It has been two years since we launched Keywords for Latina/o Studies (2017) and we are heartened by the wonderful response, positive reception, and wide adoption for courses by professors.   Our intent from the beginning was to create a shared dialogue and vocabulary, a site for critical thinking, and to contribute the ongoing project of Latina/o/x Studies. To our amazement this dialogue is happening, and we as the editors, would like to impart what we have learned with you.  In turn, we invite you to let us know how Keywords has assisted you with your teaching, research, and writing.  We welcome critiques and suggestions for improving Keywords.  For example, as we explained in Keywords, there are omissions of terms that we plan to include in future editions. As well, the term Latinx grew in prominence after we had completed the bulk of the project. We understand and agree that the …

From the Editors

Welcome, Keywords for African American Studies

We are excited to announce the release of the newest edition of the Keywords series: Keywords for African American Studies. Our efforts, as co-editors, centered on reaching out to specialists across scholarly disciplines who can describe, with authority and clarity, the fundamental meanings and utilities of words that are essential to the discourse and exploration of African American Studies. An inherently interdisciplinary venture, this project employs a language that transcends the disciplinary prose of any one area of study. Historians, sociologists, literary scholars, political scientists, and other enrich this publication. Each essay adds broader understanding of the field of what is alternatively known as Africana Studies or Black Studies.

As the most recent iteration of the NYU Press Keywords series, the book builds upon the tradition of providing a critical source for engaging and understanding a wide range of terms and concepts that circulate in a field of study. …

From the Editors, Teaching

Welcome, Keywords for Media Studies

We’re delighted to announce the publication of Keywords for Media Studies.  Our project maps the interdisciplinary field of media studies—past, present, and future.  We are grateful to have assembled a stellar group of scholars to assist in this endeavor.  Our 65 pieces come from contributors who were asked to approach their keyword as a challenge, a problematic, and a field of debate and inquiry.  Moving beyond simple definitions, the entries provoke critical reflection and intervene in the major ideas and debates that have defined and shaped the vibrant and evolving field of media studies.

We intend the book to serve a range of audiences. It will be a useful resource for teachers and students at various levels of instruction, from introductory courses to graduate seminars.  We also hope its conceptual provocations will challenge media studies scholars to grapple with the critical building blocks of our field.  Finally, the book …

From the Editors, Teaching

Welcome, Keywords for Environmental Studies

We’re delighted to announce the publication of Keywords for Environmental Studies, the fifth volume in NYU Press’s Keywords series. Our goal in producing the volume has been to create a new “state of the field” inventory and analysis of the central terms and debates currently structuring the most exciting research in and across environmental studies, including the environmental humanities, environmental social sciences, sustainability sciences, and the sciences of nature.

The breadth of this approach means that while our volume shares many of the central features of the other books in the series—incisive essays on key terms in the field, a comprehensive bibliography, an open invitation to discussion and dialogue—it’s also unique in that our contributors hail not only from the humanities and social sciences but also from the environmental sciences. In this volume you will find contributions from distinguished voices in an appropriately wide range of areas, including …

From the Editors, Teaching

Welcome, Keywords for Children’s Literature

by Philip Nel, Lissa Paul

In the four years since the launch of Keywords for Children’s Literature in print (2011), we’ve learned a lot from scholars and students who have used it. As Raymond Williams did, we wanted to provide a shared vocabulary — but, in our case, specifically for the disciplinarily diverse group of people who work in children’s literature. The field draws scholars and writers from Literature, Education, and Library and Information Science. We knew that misunderstandings between disciplines arose because key terms were used in different ways. Recording the historical and etymological traces of each of the original forty-nine key terms, our contributors explained how these words came to be used in conflicted ways in different disciplines. In so doing, they drew a new map of our common vocabulary, locating its regional conflicts and contested terrain.

Since they contain only what the cartographer deems plottable, all maps invite revision. Greater familiarity with …

From the Editors

Interview with Miriam Bartha, author of “Skill”

Be sure to check out Miriam Bartha’s keyword essay on “Skill,” which just appeared on the Keywords for American Cultural Studies site. To accompany and frame the publication, we asked her a few questions.

Bruce Burgett and Glenn HendlerWhat drew you to approach skill as a keyword?

Miriam Bartha: I began thinking about “skill” as a keyword in the process of a career transition from academic jobs to what is now called an “alt-ac” position. I took a workshop that very explicitly prompted participants to renarrate their professional qualifications in terms of skills. Once I landed a position, as assistant director of a humanities research center, I found myself engaged to talk about my “transferable skills” at professional development events for graduate students; managing projects engaging people with a wide spectrum of professional knowledges and practices; and thinking about how to facilitate the mutual …

From the Editors, New Essays

Interview with Lindsay Reckson, author of “Gesture”

Be sure to check out Lindsay Reckson’s keyword essay on “Gesture,” which just appeared on the Keywords for American Cultural Studies site. To accompany and frame the publication, we asked her a few questions.

Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler: What drew you to approach gesture as a keyword?

Lindsay Reckson: I’ve been fascinated by the way that gesture emerges as a critical object across fields we tend to think of as relatively distinct: developmental linguistics, sociology, phenomenology, and performance studies, to name just a few. So part of what inspired me to approach gesture as a keyword was the definitional challenge of pinning down a term that is necessarily itinerant; in this sense, gesture names movements that demand the interdisciplinary moves central to American studies and cultural studies. I’ve also been inspired by a whole host of scholars (Robin Bernstein, Daphne Brooks, Carrie Noland, Joseph …

From the Editors, New Essays

New Post-Publication Keywords: “Gesture” and “Skill”

Across both editions of Keywords for American Cultural Studies, we have emphasized that a keywords project is always provisional, always in process, always subject to revision. This openness is in keeping with Raymond Williams’s insistence in Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society that his publisher include several blank pages at the back of the volume “as a sign that the inquiry remains open, and that the author will welcome all amendments, corrections and additions.” This website – including this blog and the Keywords Collaboratory, where students using the text can produce their own collaboratively written keyword essays – is a digital analogue to Williams’s blank pages.

In that spirit, we’re very pleased to announce the publication of two new keyword essays, both of which are now part of Keywords for American Cultural Studies: “Gesture” by Lindsay Reckson; and “Skill” by Miriam …

From the Editors, New Essays

Welcome, Keywords for Disability Studies

We are pleased to announce the publication of Keywords for Disability Studies.  As co-editors, we took seriously the mandate to represent the breadth and diversity of disability studies as an interdisciplinary field poised at the intersection of activism, scholarship, and lived experience.  The essays in this collection are designed to provide essential background and framing for important terms in the field, and also to explain how “disability” changes our understanding of terms that circulate broadly across the disciplines, such as “aesthetics,” “race,” “representation,” and “work.”  While individual essays define and historicize terms, Keywords is not intended to function as a fixed, encyclopedic survey of the field but rather as a series of interventions in what we hope will become an ongoing dialogue about the meaning and shape of disability studies.

The publication of Keywords for Disability Studies coincides with two important 25th anniversaries in the history of disability …

From the Editors

Welcome, Keywords for Asian American Studies

We are pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of Keywords for Asian American Studies. As co-editors, we took seriously the diversity of an interdisciplinary field born out of Civil Rights struggle, anti-war protest, and anti-imperial resistance. Notwithstanding “traditional” disciplinary homes in the social sciences and humanities, we – like our contributors – have come together to contemplate the expansive contours of “Asian America,” a formation that encompasses multiple migrations, ethnicities, and histories.

It is fitting that the publication of Keywords for Asian American Studies coincides with a number of anniversaries which, to varying degrees, figure keenly in Asian American history. In particular, 2015 marks the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II; the fiftieth anniversary of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act (a.k.a. Hart-Celler Act), the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution; and the fortieth anniversary of the conclusion of the second Indochina …

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