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My Fair Ladies
Female Robots, Androids, and Other Artificial Eves
Wosk, Julie
Rutgers University Press, 2015
Runner-up for the 2015 Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies Book Prize 

The fantasy of a male creator constructing his perfect woman dates back to the Greek myth of Pygmalion and Galatea. Yet as technology has advanced over the past century, the figure of the lifelike manmade woman has become nearly ubiquitous, popping up in everything from Bride of Frankenstein to Weird Science to The Stepford Wives. Now Julie Wosk takes us on a fascinating tour through this bevy of artificial women, revealing the array of cultural fantasies and fears they embody. 
My Fair Ladies considers how female automatons have been represented as objects of desire in fiction and how “living dolls” have been manufactured as real-world fetish objects. But it also examines the many works in which the “perfect” woman turns out to be artificial—a robot or doll—and thus becomes a source of uncanny horror. Finally, Wosk introduces us to a variety of female artists, writers, and filmmakers—from Cindy Sherman to Shelley Jackson to Zoe Kazan—who have cleverly crafted their own images of simulated women. 
Anything but dry, My Fair Ladies draws upon Wosk’s own experiences as a young female Playboy copywriter and as a child of the “feminine mystique” era to show how images of the artificial woman have loomed large over real women’s lives. Lavishly illustrated with film stills, artwork, and vintage advertisements, this book offers a fresh look at familiar myths about gender, technology, and artistic creation. 

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Beautiful Terrible Ruins
Detroit and the Anxiety of Decline
Apel, Dora
Rutgers University Press, 2015
Once the manufacturing powerhouse of the nation, Detroit has become emblematic of failing cities everywhere—the paradigmatic city of ruins—and the epicenter of an explosive growth in images of urban decay. In Beautiful Terrible Ruins, art historian Dora Apel explores a wide array of these images, ranging from photography, advertising, and television, to documentaries, video games, and zombie and disaster films.  
Apel shows how Detroit has become pivotal to an expanding network of ruin imagery, imagery ultimately driven by a pervasive and growing cultural pessimism, a loss of faith in progress, and a deepening fear that worse times are coming. The images of Detroit’s decay speak to the overarching anxieties of our era: increasing poverty, declining wages and social services, inadequate health care, unemployment, homelessness, and ecological disaster—in short, the failure of capitalism. Apel reveals how, through the aesthetic distancing of representation, the haunted beauty and fascination of ruin imagery, embodied by Detroit’s abandoned downtown skyscrapers, empty urban spaces, decaying factories, and derelict neighborhoods help us to cope with our fears. But Apel warns that these images, while pleasurable, have little explanatory power, lulling us into seeing Detroit’s deterioration as either inevitable or the city’s own fault, and absolving the real agents of decline—corporate disinvestment and globalization. Beautiful Terrible Ruins helps us understand the ways that the pleasure and the horror of urban decay hold us in thrall. 

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Washed with Sun
Landscape and the Making of White South Africa
Jeremy Foster
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008
South Africa is recognized as a site of both political turmoil and natural beauty, and yet little work has been done in connecting these defining national characteristics. Washed with Sun  achieves this conjunction in its multidisciplinary study of South Africa as a space at once natural and constructed.  Weaving together practical, aesthetic, and ideological analyses, Jeremy Foster examines the role of landscape in forming the cultural iconographies and spatialities that shaped the imaginary geography of emerging nationhood.  Looking in particular at the years following the British victory in the second Boer War, from 1902 to 1930, Foster discusses the influence of painting, writing, architecture, and photography on the construction of a shared, romanticized landscape subjectivity that was perceived as inseparable from  “being South African,” and thus helped forge the imagined community of white South Africa.  

 In its innovative approach to South Africa's history, Washed with Sun breaks important new ground, combining the persuasive theory of cultural geography with the material specificity of landscape history.

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Echoes of Women's Voices
Music, Art, and Female Patronage in Early Modern Florence
Kelley Harness
University of Chicago Press, 2006
Aristocratic women exerted unprecedented political and social influence in Florence throughout the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. During this period, female members of the powerful Medici family governed the city for the first and only time in its history. These women also helped shape the city's artistic life, commissioning works of music, art, and theater that were inscribed with their own concerns and aspirations. Echoes of Women's Voices examines the patronage of individuals and institutions, particularly convents, which have remained, until now, largely neglected by scholars.

Through commissions, patrons sought to promote a vision of the world and their place in it. The unique social norms, laws, educational backgrounds, and life experiences of female patrons meant the expression of a worldview that differed significantly from that of their male counterparts. Joining exceptional archival research with telling analysis of significant examples of music, art, and drama, Kelley Harness challenges the prevailing view that Florence saw a political and artistic decline during this period. She argues convincingly that the female domination of these years brought forth artistic patronage that was both continuous and well-conceived.

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Literary and Artistic Patronage in Ancient Rome
Edited by Barbara K. Gold
University of Texas Press, 1982

Virgil, Horace, Catullus, Propertius—these are just a few of the poets whose work we would be without today were it not for the wealthy and powerful patrons upon whose support the Roman cultural establishment so greatly depended. Who were these patrons? What benefits did they give, to whom, and why? What effect did the support of such men as Maecenas and Pompey have on the lives and work of those who looked to them for aid?

These questions and others are addressed in this volume, which explores all the important aspects of patronage—a topic crucial to the study of literature and art from Homer to the present day. The subject is approached from various vantage points: literary, artistic, historical. The essayists reach conclusions that dispel the many misconceptions about Roman patronage derived from seventeenth- and eighteenth-century models in England and Europe.

An understanding of the workings of patronage is indispensable in helping us see how the Roman cultural establishment functioned in the four centuries of its flourishing and also in helping us read and enjoy specific poems and works of art. A book for all concerned with classical literature, art, and social history, Literary and Artistic Patronage in Ancient Rome not only deepens our understanding of the ancient world but also suggests important avenues for future exploration.


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Creative Industries
Contracts between Art and Commerce
Richard E. Caves
Harvard University Press, 2000

This book explores the organization of creative industries, including the visual and performing arts, movies, theater, sound recordings, and book publishing. In each, artistic inputs are combined with other, "humdrum" inputs. But the deals that bring these inputs together are inherently problematic: artists have strong views; the muse whispers erratically; and consumer approval remains highly uncertain until all costs have been incurred.

To assemble, distribute, and store creative products, business firms are organized, some employing creative personnel on long-term contracts, others dealing with them as outside contractors; agents emerge as intermediaries, negotiating contracts and matching creative talents with employers. Firms in creative industries are either small-scale pickers that concentrate on the selection and development of new creative talents or large-scale promoters that undertake the packaging and widespread distribution of established creative goods. In some activities, such as the performing arts, creative ventures facing high fixed costs turn to nonprofit firms.

To explain the logic of these arrangements, the author draws on the analytical resources of industrial economics and the theory of contracts. He addresses the winner-take-all character of many creative activities that brings wealth and renown to some artists while dooming others to frustration; why the "option" form of contract is so prevalent; and why even savvy producers get sucked into making "ten-ton turkeys," such as Heaven's Gate. However different their superficial organization and aesthetic properties, whether high or low in cultural ranking, creative industries share the same underlying organizational logic.


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Entering Cultural Communities
Diversity and Change in the Nonprofit Arts
Grams, Diane
Rutgers University Press, 2008
Arts organizations once sought patrons primarily from among the wealthy and well educated, but for many decades now they have revised their goals as they seek to broaden their audiences. Today, museums, orchestras, dance companies, theaters, and community cultural centers try to involve a variety of people in the arts. They strive to attract a more racially and ethnically diverse group of people, those from a broader range of economic backgrounds, new immigrants, families, and youth.

The chapters in this book draw on interviews with leaders, staff, volunteers, and audience members from eighty-five nonprofit cultural organizations to explore how they are trying to increase participation and the extent to which they have been successful. The insiders' accounts point to the opportunities and challenges involved in such efforts, from the reinvention of programs and creation of new activities, to the addition of new departments and staff dynamics, to partnerships with new groups. The authors differentiate between "relational" and "transactional" practices, the former term describing efforts to build connections with local communities and the latter describing efforts to create new consumer markets for cultural products. In both cases, arts leaders report that, although positive results are difficult to measure conclusively, long-term efforts bring better outcomes than short-term activities.

The organizations discussed include large, medium, and small nonprofits located in urban, suburban, and rural areas—from large institutions such as the Smithsonian, the Walker Art Center, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the San Francisco Symphony to many cultural organizations that are smaller, but often known nationally for their innovative work, such as AS220, The Loft Literary Center, Armory Center for the Arts, Appalshop, and the Western Folklife Center.


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Big Oil and the Arts
Mel Evans
Pluto Press, 2015
As major oil companies face continual public backlash, many have found it helpful to engage in “art washing”—donating large sums to cultural institutions to shore up their good name. But what effect does this influx of oil money have on these institutions? Artwash explores the relationship between funding and the production of the arts, with particular focus on the role of big oil companies such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, and Shell.
            Reflecting on the role and function of art galleries, Artwash considers how the association with oil money might impede these institutions in their cultural endeavors. Outside the gallery space, Mel Evans examines how corporate sponsorship of the arts can obscure the strategies of corporate executives to maintain brand identity and promote their public image through cultural philanthropy. Ultimately, Evans sounds a note of hope, presenting ways artists themselves have challenged the ethics of contemporary art galleries and examining how cultural institutions might change.

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Culture Incorporated
Museums, Artists, And Corporate Sponsorships
Mark W. Rectanus
University of Minnesota Press, 2002
An exposé of the hidden costs of corporate funding of the arts. Photographer Annie Leibowitz collaborates with American Express on a portrait exhibition. Absolut Vodka engages artists for their advertisements. Philip Morris mounts an "Arts Against Hunger" campaign in partnership with prominent museums. Is it art or PR, and where is the line that separates the artistic from the corporate? According to Mark Rectanus, that line has blurred. These mergers of art, business, and museums, he argues, are examples of the worldwide privatization of cultural funding. In Culture Incorporated, Rectanus calls for full disclosure of corporate involvement in cultural events and examines how corporations, art institutions, and foundations are reshaping the cultural terrain. In turn, he also shows how that ground is destabilized by artists subverting these same institutions to create a heightened awareness of critical alternatives. Rectanus exposes how sponsorship helps maintain social legitimation in a time when corporations are the target of significant criticism. He provides wide-ranging examples of artists and institutions grappling with corporate sponsorship, including artists' collaboration with sponsors, corporate sponsorship of museum exhibitions, festivals, and rock concerts, and cybersponsoring. Throughout, Rectanus analyzes the convergence of cultural institutions with global corporate politics and its influence on our culture and our communities. Mark W. Rectanus is professor of German at Iowa State University.

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Franklin Furnace and the Spirit of the Avant-Garde
A History of the Future
Toni Sant
Intellect Books, 2011

Franklin Furnace is a renowned New York–based artsorganization whose mission is to preserve, document, and present works of avant-garde art by emerging artists—particularly those whose works may be vulnerable due to institutional neglect or politically unpopular content. Over more than thirty years, Franklin Furnace has exhibited works by hundreds of avant-garde artists, some of whom—Laurie Anderson, Vito Acconci, Karen Finley, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Jenny Holzer, and the Blue Man Group, to name a few—are now established names in contemporary art.

Here, for the first time, is a comprehensive history of this remarkable organization from its conception to the present. Organized around the major art genres that emerged in the second half of the twentieth century, this book intersperses first-person narratives with readings by artists and scholars on issues critical to the organization's success as well as Franklin Furnace's many contributions to avant-garde art.


front cover of Unsettling 'Sensation'
Unsettling 'Sensation'
Arts-Policy Lessons from the Brooklyn Museum of Art Controversy
Rothfield, Lawrence
Rutgers University Press, 2001

In September 1999, Sensation, an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, opened its doors, igniting a controversy still burning in the art world. This collection of cutting-edge art from the Saatchi collection in England, and the museum’s arrangements with Charles Saatchi to finance the show, so offended New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani that he attempted to shut the museum down by withholding city funds that are crucially needed by that institution. Only a legal ruling prevented him from doing so. Like the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition before it, Sensation once again raises questions about public spending for “controversial” art, but with the added dimension of religious conflict and charges of commercialization.

The contributors to this volume use the Sensation exhibition as a stepping-stone to analyze larger questions such as the authority the government has to withhold funds, various interpretations of the First Amendment, how to respect divergent cultural and religious values; and the economic stake of museums and dealers in art. In their articles—written expressly for this volume, and spanning the disciplines of law, cultural studies, public policy, and art—the contributors consider issues at the center of arts policy. They propose various legal strategies, curatorial practices, and standards of doing business intended to serve the public interest in the arts. 


front cover of Unsettling 'Sensation'
Unsettling 'Sensation'
Arts-Policy Lessons from the Brooklyn Museum of Art Controversy
Rothfield, Lawrence
Rutgers University Press, 2001

In September 1999, Sensation, an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, opened its doors, igniting a controversy still burning in the art world. This collection of cutting-edge art from the Saatchi collection in England, and the museum’s arrangements with Charles Saatchi to finance the show, so offended New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani that he attempted to shut the museum down by withholding city funds that are crucially needed by that institution. Only a legal ruling prevented him from doing so. Like the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition before it, Sensation once again raises questions about public spending for “controversial” art, but with the added dimension of religious conflict and charges of commercialization.

The contributors to this volume use the Sensation exhibition as a stepping-stone to analyze larger questions such as the authority the government has to withhold funds, various interpretations of the First Amendment, how to respect divergent cultural and religious values; and the economic stake of museums and dealers in art. In their articles—written expressly for this volume, and spanning the disciplines of law, cultural studies, public policy, and art—the contributors consider issues at the center of arts policy. They propose various legal strategies, curatorial practices, and standards of doing business intended to serve the public interest in the arts. 


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The Unfulfilled Promise
Public Subsidy of the Arts in America
Edward Arian
Temple University Press, 1993

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Bureaucratizing the Muse
Public Funds and the Cultural Worker
Steven C. Dubin
University of Chicago Press, 1987
The Comprehensive Employment and Training Act made a dramatic entrace on the American economic and social stage in December 1973. No comparable commitment of public funds to subsidize jobs had occurred since the Works Progress Administration programs of the 1930s. An important beneficiary of CETA was the Artists-in-Residence program, in operation from 1977 to 1981. As part of the largest direct monetary transfer to artists since the WPA, AIR employed 108 Chicago-area artists each year in nine fields—from dance and music to video and graphic arts.

Bureaucratizing the Muse is a study of the Chicago AIR program. By its very nature art is a nonrational process, even at times antirational, and the idea of organizing artists in this kind of work environment was an unusual one. Steven C. Dubin's account is a fascinating story of the tensions between struggling artists who need a paycheck but fear the compromise of their art and bureaucrats who need to produce measurable results.

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Democratic Art
The New Deal's Influence on American Culture
Sharon Ann Musher
University of Chicago Press, 2015
Throughout the Great Recession American artists and public art endowments have had to fight for government support to keep themselves afloat. It wasn’t always this way. At its height in 1935, the New Deal devoted $27 million—roughly $461 million today—to supporting tens of thousands of needy artists, who used that support to create more than 100,000 works. Why did the government become so involved with these artists, and why weren’t these projects considered a frivolous waste of funds, as surely many would be today?

In Democratic Art, Sharon Musher explores these questions and uses them as a springboard for an examination of the role art can and should play in contemporary society. Drawing on close readings of government-funded architecture, murals, plays, writing, and photographs, Democratic Art examines the New Deal’s diverse cultural initiatives and outlines five perspectives on art that were prominent at the time: art as grandeur, enrichment, weapon, experience, and subversion. Musher argues that those engaged in New Deal art were part of an explicitly cultural agenda that sought not just to create art but to democratize and Americanize it as well. By tracing a range of aesthetic visions that flourished during the 1930s, this highly original book outlines the successes, shortcomings, and lessons of the golden age of government funding for the arts.

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Leading Roles
50 Questions Every Arts Board Should Ask
Michael M. Kaiser
Brandeis University Press, 2010
Not-for-profit arts organizations struggled to survive the recent economic recession. In this increasingly hardscrabble environment, it is absolutely imperative that the boards of these organizations function as energetically, creatively, and efficiently as possible. Michael M. Kaiser’s personal history with boards of arts organizations began when he served on the board of the Washington Opera (now the Washington National Opera) in 1983. Today, in his capacity as president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Kaiser recently completed a 50-state, 69-city Arts in Crisis tour. Board issues came up repeatedly as central to the success or failure of the organization. Drawing on these and many other conversations, nationally and internationally, Kaiser’s book offers members of boards and staffs the information they need to create the healthy atmosphere necessary to thriving arts organizations. Organized in a clear, readable, question-and-answer format, Leading Roles covers every aspect of board participation in the life of the organization, including mission and governance; fundraising and marketing responsibilities; the relationship of the board to the artistic director, executive director, and staff; and its responsibilities for planning and budgeting. Kaiser addresses boards in crisis, international boards, and boards of arts organizations of color. Throughout, he emphasizes the importance of transparency and clarity in the board’s dealings with its own members and those of the arts community of which it is a part, showing how anything less results in contentiousness that can immobilize an arts organization, or even tear it apart.

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Strategic Planning in the Arts
A Practical Guide
Michael M. Kaiser
Brandeis University Press, 2018
Planning today is more important than ever. Both acquisition and allocation of resources are increasingly difficult for arts organizations as a result of emerging technologies, reduced arts education, aging donors, and the advent of new forms of entertainment. It is essential for arts organizations to take a coherent approach to these issues to remain vibrant over time. In fact, most arts organizations do periodically attempt some kind of planning exercise. But a review of hundreds of such plans suggests that most contain merely a wish list, rather than concrete plans for the future: “We will increase ticket sales!” is a common “strategy” expressed in too many arts plans. In the absence of details about how ticket sales will be increased, it’s an empty promise. In Strategic Planning in the Arts, Michael M. Kaiser, the former head of the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and an arts management guru, has produced a clear, concise guide for staff or board members of not-for-profit arts organizations who are responsible for developing, evaluating, or implementing plans. Relying on real-world cases and examples, Kaiser shows how to conceive, assess, and act on every part of the strategic plan, from the mission statement to the financial statement; from managing the board to marketing. Praise for Michael Kaiser: “A rich yet tidy cornucopia of solutions for the challenges facing the American arts scene.”—Washington Post

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Trustees of Culture
Power, Wealth, and Status on Elite Arts Boards
Francie Ostrower
University of Chicago Press, 2002
Cultural trusteeship is a subject that fascinates those who wonder about the relationship between power and culture. What compels the wealthy to serve on the boards of fine arts institutions? How do they exercise their influence as trustees, and how does this affect the way arts institutions operate? To find out, Francie Ostrower conducted candid personal interviews with 76 trustees drawn from two opera companies and two art museums in the United States.

Her new study demonstrates that members of elite arts boards walk a fine line between maintaining their status and serving the needs of the large-scale organizations they oversee. As class members whose status depends in part on the prestige of the boards on which they serve, trustees seek to perpetuate arts boards as exclusive elite enclaves. But in response to pressures to increase and diversify the audiences for arts institutions, elite board members act in a surprisingly open manner in terms of organizational accessibility and operations.

Written with clarity and grace, Trustees of Culture will contribute significantly to our understanding of organizational governance; the politics of fundraising; elite arts participation and philanthropy; as well as the consequences of wider social policies that continue to emphasize private financial support. Ostrower's study will prove to be indispensable reading for not just sociologists of culture, but anyone interested in how the arts are financially and institutionally supported.

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Nancy Hanks, An Intimate Portrait
The Creation of a National Commitment to the Arts
Michael Straight
Duke University Press, 1988
Nancy Hanks, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) from 1969 to 1977, turned this fledgling organization into a major instrument for government support of the arts—accomplishing thereby a virtual revolution in the public arts policy of the United States. She died of cancer on January 7, 1983; later that year, at the request of Congress, President Ronald Reagan designated the building complex at Pennsylvania Avenue and 11th Street (the "Old Post Office") in Washington, D.C., as the Nancy Hanks Center.

This biography captures the spirit and the flavor of Ms. Hanks's remarkable life, above all during the eight years in which she led the Endowment. Tracing her childhood in Florida and North Carolina through her achievements as a student leader at Duke University, Straight makes clear her conscious effort to find a path with more scope than the usual marriage-and-a-family when expected of Southern women. Nancy Hanks went to Washington and found a job with the Office of War Mobilization. She later worked with Nelson Rockefeller, who became governor of New York, a Republican party luminary, and vice president under Gerald Ford, in addition to being an heir to one of America's greatest fortunes. Her relationship with Rockefeller was crucial to her personal life, and his conception of government and its role and a lasting influence on her career.

Straight examines Nancy Hanks's leadership of the NEA and takes particular note of the intense debate over the role of government in fostering American artistic expression, an issue with roots running back through the New Deal to the early history of the United States. Nancy Hanks took a strong and activist role in the formulation and administration of a national arts policy, and her accomplishments have left an indelible mark on public support for arts in the United States. Straight, who worked closely with Ms. Hanks and admired her despite frequent policy disagreements, deals honestly with both the successes and failures of her efforts. His biography imparts a sense of the reasons why her many friends felt such loyalty to this complex and gifted woman.


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Building for the Arts
The Strategic Design of Cultural Facilities
Peter Frumkin and Ana Kolendo
University of Chicago Press, 2014
Over the past two decades, the arts in America have experienced an unprecedented building boom, with more than sixteen billion dollars directed to the building, expansion, and renovation of museums, theaters, symphony halls, opera houses, and centers for the visual and performing arts. Among the projects that emerged from the boom were many brilliant successes. Others, like the striking addition of the Quadracci Pavilion to the Milwaukee Art Museum, brought international renown but also tens of millions of dollars of off-budget debt while offering scarce additional benefit to the arts and embodying the cultural sector’s worst fears that the arts themselves were being displaced by the big, status-driven architecture projects built to contain them.
With Building for the Arts, Peter Frumkin and Ana Kolendo explore how artistic vision, funding partnerships, and institutional culture work together—or fail to—throughout the process of major cultural construction projects. Drawing on detailed case studies and in-depth interviews at museums and other cultural institutions varying in size and funding arrangements, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Atlanta Opera, and AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, Frumkin and Kolendo analyze the decision-making considerations and challenges and identify four factors whose alignment characterizes the most successful and sustainable of the projects discussed: institutional requirements, capacity of the institution to manage the project while maintaining ongoing operations, community interest and support, and sufficient sources of funding. How and whether these factors are strategically aligned in the design and execution of a building initiative, the authors argue, can lead an organization to either thrive or fail. The book closes with an analysis of specific tactics that can enhance the chances of a project’s success.

A practical guide grounded in the latest scholarship on nonprofit strategy and governance, Building for the Arts will be an invaluable resource for professional arts staff and management, trustees of arts organizations, development professionals, and donors, as well as those who study and seek to understand them.

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The Legacy Of Language
A Tribute To Charlton Laird
Phillip C. Boardman
University of Nevada Press, 1987

In this tribute to Charlton Laird, ten scholars in the fields of language and linguistics provide ordinary readers with new insight into the workings of the English language. Laird, one of Nevada's treasured authors, was a professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno.


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Reality Exploration and Discovery
Pattern Interaction in Language and Life
Edited by Linda Ann Uyechi and Lian-Hee Wee
CSLI, 2009

The twenty-five papers in this volume present current analyses of a variety of data and, more significantly, illustrate the various analytical tools available to linguists in the quest for deeper comprehension of the puzzles, questions, and problems they confront in natural language. The distinguished authors collected here explore interactions between linguistic structure and sound patterns across a diverse set of languages. The integrating theme of the volume is the influence of K. P. Mohanan’s philosophy of inquiry, derived not only from his rich body of diverse work but also from the fresh perspectives and intellectual vitality that he has shared with colleagues and students in a career spanning over three decades.


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A Leonard Bloomfield Anthology
Leonard Bloomfield
University of Chicago Press, 1987
In the centenary year of Leonard Bloomfield's birth, this abridgment makes available a representative selection of the writings of this central figure in the history of linguistics.

"Hockett has achieved his purpose—to reveal Bloomfield's way of working, the general principles that guided his work, and last, but by no means least, to indicate how Bloomfield's interests and attitudes changed with the passing years."—Harry Hoijer, Language

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The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax and Other Irreverent Essays on the Study of Language
Geoffrey K. Pullum
University of Chicago Press, 1991
How reliable are all those stories about the number of Eskimo words for snow? How can lamps, flags, and parrots be libelous? How might Star Trek's Commander Spock react to Noam Chomsky's theories of language? These and many other odd questions are typical topics in this collection of essays that present an occasionally zany, often wry, but always fascinating look at language and the people who study it.

Geoffrey K. Pullum's writings began as columns in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory in 1983. For six years, in almost every issue, under the banner "TOPIC. . .COMMENT," he published a captivating mélange of commentary, criticism, satire, whimsy, and fiction. Those columns are reproduced here—almost exactly as his friends and colleagues originally warned him not to publish them—along with new material including a foreword by James D. McCawley, a prologue, and a new introduction to each of these clever pieces. Whether making a sneak attack on some sacred cow, delivering a tongue-in-cheek protest against current standards, or supplying a caustic review of some recent development, Pullum remains in touch with serious concerns about language and society. At the same time, he reminds the reader not to take linguistics too seriously all of the time.

Pullum will take you on an excursion into the wild and untamed fringes of linguistics. Among the unusual encounters in store are a conversation between Star Trek's Commander Spock and three real earth linguists, the strange tale of the author's imprisonment for embezzling funds from the Campaign for Typographical Freedom, a harrowing account of a day in the research life of four unhappy grammarians, and the true story of how a monograph on syntax was suppressed because the examples were judged to be libelous. You will also find a volley of humorous broadsides aimed at dishonest attributional practices, meddlesome copy editors, mathematical incompetence, and "cracker-barrel philosophy of science." These learned and witty pieces will delight anyone who is fascinated by the quirks of language and linguists.

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A Dictionary of Language
David Crystal
University of Chicago Press, 2001
No ordinary dictionary, David Crystal's Dictionary of Language includes not only descriptions of hundreds of languages literally from A to Z (Abkhaz to Zyryan) and definitions of literary and grammatical concepts, but also explanations of terms used in linguistics, language teaching, and speech pathology. If you are wondering how many people speak Macedonian, Malay, or Makua, or if you're curious about various theories of the origins of language, or if you were always unsure of the difference between structuralism, semiotics, and sociolinguistics, this superbly authoritative dictionary will answer all of your questions and hundred of others.


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Battle in the Mind Fields
John A. Goldsmith and Bernard Laks
University of Chicago Press, 2019
“We frequently see one idea appear in one discipline as if it were new, when it migrated from another discipline, like a mole that had dug under a fence and popped up on the other side.” 

Taking note of this phenomenon, John Goldsmith and Bernard Laks embark on a uniquely interdisciplinary history of the genesis of linguistics, from nineteenth-century currents of thought in the mind sciences through to the origins of structuralism and the ruptures, both political and intellectual, in the years leading up to World War II. Seeking to explain where contemporary ideas in linguistics come from and how they have been justified, Battle in the Mind Fields investigates the porous interplay of concepts between psychology, philosophy, mathematical logic, and linguistics. Goldsmith and Laks trace theories of thought, self-consciousness, and language from the machine age obsession with mind and matter to the development of analytic philosophy, behaviorism, Gestalt psychology, positivism, and structural linguistics, emphasizing throughout the synthesis and continuity that has brought about progress in our understanding of the human mind. Arguing that it is impossible to understand the history of any of these fields in isolation, Goldsmith and Laks suggest that the ruptures between them arose chiefly from social and institutional circumstances rather than a fundamental disparity of ideas. 

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Bodies of Knowledge
Embodied Rhetorics in Theory and Practice
A. Abby Knoblauch
Utah State University Press, 2021
Bodies of Knowledge challenges homogenizing (mis)understandings of knowledge construction and provides a complex discussion of what happens when we do not attend to embodied rhetorical theories and practices. Because language is always a reflection of culture, to attempt to erase language and knowledge practices that reflect minoritized and historically excluded cultural experiences obscures th­e legitimacy of such experiences both within and outside the academy.
The pieces in Bodies of Knowledge draw explicit attention to the impact of the body on text, the impact of the body in text, the impact of the body as text, and the impact of the body upon textual production. The contributors investigate embodied rhetorics through the lenses of race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, disability and pain, technologies and ecologies, clothing and performance, and scent, silence, and touch. In doing so, they challenge the (false) notion that academic knowledge—that is, “real” knowledge—is disembodied and therefore presumed white, middle class, cis-het, able-bodied, and male. This collection lays bare how myriad bodies invent, construct, deliver, and experience the processes of knowledge building.
Experts in the field of writing studies provide the necessary theoretical frameworks to better understand productive (and unproductive) uses of embodied rhetorics within the academy and in the larger social realm. To help meet the theoretical and pedagogical needs of the discipline, Bodies of Knowledge addresses embodied rhetorics and embodied writing more broadly though a rich, varied, and intersectional approach. These authors address larger questions around embodiment while considering the various impacts of the body on theories and practices of rhetoric and composition.
Contributors: Scot Barnett, Margaret Booker, Katherine Bridgman, Sara DiCaglio, Kristie S. Fleckenstein, Vyshali Manivannan, Temptaous Mckoy, Julie Myatt, Julie Nelson, Ruth Osorio, Kate Pantelides, Caleb Pendygraft, Nadya Pittendrigh, Kellie Sharp-Hoskins, Anthony Stagliano, Megan Strom

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A Myriad of Tongues
How Languages Reveal Differences in How We Think
Caleb Everett
Harvard University Press, 2023

A sweeping exploration of the relationship between the language we speak and our perception of such fundamentals of experience as time, space, color, and smells.

We tend to assume that all languages categorize ideas and objects similarly, reflecting our common human experience. But this isn’t the case. When we look closely, we find that many basic concepts are not universal, and that speakers of different languages literally see and think about the world differently.

Caleb Everett takes readers around the globe, explaining what linguistic diversity tells us about human culture, overturning conventional wisdom along the way. For instance, though it may seem that everybody refers to time in spatial terms—in English, for example, we speak of time “passing us by”—speakers of the Amazonian language Tupi Kawahib never do. In fact, Tupi Kawahib has no word for “time” at all. And while it has long been understood that languages categorize colors based on those that speakers regularly encounter, evidence suggests that the color words we have at our disposal affect how we discriminate colors themselves: a rose may not appear as rosy by any other name. What’s more, the terms available to us even determine the range of smells we can identify. European languages tend to have just a few abstract odor words, like “floral” or “stinky,” whereas Indigenous languages often have well over a dozen.

Why do some cultures talk anthropocentrically about things being to one’s “left” or “right,” while others use geocentric words like “east” and “west”? What is the connection between what we eat and the sounds we make? A Myriad of Tongues answers these and other questions, yielding profound insights into the fundamentals of human communication and experience.


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The Language Parallax
Linguistic Relativism and Poetic Indeterminacy
By Paul Friedrich
University of Texas Press, 1986

Humankind has always been fascinated and troubled by the way languages and dialects differ. Linguistically based differences in point of view have preoccupied many original minds of the past, such as Kant, and remain at the forefront of language study: in philosophy, anthropology, literary criticism, and other fields.

Paul Friedrich's The Language Parallax argues persuasively that the "locus and focus" of differences among languages lies not so much in practical or rational aspects as in the complexity and richness of more poetic dimensions—in the nuances of words, or the style and voice of an author. This poetic reformulation of what has been called "linguistic relativism" is grounded in the author's theory of the imagination as a main source of poetic indeterminacy. The reformulation is also based on the intimate relation of the concentrated language of poetry to the potential or possibilities for poetry in ordinary conversation, dreams, and other experiences. The author presents challenging thoughts on the order and system of language in their dynamic relation to indeterminacy and, ultimately, disorder and chaos.

Drawing on his considerable fieldwork in anthropology and linguistics, Friedrich interweaves distinct and provocative elements: the poetry of language difference, the indeterminacy in dialects and poetic forms, the discovery of underlying orders, the workings of different languages, the strength of his own poetry. The result is an innovative and organic whole.

The Language Parallax, then, is a highly original work with a single bold thesis. It draws on research and writing that has involved, in particular, English, Russian, and the Tarascan language of Mexico, as well as the personal and literary study of the respective cultures. Anthropologist, linguist, and poet, Friedrich synthesizes from his experience in order to interrelate language variation and structure, the creative individual, ideas of system-in-process, and questions of scientific and aesthetic truth. The result is a new view of language held to the light of its potentially creative nature.


front cover of Language, Culture, and Mind
Language, Culture, and Mind
Edited by Michel Achard and Suzanne Kemmer
CSLI, 2004
Language, Culture, and Mind is a stimulating collection exploring the ways that cognitive, social, and cultural categories are revealed through language. Contributors use methods such as psycholinguistic experiments and observations of natural discourse to probe how such categories are organized, with grammatical and semantic analyses—in modern cognitive frameworks—augmenting these approaches. Some of the phenomena studied include the linguistic expression of space and causality; aspect, classifiers, negation, and complement constructions; and metaphor, metonymy, and conceptual blending across different domains of human experience. The result is a fresh perspective on the way language relates to thought and culture.

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Meaning, Form, and Body
Mark Turner, Fey Parrill, and Vera Tobin
CSLI, 2010

Meaning, Form, and Body brings together renowned figures in the field of cognitive linguistics to discuss two related research areas in the study of linguistics: the integration of form and meaning and language and the human body. Among the numerous topics discussed are grammatical constructions, conceptual integration, and gesture.


front cover of Natural Histories of Discourse
Natural Histories of Discourse
Edited by Michael Silverstein and Greg Urban
University of Chicago Press, 1996
Is culture simply a more or less set text we can learn to read? Since the early 1970s, the notion of culture-as-text has animated anthropologists and other analysts of culture. Michael Silverstein and Greg Urban present this stunning collection of cutting-edge ethnographies arguing that the divide between fleeting discursive practice and formed text is a constructed one, and that the constructional process reveals "culture" to those who can interpret it.

Eleven original essays of "natural history" range in focus from nuptial poetry of insult among Wolof griots to case-based teaching methods in first-year law-school classrooms. Stage by stage, they give an idea of the cultural processes of "entextualization" and "contextualization" of discourse that they so richly illustrate. The contributors' varied backgrounds include anthropology, psychiatry, education, literary criticism, and law, making this collection invaluable not only to anthropologists and linguists, but to all analysts of culture.


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An Other Tongue
Nation and Ethnicity in the Linguistic Borderlands
Alfred Arteaga
Duke University Press, 1994
As our millennium draws to a close, we find ourselves in the midst of great and rapid global changes with nations and political systems dissolving all around us and the world becoming one of shifting identities--of peoples unified and divided by such distinctions as nationality, ethnicity, race, religion, and colonial status. The articulation and construction of these distinctions, the very language of difference, is the subject of An Other Tongue. This collection of essays by a group of distinguished scholars, including Norma Alarcón, Gayatri Spivak, Tzvetan Todorov, and Gerald Vizenor, explores the interconnections between language and identity.
The Chicanos, the U.S./Mexico borderland polyglots whose sense of history, nationality, and race is as mixed as their language, are the book's prime example. But the authors recognize that border zones, like diasporas and post-colonial relations, occur globally, and their discussion of hybrid or mestizo identities ranges from the United States to the Caribbean to South Asia to Ireland. Drawing on personal experience, readings of poetry and fiction, and cultural theory, the authors detail the politics of being human through the mediation of language. What does "shadow" mean to the Native American Indian, or diaspora to the East Indian immigrant? How does British colonialism yet affect Irish and Indian nationalist literary production? Why is the split between Eastern and Western European language use necessarily schizophrenic? So much of our sense of difference today is constructed as we speak, and An Other Tongue speaks with eloquence to this phenomenon and will be of great interest to those concerned with the discourse of post-colonial studies, critical theory, and the remapping of world literature.

Contributors. Norma Alarcón, Alfred Arteaga, Juan Bruce-Novoa, Cordelia Chávez Candelaria, Michael G. Cooke, Edmundo Desnoes, Eugene C. Eoyang, David Lloyd, Lydie Moudileno, Jean-Luc Nancy, Tejaswini Niranjana, Ada Savin, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Michael Smith, Tzvetan Todorov, Luis A. Torres, Gerald Vizenor


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Our Body of Work
Embodied Administration and Teaching
edited by Melissa Nicolas & Anna Sicari
University Press of Colorado, 2022
Our Body of Work invites administrators and teachers to consider how physical bodies inform everyday work and labor as well as research and administrative practices in writing programs. Combining academic and personal essays from a wide array of voices, it opens a meaningful discussion about the physicality of bodily experiences in the academy.
Open exchanges enable complex and nuanced conversations about intersectionality and how racism, sexism, classism, and ableism (among other “isms”) create systems of power. Contributors examine how these conversations are framed around work, practices, policies, and research and identify ways to create inclusive, embodied practices in writing programs and classrooms. The collection is organized to maximize representation in the areas of race, gender, identity, ability, and class by featuring scholarly chapters followed by narratively focused interchapters that respond to and engage with the scholarly work.
The honest and emotionally powerful stories in Our Body of Work expose problematic and normalizing policies, practices, and procedures and offer diverse theories and methodologies that provide multiple paths for individuals to follow to make the academy more inclusive and welcoming for all bodies. It will be an important resource for researchers, as well a valuable addition to graduate and undergraduate syllabi on embodiment, writing instruction/pedagogy, and WPA work.
Contributors: Dena Arendall, Janel Atlas, Hayat Bedaiwi, Elizabeth Boquet, Lauren Brentnell, Triauna Carey, Denise Comer, Joshua Daniel, Michael Faris, Rebecca Gerdes-McClain, Morgan Gross, Nabila Hijazi, Jacquelyn Hoermann-Elliott, Maureen Johnson, Jasmine Kar Tang, Elitza Kotzeva, Michelle LaFrance, Jasmine Lee, Lynn C. Lewis, Mary Lourdes Silva, Rita Malenczyk, Anna Rita Napoleone, Julie Prebel, Rebecca Rodriguez Carey, Ryan Skinnell, Trixie Smith, Stacey Waite, Kelsey Walker, Shannon Walters, Isaac Wang, Jennie Young

front cover of Toward a Theory of Cultural Linguistics
Toward a Theory of Cultural Linguistics
By Gary B. Palmer
University of Texas Press, 1996

Imagery, broadly defined as all that people may construe in cognitive models pertaining to vision, hearing, touch, taste, smell, and feeling states, precedes and shapes human language. In this pathfinding book, Gary B. Palmer restores imagery to a central place in studies of language and culture by bringing together the insights of cognitive linguistics and anthropology to form a new theory of cultural linguistics.

Palmer begins by showing how cognitive grammar complements the traditional anthropological approaches of Boasian linguistics, ethnosemantics, and the ethnography of speaking. He then applies his cultural theory to a wealth of case studies, including Bedouin lamentations, spatial organization in Coeur d'Alene place names and anatomical terms, Kuna narrative sequence, honorifics in Japanese sales language, the domain of ancestral spirits in Proto-Bantu noun-classifiers, Chinese counterfactuals, the non-arbitrariness of Spanish verb forms, and perspective schemas in English discourse.

This pioneering approach suggests innovative solutions to old problems in anthropology and new directions for research. It will be important reading for everyone interested in anthropology, linguistics, cognitive science, and philosophy.


front cover of Speaking in Queer Tongues
Speaking in Queer Tongues
Edited by William L. Leap and Tom Boellstorff
University of Illinois Press, 2003
Language is a fundamental tool for shaping identity and community, including the expression (or repression) of sexual desire. Speaking in Queer Tongues investigates the tensions and adaptations that occur when processes of globalization bring one system of gay or lesbian language into contact with another.
Western constructions of gay culture are now circulating widely beyond the boundaries of Western nations due to influences as diverse as Internet communication, global dissemination of entertainment and other media, increased travel and tourism, migration, displacement, and transnational citizenship. The authority claimed by these constructions, and by the linguistic codes embedded in them, is causing them to have a profound impact on public and private expressions of homosexuality in locations as diverse as sub-Saharan Africa, New Zealand, Indonesia and Israel.
Examining a wide range of global cultures, Speaking in Queer Tongues presents essays on topics that include old versus new sexual vocabularies, the rhetoric of gay-oriented magazines and news media, verbal and nonverbalized sexual imagery in poetry and popular culture, and the linguistic consequences of the globalized gay rights movement.

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Translating Worlds
The Epistemological Space of Translation
Edited by Carlo Severi and William F. Hanks
HAU, 2015
Set against the backdrop of anthropology’s recent focus on various “turns” (whether ontological, ethical, or otherwise), this pathbreaking volume returns to the question of knowledge and the role of translation as a theoretical and ethnographic guide for twenty-first century anthropology, gathering together contributions from leading thinkers in the field.

Since Ferdinand de Saussure and Franz Boas, languages have been seen as systems whose differences make precise translation nearly impossible. And still others have viewed translation between languages as principally indeterminate. The contributors here argue that the challenge posed by the constant confrontation between incommensurable worlds and systems may be the most fertile ground for state-of-the-art ethnographic theory and practice. Ranging from tourism in New Guinea to shamanism in the Amazon to the globally ubiquitous restaurant menu, the contributors mix philosophy and ethnography to redefine translation not only as a key technique for understanding ethnography but as a larger principle in epistemology.  

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Lives in Two Languages
An Exploration of Identity and Culture
Linda Watkins-Goffman
University of Michigan Press, 2001
Lives in Two Languages explores identity and multiculturalism through readings that aim to help teachers-in-training gain better insight into their students' lives.
Lives in Two Languages focuses on the experience of multicultural authors--like Richard Rodriguez, Amy Tan, Eva Hoffman, Chang-rae Lee, and Julia Alvarez--whose experiences can be related to anyone who has moved from one culture or subculture to another. As such, this text is an excellent comprehensive introduction to the multicultural experience for teachers and educators in all disciplines, as well as of interest to anyone interested in language culture and psychological process of identity.

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Rancheros in Chicagoacán
Language and Identity in a Transnational Community
By Marcia Farr
University of Texas Press, 2006

Rancheros hold a distinct place in the culture and social hierarchy of Mexico, falling between the indigenous (Indian) rural Mexicans and the more educated city-dwelling Mexicans. In addition to making up an estimated twenty percent of the population of Mexico, rancheros may comprise the majority of Mexican immigrants to the United States. Although often mestizo (mixed race), rancheros generally identify as non-indigenous, and many identify primarily with the Spanish side of their heritage. They are active seekers of opportunity, and hence very mobile. Rancheros emphasize progress and a self-assertive individualism that contrasts starkly with the common portrayal of rural Mexicans as communal and publicly deferential to social superiors.

Marcia Farr studied, over the course of fifteen years, a transnational community of Mexican ranchero families living both in Chicago and in their village-of-origin in Michoacán, Mexico. For this ethnolinguistic portrait, she focuses on three culturally salient styles of speaking that characterize rancheros: franqueza (candid, frank speech); respeto (respectful speech); and relajo (humorous, disruptive language that allows artful verbal critique of the social order maintained through respeto). She studies the construction of local identity through a community's daily talk, and provides the first book-length examination of language and identity in transnational Mexicans.

In addition, Farr includes information on the history of rancheros in Mexico, available for the first time in English, as well as an analysis of the racial discourse of rancheros within the context of the history of race and ethnicity in Mexico and the United States. This work provides groundbreaking insight into the lives of rancheros, particularly as seen from their own perspectives.


front cover of Native Studies Keywords
Native Studies Keywords
Edited by Stephanie Nohelani Teves, Andrea Smith, and Michelle Raheja
University of Arizona Press, 2015
Native Studies Keywords explores selected concepts in Native studies and the words commonly used to describe them, words whose meanings have been insufficiently examined. This edited volume focuses on the following eight concepts: sovereignty, land, indigeneity, nation, blood, tradition, colonialism, and indigenous knowledge. Each section includes three or four essays and provides definitions, meanings, and significance to the concept, lending a historical, social, and political context.
Take sovereignty, for example. The word has served as the battle cry for social justice in Indian Country. But what is the meaning of sovereignty? Native peoples with diverse political beliefs all might say they support sovereignty—without understanding fully the meaning and implications packed in the word.  
The field of Native studies is filled with many such words whose meanings are presumed, rather than articulated or debated. Consequently, the foundational terms within Native studies always have multiple and conflicting meanings. These terms carry the colonial baggage that has accrued from centuries of contested words.
Native Studies Keywords is a genealogical project that looks at the history of words that claim to have no history. It is the first book to examine the foundational concepts of Native American studies, offering multiple perspectives and opening a critical new conversation.

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