Whether it is used as an icebreaker in conversation or as the subject of serious inquiry, “the weather” is one of the few subjects that everyone talks about. And though we recognize the faces that bring us the weather on television, how government meteorologists and forecasters go about their jobs is rarely scrutinized. Given recent weather-related disasters, it’s time we find out more. In Authors of the Storm, Gary Alan Fine offers an inside look at how meteorologists and forecasters predict the weather.
Based on field observation and interviews at the Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma, the National Weather Service in Washington, D.C., and a handful of midwestern outlets, Fine finds a supremely hard-working, insular clique of professionals who often refer to themselves as a “band of brothers.” In Fine’s skilled hands, we learn their lingo, how they “read” weather conditions, how forecasts are written, and, of course, how those messages are conveyed to the public. Weather forecasts, he shows, are often shaped as much by social and cultural factors inside local offices as they are by approaching cumulus clouds. By opening up this unique world to us, Authors of the Storm offers a valuable and fascinating glimpse of a crucial profession.
From June of 1941 through the following summer, Fredericka Martin lived with her husband, Dr. Samuel Berenberg, on remote St. Paul Island in Alaska. During that time, Martin delved into the complex history of the Unangan people, and Before the Storm draws from her personal accounts of that year and her research to present a fascinating portrait of a time and a people facing radical change. A government-ordered evacuation of all Aleuts from the island in the face of World War II, which Martin recounts in her journal, proved but the first step in a long struggle by native peoples to gain independence, and, as editor Raymond L. Hudson explains, Martin came to play a significant role in the effort.
Once the most powerful indigenous nation in the southeastern United States, the Cherokees survive and thrive as a people nearly two centuries after the Trail of Tears and a hundred years after the allotment of Indian Territory. In Our Fire Survives the Storm, Daniel Heath Justice traces the expression of Cherokee identity in that nation’s literary tradition.
Through cycles of war and peace, resistance and assimilation, trauma and regeneration, Cherokees have long debated what it means to be Cherokee through protest writings, memoirs, fiction, and retellings of traditional stories. Justice employs the Chickamauga consciousness of resistance and Beloved Path of engagement—theoretical approaches that have emerged out of Cherokee social history—to interpret diverse texts composed in English, a language embraced by many as a tool of both access and defiance.
Justice’s analysis ultimately locates the Cherokees as a people of many perspectives, many bloods, mingled into a collective sense of nationhood. Just as the oral traditions of the Cherokee people reflect the living realities and concerns of those who share them, Justice concludes, so too is their literary tradition a textual testament to Cherokee endurance and vitality.
Daniel Heath Justice is assistant professor of aboriginal literatures at the University of Toronto.
Storm from Paradise was first published in 1992. 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.
"Usefully complicating common sense understandings of history, catastrophe, loss, otherness, and possibility through reflections on contemporary Jewishness, Boyarin draws on Benjamins's famous image of the Angel of History blown into the future by a "storm from paradise" to constantly interrogate and recuperate the past, "without pretending for long that we can recoup its plentitude". The book's seven thoughtful essays are at times deliberately intangible but always worth reading. An important book for the rethinking of the relevance of Jewishness to anthropology and cultural studies." –Religious Studies Review
"An essay in the richest sense of that term, inspired by and modeled on Walter Benjamin's essays. Based on varied, diverse, and abundantly cross-disciplinary readings, it moves and builds, questions and interrogates, and ultimately convinces us that the Jewish experience with being the 'other' and, conversely and recently, with 'othering' is indeed relevant to theorists of contemporary culture." –Marianne Hirsch
Jonathan Boyarin is the author of Palestine and Jewish History, and co-editor, with Daniel Boyarin, of Jews and Other Differences and Powers of Diaspora.
Gales, cyclones, blizzards, tornados, and hurricanes—few things demonstrate the awesome power of nature like a good storm. Devastating, diverse, and sometimes appearing completely out of nowhere, storms are also a source of both scientific and aesthetic wonder. In this book, John Withington takes an in-depth and unique look at the nature of storms and the impact that they have—both physical and cultural—on our lives.
Withington shows how storms have changed the course of human history. From Roman times to the modern day, he shows how their devastating effects have wiped out entire communities, changed the fates of battle, and even reset the entire planet. He also shows how beneficial they have been to us: as an important feature of our atmosphere and climate, but also as a source of inspiration for nearly every artist who has ever lived, from Homer to Rembrandt, in works from the Old Testament to Robinson Crusoe. Beautifully illustrated, this book offers a fascinating look at Earth’s most fearsome events.
A Storm of Songs
John Stratton Hawley Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress BL1214.32.B53H42 2015 | Dewey Decimal 294.509
A widely-accepted explanation for India’s national unity is a narrative called the bhakti movement—poet-saints singing bhakti from India’s southern tip to the Himalayas between 600 and 1600. John Hawley shows that this narrative, with its political overtones, was created by the early-twentieth-century circle around Rabindranath Tagore in Bengal.
Storm of Words is a study of the ways that southern Presbyterians in the wake of the Civil War contended with a host of cultural and theological questions, chief among them developments in natural history and evolution.
Southern Presbyterian theologians enjoyed a prominent position in antebellum southern culture. Respected for both their erudition and elite constituency, these theologians identified the southern society as representing a divine, Biblically ordained order. Beginning in the 1840s, however, this facile identification became more difficult to maintain, colliding first with antislavery polemics, then with Confederate defeat and reconstruction, and later with women’s rights, philosophical empiricism, literary criticisms of the Bible, and that most salient symbol of modernity, natural science.
As Monte Harrell Hampton shows in Storm of Words, modern science seemed most explicitly to express the rationalistic spirit of the age and threaten the Protestant conviction that science was the faithful “handmaid” of theology. Southern Presbyterians disposed of some of these threats with ease. Contemporary geology, however, posed thornier problems. Ambivalence over how to respond to geology led to the establishment in 1859 of the Perkins Professorship of Natural Science in Connexion with Revealed Religion at the seminary in Columbia, South Carolina. Installing scientist-theologian James Woodrow in this position, southern Presbyterians expected him to defend their positions.
Within twenty-five years, however, their anointed expert held that evolution did not contradict scripture. Indeed, he declared that it was in fact God’s method of creating. The resulting debate was the first extended evolution controversy in American history. It drove a wedge between those tolerant of new exegetical and scientific developments and the majority who opposed such openness. Hampton argues that Woodrow believed he was shoring up the alliance between science and scripture—that a circumscribed form of evolution did no violence to scriptural infallibility. The traditionalists’ view, however, remained interwoven with their identity as defenders of the Lost Cause and guardians of southern culture.
The ensuing debate triggered Woodrow’s dismissal. It also capped a modernity crisis experienced by an influential group of southern intellectuals who were grappling with the nature of knowledge, both scientific and religious, and its relationship to culture—a culture attempting to define itself in the shadow of the Civil War and Reconstruction.
Within days of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, the far reaching arm of American airpower sprang into action. The skyscapes of the North Atlantic, Europe, and the Mediterranean became laced with the contrails of great jets flowing day and night toward the Persian Gulf. From the skies, manpower and material poured onto the bleak sands under the ominous clouds of the gathering storm, and in only a few weeks the size of the effort eclipsed that of the Berlin Airlift.
The thousands of crewmembers flying the jets, as well as those servicing and managing them, became the backbone of history’s largest air logistical operation. Many of these men and women were Air Force reservists, and the author participated as a pilot of a C-141B Starlifter with the Mississippi Air National Guard.
Cockrell writes lyrically about flying and about the emotional and intellectual satisfaction enjoyed by those who fly. His focus is on the people recalled to active duty, who flew thousands of hours, coping with fatigue, cracked wings, missile attacks, and, in some cases, deteriorating businesses and families at home. Tail of the Storm gives expression to their love of flight, as well as their dedication to the endangered values of duty, honor, country. This story is good reading—not only for those who share the author’s enthusiasm for flying but also for those who read for pleasure and have a curiosity about a pilot’s world.
Weathering the Storm assesses the socioeconomic and political conditions that have surrounded the rise of independent writing programs (IWPs) and departments. Chapter contributors look at the institutional conditions and challenges that IWPs have faced since the 1980s with a focus on enduring the financial collapse of 2008.
Leading writing specialists at the University of Texas at Austin, Syracuse University, the University of Minnesota, and many other institutions document and think carefully about the on-the-ground obstacles that have made the creation of IWPs unique. From institutional naysayers in English departments to skeptical administrators, IWPs and the faculty within them have surmounted not only negative economics but also negative rhetorics. This collection charts the story of this journey as writing faculty continually make the case for the importance of writing in the university curriculum.
Independence has, for the most part, allowed IWPs to better respond to the Great Recession, but to do so they have had to define writing studies in relation to other disciplines and departments. Weathering the Storm will be of great interest to faculty and graduate students in rhetoric and composition, writing program administrators, and writing studies and English department faculty.
Contributors: Linda Adler-Kassner, Lois Agnew, Alice Batt, David Beard, Davida Charney, Amy Clements, Diane Davis, Frank Gaughan, Heidi Skurat Harris, George H. Jensen, Rodger LeGrand, Drew M. Loewe, Mark Garrett Longaker, Cindy Moore, Peggy O’Neill, Chongwon Park, Louise Wetherbee Phelps, Mary Rist, Valerie Ross, John J Ruszkiewicz, Eileen E. Schell, Madeleine Sorapure, Chris Thaiss, Patrick Wehner, Jamie White-Farnham, Carl Whithaus, Traci A. Zimmerman
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall less than four weeks apart in 2005. Months later, much of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast remained in tatters. As the region faded from national headlines, its residents faced a dire future. Emmanuel David chronicles how one activist group confronted the crisis. Founded by a few elite white women in New Orleans, Women of the Storm quickly formed a broad coalition that sought to represent Louisiana's diverse population. From its early lobbying of Congress through its response to the 2010 BP oil spill, David shows how members' actions were shaped by gender, race, class, and geography. Drawing on in-depth interviews, ethnographic observation, and archival research, David tells a compelling story of collective action and personal transformation that expands our understanding of the aftermath of an historic American catastrophe.