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Karma Cover

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Karma

Johannes Bronkhorst

Karma has become a household word in the modern world, where it is associated with the belief in rebirth determined by one’s deeds in earlier lives. This belief was and is widespread in the Indian subcontinent as is the word “karma” itself. In lucid and accessible prose, this book presents karma in its historical, cultural, and religious context.

Initially, karma manifested itself in a number of religious movements—most notably Jainism and Buddhism—and was subsequently absorbed into Brahmanism in spite of opposition until the end of the first millennium C.E. Philosophers of all three traditions were confronted with the challenge of explaining by what process rebirth and karmic retribution take place. Some took the drastic step of accepting the participation of a supreme god who acted as a cosmic accountant, others of opting for radical idealism. The doctrine of karma was confronted with alternative explanations of human destiny, among them the belief in the transfer of merit. It also had to accommodate itself to devotional movements that exerted a major influence on Indian religions.

The book concludes with some general reflections on the significance of rebirth and karmic retribution, drawing attention to similarities between early Christian and Indian ascetical practices and philosophical notions that in India draw their inspiration from the doctrine of karma.

Katharine and R. J. Reynolds Cover

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Katharine and R. J. Reynolds

Partners of Fortune in the Making of the New South

Michele Gillespie

Separately they were formidable—together they were unstoppable. Despite their intriguing lives and the deep impact they had on their community and region, the story of Richard Joshua Reynolds (1850–1918) and Katharine Smith Reynolds (1880–1924) has never been fully told. Now Michele Gillespie provides a sweeping account of how R. J. and Katharine succeeded in realizing their American dreams.

From relatively modest beginnings, R. J. launched the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, which would eventually develop two hugely profitable products, Prince Albert pipe tobacco and Camel cigarettes. His marriage in 1905 to Katharine Smith, a dynamic woman thirty years his junior, marked the beginning of a unique partnership that went well beyond the family. As a couple, the Reynoldses conducted a far-ranging social life and, under Katharine's direction, built Reynolda House, a breathtaking estate and model farm. Providing leadership to a series of progressive reform movements and business innovations, they helped drive one of the South's best examples of rapid urbanization and changing race relations in the city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Together they became one of the New South's most influential elite couples. Upon R. J.'s death, Katharine reinvented herself, marrying a World War I veteran many years her junior and engaging in a significant new set of philanthropic pursuits.

Katharine and R. J. Reynolds reveals the broad economic, social, cultural, and political changes that were the backdrop to the Reynoldses' lives. Portraying a New South shaped by tensions between rural poverty and industrial transformation, white working-class inferiority and deeply entrenched racism, and the solidification of a one-party political system, Gillespie offers a masterful life-and-times biography of these important North Carolinians.

Katherine Anne Porter - American Writers 28 Cover

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Katherine Anne Porter - American Writers 28

University of Minnesota Pamphlets on American Writers

Ray B. West Jr.

Katherine Anne Porter - American Writers 28 was first published in 1963. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

Katherine Anne Porter Remembered Cover

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Katherine Anne Porter Remembered

Written by Darlene Harbour Unrue

Katherine Anne Porter Remembered is a collection of reminiscences and memoirs by contemporaries, friends, and associates of Porter offering a revealing and intimate portrait of the elusive and complex American writer.

From a fractured and vagabond girlhood in Texas, Porter led a wildly itinerant life that took her through five marriages, innumerable love affairs, and homes in Colorado, New York, Paris, Mexico, Louisiana, California, and Maryland. With very little formal education, she grew through sheer force of will to become a major American writer of short stories and the author of several books including Flowering Judas and other stories; Ship of Fools; Pale Horse; Pale Ride; Noon Wine; and The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter, which won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

Because of Porter’s own dissembling and half-truths about her life, as well as the numerous factual errors that persist in biographical entries and literary dictionaries, a complete and accurate portrait of her life has been hard to establish. The 63 reminiscences gathered in this book paint a vivid portrait of Porter and are testaments to her extraordinary beauty, her gift for mesmerizing and charming audiences and friends, her yearnings for a lasting home, her delusions about love, the astonishing range and scope of her reading, her sharp tongue and vindictiveness, and her final paranoid renunciations of friends and family. Along the way, Porter formed friendships with Eudora Welty, Elizabeth Hardwick, Flannery O’Connor, and Cleanth Brooks whose remembrances of her are included in this volume. 

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Katherine Anne Porter's Ship of Fools

New Interpretations and Transatlantic Contexts

Edited by Thomas Austenfeld

Containing pieces by distinguished scholars including Darlene Harbour Unrue and Robert Brinkmeyer, this book is the first full investigation of the links between Porter's only novel and European intellectual history. Beginning with Sebastian Brant, author of the late medieval Narrenschiff, whom she acknowledges in her Preface to Ship of Fools, Porter's image of Europe emerges as more complex, more knowledgeable, and more politically nuanced than previous critics of her novel have acknowledged. Ship of Fools is in conversation with Europe's humanistic tradition as well as with the political moments of 1931 and 1962; i.e., the years that elapsed from the novel's conception to its completion. The novel and the 1965 film based upon it intervene into the history of film, the assessment of Weimar Germany, and Porter's clear-eyed judgment of her own times through the lens of her art.

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Katherine Dunham

Recovering an Anthropological Legacy, Choreographing Ethnographic Futures

Edited by Elizabeth Chin

This book explores Katherine Dunham’s contribution to anthropology and the ongoing relevance of her ideas and methodologies, rejecting the idea that art and academics need to be cleanly separated from each other.

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Kathleen and Christopher

Christopher Isherwood’s Letters to His Mother

Christopher Isherwood

Opening a window into the most fascinating and, in many ways, most mysterious period in Christopher Isherwood’s life, Kathleen and Christopher collects more than one hundred previously unpublished letters the young author wrote to his mother between 1935 and 1940. Composed while he was still a struggling writer, they offer a brilliant eyewitness account of Europe on the brink of war and an intimate look at the early career of a major literary figure. 

Because Isherwood destroyed his diaries from these years, these letters—published for the first time and edited and introduced by Lisa Colletta—provide one of the few records of this part of his life not filtered through the lens of time and memory. They contain requests for money and books, descriptions of his travels, stories of his friends W. H. Auden and Stephen Spender, reactions to the critical reception of his Berlin Stories, and a tense account of his failed attempt to save his lover Heinz from conscription into the Nazi military. The final letters in this volume document Isherwood’s journey to Los Angeles, where he permanently settled. Also included are thirty images from Isherwood’s personal photo album and reproductions of postcards from his international travels. 

Warm, confiding, and sometimes quite caustic, the letters also reveal a closer affection between the young Isherwood and his mother than his biographers have portrayed. While Isherwood acknowledged that it took him a long time to come to terms with his mother’s influence on his life, the letters in Kathleen and Christopher dispute the prevalent idea that theirs was a relationship rife with conflict. Isherwood’s everyday correspondence, written in extraordinary times, reveals a complex yet wholly recognizable and very close bond between mother and son. She was for him, in turns, an agent, a sounding board, and an unbreakable connection to England. 

Lisa Colletta is assistant professor of English at Babson College. She is the author of Dark Humor and Social Satire in the Modern British Novel.

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Kathryn Bigelow

Interviews

Peter Keough

With her gripping film The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow (b. 1951) made history in 2010 by becoming the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director. Since then she has also filmed history with her latest movie, which is about the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden.

She is one of Hollywood's brightest stars, but her roots go back four decades to the very non-Hollywood, avant-garde art world of New York City in the 1970s. Her first feature The Loveless (1982) reflected those academic origins, but subsequent films such as the vampire-Western Near Dark (1987), the female vigilante movie Blue Steel (1989), and the surfer-crime thriller Point Break (1991) demonstrated her determination to apply her aesthetic sensibilities to popular, genre filmmaking.

The first volume of Bigelow's interviews ever published, Peter Keough's collection covers her early success with Near Dark; the frustrations and disappointments she endured with films such as Strange Days (1995) and K-19: The Widowmaker (2002); and her triumph with The Hurt Locker. In conversations ranging from the casual to the analytical, Bigelow explains how her evolving ambitions and aesthetics sprang from her earliest aspirations to be a painter and conceptual artist in New York in the 1970s, and then expanded to embrace Hollywood filmmaking when she was exposed to renowned directors such as John Ford, Howard Hawks, Don Siegel, Sam Peckinpah, and George Roy Hill.

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Katie Gale

A Coast Salish Woman's Life on Oyster Bay

LLyn De Danaan

A gravestone, a mention in local archives, stories still handed down around Oyster Bay: the outline of a woman begins to emerge and with her the world she inhabited, so rich in tradition, so shaken by violent change. Katie Kettle Gale was born into a Salish community in Puget Sound in the 1850s, just as settlers were migrating into what would become Washington State. With her people forced out of their accustomed hunting and fishing grounds into ill-provisioned island camps and reservations, Katie Gale sought her fortune in Oyster Bay. In that early outpost of multiculturalism—where Native Americans and immigrants from the eastern United States, Europe, and Asia vied for economic, social, political, and legal power—a woman like Gale could make her way.

As LLyn De Danaan mines the historical record, we begin to see Gale, a strong-willed Native woman who cofounded a successful oyster business, then wrested it away from her Euro-American husband, a man with whom she raised children and who ultimately made her life unbearable. Steeped in sadness—with a lost home and a broken marriage, children dying in their teens, and tuberculosis claiming her at forty-three—Katie Gale’s story is also one of remarkable pluck, a tale of hard work and ingenuity, gritty initiative and bad luck that is, ultimately, essentially American.

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Katrina's Imprint

Race and Vulnerability in America

Edited by Keith Wailoo, Karen M. O’Neill, Jeffrey Dowd, and Roland Anglin

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