Bluelines: News from Penn State University Press

in this issue

general news

Welcome to the May issue of Bluelines!

This month, we’re offering up to 75% off select medieval and early modern backlist titles! Browse the sale here and use code MED22 at checkout to get the discount. Keep an eye on our sales page for current sales and specials. Or, better yet, subscribe to our emails so you don’t miss out on special offers.

Looking for more recent medieval and early modern books? Visit our Kalamazoo virtual book exhibit and use code KZOO22 at checkout for 40% off and free shipping.


The PSU Press staff

new & noteworthy

Cover for The Inconvenient Lonnie Johnson The Inconvenient Lonnie Johnson

Blues, Race, Identity

Julia Simon

“With an impressive command of primary and secondary literature, including archival materials, The Inconvenient Lonnie Johnson makes an original contribution to the growing body of interdisciplinary scholarly work that seeks to understand music’s connection to politics, society, and ethnicity. Simon’s work is subtle and sophisticated.”—Charles Hersch, author of Jews and Jazz: Improvising Ethnicity

Cover for Luxury After the Terror Luxury After the Terror

Iris Moon

Luxury After the Terror brings a criticality, a poetics, and a politics to this material that is truly exciting to see. Offering a vital new reading of the place of the decorative arts in the wake of revolution and reorienting our understanding of the period toward a range of captivating and unfamiliar objects, this meticulously researched and brilliantly argued book is an exhilarating rethinking of the field.”—Richard Taws, author of The Politics of the Provisional: Art and Ephemera in Revolutionary France

Cover for Pataphysics Unrolled ’Pataphysics Unrolled

Edited by Katie L. Price and Michael R. Taylor

“Continuing and elaborating Alfred Jarry’s notion of ’pataphysics, this collection tracks ’pataphysics’ continued appearances and developments in ensuing avant-garde movements, modern and contemporary art, the intersections of art, literature, and science—and the far-reaching effects of pushing against normative logics and thinking in exceptional ways.”—Judith Roof, author of What Gender Is, What Gender Does

Cover for Odious Praise Odious Praise

Eric MacPhail

“MacPhail uses the notion of praise (especially praise that turns to blame) as an interpretive key to explain the culture of the Renaissance, a demonstration that is both brilliant and convincing. Since the authors taken into account have been extensively studied, MacPhail builds on the results of modern scholarship: the novelty of his book is to take an unexpected and fruitful look at already known texts and also to draw attention to lesser-known sources.”—Laurent Pernot, author of The Subtle Subtext: Hidden Meanings in Literature and Life

subject/series highlight

Read a Q&A with Hugh Liebert, author of Gibbon’s Christianity: Religion, Reason, and the Fall of Rome, on our Tumblr.

Q: Edward Gibbon is famous for having written The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. What was Gibbon’s purpose in writing that work, and what are the major ideas we should take from it?

A: Gibbon promised that his great work would connect the ancient and modern history of the world. Stretching across six volumes and seventy-one chapters, it contained an infinite array of lessons. Probably the most influential of Gibbon’s ideas is contained in the work’s title: the notion that empires rise, decline, and fall in an intelligible, even predictable pattern. Gibbon held that the rich grow weak and are overthrown by the poor and strong, who eventually grow rich and weak themselves, and the cycle continues. That idea existed long before Gibbon, but Gibbon put his particular stamp on it by showing how the theory could be applied to a case rich in historical detail and containing many attempts at reform—and by showing that every decline and fall entails a rise.

Click here to read the full Q&A on PSU Press’s Tumblr.

awards & reviews

upcoming exhibits & events

psu press presents

Panelists participating in an author event via Zoom

Join us at 1pm on Friday, 6/3 for “Comics, Clinics, and Public Health” featuring authors of three new books in our Graphic Medicine Series. Register for the event here.

Watch a recording of April’s event, “Communication in the Disinformation Age” on our YouTube Channel.

Click here to learn more about PSU Press Presents.

unlocked book of the month

journals news

new from eisenbrauns

See more from Eisenbrauns over at Ancient News.

new from graphic mundi

Cover for 6,000 Miles to Freedom 6,000 Miles to Freedom

Two Boys and Their Flight from the Taliban

Stéphane Marchetti, Illustrated by Cyrille Pomès

Two boys. One war-torn country. A world away, freedom.

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