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Classic Maya Provincial Politics Cover

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Classic Maya Provincial Politics

Edited by Lisa J. LeCount and Jason Yaeger

Most treatments of large Classic Maya sites such as Caracol and Tikal regard Maya political organization as highly centralized. Because investigations have focused on civic buildings and elite palaces, however, a critical part of the picture of Classic Maya political organization has been missing.

The contributors to this volume chart the rise and fall of the Classic Maya center of Xunantunich, paying special attention to its changing relationships with the communities that comprised its hinterlands. They examine how the changing relationships between Xunantunich and the larger kingdom of Naranjo affected the local population, the location of their farms and houses, and the range of economic and subsistence activities in which both elites and commoners engaged. They also examine the ways common people seized opportunities and met challenges offered by a changing political landscape.

The rich archaeological data in this book show that incorporating subject communities and people—and keeping them incorporated—was an on-going challenge to ancient Maya rulers. Until now, archaeologists have lacked integrated regional data and a fine-grained chronology in which to document short-term shifts in site occupations, subsistence strategies, and other important practices of the daily life of the Maya. This book provides a revised picture of Maya politics—one of different ways of governing and alliance formation among dominant centers, provincial polities, and hinterland communities.

Coconut Milk Cover

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Coconut Milk

Dan Taulapapa McMullin

Coconut Milk is a fresh, new poetry collection that is a sensual homage to place, people, love, and lust. The first collection by Samoan writer and painter Dan Taulapapa McMullin, the poems evoke both intimate conversations and provocative monologues that allow him to explore the complexities of being a queer Samoan in the United States.  

McMullin seamlessly flows between exposing the ironies of Tiki kitsch–inspired cultural appropriation and intimate snapshots of Samoan people and place. In doing so, he disrupts popular notions of a beautiful Polynesia available for the taking, and carves out new avenues of meaning for Pacific Islanders of Oceania. Throughout the collection, McMullin illustrates various manifestations of geopolitical, cultural, linguistic, and sexual colonialism. His work illuminates the ongoing resistance to colonialism and the remarkable resilience of Pacific Islanders and queer-identified peoples.

McMullin’s Fa’a Fafine identity—the ability to walk between and embody both the masculine and feminine—creates a grounded and dynamic voice throughout the collection. It also fosters a creative dialogue between Fa’a Fafine people and trans-Indigenous movements. Through a uniquely Samoan practice of storytelling, McMullin contributes to the growing and vibrant body of queer Indigenous literature.

Colonial Itineraries of Contemporary Mexico Cover

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Colonial Itineraries of Contemporary Mexico

Literary and Cultural Inquiries

Edited by Oswaldo Estrada and Anna M. Nogar

The rewritings of the Mexican colonia discussed in this book question a present reality of marginalities and inequality, of imposed political domination, and of hybrid subjectivities. In their examination of the novels, films, poetry, and chronicles produced in and outside of Mexico since 2000, the critics included in Colonial Itineraries of Contemporary Mexico produce new interpretations, alternative readings, and different angles of analysis that extend far beyond the theories of the new historical novel of the eighties and nineties, and well beyond the limits of the novel as re-creative genre.

Through a transformative interdisciplinary lens, this book studies the ultra-contemporary chronicles of Carlos Monsiváis, the poetry of Carmen Boullosa and Luis Felipe Fabre, and the novels of Enrique Serna, Héctor de Mauleón, Mónica Lavín, and Pablo Soler Frost, among others. The book also pays close attention to a good sample of recent children’s literature that revisit Mexico’s colonia. It includes the transatlantic perspective of Spanish novelist Inma Chacón, and a detailed analysis of the strategies employed by Laura Esquivel in the creation of a best seller. Other chapters are devoted to the study of transnational film productions, a play by Flavio González Mello, and a set of novels set in the nineteenth-century colonia that problematize static notions of both personal and national identity within specific cultural palimpsests. Taken together, these incisive readings open broader conversations about Mexican coloniality as it continues well into the twenty-first century.

A Common Humanity Cover

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A Common Humanity

Ritual, Religion, and Immigrant Advocacy in Tucson, Arizona

Lane Van Ham

As debate about immigration policy rages from small towns to state capitals, from coffee shops to Congress, would-be immigrants are dying in the desert along the US–Mexico border. Beginning in the 1990s, the US government effectively sealed off the most common border crossing routes. This had the unintended effect of forcing desperate people to seek new paths across open desert. At least 4,000 of them died between 1995 and 2009. While some Americans thought the dead had gotten what they deserved, other Americans organized humani-tarian aid groups. A Common Humanity examines some of the most active aid organizations in Tucson, Arizona, which has become a hotbed of advocacy on behalf of undocumented immigrants.

This is the first book to examine immigrant aid groups from the inside. Author Lane Van Ham spent more than three years observing the groups and many hours in discussions and interviews. He is particularly interested in how immigrant advocates both uphold the legitimacy of the United States and maintain a broader view of its social responsibilities. By advocating for immigrants regardless of their documentation status, he suggests, advocates navigate the conflicting pulls of their own na-tion-state citizenship and broader obligations to their neighbors in a globalizing world. And although the advocacy organizations are not overtly religious, Van Ham finds that they do employ religious symbolism as part of their public rhetoric, arguing that immigrants are entitled to humane treatment based on universal human values.

Beautifully written and immensely engaging, A Common Humanity adds a valuable human dimension to the immigration debate.

Communities of Practice Cover

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Communities of Practice

An Alaskan Native Model for Language Teaching and Learning

Edited by Patrick E. Marlow and Sabine Siekmann

Educators, scholars, and community activists recognize that immersion education is a key means to restoring Indigenous and other heritage languages. But language maintenance and revitalization involve many complex issues, foremost may be the lack of local professional development opportunities for potential language teachers.

In Alaska, the Second Language Acquisition Teacher Education (SLATE) project was designed to enable Indigenous communities and schools to improve the quality of native-language and English-language instruction and assessment by focusing on the elimination of barriers that have historically hindered degree completion for Indigenous and rural teachers. The Guided Research Collaborative (GRC) model, was employed to support the development of communities of practice through near-peer mentoring and mutual scaffolding. Through this important new model, teachers of both the heritage language, in this case Central Yup’ik, and English were able to situate their professional development into a larger global context based on current notions of multilingualism.

In Communities of Practice contributors show how the SLATE program was developed and implemented, providing an important model for improving second-language instruction and assessment. Through an in-depth analysis of the program, contributors show how this project can be successfully adapted in other communities via its commitment to local control in language programming and a model based on community-driven research.

Communities of Practice demonstrates how an initial cohort of Yup’ik- and English-language teachers collaborated to negotiate and ultimately completed the SLATE program. In so doing, these educators enhanced the program and their own effectiveness as teachers through a greater understanding of language learning. It is these understandings that will ultimately allow heritage- and English-language teachers to work together to foster their students’ success in any language.

 

Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets Cover

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Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets

Edited by Stephen J. Mackwell, Amy A. Simon-Miller, Jerald W. Harder, and Mark A. Bullock

The early development of life, a fundamental question for humankind, requires the presence of a suitable planetary climate. Our understanding of how habitable planets come to be begins with the worlds closest to home. Venus, Earth, and Mars differ only modestly in their mass and distance from the Sun, yet their current climates could scarcely be more divergent. Only Earth has abundant liquid water, Venus has a runaway greenhouse, and evidence for life-supporting conditions on Mars points to a bygone era. In addition, an Earth-like hydrologic cycle has been revealed in a surprising place: Saturn’s cloud-covered satellite Titan has liquid hydrocarbon rain, lakes, and river networks. 
 
Deducing the initial conditions for these diverse worlds and unraveling how and why they diverged to their current climates is a challenge at the forefront of planetary science. Through the contributions of more than sixty leading experts in the field, Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets sets forth the foundations for this emerging new science and brings the reader to the forefront of our current understanding of atmospheric formation and climate evolution. Particular emphasis is given to surface-atmosphere interactions, evolving stellar flux, mantle processes, photochemistry, and interactions with the interplanetary environment, all of which influence the climatology of terrestrial planets. From this cornerstone, both current professionals and most especially new students are brought to the threshold, enabling the next generation of new advances in our own solar system and beyond.

Contents

Part I: Foundations
Jim Hansen
Mark Bullock
Scot Rafkin
Caitlin Griffith
Shawn Domagal-Goldman and Antigona Segura
Kevin Zahnle

Part II: The Greenhouse Effect and Atmospheric Dynamics
Curt Covey
G. Schubert and J. Mitchell
Tim Dowling
Francois Forget and Sebastien Lebonnois
Vladimir Krasnopolsky
Adam Showman

Part III: Clouds, Hazes, and Precipitation
Larry Esposito
A. Määttänen, K. Pérot, F. Montmessin, and A. Hauchecorne
Nilton Renno
Zibi Turtle
Mark Marley

Part IV: Surface-Atmosphere Interactions
Colin Goldblatt
Teresa Segura et al.
John Grotzinger
Adrian Lenardic
D. A. Brain, F. Leblanc, J. G. Luhmann, T. E. Moore, and F. Tian

Part V: Solar Influences on Planetary Climate
Aaron Zent
Jerry Harder
F. Tian, E. Chassefiere, F. Leblanc, and D. Brain
David Des Marais

Complex Communities Cover

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Complex Communities

The Archaeology of Early Iron Age West-Central Jordan

Benjamin W. Porter

Complex Communities explores how sedentary settlements developed and flourished in the Middle East during the Early Iron Age nearly four thousand years ago. Using archaeological evidence, Benjamin Porter reconstructs how residents maintained their communities despite environmental uncertainties. Living in a semi-arid area in the present-day country of Jordan, villagers faced a harsh and unpredictable ecosystem. Communities fostered resilience by creating flexible production routines and leadership strategies. Settlements developed what archaeologists call “communal complexity,” a condition through which small-scale societies shift between egalitarian and hierarchical arrangements. Complex Communities provides detailed, scientifically grounded reconstructions of how this communal complexity functioned in the region.

These settlements emerged during a period of recovery following the political and economic collapse of Bronze Age Mediterranean societies. Scholars have characterized west-central Jordan’s political organization during this time as an incipient Moabite state. Complex Communities argues instead that the settlements were a collection of independent, self-organizing entities. Each community constructed substantial villages with fortifications, practiced both agriculture and pastoralism, and built and stocked storage facilities. From these efforts to produce and store resources, especially food, wealth was generated and wealthier households gained power over their neighbors. However, power was limited by the fact that residents could—and did—leave communities and establish new ones.

Complex Communities reveals that these settlements moved through adaptive cycles as they adjusted to a changing socionatural system. These sustainability-seeking communities have lessons to offer not only the archaeologists studying similar struggles in other locales, but also to contemporary communities facing negative climate change. Readers interested in resilience studies, Near Eastern archaeology, historical ecology, and the archaeology of communities will welcome this volume.

Conservation Biology and Applied Zooarchaeology Cover

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Conservation Biology and Applied Zooarchaeology

Steve Wolverton

Until now, the research of applied zooarchaeologists has not had a significant impact on the work of conservation scientists. This book is designed to show how zooarchaeology can productively inform conservation science. Conservation Biology and Applied Zooarchaeology offers a set of case studies that use animal remains from archaeological and paleontological sites to provide information that has direct implications for wildlife management and conservation biology. It introduces conservation biologists to zooarchaeology, a sub-field of archaeology and ethnobiology, and provides a brief historical account of the development of applied zooarchaeology.

The case studies, which utilize palaeozoological data, cover a variety of animals and environments, including the marine ecology of shellfish and fish, potential restoration sites for Sandhill Cranes, freshwater mussel biogeography and stream ecology, conservation of terrestrial mammals such as American black bears, and even a consideration of the validity of the Pleistocene “rewilding” movement. The volume closes with an important new essay on the history, value, and application of applied zooarchaeology by R. Lee Lyman, which updates his classic 1996 paper that encouraged zooarchaeologists to apply their findings to present-day environmental challenges.

Each case study provides detailed analysis using the approaches of zooarchaeology and concludes with precise implications for conservation biology. Essays also address issues of political and social ecology, which have frequently been missing from the discussions of conservation scientists. As the editors note, all conservation actions occur in economic, social, and political contexts. Until now, however, the management implications of zooarchaeological research have rarely been spelled out so clearly.

Constructing Community Cover

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Constructing Community

The Archaeology of Early Villages in Central New Mexico

Alison E. Rautman

In central New Mexico, tourists admire the majestic ruins of old Spanish churches and historic pueblos at Abo, Quarai, and Gran Quivira in Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument. The less-imposing remains of the earliest Indian farming settlements, however, have not attracted nearly as much notice from visitors or from professional archaeologists. In Constructing Community, Alison E. Rautman synthesizes over twenty years of research about this little-known period of early sedentary villages in the Salinas region.

Rautman tackles a very broad topic: how archaeologists use material evidence to infer and imagine how people lived in the past, how they coped with everyday decisions and tensions, and how they created a sense of themselves and their place in the world. Using several different lines of evidence, she reconstructs what life was like for the Ancestral Pueblo people of Salinas, and identifies some of the specific strategies that they used to develop and sustain their villages over time.

Examining evidence of each site’s construction and developing spatial layout, Rautman traces changes in community organization across the architectural transitions from pithouses to jacal structures to unit pueblos, and finally to plaza-oriented pueblos. She finds that, in contrast to some other areas of the American Southwest, early villagers in Salinas repeatedly managed their built environment to emphasize the coherence and unity of the village as a whole. In this way, she argues, people in early farming villages across the Salinas region actively constructed and sustained a sense of social community.

Corpse Whale Cover

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Corpse Whale

dg nanouk okpik

A self-proclaimed “vessel in which stories are told from time immemorial,” poet dg nanouk okpik seamlessly melds both traditional and contemporary narrative, setting her apart from her peers. The result is a collection of poems that are steeped in the perspective of an Inuit of the twenty-first century—a perspective that is fresh, vibrant, and rarely seen in contemporary poetics.
Fearless in her craft, okpik brings an experimental, yet poignant, hybrid aesthetic to her first book, making it truly one of a kind. “It takes all of us seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling to be one,” she says, embodying these words in her work. Every sense is amplified as the poems, carefully arranged, pull the reader into their worlds. While each poem stands on its own, they flow together throughout the collection into a single cohesive body.
The book quickly sets up its own rhythms, moving the reader through interior and exterior landscapes, dark and light, and other spaces both ecological and spiritual. These narrative, and often visionary, poems let the lives of animal species and the power of natural processes weave into the human psyche, and vice versa.
Okpik’s descriptive rhythms ground the reader in movement and music that transcend everyday logic and open up our hearts to the richness of meaning available in the interior and exterior worlds.

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