UW Press News, Reviews, and Events


Congratulations to Lissa Wadewitz whose book, The Nature of Borders: Salmon, Boundaries, and Bandits on the Salish Sea, has been selected as the recipient of American Historical Association’s 2014 Albert Corey Prize.  The prize will be presented at the AHA’s 2015 Annual Meeting in New York on January 2.

“An excellent book that covers much ground and joins in the project of reorienting borderlands history in North America. It is suitable for both a lay audience and for use in the classroom.” —Evan C. Rothera, Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources


Mary Randlett Portraits by Frances McCue with photographs by Mary Randlett, reviewed in The Seattle Times:
“’I have always worked in the field, never in a studio,’ Washington photographer Mary Randlett once wrote, ‘because I wanted to photograph subjects in their own environment.’ Those subjects—artists, writers and arts patrons of the Pacific Northwest—are on handsome display in ‘Mary Randlett Portraits’ by Randlett and Seattle writer Frances McCue.”


My Fight for a New Taiwan: One Woman’s Journey from Prison to Power by Hsiu-lien Lu and Ashley Esarey, reviewed in Foreign Affairs:
“A welcome reminder of what is possible when political leaders — government officials and antigovernment activists alike — set aside their own interests and follow the will of the people they claim to serve….Lu’s engaging voice and extraordinary candor make [this] a surprising and inspiring read.”
Foreign Affairs


New Books

Cities of the Dead: Ancestral Cemeteries of Kyrgyzstan
Photographs by Margaret Morton
Text by Nasser Rabbat, Elmira Kochumkulova, and Altyn Kapalova

A Kyrgyz cemetery seen from a distance is astonishing. The ornate domes and minarets, tightly clustered behind stone walls, seem at odds with this desolate mountain region. Islam, the prominent religion in the region since the twelfth century, discourages tombstones or decorative markers. However, elaborate Kyrgyz tombs combine earlier nomadic customs with Muslim architectural forms. After the territory was formally incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1876, enamel portraits for the deceased were attached to the Muslim monuments. Yet everything within the walls is overgrown with weeds, for it is not Kyrgyz tradition for the living to frequent the graves of the dead.

Traveling in Kyrgyzstan, photographer Margaret Morton became captivated by the otherworldly grandeur of these cemeteries. Cities of the Dead: The Ancestral Cemeteries of Kyrgyzstan collects the photographs she made on several visits to the area and is an important contribution to the architectural and cultural record of this region.

This trailer highlights some of the book’s stunning interior images:

Radical Theatrics: Put-Ons, Politics, and the Sixties
By Craig J. Peariso

From burning draft cards to staging nude protests, much left-wing political activism in 1960s America was distinguished by deliberate outrageousness. This theatrical activism, aimed at the mass media and practiced by Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies, the Black Panthers, and the Gay Activists Alliance, among others, is often dismissed as naive and out of touch, or criticized for tactics condemned as silly and off-putting to the general public.

In Radical Theatrics, however, Craig Peariso argues that these over-the-top antics were far more than just the spontaneous actions of a self-indulgent radical impulse. Instead, he shows, they were well-considered aesthetic and political responses to a jaded cultural climate in which an unreflective “tolerance” masked an unwillingness to engage with challenging ideas. Through innovative analysis that links political protest to the art of contemporaries such as Andy Warhol, Peariso reveals how the “put-on” – the signature activist performance of the radical left—ended up becoming a valuable American political practice, one that continues to influence contemporary radicals such as Occupy Wall Street.

Stirring Up Seattle: Allied Arts in the Civic Landscape
By R.M. Campbell
Photographs by Roger Schreiber

In the 1950s, the city of Seattle began a transformation from an insular, provincial outpost to a vibrant and cosmopolitan cultural center. As veteran Seattle journalist R. M. Campbell illustrates in Stirring Up Seattle: Allied Arts in the Civic Landscape, this transformation was catalyzed in part by the efforts of a group of civic arts boosters originally known as “The Beer and Culture Society.” This “merry band” of lawyers, architects, writers, designers, and university professors, eventually known as Allied Arts of Seattle, lobbied for public funding for the arts, helped avert the demolition of Pike Place Market, and were involved in a wide range of crusades and campaigns in support of historic preservation, cultural institutions, and urban livability.

Cities of Others: Reimagining Urban Spaces in Asian American Literature
By Xiaojing Zhou

Asian American literature abounds with complex depictions of American cities as spaces that reinforce racial segregation and prevent interactions across boundaries of race, culture, class, and gender. However, in Cities of Others, Xiaojing Zhou uncovers a much different narrative, providing the most comprehensive examination to date of how Asian American writers – both celebrated and overlooked – depict urban settings. Zhou goes beyond examining popular portrayals of Chinatowns by paying equal attention to life in other parts of the city. Her innovative and wide-ranging approach sheds new light on the works of Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese American writers who bear witness to a variety of urban experiences and reimagine the American city as other than a segregated nation-space.


Scott Elliot, Temple Grove, University Book Store, November 3 at 7:00 p.m.

R. M. Campbell with Mary Coney, Wes Uhlman and David Brewster, Stirring Up Seattle, Town Hall Seattle, November 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Frances McCue, Mary Randlett Portraits, Village Books , November 11 at 7:00 p.m.

Margaret Morton, Cities of the Dead, St. Mark’s Bookshop, November 12 at 7:00 p.m.

Empire is in the Heart: A Conference in Honor of Carlos Bulosan, University of Washington Student Union Building, November 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Frances McCue, Mary Randlett Portraits,  University of Washington Odegaard Library, November 20 at 5:00 p.m.

Genny Lim, and Judy Yung, IslandChinese Culture Center of San Francisco, November 22 at 1:00 p.m.