Age of Fracture
Daniel T. Rodgers Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress E169.12.R587 2011 | Dewey Decimal 973.91
Rodgers presents the first broadly gauged history of the ideas and arguments that profoundly reshaped America in the last quarter of the twentieth century. From the ways in which Ronald Reagan changed the formulas of the Cold War presidency to the era’s intense debates over gender, race, economics, and history, it maps the dynamics through which mid-twentieth-century ideas of structure fell apart between the mid 1970s and the end of the century. Where conventional histories of modern America have focused on specific decades, the book traces the larger transformations in social ideas and visions that reshaped the era from the early 1970s through the end of the century.
In this absorbing history, Henry Warner Bowden chronicles the encounters between native Americans and the evangelizing whites from the period of exploration and colonization to the present. He writes with a balanced perspective that pleads no special case for native separatism or Christian uniqueness. Ultimately, he broadens our understanding of both intercultural exchanges and the continuing strength of American Indian spirituality, expressed today in Christian forms as well as in revitalized folkways.
"Bowden makes a radical departure from the traditional approach. Drawing on the theories and findings of anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians, he presents Indian-missionary relations as a series of cultural encounters, the outcomes of which were determined by the content of native beliefs, the structure of native religious institutions, and external factors such as epidemic diseases and military conflicts, as well as by the missionaries' own resources and abilities. The result is a provocative, insightful historical essay that liberates a complex subject from the narrow perimeters of past discussions and accords it an appropriate richness and complexity. . . . For anyone with an interest in Indian-missionary relations, from the most casual to the most specialized, this book is the place to begin."—Neal Salisbury, Theology Today
"If one wishes to read a concise, thought-provoking ethnohistory of Indian missions, 1540-1980, this is it. Henry Warner Bowden's history, perhaps for the first time, places the sweep of Christian evangelism fully in the context of vigorous, believable, native religions."—Robert H. Keller, Jr., American Historical Review
As the end of the century approaches, many predict our fin de siècle will mirror the nineteenth-century decline into decadence. But a better model for the 1990s is to be found, according to Joan DeJean, in the culture wars of France in the 1690s—the time of a battle of the books known as the Quarrel between the Ancients and the Moderns.
DeJean brilliantly reassesses our current culture wars from the perspective of that earlier fin de siècle (the first to think of itself as such), and rereads the seventeenth-century Quarrel from the vantage of our own warring "ancients" and "moderns." In so doing, DeJean shows that a fin de siècle taking place in the shadow of culture wars can be more a source of constructive cultural revolution than of apocalyptic gloom and doom. Just as the first fin de siècle's battle of the books served as the spark that set off the Enlightenment, introducing radically new sexual and social politics that laid the groundwork for modernity, so can our current culture wars result in radical, liberating changes—if we take an active stand against our own "ancients" who seek to stifle such reforms.
Since the 1960s, many historians have condemned Booker T. Washington as a problematic, even negative, influence on African American progress. This attitude dramatically contrasts with the nationwide outpouring of grief and reverence that followed Washington's death in 1915. Kenneth M. Hamilton describes how, when, where, and why Americans commemorated the life of Booker T. Washington. For months following his death, tens of thousands of Americans, especially blacks, honored his memory. Their memorials revealed that Washington enjoyed widespread national support for his vision of America and the programs that he imparted to achieve his aspirations. Their actions and articulations provide rich insight into how a cross section of Washington's contemporaries viewed him. From private messages of solace to public pronouncements, countless Americans portrayed him as a revered national icon. Among other characteristics, commemorates voiced their appreciation of his humanitarianism, humility, nationalism, perseverance, philanthropy, progressivism, spirituality, and wisdom. Washington was the leading advocate of the Yankee Protestantism Ethic, which promoted education, and personal qualities such as pragmatism, perseverance, cleanliness, thrift, and the dignity of labor among African Americans.
Beginning with a short intellectual history of the academic culture wars, Eric Adler’s book examines popular polemics including those by Allan Bloom and Dinesh D’Souza, and considers the oddly marginal role of classical studies in these conflicts. In presenting a brief history of classics in American education, the volume sheds light on the position of the humanities in general.
Adler dissects three significant controversies from the era: the so-called AJP affair, which supposedly pitted a conservative journal editor against his feminist detractors; the brouhaha surrounding Martin Bernal’s contentious Black Athena project; and the dustup associated with Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath’s fire-breathing jeremiad, Who Killed Homer? He concludes by considering these controversies as a means to end the crisis for classical studies in American education. How can the study of antiquity—and the humanities—thrive in the contemporary academy? This book provides workable solutions to end the crisis for classics and for the humanities as well.
This major work also includes findings from a Web survey of American classical scholars, offering the first broadly representative impression of what they think about their discipline and its prospects for the future. Adler also conducted numerous in-depth interviews with participants in the controversies discussed, allowing readers to gain the most reliable information possible about these controversies.
Those concerned about the liberal arts and the best way to educate young Americans should read this book. Accessible and jargon-free, this narrative of scholarly scandals and their context makes for both enjoyable and thought-provoking reading.
Over the last two decades, right-wing populist parties in Western Europe have gained sizable vote shares and power, much to the fascination and consternation of political observers. Meshing traditionalism and communitarian ideals, right-wing populist parties have come to represent a polar normative ideal to the New Left in Western Europe. In his dynamic study Cleavage Politics and the Populist Right, Simon Bornschier applies a cultural as well as political dimension to analyze the parties of both the right and left in six countries. He develops a theory that integrates the role of political conflict around both established cleavages and party strategies regarding new divisions to explain the varying fortunes of the populist right.
Thirty years of progress on civil rights and a new era of immigration to the United States have together created an unprecedented level of diversity in American schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods. But increased contact among individuals from different racial and ethnic groups has not put an end to misunderstanding and conflict. On the contrary, entrenched cultural differences raise vexing questions about the limits of American pluralism. Can a population of increasingly mixed origins learn to live and work together despite differing cultural backgrounds? Or, is social polarization by race and ethnicity inevitable? These are the dilemmas explored in Cultural Divides, a compendium of the latest research into the origins and nature of group conflict, undertaken by a distinguished group of social psychologists who have joined forces to examine the effects of culture on social life. Cultural Divides shows how new lines of investigation into intergroup conflict shape current thinking on such questions as: Why are people so strongly prone to attribute personal differences to group membership rather than to individual nature? Why are negative beliefs about other groups so resistent to change, even with increased contact? Is it possible to struggle toward equal status for all people and still maintain separate ethnic identities for culturally distinct groups? Cultural Divides offers new theories about how social identity comes to be rooted in groups: Some essays describe the value of group membership for enhancing individual self-esteem, while others focus on the belief in social hierarchies, or the perception that people of different skin colors and ethnic origins fall into immutably different categories. Among the phenomena explored are the varying degrees of commitment and identification felt by many black students toward their educational institutions, the reasons why social stigma affects the self-worth of some minority groups more than others, and the peculiar psychology of hate crime perpetrators. The way cultural boundaries can impair our ability to resolve disputes is a recurrent theme in the volume. An essay on American cultures of European, Asian, African, and Mexican origin examines core differences in how each traditionally views conflict and its proper methods of resolution. Another takes a hard look at the multiculturalist agenda and asks whether it can realistically succeed. Other contributors describe the effectiveness of social experiments aimed at increasing positive attitudes, cooperation, and conflict management skills in mixed group settings. Cultural Divides illuminates the beliefs and attitudes that people hold about themselves in relation to others, and how these social thought processes shape the formation of group identity and intergroup antagonism. In so doing, Cultural Divides points the way toward a new science of cultural contact and confronts issues of social change that increasingly affect all Americans.
In a multi-cultural society, differing worldviews among groups can lead to conflict over competing values and behaviors. Nowhere is this tension more concrete than in the wilderness, where people of different cultures hunt and fish for the same animals. White Americans tend to see nature as something external which they have some responsibility to care for. In contrast, Native Americans are more likely to see themselves as one with nature. In Culture and Resource Conflict, authors Douglas Medin, Norbert Ross, and Douglas Cox investigate the discord between whites and Menominee American Indians over hunting and fishing, and in the process, contribute to our understanding of how and why cultures so often collide. Based on detailed ethnographic and experimental research, Culture and Resource Conflict finds that Native American and European American hunters and fishermen have differing approaches—or mental models—with respect to fish and game, and that these differences lead to misunderstanding, stereotyping, and conflict. Menominee look at the practice of hunting and fishing for sport as a sign of a lack of respect for nature. Whites, on the other hand, define respect for nature more on grounds of resource management and conservation. Some whites believe—contrary to fact—that Native Americans are depleting animal populations with excessive hunting and fishing, while the Menominee protest that they only hunt what they need and make extensive use of their catch. Yet the authors find that, despite these differences, the two groups share the fundamental underlying goal of preserving fish and game for future generations, and both groups see hunting and fishing as deeply meaningful activities. At its core, the conflict between these two groups is more about mistrust and stereotyping than actual disagreement over values. Combining the strengths of psychology and anthropology, Culture and Resource Conflict shows how misunderstandings about the motives of others can lead to hostility and conflict. As debates over natural resources rage worldwide, this unique book demonstrates the obstacles that must be overcome for different groups to reach consensus over environmental policy.
Religious traditions in the United States are characterized by ongoing tension between assimilation to the broader culture, as typified by mainline Protestant churches, and defiant rejection of cultural incursions, as witnessed by more sectarian movements such as Mormonism and Hassidism. However, legal theorist and Catholic theologian Cathleen Kaveny contends there is a third possibility—a culture of engagement—that accommodates and respects tradition. It also recognizes the need to interact with culture to remain relevant and to offer critiques of social, political, legal, and economic practices.
Kaveny suggests that rather than avoid the crisscross of the religious and secular spheres of life, we should use this conflict as an opportunity to come together and to encounter, challenge, contribute to, and correct one another. Focusing on five broad areas of interest—Law as a Teacher, Religious Liberty and Its Limits, Conversations about Culture, Conversations about Belief, and Cases and Controversies—Kaveny demonstrates how thoughtful and purposeful engagement can contribute to rich, constructive, and difficult discussions between moral and cultural traditions.
This provocative collection of Kaveny's articles from Commonweal magazine, substantially revised and updated from their initial publication, provides astonishing insight into a range of hot-button issues like abortion, assisted suicide, government-sponsored torture, contraception, the Ashley Treatment, capital punishment, and the role of religious faith in a pluralistic society. At turns masterful, insightful, and inspirational, A Culture of Engagement is a welcome reminder of what can be gained when a diversity of experiences and beliefs is brought to bear on American public life.
"Irene Taviss Thomson gives us a nuanced portrait of American social politics that helps explain both why we are drawn to the idea of a 'culture war' and why that misrepresents what is actually going on."
---Rhys H. Williams, Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, Loyola University Chicago
"An important work showing---beneath surface conflict---a deep consensus on a number of ideals by social elites."
---John H. Evans, Department of Sociology, University of California, San Diego
The idea of a culture war, or wars, has existed in America since the 1960s---an underlying ideological schism in our country that is responsible for the polarizing debates on everything from the separation of church and state, to abortion, to gay marriage, to affirmative action. Irene Taviss Thomson explores this notion by analyzing hundreds of articles addressing hot-button issues over two decades from four magazines: National Review, Time, The New Republic, and The Nation, as well as a wide array of other writings and statements from a substantial number of public intellectuals.
What Thomson finds might surprise you: based on her research, there is no single cultural divide or cultural source that can account for the positions that have been adopted. While issues such as religion, homosexuality, sexual conduct, and abortion have figured prominently in public discussion, in fact there is no single thread that unifies responses to each of these cultural dilemmas for any of the writers.
Irene Taviss Thomson is Professor Emeritus of Sociology, having taught in the Department of Social Sciences and History at Fairleigh Dickinson University for more than 30 years. Previously, she taught in the Department of Sociology at Harvard University.
This lively and controversial work critiques the conservative efforts in the 1970s and 1980s to undo the educational reforms of the 1960s, to reestablish control over the curriculum, and to change the nature of the debate and the goals of education.
"An outstanding work of educational theory and history."—John Coatsworth, University of Chicago
A decimated Shiite shrine in Iraq. The smoking World Trade Center site. The scorched cityscape of 1945 Dresden. Among the most indelible scars left by war is the destroyed landscapes, and such architectural devastation damages far more than mere buildings. Robert Bevan argues herethat shattered buildings are not merely “collateral damage,” but rather calculated acts of cultural annihilation.
From Hitler’s Kristallnacht to the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue in the Iraq War, Bevan deftly sifts through military campaigns and their tactics throughout history, and analyzes the cultural impact and catastrophic consequences of architectural destruction. For Bevan, these actions are nothing less than cultural genocide. Ultimately, Bevan forcefully argues for the prosecution of nations that purposely flout established international treaties against destroyed architecture.
A passionate and thought-provoking cri de coeur, The Destruction of Memory raises questions about the costs of war that run deeper than blood and money.
“The idea of a global inheritance seems to have fallen by the wayside and lessons that should have long ago been learned are still being recklessly disregarded. This is what makes Bevan’s book relevant, even urgent: much of the destruction of which it speaks is still under way.”—Financial Times Magazine
“The message of Robert Bevan’s devastating book is that war is about killing cultures, identities and memories as much as it is about killing people and occupying territory.”—Sunday Times
“As Bevan’s fascinating, melancholy book shows, symbolic buildings have long been targeted in and out of war as a particular kind of mnemonic violence against those to whom they are special.”—The Guardian
Juxtaposing “ecumenism” and “jihad,” two words that many would consider strange and at odds with one another, Peter Kreeft argues that we need to change our current categories and alignments. We need to realize that we are at war and that the sides have changed radically. Documenting the spiritual and moral decay that has taken hold of modern society, Kreeft issues a wake-up call to all God-fearing Christians, Jews, and Muslims to unite together in a “religious war” against the common enemy of godless secular humanism, materialism, and immorality.
Aware of the deep theological differences of these monotheistic faiths, Kreeft calls for a moratorium on our polemics against one another so that we can form an alliance to fight together to save Western civilization.
“Be forewarned. This book pricks prejudices, jostles assumptions, and can do permanent harm to complacent Christianity. Definitely not recommended for people who are unprepared for a rollickingly adventurous journey into truths that might change them forever. Don’t say you were not warned.” – Fr. Richard John Neuhaus
“Peter Kreeft is one of the premier apologists in America today, witty, incisive and powerful. On the front lines in today’s culture war, Kreeft is one of our most valiant intellectual warriors.” – Charles Colson
“This racy little book opens up a far-reaching theme. With entertaining insight Kreeft looks into the attitudes, alliances, and strategies that today’s state of affairs requires of believers. Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox alike need to ponder Peter Kreeft’s vision of things – preferably, in discussion together. What if he is right?” – J.I. Packer
“With his usual brilliance and wit, Peter Kreeft offers us a combat man manual for the culture wars. Ecumenical Jihad is a reasoned defense of the rights of God and the duties of man, and a bold exhortation to spiritual warfare. It is wise, holy, and prophetic.” – Michael O’Brien, editor, Nazareth Journal, and author of many novels.
The essays assembled in this volume are shaped by conditions—both enabling and constraining—that can perhaps best be described as an “ethnographic chiasmus.” This expression refers to the surprise and reversal of position that are characteristic of fieldwork, and it attends to the fact that transcultural understanding comes about as a meeting, touching, or “crossing.” Chiasmus also pertains to the relationship between culture and rhetoric in general. Culture structures rhetoric; rhetoric structures culture. Both are coemergent. In order to elucidate this process, ethnography has to focus on the manifold modes of rhetoric through which culture-specific patterns of thought and action are created.
The period since 1989 has been marked by the global endorsement of open markets, the free flow of finance capital and liberal ideas of constitutional rule, and the active expansion of human rights. Why, then, in this era of intense globalization, has there been a proliferation of violence, of ethnic cleansing on the one hand and extreme forms of political violence against civilian populations on the other?
Fear of Small Numbers is Arjun Appadurai’s answer to that question. A leading theorist of globalization, Appadurai turns his attention to the complex dynamics fueling large-scale, culturally motivated violence, from the genocides that racked Eastern Europe, Rwanda, and India in the early 1990s to the contemporary “war on terror.” Providing a conceptually innovative framework for understanding sources of global violence, he describes how the nation-state has grown ambivalent about minorities at the same time that minorities, because of global communication technologies and migration flows, increasingly see themselves as parts of powerful global majorities. By exacerbating the inequalities produced by globalization, the volatile, slippery relationship between majorities and minorities foments the desire to eradicate cultural difference.
Appadurai analyzes the darker side of globalization: suicide bombings; anti-Americanism; the surplus of rage manifest in televised beheadings; the clash of global ideologies; and the difficulties that flexible, cellular organizations such as Al-Qaeda present to centralized, “vertebrate” structures such as national governments. Powerful, provocative, and timely, Fear of Small Numbers is a thoughtful invitation to rethink what violence is in an age of globalization.
Sam Wineburg Temple University Press, 2001 Library of Congress D16.2.W56 2001 | Dewey Decimal 907
Since ancient times, the pundits have lamented young people's lack of historical knowledge and warned that ignorance of the past surely condemns humanity to repeating its mistakes. In the contemporary United States, this dire outlook drives a contentious debate about what key events, nations, and people are essential for history students. Sam Wineburg says that we are asking the wrong questions. This book demolishes the conventional notion that there is one true history and one best way to teach it.
Although most of us think of history -- and learn it -- as a conglomeration of facts, dates, and key figures, for professional historians it is a way of knowing, a method for developing and understanding about the relationships of peoples and events in the past. A cognitive psychologist, Wineburg has been engaged in studying what is intrinsic to historical thinking, how it might be taught, and why most students still adhere to the "one damned thing after another" concept of history.
Whether he is comparing how students and historians interpret documentary evidence or analyzing children's drawings, Wineburg's essays offer "rough maps of how ordinary people think about the past and use it to understand the present." Arguing that we all absorb lessons about history in many settings -- in kitchen table conversations, at the movies, or on the world-wide web, for instance -- these essays acknowledge the role of collective memory in filtering what we learn in school and shaping our historical thinking.
Human rights law and the legal protection of women from violence are still fairly new concepts. As a result, substantial discrepancies exist between what is decided in the halls of the United Nations and what women experience on a daily basis in their communities. Human Rights and Gender Violence is an ambitious study that investigates the tensions between global law and local justice.
As an observer of UN diplomatic negotiations as well as the workings of grassroots feminist organizations in several countries, Sally Engle Merry offers an insider's perspective on how human rights law holds authorities accountable for the protection of citizens even while reinforcing and expanding state power. Providing legal and anthropological perspectives, Merry contends that human rights law must be framed in local terms to be accepted and effective in altering existing social hierarchies. Gender violence in particular, she argues, is rooted in deep cultural and religious beliefs, so change is often vehemently resisted by the communities perpetrating the acts of aggression.
A much-needed exploration of how local cultures appropriate and enact international human rights law, this book will be of enormous value to students of gender studies and anthropology alike.
In recent decades, scholars have explored much of the history of mob violence in the American South, especially in the years after Reconstruction. However, the lynching violence that occurred in American regions outside the South, where hundreds of persons, including Hispanics, whites, African Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans died at the hands of lynch mobs, has received less attention. This collection of essays by prominent and rising scholars fills this gap by illuminating the factors that distinguished lynching in the West, the Midwest, and the Mid-Atlantic. The volume adds to a more comprehensive history of American lynching and will be of interest to all readers interested in the history of violence across the varied regions of the United States.
Contributors are Jack S. Blocker Jr., Brent M. S. Campney, William D. Carrigan, Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua, Dennis B. Downey, Larry R. Gerlach, Kimberley Mangun, Helen McLure, Michael J. Pfeifer, Christopher Waldrep, Clive Webb, and Dena Lynn Winslow.
The recent explosion of sociocultural, linguistic, and historical research on signed languages throughout the world has culminated in Many Ways to Be Deaf, an unmatched collection of in-depth articles about linguistic diversity in Deaf communities on five continents. Twenty-four international scholars have contributed their findings from studying Deaf communities in Japan, Thailand, Viet Nam, Taiwan, Russia, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain, Ireland, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil, Nicaragua, and the United States. Sixteen chapters consider the various antecedents of each country’s native signed language, taking into account the historical background of their development and also the effects of foreign influences and changes in philosophies by the larger, dominant hearing societies.
The remarkable range of topics covered in Many Ways to Be Deaf will fascinate readers, from the evolution of British fingerspelling traced back to the 17th century; the comparison of Swiss German Sign Language with Rhaeto-Romansch, another Swiss minority language; the analysis of seven signed languages described in Thailand and how they differ in relation to their distance from isolated Deaf communities to Bangkok and other urban centers; to the vaulting development of a nascent sign language in Nicaragua, and much more. The diversity of background and training among the contributors to Many Ways to Be Deaf distinguishes it as a genuine and unique multicultural examination of the myriad manifestations of being Deaf in a diverse world.
The first sustained critique of the ways museum exhibits shape cultural assumptions and political values.
Each year the more than seven thousand museums in the United States attract more attendees than either movies or sports. Yet until recently, museums have escaped serious political analysis. The past decade, however, has witnessed a series of unusually acrimonious debates about the social, political, and moral implications of museum exhibitions as varied as the Enola Gay display at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum and the Sensation exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
In this important volume, Timothy W. Luke explores museums' power to shape collective values and social understandings, and argues persuasively that museum exhibitions have a profound effect on the body politic. Through discussions of topics ranging from how the National Holocaust Museum and the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles have interpreted the Holocaust to the ways in which the American Museum of Natural History, the Missouri Botanical Gardens, and Tucson's Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum have depicted the natural world, Luke exposes the processes through which museums challenge but more often affirm key cultural and social realities.
Timothy W. Luke is University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Political Science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
After the Supreme Court's rejection of legal movie censorship in the 1950s and the demise of the Hays Production Code in the 1960s, various public groups have emerged as media watch dogs, replacing nearly all other sources of control. Responding to explicit violence against women, negative stereotypes of gay and lesbian images, "racist" representations, and "blasphemous" interpretations of the Bible, groups from bot Left and Right have staged protests in front of theaters and boycotted movie studios. The New Censors shows how groups on the Left empowered by social movements in the 1960s, and groups on the Right propelled by the successes of the New Christian Right and "The Moral Majority," have used similar strategies in attempting to control movie content.
The New Censors, the first study of the complex ways movies have been shaped in the years since the demise of the Code, covers a wide range of movies, protests, and government actions. From feminists against "Dressed to Kill," to religious campaigns against "The Last Temptation of Christ," to homosexuals ire over "Basic Instinct," Lyons links a study of public outrage against movies to the broader culture wars over "family values," pornography, and various lifestyle issues.
This book provides a contemporary history of controversial movies and a timely discussion of how cultural politics continues to affect the movie industry.
In the late 1990s Angels in America,Tony Kushner’s epic play about homosexuality and AIDS in the Reagan era, toured the country, inspiring protests in a handful of cities while others received it warmly. Why do people fight over some works of art but not others? Not Here, Not Now, Not That! examines a wide range of controversies over films, books, paintings, sculptures, clothing, music, and television in dozens of cities across the country to find out what turns personal offense into public protest.
What Steven J. Tepper discovers is that these protests are always deeply rooted in local concerns. Furthermore, they are essential to the process of working out our differences in a civil society. To explore the local nature of public protests in detail, Tepper analyzes cases in seventy-one cities, including an in-depth look at Atlanta in the late 1990s, finding that debates there over memorials, public artworks, books, and parades served as a way for Atlantans to develop a vision of the future at a time of rapid growth and change.
Eschewing simplistic narratives that reduce public protests to political maneuvering, Not Here, Not Now, Not That! at last provides the social context necessary to fully understand this fascinating phenomenon.
Given that Enlightenment rationality developed in Europe as European nations aggressively claimed other parts of the world for their own enrichment, scholars have made rationality the subject of postcolonial critique, questioning its universality and objectivity. In On Reason, the late philosopher Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze demonstrates that rationality, and by extension philosophy, need not be renounced as manifestations or tools of Western imperialism. Examining reason in connection to the politics of difference—the cluster of issues known variously as cultural diversity, political correctness, the culture wars, and identity politics—Eze expounds a rigorous argument that reason is produced through and because of difference. In so doing, he preserves reason as a human property while at the same time showing that it cannot be thought outside the realities of cultural diversity. Advocating rationality in a multicultural world, he proposes new ways of affirming both identity and difference.
Eze draws on an extraordinary command of Western philosophical thought and a deep knowledge of African philosophy and cultural traditions. He explores models of rationality in the thought of philosophers from Aristotle, René Descartes, Francis Bacon, and Thomas Hobbes to Noam Chomsky, Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam, and Jacques Derrida, and he considers portrayals of reason in the work of the African thinkers and novelists Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and Wole Soyinka. Eze reflects on contemporary thought about genetics, race, and postcolonial historiography as well as on the interplay between reason and unreason in the hearings of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He contends that while rationality may have a foundational formality, any understanding of its foundation and form is dynamic, always based in historical and cultural circumstances.
Edited by C. Richard King University of Illinois Press, 2000 Library of Congress E169.12.P647 2000 | Dewey Decimal 973.92
Scholars from a wide array of disciplines describe and debate postcolonialism as it applies to America in this authoritative and timely collection. Investigating topics such as law and public policy, immigration and tourism, narratives and discourses, race relations, and virtual communities, Postcolonial America clarifies and challenges prevailing conceptualizations of postcolonialism and accepted understandings of American culture.
Advancing multiple, even conflicted visions of postcolonial America, this important volume interrogates postcolonial theory and traces the emergence and significance of postcolonial practices and precepts in the United States. Contributors discuss how the unique status of the United States as the colony that became a superpower has shaped its sense of itself. They assess the global networks of inequality that have displaced neocolonial systems of conquest, exploitation, and occupation. They also examine how individuals and groups use music, the Internet, and other media to reconfigure, reinvent, and resist postcoloniality in American culture.
Candidly facing the inherent contradictions of "the American experience," this collection demonstrates the patterns, connections, and histories characteristic of postcoloniality in America and initiates important discussions about how these conditions might be changed.
Discussions of the relationship between religion and violence have been on the rise since 9/11. Conversations have also focused on how religion can mediate conflict and help build peace. This volume offers a diversity of approaches to the subject, gathering essays from a cross-section of prominent scholars studying the role of religion in peacemaking.
Contributors from varied backgrounds share perspectives and insights gleaned from history, theory, practice, and case studies. While the authors acknowledge the role of religion in generating conflict, they emphasize the part religion can play in conflict resolution. Addressing the centrality of conflict to the human condition, they recognize the consequent difficulty in teasing out the exact role of religion. Overall, the authors assert the necessity of frank, knowledgeable dialogue to understanding sources of, finding grounds for resolving, and managing conflict. Many of the essayists offer creative solutions for building peace. Employing examples and viewpoints drawn from diverse faith traditions, academic traditions, and cultural backgrounds, contributors seek to foster respectful dialogue and debate by exploring the complex dynamic that interconnects religion, violence, and peace.
In the years following the election of Donald Trump—a victory that hinged on the votes of white Midwesterners who were both geographically and culturally distant from the media’s coastal concentrations—there has been a flurry of investigation into the politics of the so-called “common man.” The notion that the salt-of-the-earth purity implied by this appellation is best understood by conservative politicians is no recent development, though. As Antti Lepistö shows in his timely and erudite book, the intellectual wellsprings of conservative “common sense” discourse are both older and more transnational than has been thought.
In considering the luminaries of American neoconservative thought—among them Irving Kristol, Gertrude Himmelfarb, James Q. Wilson, and Francis Fukuyama—Lepistö argues that the centrality of their conception of the common man accounts for the enduring power and influence of their thought. Intriguingly, Lepistö locates the roots of this conception in the eighteenth-century Scottish Enlightenment, revealing how leading neoconservatives weaponized the ideas of Adam Smith, Thomas Reid, and David Hume to denounce postwar liberal elites, educational authorities, and social reformers. Their reconfiguration of Scottish Enlightenment ideas ultimately gave rise to a defining force in modern conservative politics: the common sense of the common man. Whether twenty-first-century politicians who invoke the grievances of “the people” are conscious of this unusual lineage or not, Lepistö explains both the persistence of the trope and the complicity of some conservative thinkers with the Trump regime.
In this deeply researched prequel to his 2006 study Rough Justice: Lynching and American Society, 1874–1947, Michael J. Pfeifer analyzes the foundations of lynching in American social history. Scrutinizing the vigilante movements and lynching violence that occurred in the middle decades of the nineteenth century on the Southern, Midwestern, and far Western frontiers, The Roots of Rough Justice: Origins of American Lynching offers new insights into collective violence in the pre-Civil War era.
Pfeifer examines the antecedents of American lynching in an early modern Anglo-European folk and legal heritage. He addresses the transformation of ideas and practices of social ordering, law, and collective violence in the American colonies, the early American Republic, and especially the decades before and immediately after the American Civil War. His trenchant and concise analysis anchors the first book to consider the crucial emergence of the practice of lynching of slaves in antebellum America. Pfeifer also leads the way in analyzing the history of American lynching in a global context, from the early modern British Atlantic to the legal status of collective violence in contemporary Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.
Seamlessly melding source material with apt historical examples, The Roots of Rough Justice tackles the emergence of not only the rhetoric surrounding lynching, but its practice and ideology. Arguing that the origins of lynching cannot be restricted to any particular region, Pfeifer shows how the national and transatlantic context is essential for understanding how whites used mob violence to enforce the racial and class hierarchies across the United States.
This lively book recounts the explorations of the first generations of Spanish conquistadors and their Native allies. Author William K. Hartmann brings readers along as the explorers probe from Cuba to the Aztec capital of Mexico City, and then northward through the borderlands to New Mexico, the Grand Canyon, southern California, and as far as Kansas. Characters include Hernan Cortés, the conqueror; the Aztec ruler Motezuma; Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, a famous expedition leader; fray Marcos de Niza, an explorer-priest doomed to disgrace; and Viceroy Antonio Mendoza, the king’s representative who tried to keep the explorers under control.
Recounting eyewitness experiences that the Spaniards recorded in letters and memoirs, Hartmann describes ancient lifeways from Mexico to the western United States; Aztec accounts of the conquest; discussions between Aztec priests and Spanish priests about the nature of the universe; Cortés’s lifelong relationship with his famous Native mistress, Malinche (not to mention the mysterious fate of his wife); lost explorers who wandered from Florida to Arizona; and Marcos de Niza’s controversial reports of the “Seven Cities of Cíbola.”
Searching for Golden Empires describes how, even after the conquest of Mexico, Cortés remained a “wildcat” competitor with Coronado in a race to see who could find the “next golden empire,” believed to lie in the north. It is an exciting history of the shared story of the United States and Mexico, unveiling episodes both tragic and uplifting.
States of Grace was first published in 1997. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Leaving their depleted fields for better prospects, Senegalese immigrants have made their way to Italy in significant numbers. What this migration means, in the context of both the migratory traditions and conditions of Africa and the history and future of the European nation-state, is the subject of this timely and ambitious book.
Focusing on Turin, the northern Italian point of entry for so many Senegalese, States of Grace chronicles the arrival and formation of a transnational African Islamic community in a largely Catholic Western European country, one that did not have immigrant legislation until 1991. With no colonial relation to Italy, the Senegalese represent the vanguard of population movements expanding outside of the arch of former colonial powers.
Donald Martin Carter locates the Senegalese migration in the context of past African internal and international migration and of present crises in West African agriculture. He also shows how the Senegalese migration, constituting a "phenomenon" and catalyzing new immigration restrictions among European states, calls into question the European interstate system, the future of the nation-state, and the nature of its relationship with non-European states.
Throughout Europe, protectionist immigration policies are often crafted in chauvinist and racist tones in which "migrants" is a euphemism for blacks, Arabs, and Asians. States of Grace uses Senegalese migration to demonstrate that racial conceptions are crucial to understanding the classifications of non-national "outside" and internal "other." The book is a bracing encounter with the ever-increasing cultural and ethnic heterogeneity that is the new and pressing reality of European society.
Donald Martin Carter is visiting assistant professor of anthropology at Johns Hopkins University.
The term “subalternity” refers to a condition of subordination brought about by colonization or other forms of economic, social, racial, linguistic, and/or cultural dominance. Subaltern studies is, therefore, a study of power. Who has it and who does not. Who is gaining it and who is losing it. Power is intimately related to questions of representation—to which representations have cognitive authority and can secure hegemony and which do not and cannot. In this book John Beverley examines the relationship between subalternity and representation by analyzing the ways in which that relationship has been played out in the domain of Latin American studies.
Dismissed by some as simply another new fashion in the critique of culture and by others as a postmarxist heresy, subaltern studies began with the work of Ranajit Guha and the South Asian Subaltern Studies collective in the 1980s. Beverley’s focus on Latin America, however, is evidence of the growing province of this field. In assessing subaltern studies’ purposes and methods, the potential dangers it presents, and its interactions with deconstruction, poststructuralism, cultural studies, Marxism, and political theory, Beverley builds his discussion around a single, provocative question: How can academic knowledge seek to represent the subaltern when that knowledge is itself implicated in the practices that construct the subaltern as such? In his search for answers, he grapples with a number of issues, notably the 1998 debate between David Stoll and Rigoberta Menchú over her award-winning testimonial narrative, I, Rigoberta Menchú. Other topics explored include the concept of civil society, Florencia Mallon’s influential Peasant and Nation, the relationship between the Latin American “lettered city” and the Túpac Amaru rebellion of 1780–1783, the ideas of transculturation and hybridity in postcolonial studies and Latin American cultural studies, multiculturalism, and the relationship between populism, popular culture, and the “national-popular” in conditions of globalization.
This critique and defense of subaltern studies offers a compendium of insights into a new form of knowledge and knowledge production. It will interest those studying postcolonialism, political science, cultural studies, and Latin American culture, history, and literature.
Two Vermonts establishes a little-known fact about Vermont: that the state's fascination with tourism as a savior for a suffering economy is more than a century old, and that this interest in tourism has always been dogged by controversy. Through this lens, the book is poised to take its place as the standard work on Vermont in the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era. Searls examines the origins of Vermont's contemporary identity and some reasons why that identity ("Who is a Vermonter?") is to this day so hotly contested.
Searls divides nineteenth-century Vermonters into conceptually "uphill," or rural/parochial, and "downhill," or urban/cosmopolitan, elements. These two groups, he says, negotiated modernity in distinct and contrary ways. The dissonance between their opposing tactical approaches to progress and change belied the pastoral ideal that contemporary urban Americans had come to associate with the romantic notion of "Vermont." Downhill Vermonters, espousing a vision of a mutually reinforcing relationship between tradition and progress, unilaterally endeavored to foster the pastoral ideal as a means of stimulating economic development. The hostile uphill resistance to this strategy engendered intense social conflict over issues including education, religion, and prohibition in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The story of Vermont's vigorous nineteenth-century quest for a unified identity bears witness to the stirring and convoluted forging of today's "Vermont."
Searls's engaging exploration of this period of Vermont's history advances our understanding of the political, economic, and cultural transformation of all of rural America as industrial capitalism and modernity revolutionized the United States between 1865 and 1910. By the late Progressive Era, Vermont's reputation was rooted in the national yearning to keep society civil, personal, and meaningful in a world growing more informal, bureaucratic, and difficult to navigate. The fundamental ideological differences among Vermont communities are indicative of how elusive and frustrating efforts to balance progress and tradition were in the context of effectively negotiating capitalist transformation in contemporary America.
Cultural factions are an intrinsic part of the fabric of American politics. But does this mean that there is no room for compromise when groups hold radically different viewpoints on major issues? Not necessarily. For example, in a June 2003 Time/CNN poll, 49% of respondents identified themselves as pro-choice and 46% identified as pro-life. But in the same poll, 81% indicated that abortion should be "always legal" or "sometimes legal," suggesting that "pro-life" and "pro-choice" are not discrete positions but allow room for compromise.
How do legislators legislate policy conflicts that are defined in explicitly cultural terms such as abortion, gay marriage, and school prayer? American political institutions are frequently challenged by the significant conflict between those who embrace religious traditionalism and those who embrace progressive cultural norms. Uncompromising Positions: God, Sex, and the U.S. House of Representatives investigates the politics of that conflict as it is manifested in the proceedings of the U.S. House of Representatives. Oldmixon traces the development of these two distinct cultures in contemporary American politics and discusses the decision-making and leadership tactics used by legislators to respond to this division of values. She argues that cultural conflict produces an absolutist politics that draws on religious values not amenable to compromise politics. One possible strategy to address the problem is to build bipartisan coalitions. Yet, interviews with House staffers and House members, as well as roll calls, all demonstrate that ideologically driven politicians sacrifice compromise and stability to achieve short-term political gain. Noting polls that show Americans tend to support compromise positions, Oldmixon calls on House members to put aside short-term political gain, take their direction from the example of the American public, and focus on finding viable solutions to public policy—not zealous ideology.
When Patrick Buchanan took the stage at the Republican National Convention in 1992 and proclaimed, “There is a religious war going on for the soul of our country,” his audience knew what he was talking about: the culture wars, which had raged throughout the previous decade and would continue until the century’s end, pitting conservative and religious Americans against their liberal, secular fellow citizens. It was an era marked by polarization and posturing fueled by deep-rooted anger and insecurity.
Buchanan’s fiery speech marked a high point in the culture wars, but as Andrew Hartman shows in this richly analytical history, their roots lay farther back, in the tumult of the 1960s—and their significance is much greater than generally assumed. Far more than a mere sideshow or shouting match, the culture wars, Hartman argues, were the very public face of America’s struggle over the unprecedented social changes of the period, as the cluster of social norms that had long governed American life began to give way to a new openness to different ideas, identities, and articulations of what it meant to be an American. The hot-button issues like abortion, affirmative action, art, censorship, feminism, and homosexuality that dominated politics in the period were symptoms of the larger struggle, as conservative Americans slowly began to acknowledge—if initially through rejection—many fundamental transformations of American life.
As an ever-more partisan but also an ever-more diverse and accepting America continues to find its way in a changing world, A War for the Soul of America reminds us of how we got here, and what all the shouting has really been about.
When it was published in 2015, Andrew Hartman’s history of the culture wars was widely praised for its compelling and even-handed account of the way they developed and came to define American politics as the twentieth century drew to its close. Receiving nearly as much attention, however, was Hartman’s declaration that the culture wars were over—and the left had won. In the wake of Trump’s rise, which was driven in large part by aggressive fanning of those culture war flames, Hartman has brought A War for the Soul of America fully up to date, detailing the ways in which Trump’s success, while undeniable, represents the last gasp of culture war politics—and how the reaction he has elicited can show us early signs of the very different politics to come.
“As a guide to the late twentieth-century culture wars, Hartman is unrivalled. . . . Incisive portraits of individual players in the culture wars dramas. . . . Reading Hartman sometimes feels like debriefing with friends after a raucous night out, an experience punctuated by laughter, head-scratching, and moments of regret for the excesses involved.”—New Republic
Violent conflicts rooted in ethnicity have erupted all over the world. Since the Cold War ended and a new world order has failed to emerge, political leaders in countries long repressed by authoritarianism, such as Yugoslavia, have found it easy to mobilize populations with the ethnic rallying cry. Thus, the worldwide shift to democratization has often resulted in something quite different from effective pluralism.
This volume of essays assembles a diverse array of approaches to the problems of ethnic conflict, with researchers and scholars using pure theory, comparative case studies, and aggregate data analysis to approach the complex questions facing today’s leaders. How do we keep communal conflicts from deteriorating into sustained violence? What models can we follow to promote peaceful secession? What effect does--or should--ethnic conflict have on foreign policy?
Why did America invade Iraq? Why do nations choose to fight certain wars and not others? How do we bring ourselves to believe that the sacrifice of our troops is acceptable? For most, the answers to these questions are tied to struggles for power or resources and the machinations of particular interest groups. Philip Smith argues that this realist answer to the age-old "why war?" question is insufficient. Instead, Smith suggests that every war has its roots in the ways we tell and interpret stories.
Comprised of case studies of the War in Iraq, the Gulf War, and the Suez Crisis, Why War? decodes the cultural logic of the narratives that justify military action. Each nation, Smith argues, makes use of binary codes—good and evil, sacred and profane, rational and irrational, to name a few. These codes, in the hands of political leaders, activists, and the media, are deployed within four different types of narratives—mundane, tragic, romantic, or apocalyptic. With this cultural system, Smith is able to radically recast our "war stories" and show how nations can have vastly different understandings of crises as each identifies the relevant protagonists and antagonists, objects of struggle, and threats and dangers.
The large-scale sacrifice of human lives necessary in modern war, according to Smith, requires an apocalyptic vision of world events. In the case of the War in Iraq, for example, he argues that the United States and Britain replicated a narrative of impending global doom from the Gulf War. But in their apocalyptic account they mistakenly made the now seemingly toothless Saddam Hussein once again a symbol of evil by writing him into the story alongside al Qaeda, resulting in the war's contestation in the United States, Britain, and abroad.
Offering an innovative approach to understanding how major wars are packaged, sold, and understood, Why War? will be applauded by anyone with an interest in military history, political science, cultural studies, and communication.