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Extraterrestrial Life in Our Minds and in the Cosmos
If extraterrestrials exist, where are they? What is the probability that somewhere out there in the universe an Earth-like planet supports an advanced culture? Why do so many people claim to have encountered Aliens? In this gripping exploration, scientist Don Lincoln exposes and explains the truths about the belief in and the search for life on other planets. In the first half of Alien Universe, Lincoln looks to Western civilization's collective image of Aliens, showing how our perceptions of extraterrestrials have evolved over time. The roots of this belief can be traced as far back as our earliest recognition of other planets in the universe—the idea of them supporting life was a natural progression of thinking that has fascinated us ever since. Our captivation with Aliens has, however, led to mixed results. The world was fooled in the nineteenth century during the Great Moon Hoax of 1835, and many people misunderstood, with calamitous results, Orson Welles's 1938 radio broadcast, The War of the Worlds. Our continuing interest in Aliens is reflected in entertainment successes such as E.T., The X-Files, and Star Trek. The second half of Alien Universe explores the scientific possibility of whether advanced Alien civilizations do exist. For many years, researchers have sought to answer Enrico Fermi’s great paradox—if there are so many planets in the universe and there is a high probability that many of those can support life, then why have we not actually encountered any Aliens? (Apologies to those who are sure we have.) Lincoln describes how modern science teaches us what is possible and what is not in our search for extraterrestrial civilizations. Whether you are drawn to the psychological belief in Aliens, the history of our interest in life on other planets, or the scientific possibility of Alien existence, Alien Universe is sure to hold you spellbound.
American Humor and Its Discontents
In this examination of stand-up comedy, Rebecca Krefting establishes a new genre of comedic production, “charged humor,” and charts its pathways from production to consumption. Some jokes are tears in the fabric of our beliefs—they challenge myths about how fair and democratic our society is and the behaviors and practices we enact to maintain those fictions. Jokes loaded with vitriol and delivered with verve, charged humor compels audiences to action, artfully summoning political critique. Since the institutionalization of stand-up comedy as a distinct cultural form, stand-up comics have leveraged charged humor to reveal social, political, and economic stratifications. All Joking Aside offers a history of charged comedy from the mid-twentieth century to the early aughts, highlighting dozens of talented comics from Dick Gregory and Robin Tyler to Micia Mosely and Hari Kondabolu. The popularity of charged humor has waxed and waned over the past sixty years. Indeed, the history of charged humor is a tale of intrigue and subversion featuring dive bars, public remonstrations, fickle audiences, movie stars turned politicians, commercial airlines, emergent technologies, neoliberal mind-sets, and a cavalcade of comic misfits with an ax to grind. Along the way, Krefting explores the fault lines in the modern economy of humor, why men are perceived to be funnier than women, the perplexing popularity of modern-day minstrelsy, and the way identities are packaged and sold in the marketplace. Appealing to anyone interested in the politics of humor and generating implications for the study of any form of popular entertainment, this history reflects on why we make the choices we do and the collective power of our consumptive practices. Readers will be delighted by the broad array of comic talent spotlighted in this book, and for those interested in comedy with substance, it will offer an alternative punchline.
Six Big Questions about Evolution
Despite the ongoing cultural controversy in America, evolution remains a cornerstone of science. In this book, Francisco J. Ayala—an evolutionary biologist, member of the National Academy of Sciences, and winner of the National Medal of Science and the Templeton Prize—cuts to the chase in a daring attempt to address, in nontechnical language, six perennial questions about evolution: • Am I a Monkey? • Why Is Evolution a Theory? • What Is DNA? • Do All Scientists Accept Evolution? • How Did Life Begin? • Can One Believe in Evolution and God? This to-the-point book answers each of these questions with force. Ayala's occasionally biting essays refuse to lend credence to disingenuous ideas and arguments. He lays out the basic science that underlies evolutionary theory, explains how the process works, and soundly makes the case for why evolution is not a threat to religion. Brief, incisive, topical, authoritative, Am I a Monkey? will take you a day to read and a lifetime to ponder.
Rethinking the Academic Study of Religion
Michael P. Carroll argues that the academic study of religion in the United States continues to be shaped by a "Protestant imagination" that has warped our perception of the American religious experience and its written history and analysis. In this provocative study, Carroll explores a number of historiographical puzzles that emerge from the American Catholic story as it has been understood through the Protestant tradition. Reexamining the experience of Catholicism among Irish immigrants, Italian Americans, Acadians and Cajuns, and Hispanics, Carroll debunks the myths that have informed much of this history. Shedding new light on lived religion in America, Carroll moves an entire academic field in new, exciting directions and challenges his fellow scholars to open their minds and eyes to develop fresh interpretations of American religious history.
Border Politics in the Western Hemisphere
In summer 2014, US agencies responsible for the border with Mexico were overwhelmed by tens of thousands of unaccompanied children arriving from Central America. Unprepared to address this unexpected kind of migrant, the US government deployed troops to carry out a new border mission: the feeding, care, and housing of this wave of children. This event highlights the complex social, economic, and political issues that arise along borders. In American Crossings, nine scholars consider the complicated modern history of borders in the Western Hemisphere, examining borders as geopolitical boundaries, key locations for internal security, spaces for international trade, and areas where national and community identities are defined. Among the provocative questions raised are, Why are Peru and Chile inclined to legalize territory disputes through the International Court of Justice, undermining their militaries? Why has economic integration in the “Tri-Border Area” of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay increased illicit trade supporting transnational terrorist groups? And how has a weak Ecuadorian presence at the Ecuador−Colombia border encouraged Colombian guerrillas to enforce the international borderline?
The Restructuring of Academic Work and Careers
Higher education is becoming destabilized in the face of extraordinarily rapid change. The composition of the academy's most valuable asset—the faculty—and the essential nature of faculty work are being transformed. Jack H. Schuster and Martin J. Finkelstein describe the transformation of the American faculty in the most extensive and ambitious analysis of the American academic profession undertaken in a generation. A century ago the American research university emerged as a new organizational form animated by the professionalized, discipline-based scholar. The research university model persisted through two world wars and greatly varying economic conditions. In recent years, however, a new order has surfaced, organized around a globalized, knowledge-based economy, powerful privatization and market forces, and stunning new information technologies. These developments have transformed the higher education enterprise in ways barely imaginable in generations past. At the heart of that transformation, but largely invisible, has been a restructuring of academic appointments, academic work, and academic careers—a reconfiguring widely decried but heretofore inadequately described. This volume depicts the scope and depth of the transformation, combing empirical data drawn from three decades of national higher education surveys. The authors' portrait, at once startling and disturbing, provides the context for interpreting these developments as part of a larger structural evolution of the national higher education system. They outline the stakes for the nation and the challenging work to be done.
Documenting the National Discourse
This long-awaited sequel to Richard Hofstadter and Wilson Smith's classic anthology American Higher Education: A Documentary History presents one hundred and seventy-two key edited documents that record the transformation of higher education over the past sixty years. The volume includes such seminal documents as Vannevar Bush's 1945 report to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Science, the Endless Frontier; the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Brown v. Board of Education and Sweezy v. New Hampshire; and Adrienne Rich's challenging essay "Taking Women Students Seriously." The wide variety of readings underscores responses of higher education to a memorable, often tumultuous, half century. Colleges and universities faced a transformation of their educational goals, institutional structures and curricula, and admission policies; the ethnic and economic composition of student bodies; an expanding social and gender membership in the professoriate; their growing allegiance to and dependence on federal and foundation financial aids; and even the definitions and defenses of academic freedom. Wilson Smith and Thomas Bender have assembled an essential reference for policymakers, administrators, and all those interested in the history and sociology of higher education.
Vol. 52 (1995) through current issue
American Imago was founded by Sigmund Freud and Hanns Sachs in the U.S. in 1939 as the successor to Imago, founded by Freud, Sachs, and Otto Rank in Vienna in 1912. Having celebrated its centenary anniversary in 2012, the journal retains its luster as the leading scholarly journal of psychoanalysis. Each issue features cutting-edge articles that explore the enduring relevance of Freud's legacy across the humanities, arts, and social sciences.
Vol. 84 (1996) through current issue
Bringing readers all the richness and complexity of Jewish life in America through carefully researched, thoroughly accessible articles, American Jewish History (AJH) is the most widely recognized journal in its field. Founded in 1892 as Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, AJH is the official publication of the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS), the oldest national ethnic historical organization in the United States.
Vol. 118 (1996) through current issue
The oldest mathematics journal in continuous publication in the Western Hemisphere, American Journal of Mathematics ranks as one of the most respected and celebrated journals in its field. Published since 1878, the Journal has earned its reputation by presenting pioneering mathematical papers. It does not specialize, but instead publishes articles of broad appeal covering the major areas of contemporary mathematics. American Journal of Mathematics is used as a basic reference work in academic libraries, both in the United States and abroad.