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From the rainforests of Costa Rica and the Amazon to the windswept lands of Tierra del Fuego, Laura Barbas-Rhoden discusses the natural settings within contemporary Latin American novels as they depict key moments of environmental change or crisis in the region from the nineteenth-century imperialism to the present.
By integrating the use of futuristic novels, Barbas-Rhoden pushes the ecocriticism discussion beyond the realm of "nature writing." She avoids the clichés of literary nature and reminds readers that today’s urban centers are also part of Latin America and its environmental crisis.
One of the first writers to apply ecocriticism to Latin American fiction, Barbas-Rhoden argues that literature can offer readers a deeper understanding of the natural world and humanity’s place in it. She demonstrates that ecocritical readings of Latin American topics must take into account social, racial, and gender injustices. She also addresses postapocalyptic science fiction that speaks to a fear of environmental collapse and reminds North American readers that the environments of Latin America are rich and diverse, encompassing both rural and urban extremes.
Trade, Piracy, and Naval Warfare in the Central Mediterranean
For millennia, Malta has always been considered a site of strategic importance. From the arrival of the Phoenicians through rule under Carthage, Rome, Sicilian Arabs, Normans, and Genovese, to the Order of St. John ("Knights of Malta"), the advent of the Napoleonic Wars, and even World Wars I and II, the Maltese islands have served as re-provisioning stations, military bases, and refuges for pirates and privateers.
Building on her systematic underwater archaeological survey of the Maltese archipelago, Ayse Atauz presents a sweeping, groundbreaking, interdisciplinary approach to maritime history in the Mediterranean. Offering a general overview of essential facts, including geographical and oceanographic factors that would have affected the navigation of historic ships, major relevant historical texts and documents, the logistical possibilities of ancient ship design, a detailed study of sea currents and wind patterns, and especially the archaeological remains (or scarcity thereof) around the Maltese maritime perimeter, she builds a convincing argument that Malta mattered far less in maritime history than has been previously asserted.
Atauz's conclusions are of great importance to the history of Malta and of the Mediterranean in general, and her archaeological discoveries about ships are a major contribution to the history of shipbuilding and naval architecture.
Though they were born a generation apart, Joseph Conrad and James Joyce shared similar life experiences and similar literary preoccupations. Both left their home countries at a relatively young age and remained lifelong expatriates.
Empire and Pilgrimage in Conrad and Joyce offers a fresh look at these two modernist writers, revealing how their rejection of organized religion and the colonial presence in their native countries allowed them to destabilize traditional notions of power, colonialism, and individual freedom in their texts. Throughout, Agata Szczeszak-Brewer ably demonstrates the ways in which these authors grapple with the same issues--the grand narrative, paralysis, hegemonic practices, the individual's pilgrimage toward unencumbered self-definition--within the rigid bounds of imperial ideologies and myths. The result is an engaging and enlightening investigation of the writings of Conrad and Joyce and of the larger literary movement to which they belonged.
Western European mythology and history tend to view spirituality and sexuality as opposite extremes. But sex can be more than a function of the body and religion more than a function of the mind, as exemplified in the works and characters of such writers as Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Opal Palmer Adisa, and Edwidge Danticat.
Donna Weir-Soley builds on the work of previous scholars who have identified the ways that black women's narratives often contain a form of spirituality rooted in African cosmology, which consistently grounds their characters' self-empowerment and quest for autonomy. What she adds to the discussion is an emphasis on the importance of sexuality in the development of black female subjectivity, beginning with Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and continuing into contemporary black women's writings.
Writing in a clear, lucid, and straightforward style, Weir-Soley supports her thesis with close readings of various texts, including Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and Morrison's Beloved. She reveals how these writers highlight the interplay between the spiritual and the sexual through religious symbols found in Voudoun, Santeria, Condomble, Kumina, and Hoodoo. Her arguments are particularly persuasive in proposing an alternative model for black female subjectivity.
For centuries, Psalm 68:31 "Princes shall come forth out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch forth her hands unto God," also known as the Ethiopian prophecy, has served as a pivotal and seminal text for those of African descent in the Americas.
Originally, it was taken to mean that the slavery of African Americans was akin to the slavery of the Hebrews in Egypt, and thus it became an articulation of the emancipation struggle. However, it has also been used as an impetus for missionary work in Africa, as an inspirational backbone for the civil rights movement, and as a call for a separate black identity during the twentieth century.
Utilizing examples from Richard Allen, Maria W. Stewart, Kate Drumgoold, Phillis Wheatley, Martin Delany, W.E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, and Ralph Ellison, Kay reveals the wide variety of ways this verse has been interpreted and conceptualized in African American history and letters for more than two hundred years.
Why the U.S. Embargo against Cuba Could Never Work
For almost five decades, the United States has maintained a comprehensive economic embargo on Cuba. U.S.-based travel to the island is severely restricted, and most financial and commercial transactions with Cuba are illegal for U.S. citizens. In the 1990s the United States tightened the embargo further, seeking to promote change in Cuba by depriving the Castro government of hard currency revenues. And yet the stalemate remains.
How effective has the embargo been in achieving its main goal? Paolo Spadoni dispassionately answers, "Not very." By extending his analysis to non-state actors (including multinational corporations, migrants, international travelers, indirect investors, and food exporters), Spadoni demonstrates that the United States has not only been unable to stifle the flow of foreign investment into Cuba but has actually contributed to the recovery of the Cuban economy, particularly from the deep recession it entered following the demise of the Soviet Union.
Failed Sanctions is a must-read book for those who closely follow Cuban-U.S. relations and for anyone interested in the efficacy of economic sanctions as a foreign policy tool.
The Father of Cuban Ballet
Written records of Alonso’s work are scarce, yet Toba Singer’s quest to spotlight his seminal role in the development of the modern ballet canon yields key material: pre-blockade tapes from Lincoln Center, Spanish-language sources from the Museum of Dance in Havana, and interviews with the ballet master himself alongside a broad range of friends, relatives, and collaborators from throughout his long career, including his ex-wife, Alicia, a famous ballerina in her own right.
Perspectives on Cuba, the United States, and the World
In the years since the Cuban Revolution in 1959, eleven men have served as president of the United States, arguably the most powerful nation on earth. Yet none of them has been able to effect any significant change in the stalemate between the United States and Cuba, its closest neighbor not to share a land border.
Fifty Years of Revolution features contributions from an international Who's Who gallery of leading scholars. The volume adopts a uniquely nonpartisan attitude, a departure from this topic's generally divisive nature.
Emerging from a series of meetings, conference panels, and lectures, the book coheres more strongly than the typical essay collection. Organized to analyze--not describe--Cuba’s foreign relations, the work examines sanctions, the embargo, regime change, Guantánamo, the exile community, and more.
Drawing from personal experiences as well as recently declassified documents, these essays update, summarize, and explain one of the prickliest political issues in the Western Hemisphere today.
Film noir, which flourished in 1940s and 50s, reflected the struggles and sentiments of postwar America. Dennis Broe contends that the genre, with its emphasis on dark subject matter, paralleled the class conflict in labor and union movements that dominated the period.
By following the evolution of film noir during the years following World War II, Broe illustrates how the noir figure represents labor as a whole. In the 1940s, both radicalized union members and protagonists of noir films were hunted and pursued by the law. Later, as labor unions achieve broad acceptance and respectability, the central noir figure shifts from fugitive criminal to law-abiding cop.
Expanding his investigation into the Cold War and post-9/11 America, Broe extends his analysis of the ways film noir is intimately connected to labor history. A brilliant, interdisciplinary examination, this is a work that will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers.
This collection presents, in a single volume, key seminal essays in the study of James Joyce. Representing important contributions to scholarship that have helped shape current methods of approaching Joyce’s works, the volume reacquaints contemporary readers with the literature that forms the basis of ongoing scholarly inquiries in the field.
Foundational Essays in James Joyce Studies makes this trailblazing scholarship readily accessible to readers. Offering three essays each on Joyce’s four main works (Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, and Finnegans Wake), editor Michael Patrick Gillespie provides a contextual general introduction as well as short introductions to each section that describe the essays that follow and their original contribution to the field. Featuring works by Robert Boyle, Edmund L. Epstein, S. L. Goldberg, Clive Hart, A. Walton Litz, Robert Scholes, Thomas F. Staley, James R. Thrane, Thomas F. Van Laan, and Florence L. Walzl, this is a volume that no serious scholar of Joyce can be without.