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In the past twenty years, the number of educational tests with high-stakes consequences—such as promotion to the next grade level or graduating from high school—has increased. At the same time, the difficulty of the tests has also increased. In Texas, a Latina state legislator introduced and lobbied for a bill that would take such factors as teacher recommendations, portfolios of student work, and grades into account for the students—usually students of color—who failed such tests. The bill was defeated.
Using several types of ethnographic study (personal interviews, observations of the Legislature in action, news broadcasts, public documents from the Legislature and Texas Education Agency), Amanda Walker Johnson observed the struggle for the bill’s passage. Through recounting this experience, Objectifying Measures explores the relationship between the cultural production of scientific knowledge (of statistics in particular) and the often intuitive resistance to objectification of those adversely affected by the power of policies underwritten as "scientific."
Essays in Cultural Poetics
"Objectivist" writers, conjoined through a variety of personal, ideological, and literary-historical links, have, from the late 1920s to the present, attracted emulation and suspicion. Representing a nonsymbolist, postimagist poetics and characterized by a historical, realist, antimythological worldview, Objectivists have retained their outsider status. Despite such status, however, the formal, intellectual, ideological, and ethical concerns of the Objectivist nexus have increasingly influenced poetry and poetics in the United States.
Thus, argue editors Rachel Blau DuPlessis and Peter Quartermain, the time has come for an anthology that unites essential works on Objectivist practices and presents Objectivist writing as an enlargement of the possibilities of poetry rather than as a determinable and definable literary movement. The authors' collective aim is to bring attention to this group of poets and to exemplify and specify cultural readings for poetic texts--readings alert to the material world, politics, society, and history, and readings concerned with the production, dissemination, and reception of poetic texts.
The contributors consider Basil Bunting, Lorine Niedecker, George Oppen, Carl Rakosi, Charles Reznikoff, and Louis Zukofsky within both their historical milieu and our own. The essays insist on poetry as a mode of thought; analyze and evaluate Objectivist politics; focus on the ethical, spiritual, and religious issues raised by certain Objectivist affiliations with Judaism; and explore the dissemination of poetic texts and the vagaries of Objectivist reception. Running throughout the book are two related threads: Objectivist writing as generally a practice aware of its own historical and social contingency and Objectivist writing as a site of complexity, contestation, interrogation, and disagreement.
The Hermeneutical and Philosophy
Appearing for the first time in English, Günter Figal’s groundbreaking book in the tradition of philosophical hermeneutics offers original perspectives on perennial philosophical problems. Günter Figal has long been recognized as one of the most insightful interpreters working in the tradition of philosophical hermeneutics and its leading themes concerned with ancient Greek thought, art, language, and history. With this book, Figal presses this tradition of philosophical hermeneutics in new directions. In his effort to forge philosophical hermeneutics into a hermeneutical philosophy, Figal develops an original critique of the objectification of the world that emerges in modernity as the first stage in his systematic treatment of the elements of experience hermeneutically understood. Breaking through the prejudices of modernity, but not sacrificing the importance and challenge of the objective world that confronts us and is in need of interpretation, Figal reorients how it is that philosophy should take up some of its most longstanding and stubborn questions. World, object, space, language, freedom, time, and life are refreshed as philosophical notions here since they are each regarded as elements of human life engaged in the task assigned to each of us—the task of understanding ourselves and our world.
The essays in this volume, in all their astonishing richness and diversity, focus on the question of the other.Brimming with whole flotillas of new ideas, they delineate subtle and various ways in which that question can be made the basis of an ethnographic project.In them, the author responds to the invitations extended by a specific location rather than pursuing a codified method. And they examine many different socialities in many different locations-among them the Cornell University campus in the late seventies, the former Muse de l'Homme and the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, theIndonesian province of Aceh in the wake of the tsunami of 2004, and contemporary Indonesia, in the liminal figures of the Jew and the Chinese. The author meticulously traces how the social and cultural responses in each location are astonishingly different-in the form, say, of gorges, faces, garbage, and fetishes.Regrettably, these days anthropologists have a tendency to look for similarities rather than differences, to show how one phenomenon is just likeanother. This book stands determinedly against this trend, both in its ethnographic examinations and in how it takes up such figures as Kant, Derrida, Bataille, Simmel, and Leiris so as to illuminate not only the objects of ethnography but also differences among the perspectivesthese thinkers represent.This book will put the methods and objects of anthropology in an entirely new light. In addition, it will speak to the concerns of historians, political scientists, and scholars of area studies, literature, and art.
Essays on Museums and Material Culture
United States' Grand Strategy for a New Century
Some of the nation's most respected scholars of international affairs examine the debates over U.S. grand strategy in light of U.S. security policies and interests in tactical regions around the world. The contributors begin by describing the four grand strategies currently competing for dominance of U.S. foreign policy: neo-isolationism argues that the United States should not become involved in conflicts outside specifically defined national interests selective engagement proposes that the United States, despite its position as the world's only remaining superpower, should limit its involvement in foreign affairs cooperative security advocates that the United States is not and should not act as an imperial country primacy asserts that the United States is an empire and therefore it should conduct an expansive foreign policy. Focusing on regions that present new challenges to U.S. grand strategy, such as Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, the contributors offer the most current examinations of U.S. policies and assess the effectiveness of competing strategies in each region. The Obligation of Empire offers an innovative set of foreign policy initiatives that explore the tensions between global agendas and regionalist approaches.
Contributors: Andrew J. Bacevich, Doug Bandow, Dale Davis, Thomas Donnelly, James J. Hentz, Clifford Kiracofe, Charles Kupchan, Jeffrey Stark, S. Frederick Starr, and Brantley Womack. James J. Hentz, associate professor of international studies at the Virginia Military Institute, is the coeditor of New and Critical Security and Regionalism: Beyond the Nation State.
Past, Present, and Future
Long a major element of classical studies, the examination of the laws of the ancient Romans has gained momentum in recent years as interdisciplinary work in legal studies has spread. Two resulting issues have arisen, on one hand concerning Roman laws a
Adolphine Fletcher Terry and the Progressive South
Suffused with lyrical grace and the language of loss, Sean Nevin's Oblivio Gate explores the mental and emotional struggles of Solomon, a veteran battling the onslaught of Alzheimer's disease. Set against Solomon's memories of the Korean War, Nevin's poems draw us into an intimate view of a man's confusion as everything he knows slowly unravels around him, leaving him abandoned in the suddenly unfamiliar landscape of his own mind. Readers experience first- hand Solomon's dismay as he watches himself inexorably slip away from reality, fighting to hold on to the shreds of his identity. Intertwined with his perspective are the voices of loved ones and caregivers who can only watch helplessly as Solomon is ravaged by the illness. Also central to the collection are the figures of Aurora and Tithonus, the famously doomed couple of mythology whose own happiness was destroyed by the inevitability of age and the betrayal of the body. But if this evocative portrait of Alzheimer's disease is tragic, it is also at moments inspiring.
Oblivio Gate reveals not only what is lost, but also what is found, what is pure, and even what is funny in our fleeting lives. Ultimately, Sean Nevin crafts an unforgettable collection of contemporary poetry that yields heartbreaking insight into memory, the mind, and an affliction that has left millions lost and looking for themselves.