Crossing: A Memoir
Deirdre N. McCloskey University of Chicago Press, 1999 Library of Congress HQ77.8.M39A3 1999 | Dewey Decimal 305.9066
We have read the stories of those who have "crossed" lines of race and class and culture. But few have written of crossing—completely and entirely—the gender line. Crossing is the story of Deirdre McCloskey (formerly Donald), once a golden boy of conservative economics and a child of 1950s and 1960s privilege, and her dramatic and poignant journey to becoming a woman. McCloskey's account of her painstaking efforts to learn to "be a woman" unearth fundamental questions about gender and identity, and hatreds and anxieties, revealing surprising answers.
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year
“I visited womanhood and stayed. It was not for the pleasures, though I discovered many I had not imagined, and many pains too. But calculating pleasures and pains was not the point. The point was who I am.”
Once a golden boy of conservative economics and a child of 1950s privilege, Deirdre McCloskey (formerly Donald) had wanted to change genders from the age of eleven. But it was a different time, one hostile to any sort of straying from the path—against gays, socialists, women with professions, men without hats, and so on—and certainly against gender transition. Finally, in 1995, at the age of fifty-three, it was time for McCloskey to cross the gender line.
Crossing is the story of McCloskey’s dramatic and poignant transformation from Donald to Dee to Deirdre. She chronicles the physical procedures and emotional evolution required and the legal and cultural roadblocks she faced in her journey to womanhood. By turns searing and humorous, this is the unflinching, unforgettable story of her transformation—what she lost, what she gained, and the women who lifted her up along the way.
A deeply researched and vividly written study, this book depicts religion in place and in movement, dwelling and crossing. Drawing on insights from the natural and social sciences, Tweed's work is grounded in the gritty particulars of distinctive religious practices, even as it moves toward ideas about cross-cultural patterns. It offers a responsible way to think broadly about religion, a topic that is crucial for understanding the contemporary world.
Crossing the Bay of Bengal
Sunil S. Amrith Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress JV8490.A728 2013 | Dewey Decimal 304.8091824
For centuries the Bay of Bengal served as a maritime highway between India and China, and as a battleground for European empires, while being shaped by monsoons and human migration. Integrating environmental history and mining a wealth of sources, Sunil S. Amrith offers insights to the many challenges facing Asia in the decades ahead.
Even before Nancy McCabe and her daughter, Sophie, left for China, it was clear that, as the mother of an adopted child from China, McCabe would be seeing the country as a tourist while her daughter, who was seeing the place for the first time in her memory, was “going home.” Part travelogue, part memoir, Crossing the Blue Willow Bridge immerses readers in an absorbing and intimate exploration of place and its influence on the meaning of family.
A sequel to Meeting Sophie, which tells McCabe’s story of adopting Sophie as a single woman, Crossing the Blue Willow Bridge picks up a decade later with a much different Sophie—a ten-year-old with braces who wears black nail polish, sneaks eyeliner, wears clothing decorated with skulls, and has mixed feelings about being one of the few non-white children in the little Pennsylvania town where they live. Since she was young, Sophie had felt a closeness to the country of her birth and held it in an idealized light. At ten, she began referring to herself as Asian instead of Asian-American. It was McCabe’s hope that visiting China would “help her become comfortable with both sides of the hyphen, figure out how to be both Chinese and American, together.”
As an adoptive parent of a foreign-born child, McCabe knows that homeland visits are an important rite of passage to help children make sense of the multiple strands of their heritage, create their own hybrid traditions, and find their particular place in the world. Yet McCabe, still reeling from her mother’s recent death, wonders how she can give any part of Sophie back to her homeland. She hopes that Sophie will find affirmation and connection in China, even as she sees firsthand some of the realities of China—overpopulation, pollution, and an oppressive government—but also worries about what that will mean for their relationship.
Throughout their journey on a tour for adopted children, mother and daughter experience China very differently. New tensions and challenges emerge, illuminating how closely intertwined place is with sense of self. As the pair learn to understand each other, they lay the groundwork for visiting Sophie’s orphanage and birth village, life-changing experiences for them both.
Discussion of Mexican migration to the United States is often infused with ideological rhetoric, untested theories, and few facts. In Crossing the Border, editors Jorge Durand and Douglas Massey bring the clarity of scientific analysis to this hotly contested but under-researched topic. Leading immigration scholars use data from the Mexican Migration Project—the largest, most comprehensive, and reliable source of data on Mexican immigrants currently available—to answer such important questions as: Who are the people that migrate to the United States from Mexico? Why do they come? How effective is U.S. migration policy in meeting its objectives? Crossing the Border dispels two primary myths about Mexican migration: First, that those who come to the United States are predominantly impoverished and intend to settle here permanently, and second, that the only way to keep them out is with stricter border enforcement. Nadia Flores, Rubén Hernández-León, and Douglas Massey show that Mexican migrants are generally not destitute but in fact cross the border because the higher comparative wages in the United States help them to finance homes back in Mexico, where limited credit opportunities makes it difficult for them to purchase housing. William Kandel's chapter on immigrant agricultural workers debunks the myth that these laborers are part of a shadowy, underground population that sponges off of social services. In contrast, he finds that most Mexican agricultural workers in the United States are paid by check and not under the table. These workers pay their fair share in U.S. taxes and—despite high rates of eligibility—they rarely utilize welfare programs. Research from the project also indicates that heightened border surveillance is an ineffective strategy to reduce the immigrant population. Pia Orrenius demonstrates that strict barriers at popular border crossings have not kept migrants from entering the United States, but rather have prompted them to seek out other crossing points. Belinda Reyes uses statistical models and qualitative interviews to show that the militarization of the Mexican border has actually kept immigrants who want to return to Mexico from doing so by making them fear that if they leave they will not be able to get back into the United States. By replacing anecdotal and speculative evidence with concrete data, Crossing the Border paints a picture of Mexican immigration to the United States that defies the common knowledge. It portrays a group of committed workers, doing what they can to realize the dream of home ownership in the absence of financing opportunities, and a broken immigration system that tries to keep migrants out of this country, but instead has kept them from leaving.
Given the limited economic opportunities in rural Nepal, the desire of young men of all income and education levels, castes and ethnicities to migrate has never been higher. Crossing the Border to India provides an ethnography of male labor migration from the western hills of Nepal to Indian cities. Jeevan Sharma shows how a migrant’s livelihood and gender, as well as structural violence impacts his perceptions, experiences, and aspirations.
Based on long-term fieldwork, Sharma captures the actual experiences of crossing the border. He shows that Nepali migration to India does not just allow young men from poorer backgrounds to “save there and eat here,” but also offers a strategy to escape the more regimented social order of the village. Additionally, migrants may benefit from the opportunities offered by the “open-border” between India and Nepal to attain independence and experience a distant world. However, Nepali migrants are subjected to high levels of ill treatment. Thus, while the idea of freedom remains extremely important in Nepali men’s migration decisions, their actual experience is often met with unfreedom and suffering.
Explores the application of a selected number of newly emerging methods and techniques.
During the past few decades, Caribbean scholars on both sides of the Atlantic have increasingly developed and employed new methods and techniques for the study of archaeological materials. The aim of earlier research in the Caribbean was mainly to define typologies on the basis of pottery and lithic assemblages leading to the establishment of chronological charts for the region, and it was not until the 1980s that the use of technological and functional analyses of artifacts became widespread. The 1990s saw a veritable boom in this field, introducing innovative methods and techniques for analyzing artifacts and human skeletal remains. Innovative approaches included microscopic use-wear analysis, starch residue and phytolith analysis, stable isotope analysis, experimental research, ethnoarchaeological studies, geochemical analyses, and DNA studies.
The purpose of this volume is to describe new methods and techniques in the study of archaeological materials from the Caribbean and to assess possible avenues of mutual benefit and integration. Exploring the advantages and disadvantages in the application of a selected number of newly emerging methods and techniques, each of these approaches is illustrated by a case study. These studies benefited from a diverse array of experience and the international background of the researchers from Canada, the Netherlands, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Italy, Mexico, Dominican Republic, England, and the United States who are integral members of the archaeological community of the Caribbean. A background to the study of archaeological materials in the Caribbean since the 1930s is provided in order to contextualize the latest developments in this field.
Benoît Bérard, Mathijs Booden, Iris Briels, Jago Cooper, Alfredo Coppa, Andrea Cucina, Gareth Davies ,Hylke de Jong, Christy de Mille, Corinne L. Hofman, Menno L. P. Hoogland, Charlene Dixon Hutcheson, Daan Isendoorn, Loe Jacobs, William F. Keegan, Harold J. Kelly, Sebastiaan Knippenberg, Yvonne M. J. Lammers-Keijsers,Fernando Luna Calderón, Marcos Martinón-Torres, Lee A. Newsom, Channah Nieuwenhuis José R. Oliver,Jaime R. Pagán Jiménez, Raphaël G. A. M. Panhuysen, Roberto Rodríguez Suárez, Glenis Tavarez María, Michael Turney, Roberto Valcárcel Rojas, Annelou L. van Gijn,Rita Vargiu,Tamara Varney, Johannes Zijlstra
From 1976 to 1998, the Gautreaux Assisted Housing Program moved over 7,000 low-income black families from Chicago's inner city to middle-class white suburbs—the largest and longest-running residential, racial, and economic integration effort in American history. Crossing the Class and Color Lines is the story of that project, from the initial struggles and discomfort of the relocated families to their eventual successes in employment and education—cementing the sociological concept of the "neighborhood effect" and shattering the myth that inner-city blacks cannot escape a "culture of poverty."
"This book's history of Chicago public housing should be required reading for anyone interested in social policy in the United States."—Jens Ludwig, Social Service Review
"[The authors'] work is rightly cited as one of the important precedents in the field. . . . This is a remarkable, unassailable accomplishment and this book is an important record of their scholarly contribution."—John M. Goering, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Winner of the 2017 Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize
Winner of the 2016 American Historical Association’s Wesley-Logan Prize in African diaspora
Finalist for the 2016 Fage and Oliver Prize from the African Studies Association of the UK
Interracial sex mattered to the British colonial state in West Africa. In Crossing the Color Line, Carina E. Ray goes beyond this fact to reveal how Ghanaians shaped and defined these powerfully charged relations. The interplay between African and European perspectives and practices, argues Ray, transformed these relationships into key sites for consolidating colonial rule and for contesting its hierarchies of power. With rigorous methodology and innovative analyses, Ray brings Ghana and Britain into a single analytic frame to show how intimate relations between black men and white women in the metropole became deeply entangled with those between black women and white men in the colony in ways that were profoundly consequential.
Based on rich archival evidence and original interviews, the book moves across different registers, shifting from the micropolitics of individual disciplinary cases brought against colonial officers who “kept” local women to transatlantic networks of family, empire, and anticolonial resistance. In this way, Ray cuts to the heart of how interracial sex became a source of colonial anxiety and nationalist agitation during the first half of the twentieth century.
Weapons improved rapidly after the Civil War, raising difficult questions about the battle tactics employed by the United States Army. The most fundamental problem was the dominance of the tactical defensive, when defenders protected by fieldworks could deliver deadly fire from rifles and artillery against attackers advancing in close-ordered lines. The vulnerability of these offensive forces as they crossed the so-called "deadly ground" in front of defensive positions was even greater with the improvement of armaments after the Civil War.
Amid a growing global forced displacement crisis, refugees and the organizations that assist them have turned to technology as an important resource in solving problems in humanitarian settings. This report analyzes technology uses, needs, and gaps, as well as opportunities for better using technology to help displaced people and improving the operations of responding agencies.
This remarkable volume examines the process by which three deaf, French biographers from the 19th and 20th centuries attempted to cross the cultural divide between deaf and hearing worlds through their work. The very different approach taken by each writer sheds light on determining at what point an individual’s assimilation into society endanger his or her sense of personal identity.
Author Hartig begins by assessing the publications of Jean-Ferdinand Berthier (1803-1886). Berthier wrote about Auguste Bébian, Abbé de l’Epée, and Abbé Sicard, all of whom taught at the National Institute for the Deaf in Paris. Although Berthier presented compelling portraits of their entire lives, he paid special attention to their political and social activism, his main interest.
Yvonne Pitrois (1880-1937) pursued her particular interest in the lives of deaf-blind people. Her biography of Helen Keller focused on her subject’s destiny in conjunction with her unique relationship with Anne Sullivan. Corinne Rocheleau-Rouleau (1881-1963) recounted the historical circumstances that led French-Canadian pioneer women to leave France. The true value of her work resides in her portraits of these pioneer women: maternal women, warriors, religious women, with an emphasis on their lives and the choices they made.
Crossing the Divide reveals clearly the passion these biographers shared for narrating the lives of those they viewed as heroes of an emerging French deaf community. All three used the genre of biography not only as a means of external exploration but also as a way to plumb their innermost selves and to resolve ambivalence about their own deafness.
The Driftless Area is the land the glaciers missed, an ancient landscape of bluffs, ridgetops, and steep valleys that long ago was a seabed. Covering much of southwestern Wisconsin, its contours were deeply carved from bedrock, not by ice but by many rivers. Crossing the Driftless is both a traveler’s tale and an exploration of this dramatic environment, following the streams of geologic and human history. Lynne Diebel and her husband, Bob, crossed the Driftless Area by canoe, journeying 359 river miles (and six Mississippi River locks and five portages) from Faribault, Minnesota, where her family has a summer home on Cedar Lake, to their Wisconsin home in Stoughton, one block from the Yahara River. Traveling by river and portage, they paddled downstream on the Cannon and Mississippi rivers and upstream on the Wisconsin River, in the tradition of voyageurs. Lynne tells the story of their trip, but also the stories of the rivers they canoed and the many tributaries whose confluences they passed.
Finalist, Travel, Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Awards
Honorable mention, Nonfiction book, Council for Wisconsin Writers
Winner, Recreation/Sports/Travel, Midwest Book Awards
Best books for public & secondary school libraries from university presses, American Library Association
Crossing the Gods examines the sometimes antagonistic and sometimes cozy but always difficult and dangerous relationship between religion and politics in countries around the globe.
Eminent sociologist of religion Jay Demerath traveled to Brazil, China, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, and Thailand to explore the history and current relationship of religion, politics, and the state in each country. In the first part of this wide-ranging book, he asks, What are the basic fault lines along which current tensions and conflicts have formed? What are the trajectories of change from past to present, and how do they help predict the future?
In the book’s second part the author returns home to focus on the United States the only nation founded specifically on the principle of a separation between religion and state and examines the extent to which this principle actually holds and the consequences when it does not. Highlighting such issues as culture wars, violence, globalization, and the fluidity of individual religious identity, Demerath exposes the provincialism and fallacies underlying many of our views of religion and politics worldwide.
Finally, Demerath examines America’s status as the world’s most religious nation. He places that claim within a comparative context and argues that our country is not “more religious” but “differently religious.” He argues that it represents a unique combination of congregational religion, religious pluralism, and civil religion. But the United States also illustrates the universal tendency for the sacred to give way to the secular and for the secular to generate new forms of the sacred.
Fog, tide, ice, and human error--before the American Revolution those who ventured to cross the vast Hudson Valley waterway did so on ferryboats powered by humans, animals, and even fierce winds. Before that war, not a single Hudson River bridge or tunnel had been built. It wasn't until Americans looked to the land in the fight for independence that the importance of crossing the river efficiently became a subject of serious interest, especially militarily. Later, the needs of a new transportation system became critical--when steam railroads first rolled along there was no practical way to get them across the water without bridges.
Crossing the Hudson continues this story soon after the end of the war, in 1805, when the first bridge was completed. Donald E. Wolf simultaneously tracks the founding of the towns and villages along the water's edge and the development of technologies such as steam and internal combustion that demanded new ways to cross the river. As a result, innovative engineering was created to provide for these resources.
From hybrid, timber arch, and truss bridges on stone piers to long-span suspension and cantilevered bridges, railroad tunnels, and improvements in iron and steel technology, the construction feats that cross the Hudson represent technical elegance and physical beauty. Crossing the Hudson reveals their often multileveled stories--a history of where, why, when, and how these structures were built; the social, political, and commercial forces that influenced decisions to erect them; the personalities of the planners and builders; the unique connection between a builder and his bridge; and the design and construction techniques that turned mythical goals into structures of utility and beauty.
In her new collection of poetry, Crossing the Ladder of Sun, Laura Apol explores the ordinary moments of life—watching her daughter, picking blueberries, sharing confidences with friends, arriving and leaving, and driving, always driving—and transforms them into the extraordinary. This book is rich with the lyrical found in what is considered the mundane as it portrays the multiple roles of a woman’s life—mother, daughter, lover, ex-wife, friend. Apol’s highly personal poems reflect a caring and compassion that transcends loneliness and heartache.
As W. E. B. DuBois famously prophesied in The Souls of Black Folk, the fiction of the color line has been of urgent concern in defining a certain twentieth-century U.S. racial “order.” Yet the very arbitrariness of this line also gives rise to opportunities for racial “passing,” a practice through which subjects appropriate the terms of racial discourse. To erode race’s authority, Gayle Wald argues, we must understand how race defines and yet fails to represent identity. She thus uses cultural narratives of passing to illuminate both the contradictions of race and the deployment of such contradictions for a variety of needs, interests, and desires. Wald begins her reading of twentieth-century passing narratives by analyzing works by African American writers James Weldon Johnson, Jessie Fauset, and Nella Larsen, showing how they use the “passing plot” to explore the negotiation of identity, agency, and freedom within the context of their protagonists' restricted choices. She then examines the 1946 autobiography Really the Blues, which details the transformation of Milton Mesirow, middle-class son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, into Mezz Mezzrow, jazz musician and self-described “voluntary Negro.” Turning to the 1949 films Pinky and Lost Boundaries, which imagine African American citizenship within class-specific protocols of race and gender, she interrogates the complicated representation of racial passing in a visual medium. Her investigation of “post-passing” testimonials in postwar African American magazines, which strove to foster black consumerism while constructing “positive” images of black achievement and affluence in the postwar years, focuses on neglected texts within the archives of black popular culture. Finally, after a look at liberal contradictions of John Howard Griffin’s 1961 auto-ethnography Black Like Me, Wald concludes with an epilogue that considers the idea of passing in the context of the recent discourse of “color blindness.” Wald’s analysis of the moral, political, and theoretical dimensions of racial passing makes Crossing the Line important reading as we approach the twenty-first century. Her engaging and dynamic book will be of particular interest to scholars of American studies, African American studies, cultural studies, and literary criticism.
In Crossing the Next Meridian, Charles F. Wilkinson, an expert on federal public lands, Native American issues, and the West's arcane water laws explains some of the core problems facing the American West now and in the years to come. He examines the outmoded ideas that pervade land use and resource allocation and argues that significant reform of Western law is needed to combat desertification and environmental decline, and to heal splintered communities. Interweaving legal history with examples of present-day consequences of the laws, both intended and unintended, Wilkinson traces the origins and development of the laws and regulations that govern mining, ranching, forestry, and water use. He relates stories of Westerners who face these issues on a day-to-day basis, and discusses what can and should be done to bring government policies in line with the reality of twentieth-century American life.
In this eloquent guide to the meanings of the postmodern era, Albert Borgmann charts the options before us as we seek alternatives to the joyless and artificial culture of consumption. Borgmann connects the fundamental ideas driving his understanding of society's ills to every sphere of contemporary social life, and goes beyond the language of postmodern discourse to offer a powerfully articulated vision of what this new era, at its best, has in store.
"[This] thoughtful book is the first remotely realistic map out of the post modern labyrinth."—Joseph Coates, The Chicago Tribune
"Rather astoundingly large-minded vision of the nature of humanity, civilization and science."—Kirkus Reviews
The True Story of an Impossible Mission During the Liberation of Italy
"World War II history writing at its best.” —Dallas Morning News
“Schultz convey stories of individual courage and fear. He presents the Rapido crossing as part of an experience that changed lives utterly.” —Publishers Weekly
“Well written, superbly documented and containing many helpful illustrations and maps, this fine book will appeal to military history enthusiasts of all ages.” —Read@MPL (Milwaukee Public Library)
“Duane Schultz has written another powerful account of the Second World War.” —Daily News, Iron Mountain, Michigan
“A fast-paced, dramatic account of World War II combat.”—Global War Studies
The Rapido River was the last natural barrier between General Mark W. Clark’s Fifth U.S. Army and Rome. Ignoring intelligence reports that the Germans had significant forces protecting the opposite side of the river, Clark ordered the 36th Division to make a nighttime crossing on January 20, 1944. The division, already coming through some of the heaviest fighting in Italy, knew they could not succeed: they had to cross a fast-flowing river at night in bitter cold and face one of the strongest, most formidable German defensive lines in Europe, full of minefields, veteran troops, and withering artillery and mortar fire. Once in the water, men in full field gear were borne away by the current or vanished in massive explosions. The few who managed to reach the other side found themselves pinned down unable to move. Soldiers died by the hundreds, yet the stunned survivors who fell back to the launch site were ordered to attack again, this time in daylight. Of the 4,000 men who attempted the crossing, more than half did not return. General Clark never accepted blame for ordering the assault despite the numerous warnings he received from both British and American commanders. Although they were decimated, the division went on to lead a key surprise attack that opened Rome to Allied forces, and ultimately fought in France, where they had the distinction of capturing Hermann Goering and Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt.
In Crossing the Rapido: A Tragedy of World War II, Duane Schultz follows the action at the ground level using survivors’ interviews and army documents to tell the story of one division’s sacrifice in war. In doing so, he demonstrates that the American soldier will face the greatest odds without protest, but expects those in command to share any failure or success.
“Those of us who were present will always remember the men of the 36th, climbing silently in the night behind the enemy, armed with little but their American competence and a personal faith in their quiet, retiring general who had never let them down. If Generals Alexander and Clark received the key to the city of Rome, it was General Walker who turned the key and handed it to them.” —Eric Sevareid, reporting from Italy during World War II
“I have never seen so many dead as on that day.” —John Huston, Academy Award winning director during his wartime filming of The Battle of San Pietro
Crossing the River
Shalom Eilati University of Alabama Press, 2008 Library of Congress DS135.L53E3513 2008
Crossing the River is a personal memoir—and more. Against the backdrop of Lithuania’s occupation—first by the Red Army, next by the Germans, and then again by the Russians—it is a story reflected through the prism of a sharp-eyed young child, Shalom Eilati. His story starts in the occupied Kovno Ghetto and ends with his flight across the Soviet border, through Poland and Germany and finally, his arrival in Palestine.
The adult survivor, while recalling the terrorized child that he was and how he then perceived the adult world, also takes stock of his present life. Throughout the memoir, Eilati attempts to reconcile his present life as a husband, father, scientist, and writer, with the images, feelings, and thoughts from the past that have left an indelible mark on his life and that continue to haunt him.
Crossing the River presents a wide range of Nguyen Huy Thiep's short fiction, both realistic stories in contemporary settings and retellings of folk myths that serve as contemporary parables. When Thiep's stories first appeared in the 1980s, they set off a chain of debate, not only within intellectual and political circles, but also within the society at large. Typically, the struggles of his characters were about survival, not survival in the context of war or revolution, but survival in the context of the emotional and psychological strength it takes to live within the harsh confines of post-war Vietnamese society. Thiep captured the emotional quality of Vietnamese life in a way no other author had done, and his importance can be recognized today by his enormous influence on younger writers.
On the outskirts of a European riverport city lives a powerful woman banker, a public figure admired and hated in equal measure, who has decided to turn from the worlds of high finance and modern life to embark on a quest. Having commissioned a famous writer to undertake her "authentic" biography, she journeys through the Spanish Sierra de Gredos and the region of La Mancha to meet him. As she travels by all-terrain vehicle, bus, and finally on foot, the nameless protagonist encounters five way stations that become the stuff of her biography and the biography of the modern world, a world in which genuine images and unmediated experiences have been exploited and falsified by commercialization and the voracious mass media.
In this visionary novel, Peter Handke offers descriptions of objects, relationships, and events that teach readers a renewed way of seeing; he creates a wealth of images to replace those lost to convention and conformity. Crossing the Sierra de Gredos is, as well, a very human book of yearning and the ancient search for love, peopled with memorable characters (from multiple historical periods) and imbued with Handke’s inimitable ability to portray universal, innerworldly adventures that blend past, future, present, and dreamtime.
In the summer of 2000, two award-winning photographers, Claire Garoutte and Anneke Wambaugh, were researching Afro-Cuban religious practices in Santiago de Cuba, a city on the southeastern coast of Cuba. A chance encounter led them to the home of Santiago Castañeda Vera, a priest-practitioner of Santería, Palo Monte, and Espiritismo, a Cuban version of nineteenth-century European Spiritism. Out of that initial meeting, a unique collaboration developed. Santiago opened his home and many aspects of his spiritual practice to Garoutte and Wambaugh, who returned to his house many times during the next five years, cameras in hand. The result is Crossing the Water, an extraordinary visual record of Afro-Cuban religious experience.
A book of more than 150 striking photographs in both black and white and color, Crossing the Water includes images of elaborate Santería altars and Palo spirit cauldrons, as well as of Santiago and his religious “family” engaged in ritual practices: the feeding of the spirits, spirit possession, and private and collective healing ceremonies. As the charismatic head of a large religious community, Santiago helps his godchildren and others who consult him to cope with physical illness, emotional crises, contentious relationships, legal problems, and the hardships born of day-to-day survival in contemporary Cuba. He draws on the distinct yet intertwined traditions of Santería, Palo Monte, and Espiritismo to foster healing of both mind and body—the three religions form a coherent theological whole for him.
Santiago eventually became Garoutte’s and Wambaugh’s spiritual godfather, and Crossing the Water is informed by their experiences as initiates of Santería and Palo Monte. Their text provides nuanced, clear explanations of the objects and practices depicted in the images. Describing the powerful intensity of human-spirit interactions, and evoking the sights, smells, sounds, and choreography of ritual practice, Crossing the Water takes readers deep inside the intimate world of Afro-Cuban spirituality.
Ever since he was asked to critique the poetry of a convicted murderer, he has lived in two worlds.
Richard Shelton was a young English professor in 1970 when a convict named Charles Schmid—a serial killer dubbed the “Pied Piper of Tucson” in national magazines—shared his brooding verse. But for Shelton, the novelty of meeting a death-row monster became a thirty-year commitment to helping prisoners express themselves. Shelton began organizing creative writing workshops behind bars, and in this gritty memoir he offers up a chronicle of reaching out to forgotten men and women—and of creativity blossoming in a repressive environment. He tells of published students such as Paul Ashley, Greg Forker, Ken Lamberton, and Jimmy Santiago Baca who have made names for themselves through their writing instead of their crimes. Shelton also recounts the bittersweet triumph of seeing work published by men who later met with agonizing deaths, and the despair of seeing the creative strides of inmates broken by politically motivated transfers to private prisons. And his memoir bristles with hard-edged experiences, ranging from inside knowledge of prison breaks to a workshop conducted while a riot raged outside a barricaded door. Reflecting on his decision to tutor Schmid, Shelton sees that the choice “has led me through bloody tragedies and terrible disappointments to a better understanding of what it means to be human.”
Crossing the Yard is a rare story of professional fulfillment—and a testament to the transformative power of writing.
Over the past ten years, more than 4,000 people have died while crossing the Arizona desert to find jobs, join families, or start new lives. Other migrants tell of the corpses they pass—bodies that are never recovered or counted.
Crossing With the Virgin collects stories heard from migrants about these treacherous treks—firsthand accounts told to volunteers for the Samaritans, a humanitarian group that seeks to prevent such unnecessary deaths by providing these travelers with medical aid, water, and food. Other books have dealt with border crossing; this is the first to share stories of immigrant suffering at its worst told by migrants encountered on desert trails.
The Samaritans write about their encounters to show what takes place on a daily basis along the border: confrontations with Border Patrol agents at checkpoints reminiscent of wartime; children who die in their parents’ desperate bid to reunite families; migrants terrorized by bandits; and hovering ghost-like above nearly every crossing, the ever-present threat of death.
These thirty-nine stories are about the migrants, but they also tell how each individual author became involved with this work. As such, they offer not only a window into the migrants’ plight but also a look at the challenges faced by volunteers in sometimes compromising situations—and at their own humanizing process.
Crossing With the Virgin raises important questions about underlying assumptions and basic operations of border enforcement, helping readers see past political positions to view migrants as human beings. It will touch your heart as surely as it reassures you that there are people who still care about their fellow man.
Born shortly before the Civil War, activist and reformer Fannie Barrier Williams (1855-1944) became one of the most prominent educated African American women of her generation. Hendricks shows how Williams became "raced" for the first time in early adulthood, when she became a teacher in Missouri and Washington, D.C., and faced the injustices of racism and the stark contrast between the lives of freed slaves and her own privileged upbringing in a western New York village.
She carried this new awareness to Chicago, where she joined forces with black and predominantly white women's clubs, the Unitarian church, and various other interracial social justice organizations to become a prominent spokesperson for Progressive economic, racial, and gender reforms during the transformative period of industrialization. By highlighting how Williams experienced a set of freedoms in the North that were not imaginable in the South, this clearly-written, widely accessible biography expands how we understand intellectual possibilities, economic success, and social mobility in post-Reconstruction America.
M. Jacqui Alexander is one of the most important theorists of transnational feminism working today. Pedagogies of Crossing brings together essays she has written over the past decade, uniting her incisive critiques, which have had such a profound impact on feminist, queer, and critical race theories, with some of her more recent work. In this landmark interdisciplinary volume, Alexander points to a number of critical imperatives made all the more urgent by contemporary manifestations of neoimperialism and neocolonialism. Among these are the need for North American feminism and queer studies to take up transnational frameworks that foreground questions of colonialism, political economy, and racial formation; for a thorough re-conceptualization of modernity to account for the heteronormative regulatory practices of modern state formations; and for feminists to wrestle with the spiritual dimensions of experience and the meaning of sacred subjectivity.
In these meditations, Alexander deftly unites large, often contradictory, historical processes across time and space. She focuses on the criminalization of queer communities in both the United States and the Caribbean in ways that prompt us to rethink how modernity invents its own traditions; she juxtaposes the political organizing and consciousness of women workers in global factories in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Canada with the pressing need for those in the academic factory to teach for social justice; she reflects on the limits and failures of liberal pluralism; and she presents original and compelling arguments that show how and why transgenerational memory is an indispensable spiritual practice within differently constituted women-of-color communities as it operates as a powerful antidote to oppression. In this multifaceted, visionary book, Alexander maps the terrain of alternative histories and offers new forms of knowledge with which to mold alternative futures.
In Sounds of Crossing Alex E. Chávez explores the contemporary politics of Mexican migrant cultural expression manifest in the sounds and poetics of huapango arribeño, a musical genre originating from north-central Mexico. Following the resonance of huapango's improvisational performance within the lives of audiences, musicians, and himself—from New Year's festivities in the highlands of Guanajuato, Mexico, to backyard get-togethers along the back roads of central Texas—Chávez shows how Mexicans living on both sides of the border use expressive culture to construct meaningful communities amid the United States’ often vitriolic immigration politics. Through Chávez's writing, we gain an intimate look at the experience of migration and how huapango carries the voices of those in Mexico, those undertaking the dangerous trek across the border, and those living in the United States. Illuminating how huapango arribeño’s performance refigures the sociopolitical and economic terms of migration through aesthetic means, Chávez adds fresh and compelling insights into the ways transnational music-making is at the center of everyday Mexican migrant life.