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The prevalent worldview of early modern England, clearly shaped by Protestantism, dismissed magical belief as an ideological delusion inherent in Catholicism. That same Protestantism encouraged a strong sense of individualism, with its emphasis on self-transformation, through which a new masculinity found expression. Why, then, did magical self-empowerment retain such a hold on the artistic and cultural imagination of early modern English society?
Ian McAdam’s innovative study suggests that the answer to this question may lie partly in an increasingly ironic presentation of magic. While the magical beliefs of the period asserted, on the one hand, individual empowerment through a quasi-religious self-justification and a presumed mastery of the objective world, those beliefs also gave rise to various anxieties concerning power and control — anxieties that created difficulty with conceptions of masculine and feminine gender roles as well as cultural attitudes toward Nature and the natural. Thus, McAdam contends, the increased interest in magic was connected to a crisis in masculine identity, which was exacerbated by the Protestant Reformation and its concern with individual empowerment as well as class, sexual, and religious identifications. Moreover, as artistic presentations — especially in the theater — were concerned with magic as a form of psychological, ideological, and cultural control, the study finds the psychoanalytic concept of narcissism useful in explaining the notion of selfhood as it developed in early modern England.
In chapters that explore various literary texts, McAdam considers depictions of magic by tracing a chronological path that follows a dialectical struggle involving a precarious attempt to balance “supra-rational” and “sub-rational” impulses. Beginning with Greene’s Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, which depicts some ambivalent attitudes toward magical self-empowerment and the cultural concern of a feminine sexual threat to masculine (magical) control, the book moves to the Calvinist constructions of manhood in Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and eventually to considerations of male self-definition and its reliance on women, class considerations in more oblique magical contexts, and surrender to magical (and ideological) powers in the works of Shakespeare, Marston, Middleton, Chapman, and Jonson.
In addition to appealing to those who study early modern literature and drama, this book will interest scholars of gender and those concerned with the theological basis of human subjectivity in the Renaissance.
Vol. 1 (2006) through current issue
A peer-reviewed scholarly journal, Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft draws from a broad spectrum of perspectives, methods, and disciplines, offering the widest possible geographical scope and chronological range, from prehistory to the modern era and from the Old World to the New. In addition to original research, the journal includes book reviews, editorials, and lists of newly published work.
Offers personal recollections of and critical perspectives on this major American author. In the best literary tradition, Bernard Malamud uses the particular experiences of his subjects—Eastern European Jews, immigrant Americans, and urban African Americans—to express the universal. This book offers an exploration of this beloved American writer’s fiction, which has won two National Book Awards and a Pulitzer Prize. In addition to the literary studies, personal recollections by son Paul Malamud, memoirs and portraits by good friends, colleagues, and fellow writers such as Cynthia Ozick, Daniel Stern, and Nicolas Delbanco illuminate Malamud’s life and work. The contributors reveal that in an age that deconstructs, Malamud’s voice does not. Instead, it speaks clearly and imaginatively with the weight of ancient traditions and the understanding of modern conditions.
Millennial Essays on Tennessee Williams
In this unique and engaging collection, 12 essays celebrate the legacy of one of America's most important playwrights and investigate Williams's enduring effect on America's cultural, theatrical, and literary heritage. Like Faulkner before him, Tennessee Williams gave universal appeal to southern characters and settings. His major plays, from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Glass Menagerie to A Streetcar Named Desire and Night of the Iguana, continue to capture America's popular imagination, a significant legacy. Though he died in 1983, only recently have Williams's papers become available to the public, bringing to light a number of intriguing discoveries--letters, drafts, and several unpublished and unproduced plays. These recent developments make a reassessment of Williams's life and work both timely and needed. The essays in this collection originated as presentations at the 27th annual Alabama Symposium on English and American Literature at The University of Alabama in 1999. The book addresses a wide range of topics, among them the influence of popular culture on Williams's plays, and, in turn, his influence on popular culture; his relationship to Hollywood and his struggles with censorship, Hollywood standards, and the competing vision of directors such as Elia Kazan; his depictions of gender and sexuality; and issues raised by recently discovered plays. Anyone interested in American literature and drama will find this collection of fresh, accessible essays a rewarding perspective on the life, work, and legacy of one of the bright stars of American theatre. Ralph F. Voss is Professor of English at The University of Alabama and the author of A Life of William Inge: The Strains of Triumph.
A Hindu Bioethics of Assisted Reproductive Technology
Magical Progeny, Modern Technology examines Hindu perspectives on assisted reproductive technology through an exploration of birth narratives in the great Indian epic the Mahaµbhaµrata. Reproductive technology is at the forefront of contemporary bioethical debates, and in the United States often centers on ethical issues framed by conflicts among legal, scientific, and religious perspectives. Author Swasti Bhattacharyya weaves together elements from South Asian studies, religion, literature, law, and bioethics, as well as experiences from her previous career as a nurse, to construct a Hindu response to the debate. Through analysis of the mythic stories in the Mahaµbhaµrata, specifically the birth narratives of the five Paµn|d|ava brothers and their Kaurava cousins, she draws out principles and characteristics of Hindu thought. She broadens the bioethical discussions by applying Hindu perspectives to a California court case over the parentage of a child conceived through reproductive technology and compares specific Hindu and Roman Catholic attitudes toward assisted reproductive technology. Magical Progeny, Modern Technology provides insightful ways to explore ethical issues and highlights concerns often overlooked in contemporary discussions occurring within the United States.
Essays in Honor of Bonnie Wheeler
The editors of this volume use its title to honor Bonnie Wheeler for her many scholarly achievements and to celebrate her wide-ranging contributions to medieval studies in the United States. A section on Old and Middle English literature includes essays by Toshiyuki Takamiya on a Japanese woman writer’s engagement with Grendel’s Mother, Jeffrey Jerome Cohen on Chaucer’s Britishness, Lorraine Kochanske Stock on the “hag” in The Wife of Bath’s Tale, and the late Stephen Stallcup on Arcite’s fatal mishap. The second section, “Arthuriana Then and Now,” features essays by the late Maurice Keen on Arthurian bones and English kings, Geoffrey Ashe on The Prophecies of Merlin, D. Thomas Hanks Jr. on Malory’s prose style, Edward Donald Kennedy on Lancelot of the Laik, Alan Lupack on the cultural resonance of the “strength of ten” motif, and Donald L. Hoffman and Elizabeth S. Sklar on the continued presence of the Holy Grail on the World Wide Web. In the third section, “Joan of Arc Then and Now,” Kelly R. DeVries critiques Joan’s unsuccessful attack on Paris, Kevin Harty reflects on her afterlife on the screen during World War I, and Nadia Margolis explores her presence on stage. The fourth section, “Nuns and Spirituality,” includes Giles Constable’s edition and translation of a hitherto unpublished letter from the abbot of Clairvaux to the abbess of Fontevrault, William Chester Jordan’s study of the precarious conditions of life at a thirteenth-century Cistercian nunnery, Anne Bagnall Yardley’s essay on Mary Magdalene’s musical presence in the Holy Thursday liturgy of Barking Abbey in the late Middle Ages, and Annemarie Weyl Carr’s consideration of El Greco’s Espolio. The final section, “Royal Women,” features an examination by William W. Clark of the personal seal of Constance of France and an edition by Elizabeth A. R. Brown of two previously unpublished bequests by Jeanne d’Évreux to the abbey of Saint-Denis.
The Elusive Traces of an Invisible Force
Magnetic fields permeate our vast universe, urging electrically charged particles on their courses, powering solar and stellar flares, and focusing the intense activity of pulsars and neutron stars. Magnetic fields are found in every corner of the cosmos. For decades, astrophysicists have identified them by their effects on visible light, radio waves, and x-rays. J. B. Zirker summarizes our deep knowledge of magnetism, pointing to what is yet unknown about its astrophysical applications. In clear, nonmathematical prose, Zirker follows the trail of magnetic exploration from the auroral belts of Earth to the farthest reaches of space. He guides readers on a fascinating journey of discovery to understand how magnetic forces are created and how they shape the universe. He provides the historical background needed to appreciate exciting new research by introducing readers to the great scientists who have studied magnetic fields. Students and amateur astronomers alike will appreciate the readable prose and comprehensive coverage of The Magnetic Universe.
The name maguey refers to various forms of the agave and furcraea genus, also sometimes called the century plant. The fibers extracted from the leaves of these plants are spun into fine cordage and worked with a variety of tools and techniques to create textiles, from net bags and hammocks to equestrian gear.
In this fascinating book, Kathryn Rousso, an accomplished textile artist, takes a detailed look at the state of maguey culture, use, and trade in Guatemala. She has spent years traveling in Guatemala, highlighting maguey workers' interactions in many locations and blending historical and current facts to describe their environments. Along the way, Rousso has learned the process of turning a raw leaf into beautiful and useful textile products and how globalization and modernization are transforming the maguey trade in Guatemala.
Featuring a section of full-color illustrations that follow the process from plant to weaving to product, Maguey Journey presents the story of this fiber over recent decades through the travels of an impassioned artist. Useful to cultural anthropologists, ethnobotanists, fiber artists, and interested travelers alike, this book offers a snapshot of how the industry stands now and seeks to honor those who keep the art alive in Guatemala.
A History of Leprosy in Nineteenth-Century Hawai‘i
Ma‘i Lepera attempts to recover Hawaiian voices at a significant moment in Hawai‘i’s history. It takes an unprecedented look at the Hansen’s disease outbreak (1865–1900) almost exclusively from the perspective of “patients,” ninety percent of whom were Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian). Using traditional and nontraditional sources, published and unpublished, it tells the story of a disease, a society’s reaction to it, and the consequences of the experience for Hawai‘i and its people.
Over a span of thirty-four years more than five thousand people were sent to a leprosy settlement on the remote peninsula in north Moloka‘i traditionally known as Makanalua. Their story has seldom been told despite the hundreds of letters they wrote to families, friends, and the Board of Health, as well as to Hawaiian-language newspapers, detailing their concerns at the settlement as they struggled to retain their humanity in the face of ma‘i lepera. Many remained politically active and, at times, defiant, resisting authority and challenging policies. As much as they suffered, the Kānaka Maoli of Makanalua established new bonds and cared for one another in ways that have been largely overlooked in popular histories describing leprosy in Hawai‘i.
Although Ma‘i Lepera is primarily a social history of disease and medicine, it offers compelling evidence of how leprosy and its treatment altered Hawaiian perceptions and identities. It changed how Kānaka Maoli viewed themselves: By the end of the nineteenth century, the “diseased” had become a cultural “other” to the healthy Hawaiian. Moreover, it reinforced colonial ideology and furthered the use of both biomedical practices and disease as tools of colonization.
Ma‘i Lepera will be of significant interest to students and scholars of Hawai‘i and medical history and historical and medical anthropology. Given its accessible style, this book will also appeal to general readers who wish to know more about the Kānaka Maoli who contracted leprosy—their connectedness to each another, their families, their islands, and their nation—and how leprosy came to affect those connections and their lives.
Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South
The Maid Narratives shares the memories of black domestic workers and the white families they served, uncovering the often intimate relationships between maid and mistress. Based on interviews with over fifty people—both white and black—these stories deliver a personal and powerful message about resilience and resistance in the face of oppression in the Jim Crow South. The housekeepers, caretakers, sharecroppers, and cooks who share their experiences in The Maid Narratives ultimately moved away during the Great Migration. Their perspectives as servants who left for better opportunities outside of the South offer an original telling of physical and psychological survival in a racially oppressive caste system: Vinella Byrd, for instance, from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, recalls how a farmer she worked for would not allow her to clean her hands in the family’s wash pan. These narratives are complemented by the voices of white women, such as Flora Templeton Stuart, from New Orleans, who remembers her maid fondly but realizes that she knew little about her life. Like Stuart, many of the white narrators remain troubled by the racial norms of the time. Viewed as a whole, the book presents varied, rich, and detailed accounts, often tragic, and sometimes humorous. The Maid Narratives reveals, across racial lines, shared hardships, strong emotional ties, and inspiring strength.