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American Arabesque Cover

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American Arabesque

Arabs and Islam in the Nineteenth Century Imaginary

By Jacob Berman

American Arabesque examines representations of Arabs, Islam and the Near East in nineteenth-century American culture, arguing that these representations play a significant role in the development of American national identity over the century, revealing largely unexplored exchanges between these two cultural traditions that will alter how we understand them today.

 

Moving from the period of America’s engagement in the Barbary Wars through the Holy Land travel mania in the years of Jacksonian expansion and into the writings of romantics such as Edgar Allen Poe, the book argues that not only were Arabs and Muslims prominently featured in nineteenth-century literature, but that the differences writers established between figures such as Moors, Bedouins, Turks and Orientals provide proof of the transnational scope of domestic racial politics. Drawing on both English and Arabic language sources, Berman contends that the fluidity and instability of the term Arab as it appears in captivity narratives, travel narratives, imaginative literature, and ethnic literature simultaneously instantiate and undermine definitions of the American nation and American citizenship.

American Arrivals Cover

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American Arrivals

Anthropology Engages the New Immigration

Edited by Nancy Foner

Soaring immigration to the United States in the past few decades has reawakened both popular and scholarly interest in this important issue. American Arrivals highlights the important insights of anthropology for the field of migration studies. The authors reflect on anthropological approaches, methods, and theories and seek to develop a research program for the future. Placing contemporary immigration in the perspective of globalization and transnational social fields, their essays demonstrate the importance of gender and urban contexts to understanding immigrants' lives. Addressing issues of health care, education, and cultural values and practices among Mexicans, Haitians, Somalis, Afghans, and other newcomers to the United States, the authors illuminate the complex ways that immigrants adapt to life in a new land and raise serious questions about the meaning and political uses of ideas about cultural difference.

An American Body | Politic Cover

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An American Body | Politic

A Deleuzian Approach

Bernd Herzogenrath

A reflection on the metaphor of the body politic throughout American history Bernd Herzogenrath’s An American Body|Politic is a study of the intersection between the material, biological body and body as political and cultural metaphor in American politics, religion, literature, and popular culture. Deeply influenced by the thought of Gilles Deleuze, Herzogenrath’s approach to American culture encompasses endless possibilities and potentials, eschewing the mechanic and structural. He traipses through American history and culture, pausing to examine such varied facets as the Puritans’ “two bodies,” Anne Hutchinson and the Antinomian Controversy, Cotton Mather and smallpox, the poetics|politics of Whitman, Henry Adams’s stroll along the shores of complexity, and the Detroit-based techno music of today.

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The American Dream

A Cultural History

by Lawrence R. Samuel

There is no better way to understand America than by understanding the cultural history of the American Dream. Rather than just a powerful philosophy or ideology, the Dream is thoroughly woven into the fabric of everyday life, playing a vital role in who we are, what we do, and why we do it. No other idea or mythology has as much influence on our individual and collective lives. Tracing the history of the phrase in popular culture, Samuel gives readers a field guide to the evolution of our national identity over the last eighty years. Samuel tells the story chronologically, revealing that there have been six major eras of the mythology since the phrase was coined in 1931. Relying mainly on period magazines and newspapers as his primary source material, the author demonstrates that journalists serving on the front lines of the scene represent our most valuable resource to recover unfiltered stories of the Dream. The problem, however, is that it does not exist, the Dream is just that, a product of our imagination. That it is not real ultimately turns out to be the most significant finding about the Ameri­can Drea, and what makes the story most compelling.

American Guestworkers Cover

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American Guestworkers

Jamaicans and Mexicans in the U.S. Labor Market

David Griffith

The H-2 program, originally based in Florida, is the longest running labor-importation program in the country. Over the course of a quarter-century of research, Griffith studied rural labor processes and their national and international effects. In this book, he examines the socioeconomic effects of the H-2 program on both the areas where the laborers work and the areas they are from, and, taking a uniquely humanitarian stance, he considers the effects of the program on the laborers themselves.

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The American Midwest

An Interpretive Encyclopedia

Richard Sisson, Christian Zacher, and Andrew Cayton, editors

This first-ever encyclopedia of the Midwest seeks to embrace this large and diverse area, to give it voice, and help define its distinctive character. Organized by topic, it encourages readers to reflect upon the region as a whole. Each section moves from the general to the specific, covering broad themes in longer introductory essays, filling in the details in the shorter entries that follow. There are portraits of each of the region's twelve states, followed by entries on society and culture, community and social life, economy and technology, and public life. The book offers a wealth of information about the region's surprising ethnic diversity -- a vast array of foods, languages, styles, religions, and customs -- plus well-informed essays on the region's history, culture and values, and conflicts. A site of ideas and innovations, reforms and revivals, and social and physical extremes, the Midwest emerges as a place of great complexity, signal importance, and continual fascination.

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The American War in Contemporary Vietnam

Transnational Remembrance and Representation

Christina Schwenkel

Christina Schwenkel's absorbing study explores how the "American War" is remembered and commemorated in Vietnam today -- in official and unofficial histories and in everyday life. Schwenkel analyzes visual representations found in monuments and martyrs' cemeteries, museums, photography and art exhibits, battlefield tours, and related sites of "trauma tourism." In these transnational spaces, American and Vietnamese memories of the war intersect in ways profoundly shaped by global economic liberalization and the return of American citizens as tourists, pilgrims, and philanthropists.

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The Americas That Might Have Been

Native American Social Systems through Time

Written by Julian Granberry

This work answers the hypothetical question: What would the Americas be like today—politically, economically, culturally—if Columbus and the Europeans had never found them, and how would American peoples interact with the world's other societies? It assumes that Columbus did not embark from Spain in 1492 and that no Europeans found or settled the New World afterward, leaving the peoples of the two American continents free to follow the natural course of their Native lives.

The Americas That Might Have Been is a professional but layman-accessible, fact-based, nonfiction account of the major Native American political states that were thriving in the New World in 1492. Granberry considers a contemporary New World in which the glories of Aztec Mexico, Maya Middle America, and Inca Peru survived intact. He imagines the roles that the Iroquois Confederacy of the American Northeast, the powerful city-states along the Mississippi River in the Midwest and Southeast, the Navajo Nation and the Pueblo culture of the Southwest, the Eskimo Nation in the Far North, and the Ta&iactue;no/Arawak chiefdoms of the Caribbean would play in American and world politics in the 21st Century.

Following a critical examination of the data using empirical archaeology, linguistics, and ethnohistory, Granberry presents a reasoned and compelling discussion of native cultures and the paths they would have logically taken over the past five centuries. He reveals the spectacular futures these brilliant pre-Columbian societies might have had, if not for one epochal meeting that set off a chain of events so overwhelming to them that the course of human history was forever changed.

"Offers the latitude to explain a model of cultural evolution based on kinship categories while speculating about hjow several Indian nations might have developed sans colonialism."—North Dakota Quarterly



Among the Garifuna Cover

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Among the Garifuna

Family Tales and Ethnography from the Caribbean Coast

Among the Garifuna is the first ethnographic narrative of a Garifuna family. The Garifuna are descendants of the “ Black Carib,” whom the British deposited on Roatan Island in 1797 and who settled along the Caribbean coast from Belize City to Nicaragua.
 
In 1980, medical anthropologist Marilyn McKillop Wells found herself embarking on an “ improbable journey” when she was invited to the area to do fieldwork with the added challenge of revealing the “ real” Garifuna. Upon her arrival on the island, Wells was warmly embraced by a local family, the Diegos, and set to work recording life events and indigenous perspectives on polygyny, Afro-indigenous identity, ancestor-worshiping religion, and more. The result, as represented in Among the Garifuna, is a lovingly intimate, earthy, human drama.
 
The family narrative is organized chronologically. Part I, “ The Old Ways,” consists of vignettes that introduce the family backstory with dialogue as imagined by Wells based on the family history she was told. We meet the family progenitors, Margaret and Cervantes Diego, during their courtship, experience Margaret’ s pain as Cervantes takes a second wife, witness the death of Cervantes and ensuing mourning rituals, follow the return of Margaret and the children to their previous home in British Honduras, and observe the emergence of the children’ s personalities.
 
In Part II, “ Living There,” Wells continues the story when she arrives in Belize and meets the Diego children, including the major protagonist, Tas. In Tas’ s household Wells learns about foods and manners and watches family squabbles and reconciliations. In these mini-stories, Wells interweaves cultural information on the Garifuna people with first-person narrative and transcription of their words, assembling these into an enthralling slice of life. Part III, “ The Ancestor Party,” takes the reader through a fascinating postmortem ritual that is enacted to facilitate the journey of the spirits of the honored ancestors to the supreme supernatural.
 
Among the Garifuna contributes to the literary genres of narrative anthropology and feminist ethnography in the tradition of Zora Neal Hurston and other women writing culture in a personal way. Wells’ s portrait of this Garifuna family will be of interest to anthropologists, Caribbeanists, Latin Americanists, students, and general readers alike. 

<i>Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen</i> Cover

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<i>Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen</i>

Nature, Knowledge, Imagery in an Ancient Chinese Medical Text: With an appendix: The Doctrine of the Five Periods and Six Qi in the Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen

Paul U. Unschuld

The Huang Di nei jing su wen, known familiarly as the Su wen, is a seminal text of ancient Chinese medicine, yet until now there has been no comprehensive, detailed analysis of its development and contents. At last Paul U. Unschuld offers entry into this still-vital artifact of China’s cultural and intellectual past.

Unschuld traces the history of the Su wen to its origins in the final centuries B.C.E., when numerous authors wrote short medical essays to explain the foundations of human health and illness on the basis of the newly developed vessel theory. He examines the meaning of the title and the way the work has been received throughout Chinese medical history, both before and after the eleventh century when the text as it is known today emerged. Unschuld’s survey of the contents includes illuminating discussions of the yin-yang and five-agents doctrines, the perception of the human body and its organs, qi and blood, pathogenic agents, concepts of disease and diagnosis, and a variety of therapies, including the new technique of acupuncture. An extensive appendix, furthermore, offers a detailed introduction to the complicated climatological theories of Wu yun liu qi ("five periods and six qi"), which were added to the Su wen by Wang Bing in the Tang era.

In an epilogue, Unschuld writes about the break with tradition and innovative style of thought represented by the Su wen. For the first time, health care took the form of "medicine," in that it focused on environmental conditions, climatic agents, and behavior as causal in the emergence of disease and on the importance of natural laws in explaining illness. Unschuld points out that much of what we surmise about the human organism is simply a projection, reflecting dominant values and social goals, and he constructs a hypothesis to explain the formation and acceptance of basic notions of health and disease in a given society. Reading the Su wen, he says, not only offers a better understanding of the roots of Chinese medicine as an integrated aspect of Chinese civilization; it also provides a much needed starting point for discussions of the differences and parallels between European and Chinese ways of dealing with illness and the risk of early death.

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