Bookshelf: Social Sciences Division

Asian American Histories of the United States

Catherine Ceniza Choy
2022

An impressive new work about how major moments in Asian American history continue to influence the modern world.

In the first chapter, Choy, a professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley, connects anti-Asian violence during the Covid-19 pandemic to a history of stereotyping Asian immigrants as carriers of disease. Later, she ties the erasure of Chinese railroad workers to the lack of Asian representation in popular media. Popular culture, she writes, has “played a formative role in portraying Asians as subhuman and superhuman threats.” Besides covering...

Work Pray Code: When Work Becomes Religion in Silicon Valley

Carolyn Chen
2022

Silicon Valley is known for its lavish perks, intense work culture, and spiritual gurus. Work Pray Code explores how tech companies are bringing religion into the workplace in ways that are replacing traditional places of worship, blurring the line between work and religion and transforming the very nature of spiritual experience in modern life.

Over the past forty years, highly skilled workers have been devoting more time and energy to their jobs than ever before. They are also leaving churches, synagogues, and temples in droves—but they have not abandoned religion....

Violent Utopia

Jovan Scott Lewis
2022

In Violent Utopia Jovan Scott Lewis retells the history and afterlife of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, from the post-Reconstruction migration of Black people to Oklahoma Indian Territory to contemporary efforts to rebuild Black prosperity. He focuses on how the massacre in Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood—colloquially known as Black Wall Street—curtailed the freedom built there. Rather than framing the massacre as a one-off event, Lewis places it in a larger historical and social context of widespread patterns of anti-Black racism, segregation, and dispossession in Tulsa...

Cooperating with the Colossus: A Social and Political History of US Military Bases in World War II Latin America

Rebecca Herman
2022

During the Second World War, the United States built over two hundred defense installations on sovereign soil in Latin America in the name of cooperation in hemisphere defense. Predictably, it proved to be a fraught affair. Despite widespread acclaim for Pan-American unity with the Allied cause, defense construction incited local conflicts that belied the wartime rhetoric of fraternity and equality.

Cooperating with the Colossus reconstructs the history of US basing in World War II Latin America, from the elegant chambers of the American foreign...

Armando Lara-Millán Receives ASA’s Distinguished Scholarly Book Award

July 11, 2022

Headshot of Armando Lara-MillanArmando Lara-Millán, assistant professor in UC Berkeley’s Department of Sociology, has earned the 2022 Distinguished Scholarly Book Award from the American Sociological Association. This esteemed award is known as the discipline’s highest book honor, as it recognizes the best sociology book published in the two calendar years preceding the year the book is...

They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South

Stephanie Jones-Rogers
2020
Bridging women's history, the history of the South, and African American history, this book makes a bold argument about the role of white women in American slavery. Historian Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers draws on a variety of sources to show that slave†'owning women were sophisticated economic actors who directly engaged in and benefited from the South's slave market. Because women typically inherited more slaves than land, enslaved people were often their primary source of wealth. Not only did white women often refuse to cede ownership of their slaves to their husbands, they employed management...

The King and the People: Sovereignty and Popular Politics in Mughal Delhi

Abhishek Kaicker
2020
An original exploration of the relationship between the Mughal emperor and his subjects in the space of the Mughal empire's capital, The King and the People overturns an axiomatic assumption in the history of premodern South Asia: that the urban masses were merely passive objects of rule and remained unable to express collective political aspirations until the coming of colonialism. Set in the Mughal capital of Shahjahanabad (Delhi) from its founding to Nadir Shah's devastating invasion of 1739, this book instead shows how the trends and events in the second half of the...

Blue in Green

Chiyuma Elliott
2021

Collaboration runs through the heart of this collection. Human relationships—particularly in families—shape the poems in Blue in Green, as they consider how the question of what we expect from one another evolves into a question of what we owe. When cancer overshadows the ordinary—engrossing the labor of love, work, and friendship—disease becomes a collaborator and proposes new rules of exchange.

The forms of Elliott’s works highlight reciprocity. Here you’ll find ekphrastic poems that describe modern jazz songs, letters and letter fragments, and free verse poems in wildly variable...

The Right of Sovereignty: Jean Bodin on the Sovereign State and the Law of Nations

Daniel Lee
2021

Sovereignty is the vital organizing principle of modern international law. Daniel Lee's book The Right of Sovereignty: Jean Bodin on the Sovereign State and the Law of Nations(link is external) (Oxford UP, 2021) examines the origins of that principle in the legal and political thought of its most influential theorist, Jean Bodin (1529/30-1596). As the author argues in this...

Turkey: A Past Against History

Christine M. Philliou
2021

From its earliest days, the dominant history of the Turkish Republic has been one of national self-determination and secular democratic modernization. The story insisted on total rupture between the Ottoman Empire and the modern Turkish state and on the absolute unity of the Turkish nation. In recent years, this hermetic division has begun to erode, but as the old consensus collapses, new histories and accounts of political authority have been slow to take its place.

In this richly detailed alternative history, Christine M. Philliou focuses on the notion of political opposition and...