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How Literature Will Save the Planet
The activist tradition in American literature has long testified to the power of words to change people and the power of people to change the world, yet in recent years many professional humanists have chosen to distract themselves with a postmodern fundamentalism of indeterminacy and instability rather than engage with social and political issues. Throughout her bold and provocative call to action, Elizabeth Ammons argues that the responsibility now facing humanists is urgent: inside and outside academic settings, they need to revive the liberal arts as a progressive cultural force that offers workable ideas and inspiration in the real-world struggle to achieve social and environmental justice.
Brave New Words challenges present and future literary scholars and teachers to look beyond mere literary critique toward the concrete issue of social change and how to achieve it. Calling for a profound realignment of thought and spirit in the service of positive social change, Ammons argues for the continued importance of multiculturalism in the twenty-first century despite attacks on the concept from both right and left. Concentrating on activist U.S. writers—from ecocritics to feminists to those dedicated to exposing race and class biases, from Jim Wallis and Cornel West to Winona LaDuke and Paula Moya and many others—she calls for all humanists to link their work to the progressive literature of the last half century, to insist on activism in the service of positive change as part of their mission, and to teach the power of hope and action to their students.
As Ammons clearly demonstrates, much of American literature was written to expose injustice and motivate readers to work for social transformation. She challenges today’s academic humanists to address the issues of hope and purpose by creating a practical activist pedagogy that gives students the knowledge to connect their theoretical learning to the outside world. By relying on the transformative power of literature and replacing nihilism and powerlessness with conviction and faith, the liberal arts can offer practical, useful inspiration to everyone seeking to create a better world.
2000 - 2007
Published annually, Brookings Papers on Education Policy (BPEP) analyzes policies intended to improve student performance. In each volume, analysts review the current situation in education and consider programs for reform.
Students, Segregationists, and the Struggle for Justice in Prince Edward County, Virginia
In 1959, Prince Edward County, Virginia, abolished its public school system in opposition to the landmark decision against school segregation, Brown v. Board of Education. It took five years and another Supreme Court decision for the county to reopen public school doors. Titus explores the background of the crisis, the period in which the schools were closed, and the repercussions of this educational tragedy. She focuses on the years between 1951 (when black students walked out of the decrepit Moton High School) and 1969 (when black students staged a second strike), but also carries the story up to the present to demonstrate the consequences of the county's years of massive resistance to desegregation. Titus show that the Prince Edward County story is a vital chapter of America's civil rights story. While there have been journalistic, autobiographical, and fictional stories about the educational crisis, there has been no scholarly treatment of the subject. In 1965 the Press published journalist Bob Smith's They Closed Their Schools: Prince Edward County, Virginia, 1951-1964. However, Titus has a wealth of new archival material to draw upon and takes a broader perspective.
Reading the Chinese New Historical Fiction (1986-1999)
This book explores some essential features of the Chinese new historical fiction (NHF) and its socio-cultural implications. It argues that the NHF constitutes an oppositional discourse that rejects, both the grand narrative of linear (revolutionary) history, which dominates Chinese official historiography, and naïve confidence in ‘Chinese modernity.’
"Building Capacity promotes the vision that the teaching of African languages can best achieve its aim of boosting the economic and cultural development of the Africans if they are made to work in synergy with a revamping of the course contents of international languages that will be taught within the frame of a development-oriented literacy curriculum. Great emphasis is put on the oral skills in the use of African languages as they are to serve as a link between the community and the school for the ultimate revitalization of the positive aspects of African cultures in a world beset by globalization. The book is supplemented with a sample of texts in the appendix that are meant to be a bridge between formal texts taught in classrooms and literacy texts that can raise the genuine interests of the local populations in that they address their immediate needs. Among the possible topics language teachers are encouraged to explore in their classes are those concerning economic development, but also such issues as health, education, the environment, food security, and conflict resolution. ""In the face of the growing interest in the use of African Languages by Africans as symbols of personal and cultural identity and as means of empowering the rural communities in the entreprise of national development,the need for a methodologically appropriate manual to guide the teaching and learning of African languages becomes urgent.This book is a timely response, predicated on a policy of the symbiotic use of African languages along with partner (foreign-official) languages, to attain a balanced level of economic and socio-cultural development.It is based on a compendium of well- thought-out principles geared towards a rapid acquisition of written and oral language skills that are congruent with and reflect the socio-cultural and economic concerns of the linguistic community."" Beban Sammy Chumbow, Professor of Linguistics, University of Yaounde I ""Among the numerous proposals in this book is the necessity for Africans, and I would add, for the communities of Asia and Latin America, to re-think the contents of their language courses and assign them an objective which aims at the integral development of their communities. It is indeed imperative that these courses reflect clear objectives of seeking social, cultural, and economic developments that harmonize with African, Asian, and Latin American values that are deep rooted in their respective various cultures."" Jean-Pierre Angenot Professor of Linguistics, Federal University of Rond?nia, Porto Velho, Brazil."
No less than other divisions of the college or university, contemporary writing centers find themselves within a galaxy of competing questions and demands that relate to assessment—questions and demands that usually embed priorities from outside the purview of the writing center itself. Writing centers are used to certain kinds of assessment, both quantitative and qualitative, but are often unprepared to address larger institutional or societal issues. In Building Writing Center Assessments that Matter, Schendel and Macauley start from the kinds of assessment strengths already in place in writing centers, and they build a framework that can help writing centers satisfy local needs and put them in useful dialogue with the larger needs of their institutions, while staying rooted in writing assessment theory.
The authors begin from the position that tutoring writers is already an assessment activity, and that good assessment practice (rooted in the work of Adler-Kassner, O'Neill, Moore, and Huot) already reflects the values of writing center theory and practice. They offer examples of assessments developed in local contexts, and of how assessment data built within those contexts can powerfully inform decisions and shape the futures of local writing centers. With additional contributions by Neal Lerner, Brian Huot and Nicole Caswell, and with a strong commitment to honoring on-site local needs, the volume does not advocate a one-size-fits-all answer. But, like the modeling often used in a writing consultation, examples here illustrate how important assessment principles have been applied in a range of local contexts. Ultimately, Building Writing Assessments that Matter describes a theory stance toward assessment for writing centers that honors the uniqueness of the writing center context, and examples of assessment in action that are concrete, manageable, portable, and adaptable.
Vol. 59 (2005) through current issue
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books is devoted to the review of current books for children. Providing concise summaries and critical evaluations, this invaluable resource assists readers with questions regarding the ever-evolving children's literature field. Each issue of Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books includes expert reviews by a world-renowned staff. These reviews give an in-depth look at selected book's content, reading level, strengths and weaknesses, quality of the format, as well as suggestions for circular use. The Bulletin also includes: Bulletin Blue Ribbons- a selection of the year's most distinguished titles, The Big Picture- a monthly editorial that looks at titles and trends, Professional Connections- a section featuring bibliographies, reviews of new professional books, and abstracts of research articles, and a Subject and Use Index- an index allows readers to easily locate information by referring to subjects, curricular use, and genres.
Politics, Governance, and Affirmative Action at the University of California
Burning Down the House presents a riveting analysis of one of the most nationally prominent and bitterly contested policy battles in the history of American higher education: the struggle to eliminate affirmative action at the University of California. A timely and essential addition to the literature on affirmative action, it examines the political, economic, legal, and organizational factors that shaped the debate in California and offers unique insight into the contemporary politics of admissions policy, university governance, and the role of higher education in broader state and national political contests to come.
A Test of Anglophone Solidarity
This book richly documents the battles fought by the Anglophone community in Cameroon to safeguard the General Certificate of Education (GCE), a symbol of their cherished colonial heritage from Britain, from attempts by agents of the Ministry of National Education to subvert it. These battles opposed a mobilised and determined Anglophone civil society against numerous machinations by successive Francophone-dominated governments to destroy their much prided educational system in the name of 'national integration'. When Southern Cameroonians re-united with La R?publique du Cameroun in 1961, they claimed that they were bringing into the union 'a fine education system' from which their Francophone compatriots could borrow. Instead, they found themselves battling for decades to save their way of life. Central to their concerns and survival as a community is an urgent need for cultural recognition and representation, of which an educational system free of corruption and trivialisation through politicisation is a key component.
Folklore from the Old-Time College to the Modern Mega-University
From their beginnings, campuses emerged as hotbeds of traditions and folklore. American college students inhabit a culture with its own slang, stories, humor, beliefs, rituals, and pranks. Simon J. Bronner takes a long, engaging look at American campus life and how it is shaped by students and at the same time shapes the values of all who pass through it. The archetypes of absent-minded profs, fumbling jocks, and curve-setting dweebs are the stuff of legend and humor, along with the all-nighters, tailgating parties, and initiations that mark campus tradition--and student identities. Undergraduates in their hallowed halls embrace distinctive traditions because the experience of higher education precariously spans childhood and adulthood, parental and societal authority, home and corporation, play and work.Bronner traces historical changes in these traditions. The predominant context has shifted from what he calls the "old-time college," small in size and strong in its sense of community, to mass society's "mega-university," a behemoth that extends beyond any campus to multiple branches and offshoots throughout a state, region, and sometimes the globe. One might assume that the mega-university has dissolved collegiate traditions and displaced the old-time college, but Bronner finds the opposite. Student needs for social belonging in large universities and a fear of losing personal control have given rise to distinctive forms of lore and a striving for retaining the pastoral "campus feel" of the old-time college. The folkloric material students spout, and sprout, in response to these needs is varied but it is tied together by its invocation of tradition and social purpose. Beneath the veil of play, students work through tough issues of their age and environment. They use their lore to suggest ramifications, if not resolution, of these issues for themselves and for their institutions. In the process, campus traditions are keys to the development of American culture.