Eve of the Festival is a study of Homeric myth-making in the first and longest dialogue of Penelope and Odysseus (Odyssey 19). This study makes a case for seeing virtuoso myth-making as an essential part of this conversation, a register of communication important for the interaction between the two speakers. At the core of the book is a detailed examination of several myths in the dialogue in an attempt to understand what is being said and how. The dialogue as a whole is interpreted as an exchange of performances that have the eve of Apollo’s festival as their occasion and that amount to activating, and even enacting, the myth corresponding within the Odyssey to the ritual event of the festival.
The historical decline of fertility in Europe has occupied a central place in social history and demography over the past quarter-century. Most scholars credit Europeans with modulating sexual behavior, through either abstinence or the practice of coitus interruptus, as a rational choice made in the interest of personal economic comfort; yet peasant and working classes have typically lagged behind in birth control and have given rise to the adage that "sexual embrace is the festival of the poor." Scholarly analyses of "lag" often reinforce this stigmatizing view. Now this subject is given a fresh look through a case study in Sicily, one of the last outposts of Western Europe's demographic transition.
By examining population changes in a single community between 1860 and 1980, the authors offer an extended review and critique of existing models of fertility decline in Europe, proposing a new interpretation that emphasizes historical context and class relations. They show how the spread of capitalism in Sicily induced an unprecedented rate of population growth, with boom-and-bust cycles creating the class experiences in which "reputational networks" came to redefine family life; how Sicilians began to control their fertility in response to class-mediated ideas about gender relations and respectable family size; and how the town's gentry, artisan, and peasant classes adopted family planning methods at different times in response to different pressures.
Jane and Peter Schneider's anthropologically oriented political-economy perspective challenges the position of Western Europe as a model for fertility decline on which every other case should converge, looking instead at the diversity of cultural ideals and practices--such as those found in Sicily--that influence the spread and form of birth control. Combining anthropological, oral historical, and archival methods in new and insightful ways, the authors' synthesis of a particular case study with a broad historical and theoretical discussion will play a major role in the ongoing debates over the history of European fertility decline and point the way toward integrating the analysis of demographic upheaval with the study of class formation and ideology.
This finely detailed statistical study of lynching in ten southern states shows that economic and status concerns were at the heart of that violent
practice. Stewart Tolnay and E. M. Beck empirically test competing explanations of the causes of lynching, using U.S. Census and historical voting data and a newly constructed inventory of southern lynch victims. Among their surprising findings: lynching responded to fluctuations in the price of cotton, decreasing in frequency when prices rose and increasing when they fell.
A talented poet and a gifted dramatist, Antonia Pulci (1452-1501) pursued two vocations, first as a wife and later as founder of an Augustinian order. During and after her marriage, Pulci authored several sacre rappresentazioni—one-act plays on Christian subjects. Often written to be performed by nuns for female audiences, Pulci's plays focus closely on the concerns of women. Exploring the choice that Renaissance women had between marriage, the convent, or uncloistered religious life, Pulci's female characters do not merely glorify the religious life at the expense of the secular. Rather, these women consider and deal with the unwanted advances of men, negligent and abusive husbands and suitors, the dangers of childbearing, and the disappointments of child rearing. They manage households and kingdoms successfully. Pulci's heroines are thoughtful; their capacity for analysis and action regularly resolve the moral, filial, and religious crises of their husbands and admirers.
Available in English for the first time, this volume recovers the long muted voice of an early and important female Italian poet and playwright.
The Festival of Trees, Tu Bishevat, celebrates nature's rebirth after winter. Seder Tu Bishevat not only marks the observance but celebrates Judaism's appreciation of the larger cycle of nature as the work of God. This volume contains two Seders: Seder I addresses both adults and children of various ages; Seder II is specifically designed for the understanding and participation of younger children. The book includes prayers and selections from traditional sources, original poetry by Rabbi Fisher and 20 songs with complete chording for guitar. Ideal for congregational and home use.