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West Virginia University Press

West Virginia University Press

Website: http://www.as.wvu.edu/press

Founded in the mid-1960s, West Virginia University Press is a scholarly, not-for-profit publisher of books and journals. The Press specializes in Appalachian history, medieval studies, African American literature and culture, and rural sociology; its list also includes general interest and creative writings on Appalachia. Through the publication of all such works, WVU Press helps to fulfill West Virginia University’s land-grant mission.

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West Virginia University Press

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Works prior to this book focused on Bede as not only a European, but also as an English scholar, historian, scientist, or a biographer of saints, and have used a traditional approach towards his explanation of the Bible. Bede's interpretation of his work, its continuous progress, and the reasons behind his hurried appointment to an authority almost as high as the Church Fathers are all topics examined within the text. Essays are by Roger Ray, Faith Wallis, Calvin B. Kendall, George Hardin Brown, Scott DeGregorio, Arthur G. Holder, Lawrence T. Martin, Walter Goffart, and Joyce Hill.

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Isidorean Perceptions of Order

The Exeter Book Riddles and Medieval Latin Enigmata

Mercedes Salvador-Bello

This book discusses the considerable influence exerted by Isidore’s Etymologiae on the compilation of early medieval enigmata. Either in the form of thematic clusters or pairs, Isidorean encyclopedic patterns are observed not only in major Latin riddle collections in verse but can also be detected in the two vernacular assemblages contained in the Exeter Book. 

As with encyclopedias, the topic-centered arrangement of riddles was pursued by compilers as a strategy intended to optimize the didactic and instructional possibilities inherent in these texts and favor the readers’ assimilation of their contents. This book thus provides a thoroughgoing investigation of medieval riddling, with special attention to the Exeter Book Riddles, demonstrating that this genre constituted an important part of the school curriculum of the early Middle Ages.

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Labor Studies Journal

Vol. 27 (2002) - vol. 31 (2006)

Labor Studies Journal is a multi-disciplinary publication about work, workers, labor organizations, and labor studies and worker education in the United States and internationally. As the official journal of the United Association for Labor Education, the journal is directed at a diverse audience including union, university and community-based sciences and humanities.

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Life, Work, and Rebellion in the Coal Fields

The Southern West Virginia Miners, 1880-1922

David A. Corbin

Between 1880 and 1922, the coal fields of southern West Virginia witnessed two bloody and protracted strikes, the formation of two competing unions, and the largest armed conflict in American labor history—a week-long battle between 20,000 coal miners and 5,000 state police, deputy sheriffs, and mine guards. These events resulted in an untold number of deaths, indictments of over 550 coal miners for insurrection and treason, and four declarations of martial law. Corbin argues that these violent events were collective and militant acts of aggression interconnected and conditioned by decades of oppression. His study goes a long way toward breaking down the old stereotypes of Appalachian and coal mining culture. This second edition contains a new preface and afterword by author David A. Corbin.

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Magnetic North

Lee Maynard

In Magnetic North an aging warrior and his best friend—perhaps his only friend—ride motorcycles to Alaska, with the ultimate goal of riding to the Arctic Circle. It is a ride that mirrors their lives, a ride that causes old stories, old trials, old darkness to come, once again, through the spinning wheels of the machines they are riding.

Morgan is a man who can't give it up. His propensity toward violence has followed him through all the days of his life, and it follows him now.

Slade has shared much of Morgan's life, and he has been the one of the rare stabilizing factors in that life. Without Slade, it is clear that Morgan has no guidance, no goals, and no potential for living much longer than his next encounter with . . . almost anything.

And so the two old friends ride out from New Mexico and Colorado—heading north.

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Matewan Before the Massacre

Politics, Coal, and the Roots of Conflict in a West Central West Virginia Mining Community

Rebecca J. Bailey

On May 19, 1920, gunshots rang through the streets of Matewan, West Virginia, in an event soon known as the “Matewan Massacre.” Most historians of West Virginia and Appalachia see this event as the beginning of a long series of tribulations known as the second Mine Wars. But was it instead the culmination of an even longer series of proceedings that unfolded in Mingo County, dating back at least to the Civil War? Matewan Before the Massacre provides the first comprehensive history of the area, beginning in the late eighteenth century continuing up to the Massacre. It covers the relevant economic history, including the development of the coal mine industry and the struggles over land ownership; labor history, including early efforts of unionization; transportation history, including the role of the N&W Railroad; political history, including the role of political factions in the county’s two major communities—Matewan and Williamson; and the impact of the state’s governors and legislatures on Mingo County.

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Memoirs of Elleanor Eldridge

Elleanor Eldridge, born of African and US indigenous descent in 1794, operated a lucrative domestic services business in nineteenth century Providence, Rhode Island. In defiance of her gender and racial background, she purchased land and built rental property from the wealth she gained as a business owner. In the 1830s, Eldridge was defrauded of her property by a white lender. In a series of common court cases as alternately defendant and plaintiff, she managed to recover it through the Rhode Island judicial system. In order to raise funds to carry out this litigation, her memoir, which includes statements from employers endorsing her respectable character, was published in 1838. Frances Harriet Whipple, an aspiring white writer in Rhode Island, narrated and co-authored Eldridge’s story, expressing a proto-feminist outrage at the male “extortioners” who caused Eldridge’s loss and distress.

With the rarity of Eldridge’s material achievements aside, Memoirs of Elleanor Eldridge forms an exceptional antebellum biography, chronicling Eldridge’s life from her birth through the first publication of almost yearly editions of the text between 1838 and 1847. Because of Eldridge’s exceptional life as a freeborn woman of color entrepreneur, it constitutes a counter-narrative to slave narratives of early 19th-century New England, changing the literary landscape of conventional American Renaissance studies and interpretations of American Transcendentalism.
With an introduction by Joycelyn K. Moody, this new edition contextualizes the extraordinary life of Elleanor Eldridge—from her acquisition of wealth and property to the publication of her biography and her legal struggles to regain stolen property. Because of her mixed-race identity, relative wealth, local and regional renown, and her efficacy in establishing a collective of white women patrons, this biography challenges typical African and indigenous women’s literary production of the early national period and resituates Elleanor Eldridge as an important cultural and historical figure of the nineteenth century.

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The Tragic Story of the 1907 Monongah Mine Disaster


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My Pulse Is an Earthquake

Kristin FitzPatrick

The nine stories in My Pulse Is an Earthquake take place in the clutches of grief. Characters struggle to make sense of sudden losses of life, love, and community. From 1970 to the present day, children and young adults from the Rockies to the Appalachian Mountains guide readers through the valleys of their lives as dog breeders, immigrants, Catholic school delinquents, rookie policewomen, drummers, ballerinas, teenage brides, and an accountant who keeps a careful inventory of losses. 

In each story, we see the darkness that can surface during the happy moments in life—weddings, births, promotions, the opening night of a director’s favorite play, or the best performance of a dancer’s career, when no one important is there to watch. We enter daydreams and night terrors where the dead are within reach, pointing out how they could have been saved. We wear their clothes and carry their teddy bears or vinyl records everywhere. We crawl around in caves and pound hammers into walls until our own hearts stop beating. 

This collection explores how the unexpected harm to young, vibrant loved ones—from murder, kidnapping, battle, accident, natural disaster, swift illness, or stillbirth—can rupture families, and how the most unlikely healers can bring together those who remain.

My Pulse Is an Earthquake will be performed on stage by The New Short Fiction Series in Hollywood, an event sponsored by Barnes & Noble.

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Naked Before God

Uncovering the Body in Anglo-Saxon England

At different times and in different places, the human form has been regarded in different ways. The Ancient Greeks thought it was the most admirable subject for art, whereas early Christians often viewed it as lascivious in our post-lapsarian state. With illustrations taken from manuscripts, statuary and literary, this is a fascinating collection of essays with much that will be new to scholars and general readers alike.

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