Books from LAS

Faculty throughout the College of Liberal Arts & Science share their expertise, knowledge, and research in books on a wide variety of topics.

For inclusion on this list, please email us.


  • Hatred of Sex cover

    “Hatred of Sex,” by Tim Dean, James M. Benson Professor of English, and Oliver Davis, professor of French studies at the University of Warwick, links Jacques Rancière’s political philosophy of the constitutive disorder of democracy with Jean Laplanche’s identification of a fundamental perturbation at the heart of human sexuality. Sex is hated as well as desired, the authors contend, because sexual intensity impedes coherent selfhood and undermines identity. (University of Nebraska Press)

  • Laboratory of Deficiency

    “Laboratory of Deficiency: Sterilization and Confinement in California, 1900–1950s,” by Natalie Lira, professor of Latina/Latino studies, reveals how political concerns over Mexican immigration—particularly ideas about the low intelligence, deviant sexuality, and inherent criminality of the “Mexican race”—shaped decisions regarding the reproductive future of Mexican-origin patients. The book documents the ways Mexican-origin people sought creative resistance to institutional control and offers insight into how race, disability, and social deviance have been used to justify confinement and reproductive constraint. (University of California Press)

  • Love Letter to Who Owns the Heavens cover

    “Love Letter to Who Owns the Heavens,” by Corey Van Landingham, professor of English, considers the way that the absence of touch—in acts of war via the drone, in acts of love via the sext, in aesthetics itself— abstracts the human body, transforming it into a proxy for the real. “What love poem / could be written when men can no longer / look up?” this book asks, always in a state of flux between doubt and belief. These poems attempt to make bodies concrete and dangerous, immediate and addressable, once again. (Tupelo Press)

  • Natural Disasters cover

    “Natural Disasters” by Stephen Marshak, professor emeritus of geology; Robert Rauber, professor of atmospheric sciences; and Neil Johnson, an instructor of geosciences at Virginia Tech University, offers students examples of the devastating impact that geologic and atmospheric disasters have on communities. Through vibrant and detailed visuals, engaging writing, and extended case studies, the book helps explain the science behind these catastrophes and the societal factors that shape our responses. (W.W. Norton)

  • Racism in Modern Russia cover

    “Racism in Modern Russia: From the Romanovs to Putin,” by Eugene Avrutin, professor of history, analyzes a wide range of printed and visual sources in the first serious attempt to understand the history of racism over a span of 150 years. An examination of the complexities of racism, the panoramic book asks powerful questions about inequality and privilege, denigration and belonging, power and policy, and the complex historical links between race, whiteness, and geography. (Bloomsbury)

  • Trickster Academy cover

    “Trickster Academy,” by Jenny L. Davis, professor of anthropology and American Indian studies, is a collection of poems that explore being Native in academia—from land acknowledgement statements, to mascots, to the histories of using Native American remains in anthropology. Jenny L. Davis’ collection brings humor and uncomfortable realities together in order to challenge the academy and discuss the experience of being Indigenous in university classrooms and campuses. (The University of Arizona Press)

  • A Social View on the Chinese Language

    "A Social View on the Chinese Language," by Jerome Packard, professor emeritus of East Asian languages and cultures and linguistics, is intended to be a linguistic introduction to the Chinese language for the general reader and can be used in beginning-level Chinese linguistics courses. It is different from other Chinese linguistics surveys because it offers a view into linguistic phenomena that are also related to human behavior and society. (Peter Lang International Publishers)

  • Casting a Giant Shadow

    "Casting a Giant Shadow," edited by Rachel S. Harris, professor of comparative and world literature, and Dan Chyutin, is a collection of articles that embraces the notion of transnationalism to consider the limits of what is “Israeli” within Israeli cinema. It offers a new understanding of how cinema has operated artistically and structurally in terms of funding, distribution, and reception. This volume uses the idea of transnationalism to challenge the concept of a singular definition of Israeli cinema. (Indiana University Press)

  • Silius Italicus’ Punica

    Composed in the first century CE, "Silius Italicus’ Punica: Rome’s War with Hannibal," translated by Antony Augoustakis, professor of classics, and Neil Bernstein, tells the story of the Second Punic War between Rome and Hannibal’s Carthage (218-202 BCE). It is not only a crucial text for students of Flavian literature, but also an important source for anyone studying early Imperial perspectives on the Roman Republic. (Routledge)

  • The Corporate Terminologist

    "The Corporate Terminologist," by Kara Warburton, lecturer in translation and interpreting studies, is the first monograph that addresses the principles and methods for managing terminology in content production environments that are both demanding and multilingual, such as those found in global companies and institutions. It describes the needs of large corporations and how those needs demand a new, pragmatic approach to terminology management. (John Benjamins Publishing Company)

  • The Gilded Edge

    "The Gilded Edge," by Catherine Prendergast, professor of English, tells the story of a young poet, a real estate developer, and his wife through the lens of the two women involved in the love triangle, and it shows the challenges Prendergast faced while researching the details of their lives in a society dominated by men. (Penguin Random House)

  • Turbulent Streams

    "Turbulent Streams: An Environmental History of Japan’s Rivers, 1600–1930," by Roderick Wilson, professor of history, describes how the rivers of Japan are both hydrologically and historically dynamic. Neither a story of technological progress nor environmental decline, this history introduces the concept of environmental relations as a category of historical analysis both to explore these fluvial interactions and reveal under-appreciated dimensions of Japanese history. (Brill)


  • A German Barber-Surgeon cover

    "A German Barber-Surgeon in the Atlantic Slave Trade," co-authored by Craig Koslofsky, history, documents the young German barber-surgeon Johann Peter Oettinger’s journey across the Atlantic, his work as a surgeon, his role in the purchase and branding of enslaved Africans, and his experiences in France and the Netherlands. (Cambridge University Press)

  • Animalia cover

    "Animalia: An Anti-Imperial Bestiary for Our Times," co-edited by Antoinette Burton, history and director of the Humanities Research Institute, analyzes 26 animals—domestic, feral, predatory, and mythical—whose relationship to imperial authorities and settler colonists reveals how the presumed racial supremacy of Europeans underwrote the history of Western imperialism. (Duke University Press)

  • Arrian the Historian cover

    "Arrian the Historian: Writing the Greek Past in the Roman Empire," by Daniel Leon, classics, examines the works of Arrian of Nicomedia to show how Roman Empire-era Greek historians responded to their sophistic peers’ claims of authority and played a crucial role in theorizing the past at a time when knowledge of history was central to defining Greek cultural identity. (University of Texas Press)

  • Deviant and Useful Citizens cover

    "Deviant and Useful Citizens," by Mariselle Meléndez, Spanish and Portuguese, explores the conditions of women and perceptions of the female body in the eighteenth century throughout the Viceroyalty of Peru. Meléndez introduces the reader to a female rebel, Micaela Bastidas, whose brutal punishment became a particularly harsh example of state response to women who challenged the system. (Vanderbilt University Press)

  • For Land and Liberty cover

    "For Land and Liberty: Black Struggles in Rural Brazil," by Merle Bowen, African American studies, is a comparative study of the history and contemporary circumstances concerning Brazil's quilombos (African-descent rural communities) and their inhabitants, the quilombolas. The book examines the disposition of quilombola claims to land as a site of contestation over citizenship and its meanings for Afro-descendants, as well as their connections to the broader fight against racism. (Cambridge University Press)

  • Photographic Presidents cover

    "Photographic Presidents: Making History from Daguerreotype to Digital," by Cara Finnegan, communication, ventures from a newly discovered daguerreotype of John Quincy Adams to Barack Obama’s selfies to tell the stories of how presidents have participated in the medium’s transformative moments. As she shows, technological developments not only changed photography but introduced new visual values that influence how we judge an image. (University of Illinois Press)

  • The Discovery of Cosmic Voids cover

    "The Discovery of Cosmic Voids," by Laird Thompson, professor emeritus of astronomy, tells how the first 3D maps of galaxies were created. Using non-mathematical language, Thompson introduces the standard model of cosmology before explaining how and why ideas about cosmic voids evolved, referencing the original maps, reproduced within. (Cambridge University Press)

  • Unassailable Ideas cover

    "Unassailable Ideas: How Unwritten Rules and Social Media Shape Discourse in American Higher Education," co-authored by Illana Redstone, sociology, explores and sheds new light on the interaction of social media with campus climate, offers an extensive set of case studies illustrating the ways in which academic discourse is constrained, and provides a constructive set of recommendations to move us forward and tangible steps for improving the climate for free inquiry at universities. (Oxford University Press)

  • What Though the Field Be Lost cover

    "What Though the Field Be Lost," by Christopher Kempf, English, uses poetry and the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg to engage ongoing issues involving race, regional identity, and the ethics of memory. Kempf reveals the overlapping planes of historical past and public present, integrating archival material—language from monuments,  soldiers’ letters, eyewitness accounts of the battle—with reflection on present-day social and political unrest. (Louisiana State University Press)

  • Catastrophic thinking

    "Catastrophic Thinking," by David Sepkoski, history, examines the instances of hurricanes, wildfires, the COVID-19 pandemic, that the world is experiencing through the lens of the Darwin to Anthropocene age views on extinction. He also examines what could have led humanity to this point of a global health outbreak and natural disasters. (University of Chicago Press)

  • Counterlife cover

    "Counterlife: Slavery after Resistance and Social Death," by Christopher Freeburg, English, explores through the works of artist Radcliffe Bailey, abolitionist Frederick Douglass, author Edward Jones, and African American spirituals and media, an existence of the Black community that extends beyond the effects of slavery and the overarching idea of freedom. (Duke University Press)

  • Plato: Menexenus

    "Plato: Menexenus," by David Sansone, classics, analyzes the work of Plato. Sansone provides guidance on grammatical and historical matters, while allowing the student to appreciate Plato's mastery of Greek prose style and critique of democratic ideology. (Cambridge University Press)

  • Politics for Everybody

    "Politics for Everybody: Reading Hannah Arendt in Uncertain Times," by Ned O’Gorman, communication, reflects on the work of political theorist Hannah Arendt as he encourages readers to engage in politics beyond their personal reservations. He dissects the difference between genuine politics and the distorted forms that can hinder a person’s desire to become involved with politics. (University of Chicago Press)

  • The Lost World of Socialists at Europe's Margins

    "The Lost World of Socialists at Europe's Margins: Imagining Utopia, 1870s-1920s," by Maria Todorova, history, examines the "ideological bogeyman" of socialism by recollecting the work of the early socialists. Through the use of a myriad of sources, she contemplates the reasoning for the rise of the early socialist movement, who the followers of the movement tended to be, and the appeal of Marxist socialism to these followers. (Bloomsbury)

  • Bans, Walls, Raids, Sanctuary

    "Bans, Walls, Raids, Sanctuary: Understanding U.S. Immigration for the Twenty-First Century," by Naomi Paik, Asian American studies, examines the actions taken by President Donald Trump concerning immigration policies and the barriers to immigration which closely resemble the actions and behavior toward immigration that are ingrained in society. She explores the history of immigration in America to reflect on these barriers, which exist in both the past and the present. (University of California Press)

  • Disruptive Situations

    "Disruptive Situations: Fractal Orientalism and Queer Strategies in Beirut," by Ghassan Moussawi, gender and women’s studies, examines how Beirut’s LGBTQ community contends with "the situation", or struggles that they encounter in their daily lives, including violence and war. Moussawi also criticizes the concept of fractal orientalism, which is utilized to take into account the relationship that exists between Beirut and the LGBTQ community. (Temple University Press)

  • Pleibol! cover

    “¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues,” by Adrian Burgos Jr., history, reflects on the ambient influence that baseball has had in Latino/a culture and for immigrants from Latin America acclimating to the United States. The book is written in English and Spanish, and includes personal accounts of the significant role that the Latino/a community played in Major League Baseball during the post-segregation era. (Smithsonian Scholarly Press)


  • Laudato Si’ and the Environment

    "Laudato Si’ and the Environment" edited by Robert McKim, religion, asks how religion can take a role in addressing environmental crises, and features essays from scholars of different disciplines and cultural and religious perspectives. (Routledge & CRC Press)

  • Other Natures

    The way ancient Greeks thought about the natural environment and their relationship to it is relevant to how we respond to environmental crises today. In "Other Natures," Clara Bosak-Schroeder, classics, looks at how the ethnographies written by ancient Greeks reveal how they explored ideas about consumption and their use of natural resources. (University of California Press)

  • Réalités pseudonymes

    "Réalités pseudonymes," by Julie Gaillard, French, explores the question of reality through the lens of the proper name and its referential mechanisms in French literature and arts at the turn of the 21st century. Gaillard analyzes the works of thinkers who question the referential transparency of the proper name to question the fabric of reality and show how it can be transformed. (Brill Press)

  • Sultan, Caliph, and the Renewer of the Faith

    "Sultan, Caliph, and the Renewer of the Faith: Ahmad Lobbo, the Tarikh al-fattash and the making of an Islamic State in West Africa," by Mauro Nobili, history, breaks down the historical knowledge of the chronicle Tarikh al-fattash, the problematic and altered aspects that have been historically misinterpreted, and how it is an important piece in the evolution of Arabic historical literature in the region. (Cambridge University Press)

  • Unruly Cinema

    Between 1931 and 2000, India’s popular cinema steadily overcame Hollywood domination. Bollywood became nothing less than a global cultural juggernaut, but it’s merely one part of the country’s prolific, multilingual cinema. "Unruly Cinema," by Rini Bhattacharya Mehta, comparative literature and religion, examines the complex series of events that allowed the entire Indian film industry to defy attempts to control, reform, and refine it in the 20th century and beyond. (University of Illinois Press)

  • Victims of the Book

    "Victims of the Book: Reading and Masculinity in Fin-de-Siècle France," by François Proulx, French and Italian, uncovers a long-neglected but once widespread subgenre: the fin-de-siècle novel of formation in France. Novels about and geared toward adolescent male readers were imbued with a deep worry over young Frenchmen’s masculinity. (University of Toronto Press)

  • Black Bourgeois

    "Black Bourgeois: Class and Sex in the Flesh," by Candice Jenkins, English and African American studies, reminds us that the conflicted relation of the black subject to privilege is not, solely, a recent phenomenon. (University of Minnesota Press)

  • Fides in Flavian Literature

    "Fides in Flavian Literature," edited by Antony Augoustakis, classics, explores the ideology of “good faith” (fides) during the time of the emperors Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian (69-96 CE), the new imperial dynasty that gained power in the wake of the civil wars of the period. (University of Toronto Press)

  • Going Stealth

    "Going Stealth: Transgender Politics and U.S. Surveillance Practices," by Toby Beauchamp, gender and women's studies, demonstrates how the enforcement of gender conformity is linked to state surveillance practices that identify threats based on racial, gender, national, and ableist categories of difference. (Duke University Press)

  • Hitler’s First Hundred Days

    "Hitler’s First Hundred Days," by Peter Fritzsche, history, provides an unsettling and illuminating history of how Germany’s fractured republic gave way to the Third Reich, from the formation of the Nazi party to the rise of Hitler. (Basic Books)

  • Language History, Language Change, and Language Relationship

    "Language History, Language Change, and Language Relationship," by Hans Henrich Hock, linguistics, and Brian Joseph, provides answers to questions such as "Why does language change?" and "What are Americans and English 'one people divided by a common language'?" in a straightforward way, aimed at the non-specialist. (De Gruyter Mouton)

  • Making Global MBAs

    "Making Global MBAs: The Culture of Business and the Business of Culture" by Andrew Orta, anthropology, studies the culture of contemporary business education—in particular, the MBA degree—and how it’s been shaped by the modern global economy. (University of California Press)

  • Ricanness

    "Ricanness: Enduring Time in Anticolonial Performance," by Sandra Ruiz, Latina/ Latino studies and English, argues that Ricanness—a continual performance of bodily endurance against U.S. colonialism through different measures of time—uncovers what’s at stake politically for the often unwanted, anticolonial, racialized, and sexualized enduring body. (New York University Press)

  • Talking Indian

    "Talking Indian: Identity and Language Revitalization in the Chickasaw Renaissance," by Jenny Davis, anthropology, offers the first booklength ethnography of language revitalization in a U.S. tribe removed from its homelands. (University of Arizona Press)