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Social Sciences > Geography
Imagining the American West as the Orient
Transference of Oriental images and identities to the American landscape and its inhabitants, especially in the West—in other words, portrayal of the West as the "Orient"—has been a common aspect of American cultural history. Place names offer notable examples—think of the Jordan River or Pyramid Lake—but the imagery and its varied meanings are more widespread and significant. Understanding that range and significance, especially to the western part of the continent, means coming to terms with the complicated, nuanced ideas of the Orient and of the North American continent that European Americans brought to the West. Such complexity is what historical geographer Richard Francaviglia unravels in this book.
Culture and Politics after Sri Lanka’s Tsunami Disaster
In December 2004 the Indian Ocean tsunami devastated coastal regions of Sri Lanka. Six months later, Michele Ruth Gamburd returned to the village where she had been conducting research for many years and began collecting residents' stories of the disaster and its aftermath: the chaos and loss of the flood itself; the sense of community and leveling of social distinctions as people worked together to recover and regroup; and the local and national politics of foreign aid as the country began to rebuild. In The Golden Wave, Gamburd describes how the catastrophe changed social identities, economic dynamics, and political structures.
Discovering the Trigger for Abrupt Climate Change
Wally Broecker is one of the world's leading authorities on abrupt global climate change. More than two decades ago, he discovered the link between ocean circulation and climate change, in particular how shutdowns of the Great Ocean Conveyor--the vast network of currents that circulate water, heat, and nutrients around the globe--triggered past ice ages. Today, he is among the researchers exploring how our planet's climate system can abruptly "flip-flop" from one state to another, and who are weighing the implications for the future. In The Great Ocean Conveyor, Broecker introduces readers to the science of abrupt climate change while providing a vivid, firsthand account of the field's history and development.
Could global warming cause the conveyor to shut down again, prompting another flip-flop in climate? What were the repercussions of past climate shifts? How do we know such shifts occurred? Broecker shows how Earth scientists study ancient ice cores and marine sediments to probe Earth's distant past, and how they blend scientific detective work with the latest technological advances to try to predict the future. He traces how the science has evolved over the years, from the blind alleys and wrong turns to the controversies and breathtaking discoveries. Broecker describes the men and women behind the science, and reveals how his own thinking about abrupt climate change has itself flip-flopped as new evidence has emerged.
Rich with personal stories and insights, The Great Ocean Conveyor opens a tantalizing window onto how Earth science is practiced.
Urban Life and Landscape in the Pacific Northwest
Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2001
It has been called one of the nation's most livable regions, ranked among the best managed cities in America, hailed as a top spot to work, and favored as a great place to do business, enjoy the arts, pursue outdoor recreation, and make one's home. Indeed, years of cooperative urban planning between developers and those interested in ecology and habitability have transformed Portland from a provincial western city into an exemplary American metropolis. Its thriving downtown, its strong neighborhoods, and its pioneering efforts at local management have brought a steady procession of journalists, scholars, and civic leaders to investigate the "Portland style" that values dialogue and consensus, treats politics as a civic duty, and assumes that it is possible to work toward public good.
Probing behind the press clippings, acclaimed urban historian Carl Abbott examines the character of contemporary Portland—its people, politics, and public life—and the region's history and geography in order to discover how Portland has achieved its reputation as one of the most progressive and livable cities in the United States and to determine whether typical pressures of urban growth are pushing Portland back toward the national norm.
In Greater Portland, Abbott argues that the city cannot be understood without reference to its place. Its rivers, hills, and broader regional setting have shaped the economy and the cityscape. Portlanders are Oregonians, Northwesteners, Cascadians; they value their city as much for where it is as for what it is, and this powerful sense of place nurtures a distinctive civic culture. Tracing the ways in which Portlanders have talked and thought about their city, Abbott reveals the tensions between their diverse visions of the future and plans for development.
Most citizens of Portland desire a balance between continuity and change, one that supports urban progress but actively monitors its effects on the region's expansive green space and on the community's culture. This strong civic participation in city planning and politics is what gives greater Portland its unique character, a positive setting for class integration, neighborhood revitalization, and civic values. The result, Abbott confirms, is a region whose unique initiatives remain a model of American urban planning.
A Great Engine of Research
Gilbert knew most of geology's grand figures--including John Wesley Powell, Clarence Dutton, and Clarence King--and Pyne's chronicle of the imperturbable, quietly unconventional Gilbert is couterpointed with sketches of these prominent scientists. The man who wrote that "happiness is sitting under a tent with walls uplifted, just after a brief shower,", created answers to the larger questions of the earth in ways that have become classics of his science.
Economic Restructuring and Children’s Everyday Lives
Growing Up Global examines the processes of development and global change through the perspective of children’s lives in two seemingly disparate places: New York City and a village in northern Sudan. At the book’s core is a longitudinal ethnographic study of children growing up in a Sudanese village that was included in a large state-sponsored agricultural program in the year they were born. It follows a small number of children intermittently from ten years of age to early adulthood, concentrating particularly on their work and play, which together trained the children for an agrarian life centered around the family, a life that was quickly becoming obsolete.
Shifting her focus to largely working-class families in New York City in the 1980s and 1990s, Katz is able to expose unsuspected connections with the Sudanese experience in the effects on children of a constantly changing, capitalist environment—the decline of manufacturing jobs and the increase in knowledge-based jobs—in which young people with few skills and stunted educations face bleak employment prospects. In teasing out how “development” transforms the grounds on which these young people come of age, Cindi Katz provides a textured analysis of the importance of knowledge in the ability of people, families, and communities to reproduce themselves and their material social practices over time.
Volume III, Geology
Volume 3 of Gulf of Mexico Origin, Waters, and Biota; a series edited by John W. Tunnell Jr., Darryl L. Felder, and Sylvia A. Earle A continuation of the landmark scientific reference series from the Harte Research Institute for Gulf Of Mexico Studies, this volume provides the most up-to-date systematic, cohesive, and comprehensive description of the geology of the Gulf of Mexico basin. The book’s six sections address the Gulf’s origin (including petroleum resources), processes (including climate change), and coral reefs. Knowledge about the foundation of the ocean environment remains vital to the understanding of the mineral and marine resources of the Gulf as well as the increasing effects of sedimentation and global warming. With this volume, much of the information necessary for a full view of the geology of the Gulf in the U.S., Mexico, and Cuba that was previously sequestered in the files of industry or government has been made more readily available for scientists, researchers, and students. It provides valuable synthesis and interpretation, representing nearly everything known about the geology of the Gulf of Mexico in the early twenty-first century. Four years in the making, this monumental compilation is both a lasting record of the current state of knowledge and the starting point for a new millennium of study.
The Korean Wave in the Age of Social Media
Collectively known as Hallyu, Korean music, television programs, films, online games, and comics enjoy global popularity, thanks to new communication technologies. In recent years, Korean popular culture has also become the subject of academic inquiry. Whereas the Hallyu’s impact on Korea’s national image and domestic economy, as well as on transnational cultural flows, have received much scholarly attention, there has been little discussion of the role of social media in Hallyu’s propagation.
Henry Darwin Rogers was one of the first professional geologists in the United States. He directed two of the earliest state geological surveys--New Jersey and Pennsylvania--in the mid-1830s. His major interest was Pennsylvania, with its Appalachian Mountains, which Rogers saw as great folds of sedimentary rock. He belived that an interpretation of these folds would lead to an understanding of the dynamic processes that had shaped the earth. From Rogers' efforts to explain these Pennsylvania folds came the first uniquely American theory of mountain elevation, a theory that Rogers personally considered his most significant achievement.
Cultural Landscapes at Waconda Lake, Kansas
Most people would not consider north central Kansas’ Waconda Lake to be extraordinary. The lake, completed in 1969 by the federal Bureau of Reclamation for flood control, irrigation, and water supply purposes, sits amid a region known—when it is thought of at all—for agriculture and, perhaps to a few, as the home of "The World’s Largest Ball of Twine" (in nearby Cawker City). Yet, to the native people living in this region in the centuries before Anglo incursion, this was a place of great spiritual power and mystic significance. Waconda Spring, now beneath the waters of the lake, was held as sacred, a place where connection with the spirit world was possible. Nearby, a giant snake symbol carved into the earth by native peoples—likely the ancestors of today’s Wichitas—signified a similar place of reverence and totemic power. All that began to change on July 6, 1870, when Charles DeRudio, an officer in the 7th U.S. Cavalry who had served with George Armstrong Custer, purchased a tract on the north bank of the Solomon River—a tract that included Waconda Spring. DeRudio had little regard for the sacred properties of his acreage; instead, he viewed the mineral spring as a way to make money. In Holy Ground, Healing Water: Cultural Landscapes at Waconda Springs, Kansas, anthropologist Donald J. Blakeslee traces the usage and attendant meanings of this area, beginning with prehistoric sites dating between AD 1000 and 1250 and continuing to the present day. Addressing all the sites at Waconda Lake, regardless of age or cultural affiliation, Blakeslee tells a dramatic story that looks back from the humdrum present through the romantic haze of the nineteenth century to an older landscape, one that is more wonderful by far than what the modern imagination can conceive.