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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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Islands of Love, Islands of Risk Cover

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Islands of Love, Islands of Risk

Culture and HIV in the Trobriands

Katherine Lepani

The Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea have been depicted as a place of sexual freedom ever since these small atolls in the southwest Pacific were made famous by anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski in the early twentieth century. Today in the era of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, how do Trobrianders respond to public health interventions that link their cultural practices to the risk of HIV? How do they weigh HIV prevention messages of abstinence, fidelity, and condom use against traditional sexual practices that strengthen interclan relationships in a gift economy?
Written by an anthropologist who has direct ties to the Trobriands through marriage and who has been involved in Papua New Guinea's national response to the HIV epidemic since the mid-1990s, Islands of Love, Islands of Risk is an unusual insider ethnography. Katherine Lepani describes in vivid detail the cultural practices of regeneration, from the traditional dance called Wosimwaya to the elaborate exchanges that are part of the mortuary feasts called sagali. Focusing on the sexual freedom of young people, the author reveals the social value of sexual practice. By bringing cultural context and lived experience to the fore, the book addresses the failure of standardized public health programs to bridge the persistent gap between HIV awareness and prevention. The book offers insights on the interplay between global and local understandings of gender, sexuality, and disease and suggests the possibility of viewing sexuality in terms other than risk.
Islands of Love, Islands of Risk illustrates the contribution of ethnographic research methodology in facilitating dialogue between different ways of knowing. As a contemporary perspective on Malinowski's classic accounts of Trobriand sexuality, the book reaffirms the Trobriands' central place in the study of anthropology.
This book is the recipient of the annual Norman L. and Roselea J. Goldberg Prize for the best project in the area of medicine.

It Shouldn’t Be This Way Cover

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It Shouldn’t Be This Way

The Failure of Long-Term Care

Robert L. Kane, M.D. and Joan C. West

The failure of long-term care is the country’s best-kept embarrassing secret. Almost every adult in the United States will either enter a nursing home or have to deal with a parent or other relative who does. Studies show that 40 percent of all adults who live to age sixty-five will enter a nursing home before they die, while even more will use another form of long-term care. Part memoir, part practical guide, part prescription for change, It Shouldn’t Be This Way is a unique look at the problems of long-term care. Robert L. Kane, a highly experienced physician and gerontologist, and his sister, Joan C. West, tell the painful story of what happened to their mother after she suffered a debilitating stroke and spent the last years of her life in rehabilitation, assisted-living facilities, and finally a nursing home. Along the way, her adult children encountered some professionals who were kind and considerate but also many frustrations—inadequate care and the need to hire private duty aides, as well as poor communication and lack of coordination throughout the system. The situation, they found, proved far more difficult than it needed to be. As the authors recount their mother’s story, they impart various lessons they learned from each phase of the experience. They alert those who are confronting such situations for the first time about what they will likely face and how to approach the problems. Closing with a broader look at why long-term care is the way it is, they propose steps to make necessary reforms, including the development of national organizations to work for change. Their message to families, care professionals, and policy-makers could not be more urgent.

Jungle Fever Cover

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Jungle Fever

Exploring Madness and Medicine in Twentieth-Century Tropical Narratives

Charlotte Rogers

The sinister "jungle"that illdefined and amorphous place where civilization has no foothold and survival is always in doubtis the terrifying setting for countless works of the imagination. Films like Apocalypse Now, television shows like Lost, and of course stories like Heart of Darkness all pursue the essential question of why the unknown world terrifies adventurer and spectator alike. In Jungle Fever, Charlotte Rogers goes deep into five books that first defined the jungle as a violent and maddening place. The reader finds urban explorers venturing into the wilderness, encountering and living among the "native" inhabitants, and eventually losing their minds.

The canonical works of authors such as Joseph Conrad, Andre Malraux, Jose Eustasio Rivera, and others present jungles and wildernesses as fundamentally corrupting and dangerous. Rogers explores how the methods these authors use to communicate the physical and psychological maladies that afflict their characters evolved symbiotically with modern medicine. While the wilderness challenges Conrad's and Malraux's European travelers to question their civility and mental stability, Latin American authors such as Alejo Carpentier deftly turn pseudoscientific theories into their greatest asset, as their characters transform madness into an essential creative spark.

Ultimately, Jungle Fever suggests that the greatest horror of the jungle is the unknown regions of the character's own mind.

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.

The Legacy of Christopher Columbus in the Americas Cover

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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.

A Life of Control Cover

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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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