Shortly before the Loma Prieta earthquake devastated areas of Northern California in 1989, Risa Palm and her associates had surveyed 2,500 homeowners in the area about their perception of risk from earthquakes. After the quake they surveyed the homeowners again and found that their perception of risk had increased but that most respondents were fatalistic and continued to ignore self-protective measures; those who personally experienced damage were more likely to buy insurance. A rare opportunity to analyze behavior change directly before and after a natural disaster, this survey has implications for policy makers, insurance officials, and those concerned with risk management.
Highway 18 between Mission and Okreek, South Dakota, is a stretch of no more than eighteen miles, but late at night or in a blizzard it seems endless. "It feels like being somewhere between South Dakota and 'there,'" says Simon Ortiz, "perhaps at the farthest reaches of the galaxy."
Acoma Pueblo poet Ortiz spent a winter in South Dakota, teaching at Sinte Gleska College on the Rosebud Lakota Sioux Reservation. The bitter cold and driving snow of a prairie winter were a reality commanding his attention through its absolute challenge to survival and the meaning of survival.
Ortiz's way of dealing with the hard elements of winter was to write After and Before the Lightning, prose and verse poems that were his response to that long season between the thunderstorms of autumn and spring. "I needed a map of where I was and what I was doing in the cosmos," he writes. In these poems, which he regards as a book-length poetic work, he charts the vast spaces of prairie and time that often seem indistinguishable. As he faces the reality of winter on the South Dakota reservation, he also confronts the harsh political reality for its Native community and culture and for Indian people everywhere.
"Writing this poetry reconnected me to the wonder and awe of life," Ortiz states emphatically. Readers will feel the reality of that wonder and awe—and the cold of that South Dakota winter—through the gentle ferocity of his words.
After the Afterlife explores the zone between language and spirit. It is a book of inner and outer boundaries: of blockades, of tunnels, of wormholes. Where does our consciousness come from, and where is it going, if anywhere? With a nimble blend of wit, whimsy, and erudition, Hummer’s poems assay the border that the shaman is forced to cross to wrestle with the gods, which is the same border the mystic yearns to broach, and the ordinary human stumbles over while doing laundry or making lunch—where questions of identity melt in the white heat of Being:
which is like trying to teach
The cat to waltz, so much awkwardness, so many tender
advances, and I’m shocked when it actually learns,
When it minces toward me in a tiny cocktail gown, offering a martini,
asking for this dance, insisting on hearing me refuse
To reply, debating all along, in the chorus of its interior mewing, who
are you really, peculiar animal, who taught you to call you you.
In his Berlin lectures on fine art, Hegel argued that art involves a unique form of aesthetic intelligibility—the expression of a distinct collective self-understanding that develops through historical time. Hegel’s approach to art has been influential in a number of different contexts, but in a twist of historical irony Hegel would die just before the most radical artistic revolution in history: modernism. In After the Beautiful, Robert B. Pippin, looking at modernist paintings by artists such as Édouard Manet and Paul Cézanne through Hegel’s lens, does what Hegel never had the chance to do.
While Hegel could never engage modernist painting, he did have an understanding of modernity, and in it, art—he famously asserted—was “a thing of the past,” no longer an important vehicle of self-understanding and no longer an indispensable expression of human meaning. Pippin offers a sophisticated exploration of Hegel’s position and its implications. He also shows that had Hegel known how the social institutions of his day would ultimately fail to achieve his own version of genuine equality, a mutuality of recognition, he would have had to explore a different, new role for art in modernity. After laying this groundwork, Pippin goes on to illuminate the dimensions of Hegel’s aesthetic approach in the path-breaking works of Manet, the “grandfather of modernism,” drawing on art historians T. J. Clark and Michael Fried to do so. He concludes with a look at Cézanne, the “father of modernism,” this time as his works illuminate the relationship between Hegel and the philosopher who would challenge Hegel’s account of both modernity and art—Martin Heidegger.
Elegantly inter-weaving philosophy and art history, After the Beautiful is a stunning reassessment of the modernist project. It gets at the core of the significance of modernism itself and what it means in general for art to have a history. Ultimately, it is a testament, via Hegel, to the distinctive philosophical achievements of modernist art in the unsettled, tumultuous era we have inherited.
The sixty-two short essays in After the Bell describe in many voices the emotional complexity and historical record of one experience most of us have in common: elementary and secondary school, from our first day all the way to graduation. Whether public or private, rural or urban, school is the first place we navigate on our own, learning how we stand apart, how we stand out, and where we do or don't fit in.
The essays are by emerging as well as established fiction writers, poets, social commentators, and educational theorists. Told from the point of view of students, teachers, parents, and administrators through the multiple perspectives or race, class, physical and intellectual abilities, and sexually, the stories reveal how memories of our school days haunt and sustain us.
As violence in the United States seems to become increasingly more commonplace, the question of how communities reset after unprecedented violence also grows in significance. After the Bloodbath examines this quandary, producing insights linking rampage shootings and communal responses in the United States. Diamond, who was a leading attorney in the community where the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy occurred, focuses on three well-known shootings and a fourth shooting that occurred on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota. The book looks to the roots of Indigenous approaches to crime, identifying an institutional weakness in the Anglo judicial model, and explores adapting Indigenous practices that contribute to healing following heinous criminal behavior. Emerging from the history of Indigenous dispute resolution is a spotlight turned on to restorative justice, a subject no author has discussed to date in the context of mass shootings. Diamond ultimately leads the reader to a positive road forward focusing on insightful steps people can take after a rampage shooting to help their wounded communities heal.
After the Bombs
Arturo Arias Northwestern University Press, 1990 Library of Congress PQ7499.2.A73D4713 1990
After the Bombs is a coming of age story that holds a mirror up to the modern history of Guatemala--a funhouse mirror of richly inventive and farcical black comedy which provides a better description of life in that country than any history book ever could. It opens with the bombing of Guatemala City in 1954 when the hero, Max, is a small child. In a swiftly moving narrative, Max journeys twoard adulthood, searching for his identitty, for his father, and along the way, for the real Guatemala and the possibility of a society founded on human decency, after the bombs.
Focusing on two Arizona towns that had their origins in mining bonanzas—Tombstone and Jerome—historian Eric L. Clements offers a rare study dissecting the process of bust itself—the reasons and manners in which these towns declined as the mining booms ended. Tombstone was the site of one of the great silver bonanzas of the nineteenth century, a boom that started in the late 1870s and was over by 1890. Jerome’s copper deposits were mined for much longer, beginning in the 1880s and enduring until the 1930s. But when the mining booms ended, each town faced its decline in similar ways. The process of decline was more complex than superficial histories have indicated, and Clements discusses the role of labor unions in trying to stave off collapse, the changing demography of decline, the nature and expression of social tensions, the impact on institutions such as churches and schools, and the human responses to continued economic depression. But bust involved more than a steady decline into ghost-town status, Clements discovers: the towns' remaining residents employed numerous strategies to survive and reduce household expenses. In the end, both towns reinvented themselves as late-twentieth-century tourist attractions.
Television is evolving rapidly. How, then, might we respond to television today in light of its past? And do the old theoretical concepts still apply, or must we invent a new framework for this mutable medium? To answer these fundamental questions, the contributors to this provocative collection examine diverse case studies, including up-to-date scholarship on the current television zeitgeist, nostalgic programming on broadcast television, YouTube, and public television art programming of the 1980s. As a whole, these essays challenge the supposed crisis in television in the light of its burgeoning development.
This exceptional collection revisits the aftermath of the 1954 coup that ousted the democratically elected Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz. Contributors frame the impact of 1954 not only in terms of the liberal reforms and coffee revolutions of the nineteenth century, but also in terms of post-1954 U.S. foreign policy and the genocide of the 1970s and 1980s. This volume is of particular interest in the current era of the United States' re-emerging foreign policy based on preemptive strikes and a presumed clash of civilizations.
Recent research and the release of newly declassified U.S. government documents underscore the importance of reading Guatemala's current history through the lens of 1954. Scholars and researchers who have worked in Guatemala from the 1940s to the present articulate how the coup fits into ethnographic representations of Guatemala. Highlighting the voices of individuals with whom they have lived and worked, the contributors also offer an unmatched understanding of how the events preceding and following the coup played out on the ground.
Contributors are Abigail E. Adams, Richard N. Adams, David Carey Jr., Christa Little-Siebold, Judith M. Maxwell, Victor D. Montejo, June C. Nash, and Timothy J. Smith.
After the Crisis offers a platform for discussions between some of today’s leading artists, writers, theorists, curators, and historians aimed at questioning the very status of photography today. Contributors come from the realms of critical theory, fiction, performance art, fashion photography, and museums, as well as film and design, and their conversations bring together history and the contemporary. Comparing the current situation of photographic images with the crisis experienced by representation at the time of the birth of photography, they set our relationship with photographic images in the digital era in perspective. Through these discussions, we come to sense the existential burden of being surrounded by images, while also beginning to grasp the historical depth of a questioning of images that started long before the current generation and engages with crucial political and cultural issues of our time.
From Czarism and Bolshevism to the current post-communist era, the media in Central Asia has been tightly constrained. Though the governments in the region assert that a free press is permitted to operate, research has shown this to be untrue. In all five former Soviet republics of Central Asia, the media has been controlled, suppressed, punished, and often outlawed. This enlightening collection of essays investigates the reasons why these countries have failed to develop independent and sustainable press systems. It documents the complex relationship between the press and governance, nation-building, national identity, and public policy. In this book, scholars explore the numerous and broad-reaching implications of media control in a variety of contexts, touching on topics such as Internet regulation and censorship, press rights abuses, professional journalism standards and self-censorship, media ownership, ethnic newspapers, blogging, Western broadcasting into the region, and coverage of terrorism.
After the Death of Literature
Richard B. Schwartz Southern Illinois University Press, 1997 Library of Congress PN81.S243 1997 | Dewey Decimal 801.95
Calling Samuel Johnson the greatest literary critic since Aristotle, Richard B. Schwartz assumes the perspective of that quintessential eighteenth-century man of letters to examine the critical and theoretical literary developments that gained momentum in the 1970s and stimulated the culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s.
Schwartz speculates that Johnson—who revered hard facts, a wide cultural base, and common sense—would have exhibited scant patience with the heavily academic approaches currently favored in the study of literature. He considers it probable that the combatants in the early struggles of the culture wars are losing energy and that, in the wake of Alvin Kernan’s declaration of the death of literature, new battlegrounds are developing. Ironically admiring the orchestration and staging of battles old and new—"superb" he calls them—he characterizes the entire cultural war as a "battle between straw men, carefully constructed by the combatants to sustain a pattern of polarization that could be exploited to provide continuing professional advancement."
In seven diverse essays, Schwartz calls for both the broad cultural vision and the sanity of a Samuel Johnson from those who make pronouncements about literature. Running through and unifying these essays is the conviction that the cultural elite is clearly detached from life: "Academics, fleeing in horror from anything smacking of the bourgeois, offer us something far worse: bland sameness presented in elitist terms in the name of the poor." Another theme is that the either/or absolutism of many of the combatants is "absurd on its face [and] belies the complexities of art, culture, and humanity."
Like Johnson, Schwartz would terminate the divorce between literature and life, make allies of literature and criticism, and remove poetry from the province of the university and return it to the domain of readers. Texts would carry meaning, embody values, and have a serious impact on life.
In this deft analysis, Vernon Shetley shows how writers and readers of poetry, operating under very different conventions and expectations, have drifted apart, stranding the once-vital poetic enterprise on the distant margins of contemporary culture. Along with a clear understanding of where American poetry stands and how it got there, After the Death of Poetry offers a compelling set of prescriptions for its future, prescriptions that might enable the art to regain its lost stature in our intellectual life. In exemplary case studies, Shetley identifies the very different ways in which three postwar poets—Elizabeth Bishop, James Merrill, and John Ashbery—try to restore some of the challenge and risk that characterized modernist poetry's relation to its first readers. Sure to be controversial, this cogent analysis offers poets and readers a clear sense of direction and purpose, and so, the hope of reaching each other again.
After the Deluge offers a new, provocative interpretation of Russia's struggle in the 1990s to construct a democratic system of government in the largest and most geographically divided country in the world. The Russian Federation that emerged from the Soviet Union faced dissolution as the leaders of Russia's constituent units in the early 1990s defied Moscow's authority, declared sovereign states on their territory, refused to remit taxes, and even adopted national constitutions, flags, and anthems.
Yet, by mid-decade, a fragile equilibrium had emerged out of the apparently chaotic brinkmanship of central and regional officials. Based on extensive statistical analysis of previously unpublished data as well as interviews with numerous central and regional policymakers, After the Deluge suggests an original and counterintuitive interpretation of this experience.
In most cases, confrontations between regions and Moscow constituted a functional kind of drama. Regional leaders signaled just how much they were willing to risk to secure particular benefits. With a policy of "selective fiscal appeasement," federal officials directed subsidies, tax breaks, and other benefits to the most protest-prone regions, which in turn engendered a shift in local public opinion. By buying off potential regional dissenters, Moscow halted what might have become an accelerating bandwagon.
Besides offering insight into Russia's emerging politics, After the Deluge suggests a range of parallels to other cases of territorially divided states and empires--from contemporary China to Ottoman Turkey. It should appeal to a broad audience of scholars in political science, economics, history, geography, and policy studies.
Daniel S. Treisman is Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles.
After the Digging
Alan Shapiro University of Chicago Press, 1998 Library of Congress PS3569.H338A69 1998 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
After the Digging provides an exceptional look at the early work of acclaimed poet Alan Shapiro. His first collection of poems allows readers to realize his strong sense of historical narrative and gives them reference on how to read his later poems. Inspired by his time at Stanford in the late seventies, the book is divided into two parts: the first is a sequence on the Irish Famine in the mid-nineteenth century; the second, a series on demonic possession in late seventeenth-century New England. These poems give voice to the pain and delusion of those from other periods and inevitably recall the many evils of our own century.
"Powerful. . . . That a young poet can handle this subject so well in a first book is . . . a pleasure in itself."—Robert von Hallberg, Contemporary Literature, 1981
After the Divorce
Grazia Deledda Northwestern University Press, 1995 Library of Congress PQ4811.E6N313 1995 | Dewey Decimal 853.8
The novel begins with Costantino Ledda's conviction and sentencing for the murder of his cruel uncle. Though innocent of the crime, he accepts the guilty verdict as punishment for marrying Giovanna Era through a civil ceremony rather than an expensive church wedding. When her husband is taken away, Giovanna has no way to provide for herself, her mother, and her son, who soon dies of malnutrition. Out of desperation she divorces Costantino, according to a new law for wives of convicts, and marries a wealthy but brutish landowner. When the true murderer confesses and Costantino returns, he and Giovanna begin a forbidden and ultimately destructive affair.
Deleda's tragic story of poverty, passion, and guilt portrays the primitive and remote world of the church, pre-Christian superstitions, and laws dictated from the mainland, in her native Sardinia, where society hangs in a delicate balance. Once this order is disrupted, none of these characters can escape the spiral of destruction dictated by fate, God, and society.
In the political landscape emerging from the end of the Cold War, making U.S. foreign policy has become more difficult, due in part to less clarity and consensus about threats and interests. In After the End James M. Scott brings together a group of scholars to explore the changing international situation since 1991 and to examine the characteristics and patterns of policy making that are emerging in response to a post–Cold War world. These essays examine the recent efforts of U.S. policymakers to recast the roles, interests, and purposes of the United States both at home and abroad in a political environment where policy making has become increasingly decentralized and democratized. The contributors suggest that foreign policy leadership has shifted from White House and executive branch dominance to an expanded group of actors that includes the president, Congress, the foreign policy bureaucracy, interest groups, the media, and the public. The volume includes case studies that focus on China, Russia, Bosnia, Somalia, democracy promotion, foreign aid, and NAFTA. Together, these chapters describe how policy making after 1991 compares to that of other periods and suggest how foreign policy will develop in the future. This collection provides a broad, balanced evaluation of U.S. foreign policy making in the post–Cold War setting for scholars, teachers, and students of U.S. foreign policy, political science, history, and international studies.
Contributors. Ralph G. Carter, Richard Clark, A. Lane Crothers, I. M. Destler, Ole R. Holsti, Steven W. Hook, Christopher M. Jones, James M. McCormick, Jerel Rosati, Jeremy Rosner, John T. Rourke, Renee G. Scherlen, Peter J. Schraeder, James M. Scott, Jennifer Sterling-Folker, Rick Travis, Stephen Twing
In this bold book, Samuel Cohen asserts the literary and historical importance of the period between the fall of the Berlin wall and that of the Twin Towers in New York. With refreshing clarity, he examines six 1990s novels and two post-9/11 novels that explore the impact of the end of the Cold War: Pynchon's Mason & Dixon, Roth's American Pastoral, Morrison's Paradise, O'Brien's In the Lake of the Woods, Didion's The Last Thing He Wanted, Eugenides's Middlesex, Lethem's Fortress of Solitude, and DeLillo's Underworld. Cohen emphasizes how these works reconnect the past to a present that is ironically keen on denying that connection. Exploring the ways ideas about paradise and pastoral, difference and exclusion, innocence and righteousness, triumph and trauma deform the stories Americans tell themselves about their nation’s past, After the End of History challenges us to reconsider these works in a new light, offering fresh, insightful readings of what are destined to be classic works of literature.
At the same time, Cohen enters into the theoretical discussion about postmodern historical understanding. Throwing his hat in the ring with force and style, he confronts not only Francis Fukuyama’s triumphalist response to the fall of the Soviet Union but also the other literary and political “end of history” claims put forth by such theorists as Fredric Jameson and Walter Benn Michaels. In a straightforward, affecting style, After the End of History offers us a new vision for the capabilities and confines of contemporary fiction.
"Robert E. Lane is one of the most prominent and distinguished critics of both the human impact of market economies and economic theory, arguing from much research that happiness is more likely to flow from companionship, enjoyment of work, contribution to society, and the opportunity to develop as a person, than from the pursuit of wealth and the accumulation of material goods in market economies. This latest work playfully personalizes the contrast through a dialogue between a humanistic social scientist, Dessi, and a market economist, Adam. It is all too rare to have the two sides talking to each other. Moreover, in Lane's witty and literate hands, it is an open-minded and balanced conversation, in which neither side has all the answers. His unparalleled grasp of interdisciplinary social scientific knowledge is brought to bear on the largest questions of human life: What genuinely makes people happy? How should human society be organized to maximize the quality of human lives?"
--David O. Sears, Professor of Psychology and Political Science, UCLA
"Lane's deep knowledge of the sources of human happiness enables him to develop a powerful critique of economic theory."
---Robert A. Dahl, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Yale University
Robert E. Lane is the Eugene Meyer Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Yale University. His previous publications include The Loss of Happiness in Market Democracies (2000) and The Market Experience (1991).
After the Fall refers to the twin towers, and is Field’s ode to the events that transpired thereafter--the war in Iraq andthe attack on civil rights in America--as well as his own personal struggles over the indignities of aging.
In this work, the first critical monograph on Suite française, Nathan Bracher shows how, first amid the chaos and panic of the May-June 1940 debacle, and then within the unsettling new order of the German occupation, Némirovsky's novel casts a particularly revealing light on the behavior and attitudes of the French as well as on the highly problematic interaction of France's social classes
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is best known for its abundantly productive farmland and for the Amish and other “Plain People” who have made their home there since colonial times. Now both of these unique features are in danger of being permanently destroyed. “The Garden Spot of America” loses more than 20 acres of farmland every day to accelerated development. And the Amish, with a population that has doubled in the past 20 years and little land left to farm, tired of living in a fish-bowl for five million tourists a year, and frustrated by changing regulations, are moving out. They are going to Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana -- anywhere to get away from “Amish Country.” Randy Testa initially traveled to Lancaster County in the summer of 1988 to research his dissertation, never intending to become involved personally in county affairs. But living with an Amish family that summer he saw firsthand the trials they faced: constant streams of gawking tourists, the daily paving-over of rich farmland, and the greed and complicity of local officials. Realizing that the quiet, nonresistant Amish would not fight against these destructive influences, Testa felt called to speak out on their behalf. Thus began the continuing moral journey that is at the heart of After the Fire. It is a story of family and farming, community and faith, morality as practiced by the Amish in daily life. And, ultimately, it is about our own world, for as Testa writes, we must look to the Amish to “point out how far we have strayed.” The book is illustrated with 20 charcoal drawings by Amish artist Susie Riehl. The drawings are as understated as the Amish themselves, simple yet striking sketches from within a threatened world. In this final decade of the twentieth century, a life-and-death struggle is being played out in Lancaster County: between land speculation and land stewardship, between material wealth and moral worth, between unrestrained growth and “the ties that bind.” The Amish are at the center of the conflict, trying to maintain their unique community in the face of increasing encroachment from the outside. Randy Testa stands as a witness to their struggle, telling “the story of a people on the verge of conflagration.”
The past three decades have been characterized by vast change and crises in global financial markets—and not in politically unstable countries but in the heart of the developed world, from the Great Recession in the United States to the banking crises in Japan and the Eurozone. As we try to make sense of what caused these crises and how we might reduce risk factors and prevent recurrence, the fields of finance and economics have also seen vast change, as scholars and researchers have advanced their thinking to better respond to the recent crises.
A momentous collection of the best recent scholarship, After the Flood illustrates both the scope of the crises’ impact on our understanding of global financial markets and the innovative processes whereby scholars have adapted their research to gain a greater understanding of them. Among the contributors are José Scheinkman and Lars Peter Hansen, who bring up to date decades of collaborative research on the mechanisms that tie financial markets to the broader economy; Patrick Bolton, who argues that limiting bankers’ pay may be more effective than limiting the activities they can undertake; Edward Glaeser and Bruce Sacerdote, who study the social dynamics of markets; and E. Glen Weyl, who argues that economists are influenced by the incentives their consulting opportunities create.
The fascinating story of how a harsh terrain that resembled modern Antarctica has been transformed gradually into the forests, grasslands, and wetlands we know today.
"One of the best scientific books published in the last ten years."—Ottowa Journal
"A valuable new synthesis of facts and ideas about climate, geography, and life during the past 20,000 years. More important, the book conveys an intimate appreciation of the rich variety of nature through time."—S. David Webb,Science
From a variety of historically grounded perspectives, After the Imperial Turn assesses the fate of the nation as a subject of disciplinary inquiry. In light of the turn toward scholarship focused on imperialism and postcolonialism, this provocative collection investigates whether the nation remains central, adequate, or even possible as an analytical category for studying history. These twenty essays, primarily by historians, exemplify cultural approaches to histories of nationalism and imperialism even as they critically examine the implications of such approaches. While most of the contributors discuss British imperialism and its repercussions, the volume also includes, as counterpoints, essays on the history and historiography of France, Germany, Spain, and the United States. Whether looking at the history of the passport or the teaching of history from a postnational perspective, this collection explores such vexed issues as how historians might resist the seduction of national narratives, what—if anything—might replace the nation’s hegemony, and how even history-writing that interrogates the idea of the nation remains ideologically and methodologically indebted to national narratives. Placing nation-based studies in international and interdisciplinary contexts, After the Imperial Turn points toward ways of writing history and analyzing culture attentive both to the inadequacies and endurance of the nation as an organizing rubric.
Contributors. Tony Ballantyne, Antoinette Burton, Ann Curthoys, Augusto Espiritu, Karen Fang, Ian Christopher Fletcher, Robert Gregg, Terri Hasseler, Clement Hawes, Douglas M. Haynes, Kristin Hoganson, Paula Krebs, Lara Kriegel, Radhika Viyas Mongia, Susan Pennybacker, John Plotz, Christopher Schmidt-Nowara, Heather Streets, Hsu-Ming Teo, Stuart Ward, Lora Wildenthal, Gary Wilder
For most of the twentieth century, maps were indispensable. They were how governments understood, managed, and defended their territory, and during the two world wars they were produced by the hundreds of millions. Cartographers and journalists predicted the dawning of a “map-minded age,” where increasingly state-of-the-art maps would become everyday tools. By the century’s end, however, there had been decisive shift in mapping practices, as the dominant methods of land surveying and print publication were increasingly displaced by electronic navigation systems.
In After the Map, William Rankin argues that although this shift did not render traditional maps obsolete, it did radically change our experience of geographic knowledge, from the God’s-eye view of the map to the embedded subjectivity of GPS. Likewise, older concerns with geographic truth and objectivity have been upstaged by a new emphasis on simplicity, reliability, and convenience. After the Map shows how this change in geographic perspective is ultimately a transformation of the nature of territory, both social and political.
After the Nation proposes a series of groundbreaking new approaches to novels, essays, and short stories by Carlos Fuentes and Thomas Pynchon within the framework of a hemispheric American studies. García-Caro offers a pioneering comparativist approach to the contemporary American and Mexican literary canons and their underlying nationalist encodement through the study of a wide range of texts by Pynchon and Fuentes which question and historicize in different ways the processes of national definition and myth-making deployed in the drawing of literary borders. After the Nation looks at these literary narratives as postnational satires that aim to unravel and denounce the combined hegemonic processes of modernity and nationalism while they start to contemplate the ensuing postnational constellations. These are texts that playfully challenge the temporal and spatial designs of national themes while they point to and debase “holy” borders, international borders as well as the internal lines where narratives of nation are embodied and consecrated.
"After the Nazi Racial State offers a comprehensive, persuasive, and ambitious argument in favor of making 'race' a more central analytical category for the writing of post-1945 history. This is an extremely important project, and the volume indeed has the potential to reshape the field of post-1945 German history."
---Frank Biess, University of California, San Diego
What happened to "race," race thinking, and racial distinctions in Germany, and Europe more broadly, after the demise of the Nazi racial state? This book investigates the afterlife of "race" since 1945 and challenges the long-dominant assumption among historians that it disappeared from public discourse and policy-making with the defeat of the Third Reich and its genocidal European empire. Drawing on case studies of Afro-Germans, Jews, and Turks---arguably the three most important minority communities in postwar Germany---the authors detail continuities and change across the 1945 divide and offer the beginnings of a history of race and racialization after Hitler. A final chapter moves beyond the German context to consider the postwar engagement with "race" in France, Britain, Sweden, and the Netherlands, where waves of postwar, postcolonial, and labor migration troubled nativist notions of national and European identity.
After the Nazi Racial State poses interpretative questions for the historical understanding of postwar societies and democratic transformation, both in Germany and throughout Europe. It elucidates key analytical categories, historicizes current discourse, and demonstrates how contemporary debates about immigration and integration---and about just how much "difference" a democracy can accommodate---are implicated in a longer history of "race." This book explores why the concept of "race" became taboo as a tool for understanding German society after 1945. Most crucially, it suggests the social and epistemic consequences of this determined retreat from "race" for Germany and Europe as a whole.
Rita Chin is Associate Professor of History at the University of Michigan.
Heide Fehrenbach is Presidential Research Professor at Northern Illinois University.
Geoff Eley is Karl Pohrt Distinguished University Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Michigan.
Atina Grossmann is Professor of History at Cooper Union.
After the New Criticism
Frank Lentricchia University of Chicago Press, 1981 Library of Congress PN94.L43 | Dewey Decimal 801.95
This work is the first history and evaluation of contemporary American critical theory within its European philosophical contexts. In the first part, Frank Lentricchia analyzes the impact on our critical thought of Frye, Stevens, Kermode, Sartre, Poulet, Heidegger, Sussure, Barthes, Lévi-Strauss, Derrida, and Foucault, among other, less central figures. In a second part, Lentricchia turns to four exemplary theorists on the American scene—Murray Krieger, E. D. Hirsch, Jr., Paul de Man, and Harold Bloom—and an analysis of their careers within the lineage established in part one.
Lentricchia's critical intention is in evidence in his sustained attack on the more or less hidden formalist premises inherited from the New Critical fathers. Even in the name of historical consciousness, he contends, contemporary theorists have often cut literature off from social and temporal processes. By so doing he believes that they have deprived literature of its relevant values and turned the teaching of both literature and theory into a rarefied activity. All along the way, with the help of such diverse thinkers as Saussure, Barthes, Foucault, Derrida, and Bloom, Lentricchia indicates a strategy by which future critical theorists may resist the mandarin attitudes of their fathers.
After the Others: Poems
Bruce Weigl Northwestern University Press, 1999 Library of Congress PS3573.E3835A69 1999 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Winner of the 2006 Lannan Foundation Award for Poetry
In his twelfth volume of poetry, Bruce Weigl continues his quest for emotional and spiritual enlightenment. Quiet and moving, these poems combine an intimate voice with a searingly direct look at suffering and senseless violence, at human desire and love, and at man's relationship with nature.
In After the Post–Cold War eminent Chinese cultural critic Dai Jinhua interrogates history, memory, and the future of China as a global economic power in relation to its socialist past, profoundly shaped by the Cold War. Drawing on Marxism, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, and feminist theory, Dai examines recent Chinese films that erase the country’s socialist history to show how such erasure resignifies socialism’s past as failure and thus forecloses the imagining of a future beyond that of globalized capitalism. She outlines the tension between China’s embrace of the free market and a regime dependent on a socialist imprimatur. She also offers a genealogy of China’s transformation from a source of revolutionary power into a fountainhead of globalized modernity. This narrative, Dai contends, leaves little hope of moving from the capitalist degradation of the present into a radical future that might offer a more socially just world.
What happened in Victorian painting and sculpture after the Pre-Raphaelites? Aestheticism has been called the next avant-garde movement but attention has centered on literary figures such as Algernon Charles Swinburne, Walter Pater, and Oscar Wilde. This volume is the first scholarship study of parallel trends in the visual arts, including the work of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, James McNeill Whistler, Edward Burne-Jones, Simeon Solomon, and Albert Moore among others.
Victorian Aestheticism has often been traded as a frivolous elevation of art above the concerns of political and social life. This book reinterprets Aestheticism as a significant exploration of what it might mean to produce works of art in the modern world. The chapters address not only "art for art's sake" but also linkages with the realms of science and morality. A major concern is the relationship between art and sexuality, from the experiments of the Rossetti circle in the 1860s to the male nude in late-Victorian sculpture. Both homosexual and heterosexual eroticism emerge as key issues in the artistic debates of the late-Victorian period.
As a complement to the existing literature on Pre-Raphaelitism, this collection is essential reading for all students of nineteenth-century art, literature, and culture.
Contributors are: Caroline Arscott, Robyn Asleson, Colin Cruise, Whitney Davis, Kate Flint, Alastair Grieve, Michael Hatt, Anne Koval, Alison Smith, and Robin Spencer
The publication in 2009 of Mark McGurl’s The Program Era provoked a sea change in the study of postwar literature. Even though almost every English department in the United States housed some version of a creative writing program by the time of its publication, literary scholars had not previously considered that this institutional phenomenon was historically significant. McGurl’s groundbreaking book effectively established that “the rise of the creative writing program stands as the most important event in postwar American literary history,” forcing us to revise our understanding not only of the relationship between higher education and literary production, but also of the periodizing terminology we had previously used to structure our understanding of twentieth-century literature.
After the Program Era explores the consequences and implications, as well as the lacunae and liabilities, of McGurl’s foundational intervention. Glass focuses only on American fiction and the traditional MFA program, and this collection aims to expand and examine its insights in terms of other genres and sites. Postwar poetry, in particular, has until now been neglected as a product of the Program Era, even though it is, arguably, a “purer” example, since poets now depend almost entirely on the patronage of the university. Similarly, this collection looks beyond the traditional MFA writing program to explore the pre-history of writing programs in American universities, as well as alternatives to the traditionally structured program that have emerged along the way.
Taken together, the essays in After the Program Era seek to answer and explore many of these questions and continue the conversations McGurl only began.
Seth Abramson, Greg Barnhisel, Eric Bennett, Matthew Blackwell, Kelly Budruweit, Mike Chasar, Simon During, Donal Harris, Michael Hill, Benjamin Kirbach, Sean McCann, Mark McGurl, Marija Rieff, Juliana Spahr, Stephen Voyce, Stephanie Young
In After the Public Turn, author Frank Farmer argues that counterpublics and the people who make counterpublics—“citizen bricoleurs”—deserve a more prominent role in our scholarship and in our classrooms. Encouraging students to understand and consider resistant or oppositional discourse is a viable route toward mature participation as citizens in a democracy.
Farmer examines two very different kinds of publics, cultural and disciplinary, and discusses two counterpublics within those broad categories: zine discourses and certain academic discourses. By juxtaposing these two significantly different kinds of publics, Farmer suggests that each discursive world can be seen, in its own distinct way, as a counterpublic, an oppositional social formation that has a stake in widening or altering public life as we know it.
Drawing on major figures in rhetoric and cultural theory, Farmer builds his argument about composition teaching and its relation to the public sphere, leading to a more sophisticated understanding of public life and a deeper sense of what democratic citizenship means for our time.
After the Reunion: Poems
David Baker University of Arkansas Press, 1994 Library of Congress PS3552.A4116A69 1994 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
After the Reunion is an intensely lyrical collection of love poems and elegies from “the most expansive and moving poet to come out of the American Midwest since James Wright,” as Marilyn Hacker has described him. In these quiet, powerful, and eloquent poems, David Baker explores the kinship of love to loss, discovering that each is an inevitable component of the other. The final movement of the book is a unification of these two modes and becomes a celebration of continuities, kinships, and renewals.
When the United States goes to war, the nation’s attention focuses on the president. As commander in chief, a president reaches the zenith of power, while Congress is supposedly shunted to the sidelines once troops have been deployed abroad. Because of Congress’s repeated failure to exercise its legislative powers to rein in presidents, many have proclaimed its irrelevance in military matters.
After the Rubicon challenges this conventional wisdom by illuminating the diverse ways in which legislators influence the conduct of military affairs. Douglas L. Kriner reveals that even in politically sensitive wartime environments, individual members of Congress frequently propose legislation, hold investigative hearings, and engage in national policy debates in the public sphere. These actions influence the president’s strategic decisions as he weighs the political costs of pursuing his preferred military course.
Marshalling a wealth of quantitative and historical evidence, Kriner expertly demonstrates the full extent to which Congress materially shapes the initiation, scope, and duration of major military actions and sheds new light on the timely issue of interbranch relations.
A world-renowned anthropologist, Anatoly M. Khazanov offers a witty, insightful, and cautionary analysis of ethnic nationalism and its pivotal role in the collapse of the Soviet empire.
“Khazanov’s encyclopedic knowledge of the history and culture of post-Soviet societies, combined with field research there since the 1960s, informs the case studies with a singular authoritative voice. This volume is destined to be an absolutely necessary reference for the understanding of ethnic relations and the politics of minorities in the ex-USSR into the next century.”—Leonard Plotnicov, editor of Ethnology
"In this well-written monograph Paula M. Nelson tells the story of the settlement of 'west river country,' that part of South Dakota west of the Missouri River....Nelson's major contribution is her reconstruction of the social life of this generation of settlers....Nelson is particularly sensitive to the experience of pioneer women, both those who labored within the family and those single women who homesteaded on their own."--American Historical Review
"After the West Was Won is an impressively researched and beautifully written study....Nelson also conveys the sense of pain and suffering that pioneers in western South Dakota endured; the technology of steam, electricity, and internal combustion failed to create utopia in a primitive area after the West was won."--Technology and Culture
"Paula M. Nelson's account of the trials and tribulations of the pioneers of that flat, windswept plain is a welcome addition to the literature on the agricultural frontier."--Journal of American History
In her fiction, Jessie Brown Pounds preserved the flavor of Ohio’s rural village culture as the nineteenth century drew to a close. This anthology rediscovers Pounds’s varied works and reminds modern students that Middle-Western culture included women writers as social critics and mythmakers. Included are short stories, sketches, one undated short story published posthumously in 1921, and Rachael Sylvestre, a first-person historical novel written in 1904.
Swallowtail butterflies frolic on the wind. Vireos and rock wrens sing their hearts out by the recovering creek. Spiders and other predators chase their next meal. Through it all, John Alcock observes, records, and delights in what he sees. In a once-burnt area, life resurges. Plants whose seeds and roots withstood an intense fire become habitat for the returning creatures of the wild. After the Wildfire describes the remarkable recovery of wildlife in the Mazatzal Mountains in central Arizona.
It is the rare observer who has the dedication to revisit the site of a wildfire, especially over many years and seasons. But naturalist John Alcock returned again and again to the Mazatzals, where the disastrous Willow fire of 2004 burned 187 square miles. Documenting the fire’s aftermath over a decade, Alcock thrills at the renewal of the once-blackened region. Walking the South Fork of Deer Creek in all seasons as the years passed, he was rewarded by the sight of exuberant plant life that in turn fostered an equally satisfying return of animals ranging from small insects to large mammals.
Alcock clearly explains the response of chaparral plants to fire and the creatures that reinhabit these plants as they come back from a ferocious blaze: the great spreadwing damselfly, the western meadowlark, the elk, and birds and bugs of rich and colorful varieties. This book is at once a journey of biological discovery and a celebration of the ability of living things to reoccupy a devastated location. Alcock encourages others to engage the natural world—even one that has burnt to the ground.
As the waves of Occupy movements gradually recede, we soon forget the political hope and passions these events have offered. Instead, we are increasingly entrenched in the simplified dichotomies of Left and Right, us and them, hating others and victimizing oneself. Studying Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement, which might be the largest Occupy movement in recent years, The Appearing Demos urges us to re-commit to democracy at a time when democracy is failing on many fronts and in different parts of the world.
The 79-day-long Hong Kong Umbrella Movement occupied major streets in the busiest parts of the city, creating tremendous inconvenience to this city famous for capitalist order and efficiency. It was also a peaceful collective effort of appearance, and it was as much a political event as a cultural one. The urge for expressing an independent cultural identity underlined both the Occupy movement and the remarkably rich cultural expressions it generated. While understanding the specificity of Hong Kong’s situations, The Appearing Demos also comments on some global predicaments we are facing in the midst of neoliberalism and populism. It directs our attention from state-based sovereignty to city-based democracy, and emphasizes the importance of participation and cohabitation. The book also examines how the ideas of Hannah Arendt are useful to those happenings much beyond the political circumstances that gave rise to her theorization. The book pays particular attention to the actual intersubjective experiences during the protest. These experiences are local, fragile, and sometimes inarticulable, therefore resisting rationality and debates, but they define the fullness of any individual, and they also make politics possible. Using the Umbrella Movement as an example, this book examines the “freed” political agents who constantly take others into consideration in order to guarantee the political realm as a place without coercion and discrimination. In doing so, Pang Laikwan demonstrates how politics means neither to rule nor to be ruled, and these movements should be defined by hope, not by goals.
In January 1990, the New York Harbor suffered a major oil spill when an underwater pipe at an Exxon refinery leaked into the Arthur Kill, the fifteen-mile strait that runs between New Jersey and Staten Island. The waterway is home to herons and egrets, fiddler crabs and sea turtles, and a favorite place for recreational fishing, bird-watching, hiking, and boating. It is also lined with refineries and a busy corridor for oil tankers. Because this industrial activity posed such an imposing threat to the fragile ecosystem, biologists had been monitoring the region’s water, soil, vegetation, and wildlife for some time before the oil spill. Thus, we have before -and-after data about the habitat—the only oil spill anywhere for which this is true.
This unique book discusses the human consequences of the oil spill as well as providing detailed studies of its effects on the plants and animals of the Arthur Kill. Biologists, environmentalists, lawyers, and officials worldwide will find this book an essential guide to dealing with—and possibly preventing—future environmental disasters.
The contributors areJohn Brzorad, Angela Christini, Keith Cooper, Lynn Frink, Michael Gochfeld, Paul Hauge, Gordon Johnson, Alan D. Maccarone, Katherine Parsons, Carolyn Summers, Robert Tucker.
Chaco Canyon, the great Ancestral Pueblo site of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, remains a central problem of Southwestern archaeology. Chaco, with its monumental “great houses,” was the center of a vast region marked by “outlier” great houses. The canyon itself has been investigated for over a century, but only a few of the more than 200 outlier great houses—key to understanding Chaco and its times—have been excavated. This volume explores the Chaco and post-Chaco eras in the northern San Juan area through extensive excavations at the Bluff Great House, a major Chaco “outlier” in Utah.
Bluff’s massive great house, great kiva, and earthen berms are described and compared to other great houses in the northern Chaco region. Those assessments support intriguing new ideas about the Chaco region and the effect of the collapse of Chaco Canyon on “outlying” great houses.
New insights from the Bluff Great House clarify the construction and use of great houses during the Chaco era and trace the history of great houses in the generations after Chaco’s decline. An innovative comparative study of the northern and southern portions of the Chaco world (the northern San Juan area around Bluff and the Cibola area around Zuni) leads to new ideas about population aggregation and regional abandonment in the Southwest. Appendixes on CD-ROM present details and descriptions of artifacts recovered from Bluff: ceramics, projectile points, pollen analyses, faunal remains, bone tools, ornaments, and more.
This book is one of only a handful of reports on Chacoan great houses in the northern San Juan region. It provides an in-depth study of the Chaco era and clarifies the relationship of “outlying” great houses to Chaco Canyon. Research at the Bluff Great House begins to answer key questions about the nature of Chaco and its region, and the history of the northern San Juan in the Chaco and post-Chaco worlds.
"Modernity" is a troubling concept, not only for scholars but for the general public, for it seems to represent a choice between oppressive traditions and empty, rootless freedom. Seeking a broader understanding of modernity, Kolb first considers the views of Weber and then discusses in detail the pivotal writings of Hegel and Heidegger. He uses the novel strategy of presenting Heidegger's critique of Hegel and then suggesting the critique of Heidegger that Hegel might have made.
Kolb offers his own views, proposing the possibility of a meaningful life that is free but still rooted in shared contexts. He concludes with comments on "postmodernity" as discussed by Lyotard and others, arguing persuasively against the presupposition of a unified Modern or Postmodern Age.
Twenty years ago, the Gebusi of the lowland Papua New Guinea rainforest had one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Bruce M. Knauft found then that the killings stemmed from violent scapegoating of suspected sorcerers. But by the time he returned in 1998, homicide rates had plummeted, and Gebusi had largely disavowed vengeance against sorcerers in favor of modern schools, discos, markets, and Christianity.
In this book, Knauft explores the Gebusi's encounter with modern institutions and highlights what their experience tells us more generally about the interaction between local peoples and global forces. As desire for material goods grew among Gebusi, Knauft shows that they became more accepting of and subordinated by Christian churches, community schools,and government officials in their attempt to benefit from them—a process Knauft terms "recessive agency." But the Gebusi also respond actively to modernity, creating new forms of feasting, performance, and music that meld traditional practices with Western ones, all of which Knauft documents in this fascinating study.
Guy Davenport (1927-2005), an American writer of fiction, poetry, criticism, and essays, a translator, painter, intellectual, and teacher, brought a breadth and depth of knowledge to his pursuits that few other writers could approach, let alone appraise. In Andre Furlani, this twentieth-century American master has finally found an apt critical reader. In this first sustained critical study of Davenport, Furlani elucidates the depths of Davenport's fiction and its poetic precedents, brings a rare understanding to the author's reworking of twentieth-century literature and intellectual history, and offers unusual insight into his compositional technique.
Furlani explores key themes across the spectrum of Davenport's fiction: pastoral utopia; twentieth-century dystopia; sexual ethics; the mythologizing of childhood; the inseparability of the archaic and the modern; and a celebration of the union of sophia, eros, and poesia. Whether Davenport's view of art and the cosmos should be called "postmodern" is a question that Furlani considers closely--offering, finally, a new aesthetic for this American original who, in these pages, at last receives the thorough and meticulous attention he has long merited.
A great American institution; the bane of feminist ideology; a cornucopia of corn—few are neutral about the Miss America Pageant. Live from Atlantic City traces the pageant’s history from its birth as pseudo-event in 1920 through its emergence as American popular culture icon.
A. R. Riverol takes the reader to times and places where no television camera has focused. Drawing upon (and sometimes debating with) primary and secondary sources, the author paints a vivid picture of life in Atlantic City during pageant week—whether that week be in 1944 or 1984. More than just chronicling events, the author also presents two opposing perspectives on the pageant: the pageant as celebration and idealization of American womanhood and the pageant as sexist, exploitative anachronism.
London Fashion Week is the pinnacle of the fashion season, and it features an array of native designers, from Burberry and Vivenne Westwood to Alexander McQueen and Nicole Farhi. The roots of London’s place as the international epicenter of haute couture and prêt-à-porter stretch back centuries, and they are explored here by Alistair O’Neill.
Arguing that fashion was central to the impact of modernity in late nineteenth- and twentieth-century London, O’Neill maps the progress of fashion against the city’s neighborhoods and streets. Carnaby Street, Soho, Jermyn Street, and King’s Road each get their turn in London, along with many others, revealing the intersection between London’s urban history and the development of fashion. O’Neill’s analysis is not merely confined to clothing—from the popularity of tattooing in the 1890s to the diverse uses of chintz in the 1980s design aesthetic, he traces the history of fashion in its various manifestations and explores how particular figures were key to disseminating fashion throughout British and international cultures. Participating in fashion, Londonshows, was not only a pleasurable aspect of modern urban life, but also a fundamental element of contemporary cultural sensibilities. London unearths vital moments of revolution in fashion that reflect deeper changes in London’s history and culture, contending that these historic changes are unfairly marginalized in accounts of transformation in the city’s culture.
A fascinating look at style and urbanism, London offers an intriguing reconsideration of the role of fashion in city life and fills in long overlooked gaps in the history of London and modern design.
Following the innovative collection Spill, Alexis Pauline Gumbs's M Archive—the second book in a planned experimental triptych—is a series of poetic artifacts that speculatively documents the persistence of Black life following a worldwide cataclysm. Engaging with the work of the foundational Black feminist theorist M. Jacqui Alexander, and following the trajectory of Gumbs's acclaimed visionary fiction short story “Evidence,” M Archive is told from the perspective of a future researcher who uncovers evidence of the conditions of late capitalism, antiblackness, and environmental crisis while examining possibilities of being that exceed the human. By exploring how Black feminist theory is already after the end of the world, Gumbs reinscribes the possibilities and potentials of scholarship while demonstrating the impossibility of demarcating the lines between art, science, spirit, scholarship, and politics.
One of the most influential choreographers of the twentieth century, Merce Cunningham is known for introducing chance to dance. Far too often, however, accounts of Cunningham’s work have neglected its full scope, focusing on his collaborations with the visionary composer John Cage or insisting that randomness was the singular goal of his choreography. In this book, the first dedicated to the complete arc of Cunningham’s career, Carrie Noland brings new insight to this transformative artist’s philosophy and work, providing a fresh perspective on his artistic process while exploring aspects of his choreographic practice never studied before.
Examining a rich and previously unseen archive that includes photographs, film footage, and unpublished writing by Cunningham, Noland counters prior understandings of Cunningham’s influential embrace of the unintended, demonstrating that Cunningham in fact set limits on the role chance played in his dances. Drawing on Cunningham’s written and performed work, Noland reveals that Cunningham introduced variables before the chance procedure was applied and later shaped and modified the chance results. Chapters explore his relation not only to Cage, but also Marcel Duchamp, Robert Rauschenberg, James Joyce, and Bill T. Jones. Ultimately, Noland shows that Cunningham approached movement as more than “movement in itself,” and that his work enacted archetypal human dramas. This remarkable book will forever change our appreciation of the choreographer’s work and legacy.
Within the past ten years, the field of contemporary American literary studies has changed significantly. Following the turn of the twenty-first century and mounting doubts about the continued explanatory power of the category of “postmodernism,” new organizations have emerged, book series have been launched, journals have been created, and new methodologies, periodizations, and thematics have redefined the field. Postmodern/Postwar—and After aims to be a field-defining book—a sourcebook for the new and emerging critical terrain—that explores the postmodern/postwar period and what comes after.
The first section of essays returns to the category of the “post-modern” and argues for the usefulness of key concepts and themes from postmodernism to the study of contemporary literature, or reevaluates postmodernism in light of recent developments in the field and historical and economic changes in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. These essays take the contemporary abandonments of postmodernism as an occasion to assess the current states of postmodernity. After that, the essays move to address the critical shift away from postmodernism as a description of the present, and toward a new sense of postmodernism as just one category among many that scholars can use to describe the recent past. The final section looks forward and explores the question of what comes after the postwar/postmodern.
Taken together, these essays from leading and emerging scholars on the state of twenty-first-century literary studies provide a number of frameworks for approaching contemporary literature as influenced by, yet distinct from, postmodernism. The result is an indispensable guide that seeks to represent and understand the major overhauling of postwar American literary studies that is currently underway.
The Western film is inextricably tied to American culture: untamed landscapes, fiercely independent characters, and an unwavering distinction between good and evil. Yet Westerns began in the early twentieth century as far more fluid works of comedy, adventure, and historical explorations of the frontier landscape. Nanna Verhoeff examines here the earliest films made in the Western genre and proposes the thought-provoking argument that these little-studied films demand new ways of considering Westerns and the history of cinema.
Verhoeff analyzes the earliest American and European Westerns—made between 1894 and 1915—and finds them to be an international repository for anxieties about modernity and identity, not the instructional morality tales we assume them to be. She draws on an array of archival materials—photography, paintings, Wild West shows, popular ethnographic studies, and pulp literature—to locate these early Westerns more precisely in their original social and cultural contexts. These early films—which coincided with the “closing” of the West and rises in rates of immigration, railroad travel, and urbanization—drove the transformation of film, Verhoeff argues, from just another new technology into the dominant cultural vehicle for dealing with issues of national and personal nostalgia, as well as uncertainty in the face of modernity. From these fragmentary early films Verhoeff extracts a rich historical analysis that radically reorients our view of the first two decades of cinema history in America and provocatively connects the evolution of Westerns to our transition today into a new media culture.
The West in Early Cinema challenges established history and criticism of the Western film and will be an invaluable resource for the film scholar and John Wayne fan alike.