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Ohio University Press

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Hometown for an Hour Cover

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Hometown for an Hour

Poems

Jennifer Rose

In this collection of poems, winner of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, Jennifer Rose writes primarily of places and displacement. Using the postcard's conventions of brevity, immediacy, and, in some instances, humor, these poems are greetings from destinations as disparate as Cape Cod, Kentuckiana, and Croatia. Rich in imagery, deftly crafted, and imbued with a lightness of voice these poems are also postmarked from poetry's more familiar provinces of love, nature and loss. Chosen from hundreds of submissions, Hometown for an Hour, is the winner of the ninth Summers Poetry Prize. As final judge David Yezzi wrote:“Jennifer Rose's “postcards” arrive with news of a world receding-but for her evocative communiquésˆrapidly into the past. The poems serve to fix in time her transient locals, revealing not remote tourist destinations but the very places where the poet has been most alive. Rose's odd assortment of places, she tells us, have seduced her, just as reading her poems, with their elegant and muscular formal excellence, will most certainly seduce readers. Tempering nostalgia with wit and emotional immediacy with consummate musicianship and craft, these poems reconstruct a world that, in Rose's fine imagining of it, becomes not only hers but ours as well.” Poet and city planner Jennifer Rose has been a “Discovery”/ The Nation winner and the recipient of awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Society of America, among others. Her previous collection, The Old Direction of Heaven, was published in 2000. She lives in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Illinois's War Cover

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Illinois's War

The Civil War in Documents

Mark Hubbard

On the eve of the Civil War and after, Illinois was one of the most significant states in the Union. Its history is, in many respects, the history of the Union writ large: its political leaders figured centrally in the war’s origins, progress, and legacies; and its diverse residents made sacrifices and contributions—both on the battlefield and on the home front—that proved essential to Union victory.

The documents in Illinois’s War reveal how the state and its people came to assume such a prominent role in this nation’s greatest conflict. In these crucial decades Illinois experienced its astonishing rise from rural frontier to economic and political powerhouse. But also in these years Illinois was, like the nation itself, a “house divided” over the expansion of slavery, the place of blacks in society, and the policies of the federal government both during and after the Civil War. Illinois’s War illuminates these conflicts in sharp relief, as well as the ways in which Illinoisans united in both saving the Union and transforming their state. Through the firsthand accounts of men and women who experienced these tumultuous decades, Illinois’s War presents the dramatic story of the Prairie State’s pivotal role in the sectional crisis, as well as the many ways in which the Civil War era altered the destiny of Illinois and its citizens.

Illinois’s War is the first book-length history of the state during the Civil War years since Victor Hicken’s Illinois in the Civil War, first published in 1966. Mark Hubbard has compiled a rich collection of letters, editorials, speeches, organizational records, diaries, and memoirs from farmers and workers, men and women, free blacks and runaway slaves, native-born and foreign-born, common soldiers and decorated generals, state and nationally recognized political leaders. The book presents fresh details of Illinois’s history during the Civil War era, and reflects the latest interpretations and evidence on the state’s social and political development.

Imagining Serengeti Cover

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Imagining Serengeti

A History of Landscape Memory in Tanzania from Earliest Time to the Present

Jan Bender Shetler

Long before the creation of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the people of the western Serengeti had established settlements and interacted with the environment in ways that created a landscape we now misconstrue as natural. Western Serengeti peoples imagine the environment not as a pristine wilderness, but as a differentiated social landscape that embodies their history and identity. Conservationist literature has ignored these now-displaced peoples and relegated them to the margins of modern society. Their oral traditions, however, provide the means for seeing the landscape from a new perspective.

Imagining Serengeti allows us to see the Serengeti landscape as a book of memory that preserves the ways in which western Serengeti peoples have actively transformed their environment and their societies. Moreover, it strengthens the case for involving local communities in conservation efforts that will preserve African environments for the future. Using a new methodology to analyze precolonial oral traditions, Jan Shetler identifies core spatial images, which are then recontextualized into historical time periods through the use of archaeological, linguistic, ethnographic, ecological, and archival evidence. Imagining Serengeti reconstructs a socioenvironmental history of landscape memory of the western Serengeti spanning the last eighteen hundred years.

In the Balance of Power Cover

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In the Balance of Power

Independent Black Politics and Third-Party Movements in the United States

Omar H. Ali

With the presidential election looming, the “black vote” has been deemed a crucial portion of the electorate. Historically, most black voters have aligned themselves with one of the two major parties—the Republican Party from the time of the Civil War to the New Deal; and, since the New Deal, and especially since the height of the modern civil rights movement, the Democratic Party.

However, as In the Balance of Power convincingly demonstrates, African Americans have long been part of independent political movements and have used third parties to advance some of the most important changes in the United States, notably the abolition of slavery, the extension of voting rights, and the advancement of civil rights.

Since the early nineteenth century, there has been an undercurrent of political independence among African Americans. They helped develop the Liberty Party in the 1840s, and have continued to work with third parties to challenge the policies of the two major parties. But despite the legal gains of the modern civil rights movement, elements of Jim Crow remain deeply embedded in our electoral process.

In the Balance of Power presents a history and analysis of African American third-party movements that can help us better understand the growing diversity among black voters today.

In the Shade of the Shady Tree Cover

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In the Shade of the Shady Tree

Stories of Wheatbelt Australia

John Kinsella

 In the Shade of the Shady Tree is a collection of stories set in the Western Australian wheatbelt, a vast grain-growing area that ranges across the southwestern end of the immense Australian interior. The stories offer glimpses into the lives of the people who call this area home, as we journey from just north of the town of Geraldton to the far eastern and southern shires of the region.

Cast against a backdrop of indigenous dispossession, settler migration, and the destructive impact of land-clearing and monocultural farming methods, the stories offer moments of connection with the inhabitants, ranging from the matter-of-fact to the bizarre and inexplicable. Something about the nature of the place itself wrestles with all human interactions and affects their outcomes. The land itself is a dominant character, with dust, gnarled scrubland, and the need for rain underpinning human endeavor. Inflected with both contemporary ideas of short fiction and the “everyman” tradition of Australian storytelling, this collection will introduce many readers to a new landscape and unforgettable characters.

In the Shadow of Freedom Cover

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In the Shadow of Freedom

The Politics of Slavery in the National Capital

Donald R. Kennon

Few images of early America were more striking, and jarring, than that of slaves in the capital city of the world’s most important free republic. Black slaves served and sustained the legislators, bureaucrats, jurists, cabinet officials, military leaders, and even the presidents who lived and worked there. While slaves quietly kept the nation’s capital running smoothly, lawmakers debated the place of slavery in the nation, the status of slavery in the territories newly acquired from Mexico, and even the legality of the slave trade in itself. In the Shadow of Freedom, with essays by some of the most distinguished historians in the nation, explores the twin issues of how slavery made life possible in the District and how lawmakers in the District regulated slavery in the nation.

Indian Angles Cover

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Indian Angles

English Verse in Colonial India from Jones to Tagore

Mary Ellis Gibson

In Indian Angles, Mary Ellis Gibson provides a new historical approach to Indian English literature. Gibson shows that poetry, not fiction, was the dominant literary genre of Indian writing in English until 1860 and that poetry written in colonial situations can tell us as much or even more about figuration, multilingual literacies, and histories of nationalism than novels can. Gibson recreates the historical webs of affiliation and resistance that were experienced by writers in colonial India—writers of British, Indian, and mixed ethnicities.

Advancing new theoretical and historical paradigms for reading colonial literatures, Indian Angles makes accessible many writers heretofore neglected or virtually unknown. Gibson recovers texts by British women, by non-elite British men, and by persons who would, in the nineteenth century, have been called Eurasian. Her work traces the mutually constitutive history of English language poets from Sir William Jones to Toru Dutt and Rabindranath Tagore. Drawing on contemporary postcolonial theory, her work also provides new ways of thinking about British internal colonialism as its results were exported to South Asia.

In lucid and accessible prose, Gibson presents a new theoretical approach to colonial and postcolonial literatures.

Indiana's War Cover

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Indiana's War

The Civil War in Documents

Richard F. Nation

Indiana’s War is a primary source collection featuring the writings of Indiana’s citizens during the Civil War era. Using private letters, official records, newspaper articles, and other original sources, the volume presents the varied experiences of Indiana’s participants in the war both on the battlefield and on the home front. Starting in the 1850s, the documents show the sharp political divisions over issues such as slavery, race, and secession in Indiana, divisions that boiled over into extraordinary strife and violence in the state during the rebellion. This conflict touched all levels and members of society, including men, women, and children, whites and African Americans, native-born citizens and immigrants, farmers and city and town dwellers. Collecting the writings of Indiana’s peoples on a wide range of issues, chapters focus on the politics of race prior to the war, the secession crisis, war fever in 1861, the experiences of soldiers at the front, home-front hardships, political conflict between partisan foes and civil and military authorities, reactions to the Emancipation Proclamation, and antiwar dissent, violence, and conspiracy.  Indiana’s War is an excellent accompanying primary source text for undergraduate and graduate courses on the American Civil War. It documents the experiences of Indiana’s citizens, from the African American soldier to the antiwar dissenter, from the prewar politician to the postwar veteran, from the battle-scarred soldier to the impoverished soldier’s wife, all showing the harsh realities of the war.
 

Ingrid Jonker Cover

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Ingrid Jonker

Poet under Apartheid

Louise Viljoen

Nelson Mandela brought the poetry of Ingrid Jonker to the attention of South Africa and the wider world when he read her poem “Die kind” (The Child) at the opening of South Africa’s first democratic parliament on May 24, 1994. Though Jonker was already a significant figure in South African literary circles, Mandela’s reference contributed to a revival of interest in Jonker and her work that continues to this day.

Viljoen’s biography illuminates the brief and dramatic life of Jonker, who created a literary oeuvre — as searing in its intensity as it is brief — before taking her own life at the age of thirty-one. Jonker wrote against a background of escalating apartheid laws, violent repression of black political activists, and the banning of the African National Congress and the Pan Africanist Congress. Viljoen tells the story of Ingrid Jonker in the political and cultural context of her time, provides sensitive insights into her poetry, and considers the reasons for the enduring fascination with her life and death.

Her writings, her association with bohemian literary circles, and her identification with the oppressed brought her into conflict with her father, a politician in the white ruling party, and with other authority figures from her Afrikaner background. Her life and work demonstrate the difficulty and importance of artistic endeavor in a place of terrible conflict.

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