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The National Pastime and American Identity During the War on Terror
Baseball has long been considered America’s “national pastime,” touted variously as a healthy diversion, a symbol of national unity, and a model of democratic inclusion. But, according to Michael Butterworth, such favorable rhetoric belies baseball’s complicity in the rhetorical construction of a world defined by good and evil.
Baseball and Rhetorics of Purity is an investigation into the culture and mythology of baseball, a study of its limits and failures, and an invitation to remake the game in a more democratic way. It pays special attention to baseball’s role in the reconstruction of American identity after September 11, 2001. This study is framed by a discussion that links the development of baseball to the discourses of innocence and purity in 19th-century America. From there, it examines ritual performances at baseball games; a traveling museum exhibit sponsored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum; the recent debate about the use of performance-enhancing drugs; the return of Major League Baseball to Washington, D.C., in 2005; and the advent of the World Baseball Classic in 2006.
Butterworth argues that by promoting myths of citizenship and purity, post-9/11 discourse concerning baseball ironically threatens the health of the democratic system and that baseball cannot be viewed as an innocent diversion or escape. Instead, Butterworth highlights how the game on the field reflects a more complex and diverse worldview, and makes a plea for the game’s recovery, both as a national pastime and as a site for celebrating the best of who we are and who we can be.
Stevens, Cummings, Frost, and Williams in the 1930s
Different as they were as poets, Wallace Stevens, E. E. Cummings, Robert Frost, and Williams Carlos Williams grappled with the highly charged literary politics of the 1930s in comparable ways. As other writers moved sharply to the Left, and as leftist critics promulgated a proletarian aesthetics, these modernist poets keenly felt the pressure of the times and politicized literary scene. All four poets saw their reputations critically challenged in these years and felt compelled to respond to the new politics, literary and national, in distinct ways, ranging from rejection to involvement.
Beleaguered Poets and Leftist Critics closely examines the dynamics of these responses: what these four poets wrote—in letters, essays, lectures, fiction (for Williams), and most importantly, in their poems; what they believed politically and aesthetically; how critics, particularly leftist critics, reviewed their work; how these poets reacted to that criticism and to the broader milieu of leftism. Each poet’s response and its subsequent impact on his poetic output is a unique case study of the conflicting demands of art and politics in a time of great social change.
An Interpretive Guide
A Black Doctor Remembers Life, Medicine, and Civil Rights in an Alabama Town
Beside the Troubled Waters is a memoir by an African American physician in Alabama whose story in many ways typifies the lives and careers of black doctors in the south during the segregationist era while also illustrating the diversity of the black experience in the medical profession. Based on interviews conducted with Hereford over ten years, the account includes his childhood and youth as the son of a black sharecropper and Primitive Baptist minister in Madison County, Alabama, during the Depression; his education at Huntsville’s all-black Councill School and medical training at Meharry Medical College in Nashville; his medical practice in Huntsville’s black community beginning in 1956; his efforts to overcome the racism he met in the white medical community; his participation in the civil rights movement in Huntsville; and his later problems with the Medicaid program and state medical authorities, which eventually led to the loss of his license.
Hereford’s memoir stands out because of its medical and civil rights themes, and also because of its compelling account of the professional ruin Hereford encountered after 37 years of practice, as the end of segregation and the federal role in medical care placed black doctors in competition with white ones for the first time.
The Savannah Squadron, 1861-1865
The Best Station of Them All is the story of the Confederate navy’s Savannah Squadron, its relationship with the people of Savannah, Georgia, and its role in the city’s economy.
In this well-written and extensively researched narrative, Maurice Melton charts the history of the unit, the sailors (both white and black), the officers, their families, and their activities aboard ship and in port.
The Savannah Squadron worked, patrolled, and fought in the rivers and sounds along the Georgia coast. Though they saw little activity at sea, the unit did engage in naval assault, boarding, capture, and ironclad combat. The sailors finished the war as an infantry unit in Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, fighting at Sayler’s Creek on the road to Appomattox.
Melton concentrates on navy life and the squadron’s place in wartime Savannah. The book reveals who the Confederate sailors were and what their material, social, and working lives were like.
Freemasonry in the American Civil War
Archaeological Perspectives on the Protohistoric Southeast
This collection of essays brings together diverse approaches to the analysis of Native American culture in the protohistoric period.
For most Native American peoples of the Southeast, almost two centuries passed between first contact with European explorers in the 16th century and colonization by whites in the 18th century—a temporal span commonly referred to as the Protohistoric period. A recent flurry of interest in this period by archaeologists armed with an improved understanding of the complexity of culture contact situations and important new theoretical paradigms has illuminated a formerly dark time frame.
This volume pulls together the current work of archaeologists, historians, and anthropologists to demonstrate a diversity of approaches to studying protohistory. Contributors address different aspects of political economy, cultural warfare, architecture, sedentism, subsistence, foods, prestige goods, disease, and trade. From examination of early documents by René Laudonnière and William Bartram to a study of burial goods distribution patterns; and from an analysis of Caddoan research in Arkansas and Louisiana to an interesting comparison of Apalachee and Powhatan elites, this volume ranges broadly in subject matter. What emerges is a tantalizingly clear view of the protohistoric period in North America.
Between Contacts and Colonies reveals how the knowledgeable use of historical documents, innovative archaeological research, and emerging theory in anthropology can be integrated to arrive at a better understanding of this crucial period. It will be valuable for scholars and students of archaeology and anthropology, cultural historians, and academic librarians.
Cameron B. Wesson is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Mark A. Rees is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Youth Aliyah from Nazi Germany
Plains Archaeology and the Postprocessual Critique
This volume presents a series of essays, written by Plains scholars of diverse research interests and backgrounds, that apply postprocessual approaches to the solution of current problems in Plains archaeology. Postprocessual archaeology is seen as a potential vehicle for integrating culture-historical, processual, and postmodernist approaches to solve specific archaeological problems.
The contributors address specific interpretive problems in all the major regions of the North American Plains, investigate different Plains societies (including hunter-gatherers and farmers and their associated archaeological records), and examine the political content of archaeology in such fields as gender studies and cultural resource management. They avoid a programmatic adherence to a single paradigm, arguing instead that a mature archaeology will use different theories, methods, and techniques to solve specific empirical problems. By avoiding excessive infatuation with the correct scientific method, this volume addresses questions that have often been categorized as beyond archaeological investigations.
Contributors inlcude: Philip Duke, Michael C. Wilson, Alice B. Kehoe, Larry J. Zimmerman, Mary K. Whelan, Patricia J. O'Brien, Monica Bargielski Weimer, David W. Benn, Richard A. Krause, James F. Brooks, Neil A. Mirau, Miranda Warburton, Melissa A. Connor, and Ian Hodder