Summer Reads 2020

Written by
Jamie Saxon, Office of Communications
July 15, 2020

Professor of American Studies Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús is one of six Princeton professors who talk about how the books on their shelves relate to their work and share what’s on their summer reading lists. Many of their book choices reflect their scholarly research and personal perspectives on current crises related to the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice.

Tell us about a particular book on your shelf.

Colonialism in Global Perspective by Kris Manjapra examines war, militarization, extractive economies, migrations and creative resistance to oppression globally. The book intersects with my own analytic on policing and criminalization of African diaspora religions, which also thinks about these issues globally and transnationally. As a scholar committed to a transnational approach to American studies of empire, I think this book reflects how we cannot presume that the modern world has developed in isolation from histories of underdevelopment and conquest.

This book shows how histories of conquest, empire, racial slavery and settler colonialism across the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe must be understood as entwined constellations that allow us to understand contemporary social issues and struggles. I’m excited to incorporate this book into my teaching — including “Introduction to American Studies,” as well as courses in Latino/a/x studies.

What’s on your summer reading list?

My summer reading list includes:

  • The Book of Delights by Ross Gay
  • White Rage by Carol Anderson
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram Kendi
  • Politics of Rightful Killing by Sima Shakhsari
  • Deathless Divide (Dread Nation, Book 2) by Justina Ireland
  • Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by adriene maree brown
  • My Mommy Medicine, a children’s book by Edwidge Danticat

Read about the other professors’ reading lists on