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Attention Economy and the Society of the Spectacle
"Cinema brings the industrial revolution to the eye," writes Jonathan Beller, "and engages spectators in increasingly dematerialized processes of social production." In his groundbreaking critical study, cinema is the paradigmatic example of how the act of looking has been construed by capital as "productive labor." Through an examination of cinema over the course of the twentieth century, Beller establishes on both theoretical and historical grounds the process of the emergent capitalization of perception. This process, he says, underpins the current global economy.
By exploring a set of films made since the late 1920s, Beller argues that, through cinema, capital first posits and then presupposes looking as a value-productive activity. He argues that cinema, as the first crystallization of a new order of media, is itself an abstraction of assembly-line processes, and that the contemporary image is a politico-economic interface between the body and capitalized social machinery. Where factory workers first performed sequenced physical operations on moving objects in order to produce a commodity, in the cinema, spectators perform sequenced visual operations on moving montage fragments to produce an image.
Beller develops his argument by highlighting various innovations and film texts of the past century. These innovations include concepts and practices from the revolutionary Soviet cinema, behaviorism, Taylorism, psychoanalysis, and contemporary Hollywood film. He thus develops an analysis of what amounts to the global industrialization of perception that today informs not only the specific social functions of new media, but also sustains a violent and hierarchical global society.
New Perspectives on the Stamp Act
The first book-length study of the Stamp Act in decades, this timely collection draws together essays from a broad range of disciplines to provide a thoroughly original investigation of the influence of 1760s British tax legislation on colonial culture, and vice versa. While earlier scholarship has largely focused on the political origins and legacy of the Stamp Act, this volume illuminates the social and cultural impact of a legislative crisis that would end in revolution. Importantly, these essays problematize the traditional nationalist narrative of Stamp Act scholarship, offering a variety of counter identities and perspectives. Community without Consent recovers the stories of individuals often ignored or overlooked in existing scholarship, including women, Native Americans, and enslaved African Americans, by drawing on sources unavailable to or unexamined by earlier researchers.
This urgent and original collection will appeal to the broadest of interdisciplinary audiences.
When Rousseau first read his Confessions to a 1770 gathering in Paris, reactions varied from admiration of his candor to doubts about his sanity to outrage. Indeed, Rousseau's intent and approach were revolutionary. As one of the first attempts at autobiography, the Confessions' novelty lay not in just its retelling the facts of Rousseau's life, but in its revelation of his innermost feelings and its frank description of the strengths and failings of his character.
Based on his doctrine of natural goodness, Rousseau intended the Confessions as a testing ground to explore his belief that, as Christopher Kelly writes, "people are to be measured by the depth and nature of their feelings." Re-created here in a meticulously documented new translation based on the definitive Pleiade edition, the work represents Rousseau's attempt to forge connections among his beliefs, his feelings, and his life. More than a "behind-the-scenes look at the private life of a public man," Kelly writes, "the Confessions is at the center of Rousseau's philosophical enterprise."
The Land Trust Movement in America
Land trusts, or conservancies, protect land by owning it. Although many people are aware of a few large land trusts--The Nature Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land, for instance--there are now close to 1,300 local trusts, with more coming into being each month.
American land trusts are diverse, shaped by their missions and adapted to their local environments. Nonetheless, all land trusts are private, non-profit organizations for which the acquisition and protection of land by direct action is the primary or sole mission. Nonconfrontational and apolitical, land trusts work with willing land owners in voluntary transactions.
Although land trusts are the fastest-growing and most vital part of the land conservation movement today, this model of saving land by private action has become dominant only in the past two decades. Brewer tells why the advocacy model--in which private groups try to protect land by promoting government purchase or regulation-- in the 1980s was eclipsed by the burgeoning land trust movement. He gives the public a much-needed primer on what land trusts are, what they do, how they are related to one another and to other elements of the conservation and environmental movements, and their importance to conservation in the coming decades. As Brewer points out, unlike other land-saving measures, land trust accomplishments are permanent. At the end of a cooperative process between a landowner and the local land trust, the land is saved in perpetuity.
Brewer's book, the first comprehensive treatment of land trusts, combines a historical overview of the movement with more specific information on the different kinds of land trusts that exist and the problems they face. The volume also offers a "how-to" approach for persons and institutions interested in donating, selling, or buying land, discusses four major national land trusts (The Nature Conservancy, Trust for Public Land, American Farmland Trust, and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy); and gives a generous sampling of information about the activities and accomplishments of smaller, local trusts nationwide. Throughout, the book is enriched by historical narrative, analysis of successful land trusts, and information on the how and why of protecting land, as well as Brewer's intimate knowledge of ecological systems, biodiversity, and the interconnectedness of human and non-human life forms.
Conservancy is a must-read volume for people interested in land conservation--including land trust members, volunteers and supporters--as well as anyone concerned about land use and the environment.
Looking Back, Planning Ahead
Continuing medical education (CME) is a mainstay for ongoing learning by practicing physicians. Often considered the third and final phase of medical education, CME differs significantly from earlier phases of training. Unlike medical school and residency/fellowship, CME requires physicians to respond voluntarily to their educational needs; there is no specified curriculum, and practice settings are all different.
The essays in this volume tell the history and evolution of CME in the United States and Canada, but also look toward future issues and developments. Contributors from a diverse array of institutions explore CME's emergence from undergraduate medical education and its separate growth and development, key events and breakthroughs, lessons learned, conflicts, and predictions about the future in their area of expertise. Addressing critical issues, such as industry support for CME, the volume offers a vital tool for continuing medical education professionals, physicians, administrators, and all health care practitioners interested in the future of continuous education and quality patient care.
Starting in 2005, Günter H. Lenz began preparing a book-length exploration of the transformation of the field of American Studies in the crucial years between 1970 and 1990. As a commentator on, contributor to, and participant in the intellectual and institutional changes in his field, Lenz was well situated to offer a comprehensive and balanced interpretation of that seminal era. Building on essays he wrote while these changes were ongoing, he shows how the revolution in theory, the emergence of postmodern socioeconomic conditions, the increasing globalization of everyday life, and postcolonial responses to continuing and new forms of colonial domination had transformed American Studies as a discipline focused on the distinctive qualities of the United States to a field encompassing the many different “Americas” in the Western Hemisphere as well as how this complex region influenced and was interpreted by the rest of the world. In tracking the shift of American Studies from its exceptionalist bias to its unmanageable global responsibilities, Lenz shows the crucial roles played by the 1930s’ Left in the U.S., the Frankfurt School in Germany and elsewhere between 1930 and 1960, Continental post-structuralism, neo-Marxism, and post-colonialism. Lenz’s friends and colleagues, now his editors, present here his final backward glance at a critical period in American Studies and the birth of the Transnational.
From Creation Myths to the Big Bang
Available again, with a new preface, a physicist's "exceptionally clear summary of 2,500 years of science and a fascinating account of the ways in which it often does intersect with spiritual beliefs" --Kirkus Reviews Marcelo Gleiser refutes the notion that science and spirituality are irreconcilable. In The Dancing Universe, he traces mystical, philosophical, and scientific ideas about the cosmos through the past twenty-five centuries, from the ancient creation myths of numerous cultures to contemporary theories about an ever-expanding universe. He also explores the lives and ideas of history’s greatest scientists, including Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and Einstein. By exploring how scientists have unlocked the secrets of gravity, matter, time, and space, Gleiser offers fresh perspective on the debate between science and faith.
These are tales of what it was like for young men to go from the bucolic hills of New Hampshire to a land wracked by war and violence. The result is a collection of more than fifty accounts, showing the variety of experiences and reactions to this dramatic period in American history. Some soldiers were drafted, some volunteered; some supported the war, but many turned against it. Common to all the stories is the way in which war changes men, for good and ill, and the way in which the Vietnam experience colored so much of the rest of these writers' lives.
Epidemiology, Infectious Diseases, and Modern Plagues
Only a few decades ago, we were ready to declare victory over infectious diseases. Today, infectious diseases are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality throughout the world.
This book examines the epidemiology and social impact of past and present infectious disease epidemics in the developing and developed world. In the introduction, the authors define global health as a discipline, justify its critical importance in the modern era, and introduce the Millennium Development Goals, which have become critical targets for most of the developing world. The first half of the volume provides an epidemiological overview, exploring early and contemporary perspectives on disease and disease control. An analysis of nutrition, water, and sanitation anchors the discussion of basic human needs. Specific diseases representing both “loud” and “silent” emergencies are investigated within broader structures of ecological and biological health such as economics, education, state infrastructure, culture, and personal liberty. The authors also examine antibiotic resistance, AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and pandemic influenza, and offer an epilogue on diseases of affluence, which now threaten citizens of countries both rich and poor.
A readable guide to specific diseases, richly contextualized in environment and geography, this book will be used by health professionals in all disciplines interested in global health and its history and as a textbook in university courses on global health.
Dissent, Empire, and Globalization
Globalization is not the Americanization of the world, argues John Muthyala. Rather, it is an uneven social, cultural, economic, and political process in which the policies and aspirations of powerful nation-states are entangled with the interests of other empires, nation-states, and communities. Dwelling in American: Dissent, Empire, and Globalization takes up a bold challenge, critiquing scholarship on American empire that views the United States as either an exceptional threat to the world or the only hope for the future. It does so in order to provincialize America, to understand it from outside the borders of nation and location, and from inside the global networks of trade, power, and culture. Using comparative frames of reference, the book makes its arguments by examining the work of a diverse range of writers including Arundhati Roy (War Talk, Power Politics), Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran), and Thomas Friedman (The World Is Flat).
This is an original, complex, and often bracingly counterintuitive critique of the idea of American empire that will appeal to anyone interested in understanding the complexities of globalization.