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Southern Illinois University Press

Southern Illinois University Press

Website: http://www.siupress.com

Southern Illinois University Press was founded in the mid-1950s, and its first book—Charles E. Colby’s A Pilot Study of Southern Illinois—was published in 1956. Since then, the Press has published more than 2,500 books, with approximately 1,000 titles currently in print. Publishing primarily in the humanities and social sciences, the Press has made substantial contributions in a wide range of subject areas and has become especially well known for its books in Civil War studies, Lincoln studies, theater, poetry, and rhetoric and composition, and for two exceptional multivolume scholarly works: the early, middle, and later works of John Dewey, and The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant. In addition, the Press publishes books that celebrate and document the history and cul­ture of Southern Illinois, the state, and the Midwest.

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Southern Illinois University Press

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Abraham Lincoln

The Observations of John G. Nicolay and John Hay

Edited by Michael Burlingame

In 1890 Abraham Lincoln’s two main White House secretaries, John G. Nicolay and John Hay, published the ten-volume biography Abraham Lincoln: A History. Although the authors witnessed the daily events occurring within the executive mansion and the national Capitol, their lengthy biography is more a recounting of the Civil War era than a study of Lincoln’s life.
            Editor Michael Burlingame sifted through the original forty-seven-hundred-page work and selected only the personal observations of the secretaries during the Lincoln presidency, placing ten excerpts in chronological order in Abraham Lincoln: The Observations of John G. Nicolay and John Hay.  The result is an important collection of Nicolay and Hay’s interpretations of Lincoln’s character, actions, and reputation, framed by Burlingame’s compelling preface, introduction, chapter introductions, and notes.  The volume provides vivid descriptions of such events as Election Day in 1860, the crisis at Fort Sumter, the first major battle of the war at Bull Run, and Lincoln’s relationship with Edwin Stanton and George McClellan.
           In this clear and captivating new work, Burlingame has made key portions of Nicolay and Hay’s immense biography available to a wide audience of today’s readers.

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Acanthaceae to Myricaceae

Water Willows to Wax Myrtles

Robert H. Mohlenbrock

Veteran botanist, scientific author, and professor Robert H. Mohlenbrock brings the full depth of his expertise and scholarship to his latest book, Acanthaceae to Myricaceae:  Water Willows to Wax Myrtles, the third of four volumes in the Aquatic and Standing Water Plants of the Central Midwest series.  This easy-to-use illustrated reference guide covers aquatic and standing water plants for the states of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kentucky (excluding the biologically distinct Cumberland Mountain region of eastern Kentucky), from spearmint to wintergreen, from aster to waterwort. 

The volume identifies, describes, and organizes species in three groups, including truly aquatic plants, which spend their entire life with their vegetative parts either completely submerged or floating on the water’s surface; emergents, which are usually rooted under water with their vegetative parts standing above the water’s surface; and wetland plants, which live most or all of their lives out of water, but which can live at least three months in water.

Mohlenbrock lists the taxa alphabetically, and within each taxon, he describes the species with the scientific names he deems most appropriate (indicating if his opinion differs from that of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), common names, identification criteria, line drawings, geographical distribution, habitat description, and official U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wetlands designation as described by the National Wetland Inventory Section in 1988.

Acanthaceae to Myricaceae is an essential reference for state and federal employees who deal with environmental conservation and mitigation issues in aquatic and wetland plants. It is also a useful guide for students and instructors in college and university courses focusing on the identification of aquatic and wetland plants.


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Achieve the Honorable

A Missouri Congressman's Journey from Warm Springs to Washington

Ike Skelton

Growing up during the Great Depression and World War II, Ike Skelton dreamed of joining the military. That dream was shattered when he contracted one of the most dreaded diseases of the era: polio. Far from abandoning hope, Skelton, after treatment at Warm Springs, Georgia, overcame his disability and went on to become a college athlete, a celebrated lawyer, a Missouri state senator, and a U.S. Congressman. Achieve the Honorable is the deeply personal tale of Ike Skelton’s determined journey from the small town of Lexington, Missouri, to Capitol Hill.

During his years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Skelton became known as a bipartisan negotiator and a champion of the Armed Services. Throughout the decades, he helped steer the nation through its most dangerous challenges, from Communism to terrorism; took a leading role in the reform of the Department of Defense; dedicated himself to fulfilling the interests of his constituents; and eventually rose to become chair of the House Armed Services Committee during such pivotal events as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to detailing Skelton’s political career and its accompanying challenges and triumphs, Achieve the Honorable provides inside glimpses into the lives of political titans like Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton. Along the way, we are treated to Skelton’s engaging humor and shrewd insight into twentieth- and twenty-first-century U.S. politics. 

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Across Property Lines

Textual Ownership in Writing Groups

Candace Spigelman

Candace Spigelman investigates the dynamics of ownership in small group writing workshops, basing her findings on case studies involving two groups: a five-member creative writing group meeting monthly at a local Philadelphia coffee bar and a four-member college-level writing group meeting in their composition classroom. She explores the relationship between particular notions of intellectual property within each group as well as the effectiveness of writing groups that embrace these notions. Addressing the negotiations between the public and private domains of writing within these groups, she discovers that for both the committed writers and the novices, “values associated with textual ownership play a crucial role in writing group performance.”


Spigelman discusses textual ownership, intellectual property, and writing group processes and then reviews theories relating to authorship and knowledge making. After introducing the participants in each group, discussing their texts, and describing their workshop sessions, she examines the writers’ avowed and implied beliefs about exchanging ideas and protecting individual property rights.


Spigelman stresses the necessary tension between individual and social aspects of writing practices: She argues for the need to foster more collaborative activity among student writers by replicating the processes of writers working in nonacademic settings but also contends that all writers must be allowed to imagine their individual agency and authority as they compose. 

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Action Writing

Jack Kerouac's Wild Form

Michael Hrebeniak

Action Writing: Jack Kerouac's Wild Form connects the personal and creative development of the Beat generation's famous icon with cultural changes in postwar America. Michael Hrebeniak asserts that Jack Kerouac's "wild form"—self-organizing narratives free of literary, grammatical, and syntactical conventions—moves within an experimental continuum across the arts to generate a Dionysian sense of writing as raw process. Action Writing highlights how Kerouac made concrete his 1952 intimation of "something beyond the novel" by assembling ideas from Beat America, modernist poetics, action painting, bebop, and subterranean oral traditions.

Geared to scholars and students of American literature, Beat studies, and creative writing, Action Writing places Kerouac's writing within the context of the American art scene at midcentury. Reframing the work of Kerouac and the Beat generation within the experimental modernist and postmodernist literary tradition, this probing inquiry offers a direct engagement with the social and cultural history at the foreground of Kerouac's career from the 1940s to the late 1960s.





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Adam Smith

The Rhetoric of Propriety

Stephen J. McKenna

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Adult Literacy and American Identity

The Moonlight Schools and Americanization Programs

Samantha NeCamp

The release of U.S. census data in 1910 sparked rhetoric declaring the nation had a literacy crisis and proclaiming illiterate citizens a threat to democratic life. While newspaper editors, industrialists, and officials in the federal government frequently placed the blame on newly arrived immigrants, a smaller but no less vocal group of rural educators and clubwomen highlighted the significant number of native-born illiterate adults in the Appalachian region. Author Samantha NeCamp looks at the educational response to these two distinct literacy narratives—the founding of the Moonlight Schools in eastern Kentucky, focused on native-born nonliterate adults, and the establishment of the Americanization movement, dedicated to the education of recent immigrants.

Drawing on personal correspondence, conference proceedings, textbooks, and speeches, NeCamp demonstrates how the Moonlight Schools and the Americanization movement competed for public attention, the interest of educators, and private and governmental funding, fueling a vibrant public debate about the definition of literacy. The very different pedagogical practices of the two movements—and how these practices were represented to the public—helped shape literacy education in the United States. Reading the Moonlight Schools and the Americanization movement in relation to one another, Adult Literacy and American Identity expands the history and theory of literacy and literacy education in the United States. This book will be of interest to scholars in literacy, Appalachian studies, and rhetoric and composition.

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African American Literacies Unleashed

Vernacular English and the Composition Classroom

Arnetha F. Ball and Ted Lardner

This pioneering study of African American students in the composition classroom lays the groundwork for reversing the cycle of underachievement that plagues linguistically diverse students. African American Literacies Unleashed: Vernacular English and the Composition Classroom approaches the issue of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) in terms of teacher knowledge and prevailing attitudes, and it attempts to change current pedagogical approaches with a highly readable combination of traditional academic discourse and personal narratives.

Realizing that composition is a particular form of social practice that validates some students and excludes others, Arnetha Ball and Ted Lardner acknowledge that many African American students come to writing and composition classrooms with talents that are not appreciated. To empower and inform practitioners, administrators, teacher educators, and researchers, Ball and Lardner provide knowledge and strategies that will help unleash the potential of African American students and help them imagine new possibilities for their successes as writers.

African American Literacies Unleashed asserts that necessary changes in theory and practice can be addressed by refocusing attention from teachers’ knowledge deficits to the processes through which teachers engage information relevant to culturally informed pedagogy. Providing strategies for unlearning racism in the classroom and changing the status quo, this volume stresses the development and maintenance of a real sense of teaching efficacy—teachers’ beliefs in their abilities to connect with and work effectively with all students—and reflective optimism—teachers’ informed expectations that all students have the potential to succeed.

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African American Rhetoric(s)

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Edited By Elaine B. Richardson and Ronald L. Jackson II. Foreword by JacquelineJones Royster. Introduction by Keith Gilyard

African American Rhetoric(s): Interdisciplinary Perspectives is an introduction to fundamental concepts and a systematic integration of historical and contemporary lines of inquiry in the study of African American rhetorics. Edited by Elaine B. Richardson and Ronald L. Jackson II, the volume explores culturally and discursively developed forms of knowledge, communicative practices, and persuasive strategies rooted in freedom struggles by people of African ancestry in America.
Outlining African American rhetorics found in literature, historical documents, and popular culture, the collection provides scholars, students, and teachers with innovative approaches for discussing the epistemologies and realities that foster the inclusion of rhetorical discourse in African American studies. In addition to analyzing African American rhetoric, the fourteen contributors project visions for pedagogy in the field and address new areas and renewed avenues of research. The result is an exploration of what parameters can be used to begin a more thorough and useful consideration of African Americans in rhetorical space.

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After Rhetoric

The Study of Discourse Beyond Language and Culture

Stephen R. Yarbrough

Aware that categorical thinking imposes restrictions on the ways we communicate, Stephen R. Yarbrough proposes discourse studies as an alternative to rhetoric and philosophy, both of which are structuralistic systems of inquiry.

Discourse studies, Yarbrough argues, does not support the idea that languages, cultures, or conceptual schemes in general adequately describe linguistic competence. He asserts that a belief in languages and cultures "feeds a false dichotomy: either we share the same codes and conventions, achieving community but risking exclusivism, or we proliferate differences, achieving choice and freedom but risking fragmentation and incoherence." Discourse studies, he demonstrates, works around this dichotomy.

Drawing on philosopher Donald Davidson, Yarbrough establishes the idea that community can be a consequence of communication but is not a prerequisite for it. By disassociating our thinking from conceptual schemes, we can avoid the problems that come with believing in an abstract structure that predates any utterance.

Yarbrough also draws on Mikhail Bakhtin's dialogism to define how utterances operate in life and to show how utterances are involved with power and how power relates to understanding. His discussion of Michel Meyer's problematology treats the questions implied by a statement as the meaning of the statement.

Yarbrough introduces readers to a credible theoretical framework for focusing on discourse rather than on conceptual schemes that surround it and to the potential advantages of our using this approach in daily life.

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