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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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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.

The Lives of Women Cover

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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 on the Edge in Suburbia

From Welfare to Workfare

Terese Lawinski

Westchester County, New York, is thought of as suburban and affluent, but welfare reform hit hard here, too. The radical 1996 legislation created a temporary assistance program for poor families with harsher provisions than the program it replaced. It mandates "workfare," meaning that recipients must work as a condition of benefit receipt. But the work parents obtain in the so-called flexible labor market--jobs like home health care aide--are inflexible for them. One sick child can mean the loss of a job. In contrast to accounts of inner-city poor families, these suburban parents' stories reveal a broad array of precipitating circumstances leading to their downward economic slide and to welfare. They also provide insight into the bureaucratic machinations, rigid rules and mandates, disciplining techniques, and catch-22s that create an insecure environment for many families today. Many of these stories show that the need for welfare over time extends well beyond the federal government's five-year lifetime limit on welfare. Policies emphasizing work first also restrict access to education and further hinder parents' ability to gain a toehold in the economy. In this tale of people and policies, the author shows how the interests of governments are often at variance with those of vulnerable families, and how some government actions place more pressure on lives replete with stress.

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Locked Up, Locked Out

Young Men in the Juvenile Justice System

Anne M. Nurse

Locked Up, Locked Out follows forty juvenile male offenders, from their first-time admissions to the Ohio system through their incarceration and reentry into the community. The author conducted three lengthy interviews with each of these youth over a period of two and a half years. These interviews bring alive their attitudes and day-to-day prison experiences, as well as the intricate connections between life on the inside and life on the outside. Status is key to everyday life in prison, and it is often played out in demonstrations of masculinity, misogyny, and violence. Some gangs and some "area codes" (as the old neighborhoods are called) are seen as tougher than others and are given more respect. Even letters from family members and girlfriends are important signs of whether a prisoner matters: one young man says, "I'd write letters every day to people to beg 'em to write me back." Another reports, "There would be people in there writing girls, saying, hey, write me this nasty letter of things we're going to do and things we did. And they'd write back with these letters. And now he'll get to walk around with his letter bragging, like, hey, check this out. These are the kind of girls I got." Incarcerated youth also work hard at impression management. Coping with prison requires a young man to present one face to fellow prisoners and another to the authorities who will decide his release date. The author pays substantial attention to the programs youth are offered, including those focusing on education, anger management, job training, and parenting skills. Another section looks at contact between incarcerated youth and the outside world, including a discussion of the impact of incarceration on families. Based on her extensive knowledge of policies in other states, the author also provides a broad overview of the juvenile justice system nationally, describing how the system is organized, administered, and funded. Readers are taken through the juvenile justice process from conviction through parole with special attention paid to new state initiatives and sentencing structures.

Lone Wolf Terror and the Rise of Leaderless Resistance Cover

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Lone Wolf Terror and the Rise of Leaderless Resistance

George Michael

On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik detonated a car bomb in downtown Oslo, Norway. He didn't stop there, traveling several hours from the city to ambush a youth camp while the rest of Norway was distracted by his earlier attack. That's where the facts end. But what motivated him? Did he have help staging the attacks? The evidence suggests a startling truth: that this was the work of one man, pursuing a mission he was convinced was just.


If Breivik did indeed act alone, he wouldn't be the first. Timothy McVeigh bombed a federal building in Oklahoma City based essentially on his own motivations. Eric Robert Rudolph embarked on a campaign of terror over several years, including the Centennial Park bombing at the 1996 Olympics. Ted Kaczynski was revealed to be the Unabomber that same year. And these are only the most notable examples. As George Michael demonstrates in Lone Wolf Terror and the Rise of Leaderless Resistance, they are not isolated cases. Rather, they represent the new way warfare will be conducted in the twenty-first century.


Lone Wolf Terror investigates the motivations of numerous political and ideological elements, such as right-wing individuals, ecoextremists, foreign jihadists, and even quasi-governmental entities. In all these cases, those carrying out destructive acts operate as "lone wolves" and small cells, with little or no connection to formal organizations. Ultimately, Michael suggests that leaderless resistance has become the most common tactical approach of political terrorists in the West and elsewhere.

Love and Globalization Cover

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Love and Globalization

Transformations of Intimacy in the Contemporary World

Edited by Mark B. Padilla, Jennifer S. Hirsch, Miguel Muñoz-Laboy, Robert Sember, and Richard G. Parker

Discussions of globalization usually focus on political, economic, and technological transformations, but fail to recognize how we experience these processes in our daily lives, including our most intimate acts and practices. In this volume, anthropologists and sociologists draw on long-term ethnographic research on love, gender, and sexuality in a broad range of regions to discuss how global forces shape marriage, commercial sex, the political economy of intimacy, and lesbian and gay expressions of companionship. The richly-textured ethnographies provoke a series of questions about emerging vocabularies for friendship and romance; the adoption of cultural forms from faraway places; the emergence of new desires, pleasures, and emotions that circulate as commodities in the global marketplace; and the ways economic processes shape public and private expressions of sexual intimacy.

Magdalene House Cover

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Magdalene House

A Place about Mercy

Sarah VanHooser Suiter

Women come to Magdalene House in Nashville when they are ready to leave the streets. They live togetherunsupervised and free of chargefor two years. During that time, the women are given time, space, and the resources they need to heal from what have often been lifelong experiences with suffering. (Of the twentytwo women now in residence, 80 percent have a diagnosed mental illness other than addiction, 40 percent are receiving treatment for hepatitis C, and onethird are HIV positive.)


However, the story of the Magdalene community is not about these statistics, but about the stories the women tell. They say they thrive in the community because it is a place where they are free to be themselves, safe to give and receive love, and free to speak their trutheven to complain sometimes about how their storytelling is exploited "for the good of the community." A Place about Mercy is a participantobservation account of the history of this remarkable community founded in 1997, its structure, its Thistle Farms beauty products operation, and Reverend Becca Stevens's communal and spiritual vision. The book is finally about what it means to walk the path of healing with a group of unlikely women as guide.


Magdalene House was the subject of a multiplepart documentary on National Public Radio.

Making Morality Cover

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Making Morality

Pragmatist Reconstruction in Ethical Theory

Todd Lekan

"Making Morality is an important, pragmatic contribution to moral theory. No other book comes close to being as well informed of the classical pragmatic moral tradition and responsive to current metaethical issues in wider philosophical discussions."--Michael Eldridge, UNC Charlotte "This is a fine book. Lekan offers a detailed pragmatic conception of ethics. But it is far more. It is a rigorous, engaging discussion of ethical theory that explicitly wrestles with thinkers and ideas that are the mainstay of contemporary Anglo-American ethics. It is an important work in mainstream ethics that merits serious and widespread attention."--Hugh LaFollette, East Tennessee State University In this new contribution to moral theory, Todd Lekan argues for a pragmatist conception of morality as an evolving, educational, and fallible practice of everyday life. Drawing on the work of John Dewey, Lekan asserts that moral norms are neither timeless truths nor subjective whims, but habits transmitted through practices. Like the habits that make up medicine or engineering, moral habits are subject to rational evaluation and change according to new challenges and circumstances. This pragmatic interpretation of morality provides a way out of the conundrum of relativism and absolutism. Building on classical American philosophy to address current philosophical concerns, Lekan's theory revises our basic understanding of moral life and the place of theorizing within that life. Making Morality will prove of great interest to ethical theorists, as it enjoins them to measure theoretical inquiries by how well they produce intellectual tools for problem-solving in dynamic, complex communities.

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