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Redrawing an American Family Tree
The Alexandrian Library and the Origins of Bibliography
The famous library of Alexandria, founded around 295 BCE by Ptolemaios I, housed the greatest collection of texts in the ancient world and was a fertile site of Hellenistic scholarship. Rudolf Blum’s landmark study, originally published in German in 1977, argues that Kallimachos of Kyrene was not only the second director of the Alexandrian library but also the inventor of two essential scholarly tools still in use to this day: the library catalog and the “biobibliographical” reference work. Kallimachos expanded the library’s inventory lists into volumes called the Pinakes, which extensively described and categorized each work and became in effect a Greek national bibliography and the source and paradigm for most later bibliographic lists of Greek literature. Though the Pinakes have not survived, Blum attempts a detailed reconstruction of Kallimachos’s inventories and catalogs based on a careful analysis of surviving sources, which are presented here in full translation.
Kalmykia is a constituent of the Russian Federation that shaped and has been developing within Russia for several centuries. Kalmykia was incorporated into the Russian state in the early second half of the 17 th century, it was officially recognized by the Russian authorities and constituted as an ethno-political entity in the form of feudal khanate with the status of a virtually autonomous unit. The Kalmyk Khanate’s status as a largely self-ruling area within the Russian Empire gradually transformed into the status of a regular administrative territory under the Astrakhan governor. It received the status of a Republic from Stalin. Maksimov examines issues of interrelations between the Kalmyk people and Russia before and after the Kalmyks’ accession to the Russian state. Analyzes the Soviet national policy and to the destiny of Kalmykia under the communist regime. The legal status of this republic and its development under the new Russian federalism are discussed in great details.
Nature in Hindi Poetry and Criticism, 1885-1925
Explores the transformation of Hindi poetry as it reflects a changing society during the period from 1885-1925. Kama’s Flowers documents the transformation of Hindi poetry during the crucial period of 1885-1925. As Hindi was becoming a national language and Indian nationalism was emerging, Hindi authors articulated a North Indian version of modernity by revisioning Nature. While their writing has previously been seen as an imitation of European Romanticism, Valerie Ritter shows its unique and particular function in North India. Description of the natural world recalled traditional poetics, particularly erotic and devotional poetics, but was now used to address socio-political concerns, as authors created literature to advocate for a “national character” and to address a growing audience of female readers. Examining Hindi classics, translations from English poetry, literary criticism, and little-known popular works, Ritter combines translations with fresh literary analysis to show the pivotal role of nature in how modernity was understood. Bringing a new body of literature to English-language readers, Kama’s Flowers also reveals the origins of an influential visual culture that resonates today in Bollywood cinema.
The Rise of Nationalism in New Caledonia
In 1853, France annexed the Melanesian islands of New Caledonia to establish a convict colony and strategic port of call. Unlike other European settler–dominated countries in the Pacific, the territory’s indigenous people remained more numerous than immigrants for over a century. Despite military conquest, land dispossession, and epidemics, its thirty language groups survived on tribal reserves and nurtured customary traditions and identities. In addition, colonial segregation into the racial category of canaques helped them to find new unity. When neighboring anglophone colonies began to decolonize in the 1960s, France retained tight control of New Caledonia for its nickel reserves, reversing earlier policies that had granted greater autonomy for the islands. Anticolonial protest movements culminated in the 1980s Kanak revolt, after which two negotiated peace accords resulted in autonomy in a progressive form and officially recognized Kanak identity for the first time. But the near-parity of settlers and Kanak continues to make nation-building a challenging task, despite a 1998 agreement among Kanak and settlers to seek a “common destiny.”
This study examines the rise in New Caledonia of rival identity formations that became increasingly polarized in the 1970s and examines in particular the emergence of activist discourses in favor of Kanak cultural nationalism and land reform, multiracial progressive sovereignty, or a combination of both aspirations. Most studies of modern New Caledonia focus on the violent 1980s uprising, which left deep scars on local memories and identities. Yet the genesis of that rebellion began with a handful of university students who painted graffiti on public buildings in 1969, and such activists discussed many of the same issues that face the country’s leadership today. After examining the historical, cultural, and intellectual background of that movement, this work draws on new research in public and private archives and interviews with participants to trace the rise of a nationalist movement that ultimately restored self-government and legalized indigenous aspirations for sovereignty in a local citizenship with its own symbols. Kanak now govern two out of three provinces and have an important voice in the Congress of New Caledonia, but they are a slight demographic minority. Their quest for nationhood must achieve consensus with the immigrant communities, much as the founders of the independence movement in the 1970s recommended.
The Clash of Political Cultures
The rich history of Kansas politics continues to generate an abundant literature. The state’s beginning as “Bleeding Kansas” followed by Prohibition, populism, the Progressive Era, and the Dust Bowl, through to the present day, have given local and national writers and scholars an intriguing topic for exploration. While historians and biographers shed light on pieces of this history, journalists focus on current political affairs in the state. Rarely, however, are past and present connected to fully illuminate an understanding of Kansas politics and government. This volume uses the prism of political cultures to interpret Kansas politics and disclose the intimate connections between the state’s past and its current politics. The framework of political cultures evolves from underlying political preferences for liberty, order, and equality, and these preferences form the basis for the active political cultures of individualism, hierarchy, and egalitarianism. This comprehensive examination of Kansas political institutions argues that Kansas politics, historically and presently, may best be understood as a clash of political cultures.
The Civil War in Documents
When the Civil War broke out in April 1861, Kansas was in a unique position. It had been a state for mere weeks, and already its residents were intimately acquainted with civil strife. Since its organization as a territory in 1854, Kansas had been the focus of a national debate over the place of slavery in the Republic. By 1856, the ideological conflict developed into actual violence, earning the territory the sobriquet “Bleeding Kansas.” Because of this steady escalation in violence, the state’s transition from peace to war was not as abrupt as that of other states.
Kansas’s War illuminates the new state’s main preoccupations: the internal struggle for control of policy and patronage; border security; and issues of race—especially efforts to come to terms with the burgeoning African American population and Native Americans’ coninuing claims to nearly one-fifth of the state’s land. These documents demonstrate how politicians, soldiers, and ordinary Kansans were transformed by the war.
This book puts forward a much-needed reappraisal of Immanuel Kant's conception of and response to skepticism, as set forth principally in the Critique of Pure Reason. It is widely recognized that Kant's theoretical philosophy aims to answer skepticism and reform metaphysics--Michael Forster makes the controversial argument that those aims are closely linked. He distinguishes among three types of skepticism: "veil of perception" skepticism, which concerns the external world; Humean skepticism, which concerns the existence of a priori concepts and synthetic a priori knowledge; and Pyrrhonian skepticism, which concerns the equal balance of opposing arguments. Forster overturns conventional views by showing how the first of these types was of little importance for Kant, but how the second and third held very special importance for him, namely because of their bearing on the fate of metaphysics. He argues that Kant undertook his reform of metaphysics primarily in order to render it defensible against these types of skepticism. Finally, in a critical appraisal of Kant's project, Forster argues that, despite its strengths, it ultimately fails, for reasons that carry interesting broader philosophical lessons. These reasons include inadequate self-reflection and an underestimation of the resources of Pyrrhonian skepticism.
Katerina Deligiorgi interprets Kant’s conception of enlightenment within the broader philosophical project of his critique of reason. Analyzing a broad range of Kant’s works, including his Critique of Pure Reason, the Critique of Judgment, his lectures on anthropology and logic, as well as his shorter essays, she identifies the theoretical and practical commitments that show the achievement of rational autonomy as an ongoing project for the realization of a culture of enlightenment. Deligiorgi also considers Kant’s ideas in relation to the work of Diderot, Rousseau, Mendelssohn, Reinhold, Hamann, Schiller, and Herder. The perspective opened by this historical dialogue challenges twentieth-century revisionist interpretations of the Enlightenment to show that the “culture of enlightenment” is not simply a fragment of our intellectual history but rather a live project.