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In addition to our Chapter & Verse feature, enjoy more books in the fall 2023 issue. Read the monthly “Bookmark This” feature by searching those terms on the College website.

Book cover for Boardinghouse WomenBoardinghouse Women: How Southern Keepers, Cooks, Nurses, Widows and Runaways Shaped Modern America (UNC Press) by Elizabeth Engelhardt, Kenan Eminent Professor of Southern Studies and senior associate dean for fine arts and humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences. In this insightful book, Engelhardt argues that modern American food, business, caretaking, politics, sex, travel, writing and restaurants all owe a debt to boardinghouse women in the South. From the 18th century well into the 20th, entrepreneurial women ran boardinghouses throughout the South; some also carried the institution to far-flung places like California, New York and London. Owned and operated by Black, Jewish, Native American and white women, rich and poor, immigrant and native-born, these lodgings were often hubs of business innovation and engines of financial independence for their owners.

Why Mariah Carey Matters (University of Texas Press) by Andrew Chan (English and Asian studies ’08). Mariah Carey has sold hundreds of millions of albums and cut more chart-topping hits than any other solo artist — ever. But there is more to her legacy than eye-popping numbers. Chan examines the creative evolution and complicated biography of a true diva, making the case that, despite her celebrity, Carey’s musicianship and influence are insufficiently appreciated. Chan also looks beyond Carey’s glamorous persona to explore her experience as a mixed-race woman in show business, her adventurous forays into house music and gospel and her appeal to multiple generations of queer audiences. Read a Bookmark This feature on the book.

The Women of Now: How Feminists Built An Organization That Transformed America (Macmillan Publishers) by Katherine Turk, associate professor of history. In The Women of NOW, historian Turk chronicles the growth and enduring influence of this foundational group through three lesser-known members who became leaders: Aileen Hernandez, a federal official of Jamaican American heritage; Mary Jean Collins, a working-class union organizer and Chicago Catholic; and Patricia Hill Burnett, a Michigan Republican, artist and former beauty queen. These women built an organization that was radical in its time but flexible and expansive enough to become a mainstream fixture. This is the story of how they did that. Read a book review in The Guardian.

Book cover for Restoring EdenRestoring Eden: Unearthing the Agribusiness Secret That Poisoned My Farming Community (Chicago Review Press) by Elizabeth Hilborn (biology ’88, M.P.H. environmental sciences and engineering ’94). All spring, Hilborn watched as her family fruit farm of many years became increasingly diminished, suffering from a lack of bees. The plentiful wildlife, so abundant just weeks before, was gone. As an environmental scientist trained to investigate disease outbreaks, she rose to the challenge. The chemicals found in her water samples showed beyond any doubt that not only her farm, but her greater farming community, was at risk from toxic chemicals that traveled with rain water over the land, into water and deep within the soil. Library Journal wrote: “A beautifully descriptive, lyrical immersion in the natural world that’s coupled with a detective story, reminiscent of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.”

an other: a black feminist consideration of animal life (Duke University Press) by Sharon Patricia Holland, Townsend Ludington Distinguished Professor of American Studies. In her new book, Holland centers ethical commitments over ontological concerns to spotlight those moments when Black people ethically relate with animals. Drawing on writers and thinkers ranging from Hortense Spillers, Sara Ahmed, Toni Morrison and C. E. Morgan to Jane Bennett, Jacques Derrida and Donna Haraway, Holland decenters the human in Black feminist thought to interrogate blackness, insurgence, flesh and femaleness.

Book cover for Climate Change bookClimate Change and Estuaries (Routledge Taylor & Francis) edited by Michael J. Kennish, Hans W. Paerl and Joseph R. Crosswell. Paerl is Kenan Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences. Climate change is having an increasing impact on coastal, estuarine and marine environments worldwide. This book provides state-of-the-art coverage of climate change effects on estuarine ecosystems from local, regional and global perspectives. It not only examines climatic and non-climatic drivers of change affecting coastal, estuarine and marine environments but also their interactions and effects on populations of organisms, communities, habitats and ecosystem structure and function.

Matter and Making in Early English Poetry: From Chaucer to Sidney (Cambridge University Press) by Taylor Cowdery, associate professor of English and comparative literature and director of the Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies. What is literature made from? During the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, this question preoccupied the English court poets, who often claimed that their poems were not original creations, but adaptations of pre-existing materials. Their word for these materials was “matter,” while the term they used to describe their labor was “making,” or the act of reworking this matter into a new — but not entirely new — form. By tracing these ideas through the work of six major early poets, this book offers a revisionist literary history of late-medieval and early modern court poetry.

Idealism and the Harmony of Thought and Reality (Oxford University Press) by Thomas Hofweber, professor of philosophy. Do human beings have a special and distinguished place in reality? In Idealism and the Harmony of Thought and Reality, Hofweber contends that they do. Humans are special since there is an intimate connection between their human minds and reality itself. This book defends a form of idealism which holds that our human minds constrain but do not construct reality as the totality of facts.

Layered Lives: Rhetoric and Representation in the Southern Life History Project (Stanford University Press) by Taylor Arnold, Courtney Rivard and Lauren Tilton. Rivard is UNC teaching associate professor of English and comparative literature. The Southern Life History Project, a Federal Writers’ Project initiative, put unemployed writers to work during the Great Depression by capturing the stories of everyday people across the Southeast through a new form of social documentation called “life histories.” Layered Lives recovers the history of the Southern Life History Project through an interdisciplinary approach that combines close readings of archival material with computational methods that analyze the collection at scale. Read an Institute for the Arts and Humanities podcast interview with Rivard about the book.

Book cover for I Cannot Write My LifeI Cannot Write My Life: Islam, Arabic, and Slavery in Omar ibn Said’s America (UNC Press) by Mbaye Lo and Carl W. Ernst, the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Omar ibn Said (1770–1863) was a Muslim scholar from West Africa who spent more than 50 years enslaved in North Carolina. In 1831, Omar composed a brief autobiography and became famous for his Arabic writings, but many were either unable or unwilling to understand Omar’s writings, and his voice remained suppressed for centuries. Lo and Ernst present fresh translations of Omar’s 18 surviving writings, providing the fullest possible account of his life and significance. They restore Omar’s voice, his sophisticated engagement with Islamic and Christian theologies, his Arabic skills and his extraordinary efforts to express himself and exert agency despite his enslavement.

Buying Time for Heritage: How to Save an Endangered Historic Property, Revised and Expanded Edition (UNC Press) by J. Myrick Howard (B.A. history ’74, M.A. city and regional planning and J.D. law ’78). This practical guide to historic preservation provides readers with legal, financial, political and technical tools and strategies to be a more effective preservationist. Howard explains how preservation-minded neighbors and organizations can succeed with only modest resources and, rather than clash with developers, can become developers themselves for community benefit. He draws on case studies from 45 years of successful work leading Preservation North Carolina, a historic preservation nonprofit, with lessons that are applicable coast to coast.

Southern Lights: 75 Years of the Carolina Quarterly (UNC Press) by Sophia Houghton (BA. English ’21), Kylan Rice and Daniel Wallace. Rice is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of English and comparative literature, and Wallace is the J. Ross MacDonald Distinguished Professor of English. Founded at UNC in 1948, the Carolina Quarterly is one of the oldest and most prestigious literary journals in the South and has published the works of many contemporary literary luminaries. This anthology presents some of the journal’s best work along with an essay about the journal’s history and impact, which is far beyond a single university or state. This anthology celebrates the student-run literary journal as a form that has shaped the regional and national conversation and reflects on the astounding accomplishments of the Carolina Quarterly over the past 75 years.

Book cover for Beyond the Kitchen TableBeyond the Kitchen Table: Black Women and Global Food Systems (UNC Press) ed. by Priscilla McCutcheon, Latrica E. Best (sociology and biology ’01) and Theresa Ann Rajack-Talley. Much of the recent scholarship about race and food inequity has been focused on the United States. This book instead dives into Black women’s roles in food and agriculture systems in the Caribbean, Africa and the United States to study the ways Black women have used and continue to use food for community building and sustenance. It also examines matrilineal food-based education; the importance of Black women’s social, cultural and familial networks in addressing nutrition and food insecurity; the ways gender intersects with class and race when thinking about food; and how women-led science and technology initiatives can be used to create healthier and more just food systems.

The Cutting-Off Way: Indigenous Warfare in Eastern North America, 1500-1800 (UNC Press) by Wayne E. Lee, the Bruce W. Carney Distinguished Professor of History. Incorporating archaeology, anthropology, cartography and Indigenous studies into military history, Lee argues that wars and warfare cannot be understood with a focus that rests solely on logistics, strategy and operations. Fighting forces bring their own cultural traditions and values onto the battlefield. In this volume, Lee employs his “cutting-off way of war” paradigm to recast Indigenous warfare in a framework of the lived realities of Native people rather than with regard to European and settler military strategies and practices. Lee explores these factors in a detailed discussion of intra-tribal and Indigenous-colonial warfare from pre-contact through the American Revolution.

Book cover for Charm OffensiveCharm Offensive (Blackspring Press Group) by Ross White, teaching assistant professor and director of the creative writing program in the department of English and comparative literature. White’s debut poetry collection charts the ways that tenderness can resolve into dissonance and uncertainty can resolve into transcendence. At times playful and surreal, exuberant and somber, the poems urge readers to find something new to trust in the world. Matthew Olzmann, author of Constellation Route, wrote: “Opening with the declaration ‘I like too many things,’ Ross White’s highly anticipated Charm Offensive bursts with abundance while being devoted to locating and cataloging the world’s marvels.”

The Better Liar (Penguin Randomhouse) by Tanen Jones ’13. Leslie Flores has the perfect life —a loving husband, a happy newborn and a New Mexico home straight out of a magazine. She’s been the perfect daughter, too, taking care of her ailing father in his final days. But Leslie has a dark secret — and it’s an expensive secret to keep. When she discovers she won’t receive a penny of her inheritance unless she finds her estranged sister, Robin, she sets out to track her down. Instead, upon arriving at Robin’s apartment, Leslie discovers her body. Entertainment Weekly wrote: “Jones’ sensational debut has the bones of a thriller but reads like literary fiction: lean, shrewd and gratifyingly real.”

Glove Shy: A Sister’s Reckoning (Lystra Books & Literary Services) by Janet Hurley ’84. In the 1970s, the heartbeat of one family’s life is the thump of fists on a heavy boxing bag. Hurley’s older brother, Brian, was the teenage protégé of a two-time World Heavyweight Champion who lived in their hometown. Brian was a young man of brilliance and wit. His talents were broad, yet boxing was the path he chose. Glove Shy is a tender but tough memoir, a loving look at how a sport as elemental as boxing can obscure the powerful forces this family never saw coming. Hurley will do a reading and conversation with Kenan Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing Bland Simpson, her creative writing teacher at UNC, on Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill.

Book cover for Parenting the Strong-Willed ChildParenting the Strong-Willed Child: The Clinically Proven Five-Week Program for Parents of Two-to Six-Year Olds (McGraw Hill, forthcoming December 2023) by Rex L. Forehand, Deborah J. Jones and Nicholas Long. Jones is the Zachary Smith Distinguished Term Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at UNC-Chapel Hill. In 1996, Parenting the Strong-Willed Child established itself as a seminal guide for parents who want to manage challenging behavior with parenting techniques grounded in positive reinforcement, without yelling or harming a child’s self-esteem. The authors provide a proven, step-by-step five-week program giving parents the tools they need to successfully build upon their child’s strengths while effectively managing challenging behavior. Packed with brand-new content, this fourth edition has been thoroughly updated to integrate state-of-the-field scientific and clinical advances, providing a timely and thorough response to the current issues facing parents of young children.

Book cover for Perez's new book, Colonial Reckoning.Colonial Reckoning: Race and Revolution in Nineteenth-Century Cuba (Duke University Press, forthcoming December 2023) by Louis A. Pérez Jr., J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History. Colonial Reckoning examines Cuba’s Wars for Independence in the second half of the 19th century, focusing specifically on those Cubans who remained loyal to Spain. Drawing on newspaper articles, personal letters, military battle reports, government commissions, consular reports, literature and other materials, Pérez shows how everyday Black, white and Creole Cubans defended the Spanish empire as paramilitary guerrillas alongside white elites.

Read the Chapter & Verse feature on Blair L.M. Kelley’s new book, Black Folk: The Roots of the Black Working Class. Enjoy other profiles in this issue featuring new books by undergraduate student Victoria Wlosok and faculty member Alexandrea Ravenelle.


Published in the Fall 2023 issue | Chapter & Verse

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