Which MIT Press publications might fall victim to the recent uptick in book bans?
Today marks the start of Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and highlighting the danger of book ban efforts.
The MIT Press publishing program focuses on new frontiers of science, social sciences, and humanities, which means we’re often pushing boundaries and buttons. We stand with our publishing and library colleagues in support of the freedom to read, and believe that access to great, high-quality, scientifically informed books is a cornerstone of understanding. We present this tongue-in-cheek list of “future banned books” to highlight works we are tremendously proud to publish, and to speak out against the scourge of book bans in this country.
On Disinformation: How to Fight for Truth and Protect Democracy by Lee McIntyre
The effort to destroy facts and make America ungovernable didn’t come out of nowhere. It is the culmination of seventy years of strategic denialism. In On Disinformation, Lee McIntyre shows how the war on facts began, and how ordinary citizens can fight back against the scourge of disinformation that is now threatening the very fabric of our society. Drawing on his twenty years of experience as a scholar of science denial, McIntyre explains how autocrats wield disinformation to manipulate a populace and deny obvious realities, why the best way to combat disinformation is to disrupt its spread, and most importantly, how we can win the war on truth.
“This brief but impactful book offers trenchant commentary on the current war on truth and workable solutions to protect democracy in an increasingly chaotic world…thoughtful and illuminating.” —Kirkus Reviews
Rethinking Gender: An Illustrated Exploration by Louie Läuger
Queer, cisgender, transgender, nonbinary, androgynous, maverique, intergender, genderfluid. Louie and their cat (a.k.a. “Cat”) take you on a journey through the world of gender—without claiming to have it all figured out or knowing the perfect definition for this widely complex subject. Gender is tricky to understand because it’s a social construct intersecting with many other parts of our identity, including class, race, age, religion. For a long time, people thought of gender as binary: male/female, pirate/princess, sports/shopping. Now, we’re starting to understand it’s not that simple. That’s what this book is about: figuring out what gender means, one human being at a time, and giving us new ways to let the world know who we are.
“A perfect book for anybody who wants to explore their own gender, or to explain gender to others.” —Meg-John Barker, author of Gender: A Graphic Guide
Democracy in a Hotter Time: Climate Change and Democratic Transformation edited by David W. Orr
Democracy in a Hotter Time calls for reforming democratic institutions as a prerequisite for avoiding climate chaos and adapting governance to how Earth works as a physical system. To survive in the “long emergency” ahead, we must reform and strengthen democratic institutions, making them assets rather than liabilities. Edited by David W. Orr, this vital collection of essays proposes a new political order that will not only help humanity survive but also enable us to thrive in the transition to a post–fossil fuel world.
“This collection will get your mind racing towards the rescue of our climate and our politics.” —Jamie Raskin, U.S. House of Representatives (MD-08)
Get Off My Neck: Black Lives, White Justice, and a Former Prosecutor’s Quest for Reform by Debbie Hines
In Get Off My Neck, Debbie Hines draws on her unique perspective as a trial lawyer, former Baltimore prosecutor, and assistant attorney general for the State of Maryland to argue that US prosecutors, as the most powerful players in the criminal justice system, systematically target and criminalize Black people. Hines describes her disillusionment as a young Black woman who initially entered the profession with the goal of helping victims of crimes, only to discover herself aiding and abetting a system that prizes plea bargaining, speedy conviction, and excessive punishment above all else. In this book, she offers concrete, specific, and hopeful solutions for just how we can come together in a common purpose for criminal justice and racial justice reform.
The Myth That Made Us: How False Beliefs about Racism and Meritocracy Broke Our Economy (and How to Fix It) by Jeff Fuhrer
The Myth That Made Us exposes how false narratives—of a supposedly post-racist nation, of the self-made man, of the primacy of profit- and shareholder value-maximizing for businesses, and of minimal government interference—have been used to excuse gross inequities and to shape and sustain the US economic system that delivers them. Jeff Fuhrer argues that systemic racism continues to produce vastly disparate outcomes and that our brand of capitalism favors doing little to reduce disparities. Evidence from other developed capitalist economies shows it doesn’t have to be that way. We broke this (mean-spirited) economy. We can fix it.
“Readers will be outraged by this scathing indictment of America’s failure to live up to its meritocratic ideals.” —Publishers Weekly
Decolonizing Design: A Cultural Justice Guidebook by Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall
From the excesses of world expositions to myths of better living through technology, modernist design, in its European-based guises, has excluded and oppressed the very people whose lands and lives it reshaped. Decolonizing Design first asks how modernist design has encompassed and advanced the harmful project of colonization—then shows how design might address these harms by recentering its theory and practice in global Indigenous cultures and histories. For leaders and practitioners in design institutions and communities, Tunstall’s work demonstrates how we can transform the way we imagine and remake the world, replacing pain and repression with equity, inclusion, and diversity—in short, she shows us how to realize the infinite possibilities that decolonized design represents.
“Tunstall gives step-by-step instructions for reducing bigotry’s impact on the built environment.” —The New York Times Book Review
Dis…Miss Gender? edited by Anne Bray
Discuss. Discover. Disrupt. We dis- a lot in English, particularly with regard to women and queer people. Our understanding of gender is changing, and with it, so are our questions. Dis…Miss Gender? provides thoughtfully considered contributions from an intrepid group of a hundred artists and writers who explore contemporary concepts of gender. Anchored by lavish illustrations and original essays from prominent gender theorists, including Karen Tongson, Amelia Jones, and Tiffany E. Barber, plus commentary from artists, viewers, and organizations committed to equity and justice, this provocative book is the culmination of a five-year initiative by Anne Bray.
“If you wonder what today’s gender bending is all about, this mix of art, activism, manifesto, confrontation, and celebration will keep you spellbound with every gorgeous page.” —Suzanne Lacy, University of Southern California
Gender(s) by Kathryn Bond Stockton
In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Kathryn Bond Stockton explores the fascinating, fraught, intimate, morphing matter of gender. Stockton argues for gender’s strangeness, no matter how “normal” the concept seems; gender is queer for everyone, she claims, even when it’s played quite straight. And she explains how race and money dramatically shape everybody’s gender, even in sometimes surprising ways. Playful but serious, erudite and witty, Stockton marshals an impressive array of exhibits to consider, including dolls and their new gendering, the thrust of Jane Austen and Lil Nas X, gender identities according to women’s colleges, gay and transgender ballroom scenes, and much more.
“Stockton presents an accessible, witty and contemporary examination of the true queerness of genders and gendering.” —Ms.