Welcome to the University of Illinois Press Association for the Study of African American Life and History 2021 virtual exhibit! Step inside and take a look at some of our featured titles as well as interviews with UIP authors. Use promo code ASALH21 to get 50% off all African American Studies books on our website! Plus, buy 3 books and get a free copy of the Spring 2021 issue of the journal, Women, Gender and Families of Color. The sale runs September 14-30, 2021.

Featured Journals

Journal of Civil and Human Rights (JCHR) is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, academic journal dedicated to studying modern U.S.-based social justice movements and freedom struggles, including transnational ones, and their antecedents, influence, and legacies. 

Women, Gender, and Families of Color is a multidisciplinary journal that centers on the study of Black, Latina, Indigenous, and Asian American women, gender, and families.

New Books in The New Black Studies Series, edited by Darlene Clark Hine and Dwight A. McBride

The Black Internationalism Series, edited by Keisha N. Blain and Quito Swan

Featured Books


Let’s Talk

We are pleased to announce that Dominique Moore has joined the University of Illinois Press as an acquisitions editor. She will acquire in the fields of Black studies, women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, and American ethnic studies. With years of freelance work as a copyeditor and proofreader and positions that include managing editor at Human Kinetics, Mellon University Press Diversity Fellow at the Ohio State University Press, and, most recently, assistant editor at the University of North Carolina Press, she brings a wealth of publishing experience to UIP. You can follow her on Twitter at @DomTheEditor.

Read the full announcement here.

The UPside Podcast with Dr. Tiffany Florvil and Dominique Moore

Surviving Southampton Virtual Book Launch

Mobilizing Black Germany Virtual Book Launch

The Mark of Slavery and Between Fitness and Death Virtual Book Launch

Laughing to Keep From Dying Virtual Book Launch

University of Illinois Press 1619 Reading Lists


August 2019 marked the 400th anniversary of enslaved people arriving in America. To commemorate the anniversary, The New York Times Magazine launched the 1619 Project, a major initiative led by Nikole Hannah-Jones, with the goal of re-framing our understanding of the impact of slavery and recognizing the contributions of Black Americans to American democracy. In 2019, we created reading lists that spoke to key themes covered by the project. You can find them here.

September Free Ebook Giveaway

Browse Our Black Studies Subject Catalog

More From Our Authors

We are pleased to announce Ritual Soundings: Women Performers and World Religions by Sarah Weiss was recognized by the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) with Honorable Mention for the 2021 Book Prize.

The award committee said:

“It is an absolutely fascinating drawing together of disparate vignettes in a cohesive recognition of the huge shadow culture of women’s agency in world religions”

“Her sensitive contextualisation, description, and juxtaposition of the case studies gently unravels diverse arguments on religious exceptionalism and reveals how women’s agency animates ritual practice”

As Weiss astutely observes, “Far from peripheral to the practice of religion in a particular place, women’s activities are instrumental in focusing and shaping local variants of the practice of world religions around the globe”

“The afterword conveys an important message: that people from different religious backgrounds might be able to value one another more once they realize the similarities they share”

The mission of the International Council for Traditional Music is “to promote research, documentation, safeguarding, and sustainability of music, dance, and related performing arts, taking into account the diversity of cultural practices, past and present, and scholarly traditions worldwide.”

Congratulations Sarah Weiss!

We are pleased to announce that Martha Bayne will be joining the University of Illinois Press as a senior acquisitions editor to chart the future of our regional trade list and 3 Fields Books. Most recently Martha was a senior editor and marketing director with Belt Publishing, an independent press in Cleveland. With Belt she has published three books of her own, and edited many others. She is also currently the managing editor of South Side Weekly, a nonprofit newspaper dedicated to supporting culture and civic engagement on Chicago’s South Side. She started her publishing career at the University of Chicago Press and developed strong ties to the media community through her work at the Chicago Reader, Chicago Tribune, and Belt Magazine. Martha says, “I’m excited to be joining the Press and returning to the academic publishing community, and looking forward to getting started.”

Please join us in welcoming her!

September’s free ebook is here! We’re giving away In a Classroom of Their Own: The Intersection of Race and Feminist Politics in All-Black Male Schools by Keisha Lindsay!

Many advocates of all-black male schools (ABMSs) argue that these institutions counter black boys’ racist emasculation in white, “overly” female classrooms. This argument challenges racism and perpetuates antifeminism. Keisha Lindsay explains the complex politics of ABMSs by situating these schools within broader efforts at neoliberal education reform and within specific conversations about both “endangered” black males and a “boy crisis” in education. Lindsay also demonstrates that intersectionality, long considered feminist, is in fact a politically fluid framework. 

Find out more about obtaining your free ebook here: https://mailchi.mp/3ca3d80ad249/sept-2021-free-ebook

Rachel Afi Quinn, author of Being La Dominicana: Race and Identity in the Visual Culture of Santo Domingo , recently answered some questions about what inspired her to write her new book and the discoveries she made in the process.

Q: Why did you decide to write this book?

I embarked on this research project well over a decade ago because I had a lot of questions about mixed race identity based on my own experiences. Eventually, I sought to look beyond the context of the US for ideas and answers. I hoped to understand more about the fluidity of racial identity and how socially constructed categories of identity take shape. Having had my own experiences as a mixed race person of Jewish and Ghanaian heritage, including being racialized differently depending on the context I was in, I wanted to know how it was possible that in the US I was Black but in West Africa I was decidedly white. In the Dominican Republic, my mixedness I was no longer the exception. I imagined that Dominican women might have experiences similar to my own and valuable insights to share about racial ambiguity and malleability.

Q: Who were your biggest influences?

This is a hard question for me because the journey to completing this book has been long and every step of the way I was looking to learn from feminist activists and scholars, hoping I might find a place for my own voice in conversation with them. Long ago, I oriented myself to this ethnographic project based on what I had learned from Chandra Mohanty and Beverly Guy-Sheftall about doing transnational feminist scholarship. And well before that, I spent three years of working with the fine folks at California Newsreel, in particular Cornelius Moore, Rahdi Taylor and Larry Adelman, who shaped the ways I see representations of Blackness in film and visual culture. All along, Black women’s literature as racial theory has informed my work—truthtellers such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Ann Petry, Nella Larsen, Lorraine Hansberry and Toni Morrison (and so many more), continue to inform my analysis, while Danzy Senna’s theorizations of mixed race have remained critical to the ways I have thought about racial ambiguity and the mixed race body over the years.

I have been tremendously influenced by the many different Dominican women I got to know while living in Santo Domingo, both the young people who thoughtfully answered questions about their lives and the Dominican feminist activists doing the work for the long haul—many of whom I got to see in action. I am thinking of the incredibly influential late activists Magaly Pineda and Sonia Pierre. But today also I see the efforts of Dominican feminists Sergia Galván, Laura Bretón and Esther Hernández, and artist-activists Xiomara Fortuna, Yaneris González Gómez, Lorena Espinoza Peña, Isabel Spencer and members of the Teatro Maleducadas collective, shift the popular discourse on race and gender in the Dominican Republic and beyond.

I was only able to imagine this book thanks to generous interdisciplinary scholars in Dominican studies who were quiet role models or thoughtful mentors to me along the way, including (but hardly limited to) Lorgia García Peña, Maja Horn, Ana S.Q. Liberato, Elizabeth Manley, and Raj Chetty. Anthropologist Aimee Cox’s book Shapeshifters helped me to imagine how I might structure an ethnographic project around the lives of black women and Elora Chowdhury’s transnational feminist methodology inspires my own, while both Krista Thompson and Nicole Fleetwood’s theorizations of blackness and visual culture provided me with an invaluable pathway to doing this work.

Q: What is the most interesting discovery you made while researching and writing your book?

One thing I discovered really late in my project is surrealism as a lens of analysis. It helped me to think about navigating the many contradictions of life in the Dominican Republic under neoliberalism. Previously, I had not been a huge fan of Surrealist art but I came to understand the disaffection out of which it emerged, which resonated with me and with this project. Living in Houston I have had access to the Menil’s impressive collection Surrealist art and public discussions of the works. Surrealist thought of another era, that I was slow to appreciate, helped me to better recognize some of the details of Dominican women’s cultural productions and consider differently the significance of racial and gender ambiguity that emerges in their works.

Rachel Afi Quinn is an associate professor in the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies and the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program at the University of Houston.

Q: What myths do you hope your book will dispel or what do you hope your book will help readers unlearn?

I love this question. When students remark that that have had to unlearn many of the things they believed to be true about race, I know I have done my work well as an educator. I hope that Being La Dominicana will not only offer readers a window into contemporary life in Santo Domingo – a world that from my vantage point is particularly hypervisual and queer – but that it will unsettle any assumptions that mixed race people of African descent experienced their racial identities as fixed. I also hope that my scholarship works to dispel the myth that Dominicans are confused about their racial identities, when in fact the ways that race is discussed and understood in the Dominican Republic is no more surprising than the ways we are taught to invest in and see race in the US and other parts of the world; so many factors go into socially producing racial identities.

Q: What is the most important idea you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope that readers will come away with a better understanding of the importance of specificity of context for producing race and gender, particularly in a transnational world, and recognize how Dominican women in Santo Domingo draw on a broad range of influences for self-making—sometimes from moment to moment. But at the same time, I hope this book contributes to and inspires scholarship that expands the ways that scholars approach research within communities that we do not come from but often seek to join and connect with across shared transnational feminist values.

Q: What do you like to read/watch/or listen to for fun?

I love so many of the films I’ve curated for a class on Black girlhood, and it’s a pleasure to share them with students–though the content is typically very heavy. I’m thinking of Black Girl, Crooklyn, Pariah, Bande de filles, and La Hija Natural. I also enjoy the Civil Rights Movement documentaries Freedom on My Mind, At the River I Stand and a range of new Latin American filmmaking, as well as new works from India that capture urban contemporary life like Zoya Akhtar’s series Made In Heaven. Staying home during the pandemic, I’ve been curious about how Netflix serves up today’s global media, as I watch contemporary series from Mexico, Korea and the UK. I’ve really missed going to the Latin Wave film festival at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and spending time at Houston’s museums in general.

Welcome to the University of Illinois Press’s virtual exhibit for the 2021 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual meeting. We hope you’ll step inside our virtual booth and browse new books, journal articles, author interviews, and more. Be sure to use promo code AEJMC21 for 50% off all of our communications and information books August 4-7, 2021!

Featured Books in The History of Communication Series

Featured Books

Featured Books in The Geopolitics of Information Series

Photographic Presidents Virtual Book Launch

Fighting Visibility Virtual Book Launch

Let’s Talk

Daniel Nasset is the new editor-in-chief at the University of Illinois Press. Danny came to Illinois as an assistant acquisitions editor in 2009, becoming an acquisitions editor in 2011 and a senior acquisitions editor in 2016. Danny has distinguished himself with his acquisitions in history, sports, American studies, communication and media studies!

Click here to read an interview with him.

Click here to contact him by email.

Essential Titles On The History of The Black Press

Interested in learning about the significance of the Black press in shaping our media consumption? Click here to see our list of essential titles on the history and impact of the Black press in the United States!

August’s Free Ebook: The Enforcers

Browse our Subject Catalog

More From Our Authors

August’s free ebook is here! We’re giving away The Enforcers: How Little-known Trade Reporters Exposed The Keating Five and Advanced Business Journalism by Rob Wells!

Charles H. Keating had long used the courts to muzzle critical reporting of his business dealings, but aggressive reporting by a small trade paper called the National Thrift News helped bring down Keating and offered an inspiring example of business journalism that speaks truth to power. Rob Wells tells the story through the work of Stan Strachan, a veteran financial journalist who uncovered Keating’s misdeeds and links to a group of US senators—the Keating Five—who bullied regulators on his behalf. Examining the National Thrift News‘s approach, Wells calls for a new era of business reporting that can and must embrace its potential as a watchdog safeguarding the interests of the public.

Find out more about obtaining your free ebook here: https://mailchi.mp/767ae4d70f3b/uip-august-2021-free-ebook

The University of Illinois Press (UIP) is excited about moving our content to the Scholarly Publishing Collective (SPC) platform. We will offer full digital access alongside wonderful peer organizations at Longleaf Services, Michigan State University Press, Penn State University Press, and the Society of Biblical Literature.

From the Collective:

“Earlier this year, Duke University Press announced the Scholarly Publishing Collective, a collaboration with several journal publishers and societies to provide services including subscription management, fulfillment, hosting, and marketing and sales. Pricing information for libraries for the 2022 calendar year is now available for journals whose subscriptions are managed through the Collective.”


The new price list is available here: https://dukeupress.edu/Assets/Downloads/LR/SPC-Inst-Agent-Price-Sheet.xlsx

By partnering with the SPC, we are excited to be working with a state-of-the-art platform that offers an intuitive interface and robust supplemental content hosting opportunities, along with the library relations networks and agents that will help our journal titles succeed in a competitive marketplace. The University of Illinois Press is proud to be part of a collective with other UPs that will help extend university press content to greater audiences.

Mark R. Villegas, author of Manifest Technique: Hip Hop, Empire, and Visionary Filipino American Culture, answers questions on his childhood influences, discoveries, and reader takeaways in his book.

Q: Why did you decide to write this book?

This book was inspired by my own experiences as a second-generation Filipino American. Growing up on and near navy bases in the 1980s and 1990s meant growing up in a large, concentrated Filipino American community. I mention in my book that some student clubs in my high school (such as the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) in Jacksonville, Florida were largely Filipino American clubs. Filipino kids were always at the forefront of hip hop cultural innovation in dance, music, fashion, and graphic arts. People didn’t become famous or make money from it; more importantly, they built community while fortifying cross-racial collaborations. To me, these interrelated phenomena were common sense. But when I got to college, it became clear that people generally didn’t know much about Filipinos. We are among the largest populations in certain metropolitan regions, yet we remain difficult to pin down or are completely obscured. I wrote this book as a small effort to better understand the dynamics and multiplicities of Filipino American culture. Manifest Technique is an exploration of militarism, spirituality, fantastical imaginations, and dance embodiments among Filipino Americans. I argue that Filipino Americans’ cultural productions in hip hop perform critical memory work and provide complex political critiques. Hip hop and even pre-hip hop (e.g. jazz, funk, disco, R&B, and soul) are precious for several generations of Filipino American cultural vernaculars.

Q: Who were your biggest influences?

My biggest influences were the dancers, DJs, and graphic artists of my childhood. I lived in Long Beach, California during the height of gang activity in that region. I remember we couldn’t wear certain colors or shoe brands because we could get “checked” by so-called gang members. This was in elementary school, mind you! But interwoven within the hysteria around gangs was the blossoming of a new wave of hip hop culture in Southern California. Filipino Americans were not just participants in this wave, they were respected innovators and leaders. We had top DJs, graffiti writers, and dancers. We had crews, mirroring and overlapping with gang culture. I remember my oldest brother, Thom, and his crew getting down at house parties. Filipino “houzers,” stylish with their wild hair, colorful shirts, and big jeans, fused breaking and house dancing into their moves. Houzers were a solid part of my early childhood; my mom recalls cooking giant spreads for these houzers and other partiers at our navy housing home. For me, hip hop was encoded into the DNA of Filipino American culture. The music, dance, DJs, tagging, fashion, lingo, and even spiritual philosophies influenced my thinking and research questions for this book.  

Q: What is the most interesting discovery you made while researching and writing your book?

Mark R. Villegas is an assistant professor of American studies at Franklin & Marshall College.

When I was younger, I assumed all Filipinos in the U.S. were associated with the navy. Whenever I met Filipinos with no navy connection, I would think they were weird. Every navy brat carried a gray military ID card to gain access to the base, grocery store, gym, and so on. So, to me, ID-deficient Filipino kids were strange! This cognitive dissonance was particularly acute when I escaped to college. I slowly learned to detach the navy from Filipinos in order to appreciate the fuller, more beautiful scope of Filipinoness. However, once I started interviewing people for my research, I encountered a disproportionate number of Filipino American artists with navy ties. This wasn’t a “discovery,” but more of an affirmation of what I had already understood: hip hop and the military had intertwined histories. I had no choice but to dedicate a book chapter on the migration of hip hop along military routes. Even after writing the chapter, I still gasp “no way!” when artists reveal to me their military backgrounds.

Q: What myths do you hope your book will dispel or what do you hope your book will help readers unlearn?

A popular myth is that Filipino Americans are outsiders doing something different from “real” hip hop. This is why I don’t use the term “Filipino American hip hop” as this phrase implies a separate genre (maybe hip hop music in a Filipino language). While it is true that some Filipino American artists make music with a sprinkling of Filipino words and paint murals with references to Philippine mythology, the larger story is that Filipino Americans have always been collaborators in broader hip hop communities. These communities have been maintaining and creating hip hop culture together. Filipino American hip hop performers, artists, audiences, and practitioners were prominent in very early multiracial hip hop scenes. While not the main point, my book suggests the historical significance of Filipino Americans in hip hop. I show that Filipino Americans are not outsiders: because of the powerful influences of U.S. colonization, they have always been intimate collaborators in a variety of Black popular expressions throughout the 20th century and beyond. Filipino Americans adapted their skills of West Coast boogaloo and popping (local Black dance styles that predate New York hip hop) to become among the best breakers, houzers, and hip hop dancers. The same pioneering spirit applied to the DJ scene. For example, DJ Nasty Nes started the first West Coast all-hip hop radio show in 1980 in Seattle. Filipino Americans also led a thriving freestyle music and R&B scene in the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 1990s.

Q: What is the most important idea you hope readers will take away from your book?

Colonization changes culture in unexpected but significant ways. I hope readers appreciate that Filipinos have a funky history and an even funkier culture.

Q: What do you like to read/watch/or listen to for fun?

I read a lot of Filipino American fiction, which is in a moment of renaissance right now. Most recently, I completed Arsenic and Adobo (Mia Manansala), Insurrecto (Gina Apostol), America is Not the Heart (Elaine Castillo), In the Country (Mia Alvar),and the memoir The Body Papers (Grace Talusan). I have been watching Netflix anime and horror; I finished the Trese series, the first anime based in the Philippines and made by Filipinos and Filipino Americans. All I listen to is 1990s R&B music, honestly. Just play me some SWV, Aaliyah, Total, Monica, Brandy, Usher, Tamia, Faith Evans, Keith Sweat, Tevin Campbell, Tony! Toni! Toné! and Blackstreet.

Editor of the University of Illinois journal Visual Arts Research, Jorge Lucero, recently invited people from around the world to connect with each other and share an object that was important in their lives – telling their stories through their belongings.

Lucero, a professor and the chair of art education for the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, created the virtual Museum of Us in June for the Art Institute of Chicago. This site is an archive of the screenshots from the zoom-based exhibit, featuring participants’ things and their stories.

All of the participants wrote something about their items on an informational placard that accompanied artwork displayed in a gallery. Lucero felt is was important to have each person write about their possessions because it emphasized the subjectivity and personal stories behind the objects.

This Museum of Us is open to new contributions. If you wish to participate please contact them at this link, sending an image of your object on a plinth/pedestal made of objects in your home (e.g. books, boxes, etc.) along with the title of your object, a date of origin or acquisition, and a tagline about what “collection” to which the object belongs.

You can access Visual Arts Research on JSTOR: https://www.jstor.org/journal/visuartsrese or Project MUSE: https://muse.jhu.edu/journal/481.