front cover of The Amateur Wind Instrument Maker
The Amateur Wind Instrument Maker
Trevor Robinson
University of Massachusetts Press, 1981
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Applied Building Performance Simulation
Joe Clarke
The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2024
Good building performance is contingent on complex, interacting factors. The application of performance simulation tools allows practitioners to adopt a virtual prototype and test approach in selecting design solutions that balance performance and cost.

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Architectural Records
Managing Design and Construction Records
Waverly B. Lowell
Society of American Archivists, 2006
Architecture and design records are exciting resources for historical research and vital for documenting and maintaining the built environment. Yet their temporal nature often makes them difficult to preserve, and managing collections of these records can be a challenge. In addition to addressing preservation issues, this resource helps archivists, curators, librarians, and researchers understand how to assess the value of architectural records. The highly illustrated book covers a brief history of Western architectural practice; description of the creation of design records; explanations of the various types of project records; recommendations on best practices for appraisal, arrangement, and description, information about preservation, administration, and research use; and identification of common visual media and supports used to create architectural records.

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The Architecture of Empire in Modern Europe
Space, Place, and the Construction of an Imperial Environment, 1860-1960
Miel Groten
Amsterdam University Press, 2022
Empires stretched around the world, but also made their presence felt in architecture and urban landscapes. The Architecture of Empire in Modern Europe traces the entanglement of the European built environment with overseas imperialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As part of imperial networks between metropole and colonies, in cities as diverse as Glasgow, Hamburg, or Paris, numerous new buildings were erected such as factories, mission houses, offices, and museums. These sites developed into the physical manifestations of imperial networks. As Europeans designed, used, and portrayed them, these buildings became meaningful imperial places that conveyed the power relations of empire and Eurocentric self-images. Engaging with recent debates about colonial history and heritage, this book combines a variety of sources, an interdisciplinary approach, and an international scope to produce a cultural history of European imperial architecture across borders.

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Artisans, Objects and Everyday Life in Renaissance Italy
The Material Culture of the Middling Class
Paula Hohti Erichsen
Amsterdam University Press, 2020
Did ordinary Italians have a ‘Renaissance’? This book presents the first in-depth exploration of how artisans and small local traders experienced the material and cultural Renaissance. Drawing on a rich blend of sixteenthcentury visual and archival evidence, it examines how individuals and families at artisanal levels (such as shoemakers, barbers, bakers and innkeepers) lived and worked, managed their household economies and consumption, socialised in their homes, and engaged with the arts and the markets for luxury goods. It demonstrates that although the economic and social status of local craftsmen and traders was relatively low, their material possessions show how these men and women who rarely make it into the history books were fully engaged with contemporary culture, cultural customs and the urban way of life.

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As Legend Has It
History, Heritage, and the Construction of Swedish American Identity
Jennifer Eastman Attebery
University of Wisconsin Press, 2023
Spanning more than 100 years of Swedish American local history in the Midwest and the West, Jennifer Eastman Attebery’s thorough examination of nearly 300 historical legends explores how Swedish Americans employ these narratives in creating, debating, and maintaining group identity. She demonstrates that historical legends can help us better understand how immigrant groups in general, and Swedish Americans in particular, construct and perpetuate a sense of ethnicity as broader notions of nationality, race, and heritage shift over time. 

The legends Swedish Americans tell about their past are both similar to and distinct from those of others who migrated westward; they participated in settler colonialism while maintaining a sense of their specific, Swedish ethnicity. Unlike racial minority groups, Swedish Americans could claim membership in a majority white community without abandoning their cultural heritage. Their legends and local histories reflect that positioning. Attebery reveals how Swedish American legends are embedded within local history writing, how ostension and rhetoric operate in historical legends, and how vernacular local history writing works in tandem with historical legends to create a common message about a communal past. This impeccably researched study points to ways in which legends about the past possess qualities unique to their subgenre yet can also operate similarly to contemporary legends in their social impact.

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Construction and Corrosion
Bruce Lincoln
University of Chicago Press, 1994
What is authority? How is it constituted? How ought one understand the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) relations between authority and coercion? Between authorized and subversive speech? In this fascinating and intricate analysis, Bruce Lincoln argues that authority is not an entity but an effect. More precisely, it is an effect that depends for its power on the combination of the right speaker, the right speech, the right staging and props, the right time and place, and an audience historically and culturally conditioned to judge what is right in all these instances and to respond with trust, respect, and even reverence.

Employing a vast array of examples drawn from classical antiquity, Scandinavian law, Cold War scholarship, and American presidential politics, Lincoln offers a telling analysis of the performance of authority, and subversions of it, from ancient times to the present. Using a small set of case studies that highlight critical moments in the construction of authority, he goes on to offer a general examination of "corrosive" discourses such as gossip, rumor, and curses; the problematic situation of women, who often are barred from the authorizing sphere; the role of religion in the construction of authority; the question of whether authority in the modern and postmodern world differs from its premodern counterpart; and a critique of Hannah Arendt's claims that authority has disappeared from political life in the modern world. He does not find a diminution of authority or a fundamental change in the conditions that produce it. Rather, Lincoln finds modern authority splintered, expanded, and, in fact, multiplied as the mechanisms for its construction become more complex—and more expensive.

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The Aztec Kings
The Construction of Rulership in Mexican History
Susan D. Gillespie
University of Arizona Press, 1989
Scholars have long viewed histories of the Aztecs either as flawed chronologies plagued by internal inconsistencies and intersource discrepancies or as legends that indiscriminately mingle reality with the supernatural. But this new work draws fresh conclusions from these documents, proposing that Aztec dynastic history was recast by its sixteenth-century recorders not merely to glorify ancestors but to make sense out of the trauma of conquest and colonialism.

The Aztec Kings is the first major study to take into account the Aztec cyclical conception of time—which required that history constantly be reinterpreted to achieve continuity between past and present—and to treat indigenous historical traditions as symbolic statements in narrative form. Susan Gillespie focuses on the dynastic history of the Mexica of Tenochtitlan, whose stories reveal how the Aztecs used "history" to construct, elaborate, and reify ideas about the nature of rulership and the cyclical nature of the cosmos, and how they projected the Spanish conquest deep into the Aztec past in order to make history accommodate that event.

By demonstrating that most of Aztec history is nonliteral, she sheds new light on Aztec culture and on the function of history in society. By relating the cyclical structure of Aztec dynastic history to similar traditions of African and Polynesian peoples, she introduces a broader perspective on the function of history in society and on how and why history must change.

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Bargaining for Reality
The Construction of Social Relations in a Muslim Community
Lawrence Rosen
University of Chicago Press, 1984
Much modern anthropology has assumed that an adequate description of any society consists of rules that inform its members' relationships and the logic that unites their cultural symbols. In this book Lawrence Rosen argues that, for the people who live in and around the Moroccan city of Sefrou, attachment to others and the terms by which they are conceived are, at their most fundamental level, subject to a constant process of negotiation.

Drawing on the philosophy of speech acts as well as interpretive theory, Rosen shows how, for the people of this Muslim community, reality consists of the network of obligations formed by individuals out of a repertoire of relational possibilities whose defining terms are comprised by a set of essentially negotiable concepts. He thus demonstrates that the bonds of family, tribe, and political alliance take shape only as the bargains struck in and through the malleable terms that describe them take shape; that statements about relationship are no more true than a price mentioned in the marketplace until properly validated; that the relations between men and women, Arabs and Berbers, Muslims and Jews test the limits of interpersonal negotiation; and that the concepts of time, character, and narrative style are consonant with a view of reality as bargained-for network of obligations.

Bargaining for Reality makes an important contribution to our understanding of contemporary Middle Eastern society and to the development of powerful new interpretive strategies for a wide range of social theorists.

"[Rosen's] book is extremely useful for African and Middle Eastern historians, because he challenges some of our most basic ideas about the nature and force of kinship, tribe, ethnicity, and other large- and small-scale political ties."—Allan R. Meyers, International Journal of African Historical Studies

"The book conveys a compelling image of Moroccan social experience and is peppered with vivid anecdotes and case histories."—Stephen William Foster, American Anthropologist

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Disease, Terror, and the Construction of National Fragility
Gwen Shuni D'Arcangelis
Rutgers University Press, 2021
Bio-Imperialism focuses on an understudied dimension of the war on terror: the fight against bioterrorism. This component of the war enlisted the biosciences and public health fields to build up the U.S. biodefense industry and U.S. global disease control. The book argues that U.S. imperial ambitions drove these shifts in focus, aided by gendered and racialized discourses on terrorism, disease, and science. These narratives helped rationalize American research expansion into dangerous germs and bioweapons in the name of biodefense and bolstered the U.S. rationale for increased interference in the disease control decisions of Global South nations. Bio-Imperialism is a sobering look at how the war on terror impacted the world in ways that we are only just starting to grapple with.

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Border Land, Border Water
A History of Construction on the US-Mexico Divide
By C. J. Alvarez
University of Texas Press, 2019

Winner, Abbott Lowell Cummings Award, Vernacular Architecture Forum, 2020
Winner, Elisabeth Blair MacDougall Book Award, Society of Architectural Historians, 2021

From the boundary surveys of the 1850s to the ever-expanding fences and highway networks of the twenty-first century, Border Land, Border Water examines the history of the construction projects that have shaped the region where the United States and Mexico meet.

Tracing the accretion of ports of entry, boundary markers, transportation networks, fences and barriers, surveillance infrastructure, and dams and other river engineering projects, C. J. Alvarez advances a broad chronological narrative that captures the full life cycle of border building. He explains how initial groundbreaking in the nineteenth century transitioned to unbridled faith in the capacity to control the movement of people, goods, and water through the use of physical structures. By the 1960s, however, the built environment of the border began to display increasingly obvious systemic flaws. More often than not, Alvarez shows, federal agencies in both countries responded with more construction—“compensatory building” designed to mitigate unsustainable policies relating to immigration, black markets, and the natural world. Border Land, Border Water reframes our understanding of how the border has come to look and function as it does and is essential to current debates about the future of the US-Mexico divide.


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Build With Adobe
Marcia Southwick
Ohio University Press, 1974
This practical guide to building adobe homes was written from the author's many years of experience with adobe, and it is refreshingly no-nonsense:

“What can you spend?”
“Where will you put it?”
“Who is going to build it?”

This new updated and enlarged edition includes hundreds of photographs, drawings and house plans as well as new information about passive solar heating and cooling, and specific details on construction.

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Building a Nation
Chickasaw Museums and the Construction of History and Heritage
Joshua M. Gorman
University of Alabama Press, 2011
Using museum and heritage sites as places to define itself as a coherent and legitimate contemporary Indian nation, the Chickasaw Nation struggles to remain accurate and yet apace with the evolving nature of museums

The Chickasaw Nation, an American Indian nation headquartered in southeastern Oklahoma, entered into a period of substantial growth in the late 1980s. Following its successful reorganization and expansion, which was enabled by federal policies for tribal self-determination, the Nation pursued gaming and other industries to affect economic growth. From 1987 to 2009 the Nation’s budget increased exponentially as tribal investments produced increasingly large revenues for a growing Chickasaw population. Coincident to this growth, the Chickasaw Nation began acquiring and creating museums and heritage properties to interpret their own history, heritage, and culture through diverse exhibitionary representations. By 2009, the Chickasaw Nation directed representation of itself at five museum and heritage properties throughout its historic boundaries.

Josh Gorman examines the history of these sites and argues that the Chickasaw Nation is using museums and heritage sites as places to define itself as a coherent and legitimate contemporary Indian nation. In doing so, they are necessarily engaging with the shifting historiographical paradigms as well as changing articulations of how museums function and what they represent. The roles of the Chickasaw Nation’s museums and heritage sites in defining and creating discursive representations of sovereignty are examined within their historicized local contexts. The work describes the museum exhibitions’ dialogue with the historiography of the Chickasaw Nation, the literature of new museum studies, and the indigenous exhibitionary grammars emerging from indigenous museums throughout the United States and the world.


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Building Momentum
A Decade of Construction, Renovation, and Renewal across the University of Illinois System
University of Illinois. Foreword by Timothy J. Killeen
University of Illinois Press, 2023
A detailed look at the expansion and renewal taking place on the three U of I campuses

The University of Illinois System’s universities have undergone a dramatic transformation. This lavishly illustrated volume showcases the major capital projects and renovations dedicated to keeping facilities on the cutting edge while at the same time preserving history at the universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield. Fueled by an ambitious capital initiative launched in 2018, these essential and forward-looking changes include more than 500 projects valued at $4 billion over 10 years. The initiative harnesses a mix of innovative funding programs like public-private partnerships, thoughtful use of capital reserves and bonding authority, and generous state funding.

Covering completed and ongoing projects, Building Momentum offers a one- or two-page feature on each undertaking that covers its history and purpose while providing specific details about its unit, campus, architect, square footage or renovation size, budget, and LEED or other certifications. More than 100 architectural drawings and commissioned and historical photographs round out the descriptions.


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Building New Banjos for an Old-Time World
Richard Jones-Bamman
University of Illinois Press, 2017
Banjo music possesses a unique power to evoke a bucolic, simpler past. The artisans who build banjos for old-time music stand at an unusual crossroads ”asked to meet the modern musician's needs while retaining the nostalgic qualities so fundamental to the banjo's sound and mystique. Richard Jones-Bamman ventures into workshops and old-time music communities to explore how banjo builders practice their art. His interviews and long-time personal immersion in the musical culture shed light on long-overlooked aspects of banjo making. What is the banjo builder's role in the creation of a specific musical community? What techniques go into the styles of instruments they create? Jones-Bamman explores these questions and many others while sharing the ways an inescapable sense of the past undergirds the performance and enjoyment of old-time music. Along the way he reveals how antimodernism remains integral to the music's appeal and its making.

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Building the Metropolis
Architecture, Construction, and Labor in New York City, 1880–1935
Alexander Wood
University of Chicago Press
A sweeping history of New York’s urban development that chronicles the making of one of the world’s great cities.
Between the 1880s and the 1930s, New York City experienced explosive growth, as nearly a million buildings, half a dozen bridges, countless tunnels and subway tracks, and miles of new streets and sidewalks were erected to meet the needs of an ever-swelling population. This landscape—jagged with skyscrapers, clamoring with transit, alive with people—made the city world-famous.
Building the Metropolis offers a revelatory look at this era of urban development by asking, “Who built this and how?” Focusing on the work of architects, builders, and construction workers, Alexander Wood chronicles the physical process of New York’s rapid expansion. The city’s towering buildings and busy thoroughfares aren’t just stylish or structural marvels, Wood shows, but the direct result of the many colorful personalities who worked in one of the city’s largest industries. New York’s development boom drew on the resources of the whole community and required money, political will, creative vision, entrepreneurial drive, skilled workmanship, and hard physical labor. Wood shows this to be a national story as well. As cities became nodes in a regional, national, and global economy, the business of construction became an important motor of economic, political, and social development. While they held drastically different views on the course of urban growth, machine politicians, reformers, and radicals alike were all committed to city-building on an epic scale.
Drawing on various sources, including city archives, the records of architecture firms, construction companies, and labor unions, Building the Metropolis tells the story of New York in a way that’s epic, lively, and utterly original.

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Capital Development
Mandate Era Amman and the Construction of the Hashemite State (1921–1946)
Harrison B. Guthorn
Gingko, 2021
The history of the city of Amman under the British mandate government of Transjordan.

Amman, the capital of Jordan, contends with a crisis of identity rooted in how it grew to become a symbol for the Anglo-Hashemite government first, and a city second. As a representation of the new centralized authority, Amman became the seat of the Mandatory government that orchestrated the development of Transjordan, the British mandate established in 1921.
Despite its diminutive size, the city grew to house all the components necessary for a thriving and cohesive state by the end of the British mandate in 1946. However, in spite of its modernizing and regulatory ambitions, the Transjordan government did not control all facets of life in the region. Instead, the story of Transjordan is one of tensions between the state and the realities of the region, and these limitations forced the government to scale down its aspirations. This book presents the history of Amman’s development under the rule of the British mandate from 1921–46 and illustrates how the growth of the Anglo-Hashemite state imbued the city with physical, political, and symbolic significance.

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Capital Rules
The Construction of Global Finance
Rawi Abdelal
Harvard University Press, 2007

Listen to a short interview with Rawi AbdelalHost: Chris Gondek | Producer: Heron & Crane

The rise of global financial markets in the last decades of the twentieth century was premised on one fundamental idea: that capital ought to flow across country borders with minimal restriction and regulation. Freedom for capital movements became the new orthodoxy.

In an intellectual, legal, and political history of financial globalization, Rawi Abdelal shows that this was not always the case. Transactions routinely executed by bankers, managers, and investors during the 1990s--trading foreign stocks and bonds, borrowing in foreign currencies--had been illegal in many countries only decades, and sometimes just a year or two, earlier.

How and why did the world shift from an orthodoxy of free capital movements in 1914 to an orthodoxy of capital controls in 1944 and then back again by 1994? How have such standards of appropriate behavior been codified and transmitted internationally? Contrary to conventional accounts, Abdelal argues that neither the U.S. Treasury nor Wall Street bankers have preferred or promoted multilateral, liberal rules for global finance. Instead, European policy makers conceived and promoted the liberal rules that compose the international financial architecture. Whereas U.S. policy makers have tended to embrace unilateral, ad hoc globalization, French and European policy makers have promoted a rule-based, "managed" globalization. This contest over the character of globalization continues today.


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Cash, Clothes, and Construction
Rethinking Value in Bolivia's Pluri-economy
Kate Maclean
University of Minnesota Press, 2023

A groundbreaking feminist perspective on Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) rule in Bolivia and the country’s radical transformation under Evo Morales

The presidency of Evo Morales in Bolivia (2006–2019) has produced considerable academic scholarship, much of it focused on indigenous social movements or extractivism, and often triumphalist about the successes of Morales’s Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS). Turning a new lens on the movement, Cash, Clothes, and Construction presents the first gender-based analysis of “pluri-economy,” a central pillar of Bolivia’s program under Morales, evaluating the potential of this vision of “an economy where all economies fit” to embrace feminist critiques of capitalism and economic diversity. 


Based on more than twelve years of empirical research exploring the remarkable transformations in Bolivia since 2006, this book focuses on three sectors—finance, clothing, and construction—in which indigenous women have defied gendered expectations. Kate Maclean presents detailed case studies of women selling secondhand high street clothes from the United States in the vast, peri-urban markets of Bolivian cities; Aymaran designers of new pollera (traditional Andean dress) fashions, one of whom exhibited her collection in New York City; and the powerful and rich chola paceña, whose real estate investments have transformed the cultural maps of La Paz and El Alto. 


Cash, Clothes, and Construction offers a gendered analysis of the mission of MAS to dismantle neoliberalism and decolonize politics and economy from the perspective of the Indigenous women who have radically transformed Bolivia’s economy from the ground up.


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Code of Practice for the Application of LED Lighting Systems
The Institution of Engineering and Technology
The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2021
LED lighting is a fast-developing technology with many advantages over filament and gas discharge lighting systems. However, inappropriate design, application and poor-quality installation of LED lighting systems could negate these advantages and result in inadequate lighting, failure to meet lifetime performance expectations, potential public health and safety issues or even interference with other technology due to poor systems integration.

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Common Knowledge
News and the Construction of Political Meaning
W. Russell Neuman, Marion R. Just, and Ann N. Crigler
University of Chicago Press, 1992
Photo opportunities, ten-second sound bites, talking heads and celebrity anchors: so the world is explained daily to millions of Americans. The result, according to the experts, is an ignorant public, helpless targets of a one-way flow of carefully filtered and orchestrated communication. Common Knowledge shatters this pervasive myth. Reporting on a ground-breaking study, the authors reveal that our shared knowledge and evolving political beliefs are determined largely by how we actively reinterpret the images, fragments, and signals we find in the mass media.

For their study, the authors analyzed coverage of 150 television and newspaper stories on five prominent issues—drugs, AIDS, South African apartheid, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and the stock market crash of October 1987. They tested audience responses of more than 1,600 people, and conducted in-depth interviews with a select sample. What emerges is a surprisingly complex picture of people actively and critically interpreting the news, making sense of even the most abstract issues in terms of their own lives, and finding political meaning in a sophisticated interplay of message, medium, and firsthand experience.

At every turn, Common Knowledge refutes conventional wisdom. It shows that television is far more effective at raising the saliency of issues and promoting learning than is generally assumed; it also undermines the assumed causal connection between newspaper reading and higher levels of political knowledge. Finally, this book gives a deeply responsible and thoroughly fascinating account of how the news is conveyed to us, and how we in turn convey it to others, making meaning of at once so much and so little. For anyone who makes the news—or tries to make anything of it—Common Knowledge promises uncommon wisdom.

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The Construction and Dynamics of Cultural Icons
Erica van Boven
Amsterdam University Press, 2021
Departing from the present need for cultural models within the public debate, this volume offers a new contribution to the study of cultural icons. From the traditional religious icon to the modern mass media icon, from the recognizable visual icon to the complex entanglement of image and collective narratives: The Construction and Dynamics of Cultural Icons offers an overview of existing theories, compares different definitions and proposes a comprehensive view on the icon and the iconic. Focusing in particular on the making of iconic representations and their changing social-cultural meanings through time, scholars from cultural memory studies, art history and literary studies present concrete operationalizations of the ways different types of cultural icons can be studied.

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Construction as Depicted in Western Art
From Antiquity to the Photograph
Michael Tutton
Amsterdam University Press, 2021
The Art of Building has captured the interest of artists from the Roman period to today. The process of construction appears in western art in all its details, trades, and operations. Michael Tutton investigates the representation of building processes and materials through an examination of paintings, illuminated manuscripts, watercolours, prints, drawings and sculpture. Technical terms are explained and detailed interpretations of each work are provided, with insights into the artists' inspiration and themes. Even paintings not wholly or principally devoted to construction sites may give tantalising glimpses of building activity. How do these images convey meaning? How much is imagined; how much is authentic? Fully referenced endnotes, bibliography, and glossary complement the text and captions, informing not only the architectural and construction historian, but also those simply interested in art.

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The Construction of Authorship
Textual Appropriation in Law and Literature
Martha Woodmansee and Peter Jaszi, eds.
Duke University Press, 1994
What is an author? What is a text? At a time when the definition of "text" is expanding and the technology whereby texts are produced and disseminated is changing at an explosive rate, the ways "authorship" is defined and rights conferred upon authors must also be reconsidered. This volume argues that contemporary copyright law, rooted as it is in a nineteenth-century Romantic understanding of the author as a solitary creative genius, may be inapposite to the realities of cultural production. Drawing together distinguished scholars from literature, law, and the social sciences, the volume explores the social and cultural construction of authorship as a step toward redefining notions of authorship and copyright for today's world.
These essays, illustrating cultural studies in action, are aggressively interdisciplinary and wide-ranging in topic and approach. Questions of collective and collaborative authorship in both contemporary and early modern contexts are addressed. Other topics include moral theory and authorship; copyright and the balance between competing interests of authors and the public; problems of international copyright; musical sampling and its impact on "fair use" doctrine; cinematic authorship; quotation and libel; alternative views of authorship as exemplified by nineteenth-century women's clubs and by the Renaissance commonplace book; authorship in relation to broadcast media and to the teaching of writing; and the material dimension of authorship as demonstrated by Milton's publishing contract.

Contributors. Rosemary J. Coombe, Margreta de Grazia, Marvin D'Lugo, John Feather, N. N. Feltes, Ann Ruggles Gere, Peter Jaszi, Gerhard Joseph, Peter Lindenbaum, Andrea A. Lunsford and Lisa Ede, Jeffrey A. Masten, Thomas Pfau, Monroe E. Price and Malla Pollack, Mark Rose, Marlon B. Ross, David Sanjek, Thomas Streeter, Jim Swan, Max W. Thomas, Martha Woodmansee, Alfred C. Yen


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The Construction of Children's Character
Edited by Alex Molnar
University of Chicago Press, 1997
The Construction of Children's Character presents a comprehensive and critical assessment of contemporary character education theory and practice from a variety of perspectives—historical, cultural, philosophical, psychological, empirical, political, and ethical.

The idea that character education should be an important element in the curriculum of public schools is controversial. Critics reject the idea that schools should be involved in teaching values. Proponents often disagree among themselves—some detailing the proper values students should be taught, others arguing that character development must be part of a larger process of constructing an ethical community in the schools. The contributors to this volume bring a breadth of perspectives, experience, and approaches to the problem of assessing contemporary character education.


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The Construction of Gothic Cathedrals
A Study of Medieval Vault Erection
John Fitchen
University of Chicago Press, 1981
John Fitchen systematically treats the process of erecting the great edifices of the Gothic era. He explains the building equipment and falsework needed, the actual operations undertaken, and the sequence of these operations as specifically as they can be deduced today. Since there are no contemporary accounts of the techniques used by medieval builders, Fitchen's study brilliantly pieces together clues from manuscript illuminations, from pictorial representations, and from the fabrics of the building themselves.

"Anyone who has caught the fascination of Gothic Churches (and once caught, has almost necessarily got it in the blood) will find this book enthralling. . . . Clearly written and beautifully illustrated." —A. D. R. Caroe, Annual Review, Central Council for the Care of Churches

"Fitchen's study is a tribute to the extraordinary creative and engineering skills of successive generations of mediaeval builders. . . . This study enables us to appreciate more fully the technical expertise and improvements which enabled the creative spirit of the day to find such splendid embodiment." —James Lingwood, Oxford Art Journal

"Fitchen, in what can only be defined as an architectural detective story, fully explores the problems confronting the medieval vault erectors and uncovers their solution. . . . This is a book that no serious student of architecture will want to miss." —Progressive Architecture


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The Construction of Homosexuality
David F. Greenberg
University of Chicago Press, 1990
"At various times, homosexuality has been considered the noblest of loves, a horrible sin, a psychological condition or grounds for torture and execution. David F. Greenberg's careful, encyclopedic and important new book argues that homosexuality is only deviant because society has constructed, or defined, it as deviant. The book takes us over vast terrains of example and detail in the history of homosexuality."—Nicholas B. Dirks, New York Times Book Review

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Construction of Maya Space
Causeways, Walls, and Open Areas from Ancient to Modern Times
Thomas H. Guderjan
University of Arizona Press, 2023
Construction of Maya Spaces sheds new light on how Maya society may have shaped—and been shaped by—the constructed environment. Moving beyond the towering pyramids and temples often associated with Maya spaces, this volume focuses on how those in power used features such as walls, roads, rails, and symbolic boundaries to control those without power, and how the powerless pushed back.

Through fifteen engaging chapters, contributors examine the construction of spatial features by ancient, historic, and contemporary Maya elite and nonelite peoples to understand how they used spaces differently. Through cutting-edge methodologies and case studies, chapters consider how and why Maya people connected and divided the spaces they used daily in their homes, in their public centers, in their sacred places such as caves, and across their regions to inform us about the mental constructs they used to create their lives and cultures of the past.

Elias Alcocer Puerto
Alejandra Alonso Olvera
Traci Ardren
Jaime J. Awe
Alejandra Badillo Sánchez
Nicolas C. Barth
Grace Lloyd Bascopé
Adolpho Iván Batún-Alpuche
Elizabeth Beckner
M. Kathryn Brown
Bernadette Cap
Miguel Covarrubias Reyna
Juan Fernandez Diaz
Alberto G. Flores Colin
Thomas H. Guderjan
C. Colleen Hanratty
Héctor Hernández Álvarez
Scott R. Hutson
Joshua J. Kwoka
Whitney Lytle
Aline Magnoni
Jennifer P. Mathews
Stephanie J. Miller
Shawn G. Morton
Holley Moyes
Shannon Plank
Dominique Rissolo
Patrick Rohrer
Carmen Rojas Sandoval
Justine M. Shaw
J. Gregory Smith
Travis W. Stanton
Karl A. Taube
Daniel Vallejo-Cáliz

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The Construction of Meaning
Edited by David I. Beaver, Luis D. Casillas Martinez, Brady Z. Clark, and Stefan
CSLI, 2002
This volume collects leading-edge work on the semantics and pragmatics of natural language, including contributions from Eve Clark, Paul Kiparsky, Stanley Peters, Dag Westerstahl, and Arnold Zwicky. The research covers a number of languages—English, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, and Quechua—and phenomena, including adverbial modification, classifiers, constructional meaning, control phenomena, evidentiality, events semantics, focus, presupposition, and quantification. This is an essential volume for anyone interested in the latest developments in the study of meaning.

front cover of The Construction of Memory in Interwar France
The Construction of Memory in Interwar France
Daniel J. Sherman
University of Chicago Press, 2000
One of the bloodiest conflicts in human history, World War I devastated France, leaving behind battlefields littered with the remains of the dead. Daniel Sherman takes a close look at the human impact of this Great War by examining the ways in which the French remembered their veterans and war dead after the armistice. Arguing that memory is more than just a record of experience, Sherman's cultural history offers a radically new perspective on how commemoration of WWI helped to shape postwar French society and politics.

Sherman shows how a wartime visual culture saturated with images of ordinary foot soldiers, together with contemporary novels, memoirs, and tourist literature, promoted a distinctive notion of combat experience. The contrast between battlefield and home front, soldier and civilian was the basis for memory and collective gratitude. Postwar commemoration, however, also grew directly out of the long and agonized search for the remains of hundreds of thousands of missing soldiers, and the sometimes contentious debates over where to bury them. For this reason, the local monument, with its inscribed list of names and its functional resemblance to tombstones, emerged as the focal point of commemorative practice. Sherman traces every step in the process of monument building as he analyzes commemoration's competing goals—to pay tribute to the dead, to console the bereaved, and to incorporate mourners' individual memories into a larger political discourse.

Extensively illustrated, Sherman's study offers a visual record of a remarkable moment in the history of public art. It is at once a moving account of a culture haunted by war and a sophisticated analysis of the political stakes of memory in the twentieth century.

Winner of the 2000 J. Russell Major Prize of the American Historical Association

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The Construction of Minorities
Cases for Comparison Across Time and Around the World
Andre Burguiere and Raymond Grew, Editors
University of Michigan Press, 2001
How does a minority come to be? In an unusual project, a notable group of French and American scholars take the view that minorities are socially constructed. Their original studies of specific historical examples produce a series of stimulating and provocative essays useful and enjoyable for specialists and the general reader alike.
Spawned from a conference organized by the journals Annales and Comparative Studies in Society and History in concert with the Center for Historical Research at l'EHESS in Paris and the Department of History at the University of Michigan, this collection contrasts studies of Afro-Americans in the United States, French Protestants, notables in Renaissance Florence, religious minorities in the Ottoman Empire, Muslim and Chinese traders in Southeast Asia, the native peoples of Spanish America, lower-caste Indians, ethnic minorities in the Soviet Union, Australian aborigines, and American and French responses to AIDS to reveal valuable information about how minorities come to be constructed within societies. Some of the minorities considered are identified primarily in terms of their ethnicity, some by social class, and some by religion (Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim); a final essay asks whether the victims of AIDS constitute a minority at all.
With its cross-cultural emphasis, this book will be a valuable addition to courses on diversity, ethnicity, and cultural comparison. It is destined to be a useful reference for undergraduate and research libraries and a much-consulted work for specialists on each of the societies considered.
André Burguière is Research Director, l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (l'EHESS) in Paris. Raymond Grew is Professor of History Emeritus, University of Michigan.

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The Construction of Negotiated Meaning
A Social Cognitive Theory of Writing
Linda Flower
Southern Illinois University Press, 1994

Based on five years of close observation of students, writing and collaborative planning—the practice in which student writers take the roles of planner and supporter to help each other develop a more rhetorically sophisticated writing plan—foremost cognitive composition researcher Linda Flower redefines writing in terms of an interactive social and cognitive process and proposes a convincing and compelling theory of the construction of negotiated meaning.

Flower seeks to describe how writers construct meaning. Supported by the emerging body of social and cognitive research in rhetoric, education, and psychology, she portrays meaning making as a literate act and a constructive process. She challenges traditional definitions of literacy, adding to that concept the elements of social literate practices and personal literate acts. In Flower’s view, this social cognitive process is a source of tension and conflict among the multiple forces that shape meaning: the social and cultural context, the demands of discourse, and the writer’s own goals and knowledge.

Flower outlines a generative theory of conflict. With this conflict central to her theory of the construction of negotiated meaning, she examines negotiation as an alternative to the metaphors of reproduction and conversation. It is through negotiation, Flower argues, that social expectations, discourse conventions, and the writer’s personal goals and knowledge become inner voices. The tension among these forces often creates the hidden logic behind student writing. In response to these conflicting voices, writers sometimes rise to the active negotiation of meaning, creating meaning in the interplay of alternatives, opportunities, and constraints.

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The Construction of Ottonian Kingship
Narratives and Myth in Tenth-Century Germany
Antoni Grabowski
Amsterdam University Press, 2018
German historians long assumed that the German Kingdom was created with Henry the Fowler's coronation in 919. The reigns of both Henry the Fowler, and his son Otto the Great, were studied and researched mainly through Widukind of Corvey's chronicle Res Gestae Saxonicae. There was one source on Ottonian times that was curiously absent from most of the serious research: Liudprand of Cremona's Antapodosis. The study of this chronicle leads to a reappraisal of the tenth century in Western Europe showing how mythology of the dynasty was constructed. By looking at the later reception (through later Middle Ages and then on 19th and 20th century historiography) the author showcases the longevity of Ottonian myths and the ideological expressions of the tenth century storytellers.

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The Construction of Religious Boundaries
Culture, Identity, and Diversity in the Sikh Tradition
Harjot Oberoi
University of Chicago Press, 1994
In this major reinterpretation of religion and society in India, Harjot Oberoi challenges earlier accounts of Sikhism, Hinduism and Islam as historically given categories encompassing well-demarcated units of religious identity. Through a searching examination of Sikh historical materials, he shows that early Sikh tradition was not concerned with establishing distinct religious boundaries. Most Sikhs recognized multiple identities grounded in local, regional, religious, and secular loyalties. Consequently, religious identities were highly blurred and several competing definitions of what constituted a Sikh were possible.

In the closing decades of the nineteenth century, however, the Singh Sabha, a powerful new Sikh movement, began to view the multiplicity in Sikh identity with suspicion and hostility. Aided by social and cultural forces unleashed by the British Raj, the Singh Sabha sought to recast Sikh tradition and purge it of diversity. The ethnocentric logic of a new elite dissolved alternative ideals under the highly codified culture of modern Sikhism.

A study of the process by which a pluralistic religious world view is replaced by a monolithic one, this important book calls into question basic assumptions about the efficacy of fundamentalist claims and the construction of all social and religious identities. An essential book for the field of South Asian religions, this work is also an important contribution to cultural anthropology, postcolonial studies, and the history of religion in general.

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Cool Wooden Box
Transformation of the American Acoustic Guitar
W. Rand Smith
University of Tennessee Press, 2023

“In Cool Wooden Box, Rand Smith has cleverly woven person, social, and musical histories into a compelling narrative. In doing so, Smith has illustrated just how, well, cool the steel string acoustic guitar, its makers, and its players are.” —John Thomas, author of Kalamazoo Gals: A Story of Extraordinary Women and Gibson’s “Banner” Guitars of WWII, and field editor for The Fretboard Journal

Beginning with a comparison of the American acoustic guitar world in the early 1960s with that of today, then describing iconic performances at storied venues such as The Ark in Ann Arbor while meticulously researching the instrument’s top makers, Smith assembles a passion-filled and eye-opening history of that “cool wooden box” from the folk era through the pandemic. The author focuses on both the playing and making of the acoustic guitar, concluding that the instrument has been transformed in both aspects during the last sixty years. On the playing side, Smith examines the influences on, and the impact of, such guitarists as David Bromberg, Elizabeth Cotten, Paul Geremia, and Norman Blake. On the making side, the author takes the reader into the tradition-minded yet dynamic world of lutherie. He traces how the oldest, most revered companies whose reputations are based on legendary breakthroughs in lutherie, Gibson and Martin, have adapted as the new lutherie movement of innovative small-scale producers, exemplified by interviewees such as Michael Gurian, Bill Collings, Richard Hoover, and Dana Bourgeois, arose. Starting small and then growing exponentially, Taylor Guitars is a wholly different “player” in acoustic guitar building, and Smith compellingly tells its story. Finally, Cool Wooden Box considers the effects of globalization on the industry.

Clocking thousands of miles and hours of interviews with guitar makers, suppliers, and sellers, W. Rand Smith has created not only a detailed history of the acoustic guitar, but also a lasting tribute to an instrument he so clearly reveres.


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A Court on Horseback
Imperial Touring and the Construction of Qing Rule, 1680–1785
Michael G. Chang
Harvard University Press, 2007

Between 1751 and 1784, the Qianlong emperor embarked upon six southern tours, traveling from Beijing to Jiangnan and back. These tours were exercises in political theater that took the Manchu emperor through one of the Qing empire's most prosperous regions.

This study elucidates the tensions and the constant negotiations characterizing the relationship between the imperial center and Jiangnan, which straddled the two key provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Politically, economically, and culturally, Jiangnan was the undisputed center of the Han Chinese world; it also remained a bastion of Ming loyalism and anti-Manchu sentiment. How did the Qing court constitute its authority and legitimate its domination over this pivotal region? What were the precise terms and historical dynamics of Qing rule over China proper during the long eighteenth century?

In the course of addressing such questions, this study also explores the political culture within and through which High Qing rule was constituted and contested by a range of actors, all of whom operated within socially and historically structured contexts. The author argues that the southern tours occupied a central place in the historical formation of Qing rule during a period of momentous change affecting all strata of the eighteenth-century polity.


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Creating Capitals
The Rationale, Construction, and Function of the Imperial Capitals of Assyria
Aris Politopoulos
Leiden University Press, 2020
An archaeological history of the Assyrian Empire’s four capitals.

The Assyrian Empire moved and rebuilt its capital city three times—at Kar-Tukulti-Ninurta, Kalhu, Dur-Šarruken, and Nineveh. Creating Capitals explores why and how Assyria constructed these capitals as well as how they functioned within the empire. Drawing on extensive research, Aris Politopoulos offers a sweeping comparative analysis of these four ancient cities and proposes a new framework for understanding the construction of capitals in human history.

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Critical Perspectives on Cultural Memory and Heritage
Construction, Transformation and Destruction
Edited by Veysel Apaydin
University College London, 2020
Critical Perspectives on Cultural Memory and Heritage focuses on the importance of memory and heritage for individual and group identity, and for their sense of belonging. It aims to expose the motives and discourses related to the destruction of memory and heritage during times of war, terror, sectarian conflict and through capitalist policies. It is within these affected spheres of cultural heritage where groups and communities ascribe values, develop memories, and shape their collective identity. It is an essential read for researchers in Museum and Heritage Studies, Archaeology and History who seek a global, comprehensive study of cultural memory and heritage.

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Dealing in Virtue
International Commercial Arbitration and the Construction of a Transnational Legal Order
Yves Dezalay and Bryant G. Garth
University of Chicago Press, 1996
In recent years, international business disputes have increasingly been resolved through private arbitration. The first book of its kind, Dealing in Virtue details how an elite group of transnational lawyers constructed an autonomous legal field that has given them a central and powerful role in the global marketplace.

Building on Pierre Bourdieu's structural approach, the authors show how an informal, settlement-oriented system became formalized and litigious. Integral to this new legal field is the intense personal competition among arbitrators to gain a reputation for virtue, hoping to be selected for arbitration panels. Since arbitration fees have skyrocketed, this is a high-stakes game.

Using multiple examples, Dezalay and Garth explore how international developments can transform domestic methods for handling disputes and analyze the changing prospects for international business dispute resolution given the growing presence of such international market and regulatory institutions as the EEC, the WTO, and NAFTA.

"A fascinating book, which I strongly recommend to all those active in international commercial arbitration, as they will see the arbitral world from new and unthought of perspectives."—Jacques Werner, Journal of International Arbitration

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Decolonisation and Criticism
The Construction of Irish Literature
Gerry Smyth
Pluto Press, 1998

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Disabled Upon Arrival
Eugenics, Immigration, and the Construction of Race and Disability
Jay T Dolmage
The Ohio State University Press, 2018

In North America, immigration has never been about immigration. That was true in the early twentieth century when anti-immigrant rhetoric led to draconian crackdowns on the movement of bodies, and it is true today as new measures seek to construct migrants as dangerous and undesirable. This premise forms the crux of Jay Timothy Dolmage’s new book Disabled Upon Arrival: Eugenics, Immigration, and the Construction of Race and Disability, a compelling examination of the spaces, technologies, and discourses of immigration restriction during the peak period of North American immigration in the early twentieth century.
Through careful archival research and consideration of the larger ideologies of racialization and xenophobia, Disabled Upon Arrival links anti-immigration rhetoric to eugenics—the flawed “science” of controlling human population based on racist and ableist ideas about bodily values. Dolmage casts an enlightening perspective on immigration restriction, showing how eugenic ideas about the value of bodies have never really gone away and revealing how such ideas and attitudes continue to cast groups and individuals as disabled upon arrival. 

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El Narcotraficante
Narcocorridos and the Construction of a Cultural Persona on the U.S.–Mexico Border
By Mark Cameron Edberg
University of Texas Press, 2004

Since the late 1970s, a new folk hero has risen to prominence in the U.S.-Mexico border region and beyond—the narcotrafficker. Celebrated in the narcocorrido, a current form of the traditional border song known as the corrido, narcotraffickers are often portrayed as larger-than-life "social bandits" who rise from poor or marginalized backgrounds to positions of power and wealth by operating outside the law and by living a life of excess, challenging authority (whether U.S. or Mexican), and flouting all risks, including death. This image, rooted in Mexican history, has been transformed and commodified by the music industry and by the drug trafficking industry itself into a potent and highly marketable product that has a broad appeal, particularly among those experiencing poverty and power disparities. At the same time, the transformation from folk hero to marketable product raises serious questions about characterizations of narcocorridos as "narratives of resistance."

This multilayered ethnography takes a wide-ranging look at the persona of the narcotrafficker and how it has been shaped by Mexican border culture, socioeconomic and power disparities, and the transnational music industry. Mark Edberg begins by analyzing how the narcocorrido emerged from and relates to the traditional corrido and its folk hero. Then, drawing upon interviews and participant-observation with corrido listening audiences in the border zone, as well as musicians and industry producers of narcocorridos, he elucidates how the persona of the narcotrafficker has been created, commodified, and enacted, and why this character resonates so strongly with people who are excluded from traditional power structures. Finally, he takes a look at the concept of the cultural persona itself and its role as both cultural representation and model for practice.


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The Elements of Construction
N. Clifford Ricker, Architecture, and the University of Illinois
N. Clifford Ricker. Edited by Marci S. Uihlein
University of Illinois Press, 2025
A pioneer of architecture education in the United States, N. Clifford Ricker notably taught with an emphasis on construction and shop practice in his teaching. Marci S. Uihlein edits and elaborates on The Elements of Construction, the text on building materials that Ricker wrote and used in his teaching, but never published. The book is a window into the expanding possibilities of the late nineteenth-century, as Ricker continually revised The Elements of Construction to keep up with advances taking place in architecture, materials, and construction technology.

In addition to providing the full text, Uihlein and the contributors trace Ricker’s career and delve into his practice of teaching. Subject experts explore specific topics. Thomas Leslie surveys contemporary construction practices in Chicago. Tom F. Peters considers Ricker’s writings in the context of the time while Rachel Will looks at masonry know-how and testing. Donald Friedman examines the teaching of iron and steel construction.

An illuminating look at a field and a legacy, The Elements of Construction rediscovers a figure that shaped the teaching of architecture and trained a generation that forever changed Chicago.


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Facundo and the Construction of Argentine Culture
By Diana Sorensen Goodrich
University of Texas Press, 1996

Domingo F. Sarmiento's classic 1845 essay Facundo, Civilizacion y Barbarie opened an inquiry into the nature of Argentinian culture that continues to the present day. In this elegantly written study, Diana Sorensen Goodrich explores the varied, and often conflicting, readings that Facundo has received since its publication and shows how these readings have contributed to the making and remaking of the Argentine nation and its culture.

Goodrich's analysis sheds new light on the intersection between canon formation and nation-building. While much has been written about Facundo as a primary text in Latin American letters, this is the first study that locates it within the problematics of canon formation and the cultural, social, and political contexts in which conflicting interpretations are constructed.

This new approach to Facundo illuminates the interactions among institutions, cultural ideologies, and political life. This book will be important reading for everyone interested in questions of national identity and the institutionalization of a national tradition.


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Finding the Singing Spruce
Musical Instrument Makers and Appalachia's Mountain Forests
Jasper Waugh-Quasebarth
West Virginia University Press, 2023

Environment, craft, and meaning in the work of Appalachian instrument makers.

How can the craft of musical instrument making help reconnect people to place and reenchant work in Appalachia? How does the sonic search for musical tone change relationships with trees and forests? Following three craftspeople in the mountain forests of Appalachia through their processes of making instruments, Finding the Singing Spruce considers the meanings of work, place, and creative expression in drawing music from wood.

Jasper Waugh-Quasebarth explores the complexities and contradictions of instrument-making labor, which is deeply rooted in mountain forests and expressive traditions but also engaged with global processes of production and consumption. Using historical narratives and sensory ethnography, among other approaches, he finds that the craft of lutherie speaks to the past, present, and future of the region’s work and nature.


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First Find Your Child a Good Mother
The Construction of Self in Two African Communities
Riesman, Paul
Rutgers University Press, 1992

Through a systematic comparison of the life circumstances, child-rearing practices, and personalities of the FulBe and their former slaves, the RiimaayBe, this book develops an alternative theory of the way personality is formed in the Fulani society of West Africa. Riesman discusses the different characters, economies, and life plans of adult men and women of both groups, focusing on their ideas about the value of relatives. He further presents detailed observations of child-rearing practices, and concludes that the FulBe and RiimaayBe do not differ in these practices. Contrasting Fulani and Western notions of parenting, he suggests that child-rearing practices are themselves irrelevant to the formation of adult personality, but that a people's ideas about the meaning of life, social relations, and the development of character are very important. Finally, Riesman outlines a sociocultural theory of personality and its formation, and uses this theory to make sense of the differences between FulBe and RiimaayBe.


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Flamenco Nation
The Construction of Spanish National Identity
Sandie Holguín
University of Wisconsin Press, 2019
How did flamenco—a song and dance form associated with both a despised ethnic minority in Spain and a region frequently derided by Spaniards—become so inexorably tied to the country’s culture? Sandie Holguín focuses on the history of the form and how reactions to the performances transformed from disgust to reverance over the course of two centuries.
Holguín brings forth an important interplay between regional nationalists and image makers actively involved in building a tourist industry. Soon they realized flamenco performances could be turned into a folkloric attraction that could stimulate the economy. Tourists and Spaniards alike began to cultivate flamenco as a representation of the country's national identity. This study reveals not only how Spain designed and promoted its own symbol but also how this cultural form took on a life of its own.

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The Fonte Gaia from Renaissance to Modern Times
A History of Construction, Preservation, and Reconstruction in Siena
Chiara E. Scappini and David Boffa
Amsterdam University Press, 2018
The Fonte Gaia from Renaissance to Modern Times examines the history of Siena's famous public fountain, from its fifteenth-century origins to its eventual replacement by a copy in the nineteenth century (and the modern fate of both). The book explores how both the Risorgimento and the Symbolist movements have shaped our perceptions of the Italian Renaissance, as the Quattrocento was filtered through the lens of contemporary art and politics.

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From Belonging to Belief
Modern Secularisms and the Construction of Religion in Kyrgyzstan
Julie McBrien
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017
From Belonging to Belief presents a nuanced ethnographic study of Islam and secularism in post-Soviet Central Asia, as seen from the small town of Bazaar-Korgon in southern Kyrgyzstan. Opening with the juxtaposition of a statue of Lenin and a mosque in the town square, Julie McBrien proceeds to peel away the multiple layers that have shaped the return of public Islam in the region. She explores belief and nonbelief, varying practices of Islam, discourses of extremism, and the role of the state, to elucidate the everyday experiences of Bazaar-Korgonians. McBrien shows how Islam is explored, lived, and debated in both conventional and novel sites: a Soviet-era cleric who continues to hold great influence; popular television programs; religious instruction at wedding parties; clothing; celebrations; and others. Through ethnographic research, McBrien reveals how moving toward Islam is not a simple step but rather a deliberate and personal journey of experimentation, testing, and knowledge acquisition.  Moreover she argues that religion is not always a matter of belief—sometimes it is essentially about belonging.
            From Belonging to Belief offers an important corrective to studies that focus only on the pious turns among Muslims in Central Asia, and instead shows the complex process of evolving religion in a region that has experienced both Soviet atheism and post-Soviet secularism, each of which has profoundly formed the way Muslims interpret and live Islam.

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Going West
Migrating Personae and Construction of the Self in Rabbinic Culture
Reuven Kiperwasser
SBL Press, 2021
This new book by Reuven Kiperwasser examines the social, cultural, and religious aspects of third- to sixth-century narratives involving rabbinic figures migrating between Babylonia and Palestine. Kiperwasser draws on migration and mobility studies, comparative literature, humor and satire studies, as well as social history to reveal how border-crossing rabbis were seen as exporting features of their previous eastern context into their new western homes and vice versa. Through their writing, rabbinic authors articulated the nature and legitimacy of their own scholastic practices, knowledge, and authority in relationship to their internal others.

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Guide to Implementing Electrified Heat in Domestic Properties
Electrical, fabric, and plumbing considerations for heat pumps and other low-carbon heating
The Institution of Engineering and Technology
The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2022
This guide provides practical information to all those involved in designing, installing, operating and maintaining heating systems focussing on how to correctly apply electrified heating on current and future projects.

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The Guitar
Tracing the Grain Back to the Tree
Chris Gibson and Andrew Warren
University of Chicago Press, 2021

Guitars inspire cult-like devotion: an aficionado can tell you precisely when and where their favorite instrument was made, the wood it is made from, and that wood’s unique effect on the instrument’s sound. In The Guitar, Chris Gibson and Andrew Warren follow that fascination around the globe as they trace guitars all the way back to the tree. The authors take us to guitar factories, port cities, log booms, remote sawmills, Indigenous lands, and distant rainforests, on a quest for behind-the-scenes stories and insights into how guitars are made, where the much-cherished guitar timbers ultimately come from, and the people and skills that craft those timbers along the way.

Gibson and Warren interview hundreds of people to give us a first-hand account of the ins and outs of production methods, timber milling, and forest custodianship in diverse corners of the world, including the Pacific Northwest, Madagascar, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Japan, China, Hawaii, and Australia. They unlock surprising insights into longer arcs of world history: on the human exploitation of nature, colonialism, industrial capitalism, cultural tensions, and seismic upheavals. But the authors also strike a hopeful note, offering a parable of wider resonance—of the incredible but underappreciated skill and care that goes into growing forests and felling trees, milling timber, and making enchanting musical instruments, set against the human tendency to reform our use (and abuse) of natural resources only when it may be too late. The Guitar promises to resonate with anyone who has ever fallen in love with a guitar. 


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Handbook of Ventilation Technology for the Built Environment
Design, control and testing
Shi-Jie Cao
The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2022
The general purpose of ventilation in buildings is to provide healthy air for breathing by both diluting the pollutants originating in the building and removing the pollutants from it. Building ventilation plays a strong role for the good health, comfort, security and productivity of inhabitants, workers and visitors. Many new challenges with energy and pollution implications have arisen, including the identification and control of contaminant sources, fast building design requirements, online demand, sustainability and climate change adaptation.

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A History of Utah International
From Construction to Mining
Sterling D Sessions
University of Utah Press, 2005

The story of how the Utah Construction Company, founded in Ogden, Utah in 1900, became Utah International, a multinational corporation, is known to historians of the American West but perhaps not by the general public. The publication of this book remedies that omission.

During its first decades, the company built railroads and dams and was one of the Six Companies Consortium that built Hoover Dam. Utah Construction was also engaged in numerous war-contract activities during World War II. In the postwar period, the company expanded its activities into mining and land development and moved its headquarters to San Francisco. Changing its name to Utah Construction and Mining, and eventually to Utah International, the corporation became one of the most successful multinational mining companies in the world. In 1976, Utah International and General Electric negotiated the largest yet corporate merger in the United States.

Based on the Utah International archives housed in the Stewart Library at Weber State University, the story of Utah International describes more than projects: it is also the story of how two remarkable entrepreneurs, Marriner Stoddard Eccles and Edmund Wattis Littlefield, transformed the company incorporated in 1900 by the Wattis brothers into the largest and most profitable mining company in the United States.


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Idolatry and the Construction of the Spanish Empire
Mina García Soormally
University Press of Colorado, 2018
An ethnohistory on the spiritual and governmental conquest of the indigenous people in colonial Mexico, Idolatry and the Construction of the Spanish Empire examines the role played by the shifting concept of idolatry in the conquest of the Americas, as well as its relation to the subsequent construction of imperial power and hegemony.
Contrasting readings of evangelization plays and chronicles from the Indies and legislation and literature produced in Spain, author Mina García Soormally places theoretical analysis of state formation in Colonial Latin America within the historical context. The conquest of America was presented, in its first instances, as a virtual extension of the Reconquista, which had taken place in Spain since 711, during which Spaniards fought to build an empire based in part on religious discrimination. The fight against the “heathens” (Moors and Jews) provided the experience and mindset to practice the repression of the other, making Spain a cultural laboratory that was transported across the Atlantic Ocean.
Idolatry and the Construction of the Spanish Empire is a wide-ranging explication of religious orthodoxy and unorthodoxy during Spain’s medieval and early modern period as they relate to idolatry, with analysis of events that occurred on both sides of the Atlantic. The book contributes to the growing field of transatlantic studies and explores the redefinition that took place in Europe and in the colonies.

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Idolizing Authorship
Literary Celebrity and the Construction of Identity, 1800 to the Present
Edited by Gaston Franssen and Rick Honings
Amsterdam University Press, 2017
Though these days, our celebrity culture tends to revolve around movie stars and pop musicians, there have been plenty of celebrity authors over the years and around the world. This volume brings together a number of contributors to look at how and why certain writers have attained celebrity throughout history. How were their images as celebrities constructed by themselves and in complicity with their fans? And how did that process and its effects differ from country to country and era to era?

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City of a Thousand Dimensions
Abidin Kusno
National University of Singapore Press, 2023
A study of the forces that shaped Jakarta into the city it is today.

Indonesian writer Seno Gumira Ajidarma has called Jakarta a city of a thousand dimensions. A megacity of 30 million under threat from rising sea levels and temperatures, Jakarta and its resilient residents improvise and thrive. This book teases out some of the dimensions that have given shape to contemporary Jakarta, including the city’s expanded flexibility in accommodating capital and labor, and the consistent lack of planning that can be understood as a result of both politics and the poetics of governing in the region. Jakarta is essential reading for those seeking to understand one of Asia's most dynamic cities.

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Jesus among Her Children
Q, Eschatology, and the Construction of Christian Origins
Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre
Harvard University Press, 2005
Was Jesus a wisdom sage or an apocalyptic prophet? Did later followers view him as the Danielic "Son of Man" or did he use this expression for himself? These are familiar questions among historical Jesus scholars, and there has been much debate over Jesus' eschatological outlook since the controversial work of the Jesus Seminar. This book asks what is at stake in these debates and explores how scholarly constructions of Christian origins participate in contemporary efforts to confirm or challenge particular understandings of the essence of Christianity. Proposing that a Jesus-centered perspective has overly shaped our interpretation of the sayings source Q, Johnson-DeBaufre offers alternative readings to key Q texts, readings that place an interest in the community that shaped Jesus at the center of inquiry.

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Johann Scheibe
Organ Builder in Leipzig at the Time of Bach
Lynn Edwards Butler
University of Illinois Press, 2022
In his nearly forty-year career, Johann Scheibe became Leipzig's most renowned organ builder and one of the late Baroque's masters of the craft. Johann Sebastian Bach and Johann Kuhnau considered Scheibe a valued colleague. Organists and civic leaders shared their high opinion, for Scheibe built or rebuilt every one of the city's organs.

Drawing on extensive research and previously untapped archival materials, Lynn Edwards Butler explores Scheibe's professional relationships and the full range of his projects. These assignments included the three-manual organ for St. Paul’s Church, renovations of the organs in the important churches of St. Thomas and St. Nicholas, and the lone surviving example of Scheibe's craft, a small organ in the nearby village of Zschortau. Viewing Scheibe within the context of the era, Butler illuminates the music scene of Bach's time as she follows the life of a gifted craftsman and his essential work on an instrument that anchored religious musical practice and community.


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Kafka’s Blues
Figurations of Racial Blackness in the Construction of an Aesthetic
Mark Christian Thompson
Northwestern University Press, 2016
Kafka's Blues proves the startling thesis that many of Kafka's major works engage in a coherent, sustained meditation on racial transformation from white European into what Kafka refers to as the "Negro" (a term he used in English). Indeed, this book demonstrates that cultural assimilation and bodily transformation in Kafka's work are impossible without passage through a state of being "Negro." Kafka represents this passage in various ways—from reflections on New World slavery and black music to evolutionary theory, biblical allusion, and aesthetic primitivism—each grounded in a concept of writing that is linked to the perceived congenital musicality of the "Negro," and which is bound to his wider conception of aesthetic production. Mark Christian Thompson offers new close readings of canonical texts and undervalued letters and diary entries set in the context of the afterlife of New World slavery and in Czech and German popular culture.

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Construction of the Aesthetic
Theodor Adorno
University of Minnesota Press, 1989

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Language, Literature and the Construction of a Dutch National Identity (1780-1830)
Edited by Rick Honings, Gijsbert Rutten, and Ton van Kalmthout
Amsterdam University Press, 2018
In exploring the birth of a Dutch identity between 1780 and 1830, this book integrates nationalism studies with literary and linguistic history by highlighting scholarly study of the Dutch language as a factor in the creation of the national identity. These early scholars promoted the Dutch language during a time of political upheaval, when citizens needed something to feel proud of. This book examines the impact individual agents had on a crucial stage in the Dutch nation-building process.

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Literary Couplings
Writing Couples, Collaborators, and the Construction of Authorship
Edited by Marjorie Stone and Judith Thompson
University of Wisconsin Press, 2007

This innovative collection challenges the traditional focus on solitary genius by examining the rich diversity of literary couplings and collaborations from the early modern to the postmodern period. Literary Couplings explores some of the best-known literary partnerships—from the Sidneys to Boswell and Johnson to Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes—and also includes lesser-known collaborators such as Daphne Marlatt and Betsy Warland. The essays place famous authors such as Samuel Coleridge, Oscar Wilde, and William Butler Yeats in new contexts; reassess overlooked members of writing partnerships; and throw new light on texts that have been marginalized due to their collaborative nature. By integrating historical studies with authorship theory, Literary Couplings goes beyond static notions of the writing "couple" to explore literary couplings created by readers, critics, historians, and publishers as well as by writers themselves, thus expanding our understanding of authorship.


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Making History Matter
Kuroita Katsumi and the Construction of Imperial Japan
Lisa Yoshikawa
Harvard University Press, 2017

Making History Matter explores the role history and historians played in imperial Japan’s nation and empire building from the 1890s to the 1930s. As ideological architects of this process, leading historians wrote and rewrote narratives that justified the expanding realm. Learning from their Prussian counterparts, they highlighted their empiricist methodology and their scholarly standpoint, to authenticate their perspective and to distinguish themselves from competing discourses. Simultaneously, historians affirmed imperial myths that helped bolster statist authoritarianism domestically and aggressive expansionism abroad. In so doing, they aligned politically with illiberal national leaders who provided funding and other support necessary to nurture the modern discipline of history. By the 1930s, the field was thriving and historians were crucial actors in nationwide commemorations and historical enterprises.

Through a close reading of vast, multilingual sources, with a focus on Kuroita Katsumi, Yoshikawa argues that scholarship and politics were inseparable as Japan’s historical profession developed. In the process of making history matter, historians constructed a national past to counter growing interwar liberalism. This outlook—which continues as the historical perspective that the Liberal Democratic Party leadership embraces—ultimately justified the Japanese aggressions during the Asia-Pacific Wars.


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The Metaphysics of Media
Toward an End of Postmodern Cynicism and the Construction of a Virtuous Reality
Peter K. Fallon
University of Scranton Press, 2009

In The Metaphysics of Media, award-winning media critic Peter K. Fallon tackles the complicated question of how a succession of dominant forms of media have supported—and even to some extent created—different conceptions of reality. To do so, he starts with the basics: a critical discussion of the very idea of objective reality and the various postmodern responses that have tended to dominate recent philosophical approaches to the subject. From there, he embarks on a survey of the evolution of communication through four major eras: orality; literacy; print; and electricity. 

Within each era, Fallon argues, the dominant form of media supported particular ways of understanding the world, from the ascendance of reason that followed the development of alphabets to the obliteration of space and time that we associate with electronic communications. Fallon concludes with a hard look at the mass ignorance that prevails today despite (or perhaps because of) the sea of information with which contemporary life is surrounded. 

A stirring, philosophically rich investigation, The Metaphysics of Media offers not only a clear picture of where our society has been but also a road map to a more engaged, informed, and fully human future.


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Michigan's Capitol
Construction and Restoration
William Seale
University of Michigan Press, 1995

Michigan's Capitol: Construction and Restoration is the history of a great American landmark, one among fifty statehouses. Construction of Michigan's State Capitol began in 1871, six years after the close of the Civil War, and was brought to completion less than a decade later. It has survived for more than a century to become the object of one of America's most authentic restorations. This volume allows the reader to chronicle the building and restoration of Michigan's Capitol through words and magnificent color and black-and-white photographs. An archive of treasured historical images, beginning with a group scene at the time the cornerstone was placed, is also included alongside original architectural drawings and sketches.

Michigan's Capitol: Construction and Restoration is not only the history of a great vision realized, but a celebration of the rediscovery and revival of that vision in the 1980s and 1990s culminating in one of the most comprehensive restorations ever carried out on an American building. The author, William Seale, a part of the restoration team for Michigan's Capitol from the start, has written extensively about many American buildings, including the White House.

Written in a lively, narrative style accessible to readers of all ages, Michigan's Capitol: Construction and Restoration is an especially useful introduction to the art of building as well as the politics of public building.


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Misplacing Ogden, Utah
Race, Class, Immigration, and the Construction of Urban Reputations
Pepper Glass
University of Utah Press, 2020
How do we draw the lines between "good" and "bad" neighborhoods? How do we know “ghettos”? This book questions the widely held assumption that divisions between urban areas are reflections of varying amounts of crime, deprivation, and other social, cultural, and economic problems. Using Ogden, Utah, as a case study, Pepper Glass argues that urban reputations are “moral frontiers” that uphold and create divides between who is a good and respectable—or a bad and vilified—member of a community.

Ogden, a working-class city with a history of racial and immigrant diversity, has long held a reputation among Utahns as a “sin city” in the middle of an entrenched religious culture. Glass blends ethnographic research with historical accounts, census reports, and other secondary sources to provide insight into Ogden’s reputation, past and present. Capturing residents’ perceptions of an entire city, as opposed to only some of its neighborhoods, and exploring the regional contexts shaping these views, is rare among urban researchers. Glass’s unique approach suggests we can better confront urban problems by rethinking assumptions about place and promoting interventions that break down boundaries. 

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Montgomery C. Meigs and the Building of the Nation’s Capital
William C. Dickinson
Ohio University Press, 2001

At the age of thirty-six, in 1852, Lt. Montgomery Cunningham Meigs of the Army Corps of Engineers reported to Washington, D.C., for duty as a special assistant to the chief army engineer, Gen. Joseph G. Totten. It was a fateful assignment, both for the nation’s capital and for the bright, ambitious, and politically connected West Point graduate.

Meigs's forty-year tenure in the nation's capital was by any account spectacularly successful. He surveyed, designed, and built the Washington water supply system, oversaw the extension of the U.S. Capitol and the erection of its massive iron dome, and designed and supervised construction of the Pension Building, now the home of the National Building Museum. The skills he exhibited in supervising engineering projects were carefully noted by political leaders, including president-elect Abraham Lincoln, who named Meigs quartermaster general of the Union Army, the most important position he held during his long and active military career.

Meigs believed Washington, D.C., should be the reincarnation of Rome, the ancient capital of the Roman Empire. He endeavored to memorialize the story of the American nation in all the structures he built, expressing these ideas in murals, sculpture, and monumental design.

Historians have long known Meigs for the organizational genius with which he fulfilled his duty as quartermaster general during the Civil War and for his unwavering loyalty to Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. This volume establishes his claim as one of the major nineteenth-century contributors to the built environment of the nation's capital.


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Of Men and Monsters
Jeffrey Dahmer and the Construction of the Serial Killer
Richard Tithecott
University of Wisconsin Press, 1998

Of Men and Monsters examines the serial killer as an American cultural icon, one that both attracts and repels. Richard Tithecott suggests that the stories we tell and the images we conjure of serial killers—real and fictional—reveal as much about mainstream culture and its values, desires, and anxieties as they do about the killers themselves.


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Organizing Control
August Thyssen and the Construction of German Corporate Management
Jeffrey Fear
Harvard University Press, 2005

In a pioneering work, Jeffrey Fear overturns the dominant understanding of German management as “backward” relative to the U.S. and uncovers an autonomous and sophisticated German managerial tradition. Beginning with founder August Thyssen—the Andrew Carnegie of Germany—Fear traces the evolution of management inside the Thyssen-Konzern and the Vereinigte Stahlwerke (United Steel Works) between 1871 and 1934.

Fear focuses on the organization and internal dynamics of the company. He demonstrates that initiatives often flowed from middle managers, rather than from the top down. Shattering stereotypes of the overly bureaucratic and rigid German firm, Fear portrays a decentralized and flexible system that underscores the dynamic and entrepreneurial nature of German business. He fundamentally revises the scholarship on Alexander Gerschenkron and Germany’s Sonderweg, and critiques Max Weber’s concept of the corporation and capital accounting. He develops a loosely coupled relationship among enterprise strategy, organization, the structure of responsibility, and its accounting system, which links information, knowledge, and power inside the firm. This method of organizing control is central to understanding corporate governance.

Original and provocative, this work will generate much debate among historians, organizational theorists, and management and accounting scholars.


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Partisan Gerrymandering and the Construction of American Democracy
Erik J. Engstrom
University of Michigan Press, 2016

Erik J. Engstrom offers a historical perspective on the effects of gerrymandering on elections and party control of the U.S. national legislature. Aside from the requirements that districts be continuous and, after 1842, that each select only one representative, there were few restrictions on congressional districting. Unrestrained, state legislators drew and redrew districts to suit their own partisan agendas. With the rise of the “one-person, one-vote” doctrine and the implementation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, however, redistricting became subject to court oversight.

Engstrom evaluates the abundant cross-sectional and temporal variation in redistricting plans and their electoral results from all the states, from 1789 through the 1960s, to identify the causes and consequences of partisan redistricting. His analysis reveals that districting practices across states and over time systematically affected the competitiveness of congressional elections, shaped the partisan composition of congressional delegations, and, on occasion, determined party control of the House of Representatives.


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Postmodern Spiritual Practices
The Construction of the Subject and the Reception of Plato in Lacan, Derrida, and Foucault
Paul Allen Miller
The Ohio State University Press, 2007
Postmodern Spiritual Practices: The Construction of the Subject and the Reception of Plato in Lacan, Derrida, and Foucault, by Paul Allen Miller, argues that a key element of postmodern French intellectual life has been the reception of Plato. This fact has gone underappreciated in the Anglophone world due to a fundamental division in culture. Until very recently, the concerns of academic philosophy and philology have had little in common. On the one hand, this is due to analytic philosophy’s self-confinement to questions of epistemology, speech act theory, and philosophy of science. As such, it has had little to say about the relation between antique and contemporary modes of thought.
On the other hand, blindness to the merits of postmodern thought is also due to Anglo-American philology’s own parochial instincts. Ensconced within a nineteenth-century model of Alterumswissenschaft, only a minority of classicists have made forays into philosophical, psychoanalytic, and other speculative modes of inquiry. The result has been that postmodern French thought has largely been the province of scholars of modern languages. 
A situation thus emerges in which most classicists do not know theory, and so cannot appreciate the scope of these thinkers’ contribution to our understanding of the genealogy of Western thought, while most theorists do not know the Platonic texts and their contexts that ground them. This book bridges this gap, offering detailed and theoretically informed readings of French postmodernism’s chief thinkers’ debts to Plato and the ancient world. 

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Prayers and the Construction of Israelite Identity
Susanne Gillmayr-Bucher
SBL Press, 2019

Substantial insights into various identity discourses reflected in the biblical prayers

This collection of essays from an international group of scholars focuses on how biblical prayers of the Persian and early Hellenistic periods shaped identity, evoked a sense of belonging to specific groups, and added emotional significance to this affiliation. Contributors draw examples from different biblical texts, including Genesis, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, Psalms, Jonah, and Daniel.


  • Thorough study of prayers that play a key role for a biblical book’s (re)construction of the people’s history and identity
  • An examination of ways biblical figures are remodeled by their prayers by introducing other, sometimes even contradictory, discourses on identity
  • An exploration of different ways in which psalms from postexilic times shaped, reflected, and modified identity discourses

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Restoring Neighborhood Streams
Planning, Design, and Construction
Ann L. Riley
Island Press, 2016
Thirty years ago, the best thinking on urban stream management prescribed cement as the solution to flooding and other problems of people and flowing water forced into close proximity. Urban streams were perceived as little more than flood control devices designed to hurry water through cities and neighborhoods with scant thought for aesthetics or ecological considerations. Stream restoration pioneers like hydrologist Ann Riley thought differently. She and other like-minded field scientists imagined that by restoring ecological function, and with careful management, streams and rivers could be a net benefit to cities, instead of a net liability. In the intervening decades, she has spearheaded numerous urban stream restoration projects and put to rest the long-held misconception that degraded urban streams are beyond help.

What has been missing, however, is detailed guidance for restoration practitioners wanting to undertake similar urban stream restoration projects that worked with, rather than against, nature. This book presents the author’s thirty years of practical experience managing long-term stream and river restoration projects in heavily degraded urban environments. Riley provides a level of detail only a hands-on design practitioner would know, including insights on project design, institutional and social context of successful projects, and how to avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes. Early chapters clarify terminology and review strategies and techniques from historical schools of restoration thinking. But the heart of the book comprises the chapters containing nine case studies of long-term stream restoration projects in northern California. Although the stories are local, the principles, methods, and tools are universal, and can be applied in almost any city in the world.

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Seaway to the Future
American Social Visions and the Construction of the Panama Canal
Alexander Missal
University of Wisconsin Press, 2008
Realizing the century-old dream of a passage to India, the building of the Panama Canal was an engineering feat of colossal dimensions, a construction site filled not only with mud and water but with interpretations, meanings, and social visions. Alexander Missal’s Seaway to the Future unfolds a cultural history of the Panama Canal project, revealed in the texts and images of the era’s policymakers and commentators. Observing its creation, journalists, travel writers, and officials interpreted the Canal and its environs as a perfect society under an efficient, authoritarian management featuring innovations in technology, work, health, and consumption. For their middle-class audience in the United States, the writers depicted a foreign yet familiar place, a showcase for the future—images reinforced in the exhibits of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition that celebrated the Canal’s completion. Through these depictions, the building of the Panama Canal became a powerful symbol in a broader search for order as Americans looked to the modern age with both anxiety and anticipation.
            Like most utopian visions, this one aspired to perfection at the price of exclusion. Overlooking the West Indian laborers who built the Canal, its admirers praised the white elite that supervised and administered it. Inspired by the masculine ideal personified by President Theodore Roosevelt, writers depicted the Canal Zone as an emphatically male enterprise and Chief Engineer George W. Goethals as the emblem of a new type of social leader, the engineer-soldier, the benevolent despot. Examining these and other images of the Panama Canal project, Seaway to the Future shows how they reflected popular attitudes toward an evolving modern world and, no less important, helped shape those perceptions.

Best Books for Regional Special Interests, selected by the American Association of School Librarians, and Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Association

“Provide[s] a useful vantage on the world bequeathed to us by the forces that set out to put America astride the globe nearly a century ago.”—Chris Rasmussen, Bookforum

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Selective Remembrances
Archaeology in the Construction, Commemoration, and Consecration of National Pasts
Edited by Philip L. Kohl, Mara Kozelsky, and Nachman Ben-Yehuda
University of Chicago Press, 2008
When political geography changes, how do reorganized or newly formed states justify their rule and create a sense of shared history for their people? Often, the essays in Selective Remembrances reveal, they turn to archaeology, employing the field and its findings to develop nationalistic feelings and forge legitimate distinctive national identities.

Examining such relatively new or reconfigured nation-states as Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Israel, Russia, Ukraine, India, and Thailand, Selective Remembrances shows how states invoke the remote past to extol the glories of specific peoples or prove claims to ancestral homelands. Religion has long played a key role in such efforts, and the contributors take care to demonstrate the tendency of many people, including archaeologists themselves, to view the world through a religious lens—which can be exploited by new regimes to suppress objective study of the past and justify contemporary political actions.

The wide geographic and intellectual range of the essays in Selective Remembrances will make it a seminal text for archaeologists and historians.

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Sexual Cultures and the Construction of Adolescent Identities
edited by Janice M. Irvine
Temple University Press, 1994

This rich collection of essays presents a new vision of adolescent sexuality shaped by a variety of social factors: race and ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, physical ability, and cultural messages propagated in films, books, and within families. The contributors consider the full range of cultural influences that form a teenager's sexual identity and argue that education must include more than its current overriding message of denial hinged on warnings of HIV and AIDS infection and teenage pregnancy. Examining the sexual experiences, feelings, and development of Asians, Latinos, African Americans, gay man and lesbians, and disabled women, this book provides a new understanding of adolescent sexuality that goes beyond the biological approach all too often simplified as "surging hormones."

In the series Health, Society, and Policy, edited by Sheryl Ruzek and Irving Kenneth Zola.



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Shamans, Software, and Spleens
Law and the Construction of the Information Society
James Boyle
Harvard University Press, 1996

Who owns your genetic information? Might it be the doctors who, in the course of removing your spleen, decode a few cells and turn them into a patented product? In 1990 the Supreme Court of California said yes, marking another milestone on the information superhighway. This extraordinary case is one of the many that James Boyle takes up in Shamans, Software, and Spleens, a timely look at the infinitely tricky problems posed by the information society. Discussing topics ranging from blackmail and insider trading to artificial intelligence (with good-humored stops in microeconomics, intellectual property, and cultural studies along the way), Boyle has produced a work that can fairly be called the first social theory of the information age.

Now more than ever, information is power, and questions about who owns it, who controls it, and who gets to use it carry powerful implications. These are the questions Boyle explores in matters as diverse as autodialers and direct advertising, electronic bulletin boards and consumer databases, ethno-botany and indigenous pharmaceuticals, the right of publicity (why Johnny Carson owns the phrase "Here's Johnny!"), and the right to privacy (does J. D. Salinger "own" the letters he's sent?). Boyle finds that our ideas about intellectual property rights rest on the notion of the Romantic author--a notion that Boyle maintains is not only outmoded but actually counterproductive, restricting debate, slowing innovation, and widening the gap between rich and poor nations. What emerges from this lively discussion is a compelling argument for relaxing the initial protection of authors' works and expanding the concept of the fair use of information. For those with an interest in the legal, ethical, and economic ramifications of the dissemination of information--in short, for every member of the information society, willing or unwilling--this book makes a case that cannot be ignored.


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Stringing Together a Nation
Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon and the Construction of a Modern Brazil, 1906–1930
Todd A. Diacon
Duke University Press, 2004
Focusing on one of the most fascinating and debated figures in the history of modern Brazil, Stringing Together a Nation is the first full-length study of the life and career of Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon (1865–1958) to be published in English. In the early twentieth century, Rondon, a military engineer, led what became known as the Rondon Commission in a massive undertaking: the building of telegraph lines and roads connecting Brazil’s vast interior with its coast. Todd A. Diacon describes how, in stringing together a nation with telegraph wire, Rondon attempted to create a unified community of “Brazilians” from a population whose loyalties and identities were much more local and regional in scope. He reveals the work of the Rondon Commission as a crucial exemplar of the issues and intricacies involved in the expansion of central state authority in Brazil and in the construction of a particular kind of Brazilian nation.

Using an impressive array of archival and documentary sources, Diacon chronicles the Rondon Commission’s arduous construction of telegraph lines across more than eight hundred miles of the Amazon Basin; its exploration, surveying, and mapping of vast areas of northwest Brazil; and its implementation of policies governing relations between the Brazilian state and indigenous groups. He considers the importance of Positivist philosophy to Rondon’s thought, and he highlights the Rondon Commission’s significant public relations work on behalf of nation-building efforts. He reflects on the discussions—both contemporaneous and historiographical—that have made Rondon such a fundamental and controversial figure in Brazilian cultural history.


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Tropical Travels
Brazilian Popular Performance, Transnational Encounters, and the Construction of Race
By Lisa Shaw
University of Texas Press, 2018

Brazilian popular culture, including music, dance, theater, and film, played a key role in transnational performance circuits—inter-American and transatlantic—from the latter nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. Brazilian performers both drew inspiration from and provided models for cultural production in France, Portugal, Argentina, the United States, and elsewhere. These transnational exchanges also helped construct new ideas about, and representations of, “racial” identity in Brazil. Tropical Travels fruitfully examines how perceptions of “race” were negotiated within popular performance in Rio de Janeiro and how these issues engaged with wider transnational trends during the period.

Lisa Shaw analyzes how local cultural forms were shaped by contact with imported performance traditions and transnational vogues in Brazil, as well as by the movement of Brazilian performers overseas. She focuses specifically on samba and the maxixe in Paris between 1910 and 1922, teatro de revista (the Brazilian equivalent of vaudeville) in Rio in the long 1920s, and a popular Brazilian female archetype, the baiana, who moved to and fro across national borders and oceans. Shaw demonstrates that these transnational encounters generated redefinitions of Brazilian identity through the performance of “race” and ethnicity in popular culture. Shifting the traditional focus of Atlantic studies from the northern to the southern hemisphere, Tropical Travels also contributes to a fuller understanding of inter-hemispheric cultural influences within the Americas.


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True Faith, True Light
The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley
Kelly Mulhollan
University of Arkansas Press, 2015
In 1979, Ed Stilley was leading a simple life as a farmer and singer of religious hymns in Hogscald Hollow, a tiny Ozark community south of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Life was filled with hard work and making do for Ed, his wife Eliza, and their five children, who lived in many ways as if the second half of the twentieth century had never happened.

But one day Ed’s life was permanently altered. While plowing his field, he became convinced he was having a heart attack. Ed stopped his work and lay down on the ground. Staring at the sky, he saw himself as a large tortoise struggling to swim across a river. On his back were five small tortoises—his children—clinging to him for survival. And then, as he lay there in the freshly plowed dirt, Ed received a vision from God, telling him that he would be restored to health if he would agree to do one thing: make musical instruments and give them to children.

And so he did. Beginning with a few simple hand tools, Ed worked tirelessly for twenty-five years to create over two hundred instruments, each a crazy quilt of heavy, rough-sawn wood scraps joined with found objects. A rusty door hinge, a steak bone, a stack of dimes, springs, saw blades, pot lids, metal pipes, glass bottles, aerosol cans—Ed used anything he could to build a working guitar, fiddle, or dulcimer. On each instrument Ed inscribed “True Faith, True Light, Have Faith in God.”

True Faith, True Light: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley documents Ed Stilley’s life and work, giving us a glimpse into a singular life of austere devotion.

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The Way We Build
Restoring Dignity to Construction Work
Mark Erlich
University of Illinois Press, 2023
The construction trades once provided unionized craftsmen a route to the middle class and a sense of pride and dignity often denied other blue-collar workers. Today, union members still earn wages and benefits that compare favorably to those of college graduates. But as union strength has declined over the last fifty years, a growing non-union sector offers lower compensation and more hazardous conditions, undermining the earlier tradition of upward mobility. Revitalization of the industry depends on unions shedding past racial and gender discriminatory practices, embracing organizing, diversity, and the new immigrant workforce, and preparing for technological changes.

Mark Erlich blends long-view history with his personal experience inside the building trades to explain one of our economy’s least understood sectors. Erlich’s multifaceted account includes the dynamics of the industry, the backdrop of union policies, and powerful stories of everyday life inside the trades. He offers a much-needed overview of construction’s past and present while exploring roads to the future.


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Weaving Identities
Construction of Dress and Self in a Highland Guatemala Town
By Carol Hendrickson
University of Texas Press, 1995

Traje, the brightly colored traditional dress of the highland Maya, is the principal visual expression of indigenous identity in Guatemala today. Whether worn in beauty pageants, made for religious celebrations, or sold in tourist markets, traje is more than "mere cloth"—it plays an active role in the construction and expression of ethnicity, gender, education, politics, wealth, and nationality for Maya and non-Maya alike.

Carol Hendrickson presents an ethnography of clothing focused on the traje—particularly women's traje—of Tecpán, Guatemala, a bi-ethnic community in the central highlands. She covers the period from 1980, when the recent round of violence began, to the early 1990s, when Maya revitalization efforts emerged.

Using a symbolic analysis informed by political concerns, Hendrickson seeks to increase the value accorded to a subject like weaving, which is sometimes disparaged as "craft" or "women's work." She examines traje in three dimensions—as part of the enduring images of the "Indian," as an indicator of change in the human life cycle and cloth production, and as a medium for innovation and creative expression.

From this study emerges a picture of highland life in which traje and the people who wear it are bound to tradition and place, yet are also actively changing and reflecting the wider world. The book will be important reading for all those interested in the contemporary Maya, the cultural analysis of material culture, and the role of women in culture preservation and change.


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Yaqui Indigeneity
Epistemology, Diaspora, and the Construction of Yoeme Identity
Ariel Zatarain Tumbaga
University of Arizona Press, 2018
The Yaqui warrior is a persistent trope of the Mexican nation. But using fresh eyes to examine Yoeme indigeneity constructs, appropriations, and efforts at reclamation in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Mexican and Chicana/o literature provides important and vivid new opportunities for understanding. In Yaqui Indigeneity, Ariel Zatarain Tumbaga offers an interdisciplinary approach to examining representations of the transborder Yaqui nation as interpreted through the Mexican and Chicana/o imaginary.

Tumbaga examines colonial documents and nineteenth-century political literature that produce a Yaqui warrior mystique and reexamines the Mexican Revolution through indigenous culture. He delves into literary depictions of Yaqui battalions by writers like Martín Luis Guzmán and Carlos Fuentes and concludes that they conceal Yaqui politics and stigmatize Yaqui warriorhood, as well as misrepresent frequently performed deer dances as isolated exotic events.

Yaqui Indigeneity draws attention to a community of Chicana/o writers of Yaqui descent: Chicano-Yaqui authors such as Luis Valdez, Alma Luz Villanueva, Miguel Méndez, Alfredo Véa Jr., and Michael Nava, who possess a diaspora-based indigenous identity. Their writings rebut prior colonial and Mexican depictions of Yaquis—in particular, Véa’s La Maravilla exemplifies the new literary tradition that looks to indigenous oral tradition, religion, and history to address questions of cultural memory and immigration.

Using indigenous forms of knowledge, Tumbaga shows the important and growing body of literary work on Yaqui culture and history that demonstrates the historical and contemporary importance of the Yaqui nation in Mexican and Chicana/o history, politics, and culture.

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