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Year of the Locust

A Soldier's Diary and the Erasure of Palestine's Ottoman Past

Salim Tamari

Year of the Locust captures in page-turning detail the end of the Ottoman world and a pivotal moment in Palestinian history. In the diaries of Ihsan Hasan al-Turjman (1893–1917), the first ordinary recruit to describe World War I from the Arab side, we follow the misadventures of an Ottoman soldier stationed in Jerusalem. There he occupied himself by dreaming about his future and using family connections to avoid being sent to the Suez. His diaries draw a unique picture of daily life in the besieged city, bringing into sharp focus its communitarian alleys and obliterated neighborhoods, the ongoing political debates, and, most vividly, the voices from its streets—soldiers, peddlers, prostitutes, and vagabonds. Salim Tamari’s indispensable introduction places the diary in its local, regional, and imperial contexts while deftly revising conventional wisdom on the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire.

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Year of the Pig

Mark J. Hainds

Year of the Pig is a personal account of one avid hunter's pursuit of wild pigs in eleven American states. Mark Hainds tied his mission to the Chinese calendar's Year of the Pig in 2007 and journeyed through longleaf forests, cypress swamps, and wiliwili forests in search of his prey. He used a range of weapons--black-powder rifle, bow and arrow, knife, and high-powered rifle--and various methods to stalk his quarry through titi, saw palmetto, privet hedge, and blue palms.

Introduced pig populations have wreaked havoc on ecosystems the world over.  Non-native to the Western Hemisphere, pigs originally arrived in the southeast with De Soto's entrada and in the Hawaiian Archipelago on the outriggers of South Pacific islanders. In America feral hogs are considered pests and invaders because of their omnivorous diet and rooting habits that destroy both fragile native species and agricultural cropland.

Appealing to hunters and adventure readers for its sheer entertainment, Year of the Pig will also be valuable to farmers, land managers, and environmentalists for its broad information and perspective on the topic.
Mark J. Hainds is Senior Research Associate with Auburn University and Research Coordinator for the Longleaf Alliance located at the Solon Dixon Forestry Center in Andalusia, AL. He travels widely giving presentations on various aspects of forestry and has published several technical papers, most notably, "Distribution of Native Legumes in Frequently Burned Longleaf Pine--Wiregrass Ecosystems" (American Journal of Botany: 86(11): 1606-1614, 1999). Hainds is a dedicated hunter and outdoorsman, from childhood.

 

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Year of the Rat

Marc Anthony Richardson

Winner of the FC2 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize

In Year of the Rat, an artist returns to the dystopian city of his birth to tend to his invalid mother only to find himself torn apart by memories and longings. Narrated by this nameless figure whose rants, reveries, and Rabelaisian escapades take him on a Dantesque descent into himself, the story follows him and his mother as they share a one-bedroom apartment over the course of a year.

Despite his mother’s precarious health, the lingering memories of a lost love, an incarcerated sibling, a repressed sexuality, and an anarchic inability to support himself, he pursues his dream of becoming an avant-garde artist. His prospects grow dim until a devastating death provides a painful and unforeseeable opportunity. With a voice that is poetic and profane, ethereal and irreverent, cyclical and succinct, he roams from vignette to vignette, creating a polyphonic patchwork quilt of a family portrait.

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Year of the Rhinoceros

Michael Neff

The year is 1984. The ruthless dictatorship envisioned by Orwell has not come to pass. Or has it? Under the presidency of former Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan, the war for America’s soul has begun—a struggle of conscience and idealism versus idolatry and political tyranny. Democracy is fading, and two young liberals in Washington are determined to restore it, no matter the cost.

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Year of the Snake

Lee Ann Roripaugh

In her second collection of poems, Lee Ann Roripaugh probes themes of mixed-race female identities, evoking the molting processes of snakes and insects who shed their skins and shells as an ongoing metaphor for transformation of self. Intertwining contemporary renditions of traditional Japanese myths and fairy tales with poems that explore the landscape of childhood and early adolescence, she blurs the boundaries between myth and memory, between real and imagined selves. This collection explores cultural, psychological, and physical liminalities and exposes the diasporic arc cast by first-generation Asian American mothers and their second-generation daughters, revealing a desire for metamorphosis of self through time, geography, culture, and myth.

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The Year's Work at the Zombie Research Center

Edward P. Comentale

They have stalked the horizons of our culture, wreaked havoc on moribund concepts of dead and not dead, threatened our sense of identity, and endangered our personal safety. Now zombies have emerged from the lurking shadows of society’s fringes to wander the sacred halls of the academy, feasting on tender minds and hurling rot across our intellectual landscape. It is time to unite in common cause, to shore up defenses, firm up critical and analytical resources, and fortify crumbling lines of inquiry. Responding to this call, Brain Workers from the Zombie Research Center poke and prod the rotting corpus of zombie culture trying to make sense of cult classics and the unstoppable growth of new and even more disturbing work. They exhume "zombie theory" and decaying historical documents from America, Europe, and the Caribbean in order to unearth the zombie world and arm readers with the brain tools necessary for everyday survival. Readers will see that zombie culture today "lives" in shapes as mutable as a zombie horde—and is often just as violent.

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The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies

Endnote by William Preston Robertson. Edited by Edward P. Comentale and Aaron Jaffe

A massive underground sensation, The Big Lebowski has been hailed as the first cult film of the internet age. In this book, 21 fans and scholars address the film's influences—westerns, noir, grail legends, the 1960s, and Fluxus—and its historical connections to the first Iraq war, boomers, slackerdom, surrealism, college culture, and of course bowling. The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies contains neither arid analyses nor lectures for the late-night crowd, but new ways of thinking and writing about film culture.

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The Year's Work in Nerds, Wonks, and Neocons

Edited by Jonathan P. Eburne and Benjamin Schreier

What happens when math nerds, band and theater geeks, goths, sci-fi fanatics, Young Republican debate poindexters, techies, Trekkies, D&D players, wallflowers, bookworms, and RPG players grow up? And what can they tell us about the life of the mind in the contemporary United States? With #GamerGate in the national news, shows like The Big Bang Theory on ever-increasing numbers of screens, and Peter Orzsag and Paul Ryan on magazine covers, it is clear that nerds, policy wonks, and neoconservatives play a major role in today’s popular culture in America. The Year’s Work in Nerds, Wonks, and Neocons delves into subcultures of intellectual history to explore their influence on contemporary American intellectual life. Not limiting themselves to describing how individuals are depicted, the authors consider the intellectual endeavors these depictions have come to represent, exploring many models and practices of learnedness, reflection, knowledge production, and opinion in the contemporary world. As teachers, researchers, and university scholars continue to struggle for mainstream visibility, this book illuminates the other forms of intellectual excitement that have emerged alongside them and found ways to survive and even thrive in the face of dismissal or contempt.

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The Year's Work in the Oddball Archive

Edited by Jonathan P. Eburne and Judith Roof

The modern age is no stranger to the cabinet of curiosities, the freak show, or a drawer full of odds and ends. These collections of oddities engagingly work against the rationality and order of the conventional archive found in a university, a corporation, or a governmental holding. In form, methodology, and content, The Year’s Work in the Oddball Archive offers a counterargument to a more reasoned form of storing and recording the avant-garde (or the post-avant-garde), the perverse, the off, the bent, the absurd, the quirky, the weird, and the queer. To do so, it positions itself within the history of mirabilia launched by curiosity cabinets starting in the mid-fifteenth century and continuing to the present day. These archives (or are they counter-archives?) are located in unexpected places—the doorways of Katrina homes, the cavity of a cow, the remnants of extinct animals, an Internet site—and they offer up "alternate modes of knowing" to the traditional archive.

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Year Zero of the Arab-Israeli Conflict 1929

Hillel Cohen

In late summer 1929, a countrywide outbreak of Arab-Jewish-British violence transformed the political landscape of Palestine forever. In contrast with those who point to the wars of 1948 and 1967, historian Hillel Cohen marks these bloody events as year zero of the Arab-Israeli conflict that persists today.

The murderous violence inflicted on Jews caused a fractious—and now traumatized—community of Zionists, non-Zionists, Ashkenazim, and Mizrachim to coalesce around a unified national consciousness arrayed against an implacable Arab enemy. While the Jews unified, Arabs came to grasp the national essence of the conflict, realizing that Jews of all stripes viewed the land as belonging to the Jewish people.

Through memory and historiography, in a manner both associative and highly calculated, Cohen traces the horrific events of August 23 to September 1 in painstaking detail. He extends his geographic and chronological reach and uses a non-linear reconstruction of events to call for a thorough reconsideration of cause and effect. Sifting through Arab and Hebrew sources—many rarely, if ever, examined before—Cohen reflects on the attitudes and perceptions of Jews and Arabs who experienced the events and, most significantly, on the memories they bequeathed to later generations. The result is a multifaceted and revealing examination of a formative series of episodes that will intrigue historians, political scientists, and others interested in understanding the essence—and the very beginning—of what has been an intractable conflict.

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