front cover of Fit to Be Tied
Fit to Be Tied
Sterilization and Reproductive Rights in America, 1950-1980
Kluchin, Rebecca M
Rutgers University Press, 2011
The 1960s revolutionized American contraceptive practice. Diaphragms, jellies, and condoms with high failure rates gave way to newer choices of the Pill, IUD, and sterilization. Fit to Be Tied provides a history of sterilization and what would prove to become, at once, socially divisive and a popular form of birth control.

During the first half of the twentieth century, sterilization (tubal ligation and vasectomy) was a tool of eugenics. Individuals who endorsed crude notions of biological determinism sought to control the reproductive decisions of women they considered "unfit" by nature of race or class, and used surgery to do so. Incorporating first-person narratives, court cases, and official records, Rebecca M. Kluchin examines the evolution of forced sterilization of poor women, especially women of color, in the second half of the century and contrasts it with demands for contraceptive sterilization made by white women and men. She chronicles public acceptance during an era of reproductive and sexual freedom, and the subsequent replacement of the eugenics movement with "neo-eugenic" standards that continued to influence American medical practice, family planning, public policy, and popular sentiment.


front cover of A Problem of Fit
A Problem of Fit
How the Complexity of College Pricing Hurts Students—and Universities
Phillip B. Levine
University of Chicago Press, 2022
A critical examination of the complex system of college pricing—how it works, how it fails, and how fixing it can help both students and universities.

How much does it cost to attend college in the United States today? The answer is more complex than many realize. College websites advertise a sticker price, but uncovering the actual price—the one after incorporating financial aid—can be difficult for students and families. This inherent uncertainty leads some students to forgo applying to colleges that would be the best fit for them, or even not attend college at all. The result is that millions of promising young people may lose out on one of society’s greatest opportunities for social mobility. Colleges suffer too, losing prospective students and seeing lower enrollments and less socioeconomic diversity. If markets require prices to function well, then the American higher-education system—rife as it is with ambiguity in its pricing—amounts to a market failure.

In A Problem of Fit, economist Phillip B. Levine explains why institutions charge the prices they do and discusses the role of financial aid systems in facilitating—and discouraging—access to college. Affordability issues are real, but price transparency is also part of the problem. As Levine makes clear, our conversations around affordability and free tuition miss a larger truth: that the opacity of our current college-financing systems is a primary driver of inequities in education and society. In a clear-eyed assessment of educational access and aid in a post-COVID-19 economy, A Problem of Fit offers a trenchant new argument for educational reforms that are well within reach.

front cover of Shaping Words to Fit the Soul
Shaping Words to Fit the Soul
The Southern Ritual Grounds of Afro-Modernism
Jürgen E. Grandt
The Ohio State University Press, 2009
Taking up where he left off with Kinds of Blue (The Ohio State University Press, 2004), Jürgen E. Grandt seeks to explore in depth some of the implications of the modernist jazz aesthetic resonating in the African American literary tradition. Grandt’s new book, Shaping Words to Fit the Soul:The Southern Ritual Grounds of Afro-Modernism, probes the ways in which modernism’s key themes of fragmentation, alienation, and epistemology complicate the mapping of the American South as an “authenticating” locus of African American narrative. Rather than being a site of authentication, the South constitutes a symbolic territory that actually resists the very narrative strategies deployed to capture it.
The figurative ritual grounds traversed in texts by Frederick Douglass, Jean Toomer, Richard Wright, and Tayari Jones reveal Afro-modernism as modernism with a historical conscience. Since literary Afro-modernism recurrently points to music as a symbolic territory of liberatory potential, this study also visits a variety of soundscapes, from the sorrow songs of the slaves to the hip-hop of the Dirty South, and from the blues of W. C. Handy to the southern rock of the Allman Brothers Band.
Afro-modernism as modernism with a historical conscience thus suggests a reconfiguration of southern ritual grounds as situated in time and mind rather than time and place, and the ramifications of this process extend far above and beyond the Mason-Dixon Line.

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