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Manufacturing Memoir for the Popular Market
Since the early 1990s, tens of thousands of memoirs by celebrities and unknown people have been published, sold, and read by millions of American readers. The memoir boom, as the explosion of memoirs on the market has come to be called, has been welcomed, vilified, and dismissed in the popular press. But is there really a boom in memoir production in the United States? If so, what is causing it? Are memoirs all written by narcissistic hacks for an unthinking public, or do they indicate a growing need to understand world events through personal experiences? This study seeks to answer these questions by examining memoir as an industrial product like other products, something that publishers and booksellers help to create. These popular texts become part of mass culture, where they are connected to public events. The genre of memoir, and even genre itself, ceases to be an empty classification category and becomes part of social action and consumer culture at the same time. From James Frey’s controversial A Million Little Pieces, to memoirs about bartending, Iran, the liberation of Dachau, computer hacking, and the impact of 9/11, this book argues that the memoir boom is more than a publishing trend. It is becoming the way American readers try to understand major events in terms of individual experiences. The memoir boom is one of the ways that citizenship as a category of belonging between private and public spheres is now articulated.
A Study of Land Tenure on a Micronesian Atoll
In Bountiful Island a major Arctic scholar turns his eye on Micronesia: the small and isolated atoll of Pingelap in Micronesia lies in a moist climatic belt which encourages abundant plant life, including such food plants as coconuts, breadfruit and taro. In this detailed examination of land-tenure practices in the atoll, David Damas argues that the resulting high level of subsistence has brought an expansion of the population which has put great pressures on land. Under these pressures, land tenure has moved from communal usage to lineage control, to individual ownership and transmission rights. Comparative material from neighbouring Mwaekil atoll indicates the same general succession from larger to smaller units of tenure with increasing population. While control of land by kin groups is usual in the Pacific, other atoll societies show examples of individual tenure which also relate to changes in population densities.
Subsequent depopulation and emigration have not altered the fundamentals of the land-tenure system but have led to the emergence of a pattern of land stewardship. This has resulted in imbalances between the holdings of resident cultivators and those of absentee landowners.
Comparative material from neighbouring Mwaekil atoll indicates the same general succession from larger to smaller units of tenure with increasing population. While control of land by kin groups is usual in the Pacific, other atoll societies show examples of individual tenure which also relate to changes in population densities.
Bountiful Island will be of interest to all anthropologists studying cross-cultural comparisons in the theory of land-tenure practices and the ethnology, social anthropology and ethnohistory of Micronesia. This book is also suitable for senior undergraduate and graduate courses in cultural ecology and area courses on the Pacific.
Determinants, Measurements and Welfare Effects
Theoretical studies of the determinants of migration by skilled persons and the output and welfare effects of such migration on the migrants and the countries of departure and destination.
The volume measures the numbers of highly skilled migrants from different countries to the U.S. and Canada, with an analysis of policy alternatives.
The Chilly Climate for Women Faculty
Across North America a growing body of “chilly climate” research documents the role played by environmental factors in reproducing gender inequality: practices that stereotype, exclude and devalue women are persistently powerful forces in creating “glass ceilings” and maintaining “pink ghettos.” Women academics in North American universities and colleges offer an especially striking case for such research. Precisely because of their elite status, the accounts now emerging of the “chilly climate” faced by academic women throw into sharp relief the mechanisms that foster gender inequity throughout North American society.
Collected in this volume are a number of reports and commentaries on “climate issues” as they affect women faculty in Canadian universities. They include Sheila McIntyre’s Memo, an account of gender harassment in the context of a law school that was first circulated in 1986; two reports by and about women faculty at the University of Western Ontario that were inspired by McIntyre’s Memo; accounts of the reactions of male colleagues, the administration and the media to “climate” studies; and several chapters that critically reframe the discussion of chilly climate practices in terms of questions of race and sexual identity.
Taken together, these reports and discussions demonstrate the importance of addressing the environmental roots of women’s continuing inequity both within and outside contemporary academia. They communicate specific experiences which testify to the existence of a chilly climate in our universities, and call into question any supposition that women and men have achieved equity to the degree that they could be said to work in “the same” environment in these institutions.
A Brief History of Women in Quebec examines the historical experience of women of different social classes and origins (geographic, ethnic, and racial) from the period of contact between Europeans and Aboriginals to the twenty-first century to give a nuanced and complex account of the main transformations in their lives.
Themes explored include demography, such as marriage, fecundity, and immigration; women’s work outside and inside the home, including motherhood; education, from elementary school to post-secondary and access to the professions; the impact of religion and government policies; and social and political activism, including feminism and struggles to attain equality with men. Early chapters deal with New France and the first part of the nineteenth century, and the remaining are devoted to the period since 1880, an era in which women’s lives changed rapidly and dramatically.
The book concludes that transformation in the means of production, women’s social and political activism (including feminism), and Quebec nationalism are three main keys to understanding the history of Quebec women. Together, the three show that women’s history, far from being an adjunct to “general history,” is essential to a full understanding of the past. Originally published in French with the title Brève histoire des femmes au Québec.
Anglo-Soviet Relations and the Metro-Vickers Crisis
“Russian politics, like opium, seems infallibly to provoke the most fantastic dreams and imaginings on the part of the people who study them.” — E.A. Walker, British Embassy, Moscow 1931
In March 1933 the economic section of the Soviet secret police arrested six British engineers employed by the Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Company. The arrests provoked a confrontation that brought Anglo-Soviet relations to the brink of disaster and resurrected the spectre of the show trials and purges of the technical intelligentsia that had shaken Soviet society from 1928 to 1931.
Britain Confronts the Stalin Revolution is the first full-length study of the Metro-Vickers’ show trial of 1933. Based upon some new and many underutilized Soviet and British sources, Gordon Morrell examines the political, economic, social, legal and cultural dimensions of the only Stalinist political trial of the 1930s that directly engaged a foreign power.
Morrell explores the roots of the crisis by analyzing Metro-Vickers’ role in the electrification of the USSR and he examines the political, economic and diplomatic relations between Britain and the Soviets that gave the crisis its international importance. He focusses on the efforts of the British Government to understand and respond to the new Stalinist order and, importantly, casts new light on the apparent role of the British Industrial Intelligence Centre during the early 1930s.
Britain Confronts the Stalin Revolution is an accessible, original and multidimensional work that makes an important contribution to the study of Anglo-Soviet relations.
Stories from Mayerthorpe
In 1949, Margaret Norquay moved with her new husband, a minister with the United Church of Canada, to Mayerthorpe, in northern Alberta, a village in the centre of what was in those days a pioneer hinterland. Broad Is the Way is a collection of stories from their seven years there. Told with affection and gentle humour, the stories cover the challenges, heartaches, and delights of a young community and a minister and his wife in a very new marriage. Topics include the experience of orphan children sent to work on Western farms, manoeuvring for a restroom downtown for farmers’ wives in need of a place to change their babies while their husbands did business, dealing with the RCMP over liquor found in the church basement, and the generosity of spirit shown by the community to the Norquays. Throughout the book, Margaret Norquay’s indomitable spirit and determination are evident and illustrate her passionate belief in making positive change and having fun while doing it.
National Socialism in Canada
During the years 1933 to 1939, a pro-Nazi movement developed in Canada. With the support of the German National Socialist Party, Canadian pro-Nazi institutions were formed: clubs, rallies, schools, and newspapers. The movement ended in failure. The author analyzes the reasons for the formation and decline of the National Socialist Party in Canada, describing in the process the general characteristics of the German community in Canada, the extent of Nazi activity in this country, and the influence of the Canadian environment on the movement. The book, well researched and carefully documented, is an original contribution to Canadian history of the 1930s.