Book Beat

Recent publications from CLAS faculty

Where These Memories Grow: History, Memory, and Southern Identity

Edited by W. Fitzhugh Brundage, Department of History
Where These Memories Grow: History, Memory, and Southern Identity(University of North Carolina Press, 2001)
Available through Amazon

This collection presents fresh and innovative perspectives on how southerners across two centuries and from Texas to North Carolina have interpreted their past. Thirteen contributors explore the workings of historical memory among groups as diverse as white artisans in early-nineteenth-century Georgia, African American authors in the late nineteenth century, and Louisiana Cajuns in the twentieth century. In the process, they offer critical insights for understanding the many communities that make up the American South.

As ongoing controversies over the Confederate flag, the Alamo, and depictions of slavery at historic sites demonstrate, southern history retains the power to stir debate. By placing these and other conflicts over the recalled past into historical context, this collection will deepen our understanding of the continuing significance of history and memory for southern regional identity.

- Publisher

Body Politics and the Fictional Double

Body Politics and the Fictional Double Edited by Debra Walker King, Department of English
(Indiana University Press, 2001)
Available through Amazon

In recent years, questions concerning "the body" and its place in postmodern discourses have taken center stage in academic disciplines. Body Politics joins these discussions by focusing on the challenges women face when their externally defined identities and representations as bodies—their body fictions—speak louder than what they know to be their lived experience of true selves.

Racialized, gendered, or homophobic body fictions disfigure individuals by concealing them beneath a veil of invisibility and political, emotional, or spiritual suffocation. As objects of interpretation, "female bodies" in search of health care, legal assistance, professional respect, identity confirmation, and financial security must first confront their fictionalized doubles in a collision that, in many cases, ends in disappointment, distress, and even suicide.

The moments of collision this volume examines include reflections on women's day-to-day lives as well as the cultural productions (literature, MTV, film, etc.) that give body fictions their power and influence. By exploring how these fictions are manipulated politically, expressively, and communally, contributors offer reinterpretations that challenge the fictional double while theorizing the discursive and performative forms it takes.

- Publisher

Women Farmers and Commercial Ventures: Increasing Food Security in Developing Countries

Women Farmers and Commercial Ventures: Increasing Food Security in Developing CountriesEdited by Anita Spring, Department of Anthropology and Center for African Studies
(Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001)
Available through Amazon

Women around the world are entering commercial agriculture—and often succeeding—despite development policies designed to exclude them. In this comparative volume, case studies reveal that farm women in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are rapidly becoming more than "subsistence producers."

The authors [in this collection] explore the societal and domestic changes brought about as women move from subsistence agriculture to positions as wage laborers, contract growers, farm owners, and agricultural marketers. They demonstrate cogently that entry into commercial agriculture may increase women's power and status, as well as increasing the quality and quantity of food and household income.

- Publisher

The Politics of Gay Rights

The Politics of Gay RightsEdited by Craig A. Rimmerman, Clyde Wilcox, and Kenneth D. Wald, Departments of Jewish Studies and Political Science
(University of Chicago Press, 2001)
Available through Amazon

Few issues in American politics inspire such passion as civil rights for gays and lesbians. In these original essays, scholars and activists writing from a number of different perspectives provide a comprehensive overview of this heated debate.

Contributors thoroughly investigate the politics of the gay and lesbian movement, beginning with its political organizations and tactics. The essays also address the strategies and ideology of conservative opposition groups, such as the Christian Right. They focus on key issues for public policy, including gays and lesbians openly serving in the military, anti-discrimination laws and the ongoing AIDS crisis. The book ends with chapters that discuss the ways in which the political struggle for gay rights has played out in various arenas—in Congress, in the courts, in state and local governments, and in electoral politics.

Forcefully argued and accessibly written, this collection is an important contribution to the current discussion about civil rights for gays and lesbians

- Publisher

America's Great War: World War I and the American Experience

America's Great War: World War I and the American ExperienceRobert H. Zieger, Department of History
(Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2001)
Available through Amazon

America's Great War provides vivid descriptions of the famous battles, personalities, and diplomatic maneuverings [of WWI], while it destroys numerous popular myths about AmericaÍs role in the war. Unlike any historians before him, Zieger details how the war forever altered American politics, culture, and society, and he chronicles AmericaÍs rise to prominence within the postwar world. Zieger describes how the war was directly responsible for creating the National Security State, for generating powerful new instruments of social control, for bringing about innovative labor and social welfare programs, for expanding powers of the executive office, and for redefining civil liberties and race relations. Finally, Zieger persuasively argues that World War I created the current global balance of power and established the continuing primacy of globalism in American foreign policy.

- Publisher

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