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Objectifying Measures: The Dominance of High-Stakes Testing and the Politics of Schooling

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."

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The Objectivist Nexus

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.

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Objectivity

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.

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Objects and Objections of Ethnography

James Siegel

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.

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Objects and Others

Essays on Museums and Material Culture

Edited by George W. Stocking, Jr.

History of Anthropology is a series of annual volumes, inaugurated in 1983, each of which treats an important theme in the history of anthropological inquiry. Objects and Others, the third volume, focuses on a number of questions relating to the history of museums and material culture studies: the interaction of museum arrangement and anthropological theory; the tension between anthropological research and popular education; the contribution of museum ethnography to aesthetic practice; the relationship of humanistic and anthropological culture, and of ethnic artifact and fine art; and, more generally, the representation of culture in material objects. As the first work to cover the development of museum anthropology since the mid-nineteenth century, it will be of great interest and value not only to anthropologist, museologists, and historians of science and the social sciences, but also to those interested in "primitive"  art and its reception in the Western world.

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The Obligation of Empire

United States' Grand Strategy for a New Century

edited by James J. Hentz

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.

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Obligations in Roman Law

Past, Present, and Future

Thomas McGinn

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

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Obliged to Help

Adolphine Fletcher Terry and the Progressive South

Author Stephanie Bayless examines why this Southern aristocratic matron, the daughter of a Confederate soldier, tirelessly devoted herself to improving the lives of others and, in so doing, became a model for activism across the South. It is the first work of its kind to consider Terry's lifelong commitment to social causes and is written for both traditional scholars and all those interested in history, civil rights, and the ability of women to create change within the gender limits of the time. Adolphine Fletcher Terry died in Little Rock, Arkansas, in July of 1976, at the age of ninety-three. Her life was a monument to progress in the South, particularly in her native state of Arkansas, a place she once described as "holy ground."

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Oblivio Gate

Sean Nevin

 

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.

 

 

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Oblomov and his Creator: Life and Art of Ivan Goncharov

Milton Ehre

Goncharov's novels have been popular in Russia since their publication, and Oblomov, the central character of his most famous novel, has become the prototype of a fat and lazy man. Milton Ehre offers new interpretations of the complex personality of Goncharov and shows how in many ways Oblomov was a self-portrait of his creator. The introductory chapter neither idealizes Goncharov nor glosses over his weaknesses but shows a sensitive understanding of this major nineteenth-century Russian writer.

The author goes beyond the standard critical clichés about Goncharov to a contemporary reading of his entire artistic production. Proceeding from the assumption that meanings in art are intimately related to forms, he discusses Goncharov's works with close attention to style, structure, and distinctions of genre, to arrive at an understanding of Goncharov's themes and his view of experience. Milton Ehre's extensive knowledge of the Russian literature on Goncharov and his own literary sensitivity combine to provide a new understanding of Goncharov and his novels.

Originally published in 1974.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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