A posthumous honor for author Randy Martin

This week in North Philly Notes, we reprint Jeffrey A. Halley and Patrick Hebert’s comments honoring the late Randy Martin, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Marxist section of the American Sociological Association.

On behalf of the Marxist section, and its Lifetime Achievement Award Committee (with Art Jipson and Rich Hogan) it is with great pleasure that we present this year’s Award to Randy Martin. Many of you knew Randy and are familiar with his work and contributions. Randy unfortunately passed away this winter, after a long battle with brain cancer. He was 57, Professor and Chair of Art, Society and Public Policy, Director, Graduate Program in Arts Politics, at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University and in his time he accomplished many things.

I met Randy in New York when he was at CUNY Graduate Center finishing his Ph. D. thesis.  Later in the 1980s we both worked together on the journal Social Text. His B.A. was from UC –Berkeley, where he studied Michael Burawoy, who had recently joined the faculty. For his M.S. Randy then studied at Wisconsin with Eric Olin Wright, and was active in the graduate students’ strike.  A Marxist scholar and also a dancer, he came to New York to dance and to study with Mike Brown and George Fisher at CUNY.

His research can be divided a bit arbitrarily into a number of overlapping categories:

Works on Marxism include:

Books critiquing the neo-liberal university include:

Randy might be best known for his pioneering work on neo-liberalism and financialization, in Financialization of Daily Life and in An Empire of Indifference: American War and the Financial Logic of Risk Management.  And he had just completed Knowledge, LTD: Toward a Social Logic of the Derivative, published posthumously in spring 2015.

Finally, he worked at the confluence of politics and culture, more specifically, dance and culture, in his Performance as Political Act: The Embodied Self; Socialist Ensembles: Theater and State in Cuba and Nicaragua; Critical Moves: Dance Studies in Theory and Politics; and the edited Routledge Companion to Art and Politics.

Randy was also an institution builder, as editor of journals, serving on the board of directors of the New York Marxist School, as Chair and acting Dean at Pratt Institute, and finally at New York University, where he was Chair, Professor of Art, Society, and Public Policy, and Founding Director of the Graduate Program in Arts Politics, Tisch School of the Arts.

Randy combined Marxist scholarship, organizational commitment, and a magnetic presence as teacher.

We are honored to confer this award on him.  To receive it, I want to introduce his colleague Pato Hebert from New York University.

Patrick Hebert:

It’s an honor to accept this award on behalf of Randy’s brilliant wife Ginger and his wonderful children Oliver and Sophia, and to represent my colleagues and our alumni in the Art & Public Policy Department at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. Randy ingeniously envisioned, built and chaired our department, and so it is also he whom I have the privilege and challenge of representing tonight.

Although I am honored to be here, I am also deeply saddened to be with you. I so wish it were Randy’s probing, punning, imploring, prancing presence that was before you now. Back home at the department we will soon be embarking on our first new school year without our gentle but fierce leader. This beginning anew in the space of loss will not be easy. Randy was as gifted as he was gracious, and he always made time for everyone even as he shepherded countless book projects, panels, formations and initiatives.

I miss him. He took a chance on me three years ago and made room and resources for my strange, amoebic practice, guiding, pushing and supporting me along with hundreds upon hundreds of others — colleagues, students, strangers, you, our world, the under-commons. Randy was incomparable. At his services last spring were shared many heavy hearts, but mostly endless currents of gratitude, admiration, awe and delight. People still speak continuously of Randy’s kindness, warmth, generosity, his catalytic creativity, principled yet supple politics, and his devastating intellectual acumen. I miss this marvelous mind and spirit, his energy and example. Every day.

But although I am still so full of sorrow, I am also thrilled to be here with you, his comrades, a most special crew among his many magical worlds. I am buoyed by the work that you and Randy have done, or will do, helping us to better understand how we are so interconnected with one another, the messy and sacred intricacies of the social, which here is to also say the political, and the still to be determined. Randy deserved to stand before you tonight, receiving this award and the recognition he has so rightfully earned but would no doubt so modestly deflect. He cannot be with us in the flesh now, but his spirit and wisdom are everywhere. No more committee meetings, deadlines, bureaucracies or brain cancer, just a legacy as lithe as it is large.

I, myself, am just beginning to dip more fully into the work and pathways Randy Martin has left for us. Randy’s dexterity and agility were astonishing. He was able to write incisively about academic administration, progressive dance and financial derivatives with equal grace and grit. He used to tell our students that they were working to create a GPS for a world that does not yet exist, but that they would bring into being through their work and efforts. Conjuring the pulsing plurality of our needed response, he reminded us all that we share not a practice, but a predicament. The predicament of this moment, as well as our communal possibility.

Given this special collective assembled here tonight, I thought I would close with some of Randy’s own words from his article, “Marxism after Cultural Studies,” published in 2008 as the financial crisis crested. Given the market’s bungee jumping the last few weeks, I can’t help but wonder what Randy would’ve analyzed and intuited. But here is what he wrote so presciently some seven years ago:

Financialization is more about technique than idea, more effect than intention, less a consensus than a dispersion of consequences. As such, it is less coherent than a ruling idea and pricklier than a regime whose time can pass. It does not replace these other terms for naming what we are up against, but nestles among them. It surely cannot account for all that transpires in the present, but does insist upon reconciling the vast complexity in our midst through some means of accountability.

Finance culturalizes risk by rendering it a calculable gain from an expected outcome. Risk spreads the culture of accountability and as such forms a way of knowing or epistemological conjuncture that both cuts across disciplines and renders those claims to methodological monogamy mute.

Risk suggests more than an attack on traditional partitions of specialized knowledge and expertise. It also invites another figuration of being.

By examining financial reason ‘manifest as risk management’ across an array of sites from war, to domesticity, to education, a richer trajectory for Marxism and cultural studies can itself be more readily imagined. For Marxism to now emerge as the unrepresentable within cultural studies does not demand a return to the classical formulations with their prior stabilities and separations. Rather, this Marxism makes room for the cultural as it manifests and multiplies in those spaces and affects that capital lives off of but remains indifferent to. This Marxism is also a cultural studies, but one that asks what life we lead together when all that concerns us can be placed at risk. It allows us to pose the question of value, including that of our own theoretical labors, when these would be denied both a history and a futurity. From the little difference that we make can be derived a field of studies to survive and even thrive these pre-criminal crises.



Celebrating University Press Week” #TBT

November 8-14 is University Press Week. Since 2012, we have celebrated University Press Week each year to help tell the story of how university press publishing supports scholarship, culture, and both local and global communities.

Today’s theme is: #TBT

Project MUSE In honor of our 20th anniversary this year, we’ll pull some highlights from our 20 years of university press content.

University of Minnesota Press Information and infographic material highlighting the University of Minnesota Press’s 90th birthday this year.

University of Chicago Press A TBT to awards/digital techonology/ the future, written as a letter from the past, the year the PDF was founded in 1991.

University of Manitoba Press We’ll be pulling books & catalogues & book launch photos from the 48 years UMP has been publishing.

University of Washington Press In celebration of kicking off UW Press’s centennial, we will feature highlights and photos from 100 years of UW Press history.

Duke University Press A throwback to all of our surprising journal covers.

University of Texas Press A look back on the street style of 1970s Pennsylvania through the lens of seminal street photographer Mark Cohen.

University of Michigan Press Describing the evolution of our book “Michigan Trees” through the more than 100 years the publication has been maintained/edited, with a screen shot of the original cover

University Press of Kansas UPK will use this #TBT post, along with a “Today in history” theme, to tie-in relevant books from UPK.

Minnesota Historical Society Press Mike Evangelist’s “Downtown: Minneapolis in the 1970s” captures a memorable time and place in the past, and his photos generated great interest on social media by those reflecting on the many long-lost places and styles featured. The book itself offers a Throwback look at this era.

University of California Press Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1 publication in 2010: A media cause célèbre.

University of Toronto Press UTP Journals will use our throwback Thursday post to either highlight the various cover designs our journals have had over the years (some journals have been publishing for hundreds of years!)

Fordham University Press  offers What Might Have Been. . . A Trip Through NYC’s Unbuilt Subway System.

Manchester University Press Peter Barry, author of the landmark MUP book, Beginning Theory, reflects on how his twenty year old creation came to be.

Help us Celebrate!

  • Use the hashtag #ReadUP that presses have been using all year to talk about the work we publish—maybe use it to draw your book into University Press Week conversations.
  • Tell the story of publishing with us with the hashtag #PublishUP.
  • Join our #UPshelfie campaign (we are continuing this campaign from last year if you Google #UPshelfie you will find them!). Show us what university press books are on your shelf!
  • Subscribe to the University Press Week newsletter here, keep an eye out for the 2015 UP Week infographic, and attend one of our online events.

Connections and Collaborations at the Association of American University Presses Annual Meeting

This week in North Philly Notes, Ann-Marie Anderson, Marketing Director at Temple University Press, recounts her experiences at the recent Association of American University Presses annual meeting in Denver, Colorado.

I had the pleasure of attending my first AAUP annual meeting in many, many years–in Denver no less, the Mile-High City. The theme this year was “Connect, Collaborate,” and sessions ranged from discussions of successful product development to the continuing challenges of establishing realistic book schedules and the constant interplay that takes place between acquisitions and marketing in publishing decisions.

But what I always find most rewarding about attending the annual meetings is crossing paths with people I’ve not seen in years and meeting new people. And this year was certainly no different. Right at the start, at the opening celebration and banquet, I encountered old friend Liz Scarpelli, former Rutgers University Press marketing manager now publishers’ rep for Baker & Taylor. And I was introduced to Ellen Chodosh, New York University Press‘s new director, who was chatting with Mary Beth Jarrad, the press’ sales and marketing director, whom I see only at the Barnes & Noble holiday party if at all. Not long after, I ran into Tony Sanfilippo, director of Ohio State University Press, and Albert Harum-Alvarez, designer and owner of SmallCo, the FileMaker database design consultancy firm with many clients in the university press world, and his wife Enid. I shared a dinner table with Jack Farrell, executive publishing headhunter, of Farrell & Associates, and East-West Export Books sales manager Royden Muranaka and other members of the University of Hawaii Press.

DenverAt the Chronicle of Higher Education party in the Daniels & Fisher Tower (a building with an elevator capacity of eight, where a hundred-plus eager university press folks in the lobby awaiting the ride up), I climbed a flight of stairs (or two) to what I believe was the seventeenth floor with Dean Smith, author of the Temple University Press title
Never Easy, Never Pretty
He is now the director of Cornell University Press. On the balcony overlooking downtown Denver, I saw Kate Fraser, an old acquaintance from Eurospan, a UK-based sales agency. Sometime before, during, or after that, I met–in the flesh–Dennis Lloyd, newly appointed director of the University of Wisconsin Press, with whom I’ve previously had only email conversations; Norris Langley, CFO at Duke University Press; and Kate Davey and her staff, Dan and Ben, of Bibliovault, the  scholarly book repository.  I had to hug Kate; she is just incredible to work with. And the list goes on and on.

Finally, it is always a pleasure to connect with the staff at AAUP, who work tirelessly to support the membership and put together the various activities associated with the annual meetings year after year. Here’s a shout-out to Kim Miller, office manager and program administrator. It was great to see ya!

Celebrating Dads for Father’s Day

This week in North Philly Notes, we celebrate fathers everywhere with a trio of books that highlight fatherhood.

Not from Here by Allan G. Johnson

Not from Here approved_101614_smWhen Allan Johnson asked his dying father where he wanted his ashes to be placed, his father replied—without hesitation—that it made no difference to him at all. In his poignant, powerful memoir, Not from Here, Johnson embarks on an extraordinary two-thousand-mile journey across the Upper Midwest and Great Plains to find the place where his father’s ashes belong.

As a white man of Norwegian and English lineage, Johnson explores both America and the question of belonging to a place whose history holds the continuing legacy of the displacement, dispossession, and genocide of Native Peoples.

More than a personal narrative, Not from Here illuminates not only the national silence around unresolved questions of accountability, race, and identity politics but also the dilemma of how to take responsibility for a past we did not create. Johnson’s story—of the past living in the present; of redemption, fate, family, tribe, and nation; of love and grief—raises profound questions about belonging, identity, and place.

Men Can by Donald N.S. Unger

Men Can sm compIn Men Can, writer, teacher, and father Donald Unger uses his personal experiences as a stay-at-home dad; stories of real-life families; and representations of fathers in film, on television, and in advertising to illuminate the roles men now play in the increasingly fluid domestic sphere.

Unger tells the stories of a half dozen families—of varied ethnicities, geographical locations, and philosophical orientations—in which fathers are either primary caregivers or equally sharing parents. He personalizes how Americans are now caring for their children and discusses the ways that popular culture reflects these changes in family roles. Unger also addresses the evolving language of parenting and media representations of fathers over several decades.

Men Can shows how real change can take place when families divide up domestic labor on a gender-neutral basis. The families profiled here offer insights into the struggles of—and opportunities for—men caring for children. Unger favors flexible arrangements and a society that respects personal choices and individual differences, crediting and supporting functional families, rather than one in which every household must conform to a one-size-fits-all mold.

The Package Deal by Nicholas W. Townsend
package dealIn The Package Deal, Nicholas Townsend explores what men say about being fathers, and about what fatherhood means to them. He shows how men negotiate the prevailing cultural values about fatherhood, marriage, employment, and home ownership that he conceptualizes as a “package deal.” Townsend identifies the conflicts and contradictions within the gendered expectations of men and fathers, and analyzes the social and economic contexts that make emotionally involved fathering an elusive ideal.

Drawing on the lives and life stories of a group of men in their late forties who graduated from high school together in the early 1970s, The Package Deal demystifies culture’s image of fatherhood in the United States. These men are depicted as neither villains nor victims, but as making their best efforts to achieve successful adult masculinity. This book shows what fathers really think about fatherhood, the division of labor between fathers and mothers, the gendered difference in expectations, and the privileging of the relationship between fathers and sons.

These revealing accounts of how fatherhood fits into the rest of men’s lives help us better understand what men can and cannot do as fathers. And they clearly illustrate that women are not alone in trying to “have it all” as they strive to combine work and family.

Get Caught Reading

This week in North Philly Notes, we present a slideshow featuring the Temple University Press staff members, students, and authors who participated in our recent Get Caught Reading campaign!

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Phillies Baseball Books

As the Philadelphia Phillies start their season, we survey the Temple University Press titles that honor our home team.

Phillies ’93 by Rich Westcott

1166_regThe 1993 Phillies had more winning games than all but two Phillies teams in the club’s 111-year history, and highly talented and entertaining top-ranking players like Lenny Dykstra, John Kruk, Darren Daulton, Curt Schilling, and Mitch Williams. The Phillies enjoyed sweet victories over their toughest competitors, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Montreal Expos, and the Atlanta Braves. Phillies ’93 covers the spectacular plays, outstanding performances, and thrilling victories of the 1993 Phillies season. Author Rich Westcott, a veteran sports writer, traces the evolution of one of the most colorful teams in Phillies history, from the off-season roster decisions, through spring training, the ups and downs of the championship season, and culminating in an in-depth look at what happened on and off the field during the National League Championship Series and World Series.

Bill Giles and Baseball by John B. Lord

Bill GilesBill Giles oversaw one of the greatest eras of winning that the Philadelphia Phillies ever enjoyed and helped guide major league baseball through the most turbulent era in its history. In Bill Giles and Baseball, John Lord deftly chronicles Giles’ remarkable career—which includes 44 years with the Phillies—to provide an insider’s view of the business of the sport. He addresses the often controversial, sometimes ill-advised, moves by baseball’s hierarchy that have nonetheless propelled the game to unimagined economic growth. Bill Giles and Baseball offers a penetrating behind-the-scenes look at the business of baseball as seen through the eyes of one of the architects of the game. Lord showcases the unique perspective of Giles, who tried to advance both the game he loves and the baseball industry itself despite the controversies and conflict that baseball faced during his era.

The Phillies Reader edited by Richard Orodenker
Phillies Reader rev ed smAn anthology of some of the best writing about the up-and-down history of the Philadelphia Phillies, this updated paperback edition features several new essays—including one about Citizens Bank Park—and the team’s recent history. The stories herein provide fans with some of the best sportswriting about the woes and triumphs of Phillies baseball. The Phillies Reader features essays on the athletic achievements of such legendary players as Chuck Klein, Richie Ashburn, Dick Allen, and Mike Schmidt; the political turmoil surrounding the “ok” from manager Ben Chapman to “ride” Jackie Robinson about the color of his skin; the bizarre shooting of Eddie Waitkus; the heroics of the Whiz Kids; the heartbreak of ’64; and the occasional triumphs and frequent travails of controversial managers Gene Mauch, Frank Lucchesi, and Danny Ozark. It asks why fans boo great players such as Del Ennis, but forgave Pat Burrell for his horrendous 2003 slump.

The Whiz Kids and the 1950s Pennant by Robin Roberts and C. Paul Rogers, III

whiz kidsThe 1950 Phillies unexpectedly captured the hearts and imaginations of Philadelphians. A young upstart team—in fact, the youngest major league baseball team ever fielded—they capped a Cinderella season by winning the pennant from the heavily favored Brooklyn Dodgers in Ebbets Field on the last day of the season. It was the first National League pennant for the team since 1915. With that dramatic victory the 1950 Phillies went into the history books, known forever as the Whiz Kids.

The Phillies Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition by Rich Westcott and Frank Bilovsky

Phillies Ency 3 compThe benchmark volume for any fan wanting to know all the facts about baseball’s oldest continuous one-city, one-name team is back in a new edition. To help commemorate the Phillies move to a new ballpark in 2004, authors Rich Westcott and Frank Bilovsky have updated and expanded this indispensable work for the first time since 1993. The authors have revised existing player biographies and stats, and added profiles of new Phillies. Seventy-five new photos and a 16-page color insert bring the total number of illustrations to an amazing 600-plus. And longtime Phils’ broadcaster Harry Kalas has contributed a new Foreword for the occasion.

Preparing for March Madness

This week in North Philly Notes, in anticipation of the 2015 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championship, we bracket Temple University Press’ selection of books about basketball. 

Palestra Pandemonium, by the late, great sportswriter Robert Lyons, features Temple University’s team so we’re especially partial to his fantastic History of the Big Five.

palestra pandemonium compThe most famous basketball tournament in the history of college basketball is the Big Five. And the Big Five was played in the most hallowed halls of college play: the Palestra. Now, for the first time, a complete story of this Philadelphia rivalry is revealed.

Robert Lyons offers the story of the Big Five from its very beginnings in 1955. At that time, many of the Big Five schools—La Salle University, University of Pennsylvania, St. Joseph’s University, Temple University and Villanova University—weren’t even talking to each other, and everyone predicted the tournament would end before it began. Conducting interviews with coaches and players—including famed Temple coach Harry Litwack’s last interview before his death—Lyons offers the play-by-play on how the Big Five became an institution, and how it was ultimately undone by college basketball’s own success.

Lavishly illustrated with photographs of players, teams, coaches, and the Palestra itself, Palestra Pandemonium is an immediate classic, offering a chronicle of the most monumental college basketball tournament. Anywhere.

We wouldn’t even know about basketball if it had not been for James Naismith, who invented the game in 1891.

9781439901342It seems unlikely that James Naismith, who grew up playing “Duck on the Rock” in the rural community of Almonte, Canada, would invent one of America’s most popular sports. But Rob Rains and Hellen Carpenter’s fascinating, in-depth biography James Naismith: The Man Who Invented Basketball shows how this young man—who wanted to be a medical doctor, or if not that, a minister (in fact, he was both)—came to create a game that has endured for over a century.

James Naismith reveals how Naismith invented basketball in part to find an indoor activity to occupy students in the winter months. When he realized that the key to his game was that men could not run with the ball, and that throwing and jumping would eliminate the roughness of force, he was on to something. And while Naismith thought that other sports provided better exercise, he was pleased to create a game that “anyone could play.”

With unprecedented access to the Naismith archives and documents, Rains and Carpenter chronicle how Naismith developed the original rules of basketball, coached the game at the University of Kansas—establishing college basketball in the process—and was honored for his work at the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin.

Temple University Press has published several books on basketball that explore different teams.

Wheelchair_Warrior_sm_compWheelchair Warrior, by Melvin Juette and Ron Berger, shows how the game of wheelchair basketball became Juette’s passion—he ultimately became a star athlete, playing on the U.S. National Wheelchair Basketball Team.

Outside the Paint by Kathleen Yep, takes readers back to the Chinese Playground of San Francisco in the 1930s and 1940s, the only public outdoor space in Chinatown. It was a place where young Chinese American men and women developed a new approach to the game of basketball—with fast breaks, intricate passing and aggressive defense—that was ahead of its time.

Drawing on interviews with players and coaches, Kathleen Yep recounts some surprising stories. From the success of the Hong Wah Kues, a professional barnstorming men’s basketball team and the Mei Wahs, a championship women’s amateur team, to Woo Wong, the first Chinese athlete to play in Madison Square Garden, and his extraordinarily talented sister Helen Wong, who is compared to Babe Didrikson.Outside the Paint sm comp

Outside the Paint chronicles the efforts of these highly accomplished athletes who developed a unique playing style that capitalized on their physical attributes, challenged the prevailing racial hierarchy, and enabled them, for a time, to leave the confines of their segregated world. As they learned to dribble, shoot, and steal, they made basketball a source of individual achievement and Chinese American community pride.

A trio of books detail the lives of the players and coaches of the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association’s Basketball Team, knows as The SPHAs.

The SPHAS sm compThe SPHAS by Douglas Stark, is the first book to chronicle the history of this team and its numerous achievements. Stark includes not only rare and noteworthy images of players and memorabilia but also interviews and anecdotes to recall how players like Inky Lautman, Cy Kaselman, and Shikey Gotthoffer challenged racial stereotypes of weakness and physical inferiority as they boosted the game’s popularity. Team owner Eddie Gottlieb and Temple University coach Harry Litwack, among others profiled here, began their remarkable careers with the SPHAS.Homecourt Cover

Larry Needle’s Homecourtis a children’s book about Red Klotz, who played for the SPHAS, where he won an American Basketball League championship. Ultimately, he played and coached for the Washington Generals against the legendary Harlem Globetrotters for decades. This illustrated book recalls the SPHAS games at the Broadwood Hotel (which now has a historical marker commemorating the team), the team’s coach, Eddie Gottlieb, and Klotz’s post-SPHAS career. It will inspire any kid who loves—or dreams of playing—basketball.

And last, but not least, is The Mogulby Rich Westcott, a biography of Eddie Gottlieb, the coach of the SPHMOGUL comp smallAs. A member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, Gottlieb founded, played and coached for the legendary South Philadelphia Hebrew Association (SPHAS) basketball team in the 1920s and 1930s. Only 5’ 8”, Gottlieb was nevertheless a very good basketball player. But it was behind the scenes where he excelled. He coached, helped form the National Basketball Association, and owned the Philadelphia Warriors franchise for many years. He signed Wilt Chamberlain to his first NBA contract. He also created the NBA’s annual schedule of games for more than a quarter of a century.

Drawing upon dozens of interviews and archival sources, and featuring more than fifty photographs, The Mogul vividly portrays Eddie Gottlieb’s pivotal role in both Philadelphia’s and America’s sports history.


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