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New book reviews, 2018

Spring has finally sprung in the Northern Hemisphere, and here at Antipode we’re looking back at a winter in which we’ve published some brilliant book reviews.

As well as three stunning long-form essays – Michael Watts (UC Berkeley) on Adam Mayer’s Naija Marxisms: Revolutionary Thought in Nigeria; Rob Wallace (https://farmingpathogens.wordpress.com/) on Paul Richards’ Ebola: How a People’s Science Helped End an Epidemic; and Matt Hooley (Clemson University) on Macarena Gómez-Barris’ The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives, Eyal Weizman and Fazal Sheikh’s The Conflict Shoreline: Colonization as Climate Change in the Negev Desert, and Christina Sharpe’s In the Wake: On Blackness and Being – we’ve published a good number of “ordinary” book reviews this winter. All are available, without a subscription, at https://antipodefoundation.org/book-reviews/ Today we’d like to highlight a few, and make some connections with work recently published in the journal…

Two reviews consider books on the tragically timely issue of Israel-Palestine: Lucas Oesch (University of Luxembourg) reads Nell Gabiam’s The Politics of Suffering: Syria’s Palestinian Refugee Camps; and Teodora Todorova (University of Warwick) James Eastwood’s Ethics as a Weapon of War: Militarism and Morality in Israel. Gabiam’s book carefully unpacks the complex politics of life in a space too often represented, whether in popular media or academic accounts, as one-dimensional, supposedly unable to speak for itself, while Eastwood’s casts light on the role played by ethics, through teaching and activism, in contemporary militarism, showing it to be less constraint on war and military violence than a force shaping and bolstering it.

For more in the journal speaking to these concerns, see:

Distinction and the Ethics of Violence: On the Legal Construction of Liminal Subjects and Spaces (Nicola Perugini and Neve Gordon, 2017);

Enclosures from Below: The Mushaa’ in Contemporary Palestine (Noura Alkhalili, 2017);

Hope in Hebron: The Political Affects of Activism in a Strangled City (Mark Griffiths, 2017);

Bodies That Walk, Bodies That Talk, Bodies That Love: Palestinian Women Refugees, Affectivity, and the Politics of the Ordinary (Ruba Salih, 2017);

Gendering Palestinian Dispossession: Evaluating Land Loss in the West Bank (Caitlin Ryan, 2017);

The Agnotology of Eviction in South Lebanon’s Palestinian Gatherings: How Institutional Ambiguity and Deliberate Ignorance Shape Sensitive Spaces (Nora Stel, 2016);

Isolation Through Humanitarianism: Subaltern Geopolitics of the Siege on Gaza (Ron J. Smith, 2016); and

“Death comes knocking on the roof”: Thanatopolitics of Ethical Killing During Operation Protective Edge in Gaza (Mikko Joronen, 2016).

Four reviews – by Alison Hope Alkon (University of the Pacific), Garrett Graddy-Lovelace (American University), John Lindenbaum (Colorado State University), and Amanda Wilson (Lakehead University) – look at books on a topic that has featured heavily the the journal in recent years – food. Julian Agyeman, Caitlin Matthews and Hannah Sobel’s Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social Justice: From Loncheras to Lobsta Love offers essays on the promotion/restriction of food vendors in different cities and how these diverse policies and practices constrain/enable struggles for social justice. North America isn’t a land of plenty for all, of course, and Andrew Fisher’s Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups analyses food insecurity and the charitable food system (and its limits) in the US. Alison Hope Alkon and Julie Guthman’s The New Food Activism: Opposition, Cooperation, and Collective Action collects analyses of activists going beyond these limits, struggling for “broader and more transformational shifts in the food system”. Finally, related to the food justice they pursue are ideas of “food sovereignty”, ideas explored in Amy Trauger’s We Want Land to Live: Making Political Space for Food Sovereignty–an engaged and engaging personal-political-intellectual intervention recently published in the excellent Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation book series.

Recent Antipode papers on related matters include:

Radical Urban Horticulture for Food Autonomy: Beyond the Community Gardens Experience (Pierpaolo Mudu and Alessia Marini, 2018);

“We will not perish; we’re going to keep flourishing”: Race, Food Access, and Geographies of Self-Reliance (Ashanté M. Reese, 2018);

Urban Agriculture in the Food-Disabling City: (Re)defining Urban Food Justice, Reimagining a Politics of Empowerment (Chiara Tornaghi, 2017);

Alternative Food Economies and Transformative Politics in Times of Crisis: Insights from the Basque Country and Greece (Rita Calvário and Giorgos Kallis, 2017);

Emancipatory or Neoliberal Food Politics? Exploring the “Politics of Collectivity” of Buying Groups in the Search for Egalitarian Food Democracies (Ana Moragues-Faus, 2017);

These Bars Can’t Hold Us Back: Plowing Incarcerated Geographies with Restorative Food Justice (Joshua Sbicca, 2016);

Rock Stars and Bad Apples: Moral Economies of Alternative Food Networks and Precarious Farm Work Regimes (Anelyse M. Weiler, Gerardo Otero and Hannah Wittman, 2016);

Countermovement, Neoliberal Platoon, or Re-Gifting Depot? Understanding Decommodification in US Food Banks (John Lindenbaum, 2016); and

Decolonizing Food Justice: Naming, Resisting, and Researching Colonizing Forces in the Movement (Katharine Bradley and Hank Herrera, 2016).

There’s a too rare review of a documentary, Betsy Kalin’s East LA Interchange, in which Andrea Gibbons (University of Salford) shows us exactly why geographers should be interested in filmmaking and its possibilities. The documentary is all about life in Boyle Heights, a working class neighbourhood east of downtown Los Angeles shaped by the myriad forces of state and capital over the 20th century; it paints a wonderfully complex picture of people everyday claiming a right to the city. We see the same processes and relations – racism and resistance, activism and solidarity, place and identity making – playing out in different places in three reviews by Mahvish Ahmad (University of Cambridge), Diarmaid Kelliher (University of Glasgow), and Bradley Hinger (University of Tennessee).

Robert Vitalis’ White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Relations traces the history of the discipline in the US, focusing on the role of white university academics in decades of imperialism, anti-colonial movements, and Cold War machinations, and uncovering counter-currents in the scholarship of W.E.B. Du Bois, Alain Locke, Ralph Bunche and other African American pioneers. Gavin Brown and Helen Yaffe’s Youth Activism and Solidarity: The Non-Stop Picket Against Apartheid moves us from the ivory tower to the streets outside London’s South African embassy, from eminent scholars to emerging activists. Interviews and archive material are used to reflect on spatiality and temporality of social movements and how all manner of people make, and are re/made though, them. Finally, Michelle Commander’s Afro-Atlantic Flight: Speculative Returns and the Black Fantastic looks at a different kind of subjectification – Black North Americans “recovering their roots and re-forging new routes through the Afro-Atlantic”. Their flights as tourists to Ghana and Brazil, and within the US, are both literal and figurative, all about returning to past places and turning from a deeply racist present to future possibilities.

Some related papers, recently published in Antipode:

“Where every breeze speaks of courage and liberty”: Offshore Humanism and Marine Xenology, or, Racism and the Problem of Critique at Sea Level (Paul Gilroy, 2018);

Building More Inclusive Solidarities for Socio-Environmental Change: Lessons in Resistance from Southern Appalachia (Jennifer L. Rice and Brian J. Burke, 2018);

Communal Performativity—A Seed for Change? The Solidarity of Thessaloniki’s Social Movements in the Diverse Fights Against Neoliberalism (Lavinia Steinfort, Bas Hendrikx and Roos Pijpers, 2017);

Postcolonial Development, (Non)Sovereignty and Affect: Living On in the Wake of Caribbean Political Independence (Jonathan Pugh, 2017);

The Spa-cial Formation Theory: Transcending the Race–Class Binary in Environmental Justice Literature (Elyes Hanafi, 2017);

Constructing a Culture of Solidarity: London and the British Coalfields in the Long 1970s (Diarmaid Kelliher, 2017);

From a Politics of Conviction to a Politics of Interest? The Changing Ontologics of Youth Politics in India and Nicaragua (Dennis Rodgers and Stephen Young, 2017);

“Go get a job right after you take a bath”: Occupy Wall Street as Matter Out of Place (Matthew Bolton, Stephen Froese and Alex Jeffrey, 2016);

The Labor of (Re)reading Plantation Landscapes Fungible(ly) (Tiffany Lethabo King, 2016);

Postsecularity, Political Resistance, and Protest in the Occupy Movement (Paul Cloke, Callum Sutherland and Andrew Williams, 2016);

Possibilities of Urban Belonging (Harald Bauder, 2016);

Cultural Barriers to Activist Networking: Habitus (In)action in Three European Transnational Encounters (Cristina Flesher Fominaya, 2016); and

The Activist Polis: Topologies of Conflict in Indigenous Solidarity Activism (Carrie Mott, 2016)

If you’ve an idea for a review, please see our guidelines and get in touch with our Book Reviews editor, Andy Kent.

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