SUMMER READING SALE! 40% off all available books with code PENN-SUMMER24 through June 14!


Hot Off Penn Press: August’s New Books

Well, as the new school year begins, the Press's presses have slowed, just a touch. It's the calm before the storm, to be sure. Here are the books that have been released this month.

Jump to: American Literature | Politics and Human Rights


 The Altar at HomeThe Altar at Home: Sentimental Literature and Nineteenth-Century American Religion
Claudia Stokes

"Claudia Stokes presents a more textured account and provocatively mixed assessment of the sentimental tradition of American women's letters than we have yet encountered." —Tracy Fessenden, Arizona State University

"This is an excellent book—well researched, innovative, and beautifully written. Claudia Stokes shows a mastery of both literary sentimentalism and religious history, which she uses to bring out compelling new insights about what it meant for women to draw on sentimental codes as they forged new ways of participating in religious culture and public discussions." —Nancy Bentley, University of Pennsylvania

The Altar at Home explores the many religious contexts and contents of the sentimental literature of the American nineteenth century, arguing that this genre played a dynamic role in the development of revivalism, millennialism, feminism, and other forms of heterodoxy.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

296 pages | 6 x 9
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4637-7 | $59.95s | £39.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9014-1 | $59.95s | £39.00


In the Shadow of the GallowsNOW IN PAPERBACK
In the Shadow of the Gallows: Race, Crime, and American Civic Identity
Jeannine Marie DeLombard

"This is a powerful book filled with important, paradigm-shifting ideas about the presentation of African Americans in print and the media. Though not suited to the casual reader, its contents are thought provoking and address contemporary race issues in ways that scholarship on the history of print and readership rarely does." —Journal of American History

"In this impressively researched and provocative study, Jeannine Marie DeLombard argues for an alternative literary and legal history of early black writing and, more broadly, nineteenth-century cultural formations of racial subjectivity." —New England Quarterly

"DeLombard's expertly researched book stands as a model of interdisciplinary scholarship, and her arguments on the foundational nexus of race, criminality, and citizenship offer scholars of English and history much to consider. In the Shadow of the Gallows, with DeLombard's deft analysis of early American literature, persuasively pushes back the plantation-to-prison narrative to the very founding of the nation, and demonstrates the importance of criminality in the development of early black subjectivity." —Law and History Review

"DeLombard ingeniously shows from deep research how much the creation of an African American 'voice' stemmed from ancient assumptions about race, criminality, and guilt. Her reading of Frederick Douglass's arrest and jailing as a young slave rebel is alone worth the price of this book, but she demands that we see race, literature, and citizenship in the age of the Civil War as a national crucible played out in courts, on gallows, in jails, and ultimately on the printed page." —David W. Blight, author of American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era

"In her exquisitely written In the Shadow of the Gallows, Jeannine DeLombard reads early American criminal law in conjunction with the idea of social contract to illustrate the intricacies of political belonging from the early Republic through the antebellum period. Through the double helix of print and legal history, she chronicles the metamorphic role of authorship in African Americans' bids for enfranchisement against the backdrop of a nation entangled in contradictory definitions of personhood and property and of criminality and civility. Exemplary of humanities scholarship at its best, the book establishes the connections between American literature and the African American struggle for civic inclusion." —Priscilla Wald, Duke University

"I have long thought that DeLombard is at the absolute top of the scholars working on law and literature in North America, and In the Shadow of the Gallows confirms her status." —Alfred Brophy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

"The significance of DeLombard's project can be measured by the centrality of its claims to a wide variety of fields. The issues that DeLombard takes up here strike at the heart of the current disciplinary configurations defining not only American and African American literary studies but also American and African American history and critical race studies."—Lloyd Pratt, University of Oxford

In the Shadow of the Gallows reveals how a sense of racialized culpability shaped Americans' understandings of personhood prior to the Civil War. Jeannine Marie DeLombard draws from legal, literary, and popular texts to address fundamental questions about race, responsibility, and American civic belonging.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

456 pages | 6 x 9 | 15 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4422-9 | $59.95s | £39.00
Paperback | ISBN 978-0-8122-2317-0 | $27.50s | £18.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-0633-3 | $27.50s | £18.00
A volume in the Haney Foundation Series



Human Rights and AdolescenceHuman Rights and Adolescence
Jacqueline Bhabha, Editor

"Through in-depth analysis of existing international legal norms and implementation gaps, this volume makes a compelling case for a conscious adoption of a rights-based approach toward adolescents. Carefully balanced contributions from very different horizons reflect perfectly the complexity of the issue. Their message confirms the editor's call for a deliberate international focus on the rights, challenges, and opportunities for these children on the verge of adulthood." —Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography

"A timely and important volume, Human Rights and Adolescence brings together work by a diverse array of global scholars and practitioners to provide a much needed understanding of a rights-based approach to adolescence. By placing an adolescent rights agenda at the core, Human Rights and Adolescence adds a nuanced contribution to the emergent field of adolescent research and policy. This interdisciplinary volume will be useful for students of law, policy, and public health." —Martha Brady, Senior Associate, Population Council

Human Rights and Adolescence presents a multifaceted inquiry into the global circumstances of adolescents, focused on the human rights challenges and socioeconomic obstacles young adults face.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

376 pages | 6 x 9 | 9 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4631-5 | $69.95s | £45.50
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9011-0 | $69.95s | £45.50
A volume in the Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights series


Abortion Law in Transnational PerspectiveAbortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies
Edited by Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman, and Bernard M. Dickens

"This diverse collection illuminates the innovative thinking of national, regional, and international court decisions on the appropriateness of abortion regulation. It will serve as an important reference for policy makers, advocates, and adjudicators from around the world for years to come."—Louise Arbour, Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

"By transcending languages and borders, the authors introduce new ways of viewing abortion policy, whether in the European move toward a less punitive, more family-supportive approach, or the promising reforms in Latin America, or the global recognition of clearly defined access to services as essential to realizing rights. Along with its careful attention to how we frame our stories, this collection is essential reading for scholar and activist alike." —R. Alta Charo, University of Wisconsin Law School

"This collection shows the complexity of constitutional regime borrowing and grafting in this fast-moving area of law, with new regulatory modes of abortion unimaginable a few decades ago." —Sujit Choudhry, Dean, School of Law, University of California, Berkeley

Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective offers a fresh look at significant transnational legal developments in recent years, examining key judicial decisions, constitutional texts, and regulatory reforms of abortion law in order to envision ways ahead.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

480 pages | 6 x 9
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4627-8 | $69.95s | £45.50
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-0999-0 | $69.95s | £45.50
A volume in the Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights series


Binational Human RightsBinational Human Rights: The U.S.-Mexico Experience
William Paul Simmons and Carol Mueller, Editors

"A timely intervention, Binational Human Rights brings together works by a diverse array of scholars from U.S. and Mexican universities to provide a much-needed binational understanding of the political and economic forces that render poor citizens and migrants vulnerable to human rights abuse." —Alicia Schmidt Camacho, Yale University

"Simmons and Mueller have assembled a great set of studies that use a mix of qualitative and quantitative evidence to provide solid explanation and understanding of the many complexities surrounding Mexico as a human rights outlier. This is a great contribution to a heated and controversial set of issues." —Todd Landman, University of Essex

With contributions from leading scholars and activists from the U.S. and Mexico, Binational Human Rights analyzes the feminicides in Ciudad Juárez, the drug war, and the plight of migrants within the context of U.S. and Mexican policies, which mutually affect human rights conditions in each nation.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

312 pages | 6 x 9 | 8 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4628-5 | $55.00s | £36.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-0998-3 | $55.00s | £36.00
A volume in the Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights series


Book reviewers: To request a press copy of a Penn Press book, send your name, shipping address, and the title of your publication to

Educators: To request an exam copy for course use consideration, click here.