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Vanderbilt University Press

Website: http://www.vanderbiltuniversitypress.com/

Established in 1940, Vanderbilt University Press is the principal publishing arm of one of the nation's leading research universities. The Press's primary mission is to select, produce, market, and disseminate scholarly publications of outstanding quality and originality. In conjunction with the long-term development of its editorial program, the Press draws on and supports the intellectual activities of the University and its faculty. Although its main emphasis falls in the area of scholarly publishing, the Press also publishes books of substance and significance that are of interest to the general public, including regional books. In this regard, the Press also supports Vanderbilt's service and outreach to the larger local and national community.


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Vanderbilt University Press

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Latin American Jewish Cultural Production Cover

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Latin American Jewish Cultural Production

David William Foster

Latin America is home to roughly half a million Jews, preponderantly Ashkenazic Jews. The majority are concentrated in Argentina, but Brazil and Mexico are also home to significant Jewish communities, as are major urban centers in other countries. Jews in Latin America, in addition to their prominent role in business, commerce, and finance, have a significant presence in cultural production and the arts. Like Hollywood, the Argentine and Mexican film industry is heavily Jewish, while the media--print journalism, radio, and television--have long been associated with Jewish interests. The open enrollment policies of many countries--Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico are notable here--have meant that Jews also have a considerable presence in academic and intellectual circles.

The Latin American Literary Boom and U.S. Nationalism during the Cold War Cover

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The Latin American Literary Boom and U.S. Nationalism during the Cold War

Deborah Cohn

During the 1960s and 1970s, when writers such as Julio Cortazar, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Mario Vargas Llosa entered the international literary mainstream, Cold War cultural politics played an active role in disseminating their work in the United States. Deborah Cohn documents how U.S. universities, book and journal publishers, philanthropic organizations, cultural centers, and authors coordinated their efforts to bring Latin American literature to a U.S. reading public during this period, when interest in the region was heightened by the Cuban Revolution. She also traces the connections between the endeavors of private organizations and official foreign policy goals.


The high level of interest in Latin America paradoxically led the U.S. government to restrict these authors' physical presence in the United States through the McCarranWalter Act's immigration blacklist, even as cultural organizations cultivated the exchange of ideas with writers and sought to market translations of their work for the U.S. market.

Law Touched Our Hearts Cover

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Law Touched Our Hearts

A Generation Remembers Brown v. Board of Education

Edited by Mildred Wigfall Robinson and Richard J. Bonnie

In February 1954, President Eisenhower invited Chief Justice Warren to dinner at the White House. Among the guests were well-known opponents of school desegregation. During that evening, Eisenhower commented to Warren that “law and force cannot change a man's heart.” Three months later, however, the Supreme Court handed down its unanimous decision in Brown, and the contributors to this book, like people across the country, were profoundly changed by it, even though many saw almost nothing change in their communities. What Brown did was to elevate race from the country's dirty secret to its most urgent topic of conversation. This book stands alone in presenting, in one source, stories of black and white Americans, men and women, from all parts of the nation, who were public school students during the years immediately after Brown. All shared an epiphany. Some became aware of race and the burden of racial separation. Others dared to hope that the yoke of racial oppression would at last be lifted. The editors surveyed 4750 law professors born between 1936 and 1954, received 1000 responses, and derived these forty essays from those willing to write personal accounts of their childhood experiences in the classroom and in their communities. Their moving stories of how Brown affected them say much about race relations then and now. They also provide a picture of how social change can shape the careers of an entire generation in one profession. Contributors provide accounts from across the nation. Represented are ο de jure states, those segregated by law at the time of Brown, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia ο de facto states, those where segregation was illegal but a common practice, including California, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Lazy Virtues Cover

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Lazy Virtues

Teaching Writing in the Age of Wikipedia

Robert E. Cummings

Focusing largely on the controversial website Wikipedia, the author explores the challenges confronting teachers of college writing in the increasingly electronic and networked writing environments their students use every day. Rather than praising or condemning that site for its role as an encyclopedia, Cummings instead sees it as a site for online collaboration between writers and a way to garner audience for student writing. Applying an understanding of Commons-Based Peer Production theory, as developed by Yochai Benkler, this text is arranged around the following propositions: -- Commons-Based Peer Production is a novel economic phenomenon which informs our current teaching model and describes a method for making sense of future electronic developments. -- College writers are motivated to do their best work when they write for an authentic audience, external to the class. -- Writing for a networked knowledge community invites students to participate in making knowledge, rather than only consuming it. -- A plan for integrating networked writing for an external audience helps students understand the transition from high school to college writing. -- Allowing students to review and self-select points of entry into electronic discourse fosters "laziness," or a new work dynamic where writers seek to better understand their own creativity in terms of a project's demands. Lazy Virtues offers networked writing assignments to foster development of student writers by exposing them to the demands of professional audiences, asking them to identify and assess their own creative impulses in terms of a project's needs, and removing the writing teacher from the role of sole audience.

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The Legacy of Christopher Columbus in the Americas

New Nations and a Transatlantic Discourse of Empire

Elise Bartosik-Velez

Why is the capital of the United States named in part after Christopher Columbus, a Genoese explorer commissioned by Spain who never set foot on what would become the nation's mainland? Why did Spanish American nationalists in 1819 name a new independent republic "Colombia," after Columbus, the first representative of empire from which they recently broke free? These are only two of the introductory questions explored in The Legacy of Christopher Columbus in the Americas, a fundamental recasting of Columbus as an eminently powerful tool in imperial constructs.


Bartosik-Velez seeks to explain the meaning of Christopher Columbus throughout the so-called New World, first in the British American colonies and the United States, as well as in Spanish America, during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She argues that, during the pre- and post-revolutionary periods, New World societies commonly imagined themselves as legitimate and powerful independent political entities by comparing themselves to the classical empires of Greece and Rome. Columbus, who had been construed as a figure of empire for centuries, fit perfectly into that framework. By adopting him as a national symbol, New World nationalists appeal to Old World notions of empire.

Lesbians in Early Modern Spain Cover

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Lesbians in Early Modern Spain

Sherry Velasco

In this first in-depth study of female homosexuality in the Spanish Empire for the period from 1500 to 1800, Velasco presents a multitude of riveting examples that reveal widespread contemporary interest in women’s intimate relations with other women. Her sources include literary and historical texts featuring female homoeroticism, tracts on convent life, medical treatises, civil and Inquisitional cases, and dramas. She has also uncovered a number of revealing illustrations from the period. The women in these accounts, stories, and cases range from internationally famous transgendered celebrities to lesbian criminals, from those suspected of “special friendships” in the convent to ordinary villagers. Velasco argues that the diverse and recurrent representations of lesbian desire provide compelling evidence of how different groups perceived intimacy between women as more than just specific sex acts. At times these narratives describe complex personal relationships and occasionally characterize these women as being of a certain “type,” suggesting an early modern precursor to what would later be recognized as divergent lesbian, bisexual, and transgender identities.

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A Life of Control

Stories of Living with Diabetes

Alan L. Graber, MD, Anne W. Brown, RN, MSN, and Kathleen Wolff, RN, MSN

Diabetes happens in a life that already has a story. This book, composed of nearly forty personal narratives, based on taped interviews, about the lives of actual patients with diabetes, draws upon the collective experience of an endocrinologist and two nurse practitioners who worked together for twenty-five years. The people who describe their experiences with diabetes range from teenagers to physicians, immigrants, athletes, pregnant women, accountants, a prisoner, and a dairy farmer. They speak of the variety of ways they handle monitoring, diet, insurance coverage, sports, and fashion. Some talk of how they manage to drive trucks for a living or, for recreation, fly airplanes or go spelunking. Many speak frankly of their anxieties and frustrations. The authors acknowledge that both the patient and clinician have a story about their relationship, and describe the richness and tension in their interaction. Families, too, are sources of both support and conflict. These relationships are acknowledged in the organization of the book, which is divided into sections defined by the main elements of diabetes control: patient self-determination, the role of the family, the social situation, and the patient-clinician encounter. The book provides a wealth of information about diabetes, including material on prevention, complications, and new technology, as well as a superb glossary, but it is not intended as a textbook on diabetes or as a self-care manual for patients. Rather the book provides a textured account of the health professional’s view of diabetes control and the perspective of the patient whose life is complicated by diabetes.

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The Lives of Women

A New History of Inquisitional Spain

Lisa Vollendorf

Recovering voices long relegated to silence, The Lives of Women deciphers the responses of women to the culture of control in seventeenth-century Spain. In this new history of Inquisitional Spain, Lisa Vollendorf incorporates convent texts, Inquisition cases, biographies, and women’s literature to reveal a previously unrecognized boom in women’s writing between 1580 and 1700. . During this period, more women wrote for the public book market and participated in literary culture than ever before. In addition, the rise in convents and female education contributed to a marked increase in texts produced by and about women in religious orders. Vollendorf argues that, in conjunction with Inquisition and legal documents, this wealth of writing offers unprecedented access to women’s perspectives on life in early modern Spain, and that those perspectives encompass diverse ethnic backgrounds and class differences. Many of the documents touch on issues of sex and intimacy; others provide new ways of understanding religious practice in the period. Perhaps most important, these writings give a richly textured view of how women reacted to the dominant culture’s attempts to define, limit, and contain femininity. Vollendorf shows that the texts reflect a shared preoccupation with redefining gender and creating legitimate spaces for women. As The Lives of Women vividly illustrates, hundreds, if not thousands, of women’s stories await rediscovery in archives. The book provides a roadmap for understanding the experiences and concerns of wives, widows, sisters, and daughters who lived in a key moment in the development of the Spanish nation and the Hispanic world. At its core, The Lives of Women argues for a reconceptualization of history, one that will rely on the experiences of women and minorities as much as on the words and actions of kings and conquistadors.

Living as Equals Cover

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Living as Equals

How Three White Communities Struggled to Make Interracial Connections During the Civil Rights Era

Phyllis Palmer

Using interviews with leaders and participants, as well as historical archives, the author documents three interracial sites where white Americans put themselves into unprecedented relationships with African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Asian Americans. In teen summer camps in the New York City and Los Angeles areas, students from largely segregated schools worked and played together; in Washington, DC, families fought blockbusting and white flight to build an integrated neighborhood; and in San Antonio, white community activists joined in coalition with Mexican American groups to advocate for power in a city government monopolized by Anglos. Women often took the lead in organizations that were upsetting patterns of men's protective authority at the same time as white people's racial dominance.

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Living in the Land of Limbo

Fiction and Poetry about Family Caregiving

Carol Levine

Living in the Land of Limbo is the first anthology of short stories and poems about family caregivers. These men and women find themselves in "limbo," as they struggle to take care of a family member or friend in the uncertain world of chronic illness. The authors explore caregivers' experiences as they deal with family conflicts, the complexities of the health care system, and the impact of their choices on their lives and the lives of others. The book includes selections devoted to caregivers of aging parents; husbands and wives; ill children; and relatives, lovers, and friends. A final section is devoted to paid caregivers and their clients. Among the conditions that form the background of the selections are dementia, HIV/AIDS, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, and pediatric cancer.

Many of the authors are well-known poets and writers, but others have not been published in mainstream media. They represent a range of cultural backgrounds. Although their works approach caregiving in very different ways, the authors share a commitment to emotional truth, unvarnished by societal ideals of what caregivers should feel and do. These stories and poems paint profoundly moving and revealing portraits of family caregivers.

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