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FGSS Faculty Books

Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity

Overview

Uncovering the overlapping histories of blackness and trans identity from the nineteenth century to the present day

 

In Black on Both Sides, C. Riley Snorton identifies multiple intersections between blackness and transness from the mid-nineteenth century to present-day anti-black and anti-trans legislation and violence. Drawing on a deep and varied archive of materials, Snorton attends to how slavery and the production of racialized gender provided the foundations for an understanding of gender as mutable.

 

Black on Both Sides challenges the historical account of trans studies invention by excavating a black trans presence and persona long before modern articulations of such. C. Riley Snorton offers us a way to read the historical record in a fashion that requires the unthought to be the basis of the foundation for our claims of newness, demonstrating that there is no revision of what it means to be human without coming through blackness, past and present.

— Rinaldo Walcott, author of Queer Returns: Essays on Multiculturalism, Diaspora, and Black Studies

 

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Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education

Overview

A timely indictment of the corporate takeover of education and the privatization—and profitability—of separate and unequal schools, published at a critical time in the dismantling of public education in America

Having grown up in families that are in the business world, we both believe that competition and choices make everyone better.
—Betsy DeVos (with husband Dick DeVos), Donald Trump’s secretary of education

Public schools are among America’s greatest achievements in modern history, yet from the earliest days of tax-supported education—today a sector with an estimated budget of over half a billion dollars—there have been intractable tensions tied to race and poverty. Now, in an era characterized by levels of school segregation the country has not seen since the mid-twentieth century, cultural critic and American studies professor Noliwe Rooks provides a trenchant analysis of our separate and unequal schools and argues that profiting from our nation’s failure to provide a high-quality education to all children has become a very big business.

Cutting School deftly traces the financing of segregated education in America, from reconstruction through Brown v. Board of Education up to the current controversies around school choice, teacher quality, the school-to-prison pipeline, and more, to elucidate the course we are on today: the wholesale privatization of our schools. Rooks’s incisive critique breaks down the fraught landscape of “segrenomics,” showing how experimental solutions to the so-called achievement gaps—including charters, vouchers, and cyber schools—rely on, profit from, and ultimately exacerbate disturbingly high levels of racial and economic segregation under the guise of providing equal opportunity.

Rooks chronicles the making and unmaking of public education and the disastrous impact of funneling public dollars to private for-profit and nonprofit operations. As the infrastructure crumbles, a number of major U.S. cities are poised to permanently dismantle their public school systems—the very foundation of our multicultural democracy. Yet Rooks finds hope and promise in the inspired individuals and powerful movements fighting to save urban schools.

A comprehensive, compelling account of what’s truly at stake in the relentless push to deregulate and privatize, Cutting School is a cri de coeur for all of us to resist educational apartheid in America.

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Flying Under the Radar with the Royal Chicano Air Force: Mapping a Chicano/a Art History

Overview

From the publisher:

The first book-length study of the Royal Chicano Air Force maps the history of this vanguard Chicano/a arts collective, which used art and cultural production as sociopolitical activism.

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Global Africa: Into the Twenty-First Century

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Professor Judi Byfield co-edited a new volume of essays with Dorothy Hodgson: Global Africa:  Into the Twenty-First Century. 

Published by University of California Press, this volume documents the significant global connections, circulations and contributions that African people, ideas, and goods have made throughout the world-from the United States and South Asia to Latin America, Europe, and elsewhere.

 
 

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Gentlemanly Terrorists

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Durba Ghosh's new book, Gentlemanly Terrorists, focuses on an underground radical political movement in early and mid-twentieth century India and the ways in which political violence against the British colonial state became an important, but historically underemphasized, form of protest. While Gandhi's nonviolent protest movements are often seen to be the hallmark of anticolonial protest, the book follows how the colonial state invested in security and emergency legislation to contain what they felt was an active terrorist threat. 

 
 

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Obstruction

Overview

Can a bout of laziness or a digressive spell actually open up paths to creativity and unexpected insights? In Obstruction Nick Salvato suggests that for those engaged in scholarly pursuits laziness, digressiveness, and related experiences can be paradoxically generative. Rather than being dismissed as hindrances, these obstructions are to be embraced, clung to, and reoriented. Analyzing an eclectic range of texts and figures, from the Greek Cynics and Denis Diderot to Dean Martin and the Web series Drunk History, Salvato finds value in five obstructions: embarrassment, laziness, slowness, cynicism, and digressiveness. Whether listening to Tori Amos's music as a way to think about embarrassment, linking the MTV series Daria to using cynicism to negotiate higher education's corporatized climate, or examining the affect of slowness in Kelly Reichardt's films, Salvato expands our conceptions of each obstruction and shows ways to transform them into useful provocations. With a unique, literary, and self-reflexive voice, Salvato demonstrates the importance of these debased obstructions and shows how they may support alternative modes of intellectual activity. In doing so, he impels us to rethink the very meanings of thinking, work, and value. 

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The Twilight of Cutting: African Activism and Life After NGOs

Overview

Winner, 2017 Michelle Rosaldo Book Prize, presented by the Feminist Anthropology Section of the American Anthropological Association

 

The last three decades have witnessed a proliferation of nongovernmental organizations engaging in new campaigns to end the practice of female genital cutting across Africa. These campaigns have in turn spurred new institutions, discourses, and political projects, bringing about unexpected social transformations, both intended and unintended. Consequently, cutting is waning across the continent. At the same time, these endings are misrecognized and disavowed by public and scholarly discourses across the political spectrum.

What does it mean to say that while cutting is ending, the Western discourse surrounding it is on the rise? And what kind of a feminist anthropology is needed in such a moment? The Twilight of Cutting examines these and other questions from the vantage point of Ghanaian feminist and reproductive health NGOs that have organized campaigns against cutting for over thirty years. The book looks at these NGOs not as solutions but as sites of “problematization.” The purpose of understanding these Ghanaian campaigns, their transnational and regional encounters, and the forms of governmentality they produce is not to charge them with providing answers to the question, how do we end cutting? Instead, it is to account for their work, their historicity, the life worlds and subjectivities they engender, and the modes of reflection, imminent critique, and opposition they set in motion.

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Given to the Goddess: South Indian Devadasis and the Sexuality of Religion

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Winner, 2015 Michelle Rosaldo Book Prize, presented by the Feminist Anthropology Section of the American Anthropological Association

 
Who and what are marriage and sex for? Whose practices and which ways of talking to god can count as religion? Lucinda Ramberg considers these questions based upon two years of ethnographic research on an ongoing South Indian practice of dedication in which girls, and sometimes boys, are married to a goddess. Called devadasis, or jogatis, those dedicated become female and male women who conduct the rites of the goddess outside the walls of her main temple and transact in sex outside the bounds of conjugal matrimony. Marriage to the goddess, as well as the rites that the dedication ceremony authorizes jogatis to perform, have long been seen as illegitimate and criminalized. Kinship with the goddess is productive for the families who dedicate their children, Ramberg argues, and yet it cannot conform to modern conceptions of gender, family, or religion. This nonconformity, she suggests, speaks to the limitations of modern categories, as well as to the possibilities of relations—between and among humans and deities—that exceed such categories.
 
 

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Ethereal Queer: Television, Historicity, Desire

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In Ethereal Queer, Amy Villarejo offers a historically engaged, theoretically sophisticated, and often personal account of how TV representations of queer life have changed as the medium has evolved since the 1950s. Challenging the widespread view that LGBT characters did not make a sustained appearance on television until the 1980s, she draws on innovative readings of TV shows and network archives to reveal queer television’s lengthy, rich, and varied history. Villarejo goes beyond concerns about representational accuracy. She tracks how changing depictions of queer life, in programs from Our Miss Brooks to The L Word, relate to transformations in business models and technologies, including modes of delivery and reception such as cable, digital video recording, and online streaming. In so doing, she provides a bold new way to understand the history of television.

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Nobody is Supposed to Know: Black Sexuality on the Down Low

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How the “down low” media phenomenon reinforces troubling representations of black sexuality

Since the early 2000s, the phenomenon of the “down low”—black men who have sex with men as well as women and do not identify as gay, queer, or bisexual—has exploded in media and popular culture. C. Riley Snorton traces the emergence and circulation of the down low, demonstrating how these portrayals reinforce troubling perceptions of black sexuality generally.

 

C. Riley Snorton has written a stunning new chapter in queer theory. This book magnificently extends Eve K. Sedgwick’s concept of the closet to grapple with race, sex, and secrecy. Building on concepts like the ‘glass closet’ and examining the dynamics and geographies of the down low, Snorton makes the startling claim that the down low is not a set of hidden practices but that it actually constitutes the staging of the conditions of Black representability. This is a very important book and it will have an immediate impact on the study of race and sexuality
 

— Jack Halberstam, author of The Queer Art of Failure 

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A Plague of Informers: Conspiracy and Political Trust in William III's England

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Stories of plots, sham plots, and the citizen-informers who discovered them are at the center of this compelling study of the turbulent decade following the Revolution of 1688. By encouraging informers, imposing loyalty oaths, suspending habeas corpus, and delaying the long-promised reform of treason trial procedure, the Williamite regime protected itself from enemies and cemented its bonds with supporters, but also put its own credibility at risk.

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The Law of Kinship: Anthropology, Psychoanalysis, and the Family in France

Overview

Winner of the 2014 Berkshire Conference First Book Prize given by the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians

 

In France as elsewhere in recent years, legislative debates over single-parent households, same-sex unions, new reproductive technologies, transsexuality, and other challenges to long-held assumptions about the structure of family and kinship relations have been deeply divisive. What strikes many as uniquely French, however, is the extent to which many of these discussions—whether in legislative chambers, courtrooms, or the mass media—have been conducted in the frequently abstract vocabularies of anthropology and psychoanalysis.

In this highly original book, Camille Robcis seeks to explain why and how academic discourses on kinship have intersected and overlapped with political debates on the family—and on the nature of French republicanism itself. She focuses on the theories of Claude Levi-Strauss and Jacques Lacan, both of whom highlighted the interdependence of the sexual and the social by positing a direct correlation between kinship and socialization. Robcis traces how their ideas gained recognition not only from French social scientists but also from legislators and politicians who relied on some of the most obscure and difficult concepts of structuralism to enact a series of laws concerning the family.

Levi-Strauss and Lacan constructed the heterosexual family as a universal trope for social and psychic integration, and this understanding of the family at the root of intersubjectivity coincided with the role that the family has played in modern French law and public policy. The Law of Kinship contributes to larger conversations about the particularities of French political culture, the nature of sexual difference, and the problem of reading and interpretation in intellectual history.

 

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Intimacy Across Borders: Race, Religion, and Migration in the U.S. Midwest

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"Intimacy across Borders is a stimulating, original, and nuanced understanding of immigration, desire, and encounter. Juffer’s book has both a tone of urgency and a contemporary relevance that are compelling. She deftly uses the frameworks of personal experience and cultural studies to bring together theories of encounter with actual lived experience. Her anchoring the text in the Reformed Church communities of Iowa is sophisticated, and the religious and cultural material is well integrated. Intimacy across Borders will advance the understanding of intercultural encounters from a theological and philosophical as well as a sociological perspective."
—Ann Hostetler, Professor of English at Goshen College

Examining how encounters produced by migration lead to intimacies-ranging from sexual, spiritual, and neighborly to hateful and violent, Jane Juffer considers the significant changes that have occurred in small towns following an influx of Latinos to the Midwest.

Intimacy across Borders situates the story of the Dutch Reformed Church in Iowa and South Africa within a larger analysis of race, religion, and globalization. Drawing on personal narrative, ethnography, and sociopolitical critique, Juffer shows how migration to rural areas can disrupt even the most thoroughly entrenched religious beliefs and transform the schools, churches, and businesses that form the heart of small-town America. Conversely, such face-to-face encounters can also generate hatred, as illustrated in the increasing number of hate crimes against Latinos and the passage of numerous anti-immigrant ordinances.

Juffer demonstrates how Latino migration to new areas of the U.S. threatens certain groups because it creates the potential for new kinds of families—mixed race, mixed legal status, and transnational—that challenge the conservative definition of community based on the racially homogeneous, coupled, citizen family.

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Cosmopolitanism in Visual Mexican Culture

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Since the colonial era, Mexican art has emerged from an ongoing process of negotiation between the local and the global, which frequently involves invention, synthesis, and transformation of diverse discursive and artistic traditions. In this pathfinding book, Maria Fernandez uses the concept of cosmopolitanism to explore this important aspect of Mexican art, in which visual culture and power relations unite the local and the global, the national and the international, the universal and the particular. She argues that in Mexico, as in other colonized regions, colonization constructed power dynamics and forms of violence that persisted in the independent nation-state. Accordingly, Fernandez presents not only the visual qualities of objects, but also the discourses, ideas, desires, and practices that are fundamental to the very existence of visual objects.

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Acts of Gaiety: LGBT Performance and the Politics of Pleasure

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Acts of Gaiety explores the mirthful modes of political performance by LGBT artists, activists, and collectives that have inspired and sustained deadly serious struggles for revolutionary change. The book explores antics such as camp, kitsch, drag, guerrilla theater, zap actions, rallies, manifestos, pageants, and parades alongside more familiar forms of "legitimate theater." Against queer theory's long-suffering romance with mourning and melancholia and a national agenda that urges homosexuals to renounce pleasure if they want to be taken seriously by mainstream society, Acts of Gaiety seeks to reanimate notions of "gaiety" as a political value for LGBT activism.

The book mines the archives of lesbian-feminist activism of the 1960s-70s, highlighting the outrageous gaiety that lay at the center of the social and theatrical performances of the era and uncovering original documents long thought to be lost. Juxtaposing historical figures such as Valerie Solanas and Jill Johnston with more recent performers and activists (including Hothead Paisan, Bitch & Animal, and the Five Lesbian Brothers), Warner shows how reclaiming this largely discarded and disavowed past elucidates possibilities for being and belonging. Acts of Gaiety explores the mutually informing histories of gayness as politics and as joie de vivre, along with the centrality of liveliness to queer performance and protest.

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Giving Voice to Love: Song and Self-Expression from the Troubadours to Guillaume de Machaut

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Grafting musicology and literary studies together in an unprecedented manner, Giving Voice to Love: Song and Self-Expression from the Troubadours to Guillaume de Machaut investigates French and Occitan "courtly love" songs from the twelfth to fourteenth centuries and explores the paradoxical relationship of music and self-expression in the Middle Ages. While these love songs conceived and expressed the autonomous subject - the lyric "I" represented by a single line of melody - they also engaged highly conventional musical and poetic language, and required performers and scribes for their transmission. This paradox was understood by the poets and became the basis for irony, parody, and intertextual referencing, which instilled the lyrics with a characteristic self-consciousness that reflected the unstable conditions for self-expression. 

 

Author Judith Peraino reveals similar operations at work in musical settings. Examining moments where voice, melody, rhythm, form, and genre come dramatically to the fore and seem to comment on music itself, Giving Voice to Love strives not only to hear self-expression in these love songs, but to understand how musical elements give voice to the complex issues of self and subjectivity encoded in medieval love.

 

Through its approach to the exploration of "courtly love" songs, Giving Voice to Love serves as a model for methodological integration and provides musicologists, literary scholars and medieval historians with a common analytical ground.

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She's Mad Real: Popular Culture and West Indian Girls in Brooklyn

Overview

Overwhelmingly, Black teenage girls are negatively represented in national and global popular discourses, either as being “at risk” for teenage pregnancy, obesity, or sexually transmitted diseases, or as helpless victims of inner city poverty and violence. Such popular representations are pervasive and often portray Black adolescents’ consumer and leisure culture as corruptive, uncivilized, and pathological.

In She’s Mad Real, Oneka LaBennett draws on over a decade of researching teenage West Indian girls in the Flatbush and Crown Heights sections of Brooklyn to argue that Black youth are in fact strategic consumers of popular culture and through this consumption they assert far more agency in defining race, ethnicity, and gender than academic and popular discourses tend to acknowledge. Importantly, LaBennett also studies West Indian girls’ consumer and leisure culture within public spaces in order to analyze how teens like China are marginalized and policed as they attempt to carve out places for themselves within New York’s contested terrains.

 

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Gender and Scientific Discourse in Early Modern Culture

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Edited by Kathleen Long

From the publisher:

In the wake of new interest in alchemy as more significant than a bizarre aberration in rational Western European culture, this collection examines both alchemical and medical discourses in the larger context of early modern Europe. How do early scientific discourses infiltrate other cultural domains such as literature, philosophy, court life, and the conduct of households? How do these new contexts deflect scientific pursuits into new directions, and allow a larger participation in the elaboration of scientific methods and perspectives? Might there have been a scientific subculture, particularly surrounding alchemy, which allowed women to participate in scientific pursuits long before they were admitted in an investigative capacity into official academic settings? This volume poses those questions, as a starting point for a broader discussion of scientific subcultures and their relationship to the restructuring and questioning of gender roles.

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Sanctity and Pornography in Medieval Culture

Overview

by Cary Howie and Bill Burgwinkle

From the publisher:

Sanctity and pornography in medieval culture exposes the complexity of bodily exposure in medieval devotion and contemporary pornographic cultures. Through readings of texts and images, sacred and profane, from preimodern France and Italy as well as Anglo-American modernity, the book makes a case for paying closer attention to the surfaces of our bodies and the desires that those surfaces can articulate and arouse.

From the Old French life of Saint Alexis to the work of writer-filmmaker Miranda July, from Wakefield Poole to Pietro Aretino, these are texts and images that diminish the distance between premodern Europe and contemporary California, between the sacred and the profane, as they demonstrate how, in the end as in the beginning, the surface of things is never simple.

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Crafting the Quantum: Arnold Sommerfeld and the Practice of Theory, 1890-1926

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Arnold Sommerfeld (1868–1951) was among the most significant contributors to the birth of modern theoretical physics. At the University of Munich, beginning in 1906, he trained two generations of theoretical physicists. Eight of his students (among them Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, and Hans Bethe) went on to win the Nobel Prize. In Crafting the Quantum, Suman Seth offers the first English-language book-length study of Sommerfeld’s work, presenting an intellectual and cultural history of theoretical physics in Germany viewed through the lens of Sommerfeld’s research and pedagogy. 

Seth examines the practical origins of many of the problems undertaken by Sommerfeld and his school, a number of which carried over from his years of teaching at an engineering school. Some of this research was later applied by his students during World War I to such problems as the stability of aircraft wings and the functioning and directional operation of antennas. Seth describes in detail Sommerfeld’s pedagogical practice, including his characteristic amalgamation of research and teaching. He relates the history of the “older” quantum theory and Sommerfeld’s engagement with the work of Max Planck and Niels Bohr and compares Sommerfeld’s “physics of problems” to Planck’s and Bohr’s more abstract “physics of principles.” To illuminate the nature of Sommerfeld’s work, Seth offers detailed descriptions of the contrasting work of other theorists. Seth’s innovative account challenges idealist depictions of the nature of theoretical work in physics, describing not only modes of practice but also the multiple areas of intellectual, political, and social life from which science draws resources and to which it contributes.

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Body Against Soul: Gender and Sowlehele in Middle English Allegory

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In medieval allegory, Body and Soul were often pitted against one another in debate. In Body Against Soul: Gender and Sowlehele in Middle English Allegory, Masha Raskolnikov argues that such debates function as a mode of thinking about psychology, gender, and power in the Middle Ages. Neither theological nor medical in nature, works of sowlehele (“soul-heal”) described the self to itself in everyday language—moderns might call this kind of writing “self-help.” Bringing together contemporary feminist and queer theory along with medieval psychological thought, Body Against Soul examines Piers Plowman, the “Katherine Group,” and the history of psychological allegory and debate. In so doing, it rewrites the history of the Body to include its recently neglected fellow, the Soul.

The topic of this book is one that runs through all of Western history and remains of primary interest to modern theorists—how “my” body relates to “me.” In the allegorical tradition traced by this study, a male person could imagine himself as a being populated by female personifications, because Latin and Romance languages tended to gender abstract nouns as female. However, since Middle English had ceased to inflect abstract nouns as male or female, writers were free to gender abstractions like “Will” or “Reason” any way they liked. This permitted some psychological allegories to avoid the representational tension caused by placing a female soul inside a male body, instead creating surprisingly queer same-sex inner worlds. The didactic intent driving sowlehele is, it turns out, complicated by the erotics of the struggle to establish a hierarchy of the self’s inner powers.

 

“Raskolnikov deftly shows how gender is staged in the context of allegorical debates on death and life. Raskolnikov’s brilliance is to show how voices are split and allocated to various figures, often personified as male and female, and how these talking figures debate not only the place and meaning of the body, but questions of moral harm and the possibility of true knowledge. These debates are hardly philosophy in a recognizable sense, but they do engage philosophical questions through giving voice to various gendered characters. What emerges time and again is a self in a distanced relation to itself, often embattled, often split, for these dialoguing characters are and are not separate. What becomes clear throughout these debates is that the action involved is often capricious and arbitrary, and so the question of free will, of the efficacy of human action in the face of contingency, is posed again and again in a dramatic and dialogic genre whose action or plot lacks all signs of Aristotelian likelihood and probability. The book works in a subtle and surprising way to locate gender as a point of view, showing how personifications essential to the debate genre show the contours of gender and subjectivity as they are assumed through speech. This is a disorientingly smart and engaging text, essential to the early modern understanding of gender.” —Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor at the University of California, Berkeley

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Claustrophilia: The Erotics of Enclosure in Medieval Literature

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From the publisher:

Through extended readings of English, French, and Italian writers of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth centuries, Claustrophilia shows that medieval enclosures actually make room for desires and communities that a poetics of pure openness would exclude.

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Hermaphrodites in Renaissance Europ

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From the publisher:

Kathleen Long explores the use of the hermaphrodite in early modern culture wars, both to question traditional theorizations of gender roles and to reaffirm those views. These cultural conflicts were fueled by the discovery of a new world, by the Reformation and the backlash against it, by nascent republicanism directed against dissolute kings, and by the rise of empirical science and its subsequent confrontation with the traditional university system. For the Renaissance imagination, the hermaphrodite came to symbolize these profound and intense changes that swept across Europe, literally embodying these conflicts. Focusing on early modern France, with references to Switzerland and Germany, this work traces the symbolic use of the hermaphrodite across a range of disciplines and domains - medical, alchemical, philosophical, poetic, fictional, and political - and demonstrates how these seemingly disparate realms interacted extensively with each other in this period, also across national boundaries. This widespread use and representation of the hermaphrodite established a ground on which new ideas concerning sex and gender could be elaborated by subsequent generations, and on which a wide range of thought concerning identity, racial, religious, and national as well as gender, could be deployed.

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Facing America: Iconography and the Civil War

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Facing America: Iconography and the Civil War investigates and explains the changing face of America during the Civil War. To conjure a face for the nation, author Shirley Samuels also explores the body of the nation imagined both physically and metaphorically, arguing that the Civil War marks a dramatic shift from identifying the American nation as feminine to identifying it as masculine. Expressions of such a change appear in the allegorical configurations of nineteenth-century American novels, poetry, cartoons, and political rhetoric. Because of the visibility of war's assaults on the male body, masculine vulnerability became such a dominant facet of national life that it practically obliterated the visibility of other vulnerable bodies. The simultaneous advent of photography and the Civil War in the nineteenth century may be as influential as the conjoined rise of the novel and the middle class in the eighteenth century.

Both advents herald a changed understanding of how a transformative media can promote new cultural and national identities. Bodies immobilized because of war's practices of wounding and death are also bodies made static for the camera's gaze. The look of shock on the faces of soldiers photographed in order to display their wounds emphasizes the new technology of war literally embodied in the impact of new imploding bullets on vulnerable flesh. Such images mark both the context for and a counterpoint to the "look" of Walt Whitman as he bends over soldiers in their hospital beds. They also provide a way to interpret the languishing male heroes of novels such as August Evans's Macaria (1864), a southern elegy for the sundering of the nation. This book crucially shows how visual iconography affects the shift in postbellum gendered and racialized identifications of the nation.

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United Apart: Gender and the Rise of Craft Unionism

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In the late nineteenth century, most jobs were strictly segregated by sex. And yet, despite their separation at work, male and female employees regularly banded together when they or their unions considered striking. In her groundbreaking book, Ileen A. DeVault explores how gender helped to shape the outcome of job actions—and how gender bias became central to unionism in America.

Covering the period from the formation of the American Federation of Labor in 1886 to the establishment of the Women's Trade Union League in 1903, DeVault analyzes forty strikes from across the nation in the tobacco, textile, clothing, and boot and shoe industries. She draws extensively on her research in local newspapers as she traces the daily encounters among male and female coworkers in workplaces, homes, and union halls. Jobs considered appropriate for men and those for women were, she finds, sufficiently interdependent that the success of the action depended on both sexes cooperating. At the same time, with their livelihoods at stake, tensions between women and men often appeared.

The AFL entered the twentieth century as the country's primary vehicle for unionized workers, and its attitude toward women formed the basis for virtually all later attempts at their organization. United Apart transforms conventional wisdom on the rise of the AFL by showing how its member unions developed their central beliefs about female workers and how those beliefs affected male workers as well.

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In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692

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Award-winning historian Mary Beth Norton reexamines the Salem witch trials in this startlingly original, meticulously researched, and utterly riveting study. 

In 1692 the people of Massachusetts were living in fear, and not solely of satanic afflictions. Horrifyingly violent Indian attacks had all but emptied the northern frontier of settlers, and many traumatized refugees—including the main accusers of witches—had fled to communities like Salem. Meanwhile the colony’s leaders, defensive about their own failure to protect the frontier, pondered how God’s people could be suffering at the hands of savages. Struck by the similarities between what the refugees had witnessed and what the witchcraft “victims” described, many were quick to see a vast conspiracy of the Devil (in league with the French and the Indians) threatening New England on all sides. By providing this essential context to the famous events, and by casting her net well beyond the borders of Salem itself, Norton sheds new light on one of the most perplexing and fascinating periods in our history.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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Border Women: Writing From La Frontera

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Border Women rethinks border theory by emphasizing women writers whose work—in Spanish, English, or a mixture of the two languages—calls into question accepted notions of border identities. These writers include those who are already well recognized internationally (Helena María Viramontes, Sheila and Sandra Ortiz Taylor, and María Novaro); those who have become part of the Chicano canon (Norma Cantú, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, and Demetria Martínez); along with some of the lesser-known, yet most exciting, women’s voices from the Mexican border (Rosario Sanmiguel, Rosina Conde, and Regina Swain).

South Central Review states that Border Women is a significant contribution to U.S.-Mexico border studies, and to gender studies as well. It places emphasis on the cultural richness of the border region through the reading of the original and provocative voices of its women.

 

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Regions of Identity: The Construction of America in Women's Fiction, 1885-1914

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Examining turn-of-the-century American women s fiction, the author argues that this writing played a crucial role in the production of a national fantasy of a unified American identity in the face of the racial, regional, ethnic, and sexual divisions of the period. Contributing to New Americanist perspectives of nation formation, the book shows that these writers are central to American literary discourses for reconfiguring the relationship among constituent regions in order to reconfigure the nation itself. Analyzing fiction by Sarah Orne Jewett, Florence Converse, Pauline Hopkins, Mar'a Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Kate Chopin, and Sui Sin Far, the book foregrounds the ways each writer s own location on the grid of American identities shapes her attempt to forge an inclusive narrative of America. This disparate group of writers Northerners, Southerners, Californios, African Americans, Chinese Americans, Anglo Americans, heterosexuals, and lesbians reflects the widespread nature of concerns over national identity and the importance of regions to representations of that identity. 

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Decadence and Catholicism

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Romantic writers had found in Christianity a poetic cult of the imagination, an assertion of the spiritual quality of beauty in an age of vulgar materialism. The decadents, a diverse movement of writers, were the climax and exhaustion of this romantic tradition. In their art, they enacted the romance of faith as a protest against the dreariness of modern life. Ellis Hanson teases out two strands—eroticism and aestheticism—that rendered the decadent interest in Catholicism extraordinary. More than any other literary movement, the decadents explored the powerful historical relationship between homoeroticism and Roman Catholicism. Why, throughout history, have so many homosexuals been attracted to Catholic institutions that vociferously condemn homosexuality? This perplexing question is pursued in this elegant and innovative book.

Late-nineteenth-century aesthetes found in the Church a peculiar language that gave them a means of artistic and sexual expression. The brilliant cast of characters that parades through this book includes Oscar Wilde, Charles Baudelaire, J.-K. Huysmans, Walter Pater, and Paul Verlaine. Art for these writers was a mystical and erotic experience. In decadent Catholicism we can glimpse the beginnings of a postmodern valorization of perversity and performativity. Catholicism offered both the hysterical symptom and the last hope for paganism amid the dullness of Victorian puritanism and bourgeois materialism.

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Fictions féminines : Mme de Staël et les voix de la Sibylle

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