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The Christian Hebraism of John Donne

Written with the Fingers of Man's Hand

By Chanita Goodblatt

The complex relationship between the nation, Church of England, and the Jews reached an important culmination during the Reformation as Christian scholars became more and more interested in Hebrew language and the Jewish roots of European civilization. Christian Hebraism’s influence spread as a central focus in theology and politics, spurring the Geneva (1560) and the King James (1611) Bibles in particular. Within this context, Chanita Goodblatt reorients John Donne, one of the most prominent preachers and writers of the time, as a Christian Hebraist and examines the exegetical strategies and language in Donne’s psalms and sermons.

While Donne shows only a basic grasp of the Hebrew language, his sermons reveal the many semantic nuances taken from Latin and vernacular translations of Jewish biblical scholarship. Goodblatt lays out the intellectual context of Donne’s work and ties specific lexical, rhetorical, and thematic strategies to Hebrew traditions. Donne’s work weaves a web of intertextual complexities that highlight the interaction of Christian and Jewish scholarship that influenced the theological and political views of the time period. In addition, Donne’s reinterpretation of the Bible based on Jewish exegesis ultimately adds to an understanding of Christian Hebraism and establishes the Church of England as the inheritor of the Jewish tradition.

This study focuses on Donne’s sermons preached on the Psalms. Organized both generically and thematically, corresponding reproductions of the Hebrew Rabbinic (1525) and the Geneva Bible preface each chapter and allow the reader, regardless of specialization, to follow Goodblatt’s critical analyses.

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Christianity and the Mass Media in America

Toward a Democratic Accommodation

Quentin J. Schultze

The mass media and religious groups in America regularly argue about news bias, sex and violence on television, movie censorship, advertiser boycotts, broadcast and film content rating systems, government regulation of the media, the role of mass evangelism in a democracy, and many other issues. In the United States the major disputes between religion and the media usually have involved Christian churches or parachurch ministries, on the one hand, and the so-called secular media, on the other. Often the Christian Right locks horns with supposedly liberal Eastern media elite and Hollywood entertainment companies. When a major Protestant denomination calls for an economic boycott of Disney, the resulting news reports suggest business as usual in the tensions between faith groups and media empires.
    Schultze demonstrates how religion and the media in America have borrowed each other’s rhetoric. In the process, they have also helped to keep each other honest, pointing out respective foibles and pretensions. Christian media have offered the public as well as religious tribes some of the best media criticism— better than most of the media criticism produced by mainstream media themselves. Meanwhile, mainstream media have rightly taken particular churches to task for misdeeds as well as offered some surprisingly good depictions of religious life.
     The tension between Christian groups and the media in America ultimately is a good thing that can serve the interest of democratic life. As Alexis de Tocqueville discovered in the 1830s, American Christianity can foster the “habits of the heart” that ward off the antisocial acids of radical individualism. And, as John Dewey argued a century later, the media offer some of our best hopes for maintaining a public life in the face of the religious tribalism that can erode democracy from within. Mainstream media and Christianity will always be at odds in a democracy. That is exactly the way it should be for the good of each one.
 

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Chronicling Trauma

Journalists and Writers on Violence and Loss

Doug Underwood

To attract readers, journalists have long trafficked in the causes of trauma--crime, violence, warfare--as well as psychological profiling of deviance and aberrational personalities. Novelists, in turn, have explored these same subjects in developing their characters and by borrowing from their own traumatic life stories to shape the themes and psychological terrain of their fiction. In this book, Doug Underwood offers a conceptual and historical framework for comprehending the impact of trauma and violence in the careers and the writings of important journalist-literary figures in the United States and British Isles from the early 1700s to today._x000B__x000B_Grounded in the latest research in the fields of trauma studies, literary biography, and the history of journalism, this study draws upon the lively and sometimes breathtaking accounts of popular writers such as Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, Graham Greene, and Truman Capote, exploring the role that trauma has played in shaping their literary works. Underwood notes that the influence of traumatic experience upon journalistic literature is being reshaped by a number of factors, including news media trends, the advance of the Internet, the changing nature of the journalism profession, the proliferation of psychoactive drugs, and journalists' greater self-awareness of the impact of trauma in their work._x000B__x000B_The most extensive scholarly examination of the role that trauma has played in the shaping of our journalistic and literary heritage, Chronicling Trauma: Journalists and Writers on Violence and Loss discusses more than a hundred writers whose works have won them fame, even at the price of their health, their families, and their lives.

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Citizenship, Politics, Difference

Perspectives from Sub-Saharan Signed Language Communities

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the most linguistically, culturally, and geographically diverse regions of the world, home to more than 2,000 languages. As in the rest of the world, Deaf people live throughout the widely varying sub-Saharan communities, equally rich in their signed languages. An emergent body of scholarly research on sub-Saharan signed languages (SSSL) and related Deaf community organizing has created the opportunity to gather together the informed perspectives presented in this revolutionary collection. Drawing examples from all regions of sub-Saharan Africa—Western, Eastern, Central, and Southern—16 contributors join the volume editors in illuminating the circumstances pertaining to cross-border, cross-regional, and global engagements in sub-Saharan Deaf communities. This collection centers upon two interrelated purposes: to examine sub-Saharan African deaf people’s perspectives on citizenship, politics, and difference in relation to SSSL practices, and to analyze SSSL practices in relation to sociopolitical histories and social change interests (including addressing aspects of culture, gender, language usage, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and ability). The editors have organized these themes under three main sections, Sub-Saharan Signed Languages and Deaf Communities, The Politics of Mobilizing Difference, and Citizenship. Such wide-ranging subjects as the ethics of studying Kenyan signed language, sign language and Deaf communities in Eritrea, and overcoming cultural and linguistic barriers to HIV/AIDS education drive home the importance of the unique and varied research in this collection.

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A City of Marble

The Rhetoric of Augustan Rome

Kathleen S. Lamp

In A City of Marble, Kathleen Lamp argues that classical rhetorical theory shaped the Augustan cultural campaigns and that in turn the Augustan cultural campaigns functioned rhetorically to help Augustus gain and maintain power and to influence civic identity and participation in the Roman Principate (27 b. c. e.—14 c. e.). Lamp begins by studying rhetorical treatises, those texts most familiar to scholars of rhetoric, and moves on to those most obviously using rhetorical techniques in visual form. She then arrives at those objects least recognizable as rhetorical artifacts, but perhaps most significant to the daily lives of the Roman people—coins, altars, wall painting. This progression also captures the development of the Augustan political myth that Augustus was destined to rule and lead Rome to greatness as a descendant of the hero Aeneas. A City of Marble examines the establishment of this myth in state rhetoric, traces its circulation, and finally samples its popular receptions and adaptations. In doing so, Lamp inserts a long-excluded though significant audience—the common people of Rome—into contemporary understandings of rhetorical history and considers Augustan culture as significant in shaping civic identity, encouraging civic participation, and promoting social advancement. Lamp approaches the relationship between classical rhetoric and Augustan culture through a transdisciplinary methodology drawn from archaeology, art and architectural history, numismatics, classics, and rhetorical studies. By doing so, she grounds Dionysius of Halicarnassus’s claims that the Principate represented a renaissance of rhetoric rooted in culture and a return to an Isocratean philosophical model of rhetoric, thus offering a counterstatement to the “decline narrative” that rhetorical practice withered in the early Roman Empire. Thus Lamp’s work provides a step toward filling the disciplinary gap between Cicero and the Second Sophistic.

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City of the Dead and Song of the Night

translated by Gilbert C. F. Fong and Mabel Lee

Presented in English for the first time in this book are two plays by Gao Xingjian originally written in Chinese: City of the Dead and Song of the Night. City of the Dead is the first of Gao Xingjian’s plays to focus fully on the male-female relationship. In this work, he transforms a wellknown ancient morality tale, “Zhuangzi Tests His Wife”, which had been used to caution women against being unfaithful to their husbands, into a modern play that is in keeping with his own sympathetic stance towards women in male-female relationships. In a certain sense, City of the Dead may be regarded as defining Gao’s fundamental view that men possess a flippant and cavalier attitude to their female sexual partner or partners, and that women who become involved in sexual relationships with men are therefore doomed to suffer. Among Gao Xingjian’s theatrical portrayals of the female psyche, Song of the Night is his most ambitious and most detailed one. Gao’s articulation of the female psyche is embedded in a solid substratumbedrock of his autobiographical impulses. It is through female actors, and his range of ingenious theatrical innovations that Gao succeeds in convincingly portraying his personal view of the power dynamics generated in male-female sexual relationships, and how these are played out. Together, these two plays advance Gao Xingjian’s innovative theatrical experiments in dramatic prose across linguistic and cultural boundaries. The English translations of City of the Dead and Song of the Night in the present volume will lead to significant English-language productions of these plays, and concomitantly a greater understanding of Gao’s plays.

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Claiming Lincoln

Progressivism, Equality, and the Battle for Lincoln’s Legacy in Presidential Rhetoric

Abraham Lincoln is clearly one of the most frequently cited figures in American political rhetoric, especially with regard to issues of equality. But given the ubiquity of Lincoln’s legacy, many references to him, even on the presidential level, are often of questionable accuracy. In Claiming Lincoln, Jividen posits that in much 20th-century presidential rhetoric, especially from progressive leaders, Lincoln’s understanding of equality is slowly divorced from its grounding in the natural rights thinking of the American Founding and reinterpreted in light of progressive history. Claiming Lincoln examines the manner in which rhetoricians have appealed to Lincoln’s legacy only to distort that legacy in the process. Focusing on Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson and touching on Barack Obama, Jividen argues that presidential rhetorical use and abuse of Lincoln has profound consequences not only for how we understand Lincoln but also for how we understand American democracy. Jividen’s original take on Lincoln and the Progressives will be of interest to scholars of American politics and all those invested in Lincoln’s legacy.

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Claiming the Bicycle

Women, Rhetoric, and Technology in Nineteenth-Century America

Sarah Hallenbeck

Although the impact of the bicycle craze of the late nineteenth century on women’s lives has been well documented, rarely have writers considered the role of women’s rhetorical agency in the transformation of bicycle culture and the bicycle itself. In Claiming the Bicycle, Sarah Hallenbeck argues that through their collective rhetorical activities, women who were widely dispersed in space, genre, and intention negotiated what were considered socially acceptable uses of the bicycle, destabilizing cultural assumptions about femininity and gender differences.
 
Hallenbeck describes the masculine culture of the “Ordinary” bicycle of the 1880s and the ways women helped bring about changes in this culture; asserts that women contributed to bicycle design, helping to produce the more gender-neutral “Safety” bicycle in response to discourse about their needs; and analyzes women writers’ uses of the new venue of popular magazines to shape a “bicycle girl” ethos that prompted new identities for women. The author considers not only how technical documents written by women bicyclists encouraged new riders to understand their activity as transforming gender definitions but also how women used bicycling as a rhetorical resource to influence medical discourse about their bodies.
 
Making a significant contribution to studies of feminist rhetorical historiography, rhetorical agency, and technical communication, Claiming the Bicycle asserts the utility of a distributed model of rhetorical agency and accounts for the efforts of widely dispersed actors to harness technology in promoting social change. 

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Classical NEG Raising

An Essay on the Syntax of Negation

Chris Collins

In this book, Chris Collins and Paul Postal consider examples such the one below on the interpretation where Nancy thinks that this course is not interesting: <I>Nancy doesn't think this course is interesting</I>.They argue such examples instantiate a kind of syntactic raising that they term Classical NEG Raising. This involves the raising of a NEG (negation) from the embedded clause to the matrix clause. Collins and Postal develop three main arguments to support their claim. First, they show that Classical NEG Raising obeys island constraints. Second, they document that a syntactic raising analysis predicts both the grammaticality and particular properties of what they term Horn clauses (named for Laurence Horn, who discovered them). Finally, they argue that the properties of certain <I>parenthetical</I> structures strongly support the syntactic character of Classical NEG Raising. Collins and Postal also offer a detailed analysis of the main argument in the literature against a syntactic raising analysis (which they call the Composed Quantifier Argument). They show that the facts appealed to in this argument not only fail to conflict with their approach but actually support a syntactic view. In the course of their argument, Collins and Postal touch on a variety of related topics, including the syntax of negative polarity items, the status of sequential negation, and the scope of negative quantifiers.

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Clockwork Rhetoric

The Language and Style of Steampunk

Barry Brummett

This unique book explores how the aesthetic and cultural movement "Steampunk" persuades audiences and wins new acolytes. Steampunk is an aesthetic style grounded in the Victorian era, in clothing and accoutrements modeled on a heightened and hyper-extended age of steam. In addition to its modeling of attire and other symbolic trappings, what is most distinctive is its adherents' use of a machined aesthetic based on steam engines and early electrical machinery: gears, pistons, shafts, wheels, induction motors, clockwork and so forth.

The aesthetic was first articulated in literature in the works of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. The American West later contributed images to the aesthetic--revolvers, locomotives, and rifles of the late nineteenth century. Among young people steampunk has found common aesthetic cause with Goth style. Examples from literature and popular culture include William Gibson's fiction, China Miéville's novels, the classic film Metropolis, and the BBC series Doctor Who. This volume recognizes that steampunk, a unique popular culture phenomenon, presents a prime opportunity for rhetorical criticism.

Steampunk's art, style, and narratives convey complex social and political meanings. Chapters in Clockwork Rhetoric explore topics ranging from jewelry to Japanese anime to contemporary imperialism to fashion. Throughout, the book demonstrates how language influences consumers of steampunk to hold certain social and political attitudes and commitments.

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