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Veiled Desires Cover

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Veiled Desires

Intimate Portrayals of Nuns in Postwar Anglo-American Film

Ingrid Bergman’s engaging screen performance as Sister Mary Benedict in The Bells of St. Mary’s made the film nun a minor star and her character a shining standard of comparison. She represented the religious life as the happy and rewarding choice of a modern woman who had a “complete understanding” of both erotic and spiritual desire. How did this vibrant and mature nun figure come to be viewed as girlish, naive and light-weight? Why have she and the cinematic sisters who followed her in post-war popular film so often been stereotyped or selectively analyzed, so seldom been seen as women and religious, and never been treated as subjects for full-length study? In Veiled Desires, Maureen Sabine explores these questions through an inter-disciplinary study of twelve films in depth and twenty-one in total, primarily from Hollywood, in which the nun features as an ardent lead character over a sixty-year period from the 1945 film The Bells of St. Mary’s to the 2008 film Doubt. She considers how the beautiful, photogenic and charismatic stars who played chaste nuns called attention to desires that the veil concealed and the habit was thought to stifle. In a theologically and psychoanalytically informed argument, she responds to the critics who have pigeonholed the film nun as mainly the obedient daughter and religious handmaiden of a patriarchal church with only a limited capacity for the desires of a modern woman, and the respectful audience who revered her as an icon of spiritual perfection untroubled by female embodiment, sexuality or longing. Sabine offers a new view of the film nun by suggesting how actresses like Ingrid Bergman, Deborah Kerr, Audrey Hepburn, Julie Andrews, Diana Rigg, and Susan Sarandon enact the tensions between the traditional desires of religious life known as agape and the aspirational desires valorized by Audre Lorde as eros. She re-examines films that have been controversial like Black Narcissus (1947), The Nun’s Story (1959) and Agnes of God (1985); have been both belittled and beloved like Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957) and The Sound of Music (1965); that have fallen out of favor like The Bells of St. Mary’s or have wooed back a contemporary audience like Dead Man Walking (1995) and Doubt (2008). She provides a framework for a more complex and holistic picture of nuns on screen as both women and religious by showing how, to varying degrees, the films dramatize their Christian call to serve, sacrifice and dedicate themselves to God, and their erotic desire for intimacy, agency, achievement, and fulfillment.

Veiled Employment Cover

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Veiled Employment

Islamism and the Political Economy of Women's Employment in Iran

edited by Roksana Bahramitash and Hadi Salehi Esfahani

The popularity of neoliberal economic policies is based, in part, on the argument that the liberalization of markets promotes growth and increases employment opportunities for women. Although the latest research bears this out, it also presents a grim portrait of the state of women’s employment. Approximately seventy percent of those living on less than a dollar a day are women or girls. In Veiled Employment, the editors seek to examine these stark disparities, focusing on the evolving role of women’s employment in Iran. Based on empirical field research in Iran, the contributors’ essays document the accelerating trend in the size and diversity of women’s employment since the 1990s and explore the impact of various governmental policies on women. The volume analyzes such issues as the effect of global trade on female employment, women’s contribution to the informal work sector, and Iranian female migrant workers in the United States. Rejecting the commonly held view that centers on Islam as the primary cause of women’s status in the Muslim world, the authors emphasize the role of the national and international political economies. Drawing on postcolonial feminist theory, these scholars reveal the ways in which women in Iran have resisted and challenged Islamism, revealing them as agents of social transformation rather than as victims of religious fundamentalism.

Veiling in Africa Cover

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Veiling in Africa

Edited by Elisha P. Renne

The tradition of the veil, which refers to various cloth coverings of the head, face, and body, has been little studied in Africa, where Islam has been present for more than a thousand years. These lively essays raise questions about what is distinctive about veiling in Africa, what religious histories or practices are reflected in particular uses of the veil, and how styles of veils have changed in response to contemporary events. Together, they explore the diversity of meanings and experiences with the veil, revealing it as both an object of Muslim piety and an expression of glamorous fashion.

Veille stratégique et PME Cover

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Veille stratégique et PME

Comparaison des politiques gouvernementales de soutien

Dans quelle mesure l'État peut-il et doit-il supporter la pratique de veille dans les entreprises et, en particulier, dans les PME? Dans cet ouvrage, l'auteure compare des initiatives (pratiques, outils et impacts) mises en place ou supportées par les gouvernements de l'Allemagne, des États-Unis, de la France, du Japon, du Royaume-Uni, de la Suède, de l'Union européenne et du Québec, pour favoriser la pratique de veille dans les entreprises, notamment dans les PME. Cet ouvrage s'adresse aux étudiants, chercheurs, professionnels et à toute personne s'intéressant à la gestion d'information, à la veille dans les organisations, en particulier les PME, et aux politiques d'information des gouvernements adaptées à la société du savoir.

Veins of Devotion Cover

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Veins of Devotion

Blood Donation and Religious Experience in North India

Jacob Copeman

Veins of Devotion details recent collaborations between guru-led devotional movements and public health campaigns to encourage voluntary blood donation in northern India. The book analyzes the operations of several high-profile religious orders that organize large-scale public blood-giving events and argues that blood donation has become a site not only of frenetic competition between different devotional movements, but also of intense spiritual creativity.

Velocity Cover

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Nancy Krygowski

Winner of the 2006 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize Krygowski's poems--often sad, sometimes humorous, always generous--are lovingly grounded in the ordinary. They are thinking poems--tightly crafted, accessible inquiries more interested in exploring stark and complicated knowledge than in proclaiming it.

Velvet Jihad Cover

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Velvet Jihad

Muslim Women's Quiet Resistance to Islamic Fundamentalism

Faegheh Shirazi

There are numerous conflicts ensuing in the Middle East, but not all are being fought with rockets and rifles. While the Internet has proven invaluable to those who wish to uphold a patriarchal society and spread the message of Islamic fundamentalism, Muslim women have used the Web to build a transnational community intent on growing women’s rights in the Middle East.

There is a large disparity between a Muslim woman's role according to the Qur'an and her role as some corners of Muslim society have interpreted it. In Velvet Jihad Faegheh Shirazi reveals the creative strategies Muslim women have adopted to quietly fight against those who would limit their growing rights.

Shirazi examines issues that are important to all women, from routine matters such as daily hygiene and clothing to controversial subjects like abortion, birth control, and virginity. As a woman with linguistic expertise and extensive life experience in both Western and Middle Eastern cultures, she is uniquely positioned as an objective observer and reporter of changes and challenges facing Muslim women globally.

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The Velvet Light Trap

No. 51 (2003) through current issue

The Velvet Light Trap is a journal devoted to investigating historical questions that illuminate the understanding of film and other media. While VLT maintains its traditional commitment to the study of American film, it also expands its scope to television and other media, to adjacent institutions, and to other nations' media.

¡Venceremos? Cover

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The Erotics of Black Self-Making in Cuba

Jafari Allen

Venera Cover

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Jay Rogoff

Praise for Jay Rogoff

"[Rogoff's] poetry takes a visible art of movement and translates the feelings it evokes and the history it records into delicate words.... But Rogoff also has an amazing knack for the humor in humanity, as a slew of death-defying poems demonstrates." -- Andrew Burstein, The Baton Rouge Advocate

"Quite simply, I love the gravitational, poetic pull of Rogoff 's work." -- Ren�e E. D'Aoust, Notre Dame Review

The poems in Jay Rogoff's Venera explore varieties of love, both sacred and profane, by drawing from the natural world, personal intimacy, and the human imagination as evoked in biblical narratives and art. Rogoff reveals how devotion's many guises collide to startle us: a husband consoles his wife after she is awakened by an imaginary child, a man daydreams of his kindergarten crush, Abraham's fear of God perplexes his love for Isaac, and the Virgin Mary, stunned by the angel Gabriel's inhuman beauty, contemplates the decades of purity that stretch ahead.

In Venera's title sonnet sequence, inspired by visions of the feminine depicted in the works of Renaissance painter Jan van Eyck, such collisions evolve into collusions. As Rogoff weds elevated language to plainspokenness and sets the erotic alongside the miraculous, the beloved accumulates many identities -- everyone's mother and everyone's daughter, the laboring handmaid and the Queen of heaven, the fertile field and the elusive bride.

Rogoff's poems allow us to ponder the contradictory human concoctions of love, detailing how they drive us to venerate the sacred while also submitting to the power of the sensuous.

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