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Oregon State University Press

Website: http://osupress.oregonstate.edu/

For fifty years, Oregon State University Press has been publishing exceptional books about the Pacific Northwest -- its people and landscapes, its flora and fauna, its history and cultural heritage. The Press has played a vital role in the region's literary life, providing readers with a better understanding of what it means to be an Oregonian.

Founded in 1961 when the University adopted its current name of Oregon State University, the OSU Press at first published mainly scholarly works on the biological and natural sciences. But sprinkled throughout our list were titles about Oregon that appealed to the book-loving public.

Fifty year -- and nearly 400 book -- later, the heart of our mission is still the same. We are a scholarly publisher with distinguished books in several academic areas from environmental history and natural resource management to indigenous studies and we publish titles that celebrate, evaluate, invent, and illuminate the Oregon condition.


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Oregon State University Press

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Tangled Bank Cover

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Tangled Bank

Essays from Orion

Robert Michael Pyle

Teaching Oregon Native Languages Cover

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Teaching Oregon Native Languages

Joan Gross

In a world where over half of the remaining six thousand languages will most likely disappear by the end of the century, attention has finally begun to focus on the struggles of indigenous people to save their languages.

Lack of knowledge concerning the vast linguistic diversity of Oregon's languages has been a major obstacle to language revitalization in this state. Native peoples were subjected to disease, displacement, and forced linguistic assimilation, leaving many languages with only a few speakers. Some languages died out, but others prevailed in the privacy of homes and longhouses.

This book tells the story of perseverance and survival against unbelievable odds, using the words of today's speakers and learners of Oregon's languages. Interviews with fifty-two native speakers provide valuable insights into how languages are lost and how a linguistic heritage can be brought to life.

Teaching Oregon Native Languages discusses the role of state and federal language policies, explores how archival collections can be used in language revitalization, and describes strategies for creating a successful teaching environment. A timely and necessary resource, it will educate all readers about the important efforts underway to revitalize Oregon's first languages.

Contributors: Joan Gross, Erin Haynes, Deanna Kingston, David Lewis, and Juan Trujillo

To the Promised Land Cover

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To the Promised Land

A History of Oregon Government and Politics

A comprehensive political history of Oregon, To the Promised Land examines the social and economic changes the state has pioneered over almost two hundred years. Highlighting major political figures, campaigns, and ballot measures, Tom Marsh traces the evolution of Oregon from incorporated territory to a state at the forefront of national environmental and social movements.

To the Promised Land provides the first general history of Oregon’s state government and political leaders. Marsh combines the clear expository style of a professional educator with the expertise of a political insider—a U.S. history teacher, he also served two terms in the Oregon House of Representatives.

Featuring interesting trivia, historical photographs, and biographical sketches of key politicians, this book will be a popular volume for general readers and public libraries as well as for textbook use in secondary and higher education classrooms. 

Toward One Oregon Cover

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Toward One Oregon

Rural-Urban Interdependence and the Evolution of a State

Edited by Michael Hibbard, Ethan Seltzer, Bruce Weber, and Beth Emshoff

Every state in the nation has geographic divisions that loom large as barriers to common cause. In Oregon, the so-called “rural-urban divide” has shaped its history. Toward One Oregon examines the prospects for uniting our geographically diverse state in the years ahead.

When Oregon became a state in 1859, its role in the nation and the global economy was quite different than it is today. Current times demand a new, strategic understanding of the state and its role in the nation and the world if its people—all of its people—are to thrive.

Toward One Oregon examines Oregon’s urban and rural history through political, economic, and demographic lenses. The contributors—historians, urban planners, economists, geographers, and political scientists—explore the two Oregons. Using the best of urban and rural policies in strategic and complementary ways, they offer a collaborative path forward—for Oregon and for any state faced with seemingly insurmountable geographic divisions.

Up the Capitol Steps Cover

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Up the Capitol Steps

A Woman's March to the Governorship

Up the Capitol Steps is a personal and political memoir by Oregon’s first (and only) woman governor, one of only 34 women who have served as state chief executives in the history of the United States. Barbara Roberts offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a woman’s life in politics and aims to “demystify” leadership by telling the story of her own unlikely rise to power.

The mother of an autistic child before the advent of special education, Roberts began her life in public service as an advocate for the rights of children with disabilities. She documents her expanding political career from school board member to legislator to Secretary of State and finally, Governor. In this gripping and poignant memoir, hotly contested elections and tough policy decisions are interspersed with intimate details of personal ups and downs. Throughout, Roberts reveals the warmth and humor that show the “real” person behind the politician.

Only the third published memoir by a woman head-of-state, Up the Capitol Steps is “a very significant contribution to Oregon history, the history of women in politics, and especially the history of women governors,” according to series editor Melody Rose. Roberts’ autobiography captures a period of our nation’s political history and a view of women’s expanding role in government that will bring new understanding to the term, “social revolution.”

Voodoo Vintners Cover

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Voodoo Vintners

Oregon's Astonishing Biodynamic Winegrowers

Katherine Cole

Could cow horns, vortexes, and the words of a prophet named Rudolf Steiner hold the key to producing the most alluring wines in the world—and to saving the planet?

In Voodoo Vintners, wine writer Katherine Cole reveals the mysteries of biodynamic winegrowing, tracing its practice from Paleolithic times to the finest domaines in Burgundy today. At the epicenter of the American biodynamic revolution are the Oregon winemakers who believe that this spiritual style of farming results in the truest translations of terroir and the purest pinot noirs possible.

Cole introduces these “voodoo vintners,” examining their motivations and rationalizations and explaining why the need to farm biodynamically courses through their blood. Her engaging narrative answers the call of oenophiles everywhere for more information about this “beyond organic” style of winemaking.

Voyage of a Summer Sun Cover

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Voyage of a Summer Sun

Canoeing the Columbia River

Robin Cody

“The story is the Columbia River, not the canoe and me, but I’ve learned that friends can’t hear me tell about the river until they know why I was out there. This is not an adventure story, though some adventure was unavoidable, and I didn’t set out to find myself if I could help it. Nor did I launch the trip with a large point to prove. It was a voyage of discovery, and its telling is the uncovering of surprise on a river I thought I knew…” —Robin Cody, from the prologue

On a June morning in 1990, high up in the Canadian Rockies, Robin Cody pushed his sixteen-foot Kevlar canoe through tall grass and mud to launch it on peaceful Columbia Lake, the nominal source of the river that heaves more water into the Pacific ocean than any other in North or South America. For the next eighty-two days, Cody would portage massive dams and revel in the rapids as the great river plunges 2,700 feet in 1,200 miles before reaching the river’s mouth in Astoria.

Cody’s canoe sneaks up on the bear and moose and raptors and beavers who make a living on the Columbia. He drops in on riverpeople: the trapper, the wind surfer, the archeologist, the lock operator, the native woman who grew up at riverside in a dwelling of tule reeds. With a generous and infectious spirit, Cody draws us into the mysteries of a much-altered and regulated river that is still, at heart, a life-giving place.

This first OSU Press edition of Voyage of a Summer Sun—winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award and the Oregon Book Award, and an Oregon State Library choice for “150 Books for the Oregon Sesquicentennial”—includes a new afterword by the author.

Wading for Bugs Cover

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Wading for Bugs

Exploring Streams with the Experts

In Wading for Bugs, nearly two dozen aquatic biologists share their memorable encounters with stream insects.

The contributors, based primarily in North America, work in diverse environments—from arctic to desert, from mountain streams to river valleys. They represent a wide range of expertise as authors of standard field texts, leaders in biomonitoring and assessment programs, directors of major laboratories, and specialists in aquatic ecology and taxonomy.

The writings in Wading for Bugs allow readers to experience—through the eyes of the scientists—what it’s like to study stream insects and to make discoveries that could help develop biological indicators for stream health. General summaries introduce each insect order. Elegant insect drawings accompany each story, along with morphological, life history, and habitat information for each species or family.

Wading for Bugs will appeal to general readers as well as students, naturalists, and fisherfolk curious about streams and the insects that live in them.

The Wet Engine Cover

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The Wet Engine

Exploring the Mad Wild Miracle of the Heart

“My son Liam was born nine years ago. He looked like a cucumber on steroids. He was fat and bald and round. He looked healthy as a horse. He wasn’t. He was missing a chamber in his heart, which is a problem, as you need four chambers for smooth conduct through this vale of fears and tears, and he only had three chambers, so pretty soon he had an open-heart surgery, during which doctors cut him open and iced down his heart and shut it down for an hour or so while they worked on repair…” —from The Wet Engine

In this poignant and startlingly original book, Brian Doyle examines the heart as a physical organ—how it is supposed to work, how surgeons try to fix it when it doesn’t—and as a metaphor: the seat of the soul, the power house of the body, the essence of spirituality. In a series of profoundly moving ruminations, Doyle considers the scientific, emotional, literary, philosophical, and spiritual understandings of the heart—from cardiology to courage, from love letters and pop songs to Jesus. Weaving these strands together is the torment of Doyle’s own infant son’s heart surgery and the inspiring story of the young heart doctor who saved Liam’s life.

First published in 2005, The Wet Engine is a book that will change how you feel and think about the mysterious, fragile human heart. This new paperback edition includes a foreword by Dr. Marla Salmon, dean of the University of Washington School of Nursing.

Wild Delicate Seconds Cover

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Wild Delicate Seconds

29 Wildlife Encounters

In twenty-nine micro-essays that are almost prose poems, Charles Finn captures chance encounters with the everyday—and not so everyday—animals, birds, and insects of North America.

There is no adrenaline here, there are no maulings or fantastic escapes—only stillness and attentiveness to beauty. With profundity, humor, grace, simplicity and compassion, Finn pays homage to the creatures that share our world—from black bears to bumble bees, mountain lions to muskrats—and, in doing so, touches on what it means to be human.

Wild Delicate Seconds will appeal to wildlife observers and naturalists, as well as to readers of American nature writers such as Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Annie Dillard, and Mary Oliver.

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