Hot Off the Presses!

New book releases!

  • Abortion Politics in Congress: Strategic Incrementalism and Policy Change
    By Scott. H. Ainsworth
    Cambridge University Press

    "This book proposes a new understanding of why political actors with extreme opinions might support only marginal adjustments to existing policies. The case of abortion would seem to preclude half-way positions, but Ainsworth and Hall's 'strategic incrementalism' explains what previously appeared a puzzle. The work will have a major impact on how we think of how politicians stake out their public positions on issues of controversy."
    - Frank Baumgartner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    "This book raises intriguing possibilities about representation and lawmaking, and it holds together nicely. Ainsworth and Hall have woven together a coherent account of policymaking that brings in two sides of the story: the representational side, how members of Congress relate to their constituents, and the organizational side, how Congress passes legislation. It will gain attention from scholars and students of American politics across a range of subfields."
    - Ken Kollman, Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

    "With this book, Ainsworth and Hall make a significant and compelling contribution to our understanding of issue politics, the legislative process, and ideological trends over time. Their innovative theory and use of sophisticated modeling to study this issue forges a new path for students of congressional politics."
    - Wendy Schiller, Brown University

  • Women and Nazis: Perpetrators of Genocide and Other Crimes During Hitler's Regime,1933-1945
    By Wendy Adele-Marie Sarti
    Academica Press

    War atrocities cannot be segregated by gender and gender cannot be ignored when analyzing the crimes that culminated in the Third Reich's attempt to eradicate European Jewry and other suspect nationalities. Despite the Nazis' masculine-oriented policies towards women many women sought ways to become involved in Hitler's party and government. Professor Sarti's remarkable research discusses the women who not only agreed with the Hitler's Weltanschauung but took an active part in mass genocide. Scholarship has tended to fundamentally overlook or dismiss the actions of this group; Sarti brings them to the fore of her remarkable investigation into their numbers and their influence. Professor Sarti discusses the broad narrative of women as perpetrators (not as unwilling accomplices) of brutal genocidal acts. She also studies a number of individuals such as some of the nineteen in the Belsen trial of 1945 and others brought to trial by the Allies and also German authorities in postwar West Germany. In reality far fewer women were even processed for trial than men and this in the face of research that points to a much higher number of women guards and supervisors than the Allied forces acknowledged. This work, based on primary sources, is sure to be of great interest to students of the Holocaust, Nazi Germany and genocide as a modern phenomena as well as scholars involved in women and gender studies.
    --Publishers Description

  • Overcoming Objectification: A Carnal Ethics
    By Ann J. Cahill

    "Objectification is a foundational concept in feminist theory, used to analyze such disparate social phenomena as sex work, representation of women's bodies, and sexual harassment. However, there has been an increasing trend among scholars of rejecting and re-evaluating the philosophical assumptions which underpin it. In this work, Cahill suggests an abandonment of the notion of objectification, on the basis of its dependence on a Kantian ideal of personhood. Such an ideal fails to recognize sufficiently the role the body plays in personhood, and thus results in an implicit vilification of the body and sexuality. The problem with the phenomena associated with objectification is not that they render women objects, and therefore not-persons, but rather that they construct feminine subjectivity and sexuality as wholly derivative of masculine subjectivity and sexuality. Women, in other words, are not objectified as much as they are derivatized, turned into a mere reflection or projection of the other. Cahill argues for an ethics of materiality based upon a recognition of difference, thus working toward an ethics of sexuality that is decidedly ­and simultaneously ­incarnate and intersubjective" 
    --Publishers Description

  • Dirty Words: The Rhetoric of Public Sex Education, 1870-1924
    By Robin E. Jensen
    University of Illinois Press
    "Approaching the early struggles over sex education in the public schools from the fresh angle of rhetorical analysis, Jensen provides a useful guide to contemporary debates on this important issue. This book is of special interest to students and scholars of history, education, women's studies, communications, and rhetoric."
    --Jeffrey P. Moran, author of Teaching Sex: The Shaping of Adolescence in the Twentieth Century

    "Illuminating a rich collection of primary texts, Jensen demonstrates that despite exclusion from existing historical accounts, women played a significant role in the advocacy of sex education. This important Progressive Era history details the deliberative context in which debates about sex education occurred and analyzes strategies employed by often-overlooked female advocates."
    --Susan Zaeske, author of Signatures of Citizenship: Petitioning, Antislavery, and Women's Political Identity
  • Self-Objectification in Women: Causes, Consequences, and Counteraction
    By Rachel M. Calogero (Editor), Stacey Tantleff-Dunn (Editor), J. Kevin Thompson (Editor)
    American Psychological Association

    "Modern industrialized society chronically and pervasively objectifies the female body, and many women have come to view themselves through the lens of an external observer, habitually monitoring their own appearance whether in public or private settings. Given the negative effects associated with self-objectification--such as body shame, appearance anxiety, depression, and disordered eating--an empirically based approach to researching and counteracting self-objectification is critical. This book integrates recent research developments and current clinical knowledge on self-objectification in women. Using Barbara L. Fredrickson and Tomi-Ann Roberts' objectification theory as a framework, the contributors address various aspects of the theory, including evidence for and causes of self-objectification across the life span, psychological consequences, and associated mental health risks.

    The book also discusses various scales for measuring self-objectification, as well as approaches to prevent and disrupt this phenomenon. With research from a variety of disciplines--psychology, sociology, anthropology, women's studies, and political science--this book should be read by everyone interested in the well-being of women."
    --Publishers Description


  • Gender and Jewish History
    By Marion A. Kaplan
    Indiana University Press

    "By revealing the importance of gender in interpreting the Jewish past, this collection of original essays highlights the profound influence that feminist scholarship has had on the study of Jewish history since the 1970s. Gender and Jewish History considers the impact of gender on Jewish religious practices and political behavior, educational accomplishments and communal structures, acculturation and choice of occupations. The book stimulates conversations on such topics as Jewish women's creativity and spirituality, violence against women, Jews' reactions to persecution in the Holocaust, and Judaism as lived religion and culture. Honoring Paula Hyman, one of the founders of Jewish gender studies, this volume shows gender to be an eye-opening entry into realms of Jewish history previously untouched by it."
    --Publisher Description


  • Resonances of Slavery in Race/Gender Relations: Shadow at the Heart of American Politics
    By Jane Flax
    Palgrave Macmillan

    “For America to make progress and achieve a more just and equitable society in terms of race/gender it must mourn. Flax crafts a beautiful argument showing how this mourning process should take place and manifest itself in public policies designed to achieve equality. The myriad of public policy suggestions made by Flax is arguably the strength of this extensive and thorough analysis. This work comes at a critical time in U.S. history as we grapple with the notion of race ‘neutrality’ and the often longed for, but elusive state of post-racialism. It is sure to expand our understanding of race and gender and race/gender politics.”  
    --Julia S. Jordan-Zachery, Providence College

    “Race/gender prejudice has taken a multitude of forms in American history, each marked by the ‘original sin’ of slavery. The latest form is denial that this complex history is still active, and pervasively so. The delusional idea that America is a ‘post-racial society’ has needed a thorough exploration and expose, and that is what Jane Flax provides in this book. As a psychoanalyst, she reveals the defensive and disguising functions the ‘post-racial society’ idea serves and the narcissism it reflects. As a political and legal theorist, she shows how it functions to perpetuate the race/gender prejudice it pretends is past.”
    --Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, author of Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World and The Anatomy of Prejudices 

  • Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV.
    Jennifer L. Pozner
    Seal Press
    What does it mean to be female in America? According to reality television, women in general are golddiggers, bimbos, and bitches, and women of color are violent, “low class” whores. Straight, single gals are pathetic losers and, we’re led to believe, it’s hilarious when they get mocked, dumped, or punched in the face. And even during the worst financial crisis since the Depression, it’s “important” to blow a year’s salary on bridal gowns, couture clothes, and luxury vacations. Throughout the first decade of the twenty-first century, our most popular form of media has erased all signs that the women’s rights, civil rights movement, and gay and lesbian rights movements ever occurred.
    The resulting picture of America displayed through the lens of The Bachelor, Flavor of Love, and The Real Housewives of…everywhere… is profoundly warped. Nearly every night on every major network, “unscripted” (but carefully crafted) dating, makeover, lifestyle, and competition shows glorify regressive stereotypes most of us assume died forty years ago. The masterminds of reality television have accomplished what the most ardent fundamentalists have never been able to achieve: they’ve created a world in which women not only have no real choices…they don’t even want any.
    Who is creating this pop cultural backlash against women’s rights and social progress, who profits from it, and why? What are the implications of a generation of viewers gulping down this influential genre’s gendered myths as uncritically as those ubiquitous Cokes on American Idol—and what can we do about it?
    In Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth about Guilty Pleasure TV, Jennifer L. Pozner, founder and executive director of Women In Media & News (WIMN), takes a fierce, funny, and in-depth look at how reality TV affects our beliefs, our behavior, and our culture. This genre encourages us to think less and buy more… but Pozner isn’t buying. Instead, she lays out the deep-seated biases reality TV promotes about women and men, race and class, love and marriage, sex and beauty, advertising and consumption, and more. Drawing on a decade of journalistic research, she connects the dots between reality TV’s hostile representations of women and people of color to decades of similarly harsh narratives in news media and politics. When Tyra Banks shames a poor, single mother of color for her “defeatist attitude” and claims she doesn’t want to work hard on America’s Next Top Model, Pozner hears echoes of diatribes against so-called “lazy welfare queens” in 1980s and early 1990s journalism. And what else are Wife Swap and Nanny 9-11, she asks, if not a continuation of that factually specious yet ever-present old media chestnut, the “Mommy Wars”?

    Reality Bites Back deconstructs reality TV’s twisted fairytales, demonstrating that far from harmless “guilty pleasures,” this genre has a damaging impact on our intellectual and political development. Pozner offers readers a new way of looking at the manipulative framing—and social ramifications—of their favorite shows, urging us to banish the phrase “mindless entertainment” from our collective vocabulary. Exposing behind-the-scenes production employed to “get the kids to go to Crazy Town,” she blows the lid off the claim that unscripted programming simply portrays “real people” with “real emotions.” She reveals how producers, writers, editors, and embedded advertisers spin fictions out of whole cloth—and lays bare their ideological and commercial agendas.
    Smart, engaging and eye-opening, Reality Bites Back arms readers with the tools they need to understand and challenge media stereotypes, and to advocate healthier alternatives. Resource-filled chapters like “Fun with Media Literacy” help readers to become more conscious, critical media consumers, while the solution-oriented conclusion, “What Are You Going To Do?” provides a variety of easy, engaging strategies readers can use to demand accountability from the corporations responsible for this contemporary cultural attack on women.
  • Indigenous Women and Feminism: Politics, Activism, Culture
    By Cheryl Suzack (Editor), Shari M. Huhndorf (Editor), Jeanne Perrault (Editor), Jean Barman (Editor)
    University of British Columbia Press

    "Power and purpose drive this crucial, timely, and extraordinarily valuable collection. Indigenous Women and Feminism represents a long-awaited breakthrough in the way we think about the place of Indigenous women in mainstream feminism and other progressive movements. With this book, Indigenous women's visions and experiences begin to shine through the overlay of patriarchal oppressions. Clear and incisive, Indigenous women's voices will be heard in struggles against colonialism and its aftermath. – Kathryn Shanley, Professor, Native American Studies, University of Montana A much needed and important addition to the scholarship of the Indigenous renaissance, this collection illuminates the effects of the colonial experience and contemporary politics, culture, and activism on Indigenous women’s lives. The contributors poignantly re-think and re-member Indigenous women’s roles, responsibilities, and resilience in stories, activism, and artistic expressions across tribal boundaries that contribute significantly to critical Indigenous feminism."
    – Marie Battiste, Academic Director, Aboriginal Education Research Centre, University of Saskatchewan


  • Coming & Crying
    Melissa Gira Grant and Meaghan O’Connell (editors)
    Glass Houses
    From the introduction:
    This book started because we were writing each other stories, almost every day, before we had ever met. Neither of us was writing just for the other. We were writing for the Internet, for the Anyone that might be reading. Sometimes our stories were about sex, but sometimes they were about disappointment, bravery, being smaller or bigger than we imagined. Our storytelling emerged not out of a desire to make big claims about The Truth of Sex but from feeling how vital it was to report back. We said what we’d always been told were the worst things to say, the things not to say, and when we shared them, no one blinked. They seemed to need it, too. We asked each other for more.
    So even in the very beginning we were not alone.
    We knew from our earliest conversations that Coming & Crying was meant not to be erotic but true. We wanted to make a book that charged people with telling real stories about sex but didn’t pressure them to turn anyone on. Coming & Crying aims not for conclusions about sex but for the truth that is found in our shared experience of it. We recognize each other as human not through a singular narrative, but in our own particular stories.
    There are twenty-four stories in this book and we hope all of them will knock you out or wake you up or make you feel less alone. You’ll encounter at least twenty-four people in a way one does not usually. Some of the names you’ll recognize, because they are established writers or your friends or people you follow on the Internet already. That’s how we know them, too.
    These are stories told from the point at which we’re at our most vulnerable. They have in common a rawness that might not emerge with the act of sex itself, but from a fear of seeing or feeling or saying too much. They may reveal a desire for all of that, too. There’s love in the book and also the stark lack of it. There are beginnings – first kiss, first handjob, first sex tape„ first rabies scare – and there are many more endings: some are sad, some bold. Most fall somewhere in the middle.
    Coming & Crying is premised on an offering of self, a saying Yes when one of us asked. These stories are inseparable from our willingness to go there, our need to deliver something that isn’t often told but that is essential to have in our hands as we make our way in the world with each other.