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Maguey Journey Cover

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Maguey Journey

By Kathryn Rousso

The name maguey refers to various forms of the agave and furcraea genus, also sometimes called the century plant. The fibers extracted from the leaves of these plants are spun into fine cordage and worked with a variety of tools and techniques to create textiles, from net bags and hammocks to equestrian gear.

In this fascinating book, Kathryn Rousso, an accomplished textile artist, takes a detailed look at the state of maguey culture, use, and trade in Guatemala. She has spent years traveling in Guatemala, highlighting maguey workers' interactions in many locations and blending historical and current facts to describe their environments. Along the way, Rousso has learned the process of turning a raw leaf into beautiful and useful textile products and how globalization and modernization are transforming the maguey trade in Guatemala.

Featuring a section of full-color illustrations that follow the process from plant to weaving to product, Maguey Journey presents the story of this fiber over recent decades through the travels of an impassioned artist. Useful to cultural anthropologists, ethnobotanists, fiber artists, and interested travelers alike, this book offers a snapshot of how the industry stands now and seeks to honor those who keep the art alive in Guatemala.

Mapping Wonderlands Cover

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Mapping Wonderlands

Illustrated Cartography of Arizona, 1912–1962

Dori Griffin

Though tourism now plays a recognized role in historical research and regional studies, the study of popular touristic images remains sidelined by chronological histories and objective statistics. Further, Arizona remains underexplored as an early twentieth-century tourism destination when compared with nearby California and New Mexico. With the notable exception of the Grand Canyon, little has been written about tourism in the early days of Arizona’s statehood.
Mapping Wonderlands fills part of this gap in existing regional studies by looking at early popular pictorial maps of Arizona. These cartographic representations of the state utilize formal mapmaking conventions to create a place-based state history. They introduce illustrations, unique naming conventions, and written narratives to create carefully visualized landscapes that emphasize the touristic aspects of Arizona.
Analyzing the visual culture of tourism in illuminating detail, this book documents how Arizona came to be identified as an appealing tourism destination. Providing a historically situated analysis, Dori Griffin draws on samples from a comprehensive collection of materials generated to promote tourism during Arizona’s first half-century of statehood. She investigates the relationship between natural and constructed landscapes, visual culture, and narratives of place. Featuring sixty-six examples of these aesthetically appealing maps, the book details how such maps offered tourists and other users a cohesive and storied image of the state. Using historical documentation and rhetorical analysis, this book combines visual design and historical narrative to reveal how early-twentieth-century mapmakers and map users collaborated to imagine Arizona as a tourist’s paradise.

Though tourism now plays a recognized role in historical research and regional studies, the study of popular touristic images remains sidelined by chronological histories and objective statistics. Further, Arizona remains underexplored as an early twentieth-century tourism destination when compared with nearby California and New Mexico. With the notable exception of the Grand Canyon, little has been written about tourism in the early days of Arizona’s statehood.
Mapping Wonderlands fills part of this gap in existing regional studies by looking at early popular pictorial maps of Arizona. These cartographic representations of the state utilize formal mapmaking conventions to create a place-based state history. They introduce illustrations, unique naming conventions, and written narratives to create carefully visualized landscapes that emphasize the touristic aspects of Arizona.
Analyzing the visual culture of tourism in illuminating detail, this book documents how Arizona came to be identified as an appealing tourism destination. Providing a historically situated analysis, Dori Griffin draws on samples from a comprehensive collection of materials generated to promote tourism during Arizona’s first half-century of statehood. She investigates the relationship between natural and constructed landscapes, visual culture, and narratives of place. Featuring sixty-six examples of these aesthetically appealing maps, the book details how such maps offered tourists and other users a cohesive and storied image of the state. Using historical documentation and rhetorical analysis, this book combines visual design and historical narrative to reveal how early-twentieth-century mapmakers and map users collaborated to imagine Arizona as a tourist’s paradise.

Matrons and Maids Cover

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Matrons and Maids

Regulating Indian Domestic Service in Tucson, 1914–1934

Victoria K. Haskins

From 1914 to 1934 the US government sent Native American girls to work as domestic servants in the homes of white families. Matrons and Maids tells this forgotten history through the eyes of the women who facilitated their placements. During those two decades, “outing matrons” oversaw and managed the employment of young Indian women. In Tucson, Arizona, the matrons acted as intermediaries between the Indian and white communities and between the local Tucson community and the national administration, the Office of Indian Affairs.

Based on federal archival records, Matrons and Maids offers an original and detailed account of government practices and efforts to regulate American Indian women. Haskins demonstrates that the outing system was clearly about regulating cross-cultural interactions, and she highlights the roles played by white women in this history. As she compellingly argues, we cannot fully engage with cross-cultural histories without examining the complex involvement of white women as active, if ambivalent, agents of colonization.

Including stories of the entwined experiences of Indigenous and non-Indigenous women that range from the heart-warming to the heart-breaking, Matrons and Maids presents a unique perspective on the history of Indian policy and the significance of “women’s work.”

Maya Ethnolinguistic Identity Cover

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Maya Ethnolinguistic Identity

By Brigittine M. French

In this valuable book, ethnographer and anthropologist Brigittine French mobilizes new critical-theoretical perspectives in linguistic anthropology, applying them to the politically charged context of contemporary Guatemala. Beginning with an examination of the “nationalist project” that has been ongoing since the end of the colonial period, French interrogates the “Guatemalan/indigenous binary.” In Guatemala, “Ladino” refers to the Spanish-speaking minority of the population, who are of mixed European, usually Spanish, and indigenous ancestry; “Indian” is understood to mean the majority of Guatemala’s population, who speak one of the twenty-one languages in the Maya linguistic groups of the country, although levels of bilingualism are very high among most Maya communities. As French shows, the Guatemalan state has actively promoted a racialized, essentialized notion of “Indians” as an undifferentiated, inherently inferior group that has stood stubbornly in the way of national progress, unity, and development—which are, implicitly, the goals of “true Guatemalans” (that is, Ladinos).

French shows, with useful examples, how constructions of language and collective identity are in fact strategies undertaken to serve the goals of institutions (including the government, the military, the educational system, and the church) and social actors (including linguists, scholars, and activists). But by incorporating in-depth fieldwork with groups that speak Kaqchikel and K’iche’ along with analyses of Spanish-language discourses, Maya Ethnolinguistic Identity also shows how some individuals in urban, bilingual Indian communities have disrupted the essentializing projects of multiculturalism. And by focusing on ideologies of language, the author is able to explicitly link linguistic forms and functions with larger issues of consciousness, gender politics, social positions, and the forging of hegemonic power relations.

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Milk and Filth

Carmen Giménez Smith

Adding to the Latina tradition, Carmen Giménez Smith, politically aware and feminist-oriented, focuses on general cultural references rather than a sentimental personal narrative. She speaks of sexual politics and family in a fierce, determined tone voracious in its opinions about freedom and responsibility.
    The author engages in mythology and art history, musically wooing the reader with texture and voice. As she references such disparate cultural figures as filmmaker Lars Von Trier, Annie from the film Annie Get Your Gun, Nabokov’s Lolita, facebook entries and Greek gods, they appear as part of the poet’s cultural critique.
    Phrases such as “the caustic domain of urchins” and “the gelatin shiver of tea’s surface” take the poems from lyrical images to comic humor to angry, intense commentary. On writing about “downgrading into human,” she says, “Then what? Amorality, osteoporosis and not even a marble estuary for the ages.”
     Giménez Smith’s poetic arsenal includes rapier-sharp wordplay mixed with humor, at times self-deprecating, at others an ironic comment on the postmodern world, all interwoven with imaginative language of unexpected force and surreal beauty. Revealing a long view of gender issues and civil rights, the author presents a clever, comic perspective. Her poems take the reader to unusual places as she uses rhythm, images, and emotion to reveal the narrator’s personality. Deftly blending a variety of tones and styles, Giménez Smith’s poems offer a daring and evocative look at deep cultural issues.

More Than Two to Tango Cover

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More Than Two to Tango

Argentine Tango Immigrants in New York City

Anahí Viladrich


The world of Argentine tango presents a glamorous façade of music and movement. Yet the immigrant artists whose livelihoods depend on the US tango industry receive little attention beyond their enigmatic public personas. More Than Two to Tango offers a detailed portrait of Argentine immigrants for whom tango is both an art form and a means of survival.
 
Based on a highly visible group of performers within the almost hidden population of Argentines in the United States, More than Two to Tango addresses broader questions on the understudied role of informal webs in the entertainment field. Through the voices of both early generations of immigrants and the latest wave of newcomers, Anahí Viladrich explores how the dancers, musicians, and singers utilize their complex social networks to survive as artists and immigrants. She reveals a diverse community navigating issues of identity, class, and race as they struggle with practical concerns, such as the high cost of living in New York City and affordable health care.
 
Argentina’s social history serves as the compelling backdrop for understanding the trajectory of tango performers, and Viladrich uses these foundations to explore their current unified front to keep tango as their own “authentic” expression. Yet social ties are no panacea for struggling immigrants. Even as More Than Two to Tango offers the notion that each person is truly conceived and transformed by their journeys around the globe, it challenges rosy portraits of Argentine tango artists by uncovering how their glamorous representations veil their difficulties to make ends meet in the global entertainment industry. In the end, the portrait of Argentine tango performers’ diverse career paths contributes to our larger understanding of who may attain the “American Dream,” and redefines what that means for tango artists.

Native American Language Ideologies Cover

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Native American Language Ideologies

By Paul V. Kroskrity and Margaret C. Field

NativeAmericans’ conscious language ideologies but also the often-revealing relationshipbetween these beliefs and other more implicit realizations of language useas embedded in community practice.

The chapters discuss the impact of contemporary language issues related to grammar, language use, the relation between language and social identity, andemergent language ideologies themselves in Native American speech communities.And although they portray obvious variation in attitudes toward languageacross communities, they also reveal commonalities—notably the emergentideological process of iconization between a language and various national,ethnic, and tribal identities.

As fewer Native Americans continue to speak their own language, thistimely volume provides valuable grounded studies of language ideologies inaction—those indigenous to Native communities as well as those imposed byoutside institutions or language researchers. It considers the emergent interactionof indigenous and imported ideologies and the resulting effect on languagebeliefs, practices, and struggles in today’s Indian Country as it demonstratesthe practical implications of recognizing a multiplicity of indigenous languageideologies and their impact on heritage language maintenance and renewal.

Native American Performance and Representation Cover

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Native American Performance and Representation

S. E. Wilmer

Native performance is a multifaceted and changing art form as well as a swiftly growing field of research. Native American Performance and Representation provides a wider and more comprehensive study of Native performance, not only its past but also its present and future. Contributors use multiple perspectives to look at the varying nature of Native performance strategies. They consider the combination and balance of the traditional and modern techniques of performers in a multicultural world. This collection presents diverse viewpoints from both scholars and performers in this field, both Natives and non-Natives. Important and well-respected researchers and performers such as Bruce McConachie, Jorge Huerta, and Daystar/Rosalie Jones offer much-needed insight into this quickly expanding field of study.

This volume examines Native performance using a variety of lenses, such as feminism, literary and film theory, and postcolonial discourse. Through the many unique voices of the contributors, major themes are explored, such as indigenous self-representations in performance, representations by nonindigenous people, cultural authenticity in performance and representation, and cross-fertilization between cultures. Authors introduce important, though sometimes controversial, issues as they consider the effects of miscegenation on traditional customs, racial discrimination, Native women’s position in a multicultural society, and the relationship between authenticity and hybridity in Native performance.

An important addition to the new and growing field of Native performance, Wilmer’s book cuts across disciplines and areas of study in a way no other book in the field does. It will appeal not only to those interested in Native American studies but also to those concerned with women’s and gender studies, literary and film studies, and cultural studies.

Native and Spanish New Worlds Cover

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Native and Spanish New Worlds

Sixteenth-Century Entradas in the American Southwest and Southeast

Edited by Clay Mathers, Jeffrey M. Mitchem, and Charles M. Haecker

Spanish-led entradas—expeditions bent on the exploration and control of new territories—took place throughout the sixteenth century in what is now the southern United States. Although their impact was profound, both locally and globally, detailed analyses of these encounters are notably scarce. Focusing on several major themes—social, economic, political, military, environmental, and demographic—the contributions gathered here explore not only the cultures and peoples involved in these unique engagements but also the wider connections and disparities between these borderlands and the colonial world in general during the first century of Native–European contact in North America. Bringing together research from both the southwestern and southeastern United States, this book offers a comparative synthesis of Native–European contacts and their consequences in both regions. The chapters also engage at different scales of analysis, from locally based research to macro-level evaluations, using documentary, paleoclimatic, and regional archaeological data.
No other volume assembles such a wide variety of archaeological, ethnohistorical, environmental, and biological information to elucidate the experience of Natives and Europeans in the early colonial world of Northern New Spain, and the global implications of entradas during this formative period in borderlands history.

Spanish-led entradas—expeditions bent on the exploration and control of new territories—took place throughout the sixteenth century in what is now the southern United States. Although their impact was profound, both locally and globally, detailed analyses of these encounters are notably scarce. Focusing on several major themes—social, economic, political, military, environmental, and demographic—the contributions gathered here explore not only the cultures and peoples involved in these unique engagements but also the wider connections and disparities between these borderlands and the colonial world in general during the first century of Native–European contact in North America. Bringing together research from both the southwestern and southeastern United States, this book offers a comparative synthesis of Native–European contacts and their consequences in both regions. The chapters also engage at different scales of analysis, from locally based research to macro-level evaluations, using documentary, paleoclimatic, and regional archaeological data.

No other volume assembles such a wide variety of archaeological, ethnohistorical, environmental, and biological information to elucidate the experience of Natives and Europeans in the early colonial world of Northern New Spain, and the global implications of entradas during this formative period in borderlands history.

Natives Making Nation Cover

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Natives Making Nation

Gender, Indigeneity, and the State in the Andes

Andrew Canessa

New paperback coming soon--preorder now!

In Bolivia today, the ability to speak an indigenous language is highly valued among educated urbanites as a useful job skill, but a rural person who speaks a native language is branded with lower social status. Likewise, chewing coca in the countryside spells “inferior indian,” but in La Paz jazz bars it’s decidedly cool. In the Andes and elsewhere, the commodification of indianness has impacted urban lifestyles as people co-opt indigenous cultures for qualities that emphasize the uniqueness of their national culture. This volume looks at how metropolitan ideas of nation employed by politicians, the media and education are produced, reproduced, and contested by people of the rural Andes—people who have long been regarded as ethnically and racially distinct from more culturally European urban citizens. Yet these peripheral “natives” are shown to be actively engaged with the idea of the nation in their own communities, forcing us to re-think the ways in which indigeneity is defined by its marginality. The contributors examine the ways in which numerous identities—racial, generational, ethnic, regional, national, gender, and sexual—are both mutually informing and contradictory among subaltern Andean people who are more likely now to claim an allegiance to a nation than ever before. Although indians are less often confronted with crude assimilationist policies, they continue to face racism and discrimination as they struggle to assert an identity that is more than a mere refraction of the dominant culture. Yet despite the language of multiculturalism employed even in constitutional reform, any assertion of indian identity is likely to be resisted. By exploring topics as varied as nation-building in the 1930s or the chuqila dance, these authors expose a paradox in the relation between indians and the nation: that the nation can be claimed as a source of power and distinct identity while simultaneously making some types of national imaginings unattainable. Whether dancing together or simply talking to one another, the people described in these essays are shown creating identity through processes that are inherently social and interactive. To sing, to eat, to weave . . . In the performance of these simple acts, bodies move in particular spaces and contexts and do so within certain understandings of gender, race and nation. Through its presentation of this rich variety of ethnographic and historical contexts, Natives Making Nation provides a finely nuanced view of contemporary Andean life.

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