Hot Off Penn Press: Post-Halloween highlights

Need some reading material this November? Be sure to peruse the latest batch of Penn Press titles, which cover topics spanning from law and legal studies to religious studies to the history of higher education. Take a look below!

Jump to: Featured Titles | Ancient Studies | Early American Studies | Jewish Studies | Literature and Cultural Studies | Medieval and Renaissance Studies | Modern U.S. History | Political Science and Human Rights | Urban Studies

To receive email announcements about new books—which include a 30% discount on all titles—sign up here.


American Justice 2017American Justice 2017: The Supreme Court in Crisis
Kimberly Robinson

“This is a wonderful, engaging account of an unusual year in Supreme Court history. Kimberly Robinson does a masterful job of explaining the Court’s decisions and puts them in a broader context of what they mean for the law and for the country. Those who watch the Court closely and those who watch it only casually will benefit from reading Robinson’s account of October Term 2016.”—Erwin Chemerinsky, University of California, Berkeley School of Law

With the death of associate justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court was plunged into crisis. Refusing to hold hearings or confirm the nominee of a Democratic president almost a year away from a presidential election, the Republican-controlled Senate held the court hostage, forcing it to do its work through nearly the entire term ending in June 2017 with just eight justices. In American Justice 2017: The Supreme Court in Crisis, Kimberly Robinson examines the way individual justices and the institution as a whole reacted to this unprecedented, politically fraught situation.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

176 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4997-2 | $24.95t | £20.99
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9475-0 | $19.95s | £13.00

First ModernFirst Modern: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
George E. Thomas. Foreword by David R. Brigham

From the Crystal Palace to the skyscraper and on to the functional aesthetic of the German Bauhaus, the development of modern architecture required less than seven decades. Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts warrants a central place in this narrative.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

120 pages | 9 3/4 x 10 1/2 | 150 color illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-943836-43-0 | $39.95s | £33.00


Aristocrats and Statehood in Western Iberia, 300-600 C.E.Aristocrats and Statehood in Western Iberia, 300-600 C.E.
Damián Fernández

“A very timely and wide-ranging work that makes an important and original argument that the local elite were crucial to the day-to-day operation of the state in western Iberia in both the late Roman and post-Roman periods. It is theoretically sophisticated, very well researched, and the argument is substantiated by reference to a wealth of literary, epigraphic, and, especially, archaeological evidence, much of which is not generally known outside specialist circles.”—Jonathan Edmondson, York University

Aristocrats and Statehood in Western Iberia, 300-600 C.E. combines archaeological and literary sources to reconstruct the history of late antique Iberian aristocracies, facilitating the study of a social class that has proved elusive when approached through the lens of a single type of evidence.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

328 pages | 6 x 9 | 15 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4946-0 | $65.00s | £54.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9435-4 | $65.00s | £42.50
A volume in the Empire and After series

AmalasuinthaAmalasuintha: The Transformation of Queenship in the Post-Roman World
Massimiliano Vitiello

“An excellent study that discusses, in new and exciting ways, one of the most interesting figures in the history of the transition from the late Roman to the post-Roman world. Massimiliano Vitiello brings sources that are too often interpreted independently of each other together into a conversation and uses her eventually tragic history as a window onto the ongoing political experimentation in the post-Roman world.”—Helmut Reimitz, Princeton University

As mother, as regent, and as queen, Amalasuintha struggled at the palace of Ravenna to maintain the Ostrogothic dynasty. Massimiliano Vitiello demonstrates the ways in which her life shows the influence of both Western and Eastern imperial models on the formation of female political power in the post-Roman world.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

312 pages | 6 x 9 | 7 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4947-7 | $69.95s | £58.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9434-7 | $69.95s | £45.50


Poetry WarsPoetry Wars: Verse and Politics in the American Revolution and Early Republic
Colin Wells

Poetry Wars explains the explosion of printed verse at the end of the eighteenth century in America and the evolution of several strands of political consciousness articulated through poetry. Arguing that poetry, not prose, was in fact the dominant belletristic mode of expression in the early United States, Colin Wells provides an important corrective to our understanding of American literary history.”—David Shields, University of South Carolina

The pen was as mighty as the musket during the American Revolution, as poets waged literary war against politicians, journalists, and each other. Drawing on hundreds of poems, Poetry Wars reconstructs the important public role of poetry in the early republic and examines the reciprocal relationship between political conflict and verse.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

352 pages | 6 x 9 | 5 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4965-1 | $55.00s | £45.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9452-1 | $55.00s | £36.00
A volume in the Early American Studies series

Robert Love's WarningsNOW IN PAPERBACK
Robert Love’s Warnings: Searching for Strangers in Colonial Boston
Cornelia H. Dayton and Sharon V. Salinger

“The extent and depth of research found in Dayton and Salinger’s book is impressive and the work itself engaging. . . . Robert Love’s Warnings: Searching for Strangers in Colonial Boston is an insightful examination of the New England practice of warning and offers a rich social history of mid-eighteenth-century Boston.”—American Historical Review

Robert Love’s Warnings follows the walks of one otherwise obscure townclerk, Robert Love, as he warned itinerants and sojourners to depart the town in fourteen days. Love’s meticulous records reveal the complex legal, social, and political landscape of New England in the decade before the Revolution.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

272 pages | 6 x 9 | 10 illus.
Paperback | ISBN 978-0-8122-2404-7 | $24.95t | £20.99
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-0632-6 | $24.95s | £16.50
A volume in the Early American Studies series

Slavery's BorderlandNOW IN PAPERBACK
Slavery’s Borderland: Freedom and Bondage Along the Ohio River
Matthew Salafia

“[This book] is engagingly written, the individual stories are compelling, and Salafia weaves them all together to give readers a real sense of time and place. Slavery’s Borderland deserves a wide readership for it offers much insight into how racism became embedded in American culture.”—American Historical Review

By centering the practical and figurative significance of the Ohio River as a political border, a cultural boundary, and an artery of movement and economy that gave form to the region, Matthew Salafia sheds light on peculiarities of labor and economy along the Ohio River.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

328 pages | 6 x 9 | 7 illus
Paperback | ISBN 978-0-8122-2408-5 | $24.95t | £20.99
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-0866-5 | $24.95s | £16.50
A volume in the Early American Studies series


Deborah and Her SistersDeborah and Her Sisters: How One Nineteenth-Century Melodrama and a Host of Celebrated Actresses Put Judaism on the World Stage
Jonathan M. Hess

“An exuberant account of the transnational performance history of a forgotten blockbuster, this book sets a new standard for Jewish cultural studies. By carefully reconstructing the contexts in which Jewish and non-Jewish theater audiences came together to cry over a melodramatic tale of Jewish suffering, Jonathan M. Hess reveals the importance of philosemitism to the nineteenth-century liberal imagination.”—Maurice Samuels, Yale University

Before Fiddler on the Roof, there was Deborah, a blockbuster melodrama about a Jewish woman forsaken by her non-Jewish lover. Deborah and Her Sisters offers the first comprehensive history of this transnational phenomenon, focusing on its ability to bring Jews and non-Jews together during a period of increasing antisemitism.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

272 pages | 6 1/8 x 9 1/4 | 61 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4958-3 | $49.95s | £41.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9443-9 | $49.95s | £32.50
A volume in the Jewish Culture and Contexts series


The Wreckage of IntentionsThe Wreckage of Intentions: Projects in British Culture, 1660-1730
David Alff

“Elegantly organized and incisive in its analysis, The Wreckage of Intentions opens up the narrative cage that our stories of progress and modernization have locked us into. David Alff’s close reading of tracts, pamphlets, and treatises that propose various improvements, from insurance to agriculture, enables us to understand the ways in which future possibility and change were imagined in early modern Britain.”—Wolfram Schmidgen, Washington University in St. Louis

The Wreckage of Intentions offers a comprehensive account of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century projects—concrete yet incomplete efforts to advance British society during a period defined by revolutions in finance and agriculture, the rise of experimental science, and the establishment of constitutional monarchy.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

248 pages | 6 x 9 | 3 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4959-0 | $65.00s | £54.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9445-3 | $65.00s | £42.50
A volume in the Alembics: Penn Studies in Literature and Science series


Ruling the SpiritRuling the Spirit: Women, Liturgy, and Dominican Reform in Late Medieval Germany
Claire Taylor Jones

“Claire Taylor Jones has written a sure-footed, authoritative account of the Divine Office and its importance in Dominican spirituality, especially for German Observant women. Anyone interested in the history of medieval liturgy, the Dominican Order, Observant reform, or more broadly, women’s spirituality and mysticism, should read her book.”—Barbara Newman, Northwestern University

In Ruling the Spirit, Claire Taylor Jones revises the narrative of women’s involvement in the German Dominican order arguing that Dominican women did not lose their piety and literacy in the fifteenth century, as is commonly believed but, instead, were encouraged to reframe their practice around the observance of the Divine Office.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

232 pages | 6 x 9
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4955-2 | $59.95s | £50.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9446-0 | $59.95s | £39.00
A volume in the Middle Ages Series


To March for OthersNOW IN PAPERBACK
To March for Others: The Black Freedom Struggle and the United Farm Workers
Lauren Araiza

“Araiza’s thoughtful analysis of the varying intersections of the UFW and black civil rights organizations . . . should lead scholars of the period to explore and examine further the different levels of cooperation and involvement between black and brown civil rights organizations. Her compelling work is an important reminder that these relationships were not one-dimensional or stagnant, but evolving and dynamic. To March for Others makes a significant contribution to scholarship on the long civil rights era.”—American Historical Review

Through the relationships between the African American civil rights groups of the 1960s and 1970s and the United Farm Workers, a primarily Mexican American union, To March for Others examines the complexities of forming coalitions across racial, socioeconomic, and geographic divides in pursuit of justice and equality.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

240 pages | 6 x 9 | 14 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4557-8 | $39.95s | £33.00
Paperback | ISBN 978-0-8122-2403-0 | $24.95t | £20.99
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-0883-2 | $24.95s | £16.50
A volume in the Politics and Culture in Modern America series


First to the PartyFirst to the Party: The Group Origins of Political Transformation
Christopher Baylor

“Comparing civil rights liberals and theological conservatives, Christopher Baylor reveals the institutional paths by which a stigmatized faction earns a seat at a major political party’s table. He shows how each group overcame rivalries to transform themselves, build new alliances, and force the political parties to accept them. First to the Party is a much-needed corrective to top-down views of political parties. The more you think you know about parties, the more you need to read this book.”—Samuel L. Popkin, University of California, San Diego

What determines the interests, ideologies, and alliances that make up political parties? In its entire history, the United States has had only a handful of party transformations. First to the Party concludes that groups like unions and churches, not voters or politicians, are the most consistent influences on party transformation.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

336 pages | 6 x 9 | 6 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4963-7 | $69.95s | £58.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9451-4 | $69.95s | £45.50
A volume in the American Governance: Politics, Policy, and Public Law series

Mary Shelley and the Rights of the ChildMary Shelley and the Rights of the Child: Political Philosophy in “Frankenstein”
Eileen Hunt Botting

“Readers of Mary Shelley and the Rights of the Child will never again be able to read Frankenstein simply as a work of Gothic fiction that questioned the counter-theology and scientific bravado of its day. Eileen Hunt Botting, more thoroughly than any previous commentator, has revealed the philosophical content of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and has firmly placed it in the context of modern political thought.”—Gordon Schochet, Rutgers University

In Mary Shelley and the Rights of the Child, Eileen Hunt Botting contends that Frankenstein is a profound work of speculative fiction designed to engage a radical moral and political question: do children have rights?

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

232 pages | 6 x 9
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4962-0 | $39.95s | £33.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9447-7 | $39.95s | £26.00
A volume in the Haney Foundation Series


Building the Ivory TowerBuilding the Ivory Tower: Universities and Metropolitan Development in the Twentieth Century
LaDale C. Winling

“An ivory tower no more! In this lively, perceptive, and timely book, LaDale Winling puts higher education back where it belongs—at the center of American urban and metropolitan history. An essential read for all interested in the past—and future—of cities and the colleges and universities that shape them.”—Margaret O’Mara, University of Washington

Building the Ivory Tower examines the role of American universities as urban developers and their changing effects on cities in the twentieth century. LaDale C. Winling explores philanthropy, real estate investments, architectural landscapes, and urban politics to reckon with the tensions of university growth in our cities.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

264 pages | 6 x 9 | 46 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4968-2 | $39.95s | £33.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9454-5 | $39.95s | £26.00
A volume in the Politics and Culture in Modern America 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.

*Enter “PE14” in the promo code field on the shopping cart page. The email subscriber discount cannot be applied to the purchase of desk or exam copies.

Forthcoming Events