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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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Men Who Hate Women and Women Who Kick Their Asses Cover

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Men Who Hate Women and Women Who Kick Their Asses

Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy in Feminist Perspective

Donna King

Stieg Larsson was an unabashed feminist in his personal and professional life and in the fictional world he created, but The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest are full of graphic depictions of violence against women, including stalking, sexual harassment, child abuse, rape, incest, serial murder, sexual slavery, and sex trafficking, committed by vile individual men and by corrupt, secretive institutions. How do readers and moviegoers react to these depictions, and what do they make of the women who fight back, the complex masculinities in the trilogy, and the ambiguous gender of the elusive Lisbeth Salander?

These lively and accessible essays expand the conversation in the blogosphere about the novels and films by connecting the controversies about gender roles to social trends in the real world.

Mexico Reading the United States Cover

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Mexico Reading the United States

Edited by Linda Egan and Mary K. Long

The thirteen original essays in this collection explore the Mexican point of view from the 1920s to the present in order to register often unheard voices in the complex cross-border, cross-cultural reality shared by the two nations. The contributors, all of whom have personal experience with the challenges of bi-cultural and bi-national living, discuss travel writing, novels, film, essays, political cartoons, and Mexican sociocultural movements. In a time of ever-increasing migration of capital and human beings, this book turns on its head the usual perspective of U.S. economic and cultural dominance in order to deepen understanding of the bi-national relationship.

Midwives’ Tales Cover

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Midwives’ Tales

Stories of Traditional and Professional Birthing in Samoa

Lesley Barclay, Fulisia Aiavao, Jennifer Fenwick, and Kaisarina Tooloa Papua

The result of a ten-year collaboration between Australian and Samoan researchers and midwives, this book compiles the first-person stories of several generations of Samoan midwives, both those who use traditional techniques for home birth and those who use Western techniques in a hospital. The voices are vivid and varied, often displaying the Samoan gift for storytelling. The overall picture of changing birthing practices is complex and sometimes tinged with ironies. As the introduction says, "These Samoan nurses and midwives did not immediately attempt to mediate new and old ways of birthing after the colonial leadership of their profession left. They themselves became cultural agents for change as they continued the role of 'colonizing' their own birth tradition and taught the fa'atosaga [Samoan for midwife] Western techniques, at the same time trying to provide a professional midwife for all women. Paradoxically they often chose a social midwife for their own births and supported or at least condoned the social midwives close to them. . . . Kaisarina, while working as the leading professional midwife in the country, and working almost totally in hospital practice herself, simultaneously assisted her mother-in-law with her social practice of midwifery. Vipulo's story shows how a professional midwife preferred to have her mother, a social midwife, deliver her at home." A particular objective of the authors is to encourage a reconception of maternity care in countries where professional services are rare and not available to all women. The book challenges common assumptions, still held in many postcolonial countries, that a simple migration of Western-style, hospital-focused care is necessarily always an achievable or desirable goal. It also demonstrates the considerable progress that one group has made in rethinking and developing a model of maternity care that works within their society and culture. As these midwives’ stories suggest, solutions to some of the problems caused by gaps in the kinds of resources that Westerners take for granted can be found in partnerships and cultural wisdom that already exist in Samoa and, by extension, other developing countries.

Missionary Scientists Cover

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Missionary Scientists

Jesuit Science in Spanish South America, 1570-1810

Andrés I. Prieto

Missionary Scientists explores the scientific activities of Jesuit missionaries in colonial Spanish America, revealing a little-known aspect of religion's role in the scholarship of the early Spanish Empire. Grounded in an examination of the writings and individuals authors who were active in South American naturalist studies, this study outlines new paths of research often neglected by current scholarship. What becomes clear throughout Missionary Scientists is that early missionaries were adept in adapting to local practices, in order to both understand the scientific foundations of these techniques and ingratiate themselves to the native communities. Spanning the disciplines of history, religion, and Latin American studies, Missionary Scientists reshapes our understanding of the importance of the Jesuit missions in establishing early scientific traditions in the New World.

Modernizing Medicine in Zimbabwe Cover

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Modernizing Medicine in Zimbabwe

HIV/AIDS and Traditional Healers

David S. Simmons

As subSaharan Africa continues to confront the runaway epidemic of HIV/AIDS, traditional healers have been tapped as collaborators in prevention and education efforts. The terms of this collaboration, however, are far from settled and continually contested. As Modernizing Medicine in Zimbabwe demonstrates, serious questions continue to linger in the medical community since the explosion of the disease nearly thirty years ago. Are healers obstacles to health development? Do their explanations for the disease disregard biomedical science? Can the worlds of traditional healing and modern medicine coexist and cooperate?


Combining anthropological, historical, and public health perspectives, Modernizing Medicine in Zimbabwe explores the intersection of African healing traditions and Western health development, emphasizing the role of this historical relationship in current debates about HIV/AIDS. Drawing on diverse sources including colonial records, missionary correspondence, international health policy reports, and interviews with traditional healers, anthropologist David S. Simmons demonstrates the remarkable adaptive qualities of these disparate communities as they try to meet the urgent needs of the people.

The Moon in the Water Cover

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The Moon in the Water

Reflections on an Aging Parent

Kathy J. Phillips

Named a Best Book of 2008 by Library Journal

In a series of moving vignettes, the author begins by describing a particular representation of Water-Moon Kuan Yin, a Buddhist teacher and goddess associated with compassion, who often sits on a precarious overhang or floats on a flimsy petal. Then Kuan Yin steps out of the frame to join the author in the mundane challenges of caring for her father-transferring his health insurance, struggling with a wheelchair van, managing adult diapers, or playing in the fictions of dementia. From perplexed to poignant to funny, the vignettes record the working-class English of a fading but still wise dad, and they find other human versions of Kuan Yin in a doctor who will still make house calls or kind strangers in the street.

The book includes ten illustrations: both classical representations of Kuan Yin and also the author's own drawings, which adapt Kuan Yin in an act of practical spirituality, reading art through life and life through art. Each vignette invites the harried caregiver to take a deep breath and meditate on the trials and joys of caring for an aging parent.

Music Scenes Cover

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Music Scenes

Local, Translocal, and Virtual

Edited by Andy Bennett and Richard A. Peterson

While more than 80 percent of the world’s commercial music is controlled by four multinational firms, most music is made and enjoyed in diverse situations divorced from such corporate behemoths. These fourteen original essays examine the fascinating world of “music scenes,” those largely inconspicuous sites where clusters of musicians, producers, and fans explore their common musical tastes and distinctive lifestyle choices. Although most music scenes come and go with hardly a trace, they nevertheless give immense satisfaction to their participants, and a few—New York bop jazz, Merseybeat, Memphis rockabilly, London punk, Bronx hip-hop—achieve fame and spur musical innovations. To date, serious study of the scenes phenomenon has focused mainly on specific music scenes while paying less attention to recurrent dynamics of scene life, such as how individuals construct and negotiate scenes to the various activities. This volume remedies that neglect. The editors distinguish between three types of scenes—local, translocal, and virtual—which provide the organizing framework for the essays. Aspects of local scenes, which are confined to specific areas, are explored through essays on Chicago blues, rave, karaoke, teen pop, and salsa. The section on translocal scenes, which involve the coming together of scattered local scenes around a particular type of music and lifestyle, includes articles on Riot Grrrls, goths, art music, and anarcho-punk. Aspects of virtual scenes, in which fans communicate via the internet, are illustrated using alternative country, the Canterbury sound, post-rock, and Kate Bush fans. Also included is an essay that shows how the social conditions in places where jazz was made influenced that music’s development.

New Spain, New Literatures Cover

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New Spain, New Literatures

Edited by Luis Martín-Estudillo and Nicholas Spadaccini

This volume, which includes essays on Catalonia, the Basque country, Galicia, and literature written by African immigrants, focuses on issues of "difference" that are at the center of current debates in Spain and elsewhere--the emergence of minoritized literatures, multilingualism and identity, new relationships between culture and institutions, the negotiation of historical memories, the connections between migrations and the redefinition of nationhood, and the impact of global trends on local symbolic systems.

The Next Form of Democracy Cover

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The Next Form of Democracy

How Expert Rule Is Giving Way to Shared Governance -- and Why Politics Will Never Be the Same

Matt Leighninger

Beneath the national radar, the relationship between citizens and government is undergoing a dramatic shift. More than ever before, citizens are educated, skeptical, and capable of bringing the decision-making process to a sudden halt. Public officials and other leaders are tired of confrontation and desperate for resources. In order to address persistent challenges like education, race relations, crime prevention, land use planning, and economic development, communities have been forced to find new ways for people and public servants to work together.

The stories of civic experiments in this book can show us the realpolitik of deliberative democracy, and illustrate how the evolution of democracy is already reshaping politics.

Obesity among Poor Americans Cover

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Obesity among Poor Americans

Is Public Assistance the Problem?

Patricia K. Smith

Obesity costs our society billions of dollars a year in lost productivity and medical expenses, roughly half of which the federal government pays through Medicare and Medicaid. We know obesity plagues the poor more than the non-poor and poor women more than poor men. Poor women make up the majority of adult welfare recipients—coincidence or causal connection? This book investigates the controversial claim by welfare critics that public assistance programs like Food Stamps and the National School Lunch programs contribute to obesity among the poor. The author synthesizes empirical evidence from an array of disciplines—anthropology, economics, epidemiology, medicine, nutrition science, marketing, psychology, public health, sociology, and urban planning--to test this claim and to test whether other causal processes are at work. With a lucid presentation that makes it a model for applying research to questions of social policy, the book lays out the different hypotheses and the possible causal pathways within each. The four central chapters test whether “public assistance causes obesity,” “obesity causes public assistance,” “poverty causes both public assistance and obesity,” and “Factor X causes both.” The factors in the last category that may relate to both public assistance and obesity include stress, disability, and physical abuse.

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