June books: Facing Black Star, Gallup, Style and Solitude, and more

Explore some of our most anticipated new books for June

This month: an exploration of the possibilities and limitations of photojournalism; an artistic study of the Navajo communities in and around Gallup, New Mexico; a collection of essays on decolonial repair; and more. Explore these books and a selection of our other new and soon-to-be-released titles below.

Facing Black Star edited by Thierry Gervais and Vincent Lavoie

In 2005, Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) acquired the massive Black Star Collection from the photo agency previously based in New York City—nearly 292,000 black-and-white prints. While the move of the collection from a corporate photo agency to a public cultural institution enables more access, researchers must still face the size of the collection, its structural organization, the materiality of the prints, and the lack of ephemera. Facing Black Star—published in partnership with The Image Centre in Toronto—aims to fruitfully highlight this tension between research expectations and challenges. Shedding new light on current issues in the theory and history of photography, this impressive volume containing 100 images not only discusses the subjects portrayed in the photographs but also addresses the history of photojournalism, the role of such a photographic archive in our Western societies, and, ultimately, photography as a medium.

You may also like Since 1839… Eleven Essays on Photography by Clément Chéroux

Gallup by Roswell Angier and Susan Hawley

Taking a fresh approach to personal documentary, Gallup combines Roswell Angier’s photographs, Susan Hawley’s watercolor paintings, and both of their journal entries, as they explore the time they spent in Gallup, New Mexico in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Gallup is a place where histories and myths meet, and Angier and Hawley work through diverse media to portray a place where many versions of Native and American life have flowed together. They show that Gallup is both beautiful and difficult to know, in a way that reflects the long shadow of Native American disenfranchisement.

You may also like Conflicted American Landscapes by David E. Nye

Style and Solitude: The History of an Architectural Problem by Mari Hvattum

The term “style” has fallen spectacularly out of fashion in architectural circles. Once a conceptual key to understanding architecture’s inner workings, today the word seems to be associated with superficiality, formalism, and obsolete periodization. But how did style—once defined by German sociologist Georg Simmel as a place where one is “no longer alone”—in architecture actually work? How was it used and what did it mean? In Style and Solitude, Mari Hvattum seeks to understand the apparent death of style, returning to its birthplace in the late eighteenth century, and charting how it grew to influence modern architectural discourse and practice.

“This book fills a gap in the literature on style and in the process considerably enriches our understanding of the development of modern architecture.” —Martin Bressani, McGill University

You may also like God’s Own Language: Architectural Drawing in the Twelfth Century by Karl Kinsella

Parody in the Age of Remix: Mashup Creativity vs. the Takedown by Ragnhild Brøvig

Parody needn’t recognize copyright—but does an algorithm recognize parody? The ever-increasing popularity of remix culture and mashup music, where parody is invariably at play, presents a conundrum for internet platforms, with their extensive automatic, algorithmic policing of content. Taking a wide-ranging look at mashup music—the creative and technical considerations that go into making it; the experience of play, humor, enlightenment, and beauty it affords; and the social and legal issues it presents—Parody in the Age of Remix offers a pointed critique of how society balances the act of regulating art with the act of preserving it.

You may also like Irony and Sarcasm by Roger Kreuz

Insolvent: How to Reorient Computing for Just Sustainability by Christoph Becker

The deep entanglement of information technology with our societies has raised hope for a transition to more sustainable and just communities—those that phase out fossil fuels, distribute public goods fairly, allow free access to information, and waste less. In principle, computing should be able to help. But in practice, we live in a world in which opaque algorithms steer us toward misinformation and unsustainable consumerism. Insolvent shows why computing’s dominant frame of thinking is conceptually insufficient to address our current challenges, and why computing continues to incur societal debts it cannot pay back. Christoph Becker shows how we can reorient design perspectives in computer science to better align with the values of sustainability and justice.

You may also like More than a Glitch: Confronting Race, Gender, and Ability Bias in Tech by Meredith Broussard

Balkan Cyberia: Cold War Computing, Bulgarian Modernization, and the Information Age behind the Iron Curtain by Victor Petrov

Bulgaria in 1963 was a communist country led by a centralized party trying to navigate a multinational Cold War. The state needed money, and it sought prestige. By cultivating a burgeoning computer industry, Bulgaria achieved both but at great cost to the established order. In Balkan Cyberia, Victor Petrov elevates a deeply researched, local story of ambition into an essential history of global innovation, ideological conflict, and exchange.

You may also like The Squares: US Physical and Engineering Scientists in the Long 1970s by Cyrus C. M. Mody

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