This extraordinary work of oral history captures the immense drama and full dimensions of the American immigrant experience. The men and women who tell their stories include such famous names as Alistair Cooke, W. Michael Blumenthal, Edward Teller, and Lynn Redgrave. But they share these pages with 136 other people whose stories are equally compelling: a Jewish former sweatshop worker and union organizer, a Scandanavian homesteader, a Polish coal miner, an anti-Nazi refugee, a Japanese war bride, a Mexican migrant worker, a Cuban exile, a South African interracial couple, a Soviet dissident, and many more. They reveal the mingled joy and pain, hardship and triumph that were and are part of the glowing dream and fearful gamble of a new life in a new land. They offer unique understanding not only of the makeup but of the meaning of America.
In this provocative look at one of the most important events of our time, renowned scholar Arjun Appadurai argues that the economic collapse of 2008—while indeed spurred on by greed, ignorance, weak regulation, and irresponsible risk-taking—was, ultimately, a failure of language. To prove this sophisticated point, he takes us into the world of derivative finance, which has become the core of contemporary trading and the primary target of blame for the collapse and all our subsequent woes. With incisive argumentation, he analyzes this challengingly technical world, drawing on thinkers such as J. L. Austin, Marcel Mauss, and Max Weber as theoretical guides to showcase the ways language—and particular failures in it—paved the way for ruin.
Appadurai moves in four steps through his analysis. In the first, he highlights the importance of derivatives in contemporary finance, isolating them as the core technical innovation that markets have produced. In the second, he shows that derivatives are essentially written contracts about the future prices of assets—they are, crucially, a promise. Drawing on Mauss’s The Gift and Austin’s theories on linguistic performatives, Appadurai, in his third step, shows how the derivative exploits the linguistic power of the promise through the special form that money takes in finance as the most abstract form of commodity value. Finally, he pinpoints one crucial feature of derivatives (as seen in the housing market especially): that they can make promises that other promises will be broken. He then details how this feature spread contagiously through the market, snowballing into the systemic liquidity crisis that we are all too familiar with now.
With his characteristic clarity, Appadurai explains one of the most complicated—and yet absolutely central—aspects of our modern economy. He makes the critical link we have long needed to make: between the numerical force of money and the linguistic force of what we say we will do with it.
This book--which presents a course of lectures Cavell presented several times toward the end of his teaching career at Harvard--links masterpieces of moral philosophy and classic Hollywood comedies to fashion a new way of looking at our lives and learning to live with ourselves.
H. Jefferson Powell offers a powerful new approach to one of the central issues in American constitutional thinking today: the problem of constitutional law's historicity, or the many ways in which constitutional arguments and outcomes are shaped both by historical circumstances and by the political goals and commitments of various actors, including judges. The presence of such influences is often considered highly problematic: if constitutional law is political and historical through and through, then what differentiates it from politics per se, and what gives it integrity and coherence? Powell argues that constitutional theory has as its (sometimes hidden) agenda the ambition of showing how constitutional law can escape from history and politics, while much constitutional history seeks to identify an historically true meaning of the constitutional text that, once uncovered, can serve as a corrective to subsequent deviations from that truth.
Combining history and theory, Powell analyzes a series of constitutional controversies from 1790 to 1944 to demonstrate that constitutional law from its very beginning has involved politically charged and ideologically divisive arguments. Nowhere in our past can one find the golden age of apolitical constitutional thinking that a great deal of contemporary scholarship seeks or presupposes. Viewed over time, American constitutional law is a history of political dispute couched in constitutional terms.
Powell then takes his conclusions one step further, claiming that it is precisely this historical tradition of argument that has given American constitutional law a remarkable coherence and integrity over time. No matter what the particular political disputes of the day might be, constitutional argument has provided a shared language through which our political community has been able to fight out its battles without ultimately fracturing.
A Community Built on Words will be must reading for any student of constitutional history, theory, or law.
In this provocative work, John McCumber asks us to understand Hegel's system as a new approach to linguistic communication. Hegel, he argues, is concerned with building community and mutual comprehension rather than with completing metaphysics or developing historical critique. According to McCumber's radial interpretation, Hegel constructs a complex ideal of how we should use certain words. This ideal philosophical vocabulary is flexible and open to revision, and is constructed according to principles available at all time and all places; it is responsive to, but not dictated by, the shared language of cultured discourse whose concepts it attempts to refine and universalize.
A Course on Words
Waldo E. Sweet and Glenn M. Knudsvig University of Michigan Press, 1989
A great many students enter an etymology course with only one goal -- to learn new words with the hope that they will be more successful in classwork, in standardized exams, or in a variety of work-related situations. In A Course on Words students will indeed learn new words, but, more important, they will gain an understanding of how words are built and how they can use this information to analyze new words that they will encounter outside the classroom. They will spend most of the time learning elements of words that will enable them to determine the meanings of many new words in the future. As one student put it, this book seems to "sensitize us to words and get us to think about words."
The book is unusual in that it offers both programmed and nonprogrammed material. Each type of material is designed to provide students with the maximum amount of involvement and practice. The students do not simply read definitions of words, as is the case with some courses. Rather, they engage in many different activities; not only defining words but analyzing and building them, and learning to use context to derive meaning. The programmed approach enables students to do the work on their own and receive immediate checks of their answers. Classroom time, therefore, is free for review, reinforcement of programmed activities, work on the nonprogrammed material, and attention to the needs of individual students. The book also includes at the end a set of Supplementary Exercises for each unit. The nonprogrammed materials include "Review Exercises," "Words of Interesting Origin," "Easily Confused Words," and "Latin Phrases." These provide practice in concepts learned in the unit and an opportunity to explore a wide variety of topics, such as eponymous words and the literal meanings of Latin expressions used in English.
"Deeds Done in Words is an impressive piece of work. It is the first attempt to identify and assess the principal genres of rhetoric, and to interpret the panoply of those genres in terms of the needs of, and the needs for, ritual in American politics."—Jeffrey Tulis, author of The Rhetorical Presidency
"Deeds Done in Words is a thoughtful survey of how a democracy uses language to transact its business. Based on an enlivened understanding of genre theory and on numerous pieces of original criticism, Campbell and Jamieson vividly show how central public discourse has become the lifeblood of the American polity."—Roderick Hart, author of The Sound of Leadership
"The rhetoric that issues from the White House is becoming an ever more salient part of what the presidency means and does. This acute inquiry provides a great many insights into the forms, meanings, and functions of presidential discourse. It is an enlightening contribution to our understanding of American politics."—Murray Edelman, author of Constructing the Political Spectacle
Markets are artifacts of language—so Douglas R. Holmes argues in this deeply researched look at central banks and the people who run them. Working at the intersection of anthropology, linguistics, and economics, he shows how central bankers have been engaging in communicative experiments that predate the financial crisis and continue to be refined amid its unfolding turmoil—experiments that do not merely describe the economy, but actually create its distinctive features.
Holmes examines the New York District Branch of the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, and the Bank of England, among others, and shows how officials there have created a new monetary regime that relies on collaboration with the public to achieve the ends of monetary policy. Central bankers, Holmes argues, have shifted the conceptual anchor of monetary affairs away from standards such as gold or fixed exchange rates and toward an evolving relationship with the public, one rooted in sentiments and expectations. Going behind closed doors to reveal the intellectual world of central banks,Economy of Words offers provocative new insights into the way our economic circumstances are conceptualized and ultimately managed.
The banquet gives rise to a special moment when thought and the senses—words and food—enhance each other. Throughout history, the ideal of the symposium has reconciled the angel and the beast in the human, renewing the interdependence between the mouth that speaks and the mouth that eats. Michel Jeanneret's lively book explores the paradigm of the banquet as a guide to significant tendencies in Renaissance Humanist culture and shows how this culture in turn illuminates the tensions between physical and mental pleasures. Ranging widely over French, Italian, German, and Latin texts, Jeanneret not only investigates the meal as a narrative artefact but enquires as well into aspects of sixteenth-century anthropology and aesthetics.
If your success at work or in school depends on your ability to communicate persuasively in writing, you’ll want to get Good with Words. Based on a course that law students at the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago have called "outstanding," "A-M-A-Z-I-N-G," and "the best course I have ever taken," the book brings together a collection of concepts, exercises, and examples that have also helped improve the advocacy skills of people pursuing careers in many other fields—from marketing, to management, to medicine.
“There is nobody better than Patrick Barry when it comes to breaking down how to write and edit. His techniques don’t just make you sound better. They make you think better. I’m jealous of the people who get to take his classes.”
—Professor Lisa Bernstein, University of Chicago Law School and Oxford University Center for Corporate Regulation
“Whenever I use Patrick Barry’s materials in my class, the student reaction is the same: ‘We want more of them.’”
—Professor Dave Babbe, UCLA School of Law
“Working one-on-one with Patrick Barry should be mandatory for all lawyers, regardless of seniority. This book is the next best thing.”
—Purvi Patel, Partner at Morrison Foerster LLP
“I am proud to say that, when it comes to writing, I speak Patrick Barry. What I mean is that I use, pretty much every day, the writing vocabulary and techniques he offers in this great book. So read it. Share it. And then, if you can, teach it. There are a lot of good causes in the world that could use a new generation of great advocates.”
—Professor Bridgette Carr, Assistant Dean of Strategic Initiatives and Director of the Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School
“Patrick Barry is my secret weapon. I use his techniques every time I write, and I also teach them to all my students.”
—Professor Shai Dothan, Copenhagen Faculty of Law
“I know the materials in this book were originally created for lawyers and law students. But I actually find them really helpful for doctors as well, given that a lot of what I do every day depends on effective communication. There is a tremendous upside to becoming ‘Good with Words.”
—Dr. Ramzi Abboud, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
The land of the free and home of the brave, America is also the country in which this truth is supposedly self-evident: that we are all equal. It may not seem so at first, but there is a startling gap between these two visions of America, one more evident in today’s fiercely partisan politics that pit free enterprise against social justice. In this fascinating look at America’s most memorable speeches—which have become monuments in national memory—Stephen Fender explores the ways American speechcraft has kept alive a dream of equality and cooperation in the face of economic forces that have favored competition and the pursuit to get ahead.
Beginning with the early American settlers and the two contrasting visions they set out—one competitive, the other cooperative—Fender traces the development of the latter through a series of dramatic addresses. He examines the inaugural speeches of early presidents such as John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, moving to Abraham Lincoln’s arguments—at once logical and passionate—for maintaining the Union, and then on to the twentieth century’s great orators, such as John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. He also looks at the notion of the “great American speech” in popular culture, exploring both the usual places—such as movie courtroom scenes—where it pops up, as well as its unexpected ubiquity in adventure films, thrillers, or any story where equality and justice come under threat.
Through his exploration of great speeches, Fender paints the picture of two simultaneous and free-standing visions of American identity, offering a sophisticated look at American ideological history.
Charm, wit, compassion, wisdom, literature, nature, sex, humor, politics, sorrow, love: these themes fill the late journal pages of enigmatic American writer Glenway Wescott. From humble beginnings on a poor Wisconsin farm, Wescott went on to study at the University of Chicago, narrowly survive the Spanish flu pandemic, and eventually emerge as an influential poet and novelist. A major figure in the American literary expatriate community in Paris during the 1920s and a prominent American novelist in the years leading up to World War II, he spent a decade living abroad before relocating permanently to New York and New Jersey with his partner, Museum of Modern Art publications director and curator Monroe Wheeler.
Together they mixed with such intellectual and creative greats as Jean Cocteau, Colette, George Platt Lynes, Paul Cadmus, Somerset Maugham, Christopher Isherwood, Marianne Moore, W. H. Auden, Truman Capote, Joseph Campbell, and scores of other luminaries. During the second half of his life, Wescott wrote nonfiction essays and worked for the Academy Institute of Arts and Letters, all the while keeping journals in which he recorded the experiences that fostered his love of life, literature, the arts, and humanity. A Heaven of Words looks back on Wescott's entire fascinating life and reveals the riveting narrative of his last decades.
A vital lifeline to home during the Civil War, the letters of soldiers to their families and friends remain a treasure for those seeking to connect with and understand the most turbulent period of American history. Rather than focus on the experiences of a few witnesses, this impressively researched book documents 165 Illinois Civil War soldiers’ and sailors’ lives through the lens of their personal letters. Editor Mark Flotow chose a variety of letter writers who hailed from counties throughout the state, served in different branches of the military at different ranks, and represented the gamut of social experiences and war outcomes.
Flotow provides extensive quotations from the letters. By allowing the soldiers to speak for themselves, he captures what mattered most to them. Illinois soldiers wrote about their reasons for enlisting; the nature of training and duties; necessities like eating, sleeping, marching, and making the best of often harsh and chaotic circumstances; Southern culture; slavery; their opinions of commanding officers and the president; disease, medicine, and hospitals; their prisoner-of-war experiences; and the ways they left the army. Through letters from afar, many soldiers sought to manage their homes and farms, while some single men attempted to woo their sweethearts.
Flotow includes brief biographies for each soldier quoted in the book, weaves historical context and analysis with the letters, and organizes them by topic. Thus, intimate details cited in individual letters reveal their significance for those who lived and shaped this tumultuous era. The result is not only insightful history but also compelling reading.
Jim Jarmusch: Music, Words and Noise is the first book to examine the films of Jim Jarmusch from a sound-oriented perspective. The three essential acoustic elements that structure a film— music, words and noise—propel this book’s fascinating journey through his work. Exploring the director’s extensive back catalogue, including Stranger Than Paradise, Down By Law, Dead Man, and Only Lovers Left Alive, Sara Piazza’s unique reading reveals how Jarmusch created a form of “sound democracy” in film, in which all acoustic layers are capable of infiltrating each other and in which sound is not subordinate to the visual. In his cultural melting pot, hierarchies are irrelevant: Schubert and Japanese noise-bands, Marlowe and Betty Boop, can coexist easily side-by-side. Developing the innovative idea of a “silent-sound film,” Piazza identifies prefiguring elements from pre-sound-era film in Jarmusch’s work.
Highlighting the importance of Jarmusch’s treatment of sound, Piazza investigates how the director’s distinctive reputation consolidated itself over the course of a thirty-year career. Based in New York, Jarmusch was able to develop a fiercely personal vision far from the commercial pressures of Hollywood. The book uses wide-ranging examples from music, film, literature, and visual art, and features interviews with many prominent figures, including Ennio Morricone, Luc Sante, Roberto Benigni, John Lurie, and Jarmusch himself.
An innovative account of a much-admired body of work, Jim Jarmusch will appeal not only to the many fans of the director but all those interested in the connections between sound and film.
Made with Words
May Swenson University of Michigan Press, 1998 Library of Congress PS3537.W4786Z47 1998 | Dewey Decimal 818.5408
Made With Words collects prose by May Swenson (1919-89), whom critic and poet John Hollander has called "one of our few unquestionably major poets." Born in Logan, Utah, she spent most of her adult life living and writing in New York City. She was an editor for New Directions Paperbacks, and a writer-in-residence at numerous universities during the 1960s and 1970s. Throughout her long and illustrious career, Swenson produced nine volumes of verse, including New and Selected Things Taking Place and In Other Words: New Poems. She was a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and received a multitude of grants and awards during her lifetime.
Made with Words includes a rich assortment of Swenson's prose, including several short stories, by turns amusing, provocative, and poetic, and inextricably bound with her poetic oeuvre; a one-act play entitled The Floor, produced in New York in the mid-sixties; interviews and book reviews that shed light on Swenson's poetic development as well as her literary and artistic tastes; and finally, a collection of Swenson's letters to the poet Elizabeth Bishop that reveal the intricacies of three decades of their personal and professional relationship. The critical and biographical introduction provides an engaging glimpse into the creative life and prose work of an important contemporary American poet.
Gardner McFall is Assistant Professor of Literature, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. She is the author of The Pilot's Daughter; Naming the Animals; and Jonathan's Cloud.
There is no Classical Yucatecan Maya word for "myth." But around the close of the seventeenth century, an anonymous Maya scribe penned what he called u kahlay cab tu kinil, "the world history of the era," before Christianity came to the Peten. He collected numerous accounts of the cyclical destruction and reestablishment of the cosmos; the origins of gods, human beings, and the rituals and activities upon which their relationship depends; and finally the dawn of the sun and the sacred calendar Maya diviners still use today to make sense of humanity's place in the otherwise inscrutable march of time. These creation myths eventually became part of the documents known today as the Books of Chilam Balam.
Maya Creation Myths provides not only new and outstanding translations of these myths but also an interpretive journey through these often misunderstood texts, providing insight into Maya cosmology and how Maya intellectuals met the challenge of the European clergy's attempts to eradicate their worldviews. Unlike many scholars who focus primarily on traces of pre-Hispanic culture or Christian influence within the Books of Chilam Balam, Knowlton emphasizes the diversity of Maya mythic traditions and the uniquely Maya discursive strategies that emerged in the Colonial period.
This book will be of significant interest to Maya scholars, folklorists, and historians, as well as students and scholars of religion, cosmology, and anthropology.
Ekphrasis is the art of describing works of art, the verbal representation of visual representation. Profoundly ambivalent, ekphrastic poetry celebrates the power of the silent image even as it tries to circumscribe that power with the authority of the word. Over the ages its practitioners have created a museum of words about real and imaginary paintings and sculptures.
In the first book ever to explore this museum, James Heffernan argues that ekphrasis stages a battle for mastery between the image and the word. Moving from the epics of Homer, Virgil, and Dante to contemporary American poetry, this book treats the history of struggle between rival systems of representation. Readable and well illustrated, this study of how poets have represented painting and sculpture is a major contribution to our understanding of the relation between the arts.
Operation Homecoming is the result of a major initiative launched by the National Endowment for the Arts to bring distinguished writers to military bases to inspire U.S. soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, and their families to record their wartime experiences. Encouraged by such authors as Tom Clancy, Tobias Wolff, and Marilyn Nelson, American military personnel and their loved ones wrote candidly about what they saw, heard, and felt while in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as on the home front. These unflinching eyewitness accounts, private journals, short stories, and letters offer an intensely revealing look into extraordinary lives and are an unforgettable contribution to wartime literature.
“One of the chanted mantras of our time is, ‘But I support the troops.’ Terrific. Now read Operation Homecoming to find out who they are, what they think, feel, want, have learned, won and lost in Iraq and Afghanistan.”—Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal
“This anthology is the honest voice of war. . . . In the end, they are all one voice, a voice we must hear, and must not forget.”—Jeff Shaara
“These voices are stirring, chilling, and unforgettable.”—Bobbie Ann Mason
“[Captures] what journalists cannot, no matter how close they get—firsthand accounts from the warriors and the families they leave behind.”—ChicagoTribune
With her 1976 book Oral Literature in Africa, Ruth Finnegan almost single-handedly created the field of ethnography of language. Now, Finnegan has gathered and updated a selection of her best work on oral literature, performance, and the creative use of language in Africa, along with several new essays that broaden and extend her ideas.
The Oral and Beyond looks simultaneously backwards and forwards, reviewing and critiquing the achievements of scholarship on African oral literature, revisiting issues of perennial contention, and highlighting some of the most interesting new ideas and approaches in the field. Exploring such fundamental questions as how texts and textuality relate to performance, how ideology inflects language, and how traditional forms adapt to modern media and popular culture, Finnegan essentially crafts an intellectual history of her field. At the same time, she propels the ethnography of language forward, bringing the techniques and knowledge developed through her fieldwork in Africa to bear on issues that transcend African studies and reach into the larger world of anthropology and beyond.
In Plateau IndianWays with Words, Barbara Monroe makes visible the arts of persuasion of the Plateau Indians, whose ancestral grounds stretch from the Cascades to the Rockies, revealing a chain of cultural identification that predates the colonial period and continues to this day. Culling from hundreds of student writings from grades 7-12 in two reservation schools, Monroe finds that students employ the same persuasive techniques as their forebears, as evidenced in dozens of post-conquest speech transcriptions and historical writings. These persuasive strategies have survived not just across generations, but also across languages from Indian to English and across multiple genres from telegrams and Supreme Court briefs to school essays and hip hop lyrics.
Anecdotal evidence, often dramatically recreated; sarcasm and humor; suspended or unstated thesis; suspenseful arrangement; intimacy with and respect for one’s audience as co-authors of meaning—these are among the privileged markers in this particular indigenous rhetorical tradition. Such strategies of personalization, as Monroe terms them, run exactly counter to Euro-American academic standards that value secondary, distant sources; “objective” evidence; explicit theses; “logical” arrangement. Not surprisingly, scores for Native students on mandated tests are among the lowest in the nation.
While Monroe questions the construction of this so-called achievement gap on multiple levels, she argues that educators serving Native students need to seek out points of cultural congruence, selecting assignments and assessments where culturally marked norms converge, rather than collide. New media have opened up many possibilities for this kind of communicative inclusivity. But seizing such opportunities is predicated on educators, first, recognizing Plateau Indian students’ distinctive rhetoric, and then honoring their sovereign right to use it. This book provides that first step.
Arguing that “the presidency” is not defined by the Constitution—which doesn’t use the term—but by what presidents say and how they say it, Deeds Done in Words has been the definitive book on presidential rhetoric for more than a decade. In Presidents Creating the Presidency, Karlyn Kohrs Campbell and Kathleen Hall Jamieson expand and recast their classic work for the YouTube era, revealing how our media-saturated age has transformed the ever-evolving rhetorical strategies that presidents use to increase and sustain the executive branch’s powers.
Identifying the primary genres of presidential oratory, Campbell and Jamieson add new analyses of signing statements and national eulogies to their explorations of inaugural addresses, veto messages, and war rhetoric, among other types. They explain that in some of these genres, such as farewell addresses intended to leave an individual legacy, the president acts alone; in others, such as State of the Union speeches that urge a legislative agenda, the executive solicits reaction from the other branches. Updating their coverage through the current administration, the authors contend that many of these rhetorical acts extend over time: George W. Bush’s post-September 11 statements, for example, culminated in a speech at the National Cathedral and became a touchstone for his subsequent address to Congress.
For two centuries, presidential discourse has both succeeded brilliantly and failed miserably at satisfying the demands of audience, occasion, and institution—and in the process, it has increased and depleted political capital by enhancing presidential authority or ceding it to the other branches. Illuminating the reasons behind each outcome, Campbell and Jamieson draw an authoritative picture of how presidents have used rhetoric to shape the presidency—and how they continue to re-create it.
Resonance gathers together forty years of anthropological study by a researcher and writer with one of the broadest fieldwork résumés in anthropology: Unni Wikan. In its twelve essays—four of which are brand new—Resonance covers encounters with transvestites in Oman, childbirth in Bhutan, poverty in Cairo, and honor killings in Scandinavia, with visits to several other locales and subjects in between. Including a comprehensive preface and introduction that brings the whole work into focus, Resonance surveys an astonishing career of anthropological inquiry that demonstrates the possibility for a common humanity, a way of knowing others on their own terms.
Deploying Clifford Geertz’s concept of “experience-near” observations —and driven by an ambition to work beyond Geertz’s own limitations—Wikan strives for an anthropology that sees, describes, and understands the human condition in the models and concepts of the people being observed. She highlights the fundamentals of an explicitly comparative, person-centered, and empathic approach to fieldwork, pushing anthropology to shift from the specialist discourses of academic experts to a grasp of what the Balinese call keneh— the heart, thought, and feeling of the real people of the world. By deploying this strategy across such a range of sites and communities, she provides a powerful argument that ever-deeper insight can be attained despite our differences.
This book contains a collection of John Templeton's favorite inspirational passages.
“From the Bible, from philosophers and poets, and from other writers, we begin to form a clear understanding of the spiritual and ethical laws of life. The world's literature teaches us valuable lessons that no amount of money can buy. Those lessonsare there for everyone. They are free and they are priceless.”—John Marks Templeton
Untangles the intertwined relationship between feminism and modernism through a look at four major figures of the era.
In the early decades of the twentieth century, women's pursuit of freedom and independence earned both the adulation and the scorn of American modernists. Elizabeth Francis traces this unexpected, complex strain in cultural history through the stories of four legendary American figures--Isadora Duncan, Margaret Anderson, Floyd Dell, and Josephine Herbst.
The Secret Treachery of Words begins in the early 1910s, when feminism was an essential part of "the shock of the new" that modernist art and thought introduced to American culture. Francis follows an arc of treacherous repression into the 1920s and 1930s, as feminists broke out of the mold of Victorian culture only to find themselves bound by the historical representation so central to modernism.
Francis's four portraits vividly reveal the dynamic tensions in feminist modernism: in Duncan's performances of the female body, Anderson's manifestos of self-expression and cultural outlawry, Dell's advocacy of the revolutionary potential of sex, and Herbst's insights into cultural and political marginality. Part of a new appreciation of the diversity of American modernism, The Secret Treachery of Words discloses both the centrality and the critical impasses of feminist and modernist engagements with modern culture.
Elizabeth Francis teaches American history at the University of Rhode Island.
Confident or fretful, solemn or sassy, tough or tender, casual or formal: the self you project in writing—your persona—is the byproduct of numerous decisions you make about what to say and how to say it. Though any single word or phrase or sentence might make little difference within the scope of an entire essay or book, collectively they create an impression of who you are or seem to be—an impression that’s sure to influence how readers respond to your work. Thus it’s essential to take charge of how you come across on the page, to craft an appropriate persona for whatever you’re writing, whether it’s a personal essay, a blog, a technical report, a letter to the editor, or a memoir. In this wise and ingenious little guide, noted essayist Carl Klaus shows you how to adapt your self to the needs of such varied nonfiction, by varying his own persona to illustrate the distinctive effect produced by each aspect and element of writing.
Klaus divides his book into two parts: first, an introduction to the nature and function of a persona, then a survey of the most important elements of writing that contribute to the character of a persona, from point of view and organization to diction and sentence structure. Both parts contain exercises that will give you practice in developing a persona of your choice. Challenging and stimulating, each of his exercises focuses on a distinctly different aspect of composition and style, so as to help you develop the skills of a versatile and personable writer. By focusing on the most important ways of projecting your self in nonfiction prose, you can learn to craft a distinctive self in your writing.
One of the most important German artists of the twentieth century, Max Beckmann is known for the depth and sensuous force of his works, but little is known about his personal life. Self-Portrait in Words reveals Beckmann's experience of life from the first years of his career in Berlin and Paris through his final years in the United States. This collection of Beckmann's writings serves as a companion to his art and a testament to the complexities of his life.
"Barbara Copeland Buenger . . . has done an excellent job of editing and annotating Beckmann's voluminous private and public writings."—Andrea Barnet, New York Times Book Review
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.
A 2017 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Silver Winner for Biography
Against the backdrop of World War II, Joy Passanante’s touching new book, Through a Long Absence: Words from My Father’s Wars, is the saga of a wartime medical unit, a passionate long-distance love, the making of a surgeon, and two first-generation American families. Told through her father’s eyes—drawing on hundreds of his letters to his beloved wife, his four-volume wartime diary, and his paintings—Passanante masterfully recreates his wartime journey and physically retraces his steps more than sixty years later in an attempt to understand a time in her parents’ lives that they’d spoken about very little.
More than just a World War II story, Through a Long Absence delves into one man’s past to explore his personal wars: a stint as a child bootlegger, a marriage between newlyweds separated by continents and strained by years apart, and his struggle late in life with his own mind. The narrative propels readers to surprising places—from a freight train through North Africa to an underground St. Louis distillery during Prohibition, from a young couple’s forbidden courtship to the chaos of surgical tents under fire in Normandy, from an underground trove of priceless artwork hidden by the Nazis to Jewish New Year services in Paris a week after its liberation. Through a Long Absence is a love story, an honest look into one man’s life, and a daughter’s moving quest to rediscover her father years later through his own words.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894) loved more than anything to talk about the craft of writing and the pleasure of reading good books. His dedication to the creative impulse manifests itself in the extraordinary amount of work he produced in virtually every literary genre—fiction, poetry, travel writing, and essays—in a short and peripatetic life. His letters, especially, confess his elation at the richness of words and the companionship of books, often projected against ill health and the shadow of his own mortality.
Stevenson belonged to a newly commercial literary world, an era of mass readership, marketing, and celebrity. He had plenty of practical advice for writers who wanted to enter the profession: study the best authors, aim for simplicity, strike a keynote, work on your style. He also held that a writer should adhere to the truth and utter only what seems sincere to his or her heart and experience of the world. Writers have messages to deliver, whether the work is a tale of Highland adventure, a collection of children’s verse, or an essay on umbrellas. Stevenson believed that an author could do no better than to find the appetite for joy, the secret place of delight that is the hidden nucleus of most people’s lives. His remarks on how to write, on style and method, and on pleasure and moral purpose contain everything in literature and life that he cared most about—adventuring, persisting, finding out who you are, and learning to embrace “the romance of destiny.”
The Boer War gripped the Dutch public during the turn of the nineteenth century, when the Boer Republics, made up of descendants of seventeenth-century settlers from the Netherlands, were fighting the British Empire in South Africa. War of Words examines the ample Dutch propaganda during this time period, which attempted to counterweigh the British coverage of the war. Vincent Kuitenbrouwer offers a highly readable study of the pro-Boer movement in the Netherlands both during the Boer War and far into the twentieth century, while exploring the representation of South Africans in Dutch-language publications and the several persistent stereotypes that colored the Dutch attitude toward the Boers.
This study by Phillip Eubanks challenges traditional accounts of metaphor and significantly expands theories of "conceptual" metaphor by examining Trade Is War metaphor as it occurs in concrete discourse.
Although scholarly interest in metaphor as an aesthetic, linguistic, and cognitive phenomenon has long endured, Eubanks is among the first to consider metaphor in its sociohistorical role. Questioning major accounts of metaphor from Aristotle to the present, Eubanks argues that metaphor is not just influenced by but actually is constituted by its concrete operation.
Far-reaching in its implications for our understanding of metaphor, Eubanks’s premise enables us to see metaphor as a sweeping rhetorical entity even as it accounts for the more localized operations of metaphor of interest to linguists, philosophers of language, and cognitive scientists. Providing a new model of metaphoric functioning, Eubanks reconsiders the most promising account of metaphor to date, the notion of "conceptual metaphor.”
Eubanks focuses on the conceptual metaphor Trade Is War—a metaphor found wherever people discuss business and commerce—to develop his rhetorical model of metaphor. He analyzes Trade Is War as it occurs in the print news media, on television discussion shows, in academic works, in popular nonfiction and novels, in historic economic commentary, and in focus group talk. While these examples do reveal a rich variety in the make-up of Trade Is War, much more than mere variety is at stake.
Trade Is War is implicated in an extended and rhetorically complex conversation with other metaphors and literal concepts: trade is peace, Trade Is a Game, Trade Is Friendship, Trade is a Journey, and Markets Are Containers. The recognition and analysis of this constituting conversation furthers a reevaluation theory. What also emerges, however, is a valuable portrait of the discourse of trade itself, a discourse that depends importantly upon a responsive interchange of metaphors.
A rhetorical analysis of Jefferson Davis’s public discourse
Numerous biographies of Jefferson Davis have been penned; however, until now, there had been no substantive analysis of his public discourse as president of the Confederacy. R. Jarrod Atchison’s A War of Words uses concepts from rhetorical theory and public address to help answer a question that has intrigued scholars from a variety of disciplines since the collapse of the Confederacy: what role, if any, did Davis play in the collapse of Confederate nationalism?
Most discussions of Davis and nationalism focus on the military outcomes of his controversial wartime decisions. A War of Words focuses less on military outcomes and argues instead that, in the context of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis’s rhetorical leadership should have been responsible for articulating a vision for the nation—including the core tenets of its identity, the values the nation should hold dear, the principles it should never compromise, and the goals it should set for its future. Undoubtedly, Davis possessed the skills necessary to make a persuasive public argument. It is precisely because Davis’s oratory skills were so powerful that there is room to judge how he used them. In short, being a great orator is not synonymous with successful rhetorical leadership.
Atchison posits that Davis’s initial successes constrained his rhetorical options later in the war. A War of Words concludes that, in the end, Davis’s rhetorical leadership was a failure because he was unable to articulate a coherent Confederate identity in light of the sacrifices endured by the populace in order to sustain the war effort.
How did slavery and race impact American literature in the nineteenth century? In this ambitious book, Michael T. Gilmore argues that they were the carriers of linguistic restriction, and writers from Frederick Douglass to Stephen Crane wrestled with the demands for silence and circumspection that accompanied the antebellum fear of disunion and the postwar reconciliation between the North and South.
Proposing a radical new interpretation of nineteenth-century American literature, The War on Words examines struggles over permissible and impermissible utterance in works ranging from Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” to Henry James’s The Bostonians. Combining historical knowledge with groundbreaking readings of some of the classic texts of the American past, The War on Words places Lincoln’s Cooper Union address in the same constellation as Margaret Fuller’s feminism and Thomas Dixon’s defense of lynching. Arguing that slavery and race exerted coercive pressure on freedom of expression, Gilmore offers here a transformative study that alters our understanding of nineteenth-century literary culture and its fraught engagement with the right to speak.
Iceland is an enigmatic island country marked by contradiction: it’s a part of Europe, yet separated from it by the Atlantic Ocean; it’s seemingly inhospitable, yet home to more than 300,000. Wasteland with Words explores these paradoxes to uncover the mystery of Iceland.
In Wasteland with Words Sigurdur Gylfi Magnússon presents a wide-ranging and detailed analysis of the island’s history that examines the evolution and transformation of Icelandic culture while investigating the literary and historical factors that created the rich cultural heritage enjoyed by Icelanders today. Magnússon explains how a nineteenth-century economy based on the industries of fishing and agriculture—one of the poorest in Europe—grew to become a disproportionately large economic power in the late twentieth century, while retaining its strong sense of cultural identity. Bringing the story up to the present, he assesses the recent economic and political collapse of the country and how Iceland has coped. Throughout Magnússon seeks to chart the vast changes in this country’s history through the impact and effect on the Icelandic people themselves.
Up-to-date and fascinating, Wasteland with Words is a comprehensive study of the island’s cultural and historical development, from tiny fishing settlements to a global economic power.
Words and Contents
Richard Vallée CSLI, 2018 Library of Congress P325+ | Dewey Decimal 401
The papers collected in Richard Vallée’s Words and Contents span twenty-one years of research. Beginning with referring expressions and later addressing context sensitivity, the book examines how specific words contribute to the contents of utterances and the philosophical issues that surround them. Within these papers, Vallée navigates the discovery and exploration of different modes of expression and perspectives on language.
A sophisticated, state-of-the-art study of the remaking of Christianity by indigenous societies, Words and Worlds Turned Around reveals the manifold transformations of Christian discourses in the colonial Americas. The book surveys how Christian messages were rendered in indigenous languages; explores what was added, transformed, or glossed over; and ends with an epilogue about contemporary Nahuatl Christianities.
In eleven case studies drawn from eight Amerindian languages—Nahuatl, Northern and Valley Zapotec, Quechua, Yucatec Maya, K'iche' Maya, Q'eqchi' Maya, and Tupi—the authors address Christian texts and traditions that were repeatedly changed through translation—a process of “turning around” as conveyed in Classical Nahuatl. Through an examination of how Christian terms and practices were made, remade, and negotiated by both missionaries and native authors and audiences, the volume shows the conversion of indigenous peoples as an ongoing process influenced by what native societies sought, understood, or accepted.
The volume features a rapprochement of methodologies and assumptions employed in history, anthropology, and religion and combines the acuity of of methodologies drawn from philology and historical linguistics with the contextualizing force of the ethnohistory and social history of Spanish and Portuguese America.
Contributors: Claudia Brosseder, Louise M. Burkhart, Mark Christensen, John F. Chuchiak IV, Abelardo de la Cruz, Gregory Haimovich, Kittiya Lee, Ben Leeming, Julia Madajczak, Justyna Olko, Frauke Sachse, Garry Sparks
On the premise that words have the power to make worlds, each essay in this book follows a word as it travels around the globe and across time. Scholars from five disciplines address thirteen societies to highlight the social and political life of words in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The approach is consciously experimental, in that rigorously tracking specific words in specific settings frequently leads in unexpected directions and alters conventional depictions of global modernity.
Such words as security in Brazil, responsibility in Japan, community in Thailand, and hijāb in France changed the societies in which they moved even as the words were changed by them. Some words threatened to launch wars, as injury did in imperial Britain’s relations with China in the nineteenth century. Others, such as secularism, worked in silence to agitate for political change in twentieth-century Morocco. Words imposed or imported from abroad could be transformed by those who wielded them to oppose the very powers that first introduced them, as happened in Turkey, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Taken together, this selection of fourteen essays reveals commonality as well as distinctiveness across modern societies, making the world look different from the interdisciplinary and transnational perspective of “words in motion.”
Contributors. Mona Abaza, Itty Abraham, Partha Chatterjee, Carol Gluck, Huri Islamoglu, Claudia Koonz, Lydia H. Liu, Driss Maghraoui, Vicente L. Rafael, Craig J. Reynolds, Seteney Shami, Alan Tansman, Kasian Tejapira, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
Words Of A Rebel
Peter Kropotkin Black Rose Books, 1992 Library of Congress HX833.K7513 1992 | Dewey Decimal 335.83
Words Of Common Sense
Brother David Steindl-Rast Templeton Press, 2002 Library of Congress BJ1595.S764 2002 | Dewey Decimal 170.44
Brother David Steindl-Rast takes us on a journey to discover the wisdom preserved in common sense sayings that have been passed down through generations. These timeless words reflect the shared values cherished by people all over the world.
"When you drink from a stream,” says one Chinese proverb, “remember the spring." From these simple words we are reminded to be grateful for even the smallest graces that we receive. Another homespun phrase tells us that "a contented heart is a continual feast," reminding us to look within, rather than without, for the source of our happiness.
Words of Common Sense reveals the thread of human experience expressed in the world’s proverbs and sayings. It helps us connect with cultures other than our own and recognize our shared humanity. These words resonate around the world because they are timeless reflections on how to cultivate a life of love, gratitude, and meaning.
"The test of all happiness,” said G.K. Chesterton, “is gratitude."
Learning to experience gratitude involves being grateful as an attitude, not as a reaction when good things occur. To be grateful, one does not need to wait until things are perfect. In fact, practicing gratitude makes one receptive to life's blessings, and these blessings continue as we continue to be thankful.
In one study, described by author Robert Emmons, participants who wrote about five things for which they were grateful experienced more positive emotional states and were more likely to help others over a period of ten weeks than were participants who wrote about the hassles and stressors they experienced during the same time.
"Love wholeheartedly,” says Brother David Steindl-Rast, “be surprised, give thanks and praise—then you will discover the fullness of your life."
Gratitude provides gifts to both the giver and the receiver, and this illuminating book will inspire readers to recognize just how truly blessed we are.
In the Gaza Strip, growing up on land owned by his family for centuries, eleven-year-old Yousef is preoccupied by video games, school pranks, and meeting his father’s impossibly high standards. Everything changes when the Second Intifada erupts and soldiers occupy the family home. Yousef’s father refuses to flee and risk losing the house forever, so the army keeps the family in a state of virtual imprisonment. Yousef struggles to understand how his father can be so committed to peaceful co-existence that he welcomes the occupying Israeli soldiers as ‘guests’, even in the face of unfair and humiliating treatment. Over time, Yousef learns how to endure his new life in captivity – but he can’t anticipate that a bullet is about to transform his future in an instant. Shot by an Israeli soldier at the age of fifteen, and taken to hospital in Tel Aviv, Yousef slowly and painstakingly confronts the paralysis of his lower body. Under the ceaseless care of Israeli medical professionals, he gains a new perspective on the value of co-existence. These transformative experiences set Yousef on a difficult new path that leads him to learn to embody his father’s philosophy, and spread a message of co-existence in a world of deep-set sectarianism. The Words of My Father is a moving coming-of-age story about survival, tolerance and hope.
Poetry is an ideal artistic medium for expressing the fear, sorrow, and triumph of revolutionary times. Words of Protest, Words of Freedom is the first comprehensive collection of poems written during and in response to the American civil rights struggle of 1955–75. Featuring some of the most celebrated writers of the twentieth century—including Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Lowell, and Derek Walcott—alongside lesser-known poets, activists, and ordinary citizens, this anthology presents a varied and vibrant set of voices, highlighting the tremendous symbolic reach of the civil rights movement within and beyond the United States.
Some of the poems address crucial movement-related events—such as the integration of the Little Rock schools, the murders of Emmett Till and Medgar Evers, the emergence of the Black Panther party, and the race riots of the late 1960s—and key figures, including Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and John and Robert Kennedy. Other poems speak more broadly to the social and political climate of the times. Along with Jeffrey Lamar Coleman's headnotes, the poems recall the heartbreaking and jubilant moments of a tumultuous era. Altogether, more than 150 poems by approximately 100 poets showcase the breadth of the genre of civil rights poetry.
Selected contributors. Maya Angelou, W. H. Auden, Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes, June Jordan, Philip Levine, Audre Lorde, Robert Lowell, Pauli Murray, Huey P. Newton, Adrienne Rich, Sonia Sanchez, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Derek Walcott, Alice Walker, Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Words of the Real People collects the life stories, poetry, and oral literature of the Yupik, Inupiaq, and Alutiiq peoples of Alaska, making them widely available to readers in English for the first time. Accompanied by background essays on each Native group, the literature in this collection embraces Native Alaskan life in all its rich variety. From tales of malevolent shamans to the unexpected poetry of the urban experience, and from ancient tales passed down for generations to contemporary stories being woven into a new tradition, Words of the Real People stakes out an important place for Native Alaskan literature as a vibrant, living tradition and will be essential to folklorists, anthropologists, and anyone interested in the storied past of our continent's most forbidding reaches.
A literary and political genealogy of the last half-century, Words of Witness explores black feminist autobiographical narratives in the context of activism and history since the landmark 1954 segregation case, Brown v. Board of Education. Angela A. Ards examines how activist writers, especially five whose memoirs were published in the 1990s and 2000s, crafted these life stories to engage and shape progressive, post-Brown politics.
Exploring works by the critically acclaimed June Jordan and Edwidge Danticat, as well as by popular and emerging authors such as Melba Beals, Rosemary Bray, and Eisa Davis, Ards demonstrates how each text asserts countermemories to official—and often nostalgic—understandings of the civil rights and Black Power movements. She situates each writer as activist-citizen, adopting and remaking particular roles—warrior, “the least of these,” immigrant, hip-hop head—to crystallize a range of black feminist responses to urgent but unresolved political issues.
For centuries, distinguished writers have taken on the challenge of describing great music and its significance in their lives. From Joseph Addison to Virgil Thomson, writers in and out of the music field have used their most vivid language to conjure the sounds and emotions of the music that mattered most to them. Yet until this book, no single volume has ever collected the best of this writing in one place. Scattered in magazines, essay collections, and program notes, this literature is largely unknown to the general reader—who often thinks that music essays are for musicians only—and even to the musician—who often reads only narrow specialty publications.
Words on Music is thus the first book of its kind. Covering instrumental and vocal music from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries, it features essays distinguished by their literary quality, their readability, and their appeal to a wide audience. Included is writing by novelists, essayists, composers, performers, cultural historians, and others who have written about music with precision and passion.
Here is George Bernard Shaw on Handel, Albert Schweitzer on Bach, Glenn Gould on Scarlatti, E. T. A. Hoffman on Beethoven, Heinrich Heine on Rossini, Aaron Copland on Mozart, George Eliot on Wagner, G. K. Chesterton on Gilbert and Sullivan, Leonard Bernstein on Mahler, Guy Davenport on Ives, Pierre Boulez on Stravinsky, Ned Rorem on Ravel, and more than fifty others. Here also are essays on broader topics—Joseph Addison on opera, Anthony Burgess on music and literature, Jacques Barzun on music criticism, H. L. Mencken on “Music an Sin”—as well as musical memoirs by such masters of the genre as Hector Berlioz, Leigh Hunt, and Ethel Smyth.
Words on Music is a uniquely literary and readable book on music. With its wide range of tones and voices, it is ideal for the general reader, the humanities educator, and the musical specialist. Each article is introduced by an informative headnote on the writer and subject. In addition, the volume offers a bibliography with valuable clues for further reading and a substantial essay introducing the elusive art of writing about music.
Proper words in proper places, remarked Dean Swift, make the true definition of style. According to this definition, John Sparrow fully qualifies as a stylist. His skillful compound of wit, pungency, and accurate observation, his irreverence, his ear for language and hatred of cant are unsurpassed. This book brings together pieces broadcast by the BBC, a series of lectures at the University of Chicago, and, even, a university sermon. It proves that John Sparrow is one of those rare people whose spoken words lose none of their power when translated to the printed page.
From Homer ("winged words") to Robert Burns ("Beware a tongue that's smoothly hung") to Rudyard Kipling ("Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind"), writers from all over the world have put pen to paper on the inexhaustible topic of language. Yet surprisingly, their writings on the subject have never been gathered in a single volume. In Words on Words, David and Hilary Crystal have collected nearly 5,000 quotations about language and all its intriguing aspects: speaking, reading, writing, translation, verbosity, usage, slang, and more. As the stock-in-trade of so many professions—orators, media personalities, writers, and countless others—language's appeal as a subject is extraordinarily relevant and wide-ranging.
The quotations are grouped thematically under 65 different headings, from "The Nature of Language" through the "Language of Politics" to "Quoting and Misquoting." This arrangement enables the reader to explore a topic through a variety of lenses, ancient and modern, domestic and foreign, scientific and casual, ironic and playful. Three thorough indexes—to authors, sources, and key words—provide different entry points into the collection. A valuable resource for professional writers and scholars, Words on Words is for anyone who loves language and all things linguistic.
Words to Create a World
Daniel Hoffman University of Michigan Press, 1993 Library of Congress PS3515.O2416Z477 1993 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Words to Create a World collects interviews, essays, and reviews by distinguished poet, critic, and literary historian Daniel Hoffman. The book begins with the text of his inaugural address as Consultant in Poetry for the Library of Congress, in which Hoffman examines the stylistic revolution that signaled the birth of modernism. The final essay, “Wings of a Phoenix?”, examines the possibilities for poetry in this postmodern era.
Between these are discussions of books by and about founding modernists (Pound, Moore, Sitwell, Frost, Graves, Auden) who do not “succumb to the imitative fallacy and gibber at the window because the house is on fire.” Hoffman’s historical imagination elucidates the work of many other contemporary American and British poets, including his own. Words to Create a World will appeal to the reader who enjoys poetry and who hopes for guidance over the sprawling terrain of verse in the twentieth century.
In these lyrical and powerful essays, Thomas Glave draws on his experiences as a politically committed, gay Jamaican American to deliver a condemnation of the prejudices, hatreds, and inhumanities that persist in the United States and elsewhere. Exposing the hypocrisies of liberal multiculturalism, Glave offers instead a politics of heterogeneity in which difference informs the theory and practice of democracy. At the same time, he experiments with language to provide a model of creative writing as a tool for social change. From the death of black gay poet Essex Hemphill to the revelations of abuse at Abu Ghraib, Glave puts forth an ethical understanding of human rights to make vital connections across nations, races, genders, and sexualities.
Thomas Glave is assistant professor of English at SUNY Binghamton. He is author of Whose Song? and Other Stories.
Crime writer Sara Paretsky is known the world over for her acclaimed series of mysteries starring Chicago private investigator V. I. Warshawski, now in its seventeenth installment. Paretsky’s work has long been inflected with history—for her characters the past looms large in the present—and in her decades-long career, she has been recognized for transforming the role of women in contemporary crime fiction.
What’s less well-known is that before Paretsky began her writing career, she earned a PhD in history from the University of Chicago with a dissertation on moral philosophy and religion in New England in the early and mid-nineteenth century. Now, for the first time, fans of Paretsky can read that earliest work, Words, Works, and Ways of Knowing.
Paretsky here analyzes attempts by theologians at Andover Seminary, near Boston, to square and secure Calvinist religious beliefs with emerging knowledge from history and the sciences. She carefully shows how the open-minded scholasticism of these theologians paradoxically led to the weakening of their intellectual credibility as conventional religious belief structures became discredited, and how this failure then incited reactionary forces within Calvinism. That conflict between science and religion in the American past is of interest on its face, but it also sheds light on contemporary intellectual battles.
Rounding out the book, leading religious scholar Amanda Porterfield provides an afterword discussing where Paretsky’s work fits into the contemporary study of religion. And in a sobering—sometimes shocking—preface, Paretsky paints a picture of what it was like to be a female graduate student at the University of Chicago in the 1970s. A treat for Paretsky’s many fans, this book offers a glimpse of the development of the mind behind the mysteries.
A World of Words offers a new look at the degree to which language itself is a topic of Poe's texts. Stressing the ways his fiction reflects on the nature of its own signifying practices, Williams sheds new light on such issues as Poe's characterization of the relationship between author and reader as a struggle for authority, on his awareness of the displacement of an "authorial writing self" by a "self as it is written," and on his debunking of the redemptive properties of the romantic symbol.