In Only the Clothes on Her Back, professor of history Laura F. Edwards explores what dresses, waistcoats, shoes, and other clothing can tell us about the legal status of the least powerful Americans in the 19th century. The book (Oxford University Press) offers a new understanding of society by linking material culture and social history.
Elena Fratto, professor of Slavic languages and literatures, spotlights the narrative side of medicine in Medical Storyworlds (Columbia University Press). She investigates the interplay between medicine and literature in the early 1900s by highlighting the perspectives of Russian authors, European writers, and medical practitioners.
Recitatif (Knopf) by Toni Morrison, the late novelist and professor emerita of creative writing, follows the lives of Twyla and Roberta, two women who differ in one key way: One is Black and one is white. By removing all racially coded language in the story’s text, this rereleased version of a short story first published in a 1983 anthology challenges readers to confront their own stereotypes and biases.