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The Maya Mystery of 2012
December 21, 2012. The Internet, bookshelves, and movie theaters are full of prophecies, theories, and predictions that this date marks the end of the world, or at least the end of the world as we know it. Whether the end will result from the magnetic realignment of the north and south poles, bringing floods, earthquakes, death, and destruction; or from the return of alien caretakers to enlighten or enslave us; or from a global awakening, a sudden evolution of Homo sapiens into non-corporeal beings - theories of great, impending changes abound.
In The End of Time, award-winning astronomer and Maya researcher Anthony Aveni explores these theories, explains their origins, and measures them objectively against evidence unearthed by Maya archaeologists, iconographers, and epigraphers. He probes the latest information astronomers and earth scientists have gathered on the likelihood of Armageddon and the oft-proposed link between the Maya Long Count cycle and the precession of the equinoxes. He then expands on these prophecies to include the broader context of how other cultures, ancient and modern, thought about the "end of things" and speculates on why cataclysmic events in human history have such a strong appeal within American pop culture.
Ethnic Histories and Cultures of Colorado
"Enduring Legacies is a thought provoking volume of essays that contributes to redressing the regional imbalance by focusing on Colorado.. . . the essays showcase scholars' exciting research and suggest new approaches to Colorado's past."—Modupe Labode, Montana
Traditional accounts of Colorado's history often reflect an Anglocentric perspective that begins with the 1859 Pikes Peak Gold Rush and Colorado's establishment as a state in 1876. Enduring Legacies expands the study of Colorado's past and present by adopting a borderlands perspective that emphasizes the multiplicity of peoples who have inhabited this region. Addressing the dearth of scholarship on the varied communities within Colorado-a zone in which collisions structured by forces of race, nation, class, gender, and sexuality inevitably lead to the transformation of cultures and the emergence of new identities-this volume is the first to bring together comparative scholarship on historical and contemporary issues that span groups from Chicanas and Chicanos to African Americans to Asian Americans. This book will be relevant to students, academics, and general readers interested in Colorado history and ethnic studies.
"Although focused on [a] specific region, the various chapters provide summaries of policy making and historical backgrounds vital to understanding environmental policy in the West and in the US in general. A valuable contribution to environmental studies/policy and related programs. Summing up: highly recommended."—W. Ouderkird, CHOICE Magazine
Population growth and industrial development have put the wide-open spaces and natural resources that define the West under immense stress. Vested interests clash and come to terms over embattled resources such as water, minerals, and even open space. The federal government controls 40 to 80 percent of the land base in many western states; its sway over the futures of the West's communities and environment has prompted the development of unique policies and politics in the West. Zachary A. Smith and John C. Freemuth bring together a roster of top scholars to explicate the issues noted above as well as other key questions in this new edition of Environmental Politics and Policy in the West, which was first published in 1993. This thoroughly revised and updated edition offers Contributors address the policy process as it affects western states, how bureaucracy and politics shape environmental dialogues in the West, how western states innovate environmental policies independently of Washington, and how and when science is involved (or ignored) in management of the West's federal lands. Experts in individual resource areas explore multifaceted issues such as the politics of dam removal and restoration, wildlife resource concerns, suburban sprawl and smart growth, the management of hard-rock mining, and the allocation of the West's tightly limited water resources.
How Stories Shape Our Perception of Disease
Folklore studies brings important and useful perspectives to understanding cultural responses to the outbreak of disease. Through this etiological study Lee shows the similarities between the narratives of the SARS outbreak and the narratives of other contemporary disease outbreaks like AIDS and the H1N1 virus. His analysis suggests that these disease narratives do not spring up with new outbreaks or diseases but are in continuous circulation and are recycled opportunistically. Lee also explores whether this predictability of vernacular disease narratives presents the opportunity to create counter-narratives released systematically from the government or medical science to stymie the negative effects of the fearful rumors that so often inflame humanity.
With potential for practical application to public health and health policy, An Epidemic of Rumors will be of interest to students and scholars of health, medicine, and folklore.
Reconstructing Past Identities from Archaeology, Linguistics, and Ethnohistory
"A major contribution to Amazonian anthropology, and possibly a direction changer."—J. Scott Raymond,University of Calgary
A transdisciplinary collaboration among ethnologists, linguists, and archaeologists, Ethnicity in Ancient Amazonia traces the emergence, expansion, and decline of cultural identities in indigenous Amazonia. Hornborg and Hill argue that the tendency to link language, culture, and biology--essentialist notions of ethnic identities--is a Eurocentric bias that has characterized largely inaccurate explanations of the distribution of ethnic groups and languages in Amazonia. The evidence, however, suggests a much more fluid relationship among geography, language use, ethnic identity, and genetics. In Ethnicity in Ancient Amazonia, leading linguists, ethnographers, ethnohistorians, and archaeologists interpret their research from a unique nonessentialist perspective to form a more accurate picture of the ethnolinguistic diversity in this area. Revealing how ethnic identity construction is constantly in flux, contributors show how such processes can be traced through different ethnic markers such as pottery styles and languages. Scholars and students studying lowland South America will be especially interested, as will anthropologists intrigued by its cutting-edge, interdisciplinary approach.
The cowboy that emerges from this collection is multifaceted, as the book juxtaposes cowboys spraying longhorns at a car wash to cowboys advertising services on Craigslist and Pepsi-drinking cowboys riding Amtrak trains. There are portraits of the old cowboys, crotchety coffee-swigging men with too many stories about how things were better four decades ago. However, the figure remains one constructed of loyalties—loyalty to work, loyalty to family, loyalty to animals, loyalty to the land.
The image of the cowboy is vivid in our imagination, insperable from Western mythology, a means to connect ourselves with the wild and rugged individuals we dream we used to be. In this age of computers and cubicles we want to touch and preserve that history, but we must allow for shifting traditions. As the thirty-five authors in this collection will remind you, even cowboys carry cell phones.
Mesoamerican Studies in Honor of H. B. Nicholson
Fanning the Sacred Flame: Mesoamerican Studies in Honor of H. B. Nicholson contains twenty-two original papers in tribute to H. B. “Nick” Nicholson, a pioneer of Mesoamerican research. His intellectual legacy is recognized by Mesoamerican archaeologists, art historians, ethnohistorians, and ethnographers—students, colleagues, and friends who derived inspiration and encouragement from him throughout their own careers. Each chapter, which presents original research inspired by Nicholson, pays tribute to the teacher, writer, lecturer, friend, and mentor who became a legend within his own lifetime. Covering all of Mesoamerica across all time periods, contributors include Patricia R. Anawalt, Alfredo López Austin, Anthony Aveni, Robert M. Carmack, David C. Grove, Richard D. Hansen, Leonardo López Luján, Kevin Terraciano, and more. Eloise Quiñones Keber provides a thorough biographical sketch, detailing Nicholson’s academic and professional journey. Publication supported, in part, by The Patterson Foundation and several private donors.
Forest Politics and the Rise of Megafires
Most journalists and academics attribute the rise of wildfires in the western United States to the USDA Forest Service's successful fire-elimination policies of the twentieth century. However, in Fire Management in the American West, Mark Hudson argues that although a century of suppression did indeed increase the hazard of wildfire, the responsibility does not lie with the USFS alone. The roots are found in the Forest Service's relationships with other, more powerful elements of society--the timber industry in particular. Drawing on correspondence both between and within the Forest Service and the major timber industry associations, newspaper articles, articles from industry outlets, and policy documents from the late 1800s through the present, Hudson shows how the US forest industry, under the constraint of profitability, pushed the USFS away from private industry regulation and toward fire exclusion, eventually changing national forest policy into little more than fire policy. More recently, the USFS has attempted to move beyond the policy of complete fire suppression. Interviews with public land managers in the Pacific Northwest shed light on the sources of the agency's struggles as it attempts to change the way we understand and relate to fire in the West. Fire Management in the American West will be of great interest to environmentalists, sociologists, fire managers, scientists, and academics and students in environmental history and forestry.
Often considered the father of anthropological studies in Mexico, Manuel Gamio originally published Forjando Patria in 1916. This groundbreaking manifesto for a national anthropology of Mexico summarizes the key issues in the development of anthropology as an academic discipline and the establishment of an active field of cultural politics in Mexico. Written during the upheaval of the Mexican Revolution, the book has now been translated into English for the first time. Armstrong-Fumero's translation allows readers to develop a more nuanced understanding of this foundational work, which is often misrepresented in contemporary critical analyses. As much about national identity as anthropology, this text gives Anglophone readers access to a particular set of topics that have been mentioned extensively in secondary literature but are rarely discussed with a sense of their original context. Forjando Patria also reveals the many textual ambiguities that can lend themselves to different interpretations. The book highlights the history and development of Mexican anthropology and archaeology at a time when scholars in the United States are increasingly recognizing the importance of cross-cultural collaboration with their Mexican colleagues. It will be of interest to anthropologists and archaeologists studying the region, as well as those involved in the history of the discipline.
John Cleveland Osgood's Struggle against the United Mine Workers of America
"Munsell's meticulously researched and elegantly written book tells the story of Ludlow from the perspective of one of the most powerful coal operators in the region, John Cleveland Osgood...Munsell's book is one of the best."—Maria E. Montoya, New York University
The most comprehensive study of John Cleveland Osgood to date, From Redstone to Ludlow covers events from 1892, when Osgood and his associates organized the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, to 1917, when Osgood signed a contract with the United Mine Workers of America, marking the end of his long history of battling the union. Called the Fuel King of the West, Osgood was the leading coal baron in the western mountain region and the most prominent spokesperson for the coal industry for over three decades. During this time, his anti-union policies made him the UMWA's most formidable foe in its effort to organize the Colorado coalfields. From Redstone to Ludlow depicts the bipolarity of his approach to the threat of unionism. The "Redstone experiment," a model industrial village designed to improve the lives of workers through social programs, showed Osgood's efforts to attain his anti-union goals through compassion. Conversely, the Ludlow tent colony and the events that transpired there, marked by armed gunmen and machine guns paid for by Osgood, illustrate his willingness to resort to violence and intimidation for the same purpose. A leading participant in the transformation of the West, Osgood helped to shape the character of the Gilded Age. Today, the beautiful village of Redstone and a granite memorial at Ludlow are reminders of Osgood's complex role in the clash between labor and management during the most violent industrial struggle in American history.