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Exploring Streams with the Experts
In Wading for Bugs, nearly two dozen aquatic biologists share their memorable encounters with stream insects.
The contributors, based primarily in North America, work in diverse environments—from arctic to desert, from mountain streams to river valleys. They represent a wide range of expertise as authors of standard field texts, leaders in biomonitoring and assessment programs, directors of major laboratories, and specialists in aquatic ecology and taxonomy.
The writings in Wading for Bugs allow readers to experience—through the eyes of the scientists—what it’s like to study stream insects and to make discoveries that could help develop biological indicators for stream health. General summaries introduce each insect order. Elegant insect drawings accompany each story, along with morphological, life history, and habitat information for each species or family.
Wading for Bugs will appeal to general readers as well as students, naturalists, and fisherfolk curious about streams and the insects that live in them.
Wading the Tide is an expression of profound emotions touching on a wide range of issues-personal and political-from the birth of the Cameroon nation, her political meandering, until the state of emergency declared on the North West Province in 1992. Accordingly, Doh complains, ridicules, and pays tribute, even as he instructs and guides on timeless matters of life, all in an effort to draw attention to his country's gradual, downward spiral into anomy.
Tragedy, Dialectics, and a Hidden God
In The Wager of Lucien Goldmann, Mitchell Cohen provides the first full-length study of this major figure of postwar French intellectual life and champion of socialist humanism. While many Parisian leftists staunchly upheld Marxism's "scientificity" in the 1950s and 1960s, Lucien Goldmann insisted that Marxism was by then in severe crisis and had to reinvent itself radically if it were to survive. He rejected the traditional Marxist view of the proletariat and contested the structuralist and antihumanist theorizing that infected French left-wing circles in the tumultuous 1960s.
Highly regarded by thinkers as diverse as Jean Piaget and Alasdair MacIntyre, Goldmann is shown here as a socialist who, unlike many others of his time, refused to portray his aspirations for humanity's future as an inexorable unfolding of history's laws. He saw these aspirations instead as a wager akin to Pascal's in the existence of God. "Risk," Goldmann wrote in his classic study of Pascal and Racine, The Hidden God, "possibility of failure, hope of success, and the synthesis of the three in a faith which is a wager are the essential constituent elements of the human condition." In The Wager of Lucien Goldmann, Cohen retrieves Goldmann's achievement--his "genetic structuralist" method, his sociology of literature, his libertarian socialist politics.
Pascal on Faith and Philosophy
“Philosophers startle ordinary people. Christians astonish the philosophers.”
In Wagering on an Ironic God Thomas S. Hibbs both startles and astonishes. He does so by offering a new interpretation of Pascal’s Pensées and by showing the importance of Pascal in and for a philosophy of religion.
Hibbs resists the temptation to focus exclusively on Pascal’s famous “wager” or to be beguiled by the fragmentary and presumably incomplete nature of Pensées. Instead he discovers in Pensées a coherent and comprehensive project, one in which Pascal contributed to the ancient debate over the best way of life—a life of true happiness and true virtue.
Hibbs situates Pascal in relation to early modern French philosophers, particularly Montaigne and Descartes. These three French thinkers offer three distinctly modern accounts of the good life. Montaigne advocates the private life of authentic self-expression, while Descartes favors the public goods of progressive enlightenment science and its promise of the mastery of nature. Pascal, by contrast, renders an account of the Christian religion that engages modern subjectivity and science on its own terms and seeks to vindicate the wisdom of the Christian vision by showing that it, better than any of its rivals, truly understands human nature.
Though all three philosophers share a preoccupation with Socrates, each finds in that figure a distinct account of philosophy and its aims. Pascal finds in Socrates a philosophy rich in irony: philosophy is marked by a deep yearning for wisdom that is never wholly achieved. Philosophy is a quest without attainment, a love never obtained. Absent Cartesian certainty or the ambivalence of Montaigne, Pascal’s practice of Socratic irony acknowledges the disorder of humanity without discouraging its quest. Instead, the quest for wisdom alerts the seeker to the presence of a hidden God.
God, according to Pascal, both conceals and reveals, fulfilling the philosophical aspiration for happiness and the good life only by subverting philosophy’s very self-understanding. Pascal thus wagers all on the irony of a God who both startles and astonishes wisdom’s true lovers.
Corruption is endemic in Cameroon. Twice, Transparency International have accorded the country the infamous first place in corruption. As one of many concerned Cameroonians, Sammy Oke Akombi was moved and they realized that something was in fact wrong somewhere and something had to be done somehow. This collection of short stories is his contribution to the collective resolve by concerned Cameroonians to wage a war against this most unusual friend of fairness. The stories seek to elicit awareness about a social ill that is ironically championed by the very politicians, functionaries, educator, leaders and power elite whose duty it is to keep society healthy and on the rails. The stories are on corruption in different segments of society and about the people who perpetrate it. Almost everyone is immersed in it and so must make every effort to resurface from it. It takes only the will to stay alive because the wages of corruption like any other sin can only be death.
Dostoevsky and Punishment
Emotional Labor on Public History's Front Lines
Anyone who has encountered costumed workers at a living history museum may well have wondered what their jobs are like, churning butter or firing muskets while dressed in period clothing. In The Wages of History, Amy Tyson enters the world of the public history interpreters at Minnesota’s Historic Fort Snelling to investigate how they understand their roles and experience their daily work. Drawing on archival research, personal interviews, and participant observation, she reframes the current discourse on history museums by analyzing interpreters as laborers within the larger service and knowledge economies. Although many who are drawn to such work initially see it as a privilege—an opportunity to connect with the public in meaningful ways through the medium of history—the realities of the job almost inevitably alter that view. Not only do interpreters make considerable sacrifices, both emotional and financial, in order to pursue their work, but their sense of special status can lead them to avoid confronting troubling conditions on the job, at times fueling tensions in the workplace. This case study also offers insights—many drawn from the author’s seven years of working as an interpreter at Fort Snelling—into the way gendered roles and behaviors from the past play out among the workers, the importance of creative autonomy to historical interpreters, and the ways those on public history’s front lines both resist and embrace the site’s more difficult and painful histories relating to slavery and American Indian genocide.
Israel and the Arabs, 1948-2003
Considerably expanded to include the impact of the 2003 war in Iraq and its aftermath, this new edition of Waging Peace provides a unique insight into the critical debate on the future of peace in the Middle East. A former chief negotiator for Israel, noted scholar-diplomat Itamar Rabinovich examines the complete history of Arab-Israeli relations beginning in 1948. He then gives a vivid account of the peace processes of 1992-1996 and the more dispiriting record since then. His updated analysis on Iraq, Ehud Barak, and Ariel Sharon--and on the expanding role of the United States in the Middle East--sheds new light on the long and tumultuous history between Arabs and Jews.
As Rabinovich brings the conflict into this century, he widens the scope of his proposals for achieving normalized and peaceful Arab-Israeli relations. While he considers the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians--a classic dispute between two national movements claiming the same land--Rabinovich also studies the broader political, cultural, and increasingly religious conflict between Israel and Arab nationalism and discusses the region in an international context.
Rabinovich's firsthand experiences as a negotiator and an ambassador provide an extraordinary perspective on the major players involved. The result is a shrewd assessment of the past and current state of affairs, as well as a hopeful look at the possibilities for a peaceful future.
Peacefighting in American Literature
The notion that war plays a fundamental role in the United States' idea of itself obscures the rich--and by no means naïve--seam of anti-war thinking that winds through American culture. Giorgio Mariani engages with the question of what makes a text anti-war. Ranging from Emerson and Joel Barlow to Maxine Hong Kingston and Tim O'Brien, Waging War on War explores why sustained attempts at identifying the anti-war text's formal and philosophical features seem to always end at an impasse. Mariani moves a step beyond to construct a theoretical model that invites new inquiries into America's nonviolent, nonconformist tradition even as it challenges the ways we study U.S. warmaking and the cultural reactions to it. In the process, he defines anti-war literature and explores the genre's role in the assertive peacefighting project that offered--and still offers--alternatives to violence.
That Wagner conceived of himself creatively as both man and woman is central to an understanding of his life and art. So argues Jean-Jacques Nattiez in this richly insightful work, where he draws from semiology, music criticism, and psychoanalysis to explore such topics as Wagner's theories of music drama, his anti-Semitism, and his psyche.
Wagner, who wrote the libretti for the operas he composed, maintained that art is the union of the feminine principle, music, and the masculine principle, poetry. In light of this androgynous model, Nattiez reinterprets the Wagnerian canon, especially the Ring of the Nibelung, which is shown to contain a metaphorical transposition of Wagner's conception of the history of music: Siegfried appears as the poet, Brunnhilde, as music, and their union is an androgynous one in which individual identity fades and the lovers revert to a preconflictual, presexual state.
Nattiez traces the androgynous symbol in Wagner's theoretical writings throughout his career. Looking to explain how this idea, so closely bound up with sexuality, took root in Wagner's mind, the author considers the possibility of Freudian and Jungian interpretations. In particular he explores the composer's relationship with his mother, a distant woman who discouraged his interest in the theater, and his stepfather, a loving man whom Wagner suspected was not only his real father but also a Jew. Along with psychoanalysis, Nattiez critically applies various structuralist and feminist theories to Wagner's creative enterprise to demonstrate how the nature of twentieth-century hermeneutics is itself androgynous.
Originally published in 1997.
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