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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.
MRI and the Myth of Transparency
Magnetic Resonance Imaging, not so long ago a diagnostic tool of last resort, has become pervasive in the landscape of consumer medicine; images of the forbidding tubes, with their promises of revelation, surround us in commercials and on billboards. Magnetic Appeal offers an in-depth exploration of the science and culture of MRI, examining its development and emergence as an imaging technology, its popular appeal and acceptance, and its current use in health care.
Understood as modern and uncontroversial by health care professionals and in public discourse, the importance of MRI-or its supposed infallibility-has rarely been questioned. In Magnetic Appeal, Kelly A. Joyce shows how MRI technology grew out of serendipitous circumstances and was adopted for reasons having little to do with patient safety or evidence of efficacy. Drawing on interviews with physicians and MRI technologists, as well as ethnographic research conducted at imaging sites and radiology conferences, Joyce demonstrates that current beliefs about MRI draw on cultural ideas about sight and technology and are reinforced by health care policies and insurance reimbursement practices. Moreover, her unsettling analysis of physicians' and technologists' work practices lets readers consider that MRI scans do not reveal the truth about the body as is popularly believed, nor do they always lead to better outcomes for patients. Although clearly a valuable medical technique, MRI technology cannot necessarily deliver the health outcomes ascribed to it.
Magnetic Appeal also addresses broader questions about the importance of medical imaging technologies in American culture and medicine. These technologies, which include ultrasound, X-ray, and MRI, are part of a larger trend in which visual representations have become central to American health, identity, and social relations.
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.
A Biography of Benjamin Elijah Mays
Civil rights activist, writer, theologian, preacher, and educator, Benjamin Elijah Mays (1894–1984) was one of the most distinguished South Carolinians of the twentieth century. He influenced the lives of generations of students as a dean and professor of religion at Howard University and as longtime president of Morehouse College in Atlanta. In addition to his personal achievements, Mays was also a mentor and teacher to Julian Bond, founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; future Atlanta mayor Maynard Jackson; writer, preacher, and theologian Howard Washington Thurman; and the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. In this comprehensive biography of Mays, John Herbert Roper, Sr., chronicles the harsh realities of Mays’s early life and career in the segregated South and crafts an inspirational, compelling portrait of one of the most influential African American intellectuals in modern history.
Born at the turn of the century in rural Edgefield County, South Carolina, Mays was the youngest son of former slaves turned tenant farmers. At just four years of age, he experienced the brutal injustice of the Jim Crow era when he witnessed the bloody 1898 Phoenix Riot, sparked by black citizens’ attempts to exercise their voting rights.
In the early 1930s Mays discovered the teachings of Mohandas Gandhi and traveled to India in 1938 to confer with him about his methods of nonviolent protest. An honoree of the South Carolina Hall of Fame and recipient of forty-nine honorary degrees, Mays strived tirelessly against racial prejudices and social injustices throughout his career. In addition to his contributions to education and theology, Mays also worked with the National Urban League to improve housing, employment, and health conditions for African Americans, and he played a major role in the integration of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA).
With honest appreciation and fervent admiration for Mays’s many accomplishments and lasting legacy, Roper deftly captures the heart and passion of his subject, his lifelong quest for social equality, and his unwavering faith in the potential for good in the American people.
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.
A Jewish Holy Woman and Her World
Hannah Rochel Verbermacher, a Hasidic holy woman known as the Maiden of Ludmir, was born in early-nineteenth-century Russia and became famous as the only woman in the three-hundred-year history of Hasidism to function as a rebbe—or charismatic leader—in her own right. Nathaniel Deutsch follows the traces left by the Maiden in both history and legend to fully explore her fascinating story for the first time. The Maiden of Ludmir offers powerful insights into the Jewish mystical tradition, into the Maiden’s place within it, and into the remarkable Jewish community of Ludmir. Her biography ultimately becomes a provocative meditation on the complex relationships between history and memory, Judaism and modernity.
History first finds the Maiden in the eastern European town of Ludmir, venerated by her followers as a master of the Kabbalah, teacher, and visionary, and accused by her detractors of being possessed by a dybbuk, or evil spirit. Deutsch traces the Maiden’s steps from Ludmir to Ottoman Palestine, where she eventually immigrated and re-established herself as a holy woman. While the Maiden’s story—including her adamant refusal to marry—recalls the lives of holy women in other traditions, it also brings to light the largely unwritten history of early-modern Jewish women. To this day, her transgressive behavior, a challenge to traditional Jewish views of gender and sexuality, continues to inspire debate and, sometimes, censorship within the Jewish community.
Eastern Indonesian Women on the Move
Maiden Voyages is a fascinating, unusual study of the centrality, impact and place of sea travel on the lives of women in Eastern Indonesia. It shows how women there travel constantly by sea, to move between islands, to urban centres and even overseas. In doing so, they negotiate and cross and re-make their social boundaries. In contrast to the dominant economic approach to migration, this book uses Eastern Indonesian women’s own travel accounts to show how sea voyages recreate their identities. The book is based on research of contemporary rural and semi-rural women in the East Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia.This book is an original and valuable contribution to the debates on gender, subjectivity, and the local specificity. It aims to contribute to an understanding of women’s mobility and spatial relations in Eastern Indonesia. It will be of interest to scholars of geography, migration, gender and microeconomics as well as of appeal to general readers.