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Utah State University Press

Utah State University Press

Website: http://www.usupress.org

Utah State University Press is an established refereed publisher in the fields of composition studies, creative writing, folklore, Native American studies, nature & environment, Western history, including Mormon history and Western women's history. USU Press also sponsors the annual May Swenson Poetry Award.


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Utah State University Press

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Exploring Folk Art

Michael Owen Jones

Jones explores the human impulse to create, the necessity for having aesthetically satisfying experiences, and the craving for tradition. He also considers topics such as making chairs, remodeling houses, using and preserving soda-fountain slang, preparing and eating food, and sculpting lifelike figures out of cement.

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Exposé of Polygamy

A Lady's Life Among the Mormons

Fanny Stenhouse

After the 1872 publication of Expose', Fanny Stenhouse became a celebrity in the cultural wars between Mormons and much of America. An English convert, she had grown disillusioned with the Mormon Church and polygamy, which her husband practiced before associating with a circle of dissident Utah intellectuals and merchants. Stenhouse’s critique of plural marriage, Brigham Young, and Mormonism was also a sympathetic look at Utah’s people and honest recounting of her life. Before long, she created a new edition, titled "Tell It All," which ensured her notoriety in Utah and popularity elsewhere but turned her thoughtful memoir into a more polemical, true expose' of Polygamy. Since 1874, it has stayed in print, in multiple, varying editions. The original book, meanwhile, is less known, though more readable. Tracing the literary history of Stenhouse’s important piece of Americana, Linda DeSimone rescues an important autobiographical and historical record from the baggage notoriety brought to it.

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Facing the Center

Toward an Identity Politics of One-to-One Mentoring

Harry C. Denny

In the diversity of their clients as well as their professional and student staff, writing centers present a complicated set of relationships that inevitably affect the instruction they offer. In Facing the Center, Harry Denny unpacks the identity matrices that enrich teachable moments, and he explores the pedagogical dynamics and implications of identity within the writing center. 

The face of the writing center, be it mainstream or marginal, majority or miority, orthodox or subversive, always has implications for teaching and learning. Facing the Center will extend current research in writing center theory to bring it in touch with theories now common in cultural studies curricula. Denny takes up issues of power, agency, language, and meaning, and pushes his readers to ask how they themselves, or the centers in which they work, might be perpetuating cultures that undermine inclusive, progressive education.

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Fairy Tale Films

Visions of Ambiguity

Pauline Greenhill

In this, the first collection of essays to address the development of fairy tale film as a genre, Pauline Greenhill and Sidney Eve Matrix stress, "the mirror of fairy-tale film reflects not so much what its audience members actually are but how they see themselves and their potential to develop (or, likewise, to regress)." As Jack Zipes says further in the foreword, “Folk and fairy tales pervade our lives constantly through television soap operas and commercials, in comic books and cartoons, in school plays and storytelling performances, in our superstitions and prayers for miracles, and in our dreams and daydreams. The artistic re-creations of fairy-tale plots and characters in film—the parodies, the aesthetic experimentation, and the mixing of genres to engender new insights into art and life— mirror possibilities of estranging ourselves from designated roles, along with the conventional patterns of the classical tales.”

Here, scholars from film, folklore, and cultural studies move discussion beyond the well-known Disney movies to the many other filmic adaptations of fairy tales and to the widespread use of fairy tale tropes, themes, and motifs in cinema.

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Faithful Transgressions In The American West

Six Twentieth-Century Mormon Women's Autobiographical Acts

Laura L. Bush

The central issue Bush finds in these works is how their authors have dealt with the authority of Mormon Church leaders. As she puts it in her preface, "I use the phrase 'faithful transgression' to describe moments in the texts when each writer, explicitly or implicitly, commits herself in writing to trust her own ideas and authority over official religious authority while also conceiving of and depicting herself to be a 'faithful' member of the Church." Bush recognizes her book as her own act of faithful transgression. Writing it involved wrestling, she states, "with my own deeply ingrained religious beliefs and my equally compelling education in feminist theories that mean to liberate and empower women."

Faithful Transgressions examines a remarkable group of authors and their highly readable and entertaining books. In producing the first significant book-length study of Mormon women's autobiographical writing, Bush rides a wave of memoir publishing and academic interest in autobiography and other life narratives. As she elucidates these works in relation to the religious tradition that played a major role in shaping them, she not only positions them in relation to feminist theory and current work on women's life writings but ties them to the long literary tradition of spiritual autobiography.

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Feminist Rhetorical Resilience

Elizabeth A. Flynn, Patricia Sotirin, and Ann Brady

Although it is well known in other fields, the concept of “resilience” has not been addressed explicitly by feminist rhetoricians. This collection develops it in readings of rhetorical situations across a range of social contexts and national cultures. Contributors demonstrate that resilience offers an important new conceptual frame for feminist rhetoric, with emphasis on agency, change, and hope in the daily lives of individuals or groups of individuals disempowered by social or material forces. Collectively, these chapters create a robust conception of resilience as a complex rhetorical process, redeeming it from its popular association with individual heroism through an important focus on relationality, community, and an ethics of connection. Resilience, in this volume, is a specifically rhetorical response to complicated forces in individual lives. Through it, Feminist Rhetorical Resilience widens the interpretive space within which rhetoricians can work.

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Field Of Dreams

edited by Peggy O'Neill, Angela Crow, and Larry Burton

One of the first collections to focus on independent writing programs, A Field of Dreams offers a complex picture of the experience of the stand-alone. Included here are narratives of individual programs from a wide range of institutions, exploring such issues as what institutional issues led to their independence, how independence solved or created administrative problems, how it changed the culture of the writing program and faculty sense of purpose, success, or failure.

Further chapters build larger ideas about the advantages and disadvantages of stand-alone status, covering labor issues, promotion/tenure issues, institutional politics, and others. A retrospective on the famous controversy at Minnesota is included, along with a look at the long-established independent programs at Harvard and Syracuse.

Finally, the book considers disciplinary questions raised by the growth of stand-alone programs. Authors here respond with critique and reflection to ideas raised by other chapters—do current independent models inadvertently diminish the influence of rhetoric and composition scholarship? Do they tend to ignore the outward movement of literacy toward technology? Can they be structured to enhance interdisciplinary or writing-across-the-curriculum efforts? Can independent programs play a more influential role in the university than they do from the English department?

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The Fierce Tribe

Masculine Identity and Performance in the Circuit

Mickey Weems

Mickey Weems applies overtly interdisciplinary interpretation  to a subject that demands such a breakdown of intellectual boundaries. This is an ethnography  that  documents the folk nature of popular culture. The Circuit, an expression of Gay culture, comprises large dance events (gatherings, celebrations, communions, festivals). Music and dance drive a complex, shared performance at these events—electronic house music played by professional DJs and mass ecstatic dancing that engenders communitas. Other types of performance, from drag queens and concerts to contests, theatrics, and the individual display of muscular bodies also occur. Body sculpting through muscle building is strongly associated with the Circuit, and masculine aggression is both displayed and parodied. Weems, a participant-observer with a multidisciplinary background in anthropology, folklore, religious studies, cultural studies, and somatic studies, considers the cultural and spiritual dimensions of what to outsiders might seem to be just wild, flamboyant parties. He compares the Circuit to other traditions of ecstatic and communal dance, and uses his grounding in Afro-Brazilian Candomblé and in religious studies to illuminate the spiritual dimensions of the Circuit. And, a former U.S Marine, he offers the nonviolent masculine arrogance of circuiteers as an alternative philosophy to the violent forms of masculine aggression embedded in the military and much of western culture.

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First Person Squared

A Study of Co-Authoring in the Academy

Kami Day & Michele Eodice

In (First Person)2, Day and Eodice offer one of the few book-length studies of co-authoring in academic fields since Lunsford and Ede published theirs over a decade ago. The central research here involves in-depth interviews with ten successful academic collaborators from a range of disciplines and settings. The interviews explore the narratives of these informants' experience—what brought them to collaborate, what cognitive and logistical processes were involved as they worked together, what is the status of collaborated work in their field, and so on—and situate these informants within the broader discussion of collaboration theory and research as it has been articulated over the last ten years.

As the study develops, Day and Eodice become most interested in the affective domain of co-authorship, and they find the most promising explorations of that domain in the work of feminist theorists in composition. Against a background of feminist theory, the reflections of these informants and authors not only provide a window into the processes of current scholarship in writing, but also come to stand as a critique of traditional practice in English departments. Throughout the book, the two co-authors interrupt themselves with reflections of their own, on the rejection long ago of their proposal to co-author a dissertation, on their presuppositions about their research, on their developing commitment to the framework of feminist theory to account for their findings, and on their own processes and challenges in writing this book. The result is a well-centered volume that is disciplined and restrained in its presentation of research, but which is layered and multivocal in presentation, and which ends with some provocative conclusions.

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