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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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Fairy Tale Films Cover

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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.

Faith and Doubt as Partners in Mormon History Cover

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Faith and Doubt as Partners in Mormon History

Gregory A. Prince

Faithful Transgressions In The American West Cover

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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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First Time Up

An Insider'S Guide For New Composition Teachers

Brock Dethier

"First time up?"—an insider’s friendly question from 1960s counter-culture—perfectly captures the spirit of this book. A short, supportive, practical guide for the first-time college composition instructor, the book is upbeat, wise but friendly, casual but knowledgeable (like the voice that may have introduced you to certain other firsts). With an experiential focus rather than a theoretical one, First Time Up will be a strong addition to the newcomer’s professional library, and a great candidate for the TA practicum reading list.

Dethier, author of The Composition Instructor’s Survival Guide and From Dylan to Donne, directly addresses the common headaches, nightmares, and epiphanies of composition teaching—especially the ones that face the new teacher. And since legions of new college composition teachers are either graduate instructors (TAs) or adjuncts without a formal background in composition studies, he assumes these folks as his primary audience.

Dethier’s voice is casual, but it conveys concern, humor, experience, and reassurance to the first-timer. He addresses all major areas that graduate instructors or new adjuncts in a writing program are sure to face, from career anxiety to thoughts on grading and keeping good classroom records. Dethier’s own eclecticism is well-represented here, but he reviews with considerable deftness the value of contemporary scholarship to first-time writing instructors—many of whom will be impatient with high theory. Throughout the work, he affirms a humane, confident approach to teaching, along with a true affection for college students and for teachers just learning to deal with them.

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The Flowering Thorn

International Ballad Studies

Thomas McKean

The flowering thorn expresses the dual nature of the ballad: at once a distinctive expression of European tradition, but also somewhat tricky to approach from a scholarly perspective, requiring a range of disciplines to illuminate its rich composition. Most of this latter quality has to do with the very features that characterize ballads... or narrative songs. These include an appearance of fragmentation; a wide range of cultural and social referents; complex, evocative symbolic language; and variation. The notable multiformity of meaning, text and tune is mirrored in scholarship, too. The Flowering Thorn is therefore wide ranging, with articles written by world authorities from the fields of folklore, history, literature, and ethnology, employing a variety of methodologies—structuralism to functionalism, repertoire studies to geographical explorations of cultural movement and change. The twenty-five selected contributions represent the latest trends in ballad scholarship, embracing the multi-disciplinary nature of the field today. The essays have their origins in the 1999 International Ballad Conference of the Kommission fur Volksdichtung (KfV), which focused particularly on ballads and social context; performance and repertoire; genre, motif, and classification. The revised, tailored, and expanded essays are divided into five sections—the interpretation of narrative song; structure and motif; context, version, and transmission; regions, reprints, and repertoires; and the mediating collector's offering a range of examples from fifteen different cultures, ten of them drawing on languages other than English, resulting in a series of personal journeys to the heart of one of Europe's richest, most enduring cultural creations. —Thomas McKean, from the Introduction

CONTRIBUTORS: Mary Anne Alburger, David Atkinson, Julia C. Bishop, Valentina Bold, Katherine Campbell, Nicolae Constantinescu, Luisa Del Giudice, Sheila Douglas, David G. Engle, Frances J. Fischer, Simon Furey, Vic Gammon, Marjetka Golez-Kaucic, Pauline Greenhill, Cozette Griffin-Kremer, J. J. Dias Marques, William Bernard McCarthy, Isabelle Peere, Gerald Porter, James Porter, Roger de V. Renwick, Sigrid Rieuwerts, Michèle Simonsen, Larry Syndergaard, Stefaan Top, Larysa Vakhnina, Lynn Wollstadt

Folk Culture in the Digital Age Cover

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Folk Culture in the Digital Age

The Emergent Dynamics of Human Interaction

Trevor J. Blank

Smart phones, tablets, Facebook, Twitter, and wireless Internet connections are the latest technologies to have become entrenched in our culture.  Although traditionalists have argued that computer-mediated communication and cyberspace are incongruent with the study of folklore, Trevor J. Blank sees the digital world as fully capable of generating, transmitting, performing, and archiving vernacular culture. Folklore in the Digital Age documents the emergent cultural scenes and expressive folkloric communications made possible by digital “new media” technologies.

New media is changing the ways in which people learn, share, participate, and engage with others as they adopt technologies to complement and supplement traditional means of vernacular expression. But behavioral and structural overlap in many folkloric forms exists between on- and offline, and emerging patterns in digital rhetoric mimic the dynamics of previously documented folkloric forms, invoking familiar social or behavior customs, linguistic inflections, and symbolic gestures.

Folklore in the Digital Age provides insights and perspectives on the myriad ways in which folk culture manifests in the digital age and contributes to our greater understanding of vernacular expression in our ever-changing technological world.
 

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