University of Texas Press Media Round Up Image

June 2023 Media Roundup I

Every week, our wonderful publicity team tracks the cross-platform media coverage our authors and their books receive. We’re proud to share our latest and greatest highlights below with links to where you can read more about these great titles!

Clearly, summer’s been going well for us so far! We’ve got a great spread of media mentions across the board, with most of our subject areas being represented below. Enjoy!


Quantum Criminals was excerpted at Slate, a passage titled, “The Graceful Failures of Steely Dan.” The book was recommended at Air Mail, where Michael Hainey writes, “Alex Pappademas reveals the stories behind many of [Steely Dan’s] songs and, in the process, gives us a book that shows what the right kind of obsession leads to—joyful, contagious passion. Featuring terrific illustrations by Joan LeMay, this is a fascinating, fun, and deep dive into the stories behind the music and the men who created it.” Hainey concludes, “After you read this book, you’ll never be able to forget the genius of these two writers.” The book was featured in Tyler McCauley’s The Unskippables Substack; he calls the book “Excellent” and writes, “It’ll make you love Steely Dan’s strange world even if you’re not deep on the album cuts.” Pappademas was interviewed on the Skylight Books Podcast. Finally, Pappademas is keeping an occasionally book tour diary on his Substack, Alsatian Wine—his first entry is up, covering everything through their launch event at P&T Knitwear on May 23, and it makes for quite delightful reading.

Quantum Criminals was also reviewed at Spectrum Culture. Rachel Alm writes, “For those who are anywhere from casual listeners to hardcore Dan Fans, this book is an unceasing delight from cover to cover,” going on, “Engrossing, well-written, with vivid, whimsical illustrations, Quantum Criminals is the literary equivalent of a Steely Dan album: vibrant, a little strange, and nearly perfect.” Quantum Criminals was also included in a list at Tertulia titled, “Dads Rock: The 15 Best Music Books to Give on Father’s Day.” Sean Piccoli writes, “Writer Alex Pappademas and painter Joan Lemay — Dan fans both — go beyond explanation to produce the definitive Danomicon with this expansively argued and vibrantly illustrated survey of the songs, lyrics and characters populating the whole Steely Dan catalog.” Alex and Joan were interviewed this week on Rock Docs and on Castle Talk, and, in a quite fun piece at Music Musings & Such, Sam Liddicott proposes a book about Kate Bush that takes the same approach to its subject as Quantum Criminals.

Why Tammy Wynette Matters was reviewed at No Depression. Henry Carrigan calls it, “[A] brilliant new book,” going on, “Why Tammy Wynette Matters is a tour-de-force work of critical genius, and Easton’s book prompts us to listen once again to Wynette and to hear her performances in fresh ways. Their book is revelatory, offering insightful and illuminating readings of the ways that Wynette’s life and work intersect.” Easton was interviewed about their book at The Tennessean, highlighting their event this evening at Novelette Booksellers in Nashville. Introducing the piece, Marcus Dowling writes, “[Why Tammy Wynette Matters] weaves the stress of maintaining stereotypical Southern womanhood into the country legend’s complex legacy.” The Nashville Scenerepublished Chapter 16’s review of the book, also highlighting Novelette’s event. And Amy McGrath Hughes reviewed the book in her Write Hear Substack, writing that “Easton breaks down the mythology and reality that Wynette clung to so hard.”

Allyson McCabe, author of Why Sinéad O’Connor Matters, was interviewed about her book on Aquarium Drunkard’s “Transmissions.” McCabe, was also interviewed about her book online at KCRW ahead of her event at Book Soup. Myke Dodge Weiskopf writes, “[Why Sinéad O’Connor Matters] is about much more than Sinéad O’Connor. The singer becomes a ‘window and a mirror into culture,’ as McCabe puts it, expanding far beyond SNL, MTV, Bob Dylan, Prince, or any of the well-trod touchstones of O’Connor’s early career. Instead, the story reaches deeper—more about the refractions and the shadows that O’Connor casts on ourselves and on the culture. It asks the reader to consider their own relationship to the forces that once leveraged themselves en masse against O’Connor. It’s a beautiful and compassionate meditation on silence, trauma, healing, and much more.”

Why Labelle Matters was mentioned in a piece at the Philadelphia Inquirer on the heels of an announced Philly show for Patti LaBelle in December.

Fangirls was included in a list at Broke by Books of “The 30 Best Books about Music.” They write, “A celebration of fandom and the way younger fanatics steer music culture, Fangirls is a unique look at the people buying tickets, rocking merch, and living their best life celebrating the musicians they love. This affectionate love song to fans is one of the best music books.”

William S. Burroughs and the Cult of Rock ‘n’ Roll received a shout-out in an interview with Simon Warner at Rock Critics.


An adapted excerpt from Dinosaurs and Other Ancient Animals of Big Bend ran at Texas Monthly, titled, “Meet the Hell Pig, the Texas Titanosaur, and Seven Other Outlandish Beasts That Roamed Big Bend.”

Houston Matters reaired their 2017 interview with Michael Hurd, author of Thursday Night Lights, upon the occasion of a new exhibit based on the book at the Bryan Museum in Galveston.

Armadillos to Ziziphus  was included in the Austin American-Statesman’s “Six summer books to transport the reader to the Texas outdoors.” Michael Barnes writes, “This book is intensely delightful,” going on, “Hillis writes short, entertaining essays on nature” and that “Hillis writes in a fluid, open, sometimes awed manner, primed for enjoyment by the reasonably curious reader.”

Film, Media, and Popular Culture

The Empire of Effects was reviewed at The Nation. Malcolm Harris writes, “As a close study of [Industrial Light & Magic], the book is enlightening. But it’s also about far more: Turnock chronicles the rise of the contemporary effects industry in the 1970s and ’80s, the emergence of an oligopoly of studios based in California, and the way that mega-budget franchises like The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter came to shape the effects industry of today,” going on, “By tracing the history of special effects since the 1970s, Turnock shows readers how the tools that shaped the counterculture’s alternative visions lent themselves to a new set of labor relations in which a stronger, more concentrated corporate bloc took more and allowed less.”

History: United States

The Foundations of Glen Canyon Dam was shared at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society.

Latin American Studies

Gothic Sovereignty and Downtown Juárez were reviewed together in Latin American Politics & Society, by Enrique Desmond Arias. 

  • On the two together: “Both books…offer rich and powerful contributions to debates on the region. They bring the reader a level of detail relatively few books offer and provide different strategies and frameworks for understanding the challenges facing the region. Both are much appreciated.” 
  • On Gothic Sovereignty, “[Gothic Sovereignty] builds on a critical framework centered on the writing of Walter Benjamin, offering a nuanced critic’s reading of the experience of gang activity in that country. Carter presents a deep analysis of various aspects of gang activity…These are important interventions in the debate on gangs in Latin America. Acknowledging the critical aesthetics of sovereignty in Honduras and how gangs reflect a challenge to that is an insightful contribution to understanding the implications of gang activity for state power and the ways that violence and governance are practiced that goes beyond much of the existing scholarship.”
  • On Downtown Juárez: “By understanding how individuals frequently fall into both [victim and victimizer], and indeed, how being a victimizer often leads someone to become a victim and vice versa, Campbell offers a nuanced reading of violence in the region, drawing attention to often underanalyzed dynamics…[Campbell’s] narratives are vibrant and often nuanced. They are a pleasure to read.”

The Rural State was reviewed at the LSE Review of Books. Camden Paillot writes, “Through its unique perspective, The Rural State joins a burgeoning category of scholarship that takes account of rural politics, recognising often ignored rural communities as central arenas of nation-state building.” Paillot goes on, “The Rural State successfully draws a through-line across the major events of twentieth-century Peru, arguing that the countryside and the state have maintained an intimate—and often antagonistic—relationship that shaped national history, whose lasting frictions lead to the violence of the century’s final decades.” Paillot concludes, “The Rural State is ambitious, novel, and clear. I highly recommend it to any scholar searching for a new lens with which to consider nation-state building, development, and rural politics in Latin America.”

Roots of Resistance  was also reviewed in A Contracorriente. Ilan Palacios Avineri writes, “Roots of Resistance offers a deeply moving workers’ history of the 1954 [Great Banana Strike],” going on, “Roots of Resistance is a striking piece of scholarship. In addition to the book’s myriad insights, Portillo Villeda writes with a distinct humanity that professional historians frequently shy away from.”

Rethinking the Inka was reviewed in Spanish in Latin American Antiquity.

Latinx & Chicanx Studies

Rebeca L. Hey-Colón, author of Channeling Knowledges, was interviewed about her book on the New Books in Caribbean Studies channel of the New Books Network.

Crossing Waters  was reviewed in A Contracorriente. Zorimar Rivera Montes calls the book, “A momentous contribution that expands the field of Latinx Studies into Caribbean water and land. It opens many crucial and fruitful avenues of consideration for the overlooked study of the travails of Caribbean undocumented migration.”

Middle Eastern Studies

The Egyptian Labor Corps  was reviewed in the International Journal of Middle East Studies. Marie Grace Brown writes, “Anderson offers a multifaceted history of the half a million Egyptian logistical laborers involved in the Allied war effort during World War I,” going on, “The Egyptian Labor Corps is a timely example of the productive avenues that open when race and racialized experience are incorporated into once-familiar narratives. Anderson displays a sensitivity to the source material and generosity toward his subjects. Accessible writing and short thematic chapters make this recommended reading for an informed general audience and academic readers alike.”

Classics & Ancient World

The Essential Isocrates was reviewed in the Journal of Hellenic Studies. Patricia Kaufmann writes, “The Essential Isocrates gives a valuable first overview of Isocrates’ oeuvre, especially for readers with limited to no knowledge of Greek.”

Sexual Labor in the Athenian Courts was reviewed in the American Historical Review. Naomi T. Campa writes, “Glazebrook’s writing is clear and to the point. The introduction’s explanation of the Athenian court system, with a map indicating potential locations of the courts, reveals two strengths of the book that will be found throughout: incorporating material evidence and maintaining accessibility for nonspecialists.” Campa goes on, “The standout features of the book are its consideration of place and movement, its inclusion of material culture, its amplification of female citizenship, and its accessibility,” concluding, “The book achieves its aims of treating the trope of the sex laborer in the orators as a window into Athenian society.”

Demosthenes, Speeches 23-26 was reviewed in the Journal of Hellenic Studies. David Mirhady writes, “Harris is an excellent guide both to the historical issues of the period and to issues in Athenian law,” going on, “Harris’ copious annotation…offers readers many, many starting points for engagement with individual passages.”


Stay cool out there until we see y’all again for the next one.