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Levinas and Environmental Thought
Despite its attention to questions of ethics and “the ethical,” contemporary continental philosophy has often been disengaged from inquiring into our ethical obligation to nature and the environment. In response to this vacuum in the literature, Facing Nature simultaneously makes Levinasian resources more accessible to practitioners in the diverse fields of environmental thought while demonstrating the usefulness of continental philosophy for addressing major issues in environmental thought. Drawing on the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas, these scholars approach environmental philosophy from both humanistic and nonanthropocentric points of view. On the one hand, the book contributes to the discussion of environmental justice as well as the growth of ecophilosophical literature. At the same time, some of the essays take an interpretive approach to Levinas’s thought, finding that his work is able to speak to environmental thinkers whose positions actually diverge quite sharply from his own. While recognizing the limitations of Levinas’s writings from an environmental perspective, Facing Nature argues that themes at the heart of his work—the significance of the ethical, responsibility, alterity, the vulnerability of the body, bearing witness, and politics—are important for thinking about many of our most pressing contemporary environmental questions. Essays specifically highlight the otherness of nature, the vulnerability and suffering of nonhuman animals, the idea of an interspecies politics, the role of nature in ethical life, individual responsibility for climate change, and the Jewish understanding of creation as points of contact between Levinas’s philosophical project and environmental thought. Levinas is also brought into conversation with dialogue partners who enhance this connection, such as Theodor Adorno, Hanna Arendt, Tim Yilngayarri, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Henry David Thoreau. While widely relevant to all those who attempt to think through our ethical relation to the natural world, Facing Nature will be of special interest to scholars and students interested in both continental philosophy and the manifold areas of environmental studies.
Portraits of Ely, Minnesota
“Thank you Andrew and Ann Goldman for the persistence that it took to achieve the portraits in Facing North. It is a historic document for Ely, Minnesota that has worldwide interest as a snapshot of a unique northern community. You so accurately captured my friends and neighbors and I will always cherish this book.” —Will Steger
“My work as a photojournalist has involved assignments about people and faraway cultures as often as about raw nature. Alas, I always felt there were more stories per square foot in Ely as anywhere else I have been. Look into these Ely faces Goldman has captured with his razor-sharp lens and read the stories in their eyes.” —Jim Brandenburg, from the Foreword
Perched on the edge of the northern woods at the gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Ely, Minnesota, holds special meaning for hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. But what is it like for the people who live there year-round?
Ann and Andrew Goldman offer a revealing portrayal of the unique people who call Ely home. Featuring more than one hundred portraits as well as vivid essays, Facing North tells the story of life in this Northwoods community: its breathtaking beauty, surprisingly diverse character, and complex history. A thriving destination area, Ely is a changing community, yet its traditions remain vibrant and strong. From resort owners and fishermen to canoe makers and artists, Facing North is an evocative tribute to the enduring nature of Ely and its people.
This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Donald G. Gardner Humanities Trust.
Andrew Goldman is a freelance commercial photographer. His clients include ESPN and Playboy Enterprises, and his photographs have appeared on more than forty magazine covers. Ann Goldman is a freelance writer and presenter whose professional background is in museum and nonprofit management. They live in Boulder, Colorado, with their two sons.
The work of award-winning nature photographer Jim Brandenburg has been featured in National Geographic magazine since 1978. His many books include Chased by the Light and Looking for the Summer. He lives near Ely, Minnesota, where his work can be seen at Brandenburg Gallery.
Toward an Identity Politics of One-to-One Mentoring
Explorations in the Analysis of Public Opinion and Political Participation
Citizens are political simpletons--that is only a modest exaggeration of a common characterization of voters. Certainly, there is no shortage of evidence of citizens' limited political knowledge, even about matters of the highest importance, along with inconsistencies in their thinking, some glaring by any standard. But this picture of citizens all too often approaches caricature.
Paul Sniderman and Benjamin Highton bring together leading political scientists who offer new insights into the political thinking of the public, the causes of party polarization, the motivations for political participation, and the paradoxical relationship between turnout and democratic representation. These studies propel a foundational argument about democracy. Voters can only do as well as the alternatives on offer. These alternatives are constrained by third players, in particular activists, interest groups, and financial contributors. The result: voters often appear to be shortsighted, extreme, and inconsistent because the alternatives they must choose between are shortsighted, extreme, and inconsistent.
Facing the Challenge of Democracy features contributions by John Aldrich, Stephen Ansolabehere, Edward Carmines, Jack Citrin, Susanna Dilliplane, Christopher Ellis, Michael Ensley, Melanie Freeze, Donald Green, Eitan Hersh, Simon Jackman, Gary Jacobson, Matthew Knee, Jonathan Krasno, Arthur Lupia, David Magleby, Eric McGhee, Diana Mutz, Candice Nelson, Benjamin Page, Kathryn Pearson, Eric Schickler, John Sides, James Stimson, Lynn Vavreck, Michael Wagner, Mark Westlye, and Tao Xie.
"These essays...show us the human and inhuman realities of capital punishment through the eyes of the condemned and those who work with them. By focusing on those awaiting death, they present the awful truth behind the statistics in concrete, personal terms." â€”William J. Bowers, author of Legal Homicide Between 1930 and 1967, there were 3,859 executions carried out under state and civil authority in the United States. Since the ten-year moratorium on capital punishment ended in 1977, more than one hundred prisoners have been executed. There are more than two thousand men and women now living on death row awaiting their executions. Facing the Death Penalty offers an in-depth examination of what life under a sentence of death is like for condemned inmates and their families, how and why various professionals assist them in their struggle for life, and what these personal experiences with capital punishment tell us about the wisdom of this penal policy. The contributors include historians, attorneys, sociologists, anthropologists, criminologists, a minister, a philosopher, and three prisoners. One of the prisoner-contributors is Willie Jasper Darden, Jr., whose case and recent execution after fourteen years on death row drew international attention. The inter-disciplinary perspectives offered in this book will not solve the death penalty debate, but they offer important and unique insights on the full effects of American capital punishment provisions. While the book does not set out to generate sympathy for those convicted of horrible crimes, taken together, the essays build a case for abolition of the death penalty. "This work stands with the best of whatâ€™s been written. It represents the best of those who have seen the worst." â€”Colman McCarthy, The Washington Post Book World
The Indian Child Welfare Act at 30
The U.S. Congress is charged with responsibility for the protection and preservation of American Indian tribes, including Indian children. In 1978, Congress enacted the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), with the intent to "protect the best interests of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families." ICWA sets federal requirements that apply to state child custody proceedings involving an Indian child who is a member of or eligible for membership in a federally recognized tribe. ICWA also sets out federal requirements regarding removal of Indian children and their placement in foster or adoptive homes, and it allows the child's tribe to intervene in the case.
The history of the Act is a tangle of legal, social, and emotional complications. Some state courts have found unusual legal arguments to avoid applying the law, while some states have gone beyond the terms of the Act to provide greater protections for Indian people. This collection brings together for the first time a multidisciplinary assessment of the law — with scholars, practitioners, lawyers, and social workers all offering perspectives on the value and importance of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
A Cambodian Journey
As a child growing up in Cambodia, Ronnie Yimsut played among the ruins of the Angkor Wat temples, surrounded by a close-knit community. As the Khmer Rouge gained power and began its genocidal reign of terror, his life became a nightmare. In this stunning memoir, Yimsut describes how, in the wake of death and destruction, he decides to live.
Escaping the turmoil of Cambodia, he makes a perilous journey through the jungle into Thailand, only to be sent to a notorious Thai prison. Fortunately, he is able to reach a refugee camp and ultimately migrate to the United States, where he attended the University of Oregon and became an influential leader in the community of Cambodian immigrants. Facing the Khmer Rouge shows Ronnie Yimsut’s personal quest to rehabilitate himself, make a new life in America, and then return to Cambodia to help rebuild the land of his birth.
Ethical Disruption and the American Mind
“Bolton is admirably focused, centering broader ventures around precise turning points in the documents and incidents she has selected. . . . The book crosses generic boundaries . . . in the spirit of an other who transcends any single history or discipline.”—Religion and Literature Linda Bolton uses six extraordinarily resonant moments in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American history to highlight the ethical challenge that the treatment of Native and African persons presented to the new republic’s ideal of freedom. Most daringly, she examines the efficacy of the Declaration of Independence as a revolutionary text and explores the provocative question “What happens when freedom eclipses justice, when freedom breeds injustice?” Guided by the intellectual influence of philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, Bolton asserts that the traditional subject-centered—or “I”—concept of freedom is dependent on the transcendent presence of the “Other,” and thus freedom becomes a privilege subordinate to justice. There can be no authentic freedom as long as others, whether Native American or African, are reduced from full human beings to concepts and thus properties of control or power. An eloquent and thoughtful rereading of the U.S. touchstones of democracy, this book argues forcefully for an ethical understanding of American literary history. “Facing the Other is not a cultural history; its focus is the relevance of an ethical analytic to all of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American literature. . . . Using Emmanuel Levinas to guide her discussions, Bolton argues that the way in which Americans valorize freedom as an ideal leads us to ignore our responsibilities for doing justice.”—American Literature
The enduring popularity of Polynesia in western literature, art, and film attests to the pleasures that Pacific islands have, over the centuries, afforded the consuming gaze of the west—connoting solitude, release from cares, and, more recently, self-renewal away from urbanized modern life. Facing the Pacific is the first study to offer a detailed look at the United States’ intense engagement with the myth of the South Seas just after the First World War, when, at home, a popular vogue for all things Polynesian seemed to echo the expansion of U.S. imperialist activities abroad. Jeffrey Geiger looks at a variety of texts that helped to invent a vision of Polynesia for U.S. audiences, focusing on a group of writers and filmmakers whose mutual fascination with the South Pacific drew them together—and would eventually drive some of them apart. Key figures discussed in this volume are Frederick O’Brien, author of the bestseller White Shadows in the South Seas; filmmaker Robert Flaherty and his wife, Frances Hubbard Flaherty, who collaborated on Moana; director W. S. Van Dyke, who worked with Robert Flaherty on MGM’s adaptation of White Shadows; and Expressionist director F. W. Murnau, whose last film, Tabu, was co-directed with Flaherty.
Race, Class, and the Soul of the Nation
The ideology of the American dream--the faith that an individual can attain success and virtue through strenuous effort--is the very soul of the American nation. According to Jennifer Hochschild, we have failed to face up to what that dream requires of our society, and yet we possess no other central belief that can save the United States from chaos. In this compassionate but frightening book, Hochschild attributes our national distress to the ways in which whites and African Americans have come to view their own and each other's opportunities. By examining the hopes and fears of whites and especially of blacks of various social classes, Hochschild demonstrates that America's only unifying vision may soon vanish in the face of racial conflict and discontent.
Hochschild combines survey data and vivid anecdote to clarify several paradoxes. Since the 1960s white Americans have seen African Americans as having better and better chances to achieve the dream. At the same time middle-class blacks, by now one-third of the African American population, have become increasingly frustrated personally and anxious about the progress of their race. Most poor blacks, however, cling with astonishing strength to the notion that they and their families can succeed--despite their terrible, perhaps worsening, living conditions. Meanwhile, a tiny number of the estranged poor, who have completely given up on the American dream or any other faith, threaten the social fabric of the black community and the very lives of their fellow blacks.
Hochschild probes these patterns and gives them historical depth by comparing the experience of today's African Americans to that of white ethnic immigrants at the turn of the century. She concludes by claiming that America's only alternative to the social disaster of intensified racial conflict lies in the inclusiveness, optimism, discipline, and high-mindedness of the American dream at its best.