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gender and the cycle of life in a Hmong village
Based on research in northern Thailand, this ethnographic study examines Hmong cosmological beliefs about the cycle of life as expressed in practices surrounding birth, marriage, and death, and the gender relationships evident in these practices.
The Stono Slave Rebellion and the Universal Struggle for Human Rights
On Sunday, September 9, 1739, twenty Kongolese slaves armed themselves by breaking into a storehouse near the Stono River south of Charleston, South Carolina. They killed twenty-three white colonists, joined forces with other slaves, and marched toward Spanish Florida. There they expected to find freedom. One report claims the rebels were overheard shouting, "Liberty!" Before the day ended, however, the rebellion was crushed, and afterwards many surviving rebels were executed. South Carolina rapidly responded with a comprehensive slave code. The Negro Act reinforced white power through laws meant to control the ability of slaves to communicate and congregate. It was an important model for many slaveholding colonies and states, and its tenets greatly inhibited African American access to the public sphere for years to come. The Stono Rebellion serves as a touchstone for Calling Out Liberty, an exploration of human rights in early America. Expanding upon historical analyses of this rebellion, Jack Shuler suggests a relationship between the Stono rebels and human rights discourse in early American literature. Though human rights scholars and policy makers usually offer the European Enlightenment as the source of contemporary ideas about human rights, this book repositions the sources of these important and often challenged American ideals.
Women on the Wisconsin Frontier, 1850-1925
Swedish domestic worker Emina Johnson witnessed the great Peshtigo fire in 1871; Cherokee nurse Isabella Wolfe served the Lac du Flambeau reservation for decades; the author’s own grandmother, Matilda Schopp, was one of numerous immigrants who eked out a living on the Wisconsin cutover. Calling This Place Home tells the stories of these and many other Native and settler women during Wisconsin’s frontier era. Noted historian Joan M. Jensen spent more than a decade delving into the lives of a remarkable range of women who lived during the mid-nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries. These individuals shared many struggles as economies evolved from logging to dairying to tourism. Facing many challenges, they cared for their sick, educated their children, maintained their cultural identity, and preserved their own means of worship. Entwining the experiences of Native and settler communities, Jensen uses photographs and documents to examine and illustrate the recovered stories of representative but often overlooked women. These stories of individuals together form a substantial history of Wisconsin’s well-known industries, its caregiver networks and schooling practices, and matters of faith and politics. This comprehensive volume brings a deeper understanding of the state’s history through the stories of individual women and the broader developments that shaped their lives.
The American Novel of Slavery since Gone with the Wind
In this comprehensive, groundbreaking study, Tim A. Ryan explores how American novelists since World War I have imagined the institution of slavery and the experience of those involved in it. Complicating the common assumption that authentic black-authored fiction about slavery is starkly opposed to the traditional, racist fiction (and history) created by whites, Ryan suggests that discourses about American slavery are—and have always been—defined by connections rather than disjunctions. Ryan contends that African American writers didn't merely reject and move beyond traditional portrayals of the black past but rather actively engaged in a dynamic dialogue with white-authored versions of slavery and existing historiographical debates. The result is an ongoing cultural conversation that transcends both racial and disciplinary boundaries and is akin to the call-and-response style of African American gospel music. Ryan addresses in detail more than a dozen major American novels of slavery, from the first significant modern fiction about the institution—Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind and Arna Bontemps's Black Thunder (both published in 1936)—to recent noteworthy novels on the topic—Edward P. Jones's The Known World and Valerie Martin's Property (both published in 2003). His insistence upon the necessity of interpreting novels about the past directly in relation to specific historical scholarship makes Calls and Responses especially compelling. He reads Toni Morrison's Beloved not in opposition to a monolithic orthodoxy about slavery but in relation to specific arguments of controversial historian Stanley Elkins. Similarly, he analyzes William Styron's The Confessions of Nat Turner in terms of its rhetorical echoes of Frederick Douglass's famous autobiographical narrative. Ryan shows throughout Calls and Responses how a variety of novelists—including Alex Haley, Octavia Butler, Ishmael Reed, Margaret Walker, and Frances Gaither—engage in a dynamic debate with each other and with such historians as Herbert Aptheker, Charles Joyner, Eugene and Elizabeth Genovese, and many others. A substantially new account of the development of American slavery fiction in the last century, Calls and Responses goes beyond merely exalting the expression of black voices and experiences and actually reconfigures the existing view of the American novel of slavery.
Sufis, Islamists, and Mass Mediation in Urban Morocco
The sacred calls that summon believers are the focus of this study of religion and power in Fez, Morocco. Focusing on how dissemination of the call through mass media has transformed understandings of piety and authority, Emilio Spadola details the new importance of once–marginal Sufi practices such as spirit trance and exorcism for ordinary believers, the state, and Islamist movements. The Calls of Islam offers new ethnographic perspectives on ritual, performance, and media in the Muslim world.
Although millions of slaves were forcibly transported from Africa to Brazil, the languages the slaves brought with them remain little known. Most studies have focused on African contributions to Brazilian Portuguese rather than on the African languages themselves. This book is unusual in focusing on an African-descended language. The author describes and analyzes the Afro- Brazilian speech community of Calunga, in Minas Gerais. Linguistically descended from West African Bantu, Calunga is an endangered Afro-Brazilian language spoken by a few hundred older Afro-Brazilian men, who use it only for specific, secret communications. Unlike most creole languages, which are based largely on the vocabulary of the colonial language, Calunga has a large proportion of African vocabulary items embedded in an essentially Portuguese grammar. A hyrid language, its formation can be seen as a form of cultural resistance.
Steven Byrd’s study provides a comprehensive linguistic description of Calunga based on two years of interviews with speakers of the language. He examines its history and historical context as well as its linguistic context, its sociolinguistic profile, and its lexical and grammatical outlines.
Linguistic and Cultural Origins and Relationships
Though the phrase "Calvinist humor" may seem to be an oxymoron, Michael Dunne, in highly original and unfailingly interesting readings of major American fiction writers, uncovers and traces two recurrent strands of Calvinist humor descending from Puritan times far into the twentieth century. Calvinist doctrine views mankind as fallen, apt to engage in any number of imperfect behaviors. Calvinist humor, Dunne explains, consists in the perception of this imperfection. When we perceive that only others are imperfect, we participate in the form of Calvinist humor preferred by William Bradford and Nathanael West. When we perceive that others are imperfect, as we all are, we participate in the form preferred by Mark Twain and William Faulkner, for example. Either by noting their characters' inferiority or by observing ways in which we are all far from perfect, Dunne observes, American writers have found much to laugh about and many occasions for Calvinist humor. The two strains of Calvinist humor are alike in making the faults of others more important than their virtues. They differ in terms of what we might think of as the writer/perceiver's disposition: his or her willingness to recognize the same faults in him- or herself. In addition to Bradford, West, Twain and Faulkner, Dunne discovers Calvinist humor in the works of Flannery O'Connor, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ernest Hemingway, and many others. For these authors, the world—and thus their fiction—is populated with flawed creatures. Even after belief in orthodox Calvinism diminished in the twentieth century, Dunne discovers, American writers continued to mine these veins, irrespective of the authors' religious affiliations—or lack of them. Dunne notes that even when these writers fail to accept the Calvinist view wholeheartedly, they still have a tendency to see some version of Calvinism as more attractive than an optimistic, idealistic view of life. With an eye for the telling detail and a wry humor of his own, Dunne clearly demonstrates that the fundamental Calvinist assumption—that human beings are fallen from some putatively better state—has had a surprising, lingering presence in American literature.
The Cultivation of a Nation, 18601945
This strikingly original study of Cambodian nationalism brings to life eight turbulent decades of cultural change and sheds new light on the colonial ancestry of Pol Pot’s murderous dystopia. Penny Edwards recreates the intellectual milieux and cultural traffic linking Europe and empire, interweaving analysis of key movements and ideas in the French Protectorate of Cambodge with contemporary developments in the Métropole. From the naturalist Henri Mouhot’s expedition to Angkor in 1860 to the nationalist Son Ngoc Thanh’s short-lived premiership in 1945, this history of ideas tracks the talented Cambodian and French men and women who shaped the contours of the modern Khmer nation. Their visions and ambitions played out within a shifting landscape of Angkorean temples, Parisian museums, Khmer printing presses, world’s fairs, Buddhist monasteries, and Cambodian youth hostels. This is cross-cultural history at its best. With its fresh take on the dynamics of colonialism and nationalism, Cambodge: The Cultivation of a Nation will become essential reading for scholars of history, politics, and society in Southeast Asia. Edwards’ nuanced analysis of Buddhism and her consideration of Angkor’s emergence as a national monument will be of particular interest to students of Asian and European religion, museology, heritage studies, and art history. As a highly readable guide to Cambodia’s recent past, it will also appeal to specialists in modern French history, cultural studies, and colonialism, as well as readers with a general interest in Cambodia.
Progress and Challenges since 1991
In the 20 years since the Paris accords of 1991 brought peace to Cambodia, the country has undergone what can only be described as astounding change. From a polity where the entire fabric of society had been rent asunder through years of war and genocide, contemporary Cambodia is fast becoming a vibrant state and assuming a new position in the Asia-Pacific region. The contributions to this volume – many by prominent figures who were intimately connected with the process – describe the diverse strands of mediation and peace-building which went into the creation of the 1991 accords. The subsequent role of UNTAC and the 1993 general elections in the process of Cambodian revival and social rebuilding are also described. While not denying that obstacles and difficulties remain, the contributions outline the evolving economic, political, religious and human resource situations within Cambodia, while also examining the country’s contemporary international relations. This book constitutes a particularly fitting testament to the 20 years of Cambodian reconstruction which have followed the 1991 peace accords.