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Unlike most other ancient European, Near Eastern, and Mediterranean civilizations, Jewish culture surprisingly developed no early epic tradition: while the Bible comprises a broad range of literary genres, epic is not among them. Not until the late medieval period, Beginning in the fourtheeth century, did an extensive and thriving epic tradition emerge in Yiddish. Among the few dozen extant early epics, there are several masterpieces, of which ten are translated into English in this volume. Divided between the religious and the secular, the book includes eight epics presented in their entirety, an illustrative excerpt from another epic, and a brief heroic prose tale.These texts have been chosen as the best and the most interesting representatives of the genre in terms of cultural history and literary quality: the pious “epicizing” of biblical narrative, the swashbuckling medieval courtly epic, Arthurian romance, heroic vignettes, intellectual high art, and popular camp.
Religious Freedom and Pluralism in Antebellum America
In Earnestly Contending, Dickson Bruce examines the ways in which religious denominations and movements in antebellum America coped with the ideals of freedom and pluralism that exerted such a strong influence on the larger, national culture. Despite their enormous normative power, these still-evolving ideals—themselves partly religious in origin—ran up against deeply entrenched concerns about the integrity of religious faith and commitment and the role of religion in society. The resulting tensions between these ideals and desires for religious consensus and coherence would remain unresolved throughout the period.
Focusing on that era’s interdenominational competition, Bruce explores the possibilities for and barriers to realizing ideals of freedom and pluralism in antebellum America. He examines the nature of religion from the perspectives of anthropology and cognitive sciences, as well as history, and uses this interdisciplinary approach to organize and understand specific tendencies in the antebellum period while revealing properties inherent in religion as a social and cultural phenomenon. He goes on to show how issues from that era have continued to play a role in American religious thinking, and how they might shed light on the controversies of our own time.
Memoirs of an American University President
David Pierpont Gardner was president of one of the world's most distinguished centers of higher learning—the nine-campus University of California—from 1983 to 1992. In this remarkably candid and lively memoir he provides an insider's account of what it was like for a very private, reflective man to live an extremely public life as leader of one of the most complex and controversial institutions in the country. Earning My Degree is a portrait of uncommon leadership and courage and a chronicle of how these traits shaped a treasured, and sometimes mystifying, American institution.
Before his tenure as president, Gardner spent seven years at the University of California, Santa Barbara, during a tumultuous era of culture wars, ethnic division, and anti–Vietnam War protests, leaving his post as vice chancellor to serve as vice president of the University of California from 1971 to 1973. In 1973 he was named president of the University of Utah, and while there he chaired the National Commission on Excellence in High Education, which authored A Nation at Risk, regarded today as the twentieth century's most telling report on the condition of American public schools. As president of the University of California, he contended with intense controversies over affirmative action, animal rights, AIDS research, weapons labs, divestment in South Africa, and much more. This memoir recounts his experiences with these and other issues and describes his dealings with the diverse cast of characters who influence the university: U.S. presidents, governors, legislators, regents, chancellors, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and donors. The epilogue of Earning My Degree is a thoughtful and engaging account of the ten years since Gardner's retirement that includes his personal views about what has truly mattered in his life.
Women and Work in Los Angeles, 1880-1930
“The intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, and class are front and center in Eileen Wallis’s important new book on women in Los Angeles workplaces. Not only does her study capture the multicultural West, but also the different development of LA’s economy within the context of Progressive Era reform.”
\--Joanne Goodwin, associate professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and author of Gender and the Politics of Welfare Reform:
Mothers’ Pensions in Chicago, 1911-1929
The Rise of For-Profit Universities
Earnings from Learning examines the historical and contemporary factors that have fueled the rise of postsecondary for-profit, degree-granting institutions as a dynamic and powerful force in education. The contributors focus on such institutions as the University of Phoenix, DeVry, and Strayer to present theoretically grounded and data-driven research from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. They document unprecedented shifts in the postsecondary political economy and landscape and evaluate the implications for nonprofit institutions, including understanding the public and private benefits of higher education, postsecondary access and success, institutional resource allocation, competition, governance, and technology.
Communication, Images, and Identity in the Classical World
Though in many respects similar to us moderns, the Greeks and Romans often conceived things differently than we do. The cultural inheritance we have received from them can therefore open our eyes to many “manners of life” we might otherwise overlook. The ancients told fascinating—but different—stories; they elaborated profound—but different—symbols. Above all, they confronted many of the problems we still face today—memory and forgetfulness; identity and its strategies; absolutist moralism and behavioral relativity—only in profoundly different ways, since their own cultural forms and resources were different. In The Ears of Hermes: Communication, Images, and Identity in the Classical World, renowned scholar and author Maurizio Bettini explores these different cultural experiences, choosing paths through this territory that are diverse and sometimes unexpected: a little-known variant of a myth or legend, such as that of Brutus pretending, like Hamlet, to be a Fool; a proverb, like lupus in fabula (the wolf in the tale), that expresses the sense of foreboding aroused by the sudden arrival of someone who was just the subject of conversation; or great works, like Plautus’ Amphitruo and Vergil’s Aeneid, where we encounter the mysteries of the Doppelgänger and of “doubles” fabricated to ease the pain of nostalgia. Or the etymology of a word—its own “story”—leads us down some unforeseen avenue of discovery. While scholarly in presentation, this book, in an elegant English translation by William Michael Short, will appeal not only to classicists but also students, as well as to anthropologists and historians of art and literature beyond classics.
The second full-length collection from award-winning poet Chris Dombrowski, Earth Again transports readers to an imaginative world where identity is explored and expanded. With a mixture of long poems and shorter pieces, Dombrowski probes birth, death, sex, memory, and our blessed but treacherous engagement with the natural world. While he writes from a number of points of view and employs both male and female speakers, much of the collection's singular insight centers around masculine identity and being a husband and a father. Readers come away transformed, "like the land / gasping as it does each late winter evening when / the sky at tree line, nearly sapphiric, goes black," as these poems prove Dombrowski to be a truly original American voice. Comprised of three sections-each of which concludes with a long poem-Earth Again presents a range of narrative and emotions in dexterous rhythms, unexpected shifts, and unforgettable metaphors. Dombrowksi introduces readers to arresting images like "the parataxis of her ass," "cerulean, alchemical light," "Molly with the sun in her mouth," and "labyrinthine, lanky-stemmed, dew-magnified" leaves. These details combine with Dombrowski's note-perfect language, which alternates between the most colloquial and the most elevated of diction. Readers will be challenged to consider spirituality alongside Scooby-Doo Band-aids, and to meditate on death after the mower has chewed up a plastic dinosaur, as Dombrowski revels in exploring our connection to the environment and one another. Fans of Dombrowski's previous collection, By Cold Water (which was noted as a contemporary poetry bestseller by the Poetry Foundation in 2009), along with other poets and poetry lovers will appreciate the attention to detail and the imaginative intensity of the poems in Earth Again.
ColinÌs addition to the sci-fi/fantasy genre is a new chapter in the renaissance of Cameroonian fiction. He has created a convincing alternative world whose characters will keep us firmly grounded in the issues of our own world. The author is a true storyteller with a talent for keeping his audience spellbound. He has dealt with complicated issues in a way that does not detract from the flow of the narrative.
Ecology, Economy, and Sustainability
Earth in Our Care is a compelling study of three interactive spheres of the ecosystem: atmosphere (air), litho-hydrosphere (rock that comprises the restless continents and the water that surrounds them), and biosphere (all life sandwiched in between). Writing in rich detail and using insightful analogies, Chris Maser addresses key issues including land-use policies, ecological restoration, forest management, local living, and sustainability thinking. Exploring our interconnectedness with the Earth, Maser examines today's problems and, more importantly, provides solutions for the future.