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Accounting and Recounting in Andean Khipu
The Inka Empire stretched over much of the length and breadth of the South American Andes, encompassed elaborately planned cities linked by a complex network of roads and messengers, and created astonishing works of architecture and artistry and a compelling mythology—all without the aid of a graphic writing system. Instead, the Inkas’ records consisted of devices made of knotted and dyed strings—called khipu—on which they recorded information pertaining to the organization and history of their empire. Despite more than a century of research on these remarkable devices, the khipu remain largely undeciphered. In this benchmark book, twelve international scholars tackle the most vexed question in khipu studies: how did the Inkas record and transmit narrative records by means of knotted strings? The authors approach the problem from a variety of angles. Several essays mine Spanish colonial sources for details about the kinds of narrative encoded in the khipu. Others look at the uses to which khipu were put before and after the Conquest, as well as their current use in some contemporary Andean communities. Still others analyze the formal characteristics of khipu and seek to explain how they encode various kinds of numerical and narrative data.
"Hinds's study makes an important contribution to studies on the early-seventeenth-century novel. His analysis of the two novels is carried out in two broad and important contexts: sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century French literature in general (Baroque esthetic theory, the literary controversies of the time, etc.) and modern critical theory (Bakhtin, Kristeva, Benjamin, Foucault, etc.). The author brings all of these elements together in a coherent, intelligent, and thought-provoking manner
Jesuits on the Eastern Peripheries of the Habsburg Realms (1640–1773)
Addresses the experience of Jesuit missionaries, teachers and writers along the peripheries of the Habsburg lands, which stretched to Moldavia, Ukraine, Serbia and Wallachia, and which were continually torn with ethnic tensions. The time scale of the study is from the “high tide” of the Society (often labeled “the first multinational corporation”) in the fourth decade of the seventeenth century, until its suppression in 1773 by Pope Clement XIV. The book examines several of the communities situated along the periphery and the records that they left behind about their interactions with the local populations. It constructs a vivid picture of Jesuit life on the frontier that is built up in mosaic fashion and livened by compelling anecdotes. The Jesuits of Royal Hungary exercised a baroque expression modeled after the larger western cities of the Habsburg lands, which was a fragile splendor in part defined by the need to defend Catholicism from the hostility of Orthodox, Lutherans, Calvinists, and others.
Boris Diop, ben Jelloun, Khatibi
Narratives of Catastrophe tells the story of the relationship between catastrophe, in the senses of down turnand break,and narration as recountingin the senses suggested by the French term rcit in selected texts by three leading writers from Africa. Qader's book begins by exploring the political implications of narrating catastrophic historical events. Through careful readings of singular literary texts on the genocide in Rwanda and on Tazmamart, a secret prison in Morocco under the reign of Hassan II, Qader shows how historical catastrophes enter language and how this language is marked by the catastrophe it recounts. Not satisfied with the extra-literary characterizations of catastrophe in terms of numbers, laws, and naming, she investigates the catastrophic in catastrophe, arguing that catastrophe is always an effect of language andthought,. The rcit becomes a privileged site because the difficulties of thinking and speaking about catastrophe unfold through the very movements of storytelling.This book intervenes in important ways in the current scholarship in the field of African literatures. It shows the contributions of African literatures in elucidating theoretical problems for literary studies in general, such as storytelling's relationship to temporality, subjectivity, and thought. Moreover, it addresses the issue of storytelling, which is of central concern in the context of African literatures but still remains limited mostly to the distinction between the oral and the written. The notion of rcit breaks with this duality by foregrounding the inaugural temporality of telling and of writing as repetition.The final chapters examine catastrophic turns within the philosophical traditions of the West and in Islamic thought, highlighting their interconnections and differences.
The twelve essays in this collection focus on the first commercial encounters between an ancient China on the verge of systemic social transformations, and a fledgling United States, struggling to assert itself globally as a distinct nation after the Revolutionary War with Great Britain. In early accounts of these encounters, commercial activity enabled cross-cultural curiosity, communication and even mutual respect but also occasioned confrontation as ambitious traders in early American companies pursued lucrative opportunities, often embracing a British mode of imperialism in the name of “free trade.” The book begins in the 1780s with the arrival in Canton of the very first American ship The Empress of China and moves through the nineteenth century, with Caleb Cushing negotiating the Treaty of Wangxia (1844) in Macau after the First Opium War and, at the century’s close, Secretary of State John Hay forging the Open Door Policy (1899). Because it is not possible to consider Sino-American relations in a vacuum, the essays remain attuned to the contemporaneous involvement of competing European trading partners, especially the British, in Canton, Macao, and the general region of Pearl River Delta. All of the essays address the history of American-Chinese commerce to recover a prescient dialogue or scene of exchange that resonates in the current tensions and promises of world financial reform. The interdisciplinary essays anchor big ideas in the careful analysis of specific literary, diplomatic, and epistolary writings, and the collection as a whole develops a rich visual dimension to the historical record. The result is an engaging and qualitatively collaborative book that brings to life a fascinating story of antagonism and collaboration between two countries that followed very different paths on route to becoming economic superpowers of the early twenty first century.
Essays on Chicano Literary History, Genre, and Borders
Once relegated to the borders of literature—neither Mexican nor truly American—Chicana/o writers have always been in the vanguard of change, articulating the multicultural ethnicities, shifting identities, border realities, and even postmodern anxieties and hostilities that already characterize the twenty-first century. Indeed, it is Chicana/o writers’ very in-between-ness that makes them authentic spokespersons for an America that is becoming increasingly Mexican/Latin American and for a Mexico that is ever more Americanized. In this pioneering study, Héctor Calderón looks at seven Chicana and Chicano writers whose narratives constitute what he terms an American Mexican literature. Drawing on the concept of “Greater Mexican” culture first articulated by Américo Paredes, Calderón explores how the works of Paredes, Rudolfo Anaya, Tomás Rivera, Oscar Zeta Acosta, Cherríe Moraga, Rolando Hinojosa, and Sandra Cisneros derive from Mexican literary traditions and genres that reach all the way back to the colonial era. His readings cover a wide span of time (1892–2001), from the invention of the Spanish Southwest in the nineteenth century to the América Mexicana that is currently emerging on both sides of the border. In addition to his own readings of the works, Calderón also includes the writers’ perspectives on their place in American/Mexican literature through excerpts from their personal papers and interviews, correspondence, and e-mail exchanges he conducted with most of them.
Legislators' Beliefs about Distributive Fairness
Narratives of Justice offers a provocative, contemporary look at the timeless questions of justice and fairness. Using face-to-face interviews, Grant Reeher plumbs the minds of legislators for their beliefs about distributive justice and attempts to discover the ways in which those beliefs influence their behavior. The book calls into question many notions of American political ideology and, in particular, the idea of an "American exceptionalism" regarding views from the political left, and the dominance in the United States of a "liberal tradition." Political philosophers have amassed a large body of work on justice and fairness from a theoretical perspective, but there is comparatively little empirical work on the subject. The work that does exist concentrates on the beliefs of the public. We know very little concerning the beliefs about justice held by political elites. This work offers a window into the beliefs of legislators, a group for which such an inquiry is rarely undertaken. The book is based on a set of extended, in-depth interviews with the members of the Connecticut State Senate as well as a year of close observation of the Senate in action. The interviews averaged four hours in length and covered a variety of topics related to fairness. Through this material, Reeher employs a narrative-based framework to understand the patterns in the senators' interview responses, and develops a typology of the senator's narratives. These narratives vary in both content and form, and as a whole present a surprising range of views. Narratives of Justice will be of interest to those concerned with justice, political ideologies, and political beliefs, as well as state and local politics and, more generally, American politics. Its wide research and thorough documentation make it a useful guide to the literature within and beyond political science concerning beliefs, ideologies, legislative behavior, and qualitative research methods. Grant Reeher is Assistant Professor, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Department of Political Science, Syracuse University, and currently a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research, University of Michigan.
Beyond the Holocaust
As a boy studying Torah, Isaac Neuman learned to seek the spiritual lessons hidden in everyday life. Likewise, in this narrative of occupation and holocaust, he uncovers a core of human decency and spiritual strength that inhumanity, starvation, and even death failed to extinguish._x000B_Unlike many Holocaust memoirs that focus on physical suffering and endurance, The Narrow Bridge follows a spiritual journey. Neuman describes the world of Polish Jewry before and during the Holocaust, recreating the strong religious and secular personalities of his childhood and early youth in Zdunska Wola, Poland: the outcast butcher, Haskel Traskalawski; the savvy criminal-turned-entrepreneur Nochem Ellia; the trusted Dr. Lemberg, liaison to the German occupation government; and Neuman's beloved teacher, Reb Mendel. Through their stories, Neuman reveals the workings of a community tested to the limits of faith and human dignity. _x000B_With his brother Yossel, Neuman was transported to the Poznan area, first to the Yunikowo work camp in May 1941, then on to St. Martin's Cemetery camp, where they removed gold jewelry and fillings from exhumed corpses. A string of concentration camps followed, each more oppressive than the last: FÃ¼rstenfelde, Auschwitz, FÃ¼nfteichen, Gross Rosen, Mauthausen, Wels, and Ebensee. In the midst of these horrors, the brothers kept their feet on the "narrow bridge" of life by holding to their faith, their memories, and each other. In the end, only Isaac survived._x000B_The Narrow Bridge celebrates symbolic victories of faith over brute force. The execution of Zdunska Wola's Jewish spiritual and intellectual leaders is trumped by an act of breathtaking courage and conviction. A secret Passover Seder is cobbled together from hoarded bits of wax, piecemeal prayers, and matzoh baked in delousing ovens. A dying fellow inmate gives Neuman his warm coat as they both lie freezing on the ground._x000B_Such rituals of faith and acts of kindness, combined with boyhood memories and a sense of spiritual responsibility, sustained Neuman through the Holocaust and helped him to reconstruct his life after the war. His story is a powerful testimony to an unquenchable faith and a spirit tried by fire._x000B__x000B__x000B__x000B_
No. 6 (2003) through current issue
Cofounded in 1998 by the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University and the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues provides an international, interdisciplinary academic forum the only one of its kind for the innovative work being done in the many areas of research that comprise the field of Jewish women's and gender studies. It regularly includes articles on literature, text studies, anthropology, theology, contemporary thought, sociology, the arts, and more. It aims to create communication channels within the Jewish women's and gender studies community, to bring the fruits of that community's work to a wider audience, and to enhance their educational, political, and cultural impact on the Jewish world and beyond. In addition, each issue of Nashim highlights the new voices that seek to redefine the place of women in the Jewish tradition and Jewish learning in ways that incorporate female creativity and spirituality.