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Michigan State University Press

Michigan State University Press

Website: http://www.msupress.msu.edu/

Michigan State University Press, the scholarly publishing arm of Michigan State University, helps to carry out the institution's land-grant mission through the publication of research and intellectual inquiry that make significant contributions to scholarship in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. General and specialized works include African studies; business and business history; environmental affairs and human ecology; literature, literary criticism, and poetry; Native American studies; North American history with an emphasis on the upper Midwest and the Great Lakes region; medieval studies; rhetoric and public affairs.


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Michigan State University Press

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For René Girard Cover

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For René Girard

Essays in Friendship and in Truth

Sandor Goodhart

In his explorations of the relations between the sacred and violence, René Girard has hit upon the origin of culture — the way culture began, the way it continues to organize itself. The way communities of human beings structure themselves in a manner that is different from that of other species on the planet.
     Like Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Émile Durkheim, Martin Buber, or others who have changed the way we think in the humanities or in the human sciences, Girard has put forth a set of ideas that have altered our perceptions of the world in which we function. We will never be able to think the same way again about mimetic desire, about the scapegoat mechanism, and about the role of Jewish and Christian scripture in explaining sacrifice, violence, and the crises from which our culture has been born.
     The contributions fall into roughly four areas of interpretive work: religion and religious study; literary study; the philosophy of social science; and psychological studies.
     The essays presented here are offered as "essays" in the older French sense of attempts (essayer) or trials of ideas, as indeed Girard has tried out ideas with us. With a conscious echo of Montaigne, then, this hommage volume is titled Essays in Friendship and in Truth.
 

The Forbidden Cover

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The Forbidden

Poems from Iran and its Exiles

Sholeh Wolpé

During the 1979 revolution, Iranians from all walks of life, whether Muslim, Jewish, Christian, socialist, or atheist, fought side-by-side to end one tyrannical regime, only to find themselves in the clutches of another. When Khomeini came to power, freedom of the press was eliminated, religious tolerance disappeared, women’s rights narrowed to fit within a conservative interpretation of the Quran, and non-Islamic music and literature were banned. Poets, writers, and artists were driven deep underground and, in many cases, out of the country altogether. This moving anthology is a testament to both the centuries-old tradition of Persian poetry and the enduring will of the Iranian people to resist injustice. The poems selected for this collection represent the young, the old, and the ancient. They are written by poets who call or have called Iran home, many of whom have become part of a diverse and thriving diaspora.

Fortune teller miracle fish  Cover

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Fortune teller miracle fish

stories

Cathryn Hankla

A mentally challenged teen in a coma, a WWII veteran weighing his beliefs, an intersexed man anticipating a relationship, a single woman who has kissed far too many frogs, and a first grader suffering at the hands of a family friend. These are just a few of the unforgettable characters in Fortune Teller Miracle Fish, an innovative collection of stories from award-winning novelist and poet Cathryn Hankla. The figures in these stories struggle toward more truthful expressions of themselves, as outsiders whose dilemmas, emotions, and desires make them unmistakably human. As varied as they are vivid, they strive for closer connections of love and community. Through humor and understanding, Hankla intrepidly navigates the transitions that define them — unplanned pregnancy, divorce, death, and gender change, to name a few. Acutely attuned to her subjects’ inner landscapes, Hankla captures the full spectrum of human experience, from childhood to old age, with heart, rare skill, and nerve.

Fourth City Cover

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Fourth City

Essays from the Prison in America

Edited by Doran Larson

At 2.26 million, incarcerated Americans not only outnumber the nation’s fourth-largest city, they make up a national constituency bound by a shared condition. Fourth City: Essays from the Prison in America presents more than seventy essays from twenty-seven states, written by incarcerated Americans chronicling their experience inside. In essays as moving as they are eloquent, the authors speak out against a national prison complex that fails so badly at the task of rehabilitation that 60% of the 650,000 Americans released each year return to prison. These essays document the authors’ efforts at self-help, the institutional resistance such efforts meet at nearly every turn, and the impact, in money and lives, that this resistance has on the public. Directly confronting the images of prisons and prisoners manufactured by popular media, so-called reality TV, and for-profit local and national news sources, Fourth City recognizes American prisoners as our primary, frontline witnesses to the dysfunction of the largest prison system on earth. Filled with deeply personal stories of coping, survival, resistance, and transformation, Fourth City should be read by every American who believes that law should achieve order in the cause of justice rather than at its cost.

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Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction

Vol. 1 (1999) through current issue

Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction is devoted to publishing notable, innovative work in nonfiction. The title reflects the intention to give nonfiction its due as a literary genre to give writers of the fourth genre a showcase for their work and to give readers a place to find the liveliest and most creative works in the form. To reflect the genre's flexibility and expansiveness, the journal includes works ranging from personal essays and memoirs to literary journalism and personal criticism.

Frederick Douglass Cover

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Frederick Douglass

freedom's voice, 1818-1845

Gregory P. Lampe

This work in the MSU Press Rhetoric and Public Affairs Series chronicles Frederick Douglass's preparation for a career in oratory, his emergence as an abolitionist lecturer in 1841, and his development and activities as a public speaker and reformer from 1841 to 1845. Lampe's meticulous scholarship overturns much of the conventional wisdom about this phase of Douglass's life and career uncovering new information about his experiences as a slave and as a fugitive; it provokes a deeper and richer understanding of this renowned orator's emergence as an important voice in the crusade to end slavery. 
     Contrary to conventional wisdom, Douglass was well prepared to become a full-time lecturer for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in 1841. His emergence as an eloquent voice from slavery was not as miraculous as scholars have led us to believe. Lampe begins by tracing Douglass's life as slave in Maryland and as fugitive in New Bedford, showing that experiences gained at this time in his life contributed powerfully to his understanding of rhetoric and to his development as an orator. An examination of his daily oratorical activities from the time of his emergence in Nantucket in 1841 until his departure for England in 1845 dispels many conventional beliefs surrounding this period, especially the belief that Douglass was under the wing of William Lloyd Garrison. Lampe's research shows that Douglass was much more outspoken and independent than previously thought and that at times he was in conflict with white abolitionists. 
     Included in this work is a complete itinerary of Douglass's oratorical activities, correcting errors and omissions in previously published works, as well as two newly discovered complete speech texts, never before published.

 

French and Indians in the Heart of North America, 1630-1815 Cover

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French and Indians in the Heart of North America, 1630-1815

Edited by Robert Englebert and Guillaume Teasdale

In the past thirty years, the study of French-Indian relations in the center of North America has emerged as an important field for examining the complex relationships that defined a vast geographical area, including the Great Lakes region, the Illinois Country, the Missouri River Valley, and Upper and Lower Louisiana. For years, no one better represented this emerging area of study than Jacqueline Peterson and Richard White, scholars who identified a world defined by miscegenation between French colonists and the native population, or métissage, and the unique process of cultural accommodation that led to a “middle ground” between French and Algonquians. Building on the research of Peterson, White, and Jay Gitlin, this collection of essays brings together new and established scholars from the United States, Canada, and France, to move beyond the paradigms of the middle ground and métissage. At the same time it seeks to demonstrate the rich variety of encounters that defined French and Indians in the heart of North America from 1630 to 1815. Capturing the complexity and nuance of these relations, the authors examine a number of thematic areas that provide a broader assessment of the historical bridge-building process, including ritual interactions, transatlantic connections, diplomatic relations, and post-New France French-Indian relations.

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French Colonial History

Vol. 1 (2002) through current issue

Sponsored by the French Colonial Historical Society (FCHS), French Colonial History is an annual volume of refereed, scholarly articles selected from the society's annual meetings. The journal covers all aspects of French colonization and the history of all French colonies, reflecting the temporal span, geographical breadth, and diversity of subject matter that characterize the scholarly interests of the Society’s members.

French Colonial History is an outgrowth of the Society's ongoing relationship with Michigan State University Press, which began with the Press's publication of the 1995 FCHS Proceedings.

For more information about the French Colonial Historical Society, see the FCHS website at www.frenchcolonial.org.

From page to performance Cover

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From page to performance

essays in early English drama

John A. Alford

This book is a collection of 22 essays by scholars in the field of Medieval Drama, mostly relating to performance both past and present. Alford wrote one essay in the book.

From Plantation to Paradise? Cover

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From Plantation to Paradise?

Cultural Politics and Musical Theatre in French Slave Colonies, 1764–1789

In 1764 the first printing press was established in the French Caribbean colonies, launching the official documentation of operas and plays performed there, and marking the inauguration of the first theatre in the colonies. A rigorous study of pre–French Revolution performance practices in Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), Powers’s book examines the elaborate system of social casting in these colonies; the environments in which nonwhite artists emerged; and both negative and positive contributions of the Catholic Church and the military to operas and concerts produced in the colonies. The author also explores the level of participation of nonwhites in these productions, as well as theatre architecture, décor, repertoire, seating arrangements, and types of audiences. The status of nonwhite artists in colonial society; the range of operas in which they performed; their accomplishments, praise, criticism; and the use of créole texts and white actors/singers à visage noirs (with blackened faces) present a clear picture of French operatic culture in these colonies. Approaching the French Revolution, the study concludes with an examination of the ways in which colonial opera was affected by slave uprisings, the French Revolution, the emergence of “patriotic theatres,” and their role in fostering support for the king, as well as the impact on subsequent operas produced in the colonies and in the United States.

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