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Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Website: http://www.wlupress.wlu.ca/

Founded in 1974, Wilfrid Laurier University Press has established a reputation for excellence in scholarly publishing in the areas of history, literature, sociology, social work, life writing, film and media studies, aboriginal studies, women’s studies, philosophy, and religious studies. The press publishes 30—35 titles a year and hasover 365 titles in print.


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Wilfrid Laurier University Press

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

A Historical Geography of the Finns in the Sudbury Area

Where else can that well-known phrase be better applied than to a study of the Finns in Sudbury? “Rock” defines the physical reality of the Sudbury setting: rugged hills, mines, farms and forests set in the Precambrian Shield. “Hard” defines the human setting: Finnish immigrants having to contend with the problems and stresses of relocating to a new culture, with livelihoods that required great endurance as well as a tolerance for hazardous conditions.

Since 1883 Finnish immigrants in Sudbury, men and women alike, have striven to improve their lot through the options available to them. Despite great obstacles, the Finns never flagged in their unwavering fight for workers’ rights and the union movement. And as agricultural settlers, labour reformers, builders of churches, halls, saunas and athletic fields, Finns left an indelible imprint on the physical and human landscape. In the process they have played an integral part in the transformation of Sudbury from a small struggling rail town to its present role as regional capital of northwestern Ontario.

This penetrating study of the cultural geography of the Finns in the Sudbury region provides an international, national and local framework for analysis — a model for future studies of other cultural groups.

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Between Worlds

A Study of the Plays of John Webster

“Webster’s iconoclasm was not the lonely experience of an alienated intellectual, but part of his generation’s struggle to create the future. As such, the critical energy we find in the plays was sustained, not by ideological certainty, but rather by interaction with the great complexity of thought and action—much of it negative—that constitutes a pre-revolutionary movement. If Webster was part of a dying culture, he was also—and it is this that Webster criticism has almost consistently ignored—a member of the generation that prepared the way for the revolution of 1640” (Introduction).

Through detailed analysis of four plays, The White Devil, The Duchess of Malfi, The Devil’s Law Case, and Appius and Virginia, Goldberg explores the relations between Webster and aspects of Jacobean social and intellectual history. Webster’s satire of princes and prelates, his iconoclastic view of traditional philosophy, his trenchant analysis of institutions are seen as part of an intellectual movement that was undermining faith in the old order. Special attention is given to Webster’s theatrical representations of legal practice and legal philosophy as key manifestations of the realities of political power. Webster’s dramatizations of the judgment situation are shown to embody specific commentary on the legal system of his time, commentary that ranges in orientation from anarchist to reformist to revolutionary. Webster’s irreverence for traditional ideals and institutions combines with a humanist sense of man’s—and woman’s—potential to make an important contribution to the pre–revolutionary movement.

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Beyond Bylines

Media Workers and Women’s Rights in Canada

Beyond Bylines: Media Workers and Women’s Rights in Canada explores the ways in which several of Canada’s women journalists, broadcasters, and other media workers reached well beyond the glory of their personal bylines to advocate for the most controversial women’s rights of their eras. To do so, some of them adopted conventional feminine identities, while others refused to conform altogether, openly and defiantly challenging the gender expectations of their day.

The book consists of a series of case studies of the women in question as they grappled with the concerns close to their hearts: higher education for women, healthy dress reforms, the vote, equal opportunities at work, abortion, lesbianism, and Aboriginal women’s rights. Their media reflected their respective eras: intellectual magazines, daily and weekly newspapers, radio, feminist public relations, alternative women’s periodicals, and documentary film made for television.

Barbara Freeman takes an interdisciplinary approach, combining biography, history, and communication studies to demonstrate how their use of different media both enabled and limited these women in their ability to be daring advocates for gender equality. She shows how a number of these women were linked through the generations by their memberships in activist women’s organizations.

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The Biblical Politics of John Locke

John Locke is often thought of as one of the founders of the Enlightenment, a movement that sought to do away with the Bible and religion and replace them with scientific realism. But Locke was extremely interested in the Bible, and he was engaged by biblical theology and religion throughout his life. In this new book, K.I. Parker considers Locke’s interest in Scripture and how that interest is articulated in the development of his political philosophy.

Parker shows that Locke’s liberalism is inspired by his religious vision and, particularly, his distinctive understanding of the early chapters of the book of Genesis. Unlike Sir Robert Filmer, who understood the Bible to justify social hierarchies (i.e., the divine right of the king, the first-born son’s rights over other siblings, and the “natural” subservience of women to men), Locke understood from the Bible that humans are in a natural state of freedom and equality to each other. The biblical debate between Filmer and Locke furnishes scholars with a better understanding of Lockes political views as presented in his Two Treatises.

The Biblical Politics of John Locke demonstrates the impact of the Bible on one of the most influential thinkers of the seventeenth century, and provides an original context in which to situate the debate concerning the origins of early modern political thought.

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Big Picture Realities

Canada and Mexico at the Crossroads

In the post-NAFTA era, Canada and Mexico face dramatic and irreversible changes from the Bush revolution in foreign public policy, the rising economic power of China and India, new concerns about border security and human rights, and the trends of economic integration. The essays in Big Picture Realities: Canada and Mexico at the Crossroads address the sea change in the political economic order of North America and chronicle the attempts of Canada and Mexico, two very different societies, to come to terms with the accumulated and often contradictory effects of micro and macro changes.

Contributors are Canadian and Mexican scholars and leading authorities in security, immigration, human rights, foreign policy, Canada-Mexico relations, and market integration. This book is particularly valuable for public policy experts and scholars and students in international relations.

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Biological Sciences at the National Research Council of Canada

The Early Years to 1952

This monograph describes the work of the Division of Biological Sciences of the National Research Council of Canada. Part One deals with scientific research in agriculture and other areas from 1916 until 1939. The subject of Part Two is the solution of special problems connected with World War II, including the preservation and packaging of food for long–distance transportation. Part Three records changes in emphasis following the war and establishment of branch laboratories in various parts of Canada.

Historians of science and students of Canadian history will find this a valuable reference work. Written in nontechnical language, it can be read easily by anyone interested in the development of biological sciences and in the work of the National Research Council.

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Biomedical Ethics and Fetal Therapy

“Over the last two decades, medical researchers have become more comfortable wit the idea that serious attention must be given to ethical issues when the tests of new technologies are being designed. They have come to see that experimental trials must meet certain standards, not only of scientific rigour, but also of moral acceptability.” (Introduction)

Presented by an international group of experts, the eight essays included in this volume evaluate the new technologies in fetal care and also wrestle with the new problems, often moral ones, that have accompanied techonological advancement. The opening chapters review state-of-the-art ultrasound imaging and molecular genetics and focus on the new patient—the fetus. From here, the efficacy of fetal therapy, the problem of assessing long-term viability, the ethical issues involved in both clinical practice and medical research, and the legal rights of the new patients and their parents are examined. The final chapter “Are Fetuses Becoming Children?” brings a fresh philosophical perspective to the question of a fetus’s status and rights.

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Blast, Corrupt, Dismantle, Erase

Contemporary North American Dystopian Literature

What do literary dystopias reflect about the times? In Blast, Corrupt, Dismantle, Erase, contributors address this amorphous but pervasive genre, using diverse critical methodologies to examine how North America is conveyed or portrayed in a perceived age of crisis, accelerated uncertainty, and political volatility.

Drawing from contemporary novels such as Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, and the work of Margaret Atwood and William Gibson (to name a few), this book examines dystopian literature produced by North American authors between the signing of NAFTA (1994) and the tenth anniversary of 9/11 (2011). As the texts illustrate, awareness of and deep concern about perceived vulnerabilities—ends of water, oil, food, capitalism, empires, stable climates, ways of life, non-human species, and entire human civilizations—have become central to public discourseover the same period.

By asking questions such as “What are the distinctive qualities of post-NAFTA North American dystopian literature?” and “What does this literature reflect about the tensions and contradictions of the inchoate continental community of North America?” Blast, Corrupt, Dismantle, Erase serves to resituate dystopian writing within a particular geo-social setting and introduce a productive means to understand both North American dystopian writing and its relevant engagements with a restricted, mapped reality.

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Blocking Public Participation

The Use of Strategic Litigation to Silence Political Expression

Strategic litigation against public participation (SLAPP) involves lawsuits brought by individuals, corporations, groups, or politicians to curtail political activism and expression. An increasingly large part of the political landscape in Canada, they are often launched against those protesting, boycotting, or participating in some form of political activism. A common feature of SLAPPs is that their intention is rarely to win the case or secure a remedy; rather, the suit is brought to create a chill on political expression.

Blocking Public Participation examines the different types of litigation and causes of action that frequently form the basis of SLAPPs, and how these lawsuits transform political disputes into legal cases, thereby blocking political engagement. The resource imbalance between plaintiffs and defendants allows plaintiffs to tie up defendants in complex and costly legal processes. The book also examines the dangers SLAPPs pose to political expression and to the quality and integrity of our democratic political institutions. Finally, the book examines the need to regulate SLAPPs in Canada and assesses various regulatory proposals.

In Canada, considerable attention has been paid to the “legalization of politics” and the impact on the Charter in diverting political activism into the judicial arena. SLAPPs, however, are an under-studied element of this process, and in their obstruction of political engagement through recourse to the courts they have profound implications for democratic practice.

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Blues and Bliss

The Poetry of George Elliott Clarke

Blues singer, preacher, cultural critic, exile, Africadian, high modernist, spoken word artist, Canadian poet—these are but some of the voices of George Elliott Clarke. In a selection of Clarke’s best work from his early poetry to his most recent, Blues and Bliss: The Poetry of George Elliott Clarke offers readers an impressive cross-section of those voices. Jon Paul Fiorentino’s introduction focuses on this polyphony, his influences—Derek Walcott, Amiri Baraka, and the canon of literary English from Shakespeare to Yeats—and his “voice throwing,” and shows how the intersections here produce a “troubling” of language. He sketches Clarke’s primary interest in the negotiation of cultural space through adherence to and revision of tradition and on the finding of a vernacular that begins in exile, especially exile in relation to African-Canadian communities.

In the afterword, Clarke, in an interesting re-spin of Fiorentino’s introduction, writes with patented gusto about how his experiences have contributed to multiple sounds and forms in his work. Decrying any grandiose notions of theory, he presents himself as primarily a songwriter.

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