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Border Walls Gone Green

Nature and Anti-immigrant Politics in America

John Hultgren

How is it that self-identified environmental progressives in America can oppose liberalizing immigration policies? Environmentalism is generally assumed to be a commitment of the political left and restrictionism a commitment of the right. As John Hultgren shows, the reality is significantly more complicated. American environmentalists have supported immigration restrictions since the movement first began in the late 1800s, and anti-immigration arguments continue to attract vocal adherents among contemporary mainstream and radical “greens.”

Border Walls Gone Green seeks to explain these seemingly paradoxical commitments by examining what is actually going on in American debates over the environmental impacts of immigration. It makes the case that nature is increasingly being deployed as a form of “walling”—which enables restrictionists to subtly fortify territorial boundaries and identities without having to revert to cultural and racial logics that are unpalatable to the political left. From an environmental point of view, the location of borders makes little sense; the Mexican landscape near most border crossings looks exactly like the landscape on the American side. And the belief that immigrants are somehow using up the nation’s natural resources and thereby accelerating the degradation of the environment simply does not hold up to scrutiny. So, Hultgren finds, the well-intentioned efforts of environmentalists to “sustain” America are also sustaining the idea of the nation-state and in fact serving to reinforce exclusionary forms of political community.

How, then, should socially conscious environmentalists proceed? Hultgren demonstrates that close attention to the realities of transnational migration can lead to a different brand of socio-ecological activism—one that could be our only chance to effectively confront the powerful forces producing ecological devastation and social injustice.


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Calculating Property Relations

Chicago's Wartime Industrial Mobilization, 1940–1950

Robert Lewis

<p>Combining theories of calculation and property relations and using an array of archival sources, this book focuses on the building and decommissioning of state-owned defense factories in World War II–era Chicago. Robert Lewis’s rich trove of material—drawn from research on more than six hundred federally funded wartime industrial sites in metropolitan Chicago—supports three major conclusions. First, the relationship of the key institutions of the military-industrial complex was refashioned by their calculative actions on industrial property. The imperatives of war forced the federal state and the military to become involved in industrial matters in an entirely new manner. Second, federal and military investment in defense factories had an enormous effect on the industrial geography of metropolitan Chicago. The channeling of huge lumps of industrial capital into sprawling plants on the urban fringe had a decisive impact on the metropolitan geographies of manufacturing. Third, the success of industrial mobilization was made possible through the multi-scale relations of national and locational interaction. National policy could only be realized by the placing of these relations at the local level.</p><p>Throughout, Lewis shows how the interests of developers, factory engineers, corporate executives, politicians, unions, and the working class were intimately bound up with industrial space. Offering a local perspective on a city permanently shaped by national events, this book provides a richer understanding of the dynamics of wartime mobilization, the calculative actions of political and business leaders, the social relations of property, the working of state-industry relations, and the making of industrial space.</p>

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Capital, Interrupted

Agrarian Development and the Politics of Work in India

Vinay Gidwani

The central Gujarat region of western India is home to the entrepreneurial landowning Patel caste who have leveraged their rural dominance to become a powerful global diaspora of merchants, industrialists, and professionals. Investigating the Patels’ intriguing ascent, Vinay Gidwani analyzes its broad implications for the nature of labor and capital worldwide.

 

With the Patels as his central case, Gidwani interrogates established concepts of value, development, and the relationship between capital and history. Capitalism, he argues, is not a frame of economic organization based on the smooth, consistent operation of a series of laws, but rather an assemblage of contingent and interrupted logics stitched together into the appearance of a deus ex machina. Following this line of thinking, Gidwani points to ways in which political economy might be freed of its lingering Eurocentrism, raises questions about the adequacy of postcolonial studies’ critique of Marx and capitalism, and opens the possibility of situating capitalism as a geographically uneven social formation in which different normative or value-creating practices are imperfectly sutured together in ways that can equally impair and enable profit and accumulation.

 

Both theoretically astute and empirically informed, Capital, Interrupted unsettles encrusted understandings of staple concepts within the human sciences such as hegemony, governmentality, caste, and agency and, ultimately, does nothing less than rethink the very constitution of capitalism.

 

Vinay Gidwani is associate professor of geography and global studies at the University of Minnesota.

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Captain America and the Nationalist Superhero

Metaphors, Narratives, and Geopolitics

Jason Dittmer

Nationalist superheroes—such as Captain America, Captain Canuck, and Union Jack—often signify the “nation-state” for readers, but how do these characters and comic books address issues of multiculturalism and geopolitical order? In his engaging book Captain America and the Nationalist Superhero, geographer Jason Dittmer traces the evolution of the comic book genre as it adapted to new national audiences. He argues that these iconic superheroes contribute to our contemporary understandings of national identity, the righteous use of power, and the role of the United States, Canada, and Britain in the world.

Tracing the nationalist superhero genre from its World War II origins to contemporary manifestations throughout the world, Captain America and the Nationalist Superhero analyzes nearly one thousand comic books and audience responses to those books. Dittmer also interviews key comic book writers from Stan Lee and J. M. DeMatteis to Steve Englehart and Paul Cornell.

At a time when popular culture is saturated with superheroes and their exploits, Captain America and the Nationalist Superhero highlights the unique relationship between popular culture and international relations.

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The Carpetbaggers of Kabul and Other American-Afghan Entanglements

Intimate Development, Geopolitics, and the Currency of Gender and Grief

Jennifer L. Fluri and Rachel Lehr

<p>The 2001 invasion of Afghanistan by United States and coalition forces was followed by a flood of aid and development dollars and “experts” representing well over two thousand organizations—each with separate policy initiatives, geopolitical agendas, and socioeconomic interests. This book examines the everyday actions of people associated with this international effort, with a special emphasis on small players: individuals and groups who charted alternative paths outside the existing networks of aid and development. This focus highlights the complexities, complications, and contradictions at the intersection of the everyday and the geopolitical, showing how dominant geopolitical narratives influence daily life in places like Afghanistan—and what happens when the goals of aid workersor the needs of aid recipients do not fit the narrative.</p><p>Specifically, this book examines the use of gender, “need,” and grief as drivers for both common and exceptional responses to geopolitical interventions.Throughout this work, Jennifer L. Fluri and Rachel Lehr describe intimate encounters at a microscale to complicate and dispute the ways in which Afghans and their country have been imagined, described, fetishized, politicized, vilified, and rescued. The authors identify the ways in which Afghan men and women have been narrowly categorized as perpetrators and victims, respectively. They discuss several projects to show how gender and grief became forms of currency that were exchanged for different social, economic, and political opportunities. Such entanglements suggest the power and influence of the United States while illustrating the ways in which individuals and groups have attempted to chart alternative avenues of interaction, intervention, and interpretation.</p>

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Cartographica: The International Journal for Geographic Information and Geovisualization

Vol. 48 (2013) through current issue

Cartographica delivers cutting-edge international research in all aspects of cartography (including the production, design, use, cognitive understanding, and history of maps), geovisualization, and GIScience. Cartographica offers unprecidented diversity and breadth of research and has featured the work of influential authors such as J.B. Harley, Mark Monmonier, Mark Kumler, Denis Wood, Muki Haklay, and David Mark.

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Castle Gap and the Pecos Frontier, Revisited

Patrick Dearen

First published in 1988, Castle Gap and the Pecos Frontier was acclaimed by reviewers as “superb,” “significant,” and “utterly delightful.” In this revised edition, Patrick Dearen draws upon the latest in scholarship to update his study of the Pecos River country of West Texas.  It’s a land wild with tales that blend history, geography, and folklore, and from his search emerge six fascinating accounts:
-Castle Gap, a break in a mesa twelve miles east of the Pecos River, used by Comanches, emigrants, stage drivers, and cattle drovers;
-Horsehead Crossing, the most infamous ford of the Old West;
-Juan Cordona Lake, a salt lake where sandstorms and skull-baking sun defied early efforts to mine salt vital to survival;
-The “bulto” or ghost who wanders the Fort Stockton night;
-Lost Wagon Train, a forty-wagon caravan buried in the sands;
-The lost mine of Will Sublett, who found gold and kept its location secret unto death.
Although linked by the search for treasure, the stories are as varied as the land itself.  They speak eloquently of the Pecos country, its heritage, and its people.

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Catastrophes and Earth History

The New Uniformitarianism

William A. Berggren

This book, based on papers from a symposium at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, shows the necessity of developing a new philosophy in place of the classical uniformitarianism based only on processes familiar in human experience.

Originally published in 1984.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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The Changs Next Door to the Díazes

Remapping Race in Suburban California

Wendy Cheng

U.S. suburbs are typically imagined to be predominantly white communities, but this is increasingly untrue in many parts of the country. Examining a multiracial suburb that is decidedly nonwhite, Wendy Cheng unpacks questions of how identity—especially racial identity—is shaped by place. She offers an in-depth portrait, enriched by nearly seventy interviews, of the San Gabriel Valley, not far from downtown Los Angeles, where approximately 60 percent of residents are Asian American and more than 30 percent are Latino. At first glance, the cities of the San Gabriel Valley look like stereotypical suburbs, but almost no one who lives there is white.

The Changs Next Door to the Díazes reveals how a distinct culture is being fashioned in, and simultaneously reshaping, an environment of strip malls, multifamily housing, and faux Mediterranean tract homes. Informed by her interviews as well as extensive analysis of three episodic case studies, Cheng argues that people’s daily experiences—in neighborhoods, schools, civic organizations, and public space—deeply influence their racial consciousness. In the San Gabriel Valley, racial ideologies are being reformulated by these encounters. Cheng views everyday landscapes as crucial terrains through which racial hierarchies are learned, instantiated, and transformed. She terms the process “regional racial formation,” through which locally accepted racial orders and hierarchies complicate and often challenge prevailing notions of race.

There is a place-specific state of mind here, Cheng finds. Understanding the processes of racial formation in the San Gabriel Valley in the contemporary moment is important in itself but also has larger value as a model for considering the spatial dimensions of racial formation and the significant demographic shifts taking place across the national landscape.

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Charlotte, NC

The Global Evolution of a New South City

William Graves

The rapid evolution of Charlotte, North Carolina, from “regional backwater” to globally ascendant city provides stark contrasts of then and now. Once a regional manufacturing and textile center, Charlotte stands today as one of the nation’s premier banking and financial cores with interests reaching broadly into global markets. Once defined by its biracial and bicultural character, Charlotte is now an emerging immigrant gateway drawing newcomers from Latin America and across the globe. Once derided for its sleepy, nine-to-five “uptown,” Charlotte’s center city has been wholly transformed by residential gentrification, corporate headquarters construction, and amenity-based redevelopment. And yet, despite its rapid transformation, Charlotte remains distinctively southern—globalizing, not yet global.

This book brings together an interdisciplinary team of leading scholars and local experts to examine Charlotte from multiple angles. Their topics include the banking industry, gentrification, boosterism, architecture, city planning, transit, public schools, NASCAR, and the African American and Latino communities. United in the conviction that the experience of this Sunbelt city—center of the nation’s fifth-largest metropolitan area—offers new insight into today’s most pressing urban and suburban issues, the contributors to Charlotte, NC: The Global Evolution of a New South City ask what happens when the external forces of globalization combine with a city’s internal dynamics to reshape the local structures, landscapes, and identities of a southern place.

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