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New Books and Major Projects

Browse recent books and projects from OU's arts and humanities faculty. 

Cover of "Rethinking the Gulag"

Alan Barenberg and Emily D. Johnson, eds.: Rethinking the Gulag: Sources, Identities, Legacies

Indiana University Press

The Soviet Gulag was one of the largest, most complex, and deadliest systems of incarceration in the 20th century. What lessons can we learn from its network of labor camps and prisons and exile settlements, which stretched across vast geographic expanses, included varied institutions, and brought together inmates from all the Soviet Union's ethnicities, professions, and social classes? Drawing on a massive body of documentary evidence, Rethinking the Gulag: Identities, Sources, Legacies explores the Soviet penal system from various disciplinary perspectives.

cover of "The Story of Atilla in Prose"

Roberto Pesce, and Logan E. Whalen, eds., and trans.: The Story of Attila in Prose: A Critical Edition and Translation of the Estoire d’Atile en prose


The Story of Attila in Prose is the first critical edition and translation of the thirteenth-century Franco-Italian prose text the Estoire d’Atile en prose. Preserved in two anonymous and untitled manuscripts composed between the last quarter of the thirteenth century and the beginning of the fourteenth century, the story recounts the fictional founding of Venice after the invasion of Aquileia by Attila the Hun. The manuscripts, located in Zagreb and Venice, detail Attila’s pagan mother, her union with a dog, and his feral birth, as well as his unusual death during a chess match and the origins of the Holy Grail. This edition and translation are based on the Zagreb manuscript, which was only recently discovered.

cover of "Under Quarantine"

Rhona Siedelman: Under Quarantine: Immigrants and Disease at Israel’s Gate

Rutgers University Press

Under Quarantine is the riveting story of Shaar Ha’aliya, a central immigrant processing camp opened shortly after Israel became an independent state. This historic gateway for Jewish migration was surrounded by a controversial barbed wire fence. The camp administrators defended this imposing barrier as a necessary quarantine measure - even as detained immigrants regularly defied it by crawling out of the camp and returning at will. Focusing on the conflicts and complications surrounding the medical quarantine, this book brings the history of this place and the remarkable experiences of the immigrants who went through it to life.  Evocative and bold, Under Quarantine shows that we cannot fully understand Israel until we understand Shaar Ha’aliya. The gate of arrival for nearly half a million immigrants - a space of homecoming, conflict, exclusion, and welcoming - here was the country’s crucible.

cover of "German Romance"

Joseph M. Sullivan: German Romance VII: Ulrich Fuetrer, Iban

D.S. Brewer

This is the first-ever English translation, with facing edition, of an important medieval German Arthurian romance. Composed in the 1480s by the Munich painter and writer Ulrich Fuetrer, Iban is the story of a young knight at King Arthur's court, who pursues adventure abroad, wins a land and its lady as his wife, loses both through his immaturity and negligence, and eventually regains his country and his spouse in a series of adventures that teach him to place the welfare of others above his own desires.

This book offers an edition of the romance, the first for nearly a quarter of a century, and the first translation into a modern language, of any part of the Book of Adventures.

Cover of "Islamic Legal Theory: A Critical Introduction Based on al-Juwayni’s Waraqat fi usul al fiqh"

David R. Vishanoff : Islamic Legal Theory: A Critical Introduction Based on al-Juwayni’s Waraqat fi usul al fiqh 

Indianapolis: Hackett

This thorough and original unpacking of the Sunnī jurist al-Juwaynī’s (1028–1085) Kitāb al-Waraqāt fī uṣūl al-fiqh introduces English-speaking readers to the main concepts, terms, principles, and functions of the classical Islamic discipline of legal theory. The volume offers an ideal entry to the otherwise dense and complex mainstream Sunnī views that dominated Islamic legal thought in al-Juwaynī’s day—and that are still widely accepted today.

Cover of Lucas Bessire's book "Running Out"

Lucas Bessire: Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains

Princeton University Press

The Ogallala aquifer has nourished life on the American Great Plains for millennia. But less than a century of unsustainable irrigation farming has taxed much of the aquifer beyond repair. The imminent depletion of the Ogallala and other aquifers around the world is a defining planetary crisis of our times. Running Out offers a uniquely personal account of aquifer depletion and the deeper layers through which it gains meaning and force.

The cover of "Great Plains" edited by Kathleen Brosnan

Kathleen A. Brosnan and Brian Frehner, edds.: The Greater Plains: Rethinking a Region's Environmental Histories

University of Nebraska Press

The Greater Plains tells a new story of a region, stretching from the state of Texas to the province of Alberta, where the environments are as varied as the myriad ways people have inhabited them. These innovative essays document a complicated history of human interactions with a sometimes plentiful and sometimes foreboding landscape, from the Native Americans who first shaped the prairies with fire to twentieth-century oil regimes whose pipelines linked the region to the world.


The cover of "Discordant Memories" by Alison Fields

Alison Fields: Discordant Memories: Atomic Age Narratives and Visual Culture

University of Oklahoma Press

To reveal the layered complexities of nuclear remembrance, Fields analyzes photography, film, and artworks; offers close readings of media and testimonial accounts; traces site visits to atomic museums in New Mexico and Japan; and features artists who give visual form to evolving memories.

The cover of Kyle Harper's book "Plagues Upon the Earth"

Kyle Harper: Plagues upon the Earth: Disease and the Course of Human History

Princeton University Press

Panoramic in scope, Plagues upon the Earth traces the role of disease in the transition to farming, the spread of cities, the advance of transportation, and the stupendous increase in human population. Harper offers a new interpretation of humanity’s path to control over infectious disease—one where rising evolutionary threats constantly push back against human progress, and where the devastating effects of modernization contribute to the great divergence between societies.

Sarah Hines:  Water for All: Community, Property, and Revolution in Modern Bolivia

University of California Press

Analyzing a wide variety of sources, from agrarian reform case records to oral history interviews, Hines investigates how water dispossession in the late nineteenth century and reclaimed water access in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries prompted, shaped, and strengthened popular and indigenous social movements.

the cover of "The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre" by Karlos Hill

Karlos Hill: The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History

University of Oklahoma Press

Historian and Black Studies professor Karlos K. Hill presents a range of photographs taken before, during, and after the massacre, mostly by white photographers. Some of the images are published here for the first time. Comparing these photographs to those taken elsewhere in the United States of lynchings, the author makes a powerful case for terming the 1921 outbreak not a riot but a massacre. White civilians, in many cases assisted or condoned by local and state law enforcement, perpetuated a systematic and coordinated attack on Black Tulsans and their property.

The cover of Jennifer Holland's "Tiny You"

Jennifer Holland: Tiny You: A Western History of the Anti-Abortion Movement

University of California Press

Looking at anti-abortion movements in four western states since the 1960s—turning to the fetal pins passed around church services, the graphic images exchanged between friends, and the fetus dolls given to children in school—she argues that activists made fetal life feel personal to many Americans. Pro-life activists persuaded people to see themselves in the pins, images, and dolls they held in their hands and made the fight against abortion the primary bread-and-butter issue for social conservatives.

the cover of "Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois" by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers

Honorée Fanonne Jeffers : The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois

Harper Collins

The great scholar, W. E. B. Du Bois, once wrote about the Problem of race in America, and what he called “Double Consciousness,” a sensitivity that every African American possesses in order to survive. Since childhood, Ailey Pearl Garfield has understood Du Bois’s words all too well. Bearing the names of two formidable Black Americans—the revered choreographer Alvin Ailey and her great grandmother Pearl, the descendant of enslaved Georgians and tenant farmers—Ailey carries Du Bois’s Problem on her shoulders.

image of jushua nelson in the film searching for sequoyah

Joshua Nelson: Searching for Sequoyah (Film)

Photo by Karl W. Schmidt

Searching for Sequoyah is the first documentary feature to chronicle the legendary accomplishments and mysterious death of the famed Cherokee visionary, Sequoyah, whose English name was George Guess. While much is known about Sequoyah’s many accomplishments, very little is known about the man himself. The greatest mystery is not that he created the Cherokee writing system, or syllabary, but rather the details of his final journey to Mexico and the circumstances of his death,

cover of "Prologue to Annihilation" by Stephen Norwood

Stephen H. Norwood: Prologue to Annihilation: Ordinary American and British Jews Challenge the Third Reich

Indiana University Press

American and British appeasement of Nazism during the early years of the Third Reich went far beyond territorial concessions. In Prologue to Annihilation: Ordinary American and British Jews Challenge the Third Reich, Stephen H. Norwood examines the numerous ways that the two nations' official position of tacit acceptance of Jewish persecution enabled the policies that ultimately led to the Final Solution and how Nazi annihilationist intentions were clearly discernible even during the earliest years of Hitler's rule.


the cover of "The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton" by Andrew Porwancher

Andrew Porwancher: The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton

Princeton University Press

This radical reassessment of Hamilton’s religious upbringing gives us a fresh perspective on both his adult years and the country he helped forge. Although he didn’t identify as a Jew in America, Hamilton cultivated a relationship with the Jewish community that made him unique among the founders.

poster for the film Oklahoma Mon Amour by Carolina Rueda

Carolina Rueda: Oklahoma Mon Amour (Film)

Winner of a Special Jury Remi Award at WorldFest Houston 2021.

Oklahoma Mon Amour portrays a ruptured family and the quest for its reunion, the journey of two brothers, the challenges faced by multicultural youth needing to find their true identity and to unveil buried secrets, all of this tinted by the puzzling closeness between Mexico and the U.S.

Filmed in black and white and with a structure that interweaves fiction and real events evoking poetic and reflective art-house films from the sixties and seventies, the film also references current world tensions, and presents an unusual approach to the Mexico/U.S dynamics, also showing a cosmopolitan Mexico City seldom seen in cinema.


the cover of Traci Voyles' book "The Settler Sea"

Traci Brynne Voyles: The Settler Sea: California's Salton Sea and the Consequences of Colonialism

University of Nebraska Press

The Salton Sea’s very precariousness—the way it sits uncomfortably between worlds, existing always in the interstices of human and natural influences, between desert and wetland, between the skyward pull of the sun and the constant inflow of polluted water—is both a symptom and symbol of the larger precariousness of settler relationships to the environment, in the West and beyond.

cover of Archaeological Narratives of the North American Great Plains edited by Sarah Trabert

Sarah Trabert and Kacy L. Hollenback, eds.: Archaeological Narratives of the North American Great Plains: From Ancient Pasts to Historic Resettlement

Society for American Archaeology Press

Stretching from Canada to Texas and the foothills of the Rockies to the Mississippi River, the North American Great Plains have a complex and ancient history. The region has been home to Native peoples for at least 16,000 years. This volume is a synthesis of what is known about the Great Plains from an archaeological perspective, but it also highlights Indigenous knowledge, viewpoints, and concerns for a more holistic understanding of both ancient and more recent pasts.

cover of "Feminisms with Chinese Characteristics" edited by Ping Zhu

Ping Zhu and Hui Faye Xiao, eds.,: Feminisms with Chinese Characteristics

Syracuse University Press

In this timely volume, Zhu and Xiao offer an examination of the ways in which Chinese feminist ideas have developed since the mid-1990s. By juxtaposing the plural “feminisms” with “Chinese characteristics,” they both underline the importance of integrating Chinese culture, history, and tradition in the discussions of Chinese feminisms, and, stress the difference between the plethora of contemporary Chinese feminisms and the singular state feminism.

cover of "city of Lake and Prairie" edited by kathleen brosnan

Kathleen A. Brosnan, Ann Durkin Keating, William C. Barnett, eds.: City of Lake and Prairie: Chicago’s Environmental History

University of Pittsburgh Press

Known as the Windy City and the Hog Butcher to the World, Chicago has earned a more apt sobriquet—City of Lake and Prairie—with this compelling, innovative, and deeply researched environmental history. Sitting at the southwestern tip of Lake Michigan, one of the largest freshwater bodies in the world, and on the eastern edge of the tallgrass prairies that fill much of the North American interior, early residents in the land that Chicago now occupies enjoyed natural advantages, economic opportunities, and global connections over centuries, from the Native Americans who first inhabited the region to the urban dwellers who built a metropolis in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 

cover of "Mapping Nature Across America" edited by kathleen brosnan

Kathleen A. Brosnan and James R. Akerman, eds.: Mapping Nature Across the America

University of Chicago Press

Illustrated throughout, the essays in this book argue for greater analysis of historical maps in the field of environmental history, and for greater attention within the field of the history of cartography to the cultural constructions of nature contained within maps. This volume thus provides the first in-depth and interdisciplinary investigation of the relationship between maps and environmental knowledge in the Americas—including, for example, stories of indigenous cartography in Mexico, the allegorical presence of palm trees in maps of Argentina, the systemic mapping of US forests, and the scientific platting of Canada’s remote lands.

The cover of "Tewa Worlds" by Sam Duwe

Samuel Duwe: Tewa Worlds: An Archaeological History of Being and Becoming in the Pueblo Southwest

University of Arizona Press

Anthropologists have long trekked through Tewa country, but the literature remains deeply fractured among the present and the past, nuanced ethnographic description, and a growing body of archaeological research. Samuel Duwe bridges this divide by drawing from contemporary Pueblo philosophical and historical discourse to view the long arc of Tewa history as a continuous journey. The result is a unique history that gives weight to the deep past, colonial encounters, and modern challenges, with the understanding that the same concepts of continuity and change have guided the people in the past and present, and will continue to do so in the future.

the cover of "The Murder of Emmett Till" by Karlos Hill

Karlos Hill and Dave Dodson: The Murder of Emmett Till

Oxford University Press

Incorporating the latest research, The Murder of Emmett Till is the first text to present this shocking crime--which still powerfully reverberates--in a graphic history format. Historian Karlos Hill and illustrator Dave Dodson provide a riveting narration of the events surrounding the murder of young Emmett Till in a graphic format. Hill's meticulous research provides readers with both the context to place the crime in its wider historical setting and the primary sources to analyze the case in detail. Suggestions for how to effectively use the graphic history in the classroom make The Murder of Emmett Till an ideal text for courses in American and African American history.

cover of "an old French Trilogy"

Catherine M. Jones, William W. Kibler, and Logan E. Whalen, eds., and trans.: An Old French Trilogy: Texts from the William of Orange Cycle

University Press of Florida

While most English-language readers are familiar with Old French epic poetry, or chansons de geste, through the Song of Roland and its tale of gallant martyrdom, this volume provides a broader and richer view of the tradition by introducing songs devoted to the exploits of a different sort of hero—the brave and blustery William of Orange. An Old French Trilogy provides an updated English translation of three central poems from the twelfth-century Guillaume d’Orange cycle.

cover of "Literary Black Power in the Caribbean" by Rita Keresztesi

Rita Keresztesi: Literary Black Power in the Caribbean: Fiction, Music and Film


This volume is groundbreaking in its focus on the creative arts and artists in their evaluations of, and insights on, the relevance of the Black Power message across the region. The author takes a cultural studies approach to bring together the political with the aesthetic, enriching an already fertile debate on the era and the subject of Black Power in the Caribbean region. The chapters discuss various aspects of Black Power in the Caribbean: on the pages of journals and magazines, at contemporary conferences that radicalized academia to join forces with communities, in fiction and essays by writers and intellectuals, in calypso and reggae music, and in the first films produced in the Caribbean.

cover of "Arab Americans in Film" by Waleed Madi

Waleed Mahdi: Arab Americans in Film: From Hollywood and Egyptian Stereotypes to Self-Representation

Syracuse University Press

In this innovative volume, Mahdi offers a comparative analysis of three cinemas, yielding rich insights on the layers of representation and the ways in which those representations are challenged and disrupted. Hollywood films have fostered reductive imagery of Arab Americans since the 1970s as either a national security threat or a foreign policy concern, while Egyptian filmmakers have used polarizing images of Arab Americans since the 1990s to convey their nationalist critiques of the United States. Both portrayals are rooted in anxieties around globalization, migration, and US-Arab geopolitics. In contrast, Arab American cinema provides a more complex, realistic, and fluid representation of Arab American citizenship and the nuances of a transnational identity.

Cover of Exile and the Nation The Parsi Community of India and the Making of Modern Iran By Afshin Marashi

Afshin Marashi: Exile and the Nation: The Parsi Community of India and the Making of Modern Iran

University of Texas Press

Tracing the cultural and intellectual exchange between Iranian nationalists and the Parsi community during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Exile and the Nation shows how this interchange led to the collective reimagining of Parsi and Iranian national identity—and the influence of antiquity on modern Iranian nationalism, which previously rested solely on European forms of thought. Iranian nationalism, Afshin Marashi argues, was also the byproduct of the complex history resulting from the demise of the early modern Persianate cultural system, as well as one of the many cultural heterodoxies produced within the Indian Ocean world. Crossing the boundaries of numerous fields of study, this book reframes Iranian nationalism within the context of the connected, transnational, and global history of the modern era.

image of the multivolume "The History of Technology: Critial Readings" edited by Suzanne Moon and Peter Soppelsa

Suzanne M. Moon and Peter S. Soppelsa: The History of Technology: Critical Readings


Drawing on material from the mid-1970s to the present day that examines diverse cultures and time periods, Suzanne M. Moon and Peter S. Soppelsa enable interested readers to explore key thematic divisions that structure research in the field and read influential works that bring the major concerns, methods, and insights of the history of technology to life. With 50 articles included across the set as a whole, the volumes are broken down into four crucial thematic areas: Building, Creating, Designing, Maintaining; Technology, Power, and Sociopolitical Order; Technology, Nature and Environment; and Circulations and Connections.

cover of "Goethe und das Judentum"

Karin Schutjer: Goethe und das Judentum. Translated by Ulrike Bischoff

Wallstein Press

Karin Schutjer examines Goethe's ambivalent confrontation with Judaism from the observation that it profoundly influenced his equally ambivalent concept of modernity. Her study contextualizes Goethe's reception of the Jewish scriptural tradition and questions the traces that the Pentateuch, the Kabbalah and Spinoza as well as anti-Jewish figures of thought such as the Wandering Jew left in his work.

the cover of "Thinking on Earthquakes in Early Modern Europe" by Reink Vermij

Rienk Vermij: Thinking on Earthquakes in Early Modern Europe: Firm Beliefs on Shaky Ground


Thinking on Earthquakes investigates both scholarly theories and views that were propagated among the early modern European population. Through a chronological approach, Vermij reveals that in contrast to the Ancient and medieval philosophers who suggested rational explanations for earthquakes, supernatural ideas made a powerful comeback in the sixteenth century. By analysing a variety of sources such as pamphlets, sermons, and treatises, this study shows how changes in the ideas on earthquakes were a result of social and political demands as well as from improvements in the means of communication, rather than from scientific methods.

cover of "The Scientific Spirit of American Humanism" by Stephen Weldon

Stephen Weldon: The Scientific Spirit of American Humanism

Johns Hopkins University Press

Examining the development of an increasingly antagonistic engagement between religious conservatives and the secular culture of the academy, Weldon explains how this conflict has shaped the discussion of science and religion in American culture. He also uncovers a less known—but equally influential—story about the conflict within humanism itself between two very different visions of science: an aspirational, democratic outlook held by the followers of John Dewey on the one hand, and a skeptical, combative view influenced by logical positivism on the other.

cover of "The Cold War and Asian Cinemas" edited by Man Fung Yip

Man Fung Yip and Poshek Fu: The Cold War and Asian Cinemas


This volume makes a major contribution to constructing a cultural and popular cinema history of the global Cold War. Its geographical focus is set on East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. In adopting such an inclusive approach, it draws attention to the different manifestations and meanings of the connections between the Cold War and cinema across Asian borders. Many essays in the volume have a transnational and cross-regional focus, one that sheds light on Cold War-influenced networks and on the efforts of American agencies to establish a transregional infrastructure of "free cinema" to contain the communist influences in Asia.

cover of "Gargilius Martialis: The Agricultural Fragments" by James Zainaldin

James L. Zainaldin: Gargilius Martialis : The Agricultural Fragments

Cambridge University Press

In the third century CE, the North African polymath, soldier, and provincial official Q. Gargilius Martialis (died 260) wrote a treatise on the cultivation and medical use of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The agricultural part of this work survives in a fragmentary state in a single manuscript. The fragments will be valuable for those interested in ancient agriculture, in Greco-Roman authorship on the technai or artes, and in the history and sociolinguistics of Latin. This volume offers a new edition and the first English translation of Gargilius' agricultural fragments as well as an introduction and full-scale commentary.

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