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Anonymous Connections
The Body and Narratives of the Social in Victorian Britain
Tina Young Choi
University of Michigan Press, 2016
Anonymous Connections asks how the Victorians understood the ethical, epistemological, and biological implications of social belonging and participation. Specifically, Tina Choi considers the ways nineteenth-century journalists, novelists, medical writers, and social reformers took advantage of spatial frames-of-reference in a social landscape transforming due to intense urbanization and expansion. New modes of transportation, shifting urban demographics, and the threat of epidemics emerged during this period as anonymous and involuntary forms of contact between unseen multitudes. While previous work on the early Victorian social body have tended to describe the nineteenth-century social sphere in static political and class terms, Choi’s work charts new critical terrain, redirecting attention to the productive—and unpredictable—spaces between individual bodies as well as to the new narrative forms that emerged to represent them. Anonymous Connections makes a significant contribution to scholarship on nineteenth-century literature and British cultural and medical history while offering a timely examination of the historical forebears to modern concerns about the cultural and political impact of globalization.


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Narratives of Disenchantment and the Model Minority
Eleanor Ty
University of Illinois Press, 2017
Eleanor Ty's bold exploration of literature, plays, and film reveals how young Asian Americans and Asian Canadians have struggled with the ethos of self-sacrifice preached by their parents. This new generation's narratives focus on protagonists disenchanted with their daily lives. Many are depressed. Some are haunted by childhood memories of war, trauma, and refugee camps. Rejecting an obsession with professional status and money, they seek fulfillment by prioritizing relationships, personal growth, and cultural success. As Ty shows, these storytellers have done more than reject a narrowly defined road to happiness. They have rejected neoliberal capitalism itself. In so doing, they demand that the rest of us reconsider our outmoded ideas about the so-called model minority.

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Border Identifications
Narratives of Religion, Gender, and Class on the U.S.-Mexico Border
By Pablo Vila
University of Texas Press, 2005

From poets to sociologists, many people who write about life on the U.S.-Mexico border use terms such as "border crossing" and "hybridity" which suggest that a unified culture—neither Mexican nor American, but an amalgamation of both—has arisen in the borderlands. But talking to people who actually live on either side of the border reveals no single commonly shared sense of identity, as Pablo Vila demonstrated in his book Crossing Borders, Reinforcing Borders: Social Categories, Metaphors, and Narrative Identities on the U.S.-Mexico Frontier. Instead, people living near the border, like people everywhere, base their sense of identity on a constellation of interacting factors that includes regional identity, but also nationality, ethnicity, and race.

In this book, Vila continues the exploration of identities he began in Crossing Borders, Reinforcing Borders by looking at how religion, gender, and class also affect people's identifications of self and "others" among Mexican nationals, Mexican immigrants, Mexican Americans, Anglos, and African Americans in the Cuidad Juárez-El Paso area. Among the many fascinating issues he raises are how the perception that "all Mexicans are Catholic" affects Mexican Protestants and Pentecostals; how the discourse about proper gender roles may feed the violence against women that has made Juárez the "women's murder capital of the world"; and why class consciousness is paradoxically absent in a region with great disparities of wealth. His research underscores the complexity of the process of social identification and confirms that the idealized notion of "hybridity" is only partially adequate to define people's identity on the U.S.-Mexico border.


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Chicanas of 18th Street
Narratives of a Movement from Latino Chicago
Leonard G. Ramirez
University of Illinois Press, 2011
Overflowing with powerful testimonies of six female community activists who have lived and worked in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, Chicanas of 18th Street reveals the convictions and approaches of those organizing for social reform. In chronicling a pivotal moment in the history of community activism in Chicago, the women discuss how education, immigration, religion, identity, and acculturation affected the Chicano movement. Chicanas of 18th Street underscores the hierarchies of race, gender, and class while stressing the interplay of individual and collective values in the development of community reform.
Highlighting the women's motivations, initiatives, and experiences in politics during the 1960s and 1970s, these rich personal accounts reveal the complexity of the Chicano movement, conflicts within the movement, and the importance of teatro and cultural expressions to the movement. Also detailed are vital interactions between members of the Chicano movement with leftist and nationalist community members and the influence of other activist groups such as African Americans and Marxists.

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City Scripts
Narratives of Postindustrial Urban Futures
Edited by Barbara Buchenau, Jens Martin Gurr, and Maria Sulimma
The Ohio State University Press, 2023

Storytelling shapes how we view our cities, legitimizing histories, future plans, and understandings of the urban. City Scripts responds to calls by literary theorists to engage a new kind of narrative analysis that recalibrates close reading and interpretation to the multiple ways in which narratives “do things”—how they intervene in the world and take action in everyday life. A multidisciplinary cast of contributors approaches this new way of looking at cities through the stories people tell about them, looking especially at political activism and urban planning, which depend on the invention of plausible stories of connectedness and of a redemptive future. 

The stakes are especially high in cities where economic, ecological, and social futures are delimited by histories of large-scale extraction and racialized industrial labor. Contributors thus focus on cities in postindustrial areas of Germany and the United States, examining how narratives about cities become scripts and how these scripts produce real-life results. This approach highlights how uses of narrative and scripting appeal to stakeholders in urban change. These actors continually deploy narrative, media, and performance, with consequences for urban futures worldwide. 


Lieven Ameel, Juliane Borosch, Barbara Buchenau, Florian Deckers, Barbara Eckstein, Kornelia Freitag, Walter Grünzweig, Randi Gunzenhäuser, Jens Martin Gurr, Elisabeth Haefs, Chris Katzenberg, Johannes Maria Krickl, Renee M. Moreno, Hanna Rodewald, Julia Sattler, Maria Sulimma, James A. Throgmorton, Michael Wala, Katharina Wood 


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Colonial Angels
Narratives of Gender and Spirituality in Mexico, 1580-1750
By Elisa Sampson Vera Tudela
University of Texas Press, 2000

Spain's attempt to establish a "New Spain" in Mexico never fully succeeded, for Spanish institutions and cultural practices inevitably mutated as they came in contact with indigenous American outlooks and ways of life. This original, interdisciplinary book explores how writing by and about colonial religious women participated in this transformation, as it illuminates the role that gender played in imposing the Spanish empire in Mexico.

The author argues that the New World context necessitated the creation of a new kind of writing. Drawing on previously unpublished writings by and about nuns in the convents of Mexico City, she investigates such topics as the relationship between hagiography and travel narratives, male visions of the feminine that emerge from the reworking of a nun's letters to her confessor into a hagiography, the discourse surrounding a convent's trial for heresy by the Inquisition, and the reports of Spanish priests who ministered to noble Indian women. This research rounds out colonial Mexican history by revealing how tensions between Spain and its colonies played out in the local, daily lives of women.


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

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Conversations on the Edge
Narratives of Ethics and Illness
Richard M. Zaner
Georgetown University Press, 2004

At the edge of mortality there is a place where the seriously ill or dying wait—a place where they may often feel vulnerable or alone. For over forty years, bioethicist cum philosopher Richard Zaner has been at the side of many of those people offering his incalculable gift of listening, and helping to lighten their burdens—not only with his considerable skills, but with his humanity as well.

The narratives Richard Zaner shares in Conversations on the Edge are informed by his depth of knowledge in medicine and bioethics, but are never "clinical." A genuine and caring heart beats underneath his compassionate words. Zaner has written several books in which he tells poignant stories of patients and families he has encountered; there is no question that this is his finest.

In Conversations on the Edge, Zaner reveals an authentic empathy that never borders on the sentimental. Among others, he discusses Tom, a dialysis patient who finally reveals that his inability to work—encouraged by his overprotective mother—is the source of his hostility to treatment; Jim and Sue, young parents who must face the nightmare of letting go of their premature twins, one after the other; Mrs. Oland, whose family refuses to recognize her calm acceptance of her own death; and, in the final chapter, the author's mother, whose slow demise continues to haunt Zaner's professional and personal life.

These stories are filled with pain and joy, loneliness and hope. They are about life and death, about what happens in hospital rooms—and that place at the edge—when we confront mortality. It is the rarest of glimpses into the world of patients, their families, healers, and those who struggle, like Zaner, to understand.


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Cree Legends and Narratives from the West Coast of James Bay
Simeon Scott
University of Manitoba Press, 1995
This is the first major body of annotated texts in James Bay Cree, and a unique documentation of Swampy and Moose Cree (Western James Bay) usage of the 1950s and 1960s. Conversations and interviews with 16 different speakers include: legends, reminiscences, historical narratives, stories and conversations, as well as descriptions of technology. The book includes a detailed pronunciation guide, notes on Cree terms, informants' comments, dialect variations, and descriptions of cultural values and customs. The introduction describes and compares the various genres in traditional and popular culture. Cree and English, with full glosssary.

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Domestic Broils
Shakers, Antebellum Marriage, and the Narratives of Mary and Joseph Dyer
Elizabeth De Wolfe
University of Massachusetts Press, 2010
In 1813, Joseph Dyer, his wife Mary, and their five children joined the Shaker community in Enfield, New Hampshire. Joseph quickly adapted to the Shaker way of life, but Mary chafed under its strictures and eventually left the community two years later. When the local elders and her husband refused to release the couple’s children to Mary, she embarked on what would become a fifty-year campaign against the Shakers, beginning with the publication in 1818 of A Brief Statement of the Sufferings of Mary Dyer. The following year the Shakers countered by publishing Joseph’s A Compendious Narrative, a scathing attack on what the title page called “the character, disposition and conduct of Mary Dyer.” Reproduced here for the first time since their original publication, the Dyers’ dueling accounts of the breakup of their marriage form the core of Domestic Broils. In Mary’s telling, the deceptions of a cruel husband, backed by an unyielding Shaker hierarchy, destroyed what had once been a happy, productive family. Joseph’s narrative counters these claims by alleging that Mary abused her children, neglected her husband, and engaged in extramarital affairs. In her introduction to the volume, Elizabeth De Wolfe places the Dyers’ marital dispute in a broader historical context, drawing on their personal testimony to examine connected but conflicting views of marriage, family life, and Shakerism in the early republic. She also shows how the growing world of print facilitated the transformation of a private family quarrel into a public debate. Salacious, riveting, and immensely popular throughout New England, the Dyers’ narratives not only captured imaginations but also reflected public anxieties over rapid cultural change in antebellum America.

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Europe Faces Europe
Narratives from Its Eastern Half
Edited by Johan Fornäs
Intellect Books, 2017
Europe Faces Europe examines Eastern European perspectives on European identity. The contributors to this volume map narratives of Europe rooted in Eastern Europe, examining their relationship to philosophy, journalism, social movements, literary texts, visual art, and popular music. Moving the debate and research on European identity beyond the geographical power center, the essays explore how Europeanness is conceived of in the dynamic region of Eastern Europe. Offering a fresh take on European identity, Europe Faces Europe comes at an important time, when Eastern Europe and European identity are in an important and vibrant phase of transition.

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"The Female Marine" and Related Works
Narratives of Cross-Dressing and Urban Vice in America's Early Republic
Daniel A. Cohen
University of Massachusetts Press, 1998
This is the first complete modern edition of The Female Marine, a fictional cross-dressing trilogy originally published between 1815 and 1818. Enormously popular among New England readers, the tale in various versions appeared in no fewer than nineteen editions over that brief four-year span. This new edition appends three other contemporary accounts of cross-dressing and urban vice which, together with The Female Marine, provide a unique portrayal of prostitution and interracial city life in early-nineteenth-century America.

The alternately racy and moralistic narrative recounts the adventures of a young woman from rural Massachusetts who is seduced by a false-hearted lover, flees to Boston, and is entrapped in a brothel. She eventually escapes by disguising herself as a man and serves with distinction on board the U.S. frigate Constitution during the War of 1812. After subsequent onshore adventures in and out of male dress, she is happily married to a wealthy New York gentleman.

In his introduction, Daniel A. Cohen situates the story in both its literary and historical contexts. He explains how the tale draws upon a number of popular Anglo-American literary genres, including the female warrior narrative, the sentimental novel, and the urban exposé. He then explores how The Female Marine reflects early-nineteenth-century anxieties concerning changing gender norms, the expansion of urban prostitution, the growth of Boston's African American community, and feelings of guilt aroused by New England's notoriously unpatriotic activities during the War of 1812.

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The Frontiers of Women's Writing
Women's Narratives and the Rhetoric of Westward Expansion
Brigitte Georgi-Findlay
University of Arizona Press, 1996
Although the myth of the American frontier is largely the product of writings by men, a substantial body of writings by women exists that casts the era of western expansion in a different light. In this study of American women's writings about the West between 1830 and 1930, a European scholar provides a reconstruction and new vision of frontier narrative from a perspective that has frequently been overlooked or taken for granted in discussions of the frontier.

Brigitte Georgi-Findlay presents a range of writings that reflects the diversity of the western experience. Beginning with the narratives of Caroline Kirkland and other women of the early frontier, she reviews the diaries of the overland trails; letters and journals of the wives of army officers during the Indian wars; professional writings, focusing largely on travel, by women such as Caroline Leighton from the regional publishing cultures that emerged in the Far West during the last quarter of the century; and late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century accounts of missionaries and teachers on Indian reservations. Most of the writers were white, literate women who asserted their own kind of cultural authority over the lands and people they encountered. Their accounts are not only set in relation to a masculine frontier myth but also investigated for clues about their own involvement with territorial expansion. By exploring the various ways in which women writers actively contributed to and at times rejected the development of a national narrative of territorial expansion based on empire building and colonization, the author shows how their accounts are implicated in expansionist processes at the same time that they formulate positions of innocence and detachment.

Georgi-Findlay has drawn on American studies scholarship, feminist criticism, and studies of colonial discourse to examine the strategies of women's representation in writing about the West in ways that most theorists have not. She critiques generally accepted stereotypes and assumptions--both about women's writing and its difference of view in particular, and about frontier discourse and the rhetoric of westward expansion in general--as she offers a significant contribution to literary studies of the West that will challenge scholars across a wide range of disciplines.

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Gay Fatherhood
Narratives of Family and Citizenship in America
Ellen Lewin
University of Chicago Press, 2009

Men are often thought to have less interest in parenting than women, and gay men are generally assumed to prefer pleasure over responsibility. The toxic combination of these two stereotypical views has led to a lack of serious attention being paid to the experiences of gay fathers. But the truth is that more and more gay men are setting out to become parents and succeeding—and Gay Fatherhood aims to tell their stories.

Ellen Lewin takes as her focus people who undertake the difficult process of becoming fathers as gay men, rather than having become fathers while married to women. These men face unique challenges in their quest for fatherhood, negotiating specific bureaucratic and financial conditions as they pursue adoption or surrogacy and juggling questions about their future child’s race, age, sex, and health. Gay Fatherhood chronicles the lives of these men, exploring how they cope with political attacks from both the "family values" right and the "radical queer" left—while also shedding light on the evolving meanings of family in twenty-first-century America.


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Hemispheric Imaginings
The Monroe Doctrine and Narratives of U.S. Empire
Gretchen Murphy
Duke University Press, 2005
In 1823, President James Monroe announced that the Western Hemisphere was closed to any future European colonization and that the United States would protect the Americas as a space destined for democracy. Over the next century, these ideas—which came to be known as the Monroe Doctrine—provided the framework through which Americans understood and articulated their military and diplomatic role in the world. Hemispheric Imaginings demonstrates that North Americans conceived and developed the Monroe Doctrine in relation to transatlantic literary narratives. Gretchen Murphy argues that fiction and journalism were crucial to popularizing and making sense of the Doctrine’s contradictions, including the fact that it both drove and concealed U.S. imperialism. Presenting fiction and popular journalism as key arenas in which such inconsistencies were challenged or obscured, Murphy highlights the major role writers played in shaping conceptions of the U.S. empire.

Murphy juxtaposes close readings of novels with analyses of nonfiction texts. From uncovering the literary inspirations for the Monroe Doctrine itself to tracing visions of hemispheric unity and transatlantic separation in novels by Lydia Maria Child, Nathaniel Hawthorne, María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Lew Wallace, and Richard Harding Davis, she reveals the Doctrine’s forgotten cultural history. In making a vital contribution to the effort to move American Studies beyond its limited focus on the United States, Murphy questions recent proposals to reframe the discipline in hemispheric terms. She warns that to do so risks replicating the Monroe Doctrine’s proprietary claim to isolate the Americas from the rest of the world.


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Hong Kong Movers and Stayers
Narratives of Family Migration
Janet W. Salaff, Siu-lun Wong, and Arent Greve
University of Illinois Press, 2010

Half a million Hong Kong residents fled their homeland during the thirteen years before Hong Kong's reversion to China in 1997. Nearly half of those returned within the next several years. Filled with detailed, first-hand stories of nine Hong Kong families over nearly two decades, Hong Kong Movers and Stayers is a multifaceted yet intimate look at the forces behind Hong Kong families' successful, and failed, efforts at migration and settlement. 

Defining migration as a process, not a single act of leaving, Hong Kong Movers and Stayers provides an antidote to ethnocentric and simplistic theories by uncovering migration stories as they relate to social structures and social capital. The authors meld survey analysis, personal biography, and sociology and compare multiple families in order to give voice to the interplay of gender, age, and diverse family roles as motivating factors in migration.


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Hornyheads, Madtoms, and Darters
Narratives on Central Appalachian Fishes
Stuart A. Welsh
Ohio University Press, 2023
A collection of essays on nature, naturalists, and the natural history of fishes in central Appalachia. A nature lover’s paradise, central Appalachia supports a diversity of life in an extensive network of waterways and is home to a dazzling array of fish species. This book focuses not only on the fishes of central Appalachia but also on the fascinating things these fishes do in their natural habitats. An ecological dance unfolds from a species and population perspective, although the influence of the community and the ecosystem also figures in the text. Stuart A. Welsh’s essays link central Appalachian fishes with the complexities of competition and predation, species conservation, parasitic infections, climate change, public attitudes, reproductive and foraging ecology, unique morphology, habitat use, and nonnative species. The book addresses a selection of the families of central Appalachian fishes, including lampreys, gars, freshwater eels, pikes, minnows, suckers, catfishes, trouts, trout-perches, sculpins, sunfishes, and perches. These essays often refer to the works of naturalists who contributed to our knowledge of nature during previous centuries and who recorded their discoveries when science writing was less concise than it is today. Although many of these works are nearly forgotten, these early naturalists built a strong knowledge base that supports much of our current science and thus merits reexamination. Most people are not scientists, but many have an interest in nature and are, in their own way, naturalists. This book is for those people willing to peer beneath the water’s surface.

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How to Be South Asian in America
Narratives of Ambivalence and Belonging
Authored by anupama jain
Temple University Press, 2011

Providing a useful analysis of and framework for understanding immigration and assimilation narratives, anupama jain's How to Be South Asian in America considers the myth of the American Dream in fiction (Meena Alexander's Manhattan Music), film (American Desi, American Chai), and personal testimonies. By interrogating familiar American stories in the context of more supposedly exotic narratives, jain illuminates complexities of belonging that also reveal South Asians' anxieties about belonging, (trans)nationalism, and processes of cultural interpenetration.

jain argues that these stories transform as well as reflect cultural processes, and she shows just how aspects of identity—gender, sexual, class, ethnic, national—are shaped by South Asians' accommodation of and resistance to mainstream American culture.


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Imagining the Forest
Narratives of Michigan and the Upper Midwest
John Knott
University of Michigan Press, 2011

Forests have always been more than just their trees. The forests in Michigan (and similar forests in other Great Lakes states such as Wisconsin and Minnesota) played a role in the American cultural imagination from the beginnings of European settlement in the early nineteenth century to the present. Our relationships with those forests have been shaped by the cultural attitudes of the times, and people have invested in them both moral and spiritual meanings.

Author John Knott draws upon such works as Simon Schama's Landscape and Memory and Robert Pogue Harrison's Forests: The Shadow of Civilization in exploring ways in which our
relationships with forests have been shaped, using Michigan---its history of settlement, popular literature, and forest management controversies---as an exemplary case. Knott looks at such well-known figures as William Bradford, James Fenimore Cooper, John Muir, John Burroughs, and Teddy Roosevelt; Ojibwa conceptions of the forest and natural world (including how Longfellow mythologized them); early explorer accounts; and contemporary literature set in the Upper Peninsula, including Jim Harrison's True North and Philip Caputo's Indian Country.

Two competing metaphors evolved over time, Knott shows: the forest as howling wilderness, impeding the progress of civilization and in need of subjugation, and the forest as temple or cathedral, worthy of reverence and protection. Imagining the Forestshows the origin and development of both.


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Iran's Constitutional Revolution of 1906 and Narratives of the Enlightenment
Edited by Ali Ansari
Gingko, 2016
The Constitutional Revolution of 1906 opened the way for enormous change in Persia, heralding the modern era and creating a model for later political and cultural movements in the region. Broad in its scope, this multidisciplinary volume brings together essays from leading scholars in Iranian Studies to explore the significance of this revolution, its origins, and the people who made it happen.
As the authors show, this period was one of unprecedented debate within Iran’s burgeoning press. Many different groups fought to shape the course of the Revolution, which opened up seemingly boundless possibilities for the country’s future and affected nearly every segment of its society. Exploring themes such as the role of women, the use of photography, and the uniqueness of the Revolution as an Iranian experience, the authors tell a story of immense transition, as the old order of the Shah subsided and was replaced by new institutions, new forms of expression, and a new social and political order.

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Like Family
Narratives of Fictive Kinship
Margaret K. Nelson
Rutgers University Press, 2020
For decades, social scientists have assumed that “fictive kinship” is a phenomenon associated only with marginal peoples and people of color in the United States.  In this innovative book, Nelson reveals the frequency, texture and dynamics of relationships which are felt to be “like family” among the white middle-class. Drawing on extensive, in-depth interviews, Nelson describes the quandaries and contradictions, delight and anxiety, benefits and costs, choice and obligation in these relationships. She shows the ways these fictive kinships are similar to one another as well as the ways they vary—whether around age or generation, co-residence, or the possibility of becoming “real” families. Moreover she shows that different parties to the same relationship understand them in some similar – and some very different – ways. Theoretically rich and beautifully written, the book is accessible to the general public while breaking new ground for scholars in the field of family studies.

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Making Gray Gold
Narratives of Nursing Home Care
Timothy Diamond
University of Chicago Press, 1992
This first hand report on the work of nurses and other caregivers in a nursing home is set powerfully in the context of wider political, economic, and cultural forces that shape and constrain the quality of care for America's elderly. Diamond demonstrates in a compelling way the price that business-as-usual policies extract from the elderly as well as those whose work it is to care for them.

In a society in which some two million people live in 16,000 nursing homes, with their numbers escalating daily, this thought-provoking work demands immediate and widespread attention.

"[An] unnerving portrait of what it's like to work and live in a nursing home. . . . By giving voice to so many unheard residents and workers Diamond has performed an important service for us all."—Diane Cole, New York Newsday

"With Making Gray Gold, Timothy Diamond describes the commodification of long-term care in the most vivid representation in a decade of round-the-clock institutional life. . . . A personal addition to the troublingly impersonal national debate over healthcare reform."—Madonna Harrington Meyer, Contemporary Sociology

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Making the Right Choice
Narratives of Marriage in Sri Lanka
Asha L. Abeyasekera
Rutgers University Press, 2021

Making the Right Choice unravels the entangled relationship between marriage, morality, and the desire for modernity as it plays out in the context of middle-class status concerns and aspirations for upward social mobility within the Sinhala-Buddhist community in urban Sri Lanka. By focusing on individual life-histories spanning three generations, the book illuminates how narratives about a gendered self and narratives about modernity are mutually constituted and intrinsically tied to notions of agency. The book uncovers how "becoming modern" in urban Sri Lanka, rather than causing inter-generational conflict, is a collective aspiration realized through the efforts of bringing up educated and independent women capable of making "right" choices. The consequence of this collective investment is a feminist conundrum: agency does not denote the right to choose, but the duty to make the "right" choice; hence agency is experienced not as a sense of "freedom," but rather as a burden of responsibility.


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Mediating the Uprising
Narratives of Gender and Marriage in Syrian Television Drama
Rebecca Joubin
Rutgers University Press, 2020
Mediating the Uprising: Narratives of Gender and Marriage in Syrian Television Drama shows how gender and marriage metaphors inform post-uprising Syrian drama for various forms of cultural and political critique. These narratives have become complicated since the uprising due to the Syrian regime’s effort to control the revolutionary discourse. As Syria’s uprising spawned more terrorist groups, some drama creators became nostalgic for pre-war days.
While for some screenwriters a return to pre-2011 life would be welcome after so much bloodshed, others advocated profound cultural and social transformation, instead. They employed marriage and gender metaphors in the stories they wrote to engage in political critique, even at the risk of creating marketing difficulties for the shows or they created escapist stories such as transnational adaptations and Old Damascus tales. Serving as heritage preservation, Mediating the Uprising underscores that television drama creators in Syria have many ways of engaging in protest, with gender and marriage at the heart of the polemic. 

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Medieval Communities and the Mad
Narratives of Crime and Mental Illness in Late Medieval France
Aleksandra Pfau
Amsterdam University Press, 2020
The concept of madness as a challenge to communities lies at the core of legal sources. This book considers how communal networks, ranging from the locale to the realm, responded to people who were considered mad. The madness of individuals played a role in engaging communities with legal mechanisms and proto-national identity constructs, as petitioners sought the king's mercy as an alternative to local justice. The resulting narratives about the mentally ill in late medieval France constructed madness as an inability to live according to communal rules. Although such texts defined madness through acts that threatened social bonds, those ties were reaffirmed through the medium of the remission letter. The composers of the letters presented madness as a communal concern, situating the mad within the household, where care could be provided. These mad were usually not expelled but integrated, often through pilgrimage, surveillance, or chains, into their kin and communal relationships.

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Medieval Things
Agency, Materiality, and Narratives of Objects in Medieval German Literature and Beyond
Bettina Bildhauer
The Ohio State University Press, 2020
What does medieval literature look like from the point of view not of knights and ladies, but of treasure, and rings, nets and the grail? How does medieval literature imagine the agency of material things, and what exactly distinguishes human subjects from inanimate objects? Medieval Things: Agency, Materiality, and Narratives of Objects in Medieval German Literature and Beyond brings together a theoretically informed and politically engaged new materialist approach with a study of how everyday objects are understood in medieval literature. Bettina Bildhauer argues that medieval narratives can inspire current critical theory on agency and materiality. She focuses on famous and forgotten German narratives from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries, including Wolfram of Eschenbach’s Parzival and the epic Song of the Nibelungs, and sets them in their global context. Many such tales can be reconceptualized as “thing biographies”—stories that follow the trajectory not of a human hero but of a coin, a gown, a treasure, or a ring. Many also use nets and networks to conceptualize dangerous structures of knowledge. Shine, glamour, and charisma emerge as particularly powerful ways in which material things exert a kind of agency that is neither pseudo-human nor fetishistic. In analyzing details like these from medieval literature, Bildhauer thus contributes in new ways to current theory on agency and materiality.

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Modern Luck
Narratives of Fortune in the Long Twentieth Century
Robert S. C. Gordon
University College London, 2023
An exploration of luck in modernity, modern imagination, and modern stories.
Beliefs, superstitions, and tales about luck are present across all human cultures. Humans are perennially fascinated by luck and by its association with happiness and danger, uncertainty and aspiration. Yet it remains an elusive, ungraspable idea, one that slips and slides over time: all cultures reimagine what luck is and how to tame it at different stages in their history, and our own era is no exception to the rule.
Modern Luck sets out to explore the enigma of luck’s presence in modernity, examining the hybrid forms it has taken on in the modern imagination, and in particular in the field of modern stories. Analyzing a rich and unusually eclectic range of narratives taken from literature, film, music, television, and theatre, from Dostoevsky to Philip K. Dick, Pinocchio to Cimino, Curtiz to Kieslowski, it lays out first the usages and meanings of the language of luck, and then the key figures, patterns, and motifs that govern the stories told about it, from the late nineteenth century to the present day.

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The Monstered Self
Narratives of Death and Performance in Latin American Fiction
Eduardo González
Duke University Press, 1992
Viewing stories and novels from an ethnographic perspective, Eduardo González here explores the relationship between myth, ritual, and death in writings by Borges, Vargas Llosa, Cortázar, and Roa Bastos. He then weaves this analysis into a larger cultural fabric composed of the works of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Joyce, Benjamin, H. G. Wells, Kafka, Poe, and others.
What interests González is the signature of authorial selfhood in narrative and performance, which he finds willfully and temptingly disfigured in the works he examines: horrific and erotic, subservient and tyrannical, charismatic and repellent. Searching out the personal image and plot, González uncovers two fundamental types of narrative: one that strips character of moral choice; and another in which characters' choices deprive them of personal autonomy and hold them in ritual bondage to a group. Thus The Monstered Self becomes a study of the conflict between individual autonomy and the stereotypes of solidarity.
Written in a characteristically allusive, elliptical style, and drawing on psychoanalysis, religion, mythology, and comparative literature, The Monstered Self is in itself a remarkable performance, one that will engage readers in anthropology, psychology, and cultural history as well as those specifically interested in Latin American narrative.

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Narratives from the Crib
Katherine Nelson
Harvard University Press, 1989

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Narratives from the Crib
With a New Foreword by Emily Oster, the Child in the Crib
Katherine Nelson
Harvard University Press, 2006
This classic psychological case study focuses on one talkative child’s emerging ability to use language, her capacity for understanding, for imagining, and for making inferences and solving problems. In wide-ranging essays, scholars offer multifaceted linguistic and psychological analyses of two-year-old Emily’s bedtime conversations with her parents and pre-sleep monologues, taped over a fifteen-month period. In a foreword written for this new edition, Emily, now an adult, reflects on the experience of having been a research subject without knowing it.

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Narratives, Nerdfighters, and New Media
Jennifer Burek Pierce
University of Iowa Press, 2020

For decades, we’ve been warned that video killed the radio star, and, more recently, that social media has replaced reading. Nerdfighteria, a first-of-its-kind online literary community with nearly three million members, challenges these assumptions. It is the brainchild of brothers Hank and John Green, who provide literary themed programming on their website and YouTube channel, including video clips from John, a best-selling author most famous for his young adult book, The Fault in Our Stars. These clips not only give fans personal insights into his works and the writing process writ large, they also provide unique access to the author, inspiring fans to create their own fan art and make connections with one another.

In the twenty-first century, reading and watching videos are related activities that allow people to engage with authors and other readers. Whether they turn to The Fault in Our Stars or titles by lesser-known authors, Nerdfighters are readers. Incorporating thousands of testimonials about what they read and why, Jennifer Burek Pierce not only sheds light on this particular online community, she also reveals what it tells us about the changing nature of reading in the digital age. In Nerdfighteria, we find a community who shows us that being online doesn’t mean disinterest in books.


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Narratives of Debt
Peter Szendy, special issue editor
Duke University Press, 2020
As the problem of debt grows more and more urgent in light of the central role it plays in neoliberal capitalism, scholars have analyzed debt using numerous approaches: historical analysis, legal arguments, psychoanalytic readings, claims for reparations in postcolonial debates, and more. Contributors to this special issue of differences argue that these diverse approaches presuppose a fundamental connection between indebtedness and narrative. They see debt as a promise that refers to the future—deferred repayment that purports to make good on a past deficit—which implies a narrative in a way that other forms of exchange may not. The authors approach this intertwining of debt and narration from the perspectives of continental philosophy, international law, the history of slavery, comparative literature, feminist critique, and more.

Contributors. Arjun Appadurai, Anthony Bogues, Emmanuel Bouju, Silvia Federici, Mikkel Krause Frantzen, Raphaelle Guidée, Odette Lienau, Catherine Malabou, Vincent Message, Laura Odello, Peter Szendy, Frederik Tygstrup

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Narratives of (Dis)Enfranchisement
Reckoning with the History of Libraries and the Black and African American Experience
Tracey Overbey and Amanda L. Folk
American Library Association, 2022
This first Special Report in a two-volume set on Black and African Americans’ experiences in libraries provides an overview of their historical exclusion from libraries and educational institutions in the United States, also exploring the ways in which this legacy is manifest in our contemporary context. A compelling call to action, it will serve as the beginning of many conversations in which librarianship reckons with its racist past to move towards a more equitable future.

Still a predominantly white profession, librarianship has a legacy of racial discrimination, and it is essential that we face the ways that race impacts how we meet the needs of diverse user communities. Identifying and acknowledging implicit and learned bias is a necessary step toward transforming not only our professional practice but also our scholarship, assessment, and evaluation practices. From this Special Report, readers will

  • learn the hidden history of Africa’s contributions to libraries and educational institutions, which are often omitted from K-12, higher education, and library school curricula;
  • engage with the racist legacies of libraries as well as contemporary scholarship related to Black and African American users’ experiences with libraries;
  • be introduced to frameworks and theories that can help to identify and unpack the role of race in librarianship and in library users’ experiences; and
  • garner practical takeaways to bring to their own views and practice of librarianship.

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Narratives of (Dis)Engagement
Exploring Black and African American Students’ Experiences in Libraries
Amanda L. Folk and Tracey Overbey
American Library Association, 2022
Librarianship is still a predominantly white profession. It is essential that current practitioners as well as those about to enter the field take an unflinching look at the profession’s legacy of racial discrimination, including the ways in which race might impact service to users such as students in school, public, and academic libraries. Given the prevalence of implicit and explicit bias against Black and African American people, authors Folk and Overbey argue that we must speak to these students directly to hear their stories and thereby understand their experiences. This Special Report shares the findings of a qualitative research study that explored the library experiences of Black and African American undergraduate students both before and during college, grounding it within an equity framework. From this Report readers will
  • learn details about the study, which focused on the potential role of race in the students’ interactions with library staff, including white staff and staff of color;
  • gain insight into Black and African American users’ perceptions of libraries and library staff, attitudes towards reading, frequency of library usage, and the importance of family;
  • understand the implications of the study’s findings for our practice and for librarianship more broadly, including our ongoing commitment to diversifying the profession; and
  • walk away with recommendations that can be applied to every library and educational context, such as guidance for developing an antiracist organization and more equitable service provision.

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Narratives of Educating for Sustainability in Unsustainable Environments
Jane Haladay
Michigan State University Press, 2017
Through pedagogical narratives, literary analyses, reflective essays, and collaborative dialogues, Narratives of Educating for Sustainability in Unsustainable Environments explores the professional and intellectual tensions of curricula, pedagogies, and personal practices that honor the relationships of interspecies ecologies, reinhabit and reconceive wounded landscapes and wounding institutions, and allow us to reattune ourselves to new yet ancient frameworks for sustainability. For the writers here, fostering sustainability in higher education means focusing on place, creating positive relationships with humans and other beings, and creating administrative structures that will maintain new approaches for the long-term, showing how teaching environmentally is at once intensely site-specific yet powerfully global, deeply personal yet visibly public. Narratives of Educating for Sustainability in Unsustainable Environments confronts the contexts that make environmental pedagogies difficult, the challenges to the well-being of the teacher-scholar, and the corrosive academic structures that compartmentalize knowledge and people. The collection simultaneously offers models for working through and within these challenges to advance understandings and ways of being on local, global, and personal levels that will turn the planetary tide toward effective and shared sustainability.

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Narratives of Greater Mexico
Essays on Chicano Literary History, Genre, and Borders
By Héctor Calderón
University of Texas Press, 2005

Once relegated to the borders of literature—neither Mexican nor truly American—Chicana/o writers have always been in the vanguard of change, articulating the multicultural ethnicities, shifting identities, border realities, and even postmodern anxieties and hostilities that already characterize the twenty-first century. Indeed, it is Chicana/o writers' very in-between-ness that makes them authentic spokespersons for an America that is becoming increasingly Mexican/Latin American and for a Mexico that is ever more Americanized.

In this pioneering study, Héctor Calderón looks at seven Chicana and Chicano writers whose narratives constitute what he terms an American Mexican literature. Drawing on the concept of "Greater Mexican" culture first articulated by Américo Paredes, Calderón explores how the works of Paredes, Rudolfo Anaya, Tomás Rivera, Oscar Zeta Acosta, Cherríe Moraga, Rolando Hinojosa, and Sandra Cisneros derive from Mexican literary traditions and genres that reach all the way back to the colonial era. His readings cover a wide span of time (1892-2001), from the invention of the Spanish Southwest in the nineteenth century to the América Mexicana that is currently emerging on both sides of the border. In addition to his own readings of the works, Calderón also includes the writers' perspectives on their place in American/Mexican literature through excerpts from their personal papers and interviews, correspondence, and e-mail exchanges he conducted with most of them.


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Narratives of Justice
Legislators' Beliefs about Distributive Fairness
Grant Reeher
University of Michigan Press, 1996

Narratives of Justice offers a provocative, contemporary look at the timeless questions of justice and fairness. Using face-to-face interviews, Grant Reeher plumbs the minds of legislators for their beliefs about distributive justice and attempts to discover the ways in which those beliefs influence their behavior. The book calls into question many notions of American political ideology and, in particular, the idea of an "American exceptionalism" regarding views from the political left, and the dominance in the United States of a "liberal tradition."

Political philosophers have amassed a large body of work on justice and fairness from a theoretical perspective, but there is comparatively little empirical work on the subject. The work that does exist concentrates on the beliefs of the public. We know very little concerning the beliefs about justice held by political elites. This work offers a window into the beliefs of legislators, a group for which such an inquiry is rarely undertaken.

The book is based on a set of extended, in-depth interviews with the members of the Connecticut State Senate as well as a year of close observation of the Senate in action. The interviews averaged four hours in length and covered a variety of topics related to fairness. Through this material, Reeher employs a narrative-based framework to understand the patterns in the senators' interview responses, and develops a typology of the senator's narratives. These narratives vary in both content and form, and as a whole present a surprising range of views.

Narratives of Justice will be of interest to those concerned with justice, political ideologies, and political beliefs, as well as state and local politics and, more generally, American politics. Its wide research and thorough documentation make it a useful guide to the literature within and beyond political science concerning beliefs, ideologies, legislative behavior, and qualitative research methods.

Grant Reeher is Assistant Professor, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Department of Political Science, Syracuse University, and currently a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research, University of Michigan.


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Narratives of Low Countries History and Culture
Reframing the Past
Edited by Jane Fenoulhet and Lesley Gilbert
University College London, 2016
This edited collection explores the ways in which our understanding of the past in Dutch history and culture can be rethought to consider not only how it forms part of the present but how it can relate also to the future. Divided into three parts – The Uses of Myth and History, The Past as Illumination of Cultural Context, and Historiography in Focus – this book seeks to demonstrate the importance of the past by investigating the transmission of culture and its transformations. It reflects on the history of historiography and looks critically at the products of the historiographic process, such as Dutch and Afrikaans literary history. The chapters cover a range of disciplines and approaches: some authors offer a broad view of a particular period, such as Jonathan Israel's contribution on myth and history in the ideological politics of the Dutch Golden Age, while others zoom in on specific genres, texts or historical moments, such as Benjamin Schmidt’s study of the doolhof, a word that today means ‘labyrinth’ but once described a 17th-century educational amusement park. This volume, enlightening and home to multiple paths of enquiry leading in different directions, is an excellent example of what a past-present doolhof might look like.

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Narratives of Persistence
Indigenous Negotiations of Colonialism in Alta and Baja California
Lee M. Panich
University of Arizona Press, 2020

The Ohlone of the San Francisco Bay area and the Paipai of northern Baja California occupy opposite ends of the spectrum of Native Californian identities. Or so it would appear. While the Ohlone lack popular recognition and official acknowledgement from the United States government, the Paipai occupy a large reserve and celebrate their ongoing cultural traditions throughout Baja California and southern California. Yet the two groups share a similar colonial history: entanglements with early European explorers, labor and enculturation at Spanish missions, and sustained interactions with American and Mexican settler colonialism.

Based on fifteen years of archaeological and historical research in the two regions, Narratives of Persistence charts the remarkable persistence of the Ohlone and Paipai alongside a synthesis of Native Californian endurance over the past five centuries. As the case studies demonstrate, Ohlone and Paipai people made intelligent and culturally appropriate choices to cope with the impact of colonialism on their communities, even as they took different pathways to the present day.

Lee M. Panich illustrates how changes in Native identity and practice within these colonial contexts were made to best conduct the groups’ lives within shifting sets of colonial constraints. He draws connections between the events and processes of the deeper past and the way the Ohlone and Paipai today understand their own histories and identities, offering a model for how scholars of Indigenous histories may think about the connections between the past and the present.


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Networks, Narratives and Nations
Transcultural Approaches to Cultural Nationalism in Modern Europe and Beyond
Marjet Brolsma
Amsterdam University Press, 2022
Do narratives make nations, and if so, did networks make this happen? The notion that national and other group identities are constructed and sustained by narratives and images has been widely postulated for several decades now. This volume contributes to this debate, with a particular emphasis on the networked, transnational nature of cultural nation-building processes in a comparative European and sometimes extra-European context. It gathers together essays that engage with objects of study ranging from poetry, prose, and political ideas to painting, porcelain, and popular song, and which draw on examples in Icelandic, Arabic, German, Irish, Hungarian, and French, among other languages. The contributors study transcultural phenomena from the medieval and early modern periods through to the modern and postmodern era, frequently challenging conventional periodizations and analytical frameworks based on the idea of the nation-state.

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On Longing
Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection
Susan Stewart
Duke University Press, 1993
Miniature books, eighteenth-century novels, Tom Thumb weddings, tall tales, and objects of tourism and nostalgia: this diverse group of cultural forms is the subject of On Longing, a fascinating analysis of the ways in which everyday objects are narrated to animate or realize certain versions of the world. Originally published in 1984 (Johns Hopkins University Press), and now available in paperback for the first time, this highly original book draws on insights from semiotics and from psychoanalytic, feminist, and Marxist criticism. Addressing the relations of language to experience, the body to scale, and narratives to objects, Susan Stewart looks at the "miniature" as a metaphor for interiority and at the "gigantic" as an exaggeration of aspects of the exterior. In the final part of her essay Stewart examines the ways in which the "souvenir" and the "collection" are objects mediating experience in time and space.

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One Homogeneous People
Narratives of White Southern Identity, 1890–1920
Trent A. Watts
University of Tennessee Press, 2010

Southerners have a reputation as storytellers, as a people fond of telling about family, community, and the southern way of life. A compelling book about some of those stories and their consequences, One Homogeneous People examines the forging and the embracing of southern “pan-whiteness” as an ideal during the volatile years surrounding the turn of the twentieth century.

Trent Watts argues that despite real and signifcant divisions within the South along lines of religion, class, and ethnicity, white southerners—especially in moments of perceived danger—asserted that they were one people bound by a shared history, a love of family, home, and community, and an uncompromising belief in white supremacy. Watts explores how these southerners explained their region and its people to themselves and other Americans through narratives found in a variety of forms and contexts: political oratory, fiction, historiography, journalism, correspondence, literary criticism, and the built environment.

Watts examines the assertions of an ordered, homogeneous white South (and the threats to it) in the unsettling years following the end of Reconstruction through the early 1900s. In three extended essays on related themes of race and power, the book demonstrates the remarkable similarity of discourses of pan-whiteness across formal and generic lines. In an insightful concluding essay that focuses on an important but largely unexamined institution, Mississippi’s Neshoba County Fair, Watts shows how narratives of pan-white identity initiated in the late nineteenth century have persisted to the present day.

Written in a lively style, One Homogeneous People is a valuable addition to the scholarship on southern culture and post-Reconstruction southern history.


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Owning the Olympics
Narratives of the New China
Monroe E. Price and Daniel Dayan, Editors
University of Michigan Press, 2008

"A major contribution to the study of global events in times of global media. Owning the Olympics tests the possibilities and limits of the concept of 'media events' by analyzing the mega-event of the information age: the Beijing Olympics. . . . A good read from cover to cover."
—Guobin Yang, Associate Professor, Asian/Middle Eastern Cultures & Sociology, Barnard College, Columbia University

From the moment they were announced, the Beijing Games were a major media event and the focus of intense scrutiny and speculation. In contrast to earlier such events, however, the Beijing Games are also unfolding in a newly volatile global media environment that is no longer monopolized by broadcast media. The dramatic expansion of media outlets and the growth of mobile communications technology have changed the nature of media events, making it significantly more difficult to regulate them or control their meaning. This volatility is reflected in the multiple, well-publicized controversies characterizing the run-up to Beijing 2008. According to many Western commentators, the People's Republic of China seized the Olympics as an opportunity to reinvent itself as the "New China"---a global leader in economics, technology, and environmental issues, with an improving human-rights record. But China's maneuverings have also been hotly contested by diverse global voices, including prominent human-rights advocates, all seeking to displace the official story of the Games.

Bringing together a distinguished group of scholars from Chinese studies, human rights, media studies, law, and other fields, Owning the Olympics reveals how multiple entities---including the Chinese Communist Party itself---seek to influence and control the narratives through which the Beijing Games will be understood.

digitalculturebooks is an imprint of the University of Michigan Press and the Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan Library dedicated to publishing innovative and accessible work exploring new media and their impact on society, culture, and scholarly communication. Visit the website at


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Play in the Age of Goethe
Theories, Narratives, and Practices of Play around 1800
Edgar Landgraf
Bucknell University Press, 2020
We are inundated with game play today. Digital devices offer opportunities to play almost anywhere and anytime. No matter our age, gender, social, cultural, or educational background—we play. Play in the Age of Goethe: Theories, Narratives, and Practices of Play around 1800 is the first book-length work to explore how the modern discourse of play was first shaped during this pivotal period (approximately 1770-1830). The eleven chapters illuminate critical developments in the philosophy, pedagogy, psychology, politics, and poetics of play as evident in the work of major authors of the period including Lessing, Goethe, Kant, Schiller, Pestalozzi, Jacobi, Tieck, Jean Paul, Schleiermacher, and Fröbel. While drawing on more recent theories of play by thinkers such as Jean Piaget, Donald Winnicott, Jost Trier, Gregory Bateson, Jacques Derrida, Thomas Henricks, and Patrick Jagoda, the volume shows the debates around play in German letters of this period to be far richer and more complex than previously thought, as well as more relevant for our current engagement with play. Indeed, modern debates about what constitutes good rather than bad practices of play can be traced to these foundational discourses.

Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press. 

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The Practice of U.S. Women's History
Narratives, Intersections, and Dialogues
Edited by S. Jay Kleinberg, Eileen Boris, and Vicki L. Ruiz
Rutgers University Press, 2008

In the last several decades, U.S. women’s history has come of age. Not only have historians challenged the national narrative on the basis of their rich explorations of the personal, the social, the economic, and the political, but they have also entered into dialogues with each other over the meaning of women’s history itself.

In this collection of seventeen original essays on women’s lives from the colonial period to the present, contributors take the competing forces of race, gender, class, sexuality, religion, and region into account. Among many other examples, they examine how conceptions of gender shaped government officials’ attitudes towards East Asian immigrants; how race and gender inequality pervaded the welfare state; and how color and class shaped Mexican American women’s mobilization for civil and labor rights.


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The Prose Works of William Byrd of Westover
Narratives of a Colonial Virginian
William Byrd
Harvard University Press

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Revolutionary Suicide and Other Desperate Measures
Narratives of Youth and Violence from Japan and the United States
Adrienne Carey Hurley
Duke University Press, 2011
In Revolutionary Suicide and Other Desperate Measures, Adrienne Carey Hurley examines how child abuse and youth violence are understood, manufactured, and represented, but still disavowed, in Japan and the United States. Through analysis of autobiographical fiction, journalism, film, and clinical case studies, she charts a “culture of child abuse” extending from the home to the classroom, the marketplace, and the streets in both countries. Hurley served as a court-appointed special advocate for abused children, and she brings that perspective to bear as she interprets texts. Undertaking close reading as a form of advocacy, she exposes how late-capitalist societies abuse and exploit youth, while at the same time blaming them for their own vulnerability and violence. She objects to rote designations of youth violence as “inexplicable,” arguing that such formulaic responses forestall understanding and intervention. Hurley foregrounds theories of youth violence that locate its origins in childhood trauma, considers what happens when young people are denied opportunities to develop a political analysis to explain their rage, and explores how the chance to engage in such an analysis affects the occurrence and meaning of youth violence.

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Shifting Stories
History, Gossip, and Lore in Narratives from Tang Dynasty China
Sarah M. Allen
Harvard University Press, 2014

Shifting Stories explores the tale literature of eighth- and ninth-century China to show how the written tales we have today grew out of a fluid culture of hearsay that circulated within elite society. Sarah M. Allen focuses on two main types of tales, those based in gossip about recognizable public figures and those developed out of lore concerning the occult. She demonstrates how writers borrowed and adapted stories and plots already in circulation and how they transformed them—in some instances into unique and artfully wrought tales.

For most readers of that era, tales remained open texts, subject to revision by many hands over the course of transmission, unconstrained by considerations of textual integrity or authorship. Only in the mid- to late-ninth century did some readers and editors come to see the particular wording and authorship of a tale as important, a shift that ultimately led to the formation of the Tang tale canon as it is envisioned today.


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Subjects and Narratives in Archaeology
Ruth M. Van Dyke
University Press of Colorado, 2015

Seeking to move beyond the customary limits of archaeological prose and representation, Subjects and Narratives in Archaeology presents archaeology in a variety of nontraditional formats. The volume demonstrates that visual art, creative nonfiction, archaeological fiction, video, drama, and other artistic pursuits have much to offer archaeological interpretation and analysis.

Chapters in the volume are augmented by narrative, poetry, paintings, dialogues, online databases, videos, audio files, and slideshows. The work will be available in print and as an enhanced ebook that incorporates and showcases the multimedia elements in archaeological narrative. While exploring these new and not-so-new forms, the contributors discuss the boundaries and connections between empirical data and archaeological imagination.

Both a critique and an experiment, Subjects and Narratives in Archaeology addresses the goals, advantages, and difficulties of alternative forms of archaeological representation. Exploring the idea that academically sound archaeology can be fun to create and read, the book takes a step beyond the boundaries of both traditional archaeology and traditional publishing.


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Taking Root
Narratives of Jewish Women in Latin America
Marjorie Agosín
Ohio University Press, 2002

In Taking Root, Latin American women of Jewish descent, from Mexico to Uruguay, recall their coming of age with Sabbath candles and Hebrew prayers, Ladino songs and merengue music, Queen Esther and the Virgin of Guadalupe. Rich and poor, Sephardi and Ashkenazi, Jewish immigrant families searched for a new home and identity in predominantly Catholic societies. The essays included here examine the religious, economic, social, and political choices these families have made and continue to make as they forge Jewish identities in the New World.

Marjorie Agosín has gathered narratives and testimonies that reveal the immense diversity of Latin American Jewish experience. These essays, based on first- and second-generation immigrant experience, describe differing points of view and levels of involvement in Jewish tradition. In Taking Root, Agosín presents us with a contemporary and vivid account of the Jewish experience in Latin America.

Taking Root documents the sadness of exile and loss but also a fierce determination to maintain Jewish traditions. This is Jewish history but it is also part of the untold history of Brazil, Argentina, El Salvador, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, and all of Latin America.


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Telling Incest
Narratives of Dangerous Remembering from Stein to Sapphire
Janice Doane and Devon Hodges
University of Michigan Press, 2001
In the last decade, women's accounts of father-daughter incest have prompted much public debate. Are these accounts true? Are they false? Telling Incest, however, asks a different question: what does a believable incest story sound like and why?
Examining the work of writers from Gertrude Stein to Toni Morrison and Dorothy Allison, Telling Incest argues that an incest story's plausibility depends upon a shifting set of narrative conventions and cultural expectations. As contexts for telling incest stories have changed, so too have the tasks of those who tell and those who listen. The authors analyze both fictional and nonfiction narratives about father-daughter incest, beginning by scrutinizing the shadowy accounts found in nineteenth-century case records, letters, and narratives.
Telling Incest next explores African American stories that shift the blame for incest from the black family to the predations of a paternalistic white culture. Janice Doane and Devon Hodges demonstrate that writers drew upon this reworked incest narrative in the 1970s and early 1980s in order to relate a feminist story about incest, a story that criticizes patriarchal power. This feminist form of the story, increasingly emphasizing trauma and recovery, can be found in such popular books as Alice Walker's The Color Purple and Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres. Doane and Hodges then examine recent memoirs and novels such as Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina and Sapphire's Push, narratives that again rework the incest story in an effort to "tell" about women's complex experiences of subjugation and hope.
Telling Incest will be of particular interest to readers who have enjoyed the popular and culturally significant work of writers such as Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Jane Smiley, and Dorothy Allison and to students of women's studies, feminist theory, and cultural studies.
Janice Doane is Professor of English, St. Mary's College of California. Devon Hodges is Professor of English, George Mason University. They have also coauthored From Klein to Kristeva: Psychoanalytic Feminism and the Search for the "Good Enough" Mother and Nostalgia and Sexual Difference: The Resistance to Contemporary Feminism.

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Theories and Narratives
Reflections on the Philosophy of History
Alex Callinicos
Duke University Press, 1995
At a time when philosophy of history is decidedly out of fashion, Theories and Narratives explores the relationship between historical writing and theoretical understanding and seeks to establish the legitimate scope of large-scale theories to grasp historical processes as a whole.
Pursuing this objective, Alex Callinicos critically confronts a number of leading attempts to reconceptualize the meaning of history, including Francis Fukuyama’s rehabilitation of Hegel’s philosophy of history and the postmodernist efforts of Hayden White and others to deny the existence of a past independent of our representations of it. In these cases philosophical arguments are pursued in tandem with discussions of historical interpretations or, respectively, Stalinism and the Holocaust. Leading theories of history—Marx’s and Weber’s—are then examined in the context of recent work by writers such as Michael Mann, W. G. Runciman, and Robert Brenner
Finally, the politics of historical theory is explored in a discussion of Marxism’s claims to be a universal theory of human progress. Contradicting current fashion, Callinicos rebuts the claims made by many postmodernists that Marxism is inherently Eurocentric in both its conceptual structures and its political practice. Marx’s project of human emancipation, he concludes, still define our political horizons.
Theories and Narratives will interest all readers for whom the role of history in the understanding of contemporary civilizations is an essential issue.

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Travelers in Disguise
Narratives of Eastern Travel by Poggio Bracciolini and Ludovico de Varthema
Poggio Bracciolini and Ludovico di Varthema
Harvard University Press

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Vigilantes and Lynch Mobs
Narratives of Community and Nation
Lisa Arellano
Temple University Press, 2012

Looking at the narrative accounts of mob violence produced by vigilantes and  their advocates as “official” histories, Lisa Arellano shows how these nonfiction narratives conformed to a common formula whose purpose was to legitimate frontier justice and lynching.

In Vigilantes and Lynch Mobs, Arellano closely examines such narratives as well as the work of Western historian and archivist Hubert Howe Bancroft, who was sympathetic to them, and that of Ida B. Wells, who wrote in fierce opposition to lynching.  Tracing the creation, maintenance, and circulation of dominant, alternative, and oppositional vigilante stories from the nineteenth-century frontier through the Jim Crow South, she casts new light on the role of narrative in creating a knowable past.

Demonstrating how these histories ennobled the actions of mobs and rendered their leaders and members as heroes, Arellano presents a persuasive account of lynching’s power to create the conditions favorable to its own existence.


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Walls of Algiers
Narratives of the city through text and image
Zeynep Çelik
J. Paul Getty Trust, The, 2023
Walls of Algiers examines the historical processes that transformed Ottoman Algiers, the "Bulwark of Islam," into "Alger la blanche," the colonial urban showpiece—and, after the outbreak of revolution in 1954—counter-model of France's global empire. In this volume, the city of Algiers serves as a case study for the analysis of the proactive and reactive social, political, technical, and artistic forces that generate a city's form. Visual sources—prints, photographs, paintings, architectural drawings, urban designs, and film—are treated as primary evidence that complements and even challenges textual documents.

The contributors' wide-ranging but intersecting essays span the disciplines of art history, social and cultural history, urban studies, and film history. Walls of Algiers presents a multifaceted look at the social use of urban space in a North African city. Its contributors' innovative methodologies allow important insights into often overlooked aspects of life in a city whose name even today conjures up enchantment as well as incomprehensible violence.

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Wang Bing's Filmmaking of the China Dream
Narratives, Witnesses and Marginal Spaces
Elena Pollacchi
Amsterdam University Press, 2021
This volume offers an organic discussion of Wang Bing's filmmaking across China's marginal spaces and against the backdrop of the state-sanctioned 'China Dream'. Wang's work has contemporary China as its focus and testifies to the country's contradictions, not dissimilar to those of contemporary societies dealing with issues of inequality, labour, and migration. Without being an activist, Wang Bing gives voice to the subaltern. His internationally awarded documentaries are recognized as world masterpieces. His unique aesthetics bears references to film masters, therefore this investigation goes beyond the divide between Western and non-Western film traditions. Each chapter takes a different articulation of space (spaces of labour, spaces of history, spaces of memory) as its entry point bringing together film and documentary studies, Chinese studies, and studies in globalization issues. This volume benefits from the author's extensive conversation with Wang Bing and from insider's observations of film production and the film festival circuit.

front cover of Wildcat Women
Wildcat Women
Narratives of Women Breaking Ground in Alaska's Oil and Gas Industry
Carla Williams
University of Alaska Press, 2018
Subzero temperatures, whiteout blizzards, and even the lack of restrooms didn’t deter them. Nor did sneers, harassment, and threats. Wildcat Women is the first book to document the life and labor of pioneering women in the oil fields of Alaska’s North Slope. It profiles fourteen women who worked in the fields, telling a little-known history of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. These trailblazers conquered their fears to face hazardous working and living conditions, performing and excelling at “a man’s job in a man’s world.” They faced down challenges on and off the job: they drove buses over ice roads through snowstorms; wrestled with massive pipes; and operated dangerous valves that put their lives literally in their hands; they also fought union hall red tape, challenged discriminatory practices, and fought for equal pay—and sometimes won. The women talk about the roads that brought them to this unusual career, where they often gave up comfort and convenience and felt isolated and alienated. They also tell of the lifelong friendships and sense of family that bonded these unlikely wildcats. The physical and emotional hardship detailed in these stories exemplifies their courage, tenacity, resilience, and leadership, and shows how their fight for recognition and respect benefited woman workers everywhere.

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Women, America, and Movement
Narratives of Relocation
Edited & Intro by Susan L. Roberson
University of Missouri Press, 1998

Since the colonial days, American women have traveled, migrated, and relocated, always faced with the challenge of reconstructing their homes for themselves and their families. Women, America, and Movement offers a journey through largely unexplored territory—the experiences of migrating American women. These narratives, both real and imagined, represent a range of personal and critical perspectives; some of the women describe their travels as expansive and freeing, while others relate the dreadful costs and sacrifices of relocating.

Despite the range of essays featured in this study, the writings all coalesce around the issues of politics, poetry, and self- identity described by Adrienne Rich as the elements of the "politics of location," treated here as the politics of relocation. The narratives featured in this book explore the impact of race, class, and sexual economics on migratory women, their self-identity, and their roles in family and social life. These issues demonstrate that in addition to geographic place, ideology is itself a space to be traversed.

By examining the writings of such women as Louise Erdrich, Zora Neale Hurston, and Gertrude Stein, the essayists included in this volume offer a variety of experiences. The book confronts such issues as racist politicking against Native Americans, African Americans, and Asian immigrants; sexist attitudes that limit women to the roles of wife, mother, and sexual object; and exploitation of migrants from Appalachia and of women newly arrived in America.

These essays also delve into the writings themselves by looking at what happens to narrative structure as authors or their characters cross geographic boundaries. The reader sees how women writers negotiate relocation in their texts and how the written word becomes a place where one finds oneself.


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Women Political Prisoners in Germany
Narratives of Self and Captivity, 1915-91
Kim Richmond
University of London Press, 2016
One of the few major enquiries into women’s narratives of political incarceration, this volume examines first-person accounts written against a backdrop of momentous historical events in twentieth-century Germany. Rosa Luxemburg’s prison letters are the starting point for the study, which explores the ways in which writing is used as a response to incarceration: how does the writer ‘perform’ femininity within the de-feminizing context of prison? How does she negotiate a self-representation as a ‘good’ woman? Central to this investigation is an awareness of the role of language as a means of empowerment within the disempowering environment of prison. As a key female political figure in twentieth-century Germany, Luxemburg wrote letters from prison that encapsulate prevalent notions about womanhood, prison, and political engagement that are perceptible in the subsequent texts of the study. The diaries of Luise Rinser and Lore Wolf from National Socialist prisons show, in different ways, how the writer uses language to ‘survive’ prison, whilst Margret Bechler’s and Elisabeth Graul’s retrospective accounts of GDR incarceration give insight into the elastic concept of both the political prisoner and the ‘good’ woman. All narratives provide examples of the role of language in resisting an imposed identity as ‘prisoner’, ‘criminal’, and object of the prison system. Kim Richmond completed her PhD at the University of Edinburgh and is now an Associate Lecturer in Languages at the Open University.

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