We're thrilled to announce our 2020 Spring Sale! With most academic conferences canceled, classes moved online, and retail options limited, we wanted to offer an easy and affordable way to buy our books. With Penn Press's SPRING SALE, U.S. customers receive 40% off all titles from pennpress.org using discount code SPRING20-FM through May 3rd.
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Remaking the Republic: Black Politics and the Creation of American Citizenship
"How could free black people in the antebellum era, relegated to an apparent caste status, sustain hope in a future in America? By making and remaking the idea of legal belonging through a fascinating array of grassroots politics and protest, argues Christopher James Bonner. With deep research and persuasive writing, Bonner demonstrates that the sheer 'uncertainty' of American definitions of citizenship opened ways on the margins for blacks to exploit and forge the developing republic before emancipation. This book is full of riveting stories about race and the American political imagination, of how freedom and citizenship took root in a hostile legal soil, and about the enduring power of collective struggle, however rancorous the schisms or how high the racist obstacles. Antebellum blacks used events and the nation's own creeds to make their future American."—David W. Blight, author of the Pulitizer Prize-winning Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
Examining newpsapers, conventions, public protest meetings, and fugitive slave rescues, Christopher James Bonner highlights a spirited debate among African Americans in the nineteenth century, the stakes of which could determine their place in U.S. society and shape the terms of citizenship for all Americans.
272 pages | 6 x 9 | 11 illus.
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"Selling Antislavery provides a comprehensive analysis of the fascinating material culture of abolitionism: quirky almanacs, women's Christmas fairs, lavish gift annuals, and grand panoramas of southern slavery and black achievement. It is the book for which slavery studies—and American studies more broadly—has been waiting."—Jeannine DeLombard, author of In the Shadows of the Gallows: Race, Crime, and American Civic Identity
Featuring more than 75 illustrations, Selling Antislavery offers a thorough case study of the role of reform movements in the rise of mass media and argues for abolition's central importance to the shaping of antebellum middle-class culture.
344 pages | 6 1/8 x 9 1/4 | 78 illus.
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Major Decisions: College, Career, and the Case for the Humanities
"What's the best way of boosting your creativity, collaboration, verbal communication skills and more? Major Decisions argues brilliantly that a humanities education is a winning passport to a modern career."—George Anders, author of You Can Do Anything
Laurie Groman and E. Michele Ramsey argue that, in order for our economy and democracy to thrive, we need more humanities majors, not fewer. Major Decisions serves as an informative guide to students and parents—and provides a powerful reminder to employers and university administrators of the true value of an education in the humanities.
240 pages | 6 x 9
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How To Be Depressed
"Intentionally or not, this book is a devastating critique of psychiatry. At its center is a brilliant man struggling for decades with intractable depression. While he writhes in agony, his therapists toss out sometimes contradictory diagnoses, try every possible drug, and compulsively recalibrate dosages. But year in and year out, their patient's actual experience continues to elude them. Still, I finished How To Be Depressed with hope that psychiatry can change—if its practitioners are willing to listen, really listen, to patients like Scialabba."—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Natural Causes
In How to Be Depressed, essayist George Scialabba collects decades of his own mental health records—along with an introduction, an interview, and a glossary of terms—to form an unusual, searching, and poignant hybrid of essay and memoir that strives to make sense of the baffling disease that is clinical depression.
224 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
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Beyond the Politics of the Closet: Gay Rights and the American State Since the 1970s
"Beyond the Politics of the Closet draws together scholars ready to steer the histories of American governance and politics in new directions. By centering LGBT people, these writers reveal that LGBT politics transformed the state and realigned the nation's electoral coalitions at the end of the twentieth century."—Christopher Agee, University of Colorado, Denver
Examining the crucial relationship between sexuality, race, and class, Beyond the Politics of the Closet highlights the impact gay rights politics and activism have had on the wider American political landscape since the rights revolutions of the 1960s.
280 pages | 6 x 9
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Jamaica in the Age of Revolution
"Jamaica in the Age of Revolution enhances our understanding of a colony and region—Jamaica and the Caribbean—that remains vastly understudied despite its central place in the British Atlantic empire. Trevor Burnard's book demonstrates the value of looking at the American Revolution and other key events or legal cases of the era, such as the Somerset decision and the Zong trial, from the perspective of Jamaica."—Brooke Newman, Virginia Commonwealth University
Examining such events as Tackey's Rebellion of 1760, the Somerset decision of 1772, and the murder case of the Zong in 1873 in an Atlantic context, Burnard reveals Jamiaca to be a brutally effective society that was adaptable to new economic and political circumstances, even when placed under stress, as during the American Revolution.
400 pages | 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
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NOW IN PAPERBACK
"[A] deep microhistory, based on fortuitously rich sources that a gifted historian uses to illuminate a previously obscure world with profound humanity . . . Browne's book on Berbice gets us more deeply into the lives of enslaved people in the Caribbean than any other work of nonfiction that comes readily to mind."—Journal of British Studies
Surviving Slavery in the British Caribbean depicts the human drama in which enslaved Africans struggled against their enslavers and environment, and one another. The book reorients Atlantic slavery studies by revealing how social relationships, cultural practices, and political strategies reflected an unrelenting fight to survive.
288 pages | 6 x 9 | 11 illus.
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Former Guerrillas in Mozambique
"With its in-depth ethnographic engagement, its synthesis of recent and classic studies of veterans, and its sophisticated use of the concept of the social navigation of persons through dynamic environments, Former Guerrillas in Mozambique is an important contribution to peace and conflict studies, political anthropology, the anthropology of kinship, and African studies."—Alice Wilson, University of Sussex
Former Guerrillas in Mozambique describes the trajectories of former RENAMO combatants in Mozambique and emphasizes the ways in which they navigate unstable and sometimes dangerous social and political environments during and after a civil war.
280 pages | 6 x 9 | 3 illus.
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Bastards and Believers: Jewish Converts and Conversion from the Bible to the Present
"A formidable collection of essays, Bastards and Believers boasts an array of original, instructive, and thoughtful contributions on the subjects of conversion and converts, both actual historical personages and literary constructions, that will render it valuable to numerous scholarly conversations."—Jeremy Cohen, Tel Aviv University
Viewing Jewish history from the perspective of conversion across a broad chronological and conceptual frame, Bastards and Believers highlights how the concepts of the convert and of conversion have histories of their own and speaks to the possibility, or impossibility, of changing one's life.
392 pages | 6 x 9 | 1 illus.
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LITERATURE AND CULTURE
"Early Modern Aristotle admirably demonstrates the pervasive role of Aristotelian authority in the period's philosophical, intellectual, religious, and literary disputes. Offering a comprehensive account of previously examined elements along with an abundance of new materials, the book is a substantial and original contribution to our understanding of a notable feature of early modern thinking."—Jill Kraye, University of London
In Early Modern Aristotle, Eva Del Soldato examines treatises, legends, proverbs, fictions, and rhetorical tropes to trace how recourse to the authority of Aristotle shaped intellectual discourse even during a period that challenged and overturned much of his teaching.
320 pages | 6 x 9 | 6 illus.
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"Peopling the World is a deeply researched and compelling study of views about population and demographic mobility in the British long eighteenth century, and their expression, contestation, and dissemination in literary texts from the period. Charlotte Sussman makes a persuasive case for emigration as a controversial subject which divided writers, thinkers, and politicians, and which underpinned all the major socioeconomic debates of the day, concerning poverty and wealth, nation and empire, place and belonging."—Josephine McDonagh, University of Chicago
Reading texts by Goldsmith, Malthus, Milton, Scott, Mary Shelley, Swift, and others, in the context of debates about scientific innovation, emigration, cultural memory, and colonial settlement, Charlotte Sussman traces a shift in thinking about population and mobility in Britain over the course of the long eighteenth century.
304 pages | 6 x 9
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The Martyrdom of the Franciscans: Islam, the Papacy, and an Order in Conflict
"Christopher MacEvitt convincingly demonstrates how martyrdom functioned as a central tenet of Franciscan identity, and as such his book constitutes an original and substantial contribution to the fields of Christian-Muslim relations and religious institutional history."—Bert Roest, Radboud University, Netherlands
The Martyrdom of the Franciscans shows how, for Franciscans, martyrdom accounts could at once offer veiled critique of papal policies toward the Order, a substitute for the rigorous pursuit of poverty, and a way to symbolically overcome Islam by denying Muslims the solace of conversion.
336 pages | 6 x 9 | 1 illus.
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"Bringing together a multitude of discourses with subtlety and deftness, Jesús R. Velasco undertakes a rare interpretation of the Siete Partidas and offers far-reaching and compelling conclusions."—Simone Pinet, Cornell University
In Dead Voice, Jesús R. Velasco explores how the thirteenth-century law code known as Siete Partidas introduced canon and ecclesiastical law in the vernacular for explicitly secular purposes and embraced intellectual disciplines and fictional techniques that normally lie outside legal science.
256 pages | 6 x 9
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POLITICAL SCIENCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS
American Political Development and the Trump Presidency
"An original and insightful collection, American Political Development and the Trump Presidency develops a deeper understanding of Trump, his campaign, and his governing, and makes the case for American political development as the best approach through which to analyze these unusual times."—Julie Novkov, University at Albany-SUNY
Drawing on American political development's rich theoretical tradition and historical perspective in order to better understand how long-term institutional and ideational developments have shaped the Trump presidency, this volume offers broad reflections on the future of American institutions in a time of considerable social change.
288 pages | 6 x 9 | 4 illus.
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Levinas's Politics: Justice, Mercy, Universality
"Critics of Levinas's ethics as apolitical, anti-political, or even irrelevant for politics should be silenced once and for all by Annabel Herzog's fascinating, rich, and compelling account of politics and social philosophy in Levinas's Talmudic commentaries and other occasional writings. Herzog exhibits a consummate grasp of Levinas's thought and tells a subtle story about the way Levinas wrestles with the complexities of, and interactions between, ethics, politics, and social thought. The book is also a delight to read. Herzog has given us one of the most illuminating and important books on Levinas in many years."—Michael Morgan, Indiana University
In Levinas's Politics, Annabel Herzog argues that Levinas's Talmudic readings embody a political pragmatism which complements, revises, and challenges the ethical analyses he offers in his phenomenological works.
208 pages | 6 x 9
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The Buddha's Footprint: An Environmental History of Asia
"The Buddha's Footprint is an important and often persuasive corrective to the contemporary idea that Buddhism has always been an environmentally friendly religion."—Robert DeCaroli, George Mason University
The Buddha's Footprint demonstrates how the spread of Buddhist teachings, the extension of Buddhist trading networks, and the increase of Buddhist state power were intimately connected to agricultural expansion, resource extraction, deforestation, urbanization, and the radical transformation and exploitation of Asia's environment.
192 pages | 6 x 9 | 32 illus.
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UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA MUSEUM OF ARCHAEOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
Misadventures in Archaeology: The Life and Career of Charles Conrad Abbott
In the late nineteenth century, Charles Conrad Abbott, a medical doctor and self-taught archaeologist, gained notoriety for his theories on early humans. This is the first biography to address his archaeological research beyond the Paleolithic debate, including his attempts at historical archaeology on Burlington Island in the Delaware River.
288 pages | 6 x 9 | 32 illus.
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