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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become available to the public, bringing to light a number of intriguing discoveries--letters, drafts, and several unpublished and unproduced plays.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.
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.
The Poet's Art and His Nation
In Mahmoud Darwish: The Poet’s Art and His Nation, Mattawa pays tribute to one of the most celebrated and well-read poets of our era. With detailed knowledge of Arabic verse and a firm grounding in Palestinian history, Mattawa explores the ways in which Darwish’s aesthetics have played a crucial role in shaping and maintaining Palestinian identity and culture through decades of warfare, attrition, exile, and land confiscation. Mattawa chronicles the evolution of his poetry, from a young poet igniting resistance in occupied land to his decades in exile where his work grew in ambition and scope. In doing so, Mattawa reveals Darwish’s verse to be both rooted to its place of longing and to transcend place, as it reaches for the universal and the human.