front cover of At No Time
At No Time
Scenes and Dialogues
Ilse Aichinger
Seagull Books, 2023
Dramatic sketches full of surprising, unpredictable twists and turns from a major twentieth-century German-language author.
 
A member of the Gruppe 47 writers’ group which sought to renew German-language literature after World War II, Ilse Aichinger (1921–2016) achieved great acclaim as a writer of fiction, poetry, prose, and radio drama. The vignettes in At No Time each begin in recognizable situations, often set in Vienna or other Austrian cities, but immediately swerve into bizarre encounters, supernatural or fantastical situations. Precisely drawn yet disturbingly skewed, they are both naturalistic and disjointed, like the finest surrealist paintings. Created to be experienced on the page or on the radio rather than the stage, they echo the magic realism of her short stories. Even though they frequently take a dark turn, they remain full of humor, agility, and poetic freedom.
 
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Authors in Court
Scenes from the Theater of Copyright
Mark Rose
Harvard University Press, 2016

Through a series of vivid case studies, Authors in Court charts the 300-year-long dance between authorship and copyright that has shaped each institution’s response to changing social norms of identity, privacy, and celebrity.

“A literary historian by training, Rose is completely at home in the world of law, as well as the history of photography and art. This is the work of an interdisciplinary scholar at the height of his powers. The arguments are sophisticated and the elegant text is a work of real craftsmanship. It is superb.”
—Lionel Bently, University of Cambridge

Authors in Court is well-written, erudite, informative, and engaging throughout. As the chapters go along, we see the way that personalities inflect the supposedly impartial law; we see the role of gender in authorial self-fashioning; we see some of the fault lines which produce litigation; and we get a nice history of the evolution of the fair use doctrine. This is a book that should at least be on reserve for any IP–related course. Going forward, no one writing about any of the cases Rose discusses can afford to ignore his contribution.”
—Lewis Hyde, Kenyon College

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Behind the Scenes
Covering the JFK Assassination
Darwin Payne
University of North Texas Press, 2023

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The Boom Economy
Or, Scenes from Clerical Life
Brian Bouldrey
University of Wisconsin Press, 2003

Dennis Bacchus is a man who has outlived himself. HIV-positive and prepared to die at any minute, he finds himself in the late 1990s blessed with life-giving drugs, supportive friends, a boom economy, and an era of never-ending celebration—and he doesn’t know what to do with himself.
    For ten years he has traveled and celebrated a curtailed life with the similarly infected Jimmy and, though Dennis was never that close to Jimmy, he decided to let the friendship run its course to the end. Now there’s no end in sight. Stuck with leftover friendships, careers, and commitments, what can a man do but become a priest? The Boom Economy covers what was supposed to be the last decade of Dennis Bacchus’ life, but turns out to be the first decade of the rest of it.
    The Boom Economy is a novel about conversion—not just seroconversion or religious conversion, but all of the social, spiritual, and emotional problems of changing from one life to another. At once raucous and serious, pagan and saintly, it’s a look at the way we live now. Again.

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Cumbia!
Scenes of a Migrant Latin American Music Genre
Héctor Fernández L Hoeste and Pablo Vila, eds.
Duke University Press, 2013
Cumbia is a musical form that originated in northern Colombia and then spread throughout Latin America and wherever Latin Americans travel and settle. It has become one of the most popular musical genre in the Americas. Its popularity is largely due to its stylistic flexibility. Cumbia absorbs and mixes with the local musical styles it encounters. Known for its appeal to workers, the music takes on different styles and meanings from place to place, and even, as the contributors to this collection show, from person to person. Cumbia is a different music among the working classes of northern Mexico, Latin American immigrants in New York City, Andean migrants to Lima, and upper-class Colombians, who now see the music that they once disdained as a source of national prestige. The contributors to this collection look at particular manifestations of cumbia through their disciplinary lenses of musicology, sociology, history, anthropology, linguistics, and literary criticism. Taken together, their essays highlight how intersecting forms of identity—such as nation, region, class, race, ethnicity, and gender—are negotiated through interaction with the music.

Contributors
. Cristian Alarcón, Jorge Arévalo Mateus, Leonardo D'Amico, Héctor Fernández L'Hoeste, Alejandro L. Madrid, Kathryn Metz, José Juan Olvera Gudiño, Cathy Ragland, Pablo Semán, Joshua Tucker, Matthew J. Van Hoose, Pablo Vila
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Curators
Behind the Scenes of Natural History Museums
Lance Grande
University of Chicago Press, 2017
Over the centuries, natural history museums have evolved from being little more than musty repositories of stuffed animals and pinned bugs, to being crucial generators of new scientific knowledge. They have also become vibrant educational centers, full of engaging exhibits that share those discoveries with students and an enthusiastic general public.
 
At the heart of it all from the very start have been curators. Yet after three decades as a natural history curator, Lance Grande found that he still had to explain to people what he does. This book is the answer—and, oh, what an answer it is: lively, exciting, up-to-date, it offers a portrait of curators and their research  like none we’ve seen, one that conveys the intellectual excitement and the educational and social value of curation. Grande uses the personal story of his own career—most of it spent at Chicago’s storied Field Museum—to structure his account as he explores the value of research and collections, the importance of public engagement, changing ecological and ethical considerations, and the impact of rapidly improving technology. Throughout, we are guided by Grande’s keen sense of mission, of a job where the why is always as important as the what.
 
This beautifully written and richly illustrated book is a clear-eyed but loving account of natural history museums, their curators, and their ever-expanding roles in the twenty-first century.
 
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The Decision Between Us
Art and Ethics in the Time of Scenes
John Paul Ricco
University of Chicago Press, 2014
The Decision Between Us combines an inventive reading of Jean-Luc Nancy with queer theoretical concerns to argue that while scenes of intimacy are spaces of sharing, they are also spaces of separation. John Paul Ricco shows that this tension informs our efforts to coexist ethically and politically, an experience of sharing and separation that informs any decision. Using this incongruous relation of intimate separation, Ricco goes on to propose that “decision” is as much an aesthetic as it is an ethical construct, and one that is always defined in terms of our relations to loss, absence, departure, and death.
 
Laying out this theory of “unbecoming community” in modern and contemporary art, literature, and philosophy, and calling our attention to such things as blank sheets of paper, images of unmade beds, and the spaces around bodies, The Decision Between Us opens in 1953, when Robert Rauschenberg famously erased a drawing by Willem de Kooning, and Roland Barthes published Writing Degree Zero, then moves to 1980 and the “neutral mourning” of Barthes’ Camera Lucida, and ends in the early 1990s with installations by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Offering surprising new considerations of these and other seminal works of art and theory by Jean Genet, Marguerite Duras, and Catherine Breillat, The Decision Between Us is a highly original and unusually imaginative exploration of the spaces between us, arousing and evoking an infinite and profound sense of sharing in scenes of passionate, erotic pleasure as well as deep loss and mourning.
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Delia's Doctors; or, A Glance behind the Scenes
Hannah Gardner Creamer
University of Illinois Press, 2002
A lost 19th century novel focused on several women's issues, especially female health; with a fascinating view of mid-nineteenth-century medical practices.

This early feminist novel is a wickedly funny slice of mid-nineteenth-century Americana peppered with details of the era’s freakish medical tactics and leavened with a smart and sassy commentary about the societal restraints on women’s physical and intellectual abilities.
 
First published in 1852, Delia’s Doctors is one of four known novels by Hannah Gardner Creamer, an American writer whose life and career have been all but absent from the annals of American history. In the book, eighteen-year-old Delia Thornton is ill. Her condition, more psychological than physical, worsens during the bitter winter, even as doctor after doctor attempts to cure her.
 
As Delia typifies the female heroine whose sickness is aggravated by listlessness and inactivity, her brother’s fiancée, Adelaide Wilmot, is Delia’s more robust counterpart. Adelaide thinks she could do anything, if only she were a man, and she dreams of being a physician. Quick to point out the shortcomings of male doctors in treating female illnesses, Adelaide saves Delia and delivers a series of arguments against New England patriarchy.
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Emily Dickinson's Open Folios
Scenes of Reading, Surfaces of Writing
Marta L. Werner
University of Michigan Press, 1996
Emily Dickinson's Open Folios: Scenes of Reading, Surfaces of Writing is a fine facsimile edition and aesthetic exploration of a group of forty late drafts and fragments hitherto known as the "Lord letters." The drafts are presented in facsimile form on high-quality paper alongside typed transcriptions that reproduce as fully as possible the shock of script and startling array of visual details inscribed on the surfaces of the manuscripts.
Werner argues that a redefinition of the editorial enterprise is needed to approach the revelations of these writings-- the details that have been all but erased by editorial interventions and print conventions in the twentieth century. Paradoxically, "un-editing" them allows an exploration of the relationship between medium and messages. Werner's commentary forsakes the claims to comprehensiveness generally associated with scholarly narrative in favor of a series of speculative and fragmentary "close-ups"--a portrait in pieces. Finally, she proposes the acts of both reading and writing as visual poems.
A crucial reference for Dickinson scholars, this book is also of primary importance to textual scholars, editorial theorists, and students of gender and cultural studies interested in the production, dissemination, and interpretation of works by women writers.
This publication has been supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Marta L. Werner received her Ph.D. from the State University of New York-Buffalo. She is an independent scholar and a member of the Emily Dickinson Editing Collective.
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Fangirls
Scenes from Modern Music Culture
By Hannah Ewens
University of Texas Press, 2020

"To be a fan is to scream alone together." This is the discovery Hannah Ewens makes in Fangirls: how music fandom is at once a journey of self-definition and a conduit for connection and camaraderie; how it is both complicated and empowering; and how now, more than ever, fandoms composed of girls and young queer people create cultures that shape and change an entire industry.

This book is about what it means to be a fangirl.

Speaking to hundreds of fans from the UK, US, Europe, and Japan, Ewens tells the story of music fandom using its own voices, recounting previously untold or glossed-over scenes from modern pop and rock music history. In doing so, she uncovers the importance of fan devotion: how Ariana Grande represents both tragedy and resilience to her followers, or what it means to meet an artist like Lady Gaga in person. From One Directioners, to members of the Beyhive, to the author's own fandom experiences, this book reclaims the "fangirl" label for its young members, celebrating their purpose, their power, and, most of all, their passion for the music they love.

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George Szell's Reign
Behind the Scenes with the Cleveland Orchestra
Marcia Hansen Kraus
University of Illinois Press, 2019
George Szell was the Cleveland Orchestra's towering presence for over a quarter of a century. From the boardroom to the stage, Szell's powerful personality affected every aspect of a musical institution he reshaped in his own perfectionist image. Marcia Hansen Kraus's participation in Cleveland's classical musical scene allowed her an intimate view of Szell and his achievements. As a musician herself, and married to an oboist who worked under Szell, Kraus pulls back the curtain on this storied era through fascinating interviews with orchestra musicians and patrons. Their recollections combine with Kraus's own to paint a portrait of a multifaceted individual who both earned and transcended his tyrannical reputation. If some musicians hated Szell, others loved him or at the least respected his fair-minded toughness. A great many remember playing under his difficult leadership as the high point in their lives. Filled with vivid backstage stories, George Szell's Reign reveals the human side of a great orchestra ”and how one visionary built a premier classical music institution.
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A Guide to Scenes of Daily Life on Athenian Vases
John H. Oakley
University of Wisconsin Press, 2020
Painted vases are the richest and most complex images that remain from ancient Greece. Over the past decades, a great deal has been written on ancient art that portrays myths and rituals. Less has been written on scenes of daily life, and what has been written has been tucked away in hard-to-find books and journals. A Guide to Scenes of Daily Life on Athenian Vases synthesizes this material and expands it: it is the first comprehensive volume to present visual representations of everything from pets and children's games to drunken revelry and funerary rituals.
John H. Oakley's clear, accessible writing provides sound information with just the right amount of detail. Specialists of Greek art will welcome this book for its text and illustrations. This guide is an essential and much-needed reference for scholars and an ideal sourcebook for classics and art history.
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Impasse of the Angels
Scenes from a Moroccan Space of Memory
Stefania Pandolfo
University of Chicago Press, 1997
The image of the ethnographer in the field who observes his or her subjects from a distance while copiously taking notes has given way in recent years to a more critical and engaged form of anthropology. Composed as a polyphonic dialogue of texts, Stefania Pandolfo's Impasse of the Angels takes this engagement to its limit by presenting the relationship between observer and observed as one of interacting equals and mutually constituting interlocuters.

Impasse of the Angels explores what it means to be a subject in the historical and poetic imagination of a southern Moroccan society. Passionate and lyrical, ironic and tragic, the book listens to dissonant, often idiosyncratic voices—poetic texts, legends, social spaces, folktales, conversations—which elaborate in their own ways the fractures, wounds, and contradictions of the Maghribî postcolonial present. Moving from concrete details in a traditional ethnographic sense to a creative, experiential literary style, Impasse of the Angels is a tale of life and death compellingly addressing readers from anthropology, literature, philosophy, postcolonial criticism, and Middle Eastern studies.
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Light in Germany
Scenes from an Unknown Enlightenment
T. J. Reed
University of Chicago Press, 2015
Germany’s political and cultural past from ancient times through World War II has dimmed the legacy of its Enlightenment, which these days is far outshone by those of France and Scotland. In this book, T. J. Reed clears the dust away from eighteenth-century Germany, bringing the likes of Kant, Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, and Gotthold Lessing into a coherent and focused beam that shines within European intellectual history and reasserts the important role of Germany’s Enlightenment.
           
Reed looks closely at the arguments, achievements, conflicts, and controversies of these major thinkers and how their development of a lucid and active liberal thinking matured in the late eighteenth century into an imaginative branching that ran through philosophy, theology, literature, historiography, science, and politics. He traces the various pathways of their thought and how one engendered another, from the principle of thinking for oneself to the development of a critical epistemology; from literature’s assessment of the past to the formulation of a poetic ideal of human development. Ultimately, Reed shows how the ideas of the German Enlightenment have proven their value in modern secular democracies and are still of great relevance—despite their frequent dismissal—to us in the twenty-first century. 
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Medina by the Bay
Scenes of Muslim Study and Survival
Maryam Kashani
Duke University Press, 2023
From the Black Power movement and state surveillance to Silicon Valley and gentrification, Medina by the Bay examines how multiracial Muslim communities in the San Francisco Bay Area survive and flourish within and against racial capitalist, carceral, and imperial logics. Weaving expansive histories, peoples, and geographies together in an ethnographic screenplay of cinematic scenes, Maryam Kashani demonstrates how sociopolitical forces and geopolitical agendas shape Muslim ways of knowing and being. Throughout, Kashani argues that contemporary Islam emerges from the specificities of the Bay Area, from its landscapes and infrastructures to its Muslim liberal arts college, mosques, and prison courtyards. Theorizing the Medina by the Bay as a microcosm of socioeconomic, demographic, and political transformations in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries, Kashani resituates Islam as liberatory and abolitionist theory, theology, and praxis for all those engaged in struggle.
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Paying Calls in Shangri-La
Scenes from a Woman’s Life in American Diplomacy
Judith M. Heimann
Ohio University Press, 2016

Judith M. Heimann entered the diplomatic life in 1958 to join her husband, John, in Jakarta, Indonesia, at his American Embassy post. This, her first time out of the United States, would set her on a path across the continents as she mastered the fine points of diplomatic culture. She did so first as a spouse, then as a diplomat herself, thus becoming part of one of the Foreign Service’s first tandem couples.

Heimann’s lively recollections of her life in Africa, Asia, and Europe show us that when it comes to reconciling our government’s requirements with the other government’s wants, shuttle diplomacy, Skype, and email cannot match on-the-ground interaction. The ability to gauge and finesse gesture, tone of voice, and unspoken assumptions became her stock-in-trade as she navigated, time and again, remarkably delicate situations.

This insightful and witty memoir gives us a behind-the-scenes look at a rarely explored experience: that of one of the very first married female diplomats, who played an unsung but significant role in some of the important international events of the past fifty years. To those who know something of today’s world of diplomacy, Paying Calls in Shangri-La will be an enlightening tour through the way it used to be—and for aspiring Foreign Service officers and students, it will be an inspiration.

Published in association with ADST-DACOR Diplomats and Diplomacy Series

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Renaissance Fun
The Machines behind the Scenes
Philip Steadman
University College London, 2021
An amusing account of the technology of Renaissance entertainment and the ancient influences that inspired it.

Renaissance Fun is about the technology of entertainment in the forms of stage machinery, theatrical special effects, gardens, fountains, automata, and self-playing musical instruments from the Renaissance. How did the machines behind these shows work? How exactly were chariots filled with singers let down onto the stage? How were flaming dragons made to fly across the sky? How were seas created on stage? How did mechanical birds imitate real birdsong? What was “artificial music,” three centuries before Edison and the phonograph? How could pipe organs be driven and made to play themselves by waterpower alone? And who were the architects, engineers, and craftsmen who created these wonders? While this book is offered as entertainment in itself, it also offers a more serious scholarly argument centered on the enormous influence of Vitruvius and Hero, two ancient writers who composed on the subject.
 
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Rus–Ukraine–Russia
Scenes from the Cultural History of Russian Religiosity
Martin C. Putna
Karolinum Press, 2018
An outspoken opponent of pro-Russian, authoritarian, and far-right streams in contemporary Czech society, Martin C. Putna received a great deal of media attention when he ironically dedicated the Czech edition of Rus–Ukraine–Russia to Miloš Zeman—the pro-Russian president of the Czech Republic. This sense of irony, combined with an extraordinary breadth of scholarly knowledge, infuses Putna’s book.

Examining key points in Russian cultural and spiritual history, Rus–Ukraine–Russia is essential reading for those wishing to understand the current state of Russia and Ukraine—the so-called heir to an “alternative Russia.” Putna uses literary and artistic works to offer a rich analysis of Russia as a cultural and religious phenomenon: tracing its development from the arrival of the Greeks in prehistoric Crimea to its invasion by “little green men” in 2014; explaining the cultural importance in Russ of the Vikings as well as Pussy Riot; exploring central Russian figures from St. Vladimir the Great to Vladimir Putin.

Unique in its postcolonial perspective, this is not merely a history of Russia or of Russian religion. This book presents Russia as a complex mesh of national, religious, and cultural (especially countercultural) traditions—with strong German, Mongol, Jewish, Catholic, Polish, and Lithuanian influences—a force responsible for creating what we identify as Eastern Europe.
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Scenes and Traces of the English Civil War
Stephen Bann
Reaktion Books, 2020
The English Civil War has become a frequent point of reference in contemporary British political debate. A bitter and bloody series of conflicts, it shook the very foundations of seventeenth-century Britain. This book is the first attempt to portray the visual legacy of this period, as passed down, revisited, and periodically reworked over two and a half centuries of subsequent English history. Highly regarded art historian Stephen Bann deftly interprets the mass of visual evidence accessible today, from ornate tombs and statues to surviving sites of vandalism and iconoclasm, public signage, and historical paintings of human subjects, events, and places. Through these important scenes and sometimes barely perceptible traces, Bann shows how the British view of the War has been influenced and transformed by visual imagery.
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Scenes from Bourgeois Life
Nicholas Ridout
University of Michigan Press, 2020
Scenes from Bourgeois Life proposes that theatre spectatorship has made a significant contribution to the historical development of a distinctive bourgeois sensibility, characterized by the cultivation of distance. In Nicholas Ridout’s formulation, this distance is produced and maintained at two different scales. First is the distance of the colonial relation, not just in miles between Jamaica and London, but also the social, economic, and psychological distances involved in that relation. The second is the distance of spectatorship, not only of the modern theatregoer as consumer, but the larger and pervasive disposition to observe, comment, and sit in judgment, which becomes characteristic of the bourgeois relation to the rest of the world. This engagingly written study of history, class, and spectatorship offers compelling proof of “why theater matters,” and demonstrates the importance of examining the question historically.  
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Scenes from Deep Time
Early Pictorial Representations of the Prehistoric World
Martin J. S. Rudwick
University of Chicago Press, 1992
How did the earth look in prehistoric times? Scientists and artists collaborated during the half-century prior to the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species to produce the first images of dinosaurs and the world they inhabited. Their interpretations, informed by recent fossil discoveries, were the first efforts to represent the prehistoric world based on sources other than the Bible. Martin J. S. Rudwick presents more than a hundred rare illustrations from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to explore the implications of reconstructing a past no one has ever seen.
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Scenes from la Cuenca de Los Angeles y otros Natural Disasters
Susana Chávez-Silverman
University of Wisconsin Press, 2010
This is a rarity in contemporary writing, a truly bilingual enterprise, as in Susana Chávez-Silverman’s previous memoir, Killer Crónicas. Chávez-Silverman switches between English and Spanish, creating alinguistic mestizaje that is still a surprise encounter in the world of letters today, and the author forms one of a small but growing band of writers to embrace bilingualism as a literary force. Also like Killer Crónicas, each chapter in Scenes from la Cuenca de Los Angeles is a “crónica,” a vignette that began as intimate diary entries and e-mails and letters to lovers, friends, and ghosts from the past. These episodic chapters follow the Chávez-Silverman’s personal history, from California to South Africa and Australia and back, from unfathomable loss to deeply felt joy. Readers drawn into this witty book will confront their own conceptions of boundaries, borders, languages, memories, and spaces.
 
Honorable Mention, Best Biography in Spanish or Bilingual, International Latino Book Awards
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Scenes From Postmodern Life
Beatriz Sarlo
University of Minnesota Press, 2001

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Scenes from the Bathhouse
And Other Stories of Communist Russia
Mikhail Zoshchenko
University of Michigan Press, 1959
Uproariously funny stories that give a behind-the-scenes look at daily life in the Soviet Union of Zoshchenko's time
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Scenes from the Drama of European Literature
Erich AuerbachForeword by Paolo Valesio
University of Minnesota Press, 1984

Scenes from the Drama of European Literature was first published in 1984. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

In his foreword to this reprint of Erich Auerbach's major essays, Paolo Valesio pays tribute to the author with an old saying that he feels is still the best metaphor for the genesis of a literary critic: the critic is born of the marriage of Mercury and Philology. The German-born Auerbach was a scholar who specialized in Romance philology, a tradition rooted in German historicism—the conviction that works of art must be judged as products of variable places and times, not from the eye of eternity, nor by a single unchanging aesthetic standard. The mercurial element in Auerbach's work is significant, for in a life of motion—of exile from Hitler's Germany—he came to believe that literary history was evolutionary, ever-changing—a view reflected in the title of his book, which suggests life and literature are historical drama.

Auerbach is best known for his magisterial study Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, written during the war, in Istanbul, when he was far from his own culture and from the books that he normally relied on. In 1957, just before his death, he arranged for the publication in English of his six most important essays, in a volume called Scenes from the Drama of European Literature.As in Mimesis,Auerbach's fresh insights bring to the disparate subjects of the essays a coherence that reflects the unity of Western, humanistic tradition, even while they hint at the deepening pessimism of his later years.

In the first essay, "Figura," Auerbach develops his concept of the figural interpretation of reality; applied here to Dante's Divine Comedy,it also served as groundwork for his treatment of realism in Mimesis. A second essay on Dante's examines the poet's depiction of St. Francis of Assisi. The next three essays deal with the paradoxical nature of Pascal's political thought; the merging of la cour and la ville—the king's entourage and the bourgeoisie—chiefly in relation to the seventeenth-century French theater; and Vico's formulation concepts by the German Romantics. In the final essay Auerbach confers upon Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal the designation "aesthetic dignity" because, not in spite of, the hideous reality of the peoms.

"A major collection of important essays on European literature, almost all classics, and almost all required reading for their various centuries—thus the book is indispensable for the medieval period,the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries; in addition, the 'Figura' and the Vico essays are very significant theoretical statements. The book is lucid and far more accessible for undergraduates than, say, current high theory. Nor has Auerbach's own work aged . . . All of his varied strengths are evidence in this collection, which is a better way into his work than Mimesis." –Fredric Jameson, University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Scenes from the High Desert
JULIAN STEWARD'S LIFE AND THEORY
Virginia Kerns
University of Illinois Press, 2002
Julian Steward (1902-72) is best remembered in American anthropology as the creator of cultural ecology, a theoretical approach that has influenced generations of archaeologists and cultural anthropologists. Virginia Kerns considers the intellectual and emotional influences of Steward's remarkable career, exploring his early life in the American West, his continued attachments to western landscapes and inhabitants, his research with Native Americans, and the writing of his classic work, Theory of Culture Change. With fluid prose and rich detail, the book captures the essence and breadth of Steward's career while carefully measuring the ways he reinforced the male-centered structure of mid-twentieth-century American anthropology.
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Scenes from the Revolution
Making Political Theatre 1968-2019
Edited by Kim Wiltshire, Billy Cowan and James Harkar
Pluto Press, 2018
Political theater thrives on turbulence. Transmuting Brexit, Trump, and impending ecological disaster into a potent, dramatic art form, its practitioners hold a mirror up to our society, wielding the power to entertain, shock, and discomfit.
            Scenes from the Revolution is a celebration of fifty years of radical theater in Britain. Beginning with a short history of pre-1968 political theater—covering Brecht, Joan Littlewood, and Ewan McColl—the editors move on to explore agit-prop, working-class, youth, community, POC, women’s, and LGBTQ theater. Comprehensive in scope, and featuring many of the leading voices in the field today, as well as “lost” scripts from the radical theater companies of the past, Scenes from the Revolution is a must-read for anyone interested in politics in the arts.
 
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Scenes of Instruction
A Memoir
Michael Awkward
Duke University Press, 1999
Scenes of Instruction is the memoir of noted scholar of African American literature Michael Awkward. Structured around the commencement ceremonies that marked his graduations from various schools, it presents Awkward’s coming-of-age as a bookish black male in the projects of 1970s Philadelphia. His relationships with his family and peers, their struggles with poverty and addiction, and his eventual move from underfunded urban schools to a prestigious private school all become parts of a memorable script.

With a recurring focus on how his mother’s tragic weaknesses and her compelling strengths affected his development, Awkward intersperses the chronologically arranged autobiographical sections with ruminations on his own interests in literary and cultural criticism. As a male scholar who has come under fire for describing himself as a feminist critic, he reflects on such issues as identity politics and the politics of academia, affirmative action, and the Million Man March.

By connecting his personal experiences with larger political, cultural, and professional questions, Awkward uses his life as a palette on which to blend equations of race and reading, urbanity and mutilation, alcoholism, pain, gender, learning, sex, literature, and love.

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Scenes of Instruction in Renaissance Romance
Jeff Dolven
University of Chicago Press, 2007

We take it for granted today that the study of poetry belongs in school—but in sixteenth-century England, making Ovid or Virgil into pillars of the curriculum was a revolution. Scenes of Instruction in Renaissance Romance explores how poets reacted to the new authority of humanist pedagogy, and how they transformed a genre to express their most radical doubts.

Jeff Dolven investigates what it meant for a book to teach as he traces the rivalry between poet and schoolmaster in the works of John Lyly, Philip Sydney, Edmund Spenser, and John Milton. Drawing deeply on the era’s pedagogical literature, Dolven explores the links between humanist strategies of instruction and romance narrative, rethinking such concepts as experience, sententiousness, example, method, punishment, lessons, and endings. In scrutinizing this pivotal moment in the ancient, intimate contest between art and education, Scenes of Instruction in Renaissance Romance offers a new view of one of the most unconsidered—yet fundamental—problems in literary criticism: poetry’s power to please and instruct.

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Scenes of Projection
Recasting the Enlightenment Subject
Jill H. Casid
University of Minnesota Press, 2015

Theorizing vision and power at the intersections of the histories of psychoanalysis, media, scientific method, and colonization, Scenes of Projection poaches the prized instruments at the heart of the so-called scientific revolution: the projecting telescope, camera obscura, magic lantern, solar microscope, and prism. From the beginnings of what is retrospectively enshrined as the origins of the Enlightenment and in the wake of colonization, the scene of projection has functioned as a contraption for creating a fantasy subject of discarnate vision for the exercise of “reason.”

Jill H. Casid demonstrates across a range of sites that the scene of projection is neither a static diagram of power nor a fixed architecture but rather a pedagogical setup that operates as an influencing machine of persistent training. Thinking with queer and feminist art projects that take up old devices for casting an image to reorient this apparatus of power that produces its subject, Scenes of Projection offers a set of theses on the possibilities for felt embodiment out of the damaged and difficult pasts that haunt our present.

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Senator Leahy
A Life in Scenes
Philip Baruth
University Press of New England, 2017
Having vaulted to a position in the United States Senate at the tender age of thirty-four, Patrick Leahy now claims the longest tenure of any member of that institution still serving—and he was third in line for the presidency when the Democrats held control. Few recent American lawmakers have watched history unfold so at such close range; fewer still have influenced it so powerfully. Philip Baruth brings a thriller-like intensity to the most spectacular of those scenes: the 9/11 attack on the US capital, the contentious drafting of the Patriot Act, the ensuing anthrax attacks, and the dramatic 2014 opening of diplomatic ties with Cuba. Throughout, the biography focuses in on Leahy’s meticulous image making, his cultivation of a “Top Cop” persona both in the media and at the ballot box. It is an approach that culminates in simultaneous roles for the lawmaker as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and as the tough-talking “distinguished gentleman” in Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy of Batman films. Leahy’s improbable success, Philip Baruth argues, in the end lies in his ability both to be and to play the top cop not only in post-Watergate Vermont, but in a post-9/11 America viciously divided between the red states and the blue.
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Spill
Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity
Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Duke University Press, 2016
In Spill, self-described queer Black troublemaker and Black feminist love evangelist Alexis Pauline Gumbs presents a commanding collection of scenes depicting fugitive Black women and girls seeking freedom from gendered violence and racism. In this poetic work inspired by Hortense Spillers, Gumbs offers an alternative approach to Black feminist literary criticism, historiography, and the interactive practice of relating to the words of Black feminist thinkers. Gumbs not only speaks to the spiritual, bodily, and otherworldly experience of Black women but also allows readers to imagine new possibilities for poetry as a portal for understanding and deepening feminist theory.
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Strange Enemies
Indigenous Agency and Scenes of Encounters in Amazonia
Aparecida Vilaça
Duke University Press, 2010
In 1956, in the Brazilian state of Rondônia, a group of Wari’ Indians had their first peaceful contact with whites: Protestant missionaries and officers from the national Indian Protection Service. On returning to their villages, the Wari’ announced, “We touched their bodies!” Meanwhile the whites reported to their own people that “the region’s most warlike tribe has entered the pacification phase!” Initially published in Brazil, Strange Enemies is an ethnographic narrative of the first encounters between these peoples with radically different worldviews.

During the 1940s and 1950s, white rubber tappers invading the Wari’ lands raided the native villages, shooting and killing their victims as they slept. These massacres prompted the Wari’ to initiate a period of intense retaliatory warfare. The national government and religious organizations subsequently intervened, seeking to “pacify” the Indians. Aparecida Vilaça was able to interview both Wari’ and non-Wari’ participants in these encounters, and here she shares their firsthand narratives of the dramatic events. Taking the Wari’ perspective as its starting point, Strange Enemies combines a detailed examination of these cross-cultural encounters with analyses of classic ethnological themes such as kinship, shamanism, cannibalism, warfare, and mythology.

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Uniform Feelings
Scenes from the Psychic Life of Policing
Jessi Lee Jackson
University of Michigan Press, 2022
In Uniform Feelings, American studies scholar and abolitionist psychotherapist Jessi Lee Jackson reads policing as a set of emotional and relational practices in order to shed light on the persistence of police violence.  Jackson argues that psychological investments in U.S. police power emerge at various sites: her counseling room, manuals for addressing bias, museum displays, mortality statistics, and memorial walls honoring fallen officers.  Drawing on queer, feminist, anticolonial, and Black engagements with psychoanalysis to think through U.S. policing—and bringing together a mix of clinical case studies, autotheory, and ethnographic research—the book moves from the individual to the institutional. Jackson begins with her work as a psychotherapist working across the spectrum of relationships to policing, and then turns to interrogate carceral psychology—the involvement of her profession in ongoing state violence.  Jackson orbits around two key questions: how are our relationships shaped by proximity to state violence, and how can our social worlds be transformed to challenge state-sanctioned violence?
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Wyoming Revisited
Rephotographing the Scenes of Joseph E. Stimson
Michael A. Amundson
University Press of Colorado, 2014
In Wyoming Revisited, Michael A. Amundson uses the power of rephotography to show how landscapes across the state have endured over the last century. Three sets of photographs—the original black-and-white photographs taken by famed Wyoming photographer Joseph E. Stimson more than a century ago, repeat black-and-white images taken by Amundson in the 1980s, and a third view in color taken by the author in 2007–2008—are accompanied by captions explaining the history and importance of each site as well as information on the process of repeat photographic fieldwork.

The 117 locations feature street views of Wyoming towns and cities, as well as views from the state's famous natural landmarks like Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Devil's Tower National Monument, Hot Springs State Park, and Big Horn and Shoshone National Forests. In addition, Amundson provides six in-depth essays that explore the life of Joseph E. Stimson, the rephotographic process and how it has evolved, and how repeat photography can be used to understand history, landscape, historic preservation, and globalization.

Wyoming Revisited highlights the historic evolution of the American West over the past century and showcases the significant changes that have occurred over the past twenty-five years. This book will appeal to photographers, historians of the American West, and anyone interested in Wyoming's history or landscape.

The publication of this book is supported in part by the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund.


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