foreign banks to road building and labor relations. The introductions serve as an original interpretation of Peru’s and Mexico’s modern histories from a comparative perspective.

Despite its tiny size and seeming marginality to world affairs, the Central American republic of Costa Rica has long been considered an important site for experimentation in cutting-edge environmental policy. From protected area management to ecotourism to payment for environmental services (PES) and beyond, for the past half-century the country has successfully positioned itself at the forefront of novel trends in environmental governance and sustainable development. The Ecolaboratory frames Costa Rica as an “ecolaboratory” and asks what lessons we can learn for the future of environmental governance and sustainable development both within the country and elsewhere.

Fighting for Andean Resources offers a singular contribution to the literature critiquing monolithic views of nation-state dynamics and globalization. Vladimir R. Gil Ramón examines the protocols of accountability and the social critique of the application of environmental impact assessments and safeguard policies. His analysis reveals the complex mechanisms for legitimizing decision-making and adds to an understanding of everyday state-nation conflicts and negotiations.

Excerpt: Strong Hearts and Healing Hands

March 17, 2021

In 1924, the United States began a bold program in public health. The Indian Service of the United States hired its first nurses to work among Indians living on reservations. In Strong Hearts and Healing Hands historian Clifford E. Trafzer shows how field nurses and Native people formed a positive working relationship that resulted in the decline of mortality from infectious diseases. With strong hearts, Indians eagerly participated in the tuberculosis campaign of 1939–40 to x-ray tribal members living on twenty-nine reservations. Through their cooperative efforts, Indians and health-care providers decreased deaths, cases, and misery among the tribes of Southern California.

Today, we offer a brief excerpt from the preface of this important new work:

From 1928 to 1948, field nurses served the Indian people of the Mission Indian Agency on every Indian reservation. Their work with the people ultimately led to the decline of morbidity and mortality among tribal people. Field nurses helped improve Indian health, but they did not do it alone. They could not have been successful without the support and cooperation of Native American leaders, families, communities, and tribes. Indian people allowed field nurses, physicians, and hospital employees into their lives. Indians helped health-care providers fight invisible enemies that were then sickening and killing their people. Indians worked in partnership with field nurses to improve the health of their people because, as tribal elders have testified, it was to their advantage to cooperate with field nurses and other health care providers. At the time, Indian people were dying of illnesses brought to Southern California by settlers, soldiers, and government policy makers. Settlers had introduced infectious diseases among the people. Indians reasoned that newcomers had knowledge about the causation and prevention of “traveling” sickness or infectious diseases that moved indiscriminately from person to person, place to place.

During the 1920s, American Indian students had some knowledge about germs and disease prevention from their boarding-school days. When students returned home from Indian schools, they shared public-health knowledge and practical information about unseen enemies attacking their people. For many years, Southern California Indians had lived with bacterial and viral diseases. Indigenous people had their own medical traditions, but the medicine ways of Native Americans generally did not address serious infectious diseases.

For centuries, Native Americans had learned about health and healing from traditional indigenous nurses who lived in every Indian village and community in Southern California. Indigenous women had learned the art of nursing from their elders and their own practical experiences. Indigenous women were experts (and remain so today) in the use of herbal medicines. They used plant medicines to treat symptoms of infectious diseases, but often could not cure disease caused by pathogens. Some shamans claimed the ability to kill infectious diseases caused by microorganisms. Since the time of creation, every tribe had consulted indigenous nurses to help them maintain physical, mental, and spiritual health. Tribal use of Native nurses made it easier for indigenous people to accept treatment and advice from white nurses—all women—working for the Indian Service.

While indigenous nurses expertly used herbal medicines, tribal shamans cured people of staying sickness that existed only within specific tribal communities. However, neither indigenous nurses nor shamans could consistently address new illnesses caused by viruses and bacteria. As a result, and with time, the first people of Southern California agreed to incorporate Western medicine into their own medicine ways. During the early twentieth century, Southern California Indians gradually used Western medicine and integrated new medicine ways into their cultural circles. Once Western medicine proved effective in preventing and curing illnesses, Indians incorporated new medicine into their lives. They slowly brought Western medicine into their own cultural circles and adopted new ways of healing without abandoning their own medicine ways. In essence, Native Americans gradually chose to incorporate Western medicine into their cultures and use it to their advantage. At the same time, they kept their traditional medicine ways. They used both ways to achieve better health. They continued to consult traditional tribal nurses and shamans, drawing on expertise of traditional and new medicine to benefit their people. This form of integrated medicine has continued to this day through community-based and Native-controlled contemporary Indian health centers located throughout Southern California. However, in the 1920s, the Indians of Southern California were just learning about field nurses and important national changes brought to the Indian Service.

***
Clifford E. Trafzer is Distinguished Professor of History and Rupert Costo Chair in American Indian Affairs at the University of California, Riverside. Since the 1980s, he has researched the history of Southern California Indians, visiting reservations and learning from their people. He served on the California Native American Heritage Commission, Board of Native American Land Conservancy, and University of California President’s Native American Council.

Alberto Ríos on Nogales, the Borderlands, and Joy in High Country News

March 17, 2021

High Country News recently featured an essay by Alberto Álvaro Ríos, author of A Good Map of All Things, published by the University of Arizona Press. A Good Map, Ríos honors his family between the chapters, but the new picaresque novel presents brightly unique characters who love fiercely and nurture those around them in a whimsical yet familiar town in the Pimería Alta

The High Country News essay, “In Nogales, joy endures,” Ríos shares a snapshot of his hometown, Nogales, Arizona, and the true joy that exists on the border.

From the essay:

“In all the talk of the border, that word is used as if it defined this place. But the far greater truth and the more apt word for this place is desert. It was true when I was growing up, and it’s just as true now. We lived in the desert more than, or at least as much as, we lived at the border. Nature was so often louder in its quietude than people giving orders in uniforms, or fences keeping us and the cows from wandering where we weren’t supposed to go. The border made Nogales a major international port of entry, giving us the foundation for produce and tourism, both of which moved through town, but the desert gave us actual place, a geography on which to stand and find a steady footing. For those who live there, the desert, too, has always been a place of scarcity, of sparseness. Making do with what you had was a regular way of life. It was constant invention.”

Read the entire essay here.

Whale Snow Wins the AAG 2020 Meridian Book Award

March 17, 2021

We are thrilled to announce that Whale Snow by Chie Sakakibara is the winner of the AAG 2020 Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography! This award is given for a book written by a geographer that makes an unusually important contribution to advancing the science and art of geography.

“In Whale Snow, Chie Sakakibara pioneers a vision of surviving humankind and kin safely segueing a conjoined path in the future. On the frontier between tundra and ocean, she engaged in the kind of years-long fieldwork that exemplary geographers have pursued for generations in an effort to understand the why of where. Recognizing that whales and whaling remain integral to Inupiat lifeways, despite the onslaught of globalization and climate change, her work explores and elucidates the significance of bowhead whales to the persistence of Inupiaq culture and community.

This book offers a rare, qualified, and yet substantiated optimism to readers around the world. Hers is a vision of “being in a togetherness” that perseveres against myriad adversities on the near horizon, and that can continue to do so far into the future. This research is exemplary in its
sustained commitment to the community. It demonstrates the best of embedded, ethically-driven, and collaborative knowledge production. Those who seek, through their own studies with diverse cultural communities of practice, to overcome – as do the whaling Inupiat of Alaskan North Slope Borough, in unity with their animal kin — the existential threats of our unprecedented and contingent present will be inspired and transformed by reading this book.

In so many ways, Whale Snow epitomizes the essence of geography as an art, science, method, literary practice, and a way of understanding and relating to the world.”— The American Association of Geographers

Chie Sakakibara is an assistant professor of environmental studies at Oberlin College. She was trained in cultural geography, art history, and Indigenous studies. Her work explores human dimensions of global environmental change among Indigenous peoples. Native to Japan, Sakakibara is a proud adoptive member of the Iñupiaq whaling community. Her love of humans and nonhuman animals manifests in her academic work as well as in her life with one human daughter and two canine sons.

Congratulations, Chie!

Francisco X. Alarcón Featured in Latest Poetry Centered Podcast

March 16, 2021

In the season premiere of Poetry Centered, the University of Arizona Poetry Center’s podcast, Francisco Aragón shares poems alive with the vibrancy of a particular voice addressed to a particular audience.

Included in the podcast is Francisco X. Alarcón’s bittersweet homage to a poetic ancestor, “Hernando Ruiz de Alarcón.” The late Alarcón is co-editor of Poetry of Resistance: Voices for Social Justice with Odilia Galván Rodríguez, and author of Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation, among others published by the University of Arizona Press.

The podcast also features poems from Thom Gunn, and Denise Levertov, mythic. Aragón concludes the episode with a direct address of his own that challenges Arizona’s SB 1070, “Poem with a Phrase of Isherwood.”

Poetry Centered features curated selections from Voca, the University of Arizona Poetry Center’s online audiovisual archive of more than 1,000 recordings of poets reading their work during visits to the Center between 1963 and today. In each episode, a guest poet introduces three poems from Voca, sharing their insights about the remarkable performances recorded in our archive. Each episode concludes with the guest poet reading a poem of their own.

To listen to this episode and past episodes, please go here.

Flachs Examines Cotton Cultivation in India in Anthro Magazine Sapiens

March 15, 2021

Andrew Flachs, author of Cultivating Knowledge: Biotechnology, Sustainability, and the Human Cost of Cotton Capitalism in India, recently contributed a story for SAPIENS, an online anthropology magazine, edited by Chip Colwell.

Excerpt from the story by Flachs:

“Organic agriculture also offers an agrarian way of life for younger, educated generations in Telangana at a time when many young people have moved away to find work in larger cities, such as Hyderabad and Bangalore, leaving behind or even selling family land. Staff members recruited from farming communities by various organic projects in Telangana have found a way to give back to their agrarian roots while achieving a new form of rural professionalism.

It would be wrong to frame the success of these programs as either the triumph of eco-friendly clothing sales or as evidence of the inherent superiority of certified organic agriculture. Those perspectives miss the crucial efforts of NGOs and organic companies that make it easier to be a small farmer. They also hide the efforts of charismatic, opportunistic, and earnest farmers and rural professionals who take up the local cause.”

SAPIENS began in 2016 with a mission to bring anthropology to the public, and make a difference in how people see themselves and the people around them. An editorially independent magazine of the Wenner‑Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Published in partnership with the University of Chicago Press.

You can read the entire story, and check out SAPIENS here.

UNDOCUMENTS Wins a 2021 Kayden Book Award

March 15, 2021

We are thrilled to announce that UNDOCUMENTS by John-Michael Rivera won a 2021 Eugene M. Kayden Book Award!

The Kayden awards, which are funded from the Eugene M. Kayden endowment, are intended to promote the completion of research and creative work in the arts and humanities, research leading to publication, and the celebration and dissemination of excellent arts and humanities research. The Kayden awards come with funding for the author’s department to organize a symposium, which will involve both the author and experts in the author’s field who will present critiques of the book to which the author will respond. The symposium will be open to the wider academic community and the public.

Employing a broad range of writing genres and scholarly approaches, UNDOCUMENTS catalogs, recovers, and erases documents and images by and about peoples of Greater Mexico from roughly the first colonial moment. This brave and bracing volume organizes and documents ancient New World Mexican peoples from the Florentine Codex (1592) to our current technology-heavy age, wherein modern lawmakers and powerful global figures desire to classify, deport, and erase immigrants and their experiences.

John-Michael Rivera is an associate professor and writer at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he serves as director of the Program for Writing and Rhetoric. He has published memoir, creative nonfiction, poetry, and scholarship. He is the curator of El Laboratorio, a literary space for Latinx writers, and was co-founder of Shadowbox Magazine, a literary journal for creative nonfiction.

Congratulations, John-Michael!

Missed the Book Fest? TFOB Digital Author Events Remain Online

March 15, 2021

If you missed your favorite University of Arizona Press authors at the Tucson Festival of Books 2021 virtual festival, fear not! All author events remain available on the TFOB website.

Go to the TFOB 2021 Author Presenting Schedule, click on the event title, and then click on “watch broadcast.” You’ll be asked to register, and then directed to the panel.

Big thanks to Tucson Festival of Books organizers for including several University of Arizona Press authors, including Lydia Otero, Alberto Álvaro Ríos, Stephen J. Pyne, and Gloria Muñoz.

Watch: A Conversation with Transborder Anthropologist Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez

March 12, 2021

On Wednesday, March 10, celebrated anthropologist Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez joined Roberto Alvarez, Patricia Zavella, Joe Heyman, and Luis Plascencia in an online event to celebrate Vélez-Ibáñez’s latest book, Reflections of a Transborder Anthropologist: From Netzahualcóyotl to Aztlán.

Vélez-Ibáñez with the other borderlands anthropologists talk about his book and the ever-evolving work of transborder anthropology. Reflections of a Transborder Anthropologist shows how both Vélez-Ibáñez and anthropology have changed and formed over a fifty-year period. Throughout, he has worked to understand how people survive and thrive against all odds. Vélez-Ibáñez has been guided by the burning desire to understand inequality, exploitation, and legitimacy, and, most importantly, to provide platforms for the voiceless to narrate their own histories.

Cuba, Hot and Cold Featured in The Wall Street Journal

March 12, 2021

Tom Miller’s University of Arizona Press book, Cuba, Hot and Cold, was featured in a recent article from The Wall Street Journal: Dreaming of Cuba? Here’s How to Feel Like You’re in Havana Anytime You’d Like.

Jon Lee Anderson, author of Che: A Revolutionary Life, offers four books that reveal a Havana beyond the clichés. One of the books he chose is Miller’s Cuba, Hot and Cold, about which Anderson writes, “If you had to pick one great introduction to Havana, it’d be this slender, readable work. It hits all the touchstones of history, art and literature with a healthy sense of humor—and you can finish it in an hour and a half.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Since his first visit to the island thirty years ago, Miller has shown us the real people of Havana and the countryside, the Castros and their government, and the protesters and their rigor. His first book on Cuba, Trading with the Enemy, brought readers into the “Special Period,” Fidel’s name for the country’s period of economic free fall. Cuba, Hot and Cold brings us up to date, providing intimate and authentic glimpses of day-to-day life.

Tom Miller has been writing about Latin America and the American Southwest for more than four decades. His articles have appeared in outlets including the New York Times, Smithsonian, LIFE, Rolling Stone, and Natural History. He is affiliated with the University of Arizona’s Center for Latin American Studies, and at a 2008 ceremony, the City of Quito proclaimed Miller Un Huésped Ilustre (An Illustrious Guest).

Heather Cahoon Interviewed for Poetry Northwest

March 11, 2021

Horsefly Dress author Heather Cahoon was interviewed for Poetry Northwest by Shriram Sivaramakrishnan. Below, read an excerpt from this thoughtful interview and find a link to read the entire discussion.

Shriram Sivaramakrishnan: I would like to kickstart our discussion with the first thing that caught my attention when I was reading your book: the use of Salish words. In your recent reading for The University of Arizona Press, you spoke about weaving Salish into your poems as an act of reclaiming, among other things, the land. It reminded me of a quote by Maurice Merleau-Ponty (I came across it while reading Maggie Nelson’s Bluets), “words do not look like the things they designate.” In the same reading, you also mentioned that you do not speak Salish. Given that your poems are firmly situated in the realities of the land, its people, and their tradition, how does language inform your creative practice?

Heather Cahoon: My poems are definitely rooted in place and reflective of my personal relationships with the landscape, people, flora, and fauna where I live. In terms of how language, specifically my use of Salish, informs my creative practice, I would start by noting that the level of Salish that appears in Horsefly Dress roughly mirrors my speaking ability. Growing up, everyone learns a handful of words and in college I took Salish from one of our elders but I certainly never came close to being fluent. As a result, my decision to include Salish in my poems was very intentional and serves a sort of dual purpose. On a basic level it connects me to my community and reaffirms those ties but it also calls attention, at least momentarily, to American Indians generally and, by extension, the settler colonial history of America. This is why I say that the use of Salish is an act of reclaiming space, not only as a presence on the physical lands where Salish-speaking people have been living for thousands of years, but the non-physical landscapes as well, including the broader American psyche and the mainstream narratives that have largely omitted tribal people. 

To read the entire interview, click here.

Horsefly Dress is a meditation on the experience and beauty of suffering, questioning its triggers and ultimate purpose through the lens of historical and contemporary interactions and complications of Séliš, Qĺispé, and Christian beliefs. Heather Cahoon’s collection explores dark truths about the world through first-person experiences, as well as the experiences of her family and larger tribal community. As a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Cahoon crafts poems that recount traditional stories and confront Coyote’s transformation of the world, including his decision to leave certain evils present, such as cruelty, greed, hunger, and death.

Heather Cahoon, PhD, earned her MFA in poetry from the University of Montana, where she was the Richard Hugo Scholar. She has received a Potlatch Fund Native Arts Grant and Montana Arts Council Artist Innovation Award. Her chapbook, Elk Thirst, won the Merriam-Frontier Prize. She is an assistant professor of Native American studies at the University of Montana. She is from the Flathead Reservation and is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

Watch: Book Release Celebration for Rewriting the Chicano Movement

March 9, 2021

On Wednesday, March 3, 2021, editors Mario T. García and Ellen McCracken of Rewriting the Chicano Movement: New Histories of Mexican American Activism in the Civil Rights Era, joined contributors Holly Barnet-Sanchez, Jesús Jesse Esparza, Tiffany Jasmín González, Andrea Muñoz, and Michael Anthony Turcios, in an online book launch and discussion.

Together, they explained the essays in the book that cover a range of untold histories albeit important in Chicano Movement history in communities across the country, and further discussed the importance of the Chicano Movement today.

Watch: Stephen J. Pyne Discusses His New Book and Exploration Studies

March 8, 2021

On Thursday, February 25, the University of Arizona Press presented an online event with historian and MacArthur Fellow Stephen J. Pyne to discuss and celebrate his new book, The Great Ages of Discovery: How Western Civilization Learned About a Wider World.

Joining Pyne was event moderator Kevin J. Fernlund, author of William Henry Holmes and the Rediscovery of the American West. Together they discussed Pyne’s inspiration and interest in exploration, history, and how Pyne identifies three great ages of discovery in his fascinating new book.

The first age of discovery ranged from the early 15th to the early 18th century, sketched out the contours of the globe, aligned with the Renaissance, and had for its grandest expression the circumnavigation of the world ocean. The second age launched in the latter half of the 18th century, spanning into the early 20th century, carrying the Enlightenment along with it, pairing especially with settler societies, and had as its prize achievement the crossing of a continent. The third age began after World War II, and, pivoting from Antarctica, pushed into the deep oceans and interplanetary space. Its grand gesture is Voyager’s passage across the solar system. Each age had in common a galvanic rivalry: Spain and Portugal in the first age, Britain and France—followed by others—in the second, and the USSR and USA in the third.

Latinos Transforming Arizona Politics: Five Questions with Lisa Magaña

March 8, 2021

Empowered!: Latinos Transforming Arizona Politics examines Arizona’s recent political history and how it has been shaped and propelled by Latinos. It also provides a distilled reflection of U.S. politics more broadly, where the politics of exclusion and the desire for inclusion are forces of change. Co-authors Lisa Magaña and César S. Silva argue that the state of Arizona is more inclusive and progressive then it has ever been. Draconian immigration policies have plagued Arizona’s political history. Empowered! shows innovative ways that Latinos have fought these policies.

Here, Magaña answers five questions about her new book.

With the elections, this book sure is timely. How does the book help us understand the recent elections in Arizona?

Well, the focus of this book is on Maricopa County or the Phoenix-Metropolitan area. Because it is the most populated area in Arizona, how the county voted is how the election turned out.  This county was seen as a pivotal one in the presidential election, because of recent migration from other states, a growing suburban voting bloc and Latinos coming of age. This county is a great case study for other states that are changing demographically.

Why is it important to note how immigrants have changed our political landscape?

Latinos in Arizona are predominately born in the United States. However, in the Maricopa County there are some fierce immigrant advocates and immigrant political players. In some cases, Latino immigrants, that cannot vote, worked and canvassed in areas and encouraged other Latinos to vote.  I once had a DACA student tell me “we may not be able to vote, but this is what democracy looks like.”  Seeing immigrant activists involved in electoral politics is democracy at its most beautiful and basic form.

For years folks have been talking about Latinos being the Sleeping Giant. Did it take Donald Trump to wake that giant?

Donald Trump did not wake up the Sleeping Giant.  In the case of Arizona, it was one-on-one activism and outreach that got first-time voters to come out and vote. And the Latino and first-time voters in Arizona have been growing. In fact, I think Donald Trump’s anti-immigration agenda did not work in Arizona, as evidenced by his loss.

Organizers and activists have been through so much in Arizona. What have been the biggest challenges?

That is a great question. Not sure what challenges there are that just doesn’t make them stronger and more formidable.

What are your hopes for the book and its readers?

This book is a story about how anti-immigrant rhetoric mobilized Latinos into a dynamic, political force. The demographics are changing. The story in Maricopa County is what is going on in America today.

SCA 2021: Browse Our Latest Books, Discounts, and More

March 4, 2021

We are excited to be participating in the first ever virtual Society for California Archaeology meeting! If you are attending the meeting, make sure to visit our virtual booth and visit the book room to see our latest titles. From March 4 to March 15, 2021, use the code AZSCA21 at checkout on our website to receive 40% off all titles, plus free continental U.S. shipping.

The Global Spanish Empire tackles broad questions about indigenous cultural persistence, pluralism, and place making using a global comparative perspective grounded in the shared experience of Spanish colonialism. Through an expansive range of essays that look at Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific, this volume brings often-neglected regions into conversation.

Read an interview with editors Christine Beaule and John Douglass here, then watch a video of the editors discussing the volume here.

Narratives of Persistence charts the remarkable persistence of California’s Ohlone and Paipai people over the past five centuries. Lee M. Panich draws connections between the events and processes of the deeper past and the way the Ohlone and Paipai today understand their own histories and identities.

Read an interview about the book with Lee Panich here.

The influx of Spanish, Russian, and then American colonists into Alta California between 1769 and 1834 challenged both Native and non-Native people to reimagine communities not only in different places and spaces but also in novel forms and practices. The contributors to Forging Communities in Colonial Alta California draw on archaeological and historical archival sources to analyze the generative processes and nature of communities of belonging in the face of rapid demographic change and perceived or enforced difference.

Listen to editors Kathleen Hull and John Douglass talk about the book on the New Books Network Podcast here.

Spring Into 2021 with a Great Discount on Books!

March 3, 2021

We are excited to kick off Spring 2021 with some incredible new books, and a great sale to match! From March 1, 2021 to March 15, 2021, use the code AZSPRING21 for 40% off ALL titles, plus free shipping in the continental U.S.

The Great Ages of Discovery is a fascinating conceptual framework for understanding the past 600 years of exploration by Western civilization and its relationship to contemporary society. Stephen J. Pyne expertly organizes the vast narrative of Western exploration into three distinctive ages of discovery.

On Saturday, March 6, Stephen Pyne will be presenting at the Tucson Festival of Books! Authors Simon Winchester and Stephen Pyne will discuss how the quest for land, ownership and discovery have shaped the modern world. . Learn more about this panel. You can also watch a book trailer for The Great Ages of Discovery here.

The Diné Reader: An Anthology of Navajo Literature is a comprehensive collection of creative works by Diné poets and writers. This anthology is the first of its kind.

“This collection is essential to American literature and should be required for anyone studying American, First Nations, or world literature.”—Joy Harjo, U.S. Poet Laureate

On Wednesday, April 21, tune into a virtual event with editors Esther G. Belin, Jeff Berglund, Connie A. Jacobs, and contributors to celebrate this ground-breaking anthology. Read more about the event and register here.

A baffling museum murder that appears to be the work of twisted human killers results in an unexpected and violent confrontation with powerful shape-shifters for Choctaw detective Monique Blue Hawk. Blending tribal beliefs and myths into a modern context, The Hatak Witches continues the storyline of Choctaw cosmology and cultural survival that are prominent in Devon A. Mihesuah’s award-winning novel, The Roads of My Relations.

“As informative as it is gripping, this supernatural mystery from Mihesuah—the 88th installment of Sun Tracks: An American Indian Literary series—is rooted in Choctaw cosmology and contemporary Native American life. … Readers looking for intelligent, diverse supernatural fiction will be captivated.”—Publisher’s Weekly

Read the entire Publisher’s Weekly review of The Hatak Witches here.

Danzirly is a stunning bilingual poetry collection that considers multigenerational Latinx identities in the rapidly changing United States. Winner of the Academy of American Poets’ Ambroggio Prize, Gloria Muñoz’s collection is an unforgettable reckoning of the grief and beauty that pulses through twenty-first-century America.

On Saturday, March 6, Gloria will be presenting at the Tucson Festival of Books! What does the American Dream look like for Latinx people living in the United States? What does it feel like? Felicia Zamora and Gloria Muñoz explore those questions in their award-winning poetry. They will share their thoughts, and some of their poems, with all of us. Learn more about this panel.

On Wednesday, April 14, Gloria Muñoz will read from her new collection, Danzirly, presented by the American Academy of Poets and the University of Arizona Press. Registration is required. Learn more here.

Transversal takes a groundbreaking, disruptive approach to poetic translation, opening up alternative ways of reading as poems get translated or transcreated into entirely new pieces. In this collection, Urayoán Noel masterfully examines his native Puerto Rico and the broader Caribbean as sites of transversal poetics and politics.

Learn more about the collection by reading an interview with Urayoán here. On Wednesday, March 17, celebrated poet Urayoán Noel will read from his new poetry collection, Transversal, joined by Camino del Sol series editor Rigoberto González for an online event. Registration is required. Learn more here.

From the day he was born, Federico Jiménez Caballero was predicted to be a successful man. So, how exactly did a young boy from Tututepec, Oaxaca, become a famous Indigenous jewelry artist and philanthropist in Los Angeles? Federico tells the remarkable story of willpower, curiosity, hard work, and passion coming together to change one man’s life forever.

On Wednesday, April 7, learn about Federico Jiménez Caballero’s remarkable life and work during this online book release celebration and discussion with author Jiménez Caballero and editor Shelby Tisdale. Registration is required. Learn more about the event here.

UNDOCUMENTS is an expansive multi-genre exploration of Greater Mexican documentality that reveals the complicated ways all Latinx peoples, including the author, become objectified within cultures. John-Michael Rivera remixes the Florentine Codex and other documents as he takes an intense look at the anxieties and physical detriments tied to immigration.

Read an excerpt from UNDOCUMENTS here.

On Wednesday, March 31, join a special virtual event to celebrate the book release of UNDOCUMENTS with a reading a discussion with its author John-Michael Rivera. Registration is required. Learn more about the event here.

“Editors Johnson and Cokinos have created a profoundly stirring evocation of the glory and tragedy of spaceflight that lets us better see not only worlds beyond but also ourselves.”—Lee Billings, Scientific American

Mark McLemore, host and producer of Arizona Public Media’s Arizona Spotlight, recently interviewed Christopher Cokinos and Julie Swarstad Johnson, co-editors of Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight. Listen to the interview here. PBS’ The Open Mind featured Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflights co-editors Julie Swarstad Johnson and Christopher Cokinos talking about the new poetry anthology and this celebration of poetics and the space sciences. Watch here.

The poetry anthology was also featured on Planetary Radio, the Planetary Society’s weekly podcast brilliantly hosted by Mat Kaplan. Listen here. Then, watch an incredible event with the editors and some contributors to the volume here! Ready to take your own space poetry journey? Read Swarstad Johnson’s post and writing prompts.

“Ríos’s finely crafted chronicle brings great depth to the vicissitudes of life in a small Mexican village.”—Publishers Weekly

Alberto Álvaro Ríos is presenting at the Tucson Festival of Books on Sunday, March 7! Arizona authors Alberto Álvaro Ríos and Lydia R. Otero will discuss their newest books, both of which explore the power of place and community along the border. Learn more about this panel.

We are thrilled that A Good Map of All Things was chosen as a Southwest Book of the Year! Listen to a KJZZ interview with Alberto Álvaro Ríos here, then read an interview with him here.

“The writings in this collection echo, each in their own ways, the surprising declaration made by contributor Paul Mirocha in ‘Staring at the Walls,’ an essay on Southern Arizona public art: “The desert is succulent—it’s downright juicy out there.”—Kristine Morris, Foreward Reviews

Watch editor Gary Nabhan and contributor Francisco Cantú discuss The Nature of Desert Nature here. The Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill hosted a special online event to celebrate the book release of The Nature of Desert Nature, watch it here. Read an excerpt from the book here.

“Indispensable, Niethammer’s book is fascinating, taking us through the cultural and historical significance from 4,000 years ago at the base of “A” Mountain to the modern-day celebration of artisan growers and chefs who have all been a part of making Tucson a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. This is not a book to finish in one sitting, but something to be savored along with the book’s many recipes, time and time again.”—Barry Infuso, President, Chefs Association of Southern Arizona

We are thrilled that A Desert Feast was chosen as a Southwest Book of the Year, and it also won a Pubwest Book Design Award! Read an excerpt from the book here, then watch a Tucson Festival of Books virtual event with Carolyn Niethammer and #ThisIsTucson food writer Andi Berlin here. Watch a fun series of videos from people featured in the book here!

“It is such a pleasure to experience so many Old Stories told in and between the lines of Heather Cahoon’s gorgeous poems.”—Chris La Tray, High Country News

Read an interview about Horsefly Dress with poet Heather Cahoon here, then watch a virtual poetry reading with Heather here.

UCSB’s The Current Features ‘Rewriting the Chicano Movement’

March 2, 2021

University of California Santa Barbara’s news site, The Current, published an interview with Rewriting the Chicano Movement: New Histories of Mexican American Activism in the Civil Rights Era‘s co-editor Mario T. García, a UCSB scholar.

In the interview, García expanded on the themes of the book:

“The essays in our book,” García continued, “bring in new historical actors to the movement that had earlier been excluded and, secondly, the book attempts to nationalize the movement in that it made Chicanos and other Latinos for the first time into national political actors and laid the foundation for today’s recognized Latino political power. It is not excluding or downplaying earlier histories of the movement but rather expanding them.”

Please read the entire interview here.

Tickets remain available for our event, Rewriting the Chicano Movement Book Celebration and Discussion. Go here for more information and to register.

Tucson Daily Praises Southern Arizona Books

February 28, 2021

In a round-up of books by Southern Arizona authors or about Southern Arizona, the Arizona Daily Star included two University of Arizona Press books—Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight, and The Arizona Diary of Lily Frémont, 1878–1881.

Beyond Earth’s Edge is a groundbreaking anthology of poetry centered on space that features a beautiful line-up of poets, such as Robert Hayden, Rae Armantrout, N. Scott Momaday, Adrienne Rich, Tracy K. Smith, Ray Bradbury, May Swenson, Pablo Neruda, and many other engaging poetic voices. This book was edited by Julie Swarstad JohnsonChristopher Cokinos.

The Arizona Diary of Lily Frémont, edited by  Mary Lee Spence,  is a rich detail, and day-by-day narrative of Territorial life in Arizona. For students of western history, Lily Frémont’s diary provides a wealth of fresh information on frontier politics, mining, army life, social customs, and ethnicity. The book was recently released as a paperback.

Read the Star reviews here.

Five Questions with Poet Urayoán Noel

March 1, 2021

Urayoán Noel’s latest collection, Transversal, takes a disruptive approach to poetic translation, opening up alternative ways of reading as poems get translated or transcreated into entirely new pieces. In this collection, Noel masterfully examines his native Puerto Rico and the broader Caribbean as sites of transversal poetics and politics. Featuring Noel’s bilingual playfulness, intellect, and irreverent political imagination, Transversal contains personal reflections on love, desire, and loss filtered through a queer approach to form, expanding upon Noel’s experiments with self-translation in his celebrated collection Buzzing Hemisphere/Rumor Hemisférico.

Below, read five questions with Urayoán about his latest collection.

What inspired you to write this collection?

There are many ways to answer this question. After the publication of my previous book of poetry, Buzzing Hemisphere/Rumor Hemisférico (2015), also with Camino del Sol, I was interested in getting back to a more imbricated lyric politics, beyond that book’s intra-Americanist politics of page as hemisphere. I was also returning to writing in traditional forms such as the sonnet, partly to rethink the performative and experimental, which have defined my work for so long. At the same time, I wanted to continue my walking improvisation poems (“wokitokitekis”) and the poetics of self-translation from Buzzing Hemisphere/Rumor Hemisférico and some of my earlier work, so I pushed forward on both and thought of the transversal line as a framing device for what I was doing, departing but connecting. A lot of this was about coping, as it tied into a whole process of mourning (the death of my father, the aftermath of Hurricane María) that on the one hand led me back to my native Puerto Rico and on the other made me commit to digging deeper into my writing practice. Paradoxically, this digging deeper manifested itself as two extremes: the formal poems where I could distill this emotional weight through a formal architecture and the improvisational poems where I could cut loose and let my mind (and walking body) wander and go to places my poet’s ego wouldn’t always let me: to be by turns mawkish and brutal, or funny and dark, sometimes in one breath.

How do you think the act of self-translation impacts the poems in this collection?

In Buzzing Hemisphere/Rumor Hemisférico the two languages were often scored as distinct though overlapping hemispheres on the page, and I knew I wanted to do something different here. One thing about hemispheric politics is they tend to privilege the landmass of the Americas as opposed to the islands, the archipelagos, the littorals… the places I come from. I wanted Transversal to be a more defiantly Caribbean book, partly in conversation with the work of Puerto Rican poets such as Raquel Salas Rivera and Nicole Cecilia Delgado, whose work reminds me of poetry’s power to dream of and structure modes of radical community, and partly in conversation with poet-critics like Aimé Césaire and Édouard Glissant, who map the knowledges of poetry. I had audited a poetry seminar with Glissant in the mid-2000s while working on my PhD at NYU, and I carried with me the memory of his discussion of Césaire with us. Rereading both of them as I was starting to conceptualize Transversal led me to the Glissant passage which would become the book’s epigraph and give it its title. I liked the transversal as a way of thinking of how poetry “knows,” as opposed to verticality of empire (and of the corporate university); I liked that it signified both translation and versification; I liked that it worked in both languages, making the “/” in the previous book moot; and I thought it was a great fit in terms of form, since I had been playing around with arranging both languages on the page in a staggered fashion, so that they were always rubbing up against one another but not presented as linear equivalences. In a sense, this was an attempt to move beyond the “galactic” poetics of Buzzing Hemisphere/Rumor Hemisférico, which was partly inspired by the neo-baroque babble/Babel of Brazilian poet Haroldo de Campos, and closer to a Caribbean vernacular, to my life under, across, and beyond imperial English and imperial Spanish, seeking a joy in jamming them up and jamming with them that may and need not render across the Americas. I also went back to Gloria Anzaldúa, whose “conocimiento” operates as a kind of self-translation, somewhere between inexactness and depth, and Julia de Burgos, for whom self-translation is linked to the performative construction and dissolution of the self.

Would you tell us more about the bold, experimental choices you make with poetic form in this collection?

I have always been really interested in the translatability of poetic form. One thing that happened between the previous book and Transversal is that I started getting more seriously into literary translation: publishing it, writing about it, judging it. I learned a lot from translating everything from the vanguardist 1920s sonnets of Chilean poet Pablo de Rokha to the 1970s concrete poems of Amanda Berenguer from Uruguay, written under the shadow of dictatorship, and the contemporary translingual work of Guatemalan Garifuna poet Wingston González. In all three cases, I made the innovative form of the originals central to my translation, often translating for form as much as for content, and it emboldened me even more to self-translate with an eye and ear for form, honoring the distinct properties and architectures of each form, whether an English ode, a villanelle, a concrete poem, or a free-form improvisation. There are also quieter, untranslated poems, which I wanted in order for the book to have room to breathe. Then there’s the contrasting fonts for the English and Spanish, which I had played around with in Buzzing Hemisphere/Rumor Hemisférico but is done a bit more subtly here, as if to insist less on the theatricality of it all. There’s always a lot of performance in my work, but as I’ve gotten used to self-translating (both ways and across forms) I’m less interested in having it be a statement of some kind and just content to let it be, something a poet like Salas Rivera does beautifully. By doing so, I also want to rethink the experimental as a way to center the reader: the experiment not as intent but as relation, where I figure it out for the page and you, the reader, refigure and configure on your terms. There’s one poem in the book that is all homographs (words that look the same but may mean different things in both languages): it’s actually multiple poems depending on how the reader reads. There’s a fair amount in the book that can work in modular fashion: readers can rearrange stuff to fit their layout. 

Your voice notes poems, as well as other poems in the collection, feel rooted in specific moments. Could you tell us about the importance of place and observation in your work?

As I mentioned, Transversal was meant to be a Caribbean book. It’s ethos and concept are Glissantian, right down to the striking cover image by the artist Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, who is a great reader of Glissant. The book grew out of my return to the Caribbean, not only Puerto Rico, but also the Dominican Republic, where one of the earliest poems in the book is set, and Cuba, where I began the first draft of what would become the long poem “Periodo Espacial  Spatial Period.” While some poems in the second section are ten or even 15 years years old, the book was conceived and largely written after my move to a waterfront area of the South Bronx in late 2016. Much of the improvisational poetry comes from walking along or around nearby Randalls Island Park, recording myself on video as I improvise, and then transcribing the improvisations with no editing. I noticed that after a while the islands of the Caribbean would blend with Randalls Island and Manhattan in my improvisations, all one sedimented archipelago poetics. This seemed like coming full circle, since the first of these wokitokiteki video improvisations were done while walking on a beach in Puerto Rico in early 2012. Before that, I was doing voice notes transcriptions only, since that’s what my phone at the time could handle: the poem “Unstatements,” composed while I was living and teaching in Albany, New York, is one of these early, voice-only improvisations. At some point, the poetics of statelessness (a word I play around with a lot and that resonates as a Puerto Rican) and the poetics of (un)statement just began to blur, and I went with it, letting poems become voice and movement exercises, become political or theoretical statements or meditations on the state of things (or “no state” of things, to echo the poet Victor Hernández Cruz). As a poet who plays with language a lot, I value how these durational language and walking exercises (a typical wokitokiteki is between 15 and 35 minutes with no pauses in the recording) allow for language to exhaust itself and something else to happen: a stutter, a confession, or just silence and listening to my surroundings, which generates observations or reactions that keep the exercise going. I have even applied this compositional method to conventional poems in the book, such as “Soverano,” written after I participated in the summer 2019 protests in Puerto Rico. A few days after attending the protests I was at the Macondo Writers Workshop in San Antonio studying creative nonfiction, and I wanted a more nonfictional and less conventionally poetic way to tell the story of what I saw at the protests, so I walked around my room and improvised, then transcribed and edited and added as minimally as possible. The result was “Soverano,” something like a prose poem but hopefully conveying a bit of the rawness of the experience of what I saw and felt at the event as I processed it a few days later.

Many of the poems in Transversal are rhythmic and musical, as if they are begging to be performed. Is speaking your poetry aloud a large part of your work?

Music, and the musicality of language in particular, are really important to me and to my sense of what poetry is and does. Poetry does not need to be super rhythmic (it does not need to be anything in particular) but my sense of the musicality of language is tied to how words are haunted by other words and worlds, by wordless sounds, bodies, silences. I have different influences as a performer, from the Puerto Rican décima tradition I grew up with to that of the Nuyorican poets, which I claim and write about in my critical work. I have also worked with bands and more recently incorporated phone apps into my performances: sometimes to create sound textures or loops but other times to create deliberate mistranslations, to generate found poems (anagrams, for instance), or to introduce multiple voices into my work and to complicate the immediacy of the relationship between performer and audience. As a poet and critic, I’m very interested in mediated performance, in how it shapes the politics of empire (as in the previous president) but can also sometimes unsettle them, in how the hyper-mediation and gadget-ification of everything is both a challenge and an opportunity for poetry. Poems for Transversal evolved as I performed them everywhere from the Poesiefestival Berlin and the Toronto Biennial of Art to colleges and community gardens in the South Bronx. I think of these performances as extending the sedimentation of the poems, their symbiotic relationships to the environments that birthed them. In our pandemic context, I have explored different approaches to digital performance that highlight but also push against the screened-ness of our present, whether by highlighting the space between my body and the screen, using my phone and computer simultaneously to create more weirdly stereophonic performances, or reclaiming analog forms such as the postcard. I have also done “live” wokitokiteki improvisations in my backyard over Zoom. Increasingly, all my longer readings and performances include at least a brief component of improvisation, and I anticipate that I will continue doing so for Transversal, partly to underscore that what’s in a book is not the end but just another beginning. 

Okay, I know I said five questions… but I have one more. What are you working on now?

I’m researching the history of Latinx social media, translating two artist books by Nicole Cecilia Delgado, and editing a couple of long poetic sequences, including one based on the sequence of covid-19 (the latter build off two poems in Transversal). I’m also exploring the question of mediated and found language through experiments with media art: I turned one of the anagram poems from Transversal into a series of GIFs currently on display at the Museum of the City of New York as part of its New York Responds exhibition.   

Urayoán Noel is a Puerto Rican poet, performer, translator, and critic living in the Bronx, New York. He has published seven books of poetry and the prize-winning study In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam, and he edited and translated Architecture of Dispersed Life: Selected Poetry by Pablo de Rokha, which was a finalist for the National Translation Award. Noel teaches at New York University and at Stetson University’s MFA of the Americas.

Five Questions with Mario T. García and Ellen McCraken on Rewriting the Chicano Movement

February 26, 2021

Rewriting the Chicano Movement, edited by Mario T. García and Ellen McCraken, is a new collection of powerful new essays on the Chicano Movement that expand and revise the understanding of the movement. These essays capture the commitment, courage, and perseverance of movement activists, both men and women, and their struggles to achieve the promises of American democracy. The contributors to this book highlight the role of women in the movement, the regional and ideological diversification of the movement, and the various cultural fronts in which the movement was active.

Here, García and McCraken answer question about this new book:

Why is it important to revisit the history of the Chicano Movement through this book?

It’s important to revisit the history of the Chicano Movement through this book because the Movement represents a seminal part of the history of Chicanos (Mexican Americans) in the United States. It was the largest and most widespread civil rights and empowerment movement by people of Mexican descent up to the 1960s and 1970s. The Chicano Movement through its struggles opened up new opportunities for Chicanos in areas formerly restricted such as in education, especially higher education, politics, culture, media, and business. These opportunities were not given willingly, but had to be forced by mass peaceful struggles. The Movement for the first time made Chicanos, and by extension other Latinos, into national political actors. The roots of Latino political power, which is a reality, lie in the Chicano Movement as well as similar struggles by other Latino groups such as Puerto Ricans in the United States. It is important to know about the history of the Chicano Movement as a reminder of how power and opportunities are accessed.  It comes through people power and the organization of this power. We need to learn these lessons at a time when reactionary forces led by Donald Trump would impose an American form of totalitarianism. Chicanos and Latinos must be in the forefront of defending American democracy and civil rights and we can be inspired to do so by learning how our communities in the past have struggled for our rights such as in the Chicano Movement.

Is there a commonality worth noting that runs through the book’s essays?

The commonality that runs through the book is the commitment by Chicanos through the Chicano Movement to achieve recognition, respect, and dignity in American society through various forms of struggles including political, educational, and cultural ones. What is also common in the book is that we need to rewrite the Chicano Movement to take into consideration the diversity of the Movement. There was no one Movement but many in different regions of the country, which included both men and women.

What conversations, in community or classroom, do you hope rise from the book?

We hope that the book will be used by both educational groups and community ones to re-discover the historical importance of the Chicano Movement and its continued relevance to today’s conditions and struggles. The Chicano Movement did not eliminate racism, class discrimination, cultural discrimination, and gender discrimination for Chicanos and other Latinos. What the Movement did was to empower Chicanos to believe that they and they alone could change history and pressure the system to become more equitable and democratic. We are not there yet, but the Movement can still inspire and guide us in continuing the struggle. We hope that readers will confront the question: How is the Chicano Movement still relevant to us today?

How can telling untold stories about the Movement help the momentum of today’s activists and organizers?

Telling untold stories about the Chicano Movement, as noted, can hopefully inspire and guide today’s activists in learning that the struggles for democratic rights has a long history and with many heroic figures, male and female, who have participated in earlier struggles to empower the Chicano and Latino communities. There is a praxis involved in our book. First, we want people to read about these untold stories of the Movement. Then we want readers to reflect on the meaning and importance of these stories.  And then, and this is most important, we want readers to act on these stories. How can I take up the legacy of the Chicano Movement and apply it to my current conditions? How can I continue the struggle?

The struggle continues, does that mean the Movement continues, too?

We hope that the struggle inspired by the Chicano Movement will continue.  Does this mean that the Chicano Movement is still alive? Yes and no. As a historical movement set in the late 1960s and 1970s, the Movement no longer exists as such; it is a historical movement set in time and place.  However, the legacy of the Movement continues. It is a legacy of the struggle for democratic and human rights and for the rights of people such as Chicanos and other Latinos to define themselves and be proud of their ethnic background. That struggle has continued in the post-Movement years and still does in the new millennium.   

***

Mario T. García is Distinguished Professor of Chicano Studies and History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, specializing in Chicano history, Chicano/Latino autobiography, and Chicano/Latino religion. He is the author, co-author, and editor of more than twenty books in Chicano history, including Blowout! Sal Castro and the Chicano Struggle for Educational JusticeThe Making of a Mexican American Mayor, and Literature as History. He has won a number of awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Ellen McCracken is a professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at University of California, Santa Barbara, specializing in U.S. Latino and Latin American literature. Her books include New Latina NarrativeThe Life and Writing of Fray Angélico Chávez, and Paratexts and Performance in the Novels of Junot Díaz and Sandra Cisneros.

Publisher’s Weekly Reviews Mihesuah’s Supernatural Mystery ‘Hatak Witches’

February 24, 2021

Publisher’s Weekly, an international news platform for book publishing and bookselling, recently reviewed Devon A. Mihesuah’s new mystery novel, The Hatak Witches.

Set to publish in late April 2021, The Hatak Witches follows Detective Monique Blue Hawk in Norman, Oklahoma. Blending tribal beliefs and myths into a modern context, the book continues the storyline of Choctaw cosmology and cultural survival that are prominent in Mihesuah’s award-winning novel, The Roads of My Relations.

From Publisher’s Weekly:

“As informative as it is gripping, this supernatural mystery from Mihesuah—the 88th installment of Sun Tracks: An American Indian Literary Series—is rooted in Choctaw cosmology and contemporary Native American life. … The author’s ability to immerse the reader in the lives of her characters is prodigious, making the social realism of Monique’s life as fascinating as the supernatural elements. … Readers looking for intelligent, diverse supernatural fiction will be captivated.”—Publishers Weekly

Read the entire review here.

2021 Tucson Festival of Books: Presenting Authors

February 23, 2021

This year’s virtual Tucson Festival of Books promises two days full of interesting and fun conversations with authors from all over the world.

As long-time sponsors of the Festival, we are pleased to be participating in this year’s festivities. Join us March 6 and 7 and see our authors and staff in conversation at the following presentations:

Searching for Poetic Justice
Saturday, March 6 9 a.m.
What does the American Dream look like for Latinx people living in the United States? What does it feel like? Felicia Zamora and Gloria Muñoz explore those questions in their award-winning poetry. Today they will share their thoughts, and some of their poems, with all of us. Danzirly is a stunning bilingual poetry collection that considers multigenerational Latinx identities in the rapidly changing United States. Winner of the Academy of American Poets’ Ambroggio Prize, Muñoz’s collection is an unforgettable reckoning of the grief and beauty that pulses through twenty-first-century America. This panel will be moderated by Savannah Hicks, who is our Exhibits Manager. Learn more about this panel.

Authors in Conversation
Saturday, March 6, 1 p.m.
Authors Simon Winchester and Stephen Pyne discuss how the quest for land, ownership and discovery have shaped the modern world. Steve is the author of our new book The Great Ages of Discovery, which a fascinating conceptual framework for understanding the past 600 years of exploration by Western civilization and its relationship to contemporary society. Learn more about this panel.

It Takes a Pueblo
Sunday, March 7, 1 pm
Arizona authors Alberto Álvaro Ríos and Lydia R. Otero will discuss their newest books, both of which explore the power of place and community along the border. How much is lost when families are dislocated altogether? Living where we do, these are things for all of us to think about. Ríos is the author of A Good Map of All Things, a picaresque novel that describes momentous adventure and quiet connection bring twenty people in a small town in northern Mexico. Otero is the author of La Calle, which examines conflicting claims to urban space, place, and history as advanced by two opposing historic preservationist groups in Tucson. This panel will be moderated by Mari Herreras, who is our Publicity Manager. Learn more about this panel.

Visit tucsonfestivalofbooks.org to see the full schedule and list of participating authors.

Tucson Weekly Features Excerpt from ‘The Nature of Desert Nature’

February 23, 2021

The Tucson Weekly gave a bit of love to The Nature of Desert Nature, edited by Gary Paul Nabhan.

The book is a collection of essays that celebrate the bounty and the significance of desert places, including an extended essay by Nabhan. The celebrated author and ethnobiologist brought friends, colleagues, and advisors together from his more than four decades of study of deserts—to bring their own perspectives. Scientists, artists, desert contemplatives, poets, and writers bring the desert into view and investigate why these places compel us to walk through their sands and beneath their cacti and acacia.

Thank you, Jim Nintzel, Weekly editor, for the kind words and sharing a bit of Nabhan’s desert love.

Here’s some of the excerpt shared from Nabhan’s essay:

The horizon was dull edged and hazy from a recent sandstorm. Nevertheless, the sun beamed down on me with what seemed to be a preternatural force.

I stood there alone (I believed), silent enough to hear my own heart beating and the breeze brushing at my sleeves. I could not immediately figure out the patterns of the place—the relationships among weather, substrate, flora, fauna and human influence.

A dust devil, or chachipira, suddenly swept by me and then disappeared into thin air, leaving bushes rustling and empty beer cans rolling around in eddies.

Then my eyes began to tear up in brightness, and I wiped them clean with a sweep of my shirtsleeve. Instantly, I was looking at this world as if I had come to another planet for the very first time.

Josie Méndez-Negrete Chosen as 2021 NACCS Scholar

February 23, 2021

We are thrilled to announce that University of Arizona Press author Josie Méndez-Negrete is the 2021 NACCS Scholar!

“The NACCS Scholar Award is a recognition of work – publications, pedagogical, leadership praxis, and personal commitment, Dr. Méndez-Negrete exemplifies this quality among the professoriate of NACCS. Dr. Méndez-Negrete has supported many junior scholars who have benefitted from her tireless work assisting in writing and publishing articles, book chapters, and books.  Dr. Méndez-Negrete earned her accolades and successful transitions in academia with blood, sweat, tears, perspicacity, tenacity and true grit.  As a Professor Emerita she continues to draw on her passion focusing on her press, Conocimientos – where she is publishing women who theorize and tell their stories of struggle and survival.  She continues to support students in their academic pursuits, and her colleagues by example to be best mentors. 

The nomination of Dr. Méndez-Negrete was received from the Northern California Foco with letters of  support from the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, and the Rocky Mountain focos.  While she is a native of northern California she is fully embedded as an activist scholar in Texas.  Her selection as NACCS scholar celebrate her multi-regional contributions which are truly embodied and celebrated as recognition for her life’s work.” —The National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies

Josie Méndez-Negrete is the author of Activist Leaders of San José, which unearths and makes visible lived experiences of Chicana and Latino activists from San José, California, who made contributions to the cultural and civic life of the city. Through oral histories, we see a portrait of grassroots leadership in the twentieth century.

Congratulations, Josie!

Tile Martyrs: An Excerpt from John-Michael Rivera’s ‘UNDOCUMENTS’

February 22, 2021

While grappling with anxiety and the physical and mental health consequences of the way the United States treats immigrant bodies, in UNDOCUMENTS, John-Michael Rivera documents and scrutinizes what it means to seek opportunities in America. With a focus on the poetics of Latinx documentality itself, this book is concerned with the complicated and at times contradictory ways peoples of Greater Mexico have been documented and undocumented within systems of colonial knowledges, and how these peoples have been rendered as specters of the bureaucratic state. Rivera takes us through the painful, anxiety-ridden, and complex nature of what it means to be documented or undocumented, and the cruelty married to each of these states of being.

Below, read an excerpt from UNDOCUMENTS:

Tile Martyrs
Two unsolved murder mysteries remain open in Boulder: one surrounding
the murder of a young girl named JonBenét Ramsey who has received hundreds of thousands of hours of news coverage, and another surrounding the murders of six young Chicanx activists who, to Chicanxs, are known as Los Seis de Boulder, the lost children of El Movimiento. Boulder and the nation have nearly been successful in erasing the bodies of Francisco Dougherty, 20; Heriberto Terán, 24; Florencio Granado, 31; Reyes Martínez, 26; Una Jaakola, 24; and Neva Romero, 21. Their cars were blown up with professionally made car bombs two days apart in the month of May 1974. Their homicides are still listed as a cold case, but Chicanxs know it was the work of the FBI. The FBI had been trying to infiltrate El Movimiento and break down its resistance. Reports state that the blasts were so powerful that pieces of their bodies were found miles away from the explosion site.

Forty-five years later in a studio on the Boulder campus, my daughter and I join dozens of activists who are attempting to reconstruct the bodies of Los Seis and build a memorial called “Los Seis de Boulder.” She and I work on small colored tiles that will re-create the face of Reyes Martínez. With each tile we attempt to piece together his dead body and resurrect it from obscurity. The ceremony is haunting. It feels like something between a celebration of community and a somber wake that I was not invited to. We all hope, perhaps in vain, that the university will allow us to resurrect the memorial by Temporary Building 1, the place on campus where one of the cars blew up, making it a sacred site and a haunting reminder of those who lost their lives here. An older woman working on the tiles says that we should be listening to their corrido. Dad, what is a corrido? The lady smiles at me and begins to hum:

Voy a cantar un corrido,
Que . . . en Colorado pasó.
Murieron los Seis de Boulder,
Dos noches en mayo,
En setenta y cuatro
Los almas de seis soldados
Seis fusilados
Seis hijos del bien

The same month that we fight for the memorialization of these young activists, John Ramsey sits down with Dr. Oz to do yet another in-depth interview about the JonBenét murder. Let me begin by saying this is such a tragedy, Dr. Oz laments. America’s daughter is lost to us forever.

***
John-Michael Rivera is an associate professor and writer at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he serves as director of the Program for Writing and Rhetoric. He has published memoir, creative nonfiction, poetry, and scholarship. He is the curator of El Laboratorio, a literary space for Latinx writers, and was co-founder of Shadowbox Magazine, a literary journal for creative nonfiction.

OLLI Hosts Press Authors in Spring Online Speaker Series

February 19, 2021

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute‘s online spring speaker series includes many University of Arizona Press authors from our spring 2021 catalog. We’re grateful to OLLI-UA for the continued invitation to be part of their noncredit learning program open to all adults over the age of 50.

Remaining spring program featuring University of Arizona Press authors:

February 22, 2021: The Diné Reader: Celebrating the Publication of the First Anthology of Navajo Literature

March 1, 2021: Diverting the Gila: The Pima Indians and the Florence Casa Grande Project, 1916-1928

March 8, 2021: Flower Worlds in the Art and Ideology of Prehispanic and Contemporary Indigenous Societies in Mesoamerica and the American Southwest

March 15, 2021: The Fernandeños: Lineages, Neophytes, Citizens, and Tribe

March 22, 2021: Becoming Hopi: A History

April 12, 2021: From A to Z, The History of Latino Politics in Arizona

More than 1,400 people are part of OLLI-UA in Southern Arizona. Visit here to learn more about an OLLI-UA membership, program registration, and check program changes.

Watch: Daniel Chacón with Fresno Writers Live

February 17, 2021

In case you’ve missed Daniel Chacón reading from his University of Arizona Press book, Kafka in a Skirt: Stories from the Wall, here’s your chance. Chacon read as part of the Fresno Writers Live virtual reading series last year.

In Kafka in a Skirt, Chacón subverts expectation and bends the rules of reality to create stories that are intriguing, hilarious, and deeply rooted in Chicano culture. These stories explore the concept of a wall that reaches beyond our immediate thoughts of a towering physical structure. While Chacón aims to address the partition along the U.S.-Mexico border, he also uses these stories to work through the intangible walls that divide communities and individuals—particularly those who straddle multiple cultures in their daily lives.

Ofrenda Magazine Features ‘Voices from the Ancestors’

February 17, 2021

Lara Medina, co-editor of Voices from the Ancestors: Xicanx and Latinx Spiritual Expressions and Healing Practices, was recently interview by Marcy Carbajal, editor of Ofrenda Magazine, a new multimedia publication that explores Xicanx and Latinx spirituality, Earth wisdoms, and healing arts.

Interview excerpt:

“Over the past 40 years, I have witnessed the reclamation of Indigenous identities and spiritual practices among many Xicanx and Latinx peoples as well as an uplifting of our African ancestries, often referred to as “the third root.” Foundational to these reclamations is the embracement of non-Western epistemologies. We have come to understand our deep interconnectivity with all of humanity as well as plant and animal life and the natural forces of the universe. So we understand that how we live our lives impacts all others and that we must live with a consciousness of balance, reciprocity, respect and gratitude. We must honor the spirits in all life forms and not consider humans to be superior. We must take care of the planet and in turn the planet will take care of us. We must also maintain our relationships with our deceased ancestors (known and unknown) who have walked this earthly journey before us “as death brings another kind of wisdom that they want to share with us.” The ancestors gain the power to continue to guide and protect us.”

Read the entire interview here.

AZPM’s Arizona Spotlight Goes to Space with ‘Beyond Earth’s Edge’

February 17, 2021

Mark McLemore, host and producer of Arizona Public Media’s Arizona Spotlight, recently interviewed Christopher Cokinos and Julie Swarstad Johnson, co-editors of Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight.

Beyond Earth’s Edge is a trailblazing anthology of poetry that vividly captures the violence of blastoff, the wonders seen by Hubble, and the trajectories of exploration to Mars and beyond through a wide array of lyric celebrations, somber meditations, accessible narratives, concrete poems, and new forms of science fiction. Included are diverse perspectives from poets such as Robert Hayden, Rae Armantrout, N. Scott Momaday, Adrienne Rich, Tracy K. Smith, Ray Bradbury, May Swenson, Pablo Neruda, and many other engaging poetic voices.

Listen to the interview here.

Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez Wins Inaugural AAHHE Distinguished Author Award

February 5, 2021

We are thrilled to announce that University of Arizona Press author Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez is the winner of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education’s inaugural Distinguished Scholar Award!

AAHHE awards Carlos in recognition of his exceptional academic and scholarly contributions to the advancement of Latinos and Latinos in higher education, which is a set of contributions beautifully documented in Reflections of a Transborder Anthropologist.

“This magnificent tome provides its readers with an informative and comprehensive summation of Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez’s life’s work, which has been and continues to be extraordinary. We are delighted to be able to add our modest recognition and kudos to the host of awards and honors of which Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez has been a recipient.”―Patricia Arredondo, Chair, AAHHE Board of Directors

Congratulations, Carlos!

A Desert Feast Wins a Pubwest Book Design Award

February 2, 2021

We are thrilled to announce that A Desert Feast won a silver award in the Adult Trade Book – Illustrated section of the Pubwest Book Design Awards! PubWest Book Design Awards recognize superior design and outstanding production quality of books throughout North America.

Drawing on thousands of years of foodways, Tucson cuisine blends the influences of Indigenous, Mexican, mission-era Mediterranean, and ranch-style cowboy food traditions. A Desert Feast by Carolyn Niethammer offers a food pilgrimage, where stories and recipes demonstrate why the desert city of Tucson became America’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy.

Spiral to the Stars Wins 2020 Beatrice Medicine Award

February 2, 2021

We are thrilled to announce that Spiral to the Stars by Laura Harjo is the winner of the 2020 Beatrice Medicine Award for Best Published Monograph! Chosen by the members of the Native American Literature Symposium and the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures boards, this award highlights exceptional work published in the field of Indigenous studies in the year 2019.

“This country’s first philosophers, poets, artists, and knowledge keepers were Indigenous peoples. The Mvskoke were a major cultural force in the southeast. Laura Harjo’s Spiral to the Stars: Mvskoke Tools of Futurity marks a continuation of the development of our cultural knowledge. Community defines us, and we do not go forward together without the revisioning of all elements that make a living culture. Each generation makes a concentric circle that leans outward into the deepest star knowledges even as it leans inward toward the roots of earth knowledge. We are still here within the shape of this cultural geography. We keep moving forward with the tools Harjo has illuminated here. Mvto.”—Joy Harjo (Mvskoke), U.S. Poet Laureate

Congratulations, Laura!

A Desert Feast, A Good Map of All Things, and The Saguaro Cactus Picked as Southwest Books of the Year

February 2, 2021

We are thrilled to announce that A Desert Feast by Carolyn Niethammer and A Good Map of All Things by Alberto Álvaro Ríos were chosen as top picks for the 2021 Southwest Books of the Year! Additionally, The Saguaro Cactus by David Yetman, Alberto Burquez, Kevin Hultine, and Michael Sanderson, was included in Gregory McNamee’s Southwest Books of the Year picks.

Southwest Books of the Year considers titles published during the calendar year that are about Southwest subjects, or are set in the Southwest.

The Southwest Books of the Year panel of reviewers—subject specialists and voracious consumers of Southwest literature all—are pleased to offer up their personal favorite titles of the year, complete with brief reviews to whet your appetite and leave you wanting more. Books selected by two or more panelists become Southwest Books of the Year Top Picks. Their choices are published in our annual publication, Southwest Books of the Year.

Congratulations to our wonderful authors!

Field Notes: The Islanders of Chiloé

January 21, 2021

One of the more culturally distinct regions of South America is the Archipelago of Chiloé, a cluster of more than two dozen islands situated a few miles west of the Patagonian coastline. Residents of Chiloé have long resisted cultural pressures from mainland Chile, often identifying themselves as islanders (Chilotes) first and Chileans second. Anton Daughters first visited the region as an adolescent in the mid 1980s. Returning as an anthropologist two decades later, he was struck by the stark shift that much of the archipelago had undergone. Many families once reliant on rural fishing and farming had become dependent on low-wage jobs in the growing salmon-export industry. His research since 2004 has focused on those changes, emphasizing the impact that large-scale economic transformations can have on the collective identity of island communities. The images below–taken between 2006 and 2018–offer snapshots of some of the people and places in Chiloé chronicled in Memories of Earth and Sea.    

Image 1 – A young man navigates his motor boat between the islands of Llingua and Quinchao in Chiloé. For decades, many islanders relied on small-scale fishing (carried out on motor boats like this one) to supplement farming, shellfish-gathering, and the tending of livestock. The arrival of large-scale aquaculture companies in the 1990s and early 2000s triggered a shift to wage labor, pulling some islanders away from more traditional rural livelihoods and, by extension, their networks of labor reciprocity. Islands like Llingua and Quinchao—whose populations were mostly or entirely rural—were hit especially hard by the changes. While families with motorboats were able to sustain small-scale fishing ventures and fulfill agricultural labor-debts with neighbors, other families were drawn to low-wage jobs and a cash economy that often divorced them of their rural livelihoods and ultimately placed them in more tenuous economic circumstances. (Photo by Anton Daughters)
Image 2 – A fisherman scans the waters off Quinchao Island. The tallest peak in the background is Volcano Michinmahuida, located on the mainland of South America in Pumalín Park, a sector of Patagonia. Fishing boats like these form a mainstay of small-scale, artisanal fishing ventures in Chiloé, even while wild stocks of fish (hake, conger eel, and several varieties of bass) have fluctuated significantly over the years. Chile’s national fishing agency placed a series of bans on the extraction of wild hake (merluza) starting in 2014. A red tide crisis in 2016 dealt a further blow to fishing as a viable livelihood. Today, artisanal fishing is carried out only intermittently throughout the archipelago. (Photo by Anton Daughters)
Image 3 – With help from neighbors, Irene Mansilla tills the earth for the planting and fertilizing of potatoes. Irene and her husband are among 400 or so residents of the island of Llingua. For decades, their primary form of subsistence has been farming, fishing, shellfish-extraction, and the tending of a few scattered livestock on their property. Agricultural work is typically done through reciprocal arrangements with neighbors (mingas). Despite the installation of large salmon farms and processing plants along neighboring islands, the Mansillas have been able to maintain a strategy of diversified rural livelihoods, thanks largely to their ownership of a fishing boat, their association years ago with a local fishing cooperative, and the labor assistance they get from neighbors. Other rural islanders have been less fortunate, finding their subsistence livelihoods nearly impossible to maintain in the face of a growing regional cash economy. (Photo by Anton Daughters)

Image 4 – This view of Llingua Island’s steeple (built in 1912) and southern dock also shows the island of Quinchao in the backdrop. Communities on both islands have experienced significant economic shifts over the last two decades, leaving many families struggling to maintain subsistence farming and fishing and networks of labor assistance with neighbors. (Photo by Anton Daughters)
Image 5 – Danny Leviñanco searches for shellfish on the shores of Quinchao. Danny grew up in a rural household on neighboring Caguach Island. Today she works as a resident schoolteacher on the island of Chuit (population 97). She also assists rural islanders in their efforts to legally resist the expansion of large-scale aquaculture industries into their offshore space. (Photo by Danny Leviñanco)

***

Anton Daughters is an associate professor of anthropology at Truman State University.

Excerpt: ‘Rewriting the Chicano Movement’

January 19, 2020

In the forthcoming book, Rewriting the Chicano Movement offers an insightful new history of the Chicano Movement that expands the meaning and understanding of this seminal historical period in Chicano history. The essays introduce new individuals and struggles previously omitted from Chicano Movement history. Today we offer a brief excerpt:

From the Introduction
By Mario T. García
The profound changes directly and indirectly attributable to the Chicano Movement have led to increased interest in the history of the Chicano Movement. It is not that historians neglected the movement in the post-movement period of the 1980s and 1990s. However, with some exceptions, historians focused on earlier periods in order to better understand the roots of the Chicano experience. This was understandable given the dearth of research in Chicano history as a whole. Moreover, the immediacy of the movement meant historical perspective was lacking.

As a result of this research, publications on Chicano history as a whole have exploded over the last fifty years. This research includes studies of the Spanish conquest of areas that became part of the United States, such as from Texas to California. Others have focused on the Mexican experience after Mexican independence in 1821 and up to the time the United States forced a war on Mexico and conquered its northern frontier—El Norte. The period following the American conquest of what became the American Southwest has also received attention. However, historians have tended to study the twentieth century more, including mass Mexican immigration to the United States during the first three decades of the century. The Great Depression years have likewise received attention, as has World War II, when thousands of Mexican Americans went to war in support of the United States. Finally, the post–World War II era, especially the 1950s, is also beginning to receive attention. Some pioneering studies on the Chicano Movement also appeared during the last two decades of the twentieth century. These include works by Juan Gómez-Quiñones, Gerald Rosen, Carlos Muñoz, Richard Santillán, Christine Marín, Ignacio García, Ernesto Chávez, and Marguerite Marín. Gómez-Quiñones wrote on the Chicano student movement, as did Carlos Muñoz with a focus on Los Angeles. Gerald Rosen examined the ideology of the movement. One of the best works in this early literature was Ignacio García’s history of La Raza Unida Party. Richard Santillán also focused on La Raza Unida Party. Ernesto Chávez and Marguerite Marín, like Muñoz, focused on Los Angeles as a key location by examining manifestations other than the student movement. Finally, Christine Marín wrote one of the first biographies of Corky Gonzales, a key movement leader in Denver.

These early studies are being significantly augmented in the new millennium. There has emerged a renaissance of Chicano Movement studies. Historians and other scholars, many of them younger professors or graduate students, are rediscovering the Chicano Movement. This new generation seems even more aware of how the movement impacted the lives of many Chicanos and other Latinos in the country. They recognize the movement as a seminal event in the long history of Mexican Americans. While they note that there were earlier civil rights and labor rights struggles, they recognize that the Chicano Movement was unprecedented in its size and impact. The Chicano Movement created the new Chicano and Chicana, and by extension the new Latino and Latina. Contemporary Latino political power is the direct result of the movement.

What distinguishes this new historiography is its focus on the diversity of the movement. Earlier views seemed to suggest that the movement was more monolithic and that the cultural nationalism of the movement was adhered to by most activists. Contemporary historians and other students of the movement see much more diversity in all movement aspects. For example, the movement is being studied in a variety of locations and spaces, not just the main centers of the movement such as California and Texas. Now movement history is being excavated in the Pacific Northwest, New Mexico, Arizona, and the Midwest.

Also, greater attention is being paid to the role of women in the movement and their key contributions. Studies of new locations and different communities reveal how the movement manifested itself regionally and locally and how it was mobilized around community issues pertinent to that locale. In other words, the Chicano Movement was not only a national movement but a local one. Moreover, beginning with Jorge Mariscal’s groundbreaking 2005 book, Brown-Eyed Children of the Sun, some scholars revealed how the cultural nationalism of the movement, Chicanismo, was not monolithic. Other ideological influences such as Third World consciousness, Marxism, and feminism also affected the mindset of Chicano activists, and we saw how the four could be combined. As a result of looking at the Chicano Movement in such a diverse way, this new literature is revisionist and critical. It is a rewriting of the Chicano Movement. This new Chicano Movement history is also impacting our understanding of American history.

***
Mario T. García is Distinguished Professor of Chicano Studies and History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, specializing in Chicano history, Chicano/Latino autobiography, and Chicano/Latino religion. He is the author, co-author, and editor of more than twenty books in Chicano history, including Blowout! Sal Castro and the Chicano Struggle for Educational JusticeThe Making of a Mexican American Mayor, and Literature as History. He has won a number of awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Book Trailer: Steve Pyne’s ‘The Great Ages of Discovery’

January 14, 2021

Coming next month, Steve J. Pyne’s newest work The Great Ages of Discovery offers a fascinating conceptual framework for understanding the past 600 years of exploration by Western civilization and its relationship to contemporary society. Pyne expertly organizes the vast narrative of Western exploration into three distinctive ages of discovery. See the new book trailer and look for the book publishing in February!

SHA 2021: Discover Our Recent and Forthcoming Historical Archaeology Titles

January 6, 2021

We are excited to participate in the first virtual Society for Historical Archaeology conference this year! You can visit our virtual exhibitor booth here.

Below, browse our recent and forthcoming historical archaeology titles, and get a 35% discount with free U.S. shipping when you use the code AZSHA21 at checkout. If you would like to know more about our publishing program, visit our proposal guidelines page here, or contact our Senior Editor, Allyson Carter, at acarter@uapress.arizona.edu.

The Global Spanish Empire tackles broad questions about indigenous cultural persistence, pluralism, and place making using a global comparative perspective grounded in the shared experience of Spanish colonialism. Through an expansive range of essays that look at Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific, this volume brings often-neglected regions into conversation.

Watch a lecture with the editors, Christine D. Beaule and John G. Douglass, here, and read a Q&A with the editors here.

Tewa Worlds by Samuel Duwe offers an archaeological history of eight centuries of Tewa Pueblo history in the Rio Chama Valley through the lens of contemporary Pueblo philosophical and historical discourse. The result gives weight to the deep past, colonial encounters, and modern experiences. It challenges archaeologists to both critically reframe interpretation and to acknowledge the Tewa’s deep but ongoing connection with the land.

More than a history of coveted commodities, the unique story that unfolds in John R. Gust and Jennifer P. Mathews’s new history Sugarcane and Rum is told through the lens of Maya laborers who worked under brutal conditions on small haciendas to harvest sugarcane and produce rum in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

Read an excerpt from the book here. We are thrilled that Smithsonian Magazine chose Sugarcane and Rum for their weekly reading series!

Narratives of Persistence charts the remarkable persistence of California’s Ohlone and Paipai people over the past five centuries. Lee M. Panich draws connections between the events and processes of the deeper past and the way the Ohlone and Paipai today understand their own histories and identities.

Read a Q & A with author Lee M. Panich here.

Discover our forthcoming historical archaeology titles below.

Decolonizing “Prehistory” critically examines and challenges the paradoxical role that modern historical-archaeological scholarship plays in adding legitimacy to, but also delegitimizing, contemporary colonialist practices. Using an interdisciplinary approach, this volume empowers Indigenous voices and offers a nuanced understanding of the American deep past.

How people eat today is a record of food use through the ages, and Famine Foods offers the first ever overview of the use of alternative foods during food shortages. Paul E. Minnis explores the unusual plants that have helped humanity survive throughout history.

Alluvium and Empire examines the archaeology of Indigenous communities and landscapes that were subject to Spanish colonial forced resettlement during the sixteenth century. Written at the intersections of history and archaeology, the book critiques previous approaches to the study of empire and models a genealogical approach that attends to the open-ended—and often unpredictable—ways in which empires take shape.

Explore New Titles from the University of Arizona Press Spring 2021 Catalog

December 23, 2020

Here’s a preview of our upcoming Spring 2021 season with the best the University of Arizona Press has to offer, from Latinx poetry, to Indigenous literature and studies, as well as a variety of the unique global scholarship the Press has committed to bring to readers worldwide. Tuck in.

In The Great Ages of Discovery: How Western Civilization Learned About a Wider World, historian and MacArthur Fellow Stephen J. Pyne identifies three great ages of discovery in his fascinating new book.

“Stephen Pyne charts a new course through the history of exploration, navigating deftly among ruminations, reflections, themes, and concepts. He sees exploration as an intellectual adventure. Readers who accompany him will have a lucid, engaging, and magisterial guide. They can undertake odysseys without leaving their armchairs.”—Felipe Fernández-Armesto, author of Out of Our Minds: What We Think and How We Came to Think It.

The Diné Reader: An Anthology of Navajo Literature is a ground-breaking anthology of Navajo Literature that showcases the breadth, depth, and diversity of Diné creative artists and their poetry, fiction, and nonfiction prose. The collected works display a rich variety of and creativity in themes: home and history; contemporary concerns about identity, historical trauma, and loss of language; and economic and environmental inequalities.

The Diné Reader: An Anthology of Navajo Literature is extraordinary. It is the beauty of Diné bizaad from Creation’s horizon—K’é breath, heart, continuance—beyond measure. I advise it be read with and for Humility, Courage, Sustenance, Gratitude—always for the people, community, and land that is the source of Existence.”—Simon J. Ortiz

The Hatak Witches continues the storyline of Choctaw cosmology and cultural survival that are prominent in Devon A. Mihesuah’s award-winning novel, The Roads of My Relations.

In Hatak Witches, Detective Monique Blue Hawk and her partner Chris Pierson arrive to the Children’s Museum of Science and History in Norman, Oklahoma after a security guard is found dead and another wounded. They find no fingerprints, no footprints, and no obvious means to enter the locked building, but stolen is the portion of an ancient and deformed skeleton from the neglected museum archives.

“If you are looking for a journey into modern-day Choctaw spirituality, The Hatak Witches is a trip waiting to be taken.”—Geary Hobson, author of The Last of Ofos

Urayoán Noel‘s new collection, Tranversal, featuring Noel’s bilingual playfulness, intellect, and irreverent political imagination with personal reflections on love, desire, and loss filtered through a queer approach to form, expanding upon Noel’s experiments with self-translation in his celebrated collection Buzzing Hemisphere/Rumor Hemisférico. 

“Urayoán understands the importance of his poetry being accessible. He understands that art is for everyone, and so he communicates with everyone. For him, all the dimensions of words are indispensable and therefore phonetics become visible in his stanzas. He respects words not in a professorial way but rather in the same way one respects the standing of an old-school bichote who’s still alive. Language is not a barrier but an imaginary border that serves as a tool to fatten up the arguments of his words. In life one has to move, one has to walk even when there’s a more comfortable way to get somewhere else, to other paths, and if I were to cross over one day, I would do so with this book. The transversal is as necessary as growth.”—Residente, recording artist and filmmaker.

Winner of the Ambroggio Prize from the Academy of American Poets, Danzirly is a striking bilingual poetry collection by Gloria Muñoz, that fiercely examines the nuances of the American Dream for Latinx people in the United States, and powerfully dismantles Latinx stereotypes in poetic form, juxtaposing the promised wonders of a life in America with the harsh realities that immigrants face as they build their lives and raise their families here.

“In this utterly unique bilingual collection, Muñoz brilliantly negotiates two languages and the spaces between them, exploring the ever transient emblem of the American Dream through themes of lineage and loss, cultural and spiritual inheritance, assimilation, and racial and gender inequality.”—Richard Blanco, 2013 Presidential Inaugural Poet, author of How to Love a Country

How did a young boy from Tututepec, Oaxaca, become a famous Indigenous jewelry artist and philanthropist in Los Angeles? In Federico: One Man’s Remarkable Journey from Tututepec to L.A., Federico Jiménez Caballero tells his remarkable story of willpower, curiosity, hard work, and passion that changed his life forever. Edited by Shelby Tisdale.

“A remarkable narrative telling of Indigenous origins, transformation in the city, and eventual migration to the United States, Federico by Federico Jiménez Caballero brings life to a unique story beginning in rural Oaxaca and ending in Los Angeles.”—Anna M. Nogar, author of Quill and Cross in the Borderlands: Sor María de Ágreda and the Lady in Blue, 1628 to the Present

In UNDOCUMENTS, John-Michael Rivera remixes the forms and styles of the first encyclopedia of the New World, the Florentine Codex, in order to tell a modern story of Greater Mexico in our current technology-heavy age, wherein modern lawmakers and powerful global figures desire to classify, deport, and erase immigrants and their experiences.

“A tour de force, UNDOCUMENTS breaks rules and creates new ones. Through deft handling of texts, both theoretical and historical, Rivera offers us a compendium of diverse people and items such as documents, poems, the Florentine Codex, Anzaldúa, Bataille, [and] philosophy, along with objects like el molcajete. Using a true mestizaje of genre and approaches, he cooks up a rich poetic stew that is stimulating, intriguing, and nourishing.”—Norma Elia Cantú, author of Cabañuelas: A Novel

Edited by Mario T. García and Ellen McCracken, Rewriting the Chicano Movement: New Histories of Mexican American Activism in the Civil Rights Era is a collection of powerful new essays on the Chicano Movement that expand and revise our understanding of the movement. These essays capture the commitment, courage, and perseverance of movement activists, both men and women, and their struggles to achieve the promises of American democracy.

“Conversation about the Chicano Movement is far from over—in fact, it is continuing and getting reenergized all the time. Here, veteran and rising scholars across a variety of disciplines give us fascinating, multi-sited snapshots of this political moment in American history.”—Lori A. Flores, author of Grounds for Dreaming: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the California Farmworker Movement

In Empowered!: Latinos Transforming Arizona Politics, Lisa Magaña and César S. Silva argue that the state of Arizona is more inclusive and progressive then it has ever been. Following in the footsteps of grassroots organizers in California and the southeastern states, Latinos in Arizona have struggled and succeeded to alter the anti-immigrant and racist policies that have been affecting Latinos in the state for many years. Draconian immigration policies have plagued Arizona’s political history. Empowered! shows innovative ways that Latinos have fought these policies.

“This study offers a compelling account of how Latinos in Arizona organized and increased their electoral clout to change the landscape of state politics. Through grassroots networks and dogged determination, Latinos successfully pushed back on anti-immigrant and anti-Latino policies and politicians.”—Christine Marie Sierra, co-author of Contested Transformation: Race, Gender, and Political Leadership in 21st Century America

David H. DeJong‘s Diverting the Gila: The Pima Indians and the Florence-Casa Grande Project, 1916–1928, explores the complex web of tension, distrust, and political maneuvering to divide and divert the scarce waters of the Gila River. Residents of Florence, Casa Grande, and the Pima Reservation fought for vital access to water rights. As was often the case in the West, well-heeled, nontribal political interests manipulated the laws at the expense of the Indigenous community.

“The author provides a detailed study of good intentions, betrayal, and compromise to resolve the use of the Gila River by the Pima and white farmers in central Arizona. It also is the story of greed with an underlying foundation of racism on the part of white landowners against the Pima. In Arizona and the West, water is power—economic, social, and political. Its use is not neutral, and the Pima did not have it.”—R. Douglas Hurt, author of The Green Revolution in the Global South: Science, Politics, and Unintended Consequences

Carrying the Burden of Peace: Reimagining Indigenous Masculinities weaves together stories of Indigenous life, love, eroticism, pain, and joy to map the contours of diverse, empowered, and non-dominant Indigenous masculinities. Author Sam McKegney explores Indigenous literary art for understandings of masculinity that exceed the impoverished inheritance of colonialism.

“I came away from the manuscript convinced of the need for this work, as I find it exemplary of the kind of careful, ethically attentive, and deeply generous scholarship we need more of.”—Daniel Heath Justice, author of Why Indigenous Literatures Matter

Decolonizing “Prehistory”: Deep Time and Indigenous Knowledges in North America combines a critical investigation of the documentation of the American deep past with perspectives from Indigenous traditional knowledges and attention to ongoing systems of intellectual colonialism. Edited by Gesa Mackenthun and Christen MucherDecolonizing “Prehistory” brings together experts from American studies, archaeology, anthropology, legal studies, history, and literary studies, this interdisciplinary volume offers essential information about the complexity and ambivalence of colonial encounters with Indigenous peoples in North America, and their impact on American scientific discourse.

Decolonizing “Prehistory” carries readers to the rugged landscapes of the Pacific Northwest to hear how they are known by communities with millennial depth as residents. The book adds breadth with chapters on the Penobscot River People, Maya communities living at tourist destinations Coba and Tulum, and Mammoth Cave. Philip Deloria concludes the book with a reading of his father’s no-holds-barred assertion of flaws in Western science, a position that time has brought closer to anthropologists’ own critiques seen in this volume.”—Alice Beck Kehoe, author of Traveling Prehistoric Seas: Critical Thinking on Ancient Transoceanic Voyages

Authors Duane Champagne and Carole Goldberg are leading experts in Native sovereignty policies and histories. In A Coalition of Lineages: The Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, they worked in collaboration with members of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians to illustrate how the community formed and persisted. A Coalition of Lineages is not only the story of a Native Southern California community, it is also a model for multicultural tribal development for recognized and nonrecognized Indian nations in the United States and elsewhere.

“Written to dispel the idea that these lineages ever ceased to exist under colonial power, this book offers a conceptual framework around the lineage that can be useful to historians and scholars.”—Lisbeth Haas, author of Saints and Citizens: Indigenous Histories of Colonial Missions and Mexican California

Strong Hearts and Healing Hands: Southern California Indians and Field Nurses, 1920–1950, tells the story of a bold program in public health that began in 1924 in the United States. The Indian Service of the United States hired its first nurses to work among Indians living on reservations. This corps of white women were dedicated to improving Indian health. In 1928, the first field nurses arrived in the Mission Indian Agency of Southern California. These nurses visited homes and schools, providing public health and sanitation information regarding disease causation and prevention. Over time, field nurses and Native people formed a positive working relationship that resulted in the decline of mortality from infectious diseases.

“Clifford Trafzer brings his many years of experience and unique set of knowledge to uncover the understudied role of field nurses from the Progressive Era to the 1950s as they collaborated closely with a multitude of Native Americans in Southern California to promote public health and counter the onslaught of tuberculosis and other Western diseases that afflicted them as a result of being confined to reservations.”—Andrae M. Marak, co-author of At the Border of Empires

In 1911, a group of Native American intellectuals and activists joined together to establish the Society of American Indians (SAI), an organization by Indians for Indians. It was the first such nationwide organization dedicated to reform. In We Are Not a Vanishing People: The Society of American Indians, 1911–1923, Thomas Constantine Maroukis show how this new organization used a strategy of protest and activism that carried into the rest of the twentieth century. Some of the most prominent members included Charles A. Eastman (Dakota), Arthur Parker (Seneca), Carlos Montezuma (Yavapai), Zitkala-Ša (Yankton Sioux), and Sherman Coolidge (Peoria).

“This is an essential book for everyone who is interested in modern American Indian History. Thomas Maroukis examines how American Indian leaders organized, used their education (sometimes disagreed with each other) and addressed critical issues in Indian Country in the early 20th century. He convincingly argues that these new activists pushed back against the government and voiced a clear message that Indians had not vanished!”—Donald L. Fixico, author of Indian Resilience and Rebuilding: Indigenous Nations in the Modern American West

Indigenous Women and Violence: Feminist Activist Research in Heightened States of Injustice offers an intimate view of how settler colonialism and other structural forms of power and inequality created accumulated violences in the lives of Indigenous women. Edited by Lynn Stephen and Shannon Speed, this volume uncovers how these Indigenous women resist violence in Mexico, Central America, and the United States, centering on the topics of femicide, immigration, human rights violations, the criminal justice system, and Indigenous justice.

“Bringing together leading Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, this volume explores the connections between structural, extreme, and everyday violence against Indigenous women across time and borders. It makes important contributions to current debates about gender violence and research methods.”—Rachel Sieder, editor of Demanding Justice and Security: Indigenous Women and Legal Pluralities in Latin America

Tourism Geopolitics: Assemblages of Infrastructure, Affect, and Imagination, edited by Mary MostafanezhadMatilde Córdoba Azcárate, and Roger Norum homes in on tourism and its geopolitical entanglements by examining its contemporary affects, imaginaries, and infrastructures. It develops the concept of tourism geopolitics to reveal the growing centrality of tourism in geopolitical life, as well as the geopolitical nature of the tourism encounter.

This volume is a vital read for critical geographers, anthropologists, and political scientists, as well as scholars of tourism and cultural studies.

In Famine Foods: Plants We Eat to Survive, Paul E. Minnis focuses on the myriad plants that have sustained human populations throughout the course of history, unveiling those that people have consumed, and often still consume, to avoid starvation. For the first time, this book offers a fascinating overview of famine foods—how they are used, who uses them, and, perhaps most importantly, why they may be critical to sustain human life in the future.

“This book represents decades of detailed research by one of North America’s top ethnobiologists. Minnis draws on multiple sources to create this unique compendium of plants that humans have turned to during times of food scarcity. Critically important to peoples of the past, this knowledge may be just as important to future populations.”—Nancy J. Turner, author of Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America

Moveable Gardens: Itineraries and Sanctuaries of Memory, edited by Virginia D. Nazarea and Terese Gagnon, highlights itineraries and sanctuaries in an era of massive dislocation, addressing concerns about finding comforting and familiar refuges in the Anthropocene. The worlds of marginalized individuals who live in impoverished rural communities, many Indigenous peoples, and refugees are constantly under threat of fracturing. Yet, in every case, there is resilience and regeneration as these individuals re-create their worlds through the foods, traditions, and plants they carry with them into their new realities.

“This carefully edited volume, well curated and well integrated, addresses a set of interrelated complexities critical to our current planetary era. United by two thematic threads, itineraries and sanctuaries, the chapters successfully illuminate and detail specific contexts while revealing commonalities across geographies.”—Ann Grodzins Gold, author of Shiptown: Between Rural and Urban North India

Becoming Hopi: A History is a comprehensive look at the history of the people of the Hopi Mesas as it has never been told before. The Hopi Tribe is one of the most intensively studied Indigenous groups in the world. Most popular accounts of Hopi history romanticize Hopi society as “timeless.” The archaeological record and accounts from Hopi people paint a much more dynamic picture, full of migrations, gatherings, and dispersals of people; a search for the center place; and the struggle to reconcile different cultural and religious traditions. Edited by Wesley BernardiniStewart B. KoyiyumptewaGregson Schachner, and Leigh J. Kuwanwisiwma, Becoming Hopi weaves together evidence from archaeology, oral tradition, historical records, and ethnography to reconstruct the full story of the Hopi Mesas, rejecting the colonial divide between “prehistory” and “history.”

Becoming Hopi brilliantly combines Hopi and non-Hopi voices in helping to rewrite Hopi history and the process of becoming Hopi. The coverage is extensive—both for Hopi as well as for wide swaths of the northern Southwest—and each chapter has something new to offer in terms of innovative data collection and interpretation. The combination and use of traditional, archaeological, and documentary histories unfolds a rare perspective on what it means to be Hopi.”—Barbara Mills, co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Southwest Archaeology

The recognition of Flower Worlds is one of the most significant breakthroughs in the study of Indigenous spirituality in the Americas. These worlds are solar and floral spiritual domains that are widely shared among both pre-Hispanic and contemporary Native cultures in Mesoamerica and the American Southwest. Flower Worlds: Religion, Aesthetics, and Ideology in Mesoamerica and the American Southwest is the first volume, edited by Michael Mathiowetz and Andrew Turner, to bring together a diverse range of scholars to create a truly multidisciplinary understanding of Flower Worlds.

“… the authors are coming at Flower World concepts from different directions and perspectives, and these different ideas and perspectives speak together in a way that helps further the conversation. This volume is not about concluding ideas but about continuing the conversation. I was impressed by the multitude of strong voices—both past and present—representing elements of the Flower World. This volume will be of lasting importance in the cross-cultural study of Flower Worlds.”—John G. Douglass, co-editor ofThe Global Spanish Empire: Five Hundred Years of Place Making and Pluralism

Alluvium and Empire: The Archaeology of Colonial Resettlement and Indigenous Persistence on Peru’s North Coast uncovers the stories of Indigenous people who were subject to one of the largest waves of forced resettlement in human history, the Reducción General. In 1569, Spanish administrators attempted to move at least 1.4 million Indigenous people into a series of planned towns called reducciones, with the goal of reshaping their households, communities, and religious practices. However, in northern Peru’s Zaña Valley, this process failed to go as the Spanish had planned. In Alluvium and Empire, author Parker VanValkenburgh explores both the short-term processes and long-term legacies of Indigenous resettlement in this region, drawing particular attention to the formation of complex relationships between Indigenous communities, imperial institutions, and the dynamic environments of Peru’s north coast.

“This book represents a much-welcome approach to the archaeology of empire. It combines a sophisticated theoretical framework with rigorous archival and archaeological methods to shed valuable new light on the history of Spanish empire building in Peru.”—Craig Cipolla, author of Foreign Objects: Rethinking Indigenous Consumption in American Archaeology

The Pluto System After New Horizons, edited by S. Alan SternRichard P. BinzelWilliam M. GrundyJeffrey M. Moore, and Leslie A. Young, seeks to become the benchmark for synthesizing our understanding of the Pluto system. The volume’s lead editor is S. Alan Stern, who also serves as NASA’s New Horizons Principal Investigator; co-editors Richard P. Binzel, William M. Grundy, Jeffrey M. Moore, and Leslie A. Young are all co-investigators on New Horizons. Leading researchers from around the globe have spent the last five years assimilating Pluto system flyby data returned from New Horizons. The chapters in this volume form an enduring foundation for ongoing study and understanding of the Pluto system.

Watch: Tumamoc Desert Lab Book Release Event for ‘The Nature of Desert Nature’

December 21, 2021

The Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill hosted a special online event on December 9, 2020 to celebrate the book release of The Nature of Desert Nature, edited by Gary Nabhan.

In this new collection of essays and more, Nabhan invites a prism of voices—friends, colleagues, and advisors from his more than four decades of study of deserts—to bring their own perspectives. Scientists, artists, desert contemplatives, poets, and writers bring the desert into view and investigate why these places compel us to walk through their sands and beneath their cacti and acacia.

Introduced by Desert Laboratory Director Ben Wilder, Nabhan was joined by contributors Homero Aridjis, poet and environmental leader; Exequiel Ezcurra, ecologist and science diplomat; and Alison Hawthorne Deming, poet and Regents Professor.

Girl of New Zealand Chosen as a 2020 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

December 18, 2020

We are thrilled to announce that Michelle Erai’s Girl of New Zealand was chosen as a 2020 Choice Outstanding Academic Title!

These outstanding works have been selected for their excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of their contribution to the field, and their value as an important treatment of their subject.

Girl of New Zealand presents a nuanced insight into the way violence and colonial attitudes shaped the representation of Māori women and girls. Michelle Erai examines more than thirty images of Māori women alongside the records of early missionaries and settlers in Aotearoa, as well as comments by archivists and librarians, to shed light on how race, gender, and sexuality have been ascribed to particular bodies.

Congratulations, Michelle!

Explore Our Recent Ethnobiology and Ethnobotany Titles

December 17, 2020

The University of Arizona Press publishes a wide range of fascinating ethnobiology and ethnobotany titles. Below, read about our most recent titles in these fields.

Use the code AZETHNO20 to receive 35% off all of the titles mentioned in this post, plus free U.S. shipping, until January 15, 2021.

Do you have an ethnobiology or ethnobotany manuscript? To learn more about our publishing program, visit here.

The Prehispanic Ethnobotany of Paquimé and Its Neighbors is a major ethnobotanical study for the ancient U.S. Southwest and northwestern Mexico. The results reorient our perspective in the rise of one of the most impressive communities in the international region.

See some photographs and field notes from editors Paul Minnis and Michael Whalen here.

Based on Valentina Peveri’s prolonged engagement with this “virtuous” plant of southwestern Ethiopia, The Edible Gardens of Ethiopia provides a nuanced reading of the ensete ventricosum (avant-)garden and explores how the life in tiny, diverse, and womanly plots may indeed offers alternative visions of nature, food policy, and conservation efforts.

Chie Sakakibara shows how knots of connection came into being between humans and nonhuman others and how such intimate and intense relations will help humans survive the Anthropocene. Whale Snow offers an important and thought-provoking look at global climate change as it manifests in the everyday life of the Iñupiat in Arctic Alaska.

Read a Q & A with author Chie Sakakibara here.

The desert inspires wonder. Attending to history, culture, science, and spirit, The Nature of Desert Nature celebrates the bounty and the significance of desert places.

Watch editor Gary Nabhan and contributor Francisco Cantú discuss The Nature of Desert Nature here.

A Desert Feast offers a food pilgrimage, where stories and recipes demonstrate why the desert city of Tucson became American’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy. You’ll meet the farmers, small-scale food entrepreneurs, and chefs who are dedicated to making Tucson taste like nowhere else.

Watch the Tucson Festival Of Books’ virtual event with Carolyn Niethammer & Andi Berlin here, then watch Carolyn introduce her new book here. Read an excerpt from A Desert Feast here, then visit our Facebook page or YouTube page to watch a video series about the book.

More than a history of coveted commodities, the unique story that unfolds in John R. Gust and Jennifer P. Mathews’s new history Sugarcane and Rum is told through the lens of Maya laborers who worked under brutal conditions on small haciendas to harvest sugarcane and produce rum in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

Read an excerpt from Sugarcane and Rum here. We are thrilled that Smithsonian Magazine selected Sugarcane and Rum for their weekly reading series!

The saguaro, with its great size and characteristic shape, has become the emblem of the Sonoran Desert of southwestern Arizona and northwestern Mexico. The Saguaro Cactus offers a complete natural history of this enduring cactus, the largest and tallest in the United States. From its role in Sonoran Desert ecology, to its adaptations to the desert climate, to its sacred place in Indigenous culture, this book offers a definitive source on a distinguished desert plant.

Read an excerpt from The Saguaro Cactus here. Read about a great book release event we hosted for The Saguaro Cactus, back in the pre-covid days, here.

WSJ: Stephen Pyne on ‘The Year Wildfires in the West Spread Like the Plague’

December 12, 2020

In the 2020 year in review issue of the Wall Street Journal, author Stephen Pyne explains why 2020 brought a better understanding of the causes of wildfires and what needs to be done. He writes:

“Surely the dominant story of 2020 will be the coronavirus pandemic and the economic upheaval and political fallout it caused. But the enduring images of the year may well be of another contagion—the fires that splashed across the globe and the havoc they wrought where humanity’s and nature’s economies met.

The fires seemed everywhere, partly because of extensive media coverage—fires are visually graphic and guaranteed to grab attention. But this wasn’t hype. The fires were real. Many occurred in the usual places—like California, African savannas and Australia—that are built to burn, though this time they came with performance enhancers. Few of such fires were individually unprecedented, but they were so many they swarmed, and they came in serial outbreaks. In their ensemble they qualify as epic.”

Read more

Watch: Nathaniel Morris with UCLAmericas Discusses Soldiers, Saints, and Shamans

December 9, 2020

The UCL Institute of the Americas held a book release celebration for University of Arizona Press author Nathaniel Morris on December 2, 2020.

Soldiers, Saints, and Shamans: Indigenous Communities and the Revolutionary State in Mexico’s Gran Nayar, 1910–1940 is Morris’ first book based on his extensive archival research and years of fieldwork in the rugged and remote Gran Nayar.

Morris shows that the Náayari, Wixárika, O’dam, and Mexicanero peoples were actively involved in the armed phase of the Mexican Revolution. This participation led to serious clashes between an expansionist, “rationalist” revolutionary state and the highly autonomous communities and heterodox cultural and religious practices of the Gran Nayar’s inhabitants.

Field Notes: Nathaniel Morris on Fiestas in the Mountains of Mexico

December 1, 2020

Leafing through documents in the archives could only ever tell historian Nathaniel Morris half of the story he was trying to piece together. He wanted to reconstruct the way in which the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1940 had unfolded in the remote, mountainous Gran Nayar region of western Mexico, and the effects this had had on the identities of its inhabitants. But few of the bandits, teachers, generals, politicians, agronomists or rebel guerrillas active there during that turbulent era left detailed records of their activities. And most of the local population – mostly Indigenous Náayari (Cora), Wixárika (Huichol), O’dam (Tepehuano) and Mexicanero people – had been illiterate, which meant their voices were also largely missing from the documentary record. It was vital, then, for Morris to travel to the Gran Nayar itself, to track down the area’s oldest remaining inhabitants and hear directly from them about how, and why, their forebears (and, in some cases, they themselves) had taken part in the peasant uprisings, military revolts, coups, agrarian reforms and radical cultural projects that swept Mexico during the first half of the twentieth century. These interviews form the core of Morris’ new book, Soldiers, Saints and Shamans, which explores the complex and often conflictive relations between Náayari, Wixárika, O’dam and Mexicanero communities and the revolutionary Mexican state.

Today we share a few of Morris’ photos and extended captions from his fieldwork, which offer insight into the stories and methods that have informed his work.

All photos and captions by Nathaniel Morris.

1: To carry out my research in the Gran Nayar – a region of mountains, canyons, pine forests and scrubland with a scattered population and few paved roads – I had to walk, hike, ride horses, and hitch rides in the backs of pick-up trucks. This sort of travel – often gruelling, sometimes scary, but always eye-opening – enabled me to track down many of the region’s surviving eyewitnesses to the revolution; and it also helped me to understand the diverse landscapes and climates in which they and their forebears have made their lives, and the routes and connections between places and people. The beliefs, practices, and the very ethnic identity of the Náayari, Wixárika, O’dam and Mexicanero peoples is completely tied up with the lands in which they live, which the gods brought into being to replace previous worlds destroyed as part of an ongoing “cosmic battle” between light and darkness, order and chaos, aridity and fertility. The story of this creation is inscribed in the geography of the Gran Nayar, which is strewn with thousands of sites identified with the gods and ancestors and their stories. In the Gran Nayar, land is simultaneously culture, identity, and history.

2: Here you can see the great-grandson of Mariano Mejía – one of the central characters in my book, and the single most powerful man in the whole Gran Nayar during the 1920s – showing me Mejía’s sword. Meeting the relatives of the historical figures I was investigating, hearing the stories that had been passed down within their families, and – as in this case – seeing and even being able to hold artefacts from the Revolutionary era, really helped me to connect to my research. While gathering this oral testimony I lived with Náayari, Wixárika, O’dam, Mexicanero and mestizo families. I ate their food, slept on their floors, learned a little (far too little) of their languages, and listened to their own stories — often sad, sometimes hilarious — of their own lives in the region. And so it became almost a personal quest for me to fill in this gaping hole in our records of the Revolution where the Gran Nayar should’ve been.

3: You can’t understand politics in the Gran Nayar – even today – without understanding local ceremonial practices, such as the Semana Santa (Holy Week) festival pictured here. Religious beliefs, rituals, prayers, fiestas and thanksgivings still permeate every aspect of Náayari, Wixárika, O’dam, and Mexicanero life, from farming and hunting to politics and warfare. And so the Mexican Revolution was locally experienced—and is today remembered—as both a political and a supernatural event: an era of widespread intercommunal and factional conflict, when the still-unfinished agrarian reform that today divides the region was first begun; but also a time when local warlords channelled occult forces to defend their communities from raiders, and when miraculous statues of Catholic saints resisted the attacks of bandits or soldiers, or even took on human form to lead the charge against their enemies. It is natural, then, to find historical narratives of the Mexican Revolution embedded in the modern ceremonial practices of the Gran Nayar’s inhabitants, whether in the form of bandolier-draped dancers demanding gold from village elders in Tuxpan de Bolaños; painted “devils” shouting their allegiance to the Carrancistas, Villistas, or cristeros in Santa Teresa; or glazed-eyed peyote pilgrims in Santa Catarina irreverently yelling “Long live the supreme government!” as they romp around their ritual dance grounds. Many of the political outcomes of the revolution are also conceived of in terms of their effects on local ethno-religious identities.

4: In order to try and really understand the relationship between rituals, politics, and history, I had to try and be an ethnologist as well as a historian. And that meant helping to prepare ritual feasts, dancing, praying, drinking, and in Santa Teresa running laps and fighting other stick-wielding “devils” during Semana Santa – here you can see me in my clay- and ash-painted finest at the climax of that exhausting four-day fiesta. Taking part in, rather than just watching, helped me to understand how local rituals express both collective memories and more far-reaching mythical-historical narratives, all of which have been inflected to some degree by local experiences of the revolution.

5: It wasn’t just strictly religious, Indigenous festivals that I found myself taking part in – here you can see cockfight – which is about as secular an event as it gets – in Huajimic, a mestizo, rather than Indigenous, community in the mountains of Nayarit. Spanish-speaking mestizo people are a minority in Gran Nayar, but make up the majority of the population in Mexico as a whole. For that reason mestizo people born and raised in the Gran Nayar often played key roles in linking the region to the rest of the country, and so have had an influence on the history of the region that belies their limited numbers. During the Revolution, political violence, exile, political manoeuvring by pro-agrarian reform factions, state-promoted shifts from subsistence agriculture to extractive industry, and the arrival of mestizo settlers from elsewhere in Mexico, also transformed a few originally Indigenous communities into mestizo settlements. And so ethnic tensions between mestizos and Indigenous people that have roots in the Revolution continue to shape politics in the Gran Nayar today.

6: As well as interviews and what ethnologists would call ‘participant observation,’ music was also essential to my research in the Gran Nayar. Here you can see a group of Náayari musicians laying down some tunes in the open air just after a fiesta. During the Revolutionary era – and still, to an extent, today – ballads known as ‘corridos’ functioned almost like newspapers in much of rural Mexico, spreading the word about important happenings, the rise and often violent fall of key local leaders, new political movements and much else of interest to a population that was largely illiterate. Today, ballads celebrating—or condemning—the paramount caciques, or telling of important battles, personal tragedies or political victories of the Revolution in the Gran Nayar, endure as popular entertainments during communal fiestas. These songs often contain key details that helped me better piece together not only the local events of the Revolution, but also the ways in which these were perceived and later remembered by the people of the Gran Nayar.

Nathaniel Morris is a historian of modern Mexico. He is currently a Research Fellow at University College London, where he is studying the participation of Indigenous militias in both the Mexican Revolution of 1910-40, and the ‘Drug War’ wracking the country today. Soldiers, Saints, and Shamans is Morris’s first book.

Watch: Gary Nabhan and Francisco Cantú Discuss the Nature of Desert Nature

November 23, 2020

Recently, editor Gary Nabhan, contributor Francisco Cantú, and University of Arizona Press marketing assistant Savannah Hicks came together virtually as part of the Tucson Festival of Books Authors in Conversation series to talk about Nabhan’s new collection, The Nature of Desert Nature.

The desert inspires wonder. Attending to history, culture, science, and spirit, The Nature of Desert Nature celebrates the bounty and the significance of desert places.

Watch their discussion below.

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A Look Inside A Marriage Out West

November 23, 2020

A Marriage Out West is an intimate biographical account of two fascinating figures of twentieth-century archaeology. Frances Theresa Peet Russell, an educator, married Harvard anthropologist Frank Russell in June 1900. They left immediately on a busman’s honeymoon to the Southwest. Their goal was twofold: to travel to an arid environment to quiet Frank’s tuberculosis and to find archaeological sites to support his research.

Below, read an excerpt from Nancy J. Parezo and Don D. Fowler’s A Marriage Out West.

We have long studied how women overcame economic and social barriers as they strove to be successful anthropologists. We have emphasized the hard work, perseverance, and resilience this required, given the asymmetrical reality in what was always considered the most welcoming of the sciences. Anthropology had its limits to the welcome, of course. Interested in the rise of professorships as a form of professional occupation in America, elsewhere we have looked at how anthropological careers compared to those of women who became professionals in the hard sciences, the natural sciences, sociology, and history, but we have never studied someone who pursued a career in English and philosophy, intentionally leaving anthropology behind. This is one reason Theresa Russell’s story is important.

Like several of our colleagues, we have focused primarily on the careers of women with a passion for anthropology who succeeded. We have used grounded methods to identify their strategies to overcome societal and professional obstacles, generate resources, and find interesting problems to tackle. This is one reason why we have both been fascinated with how women have thrived at disciplinary boundaries and margins, often espousing theories and writing programs that would take years for men to discover and exploit. From these biographies we have discovered patterns that reflect access and participation in American professions as a form of specialized work based on esoteric knowledge. One was that women gained initial recognition by writing popular accounts of their adventures in the field— that is, travelogues— and getting paid well for these works. Theresa employed this option to establish a new scholarly path, but it was not a path to an archaeological career. It is one where anthropological exploratory research was used as the entry into English, philosophy, and psychology. We welcome other scholars to look for similar instances. We are sure they exist.

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Also critical for understanding the Russells’ fieldwork were the development of anthropology as a national discipline and the growth of physical anthropology/ anthropometry as a distinct subdivision of the multifaceted endeavor to understand humanity’s development and variability. This involved more than expounding interpretations and developing framing theories. Striving for professional status included demonstrating that anthropology was a natural science, with original data that could be standardized and measured. Frank was concerned with improving anthropometric and osteological techniques, inventing precise measuring tools, and standardizing methodologies as well as with how anthropology would be taught in universities.

When they made their first trip, the Russells had intended to return to Harvard University, where Frank would pursue the institutionalized academic year of teaching and a summer fieldwork schedule. Theresa could continue to study philosophy and have stimulating conversations with her peers. They did not think they would spend the next two years surveying Arizona and participating in ethnographic field work full time. They covered a phenomenal area. Frank estimated that by October 1902, they had traveled 4,000 miles exclusive of train travel each year. The undertaking was comparable to the areas covered by European scholar explorers Adolph Bandelier, who looked for sites in Arizona between 1880 and 1885; and Alphonse Pinart, who searched for sites in 1876, traveling from San Diego to Tucson and around central and southern Arizona. As J. Jefferson Reid and Stephanie Whittlesey discuss in their excellent history of Arizona archaeology, archaeologists in the 1880s and 1890s did not attempt to survey the entire state as they searched for suitable sites. Most men and women worked in a single region each season. This in itself makes Theresa and Frank’s stories memorable.

Nancy J. Parezo is a professor emerita of American Indian studies at the University of Arizona. In addition to teaching at the institution for almost forty years, she was curator of ethnology at the Arizona State Museum and loaned executive to the Arizona Board of Regents. She also participated for ten years in the Smithsonian Institution summer training program in museum anthropology. The author of more than two hundred books and articles, she is currently working through the nine large four-drawer file cabinets that are full of data for more histories of anthropologies and museums, collecting behavior, and Native American repatriation. Her next project documents missionary Henry Voth’s collecting and ethnographic activities among the Hopi and Cheyenne. With her dear friend Don D. Fowler, she is dedicated to honoring the invisible female scholars who helped develop anthropology in the American Southwest.

Don D. Fowler is the Mamie Kleberg Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Historic Preservation, Emeritus, at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). In 2019 the Don Frazier & Don Fowler Endowed Chair in Archaeology was established at UNR in his honor. His PhD is from the University of Pittsburgh. He has taught anthropology and historic preservation at UNR for forty years. He was a postdoctoral fellow in anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution in 1967–68, a research associate in anthropology for the Smithsonian Institution from 1970 to 2004, a past president of the Society for American Archaeology. He received the SAA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 and the Byron Cummings Award from the Arizona Archaeological & Historical Society in 1998, among other honors. He is the author or co-author of dozens of papers and reports on southwestern and Great Basin archaeology and cultural resources management, and, with co-author and great friend Nancy Parezo, publications on the history of European and American archaeology and ethnology.

Zócalo Magazine Shares Excerpt from ‘Desert Feast’

November 18, 2020

Tucson’s Zócalo Magazine recently featured an excerpt from Carolyn Niethammer‘s new book, The Desert Feast: Celebrating Tucson’s Culinary Heritage.

The Desert Feast offers a food pilgrimage, where stories and recipes demonstrate why the desert city of Tucson became America’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy.

The excerpt tells part of the story of Sonoran wheat and how its introduction forever changed our region’s food landscape:

The easy and quick adoption of spring wheat can be attributed to the fact that it filled an important niche in the food cycle. And, as a new crop, it came without cultural baggage. Corn was traditionally planted and curated through its lifecycle with ceremony and song; wheat, on the other hand, with no such requirements, was easier to grow. We must not overlook the fact, though, that in some mission communities, the local people had no choice but were forced to grow wheat for the padres’ sacramental wafers.

By the mid-eighteenth century, spring wheat had become the major staple crop of the Tucson basin and far beyond. Although it does better with irrigation, in a normal, non-drought year, it could also produce an excellent crop in marginal soils of low fertility and with no water other than winter rainfall. With the abundance of wheat, women began making tortillas from flour instead of corn.

Read the entire excerpt here:

KJZZ Interview with Alberto Álvaro Ríos on ‘A Good Map’

November 17, 2020

If you didn’t have a chance to join in the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing’s recent book celebration for Alberto Álvaro Ríos’s new picaresque novel, A Good Map of All Things, listen to this interview with KJZZ’s Steve Goldstein on creating art during a pandemic and his new book.

A Good Map tells stories of a Mexican town and its unique inhabitants that feel familiar to all who love and live in Arizona-Sonora borderlands.

From the interview:

You know, I think this particular book is about quiet in its own way, and quiet is not an easily told story. You know, loud — everybody turns toward loud, and we’re living in very loud times. Loud is a magnet. Loud, you know, people are drawn to it. Quiet — that’s a much harder sell. And while I use guise or the setting of the mid-20th century, I think really what I’m trying to write is to the quiet, to the dark side of the moon, if you will — you know, equally there, absolutely there. But getting little attention. And what I’m especially trying to, to make a point of is saying that all of the loud around the border. Well, it’s just loud. The 98% of the rest of people’s lives is this quiet, everyday kind of experience. I was on a panel many years ago with Ursula Le Guin, the great science-fiction writer, and she said something that has always stayed with me. She said, “You know, science fiction,” She said. “It’s, it’s 98% regular, everyday. And 2% on Mars.” And what she was trying to say is the 2% on Mars got all the attention, but it wasn’t accurate to the actual way that we live. And I think in this book, I’m trying to get to the depth of the everyday, which is that 98% of how we actually get through life. And the ’50s happens to be  — you know, I was born in the ’50s. That’s when I was growing up. These, the particular adventures, if I can call them that, came from all of the towns that I grew up visiting and spending time in, and that my grandmother and her sisters had been teachers and mercantile workers in these towns. So they were always being talked about and remembered, and they were towns like Rayón and Cucurpe and Ímuris and especially Magdalena, all in the corridor of northern Sonora. And it’s a corridor that’s traditionally been called the Pimería Alta, and it extends from certainly Tucson, you could argue Phoenix — but certainly Tucson all the way to Hermosillo and Guaymas. That corridor, which was a longtime historic trading corridor. That ancientness, that oldness, that old-fashionedness is inherently in the place. And that’s what I’m trying to write to.

Listen here.

‘Beyond Earth’s Edge’ Co-Editor Cokinos Turns to the Moon in Recent Space Writings

November 13, 2020

When Christopher Cokinos isn’t talking about his love of poetry that celebrates spaceflight, the poet and author shares his interest in space sciences.

The co-editor of Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight, Cokinos recently examined NASA’s discovery of water on the moon in Sky News.

From Cokinos:

The discovery suggests a greater distribution of water on the Moon, an environment that astronomers in centuries past thought might have surface water but Apollo-era science suggested was bone dry. Since then, new laboratory techniques have cracked open previously-unstudied Apollo samples and found water molecules. Meanwhile, missions to the Moon over the past three decades found evidence of lunar water ice in permanently shadowed regions of the Moon, clustered around the poles.

Read the entire Sky News post here.

For The Space Review, Cokinos makes an argument for the next NASA lunar mission to head to the moon’s south pole, and not follow in the footsteps of the Apollo missions.

From his report:

In any case, if we can’t get to the pole on Artemis 3, go forward to a new location and don’t return to an Apollo site—not yet. Lunar sustainability can’t indulge in the appearance of expensive nostalgia that could risk turning off shaky public support.

Read the entire Space Review post here.

Rigoberto González Appointed Editor of Award-Winning Camino del Sol Series

November 12, 2020

The University of Arizona Press recently announced Rigoberto González’ editorship of its Camino del Sol Series. The award-winning and critically acclaimed series of poetry, fiction, and essays publishes emerging and established voices in Latinx literature, such as Juan Felipe Herrera, Carmen Giménez Smith, Luis Alberto Urrea, Richard Blanco, Alberto Ríos, Pat Mora, Tim Z. Hernandez, Emmy Pérez, and Francisco X. Alarcón.

González is the author of eighteen books of poetry and prose. His awards include Guggenheim, NEA, NYFA, and USA Rolón fellowships, the PEN/Voelcker Award, the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the Shelley Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America. A critic-at-large for The LA Times and contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine, he is currently Distinguished Professor of English and Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey.

“Camino del Sol has been essential to our Latinx literary legacy. For over 25 years this series has provided a home for the stories and voices that amplify, celebrate, and nuance the diverse experiences of our communities,” González said.

“I owe much of my college literary education to the books published by the University of Arizona Press, and in the same spirit of service to all readers, I am honored to continue its mission to seek out and highlight the remarkable work of both seasoned and promising Latinx writers.”

Kathryn Conrad, director of the University of Arizona Press, said González’ editorship and the caliber of the Camino del Sol advisory board furthers the Press’s mission to center Latinx and Indigenous literary voices.

“The University of Arizona Press is one of the first publishers to spotlight Latinx literary voices. We are honored Rigoberto has joined us to grow and care for this important series.”

Camino del Sol was established in 1994 by writer and poet Ray Gonzalez. The Camino del Sol series advisory board includes Francisco Cantú, Sandra Cisneros, Eduardo C. Corral, Jennine Capó Crucet, Angie Cruz, Natalie Diaz, Aracelis Girmay, Ada Limón, Jaime Manrique, Justin Torres, Luis Alberto Urrea, and Helena María Viramontes.

“With a spectacular Advisory Board composed of this country’s most notable talent in American letters, I expect Camino del Sol will maintain its exceptional reputation and to rise into further prominence by reflecting the growth and changes in our cultural and political landscapes,” González said.

Urayoán Noel‘s forthcoming poetry collection Transversal will be the first book under González’ editorship.

Buzzfeed News Puts ‘A Good Map’ on Books to Read List

November 11, 2020

BuzzFeed News featured A Good Map of All Things, the new novel by Arizona Poet Laureate Alberto Álvaro Ríos on a good reads recommendation list of 15 smaller presses.

From 15 Books From Smaller Presses You Won’t Be Able To Put Down:

A Good Map of All Things by Alberto Álvaro Ríos (University of Arizona Press, out now)

Billed as a “picaresque” novel — a style that typically follows a rogue or antihero and often has some elements of satire — A Good Map is set in the borderlands of Arizona and Sonora. The people in this fictional, small Mexican town are incorrigible gossips, true believers, and utterly charming. This is a book that feels like a classic, with characters who feel like family.

Read the list here.

Aída Hurtado Receives Honorable Mention for the 2020 NWSA Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize

November 10, 2020

We are thrilled to announce that Aída Hurtado received an honorable mention for the 2020 NWSA Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize for her recent University of Arizona Press title, Intersectional Chicana Feminisms!

The 2020 NWSA Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize offers recognition for groundbreaking monographs in women’s studies that make significant multicultural feminist contributions to women of color/transnational scholarship. The prize honors Gloria Anzaldúa, a valued and long-active member of the National Women’s Studies Association.

Advocating for and demonstrating the importance of an intersectional, multidisciplinary, activist understanding of Chicanas, Intersectional Chicana Feminisms provides a much-needed overview of the key theories, thinkers, and activists that have contributed to Chicana feminisms.

Aída Hurtado is the Luis Leal Endowed Chair and a professor in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is co-author of Chicana/o Identity in a Changing U.S. Society and co-author of Beyond Machismo: Intersectional Latino Masculinities.

Congratulations, Aída!

Whale Snow: Five Questions with Author Chie Sakakibara

November 10, 2020

In Whale Snow: Iñupiat, Climate Change, and Multispecies Resilience in Arctic Alaska author Chie Sakakibara uses multispecies ethnography to explore how the relatedness of the Iñupiat of Arctic Alaska and the bowhead whale forms and transforms “the human” through their encounters. Sakakibara shows how people of Arctic Alaska live in the world that intersects with other beings, how these connections came into being, and, most importantly, how such intimate and intense relations help humans survive the challenges of climate change. Today, Chie answers our questions.

The artwork on the cover of your book is stunning. Please tell us more about the artist Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson.

Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson is an Iñupiaq artist and writer who was born and raised on the North Slope of Alaska. She is someone who I heartily admire for her deep commitment to her community through the promotion of Iñupiaq values, aesthetics, and environmentalism. As a dear friend, mentor, and collaborator, Nasuġraq kindly contributed the cover art, X-ray Whale, along with the original frontispiece and three illustrations included in Whale Snow. Her creations eloquently tell many stories, and they often point to a positive reciprocal relationship that goes across the boundary of humans and nonhuman animals, which gets intensified in our times of global climate change. This dynamism is the subject of Whale Snow.  

Nasuġraq calls Anaktuvuk Pass (AKP) home, a beautiful village nestled in the foothills of the Brooks Range, and her days are filled with adventures with her daughter, husband, a small flock of chickens, a variety of types of artistic expression, and writing. She is also known as a groundbreaking Arctic gardening guru, and is the founder of America’s northernmost gardening project called “Gardens in the Arctic,” which has successfully grown fresh produce for her community since 2016. Visit Nasuġraq’s website, Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson: Iñupiaq Artist and Writer, to learn more about her career: https://www.nasugraqhopson.com/.

Portrait of Chie Sakakibara and Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson in Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska. Photo by Aaron A. Fox.

In the Arctic, climate, culture, and human resilience are connected through bowhead whaling. You write that climate change has disrupted this ancient practice. What are some of the implications of this disruption?

In Whale Snow, I explored how Iñupiat live their values in the midst of pervading modernity in relation to colonial encounters and ongoing social and environmental transformations. Each of their social principles is now threatened by myriad ramifications of climate change. For so many times, on so many occasions, and in so many places, I have witnessed how the joy of getting a whale has worked a miracle to transform human lives, experiences, and relations. At the same time, it suggests the costs of not getting any whales. Without the whales, social tensions rise. Without the whales, the meaning and order the whales bring to sustain the community gets diluted—no whale means no harmony and no assurance of community integrity. When the ocean rises, sea ice deteriorates, and the tundra thaws, the devastation of not having any whales is immeasurable, and at times results in social rupture through violence, alcoholism, substance abuse, depression, and unexpected death, just to name a few. This is why whaling remains the central idiom of Iñupiaq well-being and sovereignty. Whaling maintains social health and solidarity as the foundation of survival. This is why the responsibility of the whalers is so immense.

At this time of further uncertainties for subsistence, the temptation of not observing the community norms gets much closer to the surface of their social fabric. At the same time, however, in the face of heightening anxiety and stress, development of interpersonal and interspecies bonds fosters resilience that ultimately strengthens the people. Such resilience can be invigorated through proactive adaptation to change, which leverages tradition and culture in modernity. This process of adaptation often manifests in a form of multispecies reciprocity in Arctic Alaska, which deeply intertwines the humans with humans, humans with animals, and humans with the environment. In the face of heightening anxiety and stress, development of interpersonal and interspecies bonds creates resilience that ultimately sustains the people.

Aerial View of Utqiaġvik, Alaska – Photo by Chie Sakakibara

Global environmental change is all around us. In this time of ecological transition, why is exploring multispecies relatedness important?

As the COVID-19 pandemic and its interspecies origins underscore, we all live in the Anthropocene, an age in which humans and other animals are forced to live in closer proximity, share viruses, and confront new ones. Interspecies entanglements have increased their significance due to accelerating ecological dilemmas. My Iñupiaq mentors and collaborators taught me the importance of interspecies togetherness, or multispecies solidarity. Togetherness cultivates resilience, the capacity of individuals and communities to adapt, recover, and survive challenges and uncertainties. In this context, as Donna Haraway says, we must make kin as we are not the only important actors, and kin-making is a multispecies affair to cultivate resilience and mitigate vulnerability for survival. The Iñupiaq way of life clearly embodies this philosophy. Whale Snow is a journey to unpack such relations to better comprehend further entanglements between humans and nonhuman others as we are increasingly forced to live together.

Kaleak Crew, successful whaling crew, celebrates the end of whaling season in Utqiaġvik, Alaska. Photo by Flossie Nageak.

You open the acknowledgements by describing a promise you make to a community member to “not disappear” once you completed your fieldwork. Why was this so important?

Academic researchers in Indigenous communities have a fraught relationship with Indigenous communities with data mining, and this history remains inseparable from the legacy of colonialism and colonization. It was this reputation for outsider extraction that my mentor Martha Aiken was afraid of. She had seen how local knowledge and experience were conveniently extracted, simplified, and plugged into the market economy as medicine, books, popular music, and designs, or when they were instantly turned into private property after being detached from their appropriate cultural contexts. Rarely was a plan to benefit the community part of this enterprise. On my first day in her community as a graduate student, Martha asked me to swear that I would commit myself to cultivate a long-term relationship with her and her community before starting to work on my dissertation research. I agreed to make the commitment. Now, many years later, I am still in the process of earning my place. The process of relationship-building has opened many doors to me that would have otherwise stayed closed; it is obvious but not an exaggeration to say that this study could not have been written without community participation and co-authorship. Martha has since passed away, but as a faculty member at Oberlin College, I continue to share her wisdom with my students to educate future generations of scholars—both Indigenous and non-Indigenous—about the importance of social justice, research ethics, community benefit, collaboration, and reciprocity so the future scholars will never disappear. Whale Snow is a token of my humble reciprocity with Martha and the community that adopted me and considered and cared for me as their own. As a partial fulfillment of Martha’s mandate, I wrote this book to offer insights into the depth of Iñupiaq-whale relations, and especially how they intersect with Iñupiaq struggles to achieve cultural sovereignty through the whaling cycle, and in so doing exhibit resilience in the face of unrelenting impacts of global climate change.

What do you hope people take away from your work?

Indigenous vulnerability to climate change has been discussed extensively in the fields of public policy, political science, anthropology, and geography, but comparatively few studies have actually shed light on the ways in which people emotionally invest themselves in their entanglements with animals and environments to nurture resilience. In contrast, Whale Snow shares powerful and positive stories about Indigenous experiences coping with climate change. As climate change increases environmental and cultural uncertainties, it also intensifies Iñupiaq emotions and relatedness with the bowhead whale to seek out cultural activities that strengthen social identities and a politics of Indigenous sovereignty. In this sense, my narrative departs from studies that emphasize human vulnerability and instead serves as an ethnography of hope cultivated and entangled with interspecies relations.

This book lies at the intersection of my personal life and stories of America’s northernmost Indigenous society. My narrative is steeped in a deep long-term relationship between a culturally adopted Japanese woman in the two Iñupiaq villages and her adoptive family members, relatives, mentors, collaborators, colleagues, friends, and acquaintances. This is the story of the people and the bowhead whale, and at the same time, the story of my own life. My fieldwork has become synonymous with my personal growth and fulfillment as an adopted member of whaling crews through participation in everyday life in contemporary rural Alaska. In many different ways and contexts, my adoptive families and kin taught me that the Iñupiaq-whale relationship is a force of innovation and adaptation that now serves as a way to cope with social stress and the unforeseeable future. In other words, this book was germinated in my own process of becoming an Iñupiaq (meaning “a complete person”) through building a relationship with Iñupiat and their nonhuman kin, and I present this book as a humble offering for the people and whales who are connected through emotive bonds, words, stories, and songs that they have so generously bestowed upon me.

Whale Snow Frontispiece – By Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson.

Chie Sakakibara is an assistant professor of environmental studies at Oberlin College. She was trained in cultural geography, art history, and Indigenous studies. Her work explores human dimensions of global environmental change among Indigenous peoples. Native to Japan, Sakakibara is a proud adoptive member of the Iñupiaq whaling community. Her love of humans and nonhuman animals manifests in her academic work as well as in her life with one human daughter and two canine sons.

All royalties accruing from sale of this publication go to the North Slope Borough Iñupiat History, Language, and Culture Commission.

All images in the post are are copyrighted. Do no reproduce without permission.

PBS’ The Open Mind Features ‘Beyond Earth’s Edge’ Co-Editors

November 9, 2020

A recent episode of the PBS’ The Open Mind featured Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflights co-editors Julie Swarstad Johnson and Christopher Cokinos talking about the new poetry anthology and this celebration of poetics and the space sciences.

Hosted by Alexander Heffner, The Open Mind is a series that explores national interests in politics, media, technology, the arts and civic life.

Beyond Earth’s Edge is an anthology that spans from the dawn of the space age to the imagined futures of the universe. The anthology offers a fascinating record of both national mindsets and private perspectives as poets grapple with the promise and peril of U.S. space exploration across decades and into the present.

Radio Survivor Podcast Features ‘Mexican Waves’ Author Sonia Robles

November 6, 2020

Radio Survivor celebrated border radio in a recent podcast with Sonia Robles, author of Mexican Waves: Radio Broadcasting Along Mexico’s Northern Border, 1930-1950.

From the podcast:

Border radio is one of our favorite topics at Radio Survivor and on this week’s episode we dig into the history of radio broadcasting on the northern border of Mexico. Scholar Sonia Robles shares the stories of some of the lesser-known, small broadcasters whose histories are often overshadowed by the wild tales of higher power border blaster stations.

Listen to the interview.

Latinx Talk Interviews ‘Voices from the Ancestors’ Co-editor Lara Medina

November 5, 2020

In a recent interview on Latinx Talk, Lara Medina, co-editor of Voices from the Ancestors: Xicanx and Latinx Spiritual Expressions and Healing Practices, talks about her own spiritual journal and current trends in Latinx studies.

From the interview:

“The knowledges in this book come from deep places in our hearts, bodies, and minds and is intended for personal, familial, and community well-being. The writings reflect wisdom passed on through the oral tradition and lived experiences, research applied to our lives, or from our own intuitive creativity. As we learn from each other in a variety of ways, we have gathered reflections and practices in the form of short essays, poetry, visual art, ritual guidelines, and songs. It is wisdom based on the ancient knowledge received from Indigenous and African ancestors who understood their interconnectedness with one another and all life forms, with nature, and with the sacred cosmic forces. We and the contributors to this volume believe that it is time our cultural capital be documented and shared as we carry medicine in reclaiming ancestral teachings, in rethinking imposed religious beliefs, and in learning from diverse spiritual traditions.”

Read the full interview.

Ready to Take Your Own Space Poetry Journey?

November 4, 2020

What can poetry teach us about science? Inspired by this question five years ago, Julie Swarstad Johnson embarked on a journey that celebrated spaceflight and poetry at the University of Arizona Poetry Center. In September 2016 Swarstad Johnson, a librarian at the renowned poetry center, organized an exhibit aptly titled “The Poetry of Spaceflight.”

That exhibit inspired the new poetry anthology co-edited by Swarstad Johnson and Christopher Cokinos, Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight. Recently, Swarstad Johnson recalled the inspiration for the exhibit and the book on the University of Arizona Poetry Center’s blog 1508. She also provides ideas for writing your own poems inspired by spaceflight.

Read Swarstad Johnson’s post and writing prompts.

Beyond Earth’s Edge Inspires a Celebrity Space Poetry Jam

October 29, 2020

If your deep Start Trek nerdom had you fantasizing about the Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager reading you some Pablo Neruda, you can thank Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight.

The poetry anthology, recently published by the University of Arizona Press, was featured on Planetary Radio, the Planetary Society’s weekly podcast brilliantly hosted by Mat Kaplan.

Beyond’s editors Julie Swarstad Johnson and Christopher Cokinos joined the podcast in what was truly a space-nerd delight with Picardo, of Star Trek: Voyager fame and a Planetary Society board member, reading a Pablo Neruda poem, as well as Bill Nye, Sasha Sagan, astronauts Nicole Stott and Leland Melvin, and others, all reading poems featured in the anthology celebrating poetry and outer space.

Listen to the podcast here, and revel further in the podcast and anthology getting some love from Daily Star Trek News–yes, Beyond Earth’s Edge is on the Federation’s radar! Read about it here. 🖖

AAA 2020: Browse Our Latest Anthropology Books, Discounts, and More

October 29, 2020

We are excited to be participating in the American Anthropological Association Raising Our Voices 2020 fall event series! As always, we are pleased to offer a conference discount. Use code AZAAA20 to receive 40% off all of our titles, and get free domestic shipping (good through 12/15/2020).

If you are participating in the virtual AAA event series, make sure to visit our virtual exhibit and chat with us. If you have questions about submitting a manuscript for our anthropology list, contact our senior editor Allyson Carter, Ph.D. at acarter@uapress.arizona.edu and view our guidelines here. To learn about requesting exam copies, visit here. We look forward to seeing all of you in person again in the future.

Taking us on a journey of remembering and rediscovery, anthropologist Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez shares important insights into his development as a scholar and in so doing the development of the interdisciplinary field of transborder anthropology.

We are thrilled to announce that Carlos Velez-Ibáñez is the recipient of the American Anthropological Association’s 2020 Franz Boas Award for Exemplary Service to Anthropology! This award is presented annually by the AAA to its members whose careers demonstrate extraordinary achievement that have well served the anthropological profession.

Read an excerpt from Reflections of a Transborder Anthropologist here.

Revitalization Lexicography is a unique look under the hood of lexicography in a small community, highlighting how the creation of the Tunica dictionary was intentionally leveraged to shape the revitalization of the Tunica language. Patricia M. Anderson details both the theoretical and the practical aspects that contributed to the Tunica dictionary in manner compelling to readers from all walks of life.

David Barton Bray has spent more than thirty years researching and studying Mexican community forest enterprises (CFEs). In Mexico’s Community Forest Enterprises he shares the scientific evidence for Mexico’s social and environmental achievements and how, in its most successful manifestations, it became a global model for common-property forest management, sustainable social-ecological systems, and climate change mitigation in developing countries.

Narrating Nature opens up dialogue that counters traditional conservation narratives. In this book, Mara J. Goldman offers conservation efforts that not only include people as beneficiaries but also demonstrate how they are essential and knowledgeable members of the conservation landscape itself.

The Prehispanic Ethnobotany of Paquimé and Its Neighbors is a major ethnobotanical study for the ancient U.S. Southwest and northwestern Mexico. The results reorient our perspective in the rise of one of the most impressive communities in the international region.

Check out some photos and field notes from the project here.

Based on prolonged engagement with this “virtuous” plant of southwestern Ethiopia, The Edible Gardens of Ethiopia provides a nuanced reading of the ensete ventricosum (avant-)garden and explores how the life in tiny, diverse, and womanly plots may indeed offers alternative visions of nature, food policy, and conservation efforts.

A Marriage Out West is an intimate biographical account of two fascinating figures of twentieth-century archaeology. Frances Theresa Peet Russell, an educator, married Harvard anthropologist Frank Russell in June 1900. They left immediately on a busman’s honeymoon to the Southwest. Their goal was twofold: to travel to an arid environment to quiet Frank’s tuberculosis and to find archaeological sites to support his research.

Chie Sakakibara shows how knots of connection came into being between humans and nonhuman others and how such intimate and intense relations will help humans survive the Anthropocene. Whale Snow offers an important and thought-provoking look at global climate change as it manifests in the everyday life of the Iñupiat in Arctic Alaska.

The Sovereign Street offers a rare look at political revolution as it happens, showing how mass street protest can change national political life.  It documents a critical period in twenty-first century Bolivia, when small-town protests made headlines worldwide, where a generation of pro-globalization policies were called into question, and where the indigenous majority stepped into government power for the first time in five centuries.

Listen to author Carwil Bjork-James discuss the topics in this book on the Howard Zinn Bookfair Podcast here.

The Global Spanish Empire tackles broad questions about indigenous cultural persistence, pluralism, and place making using a global comparative perspective grounded in the shared experience of Spanish colonialism. Through an expansive range of essays that look at Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific, this volume brings often-neglected regions into conversation.

Watch a virtual Amerind Foundation lecture with editors Christine D. Beaule and John G. Douglass here. Then, read a brief interview with the editors here.

Tewa Worlds offers an archaeological history of eight centuries of Tewa Pueblo history in the Rio Chama Valley through the lens of contemporary Pueblo philosophical and historical discourse. The result gives weight to the deep past, colonial encounters, and modern experiences. It challenges archaeologists to both critically reframe interpretation and to acknowledge the Tewa’s deep but ongoing connection with the land.

Language, Coffee, and Migration on an Andean-Amazonian Frontier takes us to remote Amazonian villages, dusty frontier towns, roadside bargaining sessions, and coffee traders’ homes to offer a new view of settlement frontiers as they are negotiated in linguistic interactions and social relationships. The book brings together a fine-grained analysis of multilingualism with urgent issues in Latin America today. It is a timely on-the-ground perspective on the agricultural colonization of the Amazon, which has triggered an environmental emergency threatening the future of the planet.

State Formation in the Liberal Era transforms our understanding of post-colonial Latin America. The volume spans disciplinary and geographic boundaries and offers an insightful look at the tensions between disparate circuits of capital, claims of statehood, and the contested nature of citizenship.

Despite its tiny size and seeming marginality to world affairs, the Central American republic of Costa Rica has long been considered an important site for experimentation in cutting-edge environmental policy. The Ecolaboratory frames Costa Rica as an “ecolaboratory” and asks what lessons we can learn for the future of environmental governance and sustainable development both within the country and elsewhere.

Fighting for Andean Resources offers a singular contribution to the literature critiquing monolithic views of nation-state dynamics and globalization. Vladimir R. Gil Ramón examines the protocols of accountability and the social critique of the application of environmental impact assessments and safeguard policies. His analysis reveals the complex mechanisms for legitimizing decision-making and adds to an understanding of everyday state-nation conflicts and negotiations.

More than a history of coveted commodities, the unique story that unfolds in John R. Gust and Jennifer P. Mathews’s new history Sugarcane and Rum is told through the lens of Maya laborers who worked under brutal conditions on small haciendas to harvest sugarcane and produce rum in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

Read an excerpt from the book here.

In the fifteen-year span from 1990 to 2005 uprisings of the indigenous peoples of Ecuador and Bolivia changed their societies forever. The combination of mass mobilization, elections, and indigenous socialism created a new form of twenty-first-century revolution that applies to cultures far beyond the Andes. In Indigenous Revolution in Ecuador and Bolivia, 1990-2005, Jeffrey M. Paige’s interviews present the powerful personal experiences and emotional intensity of the revolutionary leadership.

The second of a two-volume series, Moquis and Kastiilam tells the story of the encounter between the Hopis, who the Spaniards called Moquis, and the Spaniards, who the Hopis called Kastiilam, from the Pueblo Revolt through 1781. Balancing historical documents with oral histories, it creates a fresh perspective on the interface of Spanish and Hopi peoples in the period of missionization.

Video: Chicanx Studies Scholars and Teachers Discuss Anzaldúa in the Classroom

October 28, 2020

Editors Margaret Cantú-Sánchez, Candace de León-Zepeda, and Norma Elia Cantú, as well as several contributors of the new book, Teaching Gloria E. Anzaldúa: Pedagogy and Practice for Our Classrooms and Communities, came together on Thursday, October 22, in an online panel to discuss this volume’s practical and inspiring ways to deploy Anzaldúa’s transformative theories with real and meaningful action.

The event, also livestreamed on the University of Arizona Press Facebook, was not only a celebration of Anzaldúa and scholarship, but brought together an audience of students, community, and other Chicanx Studies scholars. We are grateful to the editors and contributors for sharing their time.

Teaching Gloria E. Anzaldúa is a pragmatic and inspiring offering of how to apply Anzaldúa’s ideas to the classroom and in the community rather than simply discussing them as theory. The book gathers nineteen essays by scholars, activists, teachers, and professors who share how their first-hand use of Anzaldúa’s theories in their classrooms and community environments.

Watch: Community Histories with Josie Méndez-Negrete and Lorena V. Márquez

October 21, 2020

Authors Josie Méndez-Negrete and Lorena V. Márquez discussed the community and activist histories of San Jose and Sacramento, California as part of a virtual book release celebration on Thrusday, October 15.

La Gente: Struggles for Empowerment and Community Self-Determination in Sacramento by Márquez, traces the rise of the Chicana/o Movement in Sacramento and the role of everyday people in galvanizing a collective to seek lasting and transformative change during the 1960s and 1970s.

Méndez-Negrete’s Activist Leaders of San José: En sus propias voces, narrates how parents—both mothers and fathers—were inspired to work for the rights of their people. Workers’ and education rights were at the core, but they also took on the elimination of at-large elections to open city politics, labor rights, domestic abuse, and health care.

‘Beyond Earth’s Edge’ Co-Editor Celebrates Cosmic Life in LA Times’ Op-Ed

October 20, 2020

Christopher Cokinos, co-editor of Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight, reveled in science’s recent discovered of phospine in the clouds of Venus, a sign that may signal life in a recent Op-Ed published by the Los Angeles Times.

From the op-ed:

“It means that life arose more than once in our backwater solar system. It means that life is common, and its tenacity is cosmic. For me, that puts our struggles in a grand context. Not by way of diminishing the hard work of problem-solving that faces us. Rather, the possibility that swaths of airborne microbes are going about their business in the skies above Venus reminds me that life finds a way. We can find our way too.”

Read the entire op-ed here.

Beyond Earth’s Edge, co-edited by Cokinos and Julie Swarstad Johnson (Editor), Christopher Cokinos, is a trailblazing anthology of poetry that spans from the dawn of the space age to the imagined futures of the universe. The anthology offers a fascinating record of both national mindsets and private perspectives as poets grapple with the promise and peril of U.S. space exploration across decades and into the present.

Watch: Poets, Editors, & Flandrau Celebrate ‘Beyond Earth’s Edge’

October 19, 2020

Under the dome of the Flandrau Science Center‘s planetarium, co-editors Julie Swarstad Johnson and Christopher Cokinos introduced a virtual audience to Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight, a poetry anthology that celebrates spaceflight and vividly captures the violence of blastoff, the wonders seen by Hubble, and the trajectories of exploration to Mars and beyond through a wide array of lyric celebrations, somber meditations, accessible narratives, concrete poems, and new forms of science fiction.

During the virtual event, Swarstad Johnson and Cokinos social distanced aptly in the planetarium, reading sections of the book and explaining their own passions for space. Between their discussions, video clips were shown of contemporary poets.

Poets featured: Frank Paino, Forrest Gander reading his translation of Pablo Neruda, Alyse Bensel, Donna Kane, Dan Beachy-Quick reading a collaboration written with Srikanth Reddy, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Kyle Dargan, Tawahum Justin Bige, and C. S. E. Cooney.

Heartfelt thanks to the team at Flandrau for co-hosting this remarkable event, and to the book’s editors, for sharing their time with us to celebrate the wonders of space—through poetry.

Watch: Educators for Anti-Racism Interview ‘La Gente’ Author

October 16, 2020

University of Arizona Press author Lorena V. Márquez, was recently interviewed by Educators for Anti-Racism about her work and new book La Gente: Struggles for Empowerment and Community Self-Determination in Sacramento.

The grass-roots organization is committed to anti-racist and abolitionist teaching principles with the mission to learn, connect, and contribute. From their website: ‘You can learn by watching videos from our Anti-Racism conference and a soon to come video series of anti-racism conversations. You can connect by discussing the lessons in the comments section, or joining one of the groups listed on our website. You can contribute by sending us anti-racism lessons or resources. Visit us at www.edantiracism.com.”

Márquez’s book La Gente traces the rise of the Chicana/o Movement in Sacramento and the role of everyday people in galvanizing a collective to seek lasting and transformative change during the 1960s and 1970s. In their efforts to be self-determined, la gente contested multiple forms of oppression at school, at work sites, and in their communities.

Cultivate Community with Our Latest Latinx and Chicanx Studies Books

October 13, 2020

At the University of Arizona Press, we have published a wide range of books that celebrate Latinx and Chicanx communities, document community histories, and record the histories and lives of civil rights movements and activists. We want to share our most recent community and activism-focused titles with you, and invite you to use the discount code AZCOMMUNITY20 for 35% off these titles through 11/15/2020.

La Gente traces the rise of the Chicana/o Movement in Sacramento and the role of everyday people in galvanizing a collective to seek lasting and transformative change during the 1960s and 1970s. In their efforts to be self-determined, la gente contested multiple forms of oppression at school, at work sites, and in their communities.

On Thursday, October 15, 2020 join University of Arizona Press authors Josie Méndez-Negrete and Lorena V. Márquez for a virtual discussion on their recent University of Arizona Press books that focus on community and activist histories in San Jose and Sacramento, California. This event is currently full, but watch our website to see a recording of the event in coming days.

Challenging stereotypes, Activist Leaders of San José by Josie Méndez-Negrete book unearths and makes visible lived experiences of Chicana and Latino activists from San José, California, who made contributions to the cultural and civic life of the city. Through oral histories, we see a portrait of grassroots leadership in the twentieth century.

Don’t forget to check out the event mentioned above!

Cultura y Corazón is a cultural approach to research that requires a long-term commitment to community-based and engaged research methodologies. This book presents case studies in the fields of education and health that recognize and integrate communities’ values, culture, and funds of knowledge in the research process.

Teaching Gloria E. Anzaldúa provides pedagogical applications of Anzaldúa’s noted theories, including la facultad, the path of conocimiento, and autohistoria, among others. This text provides examples, lesson plans, and activities for scholars, professors, teachers, and community members in various disciplines—such as history, composition, literature, speech and debate, and more—and for those interested in teaching the theories of Gloria Anzaldúa.

On Thursday, October 22, 2020 we are hosting an event with the editors of this book! Registration is currently full, but be sure to check back on our website for a recording of the event. Listen to a recording of Gloria reading some of her uncollected and unpublished poems here.

Colonial Legacies in Chicana/o Literature and Culture traces the development of Chicana/o literature and cultural production from the Spanish colonial period to the present. In doing so, it challenges us to look critically at how we simultaneously embody colonial constructs and challenge their legacies.

Listen to an NPR interview with author Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez here. Then, read an excerpt from the book here.

With unity of heart and mind, the creative and the scholarly, Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities opens wide its arms to all non-binary, decolonial masculinities today to grow a stronger, resilient, and more compassionate new generation of Latinxs tomorrow.

Listen to Frederick Luis Aldama talk about the book on the New Books Network podcast here, then read an interview with editors Arturo J. Aldama and Frederick Luis Aldama here. On Thursday, October 22, 2020, there will be a virtual book release celebration for Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities. Register here.

Advocating for and demonstrating the importance of an intersectional, multidisciplinary, activist understanding of Chicanas, Intersectional Chicana Feminisms provides a much-needed overview of the key theories, thinkers, and activists that have contributed to Chicana feminisms.

“Hurtado once again offers a brilliant analysis of Chicana feminisms that is historically situated and honors the legacies of early Chicana feminists. She advocates for and demonstrates the importance of an intersectional, multidisciplinary, and activist understanding of Chicanas.”—Yvette G. Flores, author of Chicana and Chicano Mental Health: Alma, Mente y Corazón

Reclaiming and reconstructing one’s spirituality based on non-Western epistemologies is central to the process of decolonization. Voices from the Ancestors brings together reflective writings and spiritual practices by Chicanx, Latinx, and Afro-Latinx womxn and male allies in the United States who seek to heal from the historical traumas of colonization by returning to ancestral traditions and knowledge.

Watch a recording of an incredible panel with the editors and some of the contributors of this book here.

Yolqui, a Warrior Summoned From the Spirit World is a testimonio, a historia profoundo of the culture of extralegal violence against the Red-Black-Brown communities in the United States that operates with impunity. Framed by Roberto Cintli Rodríguez’s personal testimony of police violence, this book is a clarion call to end that violence and those philosophies that permit such violence to flourish.

Read about and view photos from a book release event for Yolqui here, and read about and view photos from a panel that features this author here.

The Chicana M(other)work Anthology is a call to action for justice within and outside academia. This volume brings together emerging scholarship and testimonios by and about self-identified Chicana and Women of Color mother-scholars, activists, and allies who, using an intersectional lens, center mothering as transformative labor.

Read an excerpt from the book here, and read about the Feminist Wire book series here.

Chicano Communists and the Struggle for Social Justice traces the early roots of the Chicano Movement. It follows the thread of radical activism of the 1930s and 1940s to today, showing thedepth of its influence on Mexican Americans struggling to achieve social justice and equality. 

“Buelna’s book adds another layer to our understanding of American communism at mid-century, as well as the labor fight, community, and race.”–R.D. Screws, Choice Reviews

Listen to a book review of Chicano Communists and the Struggle for Social Justice on Buelna News here.

The first of its kind, Community-Based Participatory Research: Testimonios from Chicana/o Studies is a trailblazing collection of personal testimonies that showcase how understandings of community empowerment are incomplete as they have dismissed the variety of ways communities themselves have created social change strategies. In first-person accounts, Chicana/o researchers share their experience doing community-based participatory research (CBPR) praxis to illustrate its complexity and how it might be implemented to create sustainable change and community empowerment.

Food Fight! contributes to urgent discussions around the problems of cultural misappropriation, labeling, identity, and imaging in marketing and dining establishments. Not just about food, restaurants, and coffee, this volume employs a decolonial approach and engaging voice to interrogate ways that mestizo, Indigenous, and Latinx peoples are objectified in mainstream ideology and imaginary. 

“Every essay will fill a reader—millennial mestizo or just plain old Chicano—with joyous smiles at the zingers. Advertencia! This book is not one for idle consumption, it’s not fast food. Paloma Martinez-Cruz dishes up a scholarly dissertation of substantial complexity with a heaping portion of humor, verbal sleight-of-hand, and barely-restrained ire.”—La Bloga

Silviana Wood’s teatro has elicited tears and laughter from audiences young and old. Barrio Dreams brings together for the first time the plays of Wood, one of Arizona’s foremost playwrights. Wood is acclaimed locally, regionally, and nationally as a playwright, actor, director, and activist.

We are excited that the Borderlands Theater in Tucson, Arizona will be hosting two events to honor the lifetime achievements of Silviana Wood. On Saturday, Oct. 17, 7 p.m., there will be a virtual reading of Wood’s play Amor de Hijua, live-streamed on Borderlands Theater’s Facebook and YouTube pages. On Tuesday, Oct. 20 – 6 p.m., A Tribute to Silviana Wood, will be live-streamed on Borderlands Theater’s Facebook and YouTube pages. You can also listen to Silviana Wood on a New Books Network podcast here.

Watch TFOB’s Virtual Event with Carolyn Niethammer & ‘The Desert Feast’

October 12, 2020

Tucson Festival of Books’ virtual series Authors in Conversation, recently featured University of Arizona Press author, Carolyn Niethammer and her new book, The Desert Feast: Celebrating Tucson’s Culinary Heritage.

The Wednesday, October 7 event, moderated by Arizona Daily Star and #ThisIsTucson food writer Andi Berlin, covered topics in Niethammer’s book that tell the story of why Tucson became American’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy.

A Desert Feast offers a food pilgrimage with color photos, stories and, recipes. You’ll meet the farmers, small-scale food entrepreneurs, and chefs who are dedicated to making Tucson taste like nowhere else.

If you didn’t have a chance to tune in, check out the conversation here.

WHA 2020: Browse Our Latest Books, Discounts, and More

October 9, 2020

We are excited to be participating in the first virtual Western History Association conference! As always, we are pleased to offer a conference discount. Use code AZWHA20 to receive 40% off all titles, and get free shipping.

If you are participating in the virtual WHA, make sure to visit our virtual exhibit and chat with us. If you have questions about submitting a manuscript for our history list, contact our editor-in-chief Kristen Buckles at kbuckles@uapress.arizona.edu and view our guidelines here. To learn about requesting exam copies, visit here. We look forward to seeing all of you in person again in the future.

La Raza Cosmética by Natasha Varner examines postrevolutionary identity construction as a project of settler colonialism that at once appropriated and erased indigeneity. In its critique of Indigenous representation, it also shows how Indigenous women strategically engaged with and resisted these projects as they played out in beauty pageants, films, tourism, art, and other realms of popular culture.

Colonial Legacies in Chicana/o Literature and Culture by Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez traces the development of Chicana/o literature and cultural production from the Spanish colonial period to the present. In doing so, it challenges us to look critically at how we simultaneously embody colonial constructs and challenge their legacies.

Listen to the author discuss the topics in this book on an NPR podcast here, then read an excerpt from the book here.

La Gente by Lorena V. Márquez traces the rise of the Chicana/o Movement in Sacramento and the role of everyday people in galvanizing a collective to seek lasting and transformative change during the 1960s and 1970s. In their efforts to be self-determined, la gente contested multiple forms of oppression at school, at work sites, and in their communities.

Watch an interview with the author here, and join the waitlist for an upcoming event featuring the author here.

Informed by personal experience and offering an inclusive view, Diné Identity in a Twenty-First-Century World by Lloyd L. Lee showcases the complexity of understanding and the richness of current Diné identities.

Watch a conversation with Lloyd Lee here.

A Marriage Out West is an intimate biographical account of two fascinating figures of twentieth-century archaeology. Frances Theresa Peet Russell, an educator, married Harvard anthropologist Frank Russell in June 1900. They left immediately on a busman’s honeymoon to the Southwest. Their goal was twofold: to travel to an arid environment to quiet Frank’s tuberculosis and to find archaeological sites to support his research.

Learn how to register for a program featuring the authors, Nancy J. Parezo and Don D. Fowler, here.

Challenging stereotypes, Activist Leaders of San José by Josie Méndez-Negrete unearths and makes visible lived experiences of Chicana and Latino activists from San José, California, who made contributions to the cultural and civic life of the city. Through oral histories, we see a portrait of grassroots leadership in the twentieth century.

Join the waitlist for an upcoming event that features this author here.

In North American Borders in Comparative Perspective leading scholars provide a contemporary analysis of how globalization and security imperatives have redefined the shared border regions of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Watch an interview with the editors, Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera and Victor Konrad here.

State Formation in the Liberal Era transforms our understanding of post-colonial Latin America. The volume spans disciplinary and geographic boundaries and offers an insightful look at the tensions between disparate circuits of capital, claims of statehood, and the contested nature of citizenship.

This anthology offers a unique and sweeping view of the nation’s fire scene by distilling observations on Florida, California, the Northern Rockies, the Great Plains, the Southwest, the Interior West, the Northeast, Alaska, the oak woodlands, and the Pacific Northwest into a single, readable volume. The essays offer a color-commentary companion to the play-by-play narrative offered in Pyne’s Between Two Fires: A Fire History of Contemporary America.

To the Last Smoke is Stephen J. Pyne’s way of “keeping with it to the end,” encompassing the directive from his rookie season as a wildland firefighter to stay with every fire “to the last smoke.”

Watch Stephen Pyne talk about his To the Last Smoke series here, and read an excerpt from the book here. Then, read Pyne’s recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times here.

Binational Commons focuses on whether the institutions that presently govern the U.S.-Mexico transborder space are effective in providing solutions to difficult binational problems as they manifest themselves in the borderlands. The volume addresses key binational issues and explores where there are strong levels of institutional governance development, where it is failing, how governance mechanisms have evolved over time, and what can be done to improve it to meet the needs of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands in the next decades.

Learn how to register for a lecture featuring the editors, Tony Payan and Pamela L. Cruz, here.

Soldiers, Saints, and Shamans by Nathaniel Morris documents how and why the Indigenous Náayari, Wixárika, O’dam, and Mexicanero peoples took part in the Mexican Revolution as they struggled to preserve their cultures, lands, and political autonomy in the face of civil war, bandit raids, and radical political reform. In unpacking the ambiguities that characterize their participation in this tumultuous period, it sheds light on the inner contradictions of the revolution itself.

The second of a two-volume series, Moquis and Kastiilam tells the story of the encounter between the Hopis, who the Spaniards called Moquis, and the Spaniards, who the Hopis called Kastiilam, from the Pueblo Revolt through 1781. Balancing historical documents with oral histories, it creates a fresh perspective on the interface of Spanish and Hopi peoples in the period of missionization.

The book explores the ongoing effects of colonization and emphasizes Native American tribes as governments rather than ethnic minorities. Combining elements of legal issues, human rights issues, and sovereignty issues, Indigenous Environmental Justice creates a clear example of community resilience in the face of corporate greed and state indifference.

This volume of the Indigenous Justice series explores the global effects of marginalizing Indigenous law. The essays in Traditional, National, and International Law and Indigenous Communities argue that European-based law has been used to force Indigenous peoples to assimilate, has politically disenfranchised Indigenous communities, and has destroyed traditional Indigenous social institutions. The research in this volume focuses on the resurgence of traditional law, tribal–state relations in the United States, laws that have impacted Native American women, laws that have failed to protect Indigenous sacred sites, the effect of international conventions on domestic laws, and the role of community justice organizations in operationalizing international law.

Narratives of Persistence charts the remarkable persistence of California’s Ohlone and Paipai people over the past five centuries. Lee M. Panich draws connections between the events and processes of the deeper past and the way the Ohlone and Paipai today understand their own histories and identities.

Read an interview with the author here.

Horsefly Dress is a meditation on the experience and beauty of suffering. Rich in the imagery of autumnal foliage, migrating birds, and frozen landscapes, Heather Cahoon’s collection calls forth the sensory experience of grief and metamorphosis. The transformative powers associated with the human experience of loss belong to the past, present, and future, as do the traditional Salish-Pend d’Oreille stories that create the backbone of these intricate poems.

Watch a virtual book release recording of Heather here, and read a short interview with her here.

Watch: Heather Cahoon on ‘Horsefly Dress,’ Sovereignty, and Writing Life

October 6, 2020

On Thursday, October 1, Heather Cahoon read from her new collection, Horsefly Dress, during a virtual book release celebration co-hosted by Fact & Fiction Books in Missoula, Montana, Birchbark Books and Native Arts in Minneapolis, and the University of Arizona Press.

In Horsefly Dress, Cahoon weaves together stories in her poems of family and tribal community with those of Coyote and his family, especially Coyote’s daughter, Horsefly Dress, the interactions and shared experiences show the continued relevance of traditional Séliš and Qĺispé culture to contemporary life.

The book release celebration, moderated by Savannah Hicks, University of Arizona Press marketing assistant, ended with a Q&A, asking Cahoon to follow-up on writing life, her poetry, and oral tradition.

Big thanks to co-hosts Fact & Fiction Books, and Birchbark Books and Native Arts. You can still order Horsefly Dress at either independent bookstore—Fact & Fiction and Birchbark.

Borderlands Theater Honors Lifetime Achievements of Silviana Wood

October 5, 2020

Borderlands Theater in Tucson, Arizona will honor dramatist Silviana Wood with two special events. The University of Arizona Press published a collection of Wood’s plays, Barrio Dreams, edited by Norma Elia Cantú and Rita E. Urquijo-Ruiz.

On Saturday, Oct. 17, 7 p.m., there will be a virtual reading of Wood’s play Amor de Hijua, live-streamed on Borderlands Theater’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

Amor de Hijua is a drama about four generations in a working class family set in Arizona. When Consuelo’s father dies her mother, Doña Cuquita, rapidly deteriorates turning Consuelo’s world upside down as she is pulled between taking care of her mother and the needs of her own family.

On Tuesday, Oct. 20 – 6 p.m., A Tribute to Silviana Wood, will be live-streamed on Borderlands Theater’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

The tribute features Tucson elders who recount oral histories and discuss the life and achievements of Wood as playwright, performer, and culture bearer, within the context of the Chicano resistance movement in Tucson. 

The event is hosted by Borderlands Theater’s Veronica Conran and features historian and community organizer, Lupe Castillo; community organizers Ramona Grijalva and Annie Lopez; Borderlands Theater founder and Teatro Libertad member, Barclay Goldsmith; Teatro Libertad members, Teresa Jones, Arturo Martinez, and Francisco Medina; Mujeres que Escriben co-founder, Valerina Quintana; and of course, guest of honor, Silviana Wood. 

From Borderlands:

A writer, activist, performer, teacher, single mother, and in many ways, folklorist of the Mexican-American border culture of Southern Arizona, Silviana Wood is the first and only Chicana from Arizona to have a published anthology of her plays. Her mastery of code-switching in the barrio vernacular known as caló – a dynamic mixing of Spanish, English, and Spanglish – can only be compared to the African-American vernacular in the plays of August Wilson. Her wit and word play rivals that of legendary Mexican performers Cantinflas and Tin Tan. Addressing issues of social justice, linguistic marginalization, oppression, class, gender and sexuality, the dramatic works of Silviana Wood resonate as much today as when they were first written and produced.

Blast Off Into Space With Our Books

September 24, 2020

We are the proud publishers of a wide range of space science titles that inspire wonder and allow readers to delve into the universe. With poetry, art, photographs, history, and beyond, our space-centered books are out of this world! Through 11/1/2020, enjoy a 35% discount on all of our space titles when you use the code AZOUTERSPACE20 at checkout.

Beyond Earth’s Edge vividly captures through poetry the violence of blastoff, the wonders seen by Hubble, and the trajectories of exploration to Mars and beyond. The anthology offers a fascinating record of both national mindsets and private perspectives as poets grapple with the promise and peril of U.S. space exploration across decades and into the present.

Attend our virtual book release event for Beyond Earth’s Edge on October 8, 2020 at 7:00 P.M. MST! This free event will be co-hosted by the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium. Register here!

“Only two of the contributors to this soaring, adroitly curated anthology actually traveled in space, but nothing stops the rest of them from vaulting skyward on a pillar of words, with a potent gravity-assist from their emotions.”—Dava Sobel, author of Galileo’s Daughter and The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars

Planetary Astrobiology represents the combined efforts of more than seventy-five international experts consolidated into twenty chapters and provides an accessible, interdisciplinary gateway for new students and seasoned researchers who wish to learn more about this expanding field. Readers are brought to the frontiers of knowledge in astrobiology via results from the exploration of our own solar system and exoplanetary systems.

Explore other titles in our Space Sciences Series here.

In Gerard P. Kuiper and the Rise of Modern Planetary Science, Derek W. G. Sears describes the life of a man who lived through some of the most dramatic events of the twentieth century and ended up creating a new field of scientific research, planetary science. As NASA and other space agencies explore the solar system, they take with them many of the ideas and concepts first described by Gerard P. Kuiper.

We are so thrilled that Gerard P. Kuiper and the Rise of Modern Planetary Science won a Foreword Indies Award! Read an excerpt from the book here.

In Discovering Pluto, Dale P. Cruikshank and William Sheehan recount the grand story of our unfolding knowledge and exploration of Pluto, its moons, and the outer Solar System. They explain the efforts of scientists, mathematicians, and researchers over the centuries to understand the outer Solar System, leading to the discovery and detailed exploration of Pluto as the premier body in the Kuiper Belt, the so-called third zone of our Solar System.

Read five questions with William Sheehan here, and read the Wall Street Journal review of the book here.

The most outstanding and uniquely curated selection of Mars orbital images ever assembled in one volume. With explanatory captions in twenty-four languages and a gallery of more than 200 images, Mars: The Pristine Beauty of the Red Planet brings a timely and clear look at the work of an active NASA mission.

“For scientists, this book may be a record of Martian geology, history, and even a search for possible future landing sites, while astronomy enthusiasts will find a snapshot of our current scientific understanding of the planet. Dreamers will use it as a tool for a journey through time and space.”—Sky at Night Magazine

Under Desert Skies describes how a small lunar- and planetary-focused laboratory at the University of Arizona forged the field of planetary science at a time when few people studied the solar system. Spanning six decades, the book records the stories of the scientists who, with telescopes and spacecraft, transformed single points of lights into worlds that we can see, touch, study, and compare to Earth.

“A fascinating story of how a small university department became a major powerhouse in our exploration of the solar system, and of how our knowledge of the solar system blossomed with the space age.” —Derek Sears, Space Science and Astrobiology Division, NASA Ames Research Center

Human Spaceflight lays out a new model for the future of humans in space, where robotic technologies extend human presence beyond the solar system. Louis Friedman argues for settlement of Mars, serving as a base for humans to explore the rest of the universe with an expanding arsenal of technology.

“Most books about our future in space are written by dreamers. But Human Spaceflight: From Mars to the Stars is written by an aerospace engineer, Dr. Louis Friedman, who details exactly how exploration needs to unfold if our species is to value it at all.”—Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist, American Museum of Natural History

Earth and Mars relates the life story of two planets, celestial siblings in space. The book is a fusion of art and science, a blend of images and essays celebrating the successful creation of our life-sustaining planet. A collection of simple and profoundly beautiful forms, Earth and Mars provides a context to appreciate the common forces responsible for these haunting shapes as well as the divergent paths that led to an Earth teeming with life-forms, while its sibling, Mars, is seemingly devoid of all life.

Academy of American Poets Announces 2020 Ambroggio Prize Recipient

September 23, 2020

The Academy of American Poets announced today the winners of the 2020 American Poets Prizes, including the Ambroggio Prize.

In May 2020, the Academy and the University of Arizona Press announced a new partnership. Beginning this year, recipients of the Academy of American Poets’ Ambroggio Prize will have their winning manuscript published in Spanish with the English translation by Press. The Ambroggio Prize is a $1,000 publication award given for a book-length poetry manuscript originally written in Spanish with an English translation.

The 2020 Ambroggio Prize recipient is Mara Pastor’s Deuda Natal/Natal Debt, which will be published by the Press in its fall 2021 season. The 2019 Ambroggio Prize recipient, Gloria Muñoz’s Danzirly, will be published by the Press in the spring 2021 season.

From the Academy:

MARA PASTOR‘s Deuda Natal / Natal Debt, co-translated by MARÍA JOSÉ GIMÉNEZ and ANNA ROSENWONG, has won the AMBROGGIO PRIZE, which is a $1,000 publication prize given for a book-length poetry manuscript originally written in Spanish and with an English translation. The winning manuscript is published by the University of Arizona Press, a nationally recognized publisher of award-winning works of emerging and established voices in Latinx and Indigenous literature, as well as groundbreaking scholarship in Latinx and Indigenous studies. Established in 2017, the Ambroggio Prize is the only annual award of its kind in the United States that honors American poets whose first language is Spanish. This year’s judge was Pablo F. Medina.

Mara Pastor is a leading Puerto Rican poet, editor, and scholar. She has authored six full-length poetry books in Spanish as well as the bilingual chapbooks As Though the Wound Had Heard (Cardboard House Press, 2017), translated by María José Giménez, and Children of Another Hour (Argos Books, 2014), translated by Noel Black. Her latest book, Natal Debt, translated by María José Giménez and Anna Rosenwong, was selected for the 2020 Ambroggio Prize and is forthcoming from The University of Arizona Press in 2021. Her work has appeared in journals such as The Puerto Rico Review, The Common, The Offing, Connotation Press, Latin American Literature Today and Seedings. She is an Associate Professor of Spanish at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce.

María José Giménez is a poet, translator, and editor whose work has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Studios at MASS MoCA, the Breadloaf Translators’ Conference, Canada Council for the Arts, and Banff International Literary Translators’ Centre. Assistant translation editor of Anomaly and a former Board member of the American Literary Translators Association, Giménez works between English and Spanish, and from the French, and is the translator of Tilting at Mountains by Edurne Pasaban (Mountaineers Books, 2014), the novel Red, Yellow, Green by Alejandro Saravia (Biblioasis, 2017), and the chapbook As Though The Wound Had Heard  by Mara Pastor (Cardboard House Press, 2017). Her translated and creative work is featured at The Brooklyn Rail, Lunch Ticket, The Common, Prelude, Asymptote, and elsewhere, and in the anthologies Aftermath: Explorations of Loss & Grief (Radix Media, 2018), Cloudburst: An Anthology of Hispanic Canadian Short Stories (University of Ottawa Press, 2013), and Cuentos de nuestra palabra en Canadá: Primera hornada (Editorial nuestra palabra, 2009). Among other awards and honors, Giménez has been named the 2019–2021 Poet Laureate of Easthampton, Massachusetts.

Anna Rosenwong is a translator and editor. Her publications include Rocío Cerón’s Diorama (Phoneme Media, 2014), winner of the Best Translated Book Award, and here the sun’s for real (Autumn Hill Books, 2018), selected translations of José Eugenio Sánchez. She has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Banff International Literary Translation Centre, the University of Iowa, and the American Literary Translators Association. Her scholarly and creative work has been featured in such venues as World Literature Today, The Kenyon Review, and Modern Poetry Today.

About Pastor’s winning manuscript, judge Pablo F. Medina said: “Deuda natal es un libro de una sencillez y una profundidad extraordinarias. Busca y (re)busca muchas verdades y las encuentra no en valores absolutos, sino en los quehaceres diarios–el hogar, el amor romántico y maternal, los caminos que dan al mar y el ir y venir de la migración, mundo en que vivimos muchos de nosotros. Deuda natal es un libro para todos los que vienen, los que van y los que permanecen. / Natal Debt is a book of extraordinary simplicity and depth. It searches and (re)searches many truths and finds them, not in absolute values, but in the objects and acts of daily life: the home, romantic and maternal love, the roads that lead to the sea, and the comings and goings of migration, a world many of us inhabit. Natal Debt is a book for everyone, those who come, those who go, and those who stay.”

Read the Academy’s entire announcement here.

We Love the Southwest, Explore it Through Our Books!

September 18, 2020

At the University of Arizona Press, we have a long history of celebrating and adoring the southwest. A truly special region filled with unique flora and fauna, food, and traditions, we want to highlight some of our titles that explore our local Sonoran desert and beyond. Use the code AZSOUTHWEST20 for 35% off the titles mentioned in this post until 9/30/2020!

A Desert Feast offers a food pilgrimage, where stories and recipes demonstrate why the desert city of Tucson became American’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy. You’ll meet the farmers, small-scale food entrepreneurs, and chefs who are dedicated to making Tucson taste like nowhere else.

Watch a video about the book here. Osher Lifelong Learning Institute will feature Carolyn Niethammer as part of their fall speaker series on Monday, September 21, 2020. Other events to watch for include Carolyn’s appearance on the Tucson Festival of Books Authors in Conversation series on October 7, 2020, and a virtual book release event on December 2, 2020. Make sure to register for these events!

Coming soon— preorder now!

The desert inspires wonder. Attending to history, culture, science, and spirit, The Nature of Desert Nature celebrates the bounty and the significance of desert places. Gary Paul Nabhan invites a prism of voices—friends, colleagues, and advisors from his more than four decades of study of deserts—to bring their own perspectives. Scientists, artists, desert contemplatives, poets, and writers bring the desert into view and investigate why these places compel us to walk through their sands and beneath their cacti and acacia. We observe the spines and spears, stings and songs of the desert anew. Unexpected. Surprising. Enchanting. Like the desert itself, each essay offers renewed vocabulary and thoughtful perceptions.

Keep an eye out for these upcoming events! Gary Paul Nabhan and Francisco Cantú will be featured on the Tucson Festival of Books Authors in Conversation series on November 18, 2020, and on December 9, 2020, as part of its ongoing lecture series, the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill will host a virtual book release celebration for The Nature of Desert Nature, edited by Gary Paul Nabhan. Make sure you register for these events!

The saguaro, with its great size and characteristic shape, has become the emblem of the Sonoran Desert of southwestern Arizona and northwestern Mexico. The Saguaro Cactus offers a complete natural history of this enduring cactus, the largest and tallest in the United States. From its role in Sonoran Desert ecology, to its adaptations to the desert climate, to its sacred place in Indigenous culture, this book offers a definitive source on a distinguished desert plant.

The Southwest Center is launching a new event series titled Food for Thought with David Yetman and Chef Janos Wilder. David Yetman will be featured on the program on October 9, 2020. Click here to learn more! Read an excerpt from the book here.

In Saints, Statues, and Stories, beloved folklorist James S. Griffith introduces us to the roadside shrines, artists, fiestas, saints, and miracles of northern Mexico. Full-color images add to the pleasure of this delightful journey through the churches and towns of Sonora.

Watch a video about author James “Big Jim” Griffith here, and see some lovely photos we took at our book release party last fall here. We are thrilled that Saints, Statues, and Stories was honored as a Southwest Book of the Year!

Daniel D. Arreola’s Postcards from the Chihuahua Border is a colorful and dynamic visual history of Mexico’s northern border. Drawing on more than three decades of archival work, Arreola invites the reader to time travel, to revisit another era—the first half of the last century—when the border towns of Ciudad Juárez, Ojinaga, and Palomas were framed and made popular through picture postcards.

Read an excerpt from the book here.

Through twenty individual stories, Voices from Bears Ears captures the passions of the debate that led to the creation of Bears Ears National Monument, a land of unsurpassed natural beauty and deep historical significance. The story of this place reflects the cultural crosscurrents that roil our times: maintaining tradition and culture in the face of change, healing the pain of past injustices, creating shared futures, and protecting and preserving lands for future generations.

Published in 1986, Blue Desert was Charles Bowden’s third book-length work and takes place almost entirely in Arizona, revealing Bowden’s growing and intense preoccupation with the state and what it represented as a symbol of America’s “New West.” With a thoughtful new foreword by Francisco Cantú, Blue Desert is a critical piece of Bowden’s oeuvre.

Read about Charles Bowden and Blue Desert in Harper’s Magazine here, and read a brief reflection on Blue Desert here.

When first published in 1987, Frog Mountain Blues documented the creeping sprawl of new development up the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Today, that development is fully visible, but Charles Bowden’s prescience to preserve and protect a sacred recreational space remains as vivid as ever. Accompanied by Jack W. Dykinga’s photographs from the original work, this book conveys the natural beauty of the Catalinas and warns readers that this unique wilderness could easily be lost.

“A beautifully written, handsomely illustrated love poem to a mountain range that has the fatal curse of being not merely too awesome in its beauty for its own good but, worse, too accessible to man.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review

The Mojave Desert has a rich natural history. Despite being sandwiched between the larger Great Basin and Sonoran Deserts, it has enough mountains, valleys, canyons, and playas for any eager explorer. A Natural History of the Mojave Desert shares how the geology, geography, climate, and organisms, including humans, have shaped and been shaped by this fascinating desert.

Read an excerpt from the book here. We are thrilled that A Natural History of the Mojave Desert was selected as a Southwest Book of the Year!

No Species Is an Island describes the surprising results of Theodore H. Fleming’s eleven-year study of pollination biology in Sonora, Mexico, in the most biologically diverse desert in the world. These discoveries serve as a primer on how to conduct ecological research, and offer important conservation lessons for us all. Fleming offers an insightful look at how field ecologists work, and the often big surprises that come from looking carefully at a natural world where no species stands alone.

Read an excerpt from the book selected by the Arizona Daily Star here.

Between 1900 and the late 1950s, Mexican border towns came of age both as centers of commerce and as tourist destinations. Postcards from the Sonora Border reveals how images—in this case the iconic postcard—shape the way we experience and think about place. Making use of his personal collection of historic images, Daniel D. Arreola captures the evolution of Sonoran border towns, creating a sense of visual “time travel” for the reader. Supported by maps and visual imagery, the author shares the geographical and historical story of five unique border towns—Agua Prieta, Naco, Nogales, Sonoyta, and San Luis Río Colorado.

Excerpt: Reflections from Transborder Anthropologist Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez

September 16, 2020

In his new book Reflections of a Transborder Anthropologist, Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez explores his development as a scholar and in so doing the development of the interdisciplinary fields of transborder and applied anthropology. He shows us his path through anthropology as both a theoretical and an applied anthropologist whose work has strongly influenced borderlands and applied research. Importantly, he explains the underlying, often hidden process that led to his long insistence on making a difference in lives of people of Mexican origin on both sides of the border and to contribute to a “People with Histories.” Today we share an excerpt from this important new book:

We carried into anthropology departments a penchant for looking at our own or culturally equivalent populations. We entered graduate departments despite our unease with most anthropologically oriented works, learned earlier from the pointed critical analysis by Octavio Ignacio Romano-V in his series of articles (1968, 1969a, 1969b). Anthropology had long believed that fieldwork demanded complete divorce from the anthropologist’s own cultural baggage and that an anthropologist must spend at least a year in the field becoming totally absorbed and immersed in the “new” culture and learning the language.

Most of us didn’t need a year to learn the language, we only needed to renew it. We felt for the most part that the global processes since World War II did not allow for the idea of pristine peoples; also, we strongly felt our own discontent with the loss of land, language, and expectations of relations, and with American educational institutions’ strong insistence on replacing the abhorrent identity of “Mexican.” The term was associated basically with impurity of racial mixing, low IQ and great brawn, and a predilection for not delaying gratification, favoring partying, fiestas, and merriment at the expense of education, learning, and planning for the future.

Many of us had observed our parents working two jobs, fighting in wars— with some not returning— and, of those who remained, achieving when they should not have been able to do so. We also observed and participated in thick networks of relatives that could mostly be depended on in times of crisis.

What we read was mostly in opposition to what we knew to be true, and this opposition was certainly congealed in educational institutions where all things allegedly “Mexican” could be driven out. Thus, of this initial generation, most were male, many were veterans and some tried in combat, some were politically practiced, and all were tired of the status quo for too many Mexican-origin populations on both sides of the bifurcation we call the border.

For me, what beckoned was south of the border, and it is there I began my own quest.

Anne García-Romero Featured on New Books Network Podcast

September 15, 2020

University of Arizona Press author Anne García-Romero was featured on a recent episode of the New Books Network podcast for her book, The Fornes Frame.

“In The Fornes Frame: Contemporary Latina Playwrights and the Legacy of Maria Irene Fornes (University of Arizona Press, 2016) playwright and theatre scholar Anne García-Romero traces the career and legacy of Maria Irene Fornes.

Fornes was one of the most significant American playwrights of the twentieth century, and her legacy is evident in the dozens of playwrights she mentored over the course of her long career. García-Romero shows how her unique pedagogy and her example as a successful Latina experimental playwright continue to inspire playwrights like Caridad Svich, Cusi Cram, Elaine Romero, Quiara Alegría Hudes, and Karen Zacarías.”

Listen to the podcast and read more here.

Frederick Luis Aldama Featured on New Books Network Podcast

September 15, 2020

University of Arizona Press author Frederick Luis Aldama was featured on a recent episode of the New Books Network podcast to discuss his new volume, which he co-edited with Arturo J. Aldama, Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities.

“In this episode we sit down with Frederick Luis Aldama, Distinguished University Professor at the Ohio State University and co-editor of Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities (University of Arizona Press), to discuss some of the cutting-edge research in this new edited volume.

This rich collection of work from eighteen contributors approaches the topic of masculinities from a diversity of perspectives and methodologies. With special emphasis on the plurality of Latinx masculinities, the essays reveal the divergent manifestations of masculinity across a broad spectrum including politics, social movements, literature, media, popular culture, personal experience, and other analytical angles. The pernicious effect of stereotypes and toxic Latinx masculinity is laid bare throughout the text in chapters that challenge the derogatory performances and reification of machismo in mainstream U.S. culture and society.”

Listen to the podcast and read more here.

Meditación Fronteriza Receives an International Latino Book Award Honorable Mention

September 14, 2020

We are thrilled that Meditación Fronteriza by Norma Elia Cantú received an honorable mention for the Juan Felipe Herrera Best Poetry Book Award section of the International Latino Book Awards!

Meditación Fronteriza is a beautifully crafted exploration of life in the Texas-Mexico borderlands. Written by award-winning author Norma Elia Cantú, the poems flow from Spanish to English gracefully as they explore culture, traditions, and solidarity.

Norma E. Cantú is a scholar-activist who currently serves as the Norine R. and T. Frank Murchison Professor of the Humanities at Trinity University. She is founder and director of the Society for the Study of Gloria Anzaldúa. She has published fiction, poetry, and personal essays in a number of venues.

Reel Latinxs Wins International Latino Book Award

September 14, 2020

We are so thrilled to announce that Reel Latinxs by Frederick Luis Aldama and Christopher González won first place for the Best Nonfiction- Multi-Author section of the 2020 International Latino Book Awards!

In Reel Latinxs, experts in Latinx pop culture Frederick Luis Aldama and Christopher González explain the real implications of Latinx representation in mainstream TV and film. They also provide a roadmap through a history of mediatized Latinxs that rupture stereotypes and reveal nuanced reconstructions of Latinx subjectivities and experiences.

Frederick Luis Aldama is University Distinguished Professor, Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor of English, University Distinguished Scholar, and Alumni Distinguished Teacher at The Ohio State University. He is the 2018 recipient of the Rodica C. Botoman Award for Distinguished Teaching and Mentoring and the Susan M. Hartmann Mentoring and Leadership Award. He is the award-winning author, co-author, and editor of more than forty books.

Christopher González is an associate professor of English and director of the Latinx Cultural Center at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.

Congratulations, Frederick and Christopher!

Think Deeper About Pop Culture with Our Latinx Pop Culture Series

September 11, 2020

This week, we are focusing on books that are part of our Latinx Pop Culture series. Latinx Pop Culture is a new series that aims to shed light on all aspects of Latinx cultural production and consumption as well as the Latinx presence globally in popular cultural phenomena in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Use the code AZLATINX20 at checkout to receive 35% off any of the titles mentioned in this post through 9/20/20!

With unity of heart and mind, the creative and the scholarly, Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities opens wide its arms to all non-binary, decolonial masculinities today to grow a stronger, resilient, and more compassionate new generation of Latinxs tomorrow.

Read a Q&A with the editors of Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities, Arturo J. Aldama and Frederick Luis Aldama, here.

In Reel Latinxs, experts in Latinx pop culture Frederick Luis Aldama and Christopher González explain the real implications of Latinx representation in mainstream TV and film. They also provide a roadmap through a history of mediatized Latinxs that rupture stereotypes and reveal nuanced reconstructions of Latinx subjectivities and experiences.

Read a conversation between Frederick and Christopher here, then watch a video on why Latinx pop culture matters with Frederick Luis Aldama, Christopher González, and Ilan Stavans here. We are thrilled that Reel Latinxs was nominated as a finalist for the International Latino Book Award!

Latinx Ciné in the Twenty-First Century is a timeless volume that offers a significant analysis of the burgeoning field of Latinx filmmaking. Editor Frederick Luis Aldama has gathered together some of the best writing on Latinx ciné in the twenty-first century. Today’s filmmakers show the world a rich Latinidad informed by a complexly layered culture replete with history, biography, and everyday experiences.

“An engaging collection that demonstrates both the advances Latinx filmmaking has made in the 2000s, and the acumen of the scholars who appraise them.”—Ryan Rashotte, author of Narco Cinema

Food Fight! contributes to urgent discussions around the problems of cultural misappropriation, labeling, identity, and imaging in marketing and dining establishments. Not just about food, restaurants, and coffee, this volume employs a decolonial approach and engaging voice to interrogate ways that mestizo, Indigenous, and Latinx peoples are objectified in mainstream ideology and imaginary. 

“Every essay will fill a reader—millennial mestizo or just plain old Chicano—with joyous smiles at the zingers. Advertencia! This book is not one for idle consumption, it’s not fast food. Paloma Martinez-Cruz dishes up a scholarly dissertation of substantial complexity with a heaping portion of humor, verbal sleight-of-hand, and barely-restrained ire.”—La Bloga

Sor Juana: Or, The Persistence of Pop encapsulates the life, times, and legacy of seventeenth-century Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Ilan Stavans provides a biographical and meditative picture of how popular perceptions of her life and work both shape and reflect Latinx culture.

Read an excerpt from Sor Juana here, and watch a video about why Latinx pop culture matters with Ilan Stavans, Frederick Luis Aldama, and Christopher González here.

Interweaving discussions about the ethnic, racial, and linguistic representations of Latinas/os within network television comedies, Isabel Molina-Guzmán‘s Latina’s and Latinos On TV probes published interviews with producers and textual examples from hit programs like Modern Family, The Office, and Scrubs to understand how these prime-time sitcoms communicate difference in the United States.

Read an excerpt from the book here, then watch a video where Isabel Molina-Guzmán and Frederick Luis Aldama talk about Latinx pop culture here.

Latino Placemaking and Planning offers a pathway to define, analyze, and evaluate the role that placemaking can have with respect to Latino communities in the context of contemporary urban planning, policy, and design practices. Jesus J. Lara illustrates the importance of placemaking as a pathway to sustainable urban revitalization.

“Lara’s work on Latino urbanism both contributes to the rapid evolution of the field and strengthens an epistemic community around it. With this book, Lara both meta-analyzes the field and propels it forward.”—Clara Irazábal-Zurita, Director of Latinx and Latin American Studies, University of Missouri–Kansas City

In Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics, the foremost expert on Latinx comics, Frederick Luis Aldama, guides us through the full archive of all the Latinx superheros in comics since the 1940s. Aldama takes us where the superheroes live—the barrios, the hospitals, the school rooms, the farm fields—and he not only shows us a view to the Latinx content, sometimes deeply embedded, but also provokes critical inquiry into the way storytelling formats distill and reconstruct real Latinos/as.

We are very proud that Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics was the 2018 Eisner Award Winner for Best Scholarly/ Academic work, as well as the 2018 International Latino Book Award winner for Best Latino-Focused Non-Fiction Book. To watch Frederick talk about Latinx streaming during the coronavirus lockdown, visit here.

Center for Sacramento History Interviews ‘La Gente’ Author about Community History

September 8, 2020

Lorena V. Márquez, author of La Gente: Struggles for Empowerment and Community Self-Determination in Sacramento, was recently interviewed about her upcoming book by Center for Sacramento History archivist William Villano.

In the interview, Márquez shares how the rise of the Chicana/o Movement in Sacramento brought everyday people together to seek lasting and transformative change during the 1960s and 1970s.

This important work shows that the Chicana/o Movement was not solely limited to a handful of organizations or charismatic leaders. Rather, it encouraged those that were the most marginalized—the working poor, immigrants and/or the undocumented, and the under-educated—to fight for their rights on the premise that they too were contributing and deserving members of society.

Book Riot on Author Marquis Bey and Black Anarchism

September 5, 2020

Book Riot recently talked with University of Arizona Press author Marquis Bey on anarchism, their writing, and essential reads on Black trans anarchism.

Bey’s book with the Press, Them Goon Rules: Fugitive Essays on Radical Black Feminism, is a collection of personal essays on radical feminism, Blackness, nonnormative gender, and more.

From Book Riot:

Marquis Bey is the author of Them Goon Rules, published by the University of Arizona Press in 2019 while they were a doctoral candidate at Cornell University. They have since graduated and now hold the position of Assistant Professor of African American Studies and English at Northwestern University. Bey’s new book,  Anarcho-Blackness: Notes Toward a Black Anarchism, was published by AK Press in August of 2020.

Them Goon Rules is a collection of personal essays and critical examinations of Black American life with pieces such as “On Being Called a Thug,” “Scenes of Illegible Shadow Genders,” “Flesh Werq,” and many others. The book is personal, humanizing, and easy to read while having a level of depth that forces the reader to dwell on Bey’s writings days after reading.

To read the Book Riot feature in its entirety, please visit here.

Southwest Center Presents Food for Thought Program with David Yetman and Janos Wilder

September 3, 2020

Hosted by James Beard award-winning chef Janos Wilder and David Yetman, host of the PBS travel/adventure series In the Americas and a University of Arizona Press author, Food for Thought is an interactive, multidisciplinary lecture series.

The series, brings the Southwest Center together with Wilder, The Learning Curve, and the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill, with presentations on topics that define the Sonoran Desert, as well as engaging culinary demonstrations.

  • Gary Nabhan, Sept. 25, Prehistoric Menus are New Again: Ancestral Desert Foods as a Springboard to Our Future
  • Jennifer Jenkins, Oct. 2, Small Town and the Big Screen: The Early History of Tucson in Cinema
  • David Yetman, Oct. 9, Mountains and Saguaros: Why the Plants Love the Hills
  • Emma Pérez, Oct. 16, From Translator to Traitor: La Malinche as a Feminist Icon in the Borderlands
  • Ben Wilder, Oct. 23, Cactus-studded Coasts: Reconnecting to the Gulf of California
  • Robin Reineke, Oct. 30, Documenting the Dead: Forensics, Mourning, and Testimony along the US-Mexico Border

Registration is required. Please go here to register and for more information.

Embrace Indigenous Poetry with Our Recent Sun Tracks Titles

September 2, 2020

Launched in 1971, Sun Tracks was one of the first publishing programs to focus exclusively on the creative works of Native Americans. The series has included more than eighty volumes of poetry, prose, art, and photography by distinguished artists.

This week, we are featuring our recent Sun Tracks titles— a variety of stunning collections by Indigenous poets. Use the code AZSUNTRACKS20 to receive 30% off all Sun Tracks titles through 9/15/2020.

Horsefly Dress is a meditation on the experience and beauty of suffering. Rich in the imagery of autumnal foliage, migrating birds, and frozen landscapes, Heather Cahoon’s collection calls forth the sensory experience of grief and metamorphosis. The transformative powers associated with the human experience of loss belong to the past, present, and future, as do the traditional Séliš and Qĺispé stories that create the backbone of these intricate poems.

Get an in-depth look at Horsefly Dress by reading an interview with poet and scholar Heather Cahoon here.

Our Bearings is a collection of narrative poetry that examines and celebrates Anishinaabe life in modern Minneapolis. The poems offer a beautifully layered discourse between landscapes, stories, and the people who inhabit them. Through keen observation and a deep understanding of Native life in Minneapolis, poet and scholar Molly McGlennen has created a timely collection, which contributes beautifully to the important conversation about contemporary urban Native life in North America and globally.

Watch a virtual poetry reading with Molly McGlennen, Casandra López, and Laura Da’ here, then read an interview with McGlennen here, and watch her read a poem from Our Bearings here.

Aurum is a fiercely original poetry collection that reveals the marginalized and estranged Native American experience in the wake of industrial progress. With unforgettable imagery and haunting honesty, these poems are powerfully resonant.

Read an interview with Santee Frazier about Aurum here, and explore his previous collection with us, Dark Thirty, here.

Speaking to both a personal and collective loss, in Brother Bullet Casandra López confronts her relationships with violence, grief, trauma, guilt, and, ultimately, survival. Revisiting the memory and lasting consequences of her brother’s murder, López traces the course of the bullet—its trajectory, impact, wreckage—in poems that are paralyzing and raw with emotion, yet tender and alive in revelations of light.

Watch a virtual poetry reading with Molly McGlennen, Casandra López, and Laura Da’ here, then read a Los Angeles Review of Books interview with López here.

When it was first released in 1982, When It Rains was one of the earliest published literary works in the O’odham language. Speakers from across generations shared poems that showcased the aesthetic of the written word and aimed to spread interest in reading and writing in O’odham. When It Rains is an intuitive poetry collection that shows us how language connects people. With the poems in both O’odham and English, the volume serves as a reminder of the beauty and changeability of the O’odham language.

Read Ofelia Zepeda’s new foreword here.

Instruments of the True Measure charts the coordinates and intersections of land, history, and culture. Lyrical passages map the parallel lives of ancestral figures and connect dispossessions of the past to lived experiences of the present.

Watch a virtual poetry reading with Molly McGlennen, Casandra López, and Laura Da’ here, and read an interview with Laura Da’ here.

OLLI Hosts Press Authors in Fall Online Speaker Series

September 1, 2020

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute‘s online fall speaker series includes many University of Arizona Press authors from our fall 2020 catalog. We’re grateful to OLLI-UA for the invitation to be part of their noncredit learning program open to all adults over the age of 50.

Here are the Press authors featured:

Over 1,400 people are part of OLLI-UA in Southern Arizona. Visit here to learn more about an OLLI-UA membership, program registration, and check program changes.

The Global Lives of Indian Cotton: A Digital Storymap by Andrew Flachs

September 3, 2020

Through cotton, farmers, weavers, scientists, and wearers imagine Others across an ancient global commodity chain. It begins with a seed.

Five to ten million years ago, a member of the Malvacea plant family, which includes okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.) and ornamental hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L.) branched off from its relatives and evolved twisting, waxy hairs along its seed coat. The fibers of this new Gossypium genus may have been intended to enlist birds in dispersing seeds, they may have been a ploy to sail along the wind like dandelions (Taraxacum officinale L.), or the hairs might have acted like an umbrella to keep the rain off the seeds. Yet as cotton continued to evolve, it attracted an unexpected helper drawn to those threads – human beings.

In a project conceived and designed by University of Arizona Press author Andrew Flachs, with contributions from Elizabeth Brite, Maura Finkelstein, Meena Menon, Robert N. Spengler III, the Udaanta Trust, Jonathan Wendel, and Emily A. Wolff, you can learn a wide range of valuable information about global cotton production via an interactive map. This map is best viewed on a computer, and can be found here.

Cultivating Knowledge highlights the agency, creativity, opportunism, and performance of individuals and communities carving out successful lives in a changing agricultural landscape. The practice of sustainable agriculture on the farm—let alone the global challenge of feeding or clothing the world—is a social question, not a technological one. Farmers do not make simple cost-benefit analyses when evaluating new technologies and options. Their choices have dire consequences, sometimes leading to death. Through an ethnography of seeds, Andrew Flachs investigates the human responses to global agrarian change.

Andrew Flachs is an assistant professor of anthropology at Purdue University. Trained as an environmental anthropologist, his research spans sustainable agriculture, food studies, the anthropology of knowledge, and political ecology.

Free e-Book: Download Stephen Pyne’s California through Sept. 4

August 27, 2020

Two months ago as the Bighorn Fire was overtaking the mountains north of Tucson, we offered Stephen J. Pyne’s The Southwest as a free e-Book. Now, as California’s wild lands are on our minds and in our hearts, we are making Pyne’s To the Last Smoke volume on California available for free download from our website.

Since 2015, we have been publishing Pyne’s fire histories, which illuminate the regional and national history of wildfire in the United States.

California explores the ways the region has approached fire management and what sets it apart from other parts of the country. Pyne writes that what makes California’s fire scene unique is how its dramatically distinctive biomes have been yoked to a common system, ultimately committed to suppression, and how its fires burn with a character and on a scale commensurate with the state’s size and political power.

California is part of the multivolume series describing the nation’s fire scene region by region. The volumes in To the Last Smoke serve as an important punctuation point to Pyne’s 50-year career with wildland fire—both as a firefighter and a fire scholar. These unique surveys of regional pyrogeography are Pyne’s way of “keeping with it to the end,” encompassing the directive from his rookie season to stay with every fire “to the last smoke.”

Download here using code AZCA20. Available until 9/4/2020.

Learn more about the book

Time for ‘A Desert Feast’ Video: Niethammer’s New Book Explores Tucson’s Rich Culinary Heritage

August 26, 2020

Desert foods expert Carolyn Niethammer‘s new book celebrates Tucson and the region’s unique food cultures, telling the story of how this desert city became America’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy.

A Desert Feast: Celebrating Tucson’s Culinary Heritage is a celebration of all that makes our desert community special. Sharing Southwest food traditions and cultures, this book showcases the foodways of a unique city in the Sonoran Desert. It features innovative uses for native desert plants and dishes incorporating ancient agricultural staples.

A Desert Feast comes out Tuesday, September 22, 2020, until then enjoy and share this introduction from Niethammer filmed at Mission Garden:

Stephen Pyne’s Op-Ed in The Los Angeles Times Warns of a Wildfire Contagion

August 25, 2020

Stephen Pyne’s Op-Ed in The Los Angeles Times addresses the current wildfire explosion in California and across the globe in recent times, offering a warning of the very fire-inflicted future ahead of us.

“The big payoff against contagion comes from systemic preparations. Emergency medicine can cope with a coronavirus surge only if other work flattens the curve of infection. Emergency firefighting can cope with outbreaks on the scale of California’s only if we address that fraction of climate, fuels and ignitions that remain within our reach.

We can eliminate obvious points of contact, such as powerline failures during Santa Ana and Diablo winds. We must tend to landscapes with pre-existing conditions — drained by drought, covered in feral fuels, buffeted by high winds — that can push mundane outbreaks toward lethal outcomes. We must promote community fire-wellness programs and practice routine watchfulness to reduce vulnerability.”

Read the entire piece here.

Stephen J. Pyne is an emeritus professor at Arizona State University. He is the author of more than 30 books, mostly on wildland fire and its history but also dealing with the history of places and exploration.

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Pyne’s latest volume with the University of Arizona Press is To the Last Smoke, which offers a unique and sweeping view of the nation’s fire scene by distilling observations on Florida, California, the Northern Rockies, the Great Plains, the Southwest, the Interior West, the Northeast, Alaska, the oak woodlands, and the Pacific Northwest into a single, readable volume. The anthology functions as a color-commentary companion to the play-by-play narrative offered in Pyne’s Between Two Fires: A Fire History of Contemporary America. The series is Pyne’s way of “keeping with it to the end,” encompassing the directive from his rookie season to stay with every fire “to the last smoke.”

See the Conversation: Beaule and Douglass Discuss ‘Global Spanish Empire’

August 20, 2020

On August 15, more than 200 peopled tuned in to watch editors Christine Beaule and John G. Douglass discuss their edited volume The Global Spanish Empire: Five Hundred Years of Place Making and Pluralism, a free virtual lecture offered by the Amerind Foundation.

Watch the video.

The Global Spanish Empire tackles broad questions about indigenous cultural persistence, pluralism, and place making using a global comparative perspective grounded in the shared experience of Spanish colonialism. Through an expansive range of essays that look at Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific, this volume brings often-neglected regions into conversation.

Viewers of the virtual conversation will learn about several key topics in the book, including the role of place-making in Spanish colonialism, the role of pluralism in the colonial experiment, and gain new understanding of Indigenous-Spanish interactions. Beaule and Douglass also explain how their Amerind Studies in Anthropology series book (published by the University of Arizona Press) came together.

To see upcoming Amerind events, please visit the foundation’s website.

Meditación Fronteriza Nominated as a Finalist for the International Latino Book Award

August 20, 2020

We are thrilled to announce that Meditación Fronteriza by Norma Elia Cantú is a finalist for the International Latino Book Awards Juan Felipe Herrera Poetry Book section! At the Virtual Awards Ceremony on September 12, the first, second, and honorable mention will be announced. The virtual and free program starts with entertainment at 2:30pm Pacific Time and the ceremony begins at 3:00 pm Pacific Time. Visit the International Latino Book Awards website for more details.

“Again, healer, teacher, foremother Norma Cantú stitches together the art of documentation. Here, she weaves together mediations on the literal/spiritual/intellectual/metaphorical borderlands. A gathering of love poems carving a space to grieve and to celebrate, these poems honor the land, the people in it, and women’s bodies in bloom and in decay in all the places we exist and in all our forms—algebra teachers and poets and pecan shellers and lovers. Like the tendrils of a vine, each poem sprouts its own delicate truth.”—Laurie Ann Guerrero

Norma E. Cantú is a scholar-activist who currently serves as the Norine R. and T. Frank Murchison Professor of the Humanities at Trinity University. She is founder and director of the Society for the Study of Gloria Anzaldúa. She has published fiction, poetry, and personal essays in a number of venues.

Congratulations on this wonderful news, Norma!

Gloria E. Anzaldúa Reads Uncollected and Unpublished Poems in 1991 Recording

August 14, 2020

We are so thrilled to share a new volume with you, Teaching Gloria E. Anzaldúa, this season! We thought this reading from Gloria herself was incredible, so we wanted to share it with you. This reading is available thanks to voca, the University of Arizona Poetry Center’s online audiovisual archive of more than 1,000 recordings of poets reading their work during visits to the Center between 1963 and today. Listen here.

Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa—theorist, Chicana, feminist—famously called on scholars to do work that matters. This pronouncement was a rallying call, inspiring scholars across disciplines to become scholar-activists and to channel their intellectual energy and labor toward the betterment of society. Scholars and activists alike have encountered and expanded on these pathbreaking theories and concepts first introduced by Anzaldúa in Borderlands/La frontera and other texts.

Teaching Gloria E. Anzaldúa is a pragmatic and inspiring offering of how to apply Anzaldúa’s ideas to the classroom and in the community rather than simply discussing them as theory. The book gathers nineteen essays by scholars, activists, teachers, and professors who share how their first-hand use of Anzaldúa’s theories in their classrooms and community environments.

Urayoán Noel Featured on the Poetry Centered Podcast

August 13, 2020

Poetry Centered features curated selections from voca, the University of Arizona Poetry Center’s online audiovisual archive of more than 1,000 recordings of poets reading their work during visits to the Center between 1963 and today. In each episode, a guest poet introduces three poems from voca, sharing their insights about the remarkable performances recorded in our archive. Each episode concludes with the guest poet reading a poem of their own. Our inaugural season includes episodes hosted by Hanif Abdurraqib, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Ada Limón, Urayoán Noel, Maggie Smith, and TC Tolbert.

In this episode, Urayoán Noel introduces recordings of Ai engaging with war through necessary fury (“The Root Eater”), Lehua M. Taitano composing a lifeline to communities living with the legacies of colonialism (“A Love Letter to the Chamoru People in the Twenty-first Century”), Ofelia Zepeda on the untranslatability of song (“Ñeñe’i Ha-ṣa:gid / In the Midst of Songs”), and a fable of radical imagination by Gloria E. Anzaldúa (“Nepantla”). Noel ends the episode with his poem “Molecular Modular,” built around open-ended questions considering virality and modes of community.

Urayoán Noel is the author of Buzzing Hemisphere/ Rumor Hemisférico, a playful and irreverent mash-up of voices and poetic traditions from across the Americas, which imagines an alternative to the monolingualism of the U.S. literary and political landscape, and proposes a geo-neuro-political performance attuned to damaged or marginalized forms of knowledge, perception, and identity. Urayoán Noel has been a fellow of CantoMundo and the Ford Foundation, and he is currently the poetry editor of NACLA Report on the Americas. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Noel lives in the Bronx and is an assistant professor of English and Spanish at New York University.

Keep an eye out on our website for a forthcoming collection from Urayoán Noel!

Fred Arroyo and Daniel Chacón Share Their Work And Writing Life

Aug. 14, 2020

We recently brought authors Fred Arroyo and Daniel Chacón together for an online event that turned into a creative writing and philosophy cocktail. In other words, it was super cool.

Arroyo and Chacón also read excerpts from their recent University of Arizona Press books — Sown in Earth and Kafka in a Skirt.

Arroyo, in Sown in Earth, recounts his youth through beautiful lyrical prose to humanize and immortalize the hushed lives of men like his father, honoring their struggle and claiming their impact on the writers and artists they raised. Chacón’s Kafka, his first book with the Press, is a short-story collection set in El Paso and other Latinx-dominant urban spaces disregarding boundaries and transporting readers into a world merely parallel to our own.

We are grateful to the authors for their time.

Bundle Sale: 20% Off Print Books & the E-Book Free

August 13, 2020

Now through the end of the month, we’re offering a bundle sale perfect for stocking up for the semester! We are offering 20% off titles, plus you can add the e-Book free with code AZBUNDLE in our shopping cart.

Every print book is available at 20% off with this code, but unfortunately not all University of Arizona Press books are available in e-Book format. To find out how you can help us digitize more of our backlist, please visit our Support page.

Reel Latinxs Nominated as a Finalist for the International Latino Book Award

August 20, 2020

We are thrilled to announce that Reel Latinxs by Frederick Luis Aldama and Christopher González is a finalist for the International Latino Book Awards Best Nonfiction— Multi-Author section! At the Virtual Awards Ceremony on September 12, the first, second, and honorable mention will be announced. The virtual and free program starts with entertainment at 2:30pm Pacific Time and the ceremony begins at 3:00 pm Pacific Time. Visit the International Latino Book Awards website for more details.

In Reel Latinxs, Aldama and González blaze new paths through Latinx cultural phenomena that disrupt stereotypes, breathing complexity into real Latinx subjectivities and experiences. In this grand sleuthing sweep of Latinx representation in mainstream TV and film that continues to shape the imagination of U.S. society, these two Latinx pop culture authorities call us all to scholarly action.

Frederick Luis Aldama is University Distinguished Professor, Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor of English, University Distinguished Scholar, and Alumni Distinguished Teacher at The Ohio State University. He is the 2018 recipient of the Rodica C. Botoman Award for Distinguished Teaching and Mentoring and the Susan M. Hartmann Mentoring and Leadership Award. He is the award-winning author, co-author, and editor of more than forty books. He is editor and co-editor of eight academic press book series as well as editor of Latinographix, a trade press series that publishes Latinx graphic fiction and nonfiction.

Christopher González is an associate professor of English and director of the Latinx Cultural Center at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.

Congratulations, Frederick and Christopher!

Alberto Álvaro Ríos Talks Poetry, Fiction, And Border Life In Recent Interview

August 7, 2020

In a recent interview with the SanTan Sun News, Arizona Poet Laureate Alberto Álvaro Ríos talks about poetry, and his new book with the University of Arizona Press:

A Good Map of All Things” has a similar theme and the story takes place just south of the border, in northern Sonora.

“It’s a compendium of all the small towns that I grew up either visiting or hearing about or my great aunts lived in,” he said. “There is no one main character; the town itself is the character. Everybody comes in and they tell their story, creating again their own community. There’s no one way to describe their community. Everybody has their version.”

Rios values the lifelong experience that makes us singular as authors and poets. 

“We each, every one of us as human beings, have an innately particular story to tell,” he said.

Read the entire interview here.

Fonseca-Chávez On NPR Urges Reflection On Southwest Colonial History

August 6, 2020

University of Arizona Press author Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez was recently on NPR affiliate KJZZ discussing the Confederate monument removals and the monuments recently removed in New Mexico of Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate:

… it’s complicated because the issue with the Oñate statues is that they were met with protests from the moment that they were going up. And the larger argument that I make with that is the funding that’s attached to these almost are always people of, you know, people that want to celebrate this legacy. People that are from a different sort of socioeconomic status. Even the statue in El Paso, for example, which is the largest equestrian statue in the world, this was put up after the one that went up in Alcalde, New Mexico, after the one that went up in Albuquerque. And so it’s sort of just interesting to think about, you know, if the argument is that these statues really celebrate our history, how many statues do you want? And are you willing to listen to detractors or folks that feel differently about that history. If you’re not willing to listen to that, but you’re also part of the socioeconomic class that can make it happen, then that’s where sort of the power imbalance happens when you’re really talking about whether or not this is OK.

Fonseca-Chávez’s new book, Colonial Legacies in Chicana/o Literature and Culture, exposes the ways in which colonialism is expressed in the literary and cultural production of the U.S. Southwest, a region that has experienced at least two distinct colonial periods since the sixteenth century.

To listen or read the full interview with Fonseca-Chávez, go here.

Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities: Five Questions with Frederick and Arturo Aldama

August 5, 2020

In Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities, eighteen contributors explore how legacies of colonization and capitalist exploitation and oppression have created toxic forms of masculinity that continue to suffocate the lives of Latinx people. And while the authors seek to identify all cultural phenomena that collectively create reductive, destructive, and toxic constructions of masculinity that traffic in misogyny and homophobia, they also uncover the many spaces—such as Xicanx-Indígena languages, resistant food cultures, music performances, and queer Latinx rodeo practices—where Latinx communities can and do exhale healing masculinities.

Below, editors Arturo J. Aldama and Frederick Luis Aldama answer five questions about their new volume.

 What inspired you to create this edited volume?

The short answer: It’s the right moment. Of course, there’s been much important work done already within different critical (street and ivory tower) spaces to trouble, overturn, and break from stagnant, stagnating, straightjacketing behaviors (thought and feeling systems), policies, and cultural imaginaries. In our introduction to the volume, we mention a whole slew of such powerfully transformative creators, writers, and activist-thinkers. Too many to list here.

We are both very inspired and transformed by Xicana, indigenous and women of color feminist thought and queer of color critique so we thought it is important to bring a decolonial gaze into the constructions and performance of Latinx masculinities.

By moment, we mean that there’s today un gran Latinx tsunami pushing up from seafloors with a hereto unimagined potent kinetic energy. Young gen Latinxs creator-scholars are leading the charge, modeling vital and vigorous twenty-first century decolonizing ontological and epistemological practices. It’s more than a moment. It’s a movement. The legion of extraordinary activist creator-scholars that make up Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities are its avantgarde.

What do you think the long-term implications of negative masculine stereotypes in the popular media—from fictional TV shows to political news coverage— are for Latinx youths?

From TV shows like Narcos and Borderforce and films such as Sicario to the Chief Executive Cheeto’s racist, sexist, and hetero-thuggish Tweets, mainstream media continues to give free license to retrograde social and economic policies. Arguably, as never before the mainstream media functions to justify Klansman-like terrorist actions against LGBTQ+ and Brown, Black, and Indigenous communities in this country. The mainstream media filled with images of Latinxs as a Brown horde threat that threatens White civilization justifies the intensification of violence and surveillance within our carceral state.  That results in the curtailing—no, the destruction—of the full flourishing of complex, non-binaristic Latinx thought, feeling, and action systems.  That allow us to be in ways far more expansive than erstwhile concepts of gender and sexuality captured.

This said, and as the work in this volume attests, we’re not sitting around on our hands. We never have. We never will. We’re using our pens as our machetes. We continue to work hard to resist the onslaught of destructive media, wrenching tight tourniquets to stop culturacidal hemorrhages.

The transformative work seen by the scholar-creator activists in this volume are testament to this fact. They not only re-act. They open new spaces for us to inhale multispectrumed identities and exhale multifarious experiences. They clear new affirming paths that invite us to move powerfully forward.

With Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities we hope that millennial Latinx subjects will begin to truly question and decolonize the practices of toxic masculinities and learn to love each other and others without the straitjackets of misogyny and homophobic/transphobic violence(s) perpetuated by the capitalist media congloms.

Do you think the young adult literature, shows, films, podcasts, and music of today are opening the conversation for healthier masculinities, or do you think all of these industries still have a long way to go?

Everywhere we turn, Latinx creators are opening eyes to the resplendent spectrum of liberatory modes that we exist—and can exist. We think readily of queer author Alex Sanchez’s breathtaking coming of age and out Aqualad superhero graphic novel for DC. (See Fred’s “Anatomy of a Panel with Alex Sanchez”.). We think of Latinx-helmed TV shows like the rebooted One Day at a Time, Vida, and Gentefied that variously trouble simplistic and stifling ways of being in terms of language, culture, gender and sexuality. (See Fred’s “Love Victor: Brown Queer Teen Tvlandia Watershed; or Hollywood Brown Flavored Bubblegum”.) We think of the vital new audioscapes created by new gen nonbinary Latinx musicians such as Dominican Latinx Rubby and Afro-Boricua Nitty Scott. It’s in these Latinx-grown cultural spaces that we see the pop happening when it comes to waking the world to the vibrant, multispectrumed non-binary ways that we can and do feel, think and perceive in the world.

Recognizing that many aspects of toxic masculinity are rooted in colonialism, how do you think communities should work toward more Indigenous ways of thinking about and performing gender?

Unfortunately, the colonial legacy is still with us. From generation to generation, we’ve passed down a colonial mentality; we’ve passed down centuries of destructive and restrictive ways of thinking and feeling as colonized peoples. The result: we Latinxs act from fear—a fear that divides us from one another—that atomizes us—and that ultimately destroys our families and communities. It’s hate that we see rear its ugly head when a family member fires pejorative bullets at us like puto, maricón, chavala, puta, crybaby, lloroncito, bitch, pussy, niñita. Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities offers the many different ways we can begin to unlearn this hate and fear. It’s the work of those who have come before us and new gen Latinx scholar-creator activists like those in this volume that can and do show us how to decolonize minds,  bodies—spirits. They can and do invite us to struggle free from those straightjackets of binary and polarized models of existence. They welcome us into new dynamic and multispectrumed modes of existing as genders, sexualities—as expansively loving masculinities.

What are you working on now?

We have our individual projects, of course. Fred’s working on the animation adaptation of his debut kid’s lit book, The Adventures of Chupacabra Charlie and continues his work Latinx-diversifying the otherwise white space of comics studies. As Chair of Ethnic Studies, Arturo is focused on doing outreach to the Latinx community through the funded Latinx history projects and continue work with the lyripeutics project to bring decolonial spoken word and hip hop pedagogy to Latinx and other youth of color who are surviving the school to prison pipeline.

We love working together, not only on editing volumes such as Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities but also the work of shepherding new visions and voices through our Latinx Pop Culture book series with you all, the University of Arizona Press. We have some extraordinary books to look forward to seeing on library bookshelves, classroom desks, and ruffled up in backpacks and back-pockets, so be sure to keep an eye out for them in the future.

Arturo J. Aldama is an associate professor and chair of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and affiliate faculty in Gender and Women’s Studies. He received his doctorate in ethnic studies from University of California, Berkeley, in 1996. He is co-editor of the University of Arizona Press’s series Latinx Pop Culture. He is the author of Disrupting Savagism: Intersecting Chicanalo, Mexican Immigrant and Native American Struggles for Representation and author and curator of Moments in Mexican American History: Racism and Resistance, a forty-panel traveling exhibit on the histories of racism, violence, and activism in Mexican American and Chicanx communities of the Southwest. He is co-editor of numerous volumes, including Comparative lndigeneities of the Américas: Toward a Hemispheric Approach.

Frederick Luis Aldama is University Distinguished Professor, Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor of English, University Distinguished Scholar, and Alumni Distinguished Teacher at The Ohio State University. He is the 2018 recipient of the Rodica C. Botoman Award for Distinguished Teaching and Mentoring and the Susan M. Hartmann Mentoring and Leadership Award. He is the award-winning author, co-author, and editor of more than forty books. In 2018 his Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics won the International Latino Book Award and the Eisner Award for Best Scholarly Work. He is editor and co-editor of eight academic press book series, including Latinx Pop Culture, as well as editor of Latinographix, a trade press series that publishes Latinx graphic fiction and nonfiction. His other University of Arizona Press books include Latinx Ciné in the Twenty-First Century, Long Stories Cut Short, and Reel Latinxs.

‘Divided Peoples’ Author on Border Policy and Its Impacts on Indigenous Communities

July 31, 2020

Christina Leza, author of Divided Peoples: Policy, Activism, and Indigenous Identities on the U.S.-Mexico Border, recently asked in an essay published in Yes!, ‘What is the U.S.-Mexico border to indigenous peoples who have lived there?’ especially during this latest border wall construction.

An excerpt from the essay:

The Indigenous Alliance has long advocated for the development of comprehensive legislation that would address Indigenous border rights at both the Canada-U.S. and U.S.-Mexico borders, and has envisioned summits that include both tribal government and grassroots community leaders. Recent tribal border summits in Tucson, Arizona, organized by the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, the Tohono O’odham Nation, and the National Congress of American Indians are building toward this vision. The Indigenous Alliance has also advocated for the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by U.S. tribal governments on the U.S.-Mexico border to help build a common reference for Indigenous border rights.

While Indigenous leaders work to address issues they face with U.S.-Mexico border policy, Indigenous members must continue to grapple with the everyday impacts of increasing border enforcement, including the growing presence of Border Patrol and surveillance technology on reservation lands, as well as the disruption of their lands by border barrier construction.

Read the entire essay in Yes! here.

Daniel Olivas Pays Tribute to Father of Chicano Literature

July 29, 2020

University of Arizona Press author Daniel Olivas, author of King of Lighting Fixtures and Book of Want, recently paid tribute to Rudolfo Anaya, who passed away on June 28.

In the Fall 2013, Olivas did a two-question interview for the Los Angeles Review of Books. The interview was only in the LARB print edition, and not online. Olivas asked if that could change, and LARB in return asked if Olivas could write an intro.

Here’s an excerpt of the intro:

On June 28, Rudolfo Anaya died in his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The man commonly referred to as the Father of Chicano literature had been suffering from ill health for a while. For many of us who shared in some or all of his cultural touchstones—and who therefore embraced his literature—it felt as though a family member had passed.

Two generations of Latinx writers had been inspired by Anaya to become writers themselves because he proved that our stories matter and could be published and read and appreciated. I can say without a doubt that his trailblazing 1972 novel, Bless Me, Ultima, convinced me to start telling my own stories in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Eleven books and one full-length play later, Rudy still inspires me to write.

Yes, I just called the great writer “Rudy.” And that is because I reached out to him seven years ago to propose a short, email interview for LARB regarding his new novel, The Old Man’s Love Story (University of Oklahoma Press). In response, on June 7, 2013, at 12:14 p.m., he responded with a short email: “Ese, email me questions & thanks. Rudy.”

Read the entire intro, as well as Olivas’s interview with Anaya here.

Buelna News Book Review On Chicano Communists

July 28, 2020

Gabriel Buelna gave some positive attention to Chicano Communists and the Struggle for Social Justice, published by the University of Arizona Press, on his online program, Buelna News. Buelna, a Chicano studies professor in Los Angeles, focuses on Latinos and Latin American issues and interests.

Chicano Communists, by Enrique M. Buelna, follows the thread of radical activism and the depth of its influence on Mexican Americans struggling to achieve social justice and equality.

Q & A with Heather Cahoon Offers Deeper Look at Horsefly Dress

July, 2020

Horsefly Dress is a meditation on the experience and beauty of suffering. Rich in the imagery of autumnal foliage, migrating birds, and frozen landscapes, Heather Cahoon’s collection calls forth the sensory experience of grief and metamorphosis. The transformative powers associated with the human experience of loss belong to the past, present, and future, as do the traditional Salish-Pend d’Oreille stories that create the backbone of these intricate poems.

Below, Heather Cahoon answers a few questions about her beautiful new poetry collection.

The poems in Horsefly Dress are influenced by traditional Séliš and Qĺispé stories. How do you think these stories guide and impact the contemporary lives of Salish-Kalispel peoples?

I think it varies a lot from individual to individual and depends on each person’s exposure—or lack thereof—to the stories.  There are many reasons for the lack of exposure but among the foremost are federal Indian policies of assimilation that were designed to acculturate American Indians.  These policies were very aggressive and included on- and off-reservation boarding schools for Native youth, the banning of sacred spiritual practices, and the forced allotment of reservations, among other collateral outcomes from these policies.  Federal assimilation efforts were obviously never fully successful, however, and many people managed to maintain their traditions to varying degrees.  As a result of both of these sort of countervailing efforts by federal officials and tribal people, American Indians today may have more or less access to their cultural traditions, including their traditional stories.  That said, there are definitely segments of my community whose contemporary lives are very much guided and impacted by our traditional stories.  These stories are hyperlocal and relevant; they are located right here where we live out our daily lives and they continue to have so much to teach us about inhabiting this place and about being human.

Avian symbolism plays a powerful role in this collection. Could you please tell us more about the significance of birds in your work?

Some of the significance is tied to tribal symbolism but most of it, in this collection, is personal.  Whenever I’m out trail walking or hiking there are birds present—you can hear them, you often see them moving about the forest and so much of the time they seem to be just part of the scenery.  But every so often, one steps out of that in a way that penetrates my experience or perception of being the primary observer and suddenly I am aware that I am being perceived by something just as alive and sentient as I am.  Some of these exchanges or interactions are longer and more drawn out while some are very brief.  Each one is unique but they are all so poignant and meaningful that they’ll often make their way into my poems.

The poems in Horsefly Dress are bursting with vivid foliage, animals, and natural elements. What is your process for weaving nature so intimately into your poetry?

My family has spent so much time outdoors in the mountains.  Growing up, my father made a living by hunting and by selling things he could harvest from around our reservation and we often helped him in these endeavors.  He sold Christmas trees, firewood, landscaping stones and even dropped deer and elk antlers, which sometimes he would make into antler lamps and chandeliers.  We also spent time as a family just driving to pretty places for either camping or fishing or just to enjoy the peacefulness and smell of the mountains.  It has been my father’s belief that for whatever ails a person, all they need is to retreat into the mountains in order to become well.  Needless to say, I continue to spend time in the outdoors and the experiences I have with local places, flora and fauna inevitably end up in my poems. 

Dreams are featured prominently in this collection. How do dreams affect your creative process?

I occasionally have dreams that are so vivid and powerful that I think about them off and on for days, sometimes even years, until I understand their meaning.  Interestingly, it’s often the creative process of making them into poems—the act of writing about them in such detail—that helps me fully understand them, to see or hear or decode their messages for me. 

What are you working on now?

I am working on and off on a longer-term project that involves revising and expanding my 2005 poetry chapbook Elk Thirst into a full-length collection.  Besides this, I recently launched and direct the American Indian Governance and Policy Institute at the University of Montana and am working to develop a comprehensive tribal public policy needs assessment for each of the tribal governments located our state.  I can get mentally caught up in my policy research and writing, which is very cerebral, but this state is countered by writing poetry, which brings me back to into the present and helps ground me in a bodily experience of time and place.

Read a poem from Horsefly Dress, included below.

RENDER

May I be worthy 
   of my most embattled moments.
          May I find a way    to render meaning 
from the blood marbled-memories
          cached inside
the carcass of the past. 

© 2020 by Heather Cahoon

Heather Cahoon, PhD, earned her MFA in poetry from the University of Montana, where she was the Richard Hugo Scholar. She has received a Potlatch Fund Native Arts Grant and Montana Arts Council Artist Innovation Award. Her chapbook, Elk Thirst, won the Merriam-Frontier Prize. She is an assistant professor of Native American studies at the University of Montana. She is from the Flathead Reservation and is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

Charles Bowden’s Blue Desert Featured in Harper’s Magazine

7/24/2020

In the August 2020 issue of Harper’s Magazine, Wes Enzinna writes an essay on Charles Bowden that praises, criticizes, and recognizes Bowden as a shrewd predictor of the current chaos surrounding the United States borderlands. Below, read an excerpt from the essay which pertains to our book Blue Desert, originally published in 1986 and recently re-released with a new forward by Fransciso Cantú in 2018.

“For all his cynicism, Bowden’s response to this crisis was never a desire to strengthen the border, but rather to destroy it. ‘There aren’t any Mexican stars or American stars,’ he once said in a radio profile, as he hiked with the correspondent through the Buenos Aires wildlife refuge in southern Arizona, a popular route for migrants sneaking into the United States. ‘It’s like a great biological unity with a meat cleaver of law cutting it in half.’ His work was an attempt to heal this cleavage, and to remind us how our hunger, pollution, and violence connected us all, especially in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts, where nature was a stingy mother and death ruled over everything. ‘We are becoming more and more aware that our civilization destroys the foundations that support it by devouring the earth and the things of the earth,’ he wrote in Blue Desert. ‘But we don’t have the courage to back away, to stop, to restrain ourselves. I know I don’t.’

Like the beasts and criminals he admired, Bowden was a complicated, contradictory creature. He loved dogs, dirt, wine, worms, Cadillacs, cacti. He held backyard parties to watch summer cereus flowers bloom at midnight, and owned scores of guns but was reluctant to shoot them lest they scare the birds. In Most Alarming, a priest named Gary Paul Nabhan reports that the last time he saw Bowden the surly old tough guy was weeping for a cottonwood tree that had died. Bowden’s teeth were falling out. He was poor and owned little more than a laptop, a Le Creuset pot, a sleeping bag, a Honda Fit, and a pair of binoculars. If in life he sometimes failed to be a decent man, in his writing he tried to be a better animal. ‘The whippoorwill’s name reflects the sounds we hear it make,’ he once wrote in a letter to a friend.”

Read the entire essay here.

Published in 1986, Blue Desert was Charles Bowden’s third book-length work and takes place almost entirely in Arizona, revealing Bowden’s growing and intense preoccupation with the state and what it represented as a symbol of America’s “New West.” In a thoughtful new foreword, Francisco Cantú writes, “In Blue Desert, we follow Bowden in the processes of becoming. We see the version of Bowden that he would likely most want us to remember—someone who did their best to be an honest witness, someone who was haunted by modernity and his place in it, someone who grappled with his demons by gazing deeply into the desert.”

Charles Bowden (1945–2014) was the author of many acclaimed books about the American Southwest and U.S.-Mexico border issues. He was a contributing editor for GQ, Harper’s, Esquire, and Mother Jones. His honors include a PEN First Amendment Award and the Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction.

Diana Negrín on Cracking the Silence on Racism in Mexico

July 23, 2020

Recently author Diana Negrín published a piece in Medium about racism in Mexico. Negrín is the author of Racial Alterity, Wixarika Youth Activism, and the Right to the Mexican City, which examines the legacy of the racial imaginary in Mexico with a focus on the Wixarika (Huichol) Indigenous peoples.

In the piece in Medium, Negrín writes, “A few years back it would have been very difficult to find platforms through which to discuss race and racism in Mexico. When I began sharing my writing and research detailing the contemporary experiences of Indigenous youth as they confronted and challenged structural and everyday forms of discrimination, few people I encountered, beyond the Wixarika university students who collaborated and protagonized my research, seemed interested. Within Mexico, the fact of racism has often been downplayed by the country’s long tradition of centering the mestizo identity as one that is composed of various racial and ethnic lineages. European cultural mannerisms, political economic orders, language, and general world views were to replace or, at the least, hybridize with Indigenous heritages.”

See the complete piece here.

The University of Arizona Press Fall 2020 Catalog

July 21, 2020

Every season with the availability of our new catalog our staff takes a collective moment to reflect proudly and fondly on what we are presenting to you. The Fall 2020 season is no different.

These works are months and even years in the making. They illuminate the commitment, passion, and generosity of our authors, editors, peer reviewers, and above all you, our readers. These books bring new perspectives to our world, looking deeply, hopefully, critically, and thoughtfully.

Essays, history, poetry, ethnography, archaeology, and so much more are showcased in the Fall 2020 Season. It is with great pride we offer you this look at what we will be publishing in coming months!

Browse and enjoy!

Carlos Velez-Ibáñez Honored with the 2020 Franz Boas Award

July 15, 2020

We are thrilled to announce that Carlos Velez-Ibáñez is the recipient of the American Anthropological Association’s 2020 Franz Boas Award for Exemplary Service to Anthropology! This award is presented annually by the AAA to its members whose careers demonstrate extraordinary achievement that have well served the anthropological profession.

Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez is a Regents Professor and the Motorola Presidential Professor of Neighborhood Revitalization in the School of Transborder Studies and a Regents Professor of in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. His numerous honors include the 2004 Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology and the 2003 Bronislaw Malinowski Medal. Vélez-Ibáñez was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1994 and was named as a corresponding member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences (Miembro Correspondiente de la Academia Mexicana de Ciencias) in 2015, the only American anthropologist so selected.

Carlos is the author of five University of Arizona Press books, including Border Visions, Hegemonies of Language and Their Discontents, An Impossible Living in a Transborder World, and The U.S.-Mexico Transborder Region. His forthcoming book, Reflections of a Transborder Anthropologist, explores Vélez-Ibáñez’s development as a scholar and in so doing the development of the interdisciplinary fields of transborder and applied anthropology.

Congratulations, Carlos!

Explore Our Exciting Space Science Titles

July 9, 2020

For six decades, the University of Arizona Press has published exceptional works in the field of space science. Below, we’ve highlighted some of our recent space science titles.

Under Desert Skies is currently available as our free e-book of the week until 7/16/2020. Use the code AZSKY20 at checkout!

Planetary Astrobiology represents the combined efforts of more than seventy-five international experts consolidated into twenty chapters and provides an accessible, interdisciplinary gateway for new students and seasoned researchers who wish to learn more about this expanding field. Readers are brought to the frontiers of knowledge in astrobiology via results from the exploration of our own solar system and exoplanetary systems.

This book is a part of our incredible Space Science Series.

Enceladus and the Icy Moons of Saturn brings together nearly eighty of the world’s top experts to establish what we currently understand about Saturn’s moons, while building the framework for the highest-priority questions to be addressed through ongoing spacecraft exploration.

This book is also a part of our Space Science Series.

Gerard P. Kuiper and the Rise of Modern Planetary Science describes the life of a man who lived through some of the most dramatic events of the twentieth century and ended up creating a new field of scientific research, planetary science. As NASA and other space agencies explore the solar system, they take with them many of the ideas and concepts first described by Gerard P. Kuiper.

Read an excerpt from Derek W. G. Sears’ book here. We are thrilled to announce that Gerard P. Kuiper and the Rise of Modern Planetary Science won a Foreword Indies Award!

Mars: The Pristine Beauty of the Red Planet is the most outstanding and uniquely curated selection of Mars orbital images ever assembled in one volume. With explanatory captions in twenty-four languages and a gallery of more than 200 images, this distinctive volume brings a timely and clear look at the work of an active NASA mission.

Don’t forget, all e-books are 40% right now with the code AZEBOOK40!

Free E-Book of the Week: Under Desert Skies

July 8, 2020

Since March, we have featured a free e-Book almost every week. For this week’s Free e-Book of the Week, we’re pleased to offer Melissa Sevigny’s Under Desert Skies: How Tucson Mapped the Way to the Moon and Planets for free download.

Under Desert Skies describes how a small lunar- and planetary-focused laboratory at the University of Arizona forged the field of planetary science at a time when few people studied the solar system. Spanning six decades, the book records the stories of the scientists who, with telescopes and spacecraft, transformed single points of lights into worlds that we can see, touch, study, and compare to Earth.

Melissa L. Sevigny grew up in Tucson, Arizona, with a deep love of the geology, ecology, and the clear desert skies of the Southwest. She is a science and technology reporter for KNAU (Arizona Public Radio) in Flagstaff. Minor Planet (15624) Lamberton is named in her honor.

Download Under Desert Skies here using code AZSKY20. Available until 7/16/2020.

“Beyond their awe-inspiring accomplishments, these UA faculty epitomize the ‘inexhaustible sense of wonder’ that Sevigny considers the heart of planetary science.”—The Journal of Arizona History

“Tells the story of how a small corner of Arizona became Earth’s ambassador to space.”—Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin

Under Desert Skies presents an institutional history of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) at the University of Arizona in Tucson: a key center for planetary sciences today and throughout its sixty-year history.” —Isis Review

More books about space and science

Need Some Summer Reads? We Got You

July 7, 2020

We recently asked several University of Arizona Press authors to recommend a book from the Press that makes for a good read, and beautiful literature. Enjoy!

Bryan Allen Fierro’s Dodger Blue Will Fill Your Soul

We may not have baseball this year (fingers still crossed), but we do have Dodger Blue Will Fill Your Soul. Of course this collection is about more than baseball. Bryan Allen Fierro‘s debut is a series of searing tales set in the barrios of Los Angeles that was rightly recognized as being a testament to all of our shared humanity.

Luis Alberto Urrea, author of In Search of Snow, Wandering Time and Nobody’s Son

Melissa L. Sevigny’s Under Desert Skies: How Tucson Mapped the Way to the Moon and Planets

Summer evenings are for stargazing. And our desert skies make for some of the best seeing anywhere. Just ask any astronomer or backyard telescope enthusiast. You probably know one or two because Tucson is full of them. Chances are you’ve visited Kitt Peak National Observatory or the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter or the Whipple Observatory on Mount Hopkins, just a few of the telescope collections that dot the peaks of our sky islands.

Indeed, Tucson is the astronomy capital of the world. But we also have a long, fascinating history of planetary science. Melissa L. Sevigny’s 2016 book, Under Desert Skies: How Tucson Mapped the Way to the Moon and Planets, tells the stories of how space pioneers like Gerard Kuiper and Ewen Whitaker founded the UA’s Lunar and Planetary Lab (LPL) and made Tucson the epicenter of exploration of our solar system.

Ken Lamberton, author of Chasing Arizona: One Man’s Yearlong Obsession with the Grand Canyon State

Tom Holm’s The Osage Rose

Want to know more about the Tulsa Race Massacre that’s been in the news recently? Tom Holm‘s novel provides a nuanced examination of this event and two others that happened nearly simultaneously: the Osage Oil Murders and Prohibition, through the actions of believable characters. This is the best work in print that addresses these issues which still have consequences nearly a century since they occurred.

Frances Washburn, author of The Red Bird All-Indian Traveling Band

Carmen Giménez Smith’s Milk and Filth

With so little time, I pick cautiously the guests I invite to share my imagination. I want my VIP guests to tingle flesh and zing my body electric. I want them to stop me in my tracks to hear new contrapuntal melodies and to shiver with pleasure as I lick air that wraps anew words and images—actions and thoughts. I want them to peel back that thick glaze coating the surface of my mind. I want them to jumper-cable shock me out of Twitter bubbles and FB echo chambers. I want a lot. Today, I invite Carmen Giménez Smith and her exquisite Milk and Filth to share my soul.

Frederick Luis Aldama, author of Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics

Sara Sue Hoklotubbe’s Sadie Walela Mystery series

I recommend Sara Sue Hoklotubbe‘s award winning Sadie Walela Mystery series. There are precious few Native mystery writers and it is refreshing indeed to read stories authored by writers who know the culture and the territory.

Devon A. Mihesuah, author of The Roads of My Relations

Emmy Pérez’s, With the River on Our Face

Emmy Pérez’s With the River on Our Face, is more than a love letter to the Peoples and ecologies long nourished beyond the cut banks of the Rio Grande. This vital collection is a divining rod. With precise music in her language, Pérez is intentional and patient, and informed. With the River on Our Face is a meditation, border gravity pulling the reader to culturally fertile and voice sustaining, emerald waters. 

Bryan Allen Fierro, author of Dodger Blue Will Fill Your Soul

Six More Open Access Titles Now Available

July 6, 2020

The University of Arizona Press is constantly working toward innovative, forward-thinking ways to connect our scholarship with readers worldwide. We are pleased to announce a new selection of titles in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, border studies, and Latin American studies are now available as open access (OA).

Thanks to financial support from Knowledge Unlatched, we have been able to move an additional six titles to OA format. The titles are available either via link on our website or directly through the OAPEN Foundation.

Now Available as OA:

The Border and Its Bodies
The increasingly militarized U.S.-México border is an intensely physical place, affecting the bodies of all who encounter it. The essays in this volume explore how crossing becomes embodied in individuals on the most basic social unit possible: the human body.
OA Link

Activist Biology
Activist Biology is the story of a group of biologists at the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro who joined the drive to renew the Brazilian nation, claiming as their weapon the voice of their fledgling field. It offers a portrait of science as a creative and transformative pathway. This book will intrigue anyone fascinated by environmental history and Latin American political and social life in the 1920s and 1930s.
OA Link

Before Kukulkán
This volume illuminates human lifeways in the northern Maya lowlands prior to the rise of Chichén Itzá. Using bioarchaeology, mortuary archaeology, and culturally sensitive mainstream archaeology, the authors create an in-depth regional understanding while also laying out broader ways of learning about the Maya past.
OA Link

Big Water
Big Water focuses on the uniquely overlapping character of South America’s Triple Frontier. These essays complicate the frontiers and balance the excessive weight previously given to empires, nations, and territorial expansion. Big Water’s transdisciplinary approach provides a new understanding of how space and society have developed throughout Latin America.
OA Link

Challenging the Dichotomy
Challenging the Dichotomy explores how dichotomies regarding heritage dominate the discussions of ethics, practices, and institutions. Contributing authors underscore the challenge to the old paradigms from multiple forces. The case studies and discourses, both ethnographic and archaeological, arise from a wide variety of regional contexts and cultures.
OA Link

Cooperatives, Grassroots Development, and Social Change
Cooperatives, Grassroots Development, and Social Change presents examples from Paraguay, Brazil, and Colombia, examining what is necessary for smallholder agricultural cooperatives to support holistic community-based development in peasant communities. Reporting on successes and failures of these cooperative efforts, the contributors offer analyses and strategies for supporting collective grassroots interests. Illustrating how poverty and inequality affect rural people, they reveal how cooperative organizations can support grassroots development strategies while negotiating local contexts of inequality amid the broader context of international markets and global competition.
OA Link

Kathryn Conrad: ‘Our work is more important than ever’

June 30, 2020

During the Association of University Presses virtual annual meeting in June 2020, Kathryn Conrad, director of the University of Arizona Press, addressed AUPresses members as outgoing president of its board of directors. Conrad assumed presidency in June 2019. Niko Pfund, president of Oxford University Press USA, has assumed the presidency as Conrad remains on the board a past president.

Conrad’s statement reflects on the past challenges unique to this year, as well as the values that provide a roadmap for all academic presses:

In a normal year, I would take this time to tell you about the work of the Association’s Board of Directors and some of its accomplishments. 

But this is not a normal year. 

On March 15, just days after the World Health Organization had declared COVID-19 a pandemic, the AUPresses Board of Directors convened online for its spring meeting. We spent our first hour together sharing the state of our presses and institutions while shutting down our offices to work from home. I think all of us will remember those strange early days and what would become the first of countless virtual meetings. 

At that March meeting, we approved the Association’s Anti-Racism statement, a document developed over 18 months by the Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, chaired by Gita Manaktala and Larin McLaughlin, and its first Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Committee, chaired by Gita and Brian Halley. 

The statement recognizes the racist and exploitative practices that have shaped our institutions and our presses. It calls on us to confront the systems—the systems to which we belong–that perpetuate bias, inequalities, and white supremacy. 

Ten weeks later, the murder of George Floyd ignited a global movement for Black lives. In the midst of scrutiny of anti-Black racism in every corner of our society, our industry is called out for its inequity through the #PublishingSoWhite and #PublishingPaidMe hashtags and our own university press community is called out for our failure to support inclusion. It is a time of anger, hurt, and overwhelm. And here we are, at our 2020 Annual Meeting, trying to process all of this in a virtual environment that we will likely be stuck in for some time to come. 

The Association’s Annual Meeting has always been a source of inspiration for me. Last year, inspired by Chris Long’s closing plenary session in Detroit on the transformative power of values-based publishing, I led a deeper dive into our Association’s values with members of the board and staff. 

What do we mean when we say we hold Stewardship, Intellectual Freedom, Integrity, and Diversity and Inclusion as the values we strive to uphold?

The mission of AUPresses is to advance the essential role of this global community of publishers whose mission is to ensure academic excellence and cultivate knowledge. Our values are the principles that guide us–our compass. At an historical moment that feels simultaneously riveting and overwhelming, a compass feels like a good thing to have. 

In our work this year, we recommitted to our values, first developed 5 years ago under the leadership of Barbara Kline Pope and Meredith Babb, and we developed common understanding of their meaning in our everyday work. 

We demonstrate Stewardship through our mindful investment in the development and dissemination of scholarship, respecting the fundamental labor of publishing. We amplify authors’ voices as we work to advance and preserve an inclusive scholarly record. 

We embody Intellectual Freedom by promoting the emergence and evaluation of new theories, and by championing the freedom to think, research, publish, and read. These are the pillars of a democratic society. 

We demonstrate Integrity as leaders in peer review best practices and by earning the trust of our authors, our readers, and our institutions. 

We strive for equity, justice, and inclusion in our practices. And we endeavor to represent the breadth of human knowledge and experience as part of our commitment to Diversity and Inclusion.

Guided by our values and by our strategic plan, updated last year under the leadership of Jennifer Crewe, our association has accomplished much this year in support of our goals of Collaboration, Advocacy, Research, Education, 

We established an Open Access task force, led by Erich van Rijn, to help build collaboration among our members around this increasingly important issue, and we have deepened our engagement with the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications. We have redoubled our Advocacy efforts with a new Advocacy Committee, led this year by Meredith Babb, and with the Stand UP Award, a new advocacy award, spearheaded by Greg Britton. We supported the expansion of the Lee and Low Diversity Baseline Survey to consider university presses more fully, and we increased our frequency of gathering of sales data from quarterly to monthly to help members navigate this volatile economic time. We have expanded opportunities for members to connect online to share knowledge and best practices. And we will soon launch a Global Presses Partnership Program, spearheaded by Anthony Cond. This program will bring together university presses in the Global South with AUPresses members to expand the knowledge base of our international university press community through the sharing of experience and practical education across borders.

Much of the work of this Association happens in its committees, made up of volunteers from across our membership. I cannot name them all but I would like to extend my deep thanks to the committee chairs and members for their work this year.

Serving as AUPresses president has afforded me a remarkable opportunity to see what our Association is made of. I have seen the dogged determination of our Central Office staff, led by the ever-ready Peter Berkery, who tends to the myriad concerns of members, both individually and collectively, each day. I have seen the fierce support of our members for one another. I have seen the ingenuity of our marketers, who came together in recent months to support the independent bookstores that support us and to rally for the common cause of scholarship. I have seen our stellar Annual Meeting Program Committee, led by Laurie Matheson, turn on a dime to create a virtual meeting that will give our members actionable ideas, professional growth, and opportunities to meet new colleagues. I have seen a community of publishers that believes our collective efforts are greater than the sum of our parts. 

Our work is more important than ever. Thanks to the many volunteers who conducted the work of our Association this year, and thanks to each and every one of our members for the work that you do every day.

Press Receives Major Grant From the National Endowment for the Humanities

June 29, 2020

The University of Arizona Press announces the receipt of a major National Endowment for the Humanities Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act grant, which provides emergency relief to institutions and organizations working in the humanities. The $90,037 grant provides the Press ongoing support for the publication of humanities scholarship, and acknowledges, in particular, its record publishing books relevant to communities of color.

This CARES Act grant will allow the Press to dramatically increase availability of e-books in Indigenous and Latinx studies, raising the total number of available eBooks to nearly 75 percent of the total list of 1,500 titles in print published by the Press. By making works available for digital delivery, the Press can fulfill its mission regardless of social distancing requirements and help maintain financial viability during the pandemic and beyond.

“We are grateful to the U.S. Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities for providing us with this opportunity to provide this significant scholarship to a larger audience. Since the onset of the pandemic, the circulation of print books radically decreased while the need for eBooks grew,” said Kathryn Conrad, director of the University of Arizona Press.

The Press’s high-profile list in Indigenous and Latinx studies, emphasizes history, comparative religion, literary criticism, media studies, and gender studies. This scholarship is part of our history of publishing books by, about, and for underrepresented communities in the United States, said Conrad.

For the highly competitive NEH CARES grant category, the Humanities Endowment received more than 2,300 eligible applications from cultural organizations requesting more than $370 million in funding for projects between June and December 2020. Approximately 14 percent of the applicants were funded. The Press is one of four organizations in Arizona to receive this funding.

“These new e-book versions of important works in Indigenous and Latinx scholarship will greatly expand the readership of these books at a time when public interest in these topics is rapidly growing,” said Shan Sutton, dean of University Libraries. “NEH support will ensure that the general public has greater access, while also enabling these books to be more easily integrated into online college courses that are increasing as well.”

About the National Endowment for the Humanities Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at neh.gov.

Free E-Book of the Week: Deception on All Accounts from the Sadie Walela Mystery Series

June 25, 2020

Since March, we have featured a free e-Book almost every week. As we look toward the long weekend coming up, what could be better than tucking into a good mystery?  

For this week’s Free e-Book of the Week, we’re pleased to offer the first of Sara Sue Hoklotubbe’s mystery series, Deception on All Accounts for free download. Set against the backdrop of small-town Oklahoma and its Native culture, Deception on All Accounts draws readers into the real lives of contemporary American Indians as it shines a light on violence, corporate corruption, and prejudice in modern America. As Sadie Walela comes to terms with murder, romance, and her hopes for a career, she finds deception on all accounts.

Deception on All Accounts is the first of four books that feature Sadie. Author Sara Sue Hoklotubbe is a Cherokee tribal citizen. She is the winner of a WILLA Literary Award, Trophy Award for Best Fiction Book by Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for best mystery/suspense, and a Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers Award for best mystery.. Read ‘Seven Questions with Sara Sue Hoklotubbe’ to learn more.

Download Deception on All Accounts here using code AZSADIE20. Available until 7/6/2020.

“It’s a pleasure to make the acquaintance of Sadie Walela, a banker in northeastern Oklahoma who is thrust into the role of amateur sleuth after a spate of branch robberies leaves several colleagues dead and her career in critical condition. . . . Hoklotubbe paints a believable picture of Indian-white relations in small-town America and crafts a series protagonist as savvy as she is sweet.”—Booklist

“Evenly paced prose, increasingly suspenseful plotting, and the emergence of a strong heroine characterize this promising first mystery.”—Library Journal

Learn more about the series

Mark Nichter’s ‘Global Health’ Now Available in e-Edition

June 23, 2020

We are pleased to announce that anthropologist Mark Nichter’s book Global Health: Why Cultural Perceptions, Social Representations, and Biopolitics Matter is now available in e-Book format, as well as print.

Since its publication in 2008, Global Health has been a key text for understanding health social science research and what this research can contribute to global health and the study of biopolitics. Nichter is Regents’ Professor Emeritus and Professor of Anthropology, Public Health, and Family Medicine at the University of Arizona.

“Nichter has written an accessible text that is both critical and constructive, an inspiration as well as a lesson plan. It should be required reading for anyone considering the relevance of social science in global health.”–Current Anthropology

The June 19, 2020 issue of the American Anthropological Association’s Anthropology News includes an essay by Regents’ Professor Emeritus Mark Nichter. “Engaging the Pandemic: How One Medical Anthropologist Is Boosting Our Capacity to Understand and Contend with COVID-19” (pp. 3–7) explores the practical collaborations a medical anthropologist can contribute during lockdown. Nichter writes, “COVID-19 provides an opportunity to build alliances and momentum for significant health care reform.”

Gerard P. Kuiper and the Rise of Modern Planetary Science Wins a Foreword Indies Award

June 23, 2020

We are thrilled to announce that Gerard P. Kuiper and the Rise of Modern Planetary Science is the 2019 Bronze Winner of the Science section of the Foreword Indie Book Awards!

Gerard P. Kuiper and the Rise of Modern Planetary Science describes the life of a man who lived through some of the most dramatic events of the twentieth century and ended up creating a new field of scientific research, planetary science. As NASA and other space agencies explore the solar system, they take with them many of the ideas and concepts first described by Gerard P. Kuiper.

Derek W. G. Sears was a professor at the University of Arkansas for thirty years and is now a senior research scientist at NASA. He has published widely on meteorites, lunar samples, asteroids, and the history of planetary science.

Congratulations, Derek!

Environmentally Focused Books to Explore this Summer

June 18, 2020

North of Tucson, the Santa Catalina Mountains have been aggressively burning for more than a week. As of today, the fire has grown to 23,892 acres, and many residents have evacuated their homes. As we watch the smoke billowing up above the mountain range, we thought it would be an appropriate time to turn our attention toward our books that focus on fire, the environment, and human impacts on the planet.

Below, we have a curated collection of environmentally focused books that dive deep into nature, the implications of human activity, and the devastation and renewal that fire can bring.

Use the code AZPLANET20 to receive 40% off with free shipping on any of the titles mentioned in this post! Don’t forget, Stephen Pyne’s The Southwest is available as a free e-book until 6/25/20 with the code AZFIRE20.

This anthology offers a unique and sweeping view of the nation’s fire scene by distilling observations on Florida, California, the Northern Rockies, the Great Plains, the Southwest, the Interior West, the Northeast, Alaska, the oak woodlands, and the Pacific Northwest into a single, readable volume. The essays offer a color-commentary companion to the play-by-play narrative offered in Pyne’s Between Two Fires: A Fire History of Contemporary America.

To the Last Smoke is Stephen J. Pyne’s way of “keeping with it to the end,” encompassing the directive from his rookie season as a wildland firefighter to stay with every fire “to the last smoke.”

Read an excerpt from the book here, and watch a video about the series here.

Through a mixture of journalism, history, and literary imagination, fire expert Stephen J. Pyne provides a lively survey of what makes this region distinctive, moving us beyond the usual conversations of science and policy. Pyne explores the Southwest’s sacred mountains, including the Jemez, Mogollon, Huachucas, and Kaibab; its sky islands, among them the Chiricahuas, Mount Graham, and Tanque Verde; and its famous rims and borders. Together, the essays provide a cross-section of how landscape fire looks in the early years of the 21st century, what is being done to manage it, and how fire connects with other themes of southwestern life and culture.

The Southwest is part of the multivolume series describing the nation’s fire scene region by region. The volumes in To the Last Smoke also cover California, the Northern Rockies, the Great Plains, Florida, and several other critical fire regions. The series serves as an important punctuation point to Pyne’s 50-year career with wildland fire—both as a firefighter and a fire scholar.

Read six questions with Stephen J. Pyne here, then read an article on preparing for the pyrocene here. Use the code AZFIRE20 to get this e-book for free through 6/25/20.

Science Be Dammed is an alarming reminder of the high stakes in the management—and perils in the mismanagement—of water in the western United States. It offers important lessons in the age of climate change and underscores the necessity of seeking out the best science to support the decisions we make.

Watch a recorded virtual book panel with authors Eric Kuhn and John Fleck here.

Cultivating Knowledge highlights the agency, creativity, opportunism, and performance of individuals and communities carving out successful lives in a changing agricultural landscape. The practice of sustainable agriculture on the farm—let alone the global challenge of feeding or clothing the world—is a social question, not a technological one. Farmers do not make simple cost-benefit analyses when evaluating new technologies and options. Their choices have dire consequences, sometimes leading to death. Through an ethnography of seeds, Andrew Flachs investigates the human responses to global agrarian change.

View some field notes from Andrew Flachs’ research here, then watch a lecture on anthropology and agriculture here.

Fighting for Andean Resources offers a singular contribution to the literature critiquing monolithic views of nation-state dynamics and globalization. Vladimir R. Gil Ramón examines the protocols of accountability and the social critique of the application of environmental impact assessments and safeguard policies. His analysis reveals the complex mechanisms for legitimizing decision-making and adds to an understanding of everyday state-nation conflicts and negotiations.

Despite its tiny size and seeming marginality to world affairs, the Central American republic of Costa Rica has long been considered an important site for experimentation in cutting-edge environmental policy. The Ecolaboratory frames Costa Rica as an “ecolaboratory” and asks what lessons we can learn for the future of environmental governance and sustainable development both within the country and elsewhere.

The saguaro, with its great size and characteristic shape, has become the emblem of the Sonoran Desert of southwestern Arizona and northwestern Mexico. The Saguaro Cactus offers a complete natural history of this enduring cactus, the largest and tallest in the United States. From its role in Sonoran Desert ecology, to its adaptations to the desert climate, to its sacred place in Indigenous culture, this book offers a definitive source on a distinguished desert plant.

Read an excerpt from the book here.

Through twenty individual stories, Voices from Bears Ears captures the passions of the debate that led to the creation of Bears Ears National Monument, a land of unsurpassed natural beauty and deep historical significance. The story of this place reflects the cultural crosscurrents that roil our times: maintaining tradition and culture in the face of change, healing the pain of past injustices, creating shared futures, and protecting and preserving lands for future generations.

Naturalist John Alcock details the aftermath of a devastating wildfire in the lower reaches of Arizona’s Mazatzal Mountains. Documenting for a decade the chaparral landscape left in the wake of the Willow fire, After the Wildfire thrills at the renewal of the region as he hikes in and photographs plants and animals in a once-blackened wildland now teeming with resurgent life.

No Species Is an Island describes the surprising results of Theodore H. Fleming’s eleven-year study of pollination biology in Sonora, Mexico, in the most biologically diverse desert in the world. These discoveries serve as a primer on how to conduct ecological research, and offer important conservation lessons for us all. Fleming offers an insightful look at how field ecologists work, and the often big surprises that come from looking carefully at a natural world where no species stands alone.

Read an excerpt from the book here.

Published in 1986, Blue Desert was Charles Bowden’s third book-length work and takes place almost entirely in Arizona, revealing Bowden’s growing and intense preoccupation with the state and what it represented as a symbol of America’s “New West.” With a thoughtful new foreword by Francisco Cantú, Blue Desert is a critical piece of Bowden’s oeuvre.

Read a short essay on Blue Desert here.

Don’t forget, we are offering 40% off all e-books with the code AZEBOOK40.

‘The Sins of Our Fathers’: An Excerpt from Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez’s Forthcoming Book

June 17, 2020

In New Mexico two statues of Juan de Oñate, sixteenth-century Spanish conquis­tador who founded the first Spanish town in the present-day Southwest at San Juan de los Caballeros, were removed following protests this week. In this excerpt from Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez’s forthcoming book, Colonial Legacies in Chicana/o Literature and Culture, we learn that this action follows decades of a contested conversation:

Within the colonial kaleidoscope, everyone sees the pieces differently. There are prisms that reveal a propensity to shut out others. If one’s own privileged history or legacy is at stake, then they choose not to look or acknowledge history beyond their own perspective, for if they validate the existence of oppositional thought, it somehow diminishes their own story. Indigenous histories represent the jagged fragments that, when viewed separately, tell a more complex history that needs to be seen and acknowledged. For Indigenous people, colonization itself is a jagged edge that will never find a solid place within the kaleidoscope. But this same history represents a point of pride for people who hold on to these legacies.

Patricia Marina Trujillo, Corrine Kaa Pedi Povi Sanchez, and Scott Davis (2020) refer to Oñate as a chispa, the flyaway piece of hair that keeps resting on your face. You tuck it back, but you know it’s bound to get loose again and be bothersome. Oñate is a tired, drawn-out character in the story of New Mexico. How do we secure this chispa? And where? National debates in 2017 surrounding Confederate flags and statues in the South and monuments, more generally, suggest museums as potential locations, rather than public spaces as a site of remembrance.26 And Guthrie (2013) reminds us these sites serve as an epicenter for the politics of recognition with ties to how we celebrate multiculturalism, specifically in New Mexico. The white supremacist marches and counterprotests in Charlottesville, Virginia, prompted social media users and KUNM, a public radio station broadcasting from the University of New Mexico’s Oñate Hall (sigh), to return to the topic of Oñate’s legacy in August 2017.

As I finished this chapter, I could not find a way to break away from the controversy surrounding Oñate that was again brought to the forefront via national conversations on Confederate statues. A recent manifestation of resis­tance to this narrative was the renaming of the Oñate Monument Resource and Visitors Center as the Northern Río Grande National Heritage Center, whose vision centers on the economic sustainability of the people of the north­ern Río Grande. This marks a shift from an Oñate-centered space to one that demonstrates an investment in and recognition of the economic structures that were created through centuries of colonial violence in New Mexico and the Southwest. The rededication of this space came to my attention through a Facebook post by Patricia Marina Trujillo on March 2, 2017, where she included a photo showing a new sign posted near the Oñate monument. The sign, a conquistador hat with a line through it, was accompanied by Patricia’s hashtag, #buenobyeoñate. Though the artist was not known at the time of her posting, it marks a pattern of resistance to the Oñate narrative and a desire to move past exhausted, old arguments of former Spanish glory that fail to nuance history.

Just as 1998 prompted new conversations about Oñate’s legacy in light of the four hundredth anniversary of his arrival, so too did more recent events surrounding monuments dedicated to Confederate heroes. In 2017, on the cusp of the Entrada Pageant in Santa Fe for the annual Santa Fe Fiesta held each September, the Oñate statue located in Alcalde, New Mexico, was vandalized with red paint covering the left foot. Painted on a nearby wall were the words “Remember 1680” (Bennett 2017). This act demonstrated a continued lack of interest by some in celebrating pageantry and monuments to Spanish coloni­zation, and a reminder that this conversation may never be silenced.

Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez is an assistant professor of English at Arizona State University. Her work focuses on colonialism, place studies, and the narratives of southwestern U.S. communities. She is co-editor of Spanish Perspectives on Chicano Literature: Literary and Cultural Essays and Querencia: Reflections on the New Mexico Homeland. Colonial Legacies in Chicana/o Literature and Culture will be published by the University of Arizona Press in October.

Thinking Like a Burned Mountain: An Excerpt from Stephen J. Pyne’s To the Last Smoke Anthology

June 16, 2020

For more than a week, the Tucson community has watched the Bighorn Fire burn its way across the Santa Catalina Mountains. Many people have been ordered to evacuate their homes as firefighters from surrounding regions fight the blaze. As of today, the fire has burned 14,686 acres with 30 percent containment. 

Since 2015, we’ve published the works of fire historian Stephen J. Pyne, starting with a narrative examination of fire in the United States Between Two Fires: A Fire History of Contemporary America. Next, we published a series of regional fire surveys. This spring, Pyne brought together the best of each regional study into the anthology To the Last Smoke, which offers a unique and sweeping view of the nation’s fire scene and serves as a punctuation mark to the series.

Pyne is an emeritus professor at Arizona State University. He is the author of more than 30 books, mostly on wildland fire and its history but also dealing with the history of places and exploration, including The Ice, How the Canyon Became Grand, and Voyager.

Below, read an excerpt from the “Southwest” section of Pyne’s new anthology:

“On September 18, 1909, a young Aldo Leopold, then a ranger with the U.S. Forest Service, shot two timber wolves in Arizona’s White Mountains. He noted the episode casually in a letter home. But the incident, like embers in an old campfire, glowed in his mind, and in April 1944 he wrote one of his most celebrated meditations, ‘Thinking Like a Mountain’, in which he described standing over the dying she-wolf and watching the ‘fierce green fire’ in her eyes die and wondered if shooting the wolf had helped unhinge the larger landscape. Too much emphasis on safety, he thought, was dangerous. He quoted Thoreau’s dictum, ‘In wildness is the salvation of the world.’

The essays, or more accurately moral epistle, became one of the founding documents of 20th-century American environmentalism. It helped make the wolf the living emblem of the wild, and wolf restoration a measure of ecological enlightenment. About 10 miles of Leopold’s kill site, Mexican gray wolves were reintroduced in 1998. But his insights also helped underwrite a campaign of nature protection that focused on the preservation of pristine lands. Leopold was the architect of America’s first ‘primitive area’, the Gila, located in an adjacent national forest, which subsequently became the inspiration for a National Wilderness Preservation System 40 years later. In 1984 the system acquired the 11,000-acre Bear Wallow Wilderness, about 10 miles as the crow flies southwest from where Leopold shot is wolf. Between them the three sites from a triangle of environmental thinking transformed into action— the deed into an idea, the emblem into a restored species, the wild into a legally gazetted preserve.

A century later a mammoth wildfire boiled out of the Bear Wallow Wilderness, blew over the wolf reintroduction site, and overran Leopold’s vantage point above the Black River. The Wallow fire, kindled by an untended campfire, burned 50 times as much land as the wilderness held. An idealistic green fire met an all-too-real red one.

The contrast almost overflows with symbolism, but two themes seem most useful. One speaks to nature protection, and that preserving the wild is perhaps not just a paradox but an example of a misguided urge toward safety, in this case the security of nature, not unlike Leopold’s shooting a wolf. ‘In those days we never heard of passing up a chance to kill a wolf.’ Fewer wolves meant more deer, and no wolves meant ‘a hunter’s paradise.’ So, too, it has seemed self-evident that removing the human presence would mean a healthier land, and no people would mean paradise.

The other theme is fire. At the time Leopold killed the green fire, he was also swatting out red ones. Fire control was among the most fundamental of ranger tasks; to ignore fire could be cause for dismissal. Interestingly, posters from the era even equated fire with wolves: the fire wolf running wild through reserves was a ravenous killer that needed to be hunted down and shot. Over time this belief, too, yielded to the realization that fire’s removal, like the wolf’s, could unravel ecosystems. The difference was that fire was renewed annually, if not through human artifice then through lightning (the American Southwest is North America’s epicenter for lightning fire). The spark is always there: if wind and fuel are aligned, fire can spread.

But the deeper story was that the sparks decreased and the fuel was stripped away. Lightning fires were attacked and distinguished at their origin. People quit setting tame fires to substitute for nature’s wild ones. And overgrazing slow-metabolized on a vast scale what fire had formerly fast-burned. Cattle and sheep cleaned out the country’s combustibles. Flame might kindle in the isolated snag; it could not easily spread. Over decades, however, the removal of predatory fire allowed a woody understory to flourish, akin to the metastasizing deer population that blew up after the wolves were extinguished. Both yielded a sick, impoverished landscape.

So a campaign to restore fire ran parallel to that for reinstating wolves. Their histories are oddly symmetrical. The population of neither wolf nor fire has reached its former levels, and the landscape teeters on a metastable ridgeline. The issue is that success requires not merely the presence of wolf and flame but a suitable habitat in which they can thrive. The power of fire resides in the power to propagate, and that sustaining setting was gone. Fire, however, had other properties wolves lacked, notably a capacity not simply to recycle but to transform. A single spark could transmute thousands of acres almost instantaneously.

On Memorial Day weekend, May 2011, flames returned. This time they came as feral fire. It was certainly not a tame fire— not a controlled burn or a prescribed one suitable for wildlands. Neither was it a truly natural fire; it started from a slovenly kept campfire and burned through decades of forests whose structure had been destabilized by logging, of grazing that had destroyed their capacity to carry surface fire, and of doctrines of fire exclusion that had prevented nature’s economy from brokering fuel and flame. The Wallow fire could no more behave as it would have in presettlement times than could a wolf pack dropped into a former hunting site now remade into a Phoenix shopping mall.

Probably fires had burned as widely in the past, but through long seasons in which they crept and swept as the mutable comings and goings of local weather allowed. Undoubtedly, in the past spring winds, underwritten by single-digit humidity, had blown flame through the canopies of mixed-conifer spruce and fir and left landscapes of white ash and sticks. But it is unlikely that earlier times had witnessed a similar combination of size and intensity. The Wallow burn was not what forest officers had in mind when they sought to reintroduce the ecological alchemy of free-burning flame.

© 2020 by The Arizona Board of Regents

If you would like to read more about fire in the Southwest, we are currently offering Stephen J. Pyne’s The Southwest as a free e-book through 6/25/2020. Use the code AZFIRE20 at checkout!

Free E-Book of the Week: Wildfire in the Southwest

June 15, 2020

For more than a week, our community has watched the smoke from the Bighorn Fire float up above the Santa Catalina Mountains, which sit just north of Tucson. As of today, the fire has burned more than 14,000 acres of our beloved Sky Island.

But wildfire has been on the mind of all of us at the Press for several years. Since 2015, we have been publishing the works of fire historian Stephen J. Pyne, who has been illuminating the regional and national history of wildfire in the United States.

For this week’s free e-Book of the Week, we’re drawing attention to Pyne’s To the Last Smoke Series by offering The Southwest for free download from our website. The volume helps to explain the challenges wildland firefighters are facing right now with the Bighorn Fire, and why this is likely to be just one of many burns in the Southwest this summer.

The Southwest is part of the multivolume series describing the nation’s fire scene region by region. The volumes in To the Last Smoke serve as an important punctuation point to Pyne’s 50-year career with wildland fire—both as a firefighter and a fire scholar. These unique surveys of regional pyrogeography are Pyne’s way of “keeping with it to the end,” encompassing the directive from his rookie season to stay with every fire “to the last smoke.”

Download here using code AZFIRE20. Available until 6/25/2020.

“An elegant and informed treatise on the history and evolving nature of wildfire in our arid and rugged landscape.”—Journal of Arizona History

“This is an exceptionally readable work; the analyses of events reflect the interpretation of humans, ecology, and institutions.”—Choice

“An accessible entry point into the kaleidoscopic set of shifting interests that characterize the relationships of fire to the Southwest.”—Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Learn more about the book

Social Justice-Centered Books to Amplify Voices and Educate Allies

June 4, 2020

The University of Arizona Press is committed to publishing the voices and scholarship of Black, Indigenous, and Latinx authors. In a world filled with injustices, racism, and inequalities, we encourage people to read books that will educate them on the experiences and perspectives of people of color, furthering understanding as we move forward. The books included in this post highlight social justice, resistance, and social movements— topics which are crucially important now and always.

Use the code AZJUSTICE20 to get 40% off with free shipping on all of the titles included in this post.

Black Girl Magic Beyond the Hashtag poses the question: how does the #BlackGirlMagic political and cultural movement translate outside of social media? The essays in this volume move us beyond the digital realm and reveals how Black girls and women foster community, counter invisibility, engage in restorative acts, and create spaces for freedom in the face of structural oppression.

Read an excerpt from Black Girl Magic Beyond the Hashtag here.

Marquis Bey’s debut essay collection unsettles normative ways of understanding Blackness, Black feminism, and queerness. Them Goon Rules is an un-rulebook, a long-form essayistic sermon that meditates on how Blackness and nonnormative gender impact and remix everything we claim to know.

Read an excerpt from Them Goon Rules here.

Them Goon Rules is our free e-book of the week from 6/3/2020 to 6/10/2020. Use the code AZBEY20 at checkout.

The Chicana M(other)work Anthology is a call to action for justice within and outside academia. This volume brings together emerging scholarship and testimonios by and about self-identified Chicana and Women of Color mother-scholars, activists, and allies who, using an intersectional lens, center mothering as transformative labor.

Read an excerpt from The Chicana M(other)work Anthology here.

Poetry of Resistance offers a poetic call for tolerance, reflection, reconciliation, and healing. Bringing together more than eighty writers, the anthology powerfully articulates the need for change and the primacy of basic human rights.

Alarcón and co-editor the eco-poet and activist Odilia Galván Rodríguez selected the strongest work from the hundreds of entries to shape this anthology whose communal message—a plea for social change—will remain timeless and resonant.”—NBC News

We are proud to have published this award winning collection.

The Sovereign Street offers a rare look at political revolution as it happens, showing how mass street protest can change national political life.  It documents a critical period in twenty-first century Bolivia, when small-town protests made headlines worldwide, where a generation of pro-globalization policies were called into question, and where the indigenous majority stepped into government power for the first time in five centuries.

Listen to a podcast interview with author Carwil Bjork-James here.

In the fifteen-year span from 1990 to 2005 uprisings of the indigenous peoples of Ecuador and Bolivia changed their societies forever. The combination of mass mobilization, elections, and indigenous socialism created a new form of twenty-first-century revolution that applies to cultures far beyond the Andes. In Indigenous Revolution in Ecuador and Bolivia, 1990-2005, Jeffrey M. Paige’s interviews present the powerful personal experiences and emotional intensity of the revolutionary leadership.

The early 1960s are remembered for the emergence of new radical movements. One such protest movement rose in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. With large timbering companies moving in on the forested sierra highlands, campesinos and rancheros did not sit by as their lands and livelihoods were threatened. Agrarian Revolt in the Sierra of Chihuahua, 1959-1965 is the story of how they organized and demanded agrarian rights—ultimately with deadly consequences.

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